As is often the case with non-white characters who I write, it is important to me that they be ‘played’ by people of the correct ethnicity. I also like this lovely actress, who has good comic timing and seems to be very intelligent. I have ‘cast’ her in some of my original fiction, too.
Smart and creative, Moni is a historian. In 2285, as a way of testing the potential of time travel, she and Makan Sinthasomphone attempt to send Agent Robert Lennox to the April 1775 Battle of Lexington. But things don’t go according to plan. In part, it is her creativity that helps to put things right.
Monisha has no known relationships, and she is not seen long enough to establish any.
There don’t seem to be significant impediments to Monisha existing in the Mirror Universe.
A beautiful woman in that rough place probably wouldn’t be a historian, though.
Unfortunately, the way I write Mirror Universe women is that they are often overly sexualized. Monisha probably would be, too, particularly as the study of history isn’t exactly valued there, except in the context of conferring greater glory on despots.
“I wonder what they would have seen. I hope it wasn’t just poor Agent Lennox being jettisoned into deep space with neither a ship nor an EV suit.”
I would love to be able to pull in her and Sinthasomphone again some time, although I am unsure of when and how I would do it. But the development of reliable time travel has the potential to be a rather interesting story.
I have never, ever worked so hard to get a story right, than I did with Concord.
From its cover (that’s the bridge leading from Lexington to Concord and, yes, there was an engagement on it), to determining whether men would tip their hats to women (yes), to figuring out Colonial Era market prices, to even deciding what one of the cows would be named, Concord is an absolute labor of love.
The premise of the story is an interphase: Malcolm is transported to April 1775 Lexington, Massachusetts, and takes the place of an ancestor, just as a future time traveler, during the time of the Genesis Project, takes the place of his own ancestor, who is fighting alongside Malcolm’s ancestor. Injured in the fighting, Malcolm and the time traveler, Robert Lennox, are quartered in a home, where they meet, among other people, Benjamin Warren.
With what is almost 20/20 hindsight, the men know that they were together and that their relationship worked out. But it’s still tentative and a little strange. But when they kiss, you want to cheer.
This was easily the most difficult decision, to figure out which was the best of these many stories. Three stories get an honorable mention here. First is The Reptile Speaks, which is a Gorn romancing a Cardassian. I loved the idea of putting together a rather different couple, and how someone who looks so menacing could, at bottom, be a truly good person.
Reversalhas to be mentioned, as it is not only the love of the dark stranger for the light, but it’s also an amazing kick-off story. A ton of roads lead straight to Reversal.
But the winner, the best one (and I might change my mind tomorrow) is The Three of Us .
All of the E2 stories were labors of love, but Three is really the big one. That is also due to, in part, its size.
Characters move from misbehaving and acting childishly, to acting criminally, to eventually maturing. Kindness, friendship, and togetherness, lead to more.
As might be expected from such a title, the relationship is an unconventional one.
But the parties persevere, and grow, as time pulls them along and they experience not just romantic love, but also brotherhood, fellowship, parenthood, and, ultimately, tragedy.
This image becomes particularly important, and is a part of one of the story’s many high points.
I love this story, from its tentative, scared, damaged people, to its criminals, to its hopefulness, to its sorrow. As Lili O’Day says in Fortune, “There is something there.”
Nothing really comes close to Seven Women, when it comes to tragedy. From the very start, the reader is told that Tommy Digiono-Madden is going to die. A fireball is coming, the fire door is closed, and he cannot outrun any of it. He knows this is it. But instead of having his life flash before his eyes, Tommy instead thinks of seven pivotal women in his life. They range from the three women he called mother, to his first girlfriend, and more.
This was a character I had only written little snippets of, and very few as an adult. As readers got to know Tommy, so did I. The best decision I made in that story was to not bow to internal pressure to give him a happy ending.
Spoiler alert: he doesn’t get one.
The best romance story was easily the hardest of these decisions to make. Tune in; I may do this again next year.
The prompt was about “a page from the past”. I had long thought about dropping a Star Trek: Enterprise character into the extreme past, and had even done this with a pair of TNG characters, in Crackerjack.
But I wanted to go back even further, so I hit upon the start of the American Revolution and a local pair of battles – Lexington and Concord.
And what better person to toss into that pressure cooker than someone who would be in trouble the minute he opened his mouth?
Reed is unceremoniously dumped right into the middle of the Battle of Lexington, and that’s only the start of his troubles.
Because he’s wholly unprepared for this form of warfare, he becomes injured, but not horribly so. However, in 1775, infected injuries could easily result in a loss of limb or life. I deliberately made it so that the surgeon in the regiment had already died, and the village doctor had joined the militia. These absences meant that Malcolm would have to be treated in some other fashion.
At the same time, the man next to him, Robert Lennox, is a lot worse off, and may die.
A Place to Go
The quartering of troops is very real to history, and so I had Malcolm’s commanding officer push for a farmhouse to accept the two injured men. Malcolm is apologetic at the same time that his commander – the true to history Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith – is rude and blustery. The mistress of the farmhouse accepts the two wounded men as she is given very little choice in the matter. She is a colonial and is sympathetic to the revolutionary cause. Her husband has even gone to fight for it. But she is alone and is not about to let Malcolm or Robert die on her doorstep.
Some Soon to be Familiar Names
The mistress of the house introduces herself as Charlotte Hayes, wife to Jacob Hayes. She and her servant, Benjamin Warren, keep the home and assist the two wounded men. Because the Concord story begins right before Voracious, the names O’Day and Hayes are not yet known to the characters. Furthermore, the name Warren also figures in my stories. In Crackerjack, Wesley’s wife’s maiden name is Warren, and in the E2 stories, there is a Science crewman named Nyota Warren, who ends up with canon character Billy Dane. Benjamin is an ancestor of them just like Charlotte and Jacob are ancestors to Lili and Jay (thereby making Jay and Lili distant cousins).
How Did He Get There? And How Does He Get Back?
Without giving away too many spoilers, suffice it to say that Malcolm’s presence in 1775 is due to a temporal experiment gone wrong. His return can only be effected by the experimenters figuring out the problem, and solving it.
I love how the historical aspects worked out. I did a great deal of research in order to understand how the farm would be put together, what things would cost and any number of other details. The story was extremely satisfying to put together and is easily one of my absolute favorites.