Tag Archives: Enterprise (NX-01)

Recurrent Themes – Commanders

Recurrent Themes – Commanders

Commanders make Star Trek go ‘round.
Commanders Martin Madden.jpg

Background

For every captain, ever since Kirk and Spock, Star Trek has always had a second. Or if you prefer looking at the timeline Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Commandershistorically, then the position dates back at least to Archer and T’Pol. And it continues to Picard and Riker, and Janeway and Tuvok.

 

Appearances

T’Pol

While this character exists in canon, I never really felt I could write her well until the E2 series of stories. T’Pol has competence and intelligence but, like a lot of Vulcan characters, can sometimes present a feeling of superiority.

Malcolm Reed

During the first E2 kick back in time, and then in the In Between Days time period, after Fortune, Malcolm gets the promotion. In E2, he gets it because Jonathan Archer promotes a number of people. In the post-Fortune time frame, he gets it due to Tripp Tucker’s untimely demise.

Travis Mayweather

And then in the Mirror Universe, Travis gets the nod for two reasons: one, because he and the Empress Hoshi Sato are sleeping together (although she makes an effort to sleep with every man on the ship) and two, because he makes a dandy human shield for her. Hoshi gets a measure of safety because people like Doug and Tripp realize Travis would be worse.

Karin Bernstein-Rosen

During the first E2 kick back in time, Karin gets increasing levels of responsibility, eventually rising to a very high level.

Martin Madden

For this canon character, he gets to shine in the Barnstorming series. I feel Martin Madden has a lot of potential as a character.

Daniya

While Mack MacKenzie technically has three people under her who could be second in command (the doctor refuses as she thinks it wouldn’t work), Daniya ends up being more of a second in command than Wesley Crusher or Crita (who would be too timid to really command, anyway).

Upshot

Seconds in command make vital decisions and keep ships running. Without them, the captain would do too much. Furthermore, seconds in command often do the more dangerous work of command – as well as a lot of the more mundane.

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Portrait of a Character – Tracey Carter

Portrait of a Character – Tracey Carter

Origins

Tracey Carter was originally created out of some petulance on my part. Because I was posting on a site requiring beta reading before posting, I got tired of that. I didn’t want to do that as it was fan fiction. Furthermore, I was seeing suggestions of changing some of the fundamentals of Reversal. With so much dependent upon that story, imperfect as it is, I wasn’t interested in subsequent ‘fixes’ which I felt would gut the plot. However, I was curious about the beta reading process and reeled of Smells with two brand-new characters in order to see what it was all about. Hence my reasoning was to offer up two characters I didn’t really care about in the hopes that I wouldn’t be offended by any suggestions and would potentially learn something.

And then I mostly forgot about that story, but revisited it when I began writing the E2 stories as I needed names and I needed relationships. Tracey and Osh fit the bill rather nicely.

Portrayal

Tracey Carter
Rachel McAdams as Tracey Carter (image is provided for educational purposes only)

Tracey Carter is played by actress Rachel McAdams.

I am particularly thrilled that she plays a linchpin character in The Time Traveler’s Wife, a story which relates her to the Wells series.

Personality

A bit silly and kind of boy-crazy, Tracey quite literally embraces the generational nature of the NX-01. Even though Maryam scolds her and reminds her that she (Tracey) is no longer a teenager, Tracey acts that way anyway. She sets her sights on Oscar and they hook up, which eventually turns into more. During the first kick back in time, she gives birth to the first child on board, Amanda, who she and Osh call Almendra.

Relationships

Tracey’s only known relationship is with Oscar Tiburón. Even after the third version of the Enterprise makes it through, Trace and Osh still get together. Much like Meredith and Rex, Susie and Mario, and Lili and Malcolm (although not Lili and Jay or Lili and José), their relationship carries through to the prime timeline.

Mirror Universe

Mirror Tracey Carter
Mirror Tracey Carter

There are no impediments to Tracey existing in the Mirror Universe.  And as an engineer, she would potentially have more opportunities than many other women. Would she still end up with Oscar? It’s hard to say. A decent-looking and somewhat intelligent MACO would be able to support a wife and family, but at the same time he could potentially be of interest to Empress Hoshi. And Hoshi’s jealousy could cost Tracey her job or even her life.

Quote

“His uni patch says O. Tiburón. Oliver? Otto? Orson? Omar?”

Upshot

While the creation of this character was imperfectly executed, her subsequent reuse and redemption made her more valuable. Even though this character isn’t exactly a star, she’s a useful part of the ensemble.

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Portrait of a Character – Preece Ti

Portrait of a Character – Preece Ti

Origins

For the first E2 kick back in time, in The Three of Us, Ebrona needed to have a Science Officer. I also wanted to provide a lesbian character to pair up with a preexisting lesbian character.

Portrayal

Preece Ti is ‘played’ by actress Neve Campbell.

Portrait of a Character – Preece Ti
Neve Campbell as Preece Ti (image is provided for educational purposes only)

I like this lovely actress who has aged well on screen – a good choice, I feel, for a species that dies young.

Personality

Smart and kind, Preece Ti might be a little too clever by half. By the time the storyline advances to Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, it is revealed that a powerful source of fuel and the means to capture, refine, and utilize it, were kept from Captain Archer during the first kick back in time. While he rightfully blames Ebrona for the deception, at least some of the blame should be shouldered by Preece Ti.

Relationships

Diana Jones

Preece Ti’s only known relationship is with Diana Jones, who works in Science and eventually becomes a kind of nurse. In Infinite Diversity, it’s revealed that Preece Ti isn’t really Diana’s first choice (Diana feels she is settling), but Preece Ti is definitely attracted to Diana.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Preece Ti
Neve Campbell as Mirror Preece Ti (image is provided for educational purposes only)

There are no impediments to Preece Ti existing in the Mirror Universe. As someone who is already deceptive in our universe, she would likely kick it up several notches, and become truly ruthless.

Quote

“We do not know your dances. Are they man-woman only?”

Upshot

Like a lot of the characters in the E2 timeline, Preece Ti was glossed over at the end there. I’m not sure when I can pick her up again, but I might at some point write that Ikaaran ship’s history before encountering the NX-01.

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Portrait of a Character – Ingrid Nyqvist

Portrait of a Character – Ingrid Nyqvist

Portrait of a Character – Ingrid Nyqvist
MyAnna Buring as Ingrid Nyqvist

I liked the idea of having another super light-colored woman on the NX-01, someone who would very superficially resemble Lili. Because Lili is selected by the Calafans in the Prime Timeline, there is some reason or another why Ingrid, who looks even more like I think Calafans should, is not selected.

The easiest explanations are either that she is gone from the ship after the return from the Delphic Expanse (which is what happens to Quartermaster Sekar Khan), or she is not psionically gifted and, therefore, is not seen as suitable by the Calafans. I think I prefer the latter explanation although I haven’t had an occasion to test or explain either hypothesis in my Star Trek fan fiction.

Origins

Because Malcolm seems to prefer blondes, I hard-wire that as a preference for him, particularly for the stories based on the E2 episode. As he and Lili circle each other (and she also circles Jay), Malcolm does consider Ingrid as a possible mate, except he really doesn’t know her at all.

Portrayal

I liked the idea of a Scandinavian actress, so I selected MyAnna Buring, who has been on Doctor Who.

Personality

Mainly withdrawn and private, Ingrid isn’t well-known. I don’t cover her life too closely, like I do with tertiary characters like Meredith Porter. Instead, Ingrid’s main event happens during The Three of Us.

Going after Lucas Donnelly initially, Ingrid is a bit disappointed to learn that he’s gay. However, in order to help out his roommate, Mark Reilly, Luke tells a fib, and claims that Mark is unusually well-endowed. The hype gets Ingrid interested, but also Sandra and other women like them, like Kate Shelton and Colleen Romanov. With sexual tension running high in the ship, the women physically attack each other, thereby starting a small riot in the Observation Lounge. Beyond the obvious disciplinary issue, this also gives the single men an opportunity to intervene. Sometimes this is to try to break things up, but it’s also an excuse to grope the women a bit.

Relationships

Mark Reilly

In the first kick back in time, after the riot, they end up together. Despite the fact that Mark cannot live up to the hype, she still selects him.

Robert Slater

In the second kick back in time, Ingrid and Victoria Dietrich switch, and she instead marries Robert. This is somewhat to her advantage, as Mark dies young in the second temporal displacement.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Ingrid Nyqvist
Mirror Ingrid

There are no impediments to Ingrid existing in the Mirror.

I write Mirror Universe women as mainly being suppressed, so Ingrid probably would be, as well. A gentle discipline such as stellar cartography would only be useful in the context of preparations for conquest and war, but the Empress Hoshi Sato would likely not want such an attractive potential rival on board. But it’s unlikely that the ISS Defiant, the technologically advanced flagship of the Terran fleet, would be used for mapping missions. Hence perhaps Ingrid would be on a different ship, working the same job, but for the greater glory of the Empire.

Quote

“I saw him first!”

Upshot

The character is admittedly a bit of a cipher. The idea of a second Terran Empire ship, working as a means of clearing the way for the Empress, is a decent idea, and perhaps I will explore it in the future.

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Portrait of a Character – Malcolm (Ian) Reed

Portrait of a Character – Malcolm (Ian) Reed

Origins

This character is canon, but he’s probably still called Malcolm. He is the Mirror Universe counterpart to the original canon character.

Portrait of a Character – Malcolm (Ian) Reed
Ian Reed (Dominic Keating)

I didn’t like that, so I switched his name to Ian. I really liked the idea of the character attempting, but ultimately failing in life, to reinvent himself.

Because he cannot reinvent himself in life, I allow him to do so in death. During the events of Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Ian becomes a kind of spirit guide for Lili.

Portrayal

As in canon, Ian is played by actor Dominic Keating. Keating is the only person I can see in this role.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – Malcolm (Ian) Reed
Ian Reed (Dominic Keating)

Ruthless and nasty, Ian has very little to recommend him. In Fortune, Beth Cutler and Tripp Tucker refer to him as “cruel and sadistic”. But there is another side to Ian, at least at the time of his death. In Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, Ian is partly blinded and knows that he’s got very little time left. His remaining life is pain and misery, as he has been mauled by a Gorn. Plus Hoshi Sato is running wild and has declared herself Empress.

Ian decides that he doesn’t want to be called Malcolm anymore. He decides that he will be Ian and he wants to return to Terra, to live out the remainder of his days. He hopes for some small measure of peace.

But Hoshi can’t allow that.

In a fit of Machiavellian pique, she ruthlessly murders everyone on the senior staff except for Tucker and Mayweather. Cutler is moved over to Sick Bay, and Hoshi hires a new doctor (Cyril Morgan). But before Ian’s death, Cutler is given two lethal syringes and is presented with Ian and Phlox. She has to kill both of them. Which one gets which syringe (one of which will be faster and somewhat painless)?  Cutler helps her fellow human, and gives Ian the marginally better death.

Relationships

Did Ian and Beth have a relationship? I’ve been asked this and, frankly, I’m not sure. The truth is, his best realized relationship is as a guide for Lili. When Ian holds her, comforts her, and otherwise cares for her, without any expectation of return, it allows him to advance in his atonement and move toward a modified state of grace.

Quote

“There’s the time, and I am sorry to be so mysterious. But tonight was to tell you who I am. That way, when you are next visited by me, you won’t be quite so alarmed.”

Upshot

For me, this is a beloved character. I’ll have to figure out a way to bring him back.

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Spotlight on Olathans in Star Trek Fan Fiction

Spotlight on Olathans

Olathans were an early invention.

Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Adventures of Porthos | Olathans
The Adventures of Porthos

When I first started writing Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction, I wrote a lot of one-off stories with an ‘alien of the week’ theme to them.

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.

Premise

This species 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.

Spotlight on Olathans
Purple star image from Hubble telescope photographs

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. They hope 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. The idea is to hoist them on their own petard. In order to root out any of them 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.

Upshot

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.

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Review – We Meet Again

Review – We Meet Again

We Meet Again Background

So We Meet Again – Just after the NX-01 is decommissioned in 2162, Travis heads to Philadelphia to mourn Tripp Tucker and think about his next career move.

Plot

In canon, there is virtually nothing shown about anyone’s recovery from Tucker’s untimely demise.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | In Between Days | We Meet Again
In Between Days

It is as if it never mattered in the first place.

In response to a Star Trek fan fiction prompt about entertainment, I made the decision to go dark and most decidedly not fluffy.

The story begins with Travis feeling a little lost. Very briefly, I mention that the final movie night has been held on the NX-01 prior to its decommissioning, and that the film Chip chose was the first James Bond movie, Dr. No.

He has little to do or think about, and his family is on the freighter, anyway. With no one to visit and just a little bit doubtful as to whether Captain Archer wants him back for the DC-1500 USS Zefram Cochrane, Travis goes to a nearby station and visits a ticket agent. He gives her an undisclosed amount of cash and just asks, “Where can this take me?” She gives him a few options and he chooses Philadelphia.

Review – We Meet Again
8th and Market Street, showing the Strawbridge and Clothier department store, 1910s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I did not choose Philly for any particular reason. I just like the city (I lived outside it for a few years as a child) and it is a readily recognizable place which would still exist during that time period.

However, Travis has no ties to it whatsoever. For him, it’s just a means of getting away from it all.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I could probably have spent more time on this short story, particularly with what Travis does in the City of Brotherly Love.

Review – We Meet Again
Cover of Dr. No (Two-Disc Ultimate Edition)

Otherwise, the experience feels somewhat rushed. But when he returns to Starfleet, the phrase, of course, is: We Meet Again, Mister Bond.

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Portrait of a Character – Carlos Castillo

Portrait of a Character – Carlos Castillo

Carlos Castillo has a mixed origin.

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.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Javier Bardem | Carlos Castillo
Javier Bardem as Carlos Castillo (image is for educational purposes only)

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

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Carlos Castillo | MU Osh
Javier Bardem as MU Carlos (image is for educational purposes only)

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 – Barely Tolerable

Review – Barely Tolerable

Barely Tolerable fills in a missing scene.

Background

After writing Intolerance (which is kind of an odd story within the original five-book In Between Days series), I wanted to add something considerably lighter that would showcase Captain Archer a bit.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | IBD Arrangement | Barely Tolerable
In Between Days, the Arrangement

Furthermore, he behaves like a perfect gentleman in that book, whereas some of the other men do not quite measure up as well. However, I wanted it to be a case where he would look at Blair and Pamela and bemoan the fact that he absolutely would not be allowed to touch.

Hence the idea humanizes him in a big way, I feel. After all, he is the captain, yes. But he is also a flesh and blood human being and, as such, he has desires.

Plot

The story barely has a plot and is really a lot more like a drabble. And essentially, Jonathan Archer, like all of the other single straight men on the NX-01 Enterprise, is a bit taken by both Pamela Hudson and Blair Claymore.  As a person who is unattached, there is nothing stopping him from looking. But he knows he will need to hold back, as they are both quite a bit younger than he is, and he is the captain of the ship. For him, it would probably be seen as improper.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

At the time that I wrote this story, I did not realize it, but it is truly a foreshadowing (actually, it is more of an afterword or afterthought) with respect to the E2 stories, where I have Captain Archer also looking and not touching, desiring but never actually going through with anything.

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Review – A Hazy Shade

Review – A Hazy Shade

A Hazy Shade showcases what will happen to us.

Background

For a prompt about seasons, everyone seemed to focus on summer (as did I; I also wrote And the Livin’ is Easy from the same prompt).

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Later Days | A Hazy Shade
Later Days

But I also wanted to follow Jonathan Archer at the twilight of his life. Married to Miva, Archer is lamenting the departed of the NX-01, both in a formal ceremony to christen a dedication obelisk, and afterwards.

The story goes along with a number of other older crew member stories, including Consider the Lilies of the Field, Equinox, and There’s Something Else About Hoshi.

Plot

The occasion is fifty years since the last flight of the NX-01. An obelisk is unveiled on Earth (I never specifiy the city) and on it are inscribed the names of the dead from that ship, no matter how or where or when they died. Malcolm and Lili are already named on it. Although no one names her in the story, Melissa would also be on it. Miva points out that Karin and Ethan are still alive, as are Azar Hamidi and his wife, who may or may not be Maryam Haroun in the prime timeline (I have not made a decision on this yet).

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

This is a quiet, slow, measured story, where not a lot happens. But I think that makes sense, that two elderly people at what is very much like a funeral would move a slow, measured, deliberate pace as they would pause and reflect.

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