So a prompt about gift giving took me to a dark place. I had only recently drafted this scene, and knew it would be a while before it would be posted on the Ad Astra Archive. Therefore, I lifted the scene, nearly intact, and presented it as the answer to the prompt.
An endgame comes about for two characters. The scene takes place during Shake Your Body.
It is the last few moments of Boris Yarin and Marisol Castillo‘s lives. Also, she is putting the screws to him, threatening to tell his wife, Darragh Stratton, everything about their affair. Hence he is about to lose his job, his one security. He is part-Klingon, and the anticipated dishonor is far too much to bear. And so he quite literally takes matters into his own hands. Therefore, this little scene punches the members of the Temporal Integrity Commission in the gut. In addition, it moves the overall story arc along well, by pulling the reader from the end of Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain to Shake Your Body to, eventually, the endgame of He Stays a Stranger.
This chilling little story did get people interested in Boris and Marisol, but not enough to really get them reading. Ah, well. The timing was not right. However, it did work out rather well to keep me motivated and writing. There had been several times during writing The Times of the HG Wells where I had not so much lost interest as lost some of the thread of the plot. The series had far too many subplots; this scene ends two of them rather memorably.
I needed for Mack MacKenzie to have an attorney to help with the technical issues of owning and running a barnstorming sports team. The idea of marrying the future Boris Yarin and the past Cyril Morgan was one I could not pass up.
There are no impediments to his existence in the Mirror.
Just like any other intelligent person, he would be ruthless and would probably rise up in the ranks pretty quickly. He could even, potentially, be a lower or even mid-level politician on the other side of the pond.
“All right. Now, you and I have full attorney-client confidentiality. I am not going to go to the authorities if you tell me something illegal is afoot, unless you or anyone else is in relatively immediate physical peril…. So if your engineer finds something that is, shall we say, off the grid, you can tell me. In fact, I would prefer it if you did, so I’d have an idea of what to expect.”
Misty, like every other team owner, needs a lawyer to handle the messy business of player contracts. For her, an ex-convict with a ship that barely skirts legality at times, the need is even greater, and Cyril fits the bill rather neatly.
Review – It’s Not Really a Reset if you remember it
It’s Not Really a Reset if You Remember It serves as my answer to all of the awful ‘go back to the beginning’ stories in Star Trek canon. Sometimes, if a memory abides, then you are not back at square one. You have gone through changes. And you cannot be the same. It’s like the ancient philosopher Heraclitus says – you cannot step into the same river twice. That is, life fluctuates, and so do you. As a result, there must be effects.
So for a prompt about drinking to forgot, I decided to go with the alcoholic, Carmen Calavicci (I suppose I could have chosen Susan Cheshire, but Carmen spoke to me with this particular prompt) and the end of the main HG Wells storyline. This story serves as an immediate sequel to the main storyline.
This is the part après the hitting of the big reset button. Everyone feels terrible. As well they should. And so Carmen suggests a visit to my standard, go-to watering hole of choice, the Tethys Tavern. The Tethys Tavern also shows up as a place where Lili tended bar and where I set a Christmas story for Stocking Stuffers. Much like a Derellian bat, that locale is almost a Swiss army knife.
One thing that broadcast Star Trek really never did was show aftermaths. This little story does this, but I can see where I should have done more. In addition, it works a bit like what a pariotric situation is. Essentially, this is what tampering with the timeline has done.
I wanted a character who would be paranoid, itchy and dangerous. And I wanted him to be a healer, too, a paradox. I further decided that he would be a combination of human, Klingon and Xindi sloth. The sloth part would make him paranoid. The Klingon part would make him physically powerful. And the human part would make him all-too emotionally vulnerable.
I stumbled across his surname quite by accident (and nearly literally), as I used to walk in an area where a Toyota Yaris always seemed to be parked.
It was not due to any great affection I had for this vehicle. Rather, I just liked the combination of letters. As I sometimes do for foreign or alien names, I did a bit of brainstorming/free associating with sounds. Yarin, apparently, is Turkish for tomorrow, a fitting surname for a character who lives and dies in the thirty-first and thirty-second centuries.
And so Boris Fyodorovich Yarin was born.
For a man who was almost constantly jumping out of his skin, who would be better than Henry Rollins?
I had initially seen Boris as being somewhat slight, like a Klingon with menace but no muscle behind it. But the more I thought about Rollins, the more I liked the idea. Rollins always seems to be on fire just underneath his skin. Boris, too, is often barely this side of exploding.
In addition, Boris’s intelligence is masked by a severe lack of confidence. He doesn’t think he can do the work, so he gets his job through his wife’s connections. And then he decides he wants to retain his post, so it’s even more imperative that he tread a fine line with his wife. If he’s out of the marriage, he reasons, he’ll also be out of a job.
Paranoid and angry, yet wildly intelligent, Boris is problematic from the start. He marries for prestige and position, and not for love. As a result, he’s vulnerable when Marisol Castillo seduces him. And then he’s considerably more vulnerable when she begins blackmailing him. For him, what started as hanky-panky has turned into something more, and he is not only desperate to keep his marriage together and retain his job, he’s also genuinely hurt because he actually loves Marisol.
Boris’s wife is mentioned in passing but she is not seen until Ohio when, in an alternate timeline, she isn’t his wife at all. They have a marriage of convenience for the most part. Whether Darragh loves Boris is debatable. Whether Boris loves Darragh is obvious – he doesn’t.
For this femme fatale, Boris is an easy conquest. At first, it’s sexual (and in A Long, Long Time Ago, that’s one of the first times they’re seen together – in flagrante delicto). After a while, though, Boris realizes he has feelings for her, calling her his “angel” (which he also calls Darragh). By the time he figures out that he’s been betrayed, in Shake Your Body, there is but one endgame for him and Marisol.
Boris does not yet have a Mirror Universe counterpart.
But that would be pretty scary, eh?
I have always wanted Henry Rollins to portray a Klingon, and I wonder why he never has.
“My name is Boris Fyodorovich Yarin. I am forty-six years of age, and of sound mind. This letter will be farewell, confession, warning and will all in one.
First, to my wife, Darragh Stratton Yarin, I leave everything I own, with no exceptions, to do with as she wishes. It is all I can offer, for apologies are worthless. I have acted completely without honor. I owe you many things, and cannot repay that debt. All I can hope is for you to live your life without any thought of me – no sorrow, no mourning, no regret, no compassion and not even memory. If I could erase our time together, and spare you, I would.”
I hope Boris conveys as much menace as I’ve envisioned. I think more of his backstory could be explored, and a Mirror Boris would be, perhaps, even a revolutionary.