Tag Archives: wells

Review – Candy

Review – Candy

Candy came about because of a short throwaway line about Jhasi’s wedding dress having a stripe.

Background

In response to a prompt about rituals, I decided to go with a renewal of wedding vows. I had already established that this event had happened, but I had not yet shown it.  However, for Kevin O’Connor and Jhasi Tantharis O’Connor, the occasion is bittersweet, for she is dying.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | Candy
Clockworks

Kevin and Josie prepare for May 4, 3108, a special day on Tandar Prime.

Because Piaris Syndrome is killing her, and it is going to be sooner, rather than later. So Kevin knows this and, while he is not exactly keeping the truth from Josie, he is also not in a rush to tell her, either. But Josie would have to be either a fool or too far gone to not know her fate. Furthermore, she would have to know time was running low. Very, painfully, low.

And so they perform the initial and familiar rituals of caregiver and patient, as he cleans her up and dresses her. Eventually, she asks why, and he tells her. Finally, the last moment of the story consists of of him picking her up to carry her.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

While I like to think that I don’t write tearjerkers, this one just might qualify  as one. I hope that the push and pull of Josie and Kevin feels real and not forced or manipulated. Furthermore, it is a hard story to read, at times, for this, or something like it, might be the fate of us all.

And may we all be blessed with someone as devoted as Kevin.

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Review – Meeting of the Minds

Review – Meeting of the Minds

Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Times of the HG Wells logo courtesy of TemplarSora | Meeting of the Minds
Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Times of the HG Wells logo courtesy of TemplarSora

During Multiverse II, people ‘shipped Otra and Levi.

Hard.

I had had some vague ideas of putting them together, but I had not really acted on them. Couple this with the fact that I had never really written Marci Cavendish, and the only getting together for our two tentative lovers was in Levi and Otra’s own fevered dreams, the construction of such a story proved to be a bit difficult. So I decided to not show their first kiss and instead fast forward to Levi bringing Otra home to meet dear old Mom.

But Mom’s not just any mother.

Plot

Levi takes Otra home to meet his fundy mother, Marci.

Levi is distracted and, frankly, terrified of both of them. Marci is suspicious of this girl with the wacky floral hair. And of course poor Otra, the sanest of the three, is worried about the implications of meeting her new boyfriend’s mother. She smooths the way by bringing homemade gnocchi, and remembers to keep it vegan, just in case Marci is swinging that way that week. That proves to be impressive to the older woman, that Otra would be so effortlessly thoughtful and caring.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I like how this little vignette turned out, in particular as Levi asserts himself and declares, without reservation, that Otra is the best person he knows. In a way, there’s a little sadness to the story, too, as it seems impossible for Levi to share that kind of intimate information with his father, Zach, who is gone, gone, gone.

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Review – Where O Where

Review – Where O Where

Where O Where does HD want to be?

Background

For a prompt about the parental point of view, I decided to go with a short story about perhaps my second-favorite (with the favorite being Lili) rebellious teenaged character, HD Avery.  So just how does a pair of staid farmers deal with their rock and roller musical genius son?

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | Where O Where
Clockworks

On October 12, 3104, a teenaged HD Avery makes it clear that he will never become a farmer like his parents.

I had had Hank Avery III and Bev in my head but there weren’t a lot of opportunities to write them. In fact, they weren’t originally farmers. At first, when the HG Wells stories were more original than Star Trek fanfiction, the Averys were suburban New Jerseyites, and Beverly was a bit of an alcoholic cougar.

However, in the newer version, they are a much starker contrast to HD, who seems almost like he was found under a cabbage leaf rather than be their biological son. For people who aren’t so sure they even like music or art as worthwhile pursuits, they get a child who can sight-read music and play perfectly by ear, with ideal pitch and tone.

Music

The music is, of course, Pearl Jam’s Last Kiss.

And I’m not even so sure why this was the song. It was just in my head at the time but, truthfully, it could have been nearly any song with a fairly spare melody line. In addition, the video is not official; I can’t seem to find an official music video for this song.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

So I would like to, at some point, return to HD’s teen years. I describe him quite a bit as being an obnoxious, immature kid, but I don’t think I quite captured that here.

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Review – Pat the Bunny

Review – Pat the Bunny

Pat the Bunny? What?

Background

Pat the Bunny came about as a strange left-turn style answer to a writing prompt. Hence, in order to write about natural or artificially created disasters, I chose a scenario for the Mirror Universe Borg where they would be defeated by the oddest of foes. And to make it even more interesting, this foe would be about as opposite to a warrior as you can get in the animal kingdom.

Furthermore, it would hearken back, just a little bit, to Hugh and the Borg, the canon episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, where a young Borg boy is returned to the collective and starts a sort of individualistic revolution. And it would also be a call back to the canon episode of Star Trek: Voyager, where Icheb is introduced (he was conceived and became Borg as a means of implanting a virus into the collective. Icheb’s own parents considered him expendable).

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | Pat the Bunny
Clockworks

In 3104, Richard Daniels and Aramjul Sika find out just why the Borg never really got any traction in the Mirror Universe.

As an earlier mission for Rick (and one where he does not seduce anyone), I wanted a short mission where he and a historian would get in and get out, but there would be one, big, kind of crazy consequence of what they had just observed. Temporal shenanigans aside, history is often strange.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

So I liked putting Rick into a new and exceptionally weird situation. And I also enjoyed the opportunity to shout out to the Sika family, a clan of Xindi sloth I had created in The Puzzle and then followed through with in Achieving Peace. After all, it isn’t only Lili‘s family that makes it to the deep future.

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Portrait of a Character – Monisha Padir

Portrait of a Character – Monisha Padir

Origins

As I wrote Concord, there needed to be a way to get Malcolm back from 1776. There had to be a reason he was there in the first place.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Monisha Padir
Aarti Mann as Monisha Padir (image is presented for educational purposes only)

Monisha is played by actress Aarti Mann.

As is often the case with non-white characters who I write, it is important to me that they be ‘played’ by people of the correct ethnicity. I also like this lovely actress, who has good comic timing and seems to be very intelligent. I have ‘cast’ her in some of my original fiction, too.

Personality

Smart and creative, Moni is a historian. In 2285, as a way of testing the potential of time travel, she and Makan Sinthasomphone attempt to send Agent Robert Lennox to the April 1775 Battle of Lexington. But things don’t go according to plan. In part, it is her creativity that helps to put things right.

Relationships

Monisha has no known relationships, and she is not seen long enough to establish any.

Mirror Universe

There don’t seem to be significant impediments to Monisha existing in the Mirror Universe.

Portrait of a Character – Monisha Padir
Aarti Mann as Mirror Monisha (image is presented for educational purposes)

A beautiful woman in that rough place probably wouldn’t be a historian, though.

Unfortunately, the way I write Mirror Universe women is that they are often overly sexualized. Monisha probably would be, too, particularly as the study of history isn’t exactly valued there, except in the context of conferring greater glory on despots.

Quote

“I wonder what they would have seen. I hope it wasn’t just poor Agent Lennox being jettisoned into deep space with neither a ship nor an EV suit.”

Upshot

I would love to be able to pull in her and Sinthasomphone again some time, although I am unsure of when and how I would do it. But the development of reliable time travel has the potential to be a rather interesting story.

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Review – Marvels

Review – Marvels

Marvels are, a bit, relative.

Background

For a prompt about the marvels of technology, I again decided to go in a somewhat different direction and write, instead, about the marvels of a far simpler age. In this case, it was 1417. In this case, I wanted an era that was thoroughly unfamiliar and would not be tainted by thoughts of knowing about Christopher Columbus or Ferdinand and Isabella or anyone else from our history books.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | Marvels
Clockworks

In 3102, Temporal Agent Richard Daniels and a historian are accidentally sent to 1417 Cordoba instead of 1616 Padua, and Rick meets Irene of Castile.

The original time period chosen, 1616 Padua, was to observe Galileo. Instead, the time portal malfunctions, and Rick and the historian are instead sent almost two hundred years earlier and some 1800 or so kilometers to the southwest.

However, they are in luck. There’s a small acting troupe. Even more amazing is the fact that there is an actress (I did not realize, until after I had released the story, that an actress during this time period and in this particular place would be nigh well impossible).

The troupe performs a kind of pastiche of play acting, slapstick, and singing. And then the townspeople pay them with food, including a chicken, that they roast over a campfire. Afterwards, Rick wastes no time in seducing the troupe’s sole actress, Irene, who tells them all about the most incredible piece of technology she has ever seen – a horizontal grinding wheel pulled by a pair of oxen. It’s a far cry from the time portal. Irene, too, is more enchanted by the tech she’s seen, whereas Rick is more blasé.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K+.

Upshot

I liked the idea of making the grinding wheel, for Irene, to be the most incredible thing, ever. Furthermore, I think we take our technology for granted at times. I revisited Irene, in The Stranger.

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Review – Preparations

Review – Preparations

Preparations works as a kind of ‘curtain going up’ story. When I first wrote it, it was one of the only Times of the HG Wells prequel stories.

Background

As a prelude to understanding Rick’s first seduction (Lucretia Crossman), and as a way to showcase Crystal and her talents, I decided to show a little bit about how Richard would get ready to go to Penn’s Woods.

Furthermore, the prompt was about non-officer characters. Crystal fit the bill rather neatly as she is a civilian when the story takes place. But even after her hiring, she really isn’t even an Ensign. She represents one of my ultimate outsider characters. And the truth is, Lili is one, too. I love the idea of this sort of a fish out of water being a part of Starfleet or at least the Star Trek universe. Yet that makes sense, as I would certainly be just as much of an outsider if, somehow, I were suddenly a part of the canon. Furthermore, I think most of us would be.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | Preparations
Clockworks

So in early 3101, Temporal Agent Richard Daniels is prepared for his 1699 Penn’s Woods trip by Crystal Sherwood.

This is before Crystal gets a job with the Temporal Integrity Commission. Therefore, it was a good opportunity to demonstrate why he would recommend, in A Long, Long Time Ago, that she be hired for the open Quartermaster position. Crystal has talent, and it shows.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I love Crystal and I enjoyed showcasing her in her element, particularly as she pushes Rick around a little.

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Review – Briefing

Review – Briefing

Briefing is a quickie.

Background

Since I had wanted to write a quick drabble, I pulled Rick Daniels into the Temporal Integrity Commission. However I also, potentially, wanted to attract another group of readers. Unfortunately, this did not really work. Hence I did not get the new readers I wanted.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | Briefing
Clockworks

In 3096, Richard Daniels joins the Temporal Integrity Commission as a Temporal Agent.

But in order to get him ready, he gets a bit of a background on his mission. And so the story introduces the commission. As a result, I included a smidgen of world building. The temporal agent gets a support team.

After all, who would have watched Enterprise and thought he wouldn’t have one? Consider the scene where Daniels and Jonathan Archer see a ruined deep future skyscraper? Daniels says he ate lunch in there. An enormous building, by definition, means there would have been people in it. And those people – at least some of them, at any rate – should have been supporting the temporal agent. Otherwise, how could he accomplish his missions, or even select them?

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

So the story is understandably short. But I feel that it is fair to middling. Since it’s not bad, but not great, either. And certainly more time could have and should have been spent on this particular event. Perhaps, at some point, I will write more about this and will flesh out the details better. But for now, it feels like more of a snack than a meal.

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Review – Recruitment

Review – Recruitment

Recruitment is just plain weird.

Background

It is perhaps one of the odder stories I have ever written for Star Trek fanfiction. It is about the recruitment of a new Section 31 agent.  Because it was written for Andorian Week, the main character is an Andorian.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | Recruitment
Clockworks

In 3087, Section 31 puts a potential agent through her paces.

However, in a scene reminiscent of Men in Black, an Andorian is thrown into an utterly unfamiliar situation. And she is expected to solve a puzzle. Complicating matters is the fact that it’s hard to tell who is competing against her, or even if anyone is. And perhaps they aren’t.

At the time, I was in the middle of helping out with Multiverse II. And I was also writing about  Daniel Beauchaine‘s betrayal of the Temporal Integrity Commission. Hence I combined those ideas a bit. Furthermore, I added a holodeck simulation of Duluth, destroyed by nuclear war (an event also commemorated in The Three of Us). At the time, Rick Daniels was the only deep future branch of Malcolm‘s family (along with Eleanor and their father, Steven). Hence I added a pale fellow (a shout out to ancestor Lili O’Day), who the main character only refers to as ‘Sven’, as he seems to look Swedish.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Since the story is strange, it suffers from some odd dreamlike qualities. Some of it was quite literally was taken from a dream. That included a strange, almost living, elevator. Therefore, it is an offshoot. It’s a kind of spur on the highway right now. I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to it. Although Steven Reed might be revisited a little in the Barnstorming series.

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Review – Desperation

Review – Desperation

Desperation comes in an odd place in this story. But parents will know this feeling all too, uncomfortably, well.

Background

For a prompt of the same name, I decided to go with one of life’s little desperations. While others might have concentrated on a damaged ship or a damaged relationship, I zigged instead of zagged. Therefore, I wrote the merry mix-ups that occur when you are trying to toilet train your recalcitrant mixed-species toddler.

Yes, I went there.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | Desperation
Clockworks

Future Temporal Integrity Commission employee Otra D’Angelo experiences a small milestone in her young life. Takes place in 3069.

However, her parents are getting a bit impatient. But she doesn’t care. And so little Otra D’Angelo will not become toilet trained for love or money or any amount of coaxing.

So her father, Marco, is driven to broken English, mixed with Italian. And her mother, Chefra, wants to go back to work and is tired of this nonsense already.

But, like countless little children before her, Otra knows that she’s in control. So she takes full advantage of that. While Marco tears his hair out in frustration, and Chefra tries to sweet talk her, Otra has her own ideas.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Star Trek is rather famous for not showing family life. But this is not only a mixed-species family, it is also a family where four separate languages are spoken! However, I think it’s a fairly decent introduction to Otra, the woman with an odd gift for seeing alternate timelines.

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