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star trek mirror universe timeline

Review – He Stays a Stranger

Review – He Stays a Stranger

Review – He Stays a Stranger
He Stays a Stranger

Background

Back when I was originally putting together a wholly original time travel fantasy series, I came up with the story lines for A Long, Long Time Ago; Spring Thaw; and this one.  The idea of Goodman, Schwerner, and Cheney being saved, only to be lost again, was a sadly compelling one.

Further, I needed a way to complete the time travel series. The title was perfect.

Plot

As the previous book, Shake Your Body, ends, Rick Daniels has been wiped from existence. The imperfect state of the Master Time File means that he, personally, survives, but no one knows who he is. Almost stateless, he is thoroughly cut off from everyone else.  The most painful moment for Rick is when his own mother doesn’t know him, and his sister, Eleanor, screams for Security.

How it all works out, and what happens to Milena Chelenska, and the rest of the gang at the Temporal Integrity Commission, can be learned by reading the book, of course. But I’ll admit I am not thrilled with the ending for Carmen Calavicci and a few others, like Polly Porter. I essentially just ran out of space.

Music

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated T.

Upshot

I like the overall feel of it, particularly as it disperses the darkness of the series and brings it back to light. In particular, with the incredible longevity of Branch Borodin, it feels like my characters, in a way, will never die.

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Portrait of a Character – Neil Digiorno-Madden

Portrait of a Character – Neil Digiorno-Madden

Origins

As a successor character in Star Trek fanfiction, I needed someone who would have a head for business. That led directly to Neil, although he started off as a somewhat troubled teen, within the alternate timeline as played out in Temper.

Portrayal

I see Brendan Fraser for Neil. I like the actor’s affable charm.

Portrait of a Character – Neil Digiorno-Madden

I think I like him even better, now that he’s a bit heavier. He just seems more like a normal, regular person, which is more or less how I see Neil, who even refers to himself as the hippopotamus among the gazelles (his siblings).

Personality

Neil’s the guy with the head for business. He is also the only one of the BeckettO’DayReedDigiornoMadden offspring who cooks. Although he has no biological relationship with Lili whatsoever, he is her heir in this regard, and she sells him Reversal when she retires. Neil is also the only one who runs 5Ks and, while he’s slow and he finishes last, he does finish. After Melissa and Leonora’s death, Neil retains their Fep City apartment.

He is the only one of the five children who does not cross over to the Mirror Universe during Temper. Instead, bereft and lonely, he becomes troubled.

Relationships

Unlike his siblings, Neil embraces the Calafan ideal of both a day and a night relationship. He never marries, but he loves his two women deeply.

Ines Ramires

The daughter of Jenny and Francisco is Neil’s daytime woman and is as close to a wife as he ever has.  They have two children together, Jennifer Leonora, known as Jenny Lee, and Martin Kevin, who is named after the prematurely deceased Kevin Madden-Beckett and is also a direct ancestor of canon character Martin Madden.

Yinora

The daughter of Yimar, she is married to Fepwev, with whom she has three children.  Yinora and Neil, who are both named for Norri Digiorno, mainly meet in their dreams. However, Yinora and Ines are cordial with each other and live the Calafan ideal of a harmonious day and night in perfect alignment.

Theme Music

In Temper, he’s the only one of the principal characters who doesn’t get a theme!

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Neil Digiorno-Madden

A mirror counterpart is impossible for Neil. Instead, he has a mirror analogue, Arashi Sato, as they both have heads for business.

Quote

“Ha, the next time you eat at Reversal, I’ll be sending you a bill.”

Upshot

I loved giving this guy a bit of a later life, where he runs his race and has his family close. He has all of the solid and dependable qualities of Doug without any of the violence. I like him, and he will return, I am certain of that.


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Review – Ceremonial

Review – Ceremonial

Background

Review – Ceremonial
Connor Trinneer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ceremonial activities tend to be weddings and the like. Instead, I decided to show a more secular event. As a result, I seized upon showing a citizenship ceremony.

After Reversal was concluded, I had placed the Star Trek: Mirror Universe Tripp and Beth on the surface of Lafa II. And when a prompt came around about ceremonies, I decided against weddings and the like and instead went for a citizenship ceremony.

Plot

After leaving Empress Hoshi far behind, Beth and Tripp (she calls him Charles) want a new life. They’ve already married, and they have a son, Charlie. Their life on Lafa II isn’t an easy one. After all, they’re living in a cave, and are only doing odd jobs in order to survive. When things are really bad, they’re poachers.

Therefore, when they get a chance to attain full citizenship, they take it. Since they owe the Empress absolutely nothing, they want to declare their allegiance to the leader of the government, the new High Priestess, Yimar. In a low-level bureaucrat’s office, their lives are changed, as they swear to defend the Calafan government and its people, and denounce the Terran Empire.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I think this short story turned out pretty well. It has one small purpose to serve, and it does so readily.

 

Review – The Pivot Point

Review – The Pivot Point

Background

The initial prompt was about a pivotal moment in a character’s life. This got me thinking of a ballerina, pivoting on her toes. And that immediately led me to Shelby Pike, but then I decided I’d rather go with Susan Cheshire.

Plot

Review – The Pivot Point
Variant logo based on the Terran Empire symbol of the Star Trek franchise. Artwork by User:Midnight68, uploaded with full permission of the artist. World globe based on a Nasa image available for educational and informational purposes. Purpose: To illustrate Star Trek-related articles (especially Mirror Universe). Released under CC-BY-SA.3.0 license; please note that the artist agrees that international wikimedia projects have the right to re-use this image as they see fit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Shifting between the Star Trek: Enterprise Prime Universe and the Mirror Universe, both Susans weigh the same question – whether to quit drinking. Both are with Aidan MacKenzie.

In the Prime Universe, Aidan is supportive, offering to talk to Captain Reed about taking some time off to help Susan with her struggles.

In the Mirror, Aidan can’t take any time, as he has to be at Empress Hoshi‘s beck and call. Ultimately, the decision that is made differs, depending upon the universe in question.

Review – The Pivot Point
Susan when with Aidan, either universe (Yvonne Nelson)

The decision to quit or continue drinking is, of course, Susan’s alone. But her circumstances certainly define and dictate which was the dice roll.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K+.

Upshot

I like the juxtapositions,

Broken Dreams

although I probably could have done more to delineate the differences between the two situations. If this could have been done without having to rely on font formatting, I think it could have, overall, been a stronger piece. As it is now, it’s okay, but I feel it’s got room for improvement.


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Portrait of a Character – Takara Sato

Portrait of a Character – Takara Sato

Origins

I wanted Empress Hoshi to have just one daughter, and one pair of twins. Hence Takara and Takeo were born. Takara was to be the elder of the two. These would be the children fathered by Chip Masterson. The only child younger than them is Izo. Jun, Kira, and Arashi are older.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Takara Sato
Zhang Ziyi as a teenaged Takara Masterson Sato

Takara is played by Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi.

I wanted a very beautiful Asian actress who could believably be the person to continue Empress Hoshi’s dynasty.

Without Takara, the House of Sato falls. She ends up being the only one of the six royal children to reproduce.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – Takara Sato
Takara (Zhang Ziyi) as a young girl

Privileged and beautiful, Takara is the apple of her mother’s eye.

While Hoshi has no problem allowing her sons to run wild, she takes more interest in Takara, and who Takara is marrying. Part of this is some sexism on Hoshi’s part, but that works with how I write the Mirror Universe, as most women are in low positions there. Hence Hoshi particularly wants Takara to marry well. Takara’s choices multiply during the alternate timelines in Temper.

Relationships

Tommy Digiorno-Madden

Portrait of a Character – Takara Sato
Sailor Mercury

During Temper, Tommy in particular is interested in Takara, who often dresses quite a bit like the Sailor Mercury anime character.

He is so interested that he threatens to fight Joss for her. Joss wisely bows out, telling Tommy that he’s not interested in her and doesn’t want to fight him. However, Takara favors Joss, mainly because he is the first-born of his family and, in this alternate timeline, is a baseball star, whereas Tommy is a common (to Takara) soldier.

Tommy’s wrath also extends to Charlie Tucker, son of Tripp Tucker and Beth Cutler, but Charlie is on the surface of Lafa II and doesn’t experience Tommy’s threats first-hand.

When the timeline is restored, they meet as children, in Fortune. And, later, Norri bequeathes her callidium-laden earrings to him, urging him to use them for dream contact.

I will explore this later, as the idea intrigues me.

Charles Tucker IV

Portrait of a Character – Takara Sato
Takara as an adult (Zhang Ziyi)

When the prime timeline is restored, Chip and Lucy are able to smuggle the twins to the forests of Lafa II. With Tommy and Joss gone back to the Prime Universe, Takara’s sole prospect is Charlie. Fortunately, they fall in love, and wed later, and become parents.

Their son, Charles V, marries the daughter of Takara’s half-brother, Ken Masterson, and Charlie’s sister, Betsy Tucker. That daughter is Denise Masterson (in the Prime Universe, Ken’s daughter is Kelly, and her mother is as yet unknown).

It is their grandson, Charles Tucker VI, who succeeds Jun and Kira as the Emperor Charles I. Takara’s family is presented to Hoshi on Hoshi’s deathbed, in Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown? and Hoshi complains about the pollution of Tucker blood into the Sato genome.

In He Stays a Stranger, Takara helps to get her mother out of the Lafa System, in exchange for agreeing to return to the royal fold.

Theme Music

Her theme song is Tori Amos’s God.

Prime Universe

It’s impossible for Takara to have a Prime Universe counterpart. Her analogue is Marie Patrice Beckett.

Quote

“You already had the fight. Everybody got a prize.”

Upshot

I like this character, who has a kind of chameleon personality, depending upon which timeline she’s in. I’m not so sure where else I can feature her, though.

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Portrait of a Character – Tristan Curtis

Portrait of a Character – Tristan Curtis

Origins

Tristan originally arrived in Temper (I named him Craig, and then I wanted that first name for Craig Willets), and in the Mirror Universe, as a garden-variety bad guy.

Portrayal

I see the actor Johnny Galecki for Tristan Curtis.

Portrait of a Character – Tristan Curtis

 

I like this smart, likable comedic actor who can also play sensitive. I think it’d be a kick to see him in a not so nice role.

Further, I like the idea of someone who seems harmless to be a Security crewman and, inevitably, a pretty awful guy in some scenarios.

Personality

Prickly and a bit off, Tristan is quite the outsider. In the E2 stories, he is out of the genetics sweepstakes in the first kick back in time. He and Daniel Chang take out their frustrations in some horrible ways, particularly in The Three of Us. Because Tristan is something of a follower, it’s entirely possible that he was just following what Dan or Gary Hodgkins was doing. In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, he understands what a horrible person he was. Given a chance to do better, he takes it.

In the prime timeline, he plays cards with Malcolm, Hoshi, and Sophie Creighton, in Cobbled Together, and hits on Sophie. In Shell Shock, he’s one of the accused. Much of the time, he works with Gary Hodgkins, and the two are friends.

Relationships

Sandra Sloane

During the second kick back in time, Sandra is somewhat bereft, as Brooks Haynem has died young. Because Tristan is looking for a better life for himself, he goes after Sandra, although she is often a rather mean person. They have a daughter who they name Penny (which is of course a shout-out to Galecki’s series, The Big Bang Theory). However, before Sandra’s death, they separate. After her death, it’s unclear whether Tristan gets into another relationship, although he probably does not, given the dearth of women on board.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Tristan Curtis

In the Mirror, Tristan is a guard. Paired with Hodgkins, the two of them guard T’Pol when she’s in the Brig, and then witness T’Pol’s death, in Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses. They also guard Empress Hoshi when she’s pregnant with Izo, in Coveted Commodity, and they try to listen in as Travis and Doctor Morgan discuss the baby’s condition.

In the alternate timelines set up in Temper, they die when José Torres crashes the ISS Luna into Malcolm‘s ship, the USS Bluebird. When the prime timeline is restored, they are executed for failing to prevent Chip Masterson from escaping to the surface of Lafa II with Lucy Stone and his children with the Empress, Takara and Takeo.

Quote

“We’re gonna die down here, Mayweather. Don’t shoot! We’re done here.”

Upshot

Even gentle-looking people can be monsters. They can be deadly, and they can be abusive. Tristan shows that. He has few chances, in my fiction, to be a good guy. I don’t think I’ll change that. I like him wicked.

Review – Escape

Background

Hall of Mirrors
Hall of Mirrors

For a weekly prompt about escapes, I chose what would be, to some, the only way out of the mirror.

Suicide.

For Andrew Miller, who has become the Empress‘s toy, and has been so for years, life is too much of a burden, and he wants it all to end, and end soon.

And so he goes about figuring out how to end it all.

Plot

Sick of everything, and sick of the Empress, Andy sets about putting together the means and opportunity to kill himself. He obtains a tricoulamine capsule but the later investigation shows it’s from Crossman Pharmaceuticals and is of an older design, so it was possibly from the earlier doctor, Cyril Morgan.

English: Catherine Bell, star of television's ...

It’s all because of the death of Melissa Madden, a fact disclosed in Fortune. After Andy and Melissa meet (during The Play at the Plate), a sexual relationship develops between them. When Melissa becomes pregnant, Andrew will have to get her off the ship without the Empress finding out, as Hoshi will kill both of them. Because he can never see his child, he at least wants to try to support the baby, who they have agreed to name Tommy. Andrew asks his friend, Josh Rosen, to help set up a dummy fund to help support Tommy and Melissa. Josh agrees to launder the funds and make it appear as if it’s an account comprised of the payment of old gambling debts from Game Night. Melissa’s death, in a shuttle crash, moots all of that work.

Several years later, Andrew has the nerve, the means and the privacy. He write a short note and takes the drug, thereby finally getting away from Hoshi.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I like this neat and tidy little story, and reprised it in The Point is Probably Moot, where the aftermath is shown.

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Review – The Play at the Plate

Review – The Play at the Plate

Background

Review – The Play at the Plate
Star Trek: Hall of Mirrors

The Play at the Plate – In response to a prompt about obstacles, I immediately visualized a catcher blocking the plate in baseball. That led my thoughts to mirror baseball, and I also thought of Game Night, which is my Star Trek: Enterprise fanfiction Mirror Universe counterpart to Movie Night.

Plot

It’s 2162, not too long after the events of Temper and Fortune, and Andrew Miller is calling for bets for a mirror baseball game as catcher David Constantine seeks to block runner Ty Janeway from scoring. Andrew is the Empress’s current toy. But in walks the new pilot, Melissa Madden.

Review – The Play at the Plate

Dumbstruck and more than a little smitten, Andy takes Melissa’s bet. And, when she loses, she offers to allow him to come to her quarters and collect. But Frank Ramirez reminds Andrew that it’s just not a good idea.

Story Postings

Rating

The Story is Rated K+.

Upshot

I like the little inklings in here, that there is something that could potentially be between them, but the Empress Hoshi Sato will never let Andrew break free.


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Review – The High Cost of Dissidence

Review – The High Cost of Dissidence

Background

In Reversal, when he’s unsure whether he’ll be separated from Lili, Doug investigates Lili’s Mirror Universe counterpart.

Review – The High Cost of Dissidence
Hall of Mirrors

In Fortune, Norri refers to that counterpart as Charlotte. Lili and Charlotte begin life somewhat similarly, but things diverge rather quickly. For one thing, Charlotte has a little brother, Declan (and, when Lili and Malcolm have a child, they name him Declan Reed in honor of the boy with no counterpart). In addition, much as is shown in Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions, Charlotte is sent away to boarding school at a young age. At the time of The High Cost of Dissidence, Charlotte is nine, and Declan O’Day is seven and is close to being sent to boarding school as well.

Plot

The story begins with Charlotte coming home from school, for the first time in months, and noticing that things are not right. She may be young, but she’s no fool, and she figures out quickly that the family’s expensive and fancy possessions are all gone. There is no more car. The flash cooker is gone. Most of the furniture is gone. And her parents are arguing.

Review – The High Cost of Dissidence

What are they arguing about? It’s Pete, her father. He’s ruined them all, by carelessly mentioning that things under Emperor Philip Green IV (the same emperor as the one defeated by Hoshi in Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses) are less than optimal. He has lost his job, his wife, Marie Helêne, can no longer sell her pottery, and they are falling, ever and onward, into financial ruin.

And then, much like happened in Nazi Germany, there’s an ominous knock on the door.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated T.

Upshot

One of the easiest ways for the suspension of disbelief to come crashing down, when it comes to the Star Trek Mirror Universe, is the sameness of the lives of the counterparts, particularly given the backgrounds of violence, fear and intimidation in most of the episodes centered around this alternate universe. Although it is, technically, possible to have an evil version of everyone but nearly everything else be the same (including parentage), the likelihood just plain isn’t there.

Therefore, when I was first spinning out Reversal, I decided that Lili’s counterpart would have a brother who would, unevenly, not show up in the prime universe. Further, the biggest divergence between the two Lili/Charlotte counterparts occurs here, and it had not been written before. Charlotte and her mother had only been glimpsed in a photo, and Declan and Peter O’Day had never been seen.

I like how it turned out; it rips off the sexy, campy veneer of the Mirror Universe and exposes it as the totalitarian nightmare that it should be.


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Review – Bread

Review – Bread

Background

In February and March of 2013, a challenge was laid down at the Trek BBS – write about independence.

And while I suppose I could have written about a planet or a nation or a people gaining their independence, or of a young person striking out on their own, I decided to zig where others might zag, and write about elderly people losing theirs.

The concept and its execution were appreciated well enough that I won that month’s challenge.

Plot

Following both the prime universe and the Mirror Universe, these are two parallel but not quite parallel stories about Leah Benson and Diana Jones.

Review – Bread
Bread

In the mirror, Leah furtively looks around as she begins a meal. It’s made clear, very quickly (and hearkens back to the same conditions in Reveral and Temper in particular), that MU food is bad, and the fact that there is bread is a minor miracle. Quietly, and to herself, she says the Hebrew blessing over the bread, confirming something that Josh Rosen had mentioned in Temper, that faith abides in the mirror, or at least some form of Judaism does. The way I write the Mirror Universe, the practicing of any faith, and not just Judaism, is done mainly in secret, much like the crypto-Jews and conversos of Spain during the Inquisition.

In our universe, Leah is the official Starfleet Rabbi, and the story begins with her attending a banquet and weeklong set of official meetings regarding the admission of three new worlds to the new United Federation of Planets – the Caitian home world, Denobula and the Xyrillian home world. This is the culmination of earlier contacts with Caitians, in A Single Step and The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Stilton Fulfillment, and is a natural progression for that species (in canon, there is no first contact date for Caitians, whereas first contact for Xyrillians occurs during ENT and first contact for Denobulans takes place prior to the broadcast of ENT’s pilot episode) and the two others.

The idea behind the banquet and set of meetings is not only to welcome the new member worlds but to also make a large demonstration to other worlds, that the Federation is tolerant of differences. Religious and spiritual leaders, including Leah, say a few words about religious tolerance and intolerance on Earth throughout history, and all admit that they have been on both the giving and the receiving ends of persecution and bigotry. The Daranaeans, in particular, are paying attention.

Back in the mirror, Leah is looking to leave the ISS Defiant. Izo Sato has gotten it into his head that he is going to seduce her – never mind that’s she’s over seventy and a lesbian, to boot. Josh offers a small measure of protection and he, Shelby and Frank begin to put together a plan to get Leah away. For Frank and Shelby, this is a dress rehearsal for what they hope will be their own endgame. The plan is to fake a shuttle crash, and strand Leah on Andoria.

In our universe, it’s established that Leah is married to Diana, but things are not right, and Diana’s memory is failing. It’s an early sign of Irumodic Syndrome, the canon malady suffered by Captain Picard at the end of the running of TNG. Diana’s caregiver is an Andorian, and Diana is beginning to not recognize her. Leah makes up her mind; she needs to be at home and become Diana’s primary caregiver. She confides this to Jonathan Archer, and he commiserates, telling her a bit about his father’s own battle with Clarke’s Disease. He offers her a part-time solution, and encourages her to try to be able to work at least a little bit, because otherwise she will lose herself in Diana’s incurable illness.

Review – Bread

As the denizens of the mirror plot and plan, Leah remembers that there is one person on Andoria who she knows, and it turns out to be the mirror version of Diana. Leah also remembers her own part in the death of Leonora Digiorno, as is shown in Fortune. And so a further connection is made between the two halves of the story.

Will the mirror Leah get out? Will either version of Diana remember? Do faith, love and family abide, no matter what they look like, and no matter what the conditions and odds? Find out by reading the story.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated T.

Upshot

I’m very pleased with this one, as it continues the Reversal not-quite parallelism and the meditations on aging. I also feel that it helps to fulfill the promise of femme-slash. E. g. same-sex relationships (and marriages) exist in the future, of course, and I feel that writing them just as sex and angst isn’t enough. All relationships, particularly longer-term ones, have chambers that aren’t bedrooms. Leah and Diana are dealing with the very real problem of aging and losing independence, and no longer being who you were. This story, I feel, gets across that idea well, and I love how it turned out.