Tag Archives: Rated K

Review – Bribery

Review – Bribery

Background

After writing Reversal, I got to thinking about a missing piece of information.

Review – Bribery
Before Days

Just how – and why – did Yimar and Treve go along with everything? And how did Polloria insinuate herself into the family?

Plot

As a prelude story, the information given about the Calafans is pretty sketchy. Chawev, the First Minister, plays a guessing game with his three children, Treve, Yimar, and Chelben. He wants them to guess who’s coming to dinner, quite literally. Bits of background information flow in, that Yipran is comatose, and is being cared for by a Dr. Baden. Baden has helpers, but only one is female. And that’s who’s on her way to join them.

Adding to the background information, their home is filled with the smell of cooking prako. Treve explains that it’s an expensive dish, and Chawev counters that their guest has generously provided it. Further, he tells them that things are going to be different, and they’re going to eat better from then on.  This rather neatly conforms to what Doug and Lili are eventually told during Local Flavor.

When Polloria, the guest of honor, arrives, she comes bearing gifts. There’s a pretty stylus for Treve, who is still, at that point in the timeline, destined for a diplomatic career. Yimar is given a small bracelet, prefiguring the Cuff of Lo gift in Friday Visit, Together, and Temper, and the bracelet for Melissa in Fortune.  Chelben, who is still a rather small child, is given a stuffed linfep toy. Treve and Yimar, at least, see through Polloria, at least in her efforts to insinuate herself into the family. As for her ambition to become the new High Priestess, that part is mentioned but they don’t seem to realize just how far she will go, or how far she has already gone.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I like the little glimpse into Calafan life, including the use of a fork, which prefigures a small plot point in Reversal.

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Review – Gossip Gossip

Review – Gossip Gossip

Review – Gossip Gossip
Rona Moran, gossip reporter

Background

I like the idea of a futuristic gossip columnist/reporter who pries a bit into our heroes’ lives, just like the real life ones do now. I was also looking to prepare a bit of a prequel story in Star Trek fan fiction, where some of the estrangement that Malcolm has from his parents is not explained, but it is certainly felt.

Plot

While the NX-01 Enterprise is in the Delphic Expanse (thereby pinning the time at being during the third season of the show’s run), gossip maven Rona Moran reports that a senior officer is dating an alien on board the ship. She provides no added information.

Watching at home are Malcolm’s elderly parents, Stuart and Mary. They jump to a conclusion, knowing that there is a Vulcan on the ship. They assume that it is Malcolm who is dating T’Pol, not realizing that it’s Tripp. There is also not thought whatsoever (like I have often seen with ‘shippers) that it could be the Denobulan, Phlox.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I liked the little misunderstanding and what it might say about not only Stuart and Mary as people, but also about what readers might be like. Further, as stated above, I felt it was a wry testament about their not having regular (or, really, any) communications with Malcolm. He remains closed-off, even from them, a fact that really bites him during the E2 timeline in particular.

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Review – Debate

Review – Debate

Review – Debate
Vidam

Background

As a prelude to Flight of the Bluebird, I wanted Vidam to try, but fail, at convincing his fellow Beta Council members that it’s time to allow at least Prime Wives to vote in Daranaean elections.

Plot

Review – Debate

Vidam, a newly-elected Beta Council member, introduces his first bill into the chamber. And it’s a doozy, for Vidam is hoping to convince his fellow councilors to allow voting for Prime Wives. As a foreshadowing of his eventual campaign for Alpha, Vidam’s chief rival is Boestus. When Boestus speaks, he jokes that Prime Wives would vote for frivolous things, such as more shopping holidays. His speech is intended to be somewhat reminiscent of many male politicians before human women got the right to vote here in the United States.

It was also an opportunity to introduce the traditional in-person method of Daranaean voting. I wanted something weird and alien, so I went with an idea about chairs. The Council would vote by having everyone stand. And everyone in favor would remain standing (as a play on the idea of “stand and be counted”) whereas anyone in opposition would sit.

This idea in part is taken from my experiences in I believe it was fourth grade, where we would stand and recite the times tables, going up and doing each row. E. g. one student would say, “Five times four is twenty.” The next would would say, “Five times five is twenty-five.” These would go on under twelve squared. However, if you messed up, you would sit down. Eventually only a few people would be left standing and we would duke it out until the last person messed up or time ran out or the teacher just decided that she’d seen enough. For the Daranaeans, the image of just Vidam and one of his fathers in law, the war hero (and current Alpha), Acreon, being the only ones standing is a fairly powerful one. It shows the utter lack of support for this – to the Daranaeans – rather radical idea.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I think the message gets across well, that times are changing, but it’s just not happening fast enough, on the planet of sexist sentient marsupial canids.

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Review – Biases

Review – Biases

Review – Biases
Biases

Background

This short story was written in response to a prompt of the same name. Being here in Boston, you can hear the Irish brogue on most days. Hence I kept hearing the phrase, ‘No Irish Need Apply‘ as I thought of what would become this story.

Plot

For Bridie Kelly, it’s the chance to get a new, decent job. She is a highly skilled nurse’s assistant and caregiver. But she’s tired of seeing sick and dying children (her earlier posting was at a children’s hospital). For Soval, he’s getting up there in years, even for a Vulcan. His aides don’t quite know what to do with him, as he needs care. Plus he’s lost his logical focus and, instead, is impatient. He might also have a bit of the Vulcan equivalent of Alzheimer’s (which is not canon although I think it should be).

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Much like Flip; Confidence; A Long, Long Time Ago; Gainful; and Voracious, this is a job interview story. I like the interactions, in particular how Bridie conducts herself and pushes past her doubts. I’ve had people ask for a sequel, or who even ‘shipped her and Soval! I think that’s nuts. This is a job interview and nothing more. People can certainly get along without romance becoming a part of it. Not every story merits an extension, or should end with a kiss in front of a sunset backdrop.

Sometimes, a story is just a story.

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Review – Flight of the Bluebird

Review – Flight of the Bluebird

Bluebird Background

As my Emergence Star Trek fan fiction stories were going to be ‘published’ on Issuu, I didn’t like the fact that I really didn’t have an ending to the series. While this story  doesn’t really end the series, it does bring it to a somewhat satisfactory point. But I will definitely write more in this series, as I just enjoy it so much.

Plot

Review – Flight of the Bluebird
Flight of the Bluebird

For Captain Malcolm Reed and his new ship, the DC-1505 USS Bluebird, they’ve left space dock and gone to Andoria. But now it’s time for their first true mission. And that’s to observe the elections on Daranaea.  Complicating matters is the fact that the two leading candidates seem to be polar opposites. Boestus, the conservative standard-bearer, would keep the Daranaeans traditional. Vidam, the son of the legendary Dratha, is the liberal candidate. But his earlier attempt, to introduce a bill to give Prime Wives the right to vote in Daranaean elections, was laughed out of the Beta Council chamber.

Meanwhile, his half-sister, Seppa (she’s on the cover of the book) is traveling with her husband, Brantus, and their family. But Seppa is a third caste female. Eventually, she’ll be euthanized, a fact that doesn’t sit well with Reed, or with Jonathan Archer, who has maintained a correspondence with the young woman and is rather fond of her.

At the same time, Dr. Trinning, half-brother to both Seppa and Vidam, is fighting to cure Thylacine Paramyxovirus. His test subjects are third caste females, a fate that’s not much better than mandatory euthanization after menopause.

This warp-capable culture is in a strategic area, near Klingon space. Will they be allowed into the Federation? Do they even want to join it?

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I was pleased to be able to continue the Daranaeans’ story and try to give it some happiness, and to follow Seppa, Vidam, and the others. Boestus even gets to return later, in Bread. I also liked that not everything is a triumph. Some things work out, but there’s still a lot more to do. And that’s reality.

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Review – The Conspiracy

Review – The Conspiracy

Background

The Conspiracy was another instance of trying to surprise readers.

In response to a Star Trek fanfiction prompt about the Seven Heavenly (Theological/Cardinal, too; the prompt was not about getting into the minutiae of theology) Virtues (which are the counterpart to the Seven Deadly Sins; I had already written about pride, in Before the Fall), I decided to tackle the somewhat obscure prudence for my next Star Trek fanfiction story.

Review – The Conspiracy
Hall of Mirrors

To up the ante, I went with a setting where virtues would be all too rarely seen – the Mirror Universe.

Plot

Review – The ConspiracyIt’s New Year’s Day of 2161.

And a few people meet, furtively. They are: Josh Rosen, Aidan MacKenzie, Andrew Miller, Chip Masterson, and Lucy Stone.  There’s one more member of the cabal, Francisco Ramirez, but he can’t get away, as José Torres has put Gary Hodgkins on to watch him.

While they would probably not mind killing Empress Hoshi, the cabal’s real thoughts are of escape. So as a prelude to Temper, Lucy and Chip mention that an attempt is going to be made to cross over to what we call the Prime Universe, as Hoshi wants another advanced ship. And they also mention that Andy will be sent to Vulcan to pick up slaves who can perform calculations, a neat prefiguring of Fortune and the Mirror Universe‘s Melissa Madden‘s death in a shuttle crash.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I used this story as a kind of bridge between Together and Temper, but on the Mirror side of things. And I think it works out well and helps to fill in some of the gaps in the Mirror Universe timeline.


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Review – Confidence

Review – Confidence

Background

As a means of bringing some positivity to the Emergence series, I added this Star Trek: Enterprise fanfiction about a Daranaean, the younger Inta, as she realizes her dreams of studying art at a collegiate level.

Plot

For Inta, prior to the events in Take Back the Night, her future isn’t looking too terribly rosy. And this is obvious even though baby Inta is just a pouchling.

Review – Confidence
Inta, a Daranaean secondary female

Her mother, Mistra, is one of the Alpha of Daranaea’s (Arnis) three wives, but Arnis is cruel, and is abusing the secondary wife (Mistra) and the third caste wife, who is also named Inta.

When the elder Inta is killed, the younger Inta – who was originally going to be named Bayla – experiences a profound life change, as does everyone else in the family. Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of the elder Inta’s life and that of her (the elder Inta’s) unborn male child. But for the rest of the family, with one glaring exception, life improves.

As the younger Inta grows up, it becomes clear that she is (a) headstrong and against the idea of marriage and (b) artistically talented. I haven’t decided whether she is gay. She might be. Gay Daranaeans would be closeted by definition, as that society is utterly committed to marriage and reproduction.

Review – Confidence

But it doesn’t really matter for the purposes of our story.

In Confidence, Inta realizes her dreams and begins school at Oxford. And on her first day, she surreptitiously sketches her classmate, Declan Reed. The sketch is sent to Malcolm, as it is his birthday, and the families have remained close for years.  Some reviewers have said that Inta is showing, with the drawing, that she has a  crush on Declan. I’m not so sure.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I like this relatively simple story. The younger Inta is a favorite character, but she’s only a small child in Temptation. In Hearts in Time, the ending is a bit bittersweet. Here, she gets a far happier ending, although the possibility exists that she will never find love.


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Review – Temptation

Review – Temptation

Background

In order to lighten the mood surrounding the Daranaeans, after the heavy plotting of The Cure is Worse Than the Disease and Take Back the Night, I decided to go with a light family comedy.

Plot

Review – Temptation
Temptation

It’s after Mistra has been exonerated, and the newly-configured Daranaean family, with Vidam as the head of the household and his mother, Dratha, quietly helping him, is getting along pretty well. Most of the family has gone on a day outing, except for Mistra, her eldest daughter, Cria, and the baby of the family, Inta. The two eldest boys, Vidam and Trinning, are at the big school. When Cria finishes her home schooling homework, she asks to have friends over, and Mistra agrees.

Cria invites over Kathalia, Jamae, and Morza. The four girls have a wonderful time, until Cria, ever mindful of being a good hostess, goes to procure little cakes (cookies) for each of her guests. But there aren’t enough cookies.

By this time, the boys are home, and Vidam and Trinning figure out why baby Inta has been so quiet and just where those cookies have gone to.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

The story is meant to be a gentle family comedy, and I think it succeeds. When I read it to my husband for the first time, he yelled out, “Busted!” when the plot came to its little climax. And that made me laugh.


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Review – Take Back the Night

Review – Take Back the Night

Take Back the Night!

Take Back the Night Background

Once The Cure is Worse Than the Disease was posted, readers began asking me about a sequel. Nobody wanted to leave it the way it had been left, which was with Doctor An Nguyen becoming disillusioned and the Daranaeans left to their own devices and sexist ways, with lip service being paid to the Prime Directive.

I decided I wanted a small piece of a revolution, and so the idea was formed. There would be an injustice, and the women would rise up.

Plot

Review – Take Back the Night

The real Take Back the Night movement is about women holding forth against violence against women, including rape, particularly date rape.

For the Daranaean, the elder Inta, this would be a form of marital rape that would spark the powder keg of a plot. I had already established that third caste women had no right to refuse sexual relations, and so the beginning is her refusing to sleep with her husband, Arnis. In fact, the first word of the story is simply her saying, “No!”

For her refusal, she is hit, hard, and she falls to the floor, hitting her head. This causes her death and, just as importantly, the death of her unborn fetus.

While her death is not actionable, the first legal question is whether the death of the unborn child is. This is, of course, distasteful to most of us, but I figure that alien cultures may very well have rather alien ideas about justice and mercy.

Review – Take Back the Night
Take Back the Night

As the story unfolds, someone other than Arnis is accused, and the Cochrane and the Columbia both play a part in helping that person be exonerated, and having the real killer charged with the crime.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K+.

Upshot

I think this is one of the better stories I have written, as the action moves from Daranaean home to both starships, a space battle, and eventually a courtroom and even the Beta Council chamber on Daranaea. Perhaps the best part about the story is that, while it resolves the immediate issue, it doesn’t fix all of the Daranaeans’ problems overnight. There’s plenty more story fodder, and the injustices aren’t all gone. But at least there are a few less of them. I’m very proud of this story.