StarTrek

Portrait of a Character – Judy Kelly

Portrait of a Character – Judy Kelly

Origins

This character is canon, although she only has a first initial. She is seen during the Vox Sola episode. For the E2 timeline, I wanted her to be in the first and semi-unexpected relationship.

Portrayal

As in canon, Judy is played by actress Renee Goldsberry.

Portrait of a Character – Judy Kelly

Renee Goldsberry as Judy Kelly

In addition to Star Trek: Enterprise, she has also been on soaps. The Memory Alpha image in particular does not do her justice (the garage mechanic-style unis were not flattering to a lot of the actors). In Reflections Down a Corridor, I have Chang lump her with other women he considers to be ugly – Patti, Susie, and Lili. Hence it was a bit of an unexpected twist to put her into the first marriage on the ship after the first kick back in time.

Personality

Friendly and approachable, Judy is reliable but mainly stays out of the spotlight. I do not give her promotions, commendations, or any sort of authority. But not everyone becomes captain, or even ensign. There are those who quietly serve, and Judy is one of those people.

Relationships

Michael Rostov

In canon, they are friends. In the E2 timeline, I wanted them to be a lot more than that. In Reflections Down a Corridor, they are the first new couple to get together (technically, Tripp and T’Pol predate them).

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Judy Kelly

Renee Goldsberry as Mirror Judy

There are no impediments to Judy existing in the Mirror Universe. Empress Hoshi will only hold onto female crew members if they are very competent or are not serious sexual competition, preferably both. Judy fits the first criterion but not really the second.

But Goldsberry, for real, is a singer. In the Mirror Universe, singing would be a viable career even for the oppressed women of the other side of the pond. Because I write artistic Mirror Universe denizens as being elites, Judy could even be wealthy.

Quote

“I don’t need other prospects.”

Upshot

Minor characters, with nearly no screen time, can still have rather rich lives in fan fiction. Judy is one such character.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Interphases series, Portrait, 5 comments

Review – We Meet Again

Review – We Meet Again

We Meet Again Background

So We Meet Again – Just after the NX-01 is decommissioned in 2162, Travis heads to Philadelphia to mourn Tripp Tucker and think about his next career move.

Plot

In canon, there is virtually nothing shown about anyone’s recovery from Tucker’s untimely demise.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | In Between Days | We Meet Again

In Between Days

It is as if it never mattered in the first place.

In response to a Star Trek fan fiction prompt about entertainment, I made the decision to go dark and most decidedly not fluffy.

The story begins with Travis feeling a little lost. Very briefly, I mention that the final movie night has been held on the NX-01 prior to its decommissioning, and that the film Chip chose was the first James Bond movie, Dr. No.

He has little to do or think about, and his family is on the freighter, anyway. With no one to visit and just a little bit doubtful as to whether Captain Archer wants him back for the DC-1500 USS Zefram Cochrane, Travis goes to a nearby station and visits a ticket agent. He gives her an undisclosed amount of cash and just asks, “Where can this take me?” She gives him a few options and he chooses Philadelphia.

Review – We Meet Again

8th and Market Street, showing the Strawbridge and Clothier department store, 1910s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I did not choose Philly for any particular reason. I just like the city (I lived outside it for a few years as a child) and it is a readily recognizable place which would still exist during that time period.

However, Travis has no ties to it whatsoever. For him, it’s just a means of getting away from it all.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I could probably have spent more time on this short story, particularly with what Travis does in the City of Brotherly Love.

Review – We Meet Again

Cover of Dr. No (Two-Disc Ultimate Edition)

Otherwise, the experience feels somewhat rushed. But when he returns to Starfleet, the phrase, of course, is: We Meet Again, Mister Bond.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Review, 1 comment

Recurrent Themes – Criminals and Prisoners

Recurrent Themes – Criminals and Prisoners

Background

Criminals and prisoners matter. They creep into all of my series, except for Mixing It Up (and D’Storlin is possibly telling his story from custody, anyway). Their fates have varied rather dramatically.
Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Criminals and Prisoners

Appearances

Eriecho, Saddik, and H’Shema

In the Eriecho series,  as is explained in Release, she is born on a prison transport as Saddik and her parents (who are both killed on that transport) are framed for crimes they did not commit. In Double Helix, H’Shema’s mother, L’Culturra, reveals that her daughter was a drug addict and likely was in Canamar Prison for good reason.

Daniel Chang, Tristan Curtis, Neil Kemper, Victor Brown, Brooks Haynem, Gary Hodgkins, and Sandra Sloane

During the E2 timeline, all sorts of bad behavior occurs. During The Three of Us, the men are responsible for an attack on Patti Socorro as Sandra takes note of the law of supply and demand and rents herself out for cheap.

Polloria, Baden, and Chawev

In Reversal, the former two conspire to kill High Priestess Yipran. Chawev is the only one who hesitates, and Polloria chides him for being too squeamish.

Jeff Paxton

The real perpetrator is not revealed until just about the end of Shell Shock.

Marisol Castillo, Anthony Parker, Von, Helen Walker, and Milton Walker

Of the villains in The Times of the HG Wells series, only Anthony Parker is at all decent, and that’s only in an alternate timeline, when he has a chance to help Otra get out of Milton Walker’s prison. As for Marisol, she’s a psychopath, eager to kill whoever she can.

Arnis and Rechal

In Take Back the Night, Arnis blames Mistra for the death of the elder Inta. Rechal, a physician, takes a bribe and helps him frame her in exchange for research funding. In Flight of the Bluebird, because Rechal’s ideas have assisted Trinning and the other researchers find a cure for thylacine paramyxovirus, he is allowed out of jail and is released into Trinning’s observational custody. Arnis (who I wasn’t sure whether I wanted him to be alive or not) complains to his second son, Trinning, and is told that it’s a good thing he’s staying in prison as Daranaea is changing and he won’t fit in anymore.

Mack MacKenzie

Planted with Etrotherium against her will while on Keto-Enol, Mack is framed for the drug problem on that planet.

Upshot

Without villains and criminals, stories have few drivers and little to recommend them. Prisons provide great fodder for storytelling and drama. I know that I will go back to these themes again.

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Posted by jespah in Emergence series, Eriecho series, Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Interphases series, Themes, Times of the HG Wells series, 1 comment

Portrait of a Character – Skrol

Portrait of a Character – Skrol

Origins

Portrait of a Character – Skrol

Slar, a canon Gorn

How do you make Gorn likable, or at least relatable? After all, they’re reptiles, and have always and only been shown in Star Trek canon as hissing, over the top villains.

Portrayal

Skrol is played by actor James Franco.

Portrait of a Character – Skrol

James Franco at the premiere of Spiderman 3 in Queens, New York. This is a cropped version of File:James Franco by David Shankbone.jpg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like the idea of getting a good-looking guy into a big rubber suit and having an actor (and the audience) rely on voice and physical presence, rather than looks or basic makeup.

Personality

Skrol is like about half or so of all teenaged boys I knew from High School. He’s a horndog.

But he’s also funny and kind when he wants to be. He and Bron are extremely good friends, and he does care about Tr’Dorna in his own way, although he also really, really wants her to flip her tail for him.

He also, sometimes, is a rat. In Losin’ It, he lies to Tr’Dorna and the others in order to try to get her to flip tail.

Relationships

Tr’Dorna

Will they stay together? It’s hard to say. It’s a High School romance and, as such, the odds are not great. Plus he has not always been straight with her. As for him being true, that might be due more to a lack of appropriate opportunities than any sense of loyalty. After all, Etrina and Tr’Dorna are the only Xindi Reptilian girls at Picard High School, and they’re roommates. Even a potential player like Skrol would be hard-pressed to justify going after both of them.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Skrol

Actor James Franco attends “Shorts #1 – GSA Shorts” screening on October 9, 2010 at United Artists Theater in East Hampton, New York. (Photo © Nick Stepowyj) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t suppose there’s any reason why Skrol can’t exist in the Mirror Universe.

A lot of people write the Mirror as being the complete opposite of our universe, and so they would write sneering villains as angels and vice versa. I’m not so sure what would happen although I see that entire universe as being tougher. Even as a teenager, Skrol would have to be. He’d probably be pushed into a military school, much like Doug is at that age.

Quote

“Listen, the warmies don’t have tails. At least, not the kinds I know about. And lemme tell ya, there is nothing like a scaly tail.”

Upshot

I like writing the fun, silly teenaged reptiles. They’ll be back at some point.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Mixing It Up Collection, Portrait, 3 comments

Review – All You Need is Love

Review – All You Need is Love

All You Need is Love is about the aftermath of a very special first birthday party, in October of 2162.

All You Need is Love Background

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | IBD Arrangement | All You Need is Love

In Between Days, the Arrangement

Plot

For Malcolm Reed who, in canon, never had a family and was never close to anyone, I wanted to fix that in my Star Trek fan fiction. In Temper, and then again in Fortune, I had already established that Lili O’Day Beckett would have his only child, Declan.

Review – All You Need is Love

wall painting of the Beatles Story museum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Declan, who is born on Halloween, lives on Lafa II with his mother and her husband, Doug Beckett. But Doug is generous (it is an open marriage) and so Malcolm, when he is on three years of paternity leave (and afterwards, as he purchases the place) lives in a house up a little rise from the Beckett house. There are a lot of visits as such a little baby needs to nurse. The arrangement is such that Doug and Lili will have Declan live with them and their two children together, Joss and Marie Patrice.  Malcolm is well aware of just how much he owes them, particularly Doug. Doug is pretty gracious about things, particularly considering the violent and jealous history between the two men. But Malcolm in particular understands he has got to keep the peace as a gesture to Lili.

He is also abundantly aware of how his life has suddenly and irrevocably changed. As a person who had been utterly devoted to duty, the idea of living an emotionally open life starts off as a somewhat foreign concept. But by this time he’s getting used to opening up and showing what’s inside of him.

Music

Of course, the theme music for this little story is the Beatles’ All You Need is Love.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I like the little domestic scene, and I particularly enjoy how Malcolm feels comfortable enough to break down at any time. He knows that Lili will never make fun of him or otherwise belittle or cheapen his emotions. All he has ever needed is love.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Review, 0 comments

Portrait of a Character – Misty (Mack, Mystic) Dana MacKenzie

Portrait of a Character – Misty (Mack, Mystic) Dana MacKenzie

Dana MacKenzie has more than I first thought she would.

Origins

While writing about Richard Daniels‘s conquests, one name that came up a few times was Dana MacKenzie. I liked the idea of a descendant for Aidan and Susan, who get together fairly late in life. As I started to write her, I also decided that she would be actually named Misty, thereby cementing another pair of her ancestors as being Doug and Melissa. Continuing along with this idea, I hit upon the notion of having her be related to canon character Martin Madden. When I started to put together the Barnstorming series, I decided to include her, and make her the star.

Portrayal

Mack is played by actress Catherine Bell.

Portrait of a Character – Misty (Mack, Mystic) Dana MacKenzie

Catherine Bell as Misty Dana (Mack) MacKenzie

I picture Mack as being pretty toughened by her life, but also feminine, which Bell can certainly pull off convincingly.

There are a lot of bikini images of Bell online, but the truth is, I don’t see Mack that way at all. Rather, she is someone damaged by her earlier life.

Personality

Mack’s background is in sports; she played second base and shortstop professionally for the perpetual cellar dwelling team, the Titan Bluebirds. But a visit to Keto-Enol results in Etrotherium being placed into her bag while the team is visiting an open-air market. She’s arrested and thrown into Canamar Prison. Someone has framed her for drug-running.

Her appeal takes nearly two decades, with her parents dying during the interim. The only person who sticks by her is Martin Madden.

Portrait of a Character – Misty (Mack, Mystic) Dana MacKenzie

Steven Culp as Martin Madden

They have cared for each other since childhood, referring to themselves as ‘The MDM Twins‘. But the law says that they cannot marry.

Relationships

Emmett Kent (Hobie) Hoberman

Mack and Hobie meet at the end of The All-Stars, and are actually coaches on opposing teams in ice hockey. The long distance relationship isn’t really what Mack needs, but they part amicably after Play when Hobie decides to try to reconcile with his ex-wife for the sake of their two young daughters.

Richard Daniels

At the end of Play, time is altered, and Rick is sent to investigate. In Time Out, they get together. I have an idea of the circumstances but have not written them yet.

Martin Madden

The sketchy idea is to finally get them together during the fourth, as yet unnamed, book in the series. They will have a descendant who will connect them even more intimately with the Times of the HG Wells, but I haven’t decided on that yet. It’s possible that that person would be Tom Grant.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Misty (Mack, Mystic) Dana MacKenzie

Mirror Misty (maybe) (Catherine Bell)

I have not yet decided whether Mack exists in the Mirror Universe.

If she does, then I doubt she would call herself Mack. She might go by her first name. She might not have a sports background. I don’t honestly know, but I probably won’t explore this until I finish the series.

Quote

“I’m going to tell you who I am. And what I’m thinking of doing. … then you can decide if you want to work with me. And if you do, then I’m happy to have our friend below decks spill his guts in front of you. But if not, it stays a mystery to you. I gotta protect myself. Fair enough?”

Upshot

Because this series is on hold as I work on wholly original fiction, Mystic (only Marty calls her that) has had to take a back seat. A pity, as I like this character and her journey. I will get to her at some point!

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Posted by jespah in Barnstorming, Fan fiction, Portrait, 9 comments

Review – Tumult

Review – Tumult

Tumult came easily.

Background

On May fifth of 2160, Lili and Doug arrive on Ceres for Tommy’s birth, on May sixth.

Plot

As a direct sequel to Together, I wanted to begin to show the Beckett-O’Day-Reed-Digiorno-Madden arrangement and how it would work.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | IBD Arrangement | Tumult

In Between Days, the Arrangement

Hence much like with Equilibrium, this story would show some of the adjustments that would need to be made in order to get an open marriage to run smoothly.

Tommy is one of the pieces that holds the whole mad scheme together and got it kicked off in the first place. Because if Melissa had not been pregnant, Doug might not have bonded with her as well or as closely or as quickly. Furthermore, it is not likely that Norri would have been so forgiving of allowing Doug into their lives and sharing Melissa with him.

So the story opens with Lili and Doug on their way to Ceres. And they are taking Joss and Marie Patrice with them, as Tommy will be their half-brother. But Empy is just an infant. When they arrive, Norri comes to greet them and explains that Melissa went into labor earlier than expected. Hence the Digiornos and the Maddens have already arrived.

When Dino and Belinda Digiorno see Doug and Lili with their children, the introductions are made quickly (I never actually named the Maddens). Dino, as a call back to An Announcement, asks to hold Marie Patrice but also asks Lili who is related to whom. He cannot figure it out and it all seems too strange to him. The whole arrangement is hard for him to follow and piece together.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I liked the frenetic pace of things, that nobody really knows what’s going on half the time. I also liked revisiting Dino’s doubts about all of it, and whether the arrangement would work.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Review, 1 comment

Review – The Rite

Review – The Rite

A rite can be anything although it’s often religious in nature.

Background

In 2183, Lili, Malcolm and Declan attend Alia Shapiro’s Bat Mitzvah and there’s a little misbehaving going on.

Plot

For a Star Trek fan fiction prompt about misbehaving, I wanted to write about an older yet still frisky Malcolm Reed.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Later Days | The Rite

Later Days

It was also a great occasion to get Declan to meet Rebecca, an event that is foretold in Fortune and holds great significance in the family’s later history.

As the story begins, Malcolm Lili, and Declan are coming in, late, to Alia’s Bat Mitzvah service. They sit in the back and everyone is utterly lost.

Unable to follow what is going on, they whisper amongst themselves. But mostly this consists of Malcolm whispering to Lili about how he would prefer that she leave the service with him. In the meantime, poor Declan is embarrassed at his parents behaving this way. All along, a woman sitting in front of them keeps turning around and shushing them.

Eventually, Lili relents and they leave Declan there (he is over eighteen and can entertain himself). Keep in mind that Lili is over seventy in this story. I just adore the idea that they would still be active and would still be interested, and would behave just like newlyweds. But the truth is, they more or less are at this point in the timeline.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I really love this humorous little story. I particularly love the line that I gave to Malcolm, and I can just imagine actor Dominic Keating saying it in that plummy Leicester accent, “I want to go back to the hotel.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Review, 0 comments

Portrait of a Character – Oscar (Osh) Tiburón

Portrait of a Character – Oscar (Osh) Tiburón

Osh had an unlikely origin.

Origins

In the E2 timeline, I wanted to show the first pregnancy as being utterly unplanned. I needed a heterosexual couple for this, so I created Trace and Osh.

Portrayal

Oscar is played by actor Javier Bardem (who I also have playing filmmaker Carlos Castillo).

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Javier Bardem

Javier Bardem as Oscar (Osh) Tiburón (image is for educational purposes only)

As is the case with the Carlos Castillo character, I wanted a versatile actor of Latino descent.

Personality

Taciturn and maybe a little shy, Oscar is even more of a strong, silent type than Jay Hayes, his commanding officer. He is also a semi-lapsed Catholic, insisting on a full Catholic mass for his wedding on the one hand, but also engaging in premarital sex on the other. So he is a bit conflicted.

In Shell Shock, he is a part of the group that runs after, and eventually apprehends, the perpetrator. This act exonerates Malcolm.

Relationships

Tracey Carter

Tracey pursues Oscar rather aggressively, giggling like a schoolgirl over him when discussing his finer points with her roommate, Maryam Haroun. She is an Engineering crewman and so their schedules do not always mesh. Once their daughter, Amanda, is born, Oscar is a bit overwhelmed. Amanda is a rather loud crier and is not, at least at the start, the easiest child to raise.

Mirror Universe

Oscar could exist in the Mirror Universe; there are no impediments to him doing so.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | MU Osh

Javier Bardem as MU Osh (image is for educational purposes only)

For a strong and fast MACO, there are opportunities on the other side of the pond. Some are regular work opportunities, but others exist in serving the Empress Hoshi Sato directly. I created the character after I had written the main In Between Days books, so Oscar does not appear there. But there is no reason why I can’t retcon him in.

Quote

“It would only be right if we were to marry.”

Upshot

Whenever I need a fast runner, Oscar will be there.
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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Interphases series, Portrait, 1 comment

Review – To Wish, To Want, To Desire

Review – To Wish, To Want, To Desire

Wish for … what?

To Wish, To Want, To Desire Background

Wish. Want. Desire. On January 11, 2162, Treve and Pamela talk about their expectations for a relationship.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | IBD Arrangement | To Wish, To Want, To Desire

In Between Days, the Arrangement

Plot

In response to a Star Trek fan fiction prompt about wanting, I went with a trio of synonyms, each pushing in what I felt was one rather particular direction. I wanted it to be a thwarted desire, the kind of thing that is temporarily put off in anticipation of a far greater payoff. That led me to the idea of Pamela Hudson and her relationship with Treve.

I had already established, in The Best Things Come in Pairs and Complications that this couple do not have sexual relations until they have been dating for a good year. However, given Pamela’s history, I knew that this character would want to move far more quickly than that. She would have to be put off somehow.

It is just after Fortune, and Treve is driving Pamela to her uncle, Cyril Morgan‘s, home on Lafa II. She begins to hint around – and not too coyly, I might add – that she wants their great first day to turn into an even greater first night. Treve, on his part,  has to explain to her that he is a virgin, and that casual sex with a Calafan can sometimes turn into a profound bonding experience. To do so too quickly could be exceptionally awkward for both of them if they find out in the future that they are incompatible.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I liked the idea of Pamela essentially being told to hold her horses. For the character who is possibly the most sex-obsessed of all of my creations, the idea of making her wait was irresistible.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Review, 1 comment