Portrait of a Character – Karyn Archer

Portrait of a Character – Karyn Archer

Karyn Archer marries canon and fan fiction.


During the run of Star Trek: Enterprise, there is an episode where the ship meets its own descendants. It is through an odd time travel trope. E2 has led me to four books and also two kicks back in time. Karyn is in the second one, and she is seen in Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.

I decided that Karyn, who in canon is Jonathan Archer‘s descendant, would also be a descendant to Lili and José. Hence she adds the captain, in a way, to the O’Day-Reed-Hayes-Digiorno-Madden family line.


Portrait of a Character – Karyn Archer

Tess Lina as Karyn Archer (image is for educational purposes)

As in canon, Karyn is played by actress Tess Lina.


Friendly and generally upbeat, Karyn is a big part of why the older NX-01 holds together at all. She is vital to its existence.


I don’t have a relationship for Karyn. People sometimes ‘ship her and Lorian, but I have him taking two separate human wives, and only having children with the first one. Karyn, unfortunately, is left out of the genetics sweepstakes.

Mirror Universe

Karyn, by definition, cannot exist in the Mirror Universe, as she is the product of a kick back in time. And in a way, I think that’s okay, because she gets a measure of goodness. Much like Dr. Hugh Culber in Star Trek Discovery, she does not have a dark side to her.


“Sir, they are going to want to know about the Xindi weapon, and why we did not stop it.”


For a character with not a lot of screen time, Karyn is already pretty memorable. I hope I have done her some justice.

Like this page? Tweet it!

You can find me on .

Posted by jespah in Interphases series, Portrait, 0 comments

Review – The Black Widow

Review – The Black Widow

A black widow spider represents Pon Farr gone wrong, wrong, wrong.


For a Star Trek fan fiction challenge about “what if”, I decided to take a canon episode into a far different extreme direction.


In the canon episode, Bounty, T’Pol prematurely goes into Pon Farr because of a medical issue (she and Phlox are affected by a microbe).

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Black Widow

The Black Widow, a horror story from an alternate timeline.

As a part of the episode, she comes onto Phlox, who rebuffs her, and then tries for Malcolm, who is in a pressure suit, and he rejects her as well, eventually shooting her in the back with a phase pistol and stunning her. Archer comes back (he escapes Tellarite captivity) and all is more or less well.

I decided there would be two major differences. Phlox would succumb to her charms, and Malcolm would miss.

As a result, this changes the dynamic dramatically.

The New Plot

In the new plot, once both of these events occur, T’Pol goes after the first man who can (she hopes) satisfy her urges. And that turns out to be Travis.

When the story opens, Jonathan has just returned. Malcolm greets him at the transporter and tells him that there will be a staff meeting immediately. He informs him of Travis‘s death, and also Brian Delacroix‘s, and that Deb Haddon has been gravely injured.  Archer, a bit disoriented and very confused, goes along with this. He sees Malcolm, Hoshi, and Tripp at the meeting. Phlox speaks from Sick Bay.

Archer learns that, after seducing Phlox, T’Pol escaped from decon (the escape is canon, but the seduction failed in canon). Malcolm was there with his team – Brian and Deb. T’Pol came onto Malcolm who rejects her and then, in a rage, she snapped Brian’s neck and shattered Deb’s helmet. A fragment lodges in Deb’s eye, and she is permanently blinded.

And then there’s the matter of Travis. After escaping from that scene, and Malcolm shooting after her but missing, T’Pol confronts Travis in his quarters. She essentially sexually assaults him, and her appetite kills him.

The story continues with Archer confronting her in the Brig, but she is barely competent, and relations with Travis have not satisfied Pon Farr. Hence she will die in a few days if they don’t get her to Vulcan on time.

Story Postings


The story is rated T.


I really liked the way this one worked out, as I moved from a bewildered Archer to Hoshi with a measure of PTSD, to Malcolm’s disgust and emotional detachment, to T’Pol’s frenzied mania, to Phlox’s shamed confession, to Deb’s acceptance of her fate, to finally communicating with Admiral Forrest and informing him of this big, bad Vulcan secret. I don’t write horror too often, but I think this story turned out well.

Like this page? Tweet it!

You can find me on .

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Review, 0 comments

Review – A Hazy Shade

Review – A Hazy Shade

A Hazy Shade showcases what will happen to us.


For a prompt about seasons, everyone seemed to focus on summer (as did I; I also wrote And the Livin’ is Easy from the same prompt).

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Later Days | A Hazy Shade

Later Days

But I also wanted to follow Jonathan Archer at the twilight of his life. Married to Miva, Archer is lamenting the departed of the NX-01, both in a formal ceremony to christen a dedication obelisk, and afterwards.

The story goes along with a number of other older crew member stories, including Consider the Lilies of the Field, Equinox, and There’s Something Else About Hoshi.


The occasion is fifty years since the last flight of the NX-01. An obelisk is unveiled on Earth (I never specifiy the city) and on it are inscribed the names of the dead from that ship, no matter how or where or when they died. Malcolm and Lili are already named on it. Although no one names her in the story, Melissa would also be on it. Miva points out that Karin and Ethan are still alive, as are Azar Hamidi and his wife, who may or may not be Maryam Haroun in the prime timeline (I have not made a decision on this yet).

Story Postings


The story is rated K.


This is a quiet, slow, measured story, where not a lot happens. But I think that makes sense, that two elderly people at what is very much like a funeral would move a slow, measured, deliberate pace as they would pause and reflect.

Like this page? Tweet it!

You can find me on .

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Review, 2 comments

Spotlight – Amity

Spotlight – Amity

Amity serves as not only a place but also an ironic commentary.


In the Enterprise E2 episode, there is little on how the crew survived in the Delphic Expanse for over a century. This is particularly with limited or no contact with other species.

Spotlight – Amity

I decided that there would be two planets. Hence this would be to grow the most diverse set of foodstuffs possible. Paradise would be the warmer of the two. I always intended Amity to be the more temperate planet taken over during Reflections Down a Corridor/The Three of Us time period.

Carmen Calavicci, in the deep future, confirms that in the prime timeline the planet will actually be known as Archer’s Planet.


Amity has four continents:

• Aquilasicca – northern drier continent. In Latin the name, literally, means north, dry)
• Meridia – southern wetter continent (literally, southern)
• Imperia – eastern wetter continent (literally, empire)
• Tritica – western drier continent (literally, wheat)


Backbones do not seem to have ever evolved on Amity. Instead, the two predominant species are mollusks.

Malostrea are little clam-like creatures, and are the more intelligent species, exhibiting hunting behaviors within a pack-like structure. The name is Latin for bad oysterProcul, their prey, are large squid-like beasts. The name is Latin for faraway.


During Entanglements, Amity is the site of Josh Rosen and Karin Bernstein‘s wedding. Here, Xindi sloth are invited guests.  After the committing of crimes during The Three of Us, the second part of the punishment for the worst offenders, Daniel Chang and Tristan Curtis, is a brief banishment there. However, it is anything but brief when they escape. Finally, in Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Chef Slocum meets his end due to an incident on Amity.


So often, we see alien planets as being all too conveniently perfect for every purpose. They’re clean, and the climate is wonderful. Plus there are no major predators. However, Amity isn’t like that. For all returns to this world, I’ll call it by its more or less canon name, Archer’s World.

You can find me on .

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Interphases series, Spotlight, 3 comments

Recurrent Themes – Animal Lovers


Animal lovers exist in my fanfiction. I am a big-time animal lover and so that of course creeps into my writing.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Animal Lovers What may also be of interest is the fact that my first fiction writing, when I was a young girl, was animal adventure stories. I didn’t write much. Instead, I would draw crude pictures and then in my head I could add the details of a particular scene. Furthermore, I was probably about four or five or so when I started writing these. I recall my grandmother giving me old appointment books for bygone years, as that was scrap paper that nobody cared about. So I would draw floppy-eared dogs or whatever and the occasional tree or happy shining sun and from those little things and such humble beginnings, I would generate stories. I have forgotten them all and the old drawings are long gone.

But animal lovers are in my fiction all the same.

Animal Lovers Appearances

Jonathan Archer

While everybody seems to love Porthos, it’s only canon character Jonathan Archer who is really responsible for feeding or walking the little guy.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Adventures of Porthos | Animal Lovers

The Adventures of Porthos

Even Porthos himself acknowledges that most people like him, but it’s Alpha (Archer) who’s really in charge of his well-being.

Any time Archer needs to be away from the ship for a significant period of time, he makes sure to entrust the dog to someone. Usually this is Hoshi or Phlox. And while they care about Porthos, this seems to be simply more work for them. At least that’s how I’ve often seen it.

Joss Beckett

Probably my biggest animal lover character is Doug and Lili‘s eldest. As a child, in Fortune, Joss pays more attention to Cindy Morgan‘s Boston Terrier puppy, Fenway, than he does to Jia Sulu. Joss eventually follows his bliss and becomes a veterinarian.

Karin Bernstein

In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, once the crew get dogs from the Phnom Penh live market, Karin (along with Captain Archer) is one of the people responsible for training the dogs. This includes following simple commands, herding and some protection for the ship’s herd of procul.

Brian (no last name)

During You Mixed-Up Siciliano, while Sheilagh is trying to figure out whether she wants to continue working for the Temporal Integrity Commission, she ends up jogging to a local park. She comes across a guy who’s taken his elderly poodle, Beau, out for some exercise. They exchange first names and talk a little, and he gives her some advice about whether to stay at her job. He further reveals that Beau is a retired show dog, although not a terribly successful one.

Charlotte Hayes

Concord‘s mistress of the Hayes Farm is not squeamish when it comes to slaughtering animals, including a veal calf. But when Malcolm drives the horse, Phoebe, Charlotte urges him to be gentle while slapping the reins. The hens are also permitted to retain two eggs in each clutch, although that is partly for the purpose of having more chickens to eat or sell.

Jay Hayes

Even overly driven Jay has the time to scratch Porthos behind the ears.

However, in The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Stilton Fulfillment, Porthos points out that Jay would refer to him as Spike, an inside joke referring to Tripp Tucker‘s original nickname (never used on screen). Porthos believes that the reference is to another dog, from Jay’s past.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Sparrow and the Blue Jay | Animal Lovers

The Sparrow and the Blue Jay

In The Three of Us, Jay sends Lili an image of a sparrow and a blue jay together, but the meaning is that the two of them should be together romantically.

Bruce Ishikawa

Deirdre Katzman‘s boyfriend is a dog trainer.

Lili O’Day

Porthos loves Lili, as she always smells like food and often has it and will share. During The Stilton Fulfillment, when she attempts to lure him into a Sick Bay crate for his own safety, she refers to steak. Porthos wisely knows she doesn’t have any, but goes in all the same, as he realizes things are dicey.

Joshua Rosen

Porthos briefly refers to Josh throwing a ball for him to fetch. With a broken left arm, in The Stilton Fulfillment, it’s likely that ball-throwing will have to happen for later.

Gregory Shaw

When I was originally writing time travel stories, this role was considerably larger. I meant this character to be a kind of animals whisperer, able to calm and communicate with all manner of less-sentient beasts. Shaw would have the ability to ride, tame and lead most critters.

The way the stories worked out, I never got a chance to use this character, except for a brief reference when a time change gave Shaw a very different role. In The Point is Probably Moot, with the Federation turned into a theocracy, Shaw becomes Pope Gregory XXXII.

Shaw is also intended to be a descendant to Eriecho series characters Juliet Parker and Jack Shaw.

Crystal Sherwood

Crystal is a dog owner, with a Jack Russell Terrier named Petey.

Jim Warren

Charlotte Hayes’s employees are all kind to animals, but Jim is probably the kindest, even kinder than his father, Benjamin. This does not prevent Jim from joking to Malcolm about the proper way to milk a cow.


Not every characteristic is Starfleet-oriented, not every preference is written in the stars. Some characters have rather down to earth interests in common, and being an animal lover is certainly one of those. Animal lovers matter.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Themes, Times of the HG Wells series, 11 comments

Review – The Adventures of Porthos

Review – The Adventures of Porthos

Porthos has such fun adventures!


When I was first starting to write Star Trek fanfiction,

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Adventures of Porthos

The Adventures of Porthos

I seized upon an idea to write about the five senses. More, More, More is about hearing; There’s Something About Hoshi is about touch; If You Can’t Stand the Heat is about taste; The Puzzle is about vision; and The Adventures of Porthos, as would befit a story where a dog is the star, is all about smell.


The story starts off with Porthos narrating the action. Because he is a dog, he’s not too communicative in terms of language. Instead, the world divides into good smells and bad ones.

Review – The Adventures of Porthos

Most of the Enterprise is on the side of what Porthos refers to as good smells, everything from Sick Bay to the remnants of a cheeseburger that Hoshi ate for dinner. He listens to Captain Archer (Alpha) make plans about meeting a species called Azezans. Being Porthos, he doesn’t pay attention to every single syllable. He has acute hearing but, let’s face it, like many dogs, he sometimes only listens to what he really wants to hear.

The same scene is then repeatedly normally, and the story goes on that way throughout.

Porthos sees action when Archer learns that the Azezans are the victims of oppression. Captain Archer finds their predicament uncomfortably familiar, but he is initially unsure as to exactly why that is so. This ends up as one of my first links to Jewish characters and the Holocaust, as the reference is painfully close to the Judenrat.

Story Postings


The story is Rated K.


I love dogs and I believe that they truly think quite a bit like this, paying somewhat selective attention and continually being distracted by the various aromas around them. They apparently understand some 200 – 350 or so words, so it would follow that a lot of what Porthos hears is just so much semi-random noise to him.

Furthermore, the emphasis on scents prefigures the Daranaeans, and the switching between the scenes was altered to great effect in Reversal. I like the story but don’t love it; the Alien of the Week plot could have been stronger, I feel. But the story had an unexpected, award-winning sequel, The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Stilton Fulfillment. And, as I have explained, it showcases some concepts and techniques that I have improved over time. I think it’s a decent older story.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Review, 8 comments