I wanted Eriecho to eventually have a love interest, so that she could have a silver lining from the horrible tragedy that is the destruction of Vulcan in the new timeline. This man would be markedly younger than her, and not too terribly well-educated. Enter Sollastek.
I think Timberlake (who is a better actor than a lot of people seem to give him credit for) would make a pretty interesting Vulcan.
I like the idea of him being a bit guilt-ridden, partly with survivor guilt, but also because he is a witness to a canon event, when Amanda Grayson, Spock’s mother, is killed.
A bit troubled but trying very hard, Sollastek is attempting to make the best of a bad situation. But the truth is, if Eriecho and Saddik had not arrived at the Martian Sanctuary, it’s likely that he would have been the subject of the matrons’ none too subtle shunning. He is working class and barely on their side of logical and meditative. After all, even on Vulcan, someone has to be a day laborer.
Sollastek’s sole known relationship is with Eriecho. In Across the Universe, she learns that he made a deal with Colonel Shaw to change his space in the community garden so that he could be closer to her. He is a calming influence on Eriecho, and grounds her. He’s patient with her when she runs off to Earth with Sybok, too.
There are no impediments to Sollastek existing in the Mirror Universe.
I do not feel that he would be any brighter, but he would probably have more confidence. As for survivor guilt, much like a lot of denizens of the Mirror, he just wouldn’t care all that much.
“Many of us have seen truly horrible things. I was there when our home world was destroyed, as was Valeris. It was a day I will never forget. Many of the others, I am certain, have suffered their own personal traumas.”
As Eriecho goes, so goes Sollastek. He will return.
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.
For every one of us (except, perhaps, for canon characters like Q and Trelane), aging is inevitable. So why is it so hard to confront and accept sometimes?
When I first started writing Reversal, I was a bit upset at the prospect of aging. Of course, the alternative is far worse. Hence I decided to confront aging head on with certain elements of that story.
The main aliens I created (Calafans) would exhibit signs of aging that would be the reverse of our own (a play on the story’s title). Hence they would start off bald and sprout hair, they would begin with heavy pigmentation on their extremities that would change to a pattern (somewhat like wrinkles or spider veins) and then to perfect clarity and they would also move from detailed dreams to, eventually, simpler ones.
The heroine (Lili O’Day) would be the same age as me (I was 48 years old at the time). Hence she would show normal signs of aging – parentheses lines around her mouth, hair going white and a bit of sagging. But her age bespeaks of not only wisdom but also that she is a bit underestimated in the looks department, and by many people (e. g. Daniel Chang in Demotion, for one). She still gets her men, Doug Beckett, Malcolm Reed, Jay Hayes, Ian Reed and José Torres, depending upon which stories you read.
The hero, Doug Hayes Beckett, would also be aging, so as to reflect the age of Steven Culp at the time the story was written (55). Doug is, in the Mirror, referred to as the old man, and the reference is a pejorative one.
Richard Daniels in Temper would also be no spring chicken, and the same would be true of two of his love interests, Sheilagh Bernstein and Milena Chelenska. Kevin O’Connor would be over seventy, and Polly Porter would also be over sixty. Older people were absolutely, under no circumstances, to be discarded.
Dealing with aging has crept into my writing. Here are some notable examples.
In Fortune, Doug, Lili, Malcolm, Melissa Madden and Leonora Digiorno all, eventually, meet their ends. By showing a pivotal moment in later life, and then their last days, I hoped to give the reader some closure and some understanding of the direction in which each of these characters was going.
Biases is a story of an aging health care worker who ends up caring for an even more aged canon character. In this story, I wanted to touch upon the themes of losing control and compromising.
The major characters in Equinox are coming to grips with a major life change. However, the peripheral characters are also dealing with doing whatever they can in order to change their lives. Most have gotten to an age where Starfleet service is more of a burden than a joy.
Malcolm and Lili, in later life, prove in The Rite that just because there’s snow on the roof, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a fire in the furnace.
Escape pulls together older Mirror Universe stories and drags them into the future. The future is never good there, and aging is, inevitably, a sign of weakness. This story is taken up in The Point is Probably Moot.
Back in our universe, Neil Digiorno-Madden copes with his own aging body by pushing his physical limits, in The Medal.
Shake Your Body continues the background theme of Empress Hoshi aging, and not too gracefully.
He Stays a Stranger
The specter of not only Empress Hoshi’s aging but also Richard Daniels being wiped from existence fuels He Stays a Stranger. Furthermore, Lili and Malcolm are shown dealing with a very particular side effect of aging.
Wesley Crusher’s aging, and his telling a story to his eager grandchildren, punctuates Crackerjack.
It’s inevitable. Of course, with writing and with characters, they need never age. But I think that misses the point of creativity. Anyone can make a beautiful 24-year-old woman sail through life and get whatever she wants. I think the trick is when she’s 48 and isn’t so beautiful. For that is a much realer depiction of the human condition.
The Empress is, of course, canon. But the second mirror universeEnterprise story ends with the beginning of her power grab. It doesn’t tell you whether she was successful and, if she was, what happened next.
In Reversal, the Empress’s power is well-established and has been consolidated. Doug offhandedly tells Lili that the Empress took about a year or so to get it all together and, in the meantime, had a child as well. That child turns out to be Jun Daniels Sato.
But the Empress is dissatisfied (and sexually voracious). She is looking for younger siblings for Jun. She understands Machiavelli enough to know that she needs a multitude of potential successors in order to keep herself in power (and healthy) as long as possible. Plus she needs to keep producing heirs as long as possible for, if a faction prefers her youngest child, that faction might just wait until the youngest one’s age of majority before becoming a physical threat to her. It’s a chance, but she’s got to take it.
Pamela is as intelligent as Hoshi (if not more so) but, ultimately, she turns out to not be ruthless. Instead, her motivations are her own damaged past and her hopes for the future. For Pamela, finding love brings her full circle and gives her what she truly needs. She is able to hang up the femme fatale act and enjoy life.
Marisol, on the other hand, is not motivated by anything positive whatsoever. As a much more classic femme fatale, Marisol is downright hazardous.
She is an assassin and a blackmailer, and treats Borin Yarin badly enough that she pays the ultimate price for her ruthlessness.
Two of my main femme fatales are doctors. Perhaps there is something to that, the feeling that, when other characters are vulnerable, a femme fatale can do the most damage. The trick, I feel, is to write the archetype without writing a cliché.