Tag Archives: Jean-Luc Picard

Portrait of a Character – Martin Madden

Portrait of a Character – Martin Madden

Martin Madden should be canon, dammit!

Origins

The character is technically canon although the scene of his introduction ended up on the cutting room floor. In the ‘lost’ footage, William Riker plays a nasty, passive-aggressive prank and Madden is the butt of the joke. I disliked the scene so much that I felt Madden needed a measure of justice. He is the reason that Melissa has her last name, as she is his forebear, via her middle son, Neil.

Because Marty is also Doug‘s descendant, his radiation band is slightly less than it should be, betraying a partial origin in the Mirror Universe. As the Barnstorming series unfolds, the family’s importance increases. Doug’s descendants hold a key in their DNA that could alter the fate of both universes.

Portrayal

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Martin Madden
Martin Madden

As in canon, Madden is played by actor Steven Culp. I like this actor a great deal. He was also exceptionally gracious when I wrote to him, asking for an autographed photograph and the answer to a few questions as I was writing The Three of Us and looking to add some verisimilitude to my details about Jay Hayes.

Culp wrote back, said my questions were interesting (I asked things like what is his favorite story to read to a child) but whatever I came up with would be fine. He also wished me luck with my writing. His framed picture is hanging in the room where I do my writing and it helps provide some inspiration.

Personality

Lonely, brilliant, and bored, Marty is near the top of his profession but wants something more. He is only close to one person, and that is not only hurting him in his career, it’s also, in general, making him miserable. Furthermore, the incident with Riker got him off on the wrong foot with Captain Picard. A bit of a perfectionist, Martin is appalled by what happened and scrambling to make it right.

Relationships

Tamsin Porter

With one disastrous date, this is really not a relationship. Tamsin likes him, but he can’t stand her; he had only asked her out in order to get his mind off Dana. Tamsin takes it the wrong way and tries to get him to sleep with her.

When he refuses, she stretches the truth to its breaking point, and files a sexual harassment charge against him. The charge is groundless and is quickly dropped. But it gets worse, as she is distantly related to him. As a part of the family (through Joss), Tamsin is not so close to Martin Madden to prevent a relationship, plus she’s somewhat aggressive. It’s a complete turnoff to him, but she is family and so, in some ways, he’s stuck with her. But he doesn’t have to date her.

Dana MacKenzie

With a language all their own, Martin Douglas Madden and Misty Dana MacKenzie – the MDM Twins – are made for each other. There’s just one small problem. She’s his second cousin.

That would not seem like much of an issue, but I write an unjust Second Cousin Marriage law, forbidding such marriages where the parties share at least one great-grandparent. The purpose behind the law is to prevent too much Daranaean inbreeding and the introduction of younger and younger child brides. But the law fails miserably as it is mainly just a bad political compromise.

When Dana is imprisoned at Canamar, it is only Marty who continues writing to her after her parents die. With the letters kept from her as a part of her unjust punishment, her reading of those letters is one of her first acts after getting out.

His love for her is one of the few things that sustains him. It is one of the underlying themes of the series, along with the concept that the Digiorno-Madden-Hayes-Beckett-O’DayReed family endures forever. There is power in this love, and it cannot be denied.

Mirror Universe

I’m not so sure that Marty can exist in the Mirror Universe.

As a descendant of Doug, who left the Mirror and had never fathered a child on that side before he did, then Marty’s existence in the Mirror is technically impossible. However, I write a Mirror Tamsin (called Jennifer), explaining that the analogue is imperfect but very close. After all, if most other forebears fall into place, or close relatives such as siblings or first or even second cousins take the place of the originals, after a time span of a few centuries, the differences become negligible. This isn’t a bad theory for why there are so many MU counterparts, and I might explore it at some time.

But if the same incident occurs, he wouldn’t just be miffed at Riker and embarrassed by him – Marty would have knifed the man.

Quote

“I can’t exactly get away when everyone else can. Understand something, all right? Whatever Riker did, whatever he could do, whatever he tried or got away with and however he acted, that was him, all right? He probably got himself here for lunch somewhere between 1200 and 1330 hours nearly every day, am I right? … But that’s not me. But, uh, I get the feeling there’s one more item on your list of Things Keeping Martin Madden from Making Friends on the Enterprise-E. Am I right? Care to share it with me if I am?”

Upshot

I am really enjoying writing this character, a kind of combination of Jay’s discipline and Doug’s zest for life, with a bit of Malcolm’s pre-Lili tortured loneliness. The Barnstorming series is not done yet, and Martin Madden is a huge part of it.

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Review – Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain

Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain

Where is it that the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain? Why, it’s Oklahoma, of course. Yet if stories about terrorism trigger you, you might want to back out now.

Background

To continue Richard Daniels and the Temporal Integrity Commission’s investigations in time, I decided the Perfections would prevent a truly horrific act, and then the commission would have to, sadly, put it back.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Where the Wind Comes Sweepin' Down the Plain
Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain

9/11 was (and still is) too close in time, and felt wrong. But this event isn’t too much better, and I can understand if a reader finds it a distasteful topic for Star Trek fanfiction, still.

For anyone who does not know the musical, the title of the piece refers to Oklahoma! And so the story line can only be about one thing.

A lot of writers, when tackling a subject like this, focus on the Kennedy assassination. But I wanted something more contemporary. And this particular terrorist act is even worse, given the high number of lost innocents.

This is the last of the stories in the Complications subsection of the HG Wells timeline (the first part is Repairs; the last part is Unravelings).

Plot

Review – Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain

As Rick recovers from meeting Milena (and falling for her), the Perfectionists, an opposing faction, pull off their most audacious act so far. But preventing the Oklahoma City bombing means that a number of people will live who aren’t supposed to. And this includes several preschoolers. Hence the timeline becomes horribly damaged.

At the same time, in an effort to distract musician time traveler HD Avery, the  Perfectionists avert a 1977 plane crash that killed half of the rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd.

And as a third piece of the temporal shenanigans puzzle, the  Perfections prevent the 1983 assassination of Benigno Aquino.

Temporal Issues

So as a result of these changes, the NX-01‘s pilot is not Travis Mayweather; it’s Shelby Pike. She works as the ship’s Botanist in the Prime Timeline. In this alternate, she and Tripp Tucker have a relationship, and Otra D’Angelo sees Pike pregnant with Tucker’s child.

Review – Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain

Yet another temporal alteration concerns Wesley Crusher‘s death from a plague. So this causes the destruction of the Enterprise-D by a Borg cube because Jean-Luc Picard cannot stop playing a game and Robin Lefler cannot save the crew by herself.

Hence due to the ever-present Borg threat, the Federation obtains rather expensive help from Dawitan, Otra’s home world. The Federation pays tribute every year. However, the masses are kept appeased with generous daily rations of fortified wine.

Review – Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain

But protesters, including Anthony Parker, break into the USS Saint Eligius in order to destroy the wine casks (they’re behaving a lot like real-life temperance advocate Carrie Nation).

However, in the largest of the crates they smash open, they find an emaciated Otra. She has been kept imprisoned by the Perfectionists. Upon the eventual restoration of the timeline, Otra ends up back prison but retains a phaser that Anthony has given her.

The end of the story also prods  a horribly distraught Tom Grant to confess his love to Eleanor Daniels.

Music

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated T.

Upshot

I liked putting this one together, as it ended up quite a puzzle. Daniel Beauchaine‘s actions have to be accounted for. In addition, I had to research and write dialogue for Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. As a piece of the Complications subsection of these stories, the book lives up to the idea of being complicated all right. But it sometimes seems overly so.

Hence numerous strands, from the three temporal alterations, to all of the consequences, need correction. But it ends up a lot for a reader to follow, and I admit I probably rushed through this one too much.


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Review – The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat

Review – The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat

Background

Tarisian Dreams suggested that I somehow find a way for Spot and Porthos to meet. The only methods were, I felt, either time travel or a holodeck simulation. I chose the former.

Plot

It’s during the Xindi War, and Lili has only recently been hired. While starting dinner, she brings Porthos to the galley. He sits, hoping that’s she’ll drop something tasty. Will comes in and scolds Lili, as this is a Health Code violation.

Review – The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat
English: This is an orange/yellow tabby cat.

He insists that she return the beagle to Captain Archer‘s quarters. Lili does so, and departs as the ship is hit by a spatial anomaly. This creates a hull breach on B Deck. But this anomaly is temporal as well as spatial, and so it also results in Porthos being whisked away, over a century into the future, to the Enterprise-D, where Data, Spot, Geordi, Wesley Crusher, and Captain Picard all are.

Review – The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat

On the NX-01, they fear Porthos has died. On the Enterprise-D, they try to get him home.

Plus the whole thing is told from the perspective of Porthos, including his conversations with Spot.

Does Porthos get back to the right time period? Who helps him? And what happens to him and Spot, before he departs?

I guess you’ll have to read in order to find out.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I love writing animals’ points of view, and Porthos is always great fun. Spot was much more of a challenge, but readers have told me that I got cat POV correct. That was rather satisfying to read. Will they return? Absolutely, although I’m hard-pressed as to how to (if ever) get them back together again.

Review – Dear Captain

Review – Dear Captain

Background

In response to a prompt about letters from home, I decided to go full throttle in the direction of mail that, most decidedly, is unwelcome.

Review – Dear Captain

Namely, spam.

The idea was to create a small comedy piece that would, as I often do, zig rather than zag.

Plot

There is not too much of a plot; this is mainly a collection of obvious spammy messages sent to our intrepid future heroes. Because no one is mentioned by name, the messages could have been sent at any time, to anyone. Hence the story doesn’t really fit into any time period or series, and could cover any or all of them. I am not even certain as to which captain it is referring. It could be any or all of them, I suppose.

When I have absolutely needed to categorize it (a necessity at some fan fiction posting sites), I tend to come down on the side of it being a part of the In Between Days universe, which takes place during Star Trek: Enterprise. This makes some sense, as those people are the closest to use chronologically. They can maybe still be using email, and I write them as doing just that. Hence it all fits together rather nicely.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

As a bit of comedy, I think the piece works. It’s not meant to be anything more than a bit of fluff, and fluff it is.


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