Tag Archives: Jim Croce

Review – Spring Thaw

Review – Spring Thaw

Background

A Spring Thaw is unpredictable and can often feel like one step forward, two steps back.

Here is where, in Star Trek fanfiction, I wanted canon character Richard Daniels to tragically fall in love with a woman he could never have.

Review – Spring Thaw

The story, however, was originally a part of a wholly original time travel series. In both versions, a time traveler is tasked with ending Prague Spring, because true historical figure Drahomír Kolder is being blackmailed. But in the original story, Milena Chelenska was the time traveler, and she married Elijah Kohak before departing, an act that breaks both of their hearts. But the altered story diverged quite a bit.

Plot

Review – Spring Thaw
Spring Thaw

In the story as it was adapted for the Times of the HG Wells series, Rick and Sheilagh are winding down. They agree to not see each other anymore; it’s just too strange.

A free man again, Rick is tasked with ending Prague Spring, as the Temporal Integrity Commission‘s enemies have altered history too much, and communism falls a lot earlier than it should have. The negative consequences of this include no Ronald Reagan-inspired SDI, and so there is no global satellite system in place in the 1980s. This delays the development of the Internet, which delays the development of all manner of innovations, including Warp Drive.

As Rick flies to 1968, he does not realize that the fuel line has been cut on his time ship; he’ll need to obtain materials in order to fix it. After beaming down to Prague, his luck seems disastrous, as he is hit by a car and dragged, left for dead by a hit and run driver. Milena is outside walking with her sister, Noemy, as they are going to the farmers’ market.

Rick is at least a little big luckier, as Milena is a doctor. Except she’s a gynecologist. Never mind that – at least she and Noemy get him out of the street. But once he’s on her examining table and she’s ready to start x-raying him,  she sees his wounds starting to close up, and this astounds her. She immediately realizes, due to the presence of his stem cell growth accelerator, that something very strange is going on. She suspects he’s not human. She’s partly right.

Rick’s luck continues improving, until he realizes just how special she really is. And that he can never have her.

Music

The music is of course from 1968, except for Rick and Milena’s theme, which is Jim Croce‘s Time in a Bottle. Further, this is the only one of the HG Wells stories that does not have a title taken from a lyric. Instead, the references are to Prague Spring and to Richard and Milena’s own thawings.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated T.

Upshot

I had originally really loved the Milena character, but had no good place to put her. Once the story was started, though, it flowed smoothly. The HG Wells stories had been a bit of a hard slog in the beginning, as I knew I wanted this story to be the centerpiece and I was itching to get here. By the time I got here, it was all I had hoped for and more, and the transcription of the story was close to taking dictation, which is my favorite way to write.


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Portrait of a Character – Milena Chelenska

Portrait of a Character – Milena Chelenska

Origins

Milena was originally created as a part of a wholly original time travel series that I have abandoned. She was always a doctor, and was always a Holocaust survivor, based on Franz Kafka’s real-life lover, Milena Jesenska. As a love interest for Richard Daniels, I feel that she shines even more.

Portrayal

Michaela Dolinova as Milena Chelenska
Michaela Dolinova as Milena Chelenska

Milena is played by Czech actress Michaela Dolinova.

It was very important for me, for the actress to be Czech in origin, as not only the ethnicity is important, but so is the accent.

I love that this actress is older, too, as Milena is meant to be worn down by the world.

Personality

Beaten down by the world and skeptical of the good in it, Milena survives more because

Portrait of a Character – Milena Chelenska
The real Milena Jesenska

she refuses to die than for any other reason. She experiences horrors at Dachau, including being a part of desperately trying to give a pregnant inmate an abortion before the Nazis discover the unnamed woman’s pregnancy. It all goes horribly wrong, and the unnamed woman dies. Milena vows to, if she survives, only help others. This also means illegal euthanasia for her neighbor, Mrs. Klinghofer, when Klinghofer’s inoperable cancer becomes truly intolerable.

Milena is first seen, in the chronological order of the stories, by Tripp Tucker, during Day of the Dead, when he’s interphased to the liberation of Dachau in 1945. Milena and her sister, Noemy, along with Mrs. Klinghofer, are befriended by Tucker and other soldiers.

Milena is not seen again until Spring Thaw, when Rick is sent to 1969 in order to make sure that Prague Spring ends. By the time of He Stays a Stranger, Rick realizes that he’s in love with her.

Relationships

Elijah Kohak

Elijah, a neighbor’s son, is Milena’s boy next door type. But he’s Orthodox, and Milena and her family aren’t, so his parents don’t agree to a marriage. Instead, Elijah is promised to another. When they are shipped to Dachau, only his father and her sister remain, as her parents have committed suicide and Elijah’s mother has died as the result of a rape  and beating. At the time of selection, because his father is going to be killed, even though Elijah could have lived, he sacrifices himself and goes to the death side, and is gassed.

Although Milena admits that she has taken lovers since his death, she’s never really gotten over him until she meets Rick.

Richard Daniels

With Rick, she finds an intellectual equal and is able to unburden herself. He, in turn, unburdens himself about Jun. They work together to heal each other. By the time of He Stays a Stranger, he realizes that he cannot just leave her in the past. In Mirror Masquerade, they are together, and she is practicing a limited form of medicine in the deep future.

Theme Music

Rick and Milena’s theme is Jim Croce‘s Time in a Bottle.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Milena Chelenska
Mirror Milena (Michaela Dolinova)

There are no real impediments to her existence in the Mirror Universe. I feel she’d be carefree, maybe even wealthy.

She could even be one of the very few Mirror Universe women who didn’t have a lousy life.

Quote

I have conclusive evidence that we are not alone in the universe. And I am well aware of exactly how insane that sounds, so I shall endeavor to explain.”

Upshot

I love this character and she will definitely be seen again.