For a prompt with the same name as the title, I wanted to do a little drabble about T’Pol and her sometimes uneven relationship with a certain crew member.
In canon, T’Pol’s relationship with Porthos is a bit rocky. In the beginning, she is bothered by his smell and cannot adjust to the idea of a pet being an appropriate presence on a starship. Because Jonathan Archer is so wrapped up in the dog’s well being, and T’Pol and Jonathan do not get off on the best footing in the beginning of the series, there might be some carry over. That is, maybe T’Pol has issues with Porthos because she has issues with Archer. Fortunately, she warms up to both of them.
It’s just a little thing, but Porthos is sick. T’Pol has already rushed him to Sick Bay. The little drabble just covers her fretting and asking Phlox about his condition.
I have no idea why this number became my go-to number. I just like it. It’s easy to type on a keypad, as the 4 and the 2 are typed diagonally from left to right, and then the 7, 5, and 3 are typed diagonally in the same way, but from one row higher.
It’s a zip code in central Kentucky and really has no significance in my life whatsoever.
When Travis is kidnapped for an alien experiment, he meets several people, including a ‘defective’ (not overwhelmingly alluring) Orion slave girl who has no name, and is only known as a number. And that number is 42753.
This storyincludes a scene of reading Porthos’s microchip. The number is 2149-42753.
In The Tribe, when Mary Reed is trapped in a transport that isn’t working, the number of the car she’s in is 42753.
In Multiverse II, 42753 is the panel number for where Branch Borodin has to place the pulse shot collector.
Later, the number also refers to the last message Levi sends to Maren O’Connor before his PADD dies.
Untrustworthy (Original Fiction)
One rather long designation includes this particular string of numbers.
Things to come
Play contains 42753 in two places. First, it’s the number of a secure channel Admiral Alynna Nechayev uses. The second time, it’s at the end of a string of numbers denoting Dana MacKenzie’s radiation band, which proves that she has some Mirror Universe ancestry.
This quirky number will be back. I guarantee it. Like this post? Tweet it!
Review – The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat
Tarisian Dreams suggested that I somehow find a way for Spot and Porthos to meet. The only methods were, I felt, either time travel or a holodeck simulation. I chose the former.
It’s during the Xindi War, and Lili has only recently been hired. While starting dinner, she brings Porthos to the galley. He sits, hoping that’s she’ll drop something tasty. Will comes in and scolds Lili, as this is a Health Code violation.
He insists that she return the beagle to Captain Archer‘s quarters. Lili does so, and departs as the ship is hit by a spatial anomaly. This creates a hull breach on B Deck. But this anomaly is temporal as well as spatial, and so it also results in Porthos being whisked away, over a century into the future, to the Enterprise-D, where Data, Spot, Geordi, Wesley Crusher, and Captain Picard all are.
On the NX-01, they fear Porthos has died. On the Enterprise-D, they try to get him home.
Plus the whole thing is told from the perspective of Porthos, including his conversations with Spot.
Does Porthos get back to the right time period? Who helps him? And what happens to him and Spot, before he departs?
I love writing animals’ points of view, and Porthos is always great fun. Spot was much more of a challenge, but readers have told me that I got cat POV correct. That was rather satisfying to read. Will they return? Absolutely, although I’m hard-pressed as to how to (if ever) get them back together again.
In response to my own monthly prompt about YOLO (You Only Live Once), I posted the Eriecho/Sybok story, Across the Universe.
I added a Stats page to capture all read and review data.
The Stats page has all significant read counts. No new milestones were attained this month.
I continued to work on Time Out, and on the wholly original story, The Obolonk Murders.
I overhauled the website and the blog considerably, adding all of the casting information here on the blog. This did not just bring more information directly to where I am getting the most views and feedback. It also served to help declutter the index for the site. I added a little to the Star Trek Expanded Universes Wiki, too.
This Month’s Productivity Killers
Apart from working on the jespah website, I also worked on my own professional website and did some social media blogging. It was a snowy January, and snow shoveling tends to give me wrist pain, thereby making it difficult to type. Furthermore, I started social media classes at Quinnipiac University.
Animal lovers exist in my fanfiction. I am a big-time animal lover and so that of course creeps into my writing.
What may also be of interest is the fact that my first fiction writing, when I was a young girl, was animal adventure stories. I didn’t write much. Instead, I would draw crude pictures and then in my head I could add the details of a particular scene. Furthermore, I was probably about four or five or so when I started writing these. I recall my grandmother giving me old appointment books for bygone years, as that was scrap paper that nobody cared about. So I would draw floppy-eared dogs or whatever and the occasional tree or happy shining sun and from those little things and such humble beginnings, I would generate stories. I have forgotten them all and the old drawings are long gone.
While everybody seems to love Porthos, it’s only canon character Jonathan Archer who is really responsible for feeding or walking the little guy.
Even Porthos himself acknowledges that most people like him, but it’s Alpha (Archer) who’s really in charge of his well-being.
Any time Archer needs to be away from the ship for a significant period of time, he makes sure to entrust the dog to someone. Usually this is Hoshi or Phlox. And while they care about Porthos, this seems to be simply more work for them. At least that’s how I’ve often seen it.
Probably my biggest animal lover character is Doug and Lili‘s eldest. As a child, in Fortune, Joss pays more attention to Cindy Morgan‘s Boston Terrier puppy, Fenway, than he does to Jia Sulu. Joss eventually follows his bliss and becomes a veterinarian.
In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, once the crew get dogs from the Phnom Penh live market, Karin (along with Captain Archer) is one of the people responsible for training the dogs. This includes following simple commands, herding and some protection for the ship’s herd of procul.
Brian (no last name)
During You Mixed-Up Siciliano, while Sheilagh is trying to figure out whether she wants to continue working for the Temporal Integrity Commission, she ends up jogging to a local park. She comes across a guy who’s taken his elderly poodle, Beau, out for some exercise. They exchange first names and talk a little, and he gives her some advice about whether to stay at her job. He further reveals that Beau is a retired show dog, although not a terribly successful one.
Concord‘s mistress of the Hayes Farm is not squeamish when it comes to slaughtering animals, including a veal calf. But when Malcolm drives the horse, Phoebe, Charlotte urges him to be gentle while slapping the reins. The hens are also permitted to retain two eggs in each clutch, although that is partly for the purpose of having more chickens to eat or sell.
Even overly driven Jay has the time to scratch Porthos behind the ears.
Porthos loves Lili, as she always smells like food and often has it and will share. During The Stilton Fulfillment, when she attempts to lure him into a Sick Bay crate for his own safety, she refers to steak. Porthos wisely knows she doesn’t have any, but goes in all the same, as he realizes things are dicey.
Porthos briefly refers to Josh throwing a ball for him to fetch. With a broken left arm, in The Stilton Fulfillment, it’s likely that ball-throwing will have to happen for later.
When I was originally writing time travel stories, this role was considerably larger. I meant this character to be a kind of animals whisperer, able to calm and communicate with all manner of less-sentient beasts. Shaw would have the ability to ride, tame and lead most critters.
The way the stories worked out, I never got a chance to use this character, except for a brief reference when a time change gave Shaw a very different role. In The Point is Probably Moot, with the Federation turned into a theocracy, Shaw becomes Pope Gregory XXXII.
Shaw is also intended to be a descendant to Eriecho series characters Juliet Parker and Jack Shaw.
Crystal is a dog owner, with a Jack Russell Terrier named Petey.
Charlotte Hayes’s employees are all kind to animals, but Jim is probably the kindest, even kinder than his father, Benjamin. This does not prevent Jim from joking to Malcolm about the proper way to milk a cow.
Not every characteristic is Starfleet-oriented, not every preference is written in the stars. Some characters have rather down to earth interests in common, and being an animal lover is certainly one of those. Animal lovers matter.
Pets inspire. A lot of my characters come from, in one way or another, people I have known. But some come from animals.
I am a dog person and make no secret of the fact. The first dog character I wrote in Star Trek fanfiction was the Star Trek: Enterprise canon character, Porthos, in The Adventures of Porthos.
Caitians of course are canon, and they are felinoid. So the idea was to respond directly to that, with a canid species. I had been reading about the marsupial wolf and so the two ideas were combined, and the Daranaeans were born.
A Dog’s Eye View
Their personalities tend to be canine, too, from their pack-like hierarchy to their desire to sleep communally to the lower castes’ need to serve. The pack structure is shown off in The Cure is Worse Than the Disease and Beta individuals challenging the Alpha are shown in Take Back the Night.
In the upcoming Barnstorming series, their sports are even doglike, including mazes (based upon lure coursing), ring throwing (based upon frisbee) and staggered relay (based on agility).
The hyperactivity of the press parallels, in particular, terriers that I have known. The sentient marsupial canids are great fun to write.
I am allergic to cats and have never had one as a pet. However of course I have known plenty of felines as pets. For Caitian character Parenelsa, her shyness is absolutely based on shy and withdrawn cats, as in The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Stilton Fulfillment. But Ambassador Gopalahr, and the explorer, M’Roan, are a lot more adventurous. M’Roan was shown off to quirky effect in A Single Step.
I got the chance to provide one when the Trek BBS had a monthly challenge in December of 2012 for ironic wish fulfillment. Porthos would get what he always wanted – more cheese – but it wouldn’t quite agree with him.
The Caitian Ambassador and his family are coming to the NX-01 for dinner. The captain is anxious for everything to go right, and wants to perhaps convince the ambassador to become a more formal ally. The ambassador’s young daughter. Parenelsa, is shy and sweet, but she warms up to Porthos, who begs at the table. And so she feeds him.
And feeds him and feeds him.
The problem arises when Porthos has a reaction. That is, he breaks wind. Malcolm, who is at the dinner and is bored out of his mind, volunteers to take the dog to Sick Bay. For Malcolm, it’s also a chance to get his own treatment, as he is lactose intolerant, a revelation I first made in Intolerance.
The story starts off with Porthos narrating the action. Because he is a dog, he’s not too communicative in terms of language. Instead, the world divides into good smells and bad ones.
Most of the Enterprise is on the side of what Porthos refers to as good smells, everything from Sick Bay to the remnants of a cheeseburger that Hoshi ate for dinner. He listens to Captain Archer (Alpha) make plans about meeting a species called Azezans. Being Porthos, he doesn’t pay attention to every single syllable. He has acute hearing but, let’s face it, like many dogs, he sometimes only listens to what he really wants to hear.
The same scene is then repeatedly normally, and the story goes on that way throughout.
Porthos sees action when Archer learns that the Azezans are the victims of oppression. Captain Archer finds their predicament uncomfortably familiar, but he is initially unsure as to exactly why that is so. This ends up as one of my first links to Jewish characters and the Holocaust, as the reference is painfully close to the Judenrat.
I love dogs and I believe that they truly think quite a bit like this, paying somewhat selective attention and continually being distracted by the various aromas around them. They apparently understand some 200 – 350 or so words, so it would follow that a lot of what Porthos hears is just so much semi-random noise to him.
Furthermore, the emphasis on scents prefigures the Daranaeans, and the switching between the scenes was altered to great effect in Reversal. I like the story but don’t love it; the Alien of the Week plot could have been stronger, I feel. But the story had an unexpected, award-winning sequel, The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Stilton Fulfillment. And, as I have explained, it showcases some concepts and techniques that I have improved over time. I think it’s a decent older story.