Cindy Morgan

Review – Seven Women

Review – Seven Women

Seven Women in memory, love, and loss.


In Fortune, I established that Tommy Digiorno-Madden dies in the service of his captain. In Seven Women, I show exactly how that happens.


Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Seven Women

Seven Women

The story (which was written as a one a day ficlet challenge) opens with Tommy making it clear that there is a fireball coming, and it’s got his name on it.

The fire door is closed, he’s trapped, and there  is no getting out of this one. Except he says this with no fear, no regrets, and no sorrow. It is just a simple fact. Since he sees his fate, he knows he is about to die.

In order to pass what little time he has left, he has visions. But he does not see his life pass before his eyes. Rather, he sees seven influential women from his life.

Melissa Madden

The first woman he remembers, naturally, is his mother, Melissa Madden.  As he talks about her in the initial chapter, and he mentions her descent into Irumodic Syndrome dementia, he mentions Doug Beckett, too. While he recognizes that his half-brother, Joss, looks the most like Doug, it is he, Tommy, who is the most like their shared father. Because Tommy is a soldier.

Leonora Digiorno

The second woman he recalls is Norri, who he reveals he had a crush on. He remembers her teaching him to read and that, at her death, she said she saw a bridge and the doomed Kevin. And then he reveals that he’s seeing Kevin, too, and feels the brother who never had a chance is somehow there for him and is acting as a kind of spirit guide.

Cindy Morgan

His next memory is of Cindy Morgan, who he reveals (this was my own first inkling of this) was his first girlfriend. Unlike Joss and Jia, they did not work out.

Takara Masterson Sato

Fourth on his list is Takara Masterson Sato Tucker.  In Fortune, I established that they made dream contact as children, but didn’t know if they had pursued it after that. However, the character spoke to me, and so dreaming with Takara became something that Tommy had done for his entire life.

Lili O’Day

Then his next revelation is about Lili O’Day, and he remembers her not only as Doug’s wife, but also her singing Arroz con Leche to him (a scene from Temper) and making empanadas, a detail that is also from Temper.

Erika Hernandez

The sixth woman is his old boss, Erika Hernandez. While Tommy is too young for Flight of the Bluebird, he is definitely there with Erika during later voyages, and is probably a part of patrolling the Neutral Zone.

The Last Woman

I won’t reveal the seventh woman. So you’ll just have to see for yourself.

Story Postings


The story is rated K.


I really loved giving Tommy some dimension, as he really didn’t have much beforehand. Joss and Neil and Empy and Dec (and even Kevin) seemed to have had more screen time.

But it’s Tommy who ends up becoming the most important person, ever, to the new timeline. And no one but the reader knows.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Review, 1 comment

Recurrent Themes – Animal Lovers


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

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

But animal lovers are in my fiction all the same.

Animal Lovers Appearances

Jonathan Archer

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

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

The Adventures of Porthos

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

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

Joss Beckett

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

Karin Bernstein

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

Brian (no last name)

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

Charlotte Hayes

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

Jay Hayes

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

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

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

The Sparrow and the Blue Jay

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

Bruce Ishikawa

Deirdre Katzman‘s boyfriend is a dog trainer.

Lili O’Day

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

Joshua Rosen

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

Gregory Shaw

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

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

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

Crystal Sherwood

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

Jim Warren

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


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

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