A lot of fans are not too impressed with the portrayal of Vulcans in Enterprise. For me, I loved it. I always found them to be far too perfect, and when the Original Series was running, I was a lot more likely to side with McCoy or Kirk than Spock. This may have carried over a bit, but either way, it was a refreshing change, to me, to see Vulcans with feet of clay and less than stellar motives.
As in canon, the character is played by actor Gary Graham. The actor embodies the character well and it is difficult to think of another inhabiting him so well.
Standoffish like most Vulcans, he seems to be genuinely moved when Admiral Forrest sacrifices his own life to save a, perhaps, friend.
His relationships are not really known. In Biases, I bring a human woman into his household, but Bridie Kelly is not intended to be a love interest at all. I really hope nobody ‘ships them.
Mirror Universe Soval is canon. Intelligent and resourceful, he is one of many Mirror Universe characters who is just plain stuck. As I write the Mirror, it boasts a violent military dictatorship. Not an easy place for an unemotional person.
There isn’t a lot on him in canon except that Archer became xenophobic. This would make life even more difficult even if Jonathan Archer had lived (the way I write the Mirror Universe, Hoshi Sato is successful in murdering Archer).
“I am one hundred and forty-two years old. That is almost a logical observation.”
I have never written Mirror Universe Soval, and maybe it’s time I should.
A focus (unlike a spotlight) is an in-depth look at a Star Trek fanfiction canon item and my twist(s) on it.
Of course, all of fan fiction is like that, but the idea here is to provide a window into how a single canon concept can be used in fan fiction.
Because the series that speaks to me the most is Enterprise, I have had to deal with Vulcans all along. The truth is that I always found T’Pol to be wooden. As for Spock in the Original Series, I have read far too much of him in fan fiction. I never got into Voyager, so my experience with writing Vulcans was limited and difficult. That is, until Eriecho and the Alternate Original Series. Thank you, JJ Abrams.
Lili is admitted to the Mars Culinary Institute based upon the strength of a meal prepared for Admissions Director Aviri.
Charles Tucker IV
In the E2 timeline, during the first kick back in time, Tripp and T’Pol have twins. Charlie becomes captain after Jonathan Archer’s death.
My favorite Vulcan, Eriecho never learned true emotional suppression while at Canamar Prison, and only tries it in a mistaken effort to please Sollastek.
This character is named but rarely seen, and is often paired with T’Pau when I write Mirror Universe Vulcans. In the prime universe, he is T’Pol’s eventual husband.
Canon character Lorian is seen during the second E2 kick back in time.
Eriecho’s foster/adoptive father cares for her as if she were his own.
Spock’s father is overwhelmed by the changes wrought by Nero in the JJ Abrams timeline, but he rises to the occasion and accepts his new child.
Eriecho’s mate is a lot younger than she is and was not a good student. Leaving class early saved his life during Nero’s attack on Vulcan. He witnessed the death of Amanda Grayson.
When Soval is a lot older, he experiences difficulty in maintaining emotional control, as I show him in Biases.
Iconic and sometimes hard to pin down, I do better with this classic character in the JJ Abrams universe than in the prime timeline.
Spock’s canon half-brother is redeemed in the Eriecho universe.
In the E2 timeline, during the first kick back in time, Tripp and T’Pol have twins. T’Les is Charlie’s twin.
Often paired with Kefris in the Mirror Universe, T’Pau is brought aboard Empress Hoshi‘s ship when she proves she is a genius in mathematics and physics.
This canon character is easiest for me to write when I remove her emotional control.
Saddik’s love interest also catches Sybok’s eye. In the JJ Abrams timeline, Valeris acts as a Pon Farr comfortor, a kind of Vulcan sex worker.
Jolene Tucker Hodgkins
All of these characters are on the older version of the NX-01.
Stellak – Rayna Montgomery’s love interest.
T’Bek – one of Rayna’s teachers (I’ve used this name in a few other places).
T’Mia – one of Rayna’s classmates.
Eriecho universe (JJ Abrams timeline)
T’Moona – in canon, Spock is the child of Sarek and a Vulcan princess. This is her name, which is Hebrew for picture.
For a species that I often have difficulty writing, I’ve sure got a lot of instances. Maybe I’ll get this species right someday, without having to strip them of their emotional control.
For a prompt with the same name as the title, I wanted to do a little drabble about T’Pol and her sometimes uneven relationship with a certain crew member.
In canon, T’Pol’s relationship with Porthos is a bit rocky. In the beginning, she is bothered by his smell and cannot adjust to the idea of a pet being an appropriate presence on a starship. Because Jonathan Archer is so wrapped up in the dog’s well being, and T’Pol and Jonathan do not get off on the best footing in the beginning of the series, there might be some carry over. That is, maybe T’Pol has issues with Porthos because she has issues with Archer. Fortunately, she warms up to both of them.
It’s just a little thing, but Porthos is sick. T’Pol has already rushed him to Sick Bay. The little drabble just covers her fretting and asking Phlox about his condition.
For a Star Trek fan fiction challenge about “what if”, I decided to take a canon episode into a far different extreme direction.
In the canon episode, Bounty, T’Pol prematurely goes into Pon Farr because of a medical issue (she and Phlox are affected by a microbe).
As a part of the episode, she comes onto Phlox, who rebuffs her, and then tries for Malcolm, who is in a pressure suit, and he rejects her as well, eventually shooting her in the back with a phase pistol and stunning her. Archer comes back (he escapes Tellarite captivity) and all is more or less well.
I decided there would be two major differences. Phlox would succumb to her charms, and Malcolm would miss. This changes the dynamic dramatically.
In the new plot, once both of these events occur, T’Pol goes after the first man who can (she hopes) satisfy her urges. That turns out to be Travis.
When the story opens, Jonathan has just returned. Malcolm greets him at the transporter and tells him that there will be a staff meeting immediately. He informs him of Travis‘s death, and also Brian Delacroix‘s, and that Deb Haddon has been gravely injured. Archer, a bit disoriented and very confused, goes along with this. He sees Malcolm, Hoshi, and Tripp at the meeting. Phlox is patched in from Sick Bay.
Archer is informed that, after seducing Phlox, T’Pol escaped from decon (the escape is canon, but the seduction failed in canon). Malcolm was there with his team – Brian and Deb. T’Pol came onto Malcolm who rejects her and then, in a rage, she snapped Brian’s neck and shattered Deb’s helmet. A fragment lodges in Deb’s eye, and she is permanently blinded.
And then there’s the matter of Travis. After escaping from that scene, and Malcolm shooting after her but missing, T’Pol confronts Travis in his quarters. She essentially sexually assaults him, and her appetite kills him.
The story continues with Archer confronting her in the Brig, but she is barely competent, and relations with Travis have not satisfied Pon Farr. Hence she will die in a few days if they don’t get her to Vulcan on time.
I really liked the way this one worked out, as I moved from a bewildered Archer to Hoshi with a measure of PTSD, to Malcolm’s disgust and emotional detachment, to T’Pol’s frenzied mania, to Phlox’s shamed confession, to Deb’s acceptance of her fate, to finally communicating with Admiral Forrest and informing him of this big, bad Vulcan secret. I don’t write horror too often, but I think this story turned out well.
This book has been everywhere, or at least it sure seems that way. I particularly like it as warrior shorthand, that the people who are reading it are looking to go into battle. But the battle might just be The Battle of the Sexes.
This story is loaded with quotations from two separate books, this one and The Prince by Machiavelli. Empress Hoshi’s moves are calculated, everything from killing off Ian and Phlox, to overpowering T’Pol while at her weakest, to turning the loyalties of Emperor Phillip‘s men, including Andrew, José, and Brian. The book is presented as more or less a user’s manual for overthrowing a regime and installing one’s own brand of tyranny.
Advice from My Universes to Yours
In Advice, the book is mentioned briefly in passing when trying to convince a socially awkward person that perhaps they could read romantic fiction in order to understand people better. The book is mentioned and, of course, rejected immediately.
The Three of Us
In The Three of Us, Jay is shown reading and rereading this book, and he’s even reading it when Lili visits him in his quarters for the first time.
During In Memory of Kelsey Haber, Malcolm refers to this book, and tells Hoshi that it was a bequest from Jay. Malcolm further notes that he had vowed, at that time, to get to know the people under his command, but he fell down on the job with Kelsey and never did.
This little book gets around as much as Jane Eyre! It’ll be back.
The idea was to go straight from Reflections Down a Corridor to The Three of Us. But Reflections proved to be way too long. I like where and how it was split, though, as it serves the title themes moving from individuals to couples to a threesome.
Entanglements is mainly about coupling, both romantic/erotic and the tangling of fighting and also getting involved – for better or for worse. Just as Reflections is about individual exploration, Entanglements begins to show people colliding with each other. Naturally, there is a great deal of collateral damage from these collisions.
The story opens with Captain Archer announcing the wedding of Tripp Tucker to T’Pol. As the announcement is made, the single men in particular are beginning to notice that they are affected. Part of it may be some desire specifically for T’Pol, but it is also because this is the second wedding on the Enterprise. This generational ship is starting to slowly, inexorably, convert itself into the equivalent of a flying small town.
But the real crisis arises from a different relationship. When Josh Rosen proposes to and, eventually, marries Karin Bernstein, it puts fellow Jewish crew member Ethan Shapiro onto a steep downward spiral. That sequence was one of the first parts of the story that I knew I wanted to write and, once I got to it in the plot, it flowed quickly and smoothly.
This story is more transitional and so the beginning and the end are a tad more abrupt than for the other three in the E2 series. But I like the bookending of the Tucker/T’Pol announcement with the Jenny/Aidan wedding, and was particularly pleased to be able to use Jenny’s wedding song again – and to denote that Aidan isn’t quite the right partner (in the prime timeline, she marries Francisco).
Portrait of a Character – Major Strong Bear Dawson
When I first wrote There’s Something About Hoshi, I needed to have a replacement for Major Jay Hayes, as he had died in canon. Enter Dawson, who was originally a WASP. But then I learned that there is a canon Star Trek TAS character, Dawson Running Bear. Hence Dawson got his name and a bit of his origins.
Strong Bear (Bud) is played by actor David Midthunder.
As is often the case with ethnic characters, it was very important for me to ‘cast’ an actor who is of that ethnicity.
Dawson is proud and powerful, and Midthunder seems to be both of those things and also supremely confident. This makes for, I feel, a dynamite combination.
The strong and silent type, Bud is devoted to duty. However, in There’s Something About Hoshi, he is nearly as affected as the other straight men are. In Shell Shock, he is initially one of the accused, and he and Malcolm meet during the experience. By the time of On the Radio, he is a valued member of the crew and even T’Pol can figuratively let her hair down a bit in front of him. But he’s still pretty far removed. That would be the case for nearly anyone, though, who comes into a work situation much later than the initial stage of building the team.
There is no reason for Strong Bear Dawson to not exist in the Mirror Universe. I imagine him as a person living off the grid and more or less thoroughly embracing his roots.
I do not believe he would be called Bud, either.
“HQ wanted more experience after the war. They would’ve assigned me earlier but I was getting off assignment with freighter defense and then the Rommie War broke out and they didn’t want to change horses in the middle of the stream. Helluva way for me to meet my new troops, eh?”
I like this character well enough, and he is a kind of utility player. I suspect I could place him into other scenarios and he would do fine. I will have to find places for him to shine.
For a monthly prompt about sacrifice, I wanted (as I often do) to turn it on its head. This was not to be a story about noble sacrifices for idealistic causes, with Starfleet cheering all the way. Instead, it was to be a story about personal human sacrifices, and how Starfleet can, I suspect, chew people up and spit them out.
he’s going to miss them. Hoshi is looking forward to spending more time with her family. Travis is trying to salvage his marriage. They are both retiring. It’s 2181, and they are the last three left of the original seven senior officers on the NX-01. T’Pol has returned to Vulcan and Phlox is back on Denobula. Tucker is dead, and Archer is pursuing a political career, which dovetails with Star Trek: Enterprise canon. With Hoshi and Travis’s retirements, Malcolm will be the last one standing.
Malcolm knows that, no matter what, he’s got to get home and be with Lili. He will have to set aside everything and, potentially, jeopardize his standing and his command, things he has worked very, very hard for.
I like how it turned out, as it wove the themes of sacrifice and familial duty, crossing them with duties to Starfleet. It was a chance to fill in a few gaps left in Fortune, and to bring in the bench characters and give them great roles, people like Aidan, Chip, Deb, José, and Jennifer. The story acts as a bridge to the deeper future and continues the process of tying In Between Days to the Times of the HG Wells. I think it fulfilled its purpose well.
Radio. It can bring back a memory in a snap. A friend passed away earlier in 2013, and I was having some trouble processing it. I decided to attempt to process it through art.
As a result, I worked in my own feelings by trying to tease out Hoshi and T’Pol‘s feelings about Tripp‘s passing.
And, the reason why I call this canon character Tripp instead of Trip is because of this very man who, in real life, is no more.
As Tucker has died, the two women who knew him best mourn him in different ways. T’Pol’s canon relationship is well-known. She ends up breaking down in front of Jay Hayes‘s replacement, Major Strong Bear Dawson, who everybody calls Bud. Bud is the sole eyewitness to her breakdown, and he tells her he won’t say anything to anyone. She asks how she can repay his kindness and he tells her to just go and have a good life.
Hoshi’s relationship with Tripp is outlined in Together. But the song that is the title of the piece, and is woven throughout this songfic, was played during the party outlined in More, More, More! Hoshi reveals that she and Tripp danced to it. She comes to the realization that it served as a prelude to their time together, and that Tucker may have liked her before then. For her, the music, and a dance with Travis, are how she feels she can cope.
When she and T’Pol are alone together, she passes the music from the party to the Vulcan, urging her to listen so that she can, in a way, understand another facet of Tripp’s personality, something she may not have already known. It is a final act of generosity between women who were not exactly romantic rivals, but rather were romantic steps or links in the chain that was Tripp’s life.
Apart from the Donna Summer song, the entire playlist from More, More, More! is listed, as follows –
As a story, I think it works pretty well. Reactions have been mixed; some critics have said they thought T’Pol would not act as forcefully as she does, but Star Trek: Enterprise canon dictates that this is a former trellium addict and so her emotions are still not fully under control, even years later.
In this story, I am probably more like the Hoshi character. Removed but mournful, and saddened by the wasted potential more than anything else. I have no problem with Tucker being killed off in canon. People die and they should die in space. Space is far from safe, particularly during that era. But I wanted to see a lot more of the aftermath. I hope this aftermath/afterimage type of story can work for readers.
For hybrids, I imagine that life is not easy. Even Worf, who is not a hybrid, but was raised by human adoptive parents, could not fail to get into what we would call trouble. Which is what most Klingon families would simply refer to as defending honor.
I write most hybrids as having some adjustment issues. Adolescence, in particular, has got to be difficult. But adults, particularly talented ones, are going to be a bit better situated.
Consider Spock, the best-known hybrid of them all.
His backstory is loaded with teasing and other evidence of not being accepted. The vaunted tolerant Vulcans aren’t so tolerant when their race is mixed with another’s. This attitude is reflected by a lot of the Vulcans in the earlier seasons of Star Trek: Enterprise. T’Pol, Soval, and others often look down their noses at humans. And in the fourth season, we humans do it right back to them, as John Paxton has a human-Vulcan hybrid created, Elizabeth Tucker, and the intention is to repulse everyone. But the opposite occurs, and Elizabeth’s death is haunting to not only her parents, Tripp and T’Pol, but also to others who will eventually form the Federation.
Like we can see happen in the real world, people who don’t easily fit in can often overcompensate, and try to be better than everyone. Is that what happens with the canon character, K’Ehleyr? Possibly. But she’s also immensely talented.
It’s not overcompensation if you really are that good.
But I can’t help feeling that, sometimes, the writers may have overdone it with her. She can sometimes feel a little bit like the John Prentice character in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? and can be a little too good to be true.
Add in a tragic ending and then there’s no way to tarnish her halo, eh?
My Own Hybrid Characters
They run the gamut. And the deeper future should, I feel, have a lot more of them, and in all manner of different combinations. IDIC means embracing a lot that we, today, would find more than a little peculiar. Here are some stand-out examples.
The earliest timeline appearances of hybrids fit rather snugly with the canon ENT episode, E2. Since it’s canon that Archer married an Ikaaran, the idea is that there would be other alien brides. For my own sanity, I went with Ikaarans as being the brides in both iterations, although women of different species could very well have been brought aboard.
Aaron Gregory Archer
In the second kick-back in time, he’s the son of Jonathan and Esilia, and weds Lili and José‘s daughter, Maria Elena Torres.
In the first kick-back in time, he’s the son of Jonathan and Ebrona, and weds Lili and Jay‘s daughter, Madeline Suzette Reed-Hayes.
In the first kick-back in time, he is the first hybrid child born, the eldest of Dr. Phlox and Amanda Cole.
Kevin is half-human and half-Gorn, and weighs almost a quarter of a metric ton, but he’s the sweetest person you’d ever want to know.
Polly is partly-Betazoid, but is mostly human and is missing most of the qualities of Betazoids.
Boris Yarin, MD
Boris is a dangerous combination of human, Xindi sloth and Klingon.
D’Storlin, a human-Xindi Reptilian hybrid has a lot of trouble and takes his frustrations out violently.
Rayna, a human-Klingon hybrid, gets kicked out of her regular school because she can’t get along with her classmates.
Hybrid characters should be a large part of most Star Trek fan fiction, unless the time period is ENT or earlier. And even the ENT era can readily accommodate them. After all, not every hybrid is partially human.
These characters can break and bend the molds of characterizations and species types. What about Vulcans with emotions, or Klingons without honor? Hybrids, it is likely, can change the paradigm in all sorts of ways.