Star Trek: Enterprise establishes, in canon, that commerce and trade are still conducted, and money is still used. Furthermore, there are still automobiles (Tripp Tucker refers to driving an old girlfriend to Chatkin Point). Hence I knew I wanted Tucker for this story, which was in response to a prompt about letters from home. The letters, I decided, would be reflective of Harry Shapiro’s own travails with a finance company.
For Tripp, the finance company contacts him after the Xindi attack. Of course, he’s more than a little put out by this. And the exasperating correspondence thereby begins ….
I like how this one turned out. It’s got a bit of comedy as things go more and more over the top. I also think I ended it at the right point. Any more and the reader might’ve started to feel sorry for the finance company.
The prompt was about “a page from the past”. I had long thought about dropping a Star Trek: Enterprise character into the extreme past, and had even done this with a pair of TNG characters, in Crackerjack.
But I wanted to go back even further, so I hit upon the start of the American Revolution and a local pair of battles – Lexington and Concord.
And what better person to toss into that pressure cooker than someone who would be in trouble the minute he opened his mouth?
Reed is unceremoniously dumped right into the middle of the Battle of Lexington, and that’s only the start of his troubles.
Because he’s wholly unprepared for this form of warfare, he becomes injured, but not horribly so. However, in 1775, infected injuries could easily result in a loss of limb or life. I deliberately made it so that the surgeon in the regiment had already died, and the village doctor had joined the militia. These absences meant that Malcolm would have to be treated in some other fashion.
At the same time, the man next to him, Robert Lennox, is a lot worse off, and may die.
A Place to Go
The quartering of troops is very real to history, and so I had Malcolm’s commanding officer push for a farmhouse to accept the two injured men. Malcolm is apologetic at the same time that his commander – the true to history Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith – is rude and blustery. The mistress of the farmhouse accepts the two wounded men as she has very little choice in the matter. She is a colonial and is sympathetic to the revolutionary cause. Her husband has even gone to fight for it. But she is alone and is not about to let Malcolm or Robert die on her doorstep.
Some Soon to be Familiar Names
The mistress of the house introduces herself as Charlotte Hayes, wife to Jacob Hayes. She and her servant, Benjamin Warren, keep the home and assist the two wounded men.
Because the Concord story begins right before Voracious, the names O’Day and Hayes are not yet familiar to the characters. Furthermore, the name Warren also figures in my stories. In Crackerjack, Wesley’s wife’s maiden name is Warren. And in the E2 stories, there is a Science crewman with the name of Nyota Warren, who ends up with canon character Billy Dane. Benjamin is an ancestor of them just like Charlotte and Jacob are ancestors to Lili and Jay (thereby making Jay and Lili distant cousins).
How Did He Get There? And How Does He Get Back?
Without giving away too many spoilers, suffice it to say that Malcolm’s presence in 1775 is due to a defective temporal experiment. His return can only happen if the experimenters figuring out the problem, and solve it.
I love how the historical aspects worked out. I did a great deal of research in order to understand how the farm would run, what things would cost and any number of other details. The story was extremely satisfying to put together. And it is easily one of my absolute favorites.
Hence There’s Something About Hoshi was about touch and, by extension, feelings.
The story begins with Hoshi Sato being courted by Ted Stone. But he’s a somewhat inept suitor, and keeps missing his marks. He tries to be romantic but can’t quite get it right. Hoshi fears she is settling, and references the canon E2 episode where she settled for “old what’s his name” (Sekar Khan, the Quartermaster).
The Enterprise is contacted by an unknown species, the Arisians. They notice her on the Bridge and their communications are inept enough that one of them is heard mentioning his astonishment that there is a woman. A pretext is created for Hoshi to come to the surface. She agrees even though everyone that the Enterprise sees on Aris seems to be male.
A pair of MACOs accompany Hoshi, and it becomes clear that they are a gay couple. Friends of hers, they compliment her on her choice of attire for the evening. It’s confirmed that Frank Todd will be one of the MACOs going to the surface (Frank also shows up in Shell Shock and in the E2 stories), as will his boss, Major Dawson (Dawson is also a part of Shell Shock and is the replacement for Jay Hayes).
A visit to the planet confirms that everyone is male. Milit, an Arisian, tells the landing party (in addition to Hoshi, Corporal Todd and Major Dawson, Travis Mayweather, Jonathan Archer and Malcolm Reed are present) that, long ago, the men of his species researched how to decrease gestation until eventually they could accomplish all of it without women. Once that was accomplished, they allowed all of the women to die out and only cloned males. Hoshi realizes, uncomfortably, that she is the only woman on the entire planet.
She asks to see hieroglyphics, which were the pretext for getting her to the surface. Todd and an Arisian, Lio, accompany her to where the hieroglyphics are supposed to be. Todd and Hoshi are overcome and her hormones are extracted via syringe. However, Lio and his cohorts also inject her and Corporal Todd with something else.
By the time Hoshi returns to the ship, she is suddenly irresistible to all of the men on board (and a few women as well), but not Corporal Todd as his preference doesn’t go that way. Harassed and scared, even the captain gets in on bothering her, leering at her on the Bridge as various other male crew members make all sorts of passes at her until the Arisians can make things right again.
I played the story for humor. While it’s still funny, seven years of hindsight give me another perspective. In a lot of ways, it’s kind of creepy, the way that everyone is throwing themselves at her. The character was in very real danger of being sexually assaulted. If I were writing the story today, I would probably amp up the fear more, and downplay more of the humor.
In Reversal, I establish that Lili O’Day‘s favorite color is blue. Reversal also, happily, ends up with Doug and Lili more or less riding off into the sunset.
At least, that was the original idea.
But then came the fanfiction prequels and the sequels.
Bridge Stories and Prequels
Reversal is a prequel to A Kind of Blue, but so is Local Flavor, which begins Doug and Lili’s life on Lafa II and begins to establish some of the background. That is, they are new on Lafa II, their only friends are Treve and his family, and they barely have two nickels to rub together. All of this is played out against the backdrop of being the only humans in the entire Lafa System. Plus the Calafans all seem to be on the make.
This story came about in response to a challenge to write a happy story. So I went with the color as an indicator of sadness but, also, of far different things. For Lili, the first indicator is this one. And it works with the stories. This is because one of the bits of information from Reversal is that Doug is powerful enough that he’s probably going to be able to get by her birth control.
What is also established is that she’d need to have surgery, and have the operation known as The O’Day Reversal put back in order to be able to successfully carry a fetus to term. With Lili pregnant (and experiencing wicked morning sickness), the first stop is Doctor Miva‘s office, but before they can go anywhere, Doug drops the stick on the floor of their apartment. He suddenly realizes he’s on bended knee, so he proposes.
The remainder of the story is the surgery and then their wedding, which includes Calafan wedding vows and surprise rings purchased by Doug.
The story is rated K.
With a wedding and a baby come other responsibilities. But there’s still time to visit friends in Friday Visit, and Pacing and The Gift both advance the Becketts’ lives together even more.
In addition, the new restaurant, Reversal, opens up. Lili and Doug can barely look up, and there is no time to do renovations and put in a bigger and more modern stove until the couple depart for a vacation to Oberon for Jenny and Frank‘s wedding, which Lili will cater (Together).
A friend suggested to me as I was first starting to write Star Trek: Enterprise fanfiction – get Malcolm Reed to loosen up. I bet, down deep, he’s kinky. And so the gauntlet was thrown down. Challenge accepted.
It began with a fairly simple premise, to get an intriguing woman on the ship. Then I decided to add interest by adding a few women. And then the idea progressed to one of a kind of a competition.
Hence I decided that it would be a small medical residential rotation. The specialty would be Immunology. In order to minimize complexity, I decided on five students. In order to add a little Shakespearean-style chaos, one (and their instructor) would have an ambiguous enough name that gender could not be readily and immediately known.
Then the fun begins. Travis hears that there are five students coming. Three, he figures, are female. He tells Malcolm and Tripp – let’s compete for them. They draw straws in order to determine who they’ll go after. Tripp wins the first draw and selects Pamela Hudson. Travis gets the second draw and decides on Blair Claymore. Malcolm is forced to settle for who he thinks will be An Nguyen. But this is the ambiguity, for An is a guy (this was also intended as a play on Reed often being depicted as gay in fan fiction). The instructor, Bernie Keating-Fong, is really Bernardine. But she’s older, and is wearing a wedding ring. It seems that Malcolm is the odd man out.
But Malcolm has a major trick up his sleeve, and writes Pamela poetry.
However, all is not right, not with Pamela, and not with the ship. Without giving away any more of the plot, suffice it to say that it is a rather odd story. It’s difficult to summarize without giving up all manner of spoilers.
Frankly, Intolerance doesn’t get a lot of love, too, and its read counts are sometimes lower than those of the others. Some of that may be due to the fact that it’s the shortest of the major books, with the fewest number of chapters. But I have reread it (I reread everything) and don’t think anything could truly be added. I like its tight editing. It does very little meandering, whereas Reversal and Fortune in particular sometimes wander off and away from their main plot lines.
A lot of the elements turn out well, I feel, but maybe it was too much of a departure. I don’t know. I have been happy to use it as a jumping-off point for other works, such as Together and The Cure is Worse Than the Disease. Truth be told, it may hold up better than most of what I’ve written.
So I knew that my competition would be mainly writing sad stories, as silence tends to lead one in that direction. Hence I decided to zig instead of zag, and went for a comedy.
It’s Movie Night, and Chip Masterson has been touting The Seventh Seal all week. It’s going to be a celebration of highbrow culture. He’s excited as he’s the biggest film buff on the ship. He’s going to have a discussion and everything.
Meanwhile, Tripp Tucker is trying to reconcile with T’Pol. So he’s using the occasion of the film as a means to get back into her good graces. Hence he figures that an intellectual date will really appeal to her.
Malcolm is excited about the film as he wants to watch it and compare notes with his girl afterwards. But she is at home, so this is a kind of date for them as well, and she assures him that she will dress up and everything.
It All Goes Haywire
However, all is not right, for Hoshi Sato has been hit with a tiny spatial anomaly. And so she makes plans to derail the film’s showing. She enlists Travis‘s help, and she splices a very different film onto The Seventh Seal. And this changes its ending dramatically.
But the projectionist, Aidan MacKenzie, doesn’t suspect a thing. So he just loads the film and then more or less dozes off, bored by the Bergman film. And the MACOs are watching; Jonathan Archer is watching; Jenny from Engineering is watching, and suddenly the film’s plot is changed considerably. Jonathan calls off the evening and yells for Masterson and MacKenzie to join him in his Ready Room. And they are in big, big trouble.
Hence Malcolm confirms with his girl – this isn’t the ending of The Seventh Seal at all.
So – whodunit? Who messed up the film? Will Hoshi confess? Stay tuned.
Coveted Commodity was originally written as a response to a Trek BBS challenge about a new day dawning. I decided to put a mirror universe spin on it, and so I went with the mirror Travis making a turning point type of decision in his life.
The tale begins with Travis Mayweather sitting in Sick Bay, waiting for … something. The Derellian bat makes another appearance; its loud shriek causes Travis to unsheathe his sidearm, “ready to shoot that damned bat”. But who or what is Travis waiting for?
The exposition brings it together, that he is waiting on Empress Hoshi. She is pregnant with his child. And there are complications.
For people in the mirror universe, particularly men, signs of weakness are not only degrading, they’re downright dangerous. Hence what is happening to Travis’s son could not only harm the child at that time and later, it could also harm Travis’s own standing.
Plus, this is not the Empress’s first child. That honor is reserved for Jun Daniels Sato. This is, instead, Hoshi’s sixth.
Travis begins the story indifferent as to outcomes, but becomes mightily interested once it becomes clear that the fetus is damaged. Furthermore, Doctor Morgan gives him a choice – allow the surgery (the fetus has a hole in his heart that must be repaired in utero), but also allow the doctor to kill off Hoshi. The doctor’s tempting offer is a corker – end Hoshi’s reign of terror, but also kill off your own son; kill off your son due to inaction on your part; or allow the surgery and allow Hoshi to live.
Travis chooses the latter option. His new day dawning is that he decides he wants to be a father. This is in keeping with the way I have written mirror universe men. The way I write them, they are violent but they are also good fathers. They want their children to survive, and will do anything to assure that (including violence). Hence Travis’s sole option is to permit the surgery but not allow the doctor to kill (or fail to resuscitate) Hoshi on the table.
In Temper, it is revealed that the choice works for the child (Izo) but Travis is not allowed to enjoy the fruits of his choice. Time is somewhat incoherent in Temper, but the events occur after the surgery and, in the alternate timelines and in the restored proper timeline, Travis meets his end.
This story was originally written as a response to a prompt about the seasons. I had already written a story about winter, called A Hazy Shade. That one was somewhat depressing. I wanted something cheerier, so I thought of the summertime, and so And the Livin’ is Easy was born.
There are two women in his sights. They are chatting together, but are not on Risa together on vacation. Rather, it’s more like they met there and got along so they are doing a little quick touring together.
In the canon Star Trek: Enterprise episode, Archer refers to a boat ride where fish are caught and cooked for you right there. Since that boat ride is never seen, I seized the opportunity to show it. He is on a bench and the two women are nearby, chatting. One is a Trill, but not named. This is not meant to be a first contact or canon-busting story at all. The other is a Calafan, recognizable from my Star Trek fanfiction as she has silvery scrollwork on her arms and speaks with an Irish brogue.
Jonathan speaks with them and asks them to show him around, but unfortunately they tell him they are leaving the following day.
I wanted to follow up on The Light, and continue to follow the original characters who had been introduced in that work. Hence, Waiting was born. It was also a response to a prompt of the same name.
At the end of The Light, Ethan Shapiro has just seen his friend, Andrew Miller, get the girl – Karin Bernstein. By all accounts, Ethan approves of the match and, certainly, has taken no steps to prevent it and has raised no objections. But all is not as it seems.
In addition, their friend Azar Hamidi has watched the exchange, a kind of little dance among the participants.
Together with Shelby Pike, they wait on the chow line as Lili O’Day serves dinner. Shelby notices Andy and Karin acting strange and, perhaps, overly anxiously. She sits down with Hoshi Sato and Maryam Haroun. Shelby comments knowingly that it’s likely Karin and Andrew’s third date. Hoshi agrees. Maryam doesn’t know what that means, so one of her friends whispers to her. Maryam, a little shocked, mentions that she won’t do that until she’s married. That is, this is going to be the date where Andrew and Karin go all the way.
When they have departed, Azar and Ethan commiserate. Azar notices that Ethan is bothered by this, but vows to keep the secret, so long as Ethan keeps his (Azar’s) own secret about harboring a bit of a crush on Maryam. For Azar, it would not be proper to go on dates until he was introduced to her family.
As Shiite Muslims, Azar Hamidi and Maryam Haroun are of one sect. Another Muslim character, Ramih Azar, is Sunni (he is not in this story). But Maryam and Azar are the more religious two of the three Muslim crew members. The question of which sect is more observant is a complicated one, and I don’t pretend to answer it. All I go with is that Maryam has lived in a Western city (Winnipeg) whereas Azar is from Iran. Ramih, on the other hand, is Indonesian. I settle the matter by making it so that Maryam wears a hijab and is very strict about who to marry and how far to go before marriage. In the E2 stories, it’s revealed that she was only kissed twice before marriage, whereas Azar has had some sexual relationships. But for Azar during Waiting, all he wants to do is get closer. He may be thinking of other things, but is not prepared to push them at that moment in time.
As for Ethan, he is finding that he is very interested in Karin and, having allowed Andrew to get there first, he’s kicking himself. He’ll have to wait for everything to play out over time.
I think the story came out pretty well. I didn’t want to make it too clichéd in terms of who retains their virginity, who is shocked, who is aggressive, etc. However, I also wanted to handle the diverse religious elements respectfully.
Protocols was written in response to a prompt about arts and crafts, and covers a small missing scene from the third season of ENT. Namely, it’s the celebration of Captain
Archer‘s birthday. As a result, it was meant to be a bit of a contrast to the ENT canon Silent Enemy episode, wherein the executive staff celebrates Malcolm Reed‘s birthday. Because the Xindi war is raging, I wanted it to be different.
For Lili to ply her trade as a combination sous-chef, pastry chef and saucier, she needs to be able to expertly handle a pastry bag and tip. Although art runs in her family (in Fortune, she reveals that her mother was a potter), Lili isn’t meant to be a fine artist. Therefore, she traces the image of a shuttle, and of Captain Archer, onto the top of the cake by projecting an image with her PADD and then following along with icing.
Lili makes one big error by writing out Happy Birthday, Jonathan! instead of Happy Birthday, Captain Archer!Chef Slocum points this out to her, but it’s too late to fix it. Slocum tells her that Archer has been in a foul mood ever since the Loque’eque virus (from the canon Star Trek: Enterprise episode Extinction). A little apprehensive, she serves the birthday dinner, and then the dessert, which is a strawberry shortcake. She has chosen strawberry because, unlike in Silent Enemy, she has been taking note of the food preferences of the executive staff. If strawberry isn’t Jonathan Archer‘s favorite, it’s probably close enough. In Local Flavor, Travis comments that he’s going to miss her strawberry shortcake.
After the cake is cut and the dinner is over, the captain approaches her. Lili immediately apologizes for being overly familiar and not following proper protocols. But the captain sees things differently, and urges her to make the same cake, with the same greeting on it, the following year, assuming they make it out of the Xindi war alive.
I like how the story flowed, from Lili’s task to Will Slocum scolding her, to the dinner (which includes referencing to the canon conflict between Malcolm Reed and Jay Hayes) to the short post-dinner conversation. I’m very happy with how this ficlet turned out.