Crita, another female Daranaean artist character, should remind the reader of Inta II.
Because I love the Daranaeans so much, I wanted to bring at least one into the new Barnstorming series. Crita also carries through the idea of Inta II. Crita, being born later, has more independence.
Crita, unlike most Daranaean characters, has an attached actor (because she has so much screen time). So she is played by actress Mary-Kate Olsen.
A bit slight and timid, Crita still ends up being one of the more assertive female Daranaean characters I have ever written. And that is by design. Crita’s main advantage comes from being born later than Inta II, etc. Crita has experienced a Daranaean alliance with the United Federation of Planets her entire life. Hence she has always had the right to vote, for example.
Much like happens with arranged marriages today, I wanted the character to have a limited choice of suitors but at least not just have one foisted upon her. Her overly eager parents would want a good match for her, and one part of that would be wealth. Of the three suitors, Senjarus does not win the wealth sweepstakes. Instead, she chooses him because he seems to value her artwork in a way that his two competitors simply do not.
There are no impediments to this character existing in the Mirror. Daranaeans don’t have the Y Chromosome Skew, but she probably would not be treated any better.
“I do. It’s probably got more to do with me being unmarried than anything else. Daranaean men aren’t generally fond of third caste females who are anything but submissive all the time.”
Because the Barnstorming series is on hold, and it doesn’t look like I will ever finish it, poor Crita has been more or less abandoned. And that’s unfortunate, as I do like the little puppy girl.
As I wrote The Cure is Worse Than the Disease, the idea of a tripartite Daranaean society (four parts if you really want to get technical, and include the men) began to shape up. As a result, I needed to have a representative from what Captain Erika Hernandez ends up referring to as the ‘bargain basement caste’. And so Cama was created.
Like nearly all Daranaean characters, Cama isn’t really ‘played’ by anyone.
I tend to use images of dogs, so the idea here is that she would resemble an Irish Setter quite a bit. Despite her low status, she could potentially be rather beautiful in appearance.
Forced into a subservient role, Cama chafes under male control, and would prefer to be the architect of her own destiny. Hence she ‘proves’ her breeder value by selectively aborting any daughters she may be carrying. It’s not just for the selfish reason of wanting to be treated better; it’s also because she doesn’t wish her existence on anyone. But she’s also an old school third caste Daranaean female. Hence, she is illiterate.
When she turns menopausal, she is shipped to a research facility that is investigating a cure of Thylacine Paramixovirus. Fortunately, that facility is run by Drs. Trinning and Rechal, who care about their test subjects. In Flight of the Bluebird, Cama gets to show just how heroic she really can be, even in her own quiet way.
Just like Libba and Thessa, Cama can only have a relationship with the male she is sold to. That is Elemus. While he isn’t exactly kind, he is not actively evil, either, certainly not like the murderous Arnis.
In the Mirror Universe, life is rougher for every kind of female, and that includes humans and, of course, Daranaeans.
But women are also, often, sexier. Maybe she uses her body to get ahead, or at least to survive.
“See, all you do is you take off a little sprig. And you stick it in your mouth and get saliva on it. It has turned grey, see? That means I am carrying another boy child, just like my pouchling.”
I was so glad to not just leave it with her, and find a way to show Cama again, and make it obvious that she had survived her childbearing years. Plus maybe, at least a little bit, Elemus did care for her after all.
While writing Take Back the Night, I was struck by an idea that would be strange for Daranaeans – where are the gay sentient marsupial canids? I decided that they would exist. Further, given the female-centric skew to their population numbers, and the male-centric skew to their positions of power, I would think that gay culture would make a great deal of sense. Females would bond as they toiled almost below decks, whereas males would bond almost like the ancient Greek intelligentsia.
Except on Daranaea, no one would ever admit to same-sex attractions and relationships, given the overwhelming pressure to reproduced.
Gay Daranaeans would all be in the closet. Enter Hamilton Roget.
This good-looking actor seems to resemble an older David Bowie more as they both have aged.
I wanted someone good-looking but older, a kind of wise counselor to Erika Hernandez. Even more than most humans, Hamilton would be appalled at how Daranaean society is run.
Aloof but very competent, Hamilton is Erika’s First Officer. He’s got a Tactical background, and somewhat of a counterpart to Malcolm after Tripp‘s death and T’Pol‘s return to Vulcan, and Aidan while Malcolm commands the USS Bluebird. As First Officer, he and Lucy Stone run scientific scanners on Daranaea, so he’s got a bit of a scientific background as well.
Hamilton’s partner is mentioned, but not by name. That is his only known relationship.
There are no impediments to Hamilton existing in the Mirror Universe.
Because he would not be in competition for the few women in that universe, he might be able to form decent relationships with men, even heterosexual men with whom he would have no hope of a romance.
That is, he would have, perhaps, a more cooperative life than most. He could rise in the ranks quickly and, like the MU Mark Stone, could find himself in a decent and even a relatively safe position of some power.
“But what about families where they can’t have children, or maybe they won’t? …
“Not everyone does, or can. My partner and me – if he and I wanted to become parents, we would adopt, or work with a surrogate mother. And we would love our child but, together, we can’t biologically have one. Are we worthless to you?”
Intellect and IDIC are valued in Star Trek. Hamilton fits rather neatly into both areas. I should write him more.
Hence the idea of a protest was irresistible, but the protesters needed something to, well, protest.
Enter the innocent, Mistra.
I generally don’t have anyone ‘playing’ Daranaean characters. Mistra is no exception. But if anyone has any ideas, feel free to put them into the comments section. These images are, of course, of German Shepherd dogs.
Meek and mild, like most Daranaean secondary wives, Mistra isn’t one for leading like Dratha. But she isn’t completely helpless, like Cama. Instead, she’s in the middle, the filling in the sandwich. And like most secondaries, her job is not only homeschooling the very young sons and most of the daughters (but not the third caste daughters, who are often kept illiterate), but also with the reproductive heavy lifting. It is a difficult and tiring life at best.
When she’s accused of murder, there’s all she can do to keep it together. Confused and frightened, she’s about ready to resign herself to an unfair, unjust, and cruel fate, when others step in.
Mistra’s only known relationship is with her husband, Arnis.
I have never written Mirror Universe Daranaeans, but the idea is an interesting one.
Would the women be in charge there? All I have on them is Empress Hoshi complaining that their planet always smells like wet dog, plus it’s the scene of the faking of Richard Daniels‘s death. Maybe something else could come out of that. I’m not sure.
Maybe Mistra’s intelligence would be celebrated. Maybe she’d even have some confidence.
In the elections for Alpha in Flight of the Bluebird, Vidam represents the liberals on Daranaea, and is known to the electorate as the man who, during Debate, first brought to a vote the issue of granting the vote to Prime Wives (he lost, by an overwhelming amount).
I need to write some female (and nongendered) politicians and political leaders, I think!
In order to lighten the mood surrounding the Daranaeans, after the heavy plotting of The Cure is Worse Than the Disease and Take Back the Night, I decided to go with a light family comedy. The story works as pure fluff and little else. Because sometimes, you just need some fluff in your life.
It’s after Mistra has been exonerated, and the newly-configured Daranaean family, with Vidam as the head of the household and his mother, Dratha, quietly helping him, is getting along pretty well.
Most of the family has gone on a day outing, except for Mistra, her eldest daughter, Cria, and the baby of the family, Inta. The two eldest boys, Vidam and Trinning, are at the big school. When Cria finishes her home schooling homework, she asks to have friends over, and Mistra agrees.
Cria invites over Kathalia, Jamae, and Morza. The four girls have a wonderful time, until Cria, ever mindful of being a good hostess, goes to procure little cakes (cookies) for each of her guests. But there aren’t enough cookies. She is sure she counted right. So, what happened? Surely someone is a petty thief….
By this time, the boys are home, and Vidam and Trinning figure out why baby Inta has been so quiet and just where those cookies have gone to.
The story is meant to be a gentle family comedy, and I think it succeeds. When I read it to my husband for the first time, he yelled out, “Busted!” when the plot came to its little climax. And that made me laugh.
There had been enough somber stories in the Star Trek: Enterprise fanfiction Daranaean arc, so I wanted something a lot more lighthearted. After having written Temptation, I then added the Christmas story, Some Assembly Required, which takes place not too long afterwards.
It’s the holidays, and the Enterprise is exchanging gifts with the most prominent Daranaean family. For the little alien children, it’s three boxes of toys. Little Seppa, in particular, is excited to not only play with the new toys (particularly with her half-sister, Minna, who is nearly the same age as her), but also to thank Captain Archer and Commander Reed. Reed has selected the toys.
But things are off, and Seppa begins to cry. Why? The toys all seem to be broken. So she is afraid that the adults will get angry with her, and will blame her for that. As a third caste Daranaean female, whose mother is dead and father is in the prison, she knows she has very little status. Even at age four, she realizes that her comfortable existence is because of people who could just as easily throw her out on the streets. She knows how lucky she truly is.
In the meantime, the Daranaeans have sent a large serving platter, and they all signed their names to it.
And they imparted a new saying, ‘We have a new saying on Daranaea: When human friends come, happiness is sure to follow.’
Although Seppa and the other children play together, and learn together, there is still some separation. The story ends on a wistful note, as Seppa gazes longingly at images of Earth, dreaming of visiting someday.
I liked the family feel of this one and, as always, language matters when it comes to the Daranaeans. When Trinning refers to Dratha respectfully, it’s a sign of huge progress. When they comfort and include Seppa, it’s another positive sign. Things are changing.
Daranaeans are a wholly original sentient marsupial canid species. Pronounced: Da-ra-NAY-un.
What’s a Daranaean?
Daraneans are residents of Daranaea, a Minshara-class planet located near Klingon space, hence it has a tactical advantage.
As for the Daranaeans themselves, they are sentient marsupials with foxlike triangular faces and fur on most of their bodies. They are very canid in a lot of ways, including packlike behaviors for their social lives, but also their battle plans and even their ship designs.
I tend to use pointy-faced dogs, foxes or bats for pictures. Naturally, the reader will need to use his or her imagination a bit.
Females divide into three separate castes, depending upon the intensity of their smells. Prime Wives have the most privileges and the most education. Secondaries tend to do most of the reproductive heavy lifting. They also act as primary educators. Third caste females are generally relegated to manual labor, and may be illiterate. All females are sold into marriage, but Prime Wife marriages are generally from private arrangements without the need for a public auction. Wealthy Daranaean males, including members of the Beta Council and most higher-ranking military men, have a wife from each caste.
Pregnancy and Pouches
For Daranaean females, pregnancy has two parts, versus our three trimester configuration. There are about six months of a conventional-type pregnancy, and then another six with the infant in the mother’s abdominal pouch. Much like marsupials on Earth, the infant (called a pouchling at birth) is born very small and helpless. Unlike Earth’s marsupials, a Daranaean mother places the baby right inside the pouch, as opposed to requiring that it crawl there on its own.
Pouchlings nurse and sleep most of the time, and it’s important for the mother to keep the top of the pouch clear of obstructions. Therefore the tops that the women wear can be tied. This allows for air passage. The mother also sleeps on her back or her side while pouch feeding. When the pouchling is a good five months old or so, the mother can lift the top of the pouch to peer at the infant, if she wishes. However, the infant can get cold while doing so. This shouldn’t be done too frequently.
During this time, the mother sleeps with a soft baby blanket in order to pass her scent onto it.
After about six months in the pouch, the pouchling is ready to emerge. First, a hand comes up and holds the top of the pouch. Then, the pouchling generally pushes down so as to get leverage, and may even use the front tied piece of its mother’s top in order to pull up and out.
Once out, the mother cleans the infant and swaddles it, and wraps it in the blanket. Newly-emerged pouchlings can be called infants. They don’t hear or see very well, as a parallel to what newborn puppies are like.
After a few weeks, the infant attempts crawling, and soon will begin cruising and walking, much like a human infant. The baby still nurses, but solid foods can be introduced at a young age, as slightly pointed teeth erupt not too long after emergence. Because Daranaean women have four breasts (two inside the pouch, and two where we would normally see them), the emerged infant can still nurse for a while.
Very young Daranaean children are kept at home and cared for by the older females. For a very young child, life at home is filled with basic learning such as getting along with others. The family may visit other families or go on trips, which can be educational or just for recreation. Seppa, at right, is only four years old in this picture. A somewhat typical day for Seppa is a part of Some Assembly Required.
Young Daranaean children are home schooled. After several years, the males are sent to a big school, as are the Prime Wife females. This is for more advanced learning, such as is necessary for space travel. The other female children remain at home and can continue to be home schooled.
A Daranaean tween or teenager becomes interested in marriage and all that it entails, but marriages generally don’t occur until about ages eighteen to twenty or so. A young Daranean tween girl such as Cria, right, continues her home schooling and helps with chores and the care of her younger siblings, but also has time for some fun and for learning the household skills she will need as a wife. A fairly typical day for Cria is a part of Temptation.
Young married Daranaeans are much like young marrieds in any culture or species, enjoying their new lives and working toward the future.
For young Daranaean wives, this means pregnancy or preparing for pregnancy, as the species suffers from Thylacine Paramixovirus and, as a result, big familes are needed in order to replenish the population. A young wife such as Seppa, aged eighteen here, might become pregnant very quickly, and be expected to begin raising a household full of children.
Daranean women of wealth do not work outside the home, as the care of children is paramount.
Daranaean men hold jobs, and there is still a monetary system in place. Doctors include Varelle and Trinning, reporters include Craethe, and Beta Councilors include Boestus and Elemus.
Later Adult Life
For Daranaeans, later life changes, depending upon caste. Prime Wives, such as Dratha, pictured here, can live fairly long lives. For wealthy families, the Prime Wife is treated like a queen and is not expected to help with child care, although she can if she wishes.
Secondaries, such as Mistra and Cria, above, have children on a regular basis until menopause. The expectation is they will continue helping the young adult children prepare for life in their own households.
Third caste females, like Seppa, above, have children until menopause, when they are either euthanised or are donated or sold for medical experiments.
Daranaean men live out their lives and have the longest life expectancy of all.
Politics, Government and Justice
Daranaens have a government composed of an elected Alpha who is advised by an elected Beta Council, which meets regularly and is very open to the press. None of the women can vote, not even Prime Wives.
As a member of the Beta Council, Vidam (right) is expected to present bills, debate on them and vote. Voting in the Council Chamber is open and is accomplished by all of the representatives standing. Then the opponents of a bill sit. Anyone left standing is then counted as supporting the bill in question. A simple majority rules, but the Alpha can break ties. Abstentions are rare – much like dogs on Earth, Daranaeans mainly see their issues in black and white. A debate about granting Prime Wives the right to vote is part of Debate.
Trials are public, and the trial of a wealthy Daranaean, even a Secondary, is fodder for the press. There are no juries, rather, an accused is judged by a judicial panel. A trial is part of Take Back the Night.
Aside from the generally fatal Thylacine Paramixovirus, most Daranaeans are usually in good health. Prenatal care is available for Prime Wives only. The other two castes are expected to care for each other. Their infants are delivered at home. Prime Wives deliver in hospitals.
Researchers, such as Trinning, at about age six here, work diligently to try to find a cure for the virus. Research is limited by budgets, training and time. The virus is somewhat similar to canine distemper and Newcastle Disease on Earth.
Daranaean Third Caste wives who are menopausal are sometimes sold for medical experiments, as doctors need them to test vaccines.
First Contact, Friendships and Relationship with The Federation
First Contact was between the NX-02 Columbia and a pleasure craft owned by a wealthy Daranaean man, Elemus. It occurred in February of 2160, and did not go too well. First contact is a part of The Cure is Worse than the Disease.
Second contact went considerably better, and is a part of Take Back the Night. This generated some friendships between Daranaeans and humans, including Jonathan Archer and Seppa, and Malcolm Reed and Mistra.
In 2191, a young Inta went on a blind date with a human, Hank Harrison. While things did not work out romantically, the two became friends. Their date is a part of Hearts in Time.
Daranaeans became allies with the Federation, and called upon them later, and made themselves available as well.
Such a sexist society will need to change in order to continue to grow. Stay tuned. Big things are in store for the galaxy’s only sentient marsupials. I will post more insights!