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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Mainly withdrawn and private, Ingrid isn’t well-known.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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Review – Completely Hers

Review – Completely Hers

Completely Hers gives Declan a commitment and a half.

Background

After his parents’ death, Declan first cares for an aging Melissa and Norri and then, after their deaths, he returns to Earth to visit Europe.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Paul Bettany as Declan Reed (image is for educational purposes only) | Completely Hers
Paul Bettany as Declan Reed (image is for educational purposes only)

He goes to London and Oxford University (where he is an artist in residence, so that trip does have some actual business attached to it) and then France and the water lilies at Giverny, where Monet painted. This is where he meets Rebecca Shapiro again, and they fall in love.

Plot

There is only one tiny catch, and it is something that even Rebecca does not care about. But Declan does. She is Jewish, and he is not. And so he decides that, in order to give himself up over to her completely and without reservation, he will convert.

Review – Completely Hers
Keifer Sutherland as Tommy Digiorno-Madden

The sole plot of this drabble is Declan calling his brother, Major Thomas Digiorno-Madden, and asking if Tommy knows any rabbis. The date is May the 6th of 2213, so the occasion for the call is Tommy’s birthday. He is turning 53. There isn’t enough space in a drabble (they are supposed to be exactly 100 words long, and this one is) for them to exchange pleasantries or for Tommy to mention what he is doing or anything like that. Instead, the quickie story line has to get right down to business, and it does.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

The introduction of this small plot twist (I had not planned it when I wrote Fortune) proved to be the pathway to another story, Faith. And so this drabble is, in a way, more than just a drabble.

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Portrait of a Character – Annette (Windy) (Pollan) Bradley

Portrait of a Character – Annette (Windy) (Pollan) Bradley

Origins

I wanted a hippie chick for Richard Daniels to hook up with in 1970 Kent State, and for him to meet at a protest. Enter Windy.

Portrayal

Windy is portrayed by Melanie Mayron.

Portrait of a Character – Annette (Windy) (Pollan) Bradley
Annette “Windy” Bradley in 1970

I love how authentic she looks, particularly in the image I have selected, which is from a film called Girlfriends.

She is not meant to be knock out beautiful.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – Annette (Windy) (Pollan) Bradley
Annette Bradley Pollan, an older image that Rick sees in an alternate history

Casual and a bit cynical, Windy is the kind of woman who Rick often ends up with. She is free with her sexuality but also friendly and sympathetic. In 1970, just before the shootings at Kent State University, they talk about the possibility of him being sent to Viet Nam to fight in the war. They go to bed together having known each other for only a few hours. He leaves in the morning when the shooting starts, but their parting is at least somewhat cordial.

When he and Sheilagh Bernstein return in order to repair the issues with the timeline that they themselves have created, he has to leave a lot more abruptly, and ducks out before she wakes up. Angry at him, and at herself for being so free with her body, Windy at least pays lip service to the idea of maybe not having sex quite so quickly, and choosing her partners a bit more carefully.

She never learns that he is a time traveler.

Relationships

Windy’s hookup with Rick can hardly be called a relationship. In the alternate timeline, her married name is Pollan (named for Back to the Future‘s Michael J. Fox‘s real-life wife, Tracy Pollan), but there is nothing about her husband or whether they remain wed for life.

Theme Music

Of course Windy’s music is the Association’s Windy. The song was popular three years before 1970 and it is the kind of bouncy, optimistic song that a girl of maybe 16 – 18 years of age would like and want to use as her nickname.

Mirror Universe

There is no reason why Annette can’t exist in the Mirror Universe. But I don’t think she’d call herself Windy.

Portrait of a Character – Annette (Windy) (Pollan) Bradley
Annette in the Mirror Universe

I feel she would be like a lot of the Mirror Universe women I write – overly dependent on men for their happiness, safety, and well-being.

Quote

“Right. It all seems so sterile. If we could really see the times, you know, somehow insert ourselves into history and really be there, man, that would surely be amazing.”

Upshot

For a woman who Rick never sees again, he does remember her, and even keeps a souvenir – a pair of quarters she had saved up for her laundry.


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Portrait of a Character – Victor Brown

Portrait of a Character – Victor Brown

Origins

This character is canon, although he was rarely seen and only had a first initial.

Portrait of a Character – Victor Brown
MACO Victor Brown

What is always interesting and challenging for me is to try to put some flesh and blood onto bare bones canon characters.

This character is without a doubt one of those.

Portrayal

As in canon, Victor is played by stunt performer Yoshio Iizuka.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – Victor Brown
Yoshio Iizuka as Victor Brown

In the E2 timeline, Victor is one of the men who behaves rather badly. However, when he’s backed into a corner, he ultimately does the right thing, mainly to repair his marriage.  When accused, he (and Neil Kemper) confess to Captain Archer and are given lighter sentences than the others, in the matter of the attack on Patti Socorro.

Relationships

Cassandra Lester

Cassie is even less defined and I have very little on her, except that she is a Navigational Crewman.  They do not have children in either iteration/kick back in time.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Victor Brown
Mirror MACO Victor Brown

This character exists in the Mirror Universe.

There is very little about him in the Mirror, although he is injured in the attempt to capture Slar (a Gorn), an attempt that causes Ian Reed to lose an eye. As for what happens to Victor afterwards, it’s anybody’s guess.

However, given the horrific medical care that I write for the Mirror Universe, and the fact that he is a lower level crew member, he would likely be patched up quickly in order to fight another day, but with few niceties. Would Empress Hoshi have him on her ship?

Only if he could prove loyalty to her, and no loyalty to Reed. And even then, maybe not. Far as she’s concerned, he’s cannon fodder and nothing more.

Quote

Chang is saying that it’s not going to matter what we do or say, but I think it does matter. And even if it does nothing to my sentence or whatever the captain has in mind, it may make a difference with Cassie. And that’s all I really care about. I gotta repair my marriage. I am gonna break this code of silence.

Upshot

There are a ton of these extra performers who had few lines. It is often a fascinating challenge to give them some depth. I hope I’ve done Victor some justice.

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Portrait of a Character – Sekar Khan

Portrait of a Character – Sekar Khan

Origins

For the E2 stories, I wanted the Quartermaster character (the position is canon, but no one was ever named as working in it, in the series) to be rather active.

Portrait of a Character – Sekar Khan
Dev Patel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Much like Crystal Sherwood, Sekar (the name is pronounced like ‘shaker’) would be a creative person.

Portrayal

Chandrasekar is played by actor Dev Patel. I like this smart, handsome actor and feel he would play the kind of guy who stays in the background until the E2 scenario rears its ugly head. And once it does, he gets a ton to do, and suddenly becomes a rather important person indeed.

Personality

Pleasant and a bit self-effacing, Sekar mainly stays to himself. He’s a part of the crew during the Xindi War but is wondering what to do with himself. However, once the ship is sent back in time, he becomes busy. Brides need approximations of gowns. Babies need onesies. Fields need to be plowed with … something. Sekar is called upon, again and again, to conjure up new things more or less out of thin air. He does so with creativity and aplomb.

Relationships

Hoshi Sato

Sekar’s only known relationship is with Hoshi. In both iterative kicks back in time, they marry. However, in the first scenario, she dates both him and José for a while, before finally choosing him. Ironically, in the prime timeline, she refers to him as old what’s-his-name when dating Ted Stone, in There’s Something About Hoshi, a strong indication that he left the ship at the end of the hostilities.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Sekar Khan
Mirror Sekar

There is nothing preventing Sekar from existing in the Mirror Universe. I write Mirror artists as being elites, so he would possibly be a rather wealthy man.

Would Empress Hoshi be interested? The idea intrigues. Perhaps I’ll write it someday.

Quote

“I guess it’s a way for the single people to get close. You know that dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire.”

Upshot

Sekar was made for the E2 timeline, and I think he served that purpose rather well. Will I bring him back? His portion of the timeline is somewhat limited but it’s not outside the realm of possibility, particularly in the Mirror Universe.

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Portrait of a Character – Rebecca Shapiro

Portrait of a Character – Rebecca Shapiro

Origins

Because I had wanted to contradict canon and give Malcolm Reed a family and long-term descendants, Malcolm’s son, Declan, would need a wife or at least a girlfriend or even a baby mama.

Portrait of a Character – Rebecca Shapiro
Actress, Rachel Weisz (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Portrayal

Rebecca is played by actress Rachel Weisz. I wanted a Jewish actress for this role, as Rebecca is somewhat traditional and is Karin and Ethan‘s younger daughter. Furthermore, I wanted Declan’s decision to convert to her faith to be believable. I also like this actress; I think she’s smart, and her choices are interesting ones.

Personality

Caring and up for anything, Rebecca is the true companion that Declan has been waiting for his entire life. His first marriage was horrific, as he explains in Faith. Rebecca is the person who heals him. In gratitude, although she never asks him to, he embraces her faith and converts to Judaism.

Relationships

Declan Reed

Rebecca’s only relationship is with Declan, who is about twelve years her senior. They meet at her elder sister, Alia’s, Bat Mitzvah, which is partly shown in The Rite and referred to in Fortune. At that point, he is a young man; it’s before he marries his first wife, Louise Schiller.

After the last death in the preceding generation (Norri), Declan goes to Europe, partly to return to Oxford, where he is an artist in residence. He takes a side trip to Giverny to look at and paint Monet‘s water lilies. While there, he sees Rebecca and they become reacquainted.

Mirror Universe

It’s impossible for Rebecca to exist in the Mirror Universe, as Ethan does not.

Quote

“There is a saying in Judaism, let’s see if I can get it right. It, um, it’s that when Moses brought down the law from Mount Sinai, all of the Jews were there. Even the dead. Even the unborn. Even the completely unknown and unfathomable, like Vulcan converts, and Jews from the Mirror Universe, all stretching, in a chain, through all of time. And you know something? I saw you there.”

Upshot

I really liked the idea of redeeming Declan in the same way that Lili redeems Malcolm, albeit sooner. I particularly enjoyed creating yet another reason why our universe and the Mirror are different – with no Ethan Shapiro on the other side of the pond, there is no Rebecca and, as a result, their deep future descendants don’t exist, including Eleanor and Richard Daniels. Rebecca is the linchpin of all of that.

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Review – Achieving Peace

Review – Achieving Peace

With Achieving Peace, I had wanted to touch upon Laura Hayes‘s life, somewhat independent of Doug and Lili.

Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | In Between Days | Achieving Peace
In Between Days

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.

Plot

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.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

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.

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Portrait of a Character – Derek Kelby

Portrait of a Character – Derek Kelby

Origins

The character, of course, is Star Trek Enterprise canon, but he didn’t have a first name.

Portrait of a Character – Derek Kelby
Derek Magyar as Kelby

I used the actor’s own first name, as he needed something.

Because he is a Commander in canon, but that’s the fourth season, I figured he could be at a lower level during the fourth season. As in canon, he works in Engineering.

Portrayal

As in canon, Kelby is played by actor Derek Magyar.

Personality

Something of a stick in the mud, Kelby is particularly stiff in his earlier years. In Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before, he, along with Meredith Porter, engages in the shenanigans with a lot more reluctance than the others exhibit. While I don’t overtly put them together, I do have Aidan MacKenzie suggest it.

However, he’s not totally without romance. In On the Radio, reference is made to him having spent the night with Patti Socorro during the events of More, More, More! However, even he can get into trouble. In Shell Shock, along with Malcolm, he’s one of the suspects in the rape of Ruby Brannagh. In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, it’s confirmed that he never married in the first kick back in time. He also accidentally recorded the single men singing Santa Claus is Coming to Town, a recording heard as a transmission by the second iteration ship.

Relationships

Patti Socorro

With Chef Will Slocum dead in the second iteration, Patti and Derek marry. There is virtually nothing on their relationship, except that she was the third to last woman to wed, as opposed to second to last in the first iteration.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Derek Kelby
Mirror Kelby

The character is known to exist in the Mirror Universe, although he’s an Ensign and not a Commander.

Quote

“Believe me, nobody wants to see Oslo this time of year, unless they like skiing.”

Upshot

Much like in canon, Derek isn’t seen much and isn’t heard from much. This stick in the mud character is not easy to write.

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Review – The Three of Us

Review – The Three of Us

The Three of Us is one of my best fan fiction efforts.

Background

As the third piece of the E2 series, I wanted to pursue a Star Trek fan fiction story that I had had in mind for quite a while.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Three of Us
The Three of Us

This was an idea about a love triangle/threesome among Lili, Jay, and Malcolm. Of all four stories set during that time period, this one was the most fully realized, and the easiest to write. I had tons of it in my head even before pen went to paper (and then I transcribed it to pixels). I wish all storytelling was like this!

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Sparrow and the Blue Jay
The Sparrow and the Blue Jay

The story begins with Malcolm providing a little news and ship’s gossip to the still-injured Ethan Shapiro.

Malcolm speaks a little about the remaining single women on board the Enterprise, but he mainly discusses an upcoming baseball game between the MACOs and Starfleet. The action shifts as Lili tries out for the Starfleet team and then Shelby and Andrew talk about why she won’t be playing. The first chapter ends with Judy Kelly Rostov going into labor, the mark of the second child to be born on the generational ship (Valleri Rostov, so-named because Davy Jones of the Monkees had recently died when I was writing that part of the story).

As the book continues, more and more of the single women are snapped up, until only two are left ….

Music

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated M.

Upshot

As stated above, I had a lot of this storyline in my head as I was writing and even beforehand. From the weddings to the aliens to the spirituality to the triumphs and tragedies, the love and the nastiness, this is one of my absolute favorites of my works.

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Review – Entanglements

Review – Entanglements

Entanglements was not originally a work I had planned.

Background

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

The idea was to go straight from Reflections Down a Corridor to The Three of Us. But Reflections ended up being way too long. I like where and how it was split, though, as it serves the title themes moving from individuals to couples to a threesome. Hence this book achieves a kind of bridging effect.

Entanglements is mainly about coupling, both romantic and erotic, and the tangling of fighting and also getting involved – for better or for worse. Just as Reflections is about individual exploration, Entanglements begins to show people colliding with each other. Naturally, there is a great deal of collateral damage from these collisions.

Plot

The story opens with Captain Archer announcing the wedding of Tripp Tucker to T’Pol.  As he makes the announcement, the single men in particular are beginning to notice that it affects them. Part of it may be some desire specifically for T’Pol, but it is also because this is the second wedding on the Enterprise. This generational ship is starting to slowly, inexorably, convert itself into the equivalent of a flying small town.

But the real crisis arises from a different relationship. When Josh Rosen proposes to and, eventually, marries Karin Bernstein, it puts fellow Jewish crew member Ethan Shapiro onto a steep downward spiral. That sequence was one of the first parts of the story that I knew I wanted to write and, once I got to it in the plot, it flowed quickly and smoothly.

Music

Dusty Springfield | Entanglements
Dusty says it all

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated M.

Upshot

This story is more transitional and so the beginning and the end are a tad more abrupt than for the other three in the E2 series. But I like the bookending of the Tucker/T’Pol announcement with the Jenny/Aidan wedding, and was particularly pleased to be able to use Jenny’s wedding song again – and to denote that Aidan isn’t quite the right partner (in the prime timeline, she marries Francisco).

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