Recessive grew out of not just the concept of rare blond and blue-eyed Vulcans (and humans, for that matter), but also from the concept of the rare emotional Vulcan. Of course, that is Eriecho. The term also works as a measure of her reticence.
Continuing Eriecho‘s story, I had a few shorter stories which I wanted to combine into something more. This story proved to be a great vehicle for doing that. It was also a way to comment on some Vulcan snobbishness seen in the Enterprise series. I had always liked that bit of canon, as that species had often seemed, to me, to be overly perfect.
Connections of genetics and memory bring a silver lining to a horrible tragedy.
Eriecho and Saddik have been living at the Martian sanctuary for a few months.
Jack Shaw has been doing his best to accommodate them. Eriecho even has, sort of, a beau, the youth Sollastek. Saddik has even met someone, Valeris.
But all is not right, as snooty matrons dismiss Eriecho as being overly emotional and too much like a human. Hence Eriecho and Saddik seek solace with the only real family they can truly relate to – H’Shema’s. H’Shema, the late Suliban, served as mother to Eriecho and lover to Sollastek. Upon their release from Canamar, it makes sense to them to meet the Sulibans and see if they are amenable to becoming family.
The double helix of DNA also refers to the double bond of Eriecho to both Vulcan and Suliban culture.
So after posting Release, there was a call for a sequel. Readers wanted to know what had happened to Eriecho and Saddik. And I was only too glad to oblige. The characters had grown on me, too, and I wanted to give them something beyond just a bewildered start on a new life out of the hell of Canamar prison.
Therefore, a couple of months after arriving at the Martian sanctuary, Saddik and Eriecho visit people who are, in a way, their family.
They meet up with Enkir and his mother, L’Cultura. And these Suliban are the brother and mother, respectively, of Eriecho’s adoptive mother, H’Shema. Hence, by extension, she was also Saddik’s lover while they were in prison at Canamar. H’Shema held great importance for both of these emotionally damaged ex-convict Vulcans. All they want to do is show their appreciation but also to latch onto someone who can be family to them. Eriecho, in particular, could use some gentle taming.
Enkir is a little reserved, but L’Cultura seems overly fragile. It is Eriecho who perks her up and, ultimately, gives her a reason to go on. For L’Cultura, Eriecho gives her the opportunity to be a grandmother and to embrace the good which H’Shema has done in the universe. For a disappointing addict and convict of a daughter, to know that H’Shema did so many kindnesses and was so resourceful, is a source of great wonder to the Sulibans. And some pride as well.
In Fortune, I established that Tommy Digiorno-Madden dies in the service of his captain. In Seven Women, I show exactly how that happens.
The story (which was written as a one a day ficlet challenge) opens with Tommy making it clear that there is a fireball coming, and it’s got his name on it.
The fire door is closed, he’s trapped, and there is no getting out of this one. Except he says this with no fear, no regrets, and no sorrow. It is just a simple fact. Since he sees his fate, he knows he is about to die.
In order to pass what little time he has left, he has visions. But he does not see his life pass before his eyes. Rather, he sees seven influential women from his life.
The first woman he remembers, naturally, is his mother, Melissa Madden. As he talks about her in the initial chapter, and he mentions her descent into Irumodic Syndrome dementia, he mentions Doug Beckett, too. While he recognizes that his half-brother, Joss, looks the most like Doug, it is he, Tommy, who is the most like their shared father. Because Tommy is a soldier.
The second woman he recalls is Norri, who he reveals he had a crush on. He remembers her teaching him to read and that, at her death, she said she saw a bridge and the doomed Kevin. And then he reveals that he’s seeing Kevin, too, and feels the brother who never had a chance is somehow there for him and is acting as a kind of spirit guide.
His next memory is of Cindy Morgan, who he reveals (this was my own first inkling of this) was his first girlfriend. Unlike Joss and Jia, they did not work out.
Takara Masterson Sato
Fourth on his list is Takara Masterson Sato Tucker. In Fortune, I established that they made dream contact as children, but didn’t know if they had pursued it after that. However, the character spoke to me, and so dreaming with Takara became something that Tommy had done for his entire life.
Then his next revelation is about Lili O’Day, and he remembers her not only as Doug’s wife, but also her singing Arroz con Leche to him (a scene from Temper) and making empanadas, a detail that is also from Temper.
The sixth woman is his old boss, Erika Hernandez. While Tommy is too young for Flight of the Bluebird, he is definitely there with Erika during later voyages, and is probably a part of patrolling the Neutral Zone.
The Last Woman
I won’t reveal the seventh woman. So you’ll just have to see for yourself.
Sybok is a great character to toss into the Kelvin timeline.
The new Kelvin timeline, as depicted by the JJ Abrams films like Star Trek Into Darkness, has a lot of things, but it does not seem to have Spock’s canon half-brother.
Sybok’s canon appearance is rather problematic, as Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is a pretty bad flick. I am, though, trying not to blame the actor. I’m not so sure that it’s his fault. It’s just an odd premise, that Spock would suddenly have a half-sibling, the guy would essentially be nuts, and that he would be searching for a mythological heaven-type of place but, alas, would instead be the victim of a malevolent alien. About the best thing about the film is Shatner’s line, “What does God need with a starship?”
It rather neatly sums up nearly every instance, in Star Trek and in other types of fiction, where there is an entity that is supposed to be omnipotent yet that entity, when it’s convenient for the plot, suddenly isn’t.
Are you listening, Q?
As in canon, Sybok is played by actor Laurence Luckinbill. Like I said, I don’t blame him for it being a bad film. I get the feeling that Luckinbill did what he could with the material he was given. He has been interviewed, and he revealed that Nimoy had wanted the role to be one of twins. Nimoy had wanted to play both characters, an act that I feel would have been far more of an exercise in ego-stroking than in nearly anything else. At least someone had the foresight to nix that idea.
Just like in the canon film, I make him a somewhat larger than life character. He is what is called, in canon, V’tosh ka’tur. That is, he does not suppress his emotions. Eriecho doesn’t because she was never taught to, and Saddik generally doesn’t because he was in Canamar Prison for so long that he decided it didn’t matter quite so much anymore.
However, I give him a reason for his behaviors. I give him the canon affliction, Pa’Nar Syndrome, which is something that T’Pol suffers from during the run of Star Trek: Enterprise. Hers was cured by a correctly-performed mind meld, and so I have Spock Prime perform one on Sybok. This rather neatly ties the two timelines together and it reserves a place for Sybok, who I will probably find a place to use again.
I have written no relationships for him, although he leers at the women, young and old, at the Martian Sanctuary. If Saddik isn’t careful, he’ll make a pass at Valeris, and not just to request her professional assistance as a Pon Farr comforter.
The Across the Universe story is full of Beatles songs. Sybok’s is I Am the Walrus, although Nowhere Man would work, too.
There are no known impediments to Sybok existing on the other side of the pond.
I can see him either as being wholly free of Pa’Nar and therefore much more similar to Mirror Spock in outlook and behavior. Or maybe he’s got it, and it’s far worse. He could be not just a demigod but a rather nasty individual. Perhaps he’s in the Emperor’s inner circle as a henchman. It’s an intriguing idea that I might explore in the future.
“If I’m going to my tenth, then we should write this day down in history, less than a day – a new record!”
For a character who was not treated well in the prime timeline, I like to think I gave him some measure of redemption. Plus at some point Eriecho and Sollastek have to get married! Sybok will have a front-row seat. I guarantee it.