Tag Archives: World War III

Review – Hub of the Universe

Review – Hub of the Universe

Background

Hub of the Universe is a gift to a Star Trek fan fiction writer who goes by the moniker of funngunner.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Hub of the Universe
The Hub of the Universe

Boston is often called that. So I played on the title and the imagery. The character has a description as being from Boston but little else. He did not even really have a look to me. Seth McClusky’s main description was ‘barrel chested’ and nothing more. He was the kind of forgotten third of a love triangle as well. Hence I decided I would shake that up. Seth would get a back story. And he would get a friend and a rough family life. I wanted to give him a personality and a history.

Plot

Just after World War III, Seth McClusky thinks about leaving Southie and hitches a ride with Jennie from the block, AKA Jennie O’Connor. Sharp-eyed readers will pick up on Jennie’s surname. Because she is a consanguineous ancestor of deep future engineer Kevin O’Connor.

And even sharper-eyed readers will notice her widow, Milagros Torres. Because Torres is a consanguineous ancestor of José Torres. Furthermore, in both cases, the characters are linked to future engineers, as is fitting, for Jennie herself is an engineering apprentice when she dies in Brazil in the Xindi attack on Florida and South America. As a result, Jennie’s little story is almost a harbinger of future In Between Days events.

Story Postings

Hub of the Universe on Ad Astra

Rating

The story is Rated K+.

Upshot

I love this title so much, I am more or less reusing it. But this time, for the 2016 NaNoWriMo novel, the circumstances are rather different. Hence that novel is called The Real Hub of the Universe.

However, the accents are admittedly a little difficult and may be hard for some readers to get used to. But I wanted Seth and Jennie to be real Southie people, and that meant more than just the occasionally dropped R.

As for the story, Seth’s original creator loved it.

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Portrait of a Character – Rita Spinelli

Portrait of a Character – Rita Spinelli

Rita Spinelli was originally a complete throwaway character and did not have a name. Once she had one, though, I decided I liked her, and I wanted to keep her.

Origins

Rita Spinelli
Christina Ricci as Rita Spinelli (image is provided for educational purposes only)

I needed a character who would be an odd symbol of hope.

In the midst of the violent aftermath of the Third World War, during Colonel Phillip Green‘s reign,  the multiverse is smashed together by an enemy called the Chilo. Heroes from several universes were summoned, in this epic crossover, to defeat the enemy. Some would be on ships (including Levi Cavendish and Branch Borodin), and some would be on the ground. That included Otra D’Angelo.  But there also needed to be natives. Beyond Donald Janeway, Jared Riley, Liesl Green, and Cameron Petraeus, there would be one symbol.

Enter Rita.

Portrayal

Rita is ‘played’ by actress Christina Ricci. I love how she can speak in a monotone and almost be like a trauma victim, and then turn on a dime and be cutting. Rita keeps her feelings close to the vest.

Personality

Angry, damaged, and nine months pregnant, Rita leads a small resistance division against Green. But the Chilo are unlike anything she has ever seen before. When screwup Seymour Sonia practically falls into her lap, she treats him poorly, but still takes care of him, as she watches him becoming a coulamine (candy) addict. After he delivers her daughter, Speranza Memoria (Sky), Rita takes pity on Sonia and helps get him clean.

Relationships

Donald Janeway

Sky’s unnamed father is dead. Donald, who had done computers work for Green, also falls in Rita’s lap. Like her, he has demons in his past. But in her he sees an opportunity to try to rise above it all, or at least to have a future. Nerdy and overly formal, he is the stability she needs. He is the only father Sky will ever know, and they are ancestors of Kathryn Janeway.

Mirror Universe

I write Mirror Universe women as being beholden to men for their happiness and safety.

Rita Spinelli
Christina Ricci as MU Rita Spinelli (image is provided for educational purposes only)

She could potentially be much more delicate. She is a smart character, and so that could be a rather calculating move on her part, to play to helpless coquette in order to snag a higher class of man.

Quote

“Listen, we’re not selling fuckin’ Girl Scout cookies here! Now there are these big rainbow-y, uh, things out there, and they are taking over people. Sonia called ‘em Chilo. But the candy keeps ‘em away.”

Upshot

For a character without much of a future, Rita becomes a rallying point for a damaged world. I just wish we had finished that story!

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Inspiration – Employment

 

Background

Like most adults of my generation, I have gone out to work.

Cover of "Office Space (Special Edition w...

 

I’ve had good jobs and bad ones, interesting ones and dull ones. I’ve been challenged, I’ve been browbeaten and I’ve been inspired. I’ve come home exhilarated, weepy, frustrated and exhausted. I’ve had situations that I wished would never end. And I’ve had jobs where I was climbing the walls, impatient to leave already.

These experiences can and do inform my Star Trek fanfiction at times.

Connections to Trek

Kirk and Pike
Kirk and Pike

The best and closest connection is in the HG Wells series. Those stories, in addition to being about Richard Daniels and his enlightenment, and about various romances and of course about time, they are also, very much, about the world of work.

Interviews

A Long, Long Time Ago contains within it a group interview and then a series of small one on one meetings. Otra conducts at least one of these meetings, and is satisfied with the candidate, until someone else hears her being referred to, by that candidate, as a salad head. That’s a slur, so that candidate is out, and there is no question.

Orientation

Ohio is centered around three separate training missions. Carmen takes Marisol to the Mirror universe. Kevin takes Tom to the start of World War III. And Rick takes Sheilagh to 1970 Kent State. Tom and Sheilagh are also given various surgeries in order to assist them in performing their jobs, so Boris gets something to do, too.

Vacation Time

You Mixed-Up Siciliano, meant to be a vacation in time (it’s 1960 Rome) turns into a disaster when Rick and Sheilagh are targeted by an assassin.

Upshot

We like to think that Starfleet personnel are just brought in, and that the best people are always hired and there is very little effort behind that. To my mind, that never rang true. I think there was effort behind it. And I also think that, sometimes, it’s not the best person who gets hired. Just like real life.

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