Tag Archives: Malcolm Reed

Review – The Golden Lady and the Knave

Review – The Golden Lady and the Knave

The Golden Lady and the Knave came about as a result of a poetry challenge on Wattpad.
The Golden Lady and the Knave

Background

First of all, the Golden Lady and the Knave was the poetry from Intolerance, stripped bare. I wanted to introduce people on Wattpad to the In Between Days series and a little poetry contest provided the incentive.

Plot

While the plot does not exist, the poetry adds some color and substance. However, without the background of who the participants are (Malcolm Reed and Dr. Pamela Hudson), the poetry, while lovely, falls kind of flat in places. Since the characters were not introduced, a curious reader cannot learn how dysfunctional their relationship ends up being, or why he writes what he does. And the reader cannot know how the damages Pamela suffers from, or why she closes herself off so very completely.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Because I do so love the poetry, the story does get something of a pass. After all, it was never truly meant to be a story without the additional trappings of the Intolerance novel. Furthermore, it does introduce readers to my poetry. However, Wattpad is a hard place to break into when it comes to fan fiction writing. The issue is the overabundance of non-Star Trek fan fiction on that site. Those other stories drown out pretty much anything Star Trek unless the reader makes it abundantly clear they are writing within the Kelvin timeline and, quite frankly, it’s really only Kirk slash which goes over (semi-)big. Kirk’s partner, inevitably, ends up as either Spock or McCoy.

And since I am not writing any of that, subtle poetry really gets lost.

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Review – Brazen

Review – Brazen

Brazen is a kind of odd duck story. It does not really go along with anything I have written.

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

Background

The idea was a drabble (a drabble is a very short story that has to be exactly one hundred words long) based upon the title word.

Of course, most people do not see the word in any context other than ‘hussy’. Hence I went with that.

Plot

Breaking my own fan canon, I told a short tale of Malcolm Reed bringing home a decidedly different girlfriend from Lili. Truth is, this could have been Ruby Brannagh. After all, their ‘relationship’ is a canon one.

Furthermore, just like in my fan canon, I made the girlfriend pregnant. Because I like to dicker with Reed and give him a child born out of wedlock. The truth is, I have never given him a fully conventional relationship. I don’t put him in situations where marriage comes before children.

However, I told the story from the unnamed woman’s point of view. And she is a bit tearful. Furthermore, the drabble makes it clear that she has at least made an effort. While she has already asked what to do which would impress the Reeds, Malcolm’s silence on the matter does not help.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K+.

Upshot

As any drabble, the story is just plain too short to have any real substance. Furthermore, it does not fit in with any of my fan canon. However, the concept of placing this within the Mirror Universe (and, therefore, Ian Reed rather than Malcolm) could really flip the story. If that is the case, then the woman could be a Mirror Ruby (I have never written her) or even Mirror Universe Liz Cutler. After all, I have already written her. Plus at the time of Ian’s death in Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, Beth (AKA Liz in our universe) does Ian a brief, final kindness. Readers have suggested there was a prior relationship there.

Maybe this is it.

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Review – If I Could See

Review – If I Could See

If I could see … what?

Background

In 2175, Doug tells Declan to follow his dreams and go to art school, and works behind the scenes to make that happen. And this is incredibly important for Doug, as (a) Declan is not his child and (b) Doug has a lot of trouble truly appreciating the arts.

Plot

I had followed some of the other grown or nearly-grown children but Declan, the one who doesn’t quite go with the matched set, had proven a bit elusive.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Later Days | If I Could See
Later Days

Plus there was the question of how well he and Doug would fit in together. After all, to raise the child your wife has had with another man, well, that’s got to be odd to Doug at times, if he thinks about it or looks at it too closely.

But Doug has embraced Declan as more or less one of his own. The unspoken assumption is that, if Malcolm dies in action, that no one will have to worry about Declan.

When Declan thinks he needs to sacrifice his dreams for what feels like an impending war effort, it’s Doug who steers him back to the right path.

Music

This story was inspired by the Crash Test Dummies’ song, “When I Go Out With Artists”.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

For a small story that wasn’t really planned, I like how this one says perhaps more about Doug and Declan’s relationship (and, by extension, Doug and Malcolm’s, and even Doug and Lili‘s) than anything else I have ever written.

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Review – About Nine Months

Review – About Nine Months

About Nine Months captures a lost cause. From October of 2176 to June of 2177, the short life of Kevin Madden-Beckett.

Background

So after writing Fortune, I had wanted to expand on Kevin Madden-Beckett‘s story for a while, but the opportunity kept failing to present itself. It did scream out for some more detail, not only about his existence, but also about how the family felt about him. At the end of Fortune, the siblings make it clear they love him. And in Seven Women, Tommy sees Kevin as a kind of spiritual guide to the other side in his (Tommy’s) last living moments.  As a result, Kevin matters a great deal, even though Q dismisses Kevin’s tragic and short existence as being somewhat like a mayfly’s short life (mayflies live for twenty-four hours). But the family sees more; I felt the need to honor and express that.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Later Days | About Nine Months
Later Days

It is later in everyone’s life. The kids are nearly all grown. Doug and Lili have settled into comfortable married life. Malcolm is busy fighting a cold war, but otherwise things have fallen into an established pattern. Norri is writing her book. Melissa gets some small piloting assignments, as their nest isn’t quite empty yet. Joss is already at Cornell.

Then comes Kevin.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Kevin is a child with no chance, but he has a place, as both Lili’s spirit guide in Fortune and Tommy’s in Seven Women. For someone with such a short time among the living, Kevin proved to have what I feel is a compelling story.

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Recurrent Themes – Soldiers

Recurrent Themes –Soldiers

Background

For Reversal in particular to work, there had a to be a number of people ready and able to go to war.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | SoldiersIn particular, as the Mirror Universe is so different from the prime universe, a lot of people would be soldiers there who wouldn’t be so here. Or they would be more violent and less disciplined than in our universe. As it is explained to Lili, the percentage of military personnel is deliberately kept very high over there.

There are more MACOs in particular than the group listed here, but these people are seen the most.

Appearances of Soldiers

Aliwev

This Calafan recruit drills directly under Doug and, in the Mirror, in one of the alternate timelines, assassinates the Empress Hoshi Sato during Temper.

Douglas Jay Hayes Beckett

Doug, a trained killer, spends much of Reversal trying to leave the practice of making war. When he can’t find anything else to do with himself in Together, he eventually becomes the captain of a defense unit on Lafa II, and instructs recruits.

Daniel Chang

Chang, a canon character, defends the Enterprise but, in the E2 timeline, commits crimes.

Tristan Curtis

Curtis is another E2 timeline criminal. In the Temper alternate timelines, he’s named Craig.

Brian Delacroix

In the prime universe, Delacroix is a security guard who becomes a chef. In the Mirror, he nearly kills Doug.

Tommy Digiorno-Madden

Unlike the other five kids, Tommy joins Starfleet and goes into Tactical.

Thomas Grant

In the deep future, Tom is assigned to the Breen homeworld before he joins the Temporal Integrity Commission.

Deborah Hadden

Deb works in Security in both universes. In the Mirror, she kills Brian before he has a chance to off Doug. But her victory is short-lived, and she perishes when he leaves that universe.

Jay Hayes

The consummate soldier, Major J. Hayes is so committed to defending the ship that he has nearly no time for people.

Gary Hodgkins

Yet another E2 criminal, Hodgkins often pairs with Curtis, particularly in the Mirror.

Chandler Masterson

Chip is wasted in Security and moves over to Communications. This isn’t possible in the Mirror, so he stays in  Tactical. In the prime timeline, he escapes the Empress, but in one of the alternates, he rises to become captain of the Defiant.

Travis Mayweather

Travis is a soldier in the Mirror Universe only. He’s a poor soldier, though, and an even worse leader. In the alternate timelines, and in the prime timeline, he is fragged by his own troops.

Andrew Miller

Like Travis, Andy is only a soldier in the Mirror. When the Empress taps him for somewhat earthy duties, he manages to get himself reassigned to Science.

Malcolm Reed

The other consummate canon career soldier, Malcolm is more ambitious and tries for a command as soon as he can get one.

José Torres

José is another person who is only a soldier in the Mirror. He is not cut out for command at all and, in an alternate timeline, destroys his ship, the Luna, and everyone on board is killed.

Upshot

Star Trek fanfiction will always have a place for men and women (and other genders) in uniform.

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Portrait of a Character – Malcolm (Ian) Reed

Portrait of a Character – Malcolm (Ian) Reed

Origins

This character is canon, but he’s probably still called Malcolm. He is the Mirror Universe counterpart to the original canon character.

Portrait of a Character – Malcolm (Ian) Reed
Ian Reed (Dominic Keating)

I didn’t like that, so I switched his name to Ian. I really liked the idea of the character attempting, but ultimately failing in life, to reinvent himself.

Because he cannot reinvent himself in life, I allow him to do so in death. During the events of Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Ian becomes a kind of spirit guide for Lili.

Portrayal

As in canon, Ian is played by actor Dominic Keating. Keating is the only person I can see in this role.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – Malcolm (Ian) Reed
Ian Reed (Dominic Keating)

Ruthless and nasty, Ian has very little to recommend him. In Fortune, Beth Cutler and Tripp Tucker refer to him as “cruel and sadistic”. But there is another side to Ian, at least at the time of his death. In Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, Ian is partly blinded and knows that he’s got very little time left. His remaining life is pain and misery, as he has been mauled by a Gorn. Plus Hoshi Sato is running wild and has declared herself Empress.

Ian decides that he doesn’t want to be called Malcolm anymore. He decides that he will be Ian and he wants to return to Terra, to live out the remainder of his days. He hopes for some small measure of peace.

But Hoshi can’t allow that.

In a fit of Machiavellian pique, she ruthlessly murders everyone on the senior staff except for Tucker and Mayweather. Cutler is moved over to Sick Bay, and Hoshi hires a new doctor (Cyril Morgan). But before Ian’s death, Cutler is given two lethal syringes and is presented with Ian and Phlox. She has to kill both of them. Which one gets which syringe (one of which will be faster and somewhat painless)?  Cutler helps her fellow human, and gives Ian the marginally better death.

Relationships

Did Ian and Beth have a relationship? I’ve been asked this and, frankly, I’m not sure. The truth is, his best realized relationship is as a guide for Lili. When Ian holds her, comforts her, and otherwise cares for her, without any expectation of return, it allows him to advance in his atonement and move toward a modified state of grace.

Quote

“There’s the time, and I am sorry to be so mysterious. But tonight was to tell you who I am. That way, when you are next visited by me, you won’t be quite so alarmed.”

Upshot

For me, this is a beloved character. I’ll have to figure out a way to bring him back.

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Review – All You Need is Love

Review – All You Need is Love

All You Need is Love is about the aftermath of a very special first birthday party, in October of 2162.

All You Need is Love Background

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | IBD Arrangement | All You Need is Love
In Between Days, the Arrangement

Plot

For Malcolm Reed who, in canon, never had a family and was never close to anyone, I wanted to fix that in my Star Trek fan fiction. In Temper, and then again in Fortune, I had already established that Lili O’Day Beckett would have his only child, Declan.

Review – All You Need is Love
wall painting of the Beatles Story museum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Declan, who is born on Halloween, lives on Lafa II with his mother and her husband, Doug Beckett. But Doug is generous (it is an open marriage) and so Malcolm, when he is on three years of paternity leave (and afterwards, as he purchases the place) lives in a house up a little rise from the Beckett house. There are a lot of visits as such a little baby needs to nurse. The arrangement is such that Doug and Lili will have Declan live with them and their two children together, Joss and Marie Patrice.  Malcolm is well aware of just how much he owes them, particularly Doug. Doug is pretty gracious about things, particularly considering the violent and jealous history between the two men. But Malcolm in particular understands he has got to keep the peace as a gesture to Lili.

He is also abundantly aware of how his life has suddenly and irrevocably changed. As a person who had been utterly devoted to duty, the idea of living an emotionally open life starts off as a somewhat foreign concept. But by this time he’s getting used to opening up and showing what’s inside of him.

Music

Of course, the theme music for this little story is the Beatles’ All You Need is Love.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I like the little domestic scene, and I particularly enjoy how Malcolm feels comfortable enough to break down at any time. He knows that Lili will never make fun of him or otherwise belittle or cheapen his emotions. All he has ever needed is love.

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Review – The Rite

Review – The Rite

A rite can be anything although it’s often religious in nature.

Background

In 2183, Lili, Malcolm and Declan attend Alia Shapiro’s Bat Mitzvah and there’s a little misbehaving going on.

Plot

For a Star Trek fan fiction prompt about misbehaving, I wanted to write about an older yet still frisky Malcolm Reed.

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

It was also a great occasion to get Declan to meet Rebecca, an event that is foretold in Fortune and holds great significance in the family’s later history.

As the story begins, Malcolm Lili, and Declan are coming in, late, to Alia’s Bat Mitzvah service. They sit in the back and everyone is utterly lost.

Unable to follow what is going on, they whisper amongst themselves. But mostly this consists of Malcolm whispering to Lili about how he would prefer that she leave the service with him. In the meantime, poor Declan is embarrassed at his parents behaving this way. All along, a woman sitting in front of them keeps turning around and shushing them.

Eventually, Lili relents and they leave Declan there (he is over eighteen and can entertain himself). Keep in mind that Lili is over seventy in this story. I just adore the idea that they would still be active and would still be interested, and would behave just like newlyweds. But the truth is, they more or less are at this point in the timeline.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I really love this humorous little story. I particularly love the line that I gave to Malcolm, and I can just imagine actor Dominic Keating saying it in that plummy Leicester accent, “I want to go back to the hotel.

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Review – The Black Widow

Review – The Black Widow

A black widow spider represents Pon Farr gone wrong, wrong, wrong.

Background

For a Star Trek fan fiction challenge about “what if”, I decided to take a canon episode into a far different extreme direction.

Plot

In the canon episode, Bounty, T’Pol prematurely goes into Pon Farr because of a medical issue (she and Phlox are affected by a microbe).

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Black Widow
The Black Widow, a horror story from an alternate timeline.

As a part of the episode, she comes onto Phlox, who rebuffs her, and then tries for Malcolm, who is in a pressure suit, and he rejects her as well, eventually shooting her in the back with a phase pistol and stunning her. Archer comes back (he escapes Tellarite captivity) and all is more or less well.

I decided there would be two major differences. Phlox would succumb to her charms, and Malcolm would miss.

As a result, this changes the dynamic dramatically.

The New Plot

In the new plot, once both of these events occur, T’Pol goes after the first man who can (she hopes) satisfy her urges. And that turns out to be Travis.

When the story opens, Jonathan has just returned. Malcolm greets him at the transporter and tells him that there will be a staff meeting immediately. He informs him of Travis‘s death, and also Brian Delacroix‘s, and that Deb Haddon has been gravely injured.  Archer, a bit disoriented and very confused, goes along with this. He sees Malcolm, Hoshi, and Tripp at the meeting. Phlox speaks from Sick Bay.

Archer learns that, after seducing Phlox, T’Pol escaped from decon (the escape is canon, but the seduction failed in canon). Malcolm was there with his team – Brian and Deb. T’Pol came onto Malcolm who rejects her and then, in a rage, she snapped Brian’s neck and shattered Deb’s helmet. A fragment lodges in Deb’s eye, and she is permanently blinded.

And then there’s the matter of Travis. After escaping from that scene, and Malcolm shooting after her but missing, T’Pol confronts Travis in his quarters. She essentially sexually assaults him, and her appetite kills him.

The story continues with Archer confronting her in the Brig, but she is barely competent, and relations with Travis have not satisfied Pon Farr. Hence she will die in a few days if they don’t get her to Vulcan on time.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated T.

Upshot

I really liked the way this one worked out, as I moved from a bewildered Archer to Hoshi with a measure of PTSD, to Malcolm’s disgust and emotional detachment, to T’Pol’s frenzied mania, to Phlox’s shamed confession, to Deb’s acceptance of her fate, to finally communicating with Admiral Forrest and informing him of this big, bad Vulcan secret. I don’t write horror too often, but I think this story turned out well.

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Review – Movie Night

Review – Movie Night

Movie Night, of course, is canon. In November of 2159, Malcolm takes Melissa to Movie Night.

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

Background

In response to a Star Trek fan fiction prompt about fraternizing, I decided to go with a date that would not really be a date at all. Instead, it is a bit of a cover. Melissa is pregnant with Tommy, but has not yet been ordered off the Enterprise. But that time is drawing nearer. Melissa’s plan is to go home to Ceres and Norri and await Tommy’s birth there.

Plot

Review – Movie Night
Robert Strauss (Animal/Stanislaus Kuzawa) in Stalag 17

The story opens with Malcolm carefully getting ready for the evening. But he then smacks his own forehead – he’s forgotten the flowers.

So he visits Shelby Pike in Botany and she makes him a colorful bouquet with the understanding that the flowers and the ribbon can be any color except for blue. Hence it should be obvious to sharp-eyed readers that this is a reference to Lili. I also spell out that the date is not with his true beloved.

While in the lift with Tripp, Tucker asks if he and Melissa are getting serious. Therefore, Malcolm confides that it is all for show, and he is taking care of her as a friend (and as a part of the Doug/Lili open marriage arrangement), but he does not have romantic feelings for Melissa.

However, he arrives to find the door to her quarters locked, but he can hear Melissa retching. He uses (rather, he oversteps, really) his authority and bypasses the lock. He holds back the flowers, unsure if they will set her off again. Then he also scolds her, and then realizes that that is not his place. Not his child, not his girl. A bit tentative, she insists on going out, and the story ends with them going to see Stalag 17 together.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I liked the little touches in this one, as Malcolm seems like he is suiting up for a date, to Melissa’s complaining about being sick all the time, to the colors in the bouquet and then the film, which is also referenced in Day of the Dead.

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