Mirror Universe (Star Trek)

Review – The Conspiracy

Review – The Conspiracy

The Conspiracy was another instance of trying to surprise readers.


In response to a Star Trek fanfiction prompt about the Seven Heavenly (Theological/Cardinal, too; the prompt was not about getting into the minutiae of theology) Virtues (which are the counterpart to the Seven Deadly Sins; I had already written about pride, in Before the Fall), I decided to tackle the somewhat obscure prudence for my next Star Trek fanfiction story.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Hall of Mirrors | The Conspiracy

Hall of Mirrors

To up the ante, I went with a setting where virtues would be all too rare – the Mirror Universe.


Review – The ConspiracyIt’s New Year’s Day of 2161.

And a few people meet, furtively. They are: Josh Rosen, Aidan MacKenzie, Andrew Miller, Chip Masterson, and Lucy Stone.  There’s one more member of the cabal, Francisco Ramirez, but he can’t get away, as José Torres has put Gary Hodgkins on to watch him.

While they would probably not mind killing Empress Hoshi, the cabal’s real thoughts are of escape. So as a prelude to Temper, Lucy and Chip mention that an attempt is going to be made to cross over to what we call the Prime Universe, as Hoshi wants another advanced ship. And they also mention that Andy will be sent to Vulcan to pick up slaves who can perform calculations, a neat prefiguring of Fortune and the Mirror Universe‘s Melissa Madden‘s death in a shuttle crash. Hence the story works to mesh those incidents together.

Story Postings


The story is Rated K.


I used this story as a kind of bridge between Together and Temper, but on the Mirror side of things. And I think it works out well and helps to fill in some of the gaps in the Mirror Universe timeline.

You can find me on .

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Review, 5 comments

Portrait of a Character – Otra D’Angelo

Portrait of a Character – Otra D’Angelo

Otra goes all the way back to the earlier time travel stories I wrote several years ago.


Her name goes back even further, to when I was taking Spanish in High School. The word otra means other (female). But the o is long, sounding like oat-truh. I played with the word and liked otra (rhymes with Sinatra) better, although I didn’t vocalize that (correct pronunciation was key to a good grade).

I also liked the idea of someone who could really see the changes in time, and could intelligently comment on them. Canon character Guinan actually can do this, marking her as possibly a four-dimensional being. I didn’t really have anything quite so fancy in mind for Otra. Instead, almost like a fortuneteller or an oracle, she would have visions.

And she wouldn’t have hair. She’d have semi-sentient floral appendages, known as chavecoi (chah-veh-coy). This would mark her as a half-Witannen (wit-ah-nen), a Delta Quadrant species. Except for her mother, Chefra, the only other Witannen shown in my fan fiction is Together‘s Quellata (kell-uh-tuh), although there is a reference to one in the HG Wells series named Paj Terris, and the upcoming Barnstorming series will have a Witannen athlete named Adeel.


Portrait of a Character – Otra D’Angelo

Keira Knightley as Otra D’Angelo (image is for educational purposes only)

I like Keira Knightley for Otra.

Beautiful and accomplished, the actress is believably sexy and interesting.

Of course, in Desperation, when Otra is a toddler, Knightley doesn’t play her.


Smart, funny and patient, Otra is one of the only people Levi Cavendish ever wants to listen to.

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


Otra is also shrewd. In You Mixed-Up Siciliano, she is kidnapped. But she makes the most of her time, trying hard to understand where she is, who has her, and whether she can get any help.

In Multiverse II, her chavecoi become possessed by Chilo. This turns her evil for a while. It was great fun to give her awful things to do, including indiscriminate sex, murder and a lot of mayhem. When she meets Colonel Philip Green, she’s just stepped out of a shower. As he stares (for this is the first alien anyone on Earth has ever seen; it’s 2055), she nonchalantly asks him:

I’m Otra D’Angelo. Would you happen to have a towel, Phil?…A towel. You know, it’s a terrycloth or velvet thing, usually, sometimes linen?”

Bringing her back, eventually, is the realization that, in his own quirky way, Levi loves her.


Levi Cavendish

Friends since college, Otra and Levi work together, and he names their temporal alteration theory after her. Hence small changes are known as otric ones. Medium-sized ones are pariotric and large ones are known as megaotric. Otra herself isn’t so sure about how she feels about being an eponym.

Colonel Philip Green

As a part of her possession by evil Chilo, Otra fell in with Green, and they had an affair. When he proposed, she realized that she was not in love with him, and ended up attempting to kill Green, stabbing him repeatedly. This wounded him, and it was significantly enough a wound that he would have died if he had not gotten a bit of her stem cell growth accelerator.

Theme Music

Of course, for someone who has flowers on her head, that would work. And for someone who, briefly, was nonexistent, the idea that there is a light, still, that proved irresistible.

Mirror Universe

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Picasso - Hands Holding Flowers | Otra

Picasso – Hands Holding Flowers

While there isn’t, truly, any reason for Otra to not exist in the Mirror universe, it’s still a highly unlikely proposition.

After all, a combination such as hers is highly unlikely even in the prime universe.


“Our theor was quite simple. We decided that there are three types of temporal alterations. These are all – it’s a little embarrassing – but they are named after me. I suppose I am an eponym now. The smallest of changes is called otric. Consider if you will, what happens when you wear a yellow shirt, on a Friday, while strolling along a street in the city of Ironville, on Mars. Now consider what’s different – other than color, mind you – when your shirt is, instead, green in color.”


At some point, I will undoubtedly get those two crazy kids together. Until then, Otra is a fun addition to my stable of characters and she’ll be seen again.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Portrait, Times of the HG Wells series, 24 comments

Portrait of a Character – Daniel Beauchaine

Portrait of a Character – Daniel Beauchaine

Daniel Beauchaine has a history.


At first, in the older time travel series I had created on my own, Dan was a survivalist and had something of a romance with Alice Trent. As I moved that series to Star Trek fanfiction, and it became Times of the HG Wells, I decided that Alice would only be brought on during an alternate timeline.


Dan is portrayed by Jason Alexander.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Jason Alexander as Daniel Beauchaine (image is for educational purposes only)

Jason Alexander as Daniel Beauchaine (image is for educational purposes only)

I like this actor’s fussiness and nervousness in portrayals. I feel this works well with Dan, who is a mass of inconsistencies and tics, as would befit someone living more than one life. He’s an employee of the Temporal Integrity Commission. He’s an operative for Section 31.

And he’s a member of the rogue group altering time for its own purposes, the Perfectionists.


Twitchy, nervous and jumpy, Dan has ample reason to feel like everyone’s out to get him.

That’s because they are.

He is not just double crossing; he’s triple crossing.

Hence it cannot be easy, living a life like Dan’s. He is constantly on the lookout, and he can trust no one. So in Shake Your Body, it all points to one end, and one alone.

Mirror Universe

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Jason Alexander as MU Daniel Beauchaine (image is for educational purposes only)

Jason Alexander as MU Daniel Beauchaine (image is for educational purposes only)

In the Mirror universe, I can see Dan as being much more of a survivalist, without the corruption and double dealings he has resorted to in the prime universe.

However, he is not necessarily more moral; I think it’s more that he would be separate from society. Perhaps he’s even a hermit of some sort.


“Get a hold of yourself, Beauchaine. No one’s going to fault you for any grammatical errors in your damned suicide note.”


I don’t know how well I showed Dan’s motivations; this feels like a character I did not serve well. Plus I kind of fell out of love with him, and that seems to show in the writing of him.  So I should rectify that at some point in the future.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Portrait, Times of the HG Wells series, 6 comments

Portrait of a Character – Deirdre Katzman

Portrait of a Character – Deirdre Katzman

Deirdre Katzman comes from older wholly original fiction.


While writing the HG Wells Star Trek fanfiction stories, I decided I wanted someone who was more or less together, but would be rather young. Furthermore, this person would be a protegé to Kevin O’Connor and would have a mischievous sense of humor. Hence they’d be responsible for naming the time ships. I also loved the idea of a Jewish-Japanese character, and so Deirdre was born.


Deirdre is played by actress Noriko Nakagoshi.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Deirdre Katzman

Deirdre Katzman

I like this lovely, petite woman. The actress has actually been in horror pictures. I don’t know too much about her.


Friendly, albeit a little quirky, Deirdre is probably the most well-adjusted of the engineers at the Temporal Integrity Commission. Kevin is in mourning when the series starts. As for Levi, well, he’s just plain weird.

Because she’s pleasant, Kevin leans on her more than he leans on Levi, but Levi is too oblivious to notice most of the time.


Bruce Ishikawa

During A Long, Long Time Ago, Deirdre is set up by family members and goes out on a more or less blind date with a fellow Jewish-Japanese person, Bruce, who is a dog trainer. They hit it off and begin dating in earnest immediately, and by Ohio, he is referred to as her boyfriend.

It is the epitome of a sweet, youthful romance. They talk baby talk to each other on their communicators, often saying things like, “No, you hang up first.” She cooks for him. They are inseparable. Their parents push for a wedding.

When, in The Point is Probably Moot, the time change ensures that she’s forgotten him, he sticks it out, and attempts to woo and win her again.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Deirdre Katzman

Mirror Deirdre (Noriko Nakagoshi)

I haven’t written a mirror Deirdre, but there’s no reason why she wouldn’t exist.

In the Mirror, most of the women are poorly treated, and trade their bodies for favors and privileges. Deirdre would not be any different.

Yet I can see her as being tougher and harder, and possibly using her smarts to further her own agenda. Maybe she’s a revolutionary.


“You don’t need to protect her. How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have an ungrateful child. That’s from King Lear if you’re unsure. She doesn’t deserve you taking the fall for her.”


Dee is a character who doesn’t really get her due. I really should find a way for her to shine.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Portrait, Times of the HG Wells series, 4 comments

Portrait of a Character – Anthony Parker

Portrait of a Character – Anthony Parker

Anthony Parker shows morals when others do not.


For the HG Wells Star Trek fanfiction series, I needed a bad guy who would, ultimately, do the right thing. In addition, I wanted him to have a chance to do this in an alternate timeline. In the prime timeline, he balks at what the bad guys are doing. But he never really gets a chance to prevent the temporal mischief from occurring.


Anthony is played by Chiwetel Ejiofor.


Originally a musician, the Perfectionists’ ways trouble Anthony, as they cut a swath through history and attempt to change it for their own purposes without much thought of the consequences. Helen Walker is too much of a game player, Marisol Castillo is a psychopath, and Milton Walker is misguided. For Anthony, things are off.

Hence, he protests, and more than once. During Ohio, there is a secret voice-only meeting, and his is one of the voices. But he’s skeptical, questioning everything. And he balks when the leader requests that someone steal the temporal force field technology from the Temporal Integrity Commission.

His end?

Because he refuses to be a party to petty theft, they mark him for death. Helen Walker murders him during that book. The means are an infection with Ebola virus (a prefiguring of the issues in You Mixed-Up Siciliano). And while his body was trying to fight that, he was hit repeatedly by some sort of blunt force trauma, mostly from behind.

Almost as important is the fact that Parker has a tattoo mentioning Saint Eligius. Eligius is the patron saint of lots of things, including all manner of timepieces. Therefore, he is as close as you can come to a true patron saint of time. This ends up being a vital clue to the whereabouts of several Perfectionist operatives.

Alternate Timelines

Anthony is only known during the alternate timeline that is generated through the Perfectionist meddling during Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain.

Portrait of a Character – Anthony Parker

During that scenario, most of the human race has an addiction to fortified wine. Anthony is a protestor, and he goes to the Saint Eligius ship in order to destroy casks (the Eligian order is the prime winemaking company), when his axe splinters a much larger box, containing one of the members of the Temporal Integrity Commission, the imprisoned Otra. Although Anthony meets his death in that timeline, too, at least he does the moral thing.

Mirror Universe

Anthony is from the mirror and does not appear to have a prime universe counterpart.


“So this is the wrong timeline. Do you know what happens to me? In your so-called correct timeline, that is. Forgive me, but I’m a bit of a skeptic.”


Morally conflicted and troubled, I wish I had been able to showcase Anthony Parker a bit more.

Posted by jespah in Hall of Mirrors, Portrait, Times of the HG Wells series, 8 comments

Spotlight on an Original Species – Calafans

Spotlight on an Original Species – Calafans

Calafans are a great creation, if I do say so myself.


When I first started writing Reversal, I was beginning to come to grips with my own aging process. It’s inevitable – you begin to see yourself as not being so young anymore.

Enter the Calafans.

Lafa System

Described as being near both Klingon and Andorian space, the Lafa System is strategic to the nascent Federation. However, there’s more there than meets the eye, for the entire species is psionically gifted. The region sits where the membrane between our universe and the mirror is at its thinnest.

The system contains four stars. In order from lightest to darkest, and largest to smallest, they are Lo, Abic, Fep and Ub. In the mirror, the largest star is red and is named Ub, whereas in our universe the largest star is white and is named Lo. Because both the largest (Lo in our universe, Ub in the mirror) and second-largest (Abic in our universe, Fep in the mirror) stars have planetary systems, and their orbits cross at various points, the numbering system cannot go from closest to a star to farthest away (by that logic, in our universe, Mercury would be Sol I and Earth would be Sol III, etc.). Instead, the planets get their numbers in size order, from largest to smallest. There are twelve planets.

Lafa I

Lafa I is a gas giant close to the four stars and, much like our Jupiter, is very nearly a failed star. It is close to Lo and within the orbits of Abic, Fep and Ub. Therefore, the radiation levels are far too high to sustain life.

All of the other eleven planets are habitable.

Lafa II

The most important of the planets, Lafa II is the original home of the Calafan people. It is where Fep City and Point Abic are. This planet orbits outside of the four stars so, once they have all set, there is a true night. Elekai are native, and live on the southern hemisphere. Linfep are also native to this planet.

The Temporal Museum is eventually built here, and the Museum also owns land, which includes Doug and Lili‘s original home.

Lafa III

In Fortune, I reveal that there is an Unemployment Office here, staffed by Calafans.

Lafa IV

Olowa grows here. It is within the orbits of Fep and Ub so there is no true night on the planet.

Lafa V

There are factories here, and the people speak with an accent that resembles an Irish brogue (Fortune, Local Flavor). It is the most remote planet in the entire system.

Lafa VI

This is a smaller planet. Doug and Lili are trying to grow Mediterranean foods on it (olives, figs, etc.). There is a nude beach here.

Lafa VII

There are mining operations on this planet.


There is no information on this planet.

Lafa IX

Yimar takes Joss and Marie Patrice to a zoo here (Temper). In the alternate timeline, the initial home base of operations for the mirror universe to get a foothold in our universe happens here.

Lafa X

There is no information on this planet.

Lafa XI

I have no information on this planet.

Lafa XII

On this small planet in the Lafa System, Melissa and Doug hunt and bring down a perrazin (Temper). Linfep live here, but they were likely brought there from Lafa II.


The Calafans feel that their four stars correspond to four gods. Lo and Ub are goddesses in both universes, whereas Abic and Fep are gods. According to the mythology of both universes, the passage between the universes started out as being free and clear. So Lo and Abic wed, as did Fep and Ub, but the couples were all unfaithful. As a result, Lo bore Fep’s child and Ub bore Abic’s. For their second children, they secured paternity. Then the children intermarried, so that generation married its own half-siblings, making this mythology somewhat akin to ancient Greek or Egyptian texts.

Silver Calafans scrollwork

Silver scrollwork example

Furthermore, the species was beginning to experience a very real scientific event known as speciation. That is, there had been a mutation. For the Calafans, it showed up as differing skin color. The species was diverging. Hence the leaders (e. g. the four main persons) decided to erect a barrier between the two universes. Families were split apart. The feel should be very much like the Berlin Wall or the two Koreas. Silver Calafans stayed in our universe; copper ones went to the mirror.

Aging and Maturation Process

Calafan aging is the reverse of our own. Children of both genders are born completely bald, and stay that way until about their thirties, when they begin to sprout hair. In addition, their extremities are solid-colored. However, as they age, the color begins to break down, eventually to a complicated scrollwork pattern that is as individual as a fingerprint. When a Calafan is thoroughly devoid of extremity coloration (known as calloo), death is near.

Dreams and Psionic Abilities

Since everyone is gifted – and the dishes on Point Abic amplify the psionic waves – dreams are shared, not only between dreamers but crossing the universes. This is, of course, how Doug and Lili meet. For Calafans, it is common and, as a result, the society condones their relationships with persons from the other side. Their marriage vows even take it into account (A Kind of Blue).


While I haven’t created a full-on language for the Calafans, I have created a lot of words, such as miva (clay), fep (small) and the yi- prefix, which means “student of”.


Copper Calafans scrollwork

Copper scrollwork example

Calafans do not have surnames; hence, parents must request their children’s first names as they cannot repeat. Names are considered meaningful and parents are cautioned to choose wisely. However, there are names that are jokes. If parents name their son Fepwev, it means “master of the small”. This can mean teacher or microbiologist, but the interpretation can also be the “master of very little”, e. g. mastery of a very small domain.

Many male names include the -wev suffix (master of) whereas female names often contain the yi- prefix. However, sexism is not the intention.


Because of their somewhat open marriages, Calafans can often appear to be on the make. Lili (Local Flavor) and Kevin (You Mixed-Up Siciliano, Spring Thaw) are both bothered by this.

Fanfiction Presence

Because I establish first contact as occurring in 2157 (although first contact between Calafans and Vulcans, Klingons and Ferengi – and possibly also Andorians – occurred earlier), the Calafans aren’t officially present earlier than that. However, Jonathan spots a woman who turns out to be Calafan while on Risa (And the Livin’ is Easy). In the E2 stories, a Calafan runs a way station where Imvari bring slaves to the Orion market. But in both instances, the encounters are fleeting and I never mention the name of the species.


For a species that I originally intended to be something of a villain, I ended up with more and better opportunities to showcase the Calafans and define their culture. There will be more written about them, I am sure, as I continue to get to know them.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Interphases series, Spotlight, Times of the HG Wells series, 52 comments