Richard Daniels

Review – Time Out

Review – Time Out

A Pretty Harsh Review of Time Out

With Time Out, I abandoned the sports theme completely and instead did some personal head canon repairs. That is, I had put characters into an alternate temporal scenario and then I needed to get them back to the prime timeline. And I had to do this without destroying the continuity I was creating in the Barnstorming series.

Background

At the time I first wrote this story, I was even more burned out than before. I was absolutely running out of things to say, and so I shuffled the cards, big time. This also rather neatly plugged a hole in the Times of the HG Wells series. Now, that was a hole that only I could see. But I do like to be consistent.

The hole in the Wells timeline had to do with Dana, who hooks up with Rick. Once I realized I would rather she was Marty’s great love, she would have to somehow not fall prey to Rick’s charms.

Plot

Time Out stepped outside of the sports theme entirely for a very new story line. Instead of being a coach, Mack MacKenzie, is now called Dana, and she is the Tactical Officer on the Enterprise-E. As before, Martin Madden is still the First Officer. However, other players are in new places. And it’s all because of the accidental firing of a pulse shot.

At the same time, Marty is investigating an odd phenomenon which seems to directly relate to the O’Day-Hayes-Beckett-Digiorno-Madden-Reed family. New relatives show up, including the exceptionally annoying Tamsin Porter. Much like in the prime timeline for this series, Porter has the hots for Madden, and the radiation band cycling phenomenon still exists. It is one of the drivers of the plot.

Story Postings

Rating

The story has a K rating.

Upshot

One thing this story did well was show just how hit and miss so many of the time travel missions should have been during the Wells series. It was also a chance to showcase an earlier Rick, one who hasn’t yet met the Becketts. Hence for him, the time frame for the story is pre-Temper.

In addition, it brings up one interesting point. For the temporal and spatial dislocation in Crackerjack, it’s due to the remnants of a pulse shot. Originally, I had wanted it to be a post-Temper leftover of Empress Hoshi‘s doings. But what if it was due to experiments by Szish, the Gorn who built Mack’s ship, the Cookie? With the other references to the Crackerjack dislocation, this could be a way to wrap that up as well. I am currently trying to wrap up the final book in the series, so I might use this insight.

But I was flagging, and it shows.

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Posted by jespah in Barnstorming, In Between Days series, Times of the HG Wells series, 0 comments
Review – Play

Review – Play

A Brutal Review of Play

With Play, I continued the Barnstorming saga. However, I started to run out of things to say.

Background

To continue the Barnstorming series, I had to give Dana and the rest of the gang something to do. The main invention was a fake Tellarite game called Kreesta. I wanted the most ridiculous kind of a sport imaginable. Hence Kreesta is a cross between competitive eating and table tennis. And yes, it is just as messy and undignified as you are probably thinking.

Plot

Play is the second story in the Star Trek TNG/ENT Crossover series, Barnstorming. The story follows Dana MacKenzie and her traveling sports team, as Martin Madden investigates a mysterious phenomenon. The story, at its end, sets up a crossover with ENT and with the Times of the HG Wells series.

Music

The story does not have any major music or musical themes.

Story Postings

Rating

The story has a K rating.

Upshot

The real problem with this story is the one for the entire series. I was horribly burned out and so the ideas did not come as freely as before. In addition, I was ready to write a lot more wholly original works, full-time. This meant taking time away from truly developing this story line. And then at the end, I copped out in a lot of ways, and dovetailed into the old family.

That is because I essentially grabbed the first canon character I could think of who could work, and I made him the anchor character. Martin Madden is the initial anchor character, but then Rick Daniels becomes the secondary. As a result, the story line got increasingly muddled and weird. And then it took a left turn into time travel, but that did work to fix a hole in the Wells series. So, yay? Maybe?

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Posted by jespah in Barnstorming, Review, Times of the HG Wells series, 0 comments

Review – Stocking Stuffers 2013

Review – Stocking Stuffers 2013

Stocking Stuffers 2013 Background

Stocking Stuffers 2013! In 2013, Star Trek fanfiction writers got together. Hence we traded a bit of fun in each others’ universes. And this was my contribution.

Plot

Barking up the muse tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Stocking Stuffers 2013

Stocking Stuffers 2013

In order to follow along with the holiday theme (and Christmas isn’t even my holiday!), I thought outside the proverbial box and tried to pull in various aspects of the holiday, everything from children believing in Santa Claus, to a long distance relationship at that time of year, to decorating a tree or even making it snow.

However, for my own fanfiction, I selected Richard Daniels, right around New Year’s Eve, for the changeover to the new millennium. And Daniels also appears on the cover. This is because his portion of the story predates canon. However, for him, as it is for a lot of real people, the holidays are a time for reflection, for taking stock, and maybe even for some melancholy. And due to the switch from 1999 to 2000, Rick is also feeling the weight of everything changing. Because after all, in canon, World War III is supposed to start soon.

Fortunately, in reality, we are still waiting for that. And hopefully, we will be waiting forever.

Music

Yet only Daniels really has music in his story (apart from Icheb playing and singing ‘Good King Wenceslas’). However, Daniels hears the music of the time, as he often does during his temporal meanderings.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I would really love to do this again, as it was great fun. However, my only problem is, I might have run out of basic holiday premises to cover. Help a gal out, will ya?

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Review, Times of the HG Wells series, 1 comment

Review – The Stranger

Review – The Stranger

The Stranger is, of course any time traveler.

Background

No one is allowed to get too close. But it is also a reference back to an earlier story (I wrote it earlier, but it takes place later in the timeline), He Stays a Stranger.

The challenge was to write seven days of flash fiction. Hence I decided to provide sketches of seven women bedded by Richard Daniels.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | The Stranger

Clockworks

Rick Daniels spends the beginning of the 3100s bedding women in time, to try to ease his guilt at witnessing some of the worst moments of the prime timeline.

Irene of Castile had already been covered in Marvels. Empress Hoshi had been hinted at in Reversal. Lucretia Crossman and Betty Tyler had been mentioned a few times, including in A Long, Long Time Ago. Some of these women were also mentioned in Souvenirs.

I was in the middle of writing the Barnstorming series, so Dana MacKenzie was on my mind. I also needed a seventh woman (for right before Hoshi), so I created Octavia Caecilia of Pompeii. She went along well with a passing reference to Rick having witnessed the eruption of Vesuvius, plus it was an homage to Dr. Who and, more specifically, actor Peter Capaldi.

Music

Music runs throughout the piece. The main theme is, of course, Billy Joel’s The Stranger.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated T.

Upshot

I like Octavia, and I might write more about her at some point. The same is true of Betty; I finally really pictured her. The story, I feel, does its job well, which is to prepare the reader for what is really going on in A Long, Long Time Ago and later. The mood changes and this story turns it rather downbeat, which is what I was going for.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Review, Times of the HG Wells series, 1 comment

Review – Marvels

Review – Marvels

Marvels are, a bit, relative.

Background

For a prompt about the marvels of technology, I again decided to go in a somewhat different direction and write, instead, about the marvels of a far simpler age. In this case, it was 1417. In this case, I wanted an era that was thoroughly unfamiliar and would not be tainted by thoughts of knowing about Christopher Columbus or Ferdinand and Isabella or anyone else from our history books.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | Marvels

Clockworks

In 3102, Temporal Agent Richard Daniels and a historian are accidentally sent to 1417 Cordoba instead of 1616 Padua, and Rick meets Irene of Castile.

The original time period chosen, 1616 Padua, was to observe Galileo. Instead, the time portal malfunctions, and Rick and the historian are instead sent almost two hundred years earlier and some 1800 or so kilometers to the southwest.

However, they are in luck. There’s a small acting troupe. Even more amazing is the fact that there is an actress (I did not realize, until after I had released the story, that an actress during this time period and in this particular place would be nigh well impossible).

The troupe performs a kind of pastiche of play acting, slapstick, and singing. And then the townspeople pay them with food, including a chicken, that they roast over a campfire. Afterwards, Rick wastes no time in seducing the troupe’s sole actress, Irene, who tells them all about the most incredible piece of technology she has ever seen – a horizontal grinding wheel pulled by a pair of oxen. It’s a far cry from the time portal. Irene, too, is more enchanted by the tech she’s seen, whereas Rick is more blasé.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K+.

Upshot

I liked the idea of making the grinding wheel, for Irene, to be the most incredible thing, ever. Furthermore, I think we take our technology for granted at times. I revisited Irene, in The Stranger.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Review, Times of the HG Wells series, 1 comment

Review – Preparations

Review – Preparations

Preparations works as a kind of ‘curtain going up’ story. When I first wrote it, it was one of the only Times of the HG Wells prequel stories.

Background

As a prelude to understanding Rick’s first seduction (Lucretia Crossman), and as a way to showcase Crystal and her talents, I decided to show a little bit about how Richard would get ready to go to Penn’s Woods.

Furthermore, the prompt was about non-officer characters. Crystal fit the bill rather neatly as she is a civilian when the story takes place. But even after her hiring, she really isn’t even an Ensign. She represents one of my ultimate outsider characters. And the truth is, Lili is one, too. I love the idea of this sort of a fish out of water being a part of Starfleet or at least the Star Trek universe. Yet that makes sense, as I would certainly be just as much of an outsider if, somehow, I were suddenly a part of the canon. Furthermore, I think most of us would be.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | Preparations

Clockworks

So in early 3101, Temporal Agent Richard Daniels is prepared for his 1699 Penn’s Woods trip by Crystal Sherwood.

This is before Crystal gets a job with the Temporal Integrity Commission. Therefore, it was a good opportunity to demonstrate why he would recommend, in A Long, Long Time Ago, that she be hired for the open Quartermaster position. Crystal has talent, and it shows.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I love Crystal and I enjoyed showcasing her in her element, particularly as she pushes Rick around a little.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Review, Times of the HG Wells series, 1 comment

Review – Briefing

Review – Briefing

Briefing is a quickie.

Background

Since I had wanted to write a quick drabble, I pulled Rick Daniels into the Temporal Integrity Commission. However I also, potentially, wanted to attract another group of readers. Unfortunately, this did not really work. Hence I did not get the new readers I wanted.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | Briefing

Clockworks

In 3096, Richard Daniels joins the Temporal Integrity Commission as a Temporal Agent.

But in order to get him ready, he gets a bit of a background on his mission. And so the story introduces the commission. As a result, I included a smidgen of world building. The temporal agent gets a support team.

After all, who would have watched Enterprise and thought he wouldn’t have one? Consider the scene where Daniels and Jonathan Archer see a ruined deep future skyscraper? Daniels says he ate lunch in there. An enormous building, by definition, means there would have been people in it. And those people – at least some of them, at any rate – should have been supporting the temporal agent. Otherwise, how could he accomplish his missions, or even select them?

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

So the story is understandably short. But I feel that it is fair to middling. Since it’s not bad, but not great, either. And certainly more time could have and should have been spent on this particular event. Perhaps, at some point, I will write more about this and will flesh out the details better. But for now, it feels like more of a snack than a meal.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Review, Times of the HG Wells series, 1 comment

Portrait of a Character – Tina April

Portrait of a Character – Tina April

Origins

To play up just how much of a rat Rick Daniels is at the beginning of the Times of the HG Wells series, he had to have a girlfriend, who he would be cheating on. Enter Tina, who is named for the girlfriend in Quantum Leap and for canon starship captain Robert April (in fact, her father is named Bob).

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Tina April

Amy Smart as Tina April (image is provided for educational purposes only)

Tina is played by actress Amy Smart.

I wanted a lovely, younger actress who would be a bit out of Rick’s league.

Personality

This intelligent and sophisticated schoolteacher is not above using tears to try to get her way (she doesn’t succeed).

Relationships

Rick Daniels

Tina and Rick meet when Eleanor introduces her friend to her brother. It’s one of the initial drivers of Temper and is part of how the deep future part of that storyline gets kicked off. The relationship is mainly sexual; Rick breaks them up when she starts to insist on knowing where he is going and that she wants him to meet her father.

Troy Scott

During Spring Thaw, they start dating.  Tina pushes for things to become serious a lot more quickly than Troy does.

Mirror Universe

There is no reason why Tina can’t be in the Mirror Universe.

Portrait of a Character – Tina April

Amy Smart as the Mirror Universe Tina (image is presented for educational purposes only)

She would have to be sexier and tougher. Since I have already established the role of ship’s teacher, Tina could be a much later version of Susan Cheshire, but without the alcoholism.

Quote

“You’ve got an implanted communicator. You’re quiet about what you do – and don’t think I haven’t noticed when you’ve oh so artfully changed the subject whenever I’ve asked you anything. I know more about what you think of Plato’s Republic than I do about what you’ll do or where you’ll go when you leave this apartment.”

Upshot

This initially throwaway character provides some grounding to Rick, at least in the beginning, and a person for Eleanor to confide in. But I don’t know if she’ll be back.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Portrait, Times of the HG Wells series, 2 comments
Review – It’s Not Really a Reset if you remember it

Review – It’s Not Really a Reset if you remember it

Review – It’s Not Really a Reset if you remember it

It’s Not Really a Reset if You Remember It serves as my answer to all of the awful ‘go back to the beginning’ stories in Star Trek canon. Sometimes, if a memory abides, then you are not back at square one. You have gone through changes. And you cannot be the same. It’s like the ancient philosopher Heraclitus says – you cannot step into the same river twice. That is, life fluctuates, and so do you. As a result, there must be effects.

Background

So for a prompt about drinking to forgot, I decided to go with the alcoholic, Carmen Calavicci (I suppose I could have chosen Susan Cheshire, but Carmen spoke to me with this particular prompt) and the end of the main HG Wells storyline. This story serves as an immediate sequel to the main storyline.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | Reset

Clockworks

It is right after everything has happened in He Stays a Stranger. Marisol, Dan, and Boris may be alive again, but it is still a rather traumatic moment.

This is the part après the hitting of the big reset button.  Everyone feels terrible. As well they should. And so Carmen suggests a visit to my standard, go-to watering hole of choice, the Tethys Tavern. The Tethys Tavern also shows up as a place where Lili tended bar and where I set a Christmas story for Stocking Stuffers. Much like a Derellian bat, that locale is almost a Swiss army knife.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

One thing that broadcast Star Trek really never did was show aftermaths. This little story does this, but I can see where I should have done more. In addition, it works a bit like what a pariotric situation is. Essentially, this is what tampering with the timeline has done.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Review, Times of the HG Wells series, 1 comment

Spotlight on Nokarid

Spotlight on Nokarid

Nokarid had a rocky start, but they also foreshadow later works.

Background

When I was first starting to write Star Trek fan fiction, I wanted to get across the idea of a far more alien life form than was normally a part of canon.

Spotlight on Nokarid

Are there Nokarid in your dinner?

I also hit upon, for More, More, More! what I thought was perhaps the perfect humorous opening line, “It all began with a bad meatball.”

Because, you see, my idea was the aliens were microscopic, yet sentient. They would be smart enough to have a civilization and a culture, but too small to be visible with the naked eye.

Tiny Sentience

In retrospect, the Nokarid are precursors to the colony alien (or Var-gi-yeh, if you are in the Mirror Universe) species of which Branch Borodin is the sole member. They are a colony, to be sure, but there is really nothing known about them. Richard Daniels refers to them as being somewhat endangered although that might be more a function of their overall size.

By accident, Jonathan Archer swallows the entire colony. How they get into his meatball is never subject to explanation. But they are pretty hardy little things if they can survive the cooking process. Once inside, they attempt to colonize their new quarters – his brain. As Daniels works to remove the colonists and not kill them (or tell Phlox that they are there, for first contact should happen later), the effects on Archer’s brain become apparent as the man loosens up and starts to become a bit of a comedian.

Upshot

I only used them once, and so they are the epitome of a one-shot “Alien of the Week”. I think I would like to bring them back, although I am unsure as to how.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Spotlight, 0 comments