Category Archives: In Between Days series

Review – Razor

Review – Razor

Razor
Razor, a tiny drabble, does not really need much of a review.

Background

First of all, Razor was written in response to a drabble prompt of the same name.

Plot

In addition, like the vast, vast majority of drabbles, Razor simply does not have much of a plot. Instead, it offers up a view of Tripp Tucker’s life and date with someone – probably a human, and certainly not T’Pol or even an alien guest – and a time at the movies. Hence this quick drabble shows a possible date between Tripp and a human woman, and it’s possibly Amanda Cole if they had gone further than one kiss. It was prompted on The Delphic Expanse;  the prompt word was the same as the title.

Real original, right?

However, it’s possible the prompt writer did not consider horror films when creating the prompt. So there’s that. Small comfort.

Yes, it’s possible to not enjoy your own work. I see no reason to expand on this one at all.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

In addition, most drabbles suffer from length and depth issues, and this one provides no exception. Furthermore, the story breaks canon and does not even dovetail well with my own fan fiction timeline. So while it does fit into the In Between Days timeline, that is just barely the case. Hence I do not pretend to be much of a fan of it and I have only posted it one place for good reason.

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Review – Prison Break

Review – Prison Break

Prison Break
Prison Break exists in the Dispatches from the Romulan War universe. Hence it dovetails well with In Between Days.

Background

First of all, I wrote Prison Break as a kind of homage to World War II prison break films such as The Great Escape. However, the Romulan War served as the backdrop.

Plot

Hence the concept behind Prison Break consisted of showcasing, from a journalist’s perspective, how some captured humans had gotten out of a Romulan prison. Therefore, this marked the first time I wrote about Berren Five, a location I have used in the HG Wells stories.

In addition, the original plan meant no one had survived an original attack. However, I convinced the series runner to allow for this kind of a different story. Therefore, the former prisoners detail everything from using ration packets to shore up tunnels to how they got rid of the dirt (a nod to The Great Escape, one of my favorite films, ever).

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Because a prison escape story can feel rather uplifting, the intent also involved giving hope to the families and turn the series around a bit, as it had stagnated and had gotten rather negative. While that may be expected with war stories, it just seemed a tad too much, and nonstop. Hence the escape story and the reunions of the former POWs with their pleasantly surprised families had a purpose. It evoked the same sort of hope and positivity that can happen in the midst of any war.

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Portrait of a Character – Tracey Carter

Portrait of a Character – Tracey Carter

Origins

Tracey Carter was originally created out of some petulance on my part. Because I was posting on a site requiring beta reading before posting, I got tired of that. I didn’t want to do that as it was fan fiction. Furthermore, I was seeing suggestions of changing some of the fundamentals of Reversal. With so much dependent upon that story, imperfect as it is, I wasn’t interested in subsequent ‘fixes’ which I felt would gut the plot. However, I was curious about the beta reading process and reeled of Smells with two brand-new characters in order to see what it was all about. Hence my reasoning was to offer up two characters I didn’t really care about in the hopes that I wouldn’t be offended by any suggestions and would potentially learn something.

And then I mostly forgot about that story, but revisited it when I began writing the E2 stories as I needed names and I needed relationships. Tracey and Osh fit the bill rather nicely.

Portrayal

Tracey Carter
Rachel McAdams as Tracey Carter (image is provided for educational purposes only)

Tracey Carter is played by actress Rachel McAdams.

I am particularly thrilled that she plays a linchpin character in The Time Traveler’s Wife, a story which relates her to the Wells series.

Personality

A bit silly and kind of boy-crazy, Tracey quite literally embraces the generational nature of the NX-01. Even though Maryam scolds her and reminds her that she (Tracey) is no longer a teenager, Tracey acts that way anyway. She sets her sights on Oscar and they hook up, which eventually turns into more. During the first kick back in time, she gives birth to the first child on board, Amanda, who she and Osh call Almendra.

Relationships

Tracey’s only known relationship is with Oscar Tiburón. Even after the third version of the Enterprise makes it through, Trace and Osh still get together. Much like Meredith and Rex, Susie and Mario, and Lili and Malcolm (although not Lili and Jay or Lili and José), their relationship carries through to the prime timeline.

Mirror Universe

Mirror Tracey Carter
Mirror Tracey Carter

There are no impediments to Tracey existing in the Mirror Universe.  And as an engineer, she would potentially have more opportunities than many other women. Would she still end up with Oscar? It’s hard to say. A decent-looking and somewhat intelligent MACO would be able to support a wife and family, but at the same time he could potentially be of interest to Empress Hoshi. And Hoshi’s jealousy could cost Tracey her job or even her life.

Quote

“His uni patch says O. Tiburón. Oliver? Otto? Orson? Omar?”

Upshot

While the creation of this character was imperfectly executed, her subsequent reuse and redemption made her more valuable. Even though this character isn’t exactly a star, she’s a useful part of the ensemble.

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Review – Infinite Diversity

Review – Infinite Diversity

Infinite Diversity

Background

Infinite diversity in infinite combinations! First of all, Infinite Diversity was created as a means of showcasing LGBTQ stories within the context of Star Trek fan fiction. And while it says some good things, it does not really fit in with canon, personal or otherwise.

Plot

Because Infinite Diversity exists as a more or less anthology, it does not, truly, have any sort of a plot to speak of. Hence the main themes include the colors of the rainbow and any prompts. Most of the stories take place in the Interphases E2 timeline.

Therefore, the prompts and the colors devolve as follows:

  1. Wisdom (Red) – Dave and Frank dye their cabin in rainbow colors as they dye tee shirts for Pride Week. And the last dye job makes them look like serial killers (prime timeline).
  2. Fairness (Orange) – Diana and Preece Ti discuss why choosing each other isn’t unfair at all, even though there are no other choices (E2 timeline, first kick back in time).
  3. Grace (Yellow) – Diana’s funeral, where Jonathan gives the eulogy to cover Diana’s widow, Leah (prime timeline, refers to the Bread story).
  4. Melancholy (Green) – Kelsey cross dresses in private (E2 timeline, first kick back in time but also refers to the prime timeline story, In Memory of Kelsey Haber).
  5. Distance (Blue) – Luke and Preston fight  (E2 timeline, first kick back in time).
  6. Generosity (Indigo) – asexual pilot Christian Harris volunteers for a dangerous mission so others don’t have to (E2 timeline, either kick back in time).
  7. and Perseverance (Violet) – Melissa and Norri try to feed infant Tommy (prime timeline, references Temper).

Music

While the only song is this one, it’s a good one, particularly considering that character Kelsey Haber, in the prime timeline commits suicide. Hence he may very well have been more melancholy than he lets on here.

Story Postings

Infinite Diversity on Ad Astra.

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

While I feel my heart was in the right place when I wrote Infinite Diversity, it could have used more of a plot.

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Portrait of a Character – Jacob Hayes

Portrait of a Character – Jacob Hayes

Origins

Jacob Hayes, first of all, is an absolutely necessary character in Concord and even in the overall IBD/HGW timeline. However, Jacob is never ‘seen on camera’ in the story, although his voice comes through in a letter. Furthermore, his wife, Charlotte, talks about him all the time.

Portrayal

Jacob Hayes
Steven Culp as Jacob Hayes (image is presented for educational purposes only)

Jacob Hayes is played by actor Steven Culp and is yet another link to that character. I wanted this actor in order to demonstrate the connection, through time, of Lili and Jay, and Lili and Doug, but also, in general, of the people who would eventually populate the NX-01.

Personality

Most noteworthy, Jacob is one of the few characters I have ever written whose personality is generally unknown. While Charlotte is ever faithful and certainly loves him, she also confides to Malcolm that he (Jacob) does not always help with the dishes. He is one of the first people in Concord to volunteer and join the militia,. His patriotism is never in question. And he is utterly committed to, if necessary, dying for American independence. Fortunately, he doesn’t have to, although he is wounded in action.

And then after the war, when Charlotte finally conceives and their son, Patrick Laurent is born, I see him as a devoted father. However, given the average life expectancy of that era, an older father would not be expected to live to see his only child marry.

Relationships

Jacob’s only known relationship is with his wife, Charlotte. He clearly loves her a great deal and wants very much to return to her as quickly as possible. While he volunteers for the sake of patriotism, he makes it clear that he misses her. Furthermore, he trusts her with Malcolm, even though he does not know Malcolm at all (and Malcolm is ostensibly the enemy, a somewhat neat prefiguring of Harbinger).

Mirror Universe

There are no impediments to Jacob existing in the Mirror. And in fact, he is a necessary part of both the Mirror and Prime Universe timelines, as he is a direct ancestor of Jay in our universe. And his counterpart is Doug’s direct ancestor.

Because I write so many MU soldiers, Jacob most likely would be one on a regular basis, just as Jeremiah (Doug’s father) is. That is, beyond being a volunteer in the militia, an MU Jacob would most likely take up arms as his formal profession.

Quote

“War is brutal, and I am glad to be done with it. Our cause is just, but too many youth have perished already. I cannot wait to return to your faithful arms, and pray you will be the Sarah to my Abraham.

I remain, as ever,

Your Jacob”

Upshot

While I would love to write a sequel to Concord, I am not so sure there would be too much interest in it. This is because the anchor character (Malcolm Reed) cannot be there. Furthermore, it would not have much of a science fiction bent at all, as the time travel element would already be wrapped up. And that’s a pity, as I love the story and I enjoyed writing that time period.

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Review – Cough

Review – Cough

Cough?

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | In Between Days Cast | Cough
In Between Days Cast

Background

It seems such an unpromising word. Yet there was a call for a drabble with this word as its title. Hence I decided to revisit Penicillin. And my idea was to write a far shorter version of the same story. So this was to get it in front of a different readership.

Plot

When Lili sees Jay coughing in the hallway of the NX-01, he quickly covers it up. But she realizes he is sick and so she makes some chicken soup to treat his symptoms.

But there’s just one catch for Jay. Lili wants payment. And her payment isn’t in the form of money. Instead, it’s for him to smile more. While he agrees to do so, there is a slight difference between Cough and Penicillin. Unlike in the longer story, Jay briefly turns out his pockets. I feel it’s a nice little touch which gives him some personality, e. g. that he’s in a bit of a joking mood despite them being at war, and foreshadows the relaxed loving relationship they will have.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Drabbles are tiny and they often suffer because of that. And this one is no exception. So while I love the Penicillin story (and it turned out to be a linchin in the E2 storyline), the drabble version just plain isn’t as good. Therefore, there’s just no chicken meat on those bare bones.

However, the readers did like the story. Hayes is an enigma, even to his creators and to his actor. Hence I feel any insight into his character is generally going to be welcome. Otherwise, he is simply a cipher.

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Portrait of a Character – Mark Stone

Portrait of a Character – Mark Stone

Origins

Mark Stone is a part of the shenanigans going on during IntoleranceI wanted someone who would be out of the heterosexual romantic sweepstakes. Mark Stone fit the bill nicely. Furthermore, he is the last of the guest characters (except, I believe, for a Vulcan seen in communications only) from that book.

Portrayal

Mark Stone
Hugh Grant as Mark Stone (image is presented for educational purposes only)

Mark Stone is played by actor Hugh Grant. While I like this seemingly charming, handsome actor, he’s really too old for the role. And I didn’t even necessarily ‘hear’ Mark’s voice with a British accent at first.

Personality

Brittle, privileged, and arrogant, Mark has no time for the likes of Pamela Hudson or even Blair Claymore. However, his studious nature does not get him to the top his class; that honor belongs to An Nguyen (this is established in The Cure is Worse than the Disease). Mark is also the son of Emily Stone. Sharp-eyed readers will recognize her from Achieving Peace, where she works as an ambassador, alongside fellow ambassador, the Xindi sloth, Chara Sika. Furthermore, Emily’s assistant is Laura Hayes. However, let’s get back to Mark.

Relationships

Mark has no known relationships. Because this is a gay character, his options are rather different from heterosexual characters’. Maybe he hooked up with Frank Todd, or Preston Jennings, or Dave Constantine, or Luke Donnelly while he and his class were on board the Enterprise. That’s a pretty good idea and I might pursue it at some point in time.

Mirror Universe

Mark exists in the Mirror Universe and becomes Empress Hoshi’s Chief Medical Officer, succeeding Cyril Morgan (in the Prime Universe, I don’t follow through on Mark’s career, although he loses out on the Columbia CMO job to An). Because Mark is gay, that shields him from the Empress’s advances – for the most part – and often from her wrath. Since she does not see him as a potential sexual partner, she can remain intrigued with a good-looking man without getting tired of him.

Medical care in the Mirror is primitive at best. Hence Mark ends up handling a far more mundane but absolutely necessary task – helping to rid the Defiant of the mice that have bred since the end of Reversal. As a result, he keeps snakes in cages. During the last few HG Wells stories, the cages are opened, and the ensuant chaos helps Mark, Aidan, Susan, and others assert themselves against the Empress.

Quote

“You are not gonna screw up my career.”

Upshot

When I write these blog posts, I often consider new ways to write characters. And this post and this character are not exceptions. After all, this was essentially the ‘odd man out’ character in Intolerance, and he proved a convenient character for the Wells series. However, he might be strong enough for his own novel.

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Review – Advice from My Universes to Yours

Review – Advice from My Universes to Yours

Advice for all! Well, kinda.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Advice From My Universes to Yours
Advice From My Universes to Yours

Background

As a holiday gift, I decided to put together a number of disparate characters. Since these are characters of my own invention, I could and did have them say nearly anything. The idea would be to act as a kind of helpful team but with the same quirkiness a reader might have come to expect.

Plot

Six characters land in some odd place. And for sharp-eyed readers, they might recognize a similarity to The Puzzle. This was deliberate, as I wanted a storyline similar to Travis‘s. Furthermore, I have far better writing skills than I did then. Hence I felt this would be a better story, and I believe that to be the case.

Background

When Jay and Lili (in the prime timeline), Dratha, Eriecho, Levi, and Branch land, they have no idea what is in store for them.  Because this takes place more or less right after Penicillin, Jay is still rather gruff but he’s trying. For Levi and Branch, this is later in their timelines. Eriecho is already on Mars. And Dratha’s husband, Arnis, is already incarcerated.

Serious Help

The characters then proceed to help out ten characters created by others. The first is kes7’s John Quigley, who gets help (sort of) in his love triangle. Then Bethany Reeves (trekfan’s character) is up, and the characters talk to her about her parents separating in one of the few serious vignettes. The next caller is Jessica St. Peter (Templar Sora’s character), and the so-called experts kind of, sort of, help her with asserting authority.

Not So Serious Help

For Andrew Corrigan (SLWalker’s character), it’s all about how to spend his first date with Abby (I managed to get in a sushi as bait joke).  Aurellan Markalis (Enterprise1981’s character) also has a problem with a date but it was probably, the advisers agree, for the best that it ended early. Srena (CeJay’s character) comes up next. She is told how to create a calming ritual to help her get to sleep at night.

Mysterious Help

Then Jasto Dax (CaptainSarine’s character) calls. While most of the group doesn’t even know what a Trill is, Dratha provides good information about how to essentially pick your battles. She tells him not to answer every single summons. The next caller is Dr. Veronica West (thebluesman’s character); she learns she should become more creative. Then Spock calls (while this is a canon character, the gift was for littleblackdog) about a canon situation, the end of the TOS episode, Requiem for Methuselah. The last caller is Emmylou Galyaski (FalseBill’s character). She talks about mourning her late husband and, in their own odd ways, the so-called experts help, at least a bit.

Departures

Then it’s time to leave. Dratha volunteers to go first as it looks dangerous. Eriecho leaves next. Jay and Lili leave together and she touches his arm. Then Branch and Levi depart, and the following graffiti is shown:

As the last of the reluctant travelers/advisors departs, the room disappears and is swallowed into the vast vacuum of space, leaving but one final thought.

 Happy holidays across all galaxies, all timelines, all universes and all realities.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I liked showing off the weird characters and trying to get them to work together. As a bonus, I was able to cross over just a little bit with others’ works.

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Review – Dear Naurr, Dear Lili

Review – Dear Naurr, Dear Lili

Dear Naurr – Can I help you with cooking? I’m willing to help. Let me know. – Lili

Dear Naurr, Dear Lili Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Dear Naurr Dear Lili
Dear, Naurr/Dear, Lili

After seeing Naurr the Cajun Caitian chef for the first time, I was hooked. The best part about him, to my mind, beyond the fact that he was a walking mass of malapropisms and weird immigrant-style unfounded assumptions, was that he was native to the ENT time frame.

That meant he was alive at the same time as Lili. I hit upon the idea of Lili giving him a little friendly advice. I had already answered the letters from home prompt, but I gave it another go and this one proved to be just as satisfying albeit rather different.

Plot

On February 17, 2158, Lili gives a little advice to a new chef.

Married to Doug and pregnant with Joss, not to mention opening up Reversal on Lafa II, Lili is one busy lady. But she needs to confide a bit in someone. Treve, her business partner, has a friendly ear but he is not a chef. Lili needed someone who could more or less understand about recipes. This person would also understand some of her cooking frustrations.

Further, the story provided an opportunity to revisit a favorite time period, where Doug and Lili are newlyweds and it is before Malcolm and the beginning of the open marriage and what they, along with Melissa and Norri, refer to as the arrangement. Sometimes, it’s good to just write a far simpler relationship scheme.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I really enjoyed getting them together, at least virtually by means of an essentially epistolary novel. This led to Bomb(e) as a sequel.
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Review – Bombe(e)

Review – Bombe(e)

Bombe! Oh, no! Relax; it’s a bombee glacee.

Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Bombe
Bomb(e)

As a follow up to Dear Naurr, Dear Lili and to provide a holiday gift for Naurr’s creator, False Bill, I wrote this trifling bit of silliness.

The Cajun Caitian chef would be a hero, fighting off Romulan invaders in a boarding party. Therefore, in keeping with canon, Naurr could not see them, so I have him hit over the head. Hence he will not have much of a memory of, well, anything afterwards.

This works fine for my purposes and adds to the fun. Also, given the head injury and Naurr’s propensity for malapropisms, no one can figure out where the bomb supposedly is. Naurr is going to get a medal for this, for sure.

So long as the ship, the Ariane, isn’t blown to smithereens.

Oops. That would be bad.

Plot

On June 3rd, 2158, Naurr makes a bombe glacee and fools a mysterious boarding party into believing it’s an actual bomb.

A big part of the joke is just waiting for the joke to happen. I also had some fun adding two characters of my own to the story. One is the doctor, Bernardine Keating-Fong. Sharp-eyed readers will recall her as the instructor in Intolerance. Plus there is a guy set to defuse the so-called ‘bomb’, Tim Randall. Think back, alert readers! Tim, in the Mirror Universe, is one of Doug’s kills.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

The story is cute and silly. Also, the fun part is not so much the punchline as that is rather obvious. It’s more that the reader does not know just when the punch line is going to happen. So I enjoyed writing this one very much! Viva Naurr!

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