Free is yet another drabble. For a story where the title is the inspiring word, I decided to go with a rather serendipitous find. I have always loved the meaning of names. And I admit I have used names’ meanings in order to further my own writing agendas. The story is started and a name is chosen, and then I look at the meaning. Hence if the meaning helps me out, I will follow it. But if it does not, I am all right with that.
The human name Charles means ‘free man’ (in fact, when Lili and Doug marry in A Kind of Blue, and she has to reveal the meaning of her name, she says ‘free woman’, as her true first name is Charlotte). Because the idea proved irresistible, I decided to go with T’Pol and Tripp talking about how to name their as-yet unborn child.
For sharp-eyed readers, the three-book E2 series, Reflections Down a Corridor, Entanglements, and The Three of Us allows for one set of circumstances to unfold. In Everybody, another set of circumstances arises. While some situations work out as almost an instant replay, others differ.
Hence for this particular scene, the storyline allows for a scene missing from the original trilogy. In the original trilogy, there is no naming scene. But I wanted there to be a reason the name Lorian was chosen.
After leaving Empress Hoshi far behind, Beth and Tripp (she calls him Charles) want a new life. They’ve already married, and they have a son, Charlie. Their life on Lafa II isn’t an easy one. After all, they’re living in a cave, and are only doing odd jobs in order to survive. When things are really bad, they’re poachers.
Therefore, when they get a chance to attain full citizenship, they take it. Since they owe the Empress absolutely nothing, they want to declare their allegiance to the leader of the government, the new High Priestess, Yimar. In a low-level bureaucrat’s office, their lives are changed, as they swear to defend the Calafan government and its people, and denounce the Terran Empire.
Radio. It can bring back a memory in a snap. A friend passed away earlier in 2013, and I was having some trouble processing it. I decided to attempt to process it through art.
As a result, I worked in my own feelings by trying to tease out Hoshi and T’Pol‘s feelings about Tripp‘s passing.
And, the reason why I call this canon character Tripp instead of Trip is because of this very man who, in real life, is no more.
As Tucker has died, the two women who knew him best mourn him in different ways. T’Pol’s canon relationship is well-known. She ends up breaking down in front of Jay Hayes‘s replacement, Major Strong Bear Dawson, who everybody calls Bud. Bud is the sole eyewitness to her breakdown, and he tells her he won’t say anything to anyone. She asks how she can repay his kindness and he tells her to just go and have a good life.
Hoshi’s relationship with Tripp is outlined in Together. But the song that is the title of the piece, and is woven throughout this songfic, was played during the party outlined in More, More, More! Hoshi reveals that she and Tripp danced to it. She comes to the realization that it served as a prelude to their time together, and that Tucker may have liked her before then. For her, the music, and a dance with Travis, are how she feels she can cope.
When she and T’Pol are alone together, she passes the music from the party to the Vulcan, urging her to listen so that she can, in a way, understand another facet of Tripp’s personality, something she may not have already known. It is a final act of generosity between women who were not exactly romantic rivals, but rather were romantic steps or links in the chain that was Tripp’s life.
Apart from the Donna Summer song, the entire playlist from More, More, More! is listed, as follows –
As a story, I think it works pretty well. Reactions have been mixed; some critics have said they thought T’Pol would not act as forcefully as she does, but Star Trek: Enterprise canon dictates that this is a former trellium addict and so her emotions are still not fully under control, even years later.
In this story, I am probably more like the Hoshi character. Removed but mournful, and saddened by the wasted potential more than anything else. I have no problem with Tucker being killed off in canon. People die and they should die in space. Space is far from safe, particularly during that era. But I wanted to see a lot more of the aftermath. I hope this aftermath/afterimage type of story can work for readers.
Deb and Chip are alone in his quarters; it’s her first time staying overnight. Aidan is in Sick Bay, but it’s nothing serious. Chip has a romantic evening in mind, when Deb finds … Stella.
Stella is a stuffed gerbil toy. And so Chip needs to come clean about how and why he’s got Stella (who does not belong to him). And so he begins to tell a story about the early days of the NX program, when there was an engineering competition to perfect an incredibly dull but necessary piece of canon equipment, inertial dampers.
I enjoyed writing this story a great deal, and apparently my peers enjoyed reading it, and I won the monthly challenge. I really like how it turned out, with its dovetailing with canon personnel, its shout outs to Worcester, Massachusetts, and its neat fit into my own fan fiction.
When Fortune was originally written, the idea was to tie up the In Between Days series.
I was not tired of the characters or of their situations, but it seemed as if they needed an end point. Furthermore, I was thinking about the canon episode, These Are The Voyages, and trying to make some sense of it. I came to the conclusion that the professional writers wanted some end of series closure and they also wanted some ownership of the fate of what was possibly the most popular character. Therefore, I decided to create some closure for my characters. These would be the main characters only (at the time, Pamela Hudson was still not considered to be a main character), e. g. Doug Beckett, Leonora Digiorno, Melissa Madden, Lili O’Day, and Malcolm Reed. Four of the characters had already had a story more or less assigned (albeit not completely devoted) to them. Lili’s story was in Reversal, Malcolm’s was in Intolerance, Melissa’s was in Together and Doug’s was in Temper. Therefore, this story would be assigned to Leonora.
When Temper ends, Lili has some surprising and wonderfully good news for Malcolm. When Fortune starts, Malcolm is processing it. Jonathan Archer asks him what’s wrong. But nothing is wrong – everything is very, very right, but it’s also rather private. A joyful celebration is held, and the family is then reunited for Declan‘s birth. The family sweetly dreams together, and the relationships are reinforced, between Melissa and Leonora, Doug and Melissa, Lili and Doug, and Malcolm and Lili.
Leonora in particular has a wonderfully vivid dream of Billie Holliday singing “God Bless the Child“.
It seems like everything is right.
But there are storm clouds on the horizon. There is unfinished business, and it needs to be resolved before the family can truly move forward.
Too many specifics will mean revealing too many spoilers. Suffice it to say, the story does not end the series. I am happy to continue these stories, and to give these characters and their overall family their measures of forever, either in this life or in whatever may or may not come beyond.
I am proud of this story and hope it does the characters justice.
Day of the Dead. More than just a holiday, it also references the horrors of a particularly infamous period is history. On Ad Astra, there was a prompt about the burdens of command.
I had been kicking around an idea about Tripp Tucker being caught in a temporal interphase (which is canon in Star Trek) and liberating the Dachau concentration camp. Hence I decided to put that together with the prompt.
The idea about Dachau was to tie into Milena Chelenska, who is Richard Daniels‘s love interest. For her, there would be a bit of a back story, as Tripp would deal with the problems that come along with witnessing just so much horror.
Furthermore, there would be a tie into Wesley Crusher, as I liked the little family and backstory I had created for him in Crackerjack and wanted to revisit some of that as well.
The backdrop to it would be Halloween, and then the Day of the Dead.
As Halloween rolls around – and this is the last Halloween of Tucker’s life, although of course he doesn’t know that – Tripp arranges with Chip Masterson to have a number of classic horror films shown. On the actual day, they show John Carpenter’s Halloween.
But before that, the NX-01 goes about some of its regular business. And the reader should be seeing that life is going on, and they are all moving forward with their lives.
For Movie Night, he can’t ask either T’Pol or Hoshi to join him, as they are both exes of his. These are references to the Star Trek: Enterprise canon relationship with T’Pol and the fanfiction relationship in Together. But he sees MACO Corporal Amanda Cole, and begins to flirt with her rather openly. Phlox is also present, and they talk about the picture.
Meanwhile – well, meanwhile in the story, but not in history – Wesley Crusher is considering the aftermath of a static warp bubble experiment where his mother, Beverly, could have lost her life. But he’s lost the warp bubble, and doesn’t know where it went.
Nope, it’s just another temporal-spatial-somatic interphase, much as happened in Concord.
So, where does Tucker end up? Why, he’s in the Forty-Second Infantry Division, and it’s April 29th of 1945. They are about to liberate the Dachau concentration camp.
The remainder of the story deals with Tucker’s displacement, getting him back, and how both the NX-01 and the Enterprise-D work to solve their own, respective, problems.
As the plot unfolds, classic spooky music shows up, and each chapter begins and ends with lyrics as follows –
I added a number of questions about command and promotions, as characters flirt with garnering more responsibility, and how they will deal with such things. In addition, the changes made during the story have the potential to affect the principals for years to come. The burdens of memory and the horrors of war intersect, as Tucker discards his love of horror, and Wesley thinks outside of his own personal bubble, and they both think and act outside themselves.
Star Trek: Enterprise establishes, in canon, that commerce and trade are still conducted, and money is still used. Furthermore, there are still automobiles (Tripp Tucker refers to driving an old girlfriend to Chatkin Point). Hence I knew I wanted Tucker for this story, which was in response to a prompt about letters from home. The letters, I decided, would be reflective of Harry Shapiro’s own travails with a finance company.
For Tripp, the finance company contacts him after the Xindi attack. Of course, he’s more than a little put out by this. And the exasperating correspondence thereby begins ….
I like how this one turned out. It’s got a bit of comedy as things go more and more over the top. I also think I ended it at the right point. Any more and the reader might’ve started to feel sorry for the finance company.