Recurrent Themes – Oranges


I like oranges and they figure fairly prominently in a lot of my Star Trek fan fiction. Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Oranges Much of this was by the accident of the time when I was posting Reversal. The story, and its initial posting dates, both occurred near Halloween.

On the day right after Lili and Doug first make contact, Chef Slocum insists on a day’s menu with every single food item including oranges. There are oranges in every single thing made, from the French toast batter in Captain Archer‘s breakfast with Malcolm, to the main dishes at dinner and everything in between.

Ambersweet oranges, a new cold-resistant orang... And through it all, Lili chops oranges, all day. When night time comes, she reeks of them. When she makes contact with Doug that night, he buries his nose into her shoulder and inhales, and breaks their silence for the very first time, by asking, “Oranges?” Laughing, she just replies with one word: yes.



As noted above, the appearance of oranges in Reversal sparks a deeper relationship between Lili and Doug.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Orange Sky

Orange Sky

Her rather strong aroma helps to convince him that she’s real, and so he feels confident enough to speak with her, and that breaking the silence won’t also break the spell.

Her chopping of oranges becomes a source of some pain when she cuts her hand with a French knife. This gets her to Sick Bay, where she converses with Phlox about her experiences, and he conducts a physical examination that alerts everyone that what is happening to Lili is very, very real.

Apple and Oranges

Orange peel

Orange peel (Photo credit: AJC1)

In this short story, which occurs the day after the day of all-orange food, Shelby offers Travis an apple.

In the chow line, Tripp Tucker complains about the overabundance of oranges, and asks for fruit that is anything but an orange.


Near the conclusion of Together, Joss

Fortnum & Mason

Fortnum & Mason (Photo credit: hchalkley)


receives a gift for his birthday of various kinds of nut butters and jams, including one lone jar of orange marmalade, from Fortnum & Mason.


On vacation in Fep City at the start of Temper, Malcolm and Lili talk about earlier days, and he hearkens back to that same day during Reversal, when she smelled of oranges.

English: oranges

English: oranges

He equates that to “sunshine and happiness”, and remarks that that was when he first noticed her, and realized that he wanted more out of life than just duty and work.

This is why, when he sends nut butters and jams, he makes sure to include a special gift of orange marmalade from Fortnum & Mason, which is a signal to Lili and is a gift to her, rather than Joss and Marie Patrice or anyone else.

Later in the story, when she finds an empty jar of Fortnum & Mason orange marmalade on Empress Hoshi‘s ship, the Defiant, Lili knows that her house has been ransacked by agents of the Terran Empire.

The Three of Us

Because Reversal is not a part of this timeline (and neither is Doug), the reference is different. This time, it’s a harvesting party on Amity, where an orange tree has died.

Jay asks Shelby if the wood is strong and can support a lot of weight. She suggests an Osage orange tree instead, as the fruit doesn’t taste very good and it was just a fallback, which is no longer needed, as regular oranges are growing just fine. Plus the Osage orange wood is a lot stronger than regular orange wood. He accepts her recommendation, and makes a cane for the permanently injured Ethan Shapiro.


Easter Eggs (WIP)

Like a little orange Easter egg, oranges pop up in my fiction from time to time. They even make it into my original fiction.

Have some!

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Themes, 2 comments

Review – Day of the Dead

Review – Day of the Dead


Day of the Dead. More than just a holiday, it also references the horrors of a particularly infamous period is history. On Ad Astra, there was a prompt about the burdens of command.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Day of the Dead |

I had been kicking around an idea about Tripp Tucker being caught in a temporal interphase (which is canon in Star Trek) and liberating the Dachau concentration camp. Hence I decided to put that together with the prompt.

Tying In

The idea about Dachau was to tie into Milena Chelenska, who is Richard Daniels‘s love interest. For her, there would be a bit of a back story, as Tripp would deal with the problems that come along with witnessing just so much horror.

Furthermore, there would be a tie into Wesley Crusher, as I liked the little family and backstory I had created for him in Crackerjack and wanted to revisit some of that as well.

The backdrop to it would be Halloween, and then the Day of the Dead.


As Halloween rolls around – and this is the last Halloween of Tucker’s life, although of course he doesn’t know that – Tripp arranges with Chip Masterson to have a number of classic horror films shown. On the actual day, they show John Carpenter’s Halloween.

But before that, the NX-01 goes about some of its regular business. And the reader should be seeing that life is going on, and they are all moving forward with their lives.

Malcolm is on Lafa II with Lili, for Declan‘s birth, and Aidan MacKenzie is running Tactical in his stead. Travis has just met Ellen Warren. Jonathan is talking about his new ship, the Zefram Cochrane. Lucy Stone, the new Science Ensign, is catching the eye of both Andy Miller and Chip Masterson, even though Chip is married to the pregnant Deborah Haddon. In short, everyone is going somewhere. But Tripp Tucker is living in the past.

Movie Night

For Movie Night, he can’t ask either T’Pol or Hoshi to join him, as they are both exes of his. These are references to the Star Trek: Enterprise canon relationship with T’Pol and the fanfiction relationship in Together. But he sees MACO Corporal Amanda Cole, and begins to flirt with her rather openly. Phlox is also present, and they talk about the picture.

But then Commander Tucker vanishes.

Meanwhile – well, meanwhile in the story, but not in history – Wesley Crusher is considering the aftermath of a static warp bubble experiment where his mother, Beverly, could have lost her life. But he’s lost the warp bubble, and doesn’t know where it went.


Review – Day of the Dead

Nope, it’s just another temporal-spatial-somatic interphase, much as happened in Concord.

So, where does Tucker end up? Why, he’s in the Forty-Second Infantry Division, and it’s April 29th of 1945. They are about to liberate the Dachau concentration camp.

The remainder of the story deals with Tucker’s displacement, getting him back, and how both the NX-01 and the Enterprise-D work to solve their own, respective, problems.


As the plot unfolds, classic spooky music shows up, and each chapter begins and ends with lyrics as follows –

Story Postings


The story is rated K+.


I added a number of questions about command and promotions, as characters flirt with garnering more responsibility, and how they will deal with such things. In addition, the changes made during the story have the potential to affect the principals for years to come. The burdens of memory and the horrors of war intersect, as Tucker discards his love of horror, and Wesley thinks outside of his own personal bubble, and they both think and act outside themselves.

This story won the challenge; it was my second win (after Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions). I am immensely proud of it, and have featured it in the second Adult Trek Anthology.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Interphases series, Review, 25 comments