For a prompt of the same name, I could not get a rather earthy idea out of my head. The trick was to make it all about unexpected people.
The short story is told in first person, entirely from the perspective of a woman. She frankly talks about sex with her husband and owns up to being rather loud. She also admits to having a fondness for a certain slightly unconventional methodology. She doesn’t mention her man’s name or even the act at all.
The couple is revealed when he says her name aloud – and tells her that her scream during orgasm woke up their baby daughter.
Imprecision addresses an imperfectly formed memory.
So for a Star Trek fan fiction challenge about nightmares, I went with a dream that evoked a memory that was imperfectly realized.
Wesley Crusher has been, at the start of the story, spending time in the company of the The Traveler.
And this is a canon situation. However, also in canon, Wesley eventually leaves The Traveler. Hence in order to dovetail with Crackerjack, this event precipitates Wesley taking his leave.
At the start of the story, Wes wakes up from a nightmare. He remembers his parents fighting, and his mother throwing something. It’s awful; he recalls being a small child at the time, making it even more heart-wrenching. Speaking with The Traveler afterwards, it is determined by them that Wes actually wants to return to a regular life. This is a marker, an indicator that there is unfinished business out there for him. Furthermore, he wants to find out about that memory, which he realizes is something that he suppressed.
Returning to Regular Life
Wesley is essentially beamed to his mother’s quarters. He has been gone longer than the regular passage of time would indicate, an idea I had because his time with The Traveler has to be odd and unique and special. For Beverly Crusher, this is sort of a dream, and sort of not. She tells him that it’s a few hours before Will Riker and Deanna Troi’s wedding (another canon event).
Wesley is hurriedly given a uniform, and it does not necessarily show his correct rank (that is canon, in the film, Nemesis). A little bored with the proceedings, his eyes alight on a young girl playing the French horn for the Starfleet Academy band, which is providing the music for the event. With some confidence mustered up, he talks to her, and realizes that this is why he left The Traveler. It is to meet Lakeisha Warren and begin a new phase of his life.
In time travel in particular, someone will have to be able to deal with computers. They are such a pervasive part of our lives that I cannot imagine sending a time travel contingent to any time past about 1985 or so without giving them the ability to work with computer systems.
Further, Star Trek has always had a somewhat ambivalent relationships with computers and, truly, all forms of technology. The Original Series (TOS) in particular often showcases a dichotomy between over reliance on computers versus good old fashioned human know-how. In The Next Generation (TNG), Data is so human-like that there is a question about whether he should have the same rights as a member of a naturally evolving sentient species would.
Amusingly enough (and highly reflective of the mores of the time), Original Series actors are shown really only using computers for work. 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.
As in canon, Hoshi (with the help of T’Pol) is often tasked with 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. When the second kick back in time meets the prime timeline version, 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, and never knowing that there were two involuntary trips back in time.
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.
As we move closer to real-life Star Trek types of experiences, I fully believe we will use computers more and more. They will converge, probably, and smart phones and tablets will likely become more or less the same devices. Through it all, someone will need to handle them. I will undoubtedly write about more people just like this.
Wesley Crusher divides the fandom, or so it seems.
This character is, of course, canon to The Next Generation.
A lot of Star Trek fans dislike this character intensely, and see him as a male Mary Sue. I agree that the writing for this character was not the best.
But that’s what Star Trek fanfiction is for.
As in canon, Wesley is portrayed by actor Wil Wheaton. There is no one else, so far as I’m concerned, who can possibly play this character.
Shy and nervous, but smarter than everyone else in the room, Wesley has to learn to rein in his intelligence a bit. However, it’s not that he needs to dumb things down. Rather, it’s more that he’s just not getting a lot of social capital for always being the first one with the right answer. Hence he needs to step back and give others a chance, even though he knows that he can do better most of the time.
This canon relationship is briefly referred to in Imprecision, when The Traveler asks about an earlier dream. Wesley admits he was dreaming about having sex with Robin, and that he sometimes regretted that not having happened in real life.
When Wes meets Lakeisha, it’s pretty close to love at first sight.
She’s playing the French horn in the Starfleet Academy band, which has been asked to play at Will Riker and Deanna Troi’s wedding.
But all Wes can think of, all he can see and hear, is the lovely dark-skinned girl with the dark brown eyes.
Yes, Lakeisha and Wes aren’t the same race.
They marry, and are together for the remainder of their lives. As an old grandfather, Wes talks about her in Crackerjack.
There are, so far as I am aware, no impediments to Wesley existing in the Mirror. Frankly, I’m surprised that no one seems to have explored this scenario in Star Trek official fiction and fan fiction has barely explored the idea.
I like the idea of him being less obsessed with duty, and see him as being a lot like, well, like Wil Wheaton himself has become. E. g. a guy who does some acting but is also a force for good in the geek world. Maybe a Mirror Wesley could be the kind of positive force for good that is lacking in that universe.
The idea intrigues, and I may look into it at some time.
“Are you telling me you wanna leave the Enterprise and all of that and just stay here? Is that it? Because if it is, well, do me a favor and help me get the Monongahela working again. I’ll leave you here, if that’s what you really want, and I’ll take my chances out there with that, that infrared pulse! And I’ll tell Captain Picard and the others that we got caught by an infrared pulse and you lost your freakin’ mind!”
I like redeeming Wesley, and maybe, in some small way, I have. I’m not sure. If I can get on a roll again with the Barnstorming series, he’ll be seen again, with Lakeisha, as he embraces young adulthood, love, and the world of work, like many young people do.
This smart and interesting actress always seems to be working on fascinating projects.
Wise and feisty, Lily has lived through the worst of the Third World War and come out of it alive. She remains optimistic enough to feel that the Earth has a future, but realistic enough to know that building a Warp One rocket is the best way to fully realize that future.
Semi-canon, semi-non, Lily and Zef marry. It’s later in life for them.
They don’t (I think) have children. Theirs is an affection born of a mature understanding.
In A Single Step, it’s the end of Lily’s life, and Zef is there, calling her Princess and begging her not to die. But lung cancer is going to get her, and there is nothing he can do to stop it. On her deathbed, she tells him to see the stars, and she’ll be hiding out in some nebula.
Review – The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat
Tarisian Dreams suggested that I somehow find a way for Spot and Porthos to meet. The only methods were, I felt, either time travel or a holodeck simulation. I chose the former.
It’s during the Xindi War, and Lili has only recently been hired. While starting dinner, she brings Porthos to the galley. He sits, hoping that’s she’ll drop something tasty. Will comes in and scolds Lili, as this is a Health Code violation.
He insists that she return the beagle to Captain Archer‘s quarters. Lili does so, and departs as the ship is hit by a spatial anomaly. This creates a hull breach on B Deck. But this anomaly is temporal as well as spatial, and so it also results in Porthos being whisked away, over a century into the future, to the Enterprise-D, where Data, Spot, Geordi, Wesley Crusher, and Captain Picard all are.
On the NX-01, they fear Porthos has died. On the Enterprise-D, they try to get him home.
Plus the whole thing is told from the perspective of Porthos, including his conversations with Spot.
Does Porthos get back to the right time period? Who helps him? And what happens to him and Spot, before he departs?
I love writing animals’ points of view, and Porthos is always great fun. Spot was much more of a challenge, but readers have told me that I got cat POV correct. That was rather satisfying to read. Will they return? Absolutely, although I’m hard-pressed as to how to (if ever) get them back together again.
In response to a prompt about letters from home, I decided to go full throttle in the direction of mail that, most decidedly, is unwelcome.
The idea was to create a small comedy piece that would, as I often do, zig rather than zag.
There is not too much of a plot; this is mainly a collection of obvious spammy messages sent to our intrepid future heroes. Because no one is mentioned by name, the messages could have been sent at any time, to anyone. Hence the story doesn’t really fit into any time period or series, and could cover any or all of them. I am not even certain as to which captain it is referring. It could be any or all of them, I suppose.
When I have absolutely needed to categorize it (a necessity at some fan fiction posting sites), I tend to come down on the side of it being a part of the In Between Days universe, which takes place during Star Trek: Enterprise. This makes some sense, as those people are the closest to use chronologically. They can maybe still be using email, and I write them as doing just that. Hence it all fits together rather nicely.
This was Templar Sora’s great blog prompt. He asked two questions.
What kind of crossing over do we do as writers?
What kind of crossing over do we want to see?
My Own Crossovers
I’ve done the crossover dance many times. A lot of it is in the context of interphases.
A Single Step
For A Single Step, a story about first contact with the Caitians, I pulled together elements from TAS, the Star Trek: First Contact film and even a smidgen of ENT, as an elderly Zefram Cochrane and his wife entertain the first Caitian that any humans ever meet.
Another Piece of the Action
For this collaboration with thebluesman, we crossed together a bit of ENT (the Daniels character) with TOS, as Kirk and company meet the Iotians again, in Another Piece of the Action.
This enormous Round Robin story, Multiverse II, is a crossover by definition, as canon and original characters mix genres and eras.
These Are the Destinations
This work in progress will cross between ENT and a very specific TOS episode, and a little bit with the JJ Abrams universe as well.
Crossovers I’d Like to See
I’m not sure. I think one kind of crossover that I don’t want to see is anything relying too heavily on deus ex machina. That generally means anything with supernatural elements like vampires, or comic books. I don’t mind characters making contact with spiritual-type elements (Lili does a lot of this, particularly in Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, but it’s in the context of conversations and nothing really out there happens, like characters rising from the dead, for example), but flat-out characters being bitten by radioactive spiders and suddenly getting superpowers? I just don’t want to see it. I don’t want to have to cross stories that are pretty close to being realistic with those that are so far away from realism as all that. Maybe I’m just not adventurous enough.
Because I enjoy history very much, I think what I would really like to see is more of a stylistic crossover than an actual character and scene mashup. Has anyone ever written Star Trek in the style of Ernest Hemingway, or Miguel de Cervantes?
In order to make some of my Star Trek fanfiction work, I needed a means of stepping from our universe to the Mirror, and vice versa. In Reversal, this is accomplished via shared dreaming, and a crossover is performed by the Calafans by using power from the NX-01, the ISS Defiant, the amplifier dishes on Point Abic, Calafan group meditation and the sodium vapor flares emanating between the two smallest stars in the Lafa System, Fep and Ub. All of this, acting together, brings Doug from there to here, over the course of several hours. The Mirror High Priestess, Yimar (a teenaged girl) decides to leave the doors open in perpetuity. This has the effect of allowing Calafans to pass back and forth between both universes although other species still cannot.
However, the sodium vapor flares in particular were meant to be somewhat uncommon occurrences. Plus I wanted a technological solution.
Having read about dark matter, the truth is that it’s exotic and there’s an awful lot of it. It is ripe for fan fiction treatment, as it’s abundant and mysterious. Hence I decided that it would be used for the purposes of heading from here to the other side of the pond, or back again.
In Temper, the Empress Hoshi Sato has her Science Ensign Lucy Stone, with the help of Vulcan slaves T’Pau and Kefris, devise a means of moving from one universe to the other. In canon, she (Hoshi) is well aware that the Defiant is from another universe. It is an advanced design, with superior firepower, defenses and accommodations. It makes sense that she would be looking for a spare or two or two hundred. And, as a person who wants to be known as a conqueror, she may have realized that it could very well be easier to subjugate our universe, as opposed to going out to hidden corners of the Mirror.
Therefore, in Temper, in 2161 the Defiant‘s main phaser is calibrated to twenty-one centimeters and is initially just fired into seemingly empty space. Because this works, Richard Daniels is summoned to the Temporal Integrity Commission, as he and Eleanor notice the time change immediately (an ornate sword she was lecturing about, Ironblaze, vanishes). This causes the first alternate timeline, and time becomes incoherent.
Due to temporal incoherence, a few years later, in 2166, a second passageway is opened up with another pulse shot, but this time it’s fired near the amplifier dishes. This shot opens things up more widely and it’s not just Calafans who can pass back and forth. Now humans and all other species can as well. At this stage, four people pass from our universe to the Mirror. This act changes history enough, and that triggers Daniels sensing the change but not the specifics.
Then a third instance occurs in 2178, but it’s not a new shot at all. Rather, it’s vestiges of incoherent time. It’s from this time period that the first repairs to the timeline need to be accomplished. This instance is well-known to Richard as it coincides with a major, independently verified historical event in that alternate timeline. After 2178 is repaired, 2166 is fixed and, once that is all done, Richard himself repairs 2161.
Beyond the temporal incoherence, the other effect happens later. Some of the pulse shot is, simply, “lost”. But energy can be neither created nor can it be destroyed, according to the Law of Conservation of Energy (Thermodynamics). So where does it go?
The correct question isn’t where it goes. It’s when it goes. And when does it land? 2366, and it hits Wesley and Geordi‘s shuttle, thereby causing the toss back in time in Crackerjack.
Further aftereffects are yet to be written. I might use this plot device again.
In 2012, Trek BBS held a monthly fan fiction challenge called “Meet the Neighbors”. The idea was to show a first contact.
I decided to pull in a few elements and bring them together, from canon and fanfiction, films and television.
In the Star Trek First Contact TNG film, it’s established that the Borg almost assimilated us before we ever got the first Warp One ship in the air (the Phoenix). Furthermore, it shows, at the end, Zefram Cochrane and Lily Sloane joining hands. In the Original Series, Zefram Cochrane is later found on Gamma Canaris. He’s single, and he is older, but is being kept young by a mysterious companion. In the Animated Series, there is a species called Caitians, but their First Contact is not in canon. Furthermore, I have a non-sentient original species called the Derellian bat. This bat has been in all sorts of places – in Reversal, Temper, Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses and Intolerance, just to name a few.
The story begins with Lily and Zefram, an aged couple living their final years on the Alpha Centauri Colony. But all is not right, as Lily coughs a lot, and is tired. She’s dying of lung cancer.
There is a light in the sky, and a crash. They go to investigate, and it turns out that an alien ship has arrived. The hatch is opened by a most curious creature. M’Roan looks like a cat, but he’s wearing clothing and he’s about the same size as Lily and Zef. He’s also bipedal. He’s got a small cut, and the Derellian bat shows off a little minor empathic healing qualities and closes up the wound.
M’Roan sees too deeply into Zef’s life, but that is the basis of a friendship. And, in the end, he and Zef take the bat and take off, for “the second nebula on the right and parts unknown“.
I enjoyed putting this one together, and I liked the portrayal of an older couple very much. This is also, currently, one of the few death scenes I’ve written where the dying character does not see a transition, or at least does not describe it.
I also think the wrapping together of the film, the three series, one film and fanfiction all works together. Jonathan Archer is also shouted out to, making this story, in reality, a quintuple crossover. I’m very pleased with it.