Multiverse II was a great round robin that, unfortunately, we never finished.
First of all, Multiverse II came about as the denizens of Ad Astra wanted to work on a round robin style story together. While the story got interested, complex, and convoluted, it was never really completed. However, it did give me some terrific insights into my own characters.
There was a ton of music in this one as everyone receives inspiration in their own way. However, rather than repeat it all, I’d like to just showcase the theme songs for my three characters.
Otra’s theme ended up as The Talking Heads’ Nothing But Flowers. While the flowers references obviously presents itself, I really loved the line, “I wish I had a lawnmower.” Furthermore, the song images a post-apocalytic time, and that is exactly where Otra finds herself.
In addition, Levi’s theme ended up as Wall of Voodoo’s Mexican Radio. Because his mind is a session of Google Chrome with 1,000 open tabs, a fast-moving number with hard to hear lyrics made the most sense.
However, for Branch Borodin, I went with Us3’s Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia). Branch can be hard to pin down, but jazzy and funky rhythms seem to fit the best.
The first story was prompted by a ‘Now What?’ prompt. Then the second was a POV shift. Since I loved the first one so much (and had never really written Yilta’s point of view before anyway), I added the second. Hence they are shown together as I practically tackled the two at once.
During the ceremony, any number of odd things happen. Best man Levi Cavendish drops the rings. Twice. Then Maid of honor Deirdre Katzman bends down to look for them and nearly loses her flowers. And then half-WitannenOtra D’Angelo‘s floral-like chavecoi point where the rings are on the ground. And officiant Branch Borodin, the colony alien, interrupts the ceremony asking if the happy couple want to take a survey.
So these shenanigans are nearly enough to drive Admiral Carmen Calavicci back to drink. But at least she can refrain, for the moment. However, I cannot promise she won’t fall off the wagon at some later date. And I like that idea.
So I really loved how both of these came together. Sometimes, writing is a lot like taking dictations. The characters simply speak, and then I transcribe whatever it is that they are relating to me. And that happened both times. Furthermore, I loved writing Yilta’s point of view, because she is an interesting character. However, I had neglected her inner life until these little stories. Let’s say I do again! And again!
As a holiday gift, I decided to put together a number of disparate characters. Since these are characters of my own invention, I could and did have them say nearly anything. The idea would be to act as a kind of helpful team but with the same quirkiness a reader might have come to expect.
Six characters land in some odd place. And for sharp-eyed readers, they might recognize a similarity to The Puzzle. This was deliberate, as I wanted a storyline similar to Travis‘s. Furthermore, I have far better writing skills than I did then. Hence I felt this would be a better story, and I believe that to be the case.
When Jay and Lili (in the prime timeline), Dratha, Eriecho, Levi, and Branch land, they have no idea what is in store for them. Because this takes place more or less right after Penicillin, Jay is still rather gruff but he’s trying. For Levi and Branch, this is later in their timelines. Eriecho is already on Mars. And Dratha’s husband, Arnis, is already incarcerated.
The characters then proceed to help out ten characters created by others. The first is kes7’s John Quigley, who gets help (sort of) in his love triangle. Then Bethany Reeves (trekfan’s character) is up, and the characters talk to her about her parents separating in one of the few serious vignettes. The next caller is Jessica St. Peter (Templar Sora’s character), and the so-called experts kind of, sort of, help her with asserting authority.
Not So Serious Help
For Andrew Corrigan (SLWalker’s character), it’s all about how to spend his first date with Abby (I managed to get in a sushi as bait joke). Aurellan Markalis (Enterprise1981’s character) also has a problem with a date but it was probably, the advisers agree, for the best that it ended early. Srena (CeJay’s character) comes up next. She is told how to create a calming ritual to help her get to sleep at night.
Then Jasto Dax (CaptainSarine’s character) calls. While most of the group doesn’t even know what a Trill is, Dratha provides good information about how to essentially pick your battles. She tells him not to answer every single summons. The next caller is Dr. Veronica West (thebluesman’s character); she learns she should become more creative. Then Spock calls (while this is a canon character, the gift was for littleblackdog) about a canon situation, the end of the TOS episode, Requiem for Methuselah. The last caller is Emmylou Galyaski (FalseBill’s character). She talks about mourning her late husband and, in their own odd ways, the so-called experts help, at least a bit.
Then it’s time to leave. Dratha volunteers to go first as it looks dangerous. Eriecho leaves next. Jay and Lili leave together and she touches his arm. Then Branch and Levi depart, and the following graffiti is shown:
As the last of the reluctant travelers/advisors departs, the room disappears and is swallowed into the vast vacuum of space, leaving but one final thought.
Happy holidays across all galaxies, all timelines, all universes and all realities.
As a part of a Star Trek fanfiction competition, fellow writer kes7 and I decided to collaborate on this time travel mayhem-style crossover novel. Levi, the most squirrelly and ADHD-addled person in history, nervous and quirky to a fault, would be tasked with saving humanity.
By having to be socially acceptable or at least in the realm of socially competent.
Yeah, I agree.
In which humanity’s survival depends on Levi Cavendish’s social skills. Takes place in 3110.
kes7’s original character, Maren O’Connor (who we decided would be related to Kevin), and canon character Icheb, are an item in her universe. At this stage in their development, they are building their own time traveling device. But this is rather early in the engineering process, and the device is imperfect. It threatens the multiverse and humanity (because why not make the stakes super-high?) and the Temporal Integrity Commission has got to stop them.
Reluctantly, Carmen sends Levi and Otra. However, Otra does not have permission to go to the surface although she can communicate directly through Levi’s implanted communicator. As she feeds him information, he becomes even more confused. It does not help that a girl named Marci is flirting with him, big time. Which is Levi’s mother’s name.
It helps even less that Otra has finally realized that she is in love with him.
We had a lot of fun writing this one, but we will both admit our resolve sometimes wanes. The story remains unfinished after a few years. We need to finish this one. I want to know what happened. Don’t you?
For the first-ever game played by The Black Sheep barnstorming team, the idea was that the team would play hockey with a team composed of members of a military unit on Andoria. It was to be the place where, if the O’Day–Beckett marriage had ended at the end of Together, Doug would have ended up. Instead, it’s more like a footnote until this story.
Hobie is played by actor Edward Norton. I had used this actor for the HG Wells series and liked him and wanted to revisit him. But instead of being ADHD-addled Levi Cavendish, he would be a decent military guy.
Affable, a little shy, and very formal, Kent is a divorced guy who rarely goes out. Then he meets Dana MacKenzie, and his interest is piqued as she is more aggressive and sporting than he’s used to. But then things go too far, too fast.
Kent’s estranged wife left while still pregnant with their second daughter. I had nothing on her and she is only mentioned, never seen. The idea is that it was a painful, messy divorce. All Hobie cares about is being able to see Katie and Nichole, his children.
With Dana, there isn’t too much of a relationship. They enjoy each other’s company and communicate a little, but that’s it. Neither of them try very hard as she is hung up on Martin Madden and Kent, regardless of what he says, is still mourning his broken marriage.
In an alternate timeline, MU Kent is attached to Darragh, who is an Augment descendant (and is probably an ancestor of both Darragh Stratton and Rick Daniels’s mother, Chloe Masterson). Is Kent also an Augment descendant? I don’t know.
Seen briefly during an iteration where Rick is still trying to repair the timeline, Kent is a survivalist and stuck on a planet in the old Delphic Expanse.
He is also with Darragh Masterson but, when they are in communications with the Enterprise-E, he checks out Dana, much to Darragh’s chagrin.
“I don’t normally go to bed with women so quickly. You can tell I don’t exactly have the smoothest moves out there. But, um, please don’t get dressed and please don’t leave, okay? ‘Cause I, uh, nobody’s stayed here in, God, she left before Nichole was even born. I swear I won’t touch anything or do anything that you don’t wanna do. I just, I want your company. I hope you want mine a little, too.”
For a character I wa originally going to quickly kill off or at least dismiss, Hobie ended up with a fairly complicated and interesting life, I feel.
Ah, it’s the sweetest universe! And you can never go wrong with the wacky pumpkin pie meme and its variations.
So as a part of Multiverse II, kes7 and I created Interdimensional Pumpkin Pie #49.
It was quite by accident; I had mainly just wanted Levi Cavendish to be quirky as all hell. As a result, he, in that story, asks for pumpkin pie while in the middle of trying to save the multiverse. At the time, it was a mere throwaway line. I never meant for it to go anywhere. I swear!
In the meantime, eventually, he had the replicator system spit out hundreds if not thousands of pumpkin pies, based upon varying radiation bands. This rather neatly introduces the concept of separate radiation bands while simplifying the idea of multiple universes. And it simultaneously ups the Levi quirk factor to infinity. At one point, he says to kes’s character, Maren O’Connor, “Number 49 was good.”
The prompt was created with Levi in mind, particularly because people were rather heavily ‘shipping him with Otra D’Angelo. Therefore, I had to come up with some way for him to do something good for everyone. Also, this would get this poor ADHD-addled guy out of his own personal zone. And it would show that, deep under his tics and his weirdnesses, he really does care.
And so, on September 2, 3110, Levi makes interdimensional pie #49 for everyone. Plus this is how I got to put my birthday into the timeline. Really. Don’t ask how old I’ll be. 😉
So the only thing that might be missing from this one is that I could have expanded it a bit more. It was, though, a good way to start to get the Otra-Levi romance off the ground. Pumpkin pie #49 is now a meme that will never die!
Before I began writing Star Trek fan fiction, I had a time travel series in a kind of embryonic state. The inventor of the technology, who would be the director and also a bit of a difficult person, but also the lover to Otra D’Angelo, was to have the name Levi Cavendish. But then I started writing Trek fan fiction, and Levi turned out quite differently. I like him a lot better these days. He’s really gotten a lot more character development in Multiverse II, including becoming temporally paradoxical, and vanishing from existence.
He is also, along with Otra, the developer of Otric Theory. Levi named it after her, an act that he does not recognize was out of affection. But at least Otra knows.
Levi is played by Edward Norton. I particularly love him from the Fight Club era.
He just looks as itchy and twitchy as I think of Levi.
An actor playing Levi has got to be someone who is smart and creative. However, ultimately, he must also be hamstrung by a bunch of different tics, quirks and downright disabilities. I believe Norton can really do that.
Levi’s got major issues.
Squirrely, nervous and suffering from a number of personality disorders, Levi is a misunderstood and underestimated genius. Nobody seems to get him, except for Otra D’Angelo. And even she doesn’t always.
His home is decorated in stills from the Twilight Zone and other bits of classic science fiction memorabilia. His wardrobe is mainly uniforms for the Temporal Integrity Commission, or functional things. Beauty, aesthetics, and form don’t really hold much meaning for him, except as they serve function.
With Adult ADHD, high-level autism, hyperactivity, occasional stuttering and an inability to look most people in the eye, it’s a wonder that Levi can get anything done at all. He has a wacky fundamentalist mother who changes her religion as often as many people change their socks. Plus there’s a father who abandoned the family years ago. And he now has a court order to spend time with Levi (and can’t wait until Levi’s thirtieth birthday, to be freed of his obligations), it’s a wonder that Levi is even on the same planet as sanity.
Levi is odd enough that he knows that he will do lots of things for Otra. However, he does not truly comprehend that his actions are out of love. Even in his dreams, when he can get the girl, his romantic line to her is, “My foot hurts.”
So yeah, he’s pretty messed up.
Levi’s crazy antics spell sped-up rap-type patter to me.
But this one really speaks to me about Levi, from the fast talking to the weird-looking lead singer to the hard to hear Spanish chatter, Wall of Voodoo – Mexican Radio.
There’s no reason why Levi can’t have a Mirror Universe counterpart. However, it’s likely that someone as messed up as all that would not survive for very long on the other side of the pond.
Hence, I can see a Mirror Levi as not being autistic or hyperactive at all, or not for long, if he was ever to have a prayer of surviving past about his tenth birthday. Instead, his genius would be ruthless. Plus he would be cruelly efficient and perhaps even sadistic. He would probably be an extremely scary individual.
“Can’t hear chatter on the comm anymore. Throw the pies at the Chilo, Maren. Please.”
This character was not truly, fully realized until Multiverse II. But now he’s a much better and more deeply three-dimensional character than ever before. I like him, no matter how much he might annoy or at least baffle the other characters.