Tag Archives: Sargasso Sea

Portrait of a Character – Gina Nolan

Portrait of a Character – Gina Nolan

Origins

Portrait of a Character – Gina Nolan

As the tenth anniversary of 9/11 came closer, I found myself thinking about that day. I wanted, in particular, to write about women who had been pregnant at the time of the attack. The Breen attack on Earth seemed a good backdrop for that, plus it was a chance to learn about a part of Star Trek that I really didn’t know anything about. Therefore, I began with a story of a pregnant woman, and framed it against Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grief.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Gina Nolan
Gina Nolan (Elisabetta Canalis)

Gina is portrayed by Italian actress Elisabetta Canalis, currently best known in the United States for dating George Clooney.

Personality

Brassy and no-nonsense, Gina is overwhelmed when she learns that her husband, Michael, a Xenobotanist, has been instantly killed at his Beijing laboratory. She has been at home on Proxima Centauri, safe from the attack, but bereft all the same. Most of her story is told in Hold Your Dominion, although a portion is told in Wider Than the Sargasso Sea.

The Five Stages of Grief

Denial

Keeping away the soldiers tasked with informing her of the death seems her only logical move. Of course that doesn’t bring Michael back; it just prolongs the moment of learning of his death.

Anger

On Andoria for a memorial service, Gina loses patience with just about everyone.

Bargaining

To get across the idea of bargaining, I had her haggle with a Ferengi merchant. Still on Andoria, and still being run ragged, she gets redbat at a decent price, particularly after a security officer intervenes.

Depression

Returning to Proxima, Gina is overwhelmed by smells and rudeness, but it all comes to a head when she sees the destroyed tree in her front yard. A symbol of her and Michael’s love, it was killed when a military shuttle landed on it and its inhabitants told her of her husband’s death. It’s all too much for her, and she spirals downwards.

Acceptance

Her first Christmas after Michael’s death is spent with her parents. She takes them to a crossing of streets that has been named Michael Nolan Square. A dedication plaque reads, “This square is dedicated to Xenobotanist Michael G. Nolan, born July first, 2341. Nolan died on October tenth, 2375, at his lab in Beijing, when the Breen attacked Earth. He left a wife and a daughter.”

Aftermath

Healing

Five years after the attack, Gina is seen being pulled along to look at artwork. Whose artwork? Her daughter’s. The children at Decker Elementary have all been told to draw something about the Breen attack. While there, they spot a lost child – a little Klingon girl who is a bit older than Gina’s daughter, Gabrielle. The girl, Freela, is crying for her father. When they are reunited, a ribbon is awarded for the best drawing in the first grade, and it goes to Freela. Gina suggests ice cream, and Freela’s father, Kittris, agrees.

Ice Cream

As the grownups talk and the girls play, it becomes apparent that there might be a chance for something more than just a pleasant afternoon.

Rituals

Ten years later, a milestone in Kittriss’s family is an occasion for Gina and Gabby to again try to fit in.

Good-bye

Five years afterwards, Gina is interviewed as a part of a commemoration of the attack, and she remembers Michael, but not with sadness.

The Next Generation

In Wider Than the Sargasso Sea, much of the action shifts to Gabrielle, but Gina is still there, still fighting, and is a part of a large mixed crowd protesting Breen moving into their neighborhood and, as that story begins, yells, “Breen, go home!”

Relationships

Michael Nolan

He’s never seen alive, although I might write a flashback at some point. Their marriage was a decent one, but they worked on different planets, and that could not have been easy.

Kittriss

Originally, they’re drawn together by shared grief, but then it becomes something more. Together, they raise their daughters – and I often (albeit not actually in my fanfiction) refer to them as “The Klingon Brady Bunch”.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Gina Nolan
Mirror Gina

In the Mirror Universe, Gina is a Captain’s Woman, to Alexander Bashir (Bashir is mentioned in The Point is Probably Moot as being the captain of the ISS Molotov). But she does have a taste for Klingon men, and meets Kittress under very different circumstances, in Smash Your Dominion.

Quote

“It wasn’t meant to be fair, and that’s not just because of the Breen. It’s, in general. It’s never meant to be fair. It’s death, and while I think it holds account books, I also don’t kid myself. It’s not a simple equation. It’s not like we gathered all the bad people together, and then told the Breen to have at it. It’s not that. And it’s not God taking the most righteous or that kind of bull, either. It was just a bunch of people who drew the unlucky card that day. If I didn’t have my teaching job here, I would have been living in Beijing, too. And then Gabrielle and I would be gone, too.”

Upshot

I think the Sargasso Sea story mainly wrapped up this story line, but I don’t know. Gina often surprises me, and she may yet do so again.

Recurrent Themes – Engineers

Recurrent Themes – Engineers

Background

While watching Star Trek: Enterprise (and The Original Series and the other series, but particularly Enterprise), I was struck by how together and cute and all of that Tripp Tucker is.

And that is just not my experience of most engineers.

This is not an insult and I hope it is not taken that way. Rather, most of the engineers I have known have been shy and withdrawn people, far more comfortable with engines, wrenches, etc. than people. Scotty is much more of the epitome of a true engineer to me, and Geordi is pretty close as well. But Tucker, to my mind, is a bit too well-socialized, as is Miles O’Brien.

Appearances

Recurrent Themes – Engineers
NX-01 Main Engineering

Of course Tucker is canon so he’s not totally gone from my writings. But I do try to write him with angst (Together, Temper, and Fortune) or at least a feeling that he’d rather look at an engine than talk or think about something more esoteric, like politics (Intolerance).

As for Geordi and Scotty, I try to give them different degrees of depth. Both of them have gotten romances or at least the promise of romance in my fiction. In Crackerjack, Geordi finds he’s falling for Rosemary Parker, but because of the time difference, it can never be. Scotty has somewhat better luck with M’Ress in Milk. As for Miles, he’s a family man. But he’s got a certain other talent, as demonstrated in You Make Me Want to Scream.

Other engineers and engineering students, because they are wholly created by me, fare somewhat differently.

Judy Kelly and Michael Rostov

These canon characters marry in my E2 stories.

Bron

This Gorn character reveals he is an engineering student in Truth. He describes a good career ahead of him as a civil engineer, where he can provide for Sophra and, hopefully, win over her parents.

Levi Cavendish

This odd genius is misunderstand by nearly everyone but Otra D’Angelo.

Freela

In Wider Than the Sargasso Sea, this Klingon character is disappointed that a Breen is working in an engineering office where she had hoped to get an internship, and shows some prejudice when she tells Gabrielle Nolan that she has to cross that firm off her list if a Breen is working there. Like Bron, she is studying civil engineering, but she’s further along in her studies than he is.

Josh Rosen

This crewman only works in engineering in our universe (The Light) and is revealed to be in Security in the Mirror Universe in Temper. It’s unclear what his actual duties are.

José Torres

This character is an engineer in only our universe but not the mirror (Reversal), where he’s a security crewman. In our universe, he starts off as third in Engineering, behind Tucker and Crossman. A lot of his work involves monitoring the warp containment field, plus he often runs the transporter. In the E2 stories, he does all sorts of odd tasks, including building an ultrasound machine.

Jennifer Crossman

In both universes, Jennifer starts out as the secondary in engineering, right behind Tucker. On the Defiant, it’s likely that she worked the night shift at least part of the time, which may have been how she at least initially hooked up with Aidan MacKenzie.

Frank Ramirez

As a corollary to the characters who are only engineers in our universe, Frank is only an engineer in the mirror (here, he’s a planetary geologist). Eventually, in The Point is Probably Moot, he rises to the level of First Officer of the Defiant, when Andrew Miller commits suicide (Escape).

Kevin O’Connor

Kevin is the Chief Engineer for the Temporal Integrity Commission (Temper, The Point, etc.). He’s a lumbering beast of a man and is part-Gorn, tipping the scales at nearly a quarter of a metric ton.

Deirdre Katzman

Deirdre is Kevin’s young protegée and enjoys old time travel fiction, so she names the time ships (HG Wells, Audrey Niffenegger, Jack Finney, etc.). See A Long, Long Time Ago.

Von

This Ferengi engineer works mostly on an older style ship called the Penar (The Point is Probably Moot).

Yilta

This Calafan engineer is Kevin O’Connor’s love interest and works on Calafan time ships like The Light of Lo.

Makan Sinthasomphone

This engineer works on temporal mechanics for Section 31 in a forerunner to the Temporal Integrity Commission.

Upshot

They keep it all together, and they keep it running like a top. Without engineers, there really couldn’t be any Star Trek at all.