José Torres

Recurrent Themes – Soldiers

Recurrent Themes –Soldiers


For Reversal in particular to work, there had a to be a number of people ready and able to go to war.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | SoldiersIn particular, as the Mirror Universe is so different from the prime universe, a lot of people would be soldiers there who wouldn’t be so here. Or they would be more violent and less disciplined than in our universe. As it is explained to Lili, the percentage of military personnel is deliberately kept very high over there.

There are more MACOs in particular than the group listed here, but these people are seen the most.

Appearances of Soldiers


This Calafan recruit drills directly under Doug and, in the Mirror, in one of the alternate timelines, assassinates the Empress Hoshi Sato during Temper.

Douglas Jay Hayes Beckett

Doug, a trained killer, spends much of Reversal trying to leave the practice of making war. When he can’t find anything else to do with himself in Together, he eventually becomes the captain of a defense unit on Lafa II, and instructs recruits.

Daniel Chang

Chang, a canon character, defends the Enterprise but, in the E2 timeline, commits crimes.

Tristan Curtis

Curtis is another E2 timeline criminal. In the Temper alternate timelines, he’s named Craig.

Brian Delacroix

In the prime universe, Delacroix is a security guard who becomes a chef. In the Mirror, he nearly kills Doug.

Tommy Digiorno-Madden

Unlike the other five kids, Tommy joins Starfleet and goes into Tactical.

Thomas Grant

In the deep future, Tom is assigned to the Breen homeworld before he joins the Temporal Integrity Commission.

Deborah Hadden

Deb works in Security in both universes. In the Mirror, she kills Brian before he has a chance to off Doug. But her victory is short-lived, and she perishes when he leaves that universe.

Jay Hayes

The consummate soldier, Major J. Hayes is so committed to defending the ship that he has nearly no time for people.

Gary Hodgkins

Yet another E2 criminal, Hodgkins often pairs with Curtis, particularly in the Mirror.

Chandler Masterson

Chip is wasted in Security and moves over to Communications. This isn’t possible in the Mirror, so he stays in  Tactical. In the prime timeline, he escapes the Empress, but in one of the alternates, he rises to become captain of the Defiant.

Travis Mayweather

Travis is a soldier in the Mirror Universe only. He’s a poor soldier, though, and an even worse leader. In the alternate timelines, and in the prime timeline, he is fragged by his own troops.

Andrew Miller

Like Travis, Andy is only a soldier in the Mirror. When the Empress taps him for somewhat earthy duties, he manages to get himself reassigned to Science.

Malcolm Reed

The other consummate canon career soldier, Malcolm is more ambitious and tries for a command as soon as he can get one.

José Torres

José is another person who is only a soldier in the Mirror. He is not cut out for command at all and, in an alternate timeline, destroys his ship, the Luna, and everyone on board is killed.


Star Trek fanfiction will always have a place for men and women (and other genders) in uniform.

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Posted by jespah in Emergence series, Eriecho series, Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Interphases series, Mixing It Up Collection, Themes, Times of the HG Wells series, 0 comments

Review – Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

Review – Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

Everybody Knows This is Nowhere works on a ton of levels. It is one of my best fan fiction works.


I enjoyed writing the E2 Star Trek fan fiction stories a great deal, but I figured out after a while that it had to be two kick backs in time, rather than just one.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

Otherwise, some of the scenes that I really wanted to put into the storyline would have been impossible or nearly impossible, without smashing canon to smithereens. Everybody Knows This is Nowhere rather neatly fixes all that.


After an initial kick back in time, the descendants of the Enterprise meets the current ship but it’s actually a second iteration of three. The second iteration is kicked back, too, and the bulk of the book is about the second iteration’s trials in the Delphic Expanse.

Review – Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

I Only Want to Be with You (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With certain things known, such as crew members’ sexualities and mate preferences, a lot of stress of the first three books essentially disappears. Therefore, almost everyone opts for an ‘instant replay’. But then some things go wrong, and not everyone can get what they want or who they want. In keeping with what I had established in Together, Lili ends up with José Torres.


Story Postings


The story has an M rating.


So this book is far sadder but also more spiritual. Lili has to heal from some horrible hurts, and she doesn’t treat José too well at all in the beginning. Hence I suppose that having her behave somewhat rottenly at times really pulls her out of the Mary Sue category for good. The story, I feel, hits its marks well, and ultimately soars.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Interphases series, Review, 12 comments

Review – The Conspiracy

Review – The Conspiracy

The Conspiracy was another instance of trying to surprise readers.


In response to a Star Trek fanfiction prompt about the Seven Heavenly (Theological/Cardinal, too; the prompt was not about getting into the minutiae of theology) Virtues (which are the counterpart to the Seven Deadly Sins; I had already written about pride, in Before the Fall), I decided to tackle the somewhat obscure prudence for my next Star Trek fanfiction story.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Hall of Mirrors | The Conspiracy

Hall of Mirrors

To up the ante, I went with a setting where virtues would be all too rare – the Mirror Universe.


Review – The ConspiracyIt’s New Year’s Day of 2161.

And a few people meet, furtively. They are: Josh Rosen, Aidan MacKenzie, Andrew Miller, Chip Masterson, and Lucy Stone.  There’s one more member of the cabal, Francisco Ramirez, but he can’t get away, as José Torres has put Gary Hodgkins on to watch him.

While they would probably not mind killing Empress Hoshi, the cabal’s real thoughts are of escape. So as a prelude to Temper, Lucy and Chip mention that an attempt is going to be made to cross over to what we call the Prime Universe, as Hoshi wants another advanced ship. And they also mention that Andy will be sent to Vulcan to pick up slaves who can perform calculations, a neat prefiguring of Fortune and the Mirror Universe‘s Melissa Madden‘s death in a shuttle crash. Hence the story works to mesh those incidents together.

Story Postings


The story is Rated K.


I used this story as a kind of bridge between Together and Temper, but on the Mirror side of things. And I think it works out well and helps to fill in some of the gaps in the Mirror Universe timeline.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Review, 5 comments

Portrait of a Character – Empress Hoshi Sato

Portrait of a Character – Empress Hoshi Sato

The Empress Hoshi Sato is a linchpin character.


The character, of course, is Star Trek: Enterprise canon, and is the Mirror Universe counterpart to Hoshi Sato.

Portrait of a Character – Empress Hoshi Sato

Declaring power

However, the Enterprise series only showed her declaring her power, and never actually consolidating or wielding it, as the show was cancelled far too soon. I have tried to rectify that, and I recognize that the official books have done so as well. But I think Star Trek is a big tent, and there’s room for all sorts of fanfiction interpretations of what happens next.


As in the series, the Empress Hoshi Sato is played by Linda Park.


Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Empress Hoshi Sato on the Bridge

Empress Hoshi Sato on the Bridge

Suspicious, nasty and ruthless, Hoshi makes a perfect Mirror Universe Empress and all-around villain because she will stop at nothing.

She’s just a bit campy in canon, but I make her truly dangerous. In Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, she violently takes charge, beginning a bloody reign by first killing off Phlox and Ian (Malcolm‘s counterpart), and then moving onto the Emperor Philip IV (counterpart to Colonel Philip Green) and, eventually, T’Pol.


As a true Machiavellian, she eliminates the Emperor’s entire family, in order to prevent the people from perhaps, in the future, rallying around a successor. This includes the Emperor’s infant daughter, Anastasia, a reference to Princess Anastasia of Russia, killed when the Bolsheviks came to power. This also establishes Hoshi’s reign as having the potential to become totalitarian, which is confirmed with later stories. But that’s nothing new. In The High Cost of Dissidence, her predecessor has proven to be just as immoral.

Characters Cyril MorganAndrew Miller, José Torres, and Brian Delacroix join her current followers, who include Doug Hayes, Chip Masterson and Aidan MacKenzie, along with her lover, Travis Mayweather.

Doug Gets Out

In Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions, Hoshi pits Doug, Aidan and Chip against each other, in order to get someone new to run Tactical, as she has had Ian killed. However, rather than eliminate or emasculate his rivals, the victorious Doug decides to have them work under him, in a more cooperative type of venture. This continues to the time of Reversal. Aidan repays Doug’s kindness by cuckolding him and trying to take his girl, Jenn Crossman.

By the time of First Born, Hoshi has decided that she wants an heir. When Rick Daniels goes to the Defiant on a mission, they hook up, and she becomes pregnant. She proves to be a horrible mother, having Beth Cutler care for her son with Rick. By the time of Coveted Commodity, her childbearing years are coming to an end.

And by the time of Shake Your Body, Milton Walker seizes an opportunity and comes calling.


Maximilian Forrest

This canon relationship is shown in the two ENT Mirror Universe episodes.

Portrait of a Character – Empress Hoshi Sato

Forrest’s Captain’s Woman

Both actors have said they believe she loved him. However, he may or may not have loved her. I go with this, that his love for her is ambiguous, if it exists at all.

Further, she is ambitious. Even if Forrest had survived, it would not have been enough. She would have left him, at some point, unless he could go a lot further, a lot faster, in their careers.

Even then, I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t have stayed for long.

Jonathan Archer

Another canon relationship, Hoshi cheats on Forrest with Archer. But when Archer proves to be too slow to get ahead, she offs him.

Travis Mayweather

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | MU Hoshi and Travis | Empress Hoshi Sato

MU Hoshi and Travis

The final canon relationship, Hoshi turns to Travis for help in dispatching Archer.

The way I write them, they stay together, but she is dominant in every single way. In Coveted Commodity, this becomes all-too clear, as he reminisces about how, every time she’s had a child from someone else, she’s told him that it’s for her security.

Travis is mainly interested in his own security, so he goes along with it. And, in Commodity, he comes to understand that he’s better off where he is, rather than to try to usurp her.

Richard Daniels

In January of 2156, Rick goes on a temporal mission to the Mirror, to fix the Defiant. With poor cash flow and no money to pay him, plus an urge to make it with a time traveler (he foolishly reveals that detail about himself to her), they hook up. Nine months later, Jun is born, and the Temporal Integrity Commission has to scramble. Because Rick wants his temporally paradoxical son to live, Jun has to be sterilized, and Rick is forbidden from returning to the Mirror at any time during Jun or Hoshi’s lives, not even long before conception or after her menopause or even after her death.

Rick’s boss, Carmen Calavicci, fakes Rick’s death by arranging for wreckage to be left on Daranaea. She also applies delta radiation in utero and Jun is thereby sterilized.

Aidan MacKenzie

Aidan, her second baby daddy, is seduced at the end of Reversal, an act that Doug wisely resisted. Hoshi makes it very clear that she does not care at all for Aidan, but he’s got good genes. By the time of the alternate timelines in Temper, Aidan is the designated babysitter for the royal brats.

José Torres

By the time of Brown, José is already trying to make time with the Empress, following up some small flirtation during Throwing Rocks.

Francisco Ramirez

At the same time that she is involved with Torres, Hoshi is also involved with Ramirez.

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Perks of Being in the Inner Circle | Empress Hoshi Sato

The Perks of Being in the Inner Circle

Chandler Masterson

Chip is next in the passing parade, and is thrown over when Hoshi has his children.

Andrew Miller

After Travis’s death, Hoshi goes after Andrew, who is stuck with her until he leaves via suicide. He is, in this instance, cheating on her, with Melissa Madden, who dies, pregnant by him, in a shuttle crash. When he refers to MM in his suicide note, Hoshi changes the note in order to favor herself and gratify her ego.

Milton Walker

After Andrew’s death, Milton shows up, as he is on the run from the authorities. This former Eligian Order monk hasn’t been with a woman in decades, but Hoshi is older and less attractive, so she grabs onto him anyway.

Theme Music


Jun Daniels Sato

The first born ends up running the Empire, with Kira, after Hoshi’s death, in Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown? Prior to that, Jun runs Communications on the Defiant.

Kira (Kirin) MacKenzie Sato

Kira (sometimes called Kirin, which means giraffe) is the tallest of the children and, by rights, was supposed to be the eldest. He runs the Tactical station before becoming co-Emperor with Jun, but predeceases his elder brother.

Arashi Sato

With a head for business, Arashi is the only of the children of the Empress Hoshi Sato who is born without the Y Chromosome Skew. His parentage is allegedly unknown, but Torres does not have the skew, whereas Ramirez does. Therefore, it’s a lead pipe cinch that the head of the treasury is Torres’s son.

Takara Masterson Sato

Takara, the only girl, is the elder of a pair of twins, and eventually becomes the forebear of the successor to Jun and Kira – Charles Tucker VI, AKA the Emperor Charles I. She is removed from the Empress’s influence at an early age.

Takeo Masterson Sato

The younger twin, Takeo is a gay man, and is rescued from a life with the Empress by his father, Chip, and Chip’s wife, Lucy Stone, taking him away at a young age.

Izo Mayweather Sato

The youngest, son of Travis Mayweather, almost dies in utero, as Izo has a hole in his heart. Travis’s sacrifice suffers Izo to live; he grows up to run the Empress’s (and, later, his brothers’) Secret Police.


“Get me my ships! Get me my legions!”


Empress Hoshi Sato is just the character that goes on and on, the gift that keeps on giving. I love writing her, putting her into difficult and easy circumstances, and generally giving her evil some buffoonish tendencies as she inevitably misses the mark in some areas as she all too accurately hits it in many others. I guarantee her return.

Posted by jespah in Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Portrait, Times of the HG Wells series, 62 comments

Review – Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses

Review – Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses

Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses is yet another multi-dimensional title. The rocks would be a shattering of conventions. The looking glass of course is a reference to the Mirror Universe. And the glass houses naturally are exactly where you don’t want to throw any rocks. Furthermore, I decided on rocks rather than stones as they imply irregularity and roughness. This contrasts with Paving Stones as there the action follows set patterns and traditions.

This story upends those traditions and it shows just how Hoshi changes everything.


I wanted a transitional story, a power grab, showing Empress Hoshi getting where she wanted to be.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses

This would take place between the end of the canon episodes, In a Mirror, Darkly and In a Mirror, Darkly II and before Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions.

Therefore, it had to be before Doug became a Lieutenant Commander, running Tactical (after defeating Chip Masterson and Aidan MacKenzie in a competition). Ian (Malcolm‘s counterpart) and T’Pol had to still be alive. Phlox would still be the doctor; this would be before Cyril Morgan.

But things would be changing.


Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Hall of Mirrors | Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses

Hall of Mirrors

Having declared herself Empress, Hoshi has to consolidate her power. She has to eliminate threats and pick up allies. This means ruthless Machiavellian efficiency.

Furthermore, she has to get rid of the Emperor, who I write as a descendant of canon mass murderer Philip Green. Green brings along only three bodyguards, foolishly underestimating her bloodlust – my original characters, José Torres, Brian Delacroix, and Andrew Miller.

The story is punctuated with quotations from Sun-Tzu‘s The Art of War and Machiavelli’s The Prince.

Story Postings


The story is rated T.


I like how it turned out. In particular, I enjoyed putting together Hoshi’s plan and showing her nastiness. Her impatience with science and with delays, her casual approach to murder and her lust are all on display. I really like the final product.

Posted by jespah in Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Review, 13 comments

Spotlight on an Original Planet – Paradise

Spotlight on an Original Planet – Paradise

Paradise is a lovely original planet.


In the E2 Star Trek fan fiction stories, it becomes obvious very quickly that the Enterprise needs a planet.

Ceti Alpha V Paradise

Ceti Alpha V

Because, in Reflections Down a Corridor, they have gone back in time, to 2037. So the Delphic Expanse is not like it was. They learn from a Xyrillian, Tre’ex, that there are a few planets which no one has claimed yet. One of them, known in the prime timeline alternate (the ENT episode, Twilight) as Ceti Alpha V, they claim and hold a contest to name it. The top vote-getter is José Torres‘s choice, Paradise.

In Star Trek canon, the planet is barely habitable. But that serves the prime timeline and an alternate. I like to think that, a good century before, things may have been better.

The planet is also, in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, as being the exile location for Khan Noonien Singh and his followers, during the prime timeline.

Paradise in the Delphic Expanse

There is no reason why the NX-01 can’t have a beautiful planet. It does work out a lot of plot points. This includes how to get the crew and their descendants to survive for the ensuing century. And also how to get them to live, and live well. This is without detection by either the people on Earth or the aliens of the Delphic Expanse and elsewhere.

The planet has to be habitable in case the ship becomes overcrowded. It has to be arable. And it must be the kind of place where you can grow a lot of different kinds of foods. But I didn’t want things to be too easy or perfect. Hence the Enterprise needs to claim a second planet, Amity. But Paradise works out well just the same.

Highlights of Living and Working on Paradise

Of course, crops are grown there. Malcolm gets his pineapples. And Shelby grows oranges, too, which Will wants. An elaborate tree-planting ceremony happens on August 29th of 2037. The participants dig holes in the ground. They plant an orange tree and a coconut palm. This is amidst slips of real paper on which the crew write their anonymous wishes.

During Entanglements, T’Pol suggests that more permanent settlements might be desired on Paradise, as the male to female ratio remains uneven and it might alleviate some of the sniping.

The Three of Us opens with a baseball game on Paradise, and then, eventually, it becomes the location of the first phase of criminal punishments. In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Paradise cannot be visited too often, as that would interfere with the NX-01 from the first kick back in time. But there is one secret mission there, all the same.

By the end of Everybody Knows This is NowhereParadise survives. But there is no more evidence of civilization. This protects the prime timeline rather neatly.

Return to Paradise

Spotlight on an Original Planet – Paradise

Because of the connection with the Augments, and the eventual damage to the planet, there can be no return. At least, not unless a lot of terraforming work happens. In the Times of the HG Wells, Admiral Carmen Calavicci and Rick Daniels do talk about Ceti Alpha V, so it is not completely gone. Perhaps, by then, there is repair and restoration.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Interphases series, Spotlight, 4 comments

Portrait of a Character – Izo Sato

Portrait of a Character – Izo Sato

Izo Sato brings up the rear of the Empress’s family.


In canon, at the end of the second Mirror Universe episode in Star Trek: Enterprise, the newly-proclaimed Empress Hoshi Sato has taken a new lover, Travis Mayweather. However, I realized that, in a Machiavellian sense, this would not necessarily be the best move for her, to only be with him, and stay with him. After all, people would be constantly gunning for her – and that’s canon, anyway. Superior officers are always in danger of being knifed or phasered by ambitious underlings.

Hence I decided that a hot, young and round-heeled Empress (also canon) would likely cement her partnerships with her senior staff via the bedroom. If most/all of them are male, all she’s got to do is sleep with them. And with the Y Chromosome Skew, if she gets pregnant by them, they will keep her alive, at least for a while. This is in order to ensure the continuing survival of their children. Therefore, she’d plan to have several children by the various male members of her senior staff. She selects Travis as a sire last, because she is most confident in his compliance and loyalty. Their son together is Izo Sato.

Izo’s very existence almost does not happen. This is because, during pregnancy, it’s discovered that there is a hole in his heart. The choice is given to Travis – fix the hole and the Empress goes on, or let the Empress die on the table and, presumably, become the next Emperor. Travis doesn’t want to rule and be constantly watching his back and so, in Coveted Commodity, he decides to allow Izo to live, even as Hoshi names the child and Travis has no say in the matter whatsoever.


It’s incredibly difficult to find a part-Asian, part-African actor.

Matsu as Izo Sato

Matsu as Izo Sato

I selected Matsu from the Japanese singing group, Exile. His real, full name is Toshio Matsumoto.

Matsu is an actor, too, and reportedly has a starring role in a futuristic drama (it’s difficult to get information as a lot of it’s in Japanese, and I have to rely on Google translations). In this video, he’s the guy with the multicolored headband and the dreadlocks: Carry On by Exile.


Portrait of a Character – Izo Sato

Matsu as Izo Sato

Nasty and bratty, like all six of the Empress’s children, Izo is also dangerous, and grows up to run the Empress’s secret police. In Temper, in the first alternate timeline, he stays out of the fight for Marie Patrice Beckett but he does tangle with someone else.

The name Izo means “iron“, but Izo is far from being honorable or morally strong.


According to Richard Daniels, Izo eventually marries in the correct timeline, but he dies childless. I don’t have a name for his wife yet.

Leah Benson

In Bread, it’s 2192, and she’s in her mid-seventies and is a lesbian, but it doesn’t matter, as Izo is interested anyway. Given the lack of women aboard, it would appear that this is either before Izo’s marriage or he is cheating. He’s thirty – she is over twice his age – but he still, at the very least, wants her to service him. Furthermore, he has had several failures and so is looking for what he believes will be a compliant, easy score.

Pamela Hudson

In the first alternate timeline in Temper, once José Torres is killed, Pamela, Blair and Karin are freed and take up with other partners.

Portrait of a Character – Izo Sato

Matsumoto Toshio as Izo Sato

Karin goes with Josh, Blair goes with Dr. Morgan, and Pamela ends up with Izo. Again, she is a lot older than he is – she is over fifty, whereas he is still a teenager. But it does not matter to him. During this alternate, during a Calafan-style dream, Pamela gets a chance to do to Izo what, presumably, most people, both male and female, would want to do.

Prime Universe

Izo does not have a prime universe counterpart although, like the other Sato offspring, he does have an analogue in the BeckettO’DayMaddenDigiornoReed family. That person is Tommy Digiorno-Madden, as they are both impulsive warrior types.


“Am I gonna feel good?”


I write the Mirror Mayweather as being mainly a loose cannon. Although when he learns that Izo has issues in utero, he does go to bat for the child. Izo carries that to the next generation and continues as a difficult thorn in many people’s sides. While Kira and Jun are almost heroes (at least, for people in the Mirror Universe), and Takara and Takeo have a chance to become almost moral, it’s Arashi and Izo who remain villains no matter what.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Portrait, Times of the HG Wells series, 10 comments

Spotlight on an Original Mirror Universe Condition – The Y Chromosome Skew

The Y Chromosome Skew

A chromosome skew?


In order to explain as much as possible about the Star Trek mirror without having to continually launch into a lot of long, drawn-out explanations, I decided that the Mirror Universe would be, mainly, explained via a genetic mutation.

Spotlight on an Original Mirror Universe Condition – The Y Chromosome Skew

DNA up close

But the Mirror Universe is so close to our own that I wanted a fast-moving mutation, one that would run through the genome like a forest fire. This would rather neatly explain why things are close, but not quite, the same as conditions are here. After all, it’s canon that literature is similar but not the same (except for Shakespeare), and there are several mentionings of Roman times. How could I put it all together in a way that made sense scientifically without demolishing canon or making my own creative process more difficult?

Marcus Titinius

Marcus was a real historical figure. In ancient Rome, he was a tribune in 450 BC. That’s true history. Now for my spin.

In the mirror, Marcus had a genetic mutation (hereinafter referred to as the Y Chromosome Skew). As a result, he produced sperm that were about 75% XY (e. g. with the potential for creating sons) and 25% XX (with the potential for fathering daughters). The true ratio is a lot closer to 50-50. Marcus was drenched in testosterone and, as a result, was bigger and stronger than most men, too. He was also (and this is where fantasy truly takes its leave from reality) better-endowed than most men, and was a better lover. Hence Marcus had the following things going on with him.

What’s so special about Marcus?

  • He was constantly on the make for women, even though he was married. Also, he had countless mistresses and dalliances with women in all levels of Roman society. He was just as likely to have sex with respectable matrons as with slave girls.
  • Also, he was a good lover, so women sought to keep him. And, if they told their friends, those women also tried to make it with Marcus.
  • His sperm were stronger and more resilient than that of a normal man, so he was more likely to father a child if there was any chance of it at all. E. g. a woman could be two or three weeks away from ovulating, and there would still be a pretty decent chance of him impregnating her.
  • Also, he was stronger, and could fight, so he could fend off rivals. And he was rarely too tired for sex, and could be described as “endlessly insatiable“.
  • He was also a good provider, working hard to support any known children, legitimate or not.
  • Also, he was a good father, working to ensure the success of his offspring, and them reaching the age of maturity.
  • He passed the mutation on to all of his sons, without exception.

Immediate Effects of the Y Chromosome Skew

The two things that any genetic mutation needs to get a foothold are:

  1. The creation of offspring with the mutation and
  2. Those offspring being more likely to survive long enough to pass on the mutation.

The Y Chromosome Skew takes that to extremes. Marcus fathers dozens of children, by all sorts of women. He creates a boatload of genetic diversity, all by himself. He also works to assure the survival of his offspring. His children all inherit these tendencies from him, and even his daughters are more aggressive, particularly when it comes to optimal mate selection.

Long-Term Effects of the Y Chromosome Skew

By introducing a few dozen offspring with the skew, these sons fanned out across the Roman Empire. Just like Marcus, they were endlessly insatiable, but were also good providers and good fathers. As time went on, skewed males began to crowd out non-skewed males. They could fight for their women, and the women were much more likely to select them, anyway. While it is still possible in the 2150s to be a non-skewed male, the percentage is small, and the chances of those men passing along their genes are greatly diminished. José Torres does not have the skew, so if he is Arashi Sato‘s father, then Arashi does not have it, either, by definition. However, all of the Empress‘s other sons have it, even Jun.

Richard Daniels and the Skew

Why does Daniels have the skew? The shortest, easiest answer, is that he is a descendant of Doug Beckett. As Eleanor explains in Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain, Doug fathered five children on our side of the pond, and they all had a mixed radiation band. But what he also passed on was the skew. Two of his children, Joss and Neil, have children of their own (the other three do not reproduce), and each of those two sons has a son and a daughter. By the end of the events depicted in the prime timeline in Fortune, it’s known that at least Joss is a grandfather and the line will go on.

But as Eleanor explains, if you have a radiation band of less than 21 centimeters, and it’s before trans-universal crossovers became common (in 2762), then you’re a guaranteed descendant of Doug’s. And, because the Y Chromosome Skew is also prevalent, although Eleanor does not mention it in her little talk, it’s probable that you’ll carry the skew as well.

Societal Effects of the Skew

Society tips more in favor of hunting and warfare, and away from agriculture and peace. Artists become rather rare, and become valued. However, even though women become rarer, they are far less valued. So they tend to be treated like dirt most of the time. This is even when Empress Hoshi is in charge of things. As a result, women’s roles are mostly subordinate.

There are women on starships more because the men will all tear each other apart if there aren’t. This is as opposed to any other real reason. In Temper, in an alternate timeline, the Empress has forbidden all relationships except for her own, and every man is theoretically supposed to be available to her. Some women, such as Lucy Stone, the Science Officer, and Shelby Pike, the pilot, have some status, but the vast majority of women are oppressed like Karin Bernstein, Blair Claymore, and Pamela Hudson, who exist as little more than playthings for José Torres.

The Y Chromosome Skew and the Prime Universe

Although Doug brings the skew with him in 2158 when he crosses over from the Mirror Universe, the effects are different. For one thing, Doug is far less violent, and vows to Lili that he will no longer kill. He is as good as his word, and makes every effort to rein in his temper.

As for the genetic mutation itself, it just doesn’t have the same effect in our society. A lot of that has to do with women. Unlike in the Mirror Universe, women have a far better place in society. And they fight to stay that way. Hence in our universe, Karin is in Tactical (and in the E2 stories, she gets command experience as well). Blair and Pamela are doctors. Hence, one of the conditions for the Mirror Universe being the way it is just does not come about. E. g. women do not suffer subjugation, or at least not because of that.

The Future of the Skew

With the skew becoming more and more a part of the Prime Universe in Richard’s time, it would appear that the Prime Universe would become more like the Mirror. But that is not likely, due to the position of women in our society. Our valuing of agriculture, cooking and gentleness will also keep us from becoming like the Mirror. And with Mirror Universe denizens crossing back and forth (as we will), it’s entirely possible that by, say, the fifth millennium (e. g. 4000 AD), we might find there are few differences between the Prime and Mirror Universes.

At least, that would be the case in my Star Trek fan fiction, if I ever write about a time that deep in history. And perhaps I might.

And as for Discovery, while my explanation isn’t quite the same as theirs, it’s not too far off.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, Spotlight, 6 comments

Portrait of a Character – Arashi Sato

Portrait of a Character – Arashi Sato

Arashi Sato is ruthless.


My initial premise for the Empress Hoshi Sato was that she would be a bit like Livia from Suetonius (and from history). That is, this would be a viper of a mother. But she needed to have children in order to assure the succession. Therefore, I hit on a plan. Hoshi would have numerous children, all from different fathers. She would select the fathers from her senior staff. This was to create some security for her. Arashi Sato is the third of her six children. All of the children’s first names have some meaning – Arashi means storm.


I wanted someone who would be, perhaps, wiser than his years. Even though the age does not work out, I like John Lone.


Not everyone can be a warrior, so Arashi is the money man. Ruthlessly efficient and greedy, he doesn’t want to pay for anything, and wants a cut of everything. In Temper, even as a toddler, he is fascinated by PADDs.

Portrait of a Character – Arashi Sato

Arashi (John Lone)

In the first alternate timeline, he keeps the books for Chip‘s Game Night wagers. His youngest brother, Izo, does the strong arm collecting, but Arashi does not sully his hands with such pedestrian matters.

Because he is so interested in books and record-keeping, and because he is ruthless and willing to cheat, the mirror Polloria reveals that he is the one of the Empress’s children who scares her the most, saying, “If he gets control after her death, I am sure he will take every means necessary to assure that he is looking in on every single aspect of everyone’s lives. So he’ll be searching for oddities, rebellions, conspiracies, anomalies and anything else that tickles his fancy. Of all of them, I hate her the most, and I wish her dead. But it’s Arashi who truly scares me. Anyone with a brain in their head should, if they take her out, take him out as well.”


His father is technically unknown, with the prime candidates being Frank Ramirez and José Torres. However, since neither he nor Torres has the Y Chromosome Skew, it’s far more likely that José can claim paternity.

So by the time of He Stays a Stranger, Arashi is continuing to handle the books. But – and this is the prime timeline for the Mirror Universe – he is far less interested in rule than in money. Ruling will go to his elder brothers, Jun (son of Richard Daniels) and Kira (son of Aidan MacKenzie). Izo will handle the secret police.

Hoshi is satisfied with Arashi’s choice, noting that empires need funds and treasuries.


Arashi Sato has none whatsoever, except with a pocketbook! Even in the prime timeline in the Mirror Universe, he never marries, and any other specifics are not yet known.

Theme Music

As would likely be expected, his theme music is Pink Floyd’s Money.

Prime Universe

Like all of Empress’s Hoshi’s children, he cannot have a Prime Universe counterpart. However, he has an analogue in Doug and Melissa‘s part of the big arrangement – Neil Digiorno-Madden, who also has a head for business. But the differences are apparent, as Neil has two loving relationships, fathers two children and in a lot of ways is more like Lili than Lili’s daughter, Marie Patrice Beckett.


“I dreamt about collections.”


As I wrote the Empress’s children, I needed a way for each of them to stand out. As the money man, Arashi stands out easily. I can see writing more about him in the future.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Portrait, 9 comments

Portrait of a Character – Michelle (Shelby) Pike

Portrait of a Character – Michelle (Shelby) Pike


Keiko Ishikawa O’Brien of TNG and DS9 is a Botanist. Because the NX-01 has real food cooked by a real chef, and it is out there far earlier in time, I figured they had to have someone growing food plants. And, perhaps, studying alien vegetation. Hence I decided there would be a Botanist on board. In my older story, If You Can’t Stand the Heat, the Botanist is named Naomi Curtis. But that is intended to be a different person, and that story has been reworked in order to fit into my regular universe. It now takes place not too long after the initial launch of the Enterprise, and Naomi is meant to be a character replaced at the start of the Xindi war, much like Lili is brought in, to replace Chef’s three helpers. You need room for MACOs on the NX-01, and more skilled people need to be brought on so that there can be fewer of them. Hence Naomi leaves.

As for her name, Shelby’s name is a perfect blending of two canon characters (Commander Elizabeth Shelby from TNG and Captain Christopher Pike from TOS). However, I didn’t name her because of that. It’s just a happy coincidence.

Actually, Shelby was a part of a small universe of original stories I worked on over twenty years ago, which were murder mysteries set in and around Boston. Shelby was supposed to be our heroine’s boyfriend’s impossibly beautiful ex. She was also supposed to be darker-skinned, but was still African-American. And she was a ballet student. Hence the Shelby Pike of my Star Trek: fan fiction is a former ballerina in the Prime Universe.


Portrait of a Character – Michelle (Shelby) Pike

Young Shelby (Erica Gimpel)

Unlike most characters, Shelby is portrayed by two separate people. As a young girl, I see Erica Gimpel from Fame. I well recall seeing this actress – this was the first time I had ever seen a ballerina who was not Caucasian, and she stuck with me.

I had a vision of a stick thin young girl dedicated to her craft.

Portrait of a Character – Michelle (Shelby) Pike

Adult Shelby (Aesha Ash)

But then personal disaster strikes, and she blows out her knee, and has to quit dancing. What to do? Shelby goes back to college, and gets hooked on plants. She becomes a Botanist, never dreaming that that would get her into space. For an adult Shelby, I chose ballerina Aesha Ash.

Either way, Shelby is delicate and beautiful.


Friendly and smart, Shelby keeps to herself quite a bit of the time. It’s a necessity when your closest companions, most of the time, are living things that cannot speak. She is unused to formal meetings, so she ends up embarrassingly raising her hand during the meeting shown in Shell Shock. She is more than competent, and Malcolm brings her on board the USS Bluebird where she continues to work as a Botanist.


José Torres

During Temper, it’s revealed that they dated. Due to the height difference, Malcolm and Lili joke that the mechanics are somewhat confusing. At the end of the E2 stories, José reveals that he’s considering asking her out.

Travis Mayweather

In Fortune (and earlier, in Apple, which takes place during Reversal), Shelby makes the first moves with Travis. However, by the time of the events of Equinox, he has instead married a woman named Ellen Warren (also referenced in Day of the Dead).

Andrew Miller

In the E2 stories, because the kick backs in time occur before Lucy Stone joins the crew, Andrew and Shelby get together in both iterations. As two mid-level Science people, they have a lot in common and are thrown together quite a bit whenever the full senior staff meets.

Doug Hayes

In the Mirror Universe, Doug reveals Shelby’s background to Lili, and notes that, while he often had girlfriends during the time he knew her (including the Redheaded Bombshell, Jennifer Crossman), he would inevitably cheat on all of them with Shelby, and that there was just something about her that appealed to him, and he was incapable of staying away.

Francisco (Frank) Ramirez

By the time of The Point is Probably Moot, they are together and are trying to figure out how to get away from the Empress Hoshi Sato. For that couple, they cannot be open about their relationship, so life is filled with stolen moments. In Bread, they’re almost caught.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Michelle (Shelby) Pike

Mirror Shelby (Erica Gimpel)

For the Mirror, I’m back to Erica Gimpel portraying Shelby. Because no one cares about Botany, she works as a pilot. And because no one cares about ballet there, her earlier profession was far different.

Doug confirms that she worked as a prostitute, and more or less still did, when he knew her.

Doug notes that there were ways to see her without really being with her, and is essentially describing the future Mirror Universe take on phone sex.


“I have pumpkins ripening in the Botany Lab. They’re so pretty. Would you, uh, want to see them some time?” 


I was thrilled to be able to reuse this character and change her up. I like that she brings a little art and culture to the NX-01 (much like Chip Masterson does) and the USS Bluebird (like Declan Reed‘s drawings do, too). I’m also enjoying getting to know her as a person, and giving her more dimensions than she had in my failed fiction from two decades ago. I’m sure I’ll continue to learn more about Shelby.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Portrait, Times of the HG Wells series, 30 comments