Tag Archives: In Between Days series

Review – Infinite Diversity

Review – Infinite Diversity

Infinite Diversity

Background

Infinite diversity in infinite combinations! First of all, Infinite Diversity was created as a means of showcasing LGBTQ stories within the context of Star Trek fan fiction. And while it says some good things, it does not really fit in with canon, personal or otherwise.

Plot

Because Infinite Diversity exists as a more or less anthology, it does not, truly, have any sort of a plot to speak of. Hence the main themes include the colors of the rainbow and any prompts. Most of the stories take place in the Interphases E2 timeline.

Therefore, the prompts and the colors devolve as follows:

  1. Wisdom (Red) – Dave and Frank dye their cabin in rainbow colors as they dye tee shirts for Pride Week. And the last dye job makes them look like serial killers (prime timeline).
  2. Fairness (Orange) – Diana and Preece Ti discuss why choosing each other isn’t unfair at all, even though there are no other choices (E2 timeline, first kick back in time).
  3. Grace (Yellow) – Diana’s funeral, where Jonathan gives the eulogy to cover Diana’s widow, Leah (prime timeline, refers to the Bread story).
  4. Melancholy (Green) – Kelsey cross dresses in private (E2 timeline, first kick back in time but also refers to the prime timeline story, In Memory of Kelsey Haber).
  5. Distance (Blue) – Luke and Preston fight  (E2 timeline, first kick back in time).
  6. Generosity (Indigo) – asexual pilot Christian Harris volunteers for a dangerous mission so others don’t have to (E2 timeline, either kick back in time).
  7. and Perseverance (Violet) – Melissa and Norri try to feed infant Tommy (prime timeline, references Temper).

Music

While the only song is this one, it’s a good one, particularly considering that character Kelsey Haber, in the prime timeline commits suicide. Hence he may very well have been more melancholy than he lets on here.

Story Postings

Infinite Diversity on Ad Astra.

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

While I feel my heart was in the right place when I wrote Infinite Diversity, it could have used more of a plot.

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Spotlight on the Zetal

Spotlight on the Zetal

The Zetal: in order to try to finally wrap up the HG Wells storyline, I needed a garden variety villain. That was the Var-gi-yeh. They would come from outside our solar system, and therefore it would help if we had a warning of some sort.

I reached back into my older work and found the Zetal.

Background

Spotlight on the Zetal
Spotlight on the Zetal

Back in Together, the Witannen and the Imvari capture ten humans for war games. But they are working for a third party, a species in the Andromeda Galaxy, the Zetal.

The Zetal were meant to be more or less incorporeal  but I didn’t have much on them. In Together, it was considerably easier to work with the Imvari and the Witannen. Species which are more or less our basic body type are just easier to deal with. The reader or viewer can relate to them better. And, truly, so can the writer.

If a character is hard for even the writer to relate to, then the character is just not going to be written. That’s unfortunate, as they are kind of interesting on paper. But I have very little on them. They are a piece of bringing Trek out of our galaxy and into our galactic neighbor. That’s not enough, though. There isn’t enough ‘there’, there.

Upshot

If I need to pull in an Andromeda Galaxy species, then the Zetal might be it, and I would do more with them. Right now, though, they remain a semi-useful curiosity and not much more.

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Portrait of a Character – Rellie

Portrait of a Character – Rellie

Origins

During Temper, the only intelligent way to get Lili onto the Defiant was for her to be disguised as a Calafan slave and work in a kitchen. This meant creating a kitchen manager (the position would not really be that of a head chef). Enter the Xindi humanoid Rellie.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Rellie
Mia Sara as Rellie (image courtesy IMDB)

Rellie is played by actress Mia Sara. This lovely actress has a long history and has science fiction cred.

Personality

Efficient and smart, Rellie will only go so far to look out for her charges. They are (Lili, Polloria, and Aliwev) adults and are not really her responsibility. She just wants to save her own skin, or at least make her job easier. When Lili arrives, and knows how to cook, it’s as if a dream has come true for the oppressed slave kitchen manager.

Relationships

Rellie has no known relationships.

Mirror Universe

Rellie is only seen in the Mirror.

Portrait of a Character – Rellie
Mia Sara as the prime universe Rellie (image is courtesy of the DC Comics wiki)

Does she exist in the prime universe?

It’s an interesting question.

I sometimes confuse her a bit with Dayah, who is also a Xindi humanoid, and is of a similar vintage.

But their fates are rather different, even though they are both oppressed women. Rellie, like a lot of Mirror Universe women, has to be ruthless and self-serving. In our universe, those personality traits would be looked upon as flaws.

Quote

“We must always tell them that we can do anything they ask. No matter if it seems at all impossible or difficult. You have been doing this for years. Surely you know that by now. Never show any weakness.”

Upshot

This character was created for a specific purpose, and I think she fulfilled it fairly well. Since her placement was the result of the second alternate timeline in Temper, there are any number of other Mirror Universe niches she could fill. Maybe I’ll pick her up again.

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Review – Gratitude

Review – Gratitude

Background

Lili‘s killing of a Xindi Insectoid has been explored in Fortune (the act is shown) and The Mess (the immediate aftermath). Lili discusses the matter with Doug in Reversal, and with Malcolm during Together. There’s even a small foreshadowing in Protocols, where Captain Archer comments that she doesn’t have her sidearm with her, but she assures him that she’s pretty handy with a meat cleaver. The part that was missing from the story was the fairly immediate aftermath, where Lili would have to deal with what she’d done. She would have to dust herself off and work, too.

Plot

Review – Gratitude
Before Days (Gratitude)

For a prompt about being grateful, I chose the big gratitude holiday, Thanksgiving. But this is Lili O’Day we’re talking about, so it’s all about She Who Almost Didn’t Breed In Time.

As the Insectoid has pretty much just been killed, Chef Slocum is back in the kitchen and immediately puts two and two together. He orders Lili to Sick Bay.

Phlox is in attendance, of course, but so is MACO Frank Todd, as he’s sustained a minor injury. He talks to Lili about what it feels like to have done that, and how she can go on. That she will need to focus on being thankful for being alive.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I think the story is okay but not great. I know I had wanted to get it out there, and so it could have used some research. After all, Lili really shouldn’t recover from the act quite so quickly. Maybe I’ll revisit this, and have the weight of her guilt come down on her when she least expects it.

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Review – Achieving Peace

Review – Achieving Peace

Background

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

Review – 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 EarthRomulan 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 find. 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. 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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Review – Gainful

Review – Gainful

Background

For a prompt about first jobs, I wanted to show someone who wasn’t so young entering the work force for the same time.

Review – Gainful
In Between Days – Gainful

I particularly wanted to pay tribute to my maternal grandmother. She had only worked outside of the home for a few years, and that was all during the Second World War, as a part of the war effort. Yes, my grandmother was a kind of Rosie the Riveter type (she worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard).

Enter Mary Reed.

Plot

Review – Gainful
We Can Do It poster for Westinghouse, closely associated with Rosie the Riveter, although not a depiction of the cultural icon itself. Pictured Geraldine Doyle (1924-2010), at age 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I figured Mary would be as driven to help out during the Earth-Romulan War as my own grandmother had been during World War II.

But Mary seemed to not be as strong as my part-Polish grandmother, so it would be more of an intellectual pursuit. Furthermore, this is the future of Star Trek, and so brute force or assembly lines would not be in the cards.

I recalled a character I had created while writing two pieces for Dispatches from the Romulan War – pop singer Kurt Fong. I hit upon the idea of Fong needing a new person to help open his mail and respond to it, and so I was able to attach Mary and her diplomatic skills to this project. It would be a fun job for her, but also a challenge. She would be reminded, as others wrote to Fong, that Malcolm could be injured or killed at any time, too. Her boss, Ehigha Ejiogu, would be a Nigerian man young enough to be her son. Her coworker, the Tellarite Cympia Triff, would have an impressive beard.

Sharp-eyed readers will recall that Ejiogu and Fong are, in the Mirror Universe, two of Doug‘s kills.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I really like how this one turned out, and was  pleased to write a sequel, The Tribe. As for whether I’ll revisit Mary at work, the question remains up in the air.

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Portrait of a Character – Major Strong Bear Dawson

Portrait of a Character – Major Strong Bear Dawson

Origins

When I first wrote There’s Something About Hoshi, I needed to have a replacement for Major Jay Hayes, as he had died in canon. Enter Dawson, who was originally a WASP. But then I learned that there is a canon  Star Trek TAS character, Dawson Running Bear. Hence Dawson got his name and a bit of his origins.

Portrayal

Strong Bear (Bud) is played by actor David Midthunder.

Portrait of a Character – Major Strong Bear Dawson
David Midthunder as Strong Bear Dawson

As is often the case with ethnic characters, it was very important for me to ‘cast’ an actor who is of that ethnicity.

Dawson is proud and powerful, and Midthunder seems to be both of those things and also supremely confident. This makes for, I feel, a dynamite combination.

Personality

The strong and silent type, Bud is devoted to duty. However, in There’s Something About Hoshi, he is nearly as affected as the other straight men are.  In Shell Shock, he is initially one of the accused, and he and Malcolm meet during the experience. By the time of On the Radio, he is a valued member of the crew and even T’Pol can figuratively let her hair down a bit in front of him. But he’s still pretty far removed. That would be the case for nearly anyone, though, who comes into a work situation much later than the initial stage of building the team.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Major Strong Bear Dawson
David Midthunder as Mirror Universe Strong Bear Dawson

There is no reason for Strong Bear Dawson to not exist in the Mirror Universe. I imagine him as  a person living off the grid and more or less thoroughly embracing his roots.

I do not believe he would be called Bud, either.

Quote

“HQ wanted more experience after the war. They would’ve assigned me earlier but I was getting off assignment with freighter defense and then the Rommie War broke out and they didn’t want to change horses in the middle of the stream. Helluva way for me to meet my new troops, eh?”

Upshot

I like this character well enough, and he is a kind of utility player. I suspect I could place him into other scenarios and he would do fine. I will have to find places for him to shine.

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Review – Demotion

Review – Demotion

Background

I wanted a story that would nicely bridge between Star Trek: Enterprise canon and the beginning of both E2 kick backs in time. There was a prompt about going AWOL, so the opportunity presented itself, and I decided to dovetail with the canon Hatchery episode.

Heroes and Villains

Review – Demotion
Corporal‘s insignia

There have been so many slash stories written about Major Hayes, it’s not funny. But I have never seen him as gay, so I wanted to riff on that a bit, and see what it would be like for Hayes to be mistakenly confronted with homosexuality. Furthermore, I wanted the person doing the confronting to be nasty about it. It wouldn’t be a little question, gently asked. Instead, it would be accusatory. It would be like an inquisition. In short, I wanted it to be like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Review – Demotion

The story opens with Corporal Daniel Chang combing his hair and otherwise getting ready for an assignation with Sandra Sloane. He’s guarded T’Pol, and he’s fine with that, but then he’s asked to guard her again and he decides he’s had enough. Ignoring Hayes’s orders, he instead goes to Sandra’s quarters, and is close to the door but hasn’t hit the chime or knocked yet.

Review – Demotion
Private’s Insignia

Hayes, nearby, calls him by name and tells him to report to the galley for KP duty as a punishment. Lili and Jennifer are walking by, and they see what’s happening, so they turn to go a different way. They come back quickly, though, when they hear the sound of fabric being torn.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

It’s a quick story, with fewer than 800 words, but I feel it nicely conveys what I wanted. I had to establish Chang and Sloane as problem children before either kick back in time, and I think Demotion does that.

Review – And the Livin’ is Easy

Review – And the Livin’ is Easy

Background

This story was originally written as a response to a prompt about the seasons. I had already written a story about winter, called A Hazy Shade. That one was somewhat depressing. I wanted something cheerier, so I thought of the summertime, and so And the Livin’ is Easy was born.

Plot Elements

As a missing scene from the canon Star Trek: Enterprise episode Two Days and Two Nights, I wanted to obliquely introduce the Calafans without beating the reader over the head with that. Hence, in this little ficlet, Jonathan Archer is engaging in a little girl watching.

There are two women in his sights. They are chatting together, but are not on Risa together on vacation. Rather, it’s more like they met there and got along so they are doing a little quick touring together.

Review – And the Livin' is Easy
Archer IV fish

In the canon Star Trek: Enterprise episode, Archer refers to a boat ride where fish are caught and cooked for you right there. Since that boat ride is never seen, I seized the opportunity to show it. He is on a bench and the two women are nearby, chatting. One is a Trill, but not named. This is not meant to be a first contact or canon-busting story at all. The other is a Calafan, recognizable from my Star Trek fanfiction as she has silvery scrollwork on her arms and speaks with an Irish brogue.

Jonathan speaks with them and asks them to show him around, but unfortunately they tell him they are leaving the following day.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

The story was just meant to be a gentle summery kind of scene. I think it makes a sweet little prequel tale.