Tag Archives: Jews

Portrait of a Character – Noemy Chelenska

Portrait of a Character – Noemy Chelenska

Origins

As a part of Rick Daniels meeting Milena Chelenska, he is originally hit by a car. Milena, a doctor, thinks she needs to treat him, but that’s unnecessary, given that his blood is spiked with stem cell growth accelerator. As she watches him rapidly heal without any intervention on her part, someone had to take pictures and be the person who she would bounce ideas off. Enter Noemy, who is named for a family friend.

Noemy is also seen in Day of the Dead; she’s only fourteen when Dachau is liberated by Tripp Tucker and others.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Noemy Chelenska
Klara Issova as Noemy Chelenska (image is presented for educational purposes)

Noemy is played by Czech actress Klara Issova.

I like to try to get actors of the same or a close ethnicity and Issova certainly fits the bill. It’s a bonus that she was in Anne Frank: The Whole Story, and plays a Holocaust survivor.

Personality

Brittle and damaged, Noemy and Pawel are constitutionally incapable of getting together, or so it seems. Even in the late 1960s, after having known each other for over twenty years, she still can’t call him first. They are at a stalemate until Rick arrives and turns their lives upside-down.

Relationships

Pawel Balcescu

Noemy’s only known relationship is with Pawel. They meet after they are liberated from Dachau and are waiting, with Milena and Mrs. Klinghofer, at a transit camp. This puts their meeting after the end of Day of the Dead.

Mirror Universe

There are no impediments to Noemy existing in the Mirror Universe.

Portrait of a Character - Noemy Chelenska
Klara Issova as Mirror Noemy (image is presented for educational purposes)

As an artist (she is a portrait photographer), she would be in an elite class and could be rather wealthy indeed.

Quote

“What do you mean to do? We do not; I will not have you speed her along.”

Upshot

Portrait of a Character – Noemy Chelenska
Velvet Revolution photograph (image is presented for educational purposes)

For a character who started off as little more than a sounding board, she lives through the Velvet Revolution and even captures it in pictures.

Not bad for the ol’ gal, eh?

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Portrait of a Character – Linda Orenstein Shapiro

Portrait of a Character – Linda Orenstein Shapiro

Origins

As I wrote The Light, I wanted Ethan Shapiro to contact his mother as a part of discussing his Aunt Rachel’s death. Rachel is also Linda’s aunt. Linda is named after two of my aunts.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Linda Orenstein Shapiro
Valerie Harper as Linda Orenstein Shapiro

Linda is played by actress Valerie Harper. I like the idea of a semi-wisecracking woman in this role. She is a fairly clichéd role, so to my mind that makes some sense.

Funny, though, the actress is actually not Jewish. But I still see her in the role.

Personality

A bit of a worrier, and deeply religious, Linda is seen only twice. Once is in the context of Rachel’s death. The other time is in a fevered coma dream during Entanglements.  Ethan asks if he will ever fall in love. Linda responds, “I think that will happen. Just be patient, Ethan. And remember – she might not look like what you think she should. But that doesn’t matter. Look with your heart, and see with your soul.”

Relationships

Linda’s only known relationship is with Ethan’s father, who I don’t believe I have ever actually named.

Mirror Universe

It is possible that Linda exists in the Mirror Universe.

Portrait of a Character – Linda Orenstein Shapiro
Valerie Harper as Mirror Linda (image is provided for educational purposes)

Ethan (at least, the Ethan who is her son) does not. But that does not preclude her own existence there.

Women in the Mirror Universe need to remain attractive longer (at least, as I write them), so she would possibly have surgery or at least be a serious user of makeup.

Quote

“It’s a shonda, so few Jews on board. Andrew; you’ll call your mother for Chanukah, right?”

Upshot

I particularly loved bringing Linda back for another round, to comfort a comatose Ethan and give him some hope for the future. In a way, much like Ian does for Lili, Linda predicts the future for Ethan, and shows him that the path might be somewhat crooked, but it will all work out in the end.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Review – Faith

Review – Faith

Background

Faith is an exceedingly personal thing, and not just for us real people. It is for characters, as well.

This story was written in response to a week-long series of seven prompts. I had wanted to explore Declan and his later life and his conversion to Judaism, and then when the first prompt was ‘in the beginning’, the telling became easier and almost imperative.

I firmly believe that ‘Faith of the Heart‘ means all faiths (even questioning and the absence of same), and also all hearts. This story brings those two ideas together.

Plot

Review – Faith
Review – Faith

Declan Reed‘s conversion to Judaism, and his relationship with Rebecca Shapiro, are explored in depth. Along the way, I also touched on his relationship with Norri Digiorno, Joss Beckett and Jia Sulu, Neil Digiorno-Madden and Ines Ramirez, Marie Patrice Beckett, and Tommy Digiorno-Madden.

Declan asks for advice, he learns Hebrew, and he eventually participates in the rituals of conversion. He spends time with the family and with Rebecca, who shows that she is just as ready, willing, and able to commit as he is. He even contacts his nasty ex-wife, Louise Schiller to tell her that he’s remarrying. A glimpse at Louise reveals a selfish, self-centered individual. In many ways, Louise is Pamela Hudson but without a heart.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I like how the rather disparate prompts were able to come together into a whole. I learned a bit about Louise Schiller, too, who I had only shown as a child before, in Saturn Rise. The story gave me the opportunity to see her more clearly, too.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Portrait of a Character – Herbie Shapiro

Portrait of a Character – Herbie Shapiro

Origins

Shapiro was written specifically for the Tripp Tucker end of life story, Day of the Dead.

Portrayal

Herbie is played by Jesse Eisenberg (although Herbie would be wearing glasses, this is how I see him).

Portrait of a Character – Herbie Shapiro
Jesse Eisenberg as Herbie Shapiro

It’s important to me that Herbie be played by a Jewish actor. Further, I think Eisenberg could convincingly be the voice of reason during a lot of the weirder changes that occur during Day of the Dead.

Personality

Intelligent and compassionate, when Herbie sees Milena Chelenska, her sister Noemy, and Mrs. Klinghofer while liberating Dachau, he immediately decides to try to help them. It’s possible that Herbie’s actions help Milena to survive long enough to meet Richard Daniels, thereby making him vital to the integrity of the timeline.

Relationships

Herbie says he has a girl, but she is never actually mentioned by name. But he marries someone (and not necessarily her), as he is an ancestor to Ethan – and, by definition, Rebecca.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Herbie Shapiro
Jesse Eisenberg as Mirror Herbie

There are no impediments to Herbie existing in the Mirror Universe. For the Mirror, prior to First Contact, life had to be even shorter, more brutal, and nastier. For Jews in the Mirror, as I write them, if Herbie was to practice his faith at all, he would have to do so in secret, much like the Mirror Universe version of Leah Benson. I doubt he would be called Herbie, either. He might even change his first name in order to fit in better (but not his last name, as he is an ancestor to the Mirror Ethan, who is one of Doug‘s kills). Perhaps he’d be Henry.

Quote

“No, that’s not true. I got a letter from my mother. She saw on the newsreel when Auschwitz was liberated, back in January. …

“Nothing much, Tony. But we had heard rumors, you know? I got a cousin who got out in ’37 and he said he heard they was burning bodies in these places. My mother just wrote that it was, it was confirmed, y’see. Arbeit macht frei. I bet that’s a big old Nazi laugh.”

Upshot

For a somewhat throwaway character, I feel Herbie packs a punch. He’s memorable, and not just for his place within the overall timeline.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Portrait of a Character – Rebecca Shapiro

Portrait of a Character – Rebecca Shapiro

Origins

Because I had wanted to contradict canon and give Malcolm Reed a family and long-term descendants, Malcolm’s son, Declan, would need a wife or at least a girlfriend or even a baby mama.

Portrait of a Character – Rebecca Shapiro
Actress, Rachel Weisz (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Portrayal

Rebecca is played by actress Rachel Weisz. I wanted a Jewish actress for this role, as Rebecca is somewhat traditional and is Karin and Ethan‘s younger daughter. Furthermore, I wanted Declan’s decision to convert to her faith to be believable. I also like this actress; I think she’s smart, and her choices are interesting ones.

Personality

Caring and up for anything, Rebecca is the true companion that Declan has been waiting for his entire life. His first marriage was horrific, as he explains in Faith. Rebecca is the person who heals him. In gratitude, although she never asks him to, he embraces her faith and converts to Judaism.

Relationships

Declan Reed

Rebecca’s only relationship is with Declan, who is about twelve years her senior. They meet at her elder sister, Alia’s, Bat Mitzvah, which is partly shown in The Rite and referred to in Fortune. At that point, he is a young man; it’s before he marries his first wife, Louise Schiller.

After the last death in the preceding generation (Norri), Declan goes to Europe, partly to return to Oxford, where he is an artist in residence. He takes a side trip to Giverny to look at and paint Monet‘s water lilies. While there, he sees Rebecca and they become reacquainted.

Mirror Universe

It’s impossible for Rebecca to exist in the Mirror Universe, as Ethan does not.

Quote

“There is a saying in Judaism, let’s see if I can get it right. It, um, it’s that when Moses brought down the law from Mount Sinai, all of the Jews were there. Even the dead. Even the unborn. Even the completely unknown and unfathomable, like Vulcan converts, and Jews from the Mirror Universe, all stretching, in a chain, through all of time. And you know something? I saw you there.”

Upshot

I really liked the idea of redeeming Declan in the same way that Lili redeems Malcolm, albeit sooner. I particularly enjoyed creating yet another reason why our universe and the Mirror are different – with no Ethan Shapiro on the other side of the pond, there is no Rebecca and, as a result, their deep future descendants don’t exist, including Eleanor and Richard Daniels. Rebecca is the linchpin of all of that.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Portrait of a Character – Azar Hamidi

Portrait of a Character – Azar Hamidi

Origins

Azar was created as a small statement in The Light. That Star Trek fanfiction story is dominated by Jewish characters, so I wanted there to be a Muslim character as well, who would be friends with them. Azar was to be a quick mentioning but it would be obvious that differences would have been set aside long ago, and replaced with understanding.

Portrayal

Azar is portrayed by Arnold Vosloo.

Portrait of a Character – Azar Hamidi
Arnold Vosloo as Azar Hamidi

This Afrikaans actor has played a number of Middle Eastern characters and so I thought of him immediately to play this Iranian crewman.

While writing Reflections Down a Corridor, he came into even sharper focus.

Personality

Smart and pleasant, Azar is respectful and polite with his peers, and is well-liked. As a Security Crewman, he is promoted to the rank of Ensign. In the E2 timeline, he starts off in Engineering, but is still promoted to Ensign and ends up in Security at some point.

Relationships

Maryam Haroun

Starting in Reflections, he and Ramih Azar compete for Maryam, who is afraid that she’ll choose the wrong man. Since she is expecting an arranged marriage, she works with Phlox to try to determine who will be the one. Azar is chosen not so much for his looks (although Maryam does think he’s better-looking than Ramih), but for his answer to the question of what he would do if he were not chosen to be her husband. Their marriage is a good one, and they have a son, Ali, in both kicks back in time.

In the prime timeline, in A Hazy Shade, it is implied that they may have wed then, too. I haven’t decided yet.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Azar Hamidi
Mirror Azar (Arnold Vosloo)

While I have not specifically written a Mirror Universe version of Azar, there are no impediments to his existence.

I can see him as being less disciplined and kind (like most denizens of the Mirror), and probably not as religious. In Bread, I establish that practicing faith in the Mirror is not something you want to do at all openly. Hence, much like Leah Benson, he might be a secretly religious person.

This could make him vulnerable in many ways, possibly to blackmail or the like.

Quote

“‘I would do nothing. At least, not to start, for it would hurt so much. I cannot predict the future. If marriage were to be a possibility at a later date, I feel I would take it, for I do not wish to be alone forever. But I would not seek it, at least not to start. And I would wish Maryam and her new husband well, for marriage is so difficult, and all I want is for her to be happy.’”

Upshot

For a character who was created to make a point, I like how he ended up, particularly with Maryam.

Original Characters and Settings

Original Characters and Settings

Boldly Reading asked, in Blog Prompt #9, about original characters and original settings.

  • What’s the best setting for an original character? Is it as a lone figure, thrust into a canon ship or situation? In a group of original characters but still in a canon ship, situation or series? Or as a stand-alone crew, group, political party or other agglomeration of individuals?
  • When do original characters and scenarios tip the scale from new spins on familiar works to out and out non-Trek? Is there a bright line between Star Trek and not-Star Trek?
  • How can original character love interests be integrated into a more canon scenario? What about original character leaders?
  • For canon characters who have very little back story or screen (or authorized book) time, what’s the tipping point between when canon converts into what is, for all intents and purposes, an original character?
  • For representations of canon characters in fan fiction that are not well-portrayed (e. g. the author misses the mark and does not accurately represent the canon character’s language, ideals, vision, etc.), can the situation be salvaged by rewriting the story with an original character?
  • For original settings, what makes them unique? Can an original setting be so extraordinary that it, in a way, almost becomes a nonliving type of Mary Sue?

Bonus questions!

  • Who are some of your favorite original characters that you have created? Do you feel they fulfill their purposes?
  • What happens when you take a Mary Sue test?
  • What are some of your favorite original settings that you have created? Did they work?
  • Who else’s original characters do you enjoy reading the most, and why?
  • Are there others’ original settings that you like reading the most? What makes those original settings your favorites?

A Cast of Hundreds

When I last checked, I had created over 300 original characters to encompass various scenarios. These included figures from as far back as 1775 (including Benjamin Warren)

The Lone Original Character

I’ve found that I rarely do this, as I love making characters so much that I just can’t resist tossing in several as points and then counterpoints and then even more. A Hazy Shade is one example of, truly, there only being one original character. In that story, the sole original character is Jonathan Archer‘s wife, a Calafan named Miva. Other single-OC stories

Original Characters and Settings
Susan Cheshire (Yvonne Nelson)

include Atlas, with its very brief glimpse of Susan Cheshire, and Penicillin, which is an interplay between canon character Jay Hayes and Lili O’Day. For all of those stories, they are short and the OC (except for in Atlas) acts as a sounding board and a counter to the canon character.

A Small Bouquet of Original Characters

Perhaps the best example of this is in The Light, where Jewish crew members get together to remember a lost life and to celebrate Chanukah. Because none of the canon ENT characters are known to be Jewish, the story would have rung hollow if I had tried to shoehorn someone in, such as deciding that Hoshi Sato is suddenly Jewish. While that is not an impossible situation, it seemed unlikely. Further, I wanted the Jewish characters to be young people, more or less fresh out of school. Hoshi would not fit into that fairly limited scenario.

Therefore, The Light centers around Ethan Shapiro, Karin Bernstein, Andrew Miller and

Original Characters and Settings
Josh Rosen (Seth Green)

Josh Rosen, with a quick appearance by Muslim crew member Azar Hamidi. The seven main canon characters all make appearances, though.

A Larger Bevy of Original Characters

In order to best accommodate the E2 scenario, I needed to fill the NX-01 with people. This meant making sure that all of the women were accounted for, along with a lot of the men. People would flit in and out as the story line is somewhat episodic and the chapters can often read like vignettes. I was able to use a number of characters I had already created, such as Deborah Haddon, a fact that not only saved me ramp-up time but also dovetailed rather nicely into my preexisting fanfiction. After all, if I said that Deborah was on the ship in 2157, in Reversal, then it made sense for her to have also been on the ship in 2154, when the ship was kicked back in time, in Reflections Down a Corridor and Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.

I also made characters to make specific points, such as Mara Brodsky and Robert Slater, as I wanted someone to be cuckolded. When Slater was cuckolded by a canon character, Walter Woods, that worked well with marrying canon and original characters – and eventually quite literally marrying them. Original characters were also created in order to fulfill certain roles on the ship, as Communications would have to be handled on second shift and night shift. Maryam Haroun and Chip Masterson, respectively, fulfilled those roles.

Lone or Few Canon Characters

The best example of this is in the HG Wells stories. As Temper makes clear, the sole canon character is Richard Daniels. Richard needs a support team, which includes people like

Original Characters and Settings
Boris Yarin, MD

Boris Yarin and Crystal Sherwood. By giving Rick occasional missions to the NX-01 or elsewhere in canon, and having him eventually need to confer with ancestor Malcolm Reed, I was able to provide more canon credibility to these stories.

In the upcoming Barnstorming series, the few main canon characters are Martin Madden and Wesley Crusher, but the crew of the Enterprise-E is seen, as Madden lives and works there. Keeping a few canon characters on hand, I feel, can make a story a lot more Trek.

Canon Characters Begone!

The Eriecho series is 100% fanfiction characters, and it will likely stay that way, as are Gina Nolan‘s universe and the Bron-Sophra-Skrol-Tr’Dorna group. Even without canon

Original Characters and Settings
Bron

characters, the situations or the history or the species can bring back the Trek part. For example, Eriecho’s story is precipitated by the events in the JJ Abrams timeline, whereas Gina’s world is built upon the foundation of the Dominion War. Bron and Skrol are Gorn, Tr’Dorna is a Xindi Reptilian and Sophra is a Cardassian. These three canon species bring that story line squarely into Trek, I feel.

Will I ever write a story with 100% original characters, 100% original species and completely outside of any sort of canon scenarios? At that point, I feel it starts to tip perilously close to not-Trek. But there are a ton of canon scenarios, and those can include very non-canon people being off their ships. After all, characters are born, have relationships and possibly marriages, have families, have jobs and retirements, and they also die. Just because a kiss between a Gorn and a Cardassian has not been shown on screen – or between two completely original species, such as a Calafan and a Daranaean – does not mean it’s wholly not-Trek. But I do recognize that it can be a far harder sell to the reader. For a scenario such as that, the reader, I feel, needs to be prepared with a lot of earlier work bringing these original species into the Trek-like fold.

Adding Original Details to Canon Characters

In many ways, this is the very purpose of fan fiction, to fill in the blanks where canon left off, or a show was cancelled too soon or the like. The three canon characters I have done this the most with have been Malcolm Reed, Jay Hayes and Richard Daniels. Have I done well by them? I like to think so, but it’s hard to say (and it is particularly difficult as all come from ENT).

Malcolm Reed

During the run of ENT, this character was the tantalizing fourth or fifth out of seven, sometimes the sixth, but rarely in the top three and virtually never first, when it came to story line development, writer affection or plot twists. Even when the story line centered around Malcolm, he never seemed to get his due.

Fan fiction has allowed me to give him a wife and a child, and it has allowed me to give him quirks like lactose intolerance and personal interests like crossword puzzles. Stay tuned, as there is a lot more Malcolm to come!

Jay Hayes

Original Characters and Settings
Jay Hayes (Steven Culp)

For a character seen in five episodes and who only had a first initial, I have given him ex-girlfriends, an earlier posting on Titania, and an alternate timeline wife and two children. Along the way, Jay also got a love of blueberries and was also not too adventurous in his diet, never having tried either figs or parsnips until prompted to do so.

Will there be more Jay? I adore this character and so I’ll find a way, but right now I don’t have anything specific planned.

Richard Daniels

For a character with no first name, he’s gotten a reputation as a ladies’ man, a pair of somewhat more serious ex-girlfriends, and a great love. His off-hand canon statement of being mostly human led to not only working out how he was put together, but it also led to a thought experiment about unlikely hybrids, resulting in characters like Boris Yarin and Kevin O’Connor.

Richard flits in and out of my fiction and he may or may not turn up again. Because of Multiverse II, I’ve seen more interest in the HG Wells universe, so it’s very possible that he and his group will get new adventures, much like Another Piece of the Action.

Original Settings

From the beginning of In Between Days, I decided that humans would have, even as early as 2151, colonized all available surfaces within the Solar System. This means the planet Mars but also a ton of moons, such as Titan, Titania and Ganymede. In order to give these locations a bit of spice, I decided on some set characteristics, such as Titania being a Southerner’s paradise and Mars having cities all named after metals.

The E2 stories allowed for more original settings, including writing Phnom Penh during the Third World War and three new planets, Paradise, Amity and Speakeasy. In order to give the latter three believability, they were given certain problems. Paradise is often too hot, and there are no natural pollinators. Amity has poisonous malostrea. And Speakeasy isn’t supposed to exist at all, and is only dimly lit.

Favorites and Mary Sues

Of course I love Lili O’Day, and I strive to keep her out of Mary Sue territory. She burns

Original Characters and Settings
Lili O’Day (Naomi Watts)

things. She often avoids people. She gets jumpy and nervous and it is not necessarily endearing. In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, she is particularly unfair to José Torres. She does, at times, fail the Mary Sue test, I admit. But I believe that her overall arc comes down rather favorably on the believable end of things. She does have a lot of adventures and I do spend a lot of time on her, but that’s also because I love the character so much.

Pamela Hudson, another favorite, more or less stays out of Mary Sue territory due to her often sour disposition and her many screw-ups in life. Things turn out for the best for her, but she has a tougher row to hoe than Lili does.

Eriecho stays out of the world of Mary Sue due to her poor upbringing and her violent past. I’ve barely scratched her surface; time in Canamar is not fun. As I unwrap more layers of this character, I think she will leave Mary Sue far, far behind.

 

Original Characters and Settings
Levi Cavendish (Edward Norton)

Levi Cavendish stays well away from Mary Sue, even though he’s a genius, because he’s so damned messed up. Otra D’Angelo has her own weaknesses, even though she has what is essentially a psionic-style gift for seeing temporal alternatives. But it gets her a pretty raw deal with the enemy.

Canon character Wesley Crusher is often seen as a Mary Sue, and that’s unfortunate. A lot of people love to hate this character. I’ve done my best to try to rehabilitate him, particularly in Crackerjack.

Love for Others’ Babies

Captain Sarine‘s Kalara is perhaps the best-realized female Klingon I have either seen or read. I’ve also enjoyed the interplay of thebluesman‘s Captain Dylan and Dr. West. Miranda Fave‘s wacky Tabatha (don’t call me Tabby!) Chase and her crew get things done with few stuffy conventions and a lot of flair. And Mistral‘s Shand feels very much like a real alien person. Enough like us to be someone we could work with, but enough unlike to keep us a bit … unsettled.

In the scenery department, kes7‘s Tesseract universe puts together a crazy-advanced ship with the right kinds of off-kilter people who can make it run. And trekfan‘s overall Hank and Bethany mythos brings those two original characters from home to the Pearl to marriage and domesticity, and eventually to Hank’s end.

Upshot

I cannot imagine fan fiction without original characters, and I confess it often dismays me when people do not try to write them. Even poorly realized Mary Sue to the hilt creations are, at least to me, an attempt to go outside oneself, and stretch those creative muscles. For better or for worse, original characters and scenes, I feel, take it all to the next level.

Damn, I’m gonna go out and make myself some more characters!

‘Cause 300+ just aren’t enough.

Portrait of a Character – Leah Benson

Portrait of a Character – Leah Benson

Origins

In The Light, I needed a Rabbi character. Because women have fairly recently been admitted to the Rabbinate in all Jewish sects except for Orthodox (and it is highly doubtful that even the most competent Orthodox Jew would go into space during the Star Trek: Enterprise era), I decided on a female Rabbi.

Portrayal

I decided I wanted a Jewish actress and so I selected Mayim Bialik. This actress is of course known not only for her child star work, but also for her more recent work on The Big Bang Theory.

Portrait of a Character – Leah Benson
Rabbi Leah Benson

I also felt that Starfleet would select someone relatively young to fulfill this role, as they would be hoping for someone to stick around for a while and that person would also need to be someone not easily shocked by things like asking to pray over a dying alien or even something as incredible as a Xindi Reptilian potentially asking to convert to Judaism.

Personality

Friendly, approachable and consoling, Rabbi Benson is not only an expert on Judaism, she’s also something of a counselor. For Ethan Shapiro, Andrew Miller, Josh Rosen and Karin Bernstein, the Rabbi may stand in as a parent when difficult decisions need to be made. She is someone they can turn to if they are grieving, or unsure of things, thereby allowing Captain Archer and Doctor Phlox more breathing room.

Relationships

Diana Jones

In Bread, it’s revealed that they married (thereby predicting that gay marriage will be legal in the United Federation of Planets). Their long-term, loving relationship is sorely tested when Diana becomes gravely ill.

Mirror Universe

Leah’s only known relationship in the Mirror Universe is with Leonora Digiorno. As ruthless as anyone else in the mirror, Leah is not a woman of God. Instead, she is a pilot, and is meant to be somewhat similar to Melissa Madden, who the Mirror Norri never meets.

Portrait of a Character – Leah Benson
Mirror Leah

The image is brief but indelible, in Fortune, when Leah murders Norri for the most selfish and trivial of reasons. Nasty, brutal and efficient, Leah steals the meager possessions she can carry and leaves Norri’s broken body without looking back.

Quote

“When Starfleet was established, this question was decided, as Talmudic scholars determined that there could be occasions when Kaddish would have to be said but a Jew would be, perhaps alone, or with no means of communicating with other Jews. So, you can pray with a quorum, a minyan partly composed of Jews who are linked via communications – such as we are linked right now. Or you can enlist the help of non-Jewish friends for this specific purpose. Either way will work.”

Upshot

Leah is about as different as anyone can be when you compare her Prime and Mirror Universe counterparts. I wanted her to be that way, whereas Doug and Jay are, for example, a lot closer. Leah represents just how different the two sides of the coin truly can be, and how a few changes in someone’s life can turn them from a gentle, caring person to a ruthless, cold-blooded monster.

Portrait of a Character – Karin Bernstein

Portrait of a Character – Karin Bernstein

Origins

Karin was brought in, for The Light, in order to be a part of a more substantial plot than just celebrating Chanukah.

Symbolism

Because the name Karin means pure, Karin was designed to be something of an unattainable character for someone like Ethan Shapiro. In fact, he defers to Andy Miller when Andrew comments that he’s going to ask her out. However, this is not Ethan’s true desire, as is noted in Waiting.

In the E2 stories I am currently writing, Karin’s behavior is even less pure, and she is much more of an aggressor, not only in her relationship but also in her career. She is put into the captain’s chair several times, suggesting that this pure maiden could potentially even lead people into battle.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Karin Bernstein
Natalie Portman

For Karin, I had to have a Jewish actress. so I decided on Natalie Portman. Portman is lovely without being wholly unapproachable, for Karin has to be somewhat down to earth. But she also has to be pretty enough that Ethan is nervous around her and maybe even blows some of his chances with her.

She is, in many ways, the quintessential ‘nice Jewish girl’.

Personality

Kind and friendly, Karin is probably less career-driven than others although, in the E2 stories, she steps up a lot more. As a Tactical crewman, she works under Lieutenant Reed, and is responsible for working with, maintaining and learning targeting and strategy. Presumably, she is not placed into the Tactical Bridge station too often or without supervision. It’s not until the E2 stories that she is allowed to take the Bridge station and, eventually at times, the captain’s chair.

Relationships

It depends on which story you’re reading, actually. In The Light, she is successfully romanced by Andy Miller; that relationship continues in Waiting. Lili even asks about it during Temper when she’s asking Malcolm about the gossip from the ship. Malcolm informs Lili that things have changed, and Karin is going out with Ethan Shapiro. The culmination of their relationship is shown in Fortune and The Rite.

In the E2 stories, by way of contrast, both times she ends up with Josh Rosen, the third of the three male Jewish crew members showcased in The Light.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Karin Bernstein
Mirror Karin

By the time of Temper, Karin is caught in a very bad situation. She, Blair Claymore and Pamela Hudson are no more than playthings for José Torres. By the end of Temper, she ends up with the mirror Josh Rosen. However, since that’s an alternate timeline, they are not together in He Stays a Stranger, and her whereabouts are unknown.

Quote

“Best girl? You mean there are others?”

Upshot

As originally not much more than a plot device, Karin has evolved to become a much more three-dimensional character. I’m sure she’ll take me somewhere else at some later date.

Portrait of a Character – Ethan Shapiro

Portrait of a Character – Ethan Shapiro

Ethan grew out of, in part, a desire to show Jewish crew members on the NX-01, but along the way, he became a lot more. I really like this Star Trek: Enterprise fanfiction character.

Origins

For The Light, I wanted a character who was facing a circumstance where he would need a minyan. That is, a quorum of Jews for the express purpose of prayers. Having to say Kaddish, due to a death in the family, was the ideal scenario. Ethan was created to be the bereaved crew member.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Ethan Shapiro
Jesse Eisenberg

As is true with a lot of the more ethnically obvious characters, I wanted an actor who would also be a member of that ethnic group. Therefore, I chose Jesse Eisenberg. Ethan isn’t meant to be the greatest-looking guy ever. He isn’t meant to be nebbishy either. This is not Woody Allen on the NX-01. Rather, the idea was to have someone who is not only convincingly Jewish but also is someone who, to be loved, maybe the girl needs to go beyond looks and see what’s really inside.

Personality

A little self-effacing, but extremely loyal to his friends, Ethan even defers to Andy Miller when, during The Light, Andrew comments that he’s going to ask out the only Jewish woman on the ship, Karin Bernstein. However, in Waiting, it’s revealed that Ethan is kicking himself for having done that, for he wants Karin.

In the E2 stories I am writing as of the posting of this blog entry, Ethan is even more lovesick and upset.

Mirror Universe

Ethan doesn’t, truly, have a mirror universe counterpart. In Fortune, it’s revealed that his parents’ counterparts delayed relations for a night, and, instead, Erin Shapiro was conceived. However, there is an earlier Ethan, an older relative, who is likely the person who Erin was named for. Doug reveals to Lili, in Reversal, that that is the name of the second man he’s killed. Furthermore, it is our universe’s Ethan who brings forth this confession from Doug.

Relationships

Ethan’s relationship with Karin drives some of his behind the scenes activities in Reversal and then in Fortune. In the E2 stories, things go differently for Ethan, and he attempts suicide when he cannot have Karin. When he recovers, in the first kick back, he weds an Ikaaran woman named Bithara; in the second kick back, his Ikaaran bride is named Timinka.

Quote

“My Great-Aunt Rachel saw a lot in her long life. She went from an Earth where people could barely get it together to seeing us go out here into the unknown. She used to tell me it was a little like wandering in the desert for forty years. You know, you’re not sure where you’re going, but you trust that wherever you get is going to be good. And I think it’s been good. And I’m glad she got a chance to see that. She was like a link to the past. And now it’s time to, to say good-bye and look to the new.”

Upshot

As Azar Hamidi says in Waiting, things might have to run their course. But then you might just see that Ethan, he just might be the one.