Portrait of a Character – Leah Benson

Portrait of a Character – Leah Benson

Leah Benson is bigger than I originally planned.

Origins

In The Light, I needed a Rabbi character. Women have fairly recently become Rabbis in all Jewish sects except for Orthodox. And it is highly doubtful that even the most competent Orthodox Jew would go into space during the Star Trek: Enterprise era. So I decided on a female Rabbi.

Portrayal

I decided I wanted a Jewish actress and so I selected Mayim Bialik. This actress is of course famous not only for her child star work, but also for her more recent work on The Big Bang Theory.

Portrait of a Character – Leah Benson

Rabbi Leah Benson

I also felt that Starfleet would select someone relatively young to fulfill this role. They would be hoping for someone to stick around for a while. That person would also need to be someone not easy to shock. This would be by things like asking to pray over a dying alien. Or even by something as incredible as a Xindi Reptilian asking to convert to Judaism.

Personality

Friendly, approachable and consoling, Rabbi Benson is not only an expert on Judaism. She’s also something of a counselor. For Ethan Shapiro, Andrew Miller, Josh Rosen and Karin Bernstein, the Rabbi may stand in as a parent when they face difficult decisions. She is someone they can turn to if they are grieving, or unsure of things. This allows Captain Archer and Doctor Phlox more breathing room.

Relationships

Diana Jones

In Bread, I show they wed. This predicts gay marriage will be legal in the United Federation of Planets. Their long-term, loving relationship is sorely tested when Diana becomes gravely ill.

Mirror Universe

Leah’s only known relationship in the Mirror Universe is with Leonora Digiorno. As ruthless as anyone else in the mirror, Leah is not a woman of God. Instead, she is a pilot, and is meant to be somewhat similar to Melissa Madden, who the Mirror Norri never meets.

Portrait of a Character – Leah Benson

Mirror Leah

The image is brief but indelible, in Fortune, when Leah murders Norri for the most selfish and trivial of reasons. Nasty, brutal and efficient, Leah steals the meager possessions she can carry and leaves Norri’s broken body without looking back.

Quote

“When Starfleet was established, this question was decided, as Talmudic scholars determined that there could be occasions when Kaddish would have to be said but a Jew would be, perhaps alone, or with no means of communicating with other Jews. So, you can pray with a quorum, a minyan partly composed of Jews who are linked via communications – such as we are linked right now. Or you can enlist the help of non-Jewish friends for this specific purpose. Either way will work.”

Upshot

Leah Benson is about as different as anyone can be when you compare her Prime and Mirror Universe counterparts. I wanted her to be that way, whereas Doug and Jay are, for example, a lot closer. Leah represents just how different the two sides of the coin truly can be, and how a few changes in someone’s life can turn them from a gentle, caring person to a ruthless, cold-blooded monster.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Portrait, 14 comments

Inspiration – Life Events

Life Events

Life events shape our existence.

Background

I don’t write Star Trek fanfiction in a vacuum. Like anyone else, life gets in the way, it meanders around or my writing does, and the two collide. For what is writing without a connection to real life events?

Dating, Love, Wedding and Marriage

My own marriage and wedding are a bit of fiction fodder, Vulcan wedding life eventsI admit it, and back into dating, too, of course. These are major life events, and the lead up to them as well. A Kind of Blue absolutely evokes the excitement of my own wedding (I was not pregnant) and also a little bit of the uncertainty about the future. You wonder if everything is going to be all right. So far, so good.

Dating in a lot of ways informs Reversal, as Lili first goes on a disastrous blind date with Brian Delacroix (as Jenny Crossman pushes away a grabby Aidan MacKenzie) and then goes on a number of memorable (literal) dream dates with Doug. Her E2 experiences with Jay Hayes and Malcolm Reed are also very date-centric.

Birth of Nephews

I have no children of my own, Human-Vulcan hybrid baby life eventsso my nephews stand in for the kids I write about. Stories such as Tumult give life to the sense of waiting around – seemingly forever – in hospital rooms. Small children are seen there, and in Together, Temper, and Fortune, among other places, including The Facts.

Life at Work

I’ve had any number of work experiences, Striking union workers life eventsmuch like anyone of my age does. In particular, the HG Wells stories evoke work and working conditions. I’ve had bosses like Carmen Calavicci. She’s a bit brassy but she gets the job done. In A Long, Long Time Ago, potential employees are put through a group interviewing process – and I have been through such interviews, too. As the series progresses and the time travelers learn to work together, that also evokes various work experiences. People do not immediately have chemistry. Sometimes you need to really try in order to make things work.

Justice and Mercy

I’ve practiced law Tribunal life events(that was a long, long time ago!), and so I’ve seen trials and I’ve been behind the scenes. I wanted Shell Shock to bring a lot of that knowledge to the fore. A pair of trials are also conducted in the E2 stories. I wanted very much for the concept of people trying to do the right thing, even if they don’t necessarily have the means or knowledge with which to do so, to be understood by the reader.

Medical Care and Crises

I have seen people who were very sickSick Bay life events and, truly, dying. Of course I don’t just witness such things and take notes for my writing or anything. I am not outside of the moment. But these things do happen, and they are, indeed, remembered. In the E2 stories, and in Shell Shock, characters emerge from comas. In the former, I overtly included the emergence. However, in the latter, I only show the aftermath.

Death

For experiences of death, and characters’ reactions thereto, I tend to rely rather heavily on Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Her five stages of grief. In particular, these informed the Hold Your Dominion/Gina Nolan stories. Mourning is a part of Fortune, but also in Equinox, A Hazy Shade and Remembrance.

Upshot

For Star Trek to be Star Trek, there are any number of ships, aliens and whiz-bang effects. But, more importantly, there are people. And those people tend to have experiences that are a lot like our own, or at least their experiences should be similar to ours. Otherwise, it’s just a lot of ships whooshing by and a lot of explosions, and not much else. Fine in the moment, but not memorable, and certainly nothing that has survived for over four and a half decades. It’s the stories about people that survive. By placing my own experiences into my writing, I am hoping, if not for immortal stories, then at least for tales with more depth. I hope I’ve achieved a small measure of that.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Inspiration-Mechanics, 0 comments

Portrait of a Character – Daniel Chang

Portrait of a Character – Daniel Chang

Daniel Chang never gets a break.

Origins

The character is canon, albeit he does not have a first name. Therefore, I selected the actor’s own first name.

Portrayal

As in the original, Chang is played by Daniel Dae Kim.

Personality

Daniel ChangIn canon, Daniel Chang is a Corporal. But he always rubbed me the wrong way. And so I have added a disobedient streak to him.

Subversive and, sometimes, downright mean, Chang is the villain, particularly in the E2 stories. But there is a background to his behavior.

In Demotion, Chang’s mouth and his penchant for going AWOL at the worst of times leads to the action depicted in the title. This story, a prequel, dovetails with the canon Hatchery episode. I also wanted to address how thoughts that Jay Hayes might be gay would affect him and could be spun out as a part of my fanfiction. Plus I wanted Dan to be resentful.

E2

Dan really gets to be resentful in the E2 stories. Both kick backs in time occur not too long after the events in Demotion, so he has plenty of reasons to be angry. During both kick backs, he is insubordinate and often gripes about the mistakes that have led to injuries, damage and worse during those two alternate time lines. Furthermore, during the first kick back in time, Dan behaves extremely badly. It would be a major spoiler to reveal what happened, but suffice to say that Dan, while not a killer, is very nearly as bad. Deciding what to do about him is a major issue for Captain Archer.

In the second E2 kick back in time, Dan is not as monstrous. But he still behaves in a rather nasty manner. He meets his end in an uncomfortable fashion. However, has a chance to be at least a bit of a hero. In that story, Dan shows he has a heart. He’s not simply a one-dimensional bad guy.

The Shell Shock story also references Demotion. Dan (along with Malcolm, Tristan Curtis, and Josef Kastle and Derek Kelby from the NX-02 Columbia) is suspected of a crime. Dan’s poor behavior comes back to haunt him and he remains under suspicion longer than most because he is so uncooperative and nasty.

Relationships

The only relationship I have written for him is from the first E2 kick back in time, when he and Sandra Sloane accidentally conceive a child. Their daughter, named Kimberly, is an eventual ancestor of the people who the people from the second E2 kick back meet, including Charlotte Reed-Hayes Archer. Kimberly barely knows her father, but is able to tell him, eventually, that she forgives him. As for Sandra, she barely gives a damn about Dan. And when she takes up with Brooks Haynem, Sandra leaves Dan far behind. She never looks back.

Mirror Universe

I have never written a Mirror counterpart for Dan, but he is not, explicitly, a dead man on the other side of the pond. Hence he may eventually show up there.

Portrait of a Character – Daniel Chang

He might be carefree, or even obedient and almost conventional.

Quote

“He was unprepared. And that gets you killed around here.”

Upshot

Bad guys need to exist, otherwise stories aren’t that interesting. There needs to be tension. There must be conflict. For me, Daniel Chang provides it in spades.

Posted by jespah in In Between Days series, Interphases series, Portrait, 15 comments

Recurrent Themes – Medical Personnel

Recurrent Themes – Medical Personnel

Medical Personnel are a must.

Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Medical Personnel

Physicians, of course, are Star Trek canon and are absolutely necessary in space. After all, you can’t just grab the nearest ambulance and hotfoot it to a hospital. You have got to have a doctor on board.

I have created quite a few medical characters as I’ve been writing. I think my somewhat ambivalent feelings about medicine often come into play.

Medical Personnel Appearances

There are so many medical personnel; here they are listed by series.

In Between Days

Baden

Baden is a Calafan doctor seen in Reversal, and is a part of the conspiracy.

Blair Claymore

In Intolerance, Blair comes across as more sympathetic than any of the other visiting physicians who in the Immunology rotation. By the time of Fortune, she is Malcolm‘s CMO on the USS Bluebird. In the Mirror Universe, she is some sort of technician and is no doctor.

Pamela Hudson

Pamela makes her first appearance in Intolerance. By the time of Temper, Malcolm tells Lili Pamela (in an alternate timeline) has become the doctor, if not the person, that she was always meant to be. Pamela has more air time in her eventual relationship with the Calafan Treve, in To Wish, To Want, To Desire and The Best Things Come in Pairs.

Bernardine Keating-Fong

Bernie is the lecturer for the Immunology class. Her name helps to amp up some more of the early gender confusion in Intolerance.

Keleth

A Klingon doctor, Keleth is instrumental in fixing what’s wrong in Intolerance. Almost as importantly, he has, perhaps, the most normal and loving relationship in that entire book.

Miva

A Calafan, Miva is Lili‘s obstetrician in Together and Fortune. It is she who tells Lili that sex with Doug during pregnancy is not advisable. And it is Miva who performs the O’Day Reversal again after Lili gives birth to Declan.

Cyril Morgan

A kindly retired orthopedic surgeon, Morgan is Pamela’s uncle and is grandfather to Cindy Morgan. In Fortune, Cindy brings her friend, Jia Sulu, with her to Marie Patrice’s birthday party and therefore, at an extremely young age, Joss meets his future bride.

An Nguyen

Brittle and somewhat condescending, An could use some lessons in bedside manner. He backbites with Pamela but does offer her a place to sleep when Will and Blair commandeer her quarters. As a physician, he treats a Daranaean woman, Libba, in The Cure is Worse Than the Disease.

Will Owen

Will never actually gets to practice. In Together, Pamela reveals he hanged himself a few days after he was expelled, following the events outlined in Intolerance.

Phlox

This Star Trek Enterprise canon physician is the first to prove Doug is real, in Reversal. He finds the cure in Intolerance and treats Lili as an obstetrics patient in Together.

Mark Stone

As the last of the five classmates in the Intolerance Immunology rotation, Mark is a child of wealth and privilege, son of Emily Stone, the new envoy to the Xindi. About the only other thing about him is he is a gay man.

T’Par

A Vulcan doctor, she is instrumental in finding a cure for Doctor Keating-Fong during Intolerance.

Times of the HG Wells

Marisol Castillo

A femme fatale, Marisol gets few chances to practice medicine, although she does provide Sheilagh Bernstein with physical enhancements during Ohio.

Kingston (No First Name)

During You Mixed-Up Siciliano, he is baffled by Christopher Donnelly’s condition, not recognizing that the boy, in 1960, is infected with what would later be identified as the Ebola virus.

Sanchez (No First Name)

He is Malcolm‘s doctor and is never actually seen. Malcolm refers to him in The Point is Probably Moot, as knowing of a traditional Calafan remedy for erectile dysfunction – tofflin root tea.

Boris Yarin

Paranoid, powerful and suspicious, Boris has reason to wonder about Marisol’s intentions. Much like her, he has few chances to practice, although he also works on Sheilagh. In Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain, his past is referenced, where he treated an injured Klingon rugby player, Kriz, which was how he met his wife, Darragh Stratton.

Yimiva

She is the doctor for the Calafan unit, and performs the autopsy on Anthony Parker. Ebola and stem cell growth accelerator in Parker’s blood reveals he had been an operative for the Perfectionists.

Emergence

An Nguyen

By the time of The Cure is Worse Than the Disease, An is the CMO on Erika Hernandez’s ship, the USS Columbia (NX-02). This is which is where he loses his youthful enthusiasm. This theme is taken up some more in Take Back the Night. An says he would really rather avoid the Daranaeans.

Rechal

First seen during Take Back the Night, Rechal examines the fetus the murdered Inta was carrying. Findingit was a male, Rechal informs Arnis he must conduct an investigation. In Flight of the Bluebird, he is in the Daranaean prison. But he is still helping to try to find a cure for thylacine paramyxovirus.

Trinning

First seen as a teenaged boy in Take Back the Night, and then as a slightly older boy in Temptation, Trinning doesn’t start to practice medicine until Flight of the Bluebird, when he works as a medical researcher with his unofficial assistant, Trava.

Varelle

Another Daranaean doctor, Varelle refuses to treat Libba in The Cure is Worse Than the Disease.

Interphases

Andrew Miller

Andy starts off as a science Ensign. However, in the E2 stories, it becomes obvious very quickly that more medical personnel are a must. Phlox will need help delivering babies. Andrew studies and, eventually, is Doctor Miller.

Pamela Reed-Hayes (Née Reed)

During the first kick back in time, Lili has three children. Pamela is her daughter with Malcolm, and she succeeds Phlox as the ship’s CMO.

The Mirror Universe

Baden

This Calafan doctor shows, in Reversal, that he mainly just follows orders. This is even if they are, ultimately, immoral. Unlike his Prime Universe counterpart, he actually ends up committing murder.

Miva

Seen only briefly in Reversal, the mirror Miva is really only known as the Prime Universe Baden’s nighttime lover. They met when they made psychic contact. She was, instead of meditating, trying to remember the bones of the hand. This is because she was getting ready for her examinations. Seen again in Fortune, Miva helps by setting Lucy Stone‘s broken leg and offers Chip, Tripp and Beth various odd jobs so they can pay her.

Cyril Morgan

Morgan arrives as a replacement for the canon doctor, the Denobulan Phlox.

The Mirror Morgan is ruthless and probably barely competent. In Reversal, Doug says there is a lot of complicated equipment on the Defiant. But Morgan doesn’t seem to know how to use any of it. It is unclear whether he or Phlox kills Ian Reed, and the ambiguity is carried through Paving Stones Made from Good Intentions and Coveted Commodity. It isn’t until Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses where I show just how Morgan got onto the Defiant, and exactly who ordered, and who caused, Ian’s death.

Mark Stone

Some time after Morgan’s death, in The Point is Probably Moot, Mark is the Empress’s new CMO. For him, his homosexuality is something of a lifesaver, for it frees him from being tempted by her wiles. Even so, he spends some of his time fending off the overly aggressive sexual advances of the Empress Hoshi Sato.

Upshot

I seem to write a lot of monstrous medical personnel, but also a number of heroes. For every nasty Marisol Castillo, there is a romantic Keleth. For every paranoid Boris Yarin, there is a sympathetic Blair Claymore. And for each prejudiced Varelle, there is an open-minded Trinning.

Posted by jespah in Emergence series, Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Interphases series, Themes, Times of the HG Wells series, 0 comments

Spotlight on an Original Species – Imvari

Spotlight on Imvari

Imvari are almost canon.

Background

So Imvari (the same word is both singular and plural) were originally brought into Together as a kind of beefy muscle. They were meant to be very tall (over two meters, which is more than six and a half feet) and ruthless in my Star Trek fanfiction.

Imagery

I realized after a while – after I had written Dennis Ott as a horned alien ImvariThe Reptile Speaks and had decided that the Imvari did not keep their genitals where most of us do – that this concept was in the Star Trek: Original Series film, The Undiscovered Country. It took a while to find the image, but I did.

Hence, this unnamed alien male is – tada! – an Imvari.

Language and Culture

Unlike the Calafans, I didn’t bother writing a language for these folks. However, I did need writing, as a plot point in Together is an escape on an Imvari ship. Hence the Imvari (like the Daranaeans would also get) were given pictograph writing.

Pictographs are somewhat similar to European road signs. They have basic circles, arrows, triangles, squares, rectangles and squiggles. These  denote things like warp factors, weapons, clothing storage, etc.

As a species that’s considerably taller than most others, Imvari tend to stay away from the rest of us. In Together, Lili and Deb learn the Imvari are not a threat when it comes to sexual assault. This is because they are simply incapable of pairing with human women.

Weaponry and Duties

In the E2 stories, and in Together, it’s established that they keep prisoners in line with what I’m calling shocking sticks. These types of implements are somewhat akin to the canon Klingon pain sticks.

Image of Adromeda Galaxy in infrared.

Image of Adromeda Galaxy in infrared. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In both the E2 stories and in Together, the Imvari work as guards, slave catchers and the like. But they are generally not the brains of any operation. That honor belongs to, respectively, the Orion Syndicate and the non-humanoid Andromeda galaxy species, the Zetal.

In the HG Wells stories, the Imvari are a part of the Temporal Integrity Commission.

Appearances

Apart from Together, Imvari are a bit in the HG Wells stories, but really only in passing. They are yet another galactic species at peace with and a part of the successor entity to the Federation.

In the E2 stories, they get a lot more air time. I needed a villain species that would not be the Xindi. In the E2 stories, the Imvari are responsible for gathering up vulnerable individuals for sale to the Orion Syndicate. They also process them into slavery. Many of these processed individuals are Ikaarans, It is on an Imvari slaver ship that Lili and Jay first spend any real time with Ikaarans. Although there is an earlier communication which is more formal. But the Ikaaran captain, Jeris, declines Captain Archer‘s offer to share in their Christmas dinner.

Upshot

Before you judge the Imvari as being mere brutes, the species has a writing almost like a modern, stylized version of Egyptian hieroglyphics. By the time of Richard Daniels (31st and 32nd centuries), the species is at peace with nearly all the others in the galaxy. Not bad for a bunch of interstellar thugs.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Interphases series, Spotlight, 4 comments

Portrait of a Character – T’Pol

Portrait of a Character – T’Pol

T’Pol is hard for me to write.

Origins

The character, of course, is Star Trek: Enterprise canon.

Portrayal

As in the show, the character is played by actress Jolene Blalock.

Personality

T'Pol

T’Pol

As a main character, a great deal of T’Pol’s journey was already on the small screen. Because there is limited time for television programs, T’Pol, Archer and Tucker all received significantly greater shares of airtime. This was virtually always at the expense of Reed, Sato, Mayweather and Phlox. Frankly, by the time I started writing fanfiction, I’d gotten sick of her.

Complicating matters was the fact that I have always found it extremely difficult to write wholly unemotional Vulcans. This is a large part of why Eriecho wears her heart on her sleeve so much.

Relationships

Charles Tucker III

The relationship, naturally, is canon. And in canon, it just plain doesn’t work out, despite what fan fiction writers often want. Them’s the breaks! However, it is also canon that they marry in the E2 scenario. Therefore, I follow canon and have them do just that. Because my E2 scenario contains two kicks back in time, Tripp and T’Pol get two separate chances for love and marriage.

In the first scenario, their wedding is far more traditional, and they later have twins. Pregnancy causes T’Pol to lose her emotional control – a fact that, conveniently for me, makes it easier to write her.

In the second scenario, T’Pol puts the brakes on their relationship. When Tucker presses her, she reveals that she was a widow for a very long time. He correctly deduces that she was horribly hurt by this. She eventually comes around and they wed. But the ceremony is less conventional. In keeping with canon, their only child is their canon son, Lorian. As in the other scenario, she loses her emotional control, but it happens later.

Travis Mayweather

You can scarcely call it a relationship as it is more of a needs fulfillment gone horribly wrong. In the alternative timeline “what if” scenario story, The Black Widow, T’Pol attempts to satisfy pon farr with Doctor Phlox (that’s canon). When he proves inadequate in her eyes, she goes after Travis, and the encounter kills him. Still unsated, she attempts to seduce Malcolm as well (that’s also canon).

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – T'Pol

Mirror Universe T’Pol (Jolene Blalock)

This version of the character is also canon. In Reversal, T’Pol is already dead – an easy way for me to avoid writing a character who I’ve always found difficult. But for the transitional story, Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, T’Pol is very much alive, although in the Brig and clearly not for long. In that story, the new Empress Hoshi Sato the First personally dispatches T’Pol as a means of continuing to cement her grip on the crew of the Defiant and, eventually, the Terran Empire.

Quote

“I surmised as much. Petty tyrants are predictable. True leaders are the only ones of interest. If you had remembered Captain Forrest or Soval as well as you seem to remember how to manipulate the weak-minded, I’d say you’d have a chance at a truly great rule. But as it is, you’ll only be remembered as a tin pot dictator.” 

Upshot

It continues to be a challenge for me to write T’Pol. and her lines are often a stumbling block in my E2 stories especially. However, I’m finding her easier and easier to write as time elapses and, I suppose, we get further and further away from the actual original broadcast of the series. I know I don’t do her enough justice.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Portrait, 42 comments

Progress Report – October 2012

Progress Report – October 2012

October 2012 was a very creative time.

Posted Works

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | October 2012

It was another highly productive month. The Mirror Universe contextual collection, Hall of Mirrors, saw the following additions – The High Cost of Dissidence, Paving Stones Made from Good Intentions, First Born, Reversal, Brown, Coveted Commodity, Temper and Fortune.

I also answered a prompt about rituals with the Times of the HG Wells prequel, Candy. Also, I spun out Shake Your Body, the penultimate HG Wells book. I responded to the “hold on” prompt with Souvenirs, an HG Wells story taking place right after Spring Thaw. Then I added Detroit Rock City and A Single Step to In Between Days context. In response to the Burdens of Command challenge, I wrote Day of the Dead, to be posted on Halloween itself.

I had not added anything whatsoever to The Delphic Expanse in a long time, so I decided to float a drabble about Tripp and T’Pol and her pregnancy with Lorian, so I answered a year-old prompt for the word “free”, and wrote Free.

I also had not contributed anything to Trek United in months, so I added Voracious and Harvest.

Fanfiction.net

Progress Report – October 2012

On Fanfiction.net, I added The High Cost of DissidenceOnions, Penicillin, Letters from Home, First Born, Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, Detroit Rock City and Concord.

Concord and Letters from Home got particularly good receptions, so I decided to see if I can post there every Monday and Thursday (I had been posting only on Mondays), schedule permitting.

On Star Trek Logs, because there was a Vulcan/Romulan week, I added Achieving Peace. I also spun out Concord there, as that story had gotten raves on Fanfiction.net. It was also well-received there.
Plus I added stories to the Archer’s Angels board, where they created an official fan fiction forum, Alien Encounter and The Black Widow. Hence I added both of these because of Halloween. Then I added A Single Step, and started a challenge there, called A Thousand Words. My response was an In Between Days extreme prequel story called Detroit Rock City.
For the Trek BBS Nightmares challenge, I added a Wesley Crusher story, Imprecision.

Milestones

On October 15th, Reversal on Ad Astra rang up 10,000 views, the most I have ever had on any given story. That story has been out there since August of 2011, which is part of the reason for the high numbers. I am particularly pleased that there are over 260 views for each chapter, telling me that a lot of people hung in with it until the end.

For overall totals (e. g. adding up view totals for everywhere a story is posted online, Reversal is still the big winner, with over 15,000 views. Next highest is Together with over 12,000 views and then Intolerance with over 8,000 overall views. These are all understandable, as I originally wrote them back in 2010. More interesting is that Take Back the Night has an overall total approaching 4,000 views, and that story is only from late 2011 and is only on Ad Astra.

WIP Corner

I continued working on the E2 stories when I could. My plan is to begin spinning them out in January, so I am trying to get a full draft of the fourth story done before then.

Prep Work

I created an HTML version of He Stays a Stranger, in anticipation of spinning it out in November. I created a somewhat bowdlerized version of Fortune for eventual posting on Fanfiction.net.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

I worked on the Trek United Adult Trek Anthology. Plus I also attended five job interviews – more than I had for several months, combined. I am doing a lot of the distribution of work in anticipation of going back to work soon. Furthermore, I continued working on the Adult Anthology, and made a great deal of progress with it.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Progress, 0 comments

Portrait of a Character – William Slocum

Portrait of a Character – William Slocum

William Slocum gets no love.

Origins

Portrait of a Character – William Slocum

The character is canon, but rarely seen until the abysmal finale to ENT. He is seen extremely briefly in an episode called The Catwalk and that’s about it, although he’s mentioned a few times. The character has neither a first nor a last name in canon. I selected William Slocum as the first name is homage to Jonathan Frakes’s Will Riker character (in a much older story, If You Can’t Stand the Heat, the character is named Paul Miller, and he has a nascent romance with another abandoned character, Botanist Naomi Curtis). The surname was just one that I liked.

 

Portrayal

As in canon, Chef William Slocum is played by Jonathan Frakes.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – William Slocum

Chef Slocum (Jonathan Frakes)

While I despised TATV (like any good ENT fan, I suppose), I did like the idea of Frakes as Chef. Or, at least, of someone like him. I had always figured that the Chef character would be an older man and, up until the series finale, I had thought of Chef Emeril Lagasse in that role.

In Voracious, he recruits Lili O’Day to come to the NX-01 and work in Food Service. They share some New York style cheesecake which she provides as a professional courtesy. They banter together fairly well, and the feeling should be collegial. In Harvest, he introduces her to the senior staff, including Hoshi Sato, Jay Hayes (it’s also his first day) and Malcolm Reed.

Protocols shows him as being a bit passive-aggressive in his dealings with Lili. And in The Mess, he scolds her a bit when she tries to discard the cast iron skillet, until he figures out why it’s dirty. By the time of Onions, though, Will has shown that he can sometimes be truly insensitive.

In the first three E2 stories (the first of two kicks back in time), Will is somewhat arrogant and pushy. He makes a play for Lili and she rejects him. This stuns Will. So he tells her that no one will love her (he’s wrong, of course). He ends up with Patti Socorro, the only other unclaimed woman, but he’s dissatisfied. By the time of the fourth E2 story, he’s looking for an upgrade. But he remains arrogant, and suffers a terrible end which particularly shocks Lili and, to a lesser extent, Patti.

 

Relationships

Patti Socorro

This is not really a love match despite Will’s best efforts. But Will’s best isn’t much. He simply does not want to try too hard. They never have children, and the Will of the second kick back in time never marries so, for him, both instances of E2 are reproductive dead ends.

Quote

“Now you wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute! For the most part, you’ve done nothing but act like a spoiled brat! It makes me wonder how or why they even bothered to take you in the MACOs!”

Upshot

Perhaps it’s residual resentment about TATV, but I suppose I’ve given this character more than his fair share of bad times and poor decisions.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Interphases series, Portrait, 20 comments

Review – A Kind of Blue

Review – A Kind of Blue

Blue does not have to mean sadness.

Background

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Lili| Naomi Watts | pregnant

Lili (image of Naomi Watts is for educational purposes only)

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.

Plot

Review – A Kind of Blue

Positive Pregnancy Test

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.

Rating

The story is rated K.

Sequels

Review – A Kind of Blue

Pregnant Naomi Watts as Lili

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).

Story Postings

Upshot

The color blue does not have to mean sadness. And in this case, that’s the last thing from anyone’s mind.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Review, 10 comments

Portrait of a Character – Esilia

Portrait of a Character – Esilia

Esilia means putting a face on a woman who never got one.

Origins

Karyn Archer Esilia

Karyn Archer

We have absolutely nothing on Esilia in Star Trek: Enterprise canon, save that she was Ikaaran and married Jonathan Archer. Their only known descendant in the canon E2 episode is Karyn Archer. Hence Esilia and Jonathan had at least one son together. After that, there’s nothing.

There are no log entries, no pictures, no voice recordings, no lore. There are no images of full-blooded Ikaarans anywhere. It’s possible that Karyn’s notched nose comes from some other ancestry. It is canon that other species were taken aboard in order to help assure that generational ship’s survival.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Esilia

Because Karyn is dark, I figured Esilia might be dark as well. Karyn has Asian features, but those might come from Hoshi Sato or Daniel Chang being in her ancestry. But I wanted her to be somewhat darker for another reason, and so I hit upon the idea of Courteney Cox. Cox is a beautiful woman, to be sure, but she is also good at playing neurotic.

For me, Ikaarans have a damned good reason to be neurotic – they don’t live for very long. But Esilia gets a very different chance, and that’s really only because I decided on two kick backs in time instead of just one. Esilia is a part of the second kicking back. Hence the If I Had to Do It All Over Again ficlet, while it refers to Esilia, is actually a misnomer. That ficlet really belongs to Esilia’s predecessor from the first kick back in time, Ebrona.

Personality

Where Ebrona (also played by Cox) is somewhat cautious, Esilia only starts out that way. This has to do quite a bit with Phlox‘s medical abilities. In the fourth of my four E2 stories, he manages to cure the genetic time bomb ticking inside all Ikaarans, known as the decline. Given a reprieve on life, Esilia makes the most of that.

Relationships

Jonathan Archer

Portrait of a Character – Esilia

Esilia (Courteney Cox)

Esilia’s only known relationship is with the captain. Much like Ebrona, she is the First Officer on her vessel and, as such, is thrown together with Jonathan quite a bit. So much company creates a familiarity that makes falling in love a lot easier. For Ikaarans, the gift of a living thing (animal or plant) is the equivalent of a marriage proposal, so Jonathan gives her a living gift for that very reason.

With a new lease on life after the decline is cured, Esilia and Jonathan have a happy and fulfilling marriage.

Quote

“I accept your living gift, and all that it entails. I will love you until the decline takes me.”

Upshot

For a character with no background, no past and no more than the barest of sketches, I like to think that Esilia now has some depth.

Posted by jespah in Interphases series, Portrait, 7 comments
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