Killers drive plots, and even create them. For many victims, someone has responsibility for their ends.
Murdering, of course, appears in canon all the time, from the numerous red shirt deaths in the original series to the end of Tripp Tucker‘s life in the execrable and otherwise forgettable These Are the Voyages.
Appearances of Killers
Douglas Jay Hayes Beckett
Doug’s crimes have been outlined before in this blog. The Mirror Universe ends up being quite the ruthless place when I write it. And his crimes come to life in Fortune when Q shows them to Lili. The final killing, of Deborah Haddon, is an accident seen in Reversal.
The incident happens quite by accident, when trying to steal a shuttle during the E2 time frame (second kick back in time). Hence the Ikaaran, Verinold, ends up as a killer. He drags Daniel Chang into space without a pressure suit. As a result, Verinold ends up banished to the tiny, dim world which Sandra Sloane has named Speakeasy.
While all higher-up Mirror Universe denizens become pretty much murders by definition, I wanted to make it so their actions would have some meaning. And in particular, that makes Doug’s crimes all the more horrific, as so many of them occurred due to some of the flimsiest excuses.
For Reversal in particular to work, there had a to be a number of people ready and able to go to war.
In particular, as the Mirror Universe is so different from the prime universe, a lot of people would be soldiers there who wouldn’t be so here. Or they would be more violent and less disciplined than in our universe. As it is explained to Lili, the percentage of military personnel is deliberately kept very high over there.
There are more MACOs in particular than the group listed here, but these people are seen the most.
Appearances of Soldiers
This Calafan recruit drills directly under Doug and, in the Mirror, in one of the alternate timelines, assassinates the Empress Hoshi Sato during Temper.
Douglas Jay Hayes Beckett
Doug, a trained killer, spends much of Reversal trying to leave the practice of making war. When he can’t find anything else to do with himself in Together, he eventually becomes the captain of a defense unit on Lafa II, and instructs recruits.
Chang, a canon character, defends the Enterprise but, in the E2 timeline, commits crimes.
Curtis is another E2 timeline criminal. In the Temper alternate timelines, he’s named Craig.
In the prime universe, Delacroix is a security guard who becomes a chef. In the Mirror, he nearly kills Doug.
Unlike the other five kids, Tommy joins Starfleet and goes into Tactical.
In the deep future, Tom is assigned to the Breen homeworld before he joins the Temporal Integrity Commission.
Deb works in Security in both universes. In the Mirror, she kills Brian before he has a chance to off Doug. But her victory is short-lived, and she perishes when he leaves that universe.
The consummate soldier, Major J. Hayes is so committed to defending the ship that he has nearly no time for people.
Yet another E2 criminal, Hodgkins often pairs with Curtis, particularly in the Mirror.
Chip is wasted in Security and moves over to Communications. This isn’t possible in the Mirror, so he stays in Tactical. In the prime timeline, he escapes the Empress, but in one of the alternates, he rises to become captain of the Defiant.
Travis is a soldier in the Mirror Universe only. He’s a poor soldier, though, and an even worse leader. In the alternate timelines, and in the prime timeline, he is fragged by his own troops.
Like Travis, Andy is only a soldier in the Mirror. When the Empress taps him for somewhat earthy duties, he manages to get himself reassigned to Science.
The other consummate canon career soldier, Malcolm is more ambitious and tries for a command as soon as he can get one.
José is another person who is only a soldier in the Mirror. He is not cut out for command at all and, in an alternate timeline, destroys his ship, the Luna, and everyone on board is killed.
Star Trek fanfiction will always have a place for men and women (and other genders) in uniform.
Steven Culp himself had suggested that Major Hayes’s name was either Jay or Jeremiah. By using Jay for the Major, it made sense to use Jeremiah for his father.
Jeremiah Hayes is played by veteran actor Steven Culp. I love the idea of using the same actor for both fathers and sons, much like Scott Bakula did in Quantum Leap.
Rigid and somewhat militaristic in his thinking, Jeremiah orders his child or children (depends on the universe; in the prime universe, he has a daughter, Laura. Laura doesn’t exist in the Mirror Universe).
He isn’t necessarily mean, but he is emotionally unavailable. Jay and Doug both seek their father’s approval. For Laura, there is nearly nothing known about her relationship with her father.
Jeremiah’s only known relationship is with Lena. He is, without question, the king of the castle.
In the mirror, Jeremiah is tough and he tries hard to make Doug tough. This causes Jeremiah to send his only child away to boarding school a few months before Doug has to go. The idea is to toughen Doug up, but it frightens the sensitive child. When Doug is beat up enough times, he becomes tough and unfeeling on his own, and without Jeremiah’s help. It isn’t until Doug meets Lili that he learns to open up.
Is Jeremiah a spousal abuser? There have been readers who have interpreted him that way. My own personal jury is out. I think that in the Mirror Universe, he treats Lena fairly well. After all, I write MU women as having a tough lot in life. Lena is no exception. But it’s quite the coup for her to have become attached to such a strong man. But Jeremiah isn’t necessarily powerful, and they aren’t necessarily wealthy.
“No, he will be beaten up for it. Don’t you understand? They will tear him apart if they think they can get any sort of an advantage. Do you not get that?”
Given how Jeremiah behaves, and what he says in the Mirror, his early life was a lot like Doug’s. Doug gets a chance to redeem himself, whereas Jeremiah never seems to. In the prime universe, he’s mainly just a rigid military man. But in the Mirror Universe, he’s another casualty.
Lilies and Lili! For a prompt about sweetness, I gave two answers.
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.
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.
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.
Equinox is where I had to kill one of my darlings, an event from Fortune.
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.
The story begins with Malcolm telling Travis and Hoshi that 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.
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.
Hence Malcolm knows that, no matter what, he’s got to get home and be with Lili. And he will have to set aside everything and, potentially, jeopardize his standing and his command, things he has worked very, very hard for.
So 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. Finally, I think it fulfilled its purpose well.
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.
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.
The MACO unit has just gotten an assignment to Titania.
While Jay is an NCO, the military presence is new. Hence not all of the barracks buildings are up. Therefore, even though he isn’t supposed to, he must bunk with the enlisted personnel.
Jay meticulously sets up his area, following every regulation down to the minutest detail. His neighbor, Mercer, is a lot less careful. Plus the remainder of the enlisted men only imperfectly execute the unpack order. Only Jay gets everything right.
As a result, he gets 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.
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.
Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses is yet another multi-dimensional title. The rocks would be a shattering of conventions. The looking glass of course is a reference to the Mirror Universe. And the glass houses naturally are exactly where you don’t want to throw any rocks. Furthermore, I decided on rocks rather than stones as they imply irregularity and roughness. This contrasts with Paving Stones as there the action follows set patterns and traditions.
This story upends those traditions and it shows just how Hoshi changes everything.
I wanted a transitional story, a power grab, showing Empress Hoshi getting where she wanted to be.
Having declared herself Empress, Hoshi has to consolidate her power. She has to eliminate threats and pick up allies. This means ruthless Machiavellian efficiency.
Furthermore, she has to get rid of the Emperor, who I write as a descendant of canon mass murderer Philip Green. Green brings along only three bodyguards, foolishly underestimating her bloodlust – my original characters, José Torres, Brian Delacroix, and Andrew Miller.
I like how it turned out. In particular, I enjoyed putting together Hoshi’s plan and showing her nastiness. Her impatience with science and with delays, her casual approach to murder and her lust are all on display. I really like the final product.
First of all, the Trek BBS held a Star Trek fanfiction challenge called “Out of Uniform“. So the idea was to show people not in typical starship settings. I seized upon the opportunity to show Lili and Doug first moving to Lafa II. Hence this is the morning after the end of Reversal; Local Flavor is the very beginning of “happily ever after”.
Travis flies Doug and Lili to the surface. Also, he makes a point of telling Lili that Captain Archer and Malcolm both expressed regrets at not being able to personally see her off. For the captain, it’s because he was busy with other duties. However for Malcolm, it’s because he’s beginning to realize that he cares for her. But he can’t say anything; she’s off to marry someone else. As he confides to her in Together, her life is just zooming along and away from him, and he can’t do anything to stop it.
Upon landing, they are picked up by Treve, who drives them to their new apartment, which is later seen in A Kind of Blue and The Gift. On the way, Doug asks about changing his surname. Treve reiterates that Calafans don’t have last names, so the only people on Lafa II who would care are him and Lili. Doug ends up simply declaring his new surname to be Beckett.
They see the apartment and then the action moves to an open-air market, where a number of Calafan delicacies are to be had, including linfep, tofflin and elekai. Even prako (procul) show up, but they are too expensive, as they have been brought to the market by Eska hunters, from Archer’s Planet (in my fan fiction, during the E2 stories, that world is called Amity). Plus the idea of the Calafans always being on the make comes out, as does Doug’s temper. Even some of the alien gesturing is explained, and the cake made at the end has a blueberry filling. Because that is a shoutout to my portrayal of Jay Hayes as loving blueberries.
A lot happens in a short amount of time. Doug and Lili are exposed to Calafan society through a fire hose. And the reader, in some ways, gets that same sort of treatment. In some ways, this story is like another “elevator pitch” tale (like The Light). This is because it serves as an introduction to a lot of disparate aspects of my universe.
In Reversal, I establish that Lili O’Day‘s favorite color is blue. Reversal also, happily, ends up with Doug and Lili more or less riding off into the sunset.
At least, that was the original idea.
But then came the fanfiction prequels and the sequels.
Bridge Stories and Prequels
Reversal is a prequel to A Kind of Blue, but so is Local Flavor, which begins Doug and Lili’s life on Lafa II and begins to establish some of the background. That is, they are new on Lafa II, their only friends are Treve and his family, and they barely have two nickels to rub together. All of this is played out against the backdrop of being the only humans in the entire Lafa System. Plus the Calafans all seem to be on the make.
This story came about in response to a challenge to write a happy story. So I went with the color as an indicator of sadness but, also, of far different things. For Lili, the first indicator is this one. And it works with the stories. This is because one of the bits of information from Reversal is that Doug is powerful enough that he’s probably going to be able to get by her birth control.
What is also established is that she’d need to have surgery, and have the operation known as The O’Day Reversal put back in order to be able to successfully carry a fetus to term. With Lili pregnant (and experiencing wicked morning sickness), the first stop is Doctor Miva‘s office, but before they can go anywhere, Doug drops the stick on the floor of their apartment. He suddenly realizes he’s on bended knee, so he proposes.
The remainder of the story is the surgery and then their wedding, which includes Calafan wedding vows and surprise rings purchased by Doug.
The story is rated K.
With a wedding and a baby come other responsibilities. But there’s still time to visit friends in Friday Visit, and Pacing and The Gift both advance the Becketts’ lives together even more.
In addition, the new restaurant, Reversal, opens up. Lili and Doug can barely look up, and there is no time to do renovations and put in a bigger and more modern stove until the couple depart for a vacation to Oberon for Jenny and Frank‘s wedding, which Lili will cater (Together).
Reversal got its name on a lark. I hadn’t written Star Trek: Enterprise fanfiction in quite a while.
So I was, in all honesty, spinning it out from nothing. I had nearly no plan for the story, no outline and at first I wasn’t even saving it to Word. And so, when I was saving the first post, the topic had to have a name. On an impulse, I named it Reversal.
And the title proved to be perfect.
I had a dream. No, not like Martin Luther King!
It was a rather earthy dream, truth be told. And it was about a character on Enterprise. And I woke up, thinking – there’s a story there.
From such beginnings, I developed an idea. The septum between the Prime Universe and the Mirror would be thinner at one particular point in the galaxy. This was in parallel to the reality of the Earth’s crust. It is not uniform. Hence I wanted the separation to not be of uniform thickness/difficulty in crossing.
Bare Bones Story Line
The idea was for it to be possible to cross the boundary between the Prime Universe and the mirror through the dream state. The concept was that, for a certain species, the connections would be normal. And then, as the NX-01 Enterprise on our side, and the ISS Defiant on the other, enter that same system, the psionically charged atmosphere would cause two people to simultaneously start to pick up on that same wavelength. But for them, it would be a romance.
It starts off with a bang. The first line is – It didn’t hurt. I love this opening line, as the reader should immediately be thinking – what? What didn’t hurt? Was it supposed to? And then the story moves along from there. The first dream is a coupling dream, where a fantasy plays out in what seems to be a normal Freudian fashion. People kiss, their clothes fly away and of course more happens. It’s pitch black. They remain silent, although they can hear each other breathing. But then the heroine – Lili O’Day – breaks the spell by incoherently calling out loud.
And so we’re off to the races, for the next two scenes shift from her and her roommate in our universe to her fellow and his roommate – a woman – in the mirror. We know Lili’s name, but not the guy’s. He’s just referred to – and rather pejoratively at that – as the old man. His name is kept out of the first few chapters as he is a counterpart to a canon character.
Clues abound and some come from the characters’ speaking whereas others come from Lili talking in her sleep or references from the twin surfaces. Something is going on, in both universes. There is more happening than just the dreams.
From the beginning, I wanted the story to have symbolic meanings. For the title, the first half of the word, rêve, is French for dream. This also works as the second half symbolizes waking life. Plus there is the word itself and its connotations of reinvention and retrograde changes.
Other symbols abound. After the first dream, Lili – who is the sous-chef on the Enterprise – is ordered to make every meal with oranges for one day. When she goes to sleep that night, she reeks of oranges, and it’s the first word that her fellow says to her. So, not only can he smell her, but there is also what oranges kind of mean. They are of course different from apples (and apples connote temptation and the fall from purity). Oranges, I felt would symbolize sunshine and happiness, and warmth and light.
Another symbol or rather symbols is the quadruple star system. The largest star is a white giant named Lo, which should make the reader think of the phrase lo and behold. The second-largest star is a yellow medium-size star like the sun. It’s Abic (Ay-bick), a bit like abba, the Hebrew word for father. The third star is a small orange star, Fep. The smallest one is a red dwarf (yes, it’s a shout out to that TV series) called Ub. Hoshi herself explains that there are value judgments behind the names – Lo is for goodness, Abic is secondary, Fep is small and Ub is sinister.
The five main books in the In Between Days series are each about one of the five main characters (Pamela Hudson is essentially the sixth main character, but she isn’t connected with any book as well as she is with Intolerance). Reversal is, essentially, about Lili. From learning about the fire that killed her parents, to getting to know her as a chef, a lover and a friend, to even peeking at her finances, Lili is all over most of the pages, particularly in the dream sequences and the Prime Universe scenes. This is Lili’s tale.
It’s just the gift that keeps on giving; it’s so incredibly dense with plot. I am grateful to have such a pond to fish in. Apparently readers have agreed; on various platforms, it has racked up over 500,000 total reads.