Portrait of a Character – Bernardine (Bernie) Keating-Fong
During Intolerance, I needed someone who would be a kind of chaperone to Pamela, Blair, Will, Mark, and An. Her name had to be gender-neutral. Her surname, like a lot of the other names in that story, evokes Dominic Keating’s earlier career. The Fong portion is a nod to another original character of mine, pop star Kurt Fong. I like to think that she is his sister-in-law.
I wanted an older yet attractive Asian actress. She would also be the kind of person who, during the shenanigans at the beginning of Intolerance, Malcolm might consider as a romantic prospect.
Extremely intelligent and knowledgeable, Phlox refers to her as a specialist in ancient diseases, a statement that she does not dispute. Until it was time to write others’ universes, I did not really have a role for her beyond Intolerance. However, I had occasion to write a crossover work called Bomb(e) and made her the physician on the NX-04 Ariane. In that story, which is played a lot more for laughs, Dr. Keating-Fong ends up treating a patient who may or may not have planted a bomb on board in order to scare off Romulans who have boarded that ship.
Bernie has no known relationships in either universe.
After having written Intolerance (which is kind of an odd story within the original five-book In Between Days series), I wanted to add something considerably lighter that would showcase Captain Archer a bit.
Furthermore, he behaves like a perfect gentleman in that book, whereas some of the other men do not quite measure up as well. But I wanted it to be a case where he would look at Blair and Pamela and bemoan the fact that he absolutely would not be allowed to touch.
The idea humanizes him in a big way, I feel. After all, he is the captain, yes. But he is also a flesh and blood human being and, as such, he has desires.
The story barely has a plot and is really a lot more like a drabble. Essentially, Jonathan Archer, like all of the other single straight men on the NX-01 Enterprise, is a bit taken by both Pamela Hudson and Blair Claymore. As a person who is unattached, there is nothing stopping him from looking. But he knows he will need to hold back, as they are both quite a bit younger than he is, and he is the captain of the ship. For him, it would probably be seen as improper.
At the time that I wrote this story, I did not realize it, but it is truly a foreshadowing (actually, it is more of an afterword or afterthought) with respect to the E2 stories, where I have Captain Archer also looking and not touching, desiring but never actually going through with anything.
Pairs. They can refer to playing cards and couples, and this little story touches on both as a play on words and for a little bit of humor. In response to a Star Trekfanfiction prompt about losing, I wanted to write a story about a losing poker hand that, instead, ends up being a winner.
It’s maybe a year after the end of Fortune, and Treve has taken Pamela home after a date. They have been going out for a good year. She’s been a bit pushy about getting physical, but he’s been pulling back. As of the time of Saturn Rise, they have exchanged ‘I love yous’.
This is the first time that Treve has actually gone into Pamela’s new apartment on Lafa II. She’s immigrated there, partly to be near her elderly uncle, Doctor Cyril Morgan, and partly to be near Treve.
They’re a little drunk, and there are playing cards on the table. Pamela suggests a game of strip poker. Since Treve has no real idea of how to play, she feigns losing and, as a result, gets her man. Treve certainly does not object to this!
There is no reason whatsoever to assume that human-alien sexual relations will go smoothly, particularly not the first time. Couple this with the fact that Treve is a virgin, and Calafan men can swell up after climax, and the scene naturally turned to the parties becoming a bit stuck.
Already, things are weird.
At the same time, Treve is the first boyfriend Pamela has ever had where she’s waited. He’s also the first man she has ever loved (she did not love Malcolm when they dated in Intoleranceand met again in Together. She was mature enough to never say it back to Malcolm), and he ends up being the only man she ever loves. He is everything to her, and the feeling is mutual.
Her earlier experiences have been different. They’ve been brief and unfeeling, and often laced with some S & M and B & D. She’s got a wild side. And now things are changing, and wholly for the better.
This short story was written in response to a sex scene prompt, and it was great fun to imagine it and put it on paper. This is one piece of Pamela’s happy ending, and I was glad to write it. For this character with a difficult early life, alien-human sex and its aftermath are the least of her many complications.
This character is, of course, Star Trek: Enterprise canon. The actor, Dominic Keating, is British (he’s from Leicester), but the character is from Malaysia. Repressed, uptight and a lover of big guns and even bigger explosions, Reed was rumored to be the first regular gay character. However, according to Keating, the rumors were Internet hype more than anything else, and homosexuality was never intended to be a part of the portrayal. This has not stopped a lot of fan fiction writers from giving him a slash angle. I do not. Instead, since all of his relationships and possible relationships are straight, I write him as completely heterosexual.
As in canon, Reed is played by actor Dominic Keating.
Canon states that Reed is repressed and shy around women. He’s also very competent at his job, possibly the most competent person behind T’Pol. Self-sacrificing to a fault, Reed is uncomfortable fraternizing with his captain, and feels that the relationship should remain at arm’s-length. Furthermore, Malcolm is afraid of water and is the ship’s chess champion.
So much for canon.
As I have written him, he also has a fondness for Scrabble and various word games and puzzles, enjoying competition but also working to improve his mind. He’s an avid reader (some of that reading is canon), and is particularly fond of Jane Eyre. Whether he sees himself as Rochester is yet to be determined.
A cautious lover and a natural pessimist, Malcolm is a bit afraid of rejection and has a bit of dysfunction at times. He keeps to himself, which tends to make relationships problematic at best. But when he meets someone and he likes her, he latches on rather quickly. However, at the beginning of much of my fanfiction (and in keeping with canon), he tends to fall for women who are either thoroughly inappropriate for him or are utterly unattainable, a fact that he acknowledges in Concord and Together, in particular.
As I write Malcolm, he has two major relationships which define him.
With Pamela, Malcolm feels he may be falling in love, but she pulls him back and tells him, no, you’re mistaken. He finds it freeing when he realizes that she’s right.
But Pamela also stretches his limits, and loosens him up. A part of that is due to her prowess and her proclivities. He finds himself enjoying a bit of naughty bedroom play, and participates in some, but not all of it. At the end of Intolerance they part, assuring each other that they will become, essentially, Friends with Benefits.
With Lili, the relationship is considerably stronger and more loving. Malcolm finds that he can be a lot freer with her than he has ever been with anyone before, even Pamela. He fulfills the destiny that was denied him in the original, canon E2 episode, and becomes a family man when Lili gives birth to Declan (Temper, Fortune). Initially, in Reversal, Lili is denied him, as she goes with Doug.
In later life, he and Lili marry, an event prepared for in Equinox and then shown in Fortune. Their later married life is briefly shown in The Rite.
Lili is also paired with him in the E2 stories I am currently writing. In one scenario, they have a daughter who they name Pamela Morgan. In another, in keeping with canon, they do not have children.
In Concord, Malcolm pines for Charlotte but never truly attempts to win her. Instead, seeing a picture of Lili after his encounter with Charlotte, Malcolm experiences an eerie sense of déja vu.
In Intolerance, it’s revealed that Malcolm is a gifted poet, so long as he has motivation. And Pamela provides that in spades. Malcolm’s medium of choice is Shakespearean sonnets. I have written him three for her, two for Declan (in Fortune) and one for Lili in the E2 stories. Here is my favorite, the second sonnet for Pamela –
A burning ember, burst to flame as kindred souls entwine and merge the knave, he could not be the same falling, ever falling over precipice and verge
Her face was fair, her mind was keen her body offered untold pleasure And yet her heart remained unseen — could the knave unlock this treasure? The Queen, she came down from above
She changed the knave, who did it all for love
Malcolm has a canon counterpart, who I
name Ian and kill off before Reversal. But Ian has a rather rich afterlife, particularly in Equinox and the E2 stories. I’ll cover him in a separate entry.
“It’s the stuff that makes up your life. You have allowed me to be a part of it. That’s almost as intimate as holding your body to mine, touching and kissing and looking at all of your, your secret places.”
For a canon character with a comparatively sketchy background, I’ve been happy to fill in the blanks. I hear his voice better than any of the other canon characters, except perhaps for Jay Hayes. A thousand stories can be told about Malcolm. I feel I have merely scratched the surface.
I listened to the song, over and over again, and Doctor Pamela Hudson was born.
Personality and Personal History
Controlling but out of control, with a healer’s profession but a selfish streak, Pamela was meant to be a femme fatale from the very beginning. In Intolerance, she is first introduced when Travis has figured out that there are female medical students coming to the NX-01 for an Immunology rotation. The assumption is that the women are single, and so he and Tripp Tucker and Malcolm Reed decide to compete for the women. When Pamela walks by, she’s wearing a not-too-revealing outfit, but her lips and nails are painted dark purple, and her hair is back and threatening to tumble down. So she puts her left hand up, and they see that she’s got a leather bracelet on and no rings on that hand. Wordlessly, she has communicated to them – I’m available.
She’s also communicated to them – I might be more than you bargained for.
Pamela is a child of privilege, and brilliant to boot (she went to Harvard Medical School), but her family carries a dark secret – ever since she was five years old, her father sexually abused her, while her mother watched. Her sister, Lisa, was unaffected.
She’s also (in conversations with fellow student Blair Claymore) established as being quite sexually liberated, to the point of worrying Blair. Blair, in contrast, is shown as the good girl. Both are attractive, but it’s Pamela who really turns heads.
In Together, her feelings are hurt when she is rejected – a rather unfamiliar scenario for her. In Temper, her Mirror counterpart is seen. In Fortune, she finds a soulmate in an unexpected place. And in Remembrance, her grand-nephew presents her eulogy.
The Mirror Pamela has things even tougher than the one in the Prime Universe. In Temper, she is little more than one of José Torres‘s playthings (as are Blair and Karin Bernstein) in one of the alternate timelines. In Fortune and in He Stays a Stranger, she’s shown as a pinup girl. It’s unclear, at least in Temper, whether she’s a lab assistant or a doctor, and in the other Mirror Universe stories, she may be little more than a prostitute, if that.
I struggled a bit with figuring out who should “play” Pamela. I wanted someone who would be beautiful and sexy and smart, but also could evoke a certain amount of world-weary ennui. To my mind, Kaley Cuoco fit the bill rather well. Not only does she have serious geek cred, she also has some drama cred. I also felt she would be the kind of woman who Tripp would joke about as, “Please, you’re talking about the future Mrs. Tucker.”
“Never arrive to a party early or on time. No one should. It’s like the old Steady State theory of the universe. No beginning and no end. Or maybe it’s just turtles all the way down.”
For a character who was originally supposed to be a one-off, Pamela graduated to In Between Days main character status. However, as something of an outsider, she doesn’t fit the profile of the other In Between Days main characters like Lili O’Day or Doug Beckett.
Pure id, but with a heart underneath all that leather and langor, Pamela is, ultimately, a femme fatale motivated by good.