Tag Archives: Vulcan

Portrait of a Character – Soval

Portrait of a Character – Soval

Soval Origins

Soval
Soval

Soval. The character is, of course, canon.

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.

Hallelujah!

Portrayal

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.

Personality

Standoffish like most Vulcans, he seems to be genuinely moved when Admiral Forrest sacrifices his own life to save a, perhaps, friend.

Relationships

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

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).

Mirror Universe Soval
Mirror Universe Soval

Quote

“I am one hundred and forty-two years old. That is almost a logical observation.”

Upshot

I have never written Mirror Universe Soval, and maybe it’s time I should.

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Review – Release

Review – Release

Release constitutes another play on words. Hence it represents both an end to bondage and a sexual act. And Saddik himself considers the latter before the former.

Background

With the destruction of Vulcan, Vulcans are sought in all sorts of remote places. And this includes prisons.

Plot

So in response to a prompt requiring that we write in the Kelvin timeline (sometimes also called nuTrek or the JJ  Abrams universe), I made a decision to write about how the creation of a sentient endangered species would be handled.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Release
Eriecho and Saddik’s Release from Canamar Prison

Hence the story opens with a pair of Vulcan convicts being called into a commandant’s office at Canamar Prison, a canon institution.

They are about to be freed, yet they scarcely know why. All that Commandant Kerig will tell them is that Vulcans are endangered, and the home world is no more. This unsettles Saddik, the elder of the two.

But not so Eriecho, who  barely knows anything about Vulcans, or what it means to be one.  So as the story continues, her backstory comes to the fore, of her birth on a prison transport. Hence this is the only life she has ever known. Furthermore, the only mother she has ever known was a deceased Suliban woman, H’Shema.

The action follows Eriecho and Saddik off Canamar and to their new home, a sanctuary on Mars. Colonel Jack Shaw is in charge, and he’s ecstatic. Partly it’s because it was his idea to try to find Vulcans in prisons. But it’s also because the rebuilding of the population involves surrogate mothers and as much genetic diversity as possible with the limited remnants of a once-thriving species. Therefore, taking note of the Law of Supply and Demand, Shaw has something that others want. Hence he (and the administrators of the other sanctuaries, on places like Andoria) engages in a barely legal practice – gamete trading.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I loved being able to introduce these new characters. People love Eriecho, and it’s been a joy to find her voice and follow her life as she adjusts to life on the outside.

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Portrait of a Character – Sollastek

Portrait of a Character – Sollastek

Origins

I wanted Eriecho to eventually have a love  interest, so that she could have a silver lining from the horrible tragedy that is the destruction of Vulcan in the new timeline.  This man would be markedly younger than her, and not too terribly well-educated. Enter Sollastek.

Portrayal

Sollastek is a purely romantic character so I have him played by Justin Timberlake.

Portrait of a Character – Sollastek
Justin Timberlake as Sollastek

I think Timberlake (who is a better actor than a lot of people seem to give him credit for) would make a pretty interesting Vulcan.

I like the idea of him being a bit guilt-ridden, partly with survivor guilt, but also because he is a witness to a canon event, when Amanda Grayson, Spock’s mother, is killed.

Personality

A bit troubled but trying very hard, Sollastek is attempting to make the best of a bad situation. But the truth is, if Eriecho and Saddik had not arrived at the Martian Sanctuary, it’s likely that he would have been the subject of the matrons’ none too subtle shunning. He is working class and barely on their side of logical and meditative. After all, even on Vulcan, someone has to be a day laborer.

Relationships

Eriecho

Sollastek’s sole known relationship is with Eriecho. In Across the Universe, she learns that he made a deal with Colonel Shaw to change his space in the community garden so that he could be closer to her. He is a calming influence on Eriecho, and grounds her. He’s patient with her when she runs off to Earth with Sybok, too.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Sollastek
Justin Timberlake as Mirror Sollastek

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

I do not feel that he would be any brighter, but he would probably have more confidence. As for survivor guilt, much like a lot of denizens of the Mirror, he just wouldn’t care all that much.

Quote

“Many of us have seen truly horrible things. I was there when our home world was destroyed, as was Valeris. It was a day I will never forget. Many of the others, I am certain, have suffered their own personal traumas.”

Upshot

As Eriecho goes, so goes Sollastek. He will return.

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Review – Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

Review – Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

Everybody Knows This is Nowhere works on a ton of levels. It is one of my best fan fiction works.

Background

I enjoyed writing the E2 Star Trek fan fiction stories a great deal, but I figured out after a while that it had to be two kick backs in time, rather than just one.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

Otherwise, some of the scenes that I really wanted to put into the storyline would have been impossible or nearly impossible, without smashing canon to smithereens. Everybody Knows This is Nowhere rather neatly fixes all that.

Plot

After an initial kick back in time, the descendants of the Enterprise meets the current ship but it’s actually a second iteration of three. The second iteration is kicked back, too, and the bulk of the book is about the second iteration’s trials in the Delphic Expanse.

Review – Everybody Knows This is Nowhere
I Only Want to Be with You (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With certain things known, such as crew members’ sexualities and mate preferences, a lot of stress of the first three books essentially disappears. Almost everyone opts for an ‘instant replay’. But then some things go wrong, and not everyone can get what they want or who they want. In keeping with what I had established in Together, Lili ends up with José Torres.

Music

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated M.

Upshot

This book is far sadder but also more spiritual. Lili has to heal from some horrible hurts, and she doesn’t treat José too well at all in the beginning. I suppose that having her behave somewhat rottenly at times really pulls her out of the Mary Sue category for good. The story, I feel, hits its marks well, and ultimately soars.


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Portrait of a Character – Sybok

Portrait of a Character – Sybok

Sybok is a great character to toss into the Kelvin timeline.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Laurence Luckinbill (Sybok) (image is for educational purposes only)
Laurence Luckinbill (Sybok) (image is for educational purposes only)

Origins

Portrait of a Character – Sybok

The new Kelvin timeline, as depicted by the JJ Abrams films like Star Trek Into Darkness, has a lot of things, but it does not seem to have Spock’s canon half-brother.

Sybok’s canon appearance is rather problematic, as Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is a pretty bad flick. I am, though, trying not to blame the actor. I’m not so sure that it’s his fault. It’s just an odd premise, that Spock would suddenly have a half-sibling, the guy would essentially be nuts, and that he would be searching for a mythological heaven-type of place but, alas, would instead be the victim of a malevolent alien. About the best thing about the film is Shatner’s line, “What does God need with a starship?

It rather neatly sums up nearly every instance, in Star Trek and in other types of fiction, where there is an entity that is supposed  to be omnipotent yet that entity, when it’s convenient for the plot, suddenly isn’t.

Are you listening, Q?

Portrayal

As in canon, Sybok is played by actor Laurence Luckinbill. Like I said, I don’t blame him for it being a bad film. I get the feeling that Luckinbill did what he could with the material he was given. He has been interviewed, and he revealed that Nimoy had wanted the role to be one of twins. Nimoy had wanted to play both characters, an act that I feel would have been far more of an exercise in ego-stroking than in nearly anything else. At least someone had the foresight to nix that idea.

Personality

Just like in the canon film, I make him a somewhat larger than life character. He is what is called, in canon, V’tosh ka’tur. That is, he does not suppress his emotions. Eriecho doesn’t because she was never taught to, and Saddik generally doesn’t because he was in Canamar Prison for so long that he decided it didn’t matter quite so much anymore.

However, I give him a reason for his behaviors. I give him the canon affliction, Pa’Nar Syndrome, which is something that T’Pol suffers from during the run of Star Trek: Enterprise. Hers was cured by a correctly-performed mind meld, and so I have Spock Prime perform one on Sybok.  This rather neatly ties the two timelines together and it reserves a place for Sybok, who I will probably find a place to use again.

Relationships

I have written no relationships for him, although he leers at the women, young and old, at the Martian Sanctuary. If Saddik isn’t careful, he’ll make a pass at Valeris, and not just to request her professional assistance as a Pon Farr comforter.

Theme Music

The Across the Universe story is full of Beatles songs. Sybok’s is I Am the Walrus, although Nowhere Man would work, too.

Mirror Universe

There are no known impediments to Sybok existing on the other side of the pond.

Portrait of a Character – Sybok
Mirror Sybok

I can see him either as being wholly free of Pa’Nar and therefore much more similar to Mirror Spock in outlook and behavior. Or maybe he’s got it, and it’s far worse. He could be not just a demigod but a rather nasty individual. Perhaps he’s in the Emperor’s inner circle as a henchman. It’s an intriguing idea that I might explore in the future.

Quote

“If I’m going to my tenth, then we should write this day down in history, less than a day – a new record!”

Upshot

For a character who was not treated well in the prime timeline, I like to think I gave him some measure of redemption. Plus at some point Eriecho and Sollastek have to get married! Sybok will have a front-row seat. I guarantee it.

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Review – Biases

Review – Biases

Biases gave me a chance to create a new character. Bridie Kelly came out of whole cloth and, unlike nearly everyone else I’ve created for Star Trek fan fiction, she does not connect up to the Reed-Madden-Digiorno-Beckett-Hayes-O’Day family.

Barking Up the Must Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Biases
Biases

Background

So I wrote this short story in response to a prompt of the same name. Being here in Boston, you can hear the Irish brogue on most days. Hence I kept hearing the phrase, ‘No Irish Need Apply‘ as I thought of what would become this story.

Plot

For Bridie Kelly, it’s the chance to get a new, decent job. She is a highly skilled nurse’s assistant and caregiver. But she’s tired of seeing sick and dying children (her earlier posting was at a children’s hospital). For Soval, he’s getting up there in years, even for a Vulcan. His aides don’t quite know what to do with him, as he needs care. Plus he’s lost his logical focus and, instead, is impatient. He might also have a bit of the Vulcan equivalent of Alzheimer’s (which is not canon although I think it should be).

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Much like Flip; Confidence; A Long, Long Time Ago; Gainful; and Voracious, this is a job interview story. I like the interactions, in particular how Bridie conducts herself and pushes past her doubts. I’ve had people ask for a sequel, or there are even people who ‘ship her and Soval! I think that’s nuts. This is a job interview and nothing more. People can certainly get along without romance becoming a part of it. Not every story merits an extension, or should end with a kiss in front of a sunset backdrop.

Sometimes, a story is just a story.

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Review – Flip

Review – Flip

Background

I wanted a Star Trek fanfiction prequel/origins story for Lili.

While I had stories of her being hired to work on the NX-01, and she had talked about her childhood in Reversal and Together in particular, there was no depiction of Lili as a teenager until this story.

Plot

The story begins with Lili and her grandparents, who sometimes speak English and sometimes speak French, reminding her of a very important appointment.

Review – Flip
Naomi Watts as a teenaged Lili O’Day

Lili, like teenagers since the beginning of time, is a bit impatient and annoyed. Clearly, Lilienne and Richard Ducasse have been over this with her several times already.

What’s the appointment? It’s a chance to cook for the head of the Mars Culinary Institute.  Impressing the strict judge will get her a place in the school and, potentially, a far better future. Otherwise, as a teenager with mediocre grades and an expunged record for joyriding, she’s got a wonderful future of washing dishes ahead of her, and not much more. This is a chance to excel.

And she very nearly blows it, particularly as the judge is a Vulcan and the dish is lobster en croute. This is a major problem, as Vulcans are vegetarians (that’s Star Trek canon). I write Vulcans as being vegans, so they are even more strict.

Want to know if it all works out? Read on; the story is short.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I loved having the chance to show a little of Lili’s earlier life, and even her Ducasse grandparents, who had been mentioned several times previously but never actually seen in any context other than a dream until this little story.


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Portrait of a Character – Zefram Cochrane

Portrait of a Character – Zefram Cochrane

Origins

This Star Trek canon character is seen in both Enterprise and the movie universe.

Portrayal

As in canon, Zef is played by actor James Cromwell.

Portrait of a Character – Zefram Cochrane

I enjoy this actor’s performances and respect the casting decision 100% for my Star Trek fanfiction.

Personality

Abrasive and capricious, Zef is grounded by Lily. In a ruined post-World War III landscape, she helps him focus on what will become not only the greatest achievement of his life, it will likely be one of the greatest achievements in all of human history – the invention of Warp Drive.

Relationships

Lily Sloane

Portrait of a Character – Zefram Cochrane
Lily and Zef

This relationship is hinted at in canon, but never fully realized. In my fan fiction, I have decided that they marry. He is eventually widowed, in A Single Step. With her dying breath’s encouragement, she tells him to make his life out in the stars.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Zefram Cochrane
Mirror Zefram Cochrane

A Mirror Universe version of Zef is canon, and he shoots the first Vulcan he sees, on First Contact Day.

I haven’t written him yet (and the actor in the image isn’t even Cromwell), but I bet he’d be a kick to write. He would probably descend more or less completely into alcoholism after killing the Vulcans and stealing their ship and its technology.

Quote

“Don’t be getting no weapons! I will defend what’s mine!”

Upshot

I am hoping for a chance to write him again, possibly in a Mirror Universe scenario.


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Portrait of a Character – Jack Shaw

Portrait of a Character – Jack Shaw

Origins

After the Star Trek 2009 film came out, eventually there was a challenge to write a story in the JJ Abrams universe (also called nuTrek). Hence I created Eriecho.

When Eriecho and Saddik are originally released from Canamar Prison, they are brought to a Vulcan sanctuary on Mars. That sanctuary needed an administrator, and that person became Jack Shaw.

Portrayal

I like Kurt Russell for this role, particularly his no-nonsense hyper-military look in Stargate.

Portrait of a Character – Jack Shaw
Kurt Russell as Jack Shaw

Personality

Tough but fair, Shaw is responsible for a ton of Vulcans and they are an endangered species.  But underneath, he’s a bit of a softie. He watches over his charges like a mother hen. And he pines for reporter Julie Parker.

Relationships

Juliet Parker

When we first meet Shaw, one of the things he is doing is mulling over a house that Julie loved. With no ties to her, he puts a payment stop on it. It’s a foolish thing, a lark, and he has no hope of anything happening between them. But he does it all the same. And when she learns he has done this, she is amused and then touched.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Jack Shaw

There are no impediments to Shaw existing in the Mirror Universe, either in the JJ Abrams timeline or the Prime Timeline.

I like to think he would be more relaxed, and would maybe have a family, despite the harsh conditions on that side of the pond.

Quote

“I’m lousy at this. But I don’t drink to excess, not any more than a beer or two after work. I don’t gamble. I don’t run around. And I, uh, I won’t look at anyone else. Hell, I haven’t since I met you.”

Upshot

He could be better explored, I imagine. At some point, where Eriecho goes (and at some point I will marry her off to Sollastek), Shaw will follow. He’ll be back.


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Portrait of a Character – Phlox

Portrait of a Character – Phlox

Origins

This Star Trek: Enterprise canon character is one of two alien members of the NX-01‘s crew (the other is the Vulcan, T’Pol). The Denobulan species was written for ENT.

Portrayal

As in canon, Phlox is played by John Billingsley.

Portrait of a Character – Phlox

The actor is well-cast and it’s hard to think of anyone else in the role. Much like Leonard Nimoy and Vulcans, Billingsley essential defines what it means to be a Denobulan.

Personality

Personable, cheerful, and kind, Phlox is also, at times, a bit baffled by humans. For starters, at the beginning of the series, he can’t quite figure out the idea behind pets.

Relationships

Feezal

Portrait of a Character – Phlox

This canon relationship is with Phlox’s second wife, of three. The other two are never named in canon. I’ve never written her except in the context of Phlox missing her after the Enterprise is kicked back in time, during E2.

Amanda Cole

Also canon, in the E2 episode, Phlox and Amanda get together, a scene that I show in both Entanglements and Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.

Mirror Universe

This character exists in canon.

Mirror Phlox
Mirror Phlox

At the end of the pair of canon ENT Mirror Universe episodes, his fate is unknown. But I figure it’s got to be that his days are numbered. Hence, in Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, I have Empress Hoshi order his death. When Beth Cutler is given two syringes, one with the proven fast nerve toxin, tricoulamine, and the other with replicated orange juice, the Science technician knows that both shots will kill whoever receives them. She hesitates until Hoshi tells her that she’ll be next if she takes any longer. The choice is to inject either Phlox, or Ian Reed, Malcolm‘s counterpart. With a small sympathy to her fellow Terran, Beth gives Ian the proven fast killing agent. Phlox, unfortunately, suffers at the end.

Quote

“Your mating rituals do fascinate me. Always a complicated minuet of sorts. Mind if I observe?”

Upshot

I don’t write Phlox that much, except in the context of E2 stories and Intolerance. Part of that is to pave the way for other physician characters, such as Blair Claymore, Pamela Hudson, and Cyril Morgan. It’s also because, until Reflections Down a Corridor, I wasn’t really all that comfortable writing him. He’s absent from a lot of my main timeline, and nearly all of my Mirror Universe timeline. Will he return? Yes, although many storylines shut him out completely.