Tag Archives: Will Owen

Review – The Cure is Worse Than the Disease

Review – The Cure is Worse Than the Disease

The Cure is Worse Than the Disease was the kick off for a series.

Background

In response to a prompt about diseases and their cures, the title, as a phrase, lodged itself into my head and would not get out.

Review – The Cure is Worse Than the Disease

At the same time, I read an article about the marsupial wolf (this extinct creature was also called the Tasmanian tiger). A scrap of paper held the tiniest of plot bunnies – smart kangaroos.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Cria | The Cure is Worse Than the Disease
Cria, a tween secondary female Daranaean

At the conclusion of Intolerance, Pamela Hudson is poised to leave the Nereid Medical Academy. Will Owen is distraught and is about to be kicked out, but Blair Claymore, Mark Stone, and An Nguyen are still going to be there. What happens to those newly minted doctors once they graduate?

I decided that An would graduate at the top of his class. And he would get a job with Erika Hernandez and become the Chief Medical Officer on her canon ship, the USS Columbia (the NX-02).

While on a routine voyage, they come across a pleasure craft which is emanating a distress call, a medical emergency. When they answer it, they come upon a most curious species, the Daranaeans.

It seems that there’s already a physician on board, Doctor Rechal. So, why isn’t he treating the sick individual? Because she’s a second-caste female, and he doesn’t treat their kind. As An, Erika and the remainder of the Columbia‘s crew learn, there is institutional sexism in this species. Everyone seems to be in on it. The men look down on the women. The Prime Wife looks down at the secondary. The secondary looks down on the third-caste female. And the women are kept barefoot and pregnant.

Doctor Nguyen loses a lot of his innocence then, as he learns that even a species that could be an ally can have some rather nasty personal practices.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K+.

Upshot

The story was so well-received that fellow authors demanded a sequel. I wrote a few, and created a series for the Daranaeans, called Emergence. And it all sprang from this one story.

Portrait of a Character – Will Owen

Portrait of a Character – Will Owen

Origins

For the Intolerance Star Trek fanfiction story, I wanted to have two more or less parallel couples with very different fates. One would be Malcolm and Pamela. The other would be Blair and Will.

Portrayal

Will is played by actor and former male model Tyrese Gibson.

Portrait of a Character – Will Owen
Tyrese Gibson as Will Owen

Will is meant to be a very good-looking African-American man, and Gibson fits the bill perfectly.

Personality

Gentle and loving, Will wants everything to be perfect with Blair. She is his world.

But his world is crashing downwards, as he is failing out of his classes. In order to be able to stay with her, he does the unthinkable.

And when it does not work, Pamela reports, in Together, that Will hangs himself.

Relationships

Blair Claymore

Fellow medical student Blair Claymore is all that Will feels he needs. They seem to be the golden couple, ideal in every way. They also set up a contrast to Malcolm and Pamela’s odd relationship, with its tug of war.

If Will had lived, undoubtedly, he would have proposed.

Mirror Universe

There are no impediments to Will having a Mirror Universe counterpart.

Portrait of a Character – Will Owen
Mirror Will Owen (Tyrese Gibson)

I have never written him, but I can envision a Will in the mirror as being nasty and probably a ladies’ man. He has never been written on the ISS Defiant, and Empress Hoshi would have noticed if such a good-looking man was on her ship.

But there are plenty of other places where a mirror guy could lurk.

Quote

“Yes, I know, California girl. And I love the color of your skin. The difference means nothing to me.”

Upshot

A tragic figure, Will is doomed even before the start of Intolerance and, unless I can write some sort of origins or mirror tale for him, he won’t be seen again.

Review – Intolerance

Story Origins

Intolerance comes from dark places.

A friend suggested to me as I was first starting to write Star Trek: Enterprise fanfiction – get Malcolm Reed to loosen up. I bet, down deep, he’s kinky. And so the gauntlet was thrown down. Challenge accepted.

Intolerance Plot

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Intolerance
Intolerance

It began with a fairly simple premise, to get an intriguing woman on the ship. Then I decided to add interest by adding a few women. And then the idea progressed to one of a kind of a competition.

Hence I decided that it would be a small medical residential rotation. The specialty would be Immunology. In order to minimize complexity, I decided on five students. In order to add a little Shakespearean-style chaos, one (and their instructor) would have an ambiguous enough name that gender could not be readily and immediately known.

Then the fun begins. Travis hears that there are five students coming. Three, he figures, are female. He tells Malcolm and Tripplet’s compete for them. They draw straws in order to determine who they’ll go after. Tripp wins the first draw and selects Pamela Hudson. Travis gets the second draw and decides on Blair Claymore. Malcolm is forced to settle for who he thinks will be An Nguyen. But this is the ambiguity, for An is a guy (this was also intended as a play on Reed often being depicted as gay in fan fiction). The instructor, Bernie Keating-Fong, is really Bernardine. But she’s older, and is wearing a wedding ring. It seems that Malcolm is the odd man out.

But Malcolm has a major trick up his sleeve, and writes Pamela poetry.

However, all is not right, not with Pamela, and not with the ship. Without giving away any more of the plot, suffice it to say that it is a rather odd story. It’s difficult to summarize without giving up all manner of spoilers.

Music

Amy Winehouse
Cover of Amy Winehouse

Chip and Aidan show the film Dirty Dancing and the discussion that ensues is a small plot point. It also introduces some of the music, such as Mickey and Sylvia‘s Love is Strange and The Ronettes Be My Baby. But Pamela herself has her own music – Amy Winehouse‘s You Know I’m No Good.

Story Postings

Rating

There are two versions of this story. The version of Intolerance on Ad Astra is rated M. The version of Intolerance on Fanfiction.net is rated T. The difference is the explicitness of the more intimate scenes.

Upshot

British actor Dominic Keating, DragonCon 2008
British actor Dominic Keating, DragonCon 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This story is a bit of a detour. Of the main books in the In Between Days series, it’s more of a left turn than anything else. It is ostensibly Malcolm’s story in the same way that Reversal is Lili‘s story, Together is Melissa‘s, Temper is Doug‘s and Fortune is Leonora‘s, but it’s also very much Pamela‘s story (as is Saturn Rise). Plus Malcolm is revealed in many other tales that I’ve written since then.

Frankly, Intolerance doesn’t get a lot of love, too, and its read counts are sometimes lower than those of the others. Some of that may be due to the fact that it’s the shortest of the major books, with the fewest number of chapters. But I have reread it (I reread everything) and don’t think anything could truly be added. I like its tight editing. It does very little meandering, whereas Reversal and Fortune in particular sometimes wander off and away from their main plot lines.

Kaley Cuoco
Kaley Cuoco

A lot of the elements turn out well, I feel, but maybe it was too much of a departure. I don’t know. I have been happy to use it as a jumping-off point for other works, such as Together and The Cure is Worse Than the Disease. Truth be told, it may hold up better than most of what I’ve written.

Portrait of a Character – Blair Claymore

Portrait of a Character – Blair Claymore

Origins

Blair began as a roommate/friend for Pamela Hudson. She was intended to also be an object of desire, but to be the “good girl” in contrast to Pamela’s “bad girl” in Intolerance. Her ambition is to be an obstetrician, in further contrast to Pamela’s stated ambition to become a plastic surgeon. Furthermore, her relationship with Will Owen was meant to be almost a model of love and propriety – but there was something under the surface that wasn’t quite so proper.

Portrayal

I always liked Holly Marie Combs on Charmed,
and so she was, to me, a natural for Blair. Blair is described as being a brunette with a few freckles, a nice figure and a big smile. She’s a typical California girl in looks and mannerisms, but I didn’t want her to be Malibu Barbie.

Portrait of a Character – Blair Claymore
Blair Claymore

Personality

Beautiful and smart, Blair is also kind and caring. She’s the person who worries about Pamela. She’s the one who would have accepted Will despite his issues (she doesn’t get a chance to, though).

Relationships

In Intolerance, she flirts a bit with the guys and a few of them – namely Travis, Chip Masterson and probably also Aidan – make various plays for her. But they’re all unsuccessful, as she only has eyes for Will Owen. Pamela reveals that that relationship has been a model of waiting and planning. Will and Blair have been together for about a year before taking the plunge and having sex, and they do so under the auspices of “I love you”s. It seems right. They seem destined to wed.

But things go differently and, in Together, Pamela tells Malcolm that Blair is engaged to someone else (as of this writing, his name has not been revealed).

By the time of Fortune, Blair still has her maiden name, but that might be preference rather than an indication of a continuing single marital status. She has become a Chief Medical Officer on a starship, just like her and Pamela’s classmate, An Nguyen. By the time of Flight of the Bluebird and Equinox, she is still at her post. In Bluebird, it slips out that she’s married. I haven’t decided whether that’s a marriage to the person Pamela refers to in Together.

Mirror Universe

The Mirror Blair’s life, like that of most of the denizens of the other side of the pond, is a lot harder than in the Prime Universe.

Portrait of a Character – Blair Claymore
MU Blair

She’s seen in Temper, in the first alternate timeline, and has been brought in as one of José Torres‘s playthings, along with Pamela and Karin Bernstein. Little more than a high-priced hooker, the Mirror Blair is probably not much more than a minor Science Department lackey and is certainly no doctor. Toward the end of that story, she reveals that Doctor Morgan has been treating her for bruising although, whether it’s due to José or Aidan or any of the other possible men in the Mirror Universe who wanted her, the specifics remain a mystery as of this writing.

Quote

“I never have to see you again, and I never have to talk to you.”

Upshot

This nice girl eventually gets the career she wants and, presumably, the rest of a perfect life to go with it. As for the Mirror version, once the timeline is restored, all contact is lost, so who knows what really happens to her?