Tag Archives: Doug

Review – Dishing it Out

Review – Dishing it Out

Background

Review – Dishing it Out
A very pregnant Lili O’Day (Naomi Watts)

False Bill and I wanted to put together a funny crossover story where both of our universes could collide.

Complicating matters was the fact that his chef character, the Caitian Naurr, disappears during the Romulan War in his fan fiction.

Therefore, there were some temporal limitations. This required that Lili be pregnant with Joss, but it also gave us an idea about temporal shenanigans.

Plot

Three storylines occur at what, to the reader, is the same time and place. But the reality is that they cover three separate years and two universes.  In one storyline, the Mirror Universe version of Erika Hernandez works as a chef for the Empress Hoshi Sato. Hoshi is mulling over her next conquests and angry about the food on the ISS Defiant. In 2158, a very pregnant Lili, along with Naurr, is cooking at Reversal. Doug tells her to take it easy, and some of the interplay between them foreshadows later issues in Together and Fortune.  The third storyline is in the deeper future, in the HG Wells timeline, as Rick Daniels, Carmen Calavicci, Otra D’Angelo, HD Avery, Levi Cavendish, and Kevin O’Connor all celebrate at a year-end banquet with some of their mirror counterparts, which are characters created by False Bill.

A dispute and a small prank pushes one of False Bill’s characters to send unauthorized cookbooks to Empress Hoshi’s time period. But the temporal transporters are only working to send people forward in time but not back! What to do?

Send in the chefs!

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I like how the threads came together. We also had a  lot of comedic fun with the story, adding an invading mouse army and a bit of slapstick humor. Others agreed, and it won the crossover challenge during the 2014 Twelve Trials of Triskelion on Ad Astra.

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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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Portrait of a Character – Carlos Castillo

Portrait of a Character – Carlos Castillo

Origins

For Doug‘s confession to Lili (in the Star Trek fan fiction book, Fortune) to be at all credible, there needed to be a history behind each of the fourteen men he had killed in the Mirror Universe. Furthermore, just like the death of the Mirror Norri, I wanted at least one of those murders to be for the flimsiest of reasons or at least be hard to take because the person would scarcely be remembered.

Then, when writing the 2013 ficlet flash dance story Conversations With Heroes, I needed a filmmaker. Carlos works for both.

Portrayal

I see Javier Bardem for this character.

Portrait of a Character – Carlos Castillo
Javier Bardem as Carlos Castillo

I wanted an intelligent, versatile actor. It was also important to me that he be of Latino descent.

I also liked the idea of someone who has played both heroes and villains, as Carlos has a place on both sides of the pond.

Personality

In the Prime Universe, Carlos the independent documentary filmmaker is essentially looking for an easy paycheck. He is given an assignment to speak with the crew of the NX-01 and get their personal takes on the end of the Xindi War. While he does talk with everyone, he only records the following in the story: Jonathan Archer, Maryam Haroun, Lili, Jennifer, and Malcolm, who talks about Jay. For the first and last chapters of the piece, it is Carlos’s own words about the film and also about the people he interviewed. While he remains somewhat neutral, he is far from unaffected. At the end of the piece, he ends up angrily and frustratedly pitching his coffee cup against a wall.

Relationships

There are no known relationships, but there had to have been someone for Carlos, as he is Marisol‘s ancestor.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Carlos Castillo
Javier Bardem as Mirror Carlos

Carlos is barely even known by name in the Mirror. Doug did not know his name until after he was killed. During wartime, Doug grabs the person closest to him and uses that person as a human shield. That unfortunate person turns out to be Carlos, who Doug never knows and never talks to.

Quote

“But it’s hard to not be affected, or to see what could have happened if one thing, or another, was different. These people certainly see it that way. And the reality is that this is, for the most part, just a ship full of damaged people. I know that there are those who are happy and excited about the conclusion of this war. I can’t say that I haven’t felt my own sense of relief, for I most certainly have. But I think we, as humans and citizens of Earth, I think we need to keep these people’s thoughts and aspirations and guilt and personal pain in our heads as we wave our flags and sing the United Earth anthem. We need to remember that these heroes come complete with consciences, and miseries and regrets. This victory did not come without a price. Thank you.”

Upshot

At some point, I would like to find another place to showcase Carlos, as there has got to be a spot for a filmmaker. I will try to bring him back.

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Review – The Medal

Review – The Medal

Background

In 2203, Neil Digiorno-Madden runs his first 5K.

Plot

For a Star Trek fan fiction prompt about medals, I wanted to write about Neil.

Review – The Medal
Later Days

Furthermore, I did not want this award to be for anything heroic or even related to Starfleet at all.

Because I have run 5K races, and I am often last or one of the last people who finishes, I know Neil’s situation all too well. All by himself at the end, he trudges and plods along, oh so slowly. He drinks his water and admires the scenery but also silently curses to himself and wonders if he has bitten off more than he can chew.

At the end of the race, he thinks that only Ines will be there. He is rather pleasantly surprised when the entire remaining family (Lili, Doug, and Malcolm are all dead by this point in time)  is there to greet him. Ines and Yinora even give him a new tee shirt, on which it is printed, Kiss Me, It’s My First 5K. The shirt, the kiss, and the race are all a little throwaway that I had slipped into Fortune as being one of the pictures on the video wall. I had not originally intended to write the story and follow up on the image, but the prompt presented the opportunity right on a silver platter.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I really like Neil, and I had had few occasions, until this short story, to really give him any substance or depth. I change my mind all the time when it comes to which of these second generation characters is my favorite, but Neil is always in the conversation, and a lot of that points right back to this little story.

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Recurrent Themes – Jane Eyre

Recurrent Themes – Jane Eyre

Background

When I first began writing again, I had fairly recently read Jane Eyre in its entirety for the first time. DNA This triggered the addition of that story, at times, into my Star Trek fan fiction. Lili O’Day and Reversal, in particular, are in some ways a space version of at least parts of that story.

The idea of bringing together two people who are from rather different walks of life or at least professions, and giving them a future (but not giving them an immediate happy ending) was a challenge. For the heroine to not be a great beauty, but to still be independent and insist upon a relationship on her own terms was irresistible. These threads can be seen in any number of places in my work.

Appearances

Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions

In Paving Stones, a young Doug is taken away from his parents and sent to a rough, unpleasant boarding school by a Mr. Brocklehurst.

Reversal

Recurrent Themes – Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre (2006 miniseries) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Lili and Doug first get together, her situation is quite a bit like Jane’s. She’s a low-level crew member and is isolated, and is not very attractive.

As the quietly serving one who cleans up, Lili is supposed to be the sort of below decks person who fades into the background. And she often does. For the ship to send a search party out for her, and to nearly have an interstellar incident with the Calafans when she is abducted, is a big, big deal. This is a person who most of them underestimated, who turns out to be rather important indeed.

Fortune

At Norri‘s deathbed, she gives away her paper books, including Jane Eyre, which is given to Marie Patrice, because Empy is the “strong, independent heroine of her own life.”

Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

When clearing out Malcolm‘s quarters, Lili comes across the book and takes it, vowing to read it.

Flight of the Bluebird

Seppa reveals that Lili and Malcolm sent books to the young Daranaean girls, including this one.

Wider Than the Sargasso Sea

Recurrent Themes – Jane Eyre
Toby Stephens in 2006 Jane Eyre miniseries on Public Television

Several years after the Breen attack, Gabrielle Nolan stars in this play, with Desh, a Breen, playing opposite her as Mr. Rochester.

But can Gabby act opposite a boy whose father fought in a devastating war, as her enemy? And what about the townspeople? The Breen are kept in a separate section, which Gabby’s mother, Gina, dismisses as a ghetto. Is this any way to normalize relations?

Advice From My Universes to Yours

When providing advice to Aurellan Markalis, Lili suggests reading a classic love story like Jane Eyre. Jay comments that he doesn’t read such things.

Upshot

I really loved weaving this story line into my own fiction, with little shout outs that are almost like literary Easter Eggs. Jane Eyre will return.

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Review – Equilibrium

Review – Equilibrium

Background

Equilibrium. And we all know how elusive it can be. After the end of Together, Doug, Lili, Malcolm, Melissa, and Leonora are ready to start the arrangement and live their lives in tandem.

Review – Equilibrium
In Between Days

Essentially, Lili and Doug will have an open marriage and each take a lover, and Melissa and Norri will open their relationship but only Melissa will take a lover.

But the problem was that I had forgotten all about one person within the family unit and had not accounted for him or his feelings in any way – Joss.

Plot

Hence after the ordeal of Lili and Doug’s kidnapping in Together,  and in anticipation of a new little sister, Joss regresses a tiny bit. He wants his parents with him. This means some co-sleeping.

Living in a system that is significantly psionically charged, Lili and Doug (and all of the Calafans, actually), are able to share dreams as a kind of alternate secondary reality. This is a big part of what makes the extramarital arrangements work in the first place. But of course Lili and Doug are not going to expose Joss to anything untoward. Joss will not be a witness to any sort of a primal scene.

Hence they decide to share with him a small child’s most perfectly excellent dream, ever.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

From the picnic to the train ride to the old-fashioned baseball game, the dream is everything Joss and his proud parents could ever want. Therefore, I simply adore this little story.

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Review – Friday Visit

Review – Friday Visit

Background

For a look at Doug and Lili‘s early married life, from even before Joss, I went with what was essentially a scene missing from Together.

Review – Friday Visit
In Between Days

In that story, Lili is already in possession of the Cuff of Lo.

But how did she get it in the first place?

Plot

Newlyweds Lili and Doug are talking in their rented home on Lafa II as the story opens, and Doug reminds Lili to take it easy and get some rest. She is pregnant and they have recently opened Reversal. Her pregnancy also isn’t as easy as it could be. She is being run ragged.

But she reminds him that they are going to visit Treve and his family. Because this is after the events of Reversal, Chawev is in prison. Yipran is out of the medical center, but is shaky. Chelben is still a little boy, and Yimar is still a fairly young tween.

When Yipran predicts that the cuff will go to Lili’s third child, Doug and Lili look at each other in some surprise. It seems as if Jeremiah Logan – Joss – would be something of a miracle child, given Lili’s age and the fact that Doug is actually a Terran and not, truly, a human. It does not seem to make any sense that there could be two more in the future. But they are polite and do not dismiss Yipran’s prediction out of hand.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I liked putting together a little slice of Calafan life. It seems that, often, Star Trek fan fiction does not fill in the blanks when it comes to civilian living, or to the lives of aliens. I hope I have filled in the missing pieces a bit with this story.

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Review – Achieving Peace

Review – Achieving Peace

Background

With Achieving Peace, I had wanted to touch upon Laura Hayes‘s life, somewhat independent of Doug and Lili.

Review – Achieving Peace
In Between Days

Because Laura is an attorney, the idea would be that she had a connection to the signing of the peace treaty ending the EarthRomulan War.

Plot

Hence it’s the end of the war, and Laura is an assistant to an Andorian, T’Therin. They are present at the signing and transmission of the peace treaty to the Romulans. With them are Chara Sika (sharp-eyed readers will recognize her as the mother of Xindi sloth Aranda Chara, who Travis meets during The Puzzle), Emily Stone (the mother of Mark Stone, Pamela‘s classmate), canon characters Vulcan Ambassador Soval and Gral, a Tellarite. A Xindi Reptilian is working communications, and he reports that the Romulans won’t allow a picture transmission. They will receive an image, but they won’t send one, and remain a faceless enemy to the end, which clicks into place rather nicely with canon.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

This is a small filler type of story, and it serves its purpose just find. It was also a treat to bring these mostly minor characters together, as Laura is more than just the officiant at Malcolm and Lili’s wedding, or Jay‘s elder sister. I particularly liked giving one final bit of information, that the Romulans would be relieved at the cessation of hostilities, ended just in time before the Star Empire went bankrupt.

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Review – The Three of Us

Review – The Three of Us

Background

As the third piece of the E2 series, I wanted to pursue a Star Trek fan fiction story that I had had in mind for quite a while.

Review – The Three of Us
The Three of Us

This was an idea about a love triangle/threesome among Lili, Jay, and Malcolm. Of all four stories set during that time period, this one was the most fully realized, and the easiest to write. I had tons of it in my head even before pen went to paper (and then was transcribed to pixels). I wish all storytelling was like this!

Plot

Review – The Three of Us
The Sparrow and the Blue Jay

The story begins with Malcolm providing a little news and ship’s gossip to the still-injured Ethan Shapiro. Malcolm speaks a little about the remaining single women on board the Enterprise, but he mainly discusses an upcoming baseball game between the MACOs and Starfleet. The action shifts as Lili tries out for the Starfleet team and then Shelby and Andrew talk about why she won’t be playing. The first chapter is rounded out with Judy Kelly Rostov going into labor, the mark of the second child to be born on the generational ship (Valleri Rostov, so-named because Davy Jones of the Monkees had recently died when I was writing that part of the story).

As the book continues, more and more of the single women are snapped up, until two are left ….

Music

The Monkees – Valleri
Bing Crosby – White Christmas
Santa Claus is Coming to Town (sung by the single men, but this version is by Bruce Springsteen)
Dusty Springfield – I Only want to be with You

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated M.

Upshot

As stated above, I had a lot of this storyline in my head as I was writing and even beforehand. From the weddings to the aliens to the spirituality to the triumphs and tragedies, the love and the nastiness, this is one of my absolute favorites of my works.

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Spotlight on Ring Phasers

Spotlight on Ring Phasers

Background

Spotlight on Ring Phasers
Ring Phaser (actually a Za’Tarc ring from the Stargate universe)

When I originally wrote the Times of the HG Wells series, I had an idea that there would be small phasers but had not really fully developed the concept. Because, in canon, phasers have fairly steadily gotten smaller in size, it made some sense  to have them, in the very deep future, be rather small pieces of equipment. This also worked as a cover, for Rick Daniels and other time travelers would need to carry a weapon to a lot of time periods where carrying such a weapon would be problematic.

Appearance

It was not until Multiverse II and Another Piece of the Action that I realized that this would be rather useful.

Spotlight on Ring Phasers
English: Ring made of tungsten (tungstencarbide?) Deutsch: Ring aus Wolframcarbid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For characters needing to hide a phaser (and maybe even make it look like something else), the idea of turning it into a ring configuration seemed smart. For female time travelers in particular in history, they could even place the ring phaser onto their left ring finger and claim that it was a wedding ring.

The idea is that the ring phaser is about as plain and nondescript as the idea to the right. Furthermore, as time travelers would often have to worry about theft and beatings, the article was not intended to appear ostentatious or particularly expensive.

Upshot

For a small afterthought type of original technology, I think it turned out pretty well. It would not shock me if a deep future storyline, either in the books or some hypothetical to-be-aired series or film, featured something like them.

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