Considering the spelling of his name, Steven Reed is yet another shout out to actor Steven Culp. Because of the dreamy aspect of the Recruitment, the shout out to Culp dovetails a bit with Reversal, which is the book that is all about dreams.
Steven Reed is played by actor Paul Bettany. I wanted this actor as I also have him playing Declan Reed. Hence, Steven Reed has connections to both Malcolm and Doug (just like Richard does).
When Section 31 recruits Telatharia, Steven is there in order to try to throw her and her fellow candidates off the scent. However, he also helps her out just a tiny bit, and his mere presence seems to tell her she’s on the right track. It’s unknown whether he helps anyone else out, consciously or not. And in fact, it’s entirely possible Telatharia was the sole job candidate, anyway.
Steven has no known relationships.
There are no impediments to Steven existing in the Mirror Universe, although the later you get in the timeline, the more difficult the odds become.
However, a spy could find work in either universe. Hence, if he exists, Steven would be sitting pretty, and would potentially have his pick of females, so long as he could trust any of them.
But he probably can’t.
“No one is trustworthy.”
While I am uncertain about where to put this character and what to do with him (or whether he should get an encore), I like the idea of him. In particular, his existence means the Reed-Hayes–O’Day-Beckett-Madden–Digiorno family lasts into the deep future in more than one place. It’s not just Richard and Eleanor, and that makes me happy.
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.
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.
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.
Further, I needed a way to complete the time travel series. The title was perfect.
As the previous book, Shake Your Body, ends, Rick Daniels has been wiped from existence. The imperfect state of the Master Time File means that he, personally, stays and survives, but no one knows who he is. Rick is almost stateless. Hence it’s as if he is thoroughly cut off from everyone else. The most painful moment for Rick is when his own mother doesn’t know him, and his sister, Eleanor, screams for Security.
How it all works out, and what happens to Milena Chelenska, and the rest of the gang at the Temporal Integrity Commission, can be learned by reading the book, of course. However, I’ll admit I am not thrilled with the ending for Carmen Calavicci and a few others, like Polly Porter. I essentially just ran out of space.
I like the overall feel of it, particularly as it disperses the darkness of the series and brings it back to light. In particular, with the incredible longevity of Branch Borodin, it feels like my characters, in a way, will never die. Because I often have troubling letting go of characters, that ‘fact’ made it a lot easier to end this series. Although there are sequels because I can’t keep my hands off stuff!
In time travel in particular, someone will have to be able to deal with computers. They are such a pervasive part of our lives that I cannot imagine sending a time travel contingent to any time past about 1985 or so without giving them the ability to work with computer systems.
Further, Star Trek has always had a somewhat ambivalent relationships with computers and, truly, all forms of technology. The Original Series (TOS) in particular often showcases a dichotomy between over reliance on computers versus good old fashioned human know-how. In The Next Generation (TNG), Data is so human-like that there is a question about whether he should have the same rights as a member of a naturally evolving sentient species would.
Amusingly enough (and highly reflective of the mores of the time), Original Series actors are shown really only using computers for work. The same seems to be true for the Next Generation, except when it comes to the use of the fantasy-fulfilling holodeck. Then, it’s no holds-barred.
As in canon, Hoshi (with the help of T’Pol) is often tasked with not only handling the ship’s database, but also in interpreting aliens’ databases.
Charlotte Reed-Hayes Archer
In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, it is Charlotte, a descendant of Jonathan, Lili, Ebrona, Jay, Malcolm, and others, who sends the first kick-back’s full database to Hoshi. This changes the second kick back in time’s experience rather dramatically, as people already know who they ended up with. When the second kick back in time meets the prime timeline version, there isn’t enough time to load the entire database, and so the prime timeline is left with only knowing what we learned in canon, and never knowing that there were two involuntary trips back in time.
The specialist in ancient computers is a mid-level Temporal Agent working with Richard Daniels. In Another Piece of the Action, she ends up inadvertently insulting Spock a little, when she refers to his beloved computer system as being primitive.
As we move closer to real-life Star Trek types of experiences, I fully believe we will use computers more and more. They will converge, probably, and smart phones and tablets will likely become more or less the same devices. Through it all, someone will need to handle them. I will undoubtedly write about more people just like this.
I wanted a kind of strange means of controlling time travel.
However, the means would be the antithesis of canon. Therefore, I decided, the best and clearest way to accomplish this feat would be by making almost a biological means of traveling in time. Yes, it is that bizarre.
For a time traveler such as Helen Walker, it is a three-step process. First, she puts on the cuff. Then a separate controller selects the time and place. Then the subject swallows the enzyme, Trichronium. In this case, the subject is Helen. And then the process of traveling in time begins. The physical transference process is somewhat similar to the canon act of beaming from one place to another. Helen even reports that the enzyme tastes a little bit like cantaloupe.
As for the invention and the process, I am somewhat mixed in my assessment of it. I think it is a decent idea but not necessarily with the greatest of executions. For one thing, the name of the enzyme is far too close to the name I had already created for a nerve toxin, Tricoulamine.
With rather different purposes for both of these chemical compounds, the all too similar names could potentially prove confusing. In addition, the use of numerical prefixes for nearly all originally-created chemical compounds (e. g. bicoulamine and quatromenaline) made for a far too predictable naming convention.
As I note above, I believe that the idea was a decent one. It was most assuredly a unique one. However, the execution left far too much to be desired. What could have been a great invention turned out to just be okay. And that is not a good thing!
Before 9/11, for a lot of people, their “where were you when you heard?” moment occurred when the Challenger space shuttle exploded.
So at the time, I was teaching as a part of getting credit toward my Juris Doctorate. So the incident was rattling not only because of the deaths, but also because of Christa McAuliffe‘s connections to New England and teaching. In addition, she and I were even born on the same day (albeit 14 years apart).
As the Perfectionists, enemies of the Temporal Integrity Commission, work to assure that the Challenger does not explode, the Varg-i-yeh are coming to attack. Hence Helen Walker and her father escape to the Mirror Universe, where Richard Daniels is not allowed to pursue them. Also, on Lafa II, Malcolm Reed and his wife, Lili O’Day Beckett Reed, see a mysterious light in the sky, which turns out to be the Walkers, in a stolen time ship, opening up a passageway to the Mirror Universe.
By the time the book is finished, three members of the Temporal Integrity Commission are dead, and the alien enemy is practically on their doorstep.
First of all, Miami Sound Machine’s Conga (I particularly love its Miami flair)
in addition, Bananarama’s Venus (sharp-eyed readers will recall that Marisol makes her entrance with Shocking Blue’s version of this song, so this story naturally shows her exit)
For the HG Wells stories, there had to be a few central villains. And so Helen and Milton Walker were born. He’s her father.
In the older time travel series that I had created, Helen was actually Tom Grant‘s ex, and she was mighty bossy and ruthless there, eventually joining their enemies. Hence Helen remained an enemy but some of the details were changed.
I wanted someone who would be pretty but could, behind a lovely smile and a sweet visage, be ruthless.
Spoiled and amoral, Helen is the face that launched a thousand time ships. But she hardly deserves the attention or the accolades. Instead, she’s tasked with “putting right what once went wrong” in history, as a nod to the television series, Quantum Leap. But Helen doesn’t do it out of altruism or a desire to get home or anything of the sort. Instead, she’s a (fairly) obedient soldier of her father’s. His dream is to save people and to be the one who prevents wars and the like. But he can’t get anything done without destroying other details of history, much like a bull in a china shop. He’s often cleaning up after Helen’s messes, too.
But at least she’s not their assassin. That dubious honor goes to double agent Marisol Castillo.
There are no real impediments to Helen existing in the Mirror Universe, but deeper future characters have several more chances to not have a perfect duplicate on the other side of the proverbial pond.
I think she’d be more careful and sensitive. I write MU women as often being beholden to, and subservient to, men. In earlier times, that would make a Mirror Universe woman slavelike. But Helen belongs to a time period where it might snag her a better husband instead. She could potentially have a better future than a lot of other MU women.
“If they like time travel so much, I bet we could work a bit together. They do their conquering – whatever they like, actually. All we need to do is keep a step ahead, and go back, either to make changes for our own purposes or, if necessary, to undo whatever they may damage. And not only will the Temporal Integrity Commission have their hands full, but so will Section 31, and the Federation, and anyone else who might have any issues with all that we are attempting to accomplish.”
When I created the character, I had no idea that there really had been a Helen Walker who was an actress.
At the end of the series, Helen is carted off to jail. I’m not sure how to bring her back, except in prequels or flashbacks.
First of all, continuing the story of Rick Daniels and the Temporal Integrity Commission‘s fight against the Perfectionists, I wanted to cover 1980s music in particular. I had to hunt around for a good historical event to ‘correct’. Furthermore, when I found the assassination of Anwar Sadat, I decided that his restoration would cause an oil price shock that would ripple through time.
Furthermore, I lived through the 1973 oil shocks and so the idea of something like that really ripping the fabric of time proved irresistible.
First of all, as the Perfectionists make sure that Sadat lives, Otra‘s visions show a global economy in ruins.
Also, oddly, Alice Trent ends up hired as a byproduct of this major change.
Further, Branch Borodin arrives in our universe as Josie, inexplicably, is also restored, just as Kevin O’Connor finally begins to emotionally heal and take his relationship with Yilta to the next level. And so Kevin is torn, and has to say goodbye to Josie all over again. His exacerbated heartbreak serves as another bit of collateral damage that arises from the Perfectionist faction mucking around in time indiscriminately.
Finally, I think my favorite part of this story comes during the moment where Kevin goes to sleep with one woman, and wakes up next to the other. That moment, I feel, becomes the big payoff for writing that series.
Where is it that the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain? Why, it’s Oklahoma, of course. Yet if stories about terrorism trigger you, you might want to back out now.
To continue Richard Daniels and the Temporal Integrity Commission’s investigations in time, I decided the Perfections would prevent a truly horrific act, and then the commission would have to, sadly, put it back.
9/11 was (and still is) too close in time, and felt wrong. But this event isn’t too much better, and I can understand if a reader finds it a distasteful topic for Star Trek fanfiction, still.
For anyone who does not know the musical, the title of the piece refers to Oklahoma! And so the story line can only be about one thing.
A lot of writers, when tackling a subject like this, focus on the Kennedy assassination. But I wanted something more contemporary. And this particular terrorist act is even worse, given the high number of lost innocents.
This is the last of the stories in the Complications subsection of the HG Wells timeline (the first part is Repairs; the last part is Unravelings).
As Rick recovers from meeting Milena (and falling for her), the Perfectionists, an opposing faction, pull off their most audacious act so far. But preventing the Oklahoma City bombing means that a number of people will live who aren’t supposed to. And this includes several preschoolers. Hence the timeline becomes horribly damaged.
At the same time, in an effort to distract musician time traveler HD Avery, the Perfectionists avert a 1977 plane crash that killed half of the rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd.
And as a third piece of the temporal shenanigans puzzle, the Perfections prevent the 1983 assassination of Benigno Aquino.
So as a result of these changes, the NX-01‘s pilot is not Travis Mayweather; it’s Shelby Pike. She works as the ship’s Botanist in the Prime Timeline. In this alternate, she and Tripp Tucker have a relationship, and Otra D’Angelo sees Pike pregnant with Tucker’s child.
Yet another temporal alteration concerns Wesley Crusher‘s death from a plague. So this causes the destruction of the Enterprise-D by a Borg cube because Jean-Luc Picard cannot stop playing a game and Robin Lefler cannot save the crew by herself.
Hence due to the ever-present Borg threat, the Federation obtains rather expensive help from Dawitan, Otra’s home world. The Federation pays tribute every year. However, the masses are kept appeased with generous daily rations of fortified wine.
But protesters, including Anthony Parker, break into the USS Saint Eligius in order to destroy the wine casks (they’re behaving a lot like real-life temperance advocate Carrie Nation).
However, in the largest of the crates they smash open, they find an emaciated Otra. She has been kept imprisoned by the Perfectionists. Upon the eventual restoration of the timeline, Otra ends up back prison but retains a phaser that Anthony has given her.
I liked putting this one together, as it ended up quite a puzzle. Daniel Beauchaine‘s actions have to be accounted for. In addition, I had to research and write dialogue for Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. As a piece of the Complications subsection of these stories, the book lives up to the idea of being complicated all right. But it sometimes seems overly so.
Hence numerous strands, from the three temporal alterations, to all of the consequences, need correction. But it ends up a lot for a reader to follow, and I admit I probably rushed through this one too much.