Mirror Masquerade. 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. The twist would be to add the Mirror Universe in for some spice.
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.
Then, of course, it’s time to undo it all and pull the rug out from under them. Sorry, fellas.
As in canon, Ian is played by actor Dominic Keating. Keating is the only person I can see in this role.
Ruthless and nasty, Ian has very little to recommend him. In Fortune, Beth Cutler and Tripp Tucker refer to him as “cruel and sadistic”. But there is another side to Ian, at least at the time of his death. In Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, Ian is partly blinded and knows that he’s got very little time left. His remaining life is pain and misery, as he has been mauled by a Gorn. Plus Hoshi Sato is running wild and has declared herself Empress.
Ian decides that he doesn’t want to be called Malcolm anymore. He decides that he will be Ian and he wants to return to Terra, to live out the remainder of his days. He hopes for some small measure of peace.
But Hoshi can’t allow that.
In a fit of Machiavellian pique, she ruthlessly murders everyone on the senior staff except for Tucker and Mayweather. Cutler is moved over to Sick Bay, and Hoshi hires a new doctor (Cyril Morgan). But before Ian’s death, Cutler is given two lethal syringes and is presented with Ian and Phlox. She has to kill both of them. Which one gets which syringe (one of which will be faster and somewhat painless)? Cutler helps her fellow human, and gives Ian the marginally better death.
Did Ian and Beth have a relationship? I’ve been asked this and, frankly, I’m not sure. The truth is, his best realized relationship is as a guide for Lili. When Ian holds her, comforts her, and otherwise cares for her, without any expectation of return, it allows him to advance in his atonement and move toward a modified state of grace.
“There’s the time, and I am sorry to be so mysterious. But tonight was to tell you who I am. That way, when you are next visited by me, you won’t be quite so alarmed.”
For me, this is a beloved character. I’ll have to figure out a way to bring him back.
For a prompt about famous last words, the idea of Empress Hoshi‘s final words being ridiculous was a hard one to shake.
It is, actually, the canon launch date for the NCC-1701 Enterprise.
The scene is a sumptuous bedroom.
The Empress isn’t doing so well. She is surrounded by her family, and doesn’t always remember who’s who. She grouses about Ubvelwev, the Calafan boyfriend for her son, Takeo. She claims that Takara‘s husband, Charles Tucker IV, is polluting the Sato genome with inferior blood. Arashi is ordered to run the treasury. And she verbally abuses Izo as well.
As she lays dying, Jun and Kira agree, again, to co-rule after her death. She’s trying to say something meaningful, in Latin (the Empress is, of course, a former linguist). But the reality, in the end, is far different.
I really loved giving the Empress her final comeuppance. I’ve used a lot of occasions to make her look ridiculous. From the mice in Brown to the changes that are made at the end of the Times of the HG Wells series, Empress Hoshi has been the butt of some jokes and often does not get what she wants. This is the last of such times.
I prefer Rankin for this; I just see a guy who’s a little bit younger.
This has more to do with how I’ve written his successor in Multiverse II than anything else.
Keep in mind, the canon character is Philip (one L) and lives during the earlier part of the Third World War. The character I’m talking about is Phillip (two L’s) and is from a bit later. But the idea that funngunner and I had was that the concept of a Colonel Green would continue as several men fill the role over time.
Ruthless and rapacious, Green has an appetite for the remaining luxuries in the ravaged Earth, power, and women, at least as funngunner and I write him. If absolute power corrupts absolutely, Green is the poster child for that.
In Multiverse II, Liesl is eventually revealed to be the kingmaker, that there have been several versions of Green and Phillip is only one of many. There are even three children, but they aren’t Phillip’s or Liesl’s, so the far-future descendant, Phillipa, who Richard Daniels meets and seduces, as is mentioned in Ohio, has someone else’s genetics.
The relationship with Liesl is more businesslike than anything else. There is no marriage – although she’s referred to as his wife. It is just an arrangement, and the two of them continue to do whatever they like. Donald Janeway eventually reveals that he kept a database of eco-warrior ‘volunteers’ and it was split up by gender, with obviously male names scouted for Liesl, obviously female names for the Colonel, and anyone unknown to be determined. And, once they were determined for sure, they would be set aside for either party. Then images would be scoured for imperfections and anyone imperfect would be eliminated from consideration. Anyone unlucky enough to be physically perfect would be ripe for sexual usage.
When Otra arrives, the Colonel only has eyes for her, and kicks Liesl to the curb. Liesl wouldn’t care, except she wants power. Plus Otra is an alien, and that bothers Liesl quite a bit. And then Otra plunges a knife into Green’s chest, just after he proposes marriage. It’s a nasty business, Chilo possession.
For the Mirror Universe, I go back to Phillip Pine for the portrayal.
In my Star Trek: Enteprise fanfiction, I see him as the Emperor of the Terran Empire, Phillip I. His true descendant, Phillip IV, is Emperor when Hoshi Sato, in canon and in Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, declares herself Empress. Hoshi herself assassinates Phillip IV.
“The fool’s paralyzed, and he’s unconscious. He doesn’t need guards or medics; he needs pallbearers.”
It is great fun and more than a little satisfying to write a person who is more or less pure evil. It’s even more satisfying to try to find a way to make him even remotely sympathetic. Green is a trip to write, and there’s talk of there eventually being a Multiverse III. If there is, I want to write him again.
I also experimented by adding A Single Step to Wattpad. This resulted in a tiny read count. Once I got a follower, I added more stories to complete my profile there and see what would happen. These are from various eras and series, to cast a wider net than usual. I added Before the Fall,Party on Risa, Milk, The Black Widow and D’Storlin. I also began to add the Bron and Sophra stories as a package in order to see where that takes me. They are all under the umbrella title of The Reptile Speaks. I added Transported separately, given that the rating is different. The site is probably outside of my demographic wheelhouse but there might be traction for a story like Widow. I also noticed I am getting some site traffic from Wattpad. It might not be too useful for read counts, but instead could be a source of social referrals.
I also joined Fictionpad and copied my Fanfiction.net stories over there. The site is in beta but it looks promising. I am already getting some small read counts on a few short stories. Hopefully, once that site is out of beta, I’ll start to see the numbers really rise. In response to a request, I started writing another Porthos-centric story. This one is a prequel (despite its title) and is called The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat.
Individual Read Counts
For individual read counts, the following stories have 20,000 or more on one URL –
Having declared herself Empress, Hoshi has to consolidate her power. She has to eliminate threats and pick up allies. This means ruthless Machiavellian efficiency.
Furthermore, she has to get rid of the Emperor, who I write as a descendant of canon mass murderer Philip Green. Green brings along only three bodyguards, foolishly underestimating her bloodlust – José Torres, Brian Delacroix, and Andrew Miller.
I like how it turned out. In particular, I enjoyed putting together Hoshi’s plan and showing her nastiness. Her impatience with science and with delays, her casual approach to murder and her lust are all on display. I’m very pleased with the final product.
I needed a character who would be a bit of a galoot. He would be super-tall, almost seven feet. He would be balding at an early age. In short, he would not be one of the super-beautiful people we often see on television, and not just on Star Trek. Enter José Torres.
Although he isn’t tall enough, I like the idea of Ian Gomez for this role.
I wanted someone who would not be traditionally good-looking. Oftentimes, it seems that star ships (and fanfiction stories) are larded up with an enormous number of ultra-beautiful people. Well, real life just isn’t like that. And I think that Star Trek does a bit of a disservice to its fan base (although they do try to, when appropriate, include people with different abilities). The future is not going to be chock full of 100% gorgeous folks! Someone is going to look different.
A little clumsy, but with a big heart, I wanted José to, at times, be the nice guy who finishes last. But not always, for women who peer beyond looks will see him for what he is – a kind, thoughtful and gentle soul. As an engineer, he is also an inventor and an improviser. In the E2 stories, he creates an ultrasound machine for Doctor Phlox, making it possible to tell fetal gender without having to subject women in high-risk pregnancies – such as Lili O’Day and Meredith Porter Ryan – to amniocentesis needles.
It’s really not fair to call this hookup a relationship. Instead, after the wedding in Together, he notices Pamela and makes his move. It’s entirely possible that, in the prime timeline, he loses his virginity to her. I haven’t decided yet.
At the end of Fortune, he asks Hoshi out, to Movie Night (Casablanca is playing). It’s unclear whether it goes very far. Rather, the purpose of the acceptance of the date is for Tripp Tucker to overhear it.
In the third E2 story, he marries the youngest of the Ikaaran women. It is unclear what her function is on Ebrona’s ship or what the marriage is like, but her premature death is heartbreaking to José.
In Together, Lili first reveals that, during the canon E2 episode, they wed and had a daughter, Maria Elena, named after Lili’s mother, Marie Helêne Ducasse O’Day. The savvy reader should wonder – why wasn’t Lili with Malcolm or Jay?
But there are reasons for that. And so she takes up with José, who she doesn’t treat, initially, as fairly as she should. In her own defense, though, it should be noted that Lili is bereft and is dealing with an enormous number of changes in her life. But José, while he isn’t flashy, is a rock for her. And while she is settling, he feels that he is not.
In the prime timeline, at the end of Fortune, he asks her out. He also asks her out during the third E2 book, but loses out to Sekar Khan.
José in the mirror universe is a very different animal – and animal is a good word to describe him. In Temper, Empress Hoshi reveals that, in the initial alternate timeline, he was the leader of the first wave of the invasion from the mirror universe into ours. As a result, she rewards him handsomely. First, he is promoted to Ensign. Then, she gives him three playmates – the mirror versions of Karin Bernstein, Blair Claymore, and Pamela Hudson.
By the time the Doug and Lili mission begins, José has gotten a bit tired of his three trained seals and is looking for younger women. But Karin, Blair, and Pamela are still on rather tight leashes. With his death (due to the Empress’s arrogance and his own incompetence), they are freed.
In the second alternate timeline, and then in the prime timeline, he is unsuccessful in his efforts and, as a result, the three women are never bonded to him.
“Are you, um, going to Movie Night? Chip is showing Casablanca. It’s supposed to be really good.”
Most of the engineers I have known has not been like Tripp Tucker. They’ve been like José. Shy, quiet and inventive. Nothing flashy, but very solid and dependable.