In this instance, I wanted an oppressive villain species, as that story line is a parallel to the rise of the Nazi party here on Earth.
The Olathans would be hidden and mysterious, but nasty. Their purpose in life would be to suppress their overly-peaceful and somewhat simplistically weak neighbors, the Azezans. While the Azezans were purple in color, the Olathans were green. But otherwise they were to look more or less the same, and I never described them any further (my scene setting and world building skills have improved since that story was written several years ago). This allows for the deception in The Adventures of Porthos to be believable at all.
For the Olathans, their weaker peaceful neighbors are only good for one thing – exploitation. Azezans are worked to death and families are broken up. The Olathans are excited to meet with humans, hoping to be able to sell slave labor to them, or at least the fruits of slave labor. Porthos can tell that something is very, very wrong.
At the end of the story, Jonathan Archer has hit upon a fairly foolproof scheme to try to thwart the Olathans and hoist them on their own petard. In order to root out the Olathans hiding on Azezi Prime, he proposes a gift of scent hounds and their handlers. Hopefully the act of outing any Olathans will spur the Azezans to drive them out of their home world, once and for all.
While Porthos got his own pair of sequels, the Azezans and Olathans did not. Perhaps it’s time I visited Azezi Prime, to see what’s up.
The idea of crossing Dr. Sam Beckett to Captain Jonathan Archer has been done by others before. That much is for certain. I had wanted to do this for a while, and then the opportunity suddenly presented itself.
The story opens with Beckett materializing onto the NX-01, and meeting Jennifer Crossman. The time period for Quantum Leap is after the end of the series, so Sam has been leaping about in time under all sorts of odd circumstances and those include going past the beginning and end of his natural life span. The show’s creators had said that, if the series had continued, the leaps would have gotten odder, and so going to ancient Rome or even to the taming of fire by primitives would certainly fit the bill there.
As Beckett meets Crossman, he seems (she still thinks he’s Captain Archer) a bit faint. She gets him to Sick Bay, where he yells in alarm when he sees Dr. Phlox. It’s explained to him, eventually, that Archer was in the midst of early negotiations with the Xindi, Degra. Beckett, feeling this is his reason for being on board the Enterprise, asks to be debriefed and vows to attempt the mission.
Meanwhile, on Earth, and a good century previously, Admiral Al Calavicci is trying to work with a somewhat agitated Jonathan Archer. As Tina, Gooshie, Verbena Beeks, and Sammy Jo Fuller all help Jonathan figure out what he needs to do, Donna Eleese stays back. Eventually, Jonathan realizes that the reciprocal leap is a lot less about Degra (although Sam does confront the Xindi) than it is about Donna.
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 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.
I decided that there would be two planets, in order to grow the most diverse set of foodstuffs possible. Paradise would be the warmer of the two. Amity was always intended to be the more temperate planet taken over during Reflections Down a Corridor/The Three of Us time period.
Carmen Calavicci, in the deep future, confirms that in the prime timeline the planet will actually be known as Archer’s Planet.
• Aquilasicca – northern drier continent (In Latin the name, literally, means north, dry)
• Meridia – southern wetter continent (literally, southern)
• Imperia – eastern wetter continent (literally, empire)
• Tritica – western drier continent (literally, wheat)
Backbones do not seem to have ever evolved on Amity. Instead, the two predominant species are mollusks.
Malostrea are little clam-like creatures, and are the more intelligent species, exhibiting hunting behaviors within a pack-like structure. The name is Latin for bad oyster. Procul, their prey, are large squid-like beasts. The name is Latin for faraway.
So often, we see alien planets as being all too conveniently perfect for every purpose. They’re clean, the climate is wonderful, and there are no major predators. Amity isn’t like that. For all returns to this world, I’ll call it by its more or less canon name, Archer’s World.
Back when I was writing a non-Star Trek time travel series, I had an idea for an alien who would be helping the group.
She would be a member of the first species ever to make contact with humans, and her name would be Otra (she didn’t get a last name until later), and she would be the girlfriend of the leader of the group, the rather non-charismatic Levi Cavendish. She was supposed to be a bit out of proportion to humans, in that she’d have longer legs than we normally do. She would also be a light lavender color. About the only thing she really had which transferred over to what became the Witannen (Wit-ah-nin) is that her hair would be replaced with green vines that would move independently of her. She would be unable to control the vines, and they would be in some sort of a symbiotic relationship with her. The species did not have a name, but their first contact had been preceded by an odd form of prepping the Earth for their arrival – they had sent broadcasts for a good year beforehand, including a popular soap opera. Hence when the aliens arrived in that older series, they were more or less known to humans, and were famous.
Then the species was added to my Star Trek fan fiction, and it got even more interesting.
What Happened to the Witannen
When I began writing Together, I wanted a villain who would be more of a business person than an actual evil being. Ferengi had already been seen in canon Enterprise, so I felt that would be a bit much, to have a second encounter with the Ferengi, without that name being known in the Starfleet database.
Hence they were out. I remembered my strange alien, so I performed some modifications on her.
First, the character in Together would not be Otra at all, who I reserved for a time travel series, Times of the HG Wells. But I really liked the idea of having the character be female, so I created Quellata (Kell-uh-tuh) instead. Quellata would be full-blooded, whereas Otra would be half-human, and so she would get a surname.
To differentiate between the full and half,
I decided that full-blooded Witannen would have little vestigial wings. It isn’t until Multiverse II that it becomes clear that Otra just has long lines on her back, where her wings would have been.
The wings would be vestigial, far too small to propel anyone. Hence Quellata would be grounded, and the wings would be more decorative than anything else. This also made it possible for her to wear more or less recognizable clothing.
The proportions were also corrected for human sizes, so that a human actor could conceivably ‘play’ a Witannen. I also dropped the idea of a light lavender complexion, preferring to make them a little less alien in exchange for making them an easier species to picture an actor or actress playing.
A bit brittle, with a superiority complex, Witannen are from the Delta Quadrant. They have good reason to feel good about themselves, as they’ve had Warp Drive for centuries. This makes it easier to look down at Johnny-come-lately species like humans. Quellata refers to her human captives as slime molds, but then again, she’s nasty to everyone.
Their language is divided into formal and conversational, both written and oral. Their writing is unknown, but their speech is a click language, much like Khoisan and Xhosa on Earth. Their species name does not have a plural, e. g. one Witannen, two Witannen. I’m not sure if I’ll give them any plurals.
Like humans and Vulcans, they are monogamous. And like Vulcans, their pregnancies last longer than ours do.
A lot of them have heads for business. Apart from Quellata, Otra’s own mother, Chefra, also works in the commercial realm, as a dealer in star ship parts. Otra herself is more of a philosopher and missions specialist. An opera singer, a male named Paj Terris, is briefly mentioned in the HG Wells stories. The only other Witannen I have written so far is Adeel, a female athlete in the upcoming Barnstorming series.
The other main characteristic of Witannen is their symbiotic chavecoi (chah-vuh-COY), which evolved from being vines to being more like flowers. They can change color with mood, a fact that makes them rather inconvenient. A Witannen would make a lousy spy. The chavecoi also drink some water on occasion, and a character like Otra will sip tea while her chavecoi will dip into a nearby glass of water. The chavecoi are alarmed by caffeine if they accidentally taste tea or coffee, and they can become drunk if they intake alcohol. Their purpose is survival; in the event of a drought, they can photosynthesize in order to keep their host alive. Further, according to Multiverse II, they can be adversely affected by radiation, but they can be cured (as can their host) by stem cell growth accelerator.
I loved creating them, but the best-realized character is Otra, by far. How well-realized will the others ever become? I don’t know, or maybe another character will be created, perhaps another male.
The species will return, particularly as I continue to explore the Otra-Levi dynamic, but I’m not so sure about going beyond that, as of the writing of this blog post.
Otra goes all the way back to the earlier time travel stories I wrote several years ago. Her name goes back even further, to when I was taking Spanish in High School. The word otra means other (female). But the o is long, sounding like oat-truh. I played with the word and liked otra (rhymes with Sinatra) better, although I didn’t vocalize that (correct pronunciation was key to a good grade).
I also liked the idea of someone who could really see the changes in time, and could intelligently comment on them. Canon character Guinan actually can do this, marking her as possibly a four-dimensional being. I didn’t really have anything quite so fancy in mind for Otra. Instead, almost like a fortuneteller or an oracle, she would have visions.
And she wouldn’t have hair. She’d have semi-sentient floral appendages, known as chavecoi (chah-veh-coy). This would mark her as a half-Witannen (wit-ah-nen), a Delta Quadrant species. Except for her mother, Chefra, the only other Witannen shown in my fan fiction is Together‘s Quellata (kell-uh-tuh), although there is a reference to one in the HG Wells series named Paj Terris, and the upcoming Barnstorming series will have a Witannen athlete named Adeel.
Beautiful and accomplished, the actress is believably sexy and interesting.
Of course, in Desperation, when Otra is a toddler, Knightley doesn’t play her.
Smart, funny and patient, Otra is one of the only people Levi Cavendish ever wants to listen to.
Otra is also shrewd. In You Mixed-Up Siciliano, she is kidnapped. But she makes the most of her time, trying hard to understand where she is, who has her, and whether she can get any help.
In Multiverse II, her chavecoi become possessed by Chilo. This turns her evil for a while. It was great fun to give her awful things to do, including indiscriminate sex, murder and a lot of mayhem. When she meets Colonel Philip Green, she’s just stepped out of a shower. As he stares (for this is the first alien anyone on Earth has ever seen; it’s 2055), she nonchalantly asks him, “I’m Otra D’Angelo. Would you happen to have a towel, Phil?…A towel. You know, it’s a terrycloth or velvet thing, usually, sometimes linen?”
Bringing her back, eventually, is the realization that, in his own quirky way, Levi loves her.
Friends since college, Otra and Levi work together, and he names their temporal alteration theory after her. Hence small changes are known as otric ones. Medium-sized ones are pariotric and large ones are known as megaotric. Otra herself isn’t so sure about how she feels about being an eponym.
Colonel Philip Green
As a part of her possession by evil Chilo, Otra fell in with Green, and they had an affair. When he proposed, she realized that she was not in love with him, and ended up attempting to kill Green, stabbing him repeatedly. This wounded him, and it was significantly enough a wound that he would have died if he had not gotten a bit of her stem cell growth accelerator.
Of course, for someone who has flowers on her head, that would work. And for someone who, briefly, was nonexistent, the idea that there is a light, still, that proved irresistible.
While there isn’t, truly, any reason for Otra to not exist in the Mirror universe, it’s still a highly unlikely proposition.
After all, a combination such as hers is highly unlikely even in the prime universe.
“Our theory was quite simple. We decided that there are three types of temporal alterations. These are all – it’s a little embarrassing – but they are named after me. I suppose I am an eponym now. The smallest of changes is called otric. Consider if you will, what happens when you wear a yellow shirt, on a Friday, while strolling along a street in the city of Ironville, on Mars. Now consider what’s different – other than color, mind you – when your shirt is, instead, green in color.”
At some point, I will undoubtedly get those two crazy kids together. Until then, Otra is a fun addition to my stable of characters and she’ll be seen again.