Tag Archives: Joss

Portrait of a Character – Geming Sulu

Portrait of a Character – Geming Sulu

Origins

Doug needed one last kill in order to get on board the ISS Enterprise and, eventually, the ISS Defiant. I decided that, as in canon, he would kill his superior officer in order to get there (this is, after all, the Mirror Universe where he and Geming are first seen). And so, he knifes Geming in the gut, as Geming is slated to be the MACO CO and Doug is not. Blood on his hands, Doug gets what he wants.

In the prime universe, things are of course rather different, and Geming is the father of Joss‘s wife, Jia.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Geming Sulu
Jet Li as Geming Sulu (image is provided for educational purposes)

Geming is played by actor Jet Li.

I like this handsome actor of Chinese extraction. It doesn’t hurt that his martial arts background dovetails well with the martial arts connection to the canon character, Hikaru Sulu.

Personality

Intelligent and thoughtful, the Geming of our universe is a good father. He and Mai reconcile after their divorce, and remarry. He settles on Lafa II and they rebuild their lives together.

Relationships

Mai Sulu

Geming’s only know relationship is with Mai. He predeceases her, according to Jia, in Fortune.

Mirror Universe

Geming exists in the Mirror Universe, and is Doug’s last male human kill (Deborah Hadden is killed accidentally when Doug escapes to our universe). There is nearly nothing known about him, but that’s as to be expected; a part of the recitation of Doug’s kills in Fortune is how meaningless some of them are, and how they can be almost mechanical.

Quote

“The Lafa System is certainly far from everything else. This is why I moved here when Mai did. I meant to tell you; I suppose being nearby did us both some good. We’ve decided to reconcile, and to remarry.”

Upshot

Geming, like other peripheral characters, flits in and out but rarely has the spotlight. But every storyline needs supporting characters, and so he might return at some point in time.

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Review – The Decision

Review – The Decision

A decision changes Norri, Neil, and Declan’s lives the most.

Background

In May of 2206, the family gathers on Lafa II to make an important decision about Norri and Melissa‘s future.

Plot

"Barking

There’s been an accident. An elderly Leonora Digiorno has fallen, and broken her hip. Her lover, Melissa Madden, has her own issues with Irumodic Syndrome. It’s becoming obvious that Norri can no longer care for Melissa on her own. What to do?

The story opens with a crack, as Marie Patrice Beckett slaps an Andorian model across the face and then fires the blue woman. Why does this happen? It’s because the model has the nerve to point out (and this is a fact, by the way) that, “It’s not like either of them are related to you.”

For Empy, who is an often selfish and flighty character, the slap is a confirmation that, when the chips are down, she will do right and will stand with her family.

The family gathers, from various postings, including Tommy, who is with Starfleet. In order to dovetail with Fortune, Declan Reed assumes the burden of caring for the two aging lesbians. He does so voluntarily, even before anyone else can suggest it. This story takes place before he meets Rebecca Shapiro again, and so he is free and has little else going on in his life. He’s divorced from Louise Schiller and is an artist in residence at Oxford University. But this is the future. He doesn’t have to physically be present in England in order for them to call him an artist in residence.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

Much like Empy’s slap, Declan volunteering evokes the ironclad bond that the family has. Everyone steps up. Everyone agrees to do something. No one is left out, and no one wants to be. At the same time, no one tries to weasel out of their responsibilities, either. May we all be cared for that way in the future.

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Review – Colleagues

Review – Colleagues

Colleagues brings together a doctor and a not quite yet veterinarian.

Background

For a monthly prompt about mentors, I decided to visit and put together two characters who had met before, but not under these individual circumstances. Joss and Dr. Morgan had met in Fortune,  but Joss was a rather young child at the time, and Morgan was just settling on Lafa II for his retirement. I was pleased to have the opportunity to trot out Dr. Pamela Hudson as well.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Later Days | Colleagues
Later Days

As much a story of identity as it is of growing up and imparting wisdom to a new generation, the story opens with Joss asking Pamela if he can interview her.

She acknowledges that her life has gotten busy since she married (Treve). Plus she has a plastic surgery conference to attend. She instead suggests her Uncle Cyril, noting that he is a retired orthopedic surgeon and would probably love the company and welcome any questions Joss might have. Joss agrees, but not before accidentally calling her ‘Pam’.

When Joss gets to Cyril’s, he’s got a cake baked by Lili. The elder gentleman welcomes him in and they have cake while the doctor’s cat, Mimi, does figure eights. Joss asks about practicing medicine. He allows that veterinary medicine is different, but he is still looking for some guidance and advice.

Cyril, who asks Joss to call him by a childhood nickname of Skip, tells of a time when he failed to help a patient. It was not due to a lack of education or supplies or time. Instead, it was a treatment during the Earth-Romulan War, when a Xindi ally was injured. Morgan did not treat him as expeditiously as he should have, and the Xindi lost an arm. Morgan instructs Joss to be fair and as impartial as possible, and to not just treat cute animals or those where the owner is pleasant or wealthy.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I like this story. It gave me a chance to shout out to some characters that I like, and to provide some more depth for Morgan. There is even a brief shoutout to Tommy Digiorno-Madden and his on-again, off-again relationship with Cyril’s granddaughter, Cindy. My peers agreed, and they liked the story enough that it won the monthly challenge at Ad Astra.

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Review – Linfep Linfep Linfep

Review – Linfep Linfep Linfep

Linfep Linfep what? They are a lot like rabbits. Hence the title, and the subject matter. Once again, a play on words saves the day.

Background

I can’t recall the prompt for this one, but it was the first day of the month. This made for a good bit of backhanded inspiration.

I decided on a play on “Rabbit rabbit rabbit.” On Lafa II, linfep are the closest thing. Hence the story was not only about near-rabbits, but also about what rabbits do best.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Later Days | Linfep Linfep
Later Days

It’s the first of the month, and so Lili mutters the phrase as her kids get her up way too early and she stumbles in the general direction of the coffee.

She has been tasked with taking care of all five children as Malcolm is defending the Neutral Zone (so Declan is around). Melissa and Norri are on Earth for an occasion, and so Tommy and Neil are staying over. Doug is working with his recruits. Of course Doug and Lili’s two children together, Joss and Marie Patrice are there as they live there.

Lili and the kids all notice a number of linfep scampering around the yard, and she realizes they are going to get holes in the yard. She asks Doug to bring home tofflin leaves when he comes back, as those repel the cute but destructive invaders.

Then the kids notice that two of the linfep are ‘telling secrets’.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

For a little story about the ramp up to telling children the facts of life, I think this amusing little story works pretty well.

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Review – Equilibrium

Review – Equilibrium

Equilibrium. And we all know how elusive it can be.

Background

After the end of Together, Doug, Lili, Malcolm, Melissa, and Leonora are ready to start the arrangement and live their lives in tandem.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | IBD Arrangement | Equilibrium
In Between Days, the Arrangement

Essentially, Lili and Doug will have an open marriage and each take a lover, and Melissa and Norri will open their relationship but only Melissa will take a lover.

But the problem was that I had forgotten all about one person within the family unit and had not accounted for him or his feelings in any way – Joss.

Plot

Hence after the ordeal of Lili and Doug’s kidnapping in Together,  and in anticipation of a new little sister, Joss regresses a tiny bit. He wants his parents with him. This means some co-sleeping.

Living in a system that is significantly psionically charged, Lili and Doug (and all of the Calafans, actually), are able to share dreams as a kind of alternate secondary reality. Hence this is a big part of what makes the extramarital arrangements work in the first place. But of course Lili and Doug are not going to expose Joss to anything untoward. Therefore, Joss will not be a witness to any sort of a primal scene.

Hence they decide to share with him a small child’s most perfectly excellent dream, ever.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Ao from the picnic to the train ride to the old-fashioned baseball game, the dream is everything Joss and his proud parents could ever want. Therefore, I simply adore this little story.

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Review – Friday Visit

Review – Friday Visit

Friday Visit fixes some plot holes.

Background

For a look at Doug and Lili‘s early married life, from even before Joss, I went with what was essentially a scene missing from Together.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | In Between Days | Friday Visit
In Between Days

In that story, Lili is already in possession of the Cuff of Lo.

But how did she get it in the first place?

Plot

Newlyweds Lili and Doug are talking in their rented home on Lafa II as the story opens, and Doug reminds Lili to take it easy and get some rest. She is pregnant and they have recently opened Reversal. Her pregnancy also isn’t as easy as it could be. She is being run ragged.

But she reminds him that they are going to visit Treve and his family. Because this is after the events of Reversal, Chawev is in prison. Yipran is out of the medical center, but is shaky. Chelben is still a little boy, and Yimar is still a fairly young tween.

When Yipran predicts that the cuff will go to Lili’s third child, Doug and Lili look at each other in some surprise. It seems as if Jeremiah Logan – Joss – would be something of a miracle child, given Lili’s age and the fact that Doug is actually a Terran and not, truly, a human. It does not seem to make any sense that there could be two more in the future. But they are polite and do not dismiss Yipran’s prediction out of hand.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I liked putting together a little slice of Calafan life. It seems that, often, Star Trek fan fiction does not fill in the blanks when it comes to civilian living, or to the lives of aliens. I hope I have filled in the missing pieces a bit with this story.

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Portrait of a Character – Jia Sulu

Portrait of a Character – Jia Sulu

Jia Sulu is a favorite.

Origins

First of all, I wanted a character who would be loyal and loving, and would leap into the BeckettMaddenDigiornoO’DayReed family without even looking.

Portrait of a Character – Jia Sulu
Faye Wong as Jia Sulu

Furthermore, I wanted someone to be with Malcolm at the very end of his life. Also, this person would outwardly seem to be a bit detached, as Malcolm is often portrayed in canon. But the connection would still be there, under the surface. However, the idea of detachment would be an illusion.

Finally, I wanted someone who would be one of the many living embodiments of just how different the Mirror Universe is from our own.  Because Jia’s father is Doug’s last male human kill in the mirror, a counterpart for Jia may or may not even be possible.

Portrayal

Jia is played by singer and actress Faye Wong. This beautiful woman is often described by the press as being a diva.

Personality

Kind to everyone, Jia is the extra daughter that the family never had. She supports Joss in everything, and is up for whatever he has to offer. He is her world.

Her most important moment in the series (so far) is that she is the only one present when Malcolm dies of old age, in Fortune.

Relationships

Joss Beckett

So there can never be anyone else for Jia apart from Jeremiah Logan Beckett. They are the kind of couple who meet as children and never, ever look at anyone else. There is never anyone else.

Mirror Universe

Jia cannot exist in the Mirror, as she is born in 2157. However her father, Geming, was killed by Doug in 2152. Plus she doesn’t even really have an analogue, like Marie Patrice and the other blood relative family members do.

Quote

“Father, when my own father died, my mother, she had the same visions. She would think he was out back clipping the hedges or at work. I guess it makes it easier.”

Upshot

So wherever Joss goes, Jia is sure to follow. And she’ll be back at some point, I’m sure.


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Review – The Gift

Review – The Gift

Which gift matters to most?

Background

As a Star Trek fanfiction follow up to Pacing, I wanted Doug‘s second Christmas gift to Lili to be a huge surprise (as of the writing of this blog post, I have not yet written their first Christmas together).

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | In Between Days | The Gift
In Between Days

For Lili, this will be the culmination, as her dreams truly do come true and she gets what she’s always really needed, ever since she was nine years old – a home.

Plot

Review – The Gift

Lili is sleep-deprived and anxious, as Joss is still a young baby. She’s barely functional, like a lot of new parents are.

Doug hands her an article wrapped in paper, which she opens. Annoyed, she announces that her present is a wooden spatula. She then proceeds to place it into the holder with all of her other wooden spatulas. It seems the essence of a thoughtless, last-minute present. She is getting upset. Doug is going to have to salvage the situation.

Then Doug tells her that the spatula does not matter in terms of the present; instead,  it’s the paper it’s wrapped in.

That paper turns out to be his own crudely-drawn plans for their house.

And that house, eventually, becomes a possession of the Temporal Museum on Lafa II. Much like the family, it endures. Eleanor even gives tours of it.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I like this short story as a direct sequel to Pacing, as it fulfills the promise of the earlier piece. Both stories also prefigure a great deal of the In Between Days series, and begin to set the stage for more of the series. I like how it turned out.


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Review – Pacing

Review – Pacing

Pacing gave me such a great idea. I immediately considered someone walking out a floor plan.

Review – Pacing – Background

As I began to put together Doug and Lili‘s life after Reversal, the question began to arise, namely, where would they live?

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | In Between Days | Pacing
In Between Days

I decided that I wanted them to have a home, which would be a house not too different from a house that a present-day couple would live in.

When a Star Trek fanfiction prompt about the natural world was put forward, it provided the perfect opportunity to show Doug planning this very important present, which culminates in the successor story, The Gift.

Plot

Review – Pacing

The short story begins with Doug waiting for a realtor, on Lafa II. He’s got an old-fashioned piece of paper and a pencil. But first he jogs up a little rise and likes the view. Sharp-eyed readers will recall how the rise fits in with both Temper and Fortune. However, the realtor, a native Calafan, tells him that the land up the rise is considerably more expensive than the land that Doug was initially considering. He decides to go with his original plan.

Doug then proceeds to sketch and measure, as well as he can,  the dimensions of the planned home. He’s not meant to be an engineer, artist, or architect, so the drawing is a crude one. All the while, he talks to himself, thinking out loud about how Lili would love a big kitchen and the view and the quiet remoteness of the area. He takes into account a room for the baby – Joss – and even a guest room. He wants everything to be perfect.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I love this little story, as it rather neatly prefigures a lot of the later In Between Days storyline, from the rise, to the location of the kitchen, to how Doug tries so hard to please Lili and, even, their financial concerns.


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Review – Voice of the Common Man

Review – Voice of the Common Man

Can you hear the voice of the common man?

Background

The Star Trek fanfiction prompt was about politics. Rather than write about some Klingon cabal or big-time Federation politics, I went with what Tip O’Neill said, “All politics is local.”

Review – Voice of the Common Man

I also wanted to tie up a small loose end in my overall story arc in In Between Days. In Reversal, the Calafan people are ruled by a High Priestess (Yipran) and her consort, the First Minister (Chawev).  However, I didn’t want their government to be a monarchy, and I certainly didn’t want for it to be a dictatorship. It would, though, be a somewhat different style of government. It would be a constitutional monarchy with a religious basis. The religious end of it is covered in Legends.

Voice of the Common Man explores an election to the office of First Minister.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | In Between Days | Voice of the Common Man
In Between Days

Doug and Lili are new residents of Lafa II, and Joss is still an infant. This is before the arrangement starts and it’s even before Marie Patrice is conceived. It’s Election Day!

There are a ton of candidates (this is not a two-party system), and it’s all rather confusing. The Becketts have studied the candidates and the issues, but it’s still a bit unclear.

Complicating matters is the fact that Doug has only recently left a universe where the government is a military dictatorship. He literally doesn’t understand why anybody votes, and can’t conceive that his opinion would matter to anyone. Not quite assured, he agrees to go and vote, as it is more or less mandatory.

The voting happens somewhat oddly, as might befit an alien culture. After a quick discussion of the issues, the voters express their support for certain positions on well-defined issues.

Review – Voice of the Common Man

That is, the first round of voting isn’t really for any candidates; it’s for positions on issues. If a voter matches all of the positions with a candidate, then that voter matches with that candidate, votes for him or her (there is still an opportunity to back out), and that’s it for the day. This is rather similar to an approval ballot.

Lili finishes early, and votes for Ubvelwev, the candidate who is eventually the winner. Doug, however, much like any other undecided voter, is torn. He simply cannot decide. He holds out until the bitter end, and leaves without a decision at the end. While his vote matters, he hasn’t really cast a ballot for any of the candidates.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

The voting system is somewhat confusing, and that has been one issue for readers. I was mainly trying to address problems that I have always seen in elections. This is where some people just can’t decide until the bitter end. And that has always struck me as a bit odd. I could have better explained the voting system. This would have meant probably more details and more world-building phraseology. This story could use an overhaul, although its heart and soul are in the right place.