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Review – Theorizing

Review – Theorizing

Theorizing was an irresistible concept.

On October 12, 2153, Captain Jonathan Archer and Doctor Sam Beckett reciprocally leap in time, in this Quantum Leap crossover.

Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Theorizing
Theorizing

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.

Plot

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.

Review – Theorizing
Donna and Al

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.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I really loved putting together two of my all-time favorite shows, in an effort to make them both work together like a well-oiled machine. Did I pull it off? Let me know in the comments!

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Portrait of a Character – Rayna Montgomery

Portrait of a Character – Rayna Montgomery

Rayna Montgomery spoke to me.

Origins

A call was put out, on Trek United, for short stories for a newsletter. I was currently writing more basic fare such as More, More, More!

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Freak School | Rayna Montgomery
Freak School

Then something turned in my head, and I came up with this odd character, a kind of Klingon Valley Girl.

Meet Rayna.

Portrayal

Amanda Seyfried as Rayna Montgomery
Amanda Seyfried as Rayna Montgomery

I like Amanda Seyfried for Rayna, particularly without heavy makeup.

But the truth is, Rayna could be played by a lot of young actresses.  Certainly Kaley Cuoco or Holly Marie Combs would have been fine in their earlier days.

Personality

Gawky and out of place, Rayna is as unsure of herself as many teenaged girls are. The difference is that Rayna, being half-Klingon, can do some serious damage if she becomes angered. Failing in school, she is taken out by her concerned parents and is moved from Connecticut to the Archer Academy on Oberon, where troubled hybrid teens can go as a kind of last stop before Juvenile Hall.

But Rayna is also smart, and her poor grades are more a reflection on her not fitting in than on any lack of ability. Once she gets to the Archer Academy, she begins to blossom, particularly in English. But she still can’t quite get the hang of advanced Math. But that’s okay; she’s about to get a tutor.

Relationships

Stellak

I haven’t decided whether this will actually go anywhere, but I like the idea of Rayna having a fellow in class who she can relate to, or at least strive for. Because not only does she want to fit in; she also wants to get the guy and, at the same time, defeat her arch-rival, Tellifa.

Mirror Universe

There are really no impediments to Rayna existing in the Mirror Universe.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel |  Amanda Seyfried as Rayna Montgomery (image is for educational purposes only)
Amanda Seyfried as Rayna Montgomery (image is for educational purposes only)

I like to think she’d be more graceful, and maybe even beautiful.

But she’d still be crafty.

Quote

“If I had more Klingon in me, I guess I’d be more intimidating, but most of the time I’m just a creampuff with cranial ridges. I swear I have never told anybody that before. Group is useless, but I feel I can at least mention it here.”

Upshot

I love this character but I really haven’t done enough with her.  After Freak School, she was mainly forgotten, which is a shame. I’ll have to find something to do with her one of these days.


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Recurrent Themes – 42753

Recurrent Themes – 42753

42753?

Background

What is it about this particular number?

I have no idea why this number became my go-to number. I just like it. Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | 42753 It’s easy to type on a keypad, as the 4 and the 2 are typed diagonally from left to right, and then the 7, 5, and 3 are typed diagonally in the same way, but from one row higher.

It’s a zip code in central Kentucky and really has no significance in my life whatsoever.

Yet it creeps into my Star Trek fan fiction all the same.

Appearances

The Puzzle, A Tale Told in Pieces

When Travis is kidnapped for an alien experiment, he meets several people, including a ‘defective’ (not overwhelmingly alluring) Orion slave girl who has no name, and is only known as a number. And that number is 42753.

The Three of Us

In The Three of Us, Jay Hayes reveals that 42753 is his serial number.

Hayes dogtags
Hayes dogtag

In particular, he only gives out this number while the Imvari are torturing him.

The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat

This story includes a scene of reading Porthos’s microchip. The number is 2149-42753.

The Tribe

In The Tribe, when Mary Reed is trapped in a transport that isn’t working, the number of the car she’s in is 42753.

Multiverse II

In Multiverse II, 42753 is the panel number for where Branch Borodin has to place the pulse shot collector.

Level 2 multiverse
Level 2 multiverse

Later, the number also refers to the last message Levi sends to Maren O’Connor before his PADD dies.

Untrustworthy (Original Fiction)

One rather long designation includes this particular string of numbers.

Things to come

Play contains 42753 in two places. First, it’s the number of a secure channel Admiral Alynna Nechayev uses. The second time, it’s at the end of a string of numbers denoting Dana MacKenzie’s radiation band, which proves that she has some Mirror Universe ancestry.

Upshot

This quirky number will be back. I guarantee it. Like this post? Tweet it!

Portrait of a Character – Phlox

Portrait of a Character – Phlox

Origins

This Star Trek: Enterprise canon character is one of two alien members of the NX-01‘s crew (the other is the Vulcan, T’Pol). The Denobulan species was written for ENT.

Portrayal

As in canon, Phlox is played by John Billingsley.

Portrait of a Character – Phlox

The actor is well-cast and it’s hard to think of anyone else in the role. Much like Leonard Nimoy and Vulcans, Billingsley essential defines what it means to be a Denobulan.

Personality

Personable, cheerful, and kind, Phlox is also, at times, a bit baffled by humans. For starters, at the beginning of the series, he can’t quite figure out the idea behind pets.

Relationships

Feezal

Portrait of a Character – Phlox

This canon relationship is with Phlox’s second wife, of three. The other two are never named in canon. I’ve never written her except in the context of Phlox missing her after the Enterprise is kicked back in time, during E2.

Amanda Cole

Also canon, in the E2 episode, Phlox and Amanda get together, a scene that I show in both Entanglements and Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.

Mirror Universe

This character exists in canon.

Mirror Phlox
Mirror Phlox

At the end of the pair of canon ENT Mirror Universe episodes, his fate is unknown. But I figure it’s got to be that his days are numbered. Hence, in Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, I have Empress Hoshi order his death. When Beth Cutler is given two syringes, one with the proven fast nerve toxin, tricoulamine, and the other with replicated orange juice, the Science technician knows that both shots will kill whoever receives them. She hesitates until Hoshi tells her that she’ll be next if she takes any longer. The choice is to inject either Phlox, or Ian Reed, Malcolm‘s counterpart. With a small sympathy to her fellow Terran, Beth gives Ian the proven fast killing agent. Phlox, unfortunately, suffers at the end.

Quote

“Your mating rituals do fascinate me. Always a complicated minuet of sorts. Mind if I observe?”

Upshot

I don’t write Phlox that much, except in the context of E2 stories and Intolerance. Part of that is to pave the way for other physician characters, such as Blair Claymore, Pamela Hudson, and Cyril Morgan. It’s also because, until Reflections Down a Corridor, I wasn’t really all that comfortable writing him. He’s absent from a lot of my main timeline, and nearly all of my Mirror Universe timeline. Will he return? Yes, although many storylines shut him out completely.

 

Portrait of a Character – Elizabeth Cutler

Portrait of a Character – Elizabeth Cutler

Elizabeth Cutler lives on in fan fiction.

Origins

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.

Portrayal

As in canon, the character is portrayed by the late Kellie Waymire.

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Cutler and Phlox | Elizabeth Cutler
Cutler and Phlox

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.

Personality

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.

Relationships

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?

Mirror Universe

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Kellie Waymire as MU Cutler (image is for educational purposes) | Elizabeth Cutler
Kellie Waymire as MU Cutler (image is for educational purposes)

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.

Quote

“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.”

Upshot

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.

Portrait of a Character – Saddik

Portrait of a Character – Saddik

Saddik came together quickly.

Origins

Eriecho needed a benefactor in Star Trek fanfiction, a person who could care for her as a child. Her first caregiver is Saddik, who essentially becomes her adoptive father. Like Eriecho, Saddik is a product of the Kelvin timeline, where Vulcan is no more.

He is a falsely accused prisoner at Canamar, with no hope of release until the destruction of Vulcan spurs the Federation to look for Vulcans anywhere they may be in the galaxy. This ends up including prisons.

Portrayal

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Saddik
Saddik (image of Mandy Patinkin is for educational purposes only)

Saddik is portrayed by actor-singer Mandy Patinkin.

For a character whose name comes from the Hebrew word for righteous, but is actually an ex-convict, this actor fits well.

This photo manipulation was done by the terrific ArtItUp! on the STPMA.

Personality

When the reader first sees Saddik, he’s wondering what to do about Pon Farr, as H’Shema is dead and the only other female at Canamar is Eriecho. It feels odd to him (as it should to the reader), but he’s going to have some very real needs. He doesn’t want to fulfill Pon Farr with her, but he recognizes that he might not have much choice when the time comes. But they escape from this fate when the two Vulcans are released from prison and brought to one of the many sanctuaries set up for Vulcans by the Federation. The idea is to protect people who have essentially, overnight, become a sentient endangered species.

Saddik takes it all in stride. Things are far better than they had been at Canamar, so he’s not one to complain. All he really wants is to have his own mate and for Eriecho to have one as well. But he won’t complain about the sanctuary. His life has improved in the extreme. He’s not about to upset the apple cart.

Relationships

H’Shema

This elderly Suliban woman was the only other female in Canamar Prison, and helped to care for Eriecho. The three of them lived as an approximation of a family unit, and H’Shema assisted Saddik during his bouts of Pon Farr. Did they love each other? Eriecho clearly loved H’Shema like a mother. I’m not so sure about how Saddik felt about H’Shema, although he was certainly grateful for her existence, her compassion and her resourcefulness. In Release, he does mourn her a bit, in his own way.

Valeris

In Recessive, as Eriecho is bonding with Sollastek, Saddik looks around at the various single women at the sanctuary. He’s interested in all of them, but the one who really catches his eye is this much younger Pon Farr comforter who has recently been transferred from another sanctuary. As a fellow misfit, she and Saddik have that in common. So as that story ends, the two of them are only beginning to get to know one another.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Saddik
Mirror Saddik

There aren’t any impediments to Saddik existing in the Mirror Universe (or even in the prime timeline, for that matter).

He would very likely not be a prisoner and would probably live a more or less normal Vulcan life. In fact, he could very well be one of the few of my characters whose lives would be better in the Mirror Universe than in the prime universe.

Quote

“She is my daughter.”

Upshot

So for a character who starts off as a bit of a horny Vulcan, he turned into someone who could be Eriecho’s true father. He cares for her and listens to her problems, and helps to shield her from the worst of the disapproving glares and statements of the Vulcan matrons who also live at the sanctuary. He’s had to step up again and again, and he has, even if he’s a little skeptical of his own abilities.

He’ll be back.

In Character – Kevin O’Connor

English: HG Wells
English: HG Wells (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, now, Darlin’, my name is Kevin O’Connor and I have no idea why I’m here, but I’m a-gonna try to do this right, even though there’s a buncha stories in the Times of the HG Wells collection that I am not in. So you might see a story and I’m not there, but that’s all right ’cause other characters, they need to get their due, too.

And before I say anything, the blog owner really should mark the 2013 Blog Year in Review.

Now that that’s outta the way, uh, where were we? Yeah. I’m takin’ over this blog, even though God knows I’m not much of a writer. That’s a soft skill, yanno, like public speakin’ or sales. But gimme a time ship any day, or even a replicator.

New coffee maker
New coffee maker (Photo credit: scriptingnews)

The Commission sent me to pre-Warp a few times – I had to keep long sleeves and long pants on, and a high collar, all on account o’ my scales – you know my Mama was a Gorn, right? And I swear it was like them old coffee makers was speakin’ to me.

So in case you’re unsure, I am an engineer.

Anyway, damn your eyes, or maybe damn mine, but there are questions to answer, and here I am, wastin’ time even though time is my business, Darlin’.

It’s all, uh, here.

Transitions

How do you handle them?

So I’ll tell you about my biggest transition, which was when Josie went from bein’ her beautiful, vibrant, funny, sweet self to, well, you don’t wanna know. Damn Piaris Syndrome. Dammit all to hell. It just takes ever’thin’. It rips it out and it stomps on it and all it does it hurt ya.

But lemme start from the beginnin’, see? I met her, it was at this party, it was, uh, it’s all in a story called The Point is Probably Moot. And she was, well, here’s a pitcher of her.

Jhasi Tantharis (Josie O'Connor)

Ashley Olsen at Luna Park, Sydney
Ashley Olsen at Luna Park, Sydney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wasn’t she a peach?

She was Aenar, yanno. Blind as a bat. And I took her to a ballgame for our first date, and I messed up and I called her Josie even though her real name was Jhasi. But she laughed at that but she did grab a cap from the wrong team. I think that was a joke on her part, way back when. It’s all in The Honky Tonk Angel. That is, if you wanna look. I don’t mind waitin’, Darlin’.

But it all went bad, when she got sick. It was, see, in your time period, it looks kinda like lupus to start, and then it gets a lot like Lou Gehrig’s disease and then it just eats away ever’thin’. And then in the end, y’see, you lose your thoughts and your mind and your memories. Hardest part was when she didn’t know me.

‘Scuse me, I gotta take a break, okay?

=/\=

Okay, I’m okay now. It’s, see, there’s a story called Candy and it’s about when we renewed our vows. We did that on account that, well, she was a few months from, man, it was a few months before she died.

So how did I handle that? Rick Daniels says I was brave. I guess; I dunno. I like to think that bravery is runnin’ and dodgin’ phasers or stuff like that. I just did what, you know, any husband would do, I think. I have to think that.

Do they frighten you? Inspire you? Sicken you? Amuse you?

So what did this transition do? Well, it scared the crap outta me to start, of course. I mean, you fall in love, you marry, and you make plans, yanno? And we wasn’t gonna have kids, but we still figured it would be, like my family motto says, it would be forever.

Whatever forever means, when there’s cruel mortality, I suppose.

"Forever"
“Forever” (Photo credit: seanmcgrath)

It’s a joke, or at least that’s how I saw it at the time. It just hurt like you wouldn’t believe. It was as if I’d been stabbed with a sword.

It was terrible until I met Yilta. She’s a Calafan, see? And they’re really open and kind, and they seem to, in some ways, it’s like they love us better than we love ourselves. I dunno how else I can describe it. But they do. I, uh, I should get a pitcher; I don’t have one right now. She’ll give me a playful punch on the arm when she learns I don’t have a pitcher to show you. But she’s a silver one, so she’s from our universe. She’s got hair and pretty well-developed calloo – that’s the pattern on their arms ‘n legs – so she’s, yanno, she’s been around the block a few times. She’s from Lafa V and her accent, it sounds like an Irish brogue. Very understanding about Josie, and very cute, she is, see. She’s made that transition so much easier.

And it gets me to wond’rin’, even though it’s not one o’ the questions, but I wonder what I’d’a done if I knew Yilta while me and Josie was married. Yilta, I know, she wouldn’t be a home-wrecker, but what happens when it’s all falling apart, anyway? Anyway, you didn’t ask that so I’m left to just wonder.

Tell us about a memorable transition. Maybe one that went well.

Anyway, so that’s the biggest ole transition in my life, or maybe it’s a buncha ’em. It’s going from lonely bachelor to husband to caregiver to widower to, now, heh, boyfriend.

I am over seventy years old in human years and I am a boyfriend.

Yeah, it makes me laugh, too.

Or, if you dare, one that didn’t go so well.

But it’s also, at the same time, it’s the transition that didn’t go so well. ‘Course poor Josie never asked for none o’ that. She was, I mean, she was a kindergarten teacher. She was unselfish and lovely and, man oh man they say God takes people like that young because he needs ’em but I still can’t help but wonder why sometimes.

Bonus Questions!

Let’s say you meet a character. It could be a canon person, or not. They might be from your universe, or not. What would you tell them about a transition that they might be going through? How could you help them with it? Would you help them?

I think ever’body goes through transitions, ’cause otherwise they’re not really characters, see? They’re just flat on a page. If they’re gonna live, they gotta have changes.

So I’ll look at somebody outside my time frame. See, I’m a time guy, so’s I can do that. And I’ll spin the big wheel and will ya look at that? I came up with Eriecho. This is my lucky day; I should play the Ferengi lottery next, I think.

See, Eriecho really had a big transition when she was let outta jail. She had never, ever been free before, and it was strange to her. I think it even kinda scared her, even at the same time as it thrilled her. So she was, you see, she was at a loss as to what to do. And I think she still is. Sure, she loves Sollastek and they’ll get married. And hey, maybe I’ll refurbish one o’ them ole coffee makers and send ’em one but I bet Yilta would tell me we should send somethin’ nicer, too. But she’ll pick out the doilies or whatever. You know how women like to do that.

I think I’d let Eriecho know that it’s not so scary, bein’ free. And you gotta fill up yer time, otherwise you just get bored. But it doesn’t have to be structured, and it doesn’t have to be other people’s ideas of what ya should do. See, we know the alternatives, and Otra sees ’em, and she tells me that that other timeline, you know the one you all call nuTrek or JJ Abrams Trek or whatever? She tells me it’ll resolve itself, and it’ll be better. And it won’t send Eriecho back to jail or anythin’ like that, so that’s good.

So all’s Eriecho’s gotta do – all any of us has gotta do – is just hang in there. And do what we think is right and best. What we feel is honorable or lovin’ or kind or artistic or well-engineered or even just interestin’. We can ride out the transitions, and let ’em wash off our backs.

And lemme tell ya, I weigh nearly a quarter of a metric ton and I got a pretty damn broad back, Darlin’. But Eriecho, see, and anyone else readin’ this? Just roll with them changes, and do whatever it is that you’re doin’ that feels right. ‘Cause I bet it is. You prolly know better ‘n you think.

Hey, mebbe I do, too.

Nice talkin’ to ya, Darlin’. Okay, I’ll give the blog back, now. Thanks for the soap box.

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Focus – The Earth-Romulan War

Focus – The Earth-Romulan War

The Earth-Romulan War is canon but was not a part of Enterprise.
Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Focus Magnifying Glass | The Earth-Romulan War
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.

Background

 

The Earth-Romulan War is a part canon never actually shown on screen. For a lot of fans, it is an opportunity that was sorely missed in Star Trek: Enterprise. If the series had gone onto seven seasons instead of just four, undoubtedly the war would have finally been shown.

Occurrences

Dispatches from the Romulan War

A few years ago, I became part of a project called Dispatches from the Romulan War. Dispatches has been posted in a lot of locations. My two contributions are Soldiers’ Marriage Project, which introduced character Rona Moran, and Prison Break, which was intended to give some hope that some people thought dead at the start of the war were actually alive. Further, it had a prison called Gemara, at Berren Five. I have used this on several occasions and it was first mentioned in The Puzzle.

Before the War

As a run-up to the war, in The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Stilton Fulfillment, the NX-01 hosts the Caitian ambassador and his family. However, the ship suffers some damage in a quick hit and run, much like hostilities can ramp up in prelude to a real war.

The Beginning of Hostilities

After some more leisurely exploratory moments, such as are in The Light, Intolerance and Reversal, things begin to get down to business in Together. While the ship speeds toward Earth to deliver Jennifer Crossman to her wedding to Frank Ramirez, things are at a bit of a lull. But when ten people are kidnapped off the ship, T’Pol needs to work with her allies in order to find them again. There isn’t a lot of time to divert to this mission, but she still needs to try.

Breaks in the Action

Broken Seal follows a few short incidents of hijinks even as the hostilities are going on. The same is true of first contact with the Daranaeans, which occurs in The Cure is Worse Than the Disease. Another case of hijinks, but this time they are remembered as a story is told, is in Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before. But all is not right, and the reason why Chip and Deb are alone in his quarters at all is because Aidan is injured enough that Phlox keeps him in Sick Bay overnight. In Temper, the war is again interrupted as Malcolm, Jonathan and Tripp need to work to protect the NX-01 from damage that could be incurred from an errant pulse shot.

Aftermath

Achieving Peace shows the last of the treaty negotiations, as Laura Hayes is there. And in Shell Shock, protesters are angered by Starfleet’s involvement in two wars in such a short period of time. A part of Malcolm’s problems during that story are his memories of the war. This includes the particularly brutal death of an anonymous crew member.

Upshot

For this huge gap in canon, into which you could drive a truck, there was no reason to not cover it. Hell, it’s the elephant in the room, when it comes to the ENT era.

Why not show it?

The Earth-Romulan War will be back in my writing; I guarantee it.

What’s Star Trek?

Boldly Reading‘s got another interesting set of questions for me!

Lucky prompt #13 asks –

To go along with this month’s AOS selection, here are some questions to chew on, since so many people feel that the JJ Abrams universe somehow is not Star Trek.

What does it mean to you when a story is described as being Star Trek? What are the characteristics? Is there a bright line between Trek and not-Trek?

What Does it Mean When We Call It Star Trek?

Gene Roddenberry
Cover of Gene Roddenberry

I think it’s mainly about Roddenberry’s general values. It isn’t ships, because people get off the ships (and who’s the say that they won’t stay off the ships for a while longer than just a quickie mission?). It isn’t just phasers and Vulcans and shuttles, because the time of Colonel Green could easily fit into Trek (hell, it’s canon!) and none of those things exist yet.

But maybe not … too much. After all, Roddenberry also, at times, had some ridiculous notions, such as that humanity would somehow be ‘advanced’ enough that mourning the dead wouldn’t happen, or at least not for long, and that trauma would be minimized.

WTF???!!?!?!?

So I think there are some limits there. I think repairing older and antiquated ideas, too –  I have no problem with doing that and still calling it Trek. For example, our current smartphones and tablets are far more sophisticated than they ever dreamed of in the 1960s. Why not have the technology reflect that? I have characters sending and receiving email, and performing what are essentially Google-style searches. I do not imagine those behaviors ending any time soon, and I do not believe that Star Trek loses anything by slipping those bits of reality into the mix. Hell, I think it makes the stories stronger.

Bonus questions!

What are some of your favorite explorations of AOS on Ad Astra? How do you think these stories would change if they took place in TOS or one of the other series?

I like Niobium‘s take on the AOS, and I also enjoyed ErinJean‘s take. I’d love for her to continue in her explorations.

I believe many of us also grab bits and pieces of AOS and dovetail them into ENT or TOS

Original Captian Pike
Original Captian Pike (Photo credit: Dallas1200am)

writings. Captain Pike, certainly, got considerably more depth in the new films. Personally, I now see and hear Bruce Greenwood far more than Jeffrey Hunter in that role. I’ve tried to reconcile the two timelines, at least in part. Melissa and Doug‘s middle son, Tommy, dies in the service of his captain, George Kirk, on the Kelvin, a direct nod to Star Trek 2009.

Upshot

I find questions of what is and isn’t Star Trek to sometimes be a bit disingenuous. People said that ENT wasn’t Trek. They said that DS9 wasn’t. I think a lot of them will come around to AOS being Trek. As for me, the distinction is fairly clear albeit not perfectly. I know, for a fact, that Jane Eyre is not Star Trek. After that, though, sometimes, I’m not so sure.

 

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Recurrent Themes – Derellian Bats

Recurrent Themes – Derellian Bats

Derellian bats really get around. This fun little made-up creature, it seems, has been just about everywhere.

Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Derellian Bats

When I first began to write Reversal, I did not perform too much detailed or careful research (oops). I knew that Dr. Phlox had kept a bat. However, I could not recall the real name of it (it is the Pyrithian Bat, by the way).

This bit of negligence resulted in my naming the creature. I went with the made-up term, Derellian Bat. I mainly just like the euphony. The name ‘Derellian’ is not meant to have a meaning. I am not even so sure any sentient species come from its planet. It could very  well be the smartest species on its world.

Appearances

Recurrent Themes – Derellian Bats
Pyrithian Bat

The Derellian Bat has been in a number of places, and this little creature is known in both the prime universe and the mirror. In Temper, the bat is a part of Cyril Morgan‘s Sick Bay. The bat also makes appearances in Fortune, Day of the Dead, Entanglements, Together, Reflections Down a Corridor, The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Stilton Fulfillment, Coveted Commodity and The Puzzle, a Tale Told in Pieces.

As a part of In Between Days continuity, the bat even goes all the way back to A Single Step, making the species, and its mild empathic healing properties, known to the Caitians.  Hence the creature is a part of the entire In Between Days timeline. However, it does not (yet) seem to be a part of the Times of the HG Wells. In addition, it does not seem to be a part of the Eriecho continuity, which includes the Kelvin timeline.

Upshot

Almost like Alfred Hitchcock in his own films, I like to see where I can slip the Derellian Bat into my fiction. This little Swiss Army knife of a creature will be back. I guarantee it.