Tag Archives: Dispatches

Review – Soldiers’ Marriage Project

Review – Soldiers’ Marriage Project

Soldiers' Marriage Project
Soldiers’ Marriage Project, an early effort, showed me how well I can change the tone of a narrative.

Background

First of all, Soldiers’ Marriage Project came about so as to add a bit of romance to the Romulan war. The idea borrowed a lot from the standard ‘soldier going off to war’ narrative. As a result, a slight World War II vibe attaches to the piece.

Plot

Hence in Soldiers’ Marriage Project, a group of soldiers get married, all at the same time. My inspiration came from the old Unification Church mass weddings. As a result, this story marked the first appearance of Rona Moran, who plays a prominent role in Flight of the Bluebird. Because she helps to finance (and raise even more money for) this massive effort.

As for the soldiers mentioned by her in her report, neither of them make it to anywhere else in my fan fiction. I just wanted them to be archetypes, somewhat similar to how Rona herself treated the story line. Hence the couple don’t really have faces or descriptions (the above image mainly serves as a placeholder for this blog post).

Music

The music is Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

While I like this story, I had virtually no control over the final product and the direction of the overall anthology. Hence, there could have been more done with it. Alas, such was not to be! However, that might not be so bad, as the couple remain a mystery and Rona comes across as her usual wacky yet ultimately extremely well meaning self. And that foreshadows later stories nicely.

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Focus – The Earth-Romulan War

Focus – The Earth-Romulan War

The Earth-Romulan War is canon but was not a part of Enterprise.
Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Focus Magnifying Glass | The Earth-Romulan War
A focus (unlike a spotlight) is an in-depth look at a Star Trek fanfiction canon item and my twist(s) on it.

Of course, all of fan fiction is like that, but the idea here is to provide a window into how a single canon concept can be used in fan fiction.

Background

 

The Earth-Romulan War is a part canon never actually shown on screen. For a lot of fans, it is an opportunity that was sorely missed in Star Trek: Enterprise. If the series had gone onto seven seasons instead of just four, undoubtedly the war would have finally been shown.

Occurrences

Dispatches from the Romulan War

A few years ago, I became part of a project called Dispatches from the Romulan War. Dispatches has been posted in a lot of locations. My two contributions are Soldiers’ Marriage Project, which introduced character Rona Moran, and Prison Break, which was intended to give some hope that some people thought dead at the start of the war were actually alive. Further, it had a prison called Gemara, at Berren Five. I have used this on several occasions and it was first mentioned in The Puzzle.

Before the War

As a run-up to the war, in The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Stilton Fulfillment, the NX-01 hosts the Caitian ambassador and his family. However, the ship suffers some damage in a quick hit and run, much like hostilities can ramp up in prelude to a real war.

The Beginning of Hostilities

After some more leisurely exploratory moments, such as are in The Light, Intolerance and Reversal, things begin to get down to business in Together. While the ship speeds toward Earth to deliver Jennifer Crossman to her wedding to Frank Ramirez, things are at a bit of a lull. But when ten people are kidnapped off the ship, T’Pol needs to work with her allies in order to find them again. There isn’t a lot of time to divert to this mission, but she still needs to try.

Breaks in the Action

Broken Seal follows a few short incidents of hijinks even as the hostilities are going on. The same is true of first contact with the Daranaeans, which occurs in The Cure is Worse Than the Disease. Another case of hijinks, but this time they are remembered as a story is told, is in Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before. But all is not right, and the reason why Chip and Deb are alone in his quarters at all is because Aidan is injured enough that Phlox keeps him in Sick Bay overnight. In Temper, the war is again interrupted as Malcolm, Jonathan and Tripp need to work to protect the NX-01 from damage that could be incurred from an errant pulse shot.

Aftermath

Achieving Peace shows the last of the treaty negotiations, as Laura Hayes is there. And in Shell Shock, protesters are angered by Starfleet’s involvement in two wars in such a short period of time. A part of Malcolm’s problems during that story are his memories of the war. This includes the particularly brutal death of an anonymous crew member.

Upshot

For this huge gap in canon, into which you could drive a truck, there was no reason to not cover it. Hell, it’s the elephant in the room, when it comes to the ENT era.

Why not show it?

The Earth-Romulan War will be back in my writing; I guarantee it.

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!