Tag Archives: Vidam

Portrait of a Character – Boestus

Portrait of a Character – Boestus

Origins

For Flight of the Bluebird, I wanted there to be Daranaean elections. Much like the United Nations does today, the USS Bluebird and its captain, Malcolm Reed, would be brought in, in order to observe and prevent violence at polling places. Vidam was already going to be the liberal candidate. He needed an opponent, so I created the conservative standard-bearer, Boestus (pronounced beast-us).

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Boestus
Irish wolfhound puppy

Like most Daranaeans, Boestus isn’t really ‘played’ by anyone. He is an older fellow so I see him as being gray. This image of an Irish wolfhound works well.

Personality

Traditional and somewhat unyielding, Boestus feels that the traditional Daranaean life and home are important. He wants them to continue. But he is directly confronted by its inherent injustices. Unlike a lot of present-day real life politicians, he is capable of seeing the error of his ways, and learns how to change.

Relationships

Nitha

Like all Prime Wives, Nitha was very expensive. But she is concerned when the end is coming for Shura. Unlike what happens in other traditionalist Daranaean households, she may be higher up in the food chain than Carya and Shura are, but she isn’t cruel to them.

Carya

The secondary wife of Boestus is also somewhat defiant and is protective of Shura, who cannot defend herself.

Shura

In a traditional Daranaean household, a third caste female is called ‘last caste’ and is euthanized at menopause and seen as being useless. But Shura stands up for herself, an act that helps Boestus to see the error of his ways and change his mind.

Mirror Universe

As with many other characters, there are no impediments to Boestus existing in the Mirror Universe.

Portrait of a Character – Boestus
Arkin’s, chiot Irish Wolfhound, propr. L. et S. Pruvot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The MU is a tougher place, but the Y Chromosome Skew only affects human (Terran) males and not Daranaeans.

With a more balanced society, at least in terms of the gender of children being born, Boestus might end up with just one wife. For a conservative looking to better himself and social climb, he would likely only end up with Nitha.

Quote

“I am supposed to protect you. Acreon is taking on these humans’ ways far too much. You have seen what their women do, and how they act and how they dress. It is; it is not right.”

Upshot

I really loved working with this character, understanding him as a person and making him a rival but not a bad guy. Boestus is the very essence of people who can disagree without being disagreeable, who can admit when they are wrong, and who can change. I would like to write him again some time.

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Portrait of a Character – Cama

Portrait of a Character – Cama

Origins

As I wrote The Cure is Worse Than the Disease,  the idea of a tripartite Daranaean society (four parts if you really want to get technical, and include the men) began to shape up. As a result, I needed to have a representative from what Captain Erika Hernandez ends up referring to as the ‘bargain basement caste’. And so Cama was created.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Cama
Irish Setter image, intended to represent Cama (image is presented for educational purposes only)

Like nearly all Daranaean characters, Cama isn’t really ‘played’ by anyone.

I tend to use images of dogs, so the idea here is that she would resemble an Irish Setter quite a bit. Despite her low status, she could potentially be rather beautiful in appearance.

Personality

Forced into a subservient role, Cama chafes under male control, and would prefer to be the architect of her own destiny. Hence she ‘proves’ her breeder value by selectively aborting any daughters she may be carrying. It’s not just for the selfish reason of wanting to be treated better; it’s also because she doesn’t wish her existence on anyone. But she’s also an old school third caste Daranaean female. Hence, she is illiterate.

When she turns menopausal, she is shipped to a research facility that is investigating a cure of Thylacine Paramixovirus. Fortunately, that facility is run by Drs. Trinning and Rechal, who care about their test subjects. In Flight of the Bluebird, Cama gets to show just how heroic she really can be, even in her own quiet way.

Relationships

Elemus

Just like Libba and Thessa, Cama can only have a relationship with the male she is sold to. That is Elemus. While he isn’t exactly kind, he is not actively evil, either, certainly not like the murderous Arnis.

Mirror Universe

In the Mirror Universe, life is rougher for every kind of female, and that includes humans and, of course, Daranaeans.

Portrait of a Character – Cama
Irish Setter as Mirror Cama (image is presented for educational purposes only)

But women are also, often, sexier. Maybe she uses her body to get ahead, or at least to survive.

Quote

“See, all you do is you take off a little sprig. And you stick it in your mouth and get saliva on it. It has turned grey, see? That means I am carrying another boy child, just like my pouchling.”

Upshot

I was so glad to not just leave it with her, and find a way to show Cama again, and make it obvious that she had survived her childbearing years. Plus maybe, at least a little bit, Elemus did care for her after all.

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Portrait of a Character – Inta II

Portrait of a Character – Inta II

Inta II almost didn’t survive her introduction story.

Origins

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Baby Inta II
Baby Inta II, one of the Daranaeans (secondary female)

As I wrote Take Back the Night, I was torn between having Mistra’s pouchling live, or not.

Then, as I followed up with Temptation in particular, Inta showed so much spunky personality that I now cannot imagine the story going any other way. Not have Inta survive? Unthinkable!

What also helped to bring it all together was that this Inta is named for Arnis’s victim. The original Inta was a third caste wife, but Inta II is Mistra’s and, by definition, belongs to the second caste.

Portrayal

Like all other Daranaeans (except for Crita’s parents), I don’t really have anyone to ‘play’ Inta II. Images of flying foxes mainly stand in for an actress. For one thing, she’d need to be fitted with pretty large prosthetic ears.

Personality

Smart and creative, Inta is a survivor and is a reminder of just what Arnis almost got away with. Her mother reports on occasion that she is a bit naughty, whereas we would see that as the stirrings of independence. Some of that is fostered by Lili, Captain Reed‘s wife, sending books to the Daranaean girls that included not only Jane Eyre, but also the Lysistrata.

Inta is the one (unlike Seppa, who is more of a timid sort, as is befitting her third caste status) who sees that life for a female Daranaean can mean more than marriage and endless children. In a lot of ways, she’s a precursor character to Crita, but not an ancestor (Crita, from the Barnstorming series, is in the third caste).

Relationships

I have no known relationships for Inta, although she might have a small crush on Declan or even nude model Jake. I’m not sure, and sometimes I toy with the idea of making her a lesbian. A gay Daranaean would have to be deeply embedded within the closet. It’s a thought.

Mirror Universe

There are no impediments to Inta existing in the Mirror Universe.

Portrait of a Character – Inta II
Mirror Inta (image of flying fox is provided for educational purposes only)

She would have to be considerably tougher. But as an artist, she has a chance to be an elite member of society.

Quote

“Oh, yes. I presume you are referring to Captain Reed. He and his wife have been most generous to me. I have, ever since I learned that their son, Declan, was to study art here, I wished to do so as well.”

Upshot

Every time I write about Inta, I learn something new about her. I’ll have to write some more!

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Portrait of a Character – Vidam

Portrait of a Character – Vidam

Vidam rises to greatness in my fan fiction.

Origins

During the Star Trek fan fiction story Take Back the Night, I wanted for there to be a believable witness who would be able to refute Arnis’s accusations against Mistra. But this person would have to be a little afraid of Arnis although ultimately they would do the right thing. Yet given the sexist nature of Daranaean society, this person would have to be male. In order to put him into the right position, I made him the Prime Wife, Dratha‘s, eldest son. Enter Vidam.

Portrayal

As with nearly all Daranaeans, I do not have anyone in mind to play Vidam.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Vidam
Adult Vidam, one of the Daranaens and son of Prime Wife Dratha

This is an altered image of a Golden Retriever. As always, readers are encouraged to use their imaginations when thinking about the look and sound of most Daranaeans.

I actually envision him as being more fox-like in appearance, so the snout would be thinner and more pointed.

Personality

The name is Hungarian for “cheerful”, but Vidam is usually far from cheerful. Instead, much like the Calafan, Treve, he is an elder son with a great weight of responsibility on his shoulders. At the end of Take Back the Night, with Arnis taken away in the futuristic equivalent of handcuffs, the teenaged Vidam is suddenly responsible  for his family.  He insists that Dratha in particular help him, but it is he who makes the decision to allow Seppa to learn to read and write.

When he gets older, he becomes a politician, and is the standard bearer for the liberals in the Daranaean government, in his role as a Beta councilor.

Relationships

Like all wealthy Daranaean men, Vidam takes three wives, one from each caste.

Ethara

Unlike other Prime Wives, Ethara is more of an equal partner to Vidam. Like many human political spouses, she attends functions with him and is otherwise a part of a charm offensive.

Morza

The jokester secondary, as is seen in Temptation, is one of the daughters of the war hero (and eventual Alpha), Acreon. Morza is also a close friend to Vidam’s half-sister, Cria.

Kela

The least known of Vidam’s wives, Kela is a member of the third caste (and is named for one of my great-grandmothers, actually).

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Vidam
Mirror Vidam

The Daranaeans exist in the Mirror (Empress Hoshi refers to their planet as “always smelling like wet dog”).

I see them as more like wolves than dogs, and being rather vicious indeed. I doubt that Vidam would be so cultured and congenial in the Mirror Universe.

Quote

“Thylacine Paramyxovirus has devastated our population, yet we devastate it even more with compulsory euthanasia. Doctors, I know, are working around the clock to try to cure that horrible malady. My brother, the doctor, Trinning – he says that they are close to a true breakthrough. What will we do when they have finally cured it? Will we, then, decide to make a law to euthanize our secondaries? Where does it end? I say it ends now. It ends here! Third caste females who are menopausal can do all manner of things. They can still cook and keep house. They can still care for children. {and} They could, I dare say, do more if we gave them the opportunity. A vote for, for me, that is a vote against the euthanasia law. I say we end it now!”

Upshot

It was very important to me for the Daranaean men to not necessarily be bad guys. At least not all the time. Vidam is one of the first  male Daranaean heroes that I wrote. I will bring him back at some point.

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Review – Debate

Review – Debate

Debate fills a small plot hole.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Vidam | Debate
Adult Vidam, one of the Daranaens and son of Prime Wife Dratha

Background

As a prelude to Flight of the Bluebird, I wanted Vidam to try, but fail, at convincing his fellow Beta Council members that it’s time to allow at least Prime Wives to vote in Daranaean elections.

Plot

Review – Debate

Vidam, a newly-elected Beta Council member, introduces his first bill into the chamber. And it’s a doozy, for Vidam is hoping to convince his fellow councilors to allow voting for Prime Wives. As a foreshadowing of his eventual campaign for Alpha, Vidam’s chief rival is Boestus. When Boestus speaks, he jokes that Prime Wives would vote for frivolous things, such as more shopping holidays. His speech is intended to be somewhat reminiscent of many male politicians before human women got the right to vote here in the United States.

Voting on Daranaea

It was also an opportunity to introduce the traditional in-person method of Daranaean voting. I wanted something weird and alien, so I went with an idea about chairs. The Council would vote by having everyone stand. And everyone in favor would remain standing (as a play on the idea of “stand and be counted”) whereas anyone in opposition would sit.

This idea in part is taken from my experiences in I believe it was fourth grade, where we would stand and recite the times tables, going up and doing each row. E. g. one student would say, “Five times four is twenty.” The next would would say, “Five times five is twenty-five.” These would go on under twelve squared. However, if you messed up, you would sit down. Eventually only a few people would be left standing and we would duke it out until the last person messed up or time ran out or the teacher just decided that she’d seen enough. For the Daranaeans, the image of just Vidam and one of his fathers in law, the war hero (and current Alpha), Acreon, being the only ones standing is a fairly powerful one. It shows the utter lack of support for this – to the Daranaeans – rather radical idea.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I think the message gets across well, that times are changing, but it’s just not happening fast enough, on the planet of sexist sentient marsupial canids.

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Review – Flight of the Bluebird

Review – Flight of the Bluebird

Ah, it’s the bluebird of happiness!

Background

As my Emergence Star Trek fan fiction stories were going to be ‘published’ on Issuu, I didn’t like the fact that I really didn’t have an ending to the series. While this story  doesn’t really end the series, it does bring it to a somewhat satisfactory point. But I will definitely write more in this series, as I just enjoy it so much. Although I have no idea when.

Plot

Barking Up the Must Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Flight of the Bluebird
Flight of the Bluebird

For Captain Malcolm Reed and his new ship, the DC-1505 USS Bluebird, they’ve left space dock and gone to Andoria. But now it’s time for their first true mission. And that’s to observe the elections on Daranaea.  Complicating matters is the fact that the two leading candidates seem to be polar opposites. Boestus, the conservative standard-bearer, would keep the Daranaeans traditional. Vidam, the son of the legendary Dratha, is the liberal candidate. But his earlier attempt, to introduce a bill to give Prime Wives the right to vote in Daranaean elections, was laughed out of the Beta Council chamber.

Meanwhile, his half-sister, Seppa (she’s on the cover of the book) is traveling with her husband, Brantus, and their family. But Seppa is a third caste female. Eventually, she’ll be euthanized, a fact that doesn’t sit well with Reed, or with Jonathan Archer, who has maintained a correspondence with the young woman and is rather fond of her.

At the same time, Dr. Trinning, half-brother to both Seppa and Vidam, is fighting to cure Thylacine Paramyxovirus. His test subjects are third caste females, a fate that’s not much better than mandatory euthanization after menopause.

This warp-capable culture is in a strategic area, near Klingon space. Will they be allowed into the Federation? Do they even want to join it? Stay tuned (although I probably won’t get to the answers to these questions any time soon!).

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I was pleased to be able to continue the Daranaeans’ story and try to give it some happiness, and to follow Seppa, Vidam, and the others. Boestus even gets to return later, in Bread. I also liked that not everything is a triumph. Some things work out, but there’s still a lot more to do. And that’s reality.

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Review – Take Back the Night

Review – Take Back the Night

Take Back the Night!

Take Back the Night Background

Once The Cure is Worse Than the Disease was posted, readers began asking me about a sequel. Nobody wanted to leave it the way it had been left, which was with Doctor An Nguyen becoming disillusioned and the Daranaeans left to their own devices and sexist ways, with lip service being paid to the Prime Directive.

I decided I wanted a small piece of a revolution, and so I got an idea. There would be an injustice, and the women would rise up.

Plot

Review – Take Back the Night

The real Take Back the Night movement is about women holding forth against violence against women, including rape, particularly date rape.

For the Daranaean, the elder Inta, this would be a form of marital rape that would spark the powder keg of a plot. I had already established that third caste women had no right to refuse sexual relations, and so the beginning is her refusing to sleep with her husband, Arnis. In fact, the first word of the story is simply her saying, “No!”

That is the only word she says in the entire piece. And in fact, that is the only word I have from her. Yet it is enough.

Violence

For her refusal, she is hit, hard, and she falls to the floor, hitting her head. This causes her death and, just as importantly, the death of her unborn fetus.

While her death is not actionable, the first legal question is whether the death of the unborn child is. This is, of course, distasteful to most of us, but I figure that alien cultures may very well have rather alien ideas about justice and mercy.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Take Back the Night
Take Back the Night

As the story unfolds, someone other than Arnis gets the blame. Hence the Cochrane and the Columbia both play a part in helping that person be exonerated. And they also help in having the real killer charged with the crime.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K+.

Upshot

I think this is one of the better stories I have written, as the action moves from Daranaean home to both starships, a space battle, and eventually a courtroom and even the Beta Council chamber on Daranaea. Perhaps the best part about the story is that, while it resolves the immediate issue, it doesn’t fix all of the Daranaeans’ problems overnight. There’s plenty more story fodder, and many injustices remain. But at least there are a few less of them. I’m very proud of this story.