Beats came about partly as a play on words. In addition, I wanted to fill in a gap in Eriecho’s saga. And this would be her memories of incarceration.
For a prompt about dreams, I imagine my fellow Star Trek fanfiction writers thought I would write about Lili. Instead, my thoughts turned to Eriecho. Because I wanted the night of her and Saddik‘s release to bring on a nightmare, where she would, in her subconscious, show her fear of being returned to Canamar Prison. In addition, the dream would showcase just what sorts of abuses she and Saddik would have suffered. Darkness into light.
The night of their arrival on Mars brings a nightmare for Eriecho.
The idea behind the dream, which is wholly without dialogue, was to show the regimentation of prison life. It would be a festival of tramping feet and the same awful food, over and over again, mixed in with occasional gropings and other indignities.
I had not really explored what had happened to Eriecho at Canamar, but she had to have been raped, and probably repeatedly. I had already hinted at her adoptive mother, H’Shema, having probably traded sexual favors in order to get food and clothing for Eriecho. Upon Eriecho’s maturation, and H’Shema’s eventual death, the attacks on her person had to have become worse and increased in frequency.
This story (which is also a part of Recessive) is the only exploration of Eriecho’s prison life on any day other than her last day there. I may revisit this at some time although it is certainly a troubling scenario to explore.
The Mundane World brings a garden to space. In addition, I saw it as an opportunity to carry over some of Eriecho’s prison behaviors to the sanctuary on Mars. After all, prisoners often tend gardens and I wanted for Eriecho to have a similar experience. A garden could be, potentially, her only solace on Canamar. As a familiar and comforting thing, and as a memory of H’Shema, Eriecho would want to carry on and continue.
For a prompt about ordinary life, I decided to make Eriecho an amateur gardener. This made some sense, as prisoners these days and in the past have certainly tended gardens, either as a part of their rehabilitation or as trusty work or even to just get better food by growing it themselves.
At the Martian sanctuary, Eriecho tends her garden.
At the next plot, the youth Sollastek does the same. When he accidentally touches her hand, she senses his attraction to her.
As a result, they trade some of their produce and agree to meet and discuss gardening, even as the Martian sanctuary’s contingent of Vulcan matrons look on disapprovingly. This is the start of true romantic affection for Eriecho, a new experience.
Sollastek did not exist before this story was written. He was a great, defiant character to introduce, an unexpected ally for Eriecho and Saddik. In addition, this story introduced the beginning of the Eriecho-Sollastek romance. I had considered a character like him in Release, but that character had no name. The young male Vulcan in that story is not necessarily Sollastek. He does not have to be.
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.
Release constitutes another play on words. Hence it represents both an end to bondage and a sexual act. And Saddik himself considers the latter before the former.
With the destruction of Vulcan, Vulcans are sought in all sorts of remote places. And this includes prisons.
So in response to a prompt requiring that we write in the Kelvin timeline (sometimes also called nuTrek or the JJ Abrams universe), I made a decision to write about how the creation of a sentient endangered species would be handled.
Hence the story opens with a pair of Vulcan convicts being called into a commandant’s office at Canamar Prison, a canon institution.
They are about to be freed, yet they scarcely know why. All that Commandant Kerig will tell them is that Vulcans are endangered, and the home world is no more. This unsettles Saddik, the elder of the two.
But not so Eriecho, who barely knows anything about Vulcans, or what it means to be one. So as the story continues, her backstory comes to the fore, of her birth on a prison transport. Hence this is the only life she has ever known. Furthermore, the only mother she has ever known was a deceased Suliban woman, H’Shema.
The action follows Eriecho and Saddik off Canamar and to their new home, a sanctuary on Mars. Colonel Jack Shaw is in charge, and he’s ecstatic. Partly it’s because it was his idea to try to find Vulcans in prisons. But it’s also because the rebuilding of the population involves surrogate mothers and as much genetic diversity as possible with the limited remnants of a once-thriving species. Therefore, taking note of the Law of Supply and Demand, Shaw has something that others want. Hence he (and the administrators of the other sanctuaries, on places like Andoria) engages in a barely legal practice – gamete trading.
I wanted Eriecho to eventually have a love interest, so that she could have a silver lining from the horrible tragedy that is the destruction of Vulcan in the new timeline. This man would be markedly younger than her, and not too terribly well-educated. Enter Sollastek.
I think Timberlake (who is a better actor than a lot of people seem to give him credit for) would make a pretty interesting Vulcan.
I like the idea of him being a bit guilt-ridden, partly with survivor guilt, but also because he is a witness to a canon event, when Amanda Grayson, Spock’s mother, is killed.
A bit troubled but trying very hard, Sollastek is attempting to make the best of a bad situation. But the truth is, if Eriecho and Saddik had not arrived at the Martian Sanctuary, it’s likely that he would have been the subject of the matrons’ none too subtle shunning. He is working class and barely on their side of logical and meditative. After all, even on Vulcan, someone has to be a day laborer.
Sollastek’s sole known relationship is with Eriecho. In Across the Universe, she learns that he made a deal with Colonel Shaw to change his space in the community garden so that he could be closer to her. He is a calming influence on Eriecho, and grounds her. He’s patient with her when she runs off to Earth with Sybok, too.
There are no impediments to Sollastek existing in the Mirror Universe.
I do not feel that he would be any brighter, but he would probably have more confidence. As for survivor guilt, much like a lot of denizens of the Mirror, he just wouldn’t care all that much.
“Many of us have seen truly horrible things. I was there when our home world was destroyed, as was Valeris. It was a day I will never forget. Many of the others, I am certain, have suffered their own personal traumas.”
As Eriecho goes, so goes Sollastek. He will return.
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.
Tough but fair, Shaw is responsible for a ton of Vulcans and they are an endangered species. But underneath, he’s a bit of a softie. He watches over his charges like a mother hen. And he pines for reporter Julie Parker.
When we first meet Shaw, one of the things he is doing is mulling over a house that Julie loved. With no ties to her, he puts a payment stop on it. It’s a foolish thing, a lark, and he has no hope of anything happening between them. But he does it all the same. And when she learns he has done this, she is amused and then touched.
There are no impediments to Shaw existing in the Mirror Universe, either in the JJ Abrams timeline or the Prime Timeline.
I like to think he would be more relaxed, and would maybe have a family, despite the harsh conditions on that side of the pond.
“I’m lousy at this. But I don’t drink to excess, not any more than a beer or two after work. I don’t gamble. I don’t run around. And I, uh, I won’t look at anyone else. Hell, I haven’t since I met you.”
He could be better explored, I imagine. At some point, where Eriecho goes (and at some point I will marry her off to Sollastek), Shaw will follow. He’ll be back.
Gaguin – Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
When I set out to first write this little trilogy of blog posts about Star Trek fanfiction, I thought about this particular painting quite a bit. I have told you who I am, and where I (and, to some extent, Trek) come from. But where are we going?
The Cloudy Crystal Ball
Of course I have little to no idea of what’s going to happen next.
And that has never, ever stopped me from speculating.
After all, Star Trek itself is dreams and visions of the future. Some, like communicators and desktop computers, have been scarily accurate.
Others, like tricorders and bio beds, are close to accurate, or are within reach.
For Star Trek, there is likely to be a third film in the JJ Abrams universe, and it will likely come on or around 2016 as that is the 50th anniversary of the TV series. Abrams will not be directing it. It will be interesting to see who gets it. For me, the JJ Abrams universe means more Eriecho.
As for a new series, I imagine there will be one, and it will likely be in the post-Nemesis future, but closer to the JJ Abrams style. It will depend on budgets and audience tastes. Enterprise was given a fairly large budget, but it was still difficult to get across everything that needs to be done and shown within financial restrictions. At the time, their ratings were not considered to be good. Now, they would be perfectly acceptable.
Any future television series will likely have an even bigger budget than ENT did, and will likely depend more upon green screen technology in order to cut some special effects corners. What is troubling about that is that large budgets mean that ever larger audiences are needed in order for a show to make money. But television audiences are becoming more and more splintered all the time.
Unless this speculative future show has a lot of network brass (and money) backing it, it could very well be set up for failure, much as ENT seems to have been. Science fiction on TV these days is generally not big, beautiful ships. Even Firefly (which is a decade old, by the way) had a lot of set pieces that took place on the ground. It saves money.
So I would expect to see, and would actually hope to see, a series more character-driven and more plot-driven. A series where makeup and costumes and sets matter. A series where acting and writing are top-notch, not only because they are beloved and respected and say something meaningful and win awards but also because, for real, they save network money. A series where the effects exist but don’t overpower the story line and are not the engines that drive character and plot arc decisions.