Xindi Insectoid

Review – Alien Encounter

Review – Alien Encounter

An alien encounter would probably scare a lot of us. This one really should.


For a similarly-named prompt, I wanted to explore the idea of what happens when our weirder-looking and somewhat frightening allies end up in sticky situations with us. And for many people, this particular situation is fraught with fear. Furthermore, so is this type of alien. Hence I put the two together in order to see just what would happen.


Barking up the muse tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Alien Encounter

Alien Encounter

Keith Paris finds himself trapped in a stuck lift with an unexpected someone.

And that someone, it turns out, is a Xindi Insectoid. Eek!

The Xindi, though (this is just after the conclusion of the Xindi War), recognizes that the situation is an uncomfortable one. So in a small way, the alien provides a measure of reparations, and apologizes for its species’ actions during the war. The Xindi did not have to do that. In addition, looking back on this rather short tale, that feels like a cliché. Because why the hell should an ordinary citizen apologize for the actions of his or her government?

Excuse me, its government.

I say ‘it’ because, prior to breeding, I name Xindi as ‘the one who’ versus ‘she who’. This naming convention works for me but it is not canon.

Story Postings


This story is rated K.


So the story is perhaps too compact and short, but I currently have no plans to update and expand it at this time. As a result, it feels way too ‘pat’. I could have expanded on it and given everyone a lot more depth. However, that is just not going to be happening.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Review, 0 comments

Review – The Mess

Review – The Mess

This mess should be really disturbing.


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.


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


The story is Rated K.


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.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Review, 8 comments

Focus – Ikaarans in Star Trek Fan Fiction

Focus – Ikaarans

Ikaarans are canon.
A focus Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Focus Magnifying Glass | Ikaarans (unlike a spotlight) is an in-depth look at a Star Trek fanfiction canon item and my twist(s) on it.

Of course, all of fan fiction is like that, but the idea here is to provide a window into how a single canon concept can be used in fan fiction.


With almost nothing to go on, Ikaarans were ripe for reinvention. The only person of even partial Ikaaran blood who is ever seen in canon is Karyn Archer.

Focus – Ikaarans

Part-Ikaaran, part-human Karyn Archer

The only alien characteristic that can be seen is the rather pronounced ridge running from her forehead to her nose. Her nose is also wider than most humans’, although she might have had human ancestry providing that look. She also has crow’s feet, but those are more likely to be signs of aging and stress. Furthermore, she is apparently of Asian descent, which seems to indicate a kinship with Hoshi Sato or Dan Chang or any other Asian crew members rather than any Ikaaran features.


Clicking languages have been around since prehistoric times and, genetically speaking, at least the peoples who speak them can be traced back a good 35,000 years. I believe it’s highly likely that, when we go into space, we’ll encounter click languages. In canon, the only such language is Xindi Insectoid, which appears to be a function of the shape of that alien race’s mouth parts.

For the Ikaarans, my idea is that they would be speaking in clicks by choice, rather than necessity. But they would speak names and, therefore, the intonation would be slower.


There is no information on Ikaaran culture so I created all of this. I decided to make their society completely against birth control, not even bothering to invent it. Therefore, their planet, Ikaaria, would have gross overpopulation. In order to alleviate the burdens of a huge population, two things would happen to their society.

First, they would send their young people out to work, in single-sex work gangs. They would farm or mine, mostly, as a form of community service to their race. These work groups would go out every four years during one festival, and would return in another. By staying offworld, they would not consume as many resources. Plus they would create or obtain more resources, and bring them back at the end of their work commitments. In addition, they would be separate from the other gender during peak fertility years.

The other means of controlling the population would be more sinister. Instead of birth control, their scientists would alter their genome. Hence, as a result, they would all have a kind of self-destruct sequence in their genes. They refer to the disease as the decline, and it is uniformly fatal, and kills Ikaarans before they turn 50. As a result, they don’t trust scientists much, and they don’t trust doctors. But they don’t need doctors.

Empathic Healing

Doctors are unnecessary because Ikaarans can heal themselves, and each other. They can heal members of other species, too, so long as the organs are more or less equivalent. In The Three of Us, the Ikaarans Jeris and Jobiram are able to heal Lili and Jay, but Jay has internal injuries that they cannot do anything about. In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, a weapon is devised by the Imvari and the Xindi Insectoids, and that weapon is specifically designed to counteract Ikaaran empathic healing. When that weapon, which uses percussive shock, is used, the victim must be attended to very quickly for doctors to be able to do anything at all.

In The All-Stars, the team’s trainer is an Ikaaran. This therefore opens up the possibility of giving many on-field injuries more or less instant cures without rehabilitation. No more disabled list!

Romance and Family Life

Ikaarans are generally monogamous and enjoy humans’ company. The gift of a living thing is the equivalent of a marriage proposal. Ethan Shapiro gives Bithara  a perfectly ripe orange as his proposal gift in The Three of Us. In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Jonathan gives Esilia his dog, Daisy, as his proposal gift.

With the help of scientific information from Jobiram and Jeris, Phlox is able to perfect human-Ikaaran interbreeding, and hybrid children are born, including Karyn’s ancestor, Aaron Gregory Archer, named after Jonathan Archer‘s old friend, AG Robinson.


This species could have been fascinating in canon, but they are never really seen and the viewers don’t get to really know anyone. As a tabula rasa, they’ve been a lot of fun to create. I’ll try to find other occasions to show them, in addition to the upcoming sports series.

The Ikaarans will be back.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Focus, In Between Days series, Interphases series, 11 comments