Yilta was conceived of early in the process of planning the Wells series. I wanted a character who Kevin O’Connor would sleep with and then, the following morning, a temporal change would replace her with his newly-not-deceased wife, Josie.
I love this actress although the accent, admittedly, isn’t right for this character. However, that’s all right.
Yilta’s first husband breaks their marriage when he blames her for the death of their daughter, Brinka. However, Brinka is the victim of birth defect and so Yilta is blameless.
Yilta marries Kevin in I Do Again and I Do Again (and Again). She brings him out his shell and convinces him that his life is worth living. Furthermore, she reminds him that he’s allowed to be happy.
There are no impediments to Yilta existing in the Mirror Universe, although the later you get in the timeline, the longer the odds become. Mirror Universe Calafans are copper-colored, so Yilta’s appearance would be rather different. Also, as a non-human, her species would not have the Y Chromosome Skew. So as a result, she would not necessarily be oppressed. Furthermore, engineers are needed in any universe, so she could have a decent life. Would she be with Kevin? It’s hard to say, but hybrids seem less common on the other side of the pond.
“Well, we all liked Otra. But it’s also, you know, it affects us all. The problems your unit is having, that is. I mean, “I suppose we all have doubts at one time or another. We have ugly bits of our history – I am certain that every species does. But to try and tweak it and do better? It just strikes me as the height o’ arrogance. We are a religious people, so we know that we cannot do any better than Lo, or even Ub, the lowest of our gods. But I don’t think you need to have religion in order to realize that trying to improve upon time is not only not going to work, but that it’s an exercise in ego-strokin’ and nothin’ more.”
This chipper and resourceful engineer more or less saves Kevin O’Connor’s life. And that saves her own, too.
Candy came about because of a short throwaway line about Jhasi’s wedding dress having a stripe.
In response to a prompt about rituals, I decided to go with a renewal of wedding vows. I had already established that this event had happened, but I had not yet shown it. However, for Kevin O’Connor and Jhasi Tantharis O’Connor, the occasion is bittersweet, for she is dying.
Kevin and Josie prepare for May 4, 3108, a special day on Tandar Prime.
Because Piaris Syndrome is killing her, and it is going to be sooner, rather than later. So Kevin knows this and, while he is not exactly keeping the truth from Josie, he is also not in a rush to tell her, either. But Josie would have to be either a fool or too far gone to not know her fate. Furthermore, she would have to know time was running low. Very, painfully, low.
And so they perform the initial and familiar rituals of caregiver and patient, as he cleans her up and dresses her. Eventually, she asks why, and he tells her. Finally, the last moment of the story consists of of him picking her up to carry her.
While I like to think that I don’t write tearjerkers, this one just might qualify as one. I hope that the push and pull of Josie and Kevin feels real and not forced or manipulated. Furthermore, it is a hard story to read, at times, for this, or something like it, might be the fate of us all.
And may we all be blessed with someone as devoted as Kevin.
Who is the Honky Tonk Angel? The answer might surprise you.
For a prompt about vices, I decided that the vices would, perhaps, be small ones. It would be the kinds of things that you might talk about on a first date. And so I thought of my favorite odd couple. Their first date had been mentioned but not shown; this proved to be a good opportunity to rectify that.
They go to a baseball game, and he has to help her get a cap that will fit. However, she accidentally grabs one for the wrong team. But that is more than forgivable.
After all, she’s blind.
But that hardly matters, as they have a lovely time of it. Then Kevin messes up, and calls her Josie. But Jhasi is okay with this, and finds it amusing. She then confesses that she does not always keep in touch with her family like she should, and gives up on things too soon. Kevin, to his credit, seizes the opportunity and asks her to not give up on the two of them.
First of all, continuing the story of Rick Daniels and the Temporal Integrity Commission‘s fight against the Perfectionists, I wanted to cover 1980s music in particular. I had to hunt around for a good historical event to ‘correct’. Furthermore, when I found the assassination of Anwar Sadat, I decided that his restoration would cause an oil price shock that would ripple through time.
Furthermore, I lived through the 1973 oil shocks and so the idea of something like that really ripping the fabric of time proved irresistible.
First of all, as the Perfectionists make sure that Sadat lives, Otra‘s visions show a global economy in ruins.
Also, oddly, Alice Trent ends up hired as a byproduct of this major change.
Further, Branch Borodin arrives in our universe as Josie, inexplicably, is also restored, just as Kevin O’Connor finally begins to emotionally heal and take his relationship with Yilta to the next level. And so Kevin is torn, and has to say goodbye to Josie all over again. His exacerbated heartbreak serves as another bit of collateral damage that arises from the Perfectionist faction mucking around in time indiscriminately.
Finally, I think my favorite part of this story comes during the moment where Kevin goes to sleep with one woman, and wakes up next to the other. That moment, I feel, becomes the big payoff for writing that series.
Now, now, Darlin’, my name is Kevin O’Connor and I have no idea why I’m here, but I’m a-gonna try to do this right, even though there’s a buncha stories in the Times of the HG Wells collection that I am not in. So you might see a story and I’m not there, but that’s all right ’cause other characters, they need to get their due, too.
Now that that’s outta the way, uh, where were we? Yeah. I’m takin’ over this blog, even though God knows I’m not much of a writer. That’s a soft skill, yanno, like public speakin’ or sales. But gimme a time ship any day, or even a replicator.
The Commission sent me to pre-Warp a few times – I had to keep long sleeves and long pants on, and a high collar, all on account o’ my scales – you know my Mama was a Gorn, right? And I swear it was like them old coffee makers was speakin’ to me.
So in case you’re unsure, I am an engineer.
Anyway, damn your eyes, or maybe damn mine, but there are questions to answer, and here I am, wastin’ time even though time is my business, Darlin’.
So I’ll tell you about my biggest transition, which was when Josie went from bein’ her beautiful, vibrant, funny, sweet self to, well, you don’t wanna know. Damn Piaris Syndrome. Dammit all to hell. It just takes ever’thin’. It rips it out and it stomps on it and all it does it hurt ya.
But lemme start from the beginnin’, see? I met her, it was at this party, it was, uh, it’s all in a story called The Point is Probably Moot. And she was, well, here’s a pitcher of her.
Wasn’t she a peach?
She was Aenar, yanno. Blind as a bat. And I took her to a ballgame for our first date, and I messed up and I called her Josie even though her real name was Jhasi. But she laughed at that but she did grab a cap from the wrong team. I think that was a joke on her part, way back when. It’s all in The Honky Tonk Angel. That is, if you wanna look. I don’t mind waitin’, Darlin’.
But it all went bad, when she got sick. It was, see, in your time period, it looks kinda like lupus to start, and then it gets a lot like Lou Gehrig’s disease and then it just eats away ever’thin’. And then in the end, y’see, you lose your thoughts and your mind and your memories. Hardest part was when she didn’t know me.
‘Scuse me, I gotta take a break, okay?
Okay, I’m okay now. It’s, see, there’s a story called Candy and it’s about when we renewed our vows. We did that on account that, well, she was a few months from, man, it was a few months before she died.
So how did I handle that? Rick Daniels says I was brave. I guess; I dunno. I like to think that bravery is runnin’ and dodgin’ phasers or stuff like that. I just did what, you know, any husband would do, I think. I have to think that.
Do they frighten you? Inspire you? Sicken you? Amuse you?
So what did this transition do? Well, it scared the crap outta me to start, of course. I mean, you fall in love, you marry, and you make plans, yanno? And we wasn’t gonna have kids, but we still figured it would be, like my family motto says, it would be forever.
Whatever forever means, when there’s cruel mortality, I suppose.
It’s a joke, or at least that’s how I saw it at the time. It just hurt like you wouldn’t believe. It was as if I’d been stabbed with a sword.
It was terrible until I met Yilta. She’s a Calafan, see? And they’re really open and kind, and they seem to, in some ways, it’s like they love us better than we love ourselves. I dunno how else I can describe it. But they do. I, uh, I should get a pitcher; I don’t have one right now. She’ll give me a playful punch on the arm when she learns I don’t have a pitcher to show you. But she’s a silver one, so she’s from our universe. She’s got hair and pretty well-developed calloo – that’s the pattern on their arms ‘n legs – so she’s, yanno, she’s been around the block a few times. She’s from Lafa V and her accent, it sounds like an Irish brogue. Very understanding about Josie, and very cute, she is, see. She’s made that transition so much easier.
And it gets me to wond’rin’, even though it’s not one o’ the questions, but I wonder what I’d’a done if I knew Yilta while me and Josie was married. Yilta, I know, she wouldn’t be a home-wrecker, but what happens when it’s all falling apart, anyway? Anyway, you didn’t ask that so I’m left to just wonder.
Tell us about a memorable transition. Maybe one that went well.
Anyway, so that’s the biggest ole transition in my life, or maybe it’s a buncha ’em. It’s going from lonely bachelor to husband to caregiver to widower to, now, heh, boyfriend.
I am over seventy years old in human years and I am a boyfriend.
Yeah, it makes me laugh, too.
Or, if you dare, one that didn’t go so well.
But it’s also, at the same time, it’s the transition that didn’t go so well. ‘Course poor Josie never asked for none o’ that. She was, I mean, she was a kindergarten teacher. She was unselfish and lovely and, man oh man they say God takes people like that young because he needs ’em but I still can’t help but wonder why sometimes.
Let’s say you meet a character. It could be a canon person, or not. They might be from your universe, or not. What would you tell them about a transition that they might be going through? How could you help them with it? Would you help them?
I think ever’body goes through transitions, ’cause otherwise they’re not really characters, see? They’re just flat on a page. If they’re gonna live, they gotta have changes.
So I’ll look at somebody outside my time frame. See, I’m a time guy, so’s I can do that. And I’ll spin the big wheel and will ya look at that? I came up with Eriecho. This is my lucky day; I should play the Ferengi lottery next, I think.
See, Eriecho really had a big transition when she was let outta jail. She had never, ever been free before, and it was strange to her. I think it even kinda scared her, even at the same time as it thrilled her. So she was, you see, she was at a loss as to what to do. And I think she still is. Sure, she loves Sollastek and they’ll get married. And hey, maybe I’ll refurbish one o’ them ole coffee makers and send ’em one but I bet Yilta would tell me we should send somethin’ nicer, too. But she’ll pick out the doilies or whatever. You know how women like to do that.
I think I’d let Eriecho know that it’s not so scary, bein’ free. And you gotta fill up yer time, otherwise you just get bored. But it doesn’t have to be structured, and it doesn’t have to be other people’s ideas of what ya should do. See, we know the alternatives, and Otra sees ’em, and she tells me that that other timeline, you know the one you all call nuTrek or JJ Abrams Trek or whatever? She tells me it’ll resolve itself, and it’ll be better. And it won’t send Eriecho back to jail or anythin’ like that, so that’s good.
So all’s Eriecho’s gotta do – all any of us has gotta do – is just hang in there. And do what we think is right and best. What we feel is honorable or lovin’ or kind or artistic or well-engineered or even just interestin’. We can ride out the transitions, and let ’em wash off our backs.
And lemme tell ya, I weigh nearly a quarter of a metric ton and I got a pretty damn broad back, Darlin’. But Eriecho, see, and anyone else readin’ this? Just roll with them changes, and do whatever it is that you’re doin’ that feels right. ‘Cause I bet it is. You prolly know better ‘n you think.
Hey, mebbe I do, too.
Nice talkin’ to ya, Darlin’. Okay, I’ll give the blog back, now. Thanks for the soap box.
Portrait of a Character – Josie O’Connor (Jhasi Tantharis)
I wanted a pair of tragic figures for the HG Wells stories. Kevin O’Connor would be a widower, and Richard Daniels would be a womanizer who needed more out of life. Originally, Kevin’s deceased wife, Josie, wouldn’t be seen at all. She didn’t even have a species to start out. But the more I thought about the delicacy and weirdness of the Aenar, the more I wanted Josie to be one of them.
Between the Olsen twins, she’s tended to be the quieter one, and seems to stay out of the public eye more than her sister, Mary-Kate, does.
I wanted someone who would look like a waif but not anorexic, at least not at the beginning. Josie would start off as youthful and beautiful, the picture of health. But it all goes horribly wrong.
Friendly, personable and kind, Josie is a kindergarten teacher when she meets Kevin. She’s also a bit of a fashion plate – a strange thing for someone who is blind. But the Aenar reportedly have something of a sixth sense, so Josie is able to coordinate her rather flashy outfits.
Josie’s sole relationship is with Kevin. According to The Point is Probably Moot, Candy, and The Honky-Tonk Angel, they meet at a party at his engineering firm, when Kevin, a new-quarter-teragram-sized part-Gorn, is dragged along to play wingman for his coworker, Archie Leach. Leach strikes out with a Trill, but Kevin connects with Jhasi. Mishearing her name, he calls her Josie, and thinks he’s blown it. But she finds him charming.
He takes her to a ballgame for their first date, and they get serious very quickly, and marry. But things go awry when she’s diagnosed with a fatal disease, Piaris Syndrome. The illness is a degenerative one, but the worst part of it is at the very end, when she stops knowing him.
In The Point is Probably Moot, the temporal changes wrought by the Perfectionists result in her being briefly restored to life, and she finally speaks in a story that isn’t a prequel.
She would likely have never wed Kevin, and might never have gotten sick. An intriguing idea that I might explore one of these days.
“Listen,”I don’t want to be dead and I don’t want you to be gone from our marriage. Kindly do not misunderstand me. But I think, well, it’s an odd gift that you and I have been given here. I feel that we have a chance here. I suppose I have a chance to tell you what I would have always wanted to tell you, under such circumstances.”
Much like Kevin Madden-Beckett in Fortune, Josie is a tragic figure. But she had a life before her illness, and even before her marriage. Neither should define her as much as I’ve allowed them to. In order to know Jhasi better, maybe I should write another prequel about her.
July 2012 began with creating a context topic for the various HG Wells stories, called Clockworks: The Times of the HG Wells Collection. The first story I placed into that context was First Born, which is also in the In Between Days context as it’s a bridge story. Also, I added Desperation and Recruitment and then The Honky Tonk Angel.
In addition, I also responded to a weekly challenge about new things with difficult consequences with a story called Tumult. I also contributed to a Round Round story (still in the works) called Storm Clouds, contributing (so far) sections called Go Badgers, Diplomacy, The Cold-Blooded Blues and Chaos and Control. And I added a drabble called Barely Tolerable, meant to be a missing scene from Intolerance. I added the story of Kevin and Josie (Jhasi)’s first date, The Honky Tonk Angel.
The monthly challenge was called “A Page from the Past”. Hence this was an opportunity to finally create and complete a new Interphases story, Concord. I also placed it into context (the story is in the Interphases series but it also works as an In Between Days prequel). Also, I put An Announcement, Barely Tolerable and We Meet Again into similar context.
On Star Trek Logs, I responded to a prompt about experiencing loss with a TNG story, Loss. I also added Broken Seal. In response to a prompt about rituals, I added Ceremonial.