Tag Archives: Eriecho

Review – Advice from My Universes to Yours

Review – Advice from My Universes to Yours

Advice for all! Well, kinda.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Advice From My Universes to Yours
Advice From My Universes to Yours

Background

As a holiday gift, I decided to put together a number of disparate characters. Since these are characters of my own invention, I could and did have them say nearly anything. The idea would be to act as a kind of helpful team but with the same quirkiness a reader might have come to expect.

Plot

Six characters land in some odd place. And for sharp-eyed readers, they might recognize a similarity to The Puzzle. This was deliberate, as I wanted a storyline similar to Travis‘s. Furthermore, I have far better writing skills than I did then. Hence I felt this would be a better story, and I believe that to be the case.

Background

When Jay and Lili (in the prime timeline), Dratha, Eriecho, Levi, and Branch land, they have no idea what is in store for them.  Because this takes place more or less right after Penicillin, Jay is still rather gruff but he’s trying. For Levi and Branch, this is later in their timelines. Eriecho is already on Mars. And Dratha’s husband, Arnis, is already incarcerated.

Serious Help

The characters then proceed to help out ten characters created by others. The first is kes7’s John Quigley, who gets help (sort of) in his love triangle. Then Bethany Reeves (trekfan’s character) is up, and the characters talk to her about her parents separating in one of the few serious vignettes. The next caller is Jessica St. Peter (Templar Sora’s character), and the so-called experts kind of, sort of, help her with asserting authority.

Not So Serious Help

For Andrew Corrigan (SLWalker’s character), it’s all about how to spend his first date with Abby (I managed to get in a sushi as bait joke).  Aurellan Markalis (Enterprise1981’s character) also has a problem with a date but it was probably, the advisers agree, for the best that it ended early. Srena (CeJay’s character) comes up next. She is told how to create a calming ritual to help her get to sleep at night.

Mysterious Help

Then Jasto Dax (CaptainSarine’s character) calls. While most of the group doesn’t even know what a Trill is, Dratha provides good information about how to essentially pick your battles. She tells him not to answer every single summons. The next caller is Dr. Veronica West (thebluesman’s character); she learns she should become more creative. Then Spock calls (while this is a canon character, the gift was for littleblackdog) about a canon situation, the end of the TOS episode, Requiem for Methuselah. The last caller is Emmylou Galyaski (FalseBill’s character). She talks about mourning her late husband and, in their own odd ways, the so-called experts help, at least a bit.

Departures

Then it’s time to leave. Dratha volunteers to go first as it looks dangerous. Eriecho leaves next. Jay and Lili leave together and she touches his arm. Then Branch and Levi depart, and the following graffiti is shown:

As the last of the reluctant travelers/advisors departs, the room disappears and is swallowed into the vast vacuum of space, leaving but one final thought.

 Happy holidays across all galaxies, all timelines, all universes and all realities.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I liked showing off the weird characters and trying to get them to work together. As a bonus, I was able to cross over just a little bit with others’ works.

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Review – A Gathering

Review – A Gathering

A gathering can be an occasion for all sorts of meaningful activities.

Background

So many holiday Star Trek fanfiction stories are about Christmas. I wanted one to be about Thanksgiving. And who would be more grateful than Eriecho and Saddik, the ex-convicts from Canamar Prison?

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Eriecho Series | A Gathering
Eriecho Series

At the Martian sanctuary, Jack Shaw hosts a massive Thanksgiving dinner. However, more importantly, gets to spend some time with Juliet Parker. And Shaw wants everything to be perfect.

I was pleased to be able to follow their romance a little, particularly as I had only briefly mentioned her in Release.  So in A Gathering, I show just how Jack is utterly jumping the gun in their relationship, which isn’t really a relationship at all. She barely remembers him, whereas he had actually been considering putting money down on a house. But she is a generous soul, and sees that he might not be a terribly romantic guy. However, she could not possibly ask for a more loyal and invested partner. Julie, to her credit, accepts his invitation to a private dinner.

As for Eriecho, she and Sollastek make sure to meet some of the surrogate mother volunteers. And there’s also a very special guest ….

Story Postings

Rating

This story is rated K.

Upshot

So I will have to get back to Jack and Julie at some point. I have not yet decided whether they work in the prime timeline. Should they? The idea is an odd one, seeing what the Kelvin timeline does to the Star Trek universe overall. However, wholly original characters such as Jack and Julie might be something that could work. Furthermore, given that the Vulcan sanctuaries are also a wholly original situation, that might also help.

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Review – Across the Universe

Review – Across the Universe

Across the Universe starts off as a way to push the Kelvin timeline along but also to bring in a weird character from left field.

Background

In order to continue the saga of Eriecho and Sollastek (and Saddik and Valeris), I decided to bring a canon character into the JJ Abrams timeline. At the very least, Spock Prime had to have been wondering about this. Did Sybok exist? I decided that he would, and he would be a difficult person but not as far gone as in the canon prime timeline. Hence, he would be redeemable.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Eriecho Series | Across the Universe
Eriecho Series

Eriecho’s relationship with Sollastek is tested when an emotional Vulcan is brought to the sanctuary, a man who rattles everyone he meets.

Eriecho is getting tired of trying to get along with the other Vulcans and suppress her emotions. Sollastek has not been asking her to, but she has been doing this anyway, thinking that this is the kind of wife he will want.

For Sybok, a far more carefree Vulcan, the rigidity of Vulcan sanctuary life feels oppressive. Yet he sees something in the undisciplined ex-con, and seems to feel a bit of a kinship with her. Eriecho, to be sure, is a lot more like Sybok than Spock is in any timeline.

Music

The story is filled with Beatles music, culminating in the song of the title.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

This doesn’t quite wrap up the Eriecho series, as she and Sollastek still have to wed. Plus I might do something more with Jack Shaw and Juliet Parker. And Sybok! I’m sure there are a few more  stories lurking within him.

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Review – The Mundane World

Review – The Mundane World

The Mundane World brings a garden to space. In addition, I saw it as an opportunity to carry over some of Eriecho’s prison behaviors to the sanctuary on Mars. After all, prisoners often tend gardens and I wanted for Eriecho to have a similar experience. A garden could be, potentially, her only solace on Canamar. As a familiar and comforting thing, and as a memory of H’Shema, Eriecho would want to carry on and continue.

Background

For a prompt about ordinary life, I decided to make Eriecho an amateur gardener. This made some sense, as prisoners these days and in the past have certainly tended gardens, either as a part of their rehabilitation or as trusty work or even to just get better food by growing it themselves.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Eriecho Series | The Mundane World
Eriecho Series

At the Martian sanctuary, Eriecho tends her garden.

At the next plot, the youth Sollastek does the same. When he accidentally touches her hand, she senses his attraction to her.

As a result, they trade some of their produce and agree to meet and discuss gardening, even as the Martian sanctuary’s contingent of Vulcan matrons look on disapprovingly. This is the start of true romantic affection for Eriecho, a new experience.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

Sollastek did not exist before this story was written. He was a great, defiant character to introduce, an unexpected ally for Eriecho and Saddik. In addition, this story introduced the beginning of the Eriecho-Sollastek romance. I had considered a character like him in Release, but that character had no name.  The young male Vulcan in that story is not necessarily Sollastek. He does not have to be.

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Review – Recessive

Review – Recessive

Recessive grew out of not just the concept of rare blond and blue-eyed Vulcans (and humans, for that matter), but also from the concept of the rare emotional Vulcan. Of course, that is Eriecho. The term also works as a measure of her reticence.

Background

Continuing Eriecho‘s story, I had a few shorter stories which I wanted to combine into something more. This story proved to be a great vehicle for doing that. It was also a way to comment on some Vulcan snobbishness seen in the Enterprise series. I had always liked that bit of canon, as that species had often seemed, to me, to be overly perfect.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Eriecho Series | Recessive
Eriecho Series

Connections of genetics and memory bring a silver lining to a horrible tragedy.

Eriecho and Saddik have been living at the Martian sanctuary for a few months.

Jack Shaw has been doing his best to accommodate them. Eriecho even has, sort of, a beau, the youth Sollastek.  Saddik has even met someone, Valeris.

But all is not right, as snooty matrons dismiss Eriecho as being overly emotional and too much like a human. Hence Eriecho and Saddik seek solace with the only real family they can truly relate to – H’Shema’s. H’Shema, the late Suliban, served as mother to Eriecho and lover to Sollastek. Upon their release from Canamar, it makes sense to them to meet the Sulibans and see if they are amenable to becoming family.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I like the interplay, and I think readers appreciate the shout out to the canon character Valeris and certainly sympathize with the put-upon Eriecho, who is only trying to make her way.

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Review – Double Helix

Review – Double Helix

The double helix of DNA also refers to the double bond of Eriecho to both Vulcan and Suliban culture.

Background

So after posting Release, there was a call for a sequel. Readers wanted to know what had happened to Eriecho and Saddik. And I was only too glad to oblige. The characters had grown on me, too, and I wanted to give them something beyond just a bewildered start on a new life out of the hell of Canamar prison.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Eriecho Series | Double Helix
Eriecho Series

Therefore, a couple of months after arriving at the Martian sanctuary, Saddik and Eriecho visit people who are, in a way, their family.

They meet up with Enkir and his mother, L’Cultura. And these Suliban are the brother and mother, respectively, of Eriecho’s adoptive mother, H’Shema. Hence, by extension, she was also Saddik’s lover while they were in prison at Canamar. H’Shema held great importance for both of these emotionally damaged ex-convict Vulcans. All they want to do is show their appreciation but also to latch onto someone who can be family to them. Eriecho, in particular, could use some gentle taming.

Enkir is a little reserved, but L’Cultura seems overly fragile. It is Eriecho who perks her up and, ultimately, gives her a reason to go on. For L’Cultura, Eriecho gives her the opportunity to be a grandmother and to embrace the good which H’Shema has done in the universe. For a disappointing addict and convict of a daughter, to know that H’Shema did so many kindnesses and was so resourceful, is a source of great wonder to the Sulibans. And some pride as well.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I enjoyed revisiting these characters so much that they got their own series!

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Recurrent Themes – Administrators

Recurrent Themes – Administrators

It may not amount to a terribly glamorous role, but someone has to run things. Enter the administrators.

Background

This role is, of course, canon, although it is not often shown on screen or in any real depth. After all, it is kind of boring.

Who wants to watch someone checking on rations and preparing reports and signing paperwork?Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Administrators But it is still absolutely necessary for someone to do just that.

Appearances

Commandant Kerig

Seen only briefly, Kerig is the warden for Canamar Prison while Eriecho and Saddik are being held there. The meeting of the three of them hints at more than a little corruption.  Eriecho’s attacks, recalled in Beats and Recessive, assure that something or other happened, and he looked the other way. Or he was a willing participant, like is seen in Eight, where H’Shema trades sexual favors for powdered milk to feed the helpless Vulcan infant. Kerig is the height (depth, perhaps) of corruption in the timeline.

Annette ‘Windy’ Bradley Pollan

Windy attends Kent State during the 1970 massacre and meets Rick (in Ohio). In an alternate timeline, she and her friends fight for social justice, including Alison B. Krause, who is a real-life victim from the shooting. But that timeline has to be altered and, instead, Windy is restored to her original destiny, which is to rise through the ranks at the Ohio Department of Motor Vehicles.  She ends up as the epitome of the soulless bureaucrat. Her less than optimal fate prompts Sheilagh to redouble her efforts to allow the new timeline. Not only would it save Alison’s life, it would, in a way, save Windy’s.

But that cannot be, and so the restoration sticks and Windy is back to being a paper pusher.

Arashi Sato

Empress Hoshi‘s child with a mystery father is good with numbers. Arashi doesn’t really want to become Emperor, even though he is certainly smart enough  (and may very well be the smartest of her offspring). Instead, he performs collections, often sending his younger half-brother, Izo, out to do the strong-arming.  But Arashi would never sully his hands with such a task. He’s far too busy counting money.

Colonel Jacob ‘Jack’ Shaw

Shaw is another methodical type of leader. In a way, he is a kind of counterpart to Kerig in that he is also a kind of ‘keeper’ for Saddik and Eriecho. But  if he’s at all corrupt, it’s only minimally (it’s been suggested to me that the gamete trading he engages in with his fellow sanctuary administrators isn’t completely on the up and up).  Shaw is motivated to try to save the Vulcan race.

Upshot

They might not be glamorous, but nothing will ever be properly funded without them. Administrators make things go!

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Focus – Vulcans in Star Trek Fan Fiction

Focus on Vulcans

Vulcans are the backbone aliens of Star Trek.

Focus

A focus Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Focus Magnifying Glass | Vulcans (unlike a spotlight) is an in-depth look at a Star Trek fanfiction canon item and my twist(s) on it.

Of course, all of fan fiction is like that, but the idea here is to provide a window into how a single canon concept can be used in fan fiction.

Vulcans – Background

Because the series that speaks to me the most is Enterprise, I have had to deal with Vulcans all along. The truth is that I always found T’Pol to be wooden. As for Spock in the Original Series, I have read far too much of him in fan fiction. I never got into Voyager, so my experience with writing Vulcans was limited and difficult. That is, until Eriecho and the Alternate Original Series. Thank you, JJ Abrams.

Occurrences

Aviri

Focus – Vulcans
Joanna Cassidy as Aviri (actually an image of the actress as T’Pol’s mother, T’Les, courtesy of Memory Alpha)

Lili is admitted to the Mars Culinary Institute based upon the strength of a meal prepared for Admissions Director Aviri.

Charles Tucker IV

Focus – Vulcans
Charles Tucker IV (actually an image of an infant Spock, from a deleted scene in Star Trek 2009)

In the E2 timeline, during the first kick back in time, Tripp and T’Pol have twins. Charlie becomes captain after Jonathan Archer’s death.

Eriecho

Focus – Vulcans
Mariel Hemingway as Eriecho

My favorite Vulcan, Eriecho never learned true emotional suppression while at Canamar Prison, and only tries it in a mistaken effort to please Sollastek.

Kefris

Focus – Vulcans
Kefris (this image is from the Star Trek Online wiki)

This character is named but rarely seen, and is often paired with T’Pau when I write Mirror Universe Vulcans. In the prime universe, he is T’Pol’s eventual husband.

Lorian

Canon character Lorian is seen during the second E2 kick back in time.

Focus – Vulcans
Lorian

Saddik

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Saddik
Saddik

Eriecho’s foster/adoptive father cares for her as if she were his own.

Sarek

Spock’s father is overwhelmed by the changes wrought by Nero in the JJ Abrams timeline, but he rises to the occasion and accepts his new child.

Focus – Vulcans
Ben Cross as Sarek

Sollastek

Focus – Vulcans
Sollastek (this image is from the Star Trek Online wiki)

Eriecho’s mate is a lot younger than she is and was not a good student. Leaving class early saved his life during Nero’s attack on Vulcan. He witnessed the death of Amanda Grayson.

Soval

Focus – Vulcans
Gary Graham as Soval

When Soval is a lot older, he experiences difficulty in maintaining emotional control, as I show him in Biases.

Spock

Iconic and sometimes hard to pin down, I do better with this classic character in the JJ Abrams universe than in the prime timeline.

Focus – Vulcans
Spock

Sybok

Focus – Vulcans
Sybok

Spock’s canon half-brother is redeemed in the Eriecho universe.

T’Les Elizabeth

Focus – Vulcans
T’Les Elizabeth (this is actually an image of Elizabeth Tucker from Star Trek: Enterprise)

In the E2 timeline, during the first kick back in time, Tripp and T’Pol have twins. T’Les is Charlie’s twin.

T’Pau

Often paired with Kefris in the Mirror Universe, T’Pau is brought aboard Empress Hoshi‘s ship when she proves she is a genius in mathematics and physics.

Focus – Vulcans
Kara Zedicker as T’Pau

T’Pol

Focus – Vulcans
T’Pol

This canon character is easiest for me to write when I remove her emotional control.

Valeris

Saddik’s love interest also catches Sybok’s eye. In the JJ Abrams timeline, Valeris acts as a Pon Farr comforter, a kind of Vulcan sex worker.

Focus – Vulcans
Valeris

Others

E2 timeline

  • Jolene Tucker Hodgkins
  • T’Mir Ryan
  • Daphne Tucker

All of these characters are on the older version of the NX-01.

Freak School

  • Stellak – Rayna Montgomery’s love interest.
  • T’Bek – one of Rayna’s teachers (I’ve used this name in a few other places).
  • T’Mia – one of Rayna’s classmates.

Eriecho universe (JJ Abrams timeline)

  • T’Moona – in canon, Spock is the child of Sarek and a Vulcan princess. Her name is  the Hebrew word for picture.

Upshot

For a species that I often have difficulty writing, I’ve sure got a lot of instances. Maybe I’ll get this species right someday, without having to strip them of their emotional control.

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Portrait of a Character – L’Cultura

Portrait of a Character – L’Cultura

Origins

Portrait of a Character – L’Cultura
Dame Judi Dench as L’Cultura

With readers asking for a sequel to Eriecho‘s origins story (Release), I wanted to explore the Suliban side of her family. Enter L’Cultura, whose name is Italian for ‘culture’.

Portrayal

L’Cultura is played by Dame Judi Dench. This smart and legendary actress seems perfect for the role of a newly created matriarch of a suddenly larger and more complicated family.

Personality

Frail and perhaps a bit defeated, L’Cultura knows that her daughter, H’Shema, was untrustworthy and prone to addictions. The news of H’Shema’s imprisonment in Canamar is not unexpected. The news of her death in prison isn’t much of a shock, either.

Relationships

L’Cultura has no known relationships.

Mirror Universe

There are no impediments to L’Cultura existing in the Mirror.

Portrait of a Character – L’Cultura
Dame Judi Dench as Mirror L’Cultura

There have never been Mirror Suliban shown in canon.

I like to think she’d be tougher, as a lot of women on the other side of the pond have to be.

Quote

“I can see, a bit, why your kind would like to suppress emotions. The hard ones can be very hard indeed. I, I mourned my own eriecho many years ago, a girl lost to addiction and then to imprisonment. But as I said, the bitter comes with the sweet. And we can celebrate today, my ta-eriecho.”

Upshot

While L’Cultura’s acceptance is important to Eriecho, the truth is that some of it works the other way around. As her son, Enkir, explains, L’Cultura had been hoarding medications and probably considering suicide. But the existence of the unknown and unexpected granddaughter turns that around, and L’Cultura has a reason to live.

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Review – Release

Review – Release

Release constitutes another play on words. Hence it represents both an end to bondage and a sexual act. And Saddik himself considers the latter before the former.

Background

With the destruction of Vulcan, Vulcans are sought in all sorts of remote places. And this includes prisons.

Plot

So in response to a prompt requiring that we write in the Kelvin timeline (sometimes also called nuTrek or the JJ  Abrams universe), I made a decision to write about how the creation of a sentient endangered species would be handled.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Release
Eriecho and Saddik’s Release from Canamar Prison

Hence the story opens with a pair of Vulcan convicts being called into a commandant’s office at Canamar Prison, a canon institution.

They are about to be freed, yet they scarcely know why. All that Commandant Kerig will tell them is that Vulcans are endangered, and the home world is no more. This unsettles Saddik, the elder of the two.

But not so Eriecho, who  barely knows anything about Vulcans, or what it means to be one.  So as the story continues, her backstory comes to the fore, of her birth on a prison transport. Hence this is the only life she has ever known. Furthermore, the only mother she has ever known was a deceased Suliban woman, H’Shema.

The action follows Eriecho and Saddik off Canamar and to their new home, a sanctuary on Mars. Colonel Jack Shaw is in charge, and he’s ecstatic. Partly it’s because it was his idea to try to find Vulcans in prisons. But it’s also because the rebuilding of the population involves surrogate mothers and as much genetic diversity as possible with the limited remnants of a once-thriving species. Therefore, taking note of the Law of Supply and Demand, Shaw has something that others want. Hence he (and the administrators of the other sanctuaries, on places like Andoria) engages in a barely legal practice – gamete trading.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I loved being able to introduce these new characters. People love Eriecho, and it’s been a joy to find her voice and follow her life as she adjusts to life on the outside.

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