So this is a mixed bag of stories intended to fill in a few small gaps and inconsistencies or untold stories. Truth is, I was most likely the only person who ever noticed or gave a damn about these little untold moments or inconsistent bits. No problem. It is always important to keep writing. Hence I was able to do so with this small set of exercises. Furthermore, it may serve as an introduction to my work for some people.
As a gift for the Chanukah holiday (to myself), I decided to write eight little family-centric stories taking place within my various universes. The various characters would interact, or not, but the main idea was for each story to be related to family somehow.
Even in the future, and regardless of species, it is all about family. Home and hearth abide, even in space.
Stories cover In Between Days, the E2 timeline, the Daranaean Emergence series, the Eriecho series, Times of the HG Wells, Hold Your Dominion, and there is also a second HG Wells story which focuses on Levi Cavendish and Otra D’Angelo.
I needed a garden variety phenomenon. Chi Band Radiation would have to be able to stand in for a lot of almost magical properties. It had to be a kind of technobabble thing. Hence I needed for it to sound just mysterious enough.
The idea would cover all sorts of issues. This would include crossing people over from one universe to another. Or it would be the kinds of temporal switches and shenanigans shown in Concord and Crackerjack. However, for both of those stories there were other explanations for their issues.
Chi Band Radiation particularly comes to fore in the Barnstorming series. I used it to show how and why the Mirror Universe was attempting to cross over and potentially invade our own. The Emperor would have been deposed and fallen on hard times. The radiation would be, to him, a godsend, a means of regaining his past glories. Therefore, he would be itching to use it.
Instead of living the high life, he’s living in a shack. He depends upon the kind charity of the native Calafan people. This would be quite the harsh reality for a proud man.
The radiation would also be a means of almost communicating. It would be a way of knocking on the door of another universe, as it were. This would attract the attention of weird ADHD-addled temporal engineer Levi Cavendish. Giving Levi a means of investigating all possible universes was a fun idea. The way to fulfill his mission to find the ultimate pumpkin pie (spoiler alert: it’s in the universe with a 49 centimeter radiation band on the hydrogen line) proved irresistible.
This Swiss Army knife has stood me in good stead. I am sure I will be using it again in the future.
The Zetal: in order to try to finally wrap up the HG Wells storyline, I needed a sort of garden variety villain. That was the Var-gi-yeh. They would come from outside our solar system, and therefore it would help if we had an early warning of some sort.
I reached back into my older work and found the Zetal.
Back in Together, the Witannen and the Imvari capture ten humans for war games on a grand scale. But they are actually working for a third party, a species in the Andromeda Galaxy, the Zetal.
This species was meant to be more or less incorporeal. However, I did not have much on them. In Together, it was considerably easier to just work with the Imvari and the Witannen. Species which are more or less our basic body type are just easier to deal with. The reader or viewer can relate to them better. And, truly, so can the writer. After all, I needed to get the story down on pixels.
If a character is hard for even the writer to relate to, then the character is just not going to be written. That is unfortunate, as they are kind of interesting on paper. But I have very little on them. They are a piece of bringing Trek out of our galaxy and into our galactic neighbor. That is not enough, though. There just is not enough ‘there’, there.
If I need to pull in an Andromeda Galaxy species, then they might be it, and I would do more with them. They certainly could use an overhaul and some love from their creator! Right now, though, they remain a semi-useful curiosity and not much more.
The character is technically canon although the scene of his introduction ended up on the cutting room floor. In the ‘lost’ footage, William Riker plays a nasty, passive-aggressive prank and Madden is the butt of the joke. I disliked the scene so much that I felt Madden needed a measure of justice. He is the reason that Melissa has her last name, as she is his forebear, via her middle son, Neil.
Because Marty is also Doug‘s descendant, his radiation band is slightly less than it should be, betraying a partial origin in the Mirror Universe. As the Barnstorming series unfolds, the family’s importance increases. Doug’s descendants hold a key in their DNA that could alter the fate of both universes.
As in canon, Madden is played by actor Steven Culp. I like this actor a great deal. He was also exceptionally gracious when I wrote to him, asking for an autographed photograph and the answer to a few questions as I was writing The Three of Us and looking to add some verisimilitude to my details about Jay Hayes.
Culp wrote back, said my questions were interesting (I asked things like what is his favorite story to read to a child) but whatever I came up with would be fine. He also wished me luck with my writing. His framed picture is hanging in the room where I do my writing and it helps provide some inspiration.
Lonely, brilliant, and bored, Marty is near the top of his profession but wants something more. He is only close to one person, and that is not only hurting him in his career, it’s also, in general, making him miserable. Furthermore, the incident with Riker got him off on the wrong foot with Captain Picard. A bit of a perfectionist, Martin is appalled by what happened and scrambling to make it right.
With one disastrous date, this is really not a relationship. Tamsin likes him, but he can’t stand her; he had only asked her out in order to get his mind off Dana. Tamsin takes it the wrong way and tries to get him to sleep with her.
When he refuses, she stretches the truth to its breaking point, and files a sexual harassment charge against him. The charge is groundless and is quickly dropped. But it gets worse, as she is distantly related to him. As a part of the family (through Joss), Tamsin is not so close to Martin Madden to prevent a relationship, plus she’s somewhat aggressive. It’s a complete turnoff to him, but she is family and so, in some ways, he’s stuck with her. But he doesn’t have to date her.
With a language all their own, Martin Douglas Madden and Misty Dana MacKenzie – the MDM Twins – are made for each other. There’s just one small problem. She’s his second cousin.
That would not seem like much of an issue, but I write an unjust Second Cousin Marriage law, forbidding such marriages where the parties share at least one great-grandparent. The purpose behind the law is to prevent too much Daranaean inbreeding and the introduction of younger and younger child brides. But the law fails miserably as it is mainly just a bad political compromise.
When Dana is imprisoned at Canamar, it is only Marty who continues writing to her after her parents die. With the letters kept from her as a part of her unjust punishment, her reading of those letters is one of her first acts after getting out.
His love for her is one of the few things that sustains him. It is one of the underlying themes of the series, along with the concept that the Digiorno-Madden-Hayes-Beckett-O’Day–Reed family endures forever. There is power in this love, and it cannot be denied.
I’m not so sure that Marty can exist in the Mirror Universe.
As a descendant of Doug, who left the Mirror and had never fathered a child on that side before he did, then Marty’s existence in the Mirror is technically impossible. However, I write a Mirror Tamsin (called Jennifer), explaining that the analogue is imperfect but very close. After all, if most other forebears fall into place, or close relatives such as siblings or first or even second cousins take the place of the originals, after a time span of a few centuries, the differences become negligible. This isn’t a bad theory for why there are so many MU counterparts, and I might explore it at some time.
But if the same incident occurs, he wouldn’t just be miffed at Riker and embarrassed by him – Marty would have knifed the man.
“I can’t exactly get away when everyone else can. Understand something, all right? Whatever Riker did, whatever he could do, whatever he tried or got away with and however he acted, that was him, all right? He probably got himself here for lunch somewhere between 1200 and 1330 hours nearly every day, am I right? … But that’s not me. But, uh, I get the feeling there’s one more item on your list of Things Keeping Martin Madden from Making Friends on the Enterprise-E. Am I right? Care to share it with me if I am?”
I am really enjoying writing this character, a kind of combination of Jay’s discipline and Doug’s zest for life, with a bit of Malcolm’s pre-Lili tortured loneliness. The Barnstorming series is not done yet, and Martin Madden is a huge part of it.
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.
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.
Childcare is of course still needed in the future, and I’m pleased and proud that it’s a profession tackled by any gender.
The character is, of course, canon. In canon, he has a lot of trouble with women and never seems to really find anyone. His blindness is established and is basically respected, although eventually, in the films, he gets implants. It probably made for easier storytelling.
This intelligent actor could have usually used better scripts. I would have liked to have seen him confronting prejudice, for one thing. It’s one of the reasons I wrote Crackerjack in the first place.
Very smart and responsible, and uber-nerdy, Geordi is an affable guy who always seems to be in the friendzone.
Geordi has canon relationships but I won’t enumerate them here.
During the events depicted in Crackerjack, Geordi and Rosemary share a brief romance. He pays enough attention to her life to look her up, and he learns that she was arrested with Martin Luther King, Jr. after she married a man with the surname of Warren (which rather neatly makes her an ancestor of the woman I write as becoming Wesley Crusher‘s wife, Lakeisha Warren).
Crackerjack has a ton of period music, but nothing really speaks to me as a theme for Geordi.
It’s hard to say whether a Mirror Universe Geordi could exist at all.
He would be extra-smart, to be sure, but I write the MU as being leery of physical weaknesses and imperfections – and blindness would be right up there as a not so small problem.
If he could easily and seamlessly be fitted with ocular implants, perhaps as an infant, then he could survive and maybe even thrive on the other side of the pond.
“No, that’s all right. But the young lady who is with us, maybe she would like to do that. I can’t figure these people out. Some of them wouldn’t be caught dead being anywhere near me, while others are going out of their way to be kind or even charitable in their own way.”
So a prompt about gift giving took me to a dark place. I had only recently drafted this scene, and knew it would be a while before it would be posted on the Ad Astra Archive. Therefore, I lifted the scene, nearly intact, and presented it as the answer to the prompt.
An endgame comes about for two characters. The scene takes place during Shake Your Body.
It is the last few moments of Boris Yarin and Marisol Castillo‘s lives. Also, she is putting the screws to him, threatening to tell his wife, Darragh Stratton, everything about their affair. Hence he is about to lose his job, his one security. He is part-Klingon, and the anticipated dishonor is far too much to bear. And so he quite literally takes matters into his own hands. Therefore, this little scene punches the members of the Temporal Integrity Commission in the gut. In addition, it moves the overall story arc along well, by pulling the reader from the end of Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain to Shake Your Body to, eventually, the endgame of He Stays a Stranger.
This chilling little story did get people interested in Boris and Marisol, but not enough to really get them reading. Ah, well. The timing was not right. However, it did work out rather well to keep me motivated and writing. There had been several times during writing The Times of the HG Wells where I had not so much lost interest as lost some of the thread of the plot. The series had far too many subplots; this scene ends two of them rather memorably.
So this story was written as a small crossover gift to kes7. As a result, I wanted to turn a pair of her characters into a couple so important to the timeline that the Temporal Integrity Commission would do everything it could in order to assure their first meeting would go smoothly. Therefore, there would be a mission to make certain that it happens and all goes according to Hoyle. Kind of.
While Tom is on his honeymoon; HD and Sheilagh are on vacation together; and Polly and Rick are on assignments, Carmen sends Crystal on a special mission. And the department’s Quartermaster, while not a professional time traveler, is still a rather resourceful gal all the same. She gets the job done with flair.
Crystal finds Icheb, a former Borg drone, and gives him a bit of a makeover by growing his hair slightly longer, replicating him some hair gel, making him a new shirt, and getting him to loosen up a little bit. Crystal, being perhaps a little silly, even gets a tad emotional and hugs him before sending him off to meet Maren O’Connor and his destiny. In addition, this was about when I realized Crystal should sound like she is from Queens, New York. Er, Noo Yawk.
So I really liked this cute little story, which managed to showcase Crystal rather neatly and also put a smile on kes7’s face. Plus a sometimes overlooked character got some time in the spotlight, and was able to really shine. Finally, the sometimes overly serious relationship at the heart of this short story got a blast of comic relief. Mission accomplished!
Souvenirs of time travel can really do a number on Rick Daniels.
For a prompt about remembrances, I wanted to clarify a bit of time travel lore that I had been rather vague about. In A Long, Long Time Ago, I refer to temporal tourists who take various souvenirs. Helen Walker grabs the quarter flipped right before the plane takes off on February 3, 1959, resulting in the deaths of the Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, and Buddy Holly.
Therefore, it made sense to me that Rick would take similar souvenirs from each of his honeys. Hence I had him steal a pair of quarters from Windy, plus he had a photograph of Milena that Noemy had taken, but nothing else.
So the story is about how Temporal Agent Richard Daniels remembers his conquests.
Note: this story breaks later fan fiction.
However, the main reason it breaks it is because of a slight confusion in the dates, nothing more.
And in a way, it leads right up to The Stranger. Richard Daniels has a lot on his plate, and he meets a lot of women. But he also has to allow any number of good people to die. I believe that this would horribly mess with just about anyone’s head. I feel even in the deep future we would not have quite gotten over the guilt many people would feel at having to sit back and watch innocents suffer. Hence he comforts himself by bedding women in time. But Milena Chelenska is different from all the rest.
This character was originally going to be a regular cast member but I didn’t really have room for her. So she showed up during The Point is Probably Moot in an alternate timeline.
Alice is played by Star Trek: Into Darkness actress Alice Eve. Of course she has Star Trek cred from that.
Personable and polite, Alice in the regular timeline is a manners and protocols specialist. She is interviewed by the Temporal Integrity Commission as a possible companion agent for Rick Daniels. Paired together, they could conceivably cover historic state dinners, which is exactly what they end up doing.
In the alternate timeline, she is an Islamophobe.
Alice has no known relationships. Rick does not hit on her as he is already realizing that he’s in love with Milena Chelenska.
There are no impediments to a Mirror Alice existing, except that all true counterparts have smaller chances of existing.
This is due to the passage of time and the addition of more generations (and, therefore, more variables).
Regardless of what she’d be doing in the Mirror Universe, it would have nothing to do with manners and fish forks.
“Why would you want to help those infidels? Are you all nonbelievers?”
I have no place for this character, and I wish I did, as she could potentially be compelling. Maybe Carmen hires her after the events of He Stays a Stranger.