Category Archives: In Between Days series

Review – Mirror Masquerade

Review – Mirror Masquerade

Mirror Masquerade?

Mirror Masquerade Background

The idea was to cross over, and I am pretty sure that was the original prompt. And so I decided to cross over between the Original Series and Enterprise. However, the twist would be to add the Mirror Universe in for some spice.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Mirror Masquerade
Mirror Masquerade

So much like in Concord and Crackerjack, and The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat, a temporal situation is encountered. And a lot more like Theorizing and Day of the Dead, two people switch places. Although in this instance, it is Travis Mayweather and Hikaru Sulu. So for the purposes of this story, it was the TOS Hikaru Sulu, although it could just as easily have been the Hikaru Sulu from the Kelvin timeline.

For both men, so long as the switcheroo holds up, their lives improve, although Sulu ends up doing better. In the Mirror Universe, any advantage is a good one. Sulu finds someone who interests him – Preston Jennings. This establishes, in my fanfiction universe, that Hikaru Sulu is bisexual is not gay, which was a deliberate call out to Takei’s well-known homosexuality. Travis sees an immediate improvement in his life as he gets away from Empress Hoshi. It feels like it is going to be a win-win all around. But we just can’t have that. There has to be some reason it all happened.

And then, of course, it’s time to undo it all and pull the rug out from under them. Sorry, fellas.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K+.

Upshot

The idea of shifting bodies in time is always a fun one, although I confess it isn’t always so easy to figure out a plausible explanation for the trade. I am running out of ideas here!

Uh, help?

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Portrait of a Character – Kaitaama

Portrait of a Character – Kaitaama

Kaitaama Origins

Kaitaama (Padma Lakshmi)
Kaitaama (Padma Lakshmi)

Kaitaama. The character is, of course, canon.

It is a fairly classic trope, the Precious Cargo episode. Beautiful alien woman, crash landing, all alone on a planet? Not the best ever Enterprise episode. Not by a long shot.

Portrayal

As in canon, the character is played by actress Padma Lakshmi. While Lakshmi is certainly stunning, the portrayal was, let’s just say, less than stellar.

Personality

Imperious, spoiled, and kind of bratty, this character is more than a little bit difficult. In fact, I disliked her so much, I had Otra see an alternate universe vision of this character being beheaded as a kind of space Marie Antoinette. Maybe that’s what being the First Monarch of Krios Prime does to a gal. Who knows?

Yeah, I’m not a fan.

Relationships

Tripp Tucker

In canon, she and Tripp hook up briefly.

James T. Kirk

As I write her, Kaitaama and Jim might or might not hook up.

Mirror Universe

There are no impediments to Kaitaama existing in the Mirror Universe.

Mirror Kaitaama (Padma Lakshmi)
Mirror Kaitaama (Padma Lakshmi)

As with most Mirror Universe women, she would be on the make. As a very good-looking one, she could potentially have status.

She might even be kind, although I see her instead as being a lot more ruthless. She would need to be. Can’t blame her for that.

Quote

“Why should that matter? Your job is to cut ropes, not be flattered and cosseted.”

Upshot

This bratty and difficult character is, I suppose, easy to put into nasty situations. Maybe I will resurrect her if I need to write something harsh. An annoying character might be needed for, I don’t know, something or other.

I am so mean.

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Review – It’s a Small Universe After All

Review – It’s a Small Universe After All

Small Universe Background

Small Universe Syndrome.  It seems to be everyone in Star Trek, and more particularly in Star Trek fanfiction. This story was written in response to a challenge to put together two characters who really should not go together, or would not normally be seen together. Both of these are canon characters; it’s based on who one of the characters reminded me of when I first saw her.

Plot

Barking up the muse tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | It's A Small Universe After All | Small Universe Syndrome
It’s A Small Universe After All

The first time I saw Krios Prime’s Kaitaama in Star Trek: Enterprise, I couldn’t help but to realize she was actually a tired retread of Elaan of Troilus from the Original Series.

The whole episode is one big, fat trope. It was yet another beautiful, haughty princess who looked human enough that looking at her sexually would not make the audience feel too weird about things. A red-blooded spacefaring guy would not be able to help being attracted to her.

Of course, assuming she was still youthful, Kirk would hit on her. But how to get them together?

I decided to lift the plot of Two Days, Two Nights. Risa would still have a crime problem. But instead of Malcolm and Tripp being tied up in a basement, it would be Captain James T. Kirk and Kaitaama.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I am not so sure I would ever write a story like this again. I have enough problems keeping my own creations from suffering from coincidences and small universe syndrome. It would be far worse if I did that deliberately with more canon characters!

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Review – Eight

Review – Eight

Background

Review – Eight. Aw.

So this is a mixed bag of stories intended to fill in a few small gaps and inconsistencies or untold stories. Truth is, I was most likely the only person who ever noticed or gave a damn about these little untold moments or inconsistent bits. No problem. It is always important to keep writing. Hence I was able to do so with this small set of exercises. Furthermore, it may serve as an introduction to my work for some people.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Eight
Eight

As a gift for the Chanukah holiday (to myself), I decided to write eight little family-centric stories taking place within my various universes. The various characters would interact, or not, but the main idea was for each story to be related to family somehow.

Plot

Even in the future, and regardless of species, it is all about family. Home and hearth abide, even in space.

Stories cover In Between Days, the E2 timeline, the Daranaean Emergence series, the Eriecho series, Times of the HG Wells, Hold Your Dominion, and there is also a second HG Wells story which focuses on Levi Cavendish and Otra D’Angelo.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Unfortunately, I am not so sure if anyone can relate to this series of stories as well as I can. Maybe they’re more like inside jokes? I don’t know.

These stories. And these worlds. Plus these timelines. And the same number of universes. And in all of them, home and hearth abide.

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Portrait of a Character – Soval

Portrait of a Character – Soval

Soval Origins

Soval
Soval

Soval. The character is, of course, canon.

A lot of fans are not too impressed with the portrayal of Vulcans in Enterprise. For me, I loved it. I always found them to be far too perfect, and when the Original Series was running, I was a lot more likely to side with McCoy or Kirk than Spock. This may have carried over a bit, but either way, it was a refreshing change, to me, to see Vulcans with feet of clay and less than stellar motives.

Hallelujah!

Portrayal

As in canon, the character is played by actor Gary Graham. The actor embodies the character well and it is difficult to think of another inhabiting him so well.

Personality

Standoffish like most Vulcans, he seems to be genuinely moved when Admiral Forrest sacrifices his own life to save a, perhaps, friend.

Relationships

His relationships are not really known. In Biases, I bring a human woman into his household, but Bridie Kelly is not intended to be a love interest at all. I really hope nobody ‘ships them.

Mirror Universe

Mirror Universe Soval is canon. Intelligent and resourceful, he is one of many Mirror Universe characters who is just plain stuck. As I write the Mirror, it boasts a violent military dictatorship.  Not an easy place for an unemotional person.

There isn’t a lot on him in canon except that Archer became xenophobic.  This would make life even more difficult even if Jonathan Archer had lived (the way I write the Mirror Universe, Hoshi Sato is successful in murdering Archer).

Mirror Universe Soval
Mirror Universe Soval

Quote

“I am one hundred and forty-two years old. That is almost a logical observation.”

Upshot

I have never written Mirror Universe Soval, and maybe it’s time I should.

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Portrait of a Character – Treve I

Portrait of a Character – Treve I

Origins

Lili needed a way and a reason to stay in the Lafa System at the end of Reversal.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Treve I
Portrait of a Character – Treve I

Treve I is played by actor Jude Law. I like this handsome actor, and I feel he would make an interesting, high class alien.

Personality

Pushed to succeed at a young age, Treve knows something horrible is happening to his mother, Yipran, but he is powerless to stop it. Because he cannot protect her, he instead concentrates on protecting his two younger siblings – his sister, Yimar; and his brother, Chelben.

Relationships

Pamela Hudson

Treve and Pamela get together at the end of Fortune. They date during Saturn Rise, and eventually marry. He is the anchor of her life.

Jennifer Crossman

In the Mirror Universe, Treve and Jennifer hook up during Reversal. By the time of Fortune and He Stays a Stranger, they are still together.

Mirror Universe

Just as posh in the Mirror, Treve is caught between a rock and a hard place and is pushed to kill Jennifer. He refuses and they become outlaws, eventually camping with Tripp, Beth, Chip, and Lucy, and their children. Even as a poacher dressed in rags, he still has the clipped accent of a failed diplomat.

Quote

“I — Polloria — I was a child when you, you came into our lives and Mother became ill. I have done my best to accept you. And I am, I am glad that Mother will not actually be killed, although if she were at all conscious it might be something she’d wish. But killing this alien? Cannot we put her back as we usually do?”

Upshot

Determined to do the right thing even when others around him are note, Treve is a good guy who, in our universe, dies fairly young, and is childless on both sides of the pond. But that doesn’t stop him from doing good for people.

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Spotlight on the Zetal in Fan Fiction

Spotlight on the Zetal

The Zetal: in order to try to finally wrap up the HG Wells storyline, I needed a sort of garden variety villain. That was the Var-gi-yeh. They would come from outside our solar system, and therefore it would help if we had an early warning of some sort.

I reached back into my older work and found the Zetal.

Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Zetal
The Zetal

Back in Together, the Witannen and the Imvari capture ten humans for war games on a grand scale. But they are actually working for a third party, a species in the Andromeda Galaxy, the Zetal.

This species was meant to be more or less incorporeal. However, I did not have much on them. In Together, it was considerably easier to just work with the Imvari and the Witannen. Species which are more or less our basic body type are just easier to deal with. The reader or viewer can relate to them better. And, truly, so can the writer. After all, I needed to get the story down on pixels.

If a character is hard for even the writer to relate to, then the character is just not going to be written. That is unfortunate, as they are kind of interesting on paper. But I have very little on them. They are a piece of bringing Trek out of our galaxy and into our galactic neighbor. That is not enough, though. There just is not enough ‘there’, there.

Upshot

If I need to pull in an Andromeda Galaxy species, then they might be it, and I would do more with them. They certainly could use an overhaul and some love from their creator! Right now, though, they remain a semi-useful curiosity and not much more.

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Portrait of a Character – T’Pau

Portrait of a Character – T’Pau

Origins

T’Pau, a canon character, is a part of the Star Trek: Enterprise Vulcan arc.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – T’Pau
Portrait of a Character – T’Pau

As in canon, a young T’Pau is played by actress Kara Zediker.

I liked this portrayal a lot more than the one in the Original Series. This T’Pau has passion and fire, even as an allegedly emotion-free Vulcan.

Personality

Ruthless and efficient, T’Pau, in canon, is ready to force Captain Archer to submit to a mindmeld if he won’t go willingly. I see no reason for her to be any different in fanfiction.

Relationships

Kefris

Thrown together several times, T’Pau and Kefris bond at least a little bit over their shared fates.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – T’Pau
Portrait of a Character – T’Pau

In the Mirror, because Vulcans are an oppressed species, I write T’Pau as a slave.

This is the main place where I write T’Pau.  In Temper and in He Stays a Stranger, she is referenced as being someone who performs calculations and looks things up for the Empress. Without being named, she is one of the two Vulcans referenced (Kefris is the other) in Escape, as surviving the shuttle crash that kills the Mirror Melissa Madden and leaves Andy Miller bereft.

Quote

As of the writing of this blog post, I don’t have a quote from her!

Upshot

Mentioned peripherally but barely seen, I should do more with this character.

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Recurrent Themes – Childcare Workers

Recurrent Themes – Childcare Workers

Background

While regular ships generally don’t have children on them, generational ships most certainly do.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Childcare Workers

For all of those times when someone had to look after a kid, there are some similar threads that run through my fanfiction.

I am not including the Daranaeans here, mainly because their acts of childcare are generally a part of parenthood and not as unrelated professionals.

Appearances

Maria Elena Torres Archer

In Everybody Knows this is Nowhere, Maria Elena, daughter of Lili and José, steps in when Victoria is killed.

Beth Cutler (Mirror Universe only)

When Reversal begins, Beth has the unenviable position of babysitter to the Empress Hoshi Sato‘s lone royal brat, Jun.  Without being able to escape, Rick Daniels eventually reveals Beth would have been the first person killed by Jun.

Victoria Dietrich

Part teacher and part babysitter, Vicki cares for the children during Entanglements and The Three of Us, eventually giving some of the babysitter duties over to others.

Aidan MacKenzie (Mirror Universe only)

After the conclusion of Reversal, Aidan is tasked with siring the Empress’s second son, Kira, and is also made to become the royal babysitter. Embarrassed, catcalled, and humiliated, Aidan lays low for the most part. With Chip, he gets a small degree of revenge in Brown. But in Gilded Cage, the Empress essentially gets him back by placing him under house arrest. In the alternate timelines in Temper, and in the correct timeline in He Stays a Stranger, it’s revealed Aidan stayed on as the sitter although, as the children grew up, he became one of their only de facto parents, along with Susan. Susan is never really a sitter and instead is a skilled teacher, even in the Mirror Universe and even during alternate timelines.

Ethan Shapiro (alternate timeline only)

During Entanglements, after Ethan‘s suicide attempt, he can no longer adequately perform tactical duties. As he recovers, he becomes capable of working with the Quartermaster, Sekar Khan, and also performing some minor babysitter duties. This only happens during The Three of Us and not during Everybody Knows this is Nowhere.

José Torres (alternate timeline only)

As Ethan recovers, José becomes his roommate, and takes on babysitting duties as a means of trying to attract female attention. As with Ethan Shapiro’s connection to childcare, this only happens during The Three of Us and not during Everybody Knows this is Nowhere.

Upshot

Childcare is of course still needed in the future, and I’m pleased and proud that it’s a profession tackled by any gender.

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Review – Souvenirs

Review – Souvenirs

Souvenirs of time travel can really do a number on Rick Daniels.

Background

Temporal souvenirs.

For a prompt about remembrances, I wanted to clarify a bit of time travel lore that I had been rather vague about. In A Long, Long Time Ago, I refer to temporal tourists who take various souvenirs. Helen Walker grabs the quarter flipped right before the plane takes off on February 3, 1959, resulting in the deaths of the Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, and Buddy Holly.

Therefore, it made sense to me that Rick would take similar souvenirs from each of his honeys. Hence I had him steal a pair of quarters from Windy, plus he had a photograph of Milena that Noemy had taken, but nothing else.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | Souvenirs
Clockworks

So the story is about how Temporal Agent Richard Daniels remembers his conquests.

Note: this story breaks later fan fiction.

However, the main reason it breaks it is because of a slight confusion in the dates, nothing more.

And in a way, it leads right up to The Stranger. Richard Daniels has a lot on his plate, and he meets a lot of women. But he also has to allow any number of good people to die. I believe that this would horribly mess with just about anyone’s head. I feel even in the deep future we would not have quite gotten over the guilt many people would feel at having to sit back and watch innocents suffer. Hence he comforts himself by bedding women in time. But Milena Chelenska is different from all the rest.

Story Postings

Rating

This story is rated K.

Upshot

I think the concept is a good one although I am a little annoyed at myself for getting the dates wrong in my own time travel story!

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