Tag Archives: character

Portrait of a Character – Erika Hernandez

Portrait of a Character – Erika Hernandez

Origins

This canon character was seen during the fourth season of Enterprise.

Portrayal

As in canon, the character is played by actress Ada Maris.

Portrait of a Character – Erika Hernandez
Ada Maris as Captain Erika Hernandez

I am not the only person who enjoyed the portrayal of this tough, no-nonsense character.

Personality

Strong but fair, Erika was the perfect captain for Daranaean first contact in The Cure is Worse Than the Disease. The Daranaeans do not know what to make of a smart woman who is in charge of anything more daunting than a large household.

By the time of Take Back the Night, Erika is forced back to deal with those sentient marsupial canids again, and she is none too pleased with having to do that.

Relationships

Jonathan Archer

The only known relationship is the canon one, with Jonathan Archer. The way I write it, it is pursued a bit in More, More, More! but otherwise the relationship is dropped. Neither of them try very hard.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Erika Hernandez
Ada Maris as the Mirror Erika Hernandez

The Mirror Universe version of Erika shows up in Dishing it Out, a crossover collaboration story written with FalseBill. We decided that she would be the only slightly competent chef for the Empress Hoshi Sato. By the time of Temper, Erika is long gone.

 

 

Quote

“The troubling thing about the Daranaeans is their treatment of their females. Casual sexism is tossed around just as readily as are vapid discussions about the weather. I was privy to two rituals engaged in by the females, which centered on pregnancy and birth. Within these rituals are subtle distinctions among the castes which serve to promote Prime Wives and denigrate the last caste women, while walking a thin line when it came to the secondaries. In addition, we learned that a last caste child of perhaps three or four years of age was not permitted to join in with the home schooling that the other children enjoyed. Whether this was by law or custom or both, I do not know. When asked, we were merely informed that that caste “did not believe” in education – a statement that I find difficult to believe.”

Upshot

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Portrait of a Character – Zefram Cochrane

Portrait of a Character – Zefram Cochrane

Origins

This Star Trek canon character is seen in both Enterprise and the movie universe.

Portrayal

As in canon, Zef is played by actor James Cromwell.

Portrait of a Character – Zefram Cochrane

I enjoy this actor’s performances and respect the casting decision 100% for my Star Trek fanfiction.

Personality

Abrasive and capricious, Zef is grounded by Lily. In a ruined post-World War III landscape, she helps him focus on what will become not only the greatest achievement of his life, it will likely be one of the greatest achievements in all of human history – the invention of Warp Drive.

Relationships

Lily Sloane

Portrait of a Character – Zefram Cochrane
Lily and Zef

This relationship is hinted at in canon, but never fully realized. In my fan fiction, I have decided that they marry. He is eventually widowed, in A Single Step. With her dying breath’s encouragement, she tells him to make his life out in the stars.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Zefram Cochrane
Mirror Zefram Cochrane

A Mirror Universe version of Zef is canon, and he shoots the first Vulcan he sees, on First Contact Day.

I haven’t written him yet (and the actor in the image isn’t even Cromwell), but I bet he’d be a kick to write. He would probably descend more or less completely into alcoholism after killing the Vulcans and stealing their ship and its technology.

Quote

“Don’t be getting no weapons! I will defend what’s mine!”

Upshot

I am hoping for a chance to write him again, possibly in a Mirror Universe scenario.


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Character Sexuality/Relationship Mixes

Boldly Reading’s Blog Prompt #10 asks about characters’ sexualities in Star Trek Fanfiction. And that can be a bit of a minefield. Here’s what it asks –

Your Questions, Should You Choose to Accept Them

  • There has been a dearth of even minor characters with, shall we say, less mainstream sexual preferences and relationships. Often, a character would behave in this fashion if in the Mirror universe, or under some sort of duress. How would you change that?
  • What would happen to canon characters if their preferences or their relationships were changed? Beyond the obvious choice of bed partners, how would known characters change?
  • Are there circumstances under which characters would behave differently but still within the fullest context of canon?
  • Have you created any original characters who follow less mainstream preference/relationship models? How do you get across their inner workings without continually announcing in every other paragraph something like, I’m gay! Now, let’s get a pizza. ?
  • Television programs and films naturally cater to worldwide audiences and have investors for which they need to show profits. That can hamper all forms of creativity, including the creation of less mainstream characters of any sort, and not just in the sexual arena (e. g. minorities, obese persons, persons with disabilities, etc.). Throw away the budget! How would you rewrite a canon episode or film to showcase a character (main or not) with a less-mainstream preference?

Bonus questions!

  • Have you read others’ non-mainstream characters? Which are your favorites? Which relationships are the most believable? Which scenarios, outside of relationships, are most believable for these characters?
  • Again, throwing away the budget, what would you do if you could make your own new Star Trek series from scratch, where at least one or two characters would be out of the mainstream? How would you handle showing the differences for HBO, or PBS, or ABC Family, if any of those networks deigned to carry your show?
  • Do you read slash (male-male relationships) or femme slash (female-female relationships), either on Ad Astra or elsewhere? Aside from PWP, how did the authors bring home ideas about their characters’ sexuality? Was it clichéd? Did it succeed? Was it hit or miss?

Bringing True IDIC to Canon

What happens when canon characters are altered?

Chapel and crew member
Chapel and crew member

Is it as simple as having, say, Nurse Chapel from The Original Series mooning over Uhura or another female crew member, rather than Spock?

Does the character lose anything? Does the story line?

Do we, as the members of the audience (or the readers, as the case may be) lose sympathy for her if her object of affection is of the same sex as she?

Chapel and Spock
Chapel and Spock

And this scene, from Plato’s Stepchildren, would have a far different subtext.

Or flip it again. What if, in that episode, Parmen had the two kissing couples (Kirk and Uhura are the others, in what was one of the first interracial kisses broadcast on American television) switch partners in a few different ways?

When Chapel and Uhura are forced to kiss, or Kirk and Spock, how do we react as an audience? Do we cheer? Are we repulsed? Do we shrug as if we’ve seen it all before? Do we react cynically, figuring it’s just a ploy to bring in more ratings?

I hope this sort of change would not elicit revulsion. And I certainly hope it would intelligently amp up the drama. Truthfully, if the episode were being aired today, it would likely be far more than kissing, or at least such would be implied. It would be Platonian porn. And that porn would not have to be male-female.

IDIC Original Characters

MACO Private Frank Todd
MACO Private Frank Todd

I’ve enjoyed adding characters with different sexualities.

Diana Jones, Preece Ti, Leonora Digiorno and Leah Benson are all lesbians. Melissa Madden is bi. Preston Jennings, Dave Constantine, and Luke Donnelly are all gay men.

And then there’s Frank Todd.

Frank started off as a protest against various homophobic slurs I was seeing on Trek United several years ago. I wanted a tough but kind character, and so he was written into There’s Something About Hoshi and was given a prominent role. He is so friendly to Hoshi, and so protective of her, that the Arisians even think they are a couple.

Boy, are they ever wrong.

Truth be told, Frank and Dave’s relationship in that story was far more stable and assured than Hoshi and Ted’s. Ted Stone comes across as kind of wimpy, and certainly shy and anything but an Alpha Male, worshiping Hoshi, more or less from afar. Frank and Dave, in contrast, have an easygoing affection. Understated, yes, but they look at each other lovingly and there is a great deal of feeling behind Frank saying, “I’ll see you later.” The subtext should be – I can’t wait to see you later. It was particularly satisfying to add more depth to them, in the E2 stories and also in Detached Curiosity and Idle Speculation and its sequel, The Way to a Man’s Heart. The latter is in the context of a celebration of Turing/Stonewall Week, meant to be a week in June devoted to gay rights and accomplishments.

I love this character so much that I am hunting around for more places to feature him. After all, Frank does more than date.

Favorite IDIC Characters from Others’ Works

Give it up for Andy in SLWalker’s One Minute!

What I like about Andy is that he’s a fully realized character. He has body parts that aren’t genitalia. He has a story line that isn’t wholly about sex.

For Andy, who wants to reach the shadow, it only starts off as being about sex. It very quickly becomes more about human contact. Why is the shadow shunning it? What could possibly hurt that much? Is there any way for the shadow to be healed?

Throwing out the Budget: A New Show with IDIC

If I had full control over a Star Trek series, I would love to be able to add at least one or two IDIC characters, and not necessarily in the context of being a couple. Surely there is room for a character like Jake Sisko, or Chakotay or Chapel, who has a same-sex preference?

Or let’s go for broke.

Maybe that person is the captain.

HBO

For a channel which showed naked men before and more frequently than most others, this posited series can show a lot more flesh. I think the trick would be to keep it from being almost a bodice-ripper.

Excuse me, codpiece-ripper.

It might even be a struggle with the network suits to show exploration, and get the characters out of their bedrooms. I can see it working as almost a modern-day version of Hill Street Blues, a show that had rather gritty police realism but then, at the end, it was often an image of Furillo and Davenport in bed together. It was network television and it was the 1980s and so they were talking with a kiss or two and not much else. But they were still there.

Archer and Daniels in the deep future
Archer and Daniels in the deep future

I can see the time period for this series as possibly being in the deep future, much like Times of the HG Wells.

The extreme future could also allow for showing more interspecies relationships, including bedroom scenes.

PBS

With this more factually-based network, I can see story lines becoming more documentary-like in look and feel. Because I love the earlier years of Trek, I can see it in a pre-ENT time period.

Lily Sloane and Zefram Cochrane in 2063
Lily Sloane and Zefram Cochrane in 2063

For a grittier time, maybe even pre-First Contact (e. g. prior to April of 2063), the Earth would be a post-nuclear horror. Bedroom time would be more urgent and a lot tougher to come by. People would be scratching out their survival. Hence a shaky camera-type realistic story line could work. And what could be more real than a team or a family or a crew or a group or a movement that wasn’t a monolith?

There is also no reason whatsoever why some of the people involved in building the first warp ship couldn’t be gay, lesbian or intergender.

ABC Family

With a far more restrictive network, it used to be that intimations of less-mainstream sexuality had to be a lot more metaphoric. And the same was more or less true of heterosexuality. While a kiss between a man and a woman could be perfectly acceptable, having them wake up in bed together in anything other than pajamas after a good night’s sleep was just plain not going to fly. For a gay or lesbian couple, even a kiss could have been going too far. Would so much as hand-holding be a problem?

Actually, no.

During the 2010 – 2011 season, GLAAD cited ABC Family as being one of the more inclusive networks, with the lesbian character, Emily, in Pretty Little Liars. Their praise for ABC Family continued into the 2012 season, in GLAAD’s Network Responsibility Index report. Even for a network with the word ‘family’ in its very name, times have changed, and characters of all sexualities are embraced and welcomed, and aren’t just cast as victims, self-loathing suicides or criminals.

Scheduled fun for students on Voyager
Scheduled fun for students on Voyager

For ABC Family, I feel that a Starfleet Academy scenario could work the best. This would provide story lines surrounding coming of age, and that can mean discovering and communicating to others about one’s sexuality. This might work best in a post-Nemesis time period, where the technology could be bigger and brighter but not wholly unfamiliar and, if not set too deeply into the future, guest characters could believably interact with the new series’s characters.

Slash

Perhaps the hardest sell for a lot of people is slash, and the problem is that it is often misunderstood as to what slash truly is. In its original form, it was TOS-based, and it showed a sexual relationship between Kirk and Spock, essentially pulling their friendship to the extreme.

Slash takes tons of forms, e. g. m/m (two men), f/f (two women), chanslash (underage children), original slash (both characters are original ones), etc. It also does not, necessarily, contain overt sexual situations or behaviors (reverse slash). Then there’s also PWP (porn without plot; or plot, what plot?), which is pretty overt porn with little to recommend it beyond basic titillation.

While I have read slash, and I enjoy excitement as much as the next person, I’ve found straightforward PWP to get unintentionally amusing after a while. Hence I personally tend to stay away from it, but that’s for all forms of sexuality that it may showcase. I kinda like plot with my sexy stories. But hey, that might just be me.

Contamination by Odon is a femmeslash story about Hoshi and T’Pol that brings together

Hoshi and T'Pol
Hoshi and T’Pol

Pon Farr and bi-curiosity in a way that is safe for teens (the story is, to my mind properly, rated T) but gets across the characters’ sexuality immediately. Could this even work on a more conservative network?

I don’t see any reason why not. Hell, it’s actually a bit less sexy than what the UPN network was really showing when ENT was in first-run.

Upshot

A character’s sexuality is as much a part of a person as their eye color or their height, and it’s just as mutable, particularly after maturation. To create a ship or a series with absolutely no one with an alternative view is downright unrealistic. The percentage of out-and-out 100% homosexual persons is rather small, but the percentage of people who are bi, bi-curious and/or sympathetic to gay rights is considerably higher.

There is a lot of room under the umbrella called Star Trek, and fan fiction proves that anyway, by bringing poetry, different pairings, horror stories, alternative timelines, expanded universes, original characters, and extremely long story arcs which can work side by side with what happened on screen and in the officially sanctioned books.

To keep non-mainstream sexuality out of Star Trek is a misplaced notion.

IDIC for the win!

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Complex Evil Characters

Complex Evil Characters

On Boldly Reading, it was recently asked, how do you write complex evil characters?

More specifically – how do you write evil characters who are not mere caricatures? Do you find ways to garner sympathy, even for the wicked (or the devil, perhaps?)? Do you surprise your readers by turning a character from good to evil, or evil to good? How grey is the shading?

Bonus questions!

  1. Which evil characters have you enjoyed writing the most?
  2. Which evil character, created by another author, have you enjoyed reading the most?
  3. Which canon evil character do you enjoy watching or reading the most?

Process

Like the creation of any other Star Trek fanfiction original characters, the bad guys spring up as needed. Some get more back story than others as they are created, while others receive detail as needed, possibly stretched out over time. I get to know characters, as they begin to move me, and then I feel more comfortable giving them some specifics. They need motivations, and they usually need brakes of some sort. While a lot of people may be good for the sake of being good, I believe that most people aren’t, truly, evil simply for the sake of being evil (perhaps I’m a little optimistic that way).

Hence I think the way I’ll answer this is by listing some of my favorite own evil creatures – I mean, creations, and will comment thereupon.

In Between Days/Interphases

Leah Benson (Mirror)

Leah Benson
Leah Benson

The prime universe’s official Starfleet rabbi is an alcoholic in the mirror, and kills her lover, Leonora Digiorno, in an alcoholic fit, one of the more meaningless deaths in any of my stories (Fortune).

Christine Chalmers (mirror)

One of Doug‘s old girlfriends, Christine taunts him until he kills Ehigha Ejoigu, thereby committing his fifth murder (Fortune).

Tristan Curtis

This character is one of Patti Socorro‘s rapists (The Three of Us). He is sentenced to banishment on Amity, and then escapes custody.

Douglas Jay Hayes (Beckett)

DougIt takes a supreme effort of will for this killer to come clean and turn his life around. But until Doug does, he has personally killed fourteen men, is responsible for the death of one woman and has pulled the trigger for countless phaser bank deaths, including being a part of committing genocide on the Xindi people.

Once he comes to the prime universe, he has to rein in his temper, but he never kills again.

Jeremiah Hayes (mirror)

Committed to getting Doug into a good school and nipping any possibility in the bud of his only child becoming a mama’s boy, Jeremiah may or may not be abusing his wife, Lena, as Doug is thrown to the wolves at a young age (Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions).

Gary Hodgkins

Another one of Patti Socorro’s rapists, at least Gary confesses his misdeeds, before his death, thereby cracking that case wide open.

Edward Hudson

Never seen, but definitely felt, Edward raped and abused Pamela Hudson from age five until she escaped the family home (Intolerance).

Linda Morgan Hudson

As her husband abused and raped their younger daughter, Pamela, Linda did nothing to stop things and, eventually, lets her daughters know that she, too, was abused by Edward Hudson (Saturn Rise).

Randall McCoy

While liberating the Dachau concentration camp in 1945, Sergeant McCoy participants in firing squads which execute Nazi guards without the benefit of trial, thereby committing a war crime (Day of the Dead). Later, he bears witness against Holocaust deniers.

Cyril Morgan (mirror)

A kindly grandfather in the prime universe, the mirror Cyril commits medical malpractice regularly and participates in the torture deaths of Phlox and Ian (Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses). Later, he attempts to persuade Travis to allow him to let Hoshi die on an operating table, thereby ending her reign of terror (Coveted Commodity) but also killing the unborn Izo.

Jefferson Davis Paxton

Paxton furthers his own political agenda and vengeance by raping Ruby Brannagh and leaving her for dead (Shell Shock).

Arashi Sato

John Lone as Arashi Sato
John Lone as Arashi Sato

Empress Hoshi’s third-born is a whiz at numbers and collects the taxes in the Terran Empire. Arashi is probably the most feared, and is most likely to become a 1984-style tyrant (fortunately, he never comes to power) (Temper).

Izo Sato

Izo Sato
Izo Sato

Empress Hoshi’s youngest, Izo enforces the collections of both taxes and gambling debts from Game Night, and tries unsuccessfully to force Leah Benson to service him (Bread). In an alternate timeline, he bullies Pamela Hudson, but she turns the tables on him (Temper).

Sandra Sloane

Sandra SloaneThis character is something of a village gossip, spouting off homophobic slurs and generally making everyone uncomfortable (Reflections Down a Corridor, Entanglements). Her tongue is so sharp, and her remarks are so cutting, that Ethan Shapiro becomes distraught, and attempts suicide, in part due to her nastiness.

José Torres (mirror)

José, a sweet and gentle giant in the prime universe, is rewarded for a massacre of innocents by being given three women as playthings – Pamela Hudson, Blair Claymore and Karin Bernstein, who he regularly abuses (Temper).

Times of the HG Wells/Multiverse II

Daniel Beauchaine

Daniel BeauchaineThis Section 31 operative and Temporal Integrity Commission employee (Dan is a survivalist specialist) alters time for the counter group known as the Perfectionists (Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain). This eventually all catches up with him, and he commits suicide (Shake Your Body).

Marisol Castillo

A psychopath, Marisol keeps it together for a while, but eventually throws off her assignment to seduce Boris Yarin and begins to blackmail him, threatening to tell his wife everything (Shake Your Body). Marisol CastilloShe also kills Perfectionists operative Anthony Parker in order to keep him quiet (You Mixed-Up Siciliano), and attempts to kill Richard Daniels and Sheilagh Bernstein.

Otra D’Angelo

Only evil in Multiverse II, Otra is a Witannen, with symbiotic chavecoi on her head. When they are possessed by evil Chilo, she is pushed to commit bad acts, but she eventually throws off control, and makes an effort to redeem herself.

Liesl Green

Colonel Green’s wife is the power behind the throne and is one of the few constants as the Colonel is replaced over and over again in order to appease the Eastern Coalition and make it appear as if everything is just peachy in North America (Multiverse II).

Jared Riley

Mostly a puppet of Liesl Green and the Chilo, Jared has no qualms about ratting out the heroes of Multiverse II.

Helen Walker

After her death is faked in a shuttle crash on Berren One, Helen performs various missions for the Perfectionists (although she never sullies her hands with murder, like Marisol does), eventually taking over when her father, Milton, goes into hiding in the mirror universe (The Point is Probably Moot).

Milton Walker

A misguided philanthropist, Milton thinks he’s doing good by altering history and, allegedly, improving it. But when Parker is killed under his direction, and Otra is kidnapped by his people (Spring Thaw), the Rubicon is crossed. He begins to realize that he is not much better than a mobster (He Stays a Stranger).

Boris Yarin

The doctor in the Human Unit is cheating on his wife, Darragh Stratton

Boris Yarin, MD
Boris Yarin, MD

(Ohio), with Marisol Castillo. When she begins to blackmail him, he ends up murdering her.

Emergence

Arnis

When his third-caste wife, Inta, refuses to have sexual relations with him, this Daranaean beats her so hard that she dies (Take Back the Night).

Varelle

This physician helps to cover up Arnis’s crime, in exchange for research funding. When they are both convicted, he goes to prison. He secures an early release by assisting Dr. Trinning with finding a cure for the killer disease, thylacine paramyxovirus (Flight of the Bluebird).

Other Star Trek Fan Fiction Stories

D’Storlin

In a fit of rage, precipitated by bullying, this hybrid human-Xindi Reptilian blinds a classmate (D’Storlin). D'Storlin

Canon Characters

Victor Brown

Victor is another one of Patti Socorro’s rapists, but he does his best to redeem himself, for the sake of his marriage.

Daniel Chang

Dan is another one of Patti Socorro’s rapists, and is the ringleader in the group. He is also particularly nasty, rating the women on their looks and presumed sexual prowess, during both kick backs in time (Reflections Down a Corridor, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere).

Colonel Green

This tyrant is responsible for the deaths of some 37 million individuals. In Multiverse II, it’s revealed that there have been fourteen separate versions, all trotted out to fool the masses and the Eastern Coalition.

Brooks Haynem

Brooks Haynem
Brooks Haynem

Brooks aids and abets Patti Socorro’s rapists but does not commit the deed himself.

Neil Kemper

Neil is another one of Patti Socorro’s rapists. Much like Victor Brown, in order to save his marriage, he works hard to make up for his crime.

Leland Loomis

Sent to a mental institution because he’s seen lizard people and a chick with a ray gun, Loomis pleads his case for sanity, until he’s reminded that a finding of sanity would result in him being put on trial and likely found guilty of battery and murder (Detroit Rock City).

Travis Mayweather (mirror)

A petty thug raised to dizzying heights by Empress Hoshi, Travis commits his own petty and not so petty cruelties, including killing Brian Delacroix and trying to get Deborah Haddon to service him immediately afterwards (Reversal).

Marlena Moreau (Mirror)

After killing the Captain’s Woman, Janice Rand, Marlena moves right in, just after seducing James T. Kirk (That’s Not My Name, It Had to be You).

Hoshi Sato (mirror)

Probably my favorite of all canon evil characters, because there is so much potential there, Hoshi is the mouse that roared, turned the slut who took over.

From throwing her favors around in order to liven up the gene pool (First Born, Reversal, Temper, Fortune), to demanding that educated people act as exterminators (Brown), to deliberately erasing and rewriting a lover’s suicide note in order to make herself look better (Escape, The Point is Probably Moot), to systematically killing off any threats (Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses), to pushing people into promotions they’re not ready for, and bullying those who fail to meet her standards (Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions), to controlling all aspects of her crew’s personal lives (Temper, The Play at the Plate, The Pivot Point) to, finally, hectoring and bullying and insulting her children while on her death bed (Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown?), Hoshi has been a delight to write and tease out her rocky future.

Others’ Evil Characters

Give it up for trekfan’s Maria!

I don’t know her as well as I’d like to. After all, there is a great deal of back story to read. But between Chronicles and Multiverse II, Maria is … scary. She’s manipulative, she’s a temptress and she seems to embody everything that hero Hank Harrison wants, but realizes would rip him asunder.

And who doesn’t like that in a villain?

Upshot

Looking over this post, it feels, a little, as if all I write are killers, rapists, abusers, blackmailers and tyrants. And then I remember, I’ve created over 300 original characters. This list just nicks the surface.

But I hope that these people, like their benevolent, fair, friendly and kind brethren, have a depth and a meaning to the reader. I hope that they feel real.

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Inspiration – Friendship

Background

It’s difficult to write about friendship in general terms without it being just a collection of well-worn phrases.

Handshake with Crown
Handshake with Crown (Photo credit: DivaLea)

Complicating matters is the fact that most alien makeup on Star Trek is meant to be light.

After all, the audience will be better able to sympathize with a character if he or she is at least superficially humanoid. Plus recognizable guest stars (and their agents!)  want performances to be memorable. It’s not impossible to do that if an actor is all but unrecognizable, but it sure does raise the degree of difficulty.

So instead I’ll go with what I know.

Canon friendships

Malcolm and Tripp

Malcolm and Tripp go  looking for 'love' in all the wrong places
Malcolm and Tripp go looking for ‘love’ in all the wrong places

Perhaps the best-known friendship in Star Trek: Enterprise is that between Tripp and Malcolm.

Yes, yes, I know about the Tripp/Jonathan friendship. But that is more of a relationship of unequals.

When it comes to Malcolm and Tripp, I feel that a big chance was blown there, for they could have been much more of a source of comic relief. Actor Dominic Keating in particular is a real-life cut up, so it could have worked, certainly in the first two seasons of the program. I have revived that, a bit, particularly in Broken Seal, where together they pull a small prank on Hoshi.

Hoshi and Travis

Less cultivated and less explored was the friendship between the two ensigns.

Hoshi and Travis
Hoshi and Travis

In the aforementioned Broken Seal, the two of them work together in order to prank Tucker back, as Reed has already apologized.

It is easy and, I feel, a bit of a cop-out, to just ‘ship them and be done with it.

Friendships seem to be more complicated, and perhaps truer. After all, how many of us romance our coworkers – particularly if we are stuck with them, more or less 24/7, and can’t resign, even if we want to?

Other Friendships

There are, of course, other friendships, and other series. In particular, I think the friendships between Data and Geordi, and between Geordi and Wesley (although that one is more of a mentor/protegé setup) are very believable in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Furthermore, the friendships among Bones, Spock and Kirk in the original series have spawned tons of slash.

But sometimes a friendship is … just a friendship.

Fanfiction Friendships

Possibly my best-realized friendship is that between Aidan MacKenzie and Chip Masterson. It is quite the bromance, on both  sides of the pond.

Aidan MacKenzie
Aidan MacKenzie

Aidan is the good-looking guy, the Tactical Ensign with a fine career ahead of him. It is fully-realized, too, as he eventually becomes a captain in Equinox.

In Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before, Aidan is already slated for Tactical. For the project to improve the inertial dampers, he is brought in for one real purpose, to do the presentation. Because otherwise he doesn’t know a thing about engineering. He is also an eager participant in the second prank that occurs in that story.

Up in the Air premiere - Ryerson Theatre - Sep...
Up in the Air premiere – Ryerson Theatre – September 12, 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chip, on the other hand, is much more of a jokester. In Together, he dreams of doing standup.

As the self-appointed ‘movie guy’, he selects the films (Aidan is the projectionist), and his taste is reflected in many of the choices on screen. But he is not above silliness and, in Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before, it’s his initial prank that sets the events in motion.

The two are even pranksters in the Mirror Universe. In Brown, they are tasked with removing a rodent infestation from the ISS Defiant. But things don’t go according to plan, as they are both fed up with the Empress.

 Personal Friendships

My own friendships creep in, on occasion. Part-Gorn Kevin O’Connor is based on a person of the same name. Andrew and Lucy‘s daughter is named for a dear friend of mine, as are Jay Hayes’s sister (Laura), M’Roan (in a way), Eleanor Daniels, Crystal Sherwood, Hamilton Roget, Mindy Ryan, Stacey Young and Darragh Stratton. Some are closer than others, who would likely be surprised if they were told that they were being included in some small way.

Upshot

Relationships between people do not have to always mean lust and romance. Friendship is, truly, just as beautiful, and just as sustaining, and should not be dismissed lightly.

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Portrait of a Character – Gary Hodgkins

Portrait of a Character – Gary Hodgkins

Origins

I wanted a MACO who would be, at times, a bad guy, or a guy with some pretty hard luck. Star Trek: Enterprise canon didn’t really cover that, but that didn’t mean that I couldn’t cover it in fanfiction. Enter Gary Hodgkins, who first shows up in Intolerance.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Gary Hodgkins
Gary Hodgkins (Justin Long)

I wanted him to be fairly young and perhaps a decent-looking guy who has a lot of bad things happen to him – many deserved, both in our universe and in the mirror. Bad things can happen!

I selected Justin Long for this portrayal.

Personality

Duty-bound but sometimes difficult, Gary follows along in the mischief that Dan Chang often finds himself getting into. It isn’t until the end of his life in the first E2 kick back, and during the second, that he finally becomes a decent person. In the prime universe’s prime timeline, he doesn’t really get a chance (in Intolerance, he becomes permanently disfigured and disabled, and is forced to leave active Starfleet service). He’s often paired with Tristan Curtis as they are friends and sometimes, quite literally, partners in crime.

Relationships

Sophie Creighton

Because Gary dies young during the first kick back in time (and he has behaved rather badly), he has no relationship then. But in the second kick back, he and Sophie wed. Little is known about their relationship but there’s a lot on their descendants.

Their grandson Richard marries Jolene Tucker, T’Pol and Tripp‘s (and Susie Money and Mario Lattimer’s) granddaughter. Jolene and Richard’s twins, Stephen and Stephanie, are married (respectively) to Marie Helêne Archer (granddaughter of Jonathan, Esilia, Lili, and José) and Connor Greer IV, who is the father of canon character Greer (although that character did not have a canon first name or even a first initial).

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Gary Hodgkins
Gary Hodgkins in the Mirror Universe

Gary has numerous issues in the mirror universe. He is seen in Coveted Commodity, loyally guarding the Empress in Sick Bay and spelling trouble for Travis.

In Temper, in the first temporal dislocation, he loses his life with a lot of other people from both universes when the Luna is destroyed in a head-on collision with the Bluebird.

In the second temporal dislocation, he dies during a Calafan slave revolt. And in the correct Mirror Universe timeline, he is falsely accused (as is Tristan Curtis) and is executed for helping Chip and Lucy get away with the Empress’s twin children, Takara and Takeo.

Quote

“The captain, when he told us all about it, he said he hoped it wasn’t due to a lack of trust. I mean, I can see how it could be really upsetting. He married an Ikaaran woman the last time out. To know that she kept something that big from him, I mean, that’s gotta be hard.”

Upshot

I’m not so sure where I can go with Gary, as he’s got to be off the ship (the nature of his disability means that he’s got to fly a desk). But there’s no reason why he can’t be seen before Intolerance, or in an office or civilian capacity otherwise.

Portrait of a Character – Rona Moran

Portrait of a Character – Rona Moran

Origins

The Dispatches from the Romulan War series covered this unseen Star Trek canon war through the eyes of news outlets. It had been going on for a few years and was winding down by the time I had an idea to contribute to it. And so I decided I wanted a gossip columnist with a heart of gold.

Portrayal

Rona Moran (excuse me, Verona Linda Moran Dodd Fisher D’Angelo Sherwood) is played by real-life gossip columnist Cindy Adams.

Personality

Larger than life and overly

Portrait of a Character – Rona Moran
Cindy Adams

dramatic, Rona is every bit the air-kissing celebrity watcher. She’s been married (and divorced) four times, and occasionally digs at her third ex, Maurizio. She has a British background.

She seems as if she’s very shallow. But the truth is, she isn’t.

In Soldiers’ Marriage Project, she reveals that she’s in charge of a charitable trust that provided all the trappings of a group wedding for 1,000 couples where both members were going off to war. The charity provided all sorts of things, including celebrity waitstaff like actress Alyssa McKenna and shortstop Lefty Robinson. Food and hotel rooms were donated, and rings were provided at cost.

As a reporter, Rona concentrates on one couple, as the huge ceremony is otherwise far too overwhelming. And the story she tells about them is sweet, full of hope for their new life together.

Because of her understanding, Jonathan Archer seeks her out during Flight of the Bluebird in order to dispel a rumor, and it’s revealed that Malcolm and Lili talked to her when the Cochrane was launched as they had had to explain their arrangement in a way that would be understood by the free and open press and would not tank Malcolm’s career.

Relationships

She’s got four ex-husbands, but only the third one, Maurizio D’Angelo, is ever mentioned in any detail (the others are, in order, Dodd, Fisher and Sherwood. Dodd and Fisher are two of Elizabeth Taylor‘s real-life husbands, and Sherwood is a shout-out to HG Wells character Crystal Sherwood). In Flight of the Bluebird, Rona is a lot kinder when mentioning him.

Quote

“I want you all to know, darlings, that there is nothing greater in the galaxy than love. The love in this family is self-evident. As for my exes, you all know, darlings; that I have spoken less than kindly of them in the past. But to all of them and, particularly, to my third ex-husband, Maurizio D’Angelo, I want to apologize. At the very least, in the name of the love that we once shared, I do hope that you can forgive me, Maurizio. And for my part, whether or not forgiveness is forthcoming, I swear to you I will not belittle you again.”

Upshot

I have been trying to find a way to give this rather unique character more air time. She’ll be back, darlings!

Portrait of a Character – Declan Charles (D. R.) Reed

Portrait of a Character – Declan Charles (D. R.) Reed

Origins

After watching the canon E2 episode for the first time, I began to think – hey, that’s unfair. Malcolm should have had someone. In a lot of ways, that’s why I write him the way I do, particularly with Lili and particularly with the failed connection in Reversal and then the achieved one in Together. And then when I wrote Temper, I hit upon the ending as it dovetailed with the plot. And that’s how Declan came to be. Even his first birthday is celebrated, in All You Need is Love.

Portrayal

For Declan, I wanted someone with

Portrait of a Character – Declan Charles (D. R.) Reed

the coloring of Lili and the rest would be more or less Malcolm. A British actor would be a bonus. Hence I decided on Paul Bettany.

I also think he’s done some interesting, smart work. It’s not just his face that I see in my Star Trek fanfiction.

Personality

Artistic and introverted, Declan is the shyest of the Beckett-Digiorno-Madden children. Even though Neil (and, eventually, Kevin) are younger, it’s Dec who’s the one left bringing up the rear. As a result, Marie Patrice in particular sometimes turns away and gives him a bit of a cold shoulder. This is taken to its extreme in Temper, where she essentially sees him as a weakling. In the Mirror Universe, of course, that means she treats him like something she’d wipe off her shoe. In Joss‘s case, that means he’s more protective of Declan.

In Fortune, some of Marie Patrice’s antagonism is still shown; it seems she had it all along but the Mirror really brought it out.

Relationships

Louise Schiller

In  Fortune, Q reveals that only two of the children ever marry. One is Joss; the other is Declan. But it ends badly with Pamela Hudson‘s niece (Louise is also Cyril Morgan‘s grand-niece), and there are reportedly a lot of court filings. I haven’t written beyond the barest of bones about the divorce, so it’ll be fodder for some future story.

Rebecca Shapiro

It isn’t until a lot later in life that Dec meets Rebecca. Or, rather, he meets her again, for, in The Rite, they have met. But in that story, Dec is a young man and Rebecca is still a child.

Portrait of a Character – Declan Charles (D. R.) Reed
Monet’s water lilies at Giverny

After Lili and Malcolm’s deaths, Declan goes to Europe to study the great artists. This includes going to Giverny to look at Monet’s water lilies. He also heads to England (he had attended school there, and so he has Malcolm’s Leicester accent) and Rome. In England, he meets up with Rebecca, and a romance develops.

After returning, she becomes a part of the family and even gets a tattoo identical to the ones sported by Marie Patrice, Jia Sulu Beckett, Ines Ramirez and Yinora. And then they marry, and have two sons, Peter and Stuart. Rebecca is the love that Declan has waited a lifetime for. In Completely Hers, he asks Tommy if he knows of a rabbi so that he (Declan) can convert to Judaism, as a prelude to marrying Rebecca.

Theme Music

During the events of Temper, Declan is so mistreated that his music is The Cure’s Why Can’t I Be You? The title, most likely, refers to Joss rather than Tommy, although both are stronger than he is. But it’s Joss who’s compassionate.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Declan Charles (D. R.) Reed
Declan in the Mirror Universe

Declan doesn’t have a mirror counterpart. However, like the other living offspring (except for Neil), he ends up in the Mirror Universe anyway, during Temper.

And that’s a bad situation for him.

While Marie Patrice makes friends with Takara Masterson Sato, Joss shows promising talent in baseball and Tommy works hard to become a Mirror soldier, Declan flounders and is often left behind by the others. Joss takes it upon himself to be Dec’s protector.

Dec is more delicate than the others, and he’s more sensitive, too. He can’t seem to get any traction. It doesn’t help that Tommy and Marie Patrice more or less fully embrace Mirror life, and reject him. Furthermore, it doesn’t help that Lili doesn’t even know him. But then again, given the odd temporal displacements in that story, she hasn’t had the chance to. And because the others refer to him rather pejoratively as “DR“, she doesn’t even realize he’s hers.

Quote

“I just want to look at your smile close up.”

Upshot

I wanted an artistic character, and I wanted one for whom love wasn’t easy. After all, Lili and Malcolm and Doug (and even Jay and José) all wait a long time before taking the plunge but, once they do, it’s easy. For Declan, it’s not so simple.

I like this character. I’m sure I’ll write more about him.

Trek United Adult Trek Anthology – From Quadrant to Quadrant and Person to Person

Trek United Adult Trek Anthology – From Quadrant to Quadrant and Person to Person

It’s been a labor of love as well as a bit of lust. The Trek United Adult Trek Anthology is finally out! Travel with us, From Quadrant to Quadrant and Person to Person, and prepare to be seduced by Star Trek.

Trek United Anthology cover
Trek United Anthology cover

With 315 pages of content, punctuated with beautiful sketches and gorgeous screen captures, not to mention a breathtaking photo manipulated cover, the Anthology is a feast for the eyes and can put you, the reader, right into the action. Let’s look at the individual contributions.

The Alabax 9 Affair

Madison Bruffy‘s newest contribution asks a question about the Prime Directive. Does it cover a, shall we say, delicate diplomatic situation? Or has Captain James T. Kirk really overstepped his bounds this time?

Last Full Measure

For Lil Black Dog, when does duty end? In the face of impossible adversity, what more can a First Officer do, but show the last full measure of his devotion to his captain?

You Make Me Want to Scream

Who’s got a secret powerhouse lover at home? jespah reminds us that sometimes our expectations are unfounded.

One Night on Terok Nor

Rush Limborg follows Garak as he and Ezri Dax work through some difficult memories and, along the way, a state of grace is achieved.

What Lies Within Lies Between

For Jonathan Archer and Trip Tucker, lost memory means that something else bubbles to the surface. How can T’Pol make sense of it all? Pauline Mac explores this fascinating dynamic.

D’Storlin

When a hybrid child is pushed to the limit, a careless mistake, made in a fit of rage, changes his and his tormentor’s lives forever. jespah brings the ugliness of bullying to the Trek universe.

A Drone’s New Life

When 7 of 9 and the rest of the crew of Voyager make it to Earth, life changes. And, for her, as writer Laura McBride shows, those changes are for the better.

Ripples

What if the events of Amok Time didn’t go the way we all know they did? Lil Black Dog returns with an exploration of how things would unfold if Dr. McCoy had not been there.

Milk

Scotty’s got a date. And, according to jespah, it’s going really, really well.

Anvil of the Gods

Jean-Luc Picard makes the Dominion War come alive as a Vorta learns what some true believers do – that sometimes heroes have feet of clay.

Sorrow, Shared

In the E2 universe, a widowed T’Pol finds herself with a visitor who shares her grief. Honeybee gives readers something to think about.

Artwork

Fantastic artwork graces the Anthology. Bluetiger has captured the true essence of characters, from T’Pol to Scotty. Madison has added a number of promotional materials which have helped to round out this issue and create even more visual appeal. And then there’s the cover. ENTAllat‘s lovely photo manipulated cover brings together disparate elements and conveys the overall theme of the Anthology.

Feedback

We are writers and we are artists and we do it all for your feedback. Did we succeed in our mission? Is there something we missed? We would love to hear from you! Feel free to comment here, or on Issuu itself.

Looking to the Future

Will we do it again? I don’t know. A lot of that will depend upon the reception that this, the first edition, garners. But if we do, would you like to write for us? Take a look at our selection criteria. If you’d like to try for a spot – and inclusion is not guaranteed – follow our submission guide. Plus I can be reached here if you have any questions. Onward, to the stars, and the stars in your eyes, from quadrant to quadrant, and person to person!

Review – Intolerance

Story Origins

A friend suggested to me as I was first starting to write Star Trek: Enterprise fanfiction – get Malcolm Reed to loosen up. I bet, down deep, he’s kinky. And so the gauntlet was thrown down. Challenge accepted.

Plot

Intolerance
Intolerance

It began with a fairly simple premise, to get an intriguing woman on the ship. Then I decided to add interest by adding a few women. And then the idea progressed to one of a kind of a competition.

Hence I decided that it would be a small medical residential rotation. The specialty would be Immunology. In order to minimize complexity, I decided on five students. In order to add a little Shakespearean-style chaos, one (and their instructor) would have an ambiguous enough name that gender could not be readily and immediately known.

The Ronettes
Cover of The Ronettes

Then the fun begins. Travis hears that there are five students coming. Three, he figures, are female. He tells Malcolm and Tripplet’s compete for them. They draw straws in order to determine who they’ll go after. Tripp wins the first draw and selects Pamela Hudson. Travis gets the second draw and decides on Blair Claymore. Malcolm is forced to settle for who he thinks will be An Nguyen. But this is the ambiguity, for An is a guy (this was also intended as a play on Reed often being depicted as gay in fan fiction). The instructor, Bernie Keating-Fong, is really Bernardine. But she’s older, and is wearing a wedding ring. It seems that Malcolm is the odd man out.

But Malcolm has a major trick up his sleeve, and writes Pamela poetry.

However, all is not right, not with Pamela, and not with the ship. Without giving away any more of the plot, suffice it to say that it is a rather odd story. It’s difficult to summarize without giving up all manner of spoilers.

Music

Amy Winehouse
Cover of Amy Winehouse

Chip and Aidan show the film Dirty Dancing and the discussion that ensues is a small plot point. It also introduces some of the music, such as Mickey and Sylvia‘s Love is Strange and The Ronettes Be My Baby. But Pamela herself has her own music – Amy Winehouse‘s You Know I’m No Good.

Story Postings

Rating

There are two versions of this story. The version of Intolerance on Ad Astra is rated M. The version of Intolerance on Fanfiction.net is rated T. The difference is the explicitness of the more intimate scenes.

Upshot

British actor Dominic Keating, DragonCon 2008
British actor Dominic Keating, DragonCon 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This story is a bit of a detour. Of the main books in the In Between Days series, it’s more of a left turn than anything else. It is ostensibly Malcolm’s story in the same way that Reversal is Lili‘s story, Together is Melissa‘s, Temper is Doug‘s and Fortune is Leonora‘s, but it’s also very much Pamela‘s story (as is Saturn Rise). Plus Malcolm is revealed in many other tales that I’ve written since then.

Frankly, Intolerance doesn’t get a lot of love, too, and its read counts are sometimes lower than those of the others. Some of that may be due to the fact that it’s the shortest of the major books, with the fewest number of chapters. But I have reread it (I reread everything) and don’t think anything could truly be added. I like its tight editing. It does very little meandering, whereas Reversal and Fortune in particular sometimes wander off and away from their main plot lines.

Kaley Cuoco
Kaley Cuoco (Photo credit: 루미넌스)

A lot of the elements are well-executed, I feel, but maybe it was too much of a departure. I don’t know. I have been happy to use it as a jumping-off point for other works, such as Together and The Cure is Worse Than the Disease. Truth be told, it may hold up better than most of what I’ve written.

 

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