The idea of crossing Dr. Sam Beckett to Captain Jonathan Archer has been done by others before. That much is for certain. I had wanted to do this for a while, and then the opportunity suddenly presented itself.
The story opens with Beckett materializing onto the NX-01, and meeting Jennifer Crossman. The time period for Quantum Leap is after the end of the series, so Sam has been leaping about in time under all sorts of odd circumstances and those include going past the beginning and end of his natural life span. The show’s creators had said that, if the series had continued, the leaps would have gotten odder, and so going to ancient Rome or even to the taming of fire by primitives would certainly fit the bill there.
As Beckett meets Crossman, he seems (she still thinks he’s Captain Archer) a bit faint. She gets him to Sick Bay, where he yells in alarm when he sees Dr. Phlox. It’s explained to him, eventually, that Archer was in the midst of early negotiations with the Xindi, Degra. Beckett, feeling this is his reason for being on board the Enterprise, asks to be debriefed and vows to attempt the mission.
Meanwhile, on Earth, and a good century previously, Admiral Al Calavicci is trying to work with a somewhat agitated Jonathan Archer. As Tina, Gooshie, Verbena Beeks, and Sammy Jo Fuller all help Jonathan figure out what he needs to do, Donna Eleese stays back. Eventually, Jonathan realizes that the reciprocal leap is a lot less about Degra (although Sam does confront the Xindi) than it is about Donna.
For the HG Wells stories, there had to be a few central villains. And so Helen and Milton Walker were born. He’s her father.
In the older time travel series that I had created, Helen was actually Tom Grant‘s ex, and she was mighty bossy and ruthless there, eventually joining their enemies. Hence Helen remained an enemy but some of the details were changed.
I wanted someone who would be pretty but could, behind a lovely smile and a sweet visage, be ruthless.
Spoiled and amoral, Helen is the face that launched a thousand time ships. But she hardly deserves the attention or the accolades. Instead, she’s tasked with “putting right what once went wrong” in history, as a nod to the television series, Quantum Leap. But Helen doesn’t do it out of altruism or a desire to get home or anything of the sort. Instead, she’s a (fairly) obedient soldier of her father’s. His dream is to save people and to be the one who prevents wars and the like. But he can’t get anything done without destroying other details of history, much like a bull in a china shop. He’s often cleaning up after Helen’s messes, too.
But at least she’s not their assassin. That dubious honor goes to double agent Marisol Castillo.
There are no real impediments to Helen existing in the Mirror Universe, but deeper future characters have several more chances to not have a perfect duplicate on the other side of the proverbial pond.
I think she’d be more careful and sensitive. I write MU women as often being beholden to, and subservient to, men. In earlier times, that would make a Mirror Universe woman slavelike. But Helen belongs to a time period where it might snag her a better husband instead. She could potentially have a better future than a lot of other MU women.
“If they like time travel so much, I bet we could work a bit together. They do their conquering – whatever they like, actually. All we need to do is keep a step ahead, and go back, either to make changes for our own purposes or, if necessary, to undo whatever they may damage. And not only will the Temporal Integrity Commission have their hands full, but so will Section 31, and the Federation, and anyone else who might have any issues with all that we are attempting to accomplish.”
When I created the character, I had no idea that there really had been a Helen Walker who was an actress.
At the end of the series, Helen is carted off to jail. I’m not sure how to bring her back, except in prequels or flashbacks.
I finished posting Reflections Down a Corridor on Fanfiction.net and began to spin out Entanglements. Reflections had the most reads and the most reviews (and the most follows, so people were truly engaged) of anything I had ever posted on that site, so I made sure to tell my readers that the next story was Entanglements in order to try to get as many as possible of them to read the sequel as well. So far, that has been paying off, and the new story is averaging about 92 reads per chapter. The first one averaged just over 179 reads per chapter, so Entanglements is still ramping up, I believe.
In response to Blog Prompt #8, my main participation in other fandoms is in reading or in viewing. I know of fan fiction works in any number of other fandoms (they’re all over fanfiction.net), but I don’t find myself participating in them. Rather, I step back and mostly leave it to the professionals.
But not completely, as I’ve recently done some informal beta reading of some Bilbo/Thorin slash in the Hobbit universe.
In all honesty, I’m not so sure how I feel about it. I like my friend’s work, and I think it’s respectful and true to the characters. The voices seem authentic, even if the actions seem less so. Slash doesn’t make me squeamish, but I think this may bug me a tad as these are characters I read about when I was very young (as in, if memory serves, eight years old). Also knowing enough of Tolkein’s motivations – he had wanted to write a boy’s adventure story and he’s not much for female characters. Hence there are a lot of guys.
It makes me wonder if the times had been different, if we wouldn’t see slash arising from classic war pictures. E. g. Stalag 17 or The Great Escape or The Longest Day. Some of this may be why I’m so drawn to developing and realizing historical crossovers, e. g. Concord and Day of the Dead.
Does it inspire me? I’ve been checking out Game of Thrones a bit recently, and that, coupled with listening to Jane Austen’s Emma on podcast, is starting to creep into the language and speech patterns I use for some characters, particularly for Vulcans. I often have major issues with writing Vulcans unless I logically impair them somehow. But giving them Regency speech patterns seems to be assisting with that. I don’t know if that’s inspiration for me. Perhaps a more descriptive term would be a paradigm shift. So maybe I’ll finally get better at writing standard-form Vulcans, and will give them more dialogue than just saying that something is logical or fascinating.
Why Haven’t I Leaped?
The only other fandom where I was actually inspired to write anything (but never finished it, alas), is Quantum Leap.
Beyond enjoying the show, I did start to write a story, about a stockbroker at the time of the 1987 crash. I recall the guy was African-American and his name was Jordan something or other (like Gordon Gekko, huh) and was called Jordo. He was going to find his happy ending by quitting and taking up with the woman who worked at the local coffee shop, if I am remembering it all correctly.
I was never inspired to finish it, although I did create the HG Wells stories as a kind of anti-Quantum Leap. The idea is to be where people (almost like Sam and Al) try to improve the future by ‘fixing’ the past.
I decided that the idea is, ultimately, an arrogant one. What if the fixing screwed everything else up, making it even worse?
But as for the actual fandom story, no, it died a long, long time ago and was never revived. I’m not even so sure why I selected the main A story for it, but I know I was keeping with their canon, which puts Beckett’s leaps into about 1953 to 2010 or so. But truly, the 1987 crash was not that compelling a news flash, at least not for this sort of drama.
I’m a fan of any number of works. I’ll watch James Bond films on a rainy day, or the Planet of the Apes movies, or Star Wars. I don’t run to turn off Doctor Who or Red Dwarf. I still love everything I’ve seen of Peter Jackson’s take on the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, even though I’ve watched much of it multiple times.
But none of them move me to write, or at least to finish. And none of them have inspired me to such creativity as Trek does.
I guess this is just the universe that speaks to me the most, and the best, and the clearest. This is the one that tells me to write.
Carmen is played by Annabella Sciorra. I wanted someone in my Star Trek fanfiction who would be younger than your standard admiral, and who would potentially be unconventional.
After all, a lot of what the Temporal Integrity Commission does is off the books and not perfectly organized. I wanted the deep future to be somewhat like that, not so easily recognizable to both us and canon characters of earlier time periods. This is not wholly at odds with Star Trek canon, as Daniels does often seem to be flying a bit by the seat of his pants.
I wanted everyone to be doing that, and so Carmen, the ultimate improviser, was born.
No-nonsense and efficient, Carmen calls her charges ‘children’ much of the time, and truly cares about whether they’re all right. After all, despite the many physical enhancements they have been given, and the technology they possess, it’s still a dangerous business to travel in time. I hear a British accent when I hear Carmen’s voice; she just strikes me as someone who’s mid-level posh but also more than willing to street fight if it comes to that.
Carmen battles both migraines and alcoholism, but she has both more or less under control. Most of the time.
As of the writing of this blog post, Carmen has no known relationships. The only bit is a short, drunken hookup with Rick, which they both regretted in the morning.
There are no impediments to Carmen having a mirror counterpart.
Maybe she does. It’s highly doubtful that she would be an Admiral, even that late in history, long after the fall of the Mirror Empire.
Like most Mirror Universe women, she would likely not be treated well, and would use her body to gain privileges. However, as a woman aging, she would be losing her advantages.
FalseBill has written a version of an MU Carmen and has named her Genofeva. She and Carmen are both in Dishing It Out.
“I, God, this is an awful day and I don’t expect any of you to be unaffected. Three deaths in one day! I’d be shocked if any of you truly were unaffected. But we have some sort of issue, so I’m afraid we don’t have the time or the luxury allowing us to mourn even a little bit. I suppose we’ll all collapse later and become raving basket cases. As for the change, no one can pinpoint it yet.”
Carmen is very nearly cigar-chomping, and does not suffer fools gladly. But she needs more back story, which I will write for her one of these days.
A lot about this character is, truly, Reversal spoilers. Avert your eyes if you haven’t read Reversal and want to maintain the mystery of the first couple of chapters.
For me, Doug was, in part, every guy who’s ever been romantic around me. This includes my husband. But he’s also a typical resident of the Mirror Universe. So that means that there’s violence in his past, and ambitions and twisted behaviors. But I wanted him to be a person who could, eventually and with help, rise above it.
Doug’s name was a particularly serendipitous find. Douglas means dark stranger, and that is precisely what he is. For Lili, who meets him in a pitch-black dream, he is the ultimate stranger. But he’s also what she needs. He shakes up her world.
His surname is changed when he comes to our side of the pond. Much like an immigrant, he wants to leave his old life behind him, and become the man that Lili wants and needs – the man she can see is lurking under the surface. The surname Beckett is a shoutout to Quantum Leap.
Doug is also, in many ways, meant to be the opposite side of her coin. She’s somewhat distant with people. He is, too, but it’s not because he truly wants to be. It’s more that the Mirror has made him that way (see his origins story, Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions), due to its insistence that weakness be rooted out and punished or excised or, at least, well-hidden.
Because (eek, spoilers!) Doug is Major Jay Hayes‘s Mirror Universe counterpart, he is of course portrayed by Steven Culp. Culp is a consummate actor, perfect for the role. I have read a number of interviews with him, and he has said that he treated Hayes as almost a David Mamet character. That is, he was more action than talk. Notice, too, that in the series, Jay Hayes rarely smiles. Instead, he is all business.
The name Jay is not canon. Culp has said he thought the character was named Jay or Jeremiah. There are also trading cards showing the name as being Joss. I have used all three names, giving Jeremiah as the name of both Doug’s father and his first-born son (nicknamed Joss), with Jay as being the name of the canon character and Doug’s own middle name. Jay worked out perfectly in this way, as it works as both a first and a middle name in a way that Jeremiah would not have.
Much like canon character Jay Hayes, Doug is not much of a talker. In Reversal, he has few ways of complimenting Lili, mainly calling her beautiful rather than use synonyms that he is either uncomfortable with or, perhaps, doesn’t even know. That book is also loaded with hesitation speech. Doug is nervous in the mirror, in particular around the Empress, although that’s to be expected. With Lili, he’s also nervous, because he’s a bit tongue-tied and he wants, desperately, for her to like him. He often doesn’t know what to say, but he always seems to know what to do.
Once they are together in our universe, Doug’s demeanor softens considerably. He tries very hard to please Lili and make their life together as good as it can possibly be. Their early life together is documented in A Kind of Blue, Friday Visit, Pacing and The Gift.
When his relationship with Lili is tested in Together, Doug has few communications strategies at his disposal. When they argue, he very quickly hits below the belt. This, I feel, makes some sense, as Doug hasn’t really been taught to be sensitive to others’ feelings. He knows that he loves her, and he wants for everything to work itself out, but he can’t really see the pathway to that.
In Temper, he even refers to himself as “the action guy”. Hence he is the one chosen for the mission by Daniels (also because of his twenty centimeter radiation band), for he will get things done. Malcolm has to stay behind because his place is to step in and lead.
By the time Fortune has come around, Doug has been hiding his past rather effectively. Lili knows some of it. She is well aware that he has committed some monstrous deeds in the Mirror Universe, but she wants to believe that he’s done with that. She’s in some denial herself, in that she’d rather not hear about things. It isn’t until she is pushed to ask about his crimes does Doug finally come clean. Furthermore, for Doug, who is inarticulate at best, having him handle a hostage situation by talking instead of shooting was, to me, a fitting full circle behavior. Life here is, after all, very different from the mirror.
Their later life together is documented in The Facts and his death and its aftermath is shown in Equinox.
Since Doug is a counterpart character, his life begins in the Mirror. He is the only child of Jeremiah and Lena Hayes, and lives with them on Ganymede. Because of a late birth date (December third, same as Steven Culp’s), he is forced into schooling at too young an age. Doug’s education is such that he is pushed to become a bully and a fighter.
After his eventual graduation, he goes to Cambodia for basic training, and then to freighter defense and other small assignments, essentially acting as a mercenary. He spends time on Andoria, the Klingon home world and other locales, fighting and working as a soldier, molding himself from an untrained, arrogant lummox until, eventually, a disciplined fighting man.
He gets onto the ISS Enterprise by knifing Geming Sulu. His elevation to Lieutenant Commander, as a replacement for the deceased Mirror Universe Malcolm Reed (called Ian Reed in my fanfiction), is documented in Paving Stones. While on the Defiant, he meets Lili.
His times with Lili and Melissa are the most important for him. However, prior to the crossing over, he did have some relationships. His first main girlfriend (if she could be called that) in the Mirror was Darareaksmey Preap. She was a Cambodian bar girl who he plied with gifts and false “I love yous” until he was able to lose his virginity to her.
Another Mirror relationship – if it could be referred to as that – was with Christine Chalmers. The name is a shoutout to canon character Christine Chapel. Chalmers is meant to be a cheap girl who he, at the time, thought was very hot. One of the crimes that Doug commits was to be with her, and his guilt about that consumes him.
His first true relationship is with alcoholic schoolteacher Susan Cheshire. Susan is an important person to him, although he insists to Lili that he didn’t love her. But he’s certainly memorable to her – she recognizes him during Temper.
Doug also has an on-again, off-again thing with Shelby Pike who, in the Mirror, is a pilot who used to be a hooker. Once he knew Shelby, he would cheat on other girlfriends with her.
Doug’s final relationship in the Mirror, which ends after he’s known Lili for less than a week, is with Jennifer Crossman. Jenn is a poor choice for a girlfriend, mainly selected for her looks rather than any sort of compatibility. While they’re breaking up, she claims that he can’t live alone. Doug refuses to admit it, but she’s right about that.
Inspiration comes from all sorts of places. Because my first exposure to Star Trek was watching the original series in its first run, naturally some inspiration comes from the big flashing box in the living room.
Star Trek itself is, of course, an inspiration, and there are a lot of cross-references among the various series, plus the films. I’ll explore that in another blog entry.
QL shows up in all sorts of places. Richard Daniels’s boss is the feminine version of Al – Admiral Carmen Calavicci. The premise of the Times of the HG Wells series is to put back what a faction has meddled with – in short, it’s the reverse of Quantum Leap. Reversal‘s reference to the Defiant‘s database as being so full of holes that it’s like Swiss cheese is a direct reference. Richard’s original girlfriend, Tina, is another reference, as is him being called “Future Man”, a play on the “Future Boy” episode. Even a calla lily worn in a groom’s lapel is a shout-out to the series.
Culp played Major J. Hayes on Enterprise and so a lot of references swirl around him and various television roles he’s played. References to Desperate Housewives come from E2 characters Bree Tanner and Rex Ryan and Reversal characters Jennifer Crossman and Brian Delacroix are references to Marcia Cross,
Malcolm is a major character in the In Between Days series. Therefore, there are a lot of references around him as well. In Intolerance, the character names Blair, Claymore, Nguyen, Owen and Will all refer to something to do with Keating.
The surname Sloane is a quick shout-out to Cheers – that was Diane Chambers’s boyfriend in the pilot. Chip Masterson‘s real first name, Chandler, is a reference to Friends. So is the throwaway reference to one of Melissa Madden’s sisters – Monica. Her sister Meghan is a reference to The Thorn Birds.
There are more references, and undoubtedly there will be more to come. Can you spot them all?