Inspiration – Injuries

Inspiration – Injuries

Injuries, believe it or not, can inspire.


Inspiration – Injuries

Inspiration – Injuries

What a weird thing for inspiration, eh?

But it’s still something that has happened to me. It can still, in a backhanded way, be inspiring.

The Specifics of Creation

For character injuries, Star Trek always used to go beyond believability and hit a weird Twilight Zone, where everything was magically, mystically cured, with the patient suffering no or nearly no pain.

That’s not how the real world works, and I am so glad Enterprise made it a point of showing cures being neither instantaneous nor perfect.

It’s a weird image, but this is Malcolm Reed in rehab during the Dead Stop Enterprise episode.

Well, sometimes. At least , when Malcolm was injured in Minefield, he was still injured in Dead Stop and, in fact, Phlox had the automated repair station cure Malcolm’s broken leg.


For my own work, I have used it as a jumping off point. It is so easy in fiction to make people into super people, and make it so injuries don’t really affect them. This is deus ex machina-style unreality at its worst. Sprains hurt. Breaks make you limp or make your arm hang useless.  An allergy (not exactly an injury but certainly a medical condition) can make you stop breathing.

Perhaps the worst injury I’ve gotten is a set of three (hey, if you’re going to do something, go all the way, eh?) meniscus tears in my right knee. While this has not yet informed my fanfiction writing, it has affected my wholly original work. Hence in The Enigman Cave, there is a character with that exact same injury.

Injuries in My Work

In  fanfiction, I took the fight from Harbinger and reworked it twice, both times involving Malcolm. Once was with Doug, in Together. The other was in The Three of Us, with Jay  This is as a reprise of the fight, and Lili even laments that it might be a ‘second harbinger’. Also, in both of my versions of the fight, I inflict similar injuries on the men, as an homage to the canon scene. There are eye and kidney injuries, just as in the original. However, the addition of Lili to the dynamic means there is a witness and the aftermath is far more problematic. In Together, Lili is pregnant with Marie Patrice and keels over, overcome by intense kicking. Pamela ends up taking her to the Medical Center nearby in San Francisco, and the upshot is an uneasy truce between the men.

In The Three of Us, Archer finds the two men fighting. He orders the men to sickbay where Phlox begins to treat them, but they both continue posturing and refuse treatment. Archer calls Lili in and she is alarmed at their conditions. Going beyond the original, in this version of the fight, Jay suffers from a lung injury which results in him coughing, a reference directly back to Penicillin.  It’s a fitting internal bit of consistency which also foreshadows that short story’s significance in Everybody Knows this is Nowhere.


Battered and bruised characters should not heal immediately and automatically, I feel. Even with advanced medical technology, it just seems as if that would be too much of a cop-out and would severely impair storytelling.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Inspiration-Mechanics, 0 comments

Spotlight – Stem Cell Growth Accelerator

Spotlight – Stem Cell Growth Accelerator

Stem Cell Growth Accelerator is one useful invention.


As I wrote the HG Wells Star Trek fan fiction stories, I kept butting up against one unfortunate problem – how do you handle medical care?

After all, throughout the ages, medical care has, mainly, been abhorrent. Was I to show people undergoing bloodletting or getting leeches for treatments? Or show them dunked in wells in order to drive out the evil spirits? Hell, Leonard McCoy denounced surgery as ‘butchery’ in TOS. What’s a time traveler to do?

Enter stem cell growth accelerator.

The Thought Experiment

Spotlight – Stem Cell Growth Accelerator

My initial inspiration came from, of all things, how I understand HIV to spread through the body. My understanding is that the retrovirus enters into a cell that becomes a host and essentially converts that cell into an HIV factory. The body does not recognize this as a problem for a long time, as the HIV is sitting within what, to the body, seems to be a normal, healthy cell.

And so I thought – what if, instead of making a horrible virus, a host cell was, instead, making some sort of cure cells. And what if it could make them at a phenomenal rate?

If a chemical like that could be introduced into a person, and it could self-replicate, and it would be healing rather than harming, the possibilities were very nearly endless.

In order to prevent things from becoming too good to be true, I further decided that, while the healing process would be fast, all pain would remain. Hence, a year’s worth of pain could be easily crammed into an hour.



Stem cell growth accelerator is one of the easiest inventions for me to explain. Exposition is generally a snap. I often have a character break an arm or suffer a cut or a gunshot and, voila! They are suddenly healed. But they cringe and nearly pass out while the healing process is occurring. I will definitely use this idea more. I may even at some point write something showing its development.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Spotlight, Times of the HG Wells series, 5 comments