Tag Archives: Marie Patrice

Review – The Decision

Review – The Decision

A decision changes Norri, Neil, and Declan’s lives the most.

Background

In May of 2206, the family gathers on Lafa II to make an important decision about Norri and Melissa‘s future.

Plot

"Barking

There’s been an accident. An elderly Leonora Digiorno has fallen, and broken her hip. Her lover, Melissa Madden, has her own issues with Irumodic Syndrome. It’s becoming obvious that Norri can no longer care for Melissa on her own. What to do?

The story opens with a crack, as Marie Patrice Beckett slaps an Andorian model across the face and then fires the blue woman. Why does this happen? It’s because the model has the nerve to point out (and this is a fact, by the way) that, “It’s not like either of them are related to you.”

For Empy, who is an often selfish and flighty character, the slap is a confirmation that, when the chips are down, she will do right and will stand with her family.

The family gathers, from various postings, including Tommy, who is with Starfleet. In order to dovetail with Fortune, Declan Reed assumes the burden of caring for the two aging lesbians. He does so voluntarily, even before anyone else can suggest it. This story takes place before he meets Rebecca Shapiro again, and so he is free and has little else going on in his life. He’s divorced from Louise Schiller and is an artist in residence at Oxford University. But this is the future. He doesn’t have to physically be present in England in order for them to call him an artist in residence.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

Much like Empy’s slap, Declan volunteering evokes the ironclad bond that the family has. Everyone steps up. Everyone agrees to do something. No one is left out, and no one wants to be. At the same time, no one tries to weasel out of their responsibilities, either. May we all be cared for that way in the future.

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Review – Linfep Linfep Linfep

Review – Linfep Linfep Linfep

Linfep Linfep what? They are a lot like rabbits. Hence the title, and the subject matter. Once again, a play on words saves the day.

Background

I can’t recall the prompt for this one, but it was the first day of the month. This made for a good bit of backhanded inspiration.

I decided on a play on “Rabbit rabbit rabbit.” On Lafa II, linfep are the closest thing. Hence the story was not only about near-rabbits, but also about what rabbits do best.

Plot

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

It’s the first of the month, and so Lili mutters the phrase as her kids get her up way too early and she stumbles in the general direction of the coffee.

She has been tasked with taking care of all five children as Malcolm is defending the Neutral Zone (so Declan is around). Melissa and Norri are on Earth for an occasion, and so Tommy and Neil are staying over. Doug is working with his recruits. Of course Doug and Lili’s two children together, Joss and Marie Patrice are there as they live there.

Lili and the kids all notice a number of linfep scampering around the yard, and she realizes they are going to get holes in the yard. She asks Doug to bring home tofflin leaves when he comes back, as those repel the cute but destructive invaders.

Then the kids notice that two of the linfep are ‘telling secrets’.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

For a little story about the ramp up to telling children the facts of life, I think this amusing little story works pretty well.

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Review – Tumult

Review – Tumult

Tumult came easily.

Background

On May fifth of 2160, Lili and Doug arrive on Ceres for Tommy’s birth, on May sixth.

Plot

As a direct sequel to Together, I wanted to begin to show the Beckett-O’Day-Reed-Digiorno-Madden arrangement and how it would work.

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

Hence much like with Equilibrium, this story would show some of the adjustments that would need to be made in order to get an open marriage to run smoothly.

Tommy is one of the pieces that holds the whole mad scheme together and got it kicked off in the first place. Because if Melissa had not been pregnant, Doug might not have bonded with her as well or as closely or as quickly. Furthermore, it is not likely that Norri would have been so forgiving of allowing Doug into their lives and sharing Melissa with him.

So the story opens with Lili and Doug on their way to Ceres. And they are taking Joss and Marie Patrice with them, as Tommy will be their half-brother. But Empy is just an infant. When they arrive, Norri comes to greet them and explains that Melissa went into labor earlier than expected. Hence the Digiornos and the Maddens have already arrived.

When Dino and Belinda Digiorno see Doug and Lili with their children, the introductions are made quickly (I never actually named the Maddens). Dino, as a call back to An Announcement, asks to hold Marie Patrice but also asks Lili who is related to whom. He cannot figure it out and it all seems too strange to him. The whole arrangement is hard for him to follow and piece together.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I liked the frenetic pace of things, that nobody really knows what’s going on half the time. I also liked revisiting Dino’s doubts about all of it, and whether the arrangement would work.

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Review – The Medal

Review – The Medal

A medal does not have be an award for bravery.

Background

In 2203, Neil Digiorno-Madden runs his first 5K.

Plot

For a Star Trek fan fiction prompt about medals, I wanted to write about Neil.

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

Furthermore, I did not want this award to be for anything heroic or even related to Starfleet at all.

Because I have run 5K races, and I am often last or one of the last people who finishes, I know Neil’s situation all too well. All by himself at the end, he trudges and plods along, oh so slowly. He drinks his water and admires the scenery but also silently curses to himself and wonders if he has bitten off more than he can chew.

At the end of the race, he thinks that only Ines will be there. He is rather pleasantly surprised when the entire remaining family (Lili, Doug, and Malcolm are all dead by this point in time)  is there to greet him. Ines and Yinora even give him a new tee shirt, on which it is printed, Kiss Me, It’s My First 5K. The shirt, the kiss, and the race are all a little throwaway that I had slipped into Fortune as being one of the pictures on the video wall. I had not originally intended to write the story and follow up on the image, but the prompt presented the opportunity right on a silver platter.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I really like Neil. However, I had had few occasions, until this short story, to really give him any substance or depth. I change my mind all the time when it comes to which of these second generation characters is my favorite. Yet Neil is always in the conversation, and a lot of that points right back to this little story.

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Review – Voice of the Common Man

Review – Voice of the Common Man

Can you hear the voice of the common man?

Background

The Star Trek fanfiction prompt was about politics. Rather than write about some Klingon cabal or big-time Federation politics, I went with what Tip O’Neill said, “All politics is local.”

Review – Voice of the Common Man

I also wanted to tie up a small loose end in my overall story arc in In Between Days. In Reversal, the Calafan people are ruled by a High Priestess (Yipran) and her consort, the First Minister (Chawev).  However, I didn’t want their government to be a monarchy, and I certainly didn’t want for it to be a dictatorship. It would, though, be a somewhat different style of government. It would be a constitutional monarchy with a religious basis. The religious end of it is covered in Legends.

Voice of the Common Man explores an election to the office of First Minister.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | In Between Days | Voice of the Common Man
In Between Days

Doug and Lili are new residents of Lafa II, and Joss is still an infant. This is before the arrangement starts and it’s even before Marie Patrice is conceived. It’s Election Day!

There are a ton of candidates (this is not a two-party system), and it’s all rather confusing. The Becketts have studied the candidates and the issues, but it’s still a bit unclear.

Complicating matters is the fact that Doug has only recently left a universe where the government is a military dictatorship. He literally doesn’t understand why anybody votes, and can’t conceive that his opinion would matter to anyone. Not quite assured, he agrees to go and vote, as it is more or less mandatory.

The voting happens somewhat oddly, as might befit an alien culture. After a quick discussion of the issues, the voters express their support for certain positions on well-defined issues.

Review – Voice of the Common Man

That is, the first round of voting isn’t really for any candidates; it’s for positions on issues. If a voter matches all of the positions with a candidate, then that voter matches with that candidate, votes for him or her (there is still an opportunity to back out), and that’s it for the day. This is rather similar to an approval ballot.

Lili finishes early, and votes for Ubvelwev, the candidate who is eventually the winner. Doug, however, much like any other undecided voter, is torn. He simply cannot decide. He holds out until the bitter end, and leaves without a decision at the end. While his vote matters, he hasn’t really cast a ballot for any of the candidates.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

The voting system is somewhat confusing, and that has been one issue for readers. I was mainly trying to address problems that I have always seen in elections. This is where some people just can’t decide until the bitter end. And that has always struck me as a bit odd. I could have better explained the voting system. This would have meant probably more details and more world-building phraseology. This story could use an overhaul, although its heart and soul are in the right place.

Review – Saturn Rise

Review – Saturn Rise

Saturn Rise – this was, I feel, a necessary story to write.

Saturn Rise Background

"Barking

For my own Star Trek fanfiction prompt about forgiveness, I went with a story about Malcolm, Lili, Joss, Marie Patrice, Declan, and Malcolm’s parents. This one dovetailed with a far more serious story about Pamela, Treve, and her family. It is all about offenses, hurts, slights, and pain. Some is fairly small. Some of it is devastating.

Plot

Two stories run through the piece.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Saturn System
Saturn System

In the first, Pamela and Treve are getting serious, and she agrees to see her sister, Lisa, who she hasn’t seen in years. She takes Treve along, in order to introduce him. It’s a major commitment for her. She wants it to be right.

In the second, Lili and Malcolm are going to see his parents. She will meet them for the first time, and they will see Declan, too, for the first time.

Undercurrents

Both scenarios sound promising. But there’s more going on there. Lisa, thinking it will be a pleasant surprise, brings her family along, and her and Pamela’s mother. Lisa is innocent and thinks it’ll be fun. What she learns is that their family was rather different from what she believed. And that Pamela, as a child, suffered abuse by their father. With a mother who seemingly didn’t do anything about it, Pamela unleashes her fury on their mother, as their father is long dead.

Pamela, or, Virtue Rewarded (1742). Mr B reads...
Pamela, or, Virtue Rewarded (1742). Mr B reads…

On Malcolm and Lili’s side of things, Stuart and Mary Reed express their concerns that the commitment between Lili and Malcolm is an illusory one, as Lili is married and her relationship with Malcolm is a part of her open marriage with Doug.

In addition, while they love Declan immediately, it takes them longer to warm up to the other two children, who they single out. Even though Mary had already given Marie Patrice a gift of handmade yellow knitted gloves (as was seen in Fortune), the two elder Reeds still hold back. An important part of the piece is Malcolm standing up to his parents, informing them that Joss and Marie Patrice are “our children”, meaning his, Lili’s, Doug’s and, by extension, also Melissa and Norri‘s.

As I often do, I twisted the conclusion a bit. Not everyone is forgiven, and maybe not everyone should be.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated T.

Upshot

I was happy to showcase more of Pamela and Treve’s relationship, and not in the context of their first sexual encounter. These characters love each other, and I hadn’t really shown that before. As for Lili and Malcolm, their love was already in several stories. However, to be able to extend that to his love for her other children, the chance to do that in story form was irresistible. I think the story turned out well, and particularly like how Malcolm stood up to his parents and Pamela stood up to her mother.

Portrait of a Character – Marie Patrice (Empy) Beckett

Portrait of a Character – Marie Patrice (Empy) Beckett

Origins

At the end of Together, I wanted the very, very ending to be a bit of a surprise. Lili is pregnant throughout, with a kicking machine of a child. Everybody thinks she’s having a boy, and she and Doug have selected the name Peter Matthew. Lili refers to the baby as Petey.

But the baby turns out to be a girl. Enter Marie Patrice Beckett.

Portrayal

Marie Patrice is portrayed by Cameron Diaz.

Portrait of a Character – Marie Patrice (Empy) Beckett
Cameron Diaz as Marie Patrice Beckett

I like how Diaz can be goofy in one film, and serious in another.

Marie Patrice is meant to be beautiful, but also rather susceptible to ambition and suggestion. She’s a little spoiled, and is not always so nice to either her full brother, Joss, or her half-brothers, Tommy, Neil and Declan. A bit of a tomboy at first, she plays soccer and calls herself Empy (MP).

Sibling rivalry is alive, well and living in the BeckettO’DayReedDigiornoMadden family, and Marie Patrice is one of its biggest proponents and practitioners.

Personality

A bit overly concerned with her appearance, Marie Patrice is perhaps overindulged by her parents. Doug, in particular, seems a bit at a loss as to what to do with her.

Relationships

Kenneth Masterson

The son of Chip and Deb, Ken is a divorced man who seems to have a great deal of patience with Marie Patrice. In Fortune, he is identified as her long-term boyfriend, but they never wed.

Kira Sato

The Empress’s second-born, Kira, fights for her, but loses out to his half-brother, Jun. Marie Patrice is not too upset about this, figuring that being with Jun will give her more and better opportunities than Kira can ever provide. She cares about Kira, but not as much as she cares about her position.

Theme Music

To reflect her languid attitude toward sex and companionship in the mirror, her theme is Sinead O’Connor‘s I Want Your Hands on Me.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Marie Patrice (Empy) Beckett
Marie Patrice in the Mirror Universe (Cameron Diaz)

Like her siblings, Marie Patrice spends some time in the Mirror Universe, during Temper. But an actual counterpart is impossible.

While in the mirror, she gets along well with Takara Sato, and together they compare the boys and generally look to make the best possible matches for themselves, with little thought for love or other such messy considerations. A duel is fought for her, using swords. She is a bit disappointed in the outcome.

Quote

“My mother was a ghost. I only remember a light grey shadow.”

Upshot

A little spoiled, a little flighty and rather artistic, Marie Patrice is symbolic of all of the non-Mary Sue ensuing generation characters. Not everyone’s kids will be perfect. Will she be back? Maybe, but I will admit it. She annoys me, too.