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Portrait of a Character – Kathryn Janeway

Portrait of a Character – Kathryn Janeway

Kathryn Janeway Origins

Kathryn Janeway
Kathryn Janeway

Kathryn Janeway. The character is, of course, canon. As a strong female character, fans are sometimes not sure of what to think about her, it seems.

Portrayal

As in canon, Kathryn is played by actress Kate Mulgrew. The actress has particularly hit her stride after the series ended.

Personality

Tough, smart, and driven. Kathryn is between a rock and a hard place much of the time.

Relationships

Tom Paris

It is hardly anything, and the canon episode is something of a joke, but I like the idea of Threshold. In particular, I love the inevitable aftermath that had to have occurred. You can’t make whoopie with the captain without there being at least a few consequences.

Mirror Universe

Kathryn Janeway
Mirror Kathryn (Kate Mulgrew in Orange is the New Black)

There are no known impediments to Kathryn existing in the Mirror Universe.

Of course the women are tough. Being older, she would be a survivor. I love the idea of chefs and cooks trying to deal with what I feel have to be the inevitable scarcities that go along with living under a dictatorship.

A smart, fierce woman could make a decent living and maybe even stand out if she could be creative, frugal, and able to fix the replicators.

Quote

“Actually, this drink is called a Siberian. It’s four parts milk, two parts coffee liqueur, one part vodka and one part real vanilla extract. The mug is rimmed with vanilla extract and bitter cocoa powder.”

Upshot

I have seen very little of Voyager, and maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about (it would not be the first time).  I’m sure there is a lot more I could do with this character. If I had the time, I would do some binge watching!

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Portrait of a Character – Sybok

Portrait of a Character – Sybok

Sybok is a great character to toss into the Kelvin timeline.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Laurence Luckinbill (Sybok) (image is for educational purposes only)
Laurence Luckinbill (Sybok) (image is for educational purposes only)

Origins

Portrait of a Character – Sybok

The new Kelvin timeline, as depicted by the JJ Abrams films like Star Trek Into Darkness, has a lot of things, but it does not seem to have Spock’s canon half-brother.

Sybok’s canon appearance is rather problematic, as Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is a pretty bad flick. I am, though, trying not to blame the actor. I’m not so sure that it’s his fault. It’s just an odd premise, that Spock would suddenly have a half-sibling, the guy would essentially be nuts, and that he would be searching for a mythological heaven-type of place but, alas, would instead be the victim of a malevolent alien. About the best thing about the film is Shatner’s line, “What does God need with a starship?

It rather neatly sums up nearly every instance, in Star Trek and in other types of fiction, where there is an entity that is supposed  to be omnipotent yet that entity, when it’s convenient for the plot, suddenly isn’t.

Are you listening, Q?

Portrayal

As in canon, Sybok is played by actor Laurence Luckinbill. Like I said, I don’t blame him for it being a bad film. I get the feeling that Luckinbill did what he could with the material he was given. He has been interviewed, and he revealed that Nimoy had wanted the role to be one of twins. Nimoy had wanted to play both characters, an act that I feel would have been far more of an exercise in ego-stroking than in nearly anything else. At least someone had the foresight to nix that idea.

Personality

Just like in the canon film, I make him a somewhat larger than life character. He is what is called, in canon, V’tosh ka’tur. That is, he does not suppress his emotions. Eriecho doesn’t because she was never taught to, and Saddik generally doesn’t because he was in Canamar Prison for so long that he decided it didn’t matter quite so much anymore.

However, I give him a reason for his behaviors. I give him the canon affliction, Pa’Nar Syndrome, which is something that T’Pol suffers from during the run of Star Trek: Enterprise. Hers was cured by a correctly-performed mind meld, and so I have Spock Prime perform one on Sybok.  This rather neatly ties the two timelines together and it reserves a place for Sybok, who I will probably find a place to use again.

Relationships

I have written no relationships for him, although he leers at the women, young and old, at the Martian Sanctuary. If Saddik isn’t careful, he’ll make a pass at Valeris, and not just to request her professional assistance as a Pon Farr comforter.

Theme Music

The Across the Universe story is full of Beatles songs. Sybok’s is I Am the Walrus, although Nowhere Man would work, too.

Mirror Universe

There are no known impediments to Sybok existing on the other side of the pond.

Portrait of a Character – Sybok
Mirror Sybok

I can see him either as being wholly free of Pa’Nar and therefore much more similar to Mirror Spock in outlook and behavior. Or maybe he’s got it, and it’s far worse. He could be not just a demigod but a rather nasty individual. Perhaps he’s in the Emperor’s inner circle as a henchman. It’s an intriguing idea that I might explore in the future.

Quote

“If I’m going to my tenth, then we should write this day down in history, less than a day – a new record!”

Upshot

For a character who was not treated well in the prime timeline, I like to think I gave him some measure of redemption. Plus at some point Eriecho and Sollastek have to get married! Sybok will have a front-row seat. I guarantee it.

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Portrait of a Character – Erika Hernandez

Portrait of a Character – Erika Hernandez

Origins

This canon character was seen during the fourth season of Enterprise.

Portrayal

As in canon, the character is played by actress Ada Maris.

Portrait of a Character – Erika Hernandez
Ada Maris as Captain Erika Hernandez

I am not the only person who enjoyed the portrayal of this tough, no-nonsense character.

Personality

Strong but fair, Erika was the perfect captain for Daranaean first contact in The Cure is Worse Than the Disease. The Daranaeans do not know what to make of a smart woman who is in charge of anything more daunting than a large household.

By the time of Take Back the Night, Erika is forced back to deal with those sentient marsupial canids again, and she is none too pleased with having to do that.

Relationships

Jonathan Archer

The only known relationship is the canon one, with Jonathan Archer. The way I write it, it is pursued a bit in More, More, More! but otherwise the relationship is dropped. Neither of them try very hard.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Erika Hernandez
Ada Maris as the Mirror Erika Hernandez

The Mirror Universe version of Erika shows up in Dishing it Out, a crossover collaboration story written with FalseBill. We decided that she would be the only slightly competent chef for the Empress Hoshi Sato. By the time of Temper, Erika is long gone.

 

 

Quote

“The troubling thing about the Daranaeans is their treatment of their females. Casual sexism is tossed around just as readily as are vapid discussions about the weather. I was privy to two rituals engaged in by the females, which centered on pregnancy and birth. Within these rituals are subtle distinctions among the castes which serve to promote Prime Wives and denigrate the last caste women, while walking a thin line when it came to the secondaries. In addition, we learned that a last caste child of perhaps three or four years of age was not permitted to join in with the home schooling that the other children enjoyed. Whether this was by law or custom or both, I do not know. When asked, we were merely informed that that caste “did not believe” in education – a statement that I find difficult to believe.”

Upshot

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Portrait of a Character – Major Strong Bear Dawson

Portrait of a Character – Major Strong Bear Dawson

Origins

When I first wrote There’s Something About Hoshi, I needed to have a replacement for Major Jay Hayes, as he had died in canon. Enter Dawson, who was originally a WASP. But then I learned that there is a canon  Star Trek TAS character, Dawson Running Bear. Hence Dawson got his name and a bit of his origins.

Portrayal

Strong Bear (Bud) is played by actor David Midthunder.

Portrait of a Character – Major Strong Bear Dawson
David Midthunder as Strong Bear Dawson

As is often the case with ethnic characters, it was very important for me to ‘cast’ an actor who is of that ethnicity.

Dawson is proud and powerful, and Midthunder seems to be both of those things and also supremely confident. This makes for, I feel, a dynamite combination.

Personality

The strong and silent type, Bud is devoted to duty. However, in There’s Something About Hoshi, he is nearly as affected as the other straight men are.  In Shell Shock, he is initially one of the accused, and he and Malcolm meet during the experience. By the time of On the Radio, he is a valued member of the crew and even T’Pol can figuratively let her hair down a bit in front of him. But he’s still pretty far removed. That would be the case for nearly anyone, though, who comes into a work situation much later than the initial stage of building the team.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Major Strong Bear Dawson
David Midthunder as Mirror Universe Strong Bear Dawson

There is no reason for Strong Bear Dawson to not exist in the Mirror Universe. I imagine him as  a person living off the grid and more or less thoroughly embracing his roots.

I do not believe he would be called Bud, either.

Quote

“HQ wanted more experience after the war. They would’ve assigned me earlier but I was getting off assignment with freighter defense and then the Rommie War broke out and they didn’t want to change horses in the middle of the stream. Helluva way for me to meet my new troops, eh?”

Upshot

I like this character well enough, and he is a kind of utility player. I suspect I could place him into other scenarios and he would do fine. I will have to find places for him to shine.

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Portrait of a Character – Neil Digiorno-Madden

Portrait of a Character – Neil Digiorno-Madden

Origins

As a successor character in Star Trek fanfiction, I needed someone who would have a head for business. That led directly to Neil, although he started off as a somewhat troubled teen, within the alternate timeline as played out in Temper.

Portrayal

I see Brendan Fraser for Neil. I like the actor’s affable charm.

Portrait of a Character – Neil Digiorno-Madden

I think I like him even better, now that he’s a bit heavier. He just seems more like a normal, regular person, which is more or less how I see Neil, who even refers to himself as the hippopotamus among the gazelles (his siblings).

Personality

Neil’s the guy with the head for business. He is also the only one of the BeckettO’DayReedDigiornoMadden offspring who cooks. Although he has no biological relationship with Lili whatsoever, he is her heir in this regard, and she sells him Reversal when she retires. Neil is also the only one who runs 5Ks and, while he’s slow and he finishes last, he does finish. After Melissa and Leonora’s death, Neil retains their Fep City apartment.

He is the only one of the five children who does not cross over to the Mirror Universe during Temper. Instead, bereft and lonely, he becomes troubled.

Relationships

Unlike his siblings, Neil embraces the Calafan ideal of both a day and a night relationship. He never marries, but he loves his two women deeply.

Ines Ramires

The daughter of Jenny and Francisco is Neil’s daytime woman and is as close to a wife as he ever has.  They have two children together, Jennifer Leonora, known as Jenny Lee, and Martin Kevin, who is named after the prematurely deceased Kevin Madden-Beckett and is also a direct ancestor of canon character Martin Madden.

Yinora

The daughter of Yimar, she is married to Fepwev, with whom she has three children.  Yinora and Neil, who are both named for Norri Digiorno, mainly meet in their dreams. However, Yinora and Ines are cordial with each other and live the Calafan ideal of a harmonious day and night in perfect alignment.

Theme Music

In Temper, he’s the only one of the principal characters who doesn’t get a theme!

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Neil Digiorno-Madden

A mirror counterpart is impossible for Neil. Instead, he has a mirror analogue, Arashi Sato, as they both have heads for business.

Quote

“Ha, the next time you eat at Reversal, I’ll be sending you a bill.”

Upshot

I loved giving this guy a bit of a later life, where he runs his race and has his family close. He has all of the solid and dependable qualities of Doug without any of the violence. I like him, and he will return, I am certain of that.


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Portrait of a Character – Polly Porter

Portrait of a Character – Polly Porter

Polly Porter, originally, had a larger role.

Origins

Long before I started writing Star Trek fanfiction, I wrote parts of a wholly original time travel series. A character who was supposed to understand psychology and therapy was named Polly Porter. Polly originally was the middle child of two sisters, Penelope and Paris. I kept Polly and her specialty but ditched her sisters, for the most part.

Portrayal

Polly is played by veteran actress Kathy Bates.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Kathy Bates as Polly Porter (image is for educational purposes only)
Kathy Bates as Polly Porter (image is for educational purposes only)

I like this smart, older Oscar winner.

Personality

Warm and friendly, Polly is the epitome of almost a Frasier Crane-type of character (e. g. “I’m listening.”). However, very much like Frasier, she is also a rather detached individual, not really that close to anyone.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Polly Porter
Mirror Polly

In the Mirror Universe, I feel she’d be a much more informal advice-giver. But women are often in secondary roles there, at least in my Star Trek fanfiction. Would she still be among the living? It’s possible that she wouldn’t be, seeing as she is aging and is not a great beauty. In the Mirror Universe, where a woman’s looks (at least in my fan fiction) are often valued far more than her brains or her kindness or other skills, Polly would more than likely come up short, even in the deeper future.

Quote

“Let’s get you some keratin accelerator for your hair, and some newer clothes, okay? And as for the rest of it, heh, well, our department needs a new traveling doctor, right?”

Upshot

Polly is one of those characters – and there were a few of them in the HG Wells series – who I just ran out of room, time, and interest for.  This is a perfectly good character, but a lot of her lines, shall we say, ended up on the cutting room floor. Perhaps I’ll be able to do her justice later. I don’t know.


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Portrait of a Character – Phillip Green

Portrait of a Character – Phillip Green

Origins

This a canon character, who has actually been played by two separate men, depending upon whether it’s The Original Series (Phillip Pine) or Star Trek: Enterprise (Steven Rankin). In either iteration, Colonel Green is a nasty villain and a killer of millions.

Portrayal

I prefer Rankin for this; I just see a guy who’s a little bit younger.

Portrait of a Character – Phillip Green
John Frederick Paxton watches an old image of Colonel Green

This has more to do with how I’ve written his successor in Multiverse II than anything else.

Keep in mind, the canon character is Philip (one L) and lives during the earlier part of the Third World War. The character I’m talking about is Phillip (two L’s) and is from a bit later. But the idea that funngunner and I had was that the concept of a Colonel Green would continue as several men fill the role over time.

Personality

Ruthless and rapacious, Green has an appetite for the remaining luxuries in the ravaged Earth, power, and women, at least as funngunner and I write him. If absolute power corrupts absolutely, Green is the poster child for that.

Relationships

Liesl Green

In Multiverse II, Liesl is eventually revealed to be the kingmaker, that there have been several versions of Green and Phillip is only one of many.  There are even three children, but they aren’t Phillip’s or Liesl’s, so the far-future descendant, Phillipa, who Richard Daniels meets and seduces, as is mentioned in Ohio, has someone else’s genetics.

The relationship with Liesl is more businesslike than anything else. There is no marriage – although she’s referred to as his wife. It is just an arrangement, and the two of them continue to do whatever they like. Donald Janeway eventually reveals that he kept a database of eco-warrior ‘volunteers’ and it was split up by gender, with obviously male names scouted for Liesl, obviously female names for the Colonel, and anyone unknown to be determined. And, once they were determined for sure, they would be set aside for either party. Then images would be scoured for imperfections and anyone imperfect would be eliminated from consideration. Anyone unlucky enough to be physically perfect would be ripe for sexual usage.

Otra D’Angelo

When Otra arrives, the Colonel only has eyes for her, and kicks Liesl to the curb. Liesl wouldn’t care, except she wants power. Plus Otra is an alien, and that bothers Liesl quite a bit. And then Otra plunges a knife into Green’s chest, just after he proposes marriage. It’s a nasty business, Chilo possession.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Phillip Green
Phillip Pine as the Mirror Phillip Green

For the Mirror Universe, I go back to Phillip Pine for the portrayal.

In my Star Trek: Enteprise fanfiction, I see him as the Emperor of the Terran Empire, Phillip I. His true descendant, Phillip IV, is Emperor when Hoshi Sato, in canon and in Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, declares herself Empress. Hoshi herself assassinates Phillip IV.

Quote

“The fool’s paralyzed, and he’s unconscious. He doesn’t need guards or medics; he needs pallbearers.”

Upshot

It is great fun and more than a little satisfying to write a person who is more or less pure evil. It’s even more satisfying to try to find a way to make him even remotely sympathetic. Green is a trip to write, and there’s talk of there eventually being a Multiverse III. If there is, I want to write him again.


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Portrait of a Character – Dratha

Portrait of a Character – Dratha

Dratha is a force of nature.

Origins

As Take Back the Night unfolded, I wanted a character who would be an assertive woman.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Dratha
Dratha, one of the Daranaeans (legendary Prime Wife)

So many of the Daranaean women I had been writing were utterly passive, accepting of their fates and not questioning. But Dratha wasn’t going to be like that at all.

She would be glamorous and sassy, the Daranaean version of a legendary beauty.

Portrayal

As with all Daranaean characters, there is no actress chosen to play Dratha.

Portrait of a Character – Dratha

Instead, I suggest her as looking quite a bit like a greyhound, although I do see her as darker than this image. But she is regal and beautiful, a model of sleek perfection.

Personality

Tough and assertive, Dratha is the most expensive Daranaean woman – ever – at the time of her life. When she’s questioned under oath, she’s asked what her price was. After evading the question, and insisting on revealing her name before her purchase price, she finally reveals the shockingly high figure. Arnis, the Alpha of Daranaea, clearly desires her, as do all Daranaean men.

But she’s also kind. In Some Assembly Required, she comforts and cares for Seppa, even though the little girl is not her own. By the time of Flight of the Bluebird, she’s elderly and is slowing down.

Relationships

Arnis

The Alpha of Daranaea, like all of the men of their world, has the hots for Dratha. But she’s a Prime Wife, so she can (and often does) refuse relations. They have at least one son together, Vidam, so she has fulfilled her marital obligations to him. After the arrest of Arnis, it is unclear whether Dratha takes up with anyone else, but she probably doesn’t. She may be a trendsetter, but she’s not a revolutionary, like Mistra quietly is.

Mirror Universe

The existence of Daranaeans in the mirror seems a certainty.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Dratha, the Daranaean Diva
Dratha, the Daranaean Diva

Such a beautiful female would still be quite the object of desire but, like a human woman, she might suffer even more oppression. I see her as vainer, as someone who enjoys her luxuries because she’s got nothing else. In the mirror, even more so than in our universe, I see the Daranaean women as being without rights, almost stateless.

Quote

“You couldn’t afford me, anyway. I was purchased for four thousand, eight hundred and twenty-three Stonds.”

Upshot

This tough old gal has a lot of life left in her. She’ll be back.

Portrait of a Character – Branch Borodin

Portrait of a Character – Branch Borodin

Branch Borodin is such a wacky character, he’s also in some wholly original writing.

Origins

Coral Reef at Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife ...
Coral Reef at Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife …

I conducted a thought experiment, thinking about what it would be like if someone’s cells were sentient. Hence they would almost be a pocket-size version of the Borg, but without the cybernetics and without the nasty assimilation issues.

Instead, they would be more of a colony of like-minded microscopic individuals. Unlike canon shape shifters, they would have no real central consciousness, and would have to find some way to agree on whatever it was that they wanted to do. Hence they would also be overly committed to democracy.

The character is quite a bit like a walking, talking coral reef, except the individuals in the colony are a lot smarter. Polls and straw votes are common, and the individuals sometimes hold caucuses. Furthermore, just like in real-life voting, there is no guarantee of 100% participation. In fact, it’s rare. After all, the cells have other jobs to do. Much like in you or me, the cells are also conducting respiration, etc. They don’t always have the time to just drop everything and vote.

Portrayal

Branch is played by actor Keanu Reeves.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Colony Alien Branch Borodin in Human Form - Keanu Reeves as Branch Borodin (manip is by STPMA's An-Gel Sakura) Image is for educational purposes
Colony Alien Branch Borodin in Human Form – Keanu Reeves as Branch Borodin (manip is by STPMA’s An-Gel Sakura) Image is for educational purposes

I love how this actor can seem at sea at sometimes, and thoughtful at others.

Yes, there is a bit of a stoner look and feel, and a wooden air. But that’s the idea; Branch isn’t exactly Mr. Personality. I mean for him to be very, very alien. Excuse me, they.

Found by the Temporal Integrity Commission during a meeting, the entity touches Deirdre Katzman, and picks up her memory of her first boyfriend, Anatoly Borodin. Since the entity needs a name, and it had just been a branched tree, Deirdre dubs the colony Branch Borodin. The name sticks, and it also evokes Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances (“A Stranger in Paradise”). A fitting reference for someone who is more of a stranger than other aliens.

Personality

Confused Keanu Reeves
Confused Keanu Reeves (Photo credits: Giphy)

Hence Branch’s personality is whatever is convenient and reasonable at the time, more or less. For an entity that has been a tree, a coat of paint, and a chair, that would more or less tend to follow.

Branch just is. Er, are.

Relationships

The colony is not exactly capable of a relationship like you or I would have. Because every decision, every argument, every expression of affection – these would all require a vote. But Branch might relate to the Var-gi-yeh, who I envision to be more or less a female version of the same species.

Theme Music

Branch reminds me of jazzy, funky, weird rhythms and things that sound off and strange.

Mirror Universe

In a way, the Var-gi-yeh are the mirror version of Branch. They’ll get their own blog post, some time in the future.

Quote

“The cuff of Lo passed to the descendants of Thomas Grant and Eleanor Daniels Grant. The family eventually donated it here. The key charm and Xindi initiation medal passed to the children of Richard Daniels and Milena Chelenska Daniels.The museum has facsimiles as that family is retaining those pieces. This sword is Ironblaze, once owned by the Empress Hoshi Sato. It passed to her descendants, and the descendants of Charles Tucker VI, and was kept in trust by the adopted descendants of mirror High Priestess Yimar and her consort, Joshua Rosen. The original is in the mirror’s version of this museum – what is being shown to you is a facsimile.

The wedding rings worn by Douglas Jay Hayes Beckett and his wife, Lili, passed to, eventually, the descendants of Henry Desmond Avery IV and Sheilagh Bernstein, who retain them. The wedding rings worn by Lili O’Day Reed and Malcolm Reed passed to their descendants, who are with us today – the Ishikawa family of Dawitan. That family also retains the rings although we do have facsimiles. As Deirdre Katzman Ishikawa had said, ‘Wedding rings are to be worn.’”

Upshot

Branch is my oddest character creation. I really like them.

Portrait of a Character – Lily Sloane Cochrane

Portrait of a Character – Lily Sloane Cochrane

Origins

At the end of Star Trek: First Contact, Lily Sloane and Zefram Cochrane are shown holding hands. I ran with that as a relationship, and decided that they had eventually wed.

Portrayal

As in canon, Lily is played by Alfre Woodard.

Portrait of a Character – Lily Sloane Cochrane

This smart and interesting actress always seems to be working on fascinating projects.

Personality

Wise and feisty, Lily has lived through the worst of the Third World War and come out of it alive. She remains optimistic enough to feel that the Earth has a future, but realistic enough to know that building a Warp One rocket is the best way to fully realize that future.

Relationships

Zefram Cochrane

Semi-canon, semi-non, Lily and Zef marry. It’s later in life for them.

Portrait of a Character – Lily Sloane Cochrane

They don’t (I think) have children. Theirs is an affection born of a mature understanding.

In A Single Step, it’s the end of Lily’s life, and Zef is there, calling her Princess and begging her not to die.  But lung cancer is going to get her, and there is nothing he can do to stop it. On her deathbed, she tells him to see the stars, and she’ll be hiding out in some nebula.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Lily Sloane Cochrane
Mirror Lily

There’s no reason why Lily can’t exist in the mirror.

She’s smart, and might be able to get through life without using her body to snag a man and, presumably, some protection. Maybe she’d live a quiet life, away from the action.

Quote

“Listen, Old Man, neither of us can move that fast anymore. So don’t give me anything about how you’re gonna be my white knight or anything.”

Upshot

I like this character although I’m unsure as to where she’ll show up next. I had thought we would get to her in Multiverse II, but we never made it that far.