Sheilagh Bernstein

Recurrent Themes – Computer Technicians

Recurrent Themes – Computer Technicians

Computer technicians are part of the future.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Sheilagh Bernstein's file photo at the Temporal Integrity Commission | Computer Technicians

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Sheilagh Bernstein’s file photo at the Temporal Integrity Commission

In time travel in particular, someone will have to be able to deal with computers. They are such a pervasive part of our lives. A time travel contingent can’t go to any time past about 1985 without seeing computers.

Further, Star Trek has always had a somewhat ambivalent relationship with computers. Truly, it’s with all forms of technology. The Original Series (TOS) often shows a dichotomy. This is between over reliance on computers versus good old fashioned human know-how. In The Next Generation (TNG), Data is so human-like. Should he have the same rights as a member of a naturally evolving sentient species?


Amusingly enough (and highly reflective of the mores of the time), Original Series actors are shown really only using computers for work. Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Computer Technicians The same seems to be true for the Next Generation, except when it comes to the use of the fantasy-fulfilling holodeck. Then, it’s no holds-barred.

You need to get to Star Trek: Enterprise (ENT) before you start to see people using computers for leisure pursuits. In the Catwalk episode, a crewman does a crossword puzzle on hers. Jonathan Archer even seems to use his for reading (although Malcolm Reed appears to prefer paper books).


Hoshi Sato

As in canon, Hoshi (with the help of T’Pol) often has a task of not only handling the ship’s database, but also in interpreting aliens’ databases.

Charlotte Reed-Hayes Archer

In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, it is Charlotte, a descendant of Jonathan, Lili, Ebrona, Jay, Malcolm, and others, who sends the first kick-back’s full database to Hoshi. This changes the second kick back in time’s experience rather dramatically, as people already know who they ended up with.  Then the second kick back in time meets the prime timeline version. But there isn’t enough time to load the entire database. And so the prime timeline is left with only knowing what we learned in canon. They never know that there were two involuntary trips back in time.

Sheilagh Bernstein

The specialist in ancient computers is a mid-level Temporal Agent working with Richard Daniels. In Another Piece of the Action, she ends up inadvertently insulting Spock a little, when she refers to his beloved computer system as being primitive.


We move closer to real-life Star Trek types of experiences. So I fully believe we will use computers more and more. They will converge, probably. So smart phones and tablets will likely become more or less the same devices. Through it all, computer technicians will need to handle them. I will undoubtedly write about more people just like this.

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Posted by jespah in Themes, 1 comment

Review – Ohio

Ohio Background

Ohio. Richard Daniels‘s second Star Trek: Enterprise adventure in time was put together fairly early and fairly quickly.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Ohio


I loved the idea of a bullet’s changing its trajectory and, as a result, significantly altering history.

I also loved the idea of showing the time period, everything from protesting to drug abuse to even free love. The music was another draw, and the discovery that Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders really had been at Kent State at the time sealed the deal for me.

It was an irresistible combination, and the story was relatively easy to write.


First of all, as the Temporal Integrity Commission begins hiring new travelers, the first one brought in is a specialist in ancient computer systems, Sheilagh Bernstein. Sheilagh tries to decide whether to take the job, and the first part of the book deals with some of her doubts as it provides exposition. In addition, the military expert, Thomas Grant, is brought in, plus a traveling doctor, Marisol Castillo. All three receive various physical enhancements in order to make it possible for them to perform their jobs at all.

Furthermore, they all then go on training missions. Tom goes, with Kevin O’Connor, to the start of World War III (this mission is further expanded in Multiverse II). Carmen takes Marisol to the canon TOS Captain Kirk era crossover to the Mirror Universe. And finally, Rick takes Sheilagh to Kent State.

For Rick, it is open season on the honeys.

English: Chrissie Hynde in concert. Taken Augu...

English: Chrissie Hynde in concert. Taken August 10, 2007 in Santa Barbara, CA by John Slonaker. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First of all, he ditches Sheilagh and hooks up with Annette Bradley, a student, who calls herself Windy. He behaves more or less despicably, whereas Sheiligh just tries to blend in on campus. However, the party stops when the shooting starts, and Sheilagh’s screams of terror cause a National Guardsman to change the angle of his aim slightly. As a result, instead of Allison B. Krause dying, it’s Chrissie Hynde.

Hence this, and a small incident at the start of the Third World War, throws history into a tizzy. Everything needs repairs, and Sheilagh makes the biggest mistake any professional time traveler can make. She falls in love with the alternate timeline and the good it seems to have done for some people.


Music defines the entire HG Wells series, and very much so in Ohio as the new victim is, of course, a singer. Hence these songs weave throughout the story as follows:

  • Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Ohio
  • Shocking Blue – Venus
  • John Lennon – Instant Karma
  • Freda Payne – Band of Gold
  • The Jackson Five – The Love You Save
  • Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders – Kid
  • Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders – Talk of the Town
  • Bobbie Gentry – I’ll Never Fall in Love Again

Story Postings


The story is rated T.


Overall, some areas could have used better exposition. In addition, I should have better explored the look and feel of the campus. Furthermore, some things, for sure, happened too quickly. At some point, I’ll probably expand it. It’s on my radar of things to do/fix.

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Posted by jespah in Review, Times of the HG Wells series, 34 comments