Tag Archives: Insectoid

Review – The Mess

Review – The Mess

This mess should be really disturbing.

Background

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | In Between Days | The Mess
In Between Days

This scene was a part of Reversal, and in Fortune, but it never really got its due until a Weekly Free Write about chores.

I wanted very much to have a story that starts off as cleaning a kitchen and then, well, what sort of dirt is it, anyway?

You don’t want to know.

Plot

On November 22nd of 2153, Lili is alone in the NX-01‘s kitchen. She is panting. The air smells like turkey cooking, as it is Thanksgiving. She’s got a cast iron skillet in her hands. Reed‘s voice is on the intercom.

And there’s a messing on the wall, and there’s dirt on the floor.

Review – The Mess

As the story goes on, it becomes apparent that there have been boarding parties on the ship. So what is on the floor, and on the wall, are the remains of something sentient. Hayes and Slocum come in. And Lili is still, barely, coherent.

Hayes takes the enemy’s rifle and leaves. However, before he does so, he translates the name on the uniform patch – She Who Almost Didn’t Breed in Time. For Lili, that could be an apt descriptor as well.

Slocum tosses away the pan, and finally breaks Lili out of her almost catatonic state. And while it is not quite business as usual, they have to go on anyway.

Lili remembers the story in Conversations with Heroes, although she feels anything but heroic.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I like how the story played out although I think I could have emphasized Lili’s panting and her fear and her coming down from an adrenaline high, a little bit more.

Focus – Ikaarans in Star Trek Fan Fiction

Focus – Ikaarans

Ikaarans are canon.
A focus Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Focus Magnifying Glass | Ikaarans (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

With almost nothing to go on, Ikaarans were ripe for reinvention. The only person of even partial Ikaaran blood who is ever seen in canon is Karyn Archer.

Focus – Ikaarans
Part-Ikaaran, part-human Karyn Archer

The only alien characteristic that can be seen is the rather pronounced ridge running from her forehead to her nose. Her nose is also wider than most humans’, although she might have had human ancestry providing that look. She also has crow’s feet, but those are more likely to be signs of aging and stress. Furthermore, she is apparently of Asian descent, which seems to indicate a kinship with Hoshi Sato or Dan Chang or any other Asian crew members rather than any Ikaaran features.

Language

Clicking languages have been around since prehistoric times and, genetically speaking, at least the peoples who speak them can be traced back a good 35,000 years. I believe it’s highly likely that, when we go into space, we’ll encounter click languages. In canon, the only such language is Xindi Insectoid, which appears to be a function of the shape of that alien race’s mouth parts.

For the Ikaarans, my idea is that they would be speaking in clicks by choice, rather than necessity. But they would speak names and, therefore, the intonation would be slower.

Culture

There is no information on Ikaaran culture so I created all of this. I decided to make their society completely against birth control, not even bothering to invent it. Therefore, their planet, Ikaaria, would have gross overpopulation. In order to alleviate the burdens of a huge population, two things would happen to their society.

First, they would send their young people out to work, in single-sex work gangs. They would farm or mine, mostly, as a form of community service to their race. These work groups would go out every four years during one festival, and would return in another. By staying offworld, they would not consume as many resources. Plus they would create or obtain more resources, and bring them back at the end of their work commitments. In addition, they would be separate from the other gender during peak fertility years.

The other means of controlling the population would be more sinister. Instead of birth control, their scientists would alter their genome. Hence, as a result, they would all have a kind of self-destruct sequence in their genes. They refer to the disease as the decline, and it is uniformly fatal, and kills Ikaarans before they turn 50. As a result, they don’t trust scientists much, and they don’t trust doctors. But they don’t need doctors.

Empathic Healing

Doctors are unnecessary because Ikaarans can heal themselves, and each other. They can heal members of other species, too, so long as the organs are more or less equivalent. In The Three of Us, the Ikaarans Jeris and Jobiram are able to heal Lili and Jay, but Jay has internal injuries that they cannot do anything about. In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, a weapon is devised by the Imvari and the Xindi Insectoids, and that weapon is specifically designed to counteract Ikaaran empathic healing. When that weapon, which uses percussive shock, is used, the victim must be attended to very quickly for doctors to be able to do anything at all.

In The All-Stars, the team’s trainer is an Ikaaran. This therefore opens up the possibility of giving many on-field injuries more or less instant cures without rehabilitation. No more disabled list!

Romance and Family Life

Ikaarans are generally monogamous and enjoy humans’ company. The gift of a living thing is the equivalent of a marriage proposal. Ethan Shapiro gives Bithara  a perfectly ripe orange as his proposal gift in The Three of Us. In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Jonathan gives Esilia his dog, Daisy, as his proposal gift.

With the help of scientific information from Jobiram and Jeris, Phlox is able to perfect human-Ikaaran interbreeding, and hybrid children are born, including Karyn’s ancestor, Aaron Gregory Archer, named after Jonathan Archer‘s old friend, AG Robinson.

Upshot

This species could have been fascinating in canon, but they are never really seen and the viewers don’t get to really know anyone. As a tabula rasa, they’ve been a lot of fun to create. I’ll try to find other occasions to show them, in addition to the upcoming sports series.

The Ikaarans will be back.

Focus – Xindi in Star Trek Fan Fiction

Focus – Xindi

Xindi fascinate me.
Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Focus Magnifying Glass | Xindi

A focus (unlike a spotlight) is an in-depth look at a Star Trek fanfiction canon item and my twist(s) on it.

In this post, the focus will be on the canon species (or, rather, set of species) from the Enterprise series, called the Xindi.

This species was introduced during the third season of ENT as being the villain species. There were brief sightings in the fourth season, but that’s it. They were new for ENT so of course they weren’t in the earlier series and films, but they didn’t make it into the 2009 film, either.

Canon

In canon, there are five separate species, with a sixth that had gone extinct. The humanoid and sloth (also known as arboreals) were generally the easiest to relate to. The aquatics were interesting and ultimately they were sympathetic. The insectoids were scary but did have some redeeming qualities. The reptilians were nasty but it was eventually just on one person. As a set of species, they were eventually had a rather neat redemption.

Aquatics

I mention this species very briefly, during the course of Concord.

Focus – Xindi
Xindi Aquatic

There is a Xindi Aquatic, working with Section 31, who tells Makan Sinthasomphone and Monisha Padir that there is a corpse on the Genesis planet. But that person only shows up briefly and I didn’t give them a name.

Avians

This species is extinct in canon

Focus – Xindi
Skull of a Xindi Avian

and I don’t mess with that. However, it’s entirely possible that I will eventually write a time travel story where  they are extant.

Humanoids/Primates

Probably the most fully-realized Xindi Humanoids I write are Dayah,

Focus – Xindi
Xindi Primate (Degra)

from Together, and Rellie, from Temper. Perhaps just as oddly is the fact that I have written more fully realized female characters for this species, whereas the best-known canon characters are male.

Dayah is an older woman, who steps up during the confinement in Together. Rellie is a Mirror Universe native and works, in the first alternate timeline, as the manager of the Empress‘s mess.

Insectoids

The most fully-realized characters I have written so far are

Focus – Xindi
Xindi Insectoid

She Who Almost Didn’t Breed In Time, The One Who Fires A Weapon Very Fast and She Who Listens Well.

She Who Almost Didn’t Breed In Time (a wry observation about Lili) is killed by Lili when the NX-01 is boarded. The One Who Fires a Weapon Very Fast is stuck in a lift with Keith Paris in Alien EncounterShe Who Listens Well is a bartender in the nascent Barnstorming series.

Reptilians

My most fully-realized Reptilian

Focus – Xindi
Xindi Reptilian (Dolim)

characters are the chatty teenaged girl Tr’Dorna and the hybrid troubled teenaged boy (he’s also part-human), D’Storlin. Plus there is an unnamed younger male in Achieving Peace, who works in Communications.

I suppose I like my Reptilians as adolescents.

Sloth/Arboreals

I get my best inspiration from this subspecies.

Focus – Xindi
Xindi Arboreal (Jannar)

My first sloth character was Aranda Chara, in The Puzzle, A Tale Told in Pieces. She is a very young child, but the reader still learns that her name contains a matronymic. Furthermore, she has an ill brother and her parents aren’t getting along well. Her mother, the diplomat, Chara Sika, shows up in Achieving Peace.

But the most detailed character is the hybrid (he’s also part-Klingon and part-human), Dr. Boris Yarin. His Russian background also dovetails with the previously mentioned traditional matronymic.

Mirror Universe

As Doug explains in Reversal, the Empress committed genocide on the Xindi, so there are few left of any species. Therefore, the abovementioned Rellie is fortunate indeed to have the position that she does. In Temper, Lili witnesses the death of a Xindi sloth when that woman is examined with a radiation band tester and the examiners find she is from our universe, a condition punishable by instant execution.

Upshot

It went beyond the novelty value of several different kinds of sentient and civilized species from one planet. Hence the idea of bringing these species into time periods they were never originally in, well, that idea proved irresistible. I do hope they are in the next film, as I would hate for this concept to cease. I hope to do a little justice, and continue to keep it alive.