Enterprise (NX-01)

Portrait of a Character – Aidan MacKenzie

Portrait of a Character – Aidan MacKenzie

Aidan MacKenzie was easy to write.


Aidan’s origin was to be a not necessarily perfectly bright Tactical guy. He was meant to be the best-looking man on the NX-01. I meant him to be your classic tall, dark and handsome guy. On the way, things changed a bit.

After Reversal, Aidan was, at least in the Mirror Universe, fairly well doomed. But I wanted to redeem him, because I thought the character could have a chance. As for our side of the pond, Aidan was just okay. He was Malcolm Reed‘s essential right-hand man and night shift fill-in. But he didn’t seem to have too much fire – particularly for a Tactical man.


What brought a lot of it together for me was the portrayal. I decided on someone who is tall and dark, but not necessarily what we would, conventionally, think of as handsome. After all, perhaps tastes have changed in the future. This was a way to set out the premise.

Portrait of a Character – Aidan MacKenzie

Vinny Del Negro

Enter Vinny Del Negro. Del Negro is a former NBA player (hence he’s tall, at 6’4″) but was never really stellar, except in free throw shooting. He became a coach in the NBA. He was generally not the world’s greatest coach, either. To me, he fit the bill as a guy who might have a lot of potential and there are two ways to play that. That is, stunning success or abject failure. Both themes play out in the stories.


Aidan is supremely confident and intelligent. He’s got the looks, he’s got the job and he’s got the ladies. But – there’s always something more to strive for.

In Together, he goes after all three bridesmaids and is turned down by all of them, undoubtedly due to being too arrogant and cocky.

However, he’s loyal and smart, and eventually gets his due. Malcolm even recommends him for a captaincy, in Equinox. This is the capstone of a career path that moves him from an Ensign in Reversal and Together, then to a Lieutenant and even Acting Tactical Officer in Fortune and, finally, to a Commander in Flight of the Bluebird before Malcolm Reed‘s generous recommendation.


In Reversal, I establishe that he likes Jenny Crossman. I emphasize this when he goes on a somewhat disastrous date with Lili. He brings along Brian Delacroix to act as a wingman so he can go for it with Jennifer. However, Jenny’s got other plans.

In Together, he’s still single. But by Fortune he ends up with Susan Cheshire.

The E2 stories are different and he ends up marrying Jennifer in both kick backs in time.

Mirror Universe

Vinny Del Negro - Mirror Aiden MacKenzie

Mirror Aiden

The Mirror Aidan MacKenzie has a much tougher life. In Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions, he vies with Doug and Chip Masterson for the Tactical Officer role left vacant with Mirror Malcolm’s (Ian’s) death.

At the time of Reversal, the Mirror Universe Aidan is an established a ladies’ man. However, unlike Doug, he fails to resist Empress Hoshi, and so he is relegated to becoming babysitter for her growing brood of children. And he fathers her second son, Kira. This is Aidan’s disgrace.

By the time of  First Born and Temper, Aidan’s humiliation is complete. He is used to accepting abusive orders. This is all in the name of keeping the peace and also keeping himself out of harm’s way. But he’s also grown as a person. Aidan MacKenzie is the best parent on the ISS Defiant, by far.

He gets his real chance in Temper and again in He Stays a Stranger, when Rick Daniels gets to go to the Mirror. According to the events in First Born, this is normally not kosher. However, the timeline has been damaged. Aidan and Susan (who is now his wife) get the chance to finally get out. They take it, and end up on Lafa II.


“I would rather take care of the children.”


This was a character who I first wrote as a lummox, almost a redshirt for Empress Hoshi to toy with. On our side, he was possibly expendable. But Aidan grew into a more dynamic character the more I wrote about him. In the end, on both sides of a proverbial pond, he develops some very real values.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Portrait, Times of the HG Wells series, 34 comments

Review – Reversal

Reversal, a Fanfiction Revival

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.


Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Reversal


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.

Artist's impression of HD 98800.

Artist’s impression of HD 98800. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Subject Matter

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.


This story is less musically-driven than others but it does have a few melodic moments. Lili’s theme song is Roy Orbison’s Sweet Dreams Baby.  Her fellow’s song is Robbie Williams’s Feel.

Story Postings


The story is rated T/M although there is a K+/T version on Fanfiction.net.


Reversal is not the best story I have ever written. It drags at the end, as I was reluctant to give it up. But it gets the series off splendidly and, truly, almost everything else springs from it in one way or another (albeit sometimes indirectly). I continually mine it for backstory tales of Lili and her fellow and their many supporting cast members, like Chip Masterson, Leonora Digiorno, Melissa Madden, Pamela Hudson, Andrew Miller, Brian Delacroix and Jun Daniels Sato and many others.

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.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Review, 122 comments