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Portrait of a Character – Jia Sulu

Portrait of a Character – Jia Sulu

Origins

I wanted a character who would be loyal and loving, and would leap into the BeckettMaddenDigiornoO’DayReed family without even looking.

Portrait of a Character – Jia Sulu
Faye Wong as Jia Sulu

Further, I wanted someone to be with Malcolm at the very end of his life. This person would outwardly seem to be a bit detached, as Malcolm is often portrayed in canon. But the connection would still be there, under the surface. The idea of detachment would be an illusion.

Finally, I wanted someone who would be one of the many living embodiments of just how different the Mirror Universe is from our own.  Because Jia’s father is Doug’s last male human kill in the mirror, a counterpart for Jia may or may not even be possible.

Portrayal

Jia is played by singer and actress Faye Wong. This beautiful woman is often described by the press as being a diva.

Personality

Kind to everyone, Jia is the extra daughter that the family never had. She supports Joss in everything, and is up for whatever he has to offer. He is her world.

Her most important moment in the series (so far) is that she is the only one present when Malcolm dies of old age, in Fortune.

Relationships

Joss Beckett

There can never be anyone else for Jia apart from Jeremiah Logan Beckett. They are the kind of couple who meet as children and never, ever look at anyone else. There is never anyone else.

Mirror Universe

Jia cannot exist in the Mirror, as she is born in 2157, but her father, Geming, was killed by Doug in 2152. She doesn’t even really have an analogue, like Marie Patrice and the other blood relative family members do.

Quote

“Father, when my own father died, my mother, she had the same visions. She would think he was out back clipping the hedges or at work. I guess it makes it easier.”

Upshot

Wherever Joss goes, Jia is sure to follow. She’ll be back at some point, I’m sure.


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Portrait of a Character – Jeremiah Logan (Joss) Beckett

Portrait of a Character – Jeremiah Logan (Joss) Beckett

Origins

Joss originated in Together, as a sweet toddler, very Mommy-centric and very, very bereft when Lili and Doug are kidnapped. For Temper, I saw him as a teenager and then, in Fortune, and in some of the HG Wells stories, such as He Stays a Stranger, I began to see him as an adult.

Portrayal

As an adult, Joss is portrayed by Matthew Perry.

Portrait of a Character – Jeremiah Logan (Joss) Beckett
Matthew Perry as Joss Beckett

I like how Perry comes across as an intelligent person, but also as, at times, quite a bit of a screw-up. Joss is no screw-up, but he’s got a certain kind of vulnerability that I believe Perry also has.

Joss also needs to be the somewhat reluctant leader of the family. Tommy is the military man, Neil is in business, and Declan and Marie Patrice are artistic. Joss has to be the one who, quietly and responsibly, gets things done.

Personality

Affable and kind, Joss is an animal lover from the very beginning. At a precocious age, he already knows that he wants to become a veterinarian. Eventually, he opens up his own clinic on Lafa II, the Beckett Veterinary Hospital.

While in the Mirror Universe, there is no love for animals, so Joss instead channels his considerable talents into playing mirror baseball. This is one way that he can keep from having to become a soldier and a killer.

Relationships

Jia Sulu

Joss’s only true relationship is with Jia, who he meets when they are very small children. They flirt in Saturn Rise, and go to their prom together in Consider the Lilies of the Field.

While in the mirror, because Jia is not there, Joss is alone. As the other children group and regroup, Joss remains on the sidelines, and does not try for Takara (even though she is a little bit interested) or Tripp‘s daughter, Betsy Tucker.

Theme Music

Joss’s Temper theme is the haunting Love Will Tear Us Apart, by Joy Division.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Jeremiah Logan (Joss) Beckett
Joss playing baseball in the Mirror Universe

A mirror universe version of Joss is impossible, as he is a cross between a prime universe mother and a mirror universe father. However, he did spend time in the mirror.

Because Joss (and his siblings) had nearly no adult supervision, and he was the eldest, he took it upon himself to look out for everyone. This is only partly successful.

With Marie Patrice, she’s fairly well out of control, and he has little influence. The same is true of Tommy. With Declan, however, he is able to exert some influence. Then again, Dec is more or less being abused by the Empress‘s family. If Joss doesn’t watch out for Dec, sensitive Dec could easily become phaser fodder. Joss doesn’t want that.

Quote

“I am so not interested in her, not any more. She was – I mean, I’m a guy. I can’t help but to react to her, how she looks, what she wears and all.”

Upshot

I’ve enjoyed exploring several aspects of Joss’s life. He’ll be back.

Recurrent Themes – Medical Personnel

Recurrent Themes – Medical Personnel

Medical Personnel are a must.

Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Medical Personnel

Physicians, of course, are Star Trek canon and are absolutely necessary in space. After all, you can’t just grab the nearest ambulance and hotfoot it to a hospital. You have got to have a doctor on board.

I have created quite a few medical characters as I’ve been writing. I think my somewhat ambivalent feelings about medicine often come into play.

Medical Personnel Appearances

There are so many physicians; here they are listed by series.

In Between Days

Baden

Baden is a Calafan doctor seen in Reversal, and is a part of the conspiracy.

Blair Claymore

In Intolerance, Blair comes across as more sympathetic than any of the other visiting physicians who are in the midst of their Immunology rotation. By the time of Fortune, she has become Malcolm‘s CMO on the USS Bluebird. In the Mirror Universe, she is some sort of technician and is no doctor.

Pamela Hudson

Pamela makes her first appearance in Intolerance. By the time of Temper, Malcolm reveals to Lili that Pamela (in an alternate timeline) has become the doctor, if not the person, that she was always meant to be. Pamela has more air time in her eventual relationship with the Calafan Treve, in To Wish, To Want, To Desire and The Best Things Come in Pairs.

Bernardine Keating-Fong

Only seen in Intolerance, Bernie is never shown practicing. Instead, she is the lecturer for the Immunology class, and her name is meant to amp up some more of the early gender confusion in Intolerance.

Keleth

A Klingon doctor, Keleth is instrumental in fixing what’s wrong in Intolerance. Almost as importantly, he has, perhaps, the most normal and loving relationship in that entire book.

Miva

A Calafan, Miva is Lili‘s obstetrician in Together and Fortune. It is she who tells Lili that sex with Doug during pregnancy is not advisable, and it is Miva who performs the O’Day Reversal again after Lili gives birth to Declan.

Cyril Morgan

A kindly retired orthopedic surgeon, Morgan is Pamela’s uncle and is grandfather to Cindy Morgan. In Fortune, Cindy brings her friend, Jia Sulu, with her to Marie Patrice’s birthday party and therefore, at an extremely young age, Joss meets his future bride.

An Nguyen

Brittle and somewhat condescending, An could use some lessons in bedside manner. He backbites with Pamela but does offer her a place to sleep when Will and Blair commandeer her quarters. As a physician, he treats a Daranaean woman, Libba, in The Cure is Worse Than the Disease.

Will Owen

Will never actually gets to practice. In Together, Pamela reveals that he hanged himself a few days after he was expelled, following the events outlined in Intolerance.

Phlox

This Star Trek Enterprise canon physician is the first to prove that Doug is real, in Reversal. He finds the cure in Intolerance and treats Lili as an obstetrics patient in Together.

Mark Stone

As the last of the five classmates in the Intolerance Immunology rotation, Mark is a child of wealth and privilege, son of Emily Stone, the new envoy to the Xindi. About the only other thing revealed about him is that he is a gay man.

T’Par

A Vulcan doctor, she is instrumental in finding a cure for Doctor Keating-Fong during Intolerance.

Times of the HG Wells

Marisol Castillo

A femme fatale, Marisol gets few chances to practice medicine, although she does provide Sheilagh Bernstein with physical enhancements during Ohio.

Kingston (No First Name)

During You Mixed-Up Siciliano, he is baffled by Christopher Donnelly’s condition, not recognizing that the boy, in 1960, has been infected with what would later be identified as the Ebola virus.

Sanchez (No First Name)

He is Malcolm‘s doctor and is never actually seen. Malcolm refers to him in The Point is Probably Moot, as knowing of a traditional Calafan remedy for erectile dysfunction – tofflin root tea.

Boris Yarin

Paranoid, powerful and suspicious, Boris has reason to wonder about Marisol’s intentions. Much like her, he has few chances to practice, although he also works on Sheilagh. In Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain, his past is referenced, where he treated an injured Klingon rugby player, Kriz, which was how he met his wife, Darragh Stratton.

Yimiva

She is the doctor for the Calafan unit, and performs the autopsy on Anthony Parker. The presence of Ebola and stem cell growth accelerator in Parker’s blood reveals that he had been an operative for the Perfectionists.

Emergence

An Nguyen

By the time of The Cure is Worse Than the Disease, An has been hired as the CMO on Erika Hernandez’s ship, the USS Columbia (NX-02), which is where he loses his youthful enthusiasm. This theme is taken up some more in Take Back the Night, as An reveals that he would really rather avoid the Daranaeans.

Rechal

First seen during Take Back the Night, Rechal examines the fetus that the murdered Inta was carrying. Finding that it was a male, Rechal informs Arnis that an investigation must be conducted. In Flight of the Bluebird, it is revealed that he is in the Daranaean prison, but is still helping to try to find a cure for thylacine paramyxovirus.

Trinning

First seen as a teenaged boy in Take Back the Night, and then as a slightly older boy in Temptation, Trinning doesn’t start to practice medicine until Flight of the Bluebird, when he works as a medical researcher with his unofficial assistant, Trava.

Varelle

Another Daranaean doctor, Varelle is first seen as a doctor refusing to treat Libba in The Cure is Worse Than the Disease.

Interphases

Andrew Miller

Andy starts off as a science Ensign. However, in the E2 stories, it becomes obvious very quickly that Phlox will need help delivering babies. Andrew studies and, eventually, can be called Doctor Miller.

Pamela Reed-Hayes (Née Reed)

During the first kick back in time, Lili has three children. Pamela is her daughter with Malcolm, and she succeeds Phlox as the ship’s CMO.

The Mirror Universe

Baden

This Calafan doctor shows, in Reversal, that he mainly just follows orders, even if they are, ultimately, immoral. Unlike his Prime Universe counterpart, he actually ends up committing murder.

Miva

Seen only briefly in Reversal, the mirror Miva is really only known as the Prime Universe Baden’s nighttime lover. They met when they made psychic contact and she was, instead of meditating, trying to remember the bones of the hand as she was getting ready for her examinations. Seen again in Fortune, Miva helps by setting Lucy Stone‘s broken leg and offers Chip, Tripp and Beth various odd jobs so that they can pay her.

Cyril Morgan

Morgan is brought on as a replacement for the canon doctor, the Denobulan Phlox.

The Mirror Morgan is ruthless and probably barely competent. In Reversal, Doug reveals that there is a lot of complicated equipment on the Defiant, but Morgan doesn’t seem to know how to use any of it. It is unclear whether he or Phlox kills Ian Reed, and the ambiguity is carried through Paving Stones Made from Good Intentions and Coveted Commodity. It isn’t until Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses that it is revealed just how Morgan got onto the Defiant, and exactly who ordered, and who caused, Ian’s death.

Mark Stone

Some time after Morgan’s death, in The Point is Probably Moot, it is revealed that Mark is the Empress’s new CMO. For him, his homosexuality is something of a lifesaver, for it frees him from being tempted by her wiles. Even so, he spends some of his time fending off the overly aggressive sexual advances of the Empress Hoshi Sato.

Upshot

I seem to write a lot of monstrous physicians, but also a number of heroes. For every nasty Marisol Castillo, there is a romantic Keleth. For every paranoid Boris Yarin, there is  a sympathetic Blair Claymore. And for each prejudiced Varelle, there is an open-minded Trinning.

Portrait of a Character – Doug Beckett

A lot about this character is, truly,  Reversal spoilers. Avert your eyes if you haven’t read Reversal and want to maintain the mystery of the first couple of chapters.

Origins

For me, Doug was, in part, every guy who’s ever been romantic around me. This includes my husband. But he’s also a typical resident of the Mirror Universe. So that means that there’s violence in his past, and ambitions and twisted behaviors. But I wanted him to be a person who could, eventually and with help, rise above it.

Symbolism

Doug’s name was a particularly serendipitous find. Douglas means dark stranger, and that is precisely what he is. For Lili, who meets him in a pitch-black dream, he is the ultimate stranger. But he’s also what she needs. He shakes up her world.

His surname is changed when he comes to our side of the pond. Much like an immigrant, he wants to leave his old life behind him, and become the man that Lili wants and needs – the man she can see is lurking under the surface. The surname Beckett is a shoutout to Quantum Leap.

Doug is also, in many ways, meant to be the opposite side of her coin. She’s somewhat distant with people. He is, too, but it’s not because he truly wants to be. It’s more that the Mirror has made him that way (see his origins story, Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions), due to its insistence that weakness be rooted out and punished or excised or, at least, well-hidden.

Doug is also action and movement – he is something of an air element. As Leonora is communication, Lili is fire, Malcolm is water and Melissa is the earth, Doug is the air.

Portrayal

Steven Culp
Steven Culp

Because (eek, spoilers!) Doug is Major Jay Hayes‘s Mirror Universe counterpart, he is of course portrayed by Steven Culp. Culp is a consummate actor, perfect for the role. I have read a number of interviews with him, and he has said that he treated Hayes as almost a David Mamet character. That is, he was more action than talk. Notice, too, that in the series, Jay Hayes rarely smiles. Instead, he is all business.

The name Jay is not canon. Culp has said he thought the character was named Jay or Jeremiah. There are also trading cards showing the name as being Joss. I have used all three names, giving Jeremiah as the name of both Doug’s father and his first-born son (nicknamed Joss), with Jay as being the name of the canon character and Doug’s own middle name. Jay worked out perfectly in this way, as it works as both a first and a middle name in a way that Jeremiah would not have.

Personality

Much like canon character Jay Hayes, Doug is not much of a talker. In Reversal, he has few ways of complimenting Lili, mainly calling her beautiful rather than use synonyms that he is either uncomfortable with or, perhaps, doesn’t even know. That book is also loaded with hesitation speech. Doug is nervous in the mirror, in particular around the Empress, although that’s to be expected. With Lili, he’s also nervous, because he’s a bit tongue-tied and he wants, desperately, for her to like him. He often doesn’t know what to say, but he always seems to know what to do.

Once they are together in our universe, Doug’s demeanor softens considerably. He tries very hard to please Lili and make their life together as good as it can possibly be. Their early life together is documented in A Kind of Blue, Friday Visit, Pacing and The Gift.

When his relationship with Lili is tested in Together, Doug has few communications strategies at his disposal. When they argue, he very quickly hits below the belt. This, I feel, makes some sense, as Doug hasn’t really been taught to be sensitive to others’ feelings. He knows that he loves her, and he wants for everything to work itself out, but he can’t really see the pathway to that.

In Temper, he even refers to himself as “the action guy”. Hence he is the one chosen for the mission by Daniels (also because of his twenty centimeter radiation band), for he will get things done. Malcolm has to stay behind because his place is to step in and lead.

By the time Fortune has come around, Doug has been hiding his past rather effectively. Lili knows some of it. She is well aware that he has committed some monstrous deeds in the Mirror Universe, but she wants to believe that he’s done with that. She’s in some denial herself, in that she’d rather not hear about things. It isn’t until she is pushed to ask about his crimes does Doug finally come clean. Furthermore, for Doug, who is inarticulate at best, having him handle a hostage situation by talking instead of shooting was, to me, a fitting full circle behavior. Life here is, after all, very different from the mirror.

Their later life together is documented in The Facts and his death and its aftermath is shown in Equinox.

Mirror Universe

Since Doug is a counterpart character, his life begins in the Mirror. He is the only child of Jeremiah and Lena Hayes, and lives with them on Ganymede. Because of a late birth date (December third, same as Steven Culp’s), he is forced into schooling at too young an age. Doug’s education is such that he is pushed to become a bully and a fighter.

After his eventual graduation, he goes to Cambodia for basic training, and then to freighter defense and other small assignments, essentially acting as a mercenary. He spends time on Andoria, the Klingon home world and other locales, fighting and working as a soldier, molding himself from an untrained, arrogant lummox until, eventually, a disciplined fighting man.

He gets onto the ISS Enterprise by knifing Geming Sulu. His elevation to Lieutenant Commander, as a replacement for the deceased Mirror Universe Malcolm Reed (called Ian Reed in my fanfiction), is documented in Paving Stones. While on the Defiant, he meets Lili.

Relationships

His times with Lili and Melissa are the most important for him. However, prior to the crossing over, he did have some relationships. His first main girlfriend (if she could be called that) in the Mirror was Darareaksmey Preap. She was a Cambodian bar girl who he plied with gifts and false “I love yous” until he was able to lose his virginity to her.

Another Mirror relationship – if it could be referred to as that – was with Christine Chalmers. The name is a shoutout to canon character Christine Chapel. Chalmers is meant to be a cheap girl who he, at the time, thought was very hot. One of the crimes that Doug commits was to be with her, and his guilt about that consumes him.

His first true relationship is with alcoholic schoolteacher Susan Cheshire. Susan is an important person to him, although he insists to Lili that he didn’t love her. But he’s certainly memorable to her – she recognizes him during Temper.

Doug also has an on-again, off-again thing with Shelby Pike who, in the Mirror, is a pilot who used to be a hooker. Once he knew Shelby, he would cheat on other girlfriends with her.

Doug’s final relationship in the Mirror, which ends after he’s known Lili for less than a week, is with Jennifer Crossman. Jenn is a poor choice for a girlfriend, mainly selected for her looks rather than any sort of compatibility. While they’re breaking up, she claims that he can’t live alone. Doug refuses to admit it, but she’s right about that.

Music

Lili's first view of Doug
Lili’s first view of Doug

Doug has various theme songs.

He begins with Robbie Williams’s Feel and then segues to Snow Patrol’s Shut Your Eyes, and shares John Legend’s Ordinary People with Lili and the Cure’s Let’s Go to Bed with Melissa.

For Temper, his music is Dog’s Eye View’s Everything Falls Apart.

His final music is Billy Joel’s Honesty.

Quote

There are all sorts of quotes I could place here. For a guy who’s not too terribly articulate, I suppose I’ve given him a lot of memorable things to say. Here’s one.

“I thought I could leave it all behind me. Achieve, maybe, some measure of forgiveness. But that’s not the main reason. I came here because of you.” – Doug Hayes

Upshot

Doug is one of the most complex and complete characters I have ever written. I am immensely proud of this character.

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