It is a fairly classic trope, the Precious Cargo episode. Beautiful alien woman, crash landing, all alone on a planet? Not the best ever Enterprise episode. Not by a long shot.
As in canon, the character is played by actress Padma Lakshmi. While Lakshmi is certainly stunning, the portrayal was, let’s just say, less than stellar.
Imperious, spoiled, and kind of bratty, this character is more than a little bit difficult. In fact, I disliked her so much, I had Otra see an alternate universe vision of this character being beheaded as a kind of space Marie Antoinette. Maybe that’s what being the First Monarch of Krios Prime does to a gal. Who knows?
As I write her, Kaitaama and Jim might or might not hook up.
There are no impediments to Kaitaama existing in the Mirror Universe.
As with most Mirror Universe women, she would be on the make. As a very good-looking one, she could potentially have status.
She might even be kind, although I see her instead as being a lot more ruthless. She would need to be. Can’t blame her for that.
“Why should that matter? Your job is to cut ropes, not be flattered and cosseted.”
This bratty and difficult character is, I suppose, easy to put into nasty situations. Maybe I will resurrect her if I need to write something harsh. An annoying character might be needed for, I don’t know, something or other.
Portrait of a Character – Charles IV (Charlie) Tucker
Because, in canon, Tripp Tucker has somewhat odd experiences with offspring and, in the prime timeline and prime universe, dies childless, a lot of people like to give him offspring. As a result, I gave him both a prime universe and a Mirror Universe version of Charles IV, although they are not counterparts.
In the prime universe, Charlie is a part of the first kick back in time during the E2 timeline, and his mother is T’Pol. He has a twin named T’Les Elizabeth (that name has been used by other fanfiction writers). In the MU, Charlie’s mother is Beth Cutler, and his sister, Betsy, is younger and is not his twin.
As a teenager, Charlie is played by actor Noel Fisher. As an adult, in keeping with the canon portrayal of Charles Tucker III, he is played by Connor Trinneer.
I like the teen’s look. He seems to be a reasonable mix of Tripp and T’Pol for the E2 storyline, and a mix of Tucker and Cutler for the MU storyline.
Both fellows are pretty easy-going, although the interphased Charlie ends up as the captain of the Enterprise after Jonathan Archer‘s death.
In the first kick back in time, Charlie marries Ethan‘s daughter with the Ikaaran, Bithara. Their daughter is Daphne Tucker, and their granddaughters are T’Mir Ryan and Yoshiko Tucker. Their great-grandsons are Aidan and Steven Khan (sons of Yoshiko).
Takara Masterson Sato
In the MU timeline, with few options, Charlie and Takara end up being thrown together, and they end up becoming the grandparents of the heir to the Terran Empire, Charles VI, AKA The Emperor Charles I.
In the Mirror, Charlie’s theme song is Warren Zevon’s Trouble Waiting to Happen.
Charlie exists in the Mirror Universe in the prime timeline, and in the prime universe in the E2 timeline (first kick back in time only). However, the two men are not counterparts to each other.
“Captain, we didn’t make this. And neither did you. Or, rather, the other version of you. But it happened all the same. We did not think you would believe us. So we put together the notes that Charlotte has just sent you. Please, please, just open them and read them. And you will see that we are sincere.”
For a guy who isn’t supposed to exist at all, I like that Charlie gets some screen time. But I doubt I’ll write him much more unless it’s in the MU.
On October 12, 2153, Captain Jonathan Archer and Doctor Sam Beckett reciprocally leap in time, in this Quantum Leap crossover.
Others have had the idea of crossing Dr. Sam Beckett and Captain Jonathan Archer. That much is for certain. I had wanted to do this for a while, and then the opportunity suddenly presented itself.
The story opens with Beckett materializing onto the NX-01, and meeting Jennifer Crossman. The time period for Quantum Leap is after the end of the series, so Sam has been leaping about in time under all sorts of odd circumstances and those include going past the beginning and end of his natural life span. The show’s creators had said that, if the series had continued, the leaps would have gotten odder, and so going to ancient Rome or even to the taming of fire by primitives would certainly fit the bill there.
As Beckett meets Crossman, he seems (she still thinks he’s Captain Archer) a bit faint. She gets him to Sick Bay, where he yells in alarm when he sees Dr. Phlox. It’s explained to him, eventually, that Archer was in the midst of early negotiations with the Xindi, Degra. Beckett, feeling this is his reason for being on board the Enterprise, asks to be debriefed and vows to attempt the mission.
Meanwhile, on Earth, and a good century previously, Admiral Al Calavicci is trying to work with a somewhat agitated Jonathan Archer. As Tina, Gooshie, Verbena Beeks, and Sammy Jo Fuller all help Jonathan figure out what he needs to do, Donna Eleese stays back. Eventually, Jonathan realizes that the reciprocal leap is a lot less about Degra (although Sam does confront the Xindi) than it is about Donna.
In addition to Star Trek: Enterprise, she has also been on soaps. The Memory Alpha image in particular does not do her justice (the garage mechanic-style unis were not flattering to a lot of the actors). In Reflections Down a Corridor, I have Chang lump her with other women he considers to be ugly – Patti, Susie, and Lili. Hence it was a bit of an unexpected twist to put her into the first marriage on the ship after the first kick back in time.
Friendly and approachable, Judy is reliable but mainly stays out of the spotlight. I do not give her promotions, commendations, or any sort of authority. But not everyone becomes captain, or even ensign. There are those who quietly serve, and Judy is one of those people.
In canon, they are friends. In the E2 timeline, I wanted them to be a lot more than that. In Reflections Down a Corridor, they are the first new couple to get together (technically, Tripp and T’Pol predate them).
There are no impediments to Judy existing in the Mirror Universe. Empress Hoshi will only hold onto female crew members if they are very competent or are not serious sexual competition, preferably both. Judy fits the first criterion but not really the second.
But Goldsberry, for real, is a singer. In the Mirror Universe, singing would be a viable career even for the oppressed women of the other side of the pond. Because I write artistic Mirror Universe denizens as being elites, Judy could even be wealthy.
“I don’t need other prospects.”
Minor characters, with nearly no screen time, can still have rather rich lives in fan fiction. Judy is one such character.
A focus (unlike a spotlight) is an in-depth look at a Star Trek fanfiction canon item and my twist(s) on it.
Of course, all of fan fiction is like that, but the idea here is to provide a window into how a single canon concept can be used in fan fiction.
Star Trek Enterprise did one thing extremely well, which is that it gave audiences a good, solid look at Andorians, a canon alien species that has been around back to The Original Series, about fifty years ago.
Background – Andorians
The look of Andorians has changed over time, as advancements in makeup and prosthetic technology have made the blue-skilled antennaed aliens look more and more real.
Shran is easily the most fully-realized of all Andorians ever shown in the series, if not canon.
While there are Andorians in the Barnstorming series, the main occasion for showing them is in this short story. To dovetail with Shran’s casual prejudice, I made the entire species (more or less) like that. And so Talla, who is half and half, is bullied at school. In order to shout down her persecutors, she claims that her father still has the Teneebian Amethyst. And that’s when things get difficult ….
Andorians are a fascinating canon species, and I’d love to showcase them more. At some point, I’ll try to find a place for them, and not just in contrast to the related Aenar.
Biases gave me a chance to create a new character. Bridie Kelly came out of whole cloth and, unlike nearly everyone else I’ve created for Star Trek fan fiction, she does not connect up to the Reed-Madden-Digiorno-Beckett-Hayes-O’Day family.
So I wrote this short story in response to a prompt of the same name. Being here in Boston, you can hear the Irish brogue on most days. Hence I kept hearing the phrase, ‘No Irish Need Apply‘ as I thought of what would become this story.
For Bridie Kelly, it’s the chance to get a new, decent job. She is a highly skilled nurse’s assistant and caregiver. But she’s tired of seeing sick and dying children (her earlier posting was at a children’s hospital). For Soval, he’s getting up there in years, even for a Vulcan. His aides don’t quite know what to do with him, as he needs care. Plus he’s lost his logical focus and, instead, is impatient. He might also have a bit of the Vulcan equivalent of Alzheimer’s (which is not canon although I think it should be).
Much like Flip; Confidence; A Long, Long Time Ago; Gainful; and Voracious, this is a job interview story. I like the interactions, in particular how Bridie conducts herself and pushes past her doubts. I’ve had people ask for a sequel, or there are even people who ‘ship her and Soval! I think that’s nuts. This is a job interview and nothing more. People can certainly get along without romance becoming a part of it. Not every story merits an extension, or should end with a kiss in front of a sunset backdrop.
I prefer Rankin for this; I just see a guy who’s a little bit younger.
This has more to do with how I’ve written his successor in Multiverse II than anything else.
Keep in mind, the canon character is Philip (one L) and lives during the earlier part of the Third World War. The character I’m talking about is Phillip (two L’s) and is from a bit later. But the idea that funngunner and I had was that the concept of a Colonel Green would continue as several men fill the role over time.
Ruthless and rapacious, Green has an appetite for the remaining luxuries in the ravaged Earth, power, and women, at least as funngunner and I write him. If absolute power corrupts absolutely, Green is the poster child for that.
In Multiverse II, Liesl is eventually revealed to be the kingmaker, that there have been several versions of Green and Phillip is only one of many. There are even three children, but they aren’t Phillip’s or Liesl’s, so the far-future descendant, Phillipa, who Richard Daniels meets and seduces, as is mentioned in Ohio, has someone else’s genetics.
The relationship with Liesl is more businesslike than anything else. There is no marriage – although she’s referred to as his wife. It is just an arrangement, and the two of them continue to do whatever they like. Donald Janeway eventually reveals that he kept a database of eco-warrior ‘volunteers’ and it was split up by gender, with obviously male names scouted for Liesl, obviously female names for the Colonel, and anyone unknown to be determined. And, once they were determined for sure, they would be set aside for either party. Then images would be scoured for imperfections and anyone imperfect would be eliminated from consideration. Anyone unlucky enough to be physically perfect would be ripe for sexual usage.
When Otra arrives, the Colonel only has eyes for her, and kicks Liesl to the curb. Liesl wouldn’t care, except she wants power. Plus Otra is an alien, and that bothers Liesl quite a bit. And then Otra plunges a knife into Green’s chest, just after he proposes marriage. It’s a nasty business, Chilo possession.
For the Mirror Universe, I go back to Phillip Pine for the portrayal.
In my Star Trek: Enteprise fanfiction, I see him as the Emperor of the Terran Empire, Phillip I. His true descendant, Phillip IV, is Emperor when Hoshi Sato, in canon and in Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, declares herself Empress. Hoshi herself assassinates Phillip IV.
“The fool’s paralyzed, and he’s unconscious. He doesn’t need guards or medics; he needs pallbearers.”
It is great fun and more than a little satisfying to write a person who is more or less pure evil. It’s even more satisfying to try to find a way to make him even remotely sympathetic. Green is a trip to write, and there’s talk of there eventually being a Multiverse III. If there is, I want to write him again.
In response to an Andorian Week on the Star Trek Logs site, I decided to do a short story on a teenaged Talla. Talla is a canon character, the daughter of Shran and Jhamel.
In keeping with canon, I decided that the pirates from the abysmal These Are the Voyages episode would be back, and they would again be looking for the Teneebian amethyst. Furthermore, Talla is, in canon, a half-breed, and her pea green-colored skin would give that away immediately. Shran, in canon, often referred to Jonathan Archer as a ‘pink skin’.
I extrapolated this to mean that Andorian society would be accepting of this kind of casual racial prejudice. Therefore, Talla suffers persecution by her classmates, for the color of her skin. In order to try to tell them off, she claims that they still have the amethyst. This gets Shran back into trouble.
Forced back into hiding, Shran bids farewell to his family and seeks refuge on Malcolm‘s ship, the USS Bluebird.
And then Malcolm, along with his crew, including Ethan Shapiro, comes up with a plan to get rid of the pirates, once and for all. Inadvertently, his solution also presents a solution for Shran, Talla, and Jhamel, and the problem of their mixed marriage fitting in, in Andorian society.
The character is, of course, Star Trek: Enterprise canon. Her role on the Enterprise was as a Science crewman, often assisting Doctor Phlox. The actress, unfortunately, died during the first run of the series.
With Waymire deceased, I’m not so sure who I would get to replace her. I imagine the same was true for the writers of the show. They ended up indicating that people had died in some of the Xindi attacks and some bodies were never found.
While that’s a horrifying thought, perhaps Cutler is one of those persons. All too sadly, that will happen when we finally, truly, venture into space.
Pleasant and intelligent, Liz Cutler is alien-curious about Phlox. Even learning that he has three Denobulan women does not faze her. But nothing happens; the actress died before the writers could really do anything with her character. She also never makes it to the Mirror Universe episodes. A pity, as I think she would have made a dandy Mirror Universe character.
Charles Tucker III
As I write Cutler, in the Mirror, she and Tucker have a history. During Reversal, when the opportunity presents itself, they get together. By the time that story is finished, they have left together, for a new life on Lafa II. In marked contrast to the canon end of Tucker, they end up founding a dynasty, with two children, Betsy and Charlie (Charles Tucker IV). Their great-grandson, Charles Tucker VI, is a success to Empress Hoshi, and becomes the Emperor Charles I, as is noted in Temper and Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown?
Known as Beth, the Mirror Universe version of Crewman Cutler leads a hard life. Much like I write other female denizens of the other side of the pond, she lives her life at the whims of men. This becomes an existence lived at the whims of the Empress, and Jun.
In Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, Beth is given a syringe full of tricoulamine and is told to fatally inject either Phlox or Malcolm‘s counterpart, Ian. She chooses Ian, knowing full well that Phlox will also get a lethal injection. However, the Denobulan’s injection will be far more painful. It’s a final act of mercy for her fellow human. I’ve even been asked if she and Ian had a history, and it’s an intriguing idea that I have not yet explored.
After the events of First Born, Empress Hoshi selects Beth to be the babysitter for her first born child, Jun. The horribly bratty Jun even gives her a black eye during Reversal. When it becomes possible to leave the ISS Defiant, Beth jumps at the chance, and leaves with Charles. They meet Jennifer and Treve on the surface of Lafa II, and blend into the forest. She even stands by him as he recovers from delta radiation poisoning, although his facial scarring never goes away.
“Charles! I get the feeling we won’t always be able to do it in the captain’s chair! Think of all the people who are on the Bridge.”
This actress’s life was cut short, which of course is tragic. And it’s unfortunate, too, that the character had so little screen time. I hope this alternate life story has done her some justice.
Like most adults of my generation, I have gone out to work.
I’ve had good jobs and bad ones, interesting ones and dull ones. I’ve been challenged, I’ve been browbeaten and I’ve been inspired. I’ve come home exhilarated, weepy, frustrated and exhausted. I’ve had situations that I wished would never end. And I’ve had jobs where I was climbing the walls, impatient to leave already.
These experiences can and do inform my Star Trek fanfiction at times.
Connections to Trek
The best and closest connection is in the HG Wells series. Those stories, in addition to being about Richard Daniels and his enlightenment, and about various romances and of course about time, they are also, very much, about the world of work.
A Long, Long Time Ago contains within it a group interview and then a series of small one on one meetings. Otra conducts at least one of these meetings, and is satisfied with the candidate, until someone else hears her being referred to, by that candidate, as a salad head. That’s a slur, so that candidate is out, and there is no question.
You Mixed-Up Siciliano, meant to be a vacation in time (it’s 1960 Rome) turns into a disaster when Rick and Sheilagh are targeted by an assassin.
We like to think that Starfleet personnel are just brought in, and that the best people are always hired and there is very little effort behind that. To my mind, that never rang true. I think there was effort behind it. And I also think that, sometimes, it’s not the best person who gets hired. Just like real life.