Tag Archives: Romulan

Portrait of a Character – Emily Stone

Portrait of a Character – Emily Stone

Origins

Emily was originally kind of a reference character. During Intolerance, she’s really just referred to as an important mother of one of the medical students, Mark Stone. It wasn’t until I added her into the Achieving Peace story that she started to have any definition.

Instead of just being a character’s mother, Emily, a lawyer, became a part of the negotiation of the peace terms to end the Earth-Romulan War. In this endeavor, she worked with Soval and a Tellarite ambassador (canon character Gral), and a representative of the Xindi, Chara Sika. Sharp-eyed readers will recall that Chara Sika, another character who originated as an offscreen mother, was first mentioned in The Puzzle).

Also accompanying Emily is another lawyer, Laura Hayes, who works under the Andorian ambassador, T’Therin. By this time, Emily is an ambassador herself.

Later, when I wrote Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, I wanted someone to probate and read Jay‘s will. Laura was not an option (it would have been a legal conflict of interest). Hence I revisited Emily and gave the two of them something of a friendship. The friendship is also briefly mentioned in Together.

Portrayal

Melissa George as Emily Stone
Melissa George as Emily Stone

Emily is played by actress Melissa George. I don’t know too much about this actress; I mainly just liked the look of her. Emily is not exactly a bit part, but she’s not major, either.

Personality

Formal and conservative, but fair, Emily is the quintessential ambassador. Much like Laura (who becomes a judge), Emily takes her work for justice seriously.

Relationships

Mark has a father, so there had to have been someone. I suspect I’ll make her a widow.

Mirror Universe

Because Emily’s son, Mark, is in the Mirror Universe, Emily is there by definition.

English: Actress Melissa George
English: Actress Melissa George (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I kind of like the idea of her being a little sexy and vain and quirky. She could be rather different, and not the sober lawyer she is in the prime universe. Perhaps she’d almost be a court jester (although not in the main court. Empress Hoshi wouldn’t allow that).

Quote

“My niece is in Science and is in on the NX-01. My son is practicing medicine and is looking to get onto, maybe, a smaller ship as the Enterprise and the Columbia are already staffed. But they’re just going to be warriors if this continues. I just want to see young people have their dreams. Constant conflict will derail those dreams, I fear.”

Upshot

For a character who was first intended to be a brief mentioning, Emily has a bit of a storyline to her. She might see some action later, particularly if I write any more legal or diplomatic works.

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Portrait of a Character – Bernardine (Bernie) Keating-Fong

Portrait of a Character – Bernardine (Bernie) Keating-Fong

Origins

During Intolerance, I needed someone who would be a kind of chaperone to Pamela, Blair, Will, Mark, and An.  Her name had to be gender-neutral. Her surname, like a lot of the other names in that story, evokes Dominic Keating’s earlier career. The Fong portion is a nod to another original character of mine, pop star Kurt Fong. I like to think that she is his sister-in-law.

Portrayal

Bernie is played by actress Michelle Yeoh.

Portrait of a Character – Bernardine (Bernie) Keating-Fong
English: Michelle Yeoh at the Toronto International Film Festival 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wanted an older yet attractive Asian actress. She would also be the kind of person who, during the shenanigans at the beginning of Intolerance, Malcolm might consider as a romantic prospect.

Personality

Extremely intelligent and knowledgeable, Phlox refers to her as a specialist in ancient diseases, a statement that she does not dispute. Until it was time to write others’ universes, I did not really have a role for her beyond Intolerance. However, I had occasion to write a crossover work called Bomb(e) and made her the physician on the NX-04 Ariane. In that story, which is played a lot more for laughs, Dr. Keating-Fong ends up treating a patient who may or may not have planted a bomb on board in order to scare off Romulans who have boarded that ship.

Relationships

Bernie has no known relationships in either universe.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Bernardine (Bernie) Keating-Fong
Mirror Bernie

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

Because medical care is so devalued over there, as are women, I like to think that she would be tougher. She would have to be, particularly as she aged.

 

Quote

“Naurr, listen to me very carefully. You’re the chef on the Ariane. We’re at war with the Romulans. And I hardly think you were making bombs.”

Upshot

Now that I’ve put her on the Ariane, I suppose she can have some other adventures. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even show her with Kurt.

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Review – Achieving Peace

Review – Achieving Peace

With Achieving Peace, I had wanted to touch upon Laura Hayes‘s life, somewhat independent of Doug and Lili.

Background

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

Because Laura is an attorney, the idea would be that she had a connection to the signing of the peace treaty ending the Earth-Romulan War.

Plot

Hence it’s the end of the war, and Laura is an assistant to an Andorian, T’Therin. They are present at the signing and transmission of the peace treaty to the Romulans. With them are Chara Sika (sharp-eyed readers will recognize her as the mother of Xindi sloth Aranda Chara, who Travis meets during The Puzzle), Emily Stone (the mother of Mark Stone, Pamela‘s classmate), canon characters Vulcan Ambassador Soval and Gral, a Tellarite. A Xindi Reptilian is working communications, and he reports that the Romulans won’t allow a picture transmission. They will receive an image, but they won’t send one, and remain a faceless enemy to the end, which clicks into place rather nicely with canon.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

This is a small filler type of story, and it serves its purpose just fine. It was also a treat to bring these mostly minor characters together, as Laura is more than just the officiant at Malcolm and Lili’s wedding, or Jay‘s elder sister.  Because this story reminded me of her, Laura also got a mention in Everybody Knows this is Nowhere. I particularly liked giving one final bit of information, that the Romulans would be relieved at the cessation of hostilities, ended just in time before the Star Empire went bankrupt.

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Review – Gainful

Review – Gainful

Gainful comes from a prompt about first jobs.

Background

I wanted to show someone who wasn’t so young entering the workforce for the same time.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Before Days | Gainful
Before Days

I particularly wanted to pay tribute to my maternal grandmother. She had only worked outside of the home for a few years, and that was all during the Second World War, as a part of the war effort.

Yes, my grandmother was a kind of Rosie the Riveter type (she worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard).

Enter Mary Reed.

Plot

Review – Gainful
We Can Do It poster for Westinghouse, closely associated with Rosie the Riveter, although not a depiction of the cultural icon itself. Pictured Geraldine Doyle (1924-2010), at age 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I figured Mary would be as driven to help out during the Earth-Romulan War as my own grandmother had been during World War II.

But Mary seemed to not be as strong as my part-Polish grandmother, so it would be more of an intellectual pursuit. Furthermore, this is the future of Star Trek, and so brute force or assembly lines would not be in the cards.

I recalled a character I had created while writing two pieces for Dispatches from the Romulan War – pop singer Kurt Fong. I hit upon the idea of Fong needing a new person to help open his mail and respond to it, and so I was able to attach Mary and her diplomatic skills to this project. It would be a fun job for her, but also a challenge. She would be reminded, as others wrote to Fong, that Malcolm could be injured or killed at any time, too. Her boss, Ehigha Ejiogu, would be a Nigerian man young enough to be her son. Her coworker, the Tellarite Cympia Triff, would have an impressive beard.

Sharp-eyed readers will recall that Ejiogu and Fong are, in the Mirror Universe, two of Doug‘s kills.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I really like how this one turned out, and was  pleased to write a sequel, The Tribe. As for whether I’ll revisit Mary at work, the question remains up in the air.

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Focus – The Earth-Romulan War

Focus – The Earth-Romulan War

The Earth-Romulan War is canon but was not a part of Enterprise.
Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Focus Magnifying Glass | The Earth-Romulan War
A focus (unlike a spotlight) is an in-depth look at a Star Trek fanfiction canon item and my twist(s) on it.

Of course, all of fan fiction is like that, but the idea here is to provide a window into how a single canon concept can be used in fan fiction.

Background

 

The Earth-Romulan War is a part canon never actually shown on screen. For a lot of fans, it is an opportunity that was sorely missed in Star Trek: Enterprise. If the series had gone onto seven seasons instead of just four, undoubtedly the war would have finally been shown.

Occurrences

Dispatches from the Romulan War

A few years ago, I became part of a project called Dispatches from the Romulan War. Dispatches has been posted in a lot of locations. My two contributions are Soldiers’ Marriage Project, which introduced character Rona Moran, and Prison Break, which was intended to give some hope that some people thought dead at the start of the war were actually alive. Further, it had a prison called Gemara, at Berren Five. I have used this on several occasions and it was first mentioned in The Puzzle.

Before the War

As a run-up to the war, in The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Stilton Fulfillment, the NX-01 hosts the Caitian ambassador and his family. However, the ship suffers some damage in a quick hit and run, much like hostilities can ramp up in prelude to a real war.

The Beginning of Hostilities

After some more leisurely exploratory moments, such as are in The Light, Intolerance and Reversal, things begin to get down to business in Together. While the ship speeds toward Earth to deliver Jennifer Crossman to her wedding to Frank Ramirez, things are at a bit of a lull. But when ten people are kidnapped off the ship, T’Pol needs to work with her allies in order to find them again. There isn’t a lot of time to divert to this mission, but she still needs to try.

Breaks in the Action

Broken Seal follows a few short incidents of hijinks even as the hostilities are going on. The same is true of first contact with the Daranaeans, which occurs in The Cure is Worse Than the Disease. Another case of hijinks, but this time they are remembered as a story is told, is in Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before. But all is not right, and the reason why Chip and Deb are alone in his quarters at all is because Aidan is injured enough that Phlox keeps him in Sick Bay overnight. In Temper, the war is again interrupted as Malcolm, Jonathan and Tripp need to work to protect the NX-01 from damage that could be incurred from an errant pulse shot.

Aftermath

Achieving Peace shows the last of the treaty negotiations, as Laura Hayes is there. And in Shell Shock, protesters are angered by Starfleet’s involvement in two wars in such a short period of time. A part of Malcolm’s problems during that story are his memories of the war. This includes the particularly brutal death of an anonymous crew member.

Upshot

For this huge gap in canon, into which you could drive a truck, there was no reason to not cover it. Hell, it’s the elephant in the room, when it comes to the ENT era.

Why not show it?

The Earth-Romulan War will be back in my writing; I guarantee it.

Portrait of a Character – Laura Hayes

Portrait of a Character – Laura Hayes

Origins

At the end of Reversal, Doug tells Lili that Jay had a sister. In order to keep that sister, Laura, from just stumbling across a news story about him, Doug rather sensitively decides to change his surname to Beckett. This is also a symbol of Doug’s commitment to our universe, and to Lili, and to leaving his old life behind as he never intends to return to the Mirror. And so Laura was born.

Portrayal

Laura is played by veteran soap actress Robin Strasser.

Portrait of a Character – Laura Hayes
Robin Strasser as Laura Hayes

This actress has always seemed very smart to me (although the character she plays is rather ruthless, and Laura is not). I can see her playing an attorney attached to various diplomatic missions.

Personality

Very smart and organized, Laura is, as she says to Lili in Together, “not the marrying kind”. Her work takes her to various diplomatic situations. In Achieving Peace, she works for the Andorian ambassador, T’Therin, and they are both present when the treaty with the Romulans is signed, thereby ending the Federation-Romulan War, in 2160. Ambassador Soval is also there, as is the Xindi ambassador, a sloth woman named Chara Sika.

By the time of Fortune, she has become a judge, and she officiates at Malcolm and Lili’s wedding.

During the E2 kick backs in time, Jay and Lili consider naming their first child after her, if they have a daughter. But they have a son instead, Jeremiah Logan, and so none of their children are named Laura Jayne. At the end of Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, it is revealed that she is working for the law firm of Koenig & Brooks, a firm that shows up, much later in the timeline, as being the firm employing Darragh Stratton Yarin’s divorce attorney in Shake Your Body.

Relationships

Laura has no known relationships.

Mirror Universe

Doug never had a sister, and so Laura does not have a counterpart in the Mirror Universe.

Quote

“I am, I know it’s impossible. But I could swear that you were my brother’s doppelganger. Although perhaps you’re aged forward in time a year or so. Jay died in 2153. Six years ago. At least our parents didn’t survive to see that.”

Upshot

Smart and capable, I haven’t found a lot for Laura to do yet. She’s mentioned in passing whenever someone needs a lawyer (Doug briefly mentions her when Malcolm is in legal trouble during Shell Shock), but there aren’t a lot of occasions when Laura is really showcased. I suppose if I write more legally-centric stories, she might have an occasion to shine.

What Do I Like to Read?

As a part of The Twelve Trials of Triskelion, the program is coming to an end, but we on Ad Astra are looking to keep it up. As a result, we’re looking to expand blogging. And now there’s a new book club, called Boldly Reading, with its own blog!

So – the first prompt is – what do you like to read? what fanfic story type/era/character and heck even name an author here you gush over do you like to read?

And so I’ve gotten to thinking.

Challenges

I’ve realized that while I love the Star Trek Enterprise and The Original Series eras, that doesn’t necessarily define what I seek out. More often, I go looking for a good story, and then whether it fits into my own personal era preference doesn’t truly factor into it. Good stories are good stories.

I also have great respect for people who put themselves out there for the challenges, in particular, the monthly challenges. For newer authors in particular, it has got to be daunting. It presents the old what if they don’t like me? fear that I suspect all authors have inside us.

Once I’ve read a challenger (even if they don’t win, and even if I didn’t love their story), I try to look at more of their works. Sometimes people are just off, and one story didn’t hit its marks but that doesn’t mean that others won’t. But if I’m disappointed enough times (and I can’t honestly say exactly when that moment occurs, but I know it when I see it), I’m done, unless it’s for a monthly challenge. Then I’ll read all of the entries because I don’t think I can vote in good conscience without reading all of that month’s entries. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to love the author who has disappointed me. Unfairly or not, that person now has more of a hurdle to climb over in order to get my love. But it’s not an impossible hurdle.

Characterizations

For authors not involved in monthly challenges, I am looking for good characters. I love action sequences, but the truth is, they’re hard to write. Sometimes what you’re thinking of just does not translate well to pixels. But characters can. Someone who is not a Mary Sue. Someone who isn’t just described in some huge data dump as if the author were picking the character out from a police lineup. Someone who I can hate or love or be repulsed by or laugh with or at or want to hug or kick. Someone who stays with me.

Give it up for Templar Sora!

One author whose works I have loved pretty much from the beginning has been Templar Sora.

Star Trek Online
Star Trek Online (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two of his characters I have particularly enjoyed are Jessica St. Peter and Seymour Sonia. Jess is an unlikely leader, a person thrust into the role when everyone around her falls down on the job or is too scared or damaged or inexperienced to step in. And, as a young leader, she deals with something that a lot of young leaders in fan fiction never seem to have to deal with – insubordination by people who think she should not have her place.

Enter Seymour Sonia, the consummate jerk. Everything from hitting on Jess (before she gets a command) to openly being hostile to her, he’s a fun character to despise. The beauty of this character is his passive-aggressive nature. I have found that often jerk characters are written as utterly one-dimensionally, as authors might feel they have to stack their decks. After all, who could possibly hate a Starfleeter?

Try me.

Upshot

I love a lot of what I’m reading. But to really hit the stratosphere, give me a character where all I want to do when I see him in a scene is yell, “Bite me!”

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