Inspiration – Aging

The Mechanics of Creation and Destruction

For every one of us (except, perhaps, for canon characters like Q and Trelane), aging is inevitable. So why is it so hard to confront and accept sometimes?

Story Ideas

When I first started writing Reversal, Aged McCoy from the Deadly Years I was a bit upset at the prospect of aging. Of course, the alternative is far worse. Hence I decided to confront aging head on with certain elements of that story.

  1. The main aliens I created (Calafans) would exhibit signs of aging that would be the reverse of our own (a play on the story’s title). Hence they would start off bald and sprout hair, they would begin with heavy pigmentation on their extremities that would change to a pattern (somewhat like wrinkles or spider veins) and then to perfect clarity and they would also move from detailed dreams to, eventually, simpler ones.
  2. The heroine (Lili O’Day) would be the same age as me (I was 48 years old at the time). Hence she would show normal signs of aging – parentheses lines around her mouth, hair going white and a bit of sagging. But her age bespeaks of not only wisdom but also that she is a bit underestimated in the looks department, and by many people (e. g. Daniel Chang in Demotion, for one). She still gets her men, Doug Beckett, Malcolm Reed, Jay Hayes, Ian Reed and José Torres, depending upon which stories you read.
  3. The hero, Doug Hayes Beckett, would also be aging, so as to reflect the age of Steven Culp at the time the story was written (55). Doug is, in the Mirror, referred to as the old man, and the reference is a pejorative one.
  4. Beauty and youth would not necessarily be punished, but they wouldn’t necessarily be rewarded, either. Hence Aidan MacKenzie and Jennifer Crossman don’t fare so well in the mirror. Aidan, in particular, fares rather poorly, but he gets some redemption in Brown, Temper and, eventually, He Stays a Stranger.
  5. Richard Daniels in Temper would also be no spring chicken, and the same would be true of two of his love interests, Sheilagh Bernstein and Milena Chelenska. Kevin O’Connor would be over seventy, and Polly Porter would also be over sixty. Older people were absolutely, under no circumstances, to be discarded.

Stories with Aging Characters

Dealing with aging has crept into my writing. Here are some notable examples.

Fortune

Photo of an open fortune cookie

Photo of an open fortune cookie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Fortune, Doug, Lili, Malcolm, Melissa Madden and Leonora Digiorno all, eventually, meet their ends. By showing a pivotal moment in later life, and then their last days, I hoped to give the reader some closure and some understanding of the direction in which each of these characters was going.

Biases

Biases is a story of an aging health care worker who ends up caring for an even more aged canon character. In this story, I wanted to touch upon the themes of losing control and compromising.

Equinox

The major characters in Equinox are coming to grips with a major life change. However, the peripheral characters are also dealing with doing whatever they can in order to change their lives. Most have gotten to an age where Starfleet service is more of a burden than a joy.

The Rite

Malcolm and Lili, in later life, prove in The Rite that just because there’s snow on the roof, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a fire in the furnace.

Escape

Escape pulls together older Mirror Universe stories and drags them into the future. The future is never good there, and aging is, inevitably, a sign of weakness. This story is taken up in The Point is Probably Moot.

The Medal

Back in our universe, Neil Digiorno-Madden copes with his own aging body by pushing his physical limits, in The Medal.

A Hazy Shade

Deeper into the future, Jonathan Archer and his wife pay homage to the honored dead from the NX-01, and A Hazy Shade reminds them that it is the winter of their lives as well.

Remembrance

Pamela Hudson‘s eulogy is delivered at Remembrance, reminding the reader that she is the last of the main characters in the In Between Days series to go.

The Point is Probably Moot

The Empress Hoshi Sato is first seen in later years in The Point is Probably Moot.

Shake Your Body

Shake Your Body continues the background theme of Empress Hoshi aging, and not too gracefully.

He Stays a Stranger

Malcolm Reed

Malcolm Reed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The specter of not only Empress Hoshi’s aging but also Richard Daniels being wiped from existence fuels He Stays a Stranger. Furthermore, Lili and Malcolm are shown dealing with a very particular side effect of aging.

Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown?

When the Empress passes, the family is surprisingly calm, even as they ask, Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown?

Crackerjack

Wesley Crusher’s aging, and his telling a story to his eager grandchildren, punctuates Crackerjack.

Upshot

It’s inevitable. Of course, with writing and with characters, they need never age. But I think that misses the point of creativity. Anyone can make a beautiful 24-year-old woman sail through life and get whatever she wants. I think the trick is when she’s 48 and isn’t so beautiful. For that is a much realer depiction of the human condition.

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

Portrait of a Character – Benjamin Warren

Portrait of a Character – Benjamin Warren

Origins

For the Interphases Star Trek: Enterprise Concord story, I needed a wise servant, a former slave. This would be someone for Charlotte to bounce her ideas off. He was also a practical requirement, as she could not possibly run the farm herself. Hence Benjamin was born.

Portrayal

Benjamin is portrayed by Morgan Freeman. He brings, to me, the right mixture of seriousness, humor and intelligence. Benjamin is a former slave but he is no fool.

Personality

Beyond the fact that I enjoy this actor (in particular, his speaking voice), I also love the gravitas he seems to bring to every role.

Portrait of a Character – Benjamin Warren

Benjamin Warren

For Charlotte Hayes, he is her rock and her strength during the Revolutionary War, as her husband, Jacob, has gone off to fight. Without Benjamin – who is far closer to a cherished friend than a servant – the farm would fall apart in Jacob’s absence. She has no children to help her, so she is very reliant on Benjamin and his family.

Benjamin is a former slave but it’s unclear just how or why he was freed. The strong implication is that, when Jacob’s parents and sister died of scarlet fever, he may have been freed. Or perhaps he was freed when Charlotte and Jacob wed. Or the Hayes family weren’t slave owners at all, and he had been freed before his association with them. It’s unclear and it is not, as of the writing of this blog post, likely that the confusion will ever be fully cleared up.

Relationships

Benjamin is married to another servant, Dorcas. Dorcas is a name that is appropriate to the time period. A Dorcas Dunlap is buried in Chester, New Hampshire and her husband, Lieutenant James Dunlap, died in 1803.

Portrait of a Character – Benjamin Warren

Dorcas Dunlap’s grave

This is in keeping with the time period. There is no intention that Dorcas Warren be also Dorcas Dunlap (with, perhaps, a second husband). Rather, this is to illustrate the commonality of this old-style name.

Benjamin and Dorcas initially got together as they both survived the scarlet fever which took all of the Hayes family except for Jacob, who was away at Harvard at the time. Charlotte was also spared then. Benjamin and Dorcas have a grown son at the time of the events depicted in Concord, named Jim. Since Charlotte does not ask about any other children when they are taking tea, it’s clear that Jim is an only child, and likely is not yet married.

Quote

“But you heard, Mister Reed. What I don’t get, is that even before I mentioned them to you, they were, I know they are – they are very real. And not just today, but for years! Sir, my wife and me, we’ve been together for over two decades. That was the case even before you showed up.”

Upshot

Benjamin’s intelligence and patience help Charlotte to survive. Jacob knows that he can go to war with one less thing to worry about with Benjamin around.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Interphases series, Portrait, 2 comments

Spotlight on an Original Nonsentient Alien Species – Elekai

Spotlight on an Original Nonsentient Alien Species – Elekai

Background

The thought of a planetary system much like Australia, where there are all sorts of exotic and beautiful plants and animals, but any one of them can kill you, was an irresistible one. That’s the Lafa System.

Spotlight on an Original Nonsentient Alien Species – Elekai

Elekai

Couple that with the idea of present-day terror birds, and elekai were born.

Characteristics

Elekai are pretty much what you’d expect. They’re huge, mean and dangerous. But they also make good eating. In Together, it’s established that the upper half – which is more than enough to feed seven adults and one child – tastes like chicken whereas the lower half, including the legs, tastes more like duck. In Local Flavor, elekai are described as being fattier down below, possibly a bit gamier. A few serving suggestions are offered in that story, too. Because all Calafan names are meaningful, Elekai means air bird, so it’s suggested that, unlike real terror birds, elekai can fly.

Hunting

In Together, Doug reveals that it’s a lot of work to bring down an elekai. For the one being eaten in that story, he admits that a total of nine men (eight Calafans and himself) were needed to bring down the big beast. Therefore, in Temper, when it’s only Melissa and him on a hunting trip, they don’t go after elekai, and instead hunt for linfep and perrazin.

In Fortune, and in Equinox, Doug’s death is shown or alluded to. It occurrs during an elekai hunt, but the birds have nothing to do with it. Instead, he suffers a heart attack during running in the forests of the southern hemisphere of Lafa II.

Mirror Universe

A lot of animals are extinct in the mirror (in Temper, it’s established that giraffes are one species that has gone extinct), but elekai are not, possibly because they’re so big and mean. As a means of getting Joss, Tommy, DR, and Marie Patrice off the Defiant, and making it so that Lili and Doug can also get off the ship and go to the surface, an elekai hunt is offered up as a pretext, with an accompanying picnic lunch for the Empress Hoshi Sato and her children. For someone like Jun, it’s a chance to really seal the deal in his quest to show that he can be a leader.

Upshot

Elekai aren’t meant to be smart (although they are considerably more intelligent than procul/prako). They are definitely meant to be more aggressive than linfep. Plus they’re good for Thanksgiving dinner, if you’re quite literally feeding an army. But watch out, as they’re a lot more hazardous than turkeys.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Spotlight, 4 comments
Review – Intolerance

Review – Intolerance

Story Origins

Intolerance comes from dark places.

A friend suggested to me as I was first starting to write Star Trek: Enterprise fanfiction – get Malcolm Reed to loosen up. I bet, down deep, he’s kinky. And so the gauntlet was thrown down. Challenge accepted.

Intolerance Plot

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Intolerance

Intolerance

It began with a fairly simple premise, to get an intriguing woman on the ship. Then I decided to add interest by adding a few women. And then the idea progressed to one of a kind of a competition.

Hence I decided that it would be a small medical residential rotation. The specialty would be Immunology. In order to minimize complexity, I decided on five students. In order to add a little Shakespearean-style chaos, one (and their instructor) would have an ambiguous enough name that gender could not be readily and immediately known.

Then the fun begins. Travis hears that there are five students coming. Three, he figures, are female. He tells Malcolm and Tripplet’s compete for them. They draw straws in order to determine who they’ll go after. Tripp wins the first draw and selects Pamela Hudson. Travis gets the second draw and decides on Blair Claymore. Malcolm is forced to settle for who he thinks will be An Nguyen. But this is the ambiguity, for An is a guy (this was also intended as a play on Reed often being depicted as gay in fan fiction). The instructor, Bernie Keating-Fong, is really Bernardine. But she’s older, and is wearing a wedding ring. It seems that Malcolm is the odd man out.

But Malcolm has a major trick up his sleeve, and writes Pamela poetry.

However, all is not right, not with Pamela, and not with the ship. Without giving away any more of the plot, suffice it to say that it is a rather odd story. It’s difficult to summarize without giving up all manner of spoilers.

Music

Amy Winehouse

Cover of Amy Winehouse

Chip and Aidan show the film Dirty Dancing and the discussion that ensues is a small plot point. It also introduces some of the music, such as Mickey and Sylvia‘s Love is Strange and The Ronettes Be My Baby. But Pamela herself has her own music – Amy Winehouse‘s You Know I’m No Good.

Story Postings

Rating

There are two versions of this story. The version of Intolerance on Ad Astra is rated M. The version of Intolerance on Fanfiction.net is rated T. The difference is the explicitness of the more intimate scenes.

Upshot

British actor Dominic Keating, DragonCon 2008

British actor Dominic Keating, DragonCon 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This story is a bit of a detour. Of the main books in the In Between Days series, it’s more of a left turn than anything else. It is ostensibly Malcolm’s story in the same way that Reversal is Lili‘s story, Together is Melissa‘s, Temper is Doug‘s and Fortune is Leonora‘s, but it’s also very much Pamela‘s story (as is Saturn Rise). Plus Malcolm is revealed in many other tales that I’ve written since then.

Frankly, Intolerance doesn’t get a lot of love, too, and its read counts are sometimes lower than those of the others. Some of that may be due to the fact that it’s the shortest of the major books, with the fewest number of chapters. But I have reread it (I reread everything) and don’t think anything could truly be added. I like its tight editing. It does very little meandering, whereas Reversal and Fortune in particular sometimes wander off and away from their main plot lines.

Kaley Cuoco

Kaley Cuoco

A lot of the elements turn out well, I feel, but maybe it was too much of a departure. I don’t know. I have been happy to use it as a jumping-off point for other works, such as Together and The Cure is Worse Than the Disease. Truth be told, it may hold up better than most of what I’ve written.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Review, 51 comments

Portrait of a Character – Eleanor Daniels

Portrait of a Character – Eleanor Daniels

Eleanor Daniels gives canon character Crewman Daniels a heart.

Origins

Richard Daniels didn’t necessarily need to have too much of a contemporary extended family. But I did need someone who could be a bit of an expository mouthpiece. By making his sister, Eleanor, the docent at the Temporal Museum on Lafa II, she can convincingly explain both history and what happened in between, all while pushing the story line along painlessly.

Portrayal

For Eleanor’s portrayal, I chose English actress Cate Blanchett. I love her intelligence, elegance, and versatility.

Personality

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Cate Blanchett as Eleanor Daniels (image is for educational purposes)

Cate Blanchett as Eleanor Daniels (image is for educational purposes)

Elegant, refined and intelligent, Eleanor is also incredibly lonely at the beginning of the HG Wells stories and, most likely, during Temper as well, which is something of a prequel to that series and serves as one of the bridges from In Between Days.

In Temper, one of the things I did early on was establish her expertise about both our universe and the mirror, and about the Calafans as well. It isn’t until much later in that story that it’s revealed that she wears the Cuff of Lo, which had been worn by Declan and Malcolm Reed long before her, and by Lili O’Day before them and then Yipran before her.

After Temper, Eleanor takes a bit of a break and does not show up again until A Long, Long Time Ago (the prequel for that story is A Lesson). By the time of Ohio, it’s established that she is hoping for a relationship.

Like Richard, a Mirror Universe version of her is impossible.

Relationships

Thomas Grant

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Cate Blanchett as Eleanor Daniels (image is for educational purposes)

Cate Blanchett as Eleanor Daniels (image is for educational purposes)

They meet during Ohio, when the Human Unit at the Temporal Integrity Commission goes out for drinks after work at a dance club called The X Factor. Richard has invited Eleanor along at the insistence of his parents (they mention that they hope she can meet someone, perhaps a friend of his, during A Long, Long Time Ago). While HD Avery is very, very interested, it’s Tom Grant who grabs Eleanor’s attention. They chat and hit it off, and exchange information. But she waits for him to contact her first, as she’s weary of being the instigator.

But things start off a little bumpy between them. In You Mixed-Up Siciliano, Tom asks her out and she accepts, but that’s while the timeline is still wrong. Once team restores the line, his next call confuses her. Terrified that’s she’s forgotten him, and he’s completely blown it, Tom backs off.

A Second Chance

English: Actress Cate Blanchett at the 2011 Sy...

English: Actress Cate Blanchett at the 2011 Sydney Film Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But during Spring Thaw, she gives him another chance, and lets him know that the restoration and resetting of timelines means that there are, more or less, infinite chances to get things right.

When Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain ends, Tom is distraught over what he’s had to restore and, even though he had planned it for a more beautiful moment, he blurts out that he loves her. For two somewhat controlled characters, Tom’s confession is a much more natural way for him to behave. Eleanor can bring this out of him.

A Snag

In The Point is Probably Moot, the breach in the timeline briefly wipes Eleanor from existence and Tom, of course, is again distraught. He frets that somehow she knows, and is afraid and alone. In Shake Your Body, Eleanor locates a major clue at the Museum, and Rick brings Tom along to investigate.

In part, Rick’s gift is for this assistance. But it’s also because Rick knows that he and Tom will be kept in more. Hence he generously gives them a chance to see each other before the forced separation. Tom tells her that, once they restore the line, he never wants to leave her again. And that it means what she probably thinks it does, an echo of Doug telling Lili that he was committed to her. Essentially, he has proposed to her. Eleanor also has given Tom the Cuff of Lo by now, a symbol of their commitment. As she puts it, she’s supposed to give it to her true love, an echo of Lili giving it to Malcolm.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Cate Blanchett as Eleanor Daniels (image is for educational purposes)

Cate Blanchett as Eleanor Daniels (image is for educational purposes)

By the time of He Stays a Stranger, the timeline is so damaged that Eleanor is marrying Troy Scott. Rick runs in, in order to try to stop the wedding. Rick receives protection from a temporal force field, so he is still intact but not known to the regular populace. Otherwise, since Rick is considered wiped from existence, their parents and Eleanor do not recognize him. As a result he is thrown out of the church.

Quote

“There are, we believe, an infinite number of universes. What is most intriguing about the mirror is how very close it is to our own. We have a kinship with the mirror that we simply don’t have with any of the others.”

Upshot

I originally intended this character to mainly be a plot device. However, she has worked overtime – in particular with Tom Grant. And she also works well as a continuing thread in the HG Wells stories, helping to give them more coherence. I like how she turned out.

My thanks again to Joshawott of the Star Trek Photo Manipulation Archive for his terrific photomanipulation of Cate Blanchett.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Portrait, Times of the HG Wells series, 15 comments

Progress Report – September 2012

Progress Report – September 2012

September 2012 was busy.

Posted Works

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

The month was extremely productive.

On Ad Astra, I added the following In Between Days stories to context – Ceremonial; Shell Shock; The Best Things Come in Pairs; To Wish, To Want, To Desire and Tumult.

For the HG Wells collection, I added the following stories to context – A Long, Long Time Ago; Ohio, Fortune and Temper. I also added The Point is Probably Moot. For the Transitions challenge, I wrote the Mirror Universe story, Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses. In order to add context to the many Mirror Universe stories, I also created a cover and a series for them, called Hall of Mirrors. I added Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions, First Born, Reversal, Coveted Commodity, Temper, Fortune and The Point is Probably Moot to that particular context. I also created an actual contextual piece, called Hall of Mirrors and added Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses.

On Fanfiction.net, I added Voracious and its direct sequel, Harvest. I also added Protocols, which is another Lili-centric prequel and The Mess, which also features Jay. I also added the extreme prequel story, A Single Step.

On Star Trek Logs, because they were celebrating the Mirror Universe there, I added A Lesson, which is an HG Wells story featuring Eleanor Daniels, and The High Cost of Dissidence.

WIP Corner

The E2 stories continued to challenge and perplex. So I am working on the fourth book and sometimes it’s not so easy.

Plus I also began working on a new Interphases story starring Commander Tucker. I don’t write him too much so I am learning how to get into that character’s head. This story also briefly brings back HG Wells characters Milena and Noemy Chelenka and their neighbor, Mrs. Klinghofer.

Prep Work

I am beginning to get more than just an inkling of how I want to work on more Interphases stories, as I have been brainstorming quite a bit regarding ways that interphases can actually happen. This has been helpful in terms of getting ideas for more stories in that genre as I am looking to cover not only the entire main canon crew of Enterprise but to potentially branch out into other series (as in Crackerjack).

I also created an HTML version of Shake Your Body, in anticipation of spinning it out in October.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

I started off the month by turning 50! All of my celebratory stuff was early, so I was past that and well into production afterwards. The Adult Trek Anthology continues to be a lot of work, but very rewarding. A lot of it is finished or close to being finished, but cover art will likely prove to be a lot more time-consuming. Plus I am still looking for work, and am doing SEO work for a friend.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Progress, 0 comments

Portrait of a Character – Cyril Morgan

Portrait of a Character – Cyril  Morgan

Origins

Originally, I was looking for an evil Mirror Universe doctor, to be Phlox‘s successor. But then I decided to give the man a Prime Universe counterpart, and he got, to me, even more interesting, as the dichotomy grew between the two versions.

Portrayal

Doctor Morgan

Doctor Morgan

I see and hear Michael Caine for this role. I like his gravitas, his gentle-sounding voice and the fact that he can also, at times, seem to be utterly evil. Morgan in our universe is kindly, highly skilled, meticulous, thoughtful  and somewhat grandfatherly.

He is far different in the mirror.

Personality

A healer, Cyril Morgan brings intelligence but also shrewdness. In our universe, he is a retired orthopedic surgeon (Fortune). But he comes out of retirement and is brought in as a fill-in doctor on Jonathan Archer‘s second ship, the USS Zefram Cochrane, as Phlox has returned to Denobula (We Meet Again). He retires again, afterwards, and Blair Claymore becomes the CMO on the USS Bluebird (Fortune).

In an alternate timeline, he is brought out of retirement a lot longer, and serves as Malcolm‘s CMO, again on the Bluebird, but in a lost cause (Temper).

Relationships

I haven’t shown any romantic relationships for him yet, but he’s Pamela Hudson‘s uncle, and is Cindy Morgan’s grandfather. Hence he at least has one son.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Cyril  Morgan

Mirror Cyril Morgan

The Mirror Doctor Morgan fulfills the promise of the Mirror Phlox. Ruthless and ambitious, he has no qualms about getting rid of anyone in his way.

In Coveted Commodity, he gives Travis a choice, as the Empress Hoshi Sato is vulnerable. Will Travis let him kill (or at least not resuscitate) Hoshi on the operating table?

And in Reversal (and in other stories), it’s rumored that he was the one to kill Ian Reed, although that’s somewhat unclear (it’s possible that it was Phlox. It is cleared up in Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses). This is part of the chain of events that makes Doug Hayes‘s rise possible.

In Temper, he ends up caring for Blair, and the implication is that it might be for a reason other than medical treatment.

Quote

This is my granddaughter, Cindy Morgan. And this is her friend, Jia Sulu. Oh, and this is Fenway.”

Upshot

For a guy who started out as a vile denizen of the Mirror Universe, he got a bit of a soul as I went along. The kindly old grandfather here is a ruthless killer over there.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Portrait, 16 comments

Review – Broken Seal

Broken Seal Background

Broken Seal was written in response to a monthly challenge about silence. It takes place in the In Between Days time period and the Prime Universe, after Together and before The Cure is Worse than the Disease.

Premise

So I knew that my competition would be mainly writing sad stories, as silence tends to lead one in that direction. Hence I decided to zig instead of zag, and went for a comedy.

The Seventh Seal

The Seventh Seal

It’s Movie Night, and Chip Masterson has been touting The Seventh Seal  all week. It’s going to be a celebration of highbrow culture. He’s excited as he’s the biggest film buff on the ship. He’s going to have a discussion and everything.

Meanwhile, Tripp Tucker is trying to reconcile with T’Pol. So he’s using the occasion of the film as a means to get back into her good graces. Hence he figures that an intellectual date will really appeal to her.

Malcolm is excited about the film as he wants to watch it and compare notes with his girl afterwards. But she is at home, so this is a kind of date for them as well, and she assures him that she will dress up and everything.

It All Goes Haywire

However, all is not right, for Hoshi Sato has been hit with a tiny spatial anomaly. And so she makes plans to derail the film’s showing. She enlists Travis‘s help, and she splices a very different film onto The Seventh Seal. And this changes its ending dramatically.

Bambi Woods - not the star of The Seventh Seal

Bambi Woods – not the star of The Seventh Seal

But the projectionist, Aidan MacKenzie, doesn’t suspect a thing. So he just loads the film and then more or less dozes off, bored by the Bergman film. And the MACOs are watching; Jonathan Archer is watching; Jenny from Engineering is watching, and suddenly the film’s plot is changed considerably. Jonathan calls off the evening and yells for Masterson and MacKenzie to join him in his Ready Room. And they are in big, big trouble.

Hence Malcolm confirms with his girl – this isn’t the ending of The Seventh Seal at all.

So – whodunit? Who messed up the film? Will Hoshi confess? Stay tuned.

Story Postings

Rating

While the story is rated K, it does refer to an NC-17-rated film.

Upshot

While I like the comedy aspects of it, I think I could have amped it up even more. Hence I think Chip’s pain and fear that he’d lose his Ensign’s rank should have been played up more.

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Posted by jespah in In Between Days series, Review, 7 comments

Portrait of a Character – Julie McKenzie

Portrait of a Character – Julie McKenzie

There were plenty of tough women on Star Trek: Enterprise.

Origins

This Star Trek: Enterprise canon character is a MACO, seen in the third season only. She was mentioned in the canon E2 episode as having become Travis Mayweather‘s wife. Major Jay Hayes also mentioned her on his deathbed, and asked that she be placed in charge of the MACOs. She held a Corporal‘s rank. She only has a first initial in canon; I have named her Julie.

Portrayal

As in the show, she is played by actress Julia Rose.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – Julie McKenzie

Julie McKenzie (Julia Rose)

There was virtually nothing on her in canon, so I have had to fill in the blanks. She’s mainly enthusiastic about the mission. In the E2 stories I am writing, she and Travis begin their romance with fun, although it quickly turns serious. While she is an eager mother, she is also career-driven and goes back to working full-time in the MACOs after their son, Paul, is born.

In Shell Shock, she is expecting a promotion and is disappointed, but rises to the occasion when asked to help out. The possibility of conflict with Hayes’s replacement, Strong Bear Dawson, is deflected when she realizes that her fellow crew members need her.

Relationships

The only relationship I have for her is with Travis. With Travis, things are fun but also playfully affectionate. They enjoy each other’s company a great deal.

Mirror Universe

So far, I have not written a Mirror Universe counterpart for her.

Quote

“Our people are pouring off the ship, and they’re scattering. They want to see their families while we’re here, that sort of thing. I can’t make anyone – not even my MACOs – stay in San Francisco without pulling rank. Some of them are probably gone already and can only be brought back by communicator.”

Upshot

A mostly quiet character, Julie probably needs more depth than I have given her so far.

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

Recurrent Themes – Engineers

Recurrent Themes – Engineers

Background

While watching Star Trek: Enterprise (and The Original Series and the other series, but particularly Enterprise), I was struck by how together and cute and all of that Tripp Tucker is.

And that is just not my experience of most engineers.

This is not an insult and I hope it is not taken that way. Rather, most of the engineers I have known have been shy and withdrawn people, far more comfortable with engines, wrenches, etc. than people. Scotty is much more of the epitome of a true engineer to me, and Geordi is pretty close as well. But Tucker, to my mind, is a bit too well-socialized, as is Miles O’Brien.

Appearances

Recurrent Themes – Engineers

NX-01 Main Engineering

Of course Tucker is canon so he’s not totally gone from my writings. But I do try to write him with angst (Together, Temper, and Fortune) or at least a feeling that he’d rather look at an engine than talk or think about something more esoteric, like politics (Intolerance).

As for Geordi and Scotty, I try to give them different degrees of depth. Both of them have gotten romances or at least the promise of romance in my fiction. In Crackerjack, Geordi finds he’s falling for Rosemary Parker, but because of the time difference, it can never be. Scotty has somewhat better luck with M’Ress in Milk. As for Miles, he’s a family man. But he’s got a certain other talent, as demonstrated in You Make Me Want to Scream.

Other engineers and engineering students, because they are wholly created by me, fare somewhat differently.

Judy Kelly and Michael Rostov

These canon characters marry in my E2 stories.

Bron

This Gorn character reveals he is an engineering student in Truth. He describes a good career ahead of him as a civil engineer, where he can provide for Sophra and, hopefully, win over her parents.

Levi Cavendish

This odd genius is misunderstand by nearly everyone but Otra D’Angelo.

Freela

In Wider Than the Sargasso Sea, this Klingon character is disappointed that a Breen is working in an engineering office where she had hoped to get an internship, and shows some prejudice when she tells Gabrielle Nolan that she has to cross that firm off her list if a Breen is working there. Like Bron, she is studying civil engineering, but she’s further along in her studies than he is.

Josh Rosen

This crewman only works in engineering in our universe (The Light) and is revealed to be in Security in the Mirror Universe in Temper. It’s unclear what his actual duties are.

José Torres

This character is an engineer in only our universe but not the mirror (Reversal), where he’s a security crewman. In our universe, he starts off as third in Engineering, behind Tucker and Crossman. A lot of his work involves monitoring the warp containment field, plus he often runs the transporter. In the E2 stories, he does all sorts of odd tasks, including building an ultrasound machine.

Jennifer Crossman

In both universes, Jennifer starts out as the secondary in engineering, right behind Tucker. On the Defiant, it’s likely that she worked the night shift at least part of the time, which may have been how she at least initially hooked up with Aidan MacKenzie.

Frank Ramirez

As a corollary to the characters who are only engineers in our universe, Frank is only an engineer in the mirror (here, he’s a planetary geologist). Eventually, in The Point is Probably Moot, he rises to the level of First Officer of the Defiant, when Andrew Miller commits suicide (Escape).

Kevin O’Connor

Kevin is the Chief Engineer for the Temporal Integrity Commission (Temper, The Point, etc.). He’s a lumbering beast of a man and is part-Gorn, tipping the scales at nearly a quarter of a metric ton.

Deirdre Katzman

Deirdre is Kevin’s young protegée and enjoys old time travel fiction, so she names the time ships (HG Wells, Audrey Niffenegger, Jack Finney, etc.). See A Long, Long Time Ago.

Von

This Ferengi engineer works mostly on an older style ship called the Penar (The Point is Probably Moot).

Yilta

This Calafan engineer is Kevin O’Connor’s love interest and works on Calafan time ships like The Light of Lo.

Makan Sinthasomphone

This engineer works on temporal mechanics for Section 31 in a forerunner to the Temporal Integrity Commission.

Upshot

They keep it all together, and they keep it running like a top. Without engineers, there really couldn’t be any Star Trek at all.

Posted by jespah in Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Interphases series, Themes, Times of the HG Wells series, 2 comments
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