Tag Archives: Arashi

Portrait of a Character – Takara Sato

Portrait of a Character – Takara Sato

Takara Sato, the treasure, is very important to the timeline.

Origins

I wanted Empress Hoshi to have just one daughter, and one pair of twins. Hence Takara and Takeo were born. Takara was to be the elder of the two. These would be the children fathered by Chip Masterson. The only child younger than them is Izo. Jun, Kira, and Arashi are older.

Portrayal

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Zhang Ziyi as Takara-Sato (image is for educational purposes only)
Zhang Ziyi as Takara-Sato (image is for educational purposes only)

Takara is played by Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi.

I wanted a very beautiful Asian actress who could believably be the person to continue Empress Hoshi’s dynasty.

Without Takara, the House of Sato falls. She ends up being the only one of the six royal children to reproduce.

Personality

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Zhang Ziyi as Takara-Sato (image is for educational purposes only)
Zhang Ziyi as Takara-Sato (image is for educational purposes only)

Privileged and beautiful, Takara is the apple of her mother’s eye.

While Hoshi has no problem allowing her sons to run wild, she takes more interest in Takara, and who Takara is marrying. Part of this is some sexism on Hoshi’s part. However, that works with how I write the Mirror Universe, as most women are in low positions there. Hence Hoshi particularly wants Takara to marry well. Takara Sato’s choices multiply during the alternate timelines in Temper.

Relationships

Tommy Digiorno-Madden

Portrait of a Character – Takara Sato
Sailor Mercury

During Temper, Tommy in particular is interested in Takara, who often dresses quite a bit like the Sailor Mercury anime character.

He is so interested that he threatens to fight Joss for her. Joss wisely bows out, telling Tommy that she does not interest him and doesn’t want to fight. However, Takara favors Joss. But this is mainly because he is the first-born of his family. And, in this alternate timeline, he is a baseball star, whereas Tommy is a common (to Takara) soldier.

Tommy’s wrath also extends to Charlie Tucker, son of Tripp Tucker and Beth Cutler, but Charlie is on the surface of Lafa II and doesn’t experience Tommy’s threats first-hand.

When the timeline is restored, they meet as children, in Fortune. And, later, Norri bequeathes her callidium-laden earrings to him, urging him to use them for dream contact.

I will explore this later, as the idea intrigues me.

Charles Tucker IV

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Zhang Ziyi as Takara-Sato (image is for educational purposes only)
Zhang Ziyi as Takara-Sato (image is for educational purposes only)

When the prime timeline is restored, Chip and Lucy are able to smuggle the twins to the forests of Lafa II. With Tommy and Joss gone back to the Prime Universe, Takara’s sole prospect is Charlie. Fortunately, they fall in love, and wed later, and become parents.

Their son, Charles V, marries the daughter of Takara’s half-brother, Ken Masterson, and Charlie’s sister, Betsy Tucker. That daughter is Denise Masterson (in the Prime Universe, Ken’s daughter is Kelly, and her mother is as yet unknown).

It is their grandson, Charles Tucker VI, who succeeds Jun and Kira as the Emperor Charles I. Takara’s family is presented to Hoshi on Hoshi’s deathbed, in Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown? and Hoshi complains about the pollution of Tucker blood into the Sato genome.

In He Stays a Stranger, Takara helps to get her mother out of the Lafa System, in exchange for agreeing to return to the royal fold.

Theme Music

Her theme song is Tori Amos’s God.

Prime Universe

It’s impossible for Takara to have a Prime Universe counterpart. Her analogue is Marie Patrice Beckett.

Quote

“You already had the fight. Everybody got a prize.”

Upshot

I like Takara Sato, who has a kind of chameleon personality, depending upon which timeline she’s in. I’m not so sure where else I can feature her, though.

Portrait of a Character – Kirin (Kira) Sato

Portrait of a Character – Kirin (Kira) Sato

Origins

At the end of Reversal, Empress Hoshi is looking for a little brother for her son, Jun. But Jun’s father, Ritchie Daniels, is dead – or, at least, that’s what the Empress believes. Plus she wants a different father for her second-born. Her strategy is to have a lot of children, all from different fathers, so as to cement her partnerships with as many of the men on her senior staff as possible. Aidan MacKenzie is a more logical choice than might seem on the surface. He has just been disgraced and busted to babysitter, but he is someone who is going to harbor growing resentment. Therefore, she needs to shield herself somehow, as Aidan could become a serious threat. Plus, despite his low status, Aidan is attractive; this justifies Hoshi’s interest in him.

In First Born, it is made clear that the existence of Jun is problematic for several reasons, not the least of which being that Kira should have been the Empress’s sole successor. However, in order that Jun could be suffered to live, Kira must be made subordinate. As a result, they rule jointly upon Hoshi’s death, as is indicated in Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown?

Portrayal

Kira is played by Korean actor Kang-Ho Song.

Portrait of a Character – Kirin (Kira) Sato
Kang-Ho Song as Kira MacKenzie Sato

I like the actor’s look but admittedly I know very little about him. I believe that Snow Piercer may be his first English film.

I like that he’s decent-looking but not knock-out handsome.

Personality

Tall, a bit awkward and smart, Kira is possibly the most sympathetic of the royal children as they are depicted in Temper. He cares about Marie Patrice, and is her choice, but she is also a social climber and so she flirts with Jun and also threatens to go to Takeo, not knowing that Takeo is gay. She sometimes mentions Arashi and Izo in that way, too. For her, love takes a back seat to what she can get out of a potential mate. Kira’s father has the lowest status on the ship, but at least he’s known, unlike Arashi’s sire. That status counts for a lot in Empy’s world, and so it matters to Kira as well.

As a teenager, he’s embarrassed by his name, which means dark, as he feels the -a ending sounds feminine. He wants everyone to call him Kirin instead, which means giraffe. In Temper, it’s revealed that giraffes are extinct in the Mirror Universe.

Relationships

Marie Patrice Beckett

Throughout Temper, Kira chases Empy, but Empy (mainly) resists. They have some moments together, and some heat, but when it comes time for her to consider losing her virginity, she tells him that she’d rather give it to Jun. For Marie Patrice, that’s a way to raise her status. However, by the time the first alternative timeline in the story ends, Kira is the only one who she says good-bye to, and they kiss their farewell.

According to Rick Daniels, Kira marries an unknown woman, but they never have children. Furthermore, Kira predeceases Jun, and so for a while Jun is the sole Emperor once the tandem relationship is dissolved by Kira’s demise.

Theme Music

Kira’s own theme is the Fine Young CannibalsShe Drives Me Crazy.

Prime Universe

It is impossible for Kira to have a Prime Universe counterpart, but his analogue is Declan Reed, as they are both essentially outsiders.

Quote

“Something’s happening. Not just this – but you – something’s happening with you.”

Upshot

This somewhat put-upon character is the most positive portrayal of all of the royal children in the alternate timelines shown in Temper.  And in the prime timeline, even though he remains on the ship (rather than escaping, like Takara and Takeo do) and somewhat under the Empress’s influence, he still turns out to be a fairly decent human being. In Bread, he’s referred to as a bit of a wimp, but in He Stays a Stranger, he is shown to have something of a heart. It’s possibly to have some sympathy for this dark giraffe of a man.

Portrait of a Character – Takeo Masterson Sato

Portrait of a Character – Takeo Masterson Sato

Origins

When dreaming up Empress Hoshi‘s children, I wanted her to have fraternal twins, a boy and the only girl. Takeo is the younger of the two. All of the Empress’s children have meaningful names; Takeo means warrior. Takeo is a child of the Empress and Chip Masterson.

Portrayal

Takeo is played by Rick Yune.

Portrait of a Character – Takeo Masterson Sato
Rick Yune as Takeo Sato

This former Wall Street trader and model turned actor is of Korean descent.

I feel that he is just the right guy to be an Empress’s child, but also, in an alternate timeline, a violent collector of bad gambling debts.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – Takeo Masterson Sato

Called Lefty by his peers, Takeo doesn’t really have a brash personality that stands out. Takara is bratty turned sympathetic, Jun is secretive but with a heightened sense of duty, Kira is almost romantic and is something of an outsider, Arashi is businesslike and greedy and Izo is nasty and impulsive. But Takeo? There just isn’t a lot there, and I blame myself for not giving him more to do.

During the first alternate timeline in Temper, Marie Patrice takes a passing interest as she is trying to get both Jun and Kira jealous. But apart from being a bit of eye candy for her, there isn’t a lot to recommend Takeo.

Relationships

Ubvelwev

At the end of Temper, Rick Daniels notes for posterity that, in the correct timeline, Takeo had a male Calafan lover, but the man’s name is not known to history. In Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown? he is revealed to be Ubvelwev. Since this Calafan is silver, he comes from our universe – and was the winner of the 2159 election for First Minister in Voice of the Common Man. But this is a lot later (2245), so it’s unknown whether he and Takeo were together at that time (as a Calafan, Ubvelwev can shuttle between the universes but, since Takeo is a human, he cannot).

Theme Music

Takeo’s theme is Cracker’s Get Off This.

Prime Universe

Takeo does not have a Prime Universe counterpart (that’s impossible), but he does have an analogue – Kevin Madden Beckett, as they both have unknown potential. As I have written him, he is almost as much of a cypher as Kevin.

Quote

He’s hopelessly ugly.”

Upshot

I’m not sure if I will ever have a chance to really develop Takeo. All mysteries about him are my own doing, for not putting enough out there about him.

Portrait of a Character – Arashi Sato

Portrait of a Character – Arashi Sato

Origins

My initial premise for the Empress Hoshi Sato was that she would be a bit like Livia from Suetonius (and from history). That is, this would be a viper of a mother. But she needed to have children in order to assure the succession. Therefore, I hit on a plan – Hoshi would have numerous children, all from different fathers. The fathers would be selected from her senior staff; this was to create some security for her. Arashi is the third of her six children. All of the children’s first names have some meaning – Arashi means storm.

Portrayal

I wanted someone who would be, perhaps, wiser than his years. Even though the age does not work out, I like John Lone.

Personality

Not everyone can be a warrior, so Arashi is the money man. Ruthlessly efficient and greedy, he doesn’t want to pay for anything, and wants a cut of everything. In Temper, even as a toddler, he is fascinated by PADDs.

Portrait of a Character – Arashi Sato
Arashi (John Lone)

In the first alternate timeline, he keeps the books for Chip‘s Game Night wagers. His youngest brother, Izo, does the strong arm collecting, but Arashi does not sully his hands with such pedestrian matters.

Because he is so interested in books and record-keeping, and because he is ruthless and willing to cheat, the mirror Polloria reveals that he is the one of the Empress’s children who scares her the most, saying, “If he gets control after her death, I am sure he will take every means necessary to assure that he is looking in on every single aspect of everyone’s lives. He’ll be searching for oddities, rebellions, conspiracies, anomalies and anything else that tickles his fancy. Of all of them, I hate her the most, and I wish her dead. But it’s Arashi who truly scares me. Anyone with a brain in their head should, if they take her out, take him out as well.”

His father is technically unknown, with the prime candidates being Frank Ramirez and José Torres. However, since neither he nor Torres has the Y Chromosome Skew, it’s far more likely that José can claim paternity.

By the time of He Stays a Stranger, Arashi is continuing to handle the books. But – and this is the prime timeline for the Mirror Universe – he is far less interested in rule than in money. Ruling will go to his elder brothers, Jun (son of Richard Daniels) and Kira (son of Aidan MacKenzie). Izo will handle the secret police.

Portrait of a Character – Arashi Sato
Arashi (John Lone)

Hoshi is satisfied with Arashi’s choice, noting that empires need funds and treasuries.

Relationships

He has none whatsoever, except with a pocketbook! Even in the prime timeline in the Mirror Universe, he never marries, and any other specifics are not yet known.

Theme Music

As would likely be expected, his theme music is Pink Floyd’s Money.

Prime Universe

Like all of Empress’s Hoshi’s children, he cannot have a Prime Universe counterpart. However, he has an analogue in Doug and Melissa‘s part of the big arrangement – Neil Digiorno-Madden, who also has a head for business. But the differences are apparent, as Neil has two loving relationships, fathers two children and in a lot of ways is more like Lili than Lili’s daughter, Marie Patrice Beckett.

Quote

“I dreamt about collections.”

Upshot

As I wrote the Empress’s children, I needed a way for each of them to stand out. As the money man, Arashi stands out easily. I can see writing more about him in the future.

Portrait of a Character – Francisco (Frank) Ramirez

Portrait of a Character – Francisco (Frank) Ramirez

Origins

For Reversal, I liked the idea of Jenny Crossman having a solid, stable relationship. Here she is, the Redheaded Bombshell, yet she stays at home most Saturday nights. Aidan MacKenzie, in particular, is frustrated by this. But she hasn’t told him how serious things are with Frank, although Lili does acknowledge that the picture of Frank that sits on Jenny’s desk is “huge”.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Francisco (Frank) Ramirez
Frank Ramirez (Freddie Prinze, Jr.)

I wanted an actor with a Hispanic background to play Frank. He had to be good-looking but intelligent, and maybe a little goofy. I decided on Freddie Prinze, Jr.

Frank is a planetary geologist on Enceladus in Reversal. Jenny Crossman describes him as just, she knew he was the one. He visited her on a blind date, she explains to Travis in Together, and then Frank didn’t leave for several days afterwards.

Personality

Kind and sensitive, Frank is Jennifer’s rock. When she has to tell him what happened during the course of Together, he forgives her immediately and without reservation. All he wants is for her to be happy.

Furthermore, he becomes a father. His daughter, Ines, takes up with Melissa and Doug‘s second son, Neil Digiorno-Madden, and they have two children together.

Relationships

Jennifer Crossman

This is his main, defining relationship and he is never seen, in our universe, with anyone else. Frank is the quintessential good guy and there is no doubt that Jennifer has made the best possible choice.

Empress Hoshi Sato

Frank is a designated bed mate in the Mirror Universe, and there exists the very real possibility that he is her third child, Arashi‘s, father. However, since Arashi does not have the Y Chromosome Skew, and José Torres does not, either, it’s far more likely that José is the lucky fellow. He does not have much of a relationship with Hoshi and she chides him, during The Point is Probably Moot, for being a lousy performer. However, this is his ace in the hole, so to speak. He wants to be thought of as inadequate in that department, so that he can get out of it most of the time.  All he wants to do is work in Engineering. He doesn’t have time for the Empress’s bedroom games.

Pamela Hudson

In the first alternate timeline at the end of Temper, Pamela, Blair and Karin are all freed. Blair ends up with Doctor Morgan and Karin ends up with Josh Rosen. Pamela, however, gets right to business and goes after the highest-ranking available man on the ship. Chip Masterson is the new captain but he is taken by Lucy Stone. Hence she goes after Frank.

Shelby Pike

On the other side of the pond, in the prime timeline, Frank and Shelby end up together and are first seen as a couple during The Point is Probably Moot. Like most couples comprised of senior staff on the ISS Defiant, they must keep their relationship under wraps, and they very nearly blow it during Bread.

Theme Music

He shares two songs with Jennifer during Together. Their long-distance relationship is evoked with Maroon 5’s This Love. Then their wedding song is Dusty Springfield’s I Only Want Be With You.

Mirror Universe

In the Mirror Universe,

Portrait of a Character – Francisco (Frank) Ramirez
Freddie Prinze Jr. (Mirror Frank)

there is no room for planetary geology when there are worlds to conquer. Hence Frank is an engineer. But unlike Tucker and Crossman, he isn’t, initially, looking to get out.

At the end of that story, with Crossman and Tucker gone (and José Torres is not an engineer in that universe; Frank fulfills that role on that side of the pond), Frank is promoted by the Empress to run Engineering. This he does without concern for further promotions and glory. His lack of further ambition, and his true competence, keep him alive.

Frank eventually gets where he needs to be, but only by the time of He Stays a Stranger.

Quote

“You can always tell me what’s going on. Always. When I asked you to marry me, I didn’t mean it was just this one-time offer that could be rescinded at any time.”

Upshot

Frank is as much of a fantasy fulfillment character as Doug is. In fact, he’s more, for he does not have the violent streak that Doug is saddled with. It would be a far better world if more men were like Frank.