Tag Archives: Doug Beckett

Review – Dear Naurr, Dear Lili

Review – Dear Naurr, Dear Lili

Dear Naurr – Can I help you with cooking? I’m willing to help. Let me know. – Lili

Dear Naurr, Dear Lili Background

Dear Naurr, Dear Lili
Dear Naurr, Dear Lili

After seeing Naurr the Cajun Caitian chef for the first time, I was hooked. The best part about him, to my mind, beyond the fact that he was a walking mass of malapropisms and weird immigrant-style unfounded assumptions, was that he was native to the ENT time frame.

That meant he was alive at the same time as Lili. I hit upon the idea of Lili giving him a little friendly advice. I had already answered the letters from home prompt, but I gave it another go and this one proved to be just as satisfying albeit rather different.

Plot

On February 17, 2158, Lili gives a little advice to a new chef.

Married to Doug and pregnant with Joss, not to mention opening up Reversal on Lafa II, Lili is one busy lady. But she needs to confide a bit in someone. Treve, her business partner, has a friendly ear but he is not a chef. Lili needed someone who could more or less understand about recipes. This person would also understand some of her cooking frustrations.

Further, the story provided an opportunity to revisit a favorite time period, where Doug and Lili are newlyweds and it is before Malcolm and the beginning of the open marriage and what they, along with Melissa and Norri, refer to as the arrangement. Sometimes, it’s good to just write a far simpler relationship scheme.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I really enjoyed getting them together, at least virtually by means of an essentially epistolary novel. This led to Bomb(e) as a sequel.
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Review – Seven Women

Review – Seven Women

Background

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

Plot

Review – Seven Women
Review – 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

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

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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Review – If I Could See

Review – If I Could See

Background

In 2175, Doug tells Declan to follow his dreams and go to art school, and works behind the scenes to make that happen.

Plot

I had followed some of the other grown or nearly-grown children but Declan, the one who doesn’t quite go with the matched set, had proven a bit elusive.

Review – If I Could See
Later Days

Plus there was the question of how well he and Doug would fit in together. After all, to raise the child your wife has had with another man, well, that’s got to be odd to Doug at times, if he thinks about it or looks at it too closely.

But Doug has embraced Declan as more or less one of his own. The unspoken assumption is that, if Malcolm dies in action, that no one will have to worry about Declan.

When Declan thinks he needs to sacrifice his dreams for what feels like an impending war effort, it’s Doug who steers him back to the right path.

Music

This story was inspired by the Crash Test Dummies’ song, “When I Go Out With Artists”.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

For a small story that wasn’t really planned, I like how this one says perhaps more about Doug and Declan’s relationship (and, by extension, Doug and Malcolm’s, and even Doug and Lili‘s) than anything else I have ever written.

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Review – About Nine Months

Review – About Nine Months

From October of 2176 to June of 2177, the short life of Kevin Madden-Beckett.

Background

After writing Fortune, I had wanted to expand on Kevin Madden-Beckett‘s story for a while, but the opportunity kept failing to present itself.

Plot

Review – About Nine Months
Later Days

It is later in everyone’s life. The kids are nearly all grown. Doug and Lili have settled into comfortable married life. Malcolm is busy fighting a cold war, but otherwise things have fallen into an established pattern. Norri is writing her book. Melissa gets some small piloting assignments, as their nest isn’t quite empty yet. Joss is already at Cornell.

Then comes Kevin.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Kevin is a child with no chance, but he has a place, as both Lili’s spirit guide in Fortune and Tommy’s in Seven Women. For someone with such a short time among the living, Kevin proved to have what I feel is a compelling story.

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Review – Tumult

Review – Tumult

Background

On May fifth of 2160, Lili and Doug arrive on Ceres for Tommy’s birth, on May sixth.

Plot

As a direct sequel to Together, I wanted to begin to show the Beckett-O’Day-Reed-Digiorno-Madden arrangement and how it would work.

Review – Tumult
In Between Days

Hence much like with Equilibrium, this story would show some of the adjustments that would need to be made in order to get an open marriage to run smoothly.

Tommy is one of the pieces that holds the whole mad scheme together and got it kicked off in the first place. Because if Melissa had not been pregnant, Doug might not have bonded with her as well or as closely or as quickly. Furthermore, it is not likely that Norri would have been so forgiving of allowing Doug into their lives and sharing Melissa with him.

So the story opens with Lili and Doug on their way to Ceres. And they are taking Joss and Marie Patrice with them, as Tommy will be their half-brother. But Empy is just an infant. When they arrive, Norri comes to greet them and explains that Melissa went into labor earlier than expected. Hence the Digiornos and the Maddens have already arrived.

When Dino and Belinda Digiorno see Doug and Lili with their children, the introductions are made quickly (I never actually named the Maddens). Dino, as a call back to An Announcement, asks to hold Marie Patrice but also asks Lili who is related to whom. He cannot figure it out and it all seems too strange to him. The whole arrangement is hard for him to follow and piece together.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I liked the frenetic pace of things, that nobody really knows what’s going on half the time. I also liked revisiting Dino’s doubts about all of it, and whether the arrangement would work.

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Review – Consider the Lilies of the Field

Review – Consider the Lilies of the Field

Background

Lilies and Lili! For a prompt about sweetness, I gave two answers.

Review – Consider the Lilies of the Field
Lilies

This was the second one. I wanted to get across the sweetness of relationships, both the long-term and the fairly new.

In addition, in Fortune, one of the family photographs was of Joss and Jia at their prom. I wanted to fill in the blanks, the missing details, of that.

Plot

Joss, a little jumpy in a tuxedo, is cooling his heels before Jia and her parents arrive to take him to the prom at their little school on Lafa II. Marie Patrice is, as she often is, a little snarky. Declan even jokes a bit.  Lili is of course more supportive. Malcolm is mentioned very briefly.

There is a little bustling as Doug arrives with groceries. The kids go out to help (after Lili tells them to), but she holds back Joss so that he won’t get dirty. There is a mysterious blue bag that no one is allowed to touch.

Review – Consider the Lilies of the Field

Once the food is put away, Doug opens up the bag, revealing a carnation boutonniere for Joss and a corsage for Jia. Jia’s parents, Mai and Geming arrive with their daughter. Savvy readers will recognize Geming’s counterpart as being Doug’s final deliberate kill in the Mirror Universe.

After they depart, and the other two children return to their homework, Lili laments that Doug never had a prom. He confirms that, at the time, he was finishing up at West Point and about to go into Basic Training. But he’s got one more surprise for her.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I enjoyed bringing this story together, and I think it works rather well. Doug and Lili’s love is obvious, and Jia and Joss’s relationship is on the cusp of becoming something great, too.

Review – Equinox

Review – Equinox

Background

Review – Equinox
Equinox

For a monthly prompt about sacrifice, I wanted (as I often do) to turn it on its head.  This was not to be a story about noble sacrifices for idealistic causes, with Starfleet cheering all the way. Instead, it was to be a story about personal human sacrifices, and how Starfleet can, I suspect, chew people up and spit them out.

Plot

The story begins with Malcolm telling Travis and Hoshi that

Review – Equinox

he’s going to miss them. Hoshi is looking forward to spending more time with her family. Travis is trying to salvage his marriage. They are both retiring. It’s 2181, and they are the last three left of the original seven senior officers on the NX-01. T’Pol has returned to Vulcan and Phlox is back on Denobula. Tucker is dead, and Archer is pursuing a political career, which dovetails with Star Trek: Enterprise canon. With Hoshi and Travis’s retirements, Malcolm will be the last one standing.

Review – Equinox
Southern continent of Lafa II

And then he gets a call from Leonora Digiorno, and learns that Doug Beckett has died in the forests of the southern continent of Lafa II, a scene from Fortune.

Malcolm knows that, no matter what, he’s got to get home and be with Lili. He will have to set aside everything and, potentially, jeopardize his standing and his command, things he has worked very, very hard for.

But there is no question.

Review – Equinox

He will go to Lili.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I like how it turned out, as it wove the themes of sacrifice and familial duty, crossing them with duties to Starfleet. It was a chance to fill in a few gaps left in Fortune, and to bring in the bench characters and give them great roles, people like Aidan, Chip, Deb, José, and Jennifer. The story acts as a bridge to the deeper future and continues the process of tying In Between Days to the Times of the HG Wells. I think it fulfilled its purpose well.

Review – Atlas

Background

In response to a weekly prompt about painting a scene, I submitted Atlas. As far back as Reversal, I had described Titania as a kind of Southerners‘ paradise. This story gave me an opportunity to showcase that.

Plot

In late April of 2133, Jay is a sergeant and is under a Major Ian Landry. Savvy fanfiction readers will recognize Landry as being one of Doug‘s kills, in the Mirror Universe, as described in Fortune.

In Between Days
In Between Days

The MACO unit has just been assigned to Titania.

While Jay is an NCO, the military presence is new, so not all of the barracks buildings have been completed. Therefore, even though he isn’t supposed to, he is made to bunk with the enlisted personnel.

Jay meticulously sets up his area, following every regulation down to the minutest detail. His neighbor, a guy named Mercer, is a lot less careful, and the remainder of the enlisted men are imperfect in their execution of the order to get unpacked. Only Jay gets everything right.

English: False color image of Titania.
English: False color image of Titania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a result, he is given Cinderella Liberty, and takes his time off to go to the Bar District of New Natchez. He has some small adventures, and even sees a woman who will eventually turn out to be Susan Cheshire, although he does not approach her.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I like the little look into Jay’s background. At the time, I was writing The Three of Us, and it struck me that I had very little on Jay’s background, and that needed to be rectified. There are a lot more stories I could tell about Jay; I have barely scratched the surface there.

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Review – Fortune

Background

When Fortune was originally written, the idea was to tie up the In Between Days series.

Fortune
Fortune

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.

Plot

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.

Billie Holliday
Billie Holliday

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.

Music

Story Postings

You can find Fortune here:

Rating

The story is rated M.

Upshot

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.

Fortune
Fortune

I am proud of this story and hope it does the characters justice.

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Review – Together

The Plot

Together
Together

Together begins with Doug and Lili happy. It’s a direct sequel to Reversal, and they are living their dream. The first chapter makes it abundantly clear that they are where they need to be. There are little bumps in the road, but that’s life. So far, so good.

By the time we get to the second chapter, we learn that Jenny is getting married. Malcolm can bring a date, so he sends a note to Pamela, inviting her. Therefore, the astute reader should also understand that this is also a direct sequel to Intolerance.

Since there are no stories without conflict, and since a relationship such as Lili and Doug’s should be tested, the events are set into motion. And the main event is a massive kidnapping of humans.

Coupling

The kidnapping is a chance to introduce two new original species, the Imvari and the Witannen. Furthermore, a third original species, the Zetal, are mentioned but they are not seen.

Melissa & Doug
Melissa & Doug (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ten humans are removed from the NX-01 (Lili and Doug are aboard as they are hitching a ride to Jenny and Frank‘s wedding). Because the Witannen want them to interbreed, the group consists of five men and five women, and they are separated into couples, namely –

  • Lili and Malcolm – the idea is to play off Malcolm’s earlier attraction to Lili and also counterpoint her issues with Doug.
  • Doug and Melissa – here, Doug’s frustrations with Lili are balanced with Melissa’s bisexuality, e. g. this is an area where Leonora cannot fulfill what her partner needs.
  • Jonathan and Deborah – for him, it’s a chance to have someone to protect. For her, it’s the fulfillment of a long-term crush.
  • Tripp and Hoshi – this combination plays off their friendship and also is an answer to endless Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction about Tucker and T’Pol.
  • Jennifer and Travis – for her, it’s appalling as she is about to be married. For him, he’s with the hottest woman on the ship, and she is so horribly damaged that it’s no fun for them at all.

This is not to mention the other couples in the story, from before, during and after the captivity. Plus, what happens with Pamela? Stay tuned.

Music

The story is loaded with music as characters come together and break apart throughout. Every major character has his or her own song, and couples share songs, too.

The story isn’t a musical, per se, but there is so much pertinent music that it practically could be.

Themes

The story, in some ways, ended up an exploration of not only relationships but also of our mores as a society. What do we accept from people? What do we expect them to do when the chips are down? People in the story make good decisions, and they make some terrible ones as well. Fallout does not stop just because you wish it all away, and the fights are harsh because it’s the people who love you – and know you better than anyone – who can truly hurt you if they really want to.

Story Postings

Rating

I put the rating at T, with the racier version on Ad Astra at M.

Upshot

The story goes in a bunch of different directions, and it was to tie up loose ends up and then create any number of others in order to generate more plot ideas, including the idea for Temper, a story that really doesn’t work without Together as its foundation. Furthermore, any number of other overall plot elements don’t work, or can’t work as well without it.

In many ways, it is a centerpiece story, and many other tales hang off it, either as sequels or as prequels or in conjunction with it. Aside from Reversal, it’s also the most read of my stories, and for good reason, as it helps the reader to understand so much more of my overall story line. Plus, I think it’s just a good, complicated tale.

I’m very proud of this one.

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