Tag Archives: Reversal

Review – Bribery

Review – Bribery

Bribery fills in a storyline gap.

Background

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

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Before Days | 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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Portrait of a Character – Polloria

Portrait of a Character – Polloria

Origins

For a villainess character in Reversal, I wanted someone who would be utterly ruthless, but who would also bide her time and be careful about how she’d do the deed. Enter Polloria.

Portrayal

TV Guide #1430 (flap open)
TV Guide #1430 (flap open) (Photo credit: trainman74)

Polloria is played by veteran soap actress Genie Francis. I like how this attractive actress has some versatility.

She’s also got a great Star Trek pedigree – she’s married to TNG actor Jonathan Frakes. I would have loved to have seen her somewhere on Star Trek, and she was evidently being considered for a guest spot during the second season of TNG. But for whatever reason, that didn’t happen.

Personality

Ambitious and mean, Polloria is cutthroat. She will do anything to get what she wants, and that means authorizing Dr. Baden to begin injecting Yipran with potassium, which will cut off Yipran’s dreams. Once she is found out, she still doesn’t give up, and tries to become the Mirror Yimar’s regent, and even attempts to turn Doug through a shared dream.

Relationships

Chawev

In both universes, they carry on an affair, but it’s really just to get Polloria into position so that she can become the next Calafan High Priestess. She doesn’t care for Chawev at all, only for her naked ambitions.

I haven’t decided, yet, whether she got Baden to help her with any sort of sex or relationship, or whether it was just bribery. Baden’s dream woman is Miva, but there’s nothing yet on what his relationship with Polloria was, if anything, prior to Reversal.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Polloria
Mirror Polloria

Unlike a lot of other characters, Polloria in the Mirror Universe isn’t much different from her Prime Universe counterpart. They’re both determined, driven, and utterly evil.

In both universes, Polloria is sentenced to potassium injections, which leave her dreamless and comatose. But in the alternate timeline brought about in Temper, the Mirror Polloria is temporarily freed, as Empress Hoshi has essentially opened up the prisons.

Quote

“Everyone, remember, any words you say to her, she’ll pick up on. So choose carefully and don’t say much. In fact, just let your father and I do all the talking, all right?”

“This situation cannot be sustained. But dispatching this one in public is not gonna happen; there’s no time. It’ll have to be done today. Then you’ll bring Yimar in front of the people and we’ll, we’ll take her under our wing. Nurture and guide her and tell her what to do.”

Upshot

I liked creating this villain character, and even redeeming her a bit in Temper. Will she return? Possibly for a prequel story. I’m not sure.

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Review – Legends

Review – Legends

Legends – As a companion piece to Voice of the Common Man, this is the story of the changing of the guard for the religious half of the Calafans‘ religious constitutional monarchy. For these highly spiritual people living in a psionically charged system, the changing of the religious guard is as big a deal as the changing of the political guard.

Legends Background

Therefore here,  the predecessor chooses a new High Priestess. Whereas in the other story, the people democratically elect a new First Minister .

As I recall, the prompt was probably the same as the title of the piece. The idea of myths and mythology dovetailed rather nicely with the concept of the four original Calafans. These are people who are seen as larger than life. They are possibly divine, and their lives, certainly, are exaggerated.

Plot

Barking Up the Must Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Legends
Legends

With Yipran nearing her death, a successor High Priestess must be selected by her, before she is unable to do so. Sharp readers will recall that a large part of the plot of Reversal was to try to jigger the succession and undermine the correct process. There is a fear that any more of a delay will result in her death before the power transfer, and the natives are afraid that things could become chaotic in the interim.

As  Calafans and humans gather, Treve and his siblings tell the legendary story/myth of Lo, Abic, Fep, and Ub, as Yipran can no longer do this. Finally, after a short period of meditation, she chooses her successor, a most unlikely woman.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Finally, it was rather satisfying to be able to pull in this aspect of a Calafan power transfer. Plus I was able to underscore just how bad the undermining of the power transfer would have been in Reversal, if things hadn’t turned out the way they did.

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Review – Pacing

Review – Pacing

Pacing gave me such a great idea. I immediately considered someone walking out a floor plan.

Review – Pacing – Background

As I began to put together Doug and Lili‘s life after Reversal, the question began to arise, namely, where would they live?

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | In Between Days | Pacing
In Between Days

I decided that I wanted them to have a home, which would be a house not too different from a house that a present-day couple would live in.

When a Star Trek fanfiction prompt about the natural world was put forward, it provided the perfect opportunity to show Doug planning this very important present, which culminates in the successor story, The Gift.

Plot

Review – Pacing

The short story begins with Doug waiting for a realtor, on Lafa II. He’s got an old-fashioned piece of paper and a pencil. But first he jogs up a little rise and likes the view. Sharp-eyed readers will recall how the rise fits in with both Temper and Fortune. However, the realtor, a native Calafan, tells him that the land up the rise is considerably more expensive than the land that Doug was initially considering. He decides to go with his original plan.

Doug then proceeds to sketch and measure, as well as he can,  the dimensions of the planned home. He’s not meant to be an engineer, artist, or architect, so the drawing is a crude one. All the while, he talks to himself, thinking out loud about how Lili would love a big kitchen and the view and the quiet remoteness of the area. He takes into account a room for the baby – Joss – and even a guest room. He wants everything to be perfect.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I love this little story, as it rather neatly prefigures a lot of the later In Between Days storyline, from the rise, to the location of the kitchen, to how Doug tries so hard to please Lili and, even, their financial concerns.


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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 – Yipran I

Portrait of a Character – Yipran I

Yipran I now has a fate which differs from my original idea.

Origins

As I wrote Reversal, I needed a character who would, in our universe, be someone who the natives would mimic with Lili. In the Mirror Universe, she would be mimicked by Jennifer. She would be mother to Treve, Yimar, and Chelben. Enter Yipran.

Portrayal

I like Susan Sarandon for Yipran.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Susan Sarandon as Yipran I (image is for educational purposes only)
Susan Sarandon as Yipran I (image is for educational purposes only)

The actress is tough and smart, and is an Oscar winner.

She can play all manner of characters. Hence I feel she would easily be able to show a Yipran who is not yet healed. Yet she would also be one who is, in dreams, the spiritual leader of her people.

Personality

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Susan Sarandon as Yipran I (image is for educational purposes only)
Susan Sarandon as Yipran I (image is for educational purposes only)

Intelligent but damaged, High Priestess Yipran never fully recovers from what Chawev, Baden, and Polloria do to her. Essentially, by poisoning her with an excessive amount of potassium, they have cut off her dreams and eventually she becomes comatose.

In Bribery, Yimar and Treve express the desire to visit her in the main hospital, but are thwarted, as Chawev wants to bring in Polloria as their new stepmother – despite the fact that Yipran is far from dead.

By the time of Friday Visit, Yipran is slowly recovering, but her damage remains. In Fortune, she can speak clearly in dreams, but not during waking life.

Relationships

Chawev

In both universes, Yipran is the victim of her husband. He attempts to do her in, in order to pave the way for the ambitious vixen, Polloria. Treve, their eldest son, reveals in Together that Chawev and Yipran really can’t divorce, as no one wants to believe that the First Minister and the High Priestess would ever not have a perfect marriage.

Mirror Universe

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Susan Sarandon as MU Yipran I (image is for educational purposes)
Susan Sarandon as MU Yipran I (image is for educational purposes)

Just as in the prime universe, Yipran is the High Priestess of the Calafan people. As such, she is their spiritual leader, although her husband is their political leader.

In the mirror, Yipran’s life ends near the end of Reversal, as Polloria and Polloria’s cronies kill her. Hence her daughter, Yimar, succeeds her.

Quote

“Yes, and my time will be up soon anyway. But you will continue on, as planets form and die and break apart and become new things, you will watch. And as lives begin and end, you will bear witness. {And} when the last atom has been blown apart in the remnants of the Big Bang, as the last of the energy converts to dark matter, and the universe hits absolute zero, you will be there. And you will watch it, and go with it, as it turns onto itself, and again renews, in an endless cycle. For when it is all dark matter, and it has all recompressed, as it passes through another septum, one that does not yet exist, and it goes to another place, crossing another pond, there will be another Big Bang. As there have been countless ones before, there will be countless ones after.”

Upshot

Yipran spends a lot of time as a victim. However, that’s one of the main drivers of the plot in Reversal. At some point, I might write more of an origin story for her. Yet right now that is very much on the back burner.

Review – Ceremonial

Review – Ceremonial

Background

Review – Ceremonial
Connor Trinneer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ceremonial activities tend to be weddings and the like. Instead, I decided to show a more secular event. As a result, I seized upon showing a citizenship ceremony.

After Reversal was concluded, I had placed the Star Trek: Mirror Universe Tripp and Beth on the surface of Lafa II. And when a prompt came around about ceremonies, I decided against weddings and the like and instead went for a citizenship ceremony.

Plot

After leaving Empress Hoshi far behind, Beth and Tripp (she calls him Charles) want a new life. They’ve already married, and they have a son, Charlie. Their life on Lafa II isn’t an easy one. After all, they’re living in a cave, and are only doing odd jobs in order to survive. When things are really bad, they’re poachers.

Therefore, when they get a chance to attain full citizenship, they take it. Since they owe the Empress absolutely nothing, they want to declare their allegiance to the leader of the government, the new High Priestess, Yimar. In a low-level bureaucrat’s office, their lives are changed, as they swear to defend the Calafan government and its people, and denounce the Terran Empire.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I think this short story turned out pretty well. It has one small purpose to serve, and it does so readily.

 

Recurrent Themes – Derellian Bats

Recurrent Themes – Derellian Bats

Derellian bats really get around. This fun little made-up creature, it seems, has been just about everywhere.

Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Derellian Bats

When I first began to write Reversal, I did not perform too much detailed or careful research (oops). I knew that Dr. Phlox had kept a bat. However, I could not recall the real name of it (it is the Pyrithian Bat, by the way).

This bit of negligence resulted in my naming the creature. I went with the made-up term, Derellian Bat. I mainly just like the euphony. The name ‘Derellian’ is not meant to have a meaning. I am not even so sure any sentient species come from its planet. It could very  well be the smartest species on its world.

Appearances

Recurrent Themes – Derellian Bats
Pyrithian Bat

The Derellian Bat has been in a number of places, and this little creature is known in both the prime universe and the mirror. In Temper, the bat is a part of Cyril Morgan‘s Sick Bay. The bat also makes appearances in Fortune, Day of the Dead, Entanglements, Together, Reflections Down a Corridor, The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Stilton Fulfillment, Coveted Commodity and The Puzzle, a Tale Told in Pieces.

As a part of In Between Days continuity, the bat even goes all the way back to A Single Step, making the species, and its mild empathic healing properties, known to the Caitians.  Hence the creature is a part of the entire In Between Days timeline. However, it does not (yet) seem to be a part of the Times of the HG Wells. In addition, it does not seem to be a part of the Eriecho continuity, which includes the Kelvin timeline.

Upshot

Almost like Alfred Hitchcock in his own films, I like to see where I can slip the Derellian Bat into my fiction. This little Swiss Army knife of a creature will be back. I guarantee it.

Review – Apple

Review – Apple

Apple? So of course I thought of temptation.

Background

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | In Between Days | Apple
In Between Days

For my own prompt about temptation, I decided to fill in a missing scene from Reversal. The idea was also to dovetail with a scene in Fortune, where Shelby and Travis spend time together, and it appears that they might be starting a relationship soon.

But I did not want things to run smoothly.

Plot

It is the day after the day of all-orange food. Lili is not sleeping well, because she has been dreaming about Doug. Jennifer is even teasing her a bit about it. And just like in Reversal, this is somewhat embarrassing to Lili.

Review – Apple
A perfect Gala

She sets out harvest produce for the crew, and then Lili explains what’s available for dessert. It is a fruit and cheese plate. Malcolm looks up as she is speaking, thereby neatly prefiguring his own interest in her. Much later in my fan fiction, he confesses he was first smitten with her on the day of the all-orange food. She seemed to be a lot like “sunshine and happiness”.

Shelby picks up an uncut, perfectly ripe Gala apple, and she offers it to Travis. Tripp Tucker even jokes about Adam and Eve. And  then Travis flees the scene.

Story Postings

Rating

The Story is Rated K.

Upshot

For a small fill-in scene, I think the story works just fine. I would not add it permanently to Reversal, though, as I feel it would interrupt a lot of the flow. But it was fun to add a different slant to a day in that story that doesn’t get a lot of detail. This time around, the characters get more depth and dimension.

Recurrent Themes – Chefs

Background

Chefs are canon for earlier in the timeline. By the time you get to Voyager, they’re gone.

I enjoy cooking, and so it was easy for me to center my first big story and big series around a chef. Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Chefs The story is Reversal, the series is In Between Days, and the chef is Lili O’Day.

Furthermore, I needed to have characters who readers could more readily relate to. When you watch Star Trek, or you read about it, some of the characters and their jobs and scenarios are just, well, alien. How many of us are Science Officers? Who pilots, if not a star ship, then at least an airplane? Who is a linguist? These jobs – and jobs like them – do exist, but cooking is close to being universal. Everybody’s got to eat.

Emeril Lagasse
Emeril Lagasse

Before Chef was revealed to be Jonathan Frakes, I had thought of what it would be like to have someone like Emeril Lagasse in the role. I still think he would have made a better Chef character. Plus maybe it would finally get the bitter taste of the series finale out of my mouth.

Naah. Nothing will.

Appearances of Chefs

Lili O’Day

Lili is not just a chef.

Naomi Watts as Lili O'Day
Naomi Watts as Lili O’Day

She’s a lot of things, too – a wife (twice in the prime timeline and twice in the E2 alternate), a mother, an operative for Richard Daniels, an informal good will ambassador to the Calafan people, an officer (in the prime timeline, she retires as an Ensign. In the E2 alternate, she has a different outcome) and a friend to people such as Jenny Crossman and, eventually, Pamela Hudson.

Lili also works out well as an expository character. She doesn’t always know what’s going on (after all, she spends most of her time below decks), so she asks the questions that the audience needs to ask.

William Slocum

Because Frakes is Star Trek: Enterprise canon as Chef, I don’t mess with that.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Chef Slocum and Hoshi Sato
Chef Slocum and Hoshi Sato

However, the man had neither a first nor a last name so I have provided him with both. I just liked how the name William Slocum sounded, plus it pays homage to the actor’s much better canon character, Will Riker.

Further to that, he needed a bit of a backstory, so he got an Italian mother and, as a result, an affinity for Italian cooking (his chicken marsala is canon). He also engages in a lot of bluster and his relationships do not work out well at all.

Brian Delacroix

Brian starts out in Security, but moves into Food Service by the end of Reversal.

David Faustino as Brian Delacroix
David Faustino as Brian Delacroix

By the time of Together, he’s working full-time as a sous-chef. And by the time of Fortune, he has become the chef for Malcolm Reed‘s ship, the USS Bluebird. He’s even seen in Equinox; Malcolm confides in him a bit. After all, Malcolm likes chefs.

Brian and Lili also help to prepare a special meal for the Federation’s founding species. The Vulcans prepare the soup course (plomeek broth), the Tellarites prepare a main dish and the Andorians provide the dessert. Brian and Lili prepare her Harvest Salad, which she made for Will during the events of Voracious and for Jonathan, Hoshi, T’Pol, Travis, Malcolm, TrippJay, and Dr. Phlox in Harvest.

Kathalia

While this Daranaean is an amateur, she is known as a good cook. In Temptation, she’s the one who suggests making cookies (the Daranaeans refer to them as “little cakes”), and in Flight of the Bluebird, her husband, Trinning, singles her out and compliments her as being “the best cook”.

Harvest Salad Recipe

The Harvest Salad doesn’t really have a set list of ingredients. It’s more like a refrigerator salad, e. g. you make it with whatever you’ve got on hand. But the main ideas are as follows:

  • It should be colorful. In Fortune, the lettuces are several different colors, and the entire spectrum of the rainbow is evoked.
  • It should contain fruits and nuts. These can be anything that goes together. Because, in canon, Malcolm loves pineapple, that fruit is always included.
  • It should be vegan. For Malcolm, who has lactose intolerance, and T’Pol, who is a vegan, this is a must. However, the dressings need not be vegan although a vegan option should be provided.
  • It can contain a cooked item. In Fortune, the salad contains beets.

Upshot

For hungry travelers, chefs do more than nourish the body. They are important when it comes to crew morale. In Reflections Down a Corridor, in particular, because morale is slipping, having good food is a must. But chefs are more than purveyors of food. They nourish the spirit.