Category Archives: Times of the HG Wells series

Portrait of a Character – Mestral

Portrait of a Character – Mestral

Mestral ended up as a rather useful plot device in Multiverse II.

Mestral
J. Paul Boemer as Mestral (image is provided for educational purposes only)

Origins

Because Mestral is canon, his origins are well known. However, this character was used to a rather different effect in Multiverse II.

Portrayal

As in canon, Mestral is played by actor J. Paul Boehmer.

Personality

Driven and possessed, the only Vulcan on Earth ends up being rather dangerous indeed. When he finally breaks free of Chilo possession, Mestral becomes a formidable ally to Otra and then Donald Janeway.

Relationships

Mestral’s only known relationship is with Maggie. And that relationship is canon; it factored in his decision to stay on Earth.

Theme Music

Mestral’s song is Nick Lowe’s “I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass”.

Mirror Universe

There are no impediments to Mestral existing in the Mirror Universe. Because Vulcans do not have the Y Chromosome Skew, he would not have such fierce competition for a mate as a human (Terran) male would. Furthermore, this would be before the rise of the Empress Hoshi Sato and even before the mirror Zefram Cochrane kills the first Vulcan he sees. Hence the Vulcan species would be free and technologically advanced.

In addition, if Mestral exists in the mirror, then the potential exists for him to have influenced the Cochrane behavior. Maybe in the Mirror Universe, he could experience self-loathing or want revenge on someone? The idea intrigues.

Quote

“Jobs to do.”

Upshot

Because Multiverse II never ended, we never got a chance to write his endgame. I like to think he would have contributed to the Phoenix project. And I believe others have felt this as well. The character certainly had the knowledge, the motivation, and the proper placement within the overall timeline.

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Review – Oh My Darling

Review – Oh My Darling

Darling
Oh My Darling ended up being somewhat similar to Smells in plot and tone.

Background

Oh My Darling was a chance to return to Multiverse II and its improbable lovers, Rita Spinelli and Donald Janeway.

Plot

Since Multiverse II didn’t really end properly, I had nowhere to send these two characters. In addition, I really liked the idea of them, that they would almost be the flower growing in the desert or even amidst the radioactive rubble. Because Rita is rough and an ex-addict, and Donald had worked with Colonel Green, their love had an improbable air to it. Furthermore, while Sky (Rita’s daughter) had already made it into the story, the other children were barely hinted at. Hence I needed a place for them and wanted to revisit them and give them a kind of home.

Music

The music is, of course, the old standard, Clementine.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Aside from Detroit Rock City, A Single Step, and Hub of the Universe, I had not written too much in the pre-canon, pre-Enterprise time period. Hence the story helps to set up the future in ways that other stories of mine just can’t. Furthermore, almost like a phoenix (and the reference to the Phoenix, Zefram Cochrane‘s ship, is not accidental), Donnie and Rita rise from the ashes with this story.

The story even predates Lili and her family, although it does come after some interphased sections of some stories, such as Day of the Dead, Crackerjack, and, of course, Concord.

Hence I was happy to showcase a bit of their lives but also hope in the darkness. Because that’s why Sky Spinelli is really named Speranza Memoria, e. g. Hope and Memory.

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Portrait of a Character – Yilta

Portrait of a Character – Yilta

Origins

Yilta was conceived of early in the process of planning the Wells series. I wanted a character who Kevin O’Connor would sleep with and then, the following morning, a temporal change would replace her with his newly-not-deceased wife, Josie.

Portrayal

Yilta
Holly Hunter as Yilta (image is presented for educational purposes only)

Yilta is played by actress Holly Hunter.

I love this actress although the accent, admittedly, isn’t right for this character. However, that’s all right.

Personality

Relationships

Darywev

Yilta’s first husband breaks their marriage when he blames her for the death of their daughter, Brinka. However, Brinka is the victim of  birth defect and so Yilta is blameless.

Kevin O’Connor

Yilta marries Kevin in I Do Again and I Do Again (and Again). She brings him out his shell and convinces him that his life is worth living. Furthermore, she reminds him that he’s allowed to be happy.

Mirror Universe

Mirror Yilta
Mirror Yilta

There are no impediments to Yilta existing in the Mirror Universe, although the later you get in the timeline, the longer the odds become. Mirror Universe Calafans are copper-colored, so Yilta’s appearance would be rather different. Also, as a non-human, her species would not have the Y Chromosome Skew. So as a result, she would not necessarily be oppressed. Furthermore, engineers are needed in any universe, so she could have a decent life. Would she be with Kevin? It’s hard to say, but hybrids seem less common on the other side of the pond.

Quote

“Well, we all liked Otra. But it’s also, you know, it affects us all. The problems your unit is having, that is. I mean, “I suppose we all have doubts at one time or another. We have ugly bits of our history – I am certain that every species does. But to try and tweak it and do better? It just strikes me as the height o’ arrogance. We are a religious people, so we know that we cannot do any better than Lo, or even Ub, the lowest of our gods. But I don’t think you need to have religion in order to realize that trying to improve upon time is not only not going to work, but that it’s an exercise in ego-strokin’ and nothin’ more.”

Upshot

This chipper and resourceful engineer more or less saves Kevin O’Connor’s life. And that saves her own, too.

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Portrait of a Character – Telatharia

Portrait of a Character – Telatharia

Origins

Telatharia was created in response to a prompt for ‘Andorian Week’.

Portrayal

Telatharia
Suzie Plakson as Telatharia (image is for educational purposes only)

Telatharia is played by actress Suzie Plakson.

This character actress is well-respected in Star Trek circles and has played a multitude of characters of different species. Furthermore, I really liked this character although I had originally pictured the character a lot younger than this.

Personality

Resourceful and highly intelligent, the character gets out of a sticky situation and solves a problem during Recruitment. Because she smartly figures out (more or less) where she is, the Section decides to give her a chance.

Furthermore, her quote (below) ties her story line to the E2 timeline and the destruction of Duluth, and Lagos and Bogotá connections circle her back to the rest of the Wells series and even to Multiverse II.

Relationships

Telatharia has no known relationships.

Mirror Universe

Mirror Telatharia
Mirror Telatharia

There are no impediments to Telatharia existing in the Mirror Universe. However, the later you get in the timeline, the more difficult the odds become. Because only humans have the Y Chromosome Skew, she is not necessarily subject to oppression.

Quote

“Yes, the fact that there was rebar told me that it was later than Hiroshima but earlier than Beijing. It had to be the Third World War. It seemed too chilly for Lagos or Bogotá. After that, I didn’t know the names of a lot of destroyed cities from Earth. I guessed there were too many tall buildings for Teheran and then I just went with the only other name I knew. I guessed that you wanted to make the problem difficult but not impossible.”

Upshot

While the character is of interest, I really intended  for her to be a one-off, and that shows. However, aside from some of the Daniel Beauchaine story line, I really haven’t shown the deep future of Section 31. Maybe she can return then, if I decide to pursue that idea.

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Portrait of a Character – Steven Reed

Portrait of a Character – Steven Reed

Origins

Considering the spelling of his name, Steven Reed is yet another shout out to actor Steven Culp. Because of the dreamy aspect of the Recruitment, the shout out to Culp dovetails a bit with Reversal, which is the book that is all about dreams.

Portrayal

Steven Reed
Paul Bettany as Steven Reed (image is for educational purposes only)

Steven Reed is played by actor Paul Bettany. I wanted this actor as I also have him playing Declan Reed. Hence, Steven Reed has connections to both Malcolm and Doug (just like Richard does).

Personality

When Section 31 recruits Telatharia, Steven is there in order to try to throw her and her fellow candidates off the scent. However, he also helps her out just a tiny bit, and his mere presence seems to tell her she’s on the right track. It’s unknown whether he helps anyone else out, consciously or not. And in fact, it’s entirely possible Telatharia was the sole job candidate, anyway.

Relationships

Steven has no known relationships.

Mirror Universe

Mirror Steven Reed
Mirror Steven Reed

There are no impediments to Steven existing in the Mirror Universe, although the later you get in the timeline, the more difficult the odds become.

However, a spy could find work in either universe. Hence, if he exists, Steven would be sitting pretty, and would potentially have his pick of females, so long as he could trust any of them.

But he probably can’t.

Quote

“No one is trustworthy.”

Upshot

While I am uncertain about where to put this character and what to do with him (or whether he should get an encore), I like the idea of him. In particular, his existence means the Reed-HayesO’Day-Beckett-MaddenDigiorno family lasts into the deep future in more than one place. It’s not just Richard and Eleanor, and that makes me happy.

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Review – I Do Again/ I Do Again (And Again)

Review – I Do Again/ I Do Again (And Again)

I Do Again! And again!

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Times of the HG Wells | I Do Again/ I Do Again (And Again)
Times of the HG Wells

Background

The first story was prompted by a ‘Now What?’ prompt. Then the second was a POV shift. Since I loved the first one so much (and had never really written Yilta’s point of view before anyway), I added the second. Hence they are shown together as I practically tackled the two at once.

Plot

Long after the events of He Stays a Stranger, Kevin O’Connor and Yilta the Calafan marry. And it is a second marriage for both of them.

During the ceremony, any number of odd things happen. Best man Levi Cavendish drops the rings. Twice. Then Maid of honor Deirdre Katzman bends down to look for them and nearly loses her flowers. And then half-Witannen Otra D’Angelo‘s floral-like chavecoi point where the rings are on the ground. And officiant Branch Borodin, the colony alien, interrupts the ceremony asking if the happy couple want to take a survey.

So these shenanigans are nearly enough to drive Admiral Carmen Calavicci back to drink. But at least she can refrain, for the moment. However, I cannot promise she won’t fall off the wagon at some later date. And I like that idea.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

So I really loved how both of these came together. Sometimes, writing is a lot like taking dictations. The characters simply speak, and then I transcribe whatever it is that they are relating to me. And that happened both times. Furthermore, I loved writing Yilta’s point of view, because she is an interesting character. However, I had neglected her inner life until these little stories. Let’s say I do again! And again!

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Portrait of a Character – Mark Stone

Portrait of a Character – Mark Stone

Origins

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

Portrayal

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

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

Personality

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

Relationships

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

Mirror Universe

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

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

Quote

“You are not gonna screw up my career.”

Upshot

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

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Review – Advice from My Universes to Yours

Review – Advice from My Universes to Yours

Advice for all! Well, kinda.

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

Background

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

Plot

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

Background

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

Serious Help

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

Not So Serious Help

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

Mysterious Help

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

Departures

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

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

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

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

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

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Review – Paradox

Review – Paradox

Paradox – boy, are we ever in trouble!

Paradox Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Deep Future | Paradox
Deep Future

As a part of a Star Trek fanfiction competition, fellow writer kes7 and I decided to collaborate on this time travel mayhem-style crossover novel. Levi, the most squirrelly and ADHD-addled person in history, nervous and quirky to a fault, would be tasked with saving humanity.

By having to be socially acceptable or at least in the realm of socially competent.

Yeah, I agree.

We’re doomed.

Plot

In which humanity’s survival depends on Levi Cavendish’s social skills. Takes place in 3110.

kes7’s original character, Maren O’Connor (who we decided would be related to Kevin), and canon character Icheb, are an item in her universe. At this stage in their development, they are building their own time traveling device. But this is rather early in the engineering process, and the device is imperfect. It threatens the multiverse and humanity (because why not make the stakes super-high?) and the Temporal Integrity Commission has got to stop them.

Reluctantly, Carmen sends Levi and Otra. However, Otra does not have permission to go to the surface although she can communicate directly through Levi’s implanted communicator. As she feeds him information, he becomes even more confused. It does not help that a girl named Marci is flirting with him, big time. Which is Levi’s mother’s name.

It helps even less that Otra has finally realized that she is in love with him.

Awkward!

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

We had a lot of fun writing this one, but we will both admit our resolve sometimes wanes. The story remains unfinished after a few years. We need to finish this one. I want to know what happened. Don’t you?

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Review – Another Piece of the Action

Review – Another Piece of the Action

It’s another piece!

Another Piece of the Action Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Another Piece of the Action
Another Piece of the Action (cover by thebluesman)

During the time period just after You Mixed-Up Siciliano, in January of 3110, Kirko, Spock and the boys join Temporal Agents Richard DanielsSheilagh Bernstein, and Deirdre Katzman in handling Bela Oxmyx and his cronies. This is a collaborative story with the bluesman.

Isn’t the cover just fantastic? Justin made it. I have a copy (signed by him) hanging in my computer room.

Plot

As a means of getting back to the story, we decided on time travel. The Temporal Integrity Commission would have to fix the problems which Kirk and company had compounded at the end of the canon episode, when someone left a communicator behind.

I decided to use Richard Daniels, Sheilagh Bernstein, and Deirdre Katzman as my part of the cast. These characters would have the specialties needed, e. g. a jack of all trades like Rick, a computers person like Sheilagh, and then Deirdre would be the engineer.

Justin (the bluesman) opted to mainly handle the canon characters as we wrote the story. Together, we weaved a story whereby the plot would be fixed, our characters would happily cross over and work together for a common cause, and we even got to throw in a little humor and flirting along the way. Plus Sheilagh tells Spock his computers are primitive.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

We had a blast with this collaboration. I would have loved to have done it again. But sadly, Justin passed on, on December 22, 2016.  He was a dear friend and a kind, talented, patient, and generous collaborator. I miss him.

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