From October of 2176 to June of 2177, the short life of Kevin Madden-Beckett.
After writing Fortune, I had wanted to expand on Kevin Madden-Beckett‘s story for a while, but the opportunity kept failing to present itself.
It is later in everyone’s life. The kids are nearly all grown. Doug and Lili have settled into comfortable married life. Malcolm is busy fighting a cold war, but otherwise things have fallen into an established pattern. Norri is writing her book. Melissa gets some small piloting assignments, as their nest isn’t quite empty yet. Joss is already at Cornell.
Kevin is a child with no chance, but he has a place, as both Lili’s spirit guide in Fortune and Tommy’s in Seven Women. For someone with such a short time among the living, Kevin proved to have what I feel is a compelling story.
Steven Culp himself had suggested that Major Hayes‘s name was either Jay or Jeremiah. By using Jay for the Major, it made sense to use Jeremiah for his father.
Jeremiah Hayes is played by veteran actor Steven Culp. I love the idea of using the same actor for both fathers and sons, much like Scott Bakula did in Quantum Leap.
Rigid and somewhat militaristic in his thinking, Jeremiah orders his child or children (depends on the universe; in the prime universe, he has a daughter, Laura. Laura doesn’t exist in the Mirror Universe).
He isn’t necessarily mean, but he is emotionally unavailable. Jay and Doug both seek their father’s approval. For Laura, there is nearly nothing known about her relationship with her father.
Jeremiah’s only known relationship is with Lena. He is, without question, the king of the castle.
In the mirror, Jeremiah is tough and he tries hard to make Doug tough. This causes Jeremiah to send his only child away to boarding school a few months before Doug has to go. The idea is to toughen Doug up, but it frightens the sensitive child. When Doug is beat up enough times, he becomes tough and unfeeling on his own, and without Jeremiah’s help. It isn’t until Doug meets Lili that he learns to open up.
Is Jeremiah a spousal abuser? There have been readers who have interpreted him that way. My own personal jury is out. I think that in the Mirror Universe, he treats Lena fairly well. After all, I write MU women as having a tough lot in life. Lena is no exception. But it’s quite the coup for her to have become attached to such a strong man. But Jeremiah isn’t necessarily powerful, and they aren’t necessarily wealthy.
“No, he will be beaten up for it. Don’t you understand? They will tear him apart if they think they can get any sort of an advantage. Do you not get that?”
Given how Jeremiah behaves, and what he says in the Mirror, his early life was a lot like Doug’s. Doug gets a chance to redeem himself, whereas Jeremiah never seems to. In the prime universe, he’s mainly just a rigid military man. But in the Mirror Universe, he’s another casualty.
Lilies and Lili! For a prompt about sweetness, I gave two answers.
This was the second one. I wanted to get across the sweetness of relationships, both the long-term and the fairly new.
In addition, in Fortune, one of the family photographs was of Joss and Jia at their prom. I wanted to fill in the blanks, the missing details, of that.
Joss, a little jumpy in a tuxedo, is cooling his heels before Jia and her parents arrive to take him to the prom at their little school on Lafa II. Marie Patrice is, as she often is, a little snarky. Declan even jokes a bit. Lili is of course more supportive. Malcolm is mentioned very briefly.
There is a little bustling as Doug arrives with groceries. The kids go out to help (after Lili tells them to), but she holds back Joss so that he won’t get dirty. There is a mysterious blue bag that no one is allowed to touch.
Once the food is put away, Doug opens up the bag, revealing a carnation boutonniere for Joss and a corsage for Jia. Jia’s parents, Mai and Geming arrive with their daughter. Savvy readers will recognize Geming’s counterpart as being Doug’s final deliberate kill in the Mirror Universe.
After they depart, and the other two children return to their homework, Lili laments that Doug never had a prom. He confirms that, at the time, he was finishing up at West Point and about to go into Basic Training. But he’s got one more surprise for her.