Tag Archives: Mixing it Up

Review – Truth

Review – Truth

Truth, of course, matters.

Background

So once again, the prompt is the same as the name of the story. However, I did not realize how the plot would turn out until I was writing it. Bron suddenly spoke to me, and I just took dictation. And that is the most fun when you write.

Plot

Barking up the muse tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The truth about Bron
The truth about Bron

So a year after Bron and Sophra start going out, he meets her parents. As they fret a bit about the relationship and he gets even more nervous, he suddenly blurts out the truth. And he absolutely did not plan to do that.

Poor Bron! Always so sensitive and sweet. Sophra’s parents are skeptical, and her father in particular is unsure of things. Bron doesn’t even tell or ask Sophra first. Instead, as her father asks for his intentions, Bron blurts out that his intention is marriage. Yet this surprises everyone – in particular, Sophra herself. While she had to have known she was a serious individual, she might have considered that their relationship would have moved a little more slowly. However, she accepts his sudden proposal gladly.

Initially appalled, Sophra’s parents come around when Bron tells them he will have a good engineering job and they will likely adopt children as the chance of having their own probably isn’t there. A little grudgingly, perhaps, they accept him.  I like to think they can look beyond his clearly rather alien appearance.

Story Postings

Rating

This story is rated K.

Upshot

So as is always the case with Bron, a little bit of haplessness creeps in. But he’s kind, smart, and committed, and I think you just can’t help but to root for him. I think those two crazy kids might just make it after all.

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Review – Report Card

Review – Report Card

Report Card does not work well as a story at all. I take full responsibility for that. I should have taken a lot more time to write it and try to perfect it. Instead, it comes across as the rushed collection of half-jokes that it is. This was a poor idea on my part, and it really shows.

Background

I had enjoyed writing Freak School, the original adventures of Klingon-human hybrid teenager Rayna Montgomery. As a result, I was looking to write a sequel.

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Archer Academy at Oberon (which Rayna Montgomery calls the Freak School) | Report Card
The Archer Academy at Oberon (which Rayna Montgomery calls the Freak School)

Plot

So as a sequel and a bit of a complement to Freak School, Rayna’s report card and her class reports are shown. In addition, her parents receive a general communication from the Archer Academy at Oberon which includes a month’s worth of menus. Since this is a boarding school, and it quite literally caters to aliens, the foods on offer are canon and fanfiction alien foods in a mix with human specialties.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

The idea was a decent one, albeit without much of a plot. I think execution could have been considerably better. Rayna is a fun character, but the observations of her are dry.  Stories about her do considerably better if her Valley Girl-style voice can be heard distinctly, and that simply is not the case with Report Card. Rayna deserves a far better sequel than this one.

In addition, the story, such as it is, suffers from how long it took to get it to go live. If the time period had been shorter, the jokes would have made a lot more sense. Instead, it’s just plain confusing.

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Review – D’Storlin

Review – D’Storlin

D’Storlin is a story where people ask if it has a basis in true events. Except, it does not. Yet it certainly could be. The events are (in my opinion) realistic and downright frightening. Many people lash out exactly like this. And kids can’t always bounce back or have someone wipe their records. Some things are just plain permanent. Like the scarlet letter or the mark of Cain.

Background

So I recall discussions about Xindi Reptilians, and how we had never seen any younger ones in canon. At the same time, there were also discussions about how well Spock and other hybrids seemed to get along in canon Star Trek society. And all I could think of was – that’s unrealistic.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | D'Storlin | DStorlin
D’Storlin

Plot

For a hybrid child, teenaged life is even more fraught with embarrassment, mood swings, and bullying. This put-upon human-Xindi Reptilian hybrid, attends a primarily human school on Earth. Much like Rayna Montgomery,  he has to try to get along with the human majority. However, in Rayna’s case, she acted out by sleeping around at a young age, and occasionally growling. But for the most part, Rayna’s actions are peaceful ones.

Not so with the title character, when this friendless, bullied child is pushed too far one day. And the results are not pretty. Plus, they are all too permanent for both him and one of his tormentors.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K+.

Upshot

When this story was originally posted on Ad Astra, readers asked me whether it was taken from real life. I consider that to be an exceptionally generous compliment. It was not.

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Portrait of a Character – D’Storlin

Portrait of a Character – D’Storlin

D’Storlin has troubles.

Origins

Spock was always such an incredibly well-adjusted person, given his circumstances and birth. And I always felt that that made little sense. Even with a genius IQ and half-Vulcan blood, I always figured it would make infinitely more sense for him to have been more unhinged. Enter D’Storlin.

Portrayal

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | D’Storlin | DStorlin
D’Storlin

I see the actor Vincent Kartheiser in this role.

He’s got somewhat interesting credentials, including Mad Men and time on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff, Angel.

I like that he’s got a background of playing weaselly characters. Because D’Storlin has major issues.

Personality

Penitent, but with a hot temper and a lack of patience, D’Storlin is angry at the world. And it is for how a dead baby crocodile is treated in his Biology class (the animal is a subject for dissection).

Relationships

D’Storlin has no known relationships.

Mirror Universe

I don’t have a Mirror Universe counterpart for D’Storlin, but there are no impediments to his existence.

Portrait of a Character – D’Storlin
Vincent Kartheiser as Mirror D’Storlin

For what he did to John, he wouldn’t be sent to a school for troubled children. Instead, he’d get a promotion.

Quote

“I see the egg tooth, you know, the one you use to get outta the shell? I don’t remember coming out of the shell, of course, but I remember seeing my little sister – she and I weren’t in the same clutch. {and} I remember seeing her struggle and struggle but she finally made it and my parents and my clutch brothers and sisters, we all cheered. And then we had hamburgers, I remember. Funny, the things you remember.”

Upshot

I like this creepy character, but I do not know where to put him next.

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Portrait of a Character – Sophra

Portrait of a Character – Sophra

Origins

For The Reptile Speaks, I wanted a Gorn to be reciting poetry to a Cardassian girl. As a result, Sophra was created.

Portrayal

Sophra is played by actress Selena Gomez.

Portrait of a Character – Sophra
Selena Gomez as Sophra

I really like the idea of the character being cute and not desperate, that she and Bron would enjoy each other’s company and it would not be her settling.

Personality

Sweet and caring, Sophra is more mature than most of the other girls in school, who care more for parties and field trips than the heavy lifting of serious relationships.

Relationships

Bron

They meet at Picard High School, and he falls for her, hard. But his roommate, Skrol, tells him that it is impossible, and he should court a Xindi Reptilian girl, like he is with Tr’Dorna. The Sadie Hawkins Day dance is an occasion when Bron can impress, and he does. They begin to date. Bron is certainly more smitten with Sophra than the other way around, at least to start. But she cares and even stands up for him when he meets her parents for the first time and it looks as if he’s blown it.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Sophra
Selena Gomez as Mirror Sophra

There are no impediments to Sophra existing in the Mirror Universe.

However, like any other cute girl of any species, she would likely be sexualized rather early. As for a relationship with Bron’s counterpart, it would likely be impossible.

Quote

“Don’t you like the middle of the day? When the sun is high up and shadows are close to people? I know that’s the time that I like the best. When the shadow is right there, touching.”

Upshot

I would love to be able to give Sophra more of a personality. As she currently exists, she is more of a sweet girlfriend and then fiancée than anything else. I would like for this character to have more of an independent existence at some point. Otherwise, she ends up being kind of bland.

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Portrait of a Character – Tr’Dorna

Portrait of a Character – Tr’Dorna

Oh, it’s so difficult to be a teenager, even one as popular and lovely as Tr’Dorna.

There’s the grooming – for after all, you’ve got to have nice teeth and beautiful eyes! There’s showing just enough to your boyfriend without revealing your tail too quickly. There’s being sympathetic to your roommate, who might not get a date even to the Sadie Hawkins Dance. There’s being kind to your boyfriend’s roommate, who is fraught with insecurities. And this doesn’t even take schoolwork into account.

And then, of course, there’s the matter of keeping your scales looking good.

I Was a Teenaged Xindi Reptilian

There are no female Xindi Reptilians shown in canon. And there are no young Reptilians shown, either, unless you count the occasional nameless aide who has no lines.

What are their teenaged kids like? What about young girls?

I figured they would be a bit like our own teenaged girls. Sometimes impulsive. Sometimes a little wicked. Sometimes very kind. Flighty, maybe. Overly concerned with appearance, possibly. In short, much like us.

Personality

Tr’Dorna is originally introduced in The Reptile Speaks, as being Skrol the Gorn‘s girlfriend. Since there are no female teenaged Gorn at Picard High School, Skrol goes after Tr’Dorna, and urges his roommate, Bron (he is also a Gorn), to hook up with Tr’Dorna’s roommate, Etrina, another female Xindi Reptilian.

Tr’Dorna is portrayed in that story as a little bawdy, teasing and flirting and weighing her options as to whether she will show Skrol her tail, which is a prelude to serious foreplay and possibly sex. She also encourages Etrina to find someone for the dance, particularly when it looks like it isn’t going to work out between Etrina and Bron, and even pumps up Etrina by referring to her friend as the “picture of health”.

When Skrol talks about getting her a tiger lily wrist corsage, he mentions that it will bring out her eyes. In canon, Reptilian eyes are yellow, so hers would be a more orangey-yellow in color.

In Insecurity, it is she who Skrol turns to in order to comfort a lonely and lovesick Bron. Here she is sympathetic and kind, telling Bron that his girl is probably missing him as much as he is missing her. Bron refers to her as “a really sweet and smart lady”.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Tr’Dorna
Hayden Panettiere

It’s tough to envision alien characters as being “played” by humans, particularly when so much makeup and such an enormous amount of prosthetics would clearly be needed. But I see Hayden Panettiere  as Tr’Dorna, just kind of a fun-loving young girl with a mischievous smile.

Quote

“All I’m saying, Bron, is that you can only go on the facts you’ve got, and what’s, well, what’s logical, whether we’re talking about how Sophra is spending break, or how Etrina is. Don’t look at me like I’m a scaly Vulcan or anything! Just, you’re jumping to conclusions and assuming a lot of things. Have a little faith, okay? We girls usually aren’t so different from you guys. We’re not out to actively try to hurt you. I think that’s even true of a warmie like Sophra.”

Upshot

Tr’Dorna may be a little boy-crazy, and she doesn’t exactly make schoolwork a priority. But she’s a good friend, and has a decent head on her scaly shoulders.