I like this lovely actress who has aged well on screen – a good choice, I feel, for a species that dies young.
Smart and kind, Preece Ti might be a little too clever by half. By the time the storyline advances to Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, it is revealed that a powerful source of fuel and the means to capture, refine, and utilize it, were kept from Captain Archer during the first kick back in time. While he rightfully blames Ebrona for the deception, at least some of the blame should be shouldered by Preece Ti.
Preece Ti’s only known relationship is with Diana Jones, who works in Science and eventually becomes a kind of nurse. In Infinite Diversity, it’s revealed that Preece Ti isn’t really Diana’s first choice (Diana feels she is settling), but Preece Ti is definitely attracted to Diana.
There are no impediments to Preece Ti existing in the Mirror Universe. As someone who is already deceptive in our universe, she would likely kick it up several notches, and become truly ruthless.
“We do not know your dances. Are they man-woman only?”
Like a lot of the characters in the E2 timeline, Preece Ti was glossed over at the end there. I’m not sure when I can pick her up again, but I might at some point write that Ikaaran ship’s history before encountering the NX-01.
But it was Dave and Frank’s relationship that I wanted to show at its absolute beginning, in the prime timeline.
The premise is that E2 has just concluded in the prime timeline.
Of course, people are talking about what happened, who was chosen, etc. Dave and Frank realize that they were together. But they only know about the second of two kicks back in time, so they just think it was some sort of a mutual decision. However, the reality of the first kick back is that Dave approached Frank after Frank rather loudly and angrily came out.
Be that as it may, things are a little different. The ship is not generational and they are not desperate. But that’s all right. There is still an attraction there.
And, as the title says, there was some mental meandering that went on, on both sides, as to who was available and who was interested. For a minority sexuality, not only are there questions of attraction and availability, there are also questions of wiring and preference. After all, even if Dave had the biggest-ever crush on Frank, if Frank was only interested in women, it would not have happened. Hence, the moves are cautious and a little tentative.
I have read slash online, and I have to say that so much of it is either out and out PWP (porn without plot) or angst-filled hurt/comfort or unfulfilled adolescent-style longing that it makes me wonder about genuine romance between either two men or two women.
Who writes gentle slash? I suppose I do. I love this story, love how it came out (wordplay intended) and am very pleased that it’s in my own personal fanfiction, and it’s even got a sequel. Viva Dave and Frank!
In the earlier tale, Hoshi becomes irresistible when aliens inject her with a certain substance after removing some of her female hormones.
Frank Todd and T’Pol help to prevent a riot from starting on the NX-01, as all of the straight men (and, presumably, Diana Jones, who is a lesbian), are affected.
The sequel brings the story line over eighteen years into the future.
As Hoshi and her husband, Takashi, and their children, Toru and Yoshiko arrive on Aris for a visit, the head of the government, Milit, greets them.
And so, apparently, do all 5,999 other Arisian men on the planet.
Hailed as Andaara Trea Hoshi, they explain they are thanking her. They call her the initiator of the 6,000 brand-new ‘mothers of the world’. Every Arisian man is bearing some sort of a gift. Travis, who is with them, jokes that they’ll need a bigger shuttle in order to get all of the gifts back to the ship.
Politely, Hoshi declines their many offerings. These vary in size, scope and expense, but are all offered with grace. The family meets some of the newly-cloned Arisian women, including the first one, Trea Hoshi. The girls are all more or less made in Hoshi’s image. This is except for a detailed forehead pattern that marks them as Arisians.
Matchmaking on a Planetary Scale
The men explain they want to marry all of the newly-cloned girls. Hence they are ready to match them up. It seems the matches will happen through political expedience, rather than any sort of attraction. Travis and Hoshi convince the Arisians to give the gifts to the girls, and to see what happens next. The story ends with Milit announcing his engagement to one of the girls and then Hoshi telling Captain Malcolm Reed that he’d better warn Lili that she’ll need to cater a few thousand Arisian weddings.
I was so happy to go back to this story line. Because I had originally left it with hope but also dangling a bit. I can see that my storytelling abilities have improved since the original tale, too. It’s a study in contrasts for me.
Bread is yet another story where the title has multiple meanings.
In February and March of 2013, a challenge came from the Trek BBS – write about independence.
And while I suppose I could have written about a planet or a nation or a people gaining their independence, or of a young person striking out on their own, I decided to zig where others might zag. Hence I wrote about elderly people losing theirs.
The concept and its execution were appreciated well enough that I won that month’s challenge.
Following both the prime universe and the Mirror Universe, these are two parallel but not quite parallel stories about Leah Benson and Diana Jones.
In the mirror, Leah furtively looks around as she begins a meal. It’s made clear, very quickly (and hearkens back to the same conditions in Reveral and Temper in particular), that MU food is bad. So the fact that there is bread is a minor miracle. Quietly, and to herself, she says the Hebrew blessing over the bread, confirming something Josh Rosen mentions in Temper, that faith abides in the mirror, or at least some form of Judaism does. The way I write the Mirror Universe, the practicing of any faith, and not just Judaism, is done mainly in secret, much like the crypto-Jews and conversos of Spain during the Inquisition.
In our universe, Leah is the official Starfleet Rabbi. So the story begins with her attending a banquet and weeklong set of official meetings regarding admitting three new worlds to the new United Federation of Planets. These are the Caitian home world, Denobula and the Xyrillian home world. This is the culmination of earlier contacts with Caitians, in A Single Step and The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Stilton Fulfillment. Furthermore, it is a natural progression for that species (in canon, there is no first contact date for Caitians, whereas first contact for Xyrillians occurs during ENT and first contact for Denobulans takes place before ENT’s pilot episode) and the two others.
The idea behind the banquet and set of meetings is not only to welcome the new member worlds but to also demonstrate to other worlds that the Federation is tolerant of differences. Religious and spiritual leaders, including Leah, say a few words about religious tolerance and intolerance on Earth throughout history. In addition, all admit they have been on both the giving and the receiving ends of persecution and bigotry. The Daranaeans, in particular, pay attention.
Back to the MU
Back in the mirror, Leah is looking to leave the ISS Defiant. Izo Sato decides he is going to seduce her. And never mind that’s she’s over seventy and a lesbian, to boot. Josh offers a small measure of protection and he, Shelby and Frank start to hatch a plan to get Leah away. For Frank and Shelby, this is a dress rehearsal for what they hope will be their own endgame. The plan is to fake a shuttle crash, and strand Leah on Andoria.
Back to Our Side of the Pond
In our universe, Leah is married to Diana, but things are not right, and Diana’s memory is failing. It’s an early sign of Irumodic Syndrome, the canon malady suffered by Captain Picard at the end of the running of TNG. Diana’s caregiver is an Andorian, and Diana is beginning to not recognize even her.
Leah makes up her mind; she needs to be at home and become Diana’s primary caregiver. She confides this to Jonathan Archer, and he commiserates, telling her a bit about his father’s own battle with Clarke’s Disease. He offers her a part-time solution, and encourages her to try to be able to work at least a little bit, because otherwise she will lose herself in Diana’s incurable illness.
As the denizens of the mirror plot and plan, Leah remembers there is one person on Andoria who she knows. And it turns out to be the mirror version of Diana. Leah also remembers her own part in the death of Leonora Digiorno, from Fortune. And so that further connects the two halves of the story.
Will the mirror Leah get out? Will either version of Diana remember? Do faith, love and family abide, no matter what they look like, and no matter what the conditions and odds? Find out by reading the story.
I really love this one, as it continues the Reversal not-quite parallelism and the meditations on aging. I also feel it helps to fulfill the promise of femme-slash. E. g. same-sex relationships (and marriages) exist in the future, of course. However, I feel that writing them just as sex and angst isn’t enough. All relationships, particularly longer-term ones, have chambers that aren’t bedrooms. Leah and Diana are dealing with the very real problem of aging and losing independence, and no longer being who you were. This story, I feel, gets across that idea well, and I love how it turned out.
Additionally, I wanted the skewed gender ratio to be even more radically skewed, so there needed to be at least one lesbian. And because life isn’t necessarily fair, Diana would be the only gay woman aboard.
In Bread, I wanted someone for whom Leah Benson – on either side of the pond – might be doing everything for. Furthermore, it would work better for that story if that person was declining. The contrast proved irresistible.
I wanted an older actress who is still very lovely. I feel that this Oscar-winning actress can get across Diana’s shyness about coming out, her desire for a mate and her eventual sad decline.
I also wanted Diana to be someone who the men might be interested in, and a bit disappointed about when they learn that she is not reciprocating the attraction. She would also be someone who gay crew member Preston Jennings would select as a friend and confidante and, truly, as a convincing beard at times.
Warm and friendly, Diana is a natural for helping out in Sick Bay. In a way, she’s a gay version of Crewman Liz Cutler. Because the actress who played Cutler (Kellie Waymire) is deceased, it’s a bit unclear whether Cutler made it to the kick back in time in E2. I prefer to think that, in the Azati Prime episode, that Cutler was one of the crewmen who perished, as this ties in with reality and brings the loss home even more. Hence there is room for Diana.
The other side of Diana is that she just plain doesn’t want to make a big deal out of her sexuality. To my mind, that works, as this would likely be a society where being gay is far less of a news story than it is now. However, that’s a double-edged sword. Without the drama of coming out, a person with non-majority preferences is apt to have to deal with some confusion unless they’re very demonstrative about what they’re like. Diana isn’t – and she and Malcolm find they have that in common – so she ends up sometimes having to fend off unwelcome male advances.
In The Three of Us, when the first batch of Ikaaran women are rescued, this Science Officer approaches Diana when she realizes that there are two women aboard who do not live with men. The other is Lili, but by that time she’s committed to both Malcolm and Jay. Preece Ti thereby deduces that Diana is a lesbian. They take up together and have a loving, committed relationship until Preece Ti’s eventual death from the decline, thereby somewhat neatly paralleling Diana’s own later years in the prime timeline.
In both universes, Diana and Leah are, at some point or another, a couple. In our universe, they stay together, even as Diana begins to exhibit symptoms of some form of senility. In the Mirror Universe, Diana leaves when she learns that Leah killed her previous lover, Leonora Digiorno. Moreover, Diana has performed a major service for the Mirror Leah – she’s helped her to stop drinking.
Diana exists in the mirror universe, but is in a far more limited Science capacity. This is not due to a lack of talent; rather, it’s due to the Empress not wanting or needing detailed scientific work.
After Diana breaks up with Leah, she is unceremoniously dumped on Andoria when the Empress becomes displeased with her job performance. She lives there with the same caregiver, the Andorian Tallinaria, who also cares for her in the prime universe.
“Sorry, Thing Two. I bet you’re still really peeved. We just want to get to know ya.”
I liked putting together this friendly if a bit misunderstood character,
and I was genuinely upset at turning her, eventually, into a person who suffers tremendously toward the end of her life. But this is what happens to some people. It would take the punch out of the decline if she didn’t start out so sympathetically. I do like her. I suppose I’d like her to have a happy ending, but not everyone does, unfortunately.
The procul, to be sure, are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. But the malostrea (pronounced mal-oh-STRAY-uh) were meant to be smarter than all that.
If procul are prey (and they’re too dumb to be anything else), they needed to have predators.
The malostrea (the name is Latin for evil oysters, and the same word is used for both singular and plural) were meant to be almost the Amity invertebrate equivalent of wolf packs.
When they first get onto Amity, the MACOs spot a number of perfectly circular holes in squishy, swampy ground. The holes are too perfectly round to have just gotten there by accident. Something had to have made the holes.
They see the procul first, and then see the malostrea clambering out of their little dens. The dens are interconnected underground, much like mole tunnels.
The first time these animals are seen, they are out to hunt procul. The procul are several times larger than they are, but the malostrea have a secret weapon. They are able to naturally secrete a substance known as tricoulamine. This nerve toxin acts fast, and if a procul is “bitten” (since these animals don’t have teeth or jaws, the poison is delivered by means of having a shell clamp down on a leg), the big beast goes down, stone dead, nearly immediately.
Once the prey is dead, the malostrea set upon it and tear it apart with their little clapping shells. Procul legs can more or less fit inside malostrea den holes, but the bigger parts of a procul have to be torn apart. The malostrea don’t really have any means of slicing straightly and perfectly, so the aftermath of hunting is a bit messy as the game is torn apart for transport.
Two malostrea are captured and brought to Sick Bay for study. Andrew Miller and Diana Jones spend the most time with them. In order to tell them apart (they are virtually identical hermaphrodites), the two malostrea are spray-painted with a blue 1 and a fuchsia 2 and are dubbed Thing One and Thing Two (a reference to Dr. Seuss‘s The Cat in the Hat). It’s difficult for Diana and Andy to really study the malostrea as they are poisonous and unpredictable. However, there is a great deal of clapping and chattering going on. The two researchers surmise that it’s a primitive form of communications for, after all, these creatures hunt in a pack. There has to be some form of planning going on there.
The problem with E2 details is that most of them can’t, by definition, follow through to the correct timeline. But the malostrea do. In the last of the E2 stories, I reveal that, on a planet called Archer’s Planet (the correct name for Amity), Eska hunters call them hard devils.
I like them. I’d like to use them again somewhere, but I’m a bit stumped as to where.