Tag Archives: star trek canon character

Inspiration – Names

Background

I take names seriously, and, truth be told, that’s actually Star Trek canon. A lot of the named characters, particularly the ones who do not have English-style names, have meaningful appellations.

Nyota Uhura
Nyota Uhura

Take Hoshi Sato, for example. The first name means “star”. The surname means “at home”. Hence, she is “at home in the stars”.

A similar situation exists with Nyota Uhura. Nyota means “star” and Uhura means “freedom”. Are communications officers required to be named Star?

Canon to Fanfiction

For my characters, names have meanings that draw from heritage, repeat in order to show familial relationships, and have meanings unto themselves.

In Between Days

Doug Beckett is so named because Douglas means “dark stranger”, which is exactly what he is – a stranger from the Mirror Universe, first experienced in pitch darkness.

Lili O’Day‘s full name – Charlotte Lilienne O’Day – evokes several themes. Her first name means “free woman” and her middle name is of course a flower (and Malcolm refers to her, in the prime timeline, as Lili-Flower). Her surname sets up the contrast to Doug, for she is quite literally “of the day”.

Malcolm Reed (alternate timeline)
Malcolm Reed (alternate timeline)

Because the name Malcolm means “a devotee of Saint Columba“, and that is the patron saint of poets and bookbinders, I make Malcolm a gifted poet. The reed (which of course is the lower, non-flowering part of a plant), is evoked as he and Lili, in Together, talk about the flower and the reed, and she assures him that the flower is pretty and all, but the flower can’t live without the reed.

For Melissa Madden, in part it’s a shout-out to future canon character Martin Madden.

Melissa means “honey bee” and she is a rather earthy individual. As for Leonora Digiorno, Leonora means “light” (Malcolm incorrectly refers to her as the Lioness) and Digiorno is the same as O’Day, “of the day”. Her relationships are purely in the day, hence she is solely a daylight character.

Times of the HG Wells

The Wells characters were less name-driven but there are some highlights. Sheilagh and Darragh are both Irish-type spellings, meant to impart a somewhat exotic flavor. HD Avery is really Henry Desmond, with the middle name being a shout-out to Dominic Keating‘s first real role, in a British sitcom called Desmond’s. Carmen means “garden”, an offhanded joke as the character is a sophisticated urbanite. The characters Tom and Kevin hearken back to the In Between Days series and are meant to show a relationship to that earlier series.

Otra, the half-Witannen character, has a name meaning a small animal, like a mouse. I also used Glyph as the name of a Ferengi, as short nouns are canon for Ferengi names (e. g. Quark and Nog). Von is another Ferengi name, but I grabbed that one from baseball – Von Hayes (yet another shout-out to Steven Culp).

Interphases

For this series, character names have to evoke a time period properly. Rosemary Parker’s name fits in with her birth in the 1920s, whereas Jacob, Benjamin and Dorcas all evoke the 1700s. Jim, the son of Benjamin and Dorcas, is a shout-out to Mark Twain’s Jim character in Huckleberry Finn.

Emergence and Mixing it Up

For both of these series, since there are several aliens, names had to be made up. Skrol is meant to sound a bit like Slar, the only known named Gorn. Etrina, Tr’Dorna and Sophra are all made-up names, meant to sound feminine. Bron is intended to evoke a feeling of brawn.

For Daranaeans, female names end with vowels whereas as male names often (but not always) end with an -s. Prime Wife females, being considered superior, are given names with a soft th- sound in them, such as Thessa, Dratha and Kathalia. This is the th- sound in thistle, rather than in the. The sound, anywhere in the word, is meant to mean “smell”, with a positive connotation. Secondaries get somewhat pretty names, often with m- sounds, like Morza and Mistra, but sometimes not, like Cria and Inta (in all fairness, the younger Inta, a secondary, is named after a last caste female). Third caste females tend to get shorter names, like Darri and Fyra and Cama. The men’s names are all over the place, from Elemus and Arnis to Craethe and Trinning.

Calafans

Calafans love names and meanings so much that it’s a standard greeting to a new person – “what is your name, and what does it mean?” The first time Lili hears this, in Local Flavor, she is a bit appalled as it is a part of a come-on.

Men often get the -wev ending, which means “master of”, whereas women often get the yi- prefix, meaning “student of”. But the differences are not intended to be sexist. With no middle names and no last names, a lot hinges on a name, and they cannot be repeated. Therefore, names are given out by the government, and parents often petition for a name for their baby while the child is still in utero. Names are then released upon death. Names without either prefix include Treve (messenger) and Miva (clay).

Upshot

For me, the naming of characters is a deeply person act. Alien names are a great deal of fun to come up with, as I put together sounds I like or that seem to harmonize, and then attach meanings to them. Sometimes a character doesn’t really “click” until he or she has been named. Then, suddenly, it can all fall into place.

Recurrent Themes – Femmes Fatales

Recurrent Themes – Femmes Fatales

Femme fatales can really make a story take off.
Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Femmes Fatales

A lot of my Star Trek fanfiction writing contains recurrent themes, characters and situations. Here is an effort to put some of that together and make some sense of it all.

Background for Femmes Fatales

Femme fatales are a fairly classic archetype. It’s the bad girl, the sexy girl and, often, the dangerous one.

Appearances

Empress Hoshi Sato

The Empress is, of course, canon. But the second mirror universe Enterprise story ends with the beginning of her power grab. It doesn’t tell you whether she was successful and, if she was, what happened next.

Recurrent Themes – Femmes Fatales
Empress Hoshi

In Reversal, the Empress’s power is well-established and has been consolidated. Doug offhandedly tells Lili that the Empress took about a year or so to get it all together and, in the meantime, had a child as well. That child turns out to be Jun Daniels Sato.

But the Empress is dissatisfied (and sexually voracious). She is looking for younger siblings for Jun. She understands Machiavelli enough to know that she needs a multitude of potential successors in order to keep herself in power (and healthy) as long as possible. Plus she needs to keep producing heirs as long as possible for, if a faction prefers her youngest child, that faction might just wait until the youngest one’s age of majority before becoming a physical threat to her. It’s a chance, but she’s got to take it.

Pamela Hudson

The second femme fatale I wrote was Pamela.

Recurrent Themes – Femmes Fatales
Pamela Hudson

Pamela is as intelligent as Hoshi (if not more so) but, ultimately, she turns out to not be ruthless. Instead, her motivations are her own damaged past and her hopes for the future. For Pamela, finding love brings her full circle and gives her what she truly needs. She is able to hang up the femme fatale act and enjoy life.

Marisol Castillo

Marisol, on the other hand, is not motivated by anything positive whatsoever. As a much more classic femme fatale, Marisol is downright hazardous.

Recurrent Themes – Femmes Fatales
Marisol Castillo

She is an assassin and a blackmailer, and treats Borin Yarin badly enough that she pays the ultimate price for her ruthlessness.

Upshot

Two of my main femme fatales are doctors. Perhaps there is something to that, the feeling that, when other characters are vulnerable, a femme fatale can do the most damage. The trick, I feel, is to write the archetype without writing a cliché.

Portrait of a Character – Jonathan Archer

Portrait of a Character – Jonathan Archer

Every Star Trek series has a memorable captain.

Origins

Portrait of a Character – Jonathan Archer
Captain Archer

The character is, of course, Star Trek canon. In canon, Archer  is the first captain of a Warp Five star ship, the NX-01 Enterprise. He gets the nod over his friend, A. G. Robinson (they are both test pilots).

He becomes, eventually, a Federation Representative and then President of the Federation. He also becomes an Admiral. Some of the order of these events is a bit unclear. And that’s canon.

Portrayal

As in canon, Jonathan Archer is played by Scott Bakula.

Personality

Affable, intelligent and eager to get out there, Archer is in for a surprise when he meets any number of new species who are less than happy about meeting him, eating meat, smelling his dog, shaking his hand, eating in front of him, letting him walk on their grass or do any number of what we would consider to be easy and nonconfrontational acts. It’s not easy being first.

Portrait of a Character – Jonathan Archer
Archer during the Xindi War

By the time of the Xindi War, Jonathan is obsessed with finding the Xindi ultimate weapon. He is as tense as anyone was in the United States a few months after 9/11. He’s been charged with a serious mission, and needs to see it through. And that means torture, piracy and other ruthless tactics. It’s not easy to lose one’s innocence, either.

When the serious concludes, he has been through a great deal, including the death of a close friend. Space has changed him but, ultimately, he has grown as a person.

As I write him, I add a second ship assignment, the USS Zefram Cochrane (DC-1500), in Fortune. The Cochrane is better-equipped than the Enterprise and can hold more people. It has more advanced weaponry but it isn’t any faster. Because Tripp is gone, and T’Pol has returned to Vulcan, Jonathan selects Malcolm to be his First Officer. Malcolm is on paternity leave when Archer asks him to come along. Therefore, Hoshi fills in temporarily. Travis continues as pilot. Phlox has also departed, returning to his home world. Hence the role of Chief Medical Officer is filled by Blair Claymore. The Science Officer position goes to Ensign Lucy Stone.

In Equinox, Malcolm reveals that Jonathan is elected as a Representative and the Cochrane instead falls to Malcolm. Jonathan’s tenure as a Representative is also shown in  Flight of the Bluebird, and his later career and years are in Bread and A Hazy Shade. Being an eligible bachelor means the tabloid press is also very interested.

Relationships

Deborah Haddon

During the events of Together, Jonathan is paired up with Security Crewman Deb Haddon. The relationship is unequal, as he ranks so much higher than she does. Complicating matters is the fact that she has a crush on him.

Her crush is also revealed during the alternative timeline story, The Black Widow.

By the time of Fortune, he realizes that he misses, if not her (she is already married to Chip Masterson by that time), then he at least misses the idea of having someone in his life.

Miva

Portrait of a Character – Jonathan Archer
Jonathan and Porthos

In Fortune, they meet. They initially cannot get married because she is wed to another. But that doesn’t stop a relationship from developing, for Miva has as open a marriage as all Calafans do. For Jonathan, though, things are more complicated and difficult. He feels he can be with her during dreams, but not in reality until she becomes available. They are still unwed as of the events depicted in Flight of the Bluebird. She is eventually widowed, and they wed about a year after that.

Their marriage is a long-term one, shown in A Hazy Shade. I currently have an even later portrait of their marriage on the drawing board. That story is tentatively entitled These Are the Destinations.

Ebrona

A I write the E2 stories, there are actually two kick backs in time. In the first one, Jonathan takes up with an Ikaaran woman named Ebrona. He loves her very deeply, but her life is cut short, due to a genetic disease that the Ikaarans call the decline. Together, they have a son, Henry. Jonathan’s feelings for Ebrona are depicted in If I Could Do it All Over Again.

Esilia

While this is a canon E2 relationship, she is never seen, and neither are any full-blooded Ikaarans. Therefore, I have had to conjecture about her looks and their relationship. As with Ebrona, the feelings are very deep. However, by the time he weds Esilia, a treatment is found for the decline. Hence Jonathan is not widowed as early as before. In addition, during the second kick back in time, Jonathan learns that Ebrona kept some things from him. He doesn’t have those issues with Esilia.

Theme Music

In Together, he has two themes. By himself, his theme is Jefferson Airplane’s Someone to Love. With Deb, his theme is The Cardigans’ Lovefool.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Jonathan Archer
Mirror Jonathan Archer

Jonathan’s mirror universe counterpart  is canon, and his death, at the hands of Hoshi, is also canon. I don’t mess with that. Hence, at the time of Reversal, the mirror universe Archer is long dead, and Doug and Tripp do not have to deal with him. Since he was poisoned by Hoshi, it’s entirely possible that that was via tricoulamine.

As of the writing of this blog post, I do not have many mirror universe Reversal prequels in mind. But that may change, as I may be writing more of a back story for Ian Reed. Hence Jonathan might get some air time.

Quote

“Smile just a tiny bit. It’s been a helluva day. I just want to see a little something good.”

Upshot

Handsome and heroic, Jonathan is a quintessential leader. But he’s also torn and doubtful at times, and is far from perfect. I hope the way I write him dovetails sufficiently with canon.

Portrait of a Character – Hoshi Sato

Portrait of a Character – Hoshi Sato

Origins

Portrait of a Character – Hoshi Sato
Hoshi Sato

This is a canon character, of course. Hoshi Sato (her name, literally, means “at home in the stars”) is the Communications Officer on the NX-01, with the rank of Ensign, which she retains throughout the entire run of the series. Also according to canon, she eventually  rises to the rank of Lieutenant Commander (a rank that I, semi-incorrectly, use interchangeably with the rank of Lieutenant), and also marries a man named Takashi Kimura. In the canon E2 story, her two children are named Toru and Yoshiko. I go with those as being the names of her prime timeline children as well.

Hoshi is also, in canon, extremely intelligent (probably a linguistic genius) but, at least in the first two seasons in particular, is a bit insecure. She is the most likely to jump if the ship is attacked or bumped. She is also likely to doubt her own obvious abilities.

Portrayal

As in canon, this character is portrayed by actress Linda Park.

Personality

In addition to her canon quirks, I tend to write her as still being a bit more tentative, even after the Xindi War. In There’s Something About Hoshi, she is encouraged by the captain to stretch a bit. However, the reaction there proves to be far too much for her, and she balks a bit.

In Together, she reveals a playful and sexy side but, in the end, chooses career over romance, failing to realize that Tripp is truly passionate about her.

Portrait of a Character – Hoshi Sato
Hoshi on the Bluebird

She’s also caring. As Malcolm‘s First Officer on the Bluebird, she’s comforting when he receives the news in Equinox. She also defiantly says she will take the fall if there’s any real flak from the diverting of the ship to Lafa II instead of heading straight to the Klingon Neutral Zone, as planned. However, her retirement is planned, at a young age, as she is seeing her children grow up without her, and fears she is missing out.

Relationships

As I write her, she has four main relationships, including her canon marriage, which is acknowledged in Equinox, Flight of the BluebirdA Hazy Shade and There’s Something Else About Hoshi.

Sekar Khan

In the E2 scenario, she ends up, in both iterations, with the Quartermaster, Chandrasekar Khan. In canon, her husband is not named, so there is room to be creative in this area. Sekar is gentle and giving, but also keeps her from some of the worst of what’s out there. While he is no warrior, he intercepts problems and does his best to make her life easier.

Takashi Kimura

Hoshi’s canon husband is never seen on screen. I have really only written them as long-term marrieds, and never at the start of their courting.  That could potentially develop into a later project.

Ted Stone

In There’s Something About Hoshi, she laments about having settled during the E2 situation. For her, Ted seems to be another form of settling, as she sees him as being almost, but not quite, romantic. It’s as if he keeps missing his marks. When she is injected with a compound intended to make her irresistible, he is one of the few men who does not bother her, and is the only one who is heterosexual. He explains that the compound didn’t seem to work on him, as he was already there.

Tripp Tucker

Portrait of a Character – Hoshi Sato
Later Hoshi

They are forcibly paired up in Together, but they are the only couple who, truly, start off  in a non-hostile manner. Instead, they vow to “make the most of it”. The dance – literally – between them moves from fooling around to, eventually, a declaration of love on Tripp’s part, which Hoshi does not reciprocate. Unknowingly and unintentionally, she breaks his heart in her efforts to stay on the ship and remain able to work with everyone, including him and, presumably, T’Pol, his ex. She is thoroughly unaware that he is still interested, even as they are heading into the time of the canon These Are the Voyages episode and, instead, agrees to a date with José Torres. However, she might have a little residual jealousy, as is depicted in Broken Seal. An anomaly hit briefly impairs her judgment, and she stages an elaborate prank against Commander Tucker – but it’s possible that some of that stems from Tucker’s attempt to reconcile with T’Pol, an attempt that, in keeping with canon, fails.

Theme Music

In Together, she has a theme of her own, Bette Midler’s Do You Wanna Dance? and one which she shares with Tripp,  Joe Jackson’s Kinda Kute.

Mirror Universe

Because I write so much about the Empress Hoshi Sato, her mirror counterpart will be written about separately.

Quote

“Well, I suppose if I had a dinosaur, I’d sleep better, too.”

Upshot

The quintessential young career woman, Hoshi, in some ways, was not taken far enough in the series, I feel. In part this is because this character lost screen time, in favor of Tucker and T’Pol. But there were ways that the character could have stretched more. I hope to get a chance to write some more about Hoshi, and stretch her in my own way.

Portrait of a Character – Malcolm Reed

Portrait of a Character – Malcolm Reed

Malcolm Reed is, by far, one of my all-time favorite Star Trek characters.

Origins

Portrait of a Character – Malcolm Reed
Malcolm Reed (Dominic Keating)

This character is, of course, Star Trek: Enterprise canon. The actor, Dominic Keating, is British (he’s from Leicester), but the character is from Malaysia. Repressed, uptight and a lover of big guns and even bigger explosions, Reed was rumored to be the first regular gay character. However, according to Keating, the rumors were Internet hype more than anything else, and homosexuality was never intended to be a part of the portrayal. This has not stopped a lot of fan fiction writers from giving him a slash angle. I do not. Instead, since all of his relationships and possible relationships are straight, I write him as completely heterosexual.

Portrayal

As in canon, Reed is played by actor Dominic Keating.

Personality

Canon states that Reed is repressed and shy around women. He’s also very competent at his job, possibly the most competent person behind T’Pol. Self-sacrificing to a fault, Reed is uncomfortable fraternizing with his captain, and feels that the relationship should remain at arm’s-length. Furthermore, Malcolm is afraid of water and is the ship’s chess champion.

So much for canon.

As I have written him, he also has a fondness for Scrabble and various word games and puzzles, enjoying competition but also working to improve his mind. He’s an avid reader (some of that reading is canon), and is particularly fond of Jane Eyre. Whether he sees himself as Rochester is yet to be determined.

A cautious lover and a natural pessimist, Malcolm is a bit afraid of rejection and has a bit of dysfunction at times. He keeps to himself, which tends to make relationships problematic at best. But when he meets someone and he likes her, he latches on rather quickly. However, at the beginning of much of my fanfiction (and in keeping with canon), he tends to fall for women who are either thoroughly inappropriate for him or are utterly unattainable, a fact that he acknowledges in Concord and Together, in particular.

Relationships

As I write Malcolm, he has two major relationships which define him.

Portrait of a Character – Malcolm Reed

 

 

 

Pamela Hudson

With Pamela, Malcolm feels he may be falling in love, but she pulls him back and tells him, no, you’re mistaken. He finds it freeing when he realizes that she’s right.

But Pamela also stretches his limits, and loosens him up. A part of that is due to her prowess and her proclivities. He finds himself enjoying a bit of naughty bedroom play, and participates in some, but not all of it. At the end of Intolerance they part, assuring each other that they will become, essentially, Friends with Benefits.

Lili O’Day

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Dominic Keating as Malcolm Reed
Dominic Keating as Malcolm Reed

With Lili, the relationship is considerably stronger and more loving. Malcolm finds that he can be a lot freer with her than he has ever been with anyone before, even Pamela. He fulfills the destiny that was denied him in the original, canon E2 episode, and becomes a family man when Lili gives birth to Declan (Temper, Fortune). Initially, in Reversal, Lili is denied him, as she goes with Doug.

In later life, he and Lili marry, an event prepared for in Equinox and then shown in Fortune. Their later married life is briefly shown in The Rite.

Lili also pairs with him in the E2 stories I am currently writing. In one scenario, they have a daughter who they name Pamela Morgan. In another, in keeping with canon, they do not have children.

Charlotte Hayes

In Concord, Malcolm pines for Charlotte but never truly attempts to win her. Instead, seeing a picture of Lili after his encounter with Charlotte, Malcolm experiences an eerie sense of déja vu.

Theme Music

Malcolm’s behaviors work well with music. In Intolerance, his relationship with Pamela is covered by Love is Strange but also Be My Baby. In Together, his initial theme is The Style Council‘s Wanted, with its message of unattainable longing. The reader is told – Malcolm has been holding back, and there is someone he is pining for. When he and Lili hook up, the musical theme, shared by them, is A Flock of SeagullsWishing (If I Had a Photograph of You). His disastrous reunion with Pamela is evoked with Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. By the time the action shifts to Temper, the music changes, too, to Paul Young’s Every Time You Go Away. His final theme, in Fortune, is evocative of their wedding. It’s Bruce Springsteen’s Prove It All Night.

Poetry

In Intolerance, it’s revealed that Malcolm is a gifted poet, so long as he has motivation. And Pamela provides that in spades. Malcolm’s medium of choice is Shakespearean sonnets. I have written him three for her, two for Declan (in Fortune) and one for Lili in the E2 stories. Here is my favorite, the second sonnet for Pamela –

Portrait of a Character – Malcolm Reed
Reed the Knave (Dominic Keating)

 

A burning ember, burst to flame
as kindred souls entwine and merge
the knave, he could not be the same
falling, ever falling over precipice and verge

Portrait of a Character – Malcolm Reed
Reed, still the Knave (Dominic Keating)

Her face was fair, her mind was keen
her body offered untold pleasure
And yet her heart remained unseen —
could the knave unlock this treasure?

The Queen, she came down from above
She changed the knave, who did it all for love

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Malcolm Reed
Ian Reed (Dominic Keating)

Malcolm Reed has a canon counterpart, who I name Ian and kill off before Reversal. But Ian has a rather rich afterlife, particularly in Equinox and the E2 stories. I’ll cover him in a separate entry.

Quote

“It’s the stuff that makes up your life. You have allowed me to be a part of it. That’s almost as intimate as holding your body to mine, touching and kissing and looking at all of your, your secret places.”

Upshot

For a canon character with a comparatively sketchy background, I’ve been happy to fill in the blanks. And I hear his voice better than any of the other canon characters, except perhaps for Jay Hayes. I could tell a thousand stories about Malcolm Reed. I feel I have merely scratched the surface. 

Portrait of a Character – Jay Douglas Hayes

Portrait of a Character – Jay Douglas Hayes

Many – although not all – roads lead to Jay Douglas Hayes.

Origins

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Jay Hayes's Service Record | Steven Culp | Jay Douglas Hayes
Jay Hayes’s Service Record | Steven Culp

This character is, of course, Star Trek: Enterprise canon. He is a Major in the MACOs and loses his life during the ENT Countdown episode.

In canon, he only has a first initial, and not even a middle initial. I have gone with Jay (a suggestion by the actor who played him) and Douglas in order to dovetail with Doug Beckett. Hence, Jay Douglas Hayes.

The main origination point for me was that I enjoyed the character very much, and wish he had been shown more. A rather earthy dream about him was the basis and initial kernel of an idea for Reversal, a story where he is referred to, and is seen in this photograph. However, by the time of Reversal (2157), Jay is already long dead.

Portrayal

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Steven Culp as Major Jay Douglas Hayes
Steven Culp as Major Hayes

As in canon, Jay is portrayed by veteran actor Steven Culp. Culp has said about the character that he is essentially a David Mamet character, in that he is more action than talk much of the time. In canon, he rarely smiles. In fact, I think one of the few times he even comes close to smiling is in this image.

Personality

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Steven Culp as Major Jay Douglas Hayes with Dominic Keating as Malcolm Reed
Steven Culp as Major Hayes with Dominic Keating as Malcolm Reed

All business, Jay is surprised and genuinely hurt that Malcolm Reed would think that he was attempting to undermine the Tactical Officer’s authority. For Jay, it’s about getting the job done. However, he does so with few niceties. For Malcolm, this is unacceptable, and there is a need for communications and for protocols to be followed. In canon, Jay eventually admits that blindly following the chain of command isn’t as easy as it may seem, nor is it always the right thing to do. For him, the excuse of “I was only following orders” could have rung true, until that moment.

E2

In the E2 stories I am currently writing, Jay is in a state of melancholy, but so are many of the other people, as clinical depression runs rampant, at least at the beginning of those stories. For Jay, it takes the form of regrets about an old relationship with a woman he identifies as his most important ex-girlfriend, Susan Cheshire, and he even writes her a letter that he knows she will never read. But Jay is also unexpectedly kind, such as when he carves a walking stick for an injured crewman but doesn’t make it public knowledge.

His conflict with Malcolm is shown in any number of stories. In Harvest and in Protocols, which both take place during the Xindi war, he and Malcolm bicker a bit. It’s pretty much just about their ideas about dealing with the Xindi threat. It isn’t until the E2 stories that their arguments become about something else entirely, their rivalry over a woman.

Relationships

In canon, he has no known relationships. I follow on that and, in Together, when Lili and Doug meet with his sister, the attorney Laura Hayes, she confides that he had no one, not even a girlfriend and was “not the marrying kind”.

In my fanfiction, he has three important earlier relationships which eventually lead up to his great love, in the E2 stories. The first of these is with Darareaksmey Preap, a Cambodian bar girl that he knew when he was young and in Basic Training, near Phnom Penh. Much like Doug, he lies to Darareaksmey and tells her he loves her, and buys her gifts, in order to be able to lose his virginity to her.

The second is Christine Chalmers, possibly known during an assignment. He considers telling her that he loves her until he learns that she’s been cheating on him. The third is the aforementioned Susan Cheshire, who tells him she loves him nearly constantly. But he can’t bring himself to say it in return, and he doesn’t quite understand why until later.

In the E2 stories, he learns to let go of Susan’s memory and embrace the woman who will be his great love, the woman he calls Sparrow. This is evoked in Equinox as well when, even after his death, he communicates with her and accidentally calls her Sparrow.

Theme Music

Jay Douglas Hayes doesn’t have official theme music, but the Beatles’ Blue Jay Way works rather nicely.

Mirror Universe

Jay’s Mirror Universe counterpart is Doug Beckett. Any discussion of Jay/Doug in the Mirror can be found in that post.

Quote

“I was a big kid. {and} I was probably gonna be fat if I didn’t do something. I was an ox, a lummox, my dad would call me. My father, he ordered me to ride my bike every day…. He was military, too. And, well, so I did it. ‘Cause you didn’t argue with Jeremiah Hayes. So I used to ride around the reservoir area. It was nice, and there were birds. They would all chatter away, like they were having arguments or telling each other the news or something like that…. Anyway, it was a good place to go, and it was a bit cooler than most places, so I went every day. And then one day, I saw the Ganymede Police there. They had a skiff boat and there were divers. And they were, well … they were dredging for a body.”

Upshot

Beyond being, perhaps, a bit of a jarhead, Jay Douglas Hayes has a heart and a soul. You just need to be quiet and listen for them.

Review – Reversal

Reversal, a Fanfiction Revival

Reversal got its name on a lark. I hadn’t written Star Trek: Enterprise fanfiction in quite a while.

So I was, in all honesty, spinning it out from nothing. I had nearly no plan for the story, no outline and at first I wasn’t even saving it to Word. And so, when I was saving the first post, the topic had to have a name. On an impulse, I named it Reversal.

And the title proved to be perfect.

Origins

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

I had a dream. No, not like Martin Luther King!

It was a rather earthy dream, truth be told. And it was about a character on Enterprise. And I woke up, thinking – there’s a story there.

From such beginnings, I developed an idea. The septum between the Prime Universe and the Mirror would be thinner at one particular point in the galaxy. This was in parallel to the reality of the Earth’s crust. It is not uniform. Hence I wanted the separation to not be of uniform thickness/difficulty in crossing.

Bare Bones Story Line

The idea was for it to be possible to cross the boundary between the Prime Universe and the mirror through the dream state. The concept was that, for a certain species, the connections would be normal. And then, as the NX-01 Enterprise on our side, and the ISS Defiant on the other, enter that same system, the psionically charged atmosphere would cause two people to simultaneously start to pick up on that same wavelength. But for them, it would be a romance.

It starts off with a bang. The first line is – It didn’t hurt. I love this opening line, as the reader should immediately be thinking – what? What didn’t hurt? Was it supposed to? And then the story moves along from there. The first dream is a coupling dream, where a fantasy plays out in what seems to be a normal Freudian fashion. People kiss, their clothes fly away and of course more happens. It’s pitch black. They remain silent, although they can hear each other breathing. But then the heroine – Lili O’Day – breaks the spell by incoherently calling out loud.

And so we’re off to the races, for the next two scenes shift from her and her roommate in our universe to her fellow and his roommate – a woman – in the mirror. We know Lili’s name, but not the guy’s. He’s just referred to – and rather pejoratively at that – as the old man. His name is kept out of the first few chapters as he is a counterpart to a canon character.

Clues abound and some come from the characters’ speaking whereas others come from Lili talking in her sleep or references from the twin surfaces. Something is going on, in both universes. There is more happening than just the dreams.

Symbolism

From the beginning, I wanted the story to have symbolic meanings. For the title, the first half of the word, rêve, is French for dream. This also works as the second half symbolizes waking life. Plus there is the word itself and its connotations of reinvention and retrograde changes.

Oranges
Oranges

Other symbols abound. After the first dream, Lili – who is the sous-chef on the Enterprise – is ordered to make every meal with oranges for one day. When she goes to sleep that night, she reeks of oranges, and it’s the first word that her fellow says to her. So, not only can he smell her, but there is also what oranges kind of mean. They are of course different from apples (and apples connote temptation and the fall from purity). Oranges, I felt would symbolize sunshine and happiness, and warmth and light.

Artist's impression of HD 98800.
Artist’s impression of HD 98800. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another symbol or rather symbols is the quadruple star system. The largest star is a white giant named Lo, which should make the reader think of the phrase lo and behold. The second-largest star is a yellow medium-size star like the sun. It’s Abic (Ay-bick), a bit like abba, the Hebrew word for father. The third star is a small orange star, Fep. The smallest one is a red dwarf (yes, it’s a shout out to that TV series) called Ub. Hoshi herself explains that there are value judgments behind the names – Lo is for goodness, Abic is secondary, Fep is small and Ub is sinister.

Subject Matter

The five main books in the In Between Days series are each about one of the five main characters (Pamela Hudson is essentially the sixth main character, but she isn’t connected with any book as well as she is with Intolerance). Reversal is, essentially, about Lili. From learning about the fire that killed her parents, to getting to know her as a chef, a lover and a friend, to even peeking at her finances, Lili is all over most of the pages, particularly in the dream sequences and the Prime Universe scenes. This is Lili’s tale.

Music

This story is less musically-driven than others but it does have a few melodic moments. Lili’s theme song is Roy Orbison’s Sweet Dreams Baby.  Her fellow’s song is Robbie Williams’s Feel.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated T/M although there is a K+/T version on Fanfiction.net.

Upshot

Reversal is not the best story I have ever written. It drags at the end, as I was reluctant to give it up. But it gets the series off splendidly and, truly, almost everything else springs from it in one way or another (albeit sometimes indirectly). I continually mine it for backstory tales of Lili and her fellow and their many supporting cast members, like Chip Masterson, Leonora Digiorno, Melissa Madden, Pamela Hudson, Andrew Miller, Brian Delacroix and Jun Daniels Sato and many others.

It’s just the gift that keeps on giving; it’s so incredibly dense with plot. I am grateful to have such a pond to fish in. Apparently readers have agreed; on various platforms, it has racked up over 500,000 total reads.

Portrait of a Character – Charles Tucker III

Portrait of a Character – Charles Tucker III

Portrait of a Character – Charles Tucker III

Why the heck would I want to talk about a Star Trek: Enterprise canon character? After all, doesn’t Memory Alpha do a better job? For canon, yes. No argument here.

But what I am talking about is my own fanfiction. So I’ve got a different take on him.

Portrait of a Character – Charles Tucker III
Tripp Tucker (Conner Trinneer)

Tripp/Trip – What?

First off, I spell it as Tripp, with two P’s. Why? I knew a guy who was a third, and he spelled it that way. To me, one P just looks off. And I am well aware that readers may see the two P’s as being off. So be it. I recognize that this is me being quirky and stubborn, and certainly breaching canon. That cannot be any more than the people who, let’s see, make Tucker gay, make him bi or make him essentially a superhero. Not to mention the folks who insist that he didn’t die in These Are the Voyages.

It’s just a letter, folks.

Marrying Canon to Fanfiction

The writers did a lot to Tripp throughout the course of the show’s four seasons. He got pregnant, he had a relationship with First Officer T’Pol (a Vulcan), he was cloned, he rescued a princess, he lost his sister in the Xindi attack and he met his end, too. In all honesty, I had seen so much of him on screen that I was a bit sick of him when writing my own fiction. He was a major character on the show, but television shows are of a finite size. Therefore, the more screen time for him, the less for other characters.

For me, obliquely referencing him and his exploits often did the trick. In The Reptile Speaks, he’s mentioned in a teenager’s film about sex, as an example of unconventional relations. For the two teenagers talking about him, he’s a source of some amusement.

In Razor, he’s barely referenced, although his identity should be clear to the reader.

A Regular Guy

For me, one of the fun things about writing him is playing on his being, essentially, a regular Joe. In Letters from Home, a riff on the mail distribution scene in the film Stalag 17, he gets a lot of correspondence, but it’s not necessarily of the welcome kind.

In Waiting, he stands in the chow line with below decks characters Shelby Pike, Karin Bernstein, and Andy Miller, among others.

A Romantic Guy

Well, maybe not always heroically romantic. In Intolerance, he eagerly participates in the competition to woo the female medical students, and comments quite a bit on the woman he’s originally assigned to, Pamela Hudson.

In Together, he’s paired with Hoshi who, in the end, realizes that she doesn’t feel about him the way he feels about her.

As of this writing, I am working on a set of E2 stories, and his relationship with T’Pol is covered, including the cultural differences between them. For example, what Tripp sees as a symbol of commitment, T’Pol sees as a religious article – and not of her faith.

A Working Stiff

In Reversal, it is he who does most of the heavy calculations necessary, and he ends up risking his life in order to perform a rescue.

In Temper, he gives his all in service to the Federation, in what feels very much like a lost cause.

Theme Music

Not every character has a theme, but Tripp does, in Together.  The song is Matthew Sweet’s Sick of Myself. I particularly wanted this song for the line, “When I look at you, something is beautiful and true.” That story also has couples’ songs. His (with his partner) is Joe Jackson’s Kinda Kute. I wanted that one for its opening lyric, “You make a guy feel humble.”

The Mirror Universe

At the end of the second canon MU ENT episode, Tripp is about the only one of the main characters who is likely to survive to see another day. Severely scarred, bitter and angry, he epitomizes the skewed life led there.

Portrait of a Character – Charles Tucker III
Mirror Tripp (Conner Trinneer)

Apparently the makeup was intended to evoke the images of Christopher Pike in The Menagerie.

I have written the MU Tripp as being just as angry, but it’s later, so he’s sicker, and realizes he’s dying. He becomes gentler than he normally would be, and seeks solace with an old girlfriend,  Beth Cutler, who accepts him for who he is. In Reversal, the MU Tripp has a lot at stake, and plays off people against each other in an effort to save himself. It is, ultimately, his wish to save others that redeems him, in a way.

In Temper, the MU Tripp again shows a small degree of selflessness, and by doing so he helps to undo the lost cause which threatens the Prime Universe. As I write the MU, everyone is keenly aware of what they owe others, and Tripp is no exception. Since he owes Doug something, he recognizes the debt, and repays it.

In Fortune, the MU Tripp has come full circle but is still a bit wary about strangers. A dynasty is foretold, which shows a major divergence between his fate and that of the Prime Universe Tripp.

Demise

In the Prime Universe, his death is canon, so I don’t mess with that. He is mourned and remembered, and there’s even a charitable foundation named for him, mentioned in Fortune.

Quote

But we’re here to explore and to, to take risks. And I don’t think this is a foolish one.”

Upshot

I enjoy the character but, as I’ve mentioned, I think he was overused, often to the detriment of other characters. But he’s more than just engineering, an accent and a romance. In many ways, his observations are our observations, as an audience and, I hope, as readers.

Tucker is, as in canon, portrayed by actor Connor Trinneer.