Tag Archives: Rick

Review – Pat the Bunny

Review – Pat the Bunny

Pat the Bunny? What?

Background

Pat the Bunny came about as a strange left-turn style answer to a writing prompt. Hence, in order to write about natural or artificially created disasters, I chose a scenario for the Mirror Universe Borg where they would be defeated by the oddest of foes. And to make it even more interesting, this foe would be about as opposite to a warrior as you can get in the animal kingdom.

Furthermore, it would hearken back, just a little bit, to Hugh and the Borg, the canon episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, where a young Borg boy is returned to the collective and starts a sort of individualistic revolution. And it would also be a call back to the canon episode of Star Trek: Voyager, where Icheb is introduced (he was conceived and became Borg as a means of implanting a virus into the collective. Icheb’s own parents considered him expendable).

Plot

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

In 3104, Richard Daniels and Aramjul Sika find out just why the Borg never really got any traction in the Mirror Universe.

As an earlier mission for Rick (and one where he does not seduce anyone), I wanted a short mission where he and a historian would get in and get out, but there would be one, big, kind of crazy consequence of what they had just observed. Temporal shenanigans aside, history is often strange.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

So I liked putting Rick into a new and exceptionally weird situation. And I also enjoyed the opportunity to shout out to the Sika family, a clan of Xindi sloth I had created in The Puzzle and then followed through with in Achieving Peace. After all, it isn’t only Lili‘s family that makes it to the deep future.

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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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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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Portrait of a Character – Annette (Windy) (Pollan) Bradley

Portrait of a Character – Annette (Windy) (Pollan) Bradley

Origins

I wanted a hippie chick for Richard Daniels to hook up with in 1970 Kent State, and for him to meet at a protest. Enter Windy.

Portrayal

Windy is portrayed by Melanie Mayron.

Portrait of a Character – Annette (Windy) (Pollan) Bradley
Annette “Windy” Bradley in 1970

I love how authentic she looks, particularly in the image I have selected, which is from a film called Girlfriends.

She is not meant to be knock out beautiful.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – Annette (Windy) (Pollan) Bradley
Annette Bradley Pollan, an older image that Rick sees in an alternate history

Casual and a bit cynical, Windy is the kind of woman who Rick often ends up with. She is free with her sexuality but also friendly and sympathetic. In 1970, just before the shootings at Kent State University, they talk about the possibility of him being sent to Viet Nam to fight in the war. They go to bed together having known each other for only a few hours. He leaves in the morning when the shooting starts, but their parting is at least somewhat cordial.

When he and Sheilagh Bernstein return in order to repair the issues with the timeline that they themselves have created, he has to leave a lot more abruptly, and ducks out before she wakes up. Angry at him, and at herself for being so free with her body, Windy at least pays lip service to the idea of maybe not having sex quite so quickly, and choosing her partners a bit more carefully.

She never learns that he is a time traveler.

Relationships

Windy’s hookup with Rick can hardly be called a relationship. In the alternate timeline, her married name is Pollan (named for Back to the Future‘s Michael J. Fox‘s real-life wife, Tracy Pollan), but there is nothing about her husband or whether they remain wed for life.

Theme Music

Of course Windy’s music is the Association’s Windy. The song was popular three years before 1970 and it is the kind of bouncy, optimistic song that a girl of maybe 16 – 18 years of age would like and want to use as her nickname.

Mirror Universe

There is no reason why Annette can’t exist in the Mirror Universe. But I don’t think she’d call herself Windy.

Portrait of a Character – Annette (Windy) (Pollan) Bradley
Annette in the Mirror Universe

I feel she would be like a lot of the Mirror Universe women I write – overly dependent on men for their happiness, safety, and well-being.

Quote

“Right. It all seems so sterile. If we could really see the times, you know, somehow insert ourselves into history and really be there, man, that would surely be amazing.”

Upshot

For a woman who Rick never sees again, he does remember her, and even keeps a souvenir – a pair of quarters she had saved up for her laundry.


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Review – Spring Thaw

Spring Thaw

A Spring Thaw is unpredictable and can often feel like one step forward, two steps back.

Background

Here is where, in Star Trek fanfiction, I wanted canon character Richard Daniels to tragically fall in love with a woman he could never have.

Review – Spring Thaw

The story, however, was originally a part of a wholly original time travel series. In both versions, a time traveler is tasked with ending Prague Spring, because true historical figure Drahomír Kolder is being blackmailed. But in the original story, Milena Chelenska was the time traveler, and she married Elijah Kohak before departing, an act that breaks both of their hearts. But the altered story diverged quite a bit.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Prague Spring
Prague Spring
Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Spring Thaw
Spring Thaw

In the story as it was adapted for the Times of the HG Wells series, Rick and Sheilagh are winding down. They agree to not see each other anymore; it’s just too strange.

 

A free man again, Rick must end Prague Spring, as the Temporal Integrity Commission‘s enemies have altered history too much, and communism falls a lot earlier than it should have. The negative consequences of this include no Ronald Reagan-inspired SDI, and so there is no global satellite system in place in the 1980s.

This delays the development of the Internet, which in turn delays the development of all manner of innovations, including Warp Drive.

As Rick flies to 1968, he does not realize that someone has cut his time ship’s fuel line; he’ll need to obtain materials in order to fix it. After beaming down to Prague, his luck seems disastrous, as he is hit by a car and dragged, left for dead by a hit and run driver. Milena is outside walking with her sister, Noemy, as they are going to the farmers’ market.

Rick is at least a little big luckier, as Milena is a doctor. Except she’s a gynecologist. Never mind that – at least she and Noemy get him out of the street. But once he’s on her examining table and she’s ready to start x-raying him,  she sees his wounds starting to close up, and this astounds her. She immediately realizes, due to the presence of his stem cell growth accelerator, that something very strange is going on. She suspects he’s not human. She’s partly right.

Rick’s luck continues improving, until he realizes just how special she really is. And that he can never have her.

Music

The music is of course from 1968, except for Rick and Milena’s theme, which is Jim Croce‘s Time in a Bottle. Further, this is the only one of the HG Wells stories that does not have a title taken from a lyric. Instead, the references are to Prague Spring and to Richard and Milena’s own thaws.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated T.

Upshot

I had originally really loved the Milena character, but had no good place to put her. Once the story got started, though, it flowed smoothly. The HG Wells stories had started off as a bit of a hard slog, as I knew I wanted this story to serve as the centerpiece. So I was itching to get here. By the time I got here, it was all I had hoped for and more, and the transcription of the story became close to taking dictation, which is my favorite way to write.


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Portrait of a Character – Crystal Sherwood

Portrait of a Character – Crystal Sherwood

Crystal is the kind of person who is often underestimated in the world. Her education is fairly limited, but she knows more than a lot of people probably think.

First introduced in A Long, Long Time Ago, Crystal is busy cutting Temporal Agent Richard Daniels‘s hair when he asks her if she knows anything about historical fashions and haircuts. Her reply indicates not only knowledge, but interest in the subject matter, so Rick presents her as a candidate for the Quartermaster job opening at the Temporal Integrity Commission.

Look

Crystal Sherwood
Crystal Sherwood

I wanted Crystal to be a bit petite and young, but also very attractive and stylish. I hit upon the idea of Marnette Patterson after seeing her in Charmed.  The look, to me, is a good fit for a woman who is secure in her looks but not necessarily in her training or her intelligence. This is not a slam on the actress; this is just the look that I was seeking.

Tasks

While a computer could, conceivably, put together a look that would be consistent with a particular time period, I wanted for there to still be some room for error. For Crystal, the job is less about matching the obvious to a time period than it is to also match it to a particular effect needed. When Rick goes to a 1970 college campus in Ohio, she doesn’t just give him sideburns, she also makes sure that he looks young enough to be a graduate student, but old enough to be able to exert a little authority if necessary. She makes Sheilagh Bernstein (who also goes on that trip) look more like a typical coed, as Sheilagh is a trainee.

In Spring Thaw, she outfits Rick in a more old-fashioned style, despite the fact that it’s only a few years before the scenario in Ohio, as Rick is going to a Soviet bloc country.

Other Talents and Ideas

In Spring Thaw, she spends time helping with the decryption. It’s a particularly frustrating task for her, but her confidence is buoyed by Deirdre Katzman encouraging her.

By The Point is Probably Moot, she’s actively looking at alternate timeline scenarios.

In Ohio, she’s also busy fending off the attentions of HD Avery.

By the time of He Stays a Stranger, she goes on her first mission, and has an excellent idea of where the team can meet while planning to restore the main timeline.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Crystal Sherwood

There are no impediments to Crystal existing in the Mirror Universe.

But as I write Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction, Mirror Universe women are mainly chewed up and spat out. Unfortunately, I see that as her fate on the other side of the pond.

Quote

“After the Second World War ended, people didn’t have a lotta money, so it’s reflected in the fashions. They just didn’t have a lot of details. Look at the fifties – just a decade later – and it’s more youth-oriented, and then fast-forward another decade and it’s even more youth-oriented. There’s suddenly all these patterns.”

Upshot

Portrait of a Character – Crystal Sherwood
Crystal

Behind that pretty face, there’s a keen mind and a sensitivity and kindness. Book learning isn’t the only thing valued in the thirty-second century.

Underestimate Crystal at your peril.