Soldiers’ Marriage Project, an early effort, showed me how well I can change the tone of a narrative.
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.
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).
The music is Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.
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.
Prison Break exists in the Dispatches from the Romulan War universe. Hence it dovetails well with In Between Days.
First of all, I wrote Prison Break as a kind of homage to World War II prison break films such as The Great Escape. However, the Romulan War served as the backdrop.
Hence the concept behind Prison Break consisted of showcasing, from a journalist’s perspective, how some captured humans had gotten out of a Romulan prison. Therefore, this marked the first time I wrote about Berren Five, a location I have used in the HG Wells stories.
In addition, the original plan meant no one had survived an original attack. However, I convinced the series runner to allow for this kind of a different story. Therefore, the former prisoners detail everything from using ration packets to shore up tunnels to how they got rid of the dirt (a nod to The Great Escape, one of my favorite films, ever).
Because a prison escape story can feel rather uplifting, the intent also involved giving hope to the families and turn the series around a bit, as it had stagnated and had gotten rather negative. While that may be expected with war stories, it just seemed a tad too much, and nonstop. Hence the escape story and the reunions of the former POWs with their pleasantly surprised families had a purpose. It evoked the same sort of hope and positivity that can happen in the midst of any war.
With Achieving Peace, I had wanted to touch upon Laura Hayes‘s life, somewhat independent of Doug and Lili.
Because Laura is an attorney, the idea would be that she had a connection to the signing of the peace treaty ending the Earth-Romulan War.
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.
This is a small filler type of story, and it serves its purpose just fine. 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. Because this story reminded me of her, Laura also got a mention in Everybody Knows this is Nowhere. 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.