Tag Archives: Hall of Mirrors

Review – Mirror Masquerade

Review – Mirror Masquerade

Mirror Masquerade?

Mirror Masquerade Background

The idea was to cross over, and I am pretty sure that was the original prompt. And so I decided to cross over between the Original Series and Enterprise. However, the twist would be to add the Mirror Universe in for some spice.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Mirror Masquerade
Mirror Masquerade

So much like in Concord and Crackerjack, and The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat, a temporal situation is encountered. And a lot more like Theorizing and Day of the Dead, two people switch places. Although in this instance, it is Travis Mayweather and Hikaru Sulu. So for the purposes of this story, it was the TOS Hikaru Sulu, although it could just as easily have been the Hikaru Sulu from the Kelvin timeline.

For both men, so long as the switcheroo holds up, their lives improve, although Sulu ends up doing better. In the Mirror Universe, any advantage is a good one. Sulu finds someone who interests him – Preston Jennings. This establishes, in my fanfiction universe, that Hikaru Sulu is bisexual is not gay, which was a deliberate call out to Takei’s well-known homosexuality. Travis sees an immediate improvement in his life as he gets away from Empress Hoshi. It feels like it is going to be a win-win all around. But we just can’t have that. There has to be some reason it all happened.

And then, of course, it’s time to undo it all and pull the rug out from under them. Sorry, fellas.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K+.

Upshot

The idea of shifting bodies in time is always a fun one, although I confess it isn’t always so easy to figure out a plausible explanation for the trade. I am running out of ideas here!

Uh, help?

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Portrait of a Character – Treve I

Portrait of a Character – Treve I

Origins

Lili needed a way and a reason to stay in the Lafa System at the end of Reversal.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Treve I
Portrait of a Character – Treve I

Treve I is played by actor Jude Law. I like this handsome actor, and I feel he would make an interesting, high class alien.

Personality

Pushed to succeed at a young age, Treve knows something horrible is happening to his mother, Yipran, but he is powerless to stop it. Because he cannot protect her, he instead concentrates on protecting his two younger siblings – his sister, Yimar; and his brother, Chelben.

Relationships

Pamela Hudson

Treve and Pamela get together at the end of Fortune. They date during Saturn Rise, and eventually marry. He is the anchor of her life.

Jennifer Crossman

In the Mirror Universe, Treve and Jennifer hook up during Reversal. By the time of Fortune and He Stays a Stranger, they are still together.

Mirror Universe

Just as posh in the Mirror, Treve is caught between a rock and a hard place and is pushed to kill Jennifer. He refuses and they become outlaws, eventually camping with Tripp, Beth, Chip, and Lucy, and their children. Even as a poacher dressed in rags, he still has the clipped accent of a failed diplomat.

Quote

“I — Polloria — I was a child when you, you came into our lives and Mother became ill. I have done my best to accept you. And I am, I am glad that Mother will not actually be killed, although if she were at all conscious it might be something she’d wish. But killing this alien? Cannot we put her back as we usually do?”

Upshot

Determined to do the right thing even when others around him are note, Treve is a good guy who, in our universe, dies fairly young, and is childless on both sides of the pond. But that doesn’t stop him from doing good for people.

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Review – Smash Your Dominion

Review – Smash Your Dominion

Smash your dominion? Why, don’t mind if I do!

Background

I wrote this story when I was pretty new to Ad Astra, and so I didn’t have much to draw upon. The prime universe version of this series was all about a widow, Gina Nolan, recovering from the traumatic death of her husband. However, this would be … different.

Plot

Barking up the muse tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Smash Your Dominion
Smash Your Dominion

So this is a Mirror Universe version of Hold Your Dominion as imagined if a network executive demanded that a Mirror Universe episode be written.

Hence in this version of events, the storyline actually begins with her saying, “Of course I wanted him dead.” It felt like the perfect opener. Gina tosses away a timid fragility from the Hold Your Dominion stories and instead becomes a force of nature.

Therefore, Gina was reimagined as a Captain’s Woman, to a Simpson Keller (that is the real-life name of Helen Keller’s half-brother, by the way. It has no other meaning and I just liked the name). Gina leaves their bed and she wanders the halls of a starship, and is called away because her daughter, Gabrielle, has gotten into trouble. And the person complaining is the Klingon, Kittris. As a result, they cross paths in both universes.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated T.

Upshot

As a character, Gina was pretty meek and mild at the time. Here, she’s a force of nature, and I kind of like that. As to whether I will revisit this storyline, I have no plans to do so at this time. So this is it for Gina really being in control and powerful. Ah, well.

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Focus on the Terran Empire

Focus on the Terran Empire

The Terran Empire is a huge part of my fan fiction.

Focus

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Focus Magnifying Glass | Terran Empire

A focus (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.

Background

A lot of what happens in the Terran Empire absolutely defies logic (Vulcan pun only partly intended). Even in a multiverse with seemingly infinite (or thereabouts) universes with infinite variables, it makes no sense that our heroes’ counterparts would all be serving together.

Okay, so it’s really just a vehicle for tossing a bunch of evil twins onto the screen. Let’s run with that.

In order to make it all work, I decided on a few helper characteristics which would explain things better. Of course the real reason why there are a lot of men in the Mirror Universe is because of who was hired, particularly during the TOS era. For a show and a premise that were touting sex and violence, men would have to be hired in order to up the violence ante. For my fanfiction, I explain this away with the Y Chromosome Skew.

But what about the Terran Empire? First off, the TOS era would have undoubtedly showed a white man in power. Certainly, in canon, the person in charge is a man. But then ENT comes around, and Hoshi Sato declares herself Empress.  To my mind, she would have a need for a successor and she could succeed as Empress if she operated under Machiavellian principles.

Hall of Mirrors and the Succession

A review of the Mirror Universe stories I have written creates a semblance of a decent history of the place. The first story is The High Cost of Dissidence, where Lili‘s counterpart’s family dies. Under Emperor Phillip (tyrant Phillip Green in our universe),  Charlotte’s father is arrested as a dissident for daring to speak his mind.

Next is Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions, where Doug, a mere child, is sent away to a brutal school.

After ENT Canon

After the canon MU episodes comes Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, where Hoshi kills off all rivals (including T’Pol, Ian, and Phlox) and the Emperor, and consolidates her power ruthlessly.

In between, Hoshi and Rick Daniels hook up during The Stranger, and she becomes pregnant. His death is faked and she gives birth to Jun.

In Reversal, the Empress Hoshi is ensconced in power but is bested by Doug as Jennifer, Tripp, and Beth also escape.

Next up is Brown, where Hoshi is pregnant for a second time (by Aidan), and Chip holds back while José and Frank sniff around her.

In Ceremonial, Tripp and Beth have their own child, Charlie, as they become citizens of the MU Lafa System.

By the time of Coveted Commodity, she is pregnant by Travis.

Next is Gilded Cage, where Aidan is further disgraced and is planning to leave. The Conspiracy advances that subplot.

In Temper, when Travis is killed, Hoshi taps Andrew to take his place. When Andy meets Melissa for the first time, it’s shown in The Play at the Plate. He plans his escape when Melissa dies, in Escape, a deed that is seen from another angle in Shake Your Body.

Fortune shows more of the Mirror, including fast-forwarding ahead to not only Melissa’s death, but Norri‘s as well.

At about the same time as The Play at the Plate, Susan is looking to give up drinking, in The Pivot Point.

Much later, in Bread, a Mirror Leah Benson escapes to Andoria and is reunited with Diana Jones.

HG Wells and the Terran Empire

The royal family is reunited in He Stays a Stranger.

The Empress’s less than dignified death is shown in Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown? She is succeeded by Jun and Kira.

During TOS, the Captain’s Woman, Janice Rand, is killed by Marlena Moreau in That’s Not My Name. The crime is investigated as Rand was allegedly the Emperor’s niece, in It Had to be You.

And finally, in Mirror Masquerade, Travis and Hikaru Sulu are switched, and it’s up to the Temporal Integrity Commission to put everyone back where they belong.

Upshot

With my fanfiction, Hoshi’s life reads a lot like Caligula’s or Nero’s, and that was by design. In bits and pieces, it ended up being a somewhat epic saga. It could use more development in later years. In the Barnstorming series, I add a Mirror connection, but the Empire is supposed to be gone by then. But I  like it and will find a way to bring it back.

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Portrait of a Character – Geming Sulu

Portrait of a Character – Geming Sulu

Origins

Doug needed one last kill in order to get on board the ISS Enterprise and, eventually, the ISS Defiant. I decided that, as in canon, he would kill his superior officer in order to get there (this is, after all, the Mirror Universe where he and Geming are first seen). And so, he knifes Geming in the gut, as Geming is slated to be the MACO CO and Doug is not. Blood on his hands, Doug gets what he wants.

In the prime universe, things are of course rather different, and Geming is the father of Joss‘s wife, Jia.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Geming Sulu
Jet Li as Geming Sulu (image is provided for educational purposes)

Geming is played by actor Jet Li.

I like this handsome actor of Chinese extraction. It doesn’t hurt that his martial arts background dovetails well with the martial arts connection to the canon character, Hikaru Sulu.

Personality

Intelligent and thoughtful, the Geming of our universe is a good father. He and Mai reconcile after their divorce, and remarry. He settles on Lafa II and they rebuild their lives together.

Relationships

Mai Sulu

Geming’s only know relationship is with Mai. He predeceases her, according to Jia, in Fortune.

Mirror Universe

Geming exists in the Mirror Universe, and is Doug’s last male human kill (Deborah Hadden is killed accidentally when Doug escapes to our universe). There is nearly nothing known about him, but that’s as to be expected; a part of the recitation of Doug’s kills in Fortune is how meaningless some of them are, and how they can be almost mechanical.

Quote

“The Lafa System is certainly far from everything else. This is why I moved here when Mai did. I meant to tell you; I suppose being nearby did us both some good. We’ve decided to reconcile, and to remarry.”

Upshot

Geming, like other peripheral characters, flits in and out but rarely has the spotlight. But every storyline needs supporting characters, and so he might return at some point in time.

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Portrait of a Character – Travis Mayweather (Mirror)

Portrait of a Character – Travis Mayweather (Mirror)

Origins

This character is canon, and he is one of the only people unambiguously left standing at the end of In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II (Hoshi is also alive but it’s somewhat unclear about the other main characters).

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Travis Mayweather (Mirror)
Anthony Montgomery as Mirror Travis Mayweather (image is courtesy Memory Alpha)

As in canon, Travis is played by actor Anthony Montgomery.

I think the actor did a bang-up job and, since he’s improved as an actor, I would love to see him pick it up again.

Personality

Ruthless, nasty, irresponsible, and more than a little dumb, Travis is an interesting choice of henchman and lover for Hoshi. She continually corrects him and puts him down in public, but he provides a huge public service for her. Because no one wants him in power, Hoshi remains safe. As for Travis, he remains fairly safe as his relationship with Hoshi is non-exclusive and she actively seeks other fathers for her elder children. As a result, there are few rewards to replacing him, and men like José, Frank, Chip, and Aidan do better to remain more subservient. Travis is the one with a target painted on his back.

Relationships

The Empress Hoshi Sato

The Mirror Travis, while he is dying for some fun times with women like the Mirror versions of Melissa Madden and Shelby Pike, is beholden to the Empress. In Coveted Commodity in particular, he is essentially led around on a leash. His only hope is to pass on his genes to Izo and work to assure his son’s survival. This he does by blackmailing Dr. Morgan into agreeing to help Izo, even after Travis’s death. This Morgan more or less does (although, like most denizens of the Mirror, Morgan’s word isn’t worth much).

Theme Music

Everybody else in Temper seems to have gotten a theme song except for Travis!

Prime Universe

The Prime Universe Travis is a rather different guy and is covered in his own post.

Quote

“Use knives or swords. It’s more fun.”

Upshot

In Temper in particular, I really got a chance to let Travis have it with both barrels. He dies in three separate timelines. Once is by Jun Sato; the other two times, he’s fragged by his own troops. An ignominious end, no matter how you slice it, for an evil man who was ‘only following orders’.

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Progress Report – July 2015

Progress Report – July 2015

July 2015 saw me adding onto more preexisting Star Trek fan fiction works. In addition, I wrote parts of the Barnstorming series. However, two years later (welcome to the future!), that series does not yet have an end point.

Posted Works

First of all, on Wattpad, I added to the In Between Days Collection by posting Tumult, Achieving Peace, Shell Shock, The Conspiracy, and Gilded Cage. I started to post Temper.Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | July 2015

Also, on Ad Astra, I finished posting Infinite Diversity.

Furthermore, on Fanfiction.net, I finished posting About Nine Months and then posted Education, The Decision, and Faith.

In addition, on Fictionpad, I added Education.

Finally, on the G & T Show, I finished Theorizing and then posted Gratitude; Gossip GossipOnions; Penicillin; Demotion; and started Conversations With Heroes.

Milestones

Please see the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

I continued preparing The Enigman Cave for this years’ NaNoWriMo in November. In addition, I also kept perfecting the last two books in the Obolonk series, The Polymer Beat and The Badge of Humanity.  Hence this was to prepare and clear the decks for this year’s NaNoWriMo project. Also, I finished the first draft of the Barnstorming book, Time Out, and began the final book in that series, Overtime.

Prep Work

Also, I spent time on Wattpad getting future postings together in draft form. Hence that was meant to save me time later.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

So I had plenty to do at school. Plus I became a Wattpad Ambassador, and that took up a lot of my time. Because time is a finite thing, it had to come from somewhere. Hence it mainly came from Star Trek fan fiction writing time, I am so sorry to report.

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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 – Gilded Cage

Review – Gilded Cage

Gilded Cage came about because I needed to bridge a gap between Together and Temper on the other side of the pond. For a prompt about being trapped, I decided to write about a Mirror Universe trap.

Background

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Hall of Mirrors | Gilded Cage
Hall of Mirrors

The most likely candidate for being trapped, who would also (in some ways) be a sympathetic character, was Aidan MacKenzie.

 

Plot

On January 7, 2161, in the Mirror Universe, the Empress confines Aidan to quarters. So it’s just before Temper, and the Empress Hoshi Sato is looking to get her act in gear and start pushing to get more advanced ships like the ISS Defiant. And she can tell that the star ship will not last forever. As she contemplates her next move, Aidan has had enough. Furthermore, five children already exist. And Hoshi is pregnant with Izo, the last one. And so Aidan then complains that he can’t keep up with it all, and makes the mistake of referring to Hoshi by her first name. However, this simply will not do. The Empress will not stand for it. Angrily, she demands that she only be referred to by her title by him, the Royal Babysitter.

So in a move toward independence, Aidan picks up Kira (who he refers to as Kirin) and threatens to leave, telling her that he’s quitting. As the Ready Room door opens, Shelby Pike, Chip Masterson, and Lucy Stone give him quick sympathetic glances; however, Travis Mayweather and Gary Hodgkins do not. And then Hoshi orders Josh Rosen and Tristan Curtis up, to move the bassinets into her quarters, as Aidan and the royal children will be confined there.

Yet Aidan goes willingly, as he has no choice in order to assure that his toddler son will not be harmed.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

So the menace of the Mirror is back (because it never really left), and I like how it foreshadows Aidan’s resentment and in particular Chip and Lucy’s urge to leave as soon as possible.

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Review – He Stays a Stranger

Review – He Stays a Stranger

He stays a stranger works as a bookend to The Stranger, because Rick never really gets to know anyone until Milena.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | He Stays a Stranger
He Stays a Stranger

Background

Back when I was originally putting together a wholly original time travel fantasy series, I came up with the story lines for A Long, Long Time Ago; Spring Thaw; and this one.  The idea of Goodman, Schwerner, and Cheney being saved, only to be lost again, was a sadly compelling one.

Further, I needed a way to complete the time travel series. The title was perfect.

Plot

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.

Music

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated T.

Upshot

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!

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