Category Archives: Portrait

Portrait of a Character – Jay Douglas Hayes

Portrait of a Character – Jay Douglas Hayes

Many – although not all – roads lead to Jay Douglas Hayes.

Origins

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Jay Hayes's Service Record | Steven Culp | Jay Douglas Hayes
Jay Hayes’s Service Record | Steven Culp

This character is, of course, Star Trek: Enterprise canon. He is a Major in the MACOs and loses his life during the ENT Countdown episode.

In canon, he only has a first initial, and not even a middle initial. I have gone with Jay (a suggestion by the actor who played him) and Douglas in order to dovetail with Doug Beckett. Hence, Jay Douglas Hayes.

The main origination point for me was that I enjoyed the character very much, and wish he had been shown more. A rather earthy dream about him was the basis and initial kernel of an idea for Reversal, a story where he is referred to, and is seen in this photograph. However, by the time of Reversal (2157), Jay is already long dead.

Portrayal

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Steven Culp as Major Jay Douglas Hayes
Steven Culp as Major Hayes

As in canon, Jay is portrayed by veteran actor Steven Culp. Culp has said about the character that he is essentially a David Mamet character, in that he is more action than talk much of the time. In canon, he rarely smiles. In fact, I think one of the few times he even comes close to smiling is in this image.

Personality

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Steven Culp as Major Jay Douglas Hayes with Dominic Keating as Malcolm Reed
Steven Culp as Major Hayes with Dominic Keating as Malcolm Reed

All business, Jay is surprised and genuinely hurt that Malcolm Reed would think that he was attempting to undermine the Tactical Officer’s authority. For Jay, it’s about getting the job done. However, he does so with few niceties. For Malcolm, this is unacceptable, and there is a need for communications and for protocols to be followed. In canon, Jay eventually admits that blindly following the chain of command isn’t as easy as it may seem, nor is it always the right thing to do. For him, the excuse of “I was only following orders” could have rung true, until that moment.

E2

In the E2 stories I am currently writing, Jay is in a state of melancholy, but so are many of the other people, as clinical depression runs rampant, at least at the beginning of those stories. For Jay, it takes the form of regrets about an old relationship with a woman he identifies as his most important ex-girlfriend, Susan Cheshire, and he even writes her a letter that he knows she will never read. But Jay is also unexpectedly kind, such as when he carves a walking stick for an injured crewman but doesn’t make it public knowledge.

His conflict with Malcolm is shown in any number of stories. In Harvest and in Protocols, which both take place during the Xindi war, he and Malcolm bicker a bit. It’s pretty much just about their ideas about dealing with the Xindi threat. It isn’t until the E2 stories that their arguments become about something else entirely, their rivalry over a woman.

Relationships

In canon, he has no known relationships. I follow on that and, in Together, when Lili and Doug meet with his sister, the attorney Laura Hayes, she confides that he had no one, not even a girlfriend and was “not the marrying kind”.

In my fanfiction, he has three important earlier relationships which eventually lead up to his great love, in the E2 stories. The first of these is with Darareaksmey Preap, a Cambodian bar girl that he knew when he was young and in Basic Training, near Phnom Penh. Much like Doug, he lies to Darareaksmey and tells her he loves her, and buys her gifts, in order to be able to lose his virginity to her.

The second is Christine Chalmers, possibly known during an assignment. He considers telling her that he loves her until he learns that she’s been cheating on him. The third is the aforementioned Susan Cheshire, who tells him she loves him nearly constantly. But he can’t bring himself to say it in return, and he doesn’t quite understand why until later.

In the E2 stories, he learns to let go of Susan’s memory and embrace the woman who will be his great love, the woman he calls Sparrow. This is evoked in Equinox as well when, even after his death, he communicates with her and accidentally calls her Sparrow.

Theme Music

Jay Douglas Hayes doesn’t have official theme music, but the Beatles’ Blue Jay Way works rather nicely.

Mirror Universe

Jay’s Mirror Universe counterpart is Doug Beckett. Any discussion of Jay/Doug in the Mirror can be found in that post.

Quote

“I was a big kid. {and} I was probably gonna be fat if I didn’t do something. I was an ox, a lummox, my dad would call me. My father, he ordered me to ride my bike every day…. He was military, too. And, well, so I did it. ‘Cause you didn’t argue with Jeremiah Hayes. So I used to ride around the reservoir area. It was nice, and there were birds. They would all chatter away, like they were having arguments or telling each other the news or something like that…. Anyway, it was a good place to go, and it was a bit cooler than most places, so I went every day. And then one day, I saw the Ganymede Police there. They had a skiff boat and there were divers. And they were, well … they were dredging for a body.”

Upshot

Beyond being, perhaps, a bit of a jarhead, Jay Douglas Hayes has a heart and a soul. You just need to be quiet and listen for them.

Portrait of a Character – Blair Claymore

Portrait of a Character – Blair Claymore

Origins

Blair began as a roommate/friend for Pamela Hudson. She was intended to also be an object of desire, but to be the “good girl” in contrast to Pamela’s “bad girl” in Intolerance. Her ambition is to be an obstetrician, in further contrast to Pamela’s stated ambition to become a plastic surgeon. Furthermore, her relationship with Will Owen was meant to be almost a model of love and propriety – but there was something under the surface that wasn’t quite so proper.

Portrayal

I always liked Holly Marie Combs on Charmed,
and so she was, to me, a natural for Blair. Blair is described as being a brunette with a few freckles, a nice figure and a big smile. She’s a typical California girl in looks and mannerisms, but I didn’t want her to be Malibu Barbie.

Portrait of a Character – Blair Claymore
Blair Claymore

Personality

Beautiful and smart, Blair is also kind and caring. She’s the person who worries about Pamela. She’s the one who would have accepted Will despite his issues (she doesn’t get a chance to, though).

Relationships

In Intolerance, she flirts a bit with the guys and a few of them – namely Travis, Chip Masterson and probably also Aidan – make various plays for her. But they’re all unsuccessful, as she only has eyes for Will Owen. Pamela reveals that that relationship has been a model of waiting and planning. Will and Blair have been together for about a year before taking the plunge and having sex, and they do so under the auspices of “I love you”s. It seems right. They seem destined to wed.

But things go differently and, in Together, Pamela tells Malcolm that Blair is engaged to someone else (as of this writing, his name has not been revealed).

By the time of Fortune, Blair still has her maiden name, but that might be preference rather than an indication of a continuing single marital status. She has become a Chief Medical Officer on a starship, just like her and Pamela’s classmate, An Nguyen. By the time of Flight of the Bluebird and Equinox, she is still at her post. In Bluebird, it slips out that she’s married. I haven’t decided whether that’s a marriage to the person Pamela refers to in Together.

Mirror Universe

The Mirror Blair’s life, like that of most of the denizens of the other side of the pond, is a lot harder than in the Prime Universe.

Portrait of a Character – Blair Claymore
MU Blair

She’s seen in Temper, in the first alternate timeline, and has been brought in as one of José Torres‘s playthings, along with Pamela and Karin Bernstein. Little more than a high-priced hooker, the Mirror Blair is probably not much more than a minor Science Department lackey and is certainly no doctor. Toward the end of that story, she reveals that Doctor Morgan has been treating her for bruising although, whether it’s due to José or Aidan or any of the other possible men in the Mirror Universe who wanted her, the specifics remain a mystery as of this writing.

Quote

“I never have to see you again, and I never have to talk to you.”

Upshot

This nice girl eventually gets the career she wants and, presumably, the rest of a perfect life to go with it. As for the Mirror version, once the timeline is restored, all contact is lost, so who knows what really happens to her?

Portrait of a Character – Aidan MacKenzie

Portrait of a Character – Aidan MacKenzie

Origins

Aidan’s origin was to be a not necessarily perfectly bright Tactical guy. He was meant to be the best-looking man on the NX-01. He was meant to be your classic tall, dark and handsome guy. On the way, things changed a bit.

After Reversal, Aidan was, at least in the Mirror Universe, fairly well doomed. But I wanted to redeem him, because I thought the character could have a chance. As for our side of the pond, Aidan was just okay. He was Malcolm Reed‘s essential right-hand man and night shift fill-in, but he didn’t seem to have too much fire – particularly for a Tactical man.

Portrayal

What brought a lot of it together for me was the portrayal. I decided on someone who is tall and dark, but not necessarily what we would, conventionally, think of as handsome. After all, perhaps tastes have changed in the future. This was a way to set out the premise.

Portrait of a Character – Aidan MacKenzie
Vinny Del Negro

Enter Vinny Del Negro. Del Negro is a former NBA player (hence he’s tall, at 6’4″) but was never really stellar, except in free throw shooting. He’s currently a coach in the NBA. He’s generally not seen as the world’s greatest coach, either. To me, he fit the bill as a guy who might have a lot of potential and there are two ways to play that – stunning success or abject failure. Both themes play out in the stories.

Personality

Aidan is supremely confident and intelligent. He’s got the looks, he’s got the job and he’s got the ladies. But – there’s always something more to strive for.

In Together, he goes after all three bridesmaids and is turned down by all of them, undoubtedly due to being too arrogant and cocky.

However, he’s loyal and smart, and eventually gets his due. Malcolm even recommends him for a captaincy, in Equinox. This is the capstone of a career path that moves him from an Ensign in Reversal and Together, then to a Lieutenant and even Acting Tactical Officer in Fortune and, finally, to a Commander in Flight of the Bluebird before Malcolm Reed‘s generous recommendation.

Relationships

In Reversal, it’s established that he likes Jenny Crossman. This is furthered as he goes on a somewhat disastrous date with Lili when he brings along Brian Delacroix to act as a wingman so that he can go for it with Jennifer. However, Jenny’s got other plans.

In Together, he’s still not settled but, by Fortune, he ends up with Susan Cheshire.

The E2 stories are different and he ends up marrying Jennifer in both kick backs in time.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Aidan MacKenzie
MU Aidan

The Mirror Aidan has a much tougher life. In Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions, he vies with Doug and Chip Masterson for the Tactical Officer role left vacant at the Mirror Malcolm’s (Ian’s) death.

At the time of Reversal, the Mirror Universe Aidan has established himself as a ladies’ man. However, unlike Doug, he fails to resist Empress Hoshi, and so he is relegated to becoming babysitter for her growing brood of children (and fathers her second son, Kira). This is Aidan’s disgrace.

By the time of  First Born and Temper, Aidan’s humiliation is complete, and he is used to accepting abusive orders, all in the name of keeping the peace and also keeping himself out of harm’s way. But he’s also grown as a person, and is the best parent on the ISS Defiant, by far.

He gets his real chance in Temper and again in He Stays a Stranger, when Rick Daniels gets to go to the Mirror, which (according to the events that unfold in First Born) is normally not allowed, as the timeline has been damaged. Aidan and Susan (who is now his wife) are given the chance to finally get out. They take it, and end up on Lafa II.

Quote

“I would rather take care of the children.”

Upshot

For a character who was supposed to be a lummox, almost a redshirt to be toyed with by Empress Hoshi and, on our side, possibly expendable, Aidan grew into a more dynamic character the more I wrote about him. In the end, on both sides of a proverbial pond, he develops some very real values.

Portrait of a Character – Karin Bernstein

Portrait of a Character – Karin Bernstein

Karin Bernstein originally was a plot device.

Origins

Karin was brought in, for The Light, in order to be a part of a more substantial plot than just celebrating Chanukah.

Symbolism

Because the name Karin means pure, Karin starts off as something of an unattainable character for someone like Ethan Shapiro. In fact, he defers to Andy Miller when Andrew comments that he’s going to ask her out. However, this is not Ethan’s true desire, as is noted in Waiting.

In the E2 stories I am currently writing, Karin’s behavior is even less pure, and she is much more of an aggressor, not only in her relationship but also in her career. She sits in the captain’s chair several times. This suggests  that this pure maiden could potentially even lead people into battle.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Karin Bernstein
Natalie Portman

For Karin, I had to have a Jewish actress. so I decided on Natalie Portman. Portman is lovely without being wholly unapproachable, for Karin has to be somewhat down to earth. But she also has to be pretty enough that Ethan is nervous around her and maybe even blows some of his chances with her.

She is, in many ways, the quintessential ‘nice Jewish girl’.

Personality

Kind and friendly, Karin is probably less career-driven than others. Although, in the E2 stories, she steps up a lot more. As a Tactical crewman, she works under Lieutenant Reed, and is responsible for working with, maintaining and learning targeting and strategy. Presumably, she is not at the Tactical Bridge station too often or without supervision. It’s not until the E2 stories that she has a chance to take the Bridge station and, eventually at times, the captain’s chair.

Relationships

It depends on which story you’re reading, actually. In The Light, Andy Miller successfully romances her. That relationship continues in Waiting. Lili even asks about it during Temper when she’s asking Malcolm about the gossip from the ship. Malcolm informs Lili that things have changed, and Karin is going out with Ethan Shapiro. The culmination of their relationship is shown in Fortune and The Rite.

In the E2 stories, by way of contrast, both times she ends up with Josh Rosen, the third of the three male Jewish crew members in The Light.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Karin Bernstein
Mirror Karin

By the time of Temper, MU Karin Bernstein is in a very bad situation. She, Blair Claymore, and Pamela Hudson are no more than playthings for José Torres. By the end of Temper, she ends up with the mirror Josh Rosen. However, since that’s an alternate timeline, they are not together in He Stays a Stranger, and her whereabouts are not known.

Quote

“Best girl? You mean there are others?”

Upshot

As originally not much more than a plot device, Karin has evolved to become a much more three-dimensional character. I’m sure she’ll take me somewhere else at some later date.

Portrait of a Character – Doug Beckett

A lot about Doug Beckett is, truly,  Reversal spoilers. Avert your eyes if you haven’t read Reversal and want to maintain the mystery of the first couple of chapters.

Origins

For me, Doug was, in part, every guy who’s ever been romantic around me. This includes my husband. But he’s also a typical resident of the Mirror Universe. So that means that there’s violence in his past, and ambitions and twisted behaviors. But I wanted him to be a person who could, eventually and with help, rise above it.

Symbolism

Doug’s name was a particularly serendipitous find. Douglas means dark stranger, and that is precisely what he is. For Lili, who meets him in a pitch-black dream, he is the ultimate stranger. But he’s also what she needs. He shakes up her world.

His surname is changed when he comes to our side of the pond. Much like an immigrant, he wants to leave his old life behind him, and become the man that Lili wants and needs – the man she can see is lurking under the surface. The surname Beckett is a shout out to Quantum Leap.

Doug is also, in many ways, the opposite side of her coin. She’s somewhat distant with people. He is, too, but it’s not because he truly wants to be. It’s more that the Mirror has made him that way (see his origins story, Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions), due to its insistence that weakness be rooted out and punished or excised or, at least, well-hidden.

Doug is also action and movement – he is something of an air element. As Leonora is communication, Lili is fire, Malcolm is water and Melissa is the earth, Doug is the air.

Portrayal

Steven Culp
Steven Culp

Because (eek, spoilers!) Doug is Major Jay Hayes‘s Mirror Universe counterpart, he is of course portrayed by Steven Culp. Culp is a consummate actor, perfect for the role. I have read a number of interviews with him, and he has said that he treated Hayes as almost a David Mamet character. That is, he was more action than talk. Notice, too, that in the series, Jay Hayes rarely smiles. Instead, he is all business.

The name Jay is not canon. Culp has said he thought the character was named Jay or Jeremiah. There are also trading cards showing the name as being Joss. I have used all three names, giving Jeremiah as the name of both Doug’s father and his first-born son (nicknamed Joss), with Jay as being the name of the canon character and Doug’s own middle name. Jay worked out perfectly in this way, as it works as both a first and a middle name in a way that Jeremiah would not have.

Personality

Much like canon character Jay Hayes, Doug is not much of a talker. In Reversal, he has few ways of complimenting Lili, mainly calling her beautiful rather than use synonyms that he is either uncomfortable with or, perhaps, doesn’t even know. That book has a ton of hesitation speech. Doug is nervous in the mirror, in particular around the Empress, although that’s to be expected. With Lili, he’s also nervous, because he’s a bit tongue-tied. And he wants, desperately, for her to like him. He often doesn’t know what to say, but he always seems to know what to do.

Once they are together in our universe, Doug’s demeanor softens considerably. He tries very hard to please Lili and make their life together as good as it can possibly be. Their early life together is in A Kind of Blue, Friday Visit, Pacing and The Gift.

When his relationship with Lili is tested in Together, Doug has few communications strategies at his disposal. When they argue, he very quickly hits below the belt. This, I feel, makes some sense, as Doug hasn’t really learned to be sensitive to others’ feelings. He knows that he loves her, and he wants for everything to work itself out, but he can’t really see the pathway to that.

Action and Maturity

In Temper, he even refers to himself as “the action guy”. Hence he is the one chosen for the mission by Daniels (also because of his twenty centimeter radiation band), for he will get things done. Malcolm has to stay behind because his place is to step in and lead.

By the time Fortune has come around, Doug has been hiding his past rather effectively. Lili knows some of it. She is well aware that he has committed some monstrous deeds in the Mirror Universe. But she wants to believe that he will never do such things again. She’s in some denial herself, in that she’d rather not hear about things. It isn’t until she pushes and asks about his crimes does Doug finally come clean. Furthermore, for Doug, who is inarticulate at best, having him handle a hostage situation by talking instead of shooting was, to me, a fitting full circle behavior. Life here is, after all, very different from the mirror.

Their later life together is documented in The Facts and his death and its aftermath is shown in Equinox.

Doug Beckett in the Mirror Universe

Since Doug is a counterpart character, his life begins in the Mirror. He is the only child of Jeremiah and Lena Hayes, and lives with them on Ganymede. Because of a late birth date (December third, same as Steven Culp’s), his parents force him into schooling at too young an age. Doug’s education is such that anyone in authority pushes him to become a bully and a fighter.

After his eventual graduation, he goes to Cambodia for basic training, and then to freighter defense and other small assignments, essentially acting as a mercenary. He spends time on Andoria, the Klingon home world and other locales, fighting and working as a soldier, molding himself from an untrained, arrogant lummox until, eventually, a disciplined fighting man.

He gets onto the ISS Enterprise by knifing Geming Sulu. His elevation to Lieutenant Commander, to replace the deceased Mirror Universe Malcolm Reed (called Ian Reed in my fanfiction), is part of Paving Stones. While on the Defiant, he meets Lili.

Relationships

His times with Lili and Melissa are the most important for him. However, prior to the crossing over, he did have some relationships. His first main girlfriend (if you can call her that) in the Mirror was Darareaksmey Preap. She was a Cambodian bar girl who he plied with gifts and false “I love yous” until he was able to lose his virginity to her.

Another Mirror relationship – if you could say that – was with Christine Chalmers. The name is a shout out to canon character Christine Chapel. Chalmers is a cheap girl who he, at the time, thought was very hot. One of the crimes that Doug commits was to be with her, and his guilt about that consumes him.

Getting More Serious

His first true relationship is with alcoholic schoolteacher Susan Cheshire. Susan is an important person to him, although he insists to Lili that he didn’t love her. But he’s certainly memorable to her – she recognizes him during Temper.

Doug also has an on-again, off-again thing with Shelby Pike who, in the Mirror, is a pilot who used to be a hooker. Once he knew Shelby, he would cheat on other girlfriends with her.

Doug’s final relationship in the Mirror, which ends after he’s known Lili for less than a week, is with Jennifer Crossman. Jenn is a poor choice for a girlfriend, mainly there for her looks rather than any sort of compatibility. While they’re breaking up, she claims that he can’t live alone. Doug refuses to admit it, but she’s right about that.

Music

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Steven Culp as Douglas Jay Hayes/Doug Beckett (image is for educational purposes only)
Steven Culp as Douglas Jay Hayes/Doug Beckett (image is for educational purposes only)

Doug has various theme songs.

He begins with Robbie Williams’s Feel and then segues to Snow Patrol’s Shut Your Eyes, and shares John Legend’s Ordinary People with Lili and the Cure’s Let’s Go to Bed with Melissa.

For Temper, his music is Dog’s Eye View’s Everything Falls Apart.

His final music is Billy Joel’s Honesty.

Quote

There are all sorts of quotes I could place here. For a guy who’s not too terribly articulate, I suppose I’ve given him a lot of memorable things to say. Here’s one.

“I thought I could leave it all behind me. Achieve, maybe, some measure of forgiveness. But that’s not the main reason. I came here because of you.”

Upshot

Doug is one of my most complex and complete characters. I am immensely proud of this character.

Portrait of a Character – Jennifer Crossman

Portrait of a Character – Jennifer Crossman

Aside from canon characters, Jennifer was the first character specifically written for Star Trek fan fiction who I could truly visualize.

Origins

In Reversal, Lili needed a roommate for a few purposes. One of these was to bounce ideas off. The other was to be an ear-witness to Lili talking in her sleep. Plus roommates are canon in Star Trek: Enterprise for lower-level personnel. I wanted Jennifer and Lili to have little in common, too.

Symbolism

Jenny has any number of symbolic elements to her. Her name has two derivations. The full surname is actually the name of a street near where I grew up. But the Cross part was also to pay homage to Marcia Cross. Both have fiery red hair, too.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Jennifer Crossman
Bryce Dallas Howard

I immediately saw Bryce Dallas Howard when I first thought up Jennifer. There is a look of youth and vitality but also some mystery – I suppose it’s a bit of the overall mystique that some redheads seem to possess.

Jenny also needs to be believable in the Mirror Universe as a lot of the portrayal, in particular in Reversal, is on the other side of the pond as well. Unlike other characters who might just have a one-shot bit in the mirror, Jenn is shown there almost as much as she is shown here.

Personality

Jenny is the second-in-command engineer on both the USS Enterprise and the ISS Defiant when Reversal begins. In our universe, she is somewhat unaware or is perhaps in denial about her own obvious beauty. She doesn’t even know that the men refer to her as the Redheaded Bombshell until Travis tells her in Together.

Relationships

Frank Ramirez

In our universe, this long-distance relationship with a planetary geologist has been going on for a while during Reversal. She tells Travis that she and Frank met on a blind date, a fact that Travis barely believes. Why would someone so gorgeous need a blind date? Yet that was what happened. Frank proposes when, one morning, he sees Saturn’s rings in the sky (he’s on Enceladus) and realizes he wants to give her a ring, too. Their relationship (like other relationships) is put to the test in Together, where her theme is The Cult’s Fire Woman.

Aidan MacKenzie

In the E2 stories, Frank isn’t on board (and she has not yet met him), so she ends up going in a different direction, and marries Aidan during both kick backs in time.

Mirror Universe

Jenn is a darker figure in the mirror, as are most people. Spoiled and nasty, and rather sluttish, Jenn is more interested in a good time than in almost anything else – yet she is still intelligent and is still the second engineer.

Portrait of a Character – Jennifer Crossman

Her relationship with Doug is strained at best. For her, it’s a power move to be associated with the fourth in command. For him, she’s a hot girl who will live with him as he dislikes living alone. But neither of them are happy and, once Doug meets Lili, he’s done with Jennifer.

She ends up with Treve, a Calafan, and they remain together until his death. Their long-term relationship is shown in, among other stories, He Stays a Stranger.

Quote

“I know why you fell so hard, and so fast. It’s ’cause, you just know.”

Upshot

Initially intended to be dizzy, bratty and a foil for Lili, they become friends. This smart engineer is more than just a pretty face.

Portrait of a Character – An Nguyen

Portrait of a Character – An Nguyen

In order to bring Pamela Hudson on board, she had to have classmates. An Nguyen started off as one such classmate, but then the Daranaeans called and he became a lot more than that.

Origins

An started off as a means of furthering the gender confusion subplot that carries through the first fifth or so of Intolerance. The surname was homage to actor Dominic Keating, as that actor’s fiancée (at the time of the writing the piece; they have since broken up) is named Tam Nguyen. It’s a rather common Vietnamese surname, and is pronounced more or less like “In-win“.

Portrayal

It was important to me for this character to be “played” by someone who actually is Vietnamese.

Portrait of a Character – An Nguyen
Johnny Nguyen

I was pleased to find Johnny Nguyen. He’s acted in films in both Hollywood and Vietnam, and has also worked as a stuntman. I wanted someone with the ethnic look, good looks and also intelligence behind his eyes. He is, after all, a medical student, and is a doctor later.

Education and Career

Portrait of a Character – An Nguyen
English: Vietnamese-American actor Johnny Tri …

An is introduced in Intolerance as a classmate to Will, Blair, Mark, and Pamela. This is an extremely competitive medical school program, so it’s a given that he is wildly intelligent. In The Cure is Worse Than the Disease, it’s revealed that he graduated at the top of his class. His first assignment is as the Chief Medical Officer for Star Trek: Enterprise canon character Erika Hernandez, and he starts off as an idealistic young doctor but is quickly jaded by the treatment of Daranaean women. In Take Back the Night, he is shown even more jaded. His idealism is a victim as much as the Daranaean women are victims.

Relationships

I don’t have much about him except for some half-hearted attempts to court Hoshi during Intolerance.

Mirror Universe

I haven’t decided whether An exists in the mirror. Pamela, Blair and Mark do, so it’s possible that he does as well, but only Mark seems to be an actual doctor, whereas the mirror Pamela is a lab assistant/pinup girl and it’s hard to determine just what Blair does – she might also be some sort of Science crewman.

Quote

“Just because I don’t want to make your teeth rattle does not make me a gay man.”

Upshot

Smarter than just about anyone in the room, An is also a bit brittle. His compassion only really comes out when he’s faced with a Daranaean women’s awful dilemna. He’s a skilled physician, but his bedside manner could use some serious work.

Portrait of a Character – Deborah Haddon

Portrait of a Character – Deborah Haddon

Deborah Haddon was first something of a Star Trek: Enterprise fanfiction red shirt character. But she grew on me, so she became more.

Origins

While writing Reversal, I needed a female Security crewman who could handle both erotic scenes and provide muscle. Hence Deb was born.

Portrayal

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Katee Sackoff as Deborah Haddon (image is for educational purposes only)
Katee Sackoff as Deborah Haddon (image is for educational purposes only)

Deborah is tough and tough-minded, but has a softer side. So Katee Sackhoff was a logical choice. I particularly like her no-nonsense look, plus of course she has serious sci-fi cred, having been in Battlestar Galactica.

She also needed to be someone who could clean up well and, at times, appear very vulnerable and feminine.

The look is, to me, believable.

Personality

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Katee Sackoff as Deborah Haddon (image is for educational purposes only)
Katee Sackoff as Deborah Haddon (image is for educational purposes only) This beautiful manip is by unusualsuspex – http://stpma.net/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=844 him.

Deborah spends much of her time standing guard, so her mind wanders. In our universe, this means her thoughts direct, more and more often to Captain Archer, on whom she develops a raging crush, described in both Together and in the alternate timeline story, The Black Widow.

This brings out some of her vulnerability and longing. As a person who mainly stands in the back and watches the rest of the crew working, she longs to be a part of things.

Romance

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Katee Sackoff as Deborah Haddon (image is for educational purposes only)
Katee Sackoff as Deborah Haddon (image is for educational purposes only)

Once her wrong-headed pairing in Together ends, Deb is approached by someone she might not have expected to show an interest, Chip Masterson. This relationship continues through to Fortune. I reveal it has resulted in a marriage and a child, Kenneth. Her descendants eventually include Richard and Eleanor Daniels and their mother, Chloe Masterson Daniels.

She ends up with Chip during the E2 stories as well.

Mirror Universe

Deb dies like a redshirt in the mirror universe, succumbing during Reversal, after a  short fling with Aidan MacKenzie.

Quote

“Security. I’m wily like a cat.”

Upshot

Smart and tough, Deborah Haddon can defeat most opponents with guile or strength or both. Call her Debbie at your peril.

Portrait of a Character – Ethan Shapiro

Portrait of a Character – Ethan Shapiro

Ethan Shapiro grew out of, in part, a desire to show Jewish crew members on the NX-01. But along the way, he became a lot more. I really like this Star Trek: Enterprise fanfiction character.

Origins

For The Light, I wanted a character who was facing a circumstance where he would need a minyan. That is, a quorum of Jews for the express purpose of prayers. Having to say Kaddish, due to a death in the family, was the ideal scenario. Ethan was created to be the bereaved crew member.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Ethan Shapiro
Jesse Eisenberg as Ethan Shapiro (image is for educational purposes)

As is true with a lot of the more ethnically obvious characters, I wanted an actor who would also be a member of that ethnic group. Therefore, I chose Jesse Eisenberg. Ethan isn’t meant to be the greatest-looking guy ever. He isn’t meant to be nebbishy either. This is not Woody Allen on the NX-01. Rather, the idea was to have someone who is not only convincingly Jewish but also is someone who, to be loved, maybe the girl needs to go beyond looks and see what’s really inside.

Personality

A little self-effacing, but extremely loyal to his friends, Ethan even defers to Andy Miller when, during The Light, Andrew comments that he’s going to ask out the only Jewish woman on the ship, Karin Bernstein. However, in Waiting, it’s revealed that Ethan is kicking himself for having done that, for he wants Karin.

In the E2 stories I am writing as of the posting of this blog entry, Ethan is even more lovesick and upset.

Mirror Universe

Ethan doesn’t, truly, have a mirror universe counterpart. In Fortune, it’s revealed that his parents’ counterparts delayed relations for a night, and, instead, Erin Shapiro was conceived. However, there is an earlier Ethan, an older relative, who is likely the person who Erin was named for. Doug reveals to Lili, in Reversal, that that is the name of the second man he’s killed. Furthermore, it is our universe’s Ethan who brings forth this confession from Doug.

Relationships

Ethan’s relationship with Karin drives some of his behind the scenes activities in Reversal and then in Fortune. In the E2 stories, things go differently for Ethan, and he attempts suicide when he cannot have Karin. When he recovers, in the first kick back, he weds an Ikaaran woman named Bithara; in the second kick back, his Ikaaran bride is named Timinka.

Quote

“My Great-Aunt Rachel saw a lot in her long life. She went from an Earth where people could barely get it together to seeing us go out here into the unknown. She used to tell me it was a little like wandering in the desert for forty years. You know, you’re not sure where you’re going, but you trust that wherever you get is going to be good. And I think it’s been good. And I’m glad she got a chance to see that. She was like a link to the past. And now it’s time to, to say good-bye and look to the new.”

Upshot

As Azar Hamidi says in Waiting, things might have to run their course. But then you might just see that Ethan, he just might be the one.

Portrait of a Character – Melissa Madden

Portrait of a Character – Melissa Madden

Melissa Madden arose out of an idea I had for Lili, actually. Since Lili was going to have a particular arrangement, there had to be what was essentially a counterpart arrangement. Enter Melissa.

Origins

In Intolerance, there are four crew members who are worse off than the others. One of them is Melissa. At the time, I was already thinking about Together and so I wanted the name to be out there, perhaps in the back of the minds of readers. Melissa was also intended as homage to canon character Martin Madden, who is Steven Culp‘s character in Star Trek: Nemesis. The character is only a part of additional footage; the actual scene went to the cutting room floor.

I also wanted Melissa to be a direct expression of a day/night dichotomy. Hence, she is bisexual, and the day is devoted to a female lover, Leonora, whereas the night is devoted to a male lover, Doug. Switching up the dichotomy even more is the fact that, when introduced, she is working the night shift.

Portrayal

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Catherine Bell as Melissa Madden (image is for educational purposes only)
Catherine Bell as Melissa Madden (image is for educational purposes only)

Due to the connection to Culp, I opted for actress Catherine Bell.  I also chose Bell because she has a rather different look from both Lili and Leonora. I also wanted a physical portrayal of someone who would be believable as both a mother and an athlete.

This would be someone with almost a fly-boy (fly-girl, I suppose) swagger, too, reflecting the character’s occupation as a pilot. At the same time, the character needed to be feminine but also not too terribly young. Even though she is a lot younger than Doug, I show enough of her later life that it’s almost more than of her younger years. In fact, I have no writings of her childhood or young adulthood, like I do for the Norri, Lili,  and Doug.

Symbolism

Five of the six main characters (everyone but Pamela Hudson) is associated with an element. Melissa is the earth element, even though she’s a pilot. A part of this is her earthiness, another part is her hunting and back to nature behaviors. She’s a lot more comfortable out of doors than either Norri or Lili are. To me, she symbolizes solidity.

Personality

Beyond the day/night, two lovers situation, Melissa is a skilled pilot and devoted to her family. She becomes a mother three times (all boys) and imparts her love of Starfleet to Tommy and her split persona to Neil.

Kevin, though, is tragic – she buries him when he is less than a month old. This changes her, making her more pensive in her later years. In her much later years, she develops the canon disease Irumodic Syndrome, which is an analogue to Alzheimer’s. In Fortune, the reader witnesses some of her decline. I follow up on this snippet with The Decision.

Relationships

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Catherine Bell as Melissa Madden (image is for educational purposes only)
Catherine Bell as Melissa Madden (image is for educational purposes only)

For Melissa, relationships follow the day and the night. She is a kind of split personality character. Her whole romantic persona has two sides to it.

Leonora Digiorno

They meet cute, when both are on vacation on Ceres. Melissa essentially crooks her finger, and Norri comes running. They originally settle on Ceres.

Doug Beckett

Melissa and Doug are paired up during Together, and she is a direct reason why Lili and Doug open up their marriage. It’s not just due to her pregnancy; it is also because they truly love each other.

Andrew Miller

In the Mirror Universe, Andy is the Empress Hoshi Sato‘s boy toy, and Melissa knows that. But she goes after him anyway.

Shelby Pike

This is never confirmed (I may write it at some point), but at minimum, Melissa and Shelby tease the hell out of the Mirror Travis.

Music

As might be expected, her initial music is the Allman Brothers’ Sweet Melissa. With Doug, her theme is the Cure’s Let’s Go to Bed. With Norri, the theme is k. d. lang’s Constant Craving. Her final theme is Joe Jackson’s Get That Girl.

Quote

“I never loved another man. Never wanted to.”

Mirror Universe

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Catherine Bell as MU Melissa Madden (image is for educational purposes only)
Catherine Bell as MU Melissa Madden (image is for educational purposes only)

The Mirror Melissa’s life is defined by poor choices and tragedy. Her death is one of the scenes in Fortune, and she is also remembered by her lover, Andrew, in Escape.

Upshot

Kind and sometimes a little silly, the perceptive peacemaker is a part of the glue holding the main characters in the In Between Days series together. And as a foundational member of the family, her descendants are just as important as Lili’s are.