Category Archives: Themes

Recurrent Themes – Childcare Workers

Recurrent Themes – Childcare Workers

Background

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

Recurrent Themes – Childcare Workers
Recurrent Themes – 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.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Recurrent Themes – Administrators

Recurrent Themes – Administrators

It may not amount to a terribly glamorous role, but someone has to run things. Enter the administrators.

Background

This role is, of course, canon, although it is not often shown on screen or in any real depth. After all, it is kind of boring.

Who wants to watch someone checking on rations and preparing reports and signing paperwork?Recurrent Themes – Administrators But it is still absolutely necessary for someone to do just that.

Appearances

Commandant Kerig

Seen only briefly, Kerig is the warden for Canamar Prison while Eriecho and Saddik are being held there. The meeting of the three of them hints at more than a little corruption.  Eriecho’s attacks, recalled in Beats and Recessive, assure that something or other happened, and he looked the other way. Or he was a willing participant, like is seen in Eight, where H’Shema trades sexual favors for powdered milk to feed the helpless Vulcan infant. Kerig is the height (depth, perhaps) of corruption in the timeline.

Annette ‘Windy’ Bradley Pollan

Windy attends Kent State during the 1970 massacre and meets Rick (in Ohio). In an alternate timeline, she and her friends fight for social justice, including Alison B. Krause, who is a real-life victim from the shooting. But that timeline has to be altered and, instead, Windy is restored to her original destiny, which is to rise through the ranks at the Ohio Department of Motor Vehicles.  She ends up as the epitome of the soulless bureaucrat. Her less than optimal fate prompts Sheilagh to redouble her efforts to allow the new timeline. Not only would it save Alison’s life, it would, in a way, save Windy’s.

But that cannot be, and so the restoration sticks and Windy is back to being a paper pusher.

Arashi Sato

Empress Hoshi‘s child with a mystery father is good with numbers. Arashi doesn’t really want to become Emperor, even though he is certainly smart enough  (and may very well be the smartest of her offspring). Instead, he performs collections, often sending his younger half-brother, Izo, out to do the strong-arming.  But Arashi would never sully his hands with such a task. He’s far too busy counting money.

Colonel Jacob ‘Jack’ Shaw

Shaw is another methodical type of leader. In a way, he is a kind of counterpart to Kerig in that he is also a kind of ‘keeper’ for Saddik and Eriecho. But  if he’s at all corrupt, it’s only minimally (it’s been suggested to me that the gamete trading he engages in with his fellow sanctuary administrators isn’t completely on the up and up).  Shaw is motivated to try to save the Vulcan race.

Upshot

They might not be glamorous, but nothing will ever be properly funded without them. Administrators make things go!

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Recurrent Themes – Jokers

Recurrent Themes – Jokers

Background

I like the idea of lightening up a story with some joking. Recurrent Themes – JokersTruly, when I have written comedies, it tends to be prank wars. In particular, there are the pranks shown in Broken Seal and Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before.

Appearances

Aidan MacKenzie

In Gerbil, Aidan is a part of a prank whereby a goat statue is stolen from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and beamed to the front yard of Starfleet Headquarters. While Meredith, Judy, Liz, Michael, and Tripp are all a part of the theft (er, borrowing), it’s Aidan who brings a pistol and heats up the bolts, thereby allowing the statue to be stolen in the first place.

Chip Masterson

Probably the king of all of my joker characters, Chandler has a flair for the goofy. In Gerbil, while he gets help from Jenny, José, Derek, Josh, and Brooks, Chip is the one who actually steals the stuffed gerbil toy from Tucker’s quarters.

In Broken Seal, he and Aidan are actually innocent, but he’s terrified of losing his rank. In Brown, in the Mirror Universe, he and Aidan passively allow Empress Hoshi‘s ship to be overrun by mice. And finally, in Together, he dreams of doing standup comedy in a little Risian nightclub.

Travis Mayweather

Travis acts as Hoshi’s accomplice during Broken Seal, but he’s never the instigator.

Malcolm Reed

Along with Tripp, Malcolm pranks Hoshi by telling her that there’s been a slight transporter malfunction, and a birthmark has moved. This dovetails well with canon, as the Vanishing Point episode had her fearing that exact issue. Unlike Tucker, though, he apologizes immediately.

Hoshi Sato

Infuriated by the prank, and affected by a small spatial anomaly, Hoshi goes into full-on revenge mode, eventually switching the films at Movie Night.

Tripp Tucker

While others willingly take part in the shenanigans that go on during Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before, Tripp (along with Aidan and Chip) is one of the instigators. A big part of this is because he wants to get his stuffed gerbil, Stella, back. But for him, it’s also fun. He’s also not above giving Hoshi a hard time in Broken Seal.

Upshot

There will always be a place for comedy in my Star Trek fanfiction!

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Recurrent Themes – Soldiers

Recurrent Themes –Soldiers

Background

For Reversal in particular to work, there had a to be a number of people ready and able to go to war.

Recurrent Themes – SoldiersIn particular, as the Mirror Universe is so different from the prime universe, a lot of people would be soldiers there who wouldn’t be so here. Or they would be more violent and less disciplined than in our universe. As it is explained to Lili, the percentage of military personnel is deliberately kept very high over there.

There are more MACOs in particular than the group listed here, but these people are seen the most.

Appearances

Aliwev

This Calafan recruit drills directly under Doug and, in the Mirror, in one of the alternate timelines, assassinates the Empress Hoshi Sato during Temper.

Douglas Jay Hayes Beckett

Doug, a trained killer, spends much of Reversal trying to leave the practice of making war. When he can’t find anything else to do with himself in Together, he eventually becomes the captain of a defense unit on Lafa II, and instructs recruits.

Daniel Chang

Chang, a canon character, defends the Enterprise but, in the E2 timeline, commits crimes.

Tristan Curtis

Curtis is another E2 timeline criminal. In the Temper alternate timelines, he’s named Craig.

Brian Delacroix

In the prime universe, Delacroix is a security guard who becomes a chef. In the Mirror, he nearly kills Doug.

Tommy Digiorno-Madden

Unlike the other five kids, Tommy joins Starfleet and goes into Tactical.

Thomas Grant

In the deep future, Tom is assigned to the Breen homeworld before he joins the Temporal Integrity Commission.

Deborah Hadden

Deb works in Security in both universes. In the Mirror, she kills Brian before he has a chance to off Doug. But her victory is short-lived, and she perishes when he leaves that universe.

Jay Hayes

The consummate soldier, Major J. Hayes is so committed to defending the ship that he has nearly no time for people.

Gary Hodgkins

Yet another E2 criminal, Hodgkins is often paired with Curtis, particularly in the Mirror.

Chandler Masterson

Chip is wasted in Security and is moved over to Communications. This isn’t possible in the Mirror, so he stays in  Tactical. In the prime timeline, he escapes the Empress, but in one of the alternates, he rises to become captain of the Defiant.

Travis Mayweather

Travis is a soldier in the Mirror Universe only. He’s a poor soldier, though, and an even worse leader. In the alternate timelines, and in the prime timeline, he is fragged by his own troops.

Andrew Miller

Like Travis, Andy is only a soldier in the Mirror. When the Empress taps him for somewhat earthy duties, he manages to get himself reassigned to Science.

Malcolm Reed

The other consummate canon career soldier, Malcolm is more ambitious and tries for a command as soon as he can get one.

José Torres

José is another person who is only a soldier in the Mirror. He is not cut out for command at all and, in an alternate timeline, destroys his ship, the Luna, and everyone on board is killed.

Upshot

Star Trek fanfiction will always have a place for men and women (and other genders) in uniform.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Recurrent Themes – Unintentional Time Travelers

Recurrent Themes – Unintentional Time Travelers

Background

Time travel is such a great trope that I just had to cover it. Recurrent Themes – Unintentional Time TravelersThe most fun was when time travelers didn’t really want to go, but something or other swept them along anyway.

Appearances

Recurrent Themes – Unintentional Time Travelers
Times of the HG Wells logo courtesy of Templar Sora

Unintentional time traveling has been such a fun idea to explore that I’ve gone to this well several times.

Concord

Concord is all about unintentional and intentional time travel.

Robert Lenox

Lenox, the real time traveler, is testing out a new device when Reed is accidentally swept along, and Reed’s ancestor is also displaced, as is Lenox’s own ancestor.

Malcolm Reed

Right before the start of the Xindi War, Malcolm is accidentally transported to 1775 Concord, Massachusetts.

Crackerjack

In Crackerjack,  inadvertent time travel occurs because the errant pulse shot from Empress Hoshi (and the Temper story) hits Wesley and Geordi’s shuttle.

Wesley Crusher

For Wesley, the trip to 1941 Washington, DC is a voyage that he would rather not have taken.

Geordi LaForge

For Geordi, the voyage to Washington, DC in 1941 is the occasion to meet Rosemary Parker, although he also feels the effects of the prejudice of the time.

Day of the Dead

The Traveler is to blame for Chuck McBride and Tripp Tucker traveling in time.

Chuck McBride

McBride the jokester is yanked out of Upper Bavaria, but it’s never made clear as to exactly where and when he ends up.

Tripp Tucker

Tucker’s personal temporal displacement gets him to the 1944 liberation of the Dachau concentration camp.

The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat

Another pesky anomaly sends Porthos forward in time, in The Continuing Adventures of Porthos.

Porthos

The NX-01‘s resident quadruped takes his  temporal displacement in stride, and makes friends with Data’s cat, Spot, although Porthos does miss Archer.

E2 Timeline

For both kicks back in time, the entire ship unwittingly travels in time.

The Entire NX-01

No one is left behind when the Enterprise is kicked back in time.

Theorizing

In Theorizing, whatever is leaping Sam Beckett around does it to Jonathan Archer, too.

Captain Jonathan Archer

Archer’s mission is to help Sam Beckett’s wife, Donna Elise, move on with her life.

Dr. Sam Beckett

Dr. Beckett’s mission is to convince the Xindi Humanoid, Degra, that the deaths of millions of humans like Lizzie Tucker should be on his conscience.

Upshot

I adore this trope so much that I am continually trying to figure out another way to shoehorn it into my fan fiction.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Recurrent Themes – Plant Lovers

Recurrent Themes – Plant Lovers

Background

Botanists and plant lovers are canon. In the original Star Trek series, Sulu and Rand both attend to plants. Recurrent Themes – Plant Lovers In The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, Keiko Ishikawa O’Brien is a Botanist.

For an older ship like the NX-01, I felt like there absolutely had to be a Botanist.

Appearances

Naomi Curtis

Only seen during If You Can’t Stand the Heat, I’ve retconned her and now consider her to be the first Botanist on the NX-01 Enterprise. Much like Preston Jennings is shifted over to Navigation and Lili O’Day is hired for the Xindi War, Naomi is thrown over for the better skilled and more versatile Shelby. A pity for Chef Will Slocum, as she’s an early love interest for him. But they do get to fight off the Darvellians together.

Shelby Pike

Pike is the best-realized of my botany and plant-loving characters. Her talents range from growing food crops to keeping everyone sane with flowers, colorful fruits, and other pleasant reminders of home.

Eriecho

A true gardener and homebody at heart, Eriecho grows yellow peppers. It’s at her garden patch that she and Sollastek first scandalously hold hands.

Von

Recurrent Themes – Plant LoversA Ferengi engineer at the Temporal Integrity Commission, Von is also an amateur gardener, and gives Sheilagh Bernstein a yellow tulip while she’s deciding whether to join the commission.

Michael Nolan

Gina Nolan‘s late husband is in his Beijing lab, studying Bajoran dicotyledons, when he’s killed during the Breen attack on Earth.

Other Characters

The Hayes family and the Warren family farm during Concord, but that’s more a matter of survival and economics rather than study. Many of the Daranaean women also garden, and in particular they will grow Krivian weed, which is shaped into a type of boxwood-style hedge. But that’s not just for beauty’s sake; Krivian weed can be chewed in order to determine the gender of a fetus a pregnant woman is carrying. In the E2 timeline, Esilia and the other Ikaaran women farm as a part of their obligation to their government.

Upshot

They may have their heads in the stars, but their feet are on the ground; they’re the gardeners, Botanists, farmers, and plant lovers of Star Trek.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Recurrent Themes – Criminals and Prisoners

Recurrent Themes – Criminals and Prisoners

Background

I have written any number of criminals and prisoners. They have crept into all of my series, except for Mixing It Up (and D’Storlin is possibly telling his story from custody, anyway). Their fates have varied rather dramatically.
Recurrent Themes – Criminals and Prisoners

Appearances

Eriecho, Saddik, and H’Shema

In the Eriecho series,  as is explained in Release, she is born on a prison transport as Saddik and her parents (who are both killed on that transport) are framed for crimes they did not commit. In Double Helix, H’Shema’s mother, L’Culturra, reveals that her daughter was a drug addict and likely was in Canamar Prison for good reason.

Daniel Chang, Tristan Curtis, Neil Kemper, Victor Brown, Brooks Haynem, Gary Hodgkins, and Sandra Sloane

During the E2 timeline, all sorts of bad behavior occurs. During The Three of Us, the men are responsible for an attack on Patti Socorro as Sandra takes note of the law of supply and demand and rents herself out for cheap.

Polloria, Baden, and Chawev

In Reversal, the former two conspire to kill High Priestess Yipran. Chawev is the only one who hesitates, and Polloria chides him for being too squeamish.

Jeff Paxton

The real perpetrator is not revealed until just about the end of Shell Shock.

Marisol Castillo, Anthony Parker, Von, Helen Walker, and Milton Walker

Of the villains in The Times of the HG Wells series, only Anthony Parker is at all decent, and that’s only in an alternate timeline, when he has a chance to help Otra get out of Milton Walker’s prison. As for Marisol, she’s a psychopath, eager to kill whoever she can.

Arnis and Rechal

In Take Back the Night, Arnis blames Mistra for the death of the elder Inta. Rechal, a physician, takes a bribe and helps him frame her in exchange for research funding. In Flight of the Bluebird, because Rechal’s ideas have assisted Trinning and the other researchers find a cure for thylacine paramyxovirus, he is allowed out of jail and is released into Trinning’s observational custody. Arnis (who I wasn’t sure whether I wanted him to be alive or not) complains to his second son, Trinning, and is told that it’s a good thing he’s staying in prison as Daranaea is changing and he won’t fit in anymore.

Mack MacKenzie

Planted with Etrotherium against her will while on Keto-Enol, Mack is framed for the drug problem on that planet.

Upshot

Without villains and criminals, stories have few drivers and little to recommend them. Prisons provide great fodder for storytelling and drama. I know that I will go back to these themes again.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Recurrent Themes – Jane Eyre

Recurrent Themes – Jane Eyre

Background

When I first began writing again, I had fairly recently read Jane Eyre in its entirety for the first time. DNA This triggered the addition of that story, at times, into my Star Trek fan fiction. Lili O’Day and Reversal, in particular, are in some ways a space version of at least parts of that story.

The idea of bringing together two people who are from rather different walks of life or at least professions, and giving them a future (but not giving them an immediate happy ending) was a challenge. For the heroine to not be a great beauty, but to still be independent and insist upon a relationship on her own terms was irresistible. These threads can be seen in any number of places in my work.

Appearances

Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions

In Paving Stones, a young Doug is taken away from his parents and sent to a rough, unpleasant boarding school by a Mr. Brocklehurst.

Reversal

Recurrent Themes – Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre (2006 miniseries) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Lili and Doug first get together, her situation is quite a bit like Jane’s. She’s a low-level crew member and is isolated, and is not very attractive.

As the quietly serving one who cleans up, Lili is supposed to be the sort of below decks person who fades into the background. And she often does. For the ship to send a search party out for her, and to nearly have an interstellar incident with the Calafans when she is abducted, is a big, big deal. This is a person who most of them underestimated, who turns out to be rather important indeed.

Fortune

At Norri‘s deathbed, she gives away her paper books, including Jane Eyre, which is given to Marie Patrice, because Empy is the “strong, independent heroine of her own life.”

Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

When clearing out Malcolm‘s quarters, Lili comes across the book and takes it, vowing to read it.

Flight of the Bluebird

Seppa reveals that Lili and Malcolm sent books to the young Daranaean girls, including this one.

Wider Than the Sargasso Sea

Recurrent Themes – Jane Eyre
Toby Stephens in 2006 Jane Eyre miniseries on Public Television

Several years after the Breen attack, Gabrielle Nolan stars in this play, with Desh, a Breen, playing opposite her as Mr. Rochester.

But can Gabby act opposite a boy whose father fought in a devastating war, as her enemy? And what about the townspeople? The Breen are kept in a separate section, which Gabby’s mother, Gina, dismisses as a ghetto. Is this any way to normalize relations?

Advice From My Universes to Yours

When providing advice to Aurellan Markalis, Lili suggests reading a classic love story like Jane Eyre. Jay comments that he doesn’t read such things.

Upshot

I really loved weaving this story line into my own fiction, with little shout outs that are almost like literary Easter Eggs. Jane Eyre will return.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Recurrent Themes – The Art of War

Recurrent Themes – The Art of War

Background

As a bit of background for Jay Hayes and Empress Hoshi, Sun-Tzu‘s classic text proved to be the perfect manual for Star Trek fan fiction (not to be confused with Keith R. A. DeCandido‘s great book, The Klingon Art of War).DNA

Appearances

Recurrent Themes – The Art of War
The Art of War

This book has been everywhere, or at least it sure seems that way. I particularly like it as warrior shorthand, that the people who are reading it are looking to go into battle. But the battle might just be The Battle of the Sexes.

Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses

This story is loaded with quotations from two separate books, this one and The Prince by Machiavelli. Empress Hoshi’s moves are calculated, everything from killing off Ian and Phlox, to overpowering T’Pol while at her weakest, to turning the loyalties of Emperor Phillip‘s men, including Andrew, José, and Brian. The book is presented as more or less a user’s manual for overthrowing a regime and installing one’s own brand of tyranny.

Advice from My Universes to Yours

In Advice, the book is mentioned briefly in passing when trying to convince a socially awkward person that perhaps they could read romantic fiction in order to understand people better. The book is mentioned and, of course, rejected immediately.

The Three of Us

In The Three of Us, Jay is shown reading and rereading this book, and he’s even reading it when Lili visits him in his quarters for the first time.

Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Jay provides two bequests. The lucky nickel goes to Lili, while this book goes to Malcolm.

In Memory of Kelsey Haber

During In Memory of Kelsey Haber, Malcolm refers to this book, and tells Hoshi that it was a bequest from Jay. Malcolm further notes that he had vowed, at that time, to get to know the people under his command, but he fell down on the job with Kelsey and never did.

Upshot

This little book gets around as much as Jane Eyre! It’ll be back.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Recurrent Themes – Computer Technicians

Recurrent Themes – Computer Technicians

Recurrent Themes – Computer Technicians
Ancient computers specialist and time travel agent Sheilagh Bernstein

In time travel in particular, someone will have to be able to deal with computers. They are such a pervasive part of our lives that I cannot imagine sending a time travel contingent to any time past about 1985 or so without giving them the ability to work with computer systems.

Further, Star Trek has always had a somewhat ambivalent relationships with computers and, truly, all forms of technology. The Original Series (TOS) in particular often showcases a dichotomy between over reliance on computers versus good old fashioned human know-how. In The Next Generation (TNG), Data is so human-like that there is a question about whether he should have the same rights as a member of a naturally evolving sentient species would.

Background

Amusingly enough (and highly reflective of the mores of the time), Original Series actors are shown really only using computers for work. DNA The same seems to be true for the Next Generation, except when it comes to the use of the fantasy-fulfilling holodeck. Then, it’s no holds-barred.

You need to get to Star Trek: Enterprise (ENT) before you start to see people using computers for leisure pursuits. In the Catwalk episode, a crewman does a crossword puzzle on hers. Jonathan Archer even seems to use his for reading (although Malcolm Reed appears to prefer paper books).

Appearances

Hoshi Sato

As in canon, Hoshi (with the help of T’Pol) is often tasked with not only handling the ship’s database, but also in interpreting aliens’ databases.

Charlotte Reed-Hayes Archer

In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, it is Charlotte, a descendant of Jonathan, Lili, Ebrona, Jay, Malcolm, and others, who sends the first kick-back’s full database to Hoshi. This changes the second kick back in time’s experience rather dramatically, as people already know who they ended up with.  When the second kick back in time meets the prime timeline version, there isn’t enough time to load the entire database, and so the prime timeline is left with only knowing what we learned in canon, and never knowing that there were two involuntary trips back in time.

Sheilagh Bernstein

The specialist in ancient computers is a mid-level Temporal Agent working with Richard Daniels. In Another Piece of the Action, she ends up inadvertently insulting Spock a little, when she refers to his beloved computer system as being primitive.

Upshot

As we move closer to real-life Star Trek types of experiences, I fully believe we will use computers more and more. They will converge, probably, and smart phones and tablets will likely become more or less the same devices. Through it all, someone will need to handle them. I will undoubtedly write about more people just like this.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .