Tag Archives: Will Slocum

Review – Before the Fall

Review – Before the Fall

Before the Fall references pride.

Background

For an early Lili story, I got the idea as I was given a prompt for a story about the seven deadly sins. I chose pride.

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Jonathan Frakes as Chef Will Slocum (image is for educational purposes only) | Before the Fall
Jonathan Frakes as Chef Will Slocum (image is for educational purposes only)

For quite a while, I had had the idea of pitting Will and Lili against each other in an Iron Chef-style competition.

Putting together the prequel idea, pride and the competition brought me directly to this story.

Plot

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Naomi Watts as Lili O'Day (image is for educational purposes)
Naomi Watts as Lili O’Day (image is for educational purposes)

Lili is a new employee on the NX-01, recently hired by Will and so this is after both Voracious and Harvest.

It’s the middle of the Xindi War, and the crew needs a break. Apart from an extra Movie Night, what do you do for entertainment? Hence the idea for a competition was thought up.

I decided the judges would be Jonathan, Malcolm and Jay, thereby prefiguring Lili’s relationship with Malcolm and her connection to Jay, plus her failed connection, during the first E2 alternate timeline, with Jonathan. The food, too, would prefigure some things, including the smoky cumin which is referenced in Temper.

Review – Before the Fall

Preston Jennings makes an appearance, thereby tying the story to More, More, More! He is Chef’s assistant between Daniels and Lili. Lili selects Brian Delacroix as her assistant, thereby neatly prefiguring his becoming a chef (hinted at in Reversal, and then fully realized in Together and Fortune).

Hoshi and Chip host the event, which is broadcast throughout the ship. The secret ingredient, almonds, must be incorporated into all of the dishes that Lili and Will make. Then the judges anonymously taste and decide, giving points for flavor, originality and presentation. Lili and Brian work well as a team, and poor Preston has a bit of a meltdown. As for Will, well, you know what pride goeth before, right?

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I like the frenzied nature of the competition and the details about the work that goes into it. I have watched these kinds of shows more than once, and they continue to amaze me with people’s creativity and risk-taking. Plus, truth be told, it’s a bit of a slam at the Frakes character, given my annoyance with These Are the Voyages. I think it worked out pretty well.

Review – The Mess

Review – The Mess

This mess should be really disturbing.

Background

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | In Between Days | The Mess
In Between Days

This scene was a part of Reversal, and in Fortune, but it never really got its due until a Weekly Free Write about chores.

I wanted very much to have a story that starts off as cleaning a kitchen and then, well, what sort of dirt is it, anyway?

You don’t want to know.

Plot

On November 22nd of 2153, Lili is alone in the NX-01‘s kitchen. She is panting. The air smells like turkey cooking, as it is Thanksgiving. She’s got a cast iron skillet in her hands. Reed‘s voice is on the intercom.

And there’s a messing on the wall, and there’s dirt on the floor.

Review – The Mess

As the story goes on, it becomes apparent that there have been boarding parties on the ship. So what is on the floor, and on the wall, are the remains of something sentient. Hayes and Slocum come in. And Lili is still, barely, coherent.

Hayes takes the enemy’s rifle and leaves. However, before he does so, he translates the name on the uniform patch – She Who Almost Didn’t Breed in Time. For Lili, that could be an apt descriptor as well.

Slocum tosses away the pan, and finally breaks Lili out of her almost catatonic state. And while it is not quite business as usual, they have to go on anyway.

Lili remembers the story in Conversations with Heroes, although she feels anything but heroic.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I like how the story played out although I think I could have emphasized Lili’s panting and her fear and her coming down from an adrenaline high, a little bit more.

Review – If You Can’t Stand the Heat

Review – If You Can’t Stand the Heat

Background

When I was first writing Star Trek: Enterprise fanfiction, I began with an idea about writing stories about the five senses.

Review – If You Can’t Stand the Heat
If You Can’t Stand the Heat

This story was devoted to taste.

I despised the last episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, These Are The Voyages, but I had no problem whatsoever with Jonathan Frakes playing the NX-01‘s chef. An older man seemed right for the job.

Plot

Review – If You Can’t Stand the Heat

The chef (originally named Paul Mayer – in later fan fiction, he’s named William Slocum) starts  preparations for dinner like he would any other day, by deciding that he’ll make roast chicken. This is before Lili O’Day is hired and after time traveler Richard Daniels departs, so his main helper is Preston Jennings. The Xindi War has not yet started, so he has a multitude of assistants.

When he can’t find his assistants anywhere, and he needs a lemon, so he contacts the ship’s first Botanist, Naomi Curtis (Shelby Pike, like Lili, is brought in after the start of the Xindi War). She doesn’t know what’s going on, either, as her own helpers are nowhere to be found. She heads to the kitchen. When the door slides open it’s obvious that the hallways are freezing. And they smell vaguely of rotten eggs.

What’s going on?

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Without giving away spoilers, the story does prefigure goings on in later stories such as The Mess and Reversal. One thing I do like about the story is that, although it’s really an alien of the week one-off, it does introduce Slocum pretty well, and it also provides the reader with some context about how things were before the Xindi. E. g. the Enterprise was loaded with unnecessary personnel. Replacing Naomi with the more skilled and versatile Shelby makes sense, as does moving Jennings to Navigation and replacing him and anyone else working for Will, with Lili.

As an older story, I can see the holes in the plot and would have emphasized the cooking a lot less.

Recipe for Roast Chicken

Ingredients

1 (6 pound) chicken
1 bunch of celery
1 small bag of baby carrots or 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into half lengthwise
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Paprika to taste
1 lemon, halved
1/2 head garlic
1 medium white onion, quartered, plus 1 onion, sliced in rounds

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Rinse the chicken with cool water, inside and out. Lay the sliced onion, the carrot and celery on the bottom of a roasting pan. Season the bird all over with paprika, salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the lemon, garlic and the quartered onion. Place the chicken, breast-side up, in the roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes.

Turn down the heat to 350 degrees F. and cook for 20 minutes per pound. For a 6 pound chicken, that’s 2 hours.

Review – If You Can’t Stand the Heat
Roast chicken

The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (the legs of the chicken should wiggle easily from the sockets too.) Remove the chicken to a platter and let stand for 10 minutes, so the juices settle back into the meat before carving.

Review – Onions

Background

On Ad Astra, there was a weekly prompt about crying. Now, I am not a fan of making my characters cry. It’s not that I don’t – God knows they weep up a storm at times. But for whatever reason, I don’t love writing the specifics of that in fanfiction. I tend to use more euphemistic expressions, such as wet face or red face. I wanted to answer the prompt, but I wanted a kind of back-handed reason for crying that wouldn’t be quite so readily apparent. And of course it came to me – chopping onions. And who better to do that than sous-chef extraordinaire Lili O’Day?

Plot

It’s Christmas Eve of 2153, and Lili and Will are putting together supper for everyone. French onion soup is on the menu, so she is chopping. And chopping. And chopping.

Chopping onions
Chopping onions

And of course her eyes are tearing and her arms are killing her.

But then Will puts his foot in his mouth, big time. She hasn’t been working with him for that long, and he decides to make conversation. He asks her what her family normally made for Christmas dinner. She mutters something about coquilles St. Jacques grilled or baked,  served in their shells with a cream sauce. But she doesn’t tell him anything else.

And Will, like a fool, persists and pushes her. And she has to blurt out that holidays are hurtful, because of the deaths of her parents.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I wanted to honor Lili’s parents and, at the same time, get across that holidays, for a lot of people, are just plain godawful. Plus I wanted a reason for her to be crying. The onions set her off, but it’s the memory – and the Will’s misguided persistence – that really ice it for her.

I think the story came out well, and packs a lot into only 560 words.


You can find me on .

Review – Protocols

ReviewProtocols 

Protocols was written in response to a prompt about arts and crafts, and covers a small missing scene from the third season of ENT. Namely, it’s the celebration of Captain

Review – Protocols
Scott Bakula

Archer‘s birthday. As a result, it was meant to be a bit of a contrast to the ENT canon Silent Enemy episode, wherein the executive staff celebrates Malcolm Reed‘s birthday. Because the Xindi war is raging, I wanted it to be different.

Preparations

For Lili to ply her trade as a combination sous-chef, pastry chef and saucier, she needs to be able to expertly handle a pastry bag and tip. Although art runs in her family (in Fortune, she reveals that her mother was a potter), Lili isn’t meant to be a fine artist. Therefore, she traces the image of a shuttle, and of Captain Archer, onto the top of the cake by projecting an image with her PADD and then following along with icing.

Mistake

Review – Protocols

Lili makes one big error by writing out Happy Birthday, Jonathan! instead of Happy Birthday, Captain Archer! Chef Slocum points this out to her, but it’s too late to fix it. Slocum tells her that Archer has been in a foul mood ever since the Loque’eque virus (from the canon Star Trek: Enterprise episode Extinction). A little apprehensive, she serves the birthday dinner, and then the dessert, which is a strawberry shortcake. She has chosen strawberry because, unlike in Silent Enemy, she has been taking note of the food preferences of the executive staff. If strawberry isn’t Jonathan Archer‘s favorite, it’s probably close enough. In Local Flavor, Travis comments that he’s going to miss her strawberry shortcake.

Redemption

After the cake is cut and the dinner is over, the captain approaches her. Lili immediately apologizes for being overly familiar and not following proper protocols. But the captain sees things differently, and urges her to make the same cake, with the same greeting on it, the following year, assuming they make it out of the Xindi war alive.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I like how the story flowed, from Lili’s task to Will Slocum scolding her, to the dinner (which includes referencing to the canon conflict between Malcolm Reed and Jay Hayes) to the short post-dinner conversation. I’m very happy with how this ficlet turned out.


You can find me on .

Review – Voracious

Review – Voracious

Voracious grew out of a Star Trek fanfiction idea to not only give Lili O’Day a little more backstory and fill in a blank in her life, but also as a response to a prompt about making a good impression.

Needs

Review – Voracious

Chef William Slocum has been charged by Captain Archer to replace three people – a sous-chef, a pastry chef and a saucier. Plus, for his own preferences, Will doesn’t want to be fetching and carrying. He’d rather not be cleaning off tables or serving food. His current steward, Preston Jennings (seen in More, More, More!) had been the replacement for Daniels and has been moved over to Navigation. Furthermore, Will can’t just ask Preston to drop everything and serve food all the time, as the Xindi war has just started.

Impressive

Will has a free evening on Earth and takes a cab to a new fusion place that had received a good review prior to the attack on Earth. Voracious is in San Mateo. The meal begins with Will asking the server what’s good. She recommends two of Lili’s specialties – the Harvest Salad and the Duck Burger. The Harvest Salad is mentioned in both Reversal and Fortune. The Duck Burger gets a shout-out in Together. Will decides to have both, plus a glass of the house Shiraz.

Review – Voracious

He ends up loving the salad and its orange vinaigrette dressing (a reference to the later importance of oranges in Reversal and Fortune) and asks to meet the chef. The server arranges it and Will heads to the kitchen.

A Whirling Dervish

Lili is tasked with not only cooking, chopping and making sauces, but also cleaning up. She barely notices him as he comes in, and has him put a carton of blueberries away (blueberries will become important in the E2 stories). And so already Will is able to check off two of his requirements – saucier and sous-chef, and probably also table-cleaner. When she offers him some of the New York-style cheesecake she’s made that day – and complains about having to also balance the books on top of everything else she’s had to do – he is sold. At the end of the story, all they have to work out are the details.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I like the way it turned out and I think it provides a decent introduction to In Between Days. For a while there, it was the first story in that series because it fully takes place in 2153, as opposed to Paving Stones, which has a flashback to 2109 but mainly takes place later. I also like how Lili, who is a major character in the series, is barely seen. She’s the ghost of later, seen through the eyes of Chef.