Friday, December 6, 2013

Finding inspiration

Finding inspiration isn't always as easy as it sounds. Actually, most of the time I find myself looking for inspiration and not finding any. It's not an easy concept to grasp. Sometimes I'm in an (what I like to call) inspired mood. For me, those usually last a few days and my stories take huge leaps forward. They seem to appear out of nowhere, I just wake up with a bunch of ideas on how a story should continue and I spend hours writing them down and perfecting them. After a while, it just stops as suddenly as it started. 

I never use my inspired mood to actually write pieces other than simple drafts. I mainly work on plots, certain scenes I want to add to the story and adding depth to my characters. Surprisingly enough I'm not a better writer when I get inspired. My grammar gets a little sloppy and I tend to get into too much detail. I always need to go back in later and eliminate half of the details I put in. 

But now for the hard part: what if inspiration seems to have taken a leave of absence? What if it just doesn't start flowing the way you like it to? There are tricks to get inspiration and for everyone there's another one that works. I mainly use three tricks to get on in my stories.

The first trick is research and reading. When I need inspiration I just start reading up on the subject. This week I've been working on the plot for the USS Falcon Christmas Special. To start I did the simplest thing I could think of, I googled on the term 'Christmas special'. That lead me to a bunch of Christmas special related wiki pages including a full listing of Christmas specials from running shows. While going through all the information I found I made a mind map to keep track of Christmas related ideas. Later on I'll use that to determine the main plot of the special. 

The second trick is using the characters of the story. Since the characters of the USS Falcon are pretty much done I can get inspiration by just examining how they would react to a particular situation or another character. It gives information on what plotlines could work. For example, I don't have a religious character in this story so it would make no sense to focus on the religious part of Christmas. 

The last trick is using cliches to your advantage. I've talked about this before and I can't talk about it enough: cliches are cliches because they work. So use them to your advantage. My mind map for the Christmas special is loaded with cliches. Not because I'm going to copy them into the story, but because they can help me set up a plot for this special. 

So that's my way of finding inspiration when I'm not in a flow. I'm curious, what do you guys do to get inspiration?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Overcoming a writersblock by writing a Holiday Special

Hello again. As you may have noticed it has been quiet on this blog again. It's not because I haven't written anything lately, but mainly because I'm stuck in chapter 5 of the first Star Trek Falcon episode. I'm okay with what I've written so far, but I'm not sure how to make the transition to the second part of the chapter. Later today I'm giving it another try, but if that doesn't work I'll consider dropping the second part.

Something that hasn't been helping is the fact that while watching the third season of Star Trek Enterprise I realized that some characters needed a little bit more work so they won't resemble certain characters of Enterprise too much. I have to say that it wasn't exactly the most encouraging moment when I realized that the story needed a little bit more work than I initially thought. Of course, since the first version it really has come a long way, but it wasn't quite there yet. I'm happy to report that I'm actually working on character profiles for all the main characters and I'm putting a lot of thought into their development throughout the series.

To get myself going again with the story I picked up a little side project for this month. Since Christmas is approaching I decided to write a Christmas Special involving the senior staff of the Falcon. Today I started brainstorming and I hope to have a plot and chapter planning for the special ready by the end of the weekend. Although you guys haven't met all the senior staff members just yet I decided to include them all into the special. Just consider it a sneak peek of what to expect of the dynamics between characters.

That's really all for now. I hope that you're as excited about the special as I am. Also, I'll try to update the Episode one again this week. I've been stuck for long enough.

For now, have a great weekend and I hope I'll see you again.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The art of finishing

It's been too long since I wrote here. Of course there are reasons why it took me so long to write, but basically it all boils down to this: I have a problem finishing what I start. It's a common problem among (fanfiction)writers. We get inspired, start typing away and end up with a writersblock that is just too scary to overcome. Just take a look around at and you'll know exactly what I mean. Half of the work is unfinished or 'temporary' on hold.

When I was last here I promised you guys that the 'The last little bit' (Arrow) would be done by the start of the second season. As you may have noticed, that was last month and I haven't even uploaded a single chapter. To be quite honest, I haven't even written a paragraph for this story. The reason why is simple, I couldn't get into the flow of the first season. I totally lost touch with the characters and found it impossible to write anything that wasn't incredibly out of character. Apart from that I never really made a planning on what would be happening in the remaining 3 chapters (the last one I have a pretty good idea), so I had to go back and find things to write about. I can tell you, that's hard when you can't seem to get into the flow of the show anymore.

And there you have it, a writersblock. Combined with a demanding life (exams at school, coworkers who come down with something) this is fatal for any piece I write and no piece seems to be immune to it.

The next couple of months I want to focus on learning how to finish. Not just for writing fanfictions, but also for writing blogposts (I have at least 10 unfinished blogposts in my concepts folder) and original (short) stories I work on. I want to master the art of finishing.

So what to expect for the coming month? I'm sorry to say but I'm putting 'The last little bit' on hold again. I'll be working on the story planning and hope I'm getting back into the flow by watching the second season. I'm getting back to you when I can finish it.

Star Trek Falcon will be back shortly. I've been watching Star Trek Enterprise and I have a whole bunch of cool new idea's for new episodes. But first things first, next chapter of episode one will be a scene involving Captain Dolch and Lieutenant Wildt. I'll be going a little into the background of Danielle Dolch, Mick Dolch and Kevin Wildt. I think it'll be very interesting.

As for the blog posts, I really want to write about writersblocks, tips and tricks to finish a story and planning a story before you start writing. I have enough idea's really. If you have anything you'd like to see a post about, just let me know in the comments and I'll see what I can do.

That's it for now. Hope you'll stay tuned and I'll see you next time.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dexter: Guardian Angel

Title: Guardian Angel
Rating: Fiction T
Chapter: 1 of 1 (one shot)
Summary: Dexter shouldn’t take Batista for a fool, because god knows, he isn’t. He’s just a hell of a friend.
Disclaimer: If Dexter had been mine, it would have ended differently.

Author Note: I know I should be working on my (overdue) Arrow fanfic, but since I watched the final episode of Dexter today I just couldn’t get this idea out of my head. I can’t say I’m a fan of the last season of Dexter, but I loved this scene. This is my take on what is on Batista’s mind when he is confronted with Saxon’s death. Enjoy and don’t forget to tell me what you think of it!

Guardian Angel

Batista couldn’t have been more surprised when he was called down to deal with an incident involving Saxon. Not only had the sorry excuse for a human being been stabbed to death with a pen, apparently Dexter Morgan was somehow involved. At first Batista had thought he had simply misunderstood and the officer at the scene had mentioned Dexter in some other context, but that feeling had faded fast when he found Dexter sitting in a corner of the interrogation room. He felt a knot form in his stomach, what had Dexter gotten himself into?

The footage of what had happened was shocking to say the least. It was almost like he wasn’t looking at Dexter, but at somebody completely different. Quinn stared blankly at the TV screen, his mouth curled into a deep frown. Although the officers on the scene had said it looked like self-defense that wasn’t exactly what the footage was showing. Of course, Saxon had launched at Dexter first, wounding him in the left shoulder. But what happened then looked more like a premeditated murder, like it had all been part of a plan. He moved fast and with a deadly precision, much like somebody who had a lot of experience in killing.

Dexter was still sitting in the corner of the room, leaning against both walls. Batista could be mistaken, but he didn’t seem particularly sorry about what had happened, nor did he seem to be in shock. He slowly let his head rest against the wall and let out a small sigh as he looked away from the screen.

Batista looked back just in time to see how Dexter calmly pressed the alarm button after observing the scene for a few moments. There was something eerie about the way he pressed that button. Batista paused the tape and put the remote back on the table. He took a moment to order his thoughts before speaking. “Dexter…” He looked at the man he had called a friend for so many years, and then looked back at the paused image on the screen. “Help me out here. What, what were you doing with Saxon?” He tried to look Dexter in the eye, but Dexter avoided his gaze.

 “I went in to do a GSR test.” He stated in a matter of fact tone, like he was pointing out the obvious. To Batista it was anything but the obvious. 

“But you don’t even work here anymore, how are we gonna explain this?” He made a helpless gesture at the TV screen. He understood Dexter, why he had done what he had done. Like hell, he would have liked to do it himself after what the bastard had done to Deb, but how was he ever going to explain a former employee walking in to do a test that hadn’t even been ordered yet and then ending up stabbing the suspect to death with a pen? Even if Dexter wouldn’t have had a motive this would have been suspicious at best.

“I’m officially here until the end of the week.” Dexter looked at Batista from the corner of his eyes.

Batista couldn’t believe what he was hearing. There was no doubt left in his mind that Dexter had murdered Saxon, and that he had planned the whole thing. He had counted on Batista to deal with the incident and letting him off the hook. Batista threw Dexter an annoyed look. Did he even realize what kind of moral dilemma he was facing right now? Why did he have to go and take matters in his own hands while Saxon was going to get a well deserved death penalty anyway? It seemed so pointless.

Not that it mattered anymore. Turning back time so that he could smack some sense into Dexter wasn’t exactly an option, so he had to go with second best: Covering up what had happened in that cell and hope it would never see the light of day. “Okay. But why would you personally do this test? After what he did to Deb.”

“It’s exactly because of what he did to Deb that I went in there. I wanted to make sure everything was handled perfectly, by the book. No mistakes.” He looked at Batista from the corner of his eye, as if he was checking to see whether Batista was going along with his story. “And I wanted to look him in the eye.” He added after a pause as his eyes narrowed.

Batista could feel a chill going down his spine. This was a side of his friend he had never seen before, but somehow it felt like it had always been there, hiding in the dark. He threw Quinn a questioning look, before he was going to do this, he needed to know whether Quinn was going along with this.

Quinn had been quiet during the whole thing, he never said a word. Batista knew Quinn and Dexter didn’t exactly classify as friends. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time Quinn questioned Dexter’s actions. Quinn briefly glanced back before going back to staring at the screen. He didn’t seem interested in punishing Saxon’s murderer for his actions, not after what the man had done to Deb.

He glanced briefly at Dexter before focusing on the still image of Saxon bleeding to death while Dexter watched. Finally he nodded. “Okay, I get that.”

Quinn shrugged slightly as he looked from Batista to Dexter. “It’s obviously self defense.” He finally spoke. Dexter eyed him suspiciously. Quinn just nodded at him.

“Yeah…” He added in a low voice. “We got everything we need.” He knew he made the right call, Dexter deserved better than going down for murdering a serial killer. He looked back at the screen.

“I’m glad he’s dead. I wish I could have done it myself.” Quinn spoke up, Batista nodded in agreement as he clenched his jaw. The world was a much better place without Saxon.

He got up before turning to Dexter again. “You should go Dex, I know you have a lot to deal with.” Like getting out of the country, in case somebody not as understanding would lay eyes on this tape. Cautiously Dexter got to his feet, like he didn’t quite believe they’d let him walk.

“Yes.” He straightened his back and quickly walked across the room. His shoulder didn’t seem to bother him that much as he opened the door to leave.

“Hey…” Batista stopped Dexter in the doorway. Dexter turned around with a questioning look on his face. Casually he slipped his hand in the pocket of his pants as he held the door open. There he was again, the Dexter Batista knew, like nothing had happened. He let out a sigh before continuing. “I’m praying for her.” He simply said. Dexter looked at him with a face that looked like a mix of sadness and regret. He let out a sigh. Batista wasn’t sure what to think of it. Without saying another word he nodded and turned around.

Batista watched him leave the station. There was no doubt in his mind he had done the right thing letting Dexter get away with murder. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Star Trek Falcon Episode 101.4 - Spread your wings

Title: Star Trek Falcon – Episode one: Spread your wings
Rating: Fiction K+
Chapter: 4 of 10
Captain Danielle Dolch has just received her first command, the newly upgraded USS Falcon. While the last few updates and tests are being conducted she and her crew arrive at the space doc for their mission of exploration near the Neutral zone.
Disclaimer: The Star Trek universe belongs to paramount pictures, I’m just borrowing it and using it as a playground.

Author Note:
This chapter was originally the second chapter of this episode, but I just felt like there would be more interesting to go with Emma and Mick first for two chapters to establish the relationship between them a little more before the story goes on. Also, this is a really fast update after the last chapter because part of this chapter has been written earlier. I would like to make it a habit to update so fast, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to write that fast in the future. Besides, my neglected Arrow fanfiction really needs some attention.

Anyway, as always I welcome any comments, tips or ideas for later chapters. Enjoy this next chapter.

Chapter 4 – What to expect

The halls of the USS Falcon were deserted as Danielle made her way to the bridge. Somehow she could appreciate the quiet and peaceful atmosphere of a ship during the period of docking and preparing for a new mission.

The USS Falcon was an older ship in the fleet, but during the last couple of months it had been upgraded to meet the requirements for its upcoming mission near the neutral zone. Although nobody expected trouble with the Romulans some admiral higher up had ruled that it wouldn’t hurt to fit the Falcon with a brand new weapons array and state of the art sensor equipment, just in case. When Danielle had learned that the Admiral in question had been the former captain of the USS Falcon, she couldn’t help but to smile. She would have done the same thing.

As she continued down the hall her train of thought was interrupted by agitated voices coming from the hallway leading to the Armory. Danielle hesitated, the Bridge was the other way. If there was something going on in the Armory that she ought to know about she trusted her staff to contact her. After all, she had selected them with great care. On the other hand, the bridge would manage without her and a slight detour couldn’t hurt. Curiosity got the better of her and she changed direction towards the Armory.

In the Armory she found her Chief Tactical Officer and Armory Officer arguing loudly. “I could be mistaken off course, but I believe I was assigned as Chief Tactical Officer aboard this vessel. You might as well leave tactical decisions to me, Caranore.”

“I would leave tactical decisions to you Marchant, if you were making tactical decisions that wouldn’t potentially threaten the ship.”

“Oh nonsense!” Marchant screeched in her high pitched voice and British accent.

Caranore grinned at her. “Is it now? It’s like the torpedoes all over again. I don’t need to remind you who turned out to be right, right?” Caranore paused for a moment as Marchant gave him an annoyed look. “Who made you Chief Tactical Officer anyway?” He asked.

Danielle cleared her throat, if this wasn’t her cue she didn’t know what was. “That, Lieutenant, would be me.” Marchant almost jumped to attention while Caranore swirled around. He opened his mouth to say something but Danielle put up a hand to silence him. “Lieutenant, I’d like you to take a moment to reconsider the remark you’re about to make and keep in mind that I am the Captain of this vessel.”

Caranore closed his mouth, caught off guard he blinked. “How did you know?” Danielle smiled at her Armory Officer.

“What can I say? I have a brother like you.” She looked at her two senior officers. “Now, what seems to be the problem?”

“We have a disagreement over where the phasers should be stored.” Marchant gave Caranore an angry glare, but he seemed unimpressed.

Danielle looked from one to the other, they had to be kidding. “Don’t we have protocols for that sort of thing?” She asked.

“Yes, we do.” Caranore answered in a dry tone. “Protocol states phasers should be stored in the Armory and distributed as needed when needed.” He smirked at Marchant. “And seeing we’re currently safely docked I’d say we don’t need phasers distributed all over the ship.” He paused. “Just imagine what trigger happy Tactical officers might cook up while being bored.” He added in a low voice.

Marchant rolled her eyes. “You left out the part of the protocol where the Chief Tactical Officer, a.k.a. me, gets to decide what ‘distributed as needed when needed’ means.”

Danielle suddenly had the feeling she was a kindergarten teacher trying to resolve a fight between two five-year-olds instead of a starship captain. She gave her officers a skeptic look. “Seriously? Is this what I can expect of the two of you for the rest of the mission? Don’t you have anything better to do than argue over when, how or where the phasers should or should not be stored?” Marchant looked at the tips of her shoes while Caranore just kept staring straight ahead, neither of them seemed interested in looking their captain in the eye. “That’s what I though.” Danielle concluded. “Carry on.” She nodded her head and turned to leave the Armory.

As the doors of the armory slit shut behind her she could hear the discussion between her two officers continue in lowered voices. Although she knew she shouldn’t she couldn’t help but to smile. One was even more stubborn than the other but she was quite sure they were evenly matched and eventually they’d settle on what would be the best for the ship. Might take a while, but they would get there.

Without further incident she reached the turbo lifts. As she entered she heard footsteps quickening as they approached. “Hold it for me, would you?” Danielle turned around to find Ensign Spinn running towards her. He was a short, slightly chubby guy who looked in no way like the pilot he was. Danielle patiently waited for him to make it to the lift before ordering it to the bridge of the Falcon. Spinn caught his breath. “Thanks” He managed between breaths.

“No problem.” Danielle looked at her most talented helmsman in a slightly amused manner. “Just out of curiosity, when was the last time you worked out?” She asked. The lifts halted on the first deck and Spinn pulled his uniform in place before the doors opened.

“I walked here, didn’t I?” He stepped out onto the bridge and headed towards the helm.

The bridge of the USS Falcon was unlike any other bridge in Starfleet. Due to the recent upgrades it had this beautiful mix of old design and state of the art equipment. Most stations had been upgraded, but others seemed to be left untouched. In the center was only one captain’s chair, which was currently occupied by her first officer.

Edward Hays was a tall, slender man with brown hair and dark blue eyes. Rumor had it he had Vulcan blood somewhere down the line, but nobody had ever dared to ask. He got to his feet as soon as he noticed Danielle had arrived on the bridge. “Captain, what a pleasant surprise, I thought you were off duty. What can I do for you?” He greeted her.

“Nothing in particular Commander, I thought I’d check on how things are up here before calling it a day.”  She paused and looked around. “Did anything happen today I ought to know about?”

Hays shook his head. “No, I’m afraid it has been an uneventful day.” He took a glance at the viewing screen. “Unsurprising seeing we are still docked.” He added in a matter-of-fact tone.

Danielle followed his gaze. The screen was currently showing the docking port bursting with activity. She nodded slowly, even she had to admit she was ready for some action. A wish she was afraid she’d come to regret. “Well, by tomorrow that screen is going to show us nothing more than stars flashing by. Let’s just be patient and enjoy the peace and quiet for now.” She smiled as Hays raised an eyebrow at her. “Before you know it you’ll find yourself longing back for it.”

“Somehow Captain, I doubt that.” He replied. He had a skeptic look on his face that didn’t escape Danielle. “It’s only a mission of exploration.”

“I know Commander, but you never really know.” She took a quick glance at the rest of the bridge. Everything seemed to be in order. Not that she had expected anything else, but still. “Well, you seem to have anything under control here. If anything comes up, don’t hesitate to call.”

“Will do Captain. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight Commander.”

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Beta Hero's pick for this TV season

It's September and the new TV season is about to start. After a summer of (re)watching previous seasons of my favorite shows finally the fresh seasons and even fresh shows are about to air. I think this year is very promising. Anyway, here is what I'll be watching this season. (in order of air date)

How I met your mother (September 23rd)
How I met your mother is starting its 9th season this fall. I got in a little late on this show, I started watching the first season last year. Now I'm up to date and looking forward to the new season. I starting to hope Ted will never meet their mother and the show goes on forever. 

 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (September 24th)
This is a brand new show that's airing this year. I have to say, it looks really promising. I've seen a short introduction scene and the trailer and I'm really thrilled. This also looks like a good show to write fanfiction for, so I keep my fingers crossed. 
                             Big Bang Theory (September 26th) 
The Big Bang Theory is starting its 7th season. There are two kinds of people who watch this show: the first kind is normal people who laugh at the characters and the weird things they do. the second kind are the nerds who actually get the jokes. I'm afraid I'm of the second kind. 

Arrow (October 9th)
Arrow is on for another season. It won't surprise you that I'm going to watch this show again this season. I loved the first season (aired last year) and especially the pace and feel of the show.

Almost human (November 4th)
Another new show that I'm really excited about. It combines two of my favorite kinds of shows: police/detective and scifi. Although I'm a little concerned about the show becoming a cliche I'm really looking forward to it. If you're interested, you can watch the trailer here

Community (air date to be announced)
Yes, I'm very excited about the fifth season of Community. I am worried though that it's not going to live up to my expectations. On the bright side, the original writer is rejoining the team so fingers crossed!


Another show I watched over the summer is the 8th season of Dexter. Since the show has been going down hill for a few seasons I wasn't expecting much of it but it's turning interesting now that there's only 2 episodes left. So there's a honerable mention for Dexter.

So that's what is on my watch list this year. I'm curious to see what you'll be watching this season. Let me know in the comments!

~ Chell <3

Friday, September 13, 2013

Star Trek Falcon Episode 101.3 - Spread your wings

Title: Star Trek Falcon – Episode one: Spread your wings
Chapter: 3 of 10
Rating: Fiction K+
Captain Danielle Dolch has just received her first command, the newly upgraded USS Falcon. While the last few updates and tests are being conducted she and her crew arrive at the space doc for their mission of exploration near the Neutral zone.

Disclaimer: The Star Trek universe belongs to paramount pictures; I’m just borrowing it and using it as a playground.

Author Note:
This chapter took me a while to write. I kept getting stuck with the interaction between characters. It just wasn't quite what I had in mind, but I'm happy with what I got down. There was also some delay because halfway through this chapter I realized I hadn't really thought about the ships layout just yet. Over all I'm quite happy with this chapter. I hope you enjoy. As always: feedback, corrections (in spelling/grammar or consistency of the story) and any other thoughts on this chapter are more than welcome. Thank you for reading and don't forget to leave me a comment! 

Chapter three – Hello there stranger

Unlike the rest of the ship the Engineering deck was already buzzing with life. The last 4 weeks Mick had spend most of his time on the Falcon supervising the upgrades carried out by the engineers from space dock. Although his presence on the ship wasn’t required yet, and often thought of as a little nosy, Mick rather spend his time getting familiar with the ships systems than going down to earth to visit home. Technically he was allowed to go on shore leave between his assignments but other than the 4 days he spend with his parents and sisters he hadn’t taken any days off. Earth simply had nothing to offer for him.

“Hey Mick, got a minute?”

Mick closed the panel he had been working on and looked up at his second in command. “What is it Kevin?”

Kevin folded his hands behind his back. It reminded Mick of the time he taught at the academy. Thank god those days were behind them now, if anything it had only damaged their friendship. “I was just wondering if you were on a schedule with the upgrades and diagnostics and if so, where I could find a copy of that schedule.”

“Right, schedule.” Mick hated to admit he didn’t have one. Or at least, he hadn’t the taken the time to formally write it down. So far it hadn’t been a problem. The engineering crew of the Falcon was still on leave for the most part and formally speaking he didn’t have anything to do with the crew from space dock. So the schedule hadn’t been needed, until now. “You can request a schedule for the upgrades from Lieutenant Commander Lauer. He’s responsible for the upgrades to the ship.” Mick paused. “Don’t forget to check your authorization code though. Apparently everything concerning upgrades to the Falcon is classified.” Kevin threw him a questioning look. Mick shook his head. “Don’t ask.”

Kevin raised an eyebrow but didn’t ask about what happened. Mick was thankful he didn’t, it was a long story and he figured the less people knew the better. “So how about the schedule for the diagnostics?” Kevin inquired.

“I’ll get that to you as soon as I wrote it down.” Mick ignored the look Kevin was giving him, he knew he’d disapprove but he didn’t particularly care. “Anything else Lieutenant?” He picked up the data pad he left next to the control panel to see what was next on his to do list.

“Yeah, there’s a pretty lady waiting for you in your office.”

Mick looked up from his pad. He wasn’t sure if he had heard Kevin correctly. “There’s a pretty lady waiting for me in my office?” Mick repeated what he thought he had heard. He couldn’t think of anybody wanting to visit him right now, let alone a woman who could be described as a pretty lady. Unless of course Kevin was just being funny and was referring to Dani, although Mick really couldn’t think of a reason why she’d come down to see him. As far as he knew, he hadn’t done anything that could get him into trouble the last couple of days. Of course, experience told him he didn’t always see trouble coming.

“Yeah, I didn’t really get it either.” Kevin grinned at his own joke. “But all joking aside, she asked if you had time to see her.”

Mick nodded. Although he had enough to do until the upgrades would be finished in a few hours he was pretty sure he could take a few minutes to talk to whoever came to see him. “Did you catch a name?”

Kevin shrugged. “I think it was Zinn or something like that.”

“Zinck maybe? Emma Zinck?”

Kevin thought for a moment and then he nodded slowly. “Yeah, Zinck, I think that was it.” Mick smiled, he was really looking forward to see Emma again. It really had been too long since they spoke. “So who’s she?”

Mick looked at Kevin. “Emma is a friend of mine. She’s been assigned as Science Officer. We haven’t seen each other in a while.”

Kevin grinned at him. “Well you friend is very pretty.” Mick didn’t miss the emphasis Kevin put on the word friend. It was kind of annoying how everybody seemed to think there was something going on between them. Emma really was just a friend. Of course, when they had just met Mick had hoped it could be something more, but since nothing happened he had settled for being friends.

“Well Kev, I’ve got a friend who is waiting for me in my office so if you’ll excuse me.” Mick couldn’t resist stressing the word friend as well as he waited for Kevin to move out of his way. Kevin stepped aside with an amused grin on his face.

“You two have fun!” He called after his commanding officer as he walked away.

“Shut up Kev!” Mick called over his shoulder as he climbed the stairs to the upper deck of Engineering.

Engineering was divided over decks D and E. Mick’s office was located on the upper deck of the engineering department, near the turbo lifts with a great view of the lower Engineering deck. Mick hadn’t used his office all that much yet but he figured that once he had reports to write, read and sign he’d be thankful for a quiet place to work. He didn’t usually admit to it but he was horribly easy to distract, especially from mind dulling activities such as writing, reading or signing reports. Mick considered himself a hands on engineer, with no ambitious whatsoever to move any further up the chain of command.

He found Emma already waiting inside his office. Her face lit up as he closed the door behind him. He simply smiled back. “Hello there stranger!” She greeted him before giving him a hug.

“Has it been that long?”

“Yes! I was so excited when I found out you were assigned to the USS Falcon too!” She beamed at him. Mick instantly remembered why he liked her so much, she was the most cheery and happy person he had ever come across. It was really quite a contrast with his gloomy and sarcastic personality, but it worked and he didn’t complain.

“Yeah, it was a great surprise.” That really was a lie. He basically bullied his sister into giving Emma the job, but that was something she didn’t really need to know. “And now look at you, the Science Officer. Congratulations.”

“I know! Can you believe it?”

“As a matter of fact I can, you’re very talented. I still don’t get why you didn’t get an assignment on a starship before.”

“Flattery will get you anywhere, Commander.” She gently touched the stripes on his uniform. Mick had received his promotion with his new assignment as Chief Engineer. He wasn’t quite sure what to think of it. The next promotion would force him out of Engineering and onto the Bridge, which was his least favorite part of the ship. He liked his new paycheck though and for now, Engineering was his personal playground. “We have a lot of catching up to do.”

Mick nodded in agreement. “How about we have dinner together after I get off?”

She smiled. “I’d like that. What time do you get off?”

“Somewhere around six. I can pick you up around 6:30.”

“That will be a huge detour to the mess hall. I propose we meet here, or at your quarters, or errr, the mess hall. Wherever is convenient for you.” She looked away as brushed her hair out of her face. Mick looked at her in amusement.

“Convenient would be my quarters. It’s basically around the corner from here.”

“Oh, that is convenient! Is it a coincidence?”

“Actually, it is.” Emma threw him a look. “What? It really was. I didn’t even fill in any requests. I figured that after my last assigned quarters, I could get used to anything.” On the Unicorn his quarters had been the worst ever. It was almost like it was far away from everything else on the ship. It had taken Mick months to get used to the time it took to get to Engineering.

Emma smiled at him. “Well, glad to hear you have better quarters this time.”

There was a loud and fast knock on the door. Before Mick could even look up the door slid open. “Commander Dolch, Lieutenant Wildt told me you’d be in here and...” The blue eyed whirlwind who just entered the office stopped dead in his tracks when he saw Emma. There was an awkward silence. “Am I interrupting something?” He finally asked, looking from Mick to Emma and back as he lowered the pad he was holding. “I could come in later if this isn’t a good time.”  

Mick did his best not to laugh. In the doorway was Paul Duval, one of the engineers he had requested for the Falcon. He was a young and brilliant engineer, but he really was a hand full most of the time. “No, Emma was about to leave, right Emma?”

She threw him a quick look and then smiled. “Yes, I was. I’ll see you tonight.” Paul quickly stepped aside so she could leave the office. In the door opening she turned around. “What were your quarters again?”

“Oh right, D226.” He smiled at her. “See you tonight.”

She flashed a quick smile over her shoulder as she headed down the hall towards the crew quarters. Paul cleared his throat. “Do you want me to come back later Sir?”

Mick turned his attention back to the engineer. “No, that’s fine. What is it?”

“I was wondering if you could use a hand for the rest of the shift. I just arrived today, I even think I was on the same shuttle as she was.” Paul seemed to think for a moment before continuing. “Anyway, I don’t feel like doing nothing the rest of the day so I came here. Lieutenant Wildt said you were in your office, he didn’t mention you had company though.”

Of course Kevin didn’t. “Well, Paul. Next time you go through the trouble of knocking, you might as well wait for an answer.”

Paul threw Mick a sheepish look. “Yeah, that makes sense.” He played with the pad he was holding for a moment.

“I’d appreciate that. Now, something for you to do.” Mick trailed off as he carefully considered his options. He had some routine performance checks that needed to be done, but it probably wasn’t a good idea to give Paul a routine task. Paul was easily distracted from anything that wasn’t challenging enough and Mick didn’t feel like double checking everything. “You know what, go see if Lieutenant Lauer can use your help with the upgrades. He’s down stairs with his crew. I can handle the rest with Lieutenant Wildt.” Paul seemed to be a little disappointed. “Thanks anyway Paul, I appreciate you coming to help.”

Paul just nodded and without saying another word he took off again, almost slamming into the door when it wouldn’t open fast enough. Mick shook his head as he watched Paul bounce down the stairs to the lower engineering deck.

The door slid close again and Mick sat down at his desk. He took a fast look at his pad. “Right, schedules.” He mumbled to himself as he got ready to start his first paperwork for this mission.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Planning fall 2013

It's been quiet on this blog, way too quiet in my opinion. Main reason is that school has started again. I don't think I mentioned it just yet, but I'm a student at the Delft University of Technology. Currently I'm studying for my severely delayed bachelors degree in technological policy management with a focus in IT. (You just guess why so many of my original characters specialize in software related issues.) I follow four classes this fall semester which include two modeling classes (simulation), one IT class (Business Intelligence, which is awesome by the way) and one overdue math class. On top of that I started a new side job this month while I haven't quit my old job yet, so I work more hours than I usually would. 

But that's enough about my personal life for now. I bet you'd like to know what my planning is for writing this fall so lets get right to it. 

I have good news for all the Arrow fans, I'm planning to finish 'The last little bit' before the start of the new Arrow season. (Oct. 9th) Reason why I'm pulling this project forward is because I plan to write an alternative universe ending for this fanfiction and I don't want to be pulled in the new season. I'd rather start a new project if and when I get inspiration for a story. 

The other project I'll be working on this fall is the current Star Trek Falcon episode. I'm almost finished with chapter three, so that should be up somewhere during or maybe before the weekend. Also, please note that I changed the spacing of the two first chapters after an extremely useful set of reviews on the Trek BBS

I'm afraid that's all for the fall of 2013. I have a project I really want to start working on, but I'm waiting until I have a little bit more time on my hands. It's a parody piece for Friends and it will be a one shot to begin with, but maybe I'll extend it later to a multi chapter project. That's all I'll be sharing about this project for now. 

Off course I'll be writing regular blog posts (promise) on the writing process along the way. For the next week I was thinking about writing about inspirational music and the series I'll be watching this TV season. If you have anything you'd like me to write about, just leave me a comment and I'll see what I can do. 

That's really all for now. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

~Chell <3

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Star Trek Falcon Episode 101.2 - Spread your wings

Title: Star Trek Falcon – Episode one: Spread your wings
Chapter: 2 of 10
Rating: Fiction K+
Captain Danielle Dolch has just received her first command, the newly upgraded USS Falcon. While the last few updates and tests are being conducted she and her crew arrive at the space doc for their mission of exploration near the Neutral zone.

Disclaimer: The Star Trek universe belongs to paramount pictures; I’m just borrowing it and using it as a playground.

Author Note:
Wow, it’s been a while since I had time for my fanfictions. I’ve been so busy lately I didn’t have any time to be at my computer, let alone write anything. Thankfully I have more spare time now so I’ll be picking up where I left off. Please note (for the people who read the first chapter a while ago) that I’ve changed the name of the Captain to Danielle (Dani) Dolch, somehow it seemed more fitting. As always I’d really appreciate it if you left a comment after you’re done reading. Constructive criticism is always welcome as well as ideas for later chapters and episodes.  

Chapter two - Flight to the Falcon

Emma still couldn’t believe she had been selected to serve aboard a vessel of exploration like the USS Falcon, let alone she’d be selected to be the Science Officer. An inexperienced Ensign like herself on the senior staff, wow, she just didn’t have words for it.

She had read the message over and over again, not quite believing what it said. She had always wanted to serve on a starship. As a matter of fact, it had been the main reason why she had joined Starfleet after she graduated from high school. But she had imagined starting out as a member of the science department, not as the head of it. When she had called Captain Dolch she still half expected it to be a prank pulled on her by one of her friends, but it wasn’t. She accepted her assignment shortly after meeting with the Captain.

For weeks she felt like she was walking on sunshine. She had told anybody who would or wouldn’t listen about her new assignment. She was quite sure she had driven her roommate mad as well as her colleagues, but shutting up about it had proven to be too much for her. So she had happily rambled on. It even became worse after she received details on her assignment. She was to investigate a small M-class planet near the Neutral Zone. The goal was to determine whether it would be suitable for establishing a colony. She couldn’t have been more pleased, Geology was her field of expertise after all.

Another pleasant surprise presented itself later that week when she received the list of crewmembers who were assigned to the USS Falcon. When she scanned the list for familiar names she discovered Mick Dolch was the newly appointed Chief Engineer. She had worked with the handsome engineer when she was temporary assigned to a research expedition. They had required assistance from a nearby Starfleet vessel when the cold had affected their systems. Mick had been part of the away team that came to their rescue. The two of them had immediately hit it off and she had felt sorry when he had to leave. She hadn’t expected to ever see him again. After all, the universe was a big place.

Now she found herself waiting for the shuttle that would bring her to the USS Falcon. Due to upgrades to the ship the transporters would be off line the whole week prior to departure, giving the crew the rare opportunity to take a shuttle to board the ship. Emma had been told the view was amazing so she hoped for a window seat. She smiled briefly at a flight attendant who passed her on his way to the gate. It probably wouldn’t be much longer now.

“Attention please, this is a call for Ensign Zinck of the USS Falcon. Please report to gate four immediately. I repeat, Ensign Zinck, please report to gate four.”

It took a few seconds for the message to sink in, but when it finally hit her she bolted to her feet. “Oh shoot!” The flight attendant who had just passed her looked up. Emma threw him a hasty look as she collected her things. “Wrong gate!” She exclaimed before she hurried off to the other side of the space station.

As she tried to speed up her pace she wondered what she had been thinking when she decided to wear heels that morning. With every few steps she took she tripped over her own feet. It wasn’t exactly contributing to the elegant image she had been aiming for. After a near collision with a plant she decided it had been enough and she stopped to take off her heels. At least she could actually run now.

When gate four finally came into view the man who made the final boarding call was getting ready to close the doors. Emma quickened her pace again. “Please wait!” She called out to him from the end of the hall. He looked up and watched with amusement as she came closer. Emma felt slightly embarrassed but did her best not to be too obvious about it. She slowed down and straightened her back. “Thank you.” She tried to brush her hair away from her sticky forehead but it didn’t really make any difference.

“Ensign Zinck I assume?” Emma studied the man closely. He had vivid blue eyes and half long curly blond hair. He was kind of short. Even on bare foot Emma easily had a few inches on him. She extended her hand.  “I’m so sorry.” She apologized, “I was at the wrong gate.”

 “No problem, could happen to anybody.” His handshake was firm, but not too much. “I’m Ensign Spinn, Helm Officer.” Emma smiled as she let go of Spinns hand. “I’m pleased to meet you.” She paused to look around. “Am I the only one who’s late?”

“I wouldn’t worry about that really, I waited half an hour for the Captain and the First Officer when they were boarding the Falcon. Fortunately they came to the right gate, otherwise it could’ve easily been hours.” Emma was unsure whether he was joking or not but laughed anyway, it was something about the way he described the scene. She could totally picture the captain running around the space station with her First Officer right behind her, just like Emma had done just moments ago. For some reason though, she pictured them still wearing their shoes. Speaking of which, Emma still wasn’t wearing any. She put her bags down and steadied herself to put her right shoe back on.

“All things considered” Spinn continued as Emma sought support of the wall while she stepped back into her other shoe. “I’ll be happy when Commander Dolch gets the transporters back online. I’m sick of being a bus driver.” Spinn held open the door to the gate. Emma picked up her bags again and nodded her thanks as she entered the gate. Spinn closed the doors behind her and followed her to the shuttle.

The shuttle was a slightly older model belonging to the USS Falcon. The interior was a little worn down, but for some reason it seemed fitting. It added character to the shuttle. Spinn closed the shuttle door behind her. “Just find a seat.” He told her before he sat down at the controls. Emma thanked him again and made her way past the occupied seats. Many of the crewmembers were talking to each other and Emma greeted some familiar faces as she passed. All the way in the back she found an empty seat by the window.

As she sat down the engines roared to life. She could hear Spinn checking in with the board computer and contacting flight control for further instructions. The flight to the Falcon would only take a couple of minutes since space dock was right next to the space station. Emma leaned over to her window to see if she could catch a glimpse of the space dock, but it was nowhere in sight. Instead she had a gorgeous view of Earth. She smiled to herself. It didn’t matter how many other amazing planets she saw, Earth would always be the most beautiful.

As the shuttle started moving Emma did her best to catch a last glimpse of home before it went out of view. For a while she only saw stars. Finally space dock came into view. “For anyone interested, we’re approaching space dock. If you look at your right you should have a pretty good view of the Falcon.” Spinn called over his shoulder. The voices went quiet as everybody turned their attention to the windows. Emma suppressed the urge to press her nose against the cool glass.

It was just as pretty as anybody had said it would be. There was a certain sense of peace to the ship as it just sat there. The Falcon wasn’t as big as most other ships going on similar missions. Captain Dolch had told her the Falcon had been build years ago to test whether smaller exploration vessels would be more efficient. Emma guessed it wasn’t, seeing the newer ships were all bigger.

“USS Falcon, this is shuttle one requesting permission to land.” Spinn sounded a little bored but Emma didn’t really pay any attention to him. Now that they came closer she could see a team of engineers working on the hull of the ship. She found herself briefly wondering whether Mick would be amongst them but quickly dismissed the thought. As Chief Engineer he probably had better things to do.

“Shuttle one, you have permission to land.” The shuttle turned and for a while the stars were all Emma saw through her window. When she straightened her back a little she could catch a glimpse of the front viewing screen. The shuttle was approaching the open doors of the Falcon’s shuttle bay. She looked out of her window again. That was going to be all she would see for a while, lots and lots of stars, slowly moving away from her. She could think of worse things.

The landing was so smooth Emma barely noticed the shuttle had set down at all. Spinn turned around to face his passengers. “Welcome aboard.” He said as he got up to open the shuttle doors. Emma got to her feet and gathered her things. Her adventure was about to begin. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Why distractions are not always a problem

Happy Friday everyone! Today I'll be writing about distraction because that's really the theme of the week for me. Somehow I got nostalgic and started looking for old Power Ranger episodes, which I eventually found on project free TV. A little side note here: Project free TV is awesome. It holds links to episodes of pretty much every show you could think of. Which is great because living in the Netherlands (Europe) means that a lot of great shows air later here. So I relay on the internet to keep me up to date with my favorite fandoms. 

But lets get back to my discovery of 17 seasons of Power Rangers. Luckily for me, I only watched up to Power Rangers Light Speed Rescue. Everything after that doesn't have any nostalgic value for me and just seems silly. I also missed the Zeo and Turbo series because those weren't aired in my country. For some reason it made more sense to pick up with In Space I guess. Anyway, I was thrilled with hours of nostalgic entertainment ahead of me. So instead of writing I got stuck watching a kids show. Some people might think it's a waste of time, but here is why it's really not. 

First of all, even a simple story can be a huge inspiration. I also read many fanfictions written by either young or untalented authors just because there's something there that grabs my attention. Something that with a little twist could really be awesome. Just to give an example, my Arrow fanfiction came to mind when I was reading a fairly bad 'five to one' fanfiction by another author. She had written about five times Oliver Queen lived and one time he died. Obviously we only die once, but I thought it was interesting to turn that concept around and have him 'die' five times in a figurative sense instead. The idea wouldn't have come to mind if I had stopped reading after the first break. Personally, I'm glad I did. I really enjoy writing this particular story. 

Another great thing about kid shows is that it usually has a clear point to make. There's a lesson to be learned in every episode and usually it's a cliche. Now, I know that most writers claim you should keep yourself far from cliches while writing, but I have a different point of view here. A cliche is a cliche because it works, so use it to your advantage. Want some examples? Think about Harry Potter, a great story praised for originality. Boiled down to the core it's just another boy destined to destroy evil, one of many cliches. Or how about Star Trek and Star Wars, which can both be summarized in the same way using cliches. The point I'm trying to make is that you should know your cliches before you can write something original. Kids shows are a great way to get familiar with them. (Okay, so are the classics, but the classics don't go boom or have one liners!) 

My last argument only goes for non-native English speakers like myself, but I still want to share it with you. Watching as many shows as possible keeps my English skills up to date. Many of the non-native speakers don't speak English on a daily basis and usually it does show in their writings. Too keep my English from getting too rusty I watch as many movies and TV shows as possible. I also read a lot of English and try to talk to native speakers when I get a chance. I have to admit, Power Rangers is fairly simple, but it's still a lot of fun watching!

Now I should really get back on writing for my fanfiction pieces. I currently work on the second chapter of Star Trek Falcon episode one. If everything goes as planned it will be up this weekend. For all the Arrow fans, don't fear, I think I'll be able to pick up 'That last little bit' somewhere next week. 

As for now, thank you for reading and I hope you'll have a great weekend! 

~ Chell <3

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Getting started with Beta Hero Fiction

Hello and welcome to my brand new blog: Beta Hero Fiction. 

Lets just start with introducing myself. My name is Chell and I'm from the Netherlands. Ever since I can remember I've been writing. Usually short stories, but also poetry, songs and stand up comedy. After an exchange program to the United States I stopped writing in my native language and refined my skills in English. It has been a challenge, but I think I'm getting there. 

Most of you however will know me by the name of Beta Hero, my nickname at I've had an account for years, but only recently started publishing my own stories. Currently I have only two published stories due to an extremely busy summer (turns out apartments don't renovate themselves!) but there's more to come!

But why starting my own blog instead of just staying on Well, I felt restricted by the rules. Sometimes I just want to share something else than just the story I wrote. I also like to share tips and tricks on how to make your stories better or a little insight on how I go through the writing process. Unfortunately simply doesn't offer an platform for these sort of things. 

Now, don't be afraid. I'm not leaving behind, I still like the community a lot! It's just that I'd like to add that little extra to my writing by offering you this blog to read. So today I've posted my stories here. In the future I'll first publish new chapters and/or stories here before I'll publish on So if you like the newest stories hot of the press, come back and check this blog regularly! 

~ Chell <3

Arrow: The last little bit - Trust

Title: The last little bit
Chapter: 2 of 6
Fandom: Arrow
Time frame: Season one
Rating: Fiction-T 
Summary: Five times Oliver Queen died and one time he lived. 
Disclaimer: Sadly, I don't own Arrow.

Author note:
This was an awesome piece to write, thanks to the great acting in the scene described. It really gave me something to work with. In this piece there are spoilers for episode 16: death to rights. If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend to first watch this episode and then read this piece. Also, when this piece was written episode 16 was the last aired episode, so any inconsistencies with the episodes after that… Well, I’m just terribly sorry I’m no psychic. Enjoy and don’t forget to leave me a review! 



He found Tommy standing right outside his father’s private hospital room, deep in thought leaning against the wall. To any other it might seemed like Tommy didn’t notice his best friend walking down the hall but Oliver hadn’t missed the subtle eye movement. He threw away his empty coffee cup before approaching his friend.

Oliver wasn’t sure what to expect. All he knew was that the relationship between him and his best friend had become more complicated after the events of today.

“My dad’s gonna be okay, thanks to you.” Tommy didn’t look at Oliver, he just kept facing the wall opposite of the room. Oliver shook his head. “It’s thanks to you.” He simply replied as he stopped at his friend’s side.

“I once asked you what happened to you on that island. You said a lot, that doesn’t quite cover it.” There was a slight tremor in his voice as he spoke the words. The island, there it was again. Oliver shook his head. “Tommy, I…” he began his explanation but he was cut short. “I saw you kill those guys who kidnapped us when you first got back didn’t I?”

Oliver felt his heart sink. He had always assumed that Tommy had been unconscious during their encounter with their kidnappers when he first got back. Now that he came to think of it, he had only checked if Tommy was alive, he never checked whether he was conscious or not.

Tommy bowed his head. Oliver felt like their friendship would depend on what he had to say next but at the same time he found himself lost on what to say. So he resorted to the first thing that came to his mind. “I… I know you have a lot of questions.” He started.

“Yeah.” Tommy interrupted him again, then he paused and took a deep breath. “Yeah, but for now just the one.” For the first time since the conversation had started Tommy looked at Oliver, tears glimmering in his eyes. “Where you ever gonna tell me?”

Oliver found himself caught completely off guard by the question and the look in Tommy’s eyes. He had never seen his friend this hurt before, and it was because of him. He wanted to answer his question with yes so badly but he knew that would be another lie. At this point if just didn’t seem right to fix things with yet another lie. He shook his head then he looked at Tommy. “No.”

He felt horrible saying it, but it was the truth. He shook his head again. Tommy looked away and then nodded as if everything just became clear to him. Without saying another word he walked away. Leaving Oliver alone in the hallway, feeling like a part of him had just suddenly died.

Arrow: The last little bit - Survive

Title: The last little bit
Chapter: 1 of 6
Fandom: Arrow
Time frame: Season one
Rating: Fiction-T
Summary: Five times Oliver Queen died and one time he lived.
Disclaimer: Sadly, I don't own Arrow. 

Author Note:
This fanficition is part of a little project I have for improving my writing and it will mostly contain actual scenes from ‘Arrow’. I’ve planned six chapters in this story based on the idea of five times Oliver Queen died and one time he lived. In every chapter there will be warnings in the author note for possible spoilers. For this chapter, there are no spoilers assuming you watched the pilot episode.

Since this is part of a project to improve my writing I’d very much like comments on what can be improved. Every comment/review is welcome but I’m especially looking for comments on consistency of the characters (in respect to the series), spelling/grammar and word choice since I’m not a native speaker. Anyway, enjoy this first chapter!


To Oliver it felt like it was so long ago that he watched the Queen Gambit break in half and sink to the bottom of the Chinese Sea, along with everyone not lucky enough to make it to the life raft. He wasn’t sure how long they had been aimlessly floating around. The days had sort of blurred together as nothing happened other than an occasional exchange of words between the three survivors of the shipwreck.

Most of the time, Oliver just tried to sleep. It seemed to be the only way to escape the gloomy thoughts his mind lingered on when he was awake. His father had one arm wrapped tightly around him, keeping him warm and feeling somewhat safe.

On the side of the raft sat the captain of the Queen Gambit, balancing a knife between his fingers and an empty crate. He appeared to be dozing off. Oliver’s father leaned in a little. “There is not enough for all of us.” He said in a low voice. Oliver opened his eyes briefly, but didn’t look at his father. “Save your strength.” He replied as he closed his eyes again.

“You can survive this, make it home.” His father paused briefly. “Make it matter, right my wrongs.” He continued as Oliver was only half listening. “But you gotta live through this first.” Oliver started to doze off again, his father anxiously shook him. “You hear me Olly? Do you hear me son?” Oliver looked briefly at his father, he didn’t understand his sudden distress. “Just rest Dad.” And he closed his eyes again.

His father nodded slowly. “Yeah…” Then he kissed his son’s forehead before gently lifting him off his arm. Oliver barely noticed and just let his body slide to the side, leaning against the edge of the life raft.

He was startled by the sound of gunfire, followed by a splashing sound. Oliver’s first instinct was to jump to his feet, but the unsteady floor prevented him from getting up. So he settled for crawling across the raft. “Dad?!” He stared at his father in shock.

“Survive.” He told Oliver before placing the gun to his own head. Oliver saw the fear in his eyes before he pulled the trigger. “Nooo!” There was nothing he could do but watch his father fall to the floor of the raft. “Nooo!” He screamed, but there was no one left to hear.

Oliver now was the last survivor of the Queen Gambit, but looking at his father’s body, he couldn’t help but to feel as dead as he’d ever be.

Star Trek Falcon Episode 101.1 Spread your wings

Title: Star Trek Falcon – Episode one: Spread your wings
Rating: Fiction K+
Chapter: 1 of 10
Captain Danielle Dolch has just received her first command, the newly upgraded USS Falcon. While the last few updates and tests are being conducted she and her crew arrive at the space doc for their mission of exploration near the Neutral zone.
Disclaimer: The Star Trek universe belongs to paramount pictures, I’m just borrowing it and using it as a playground.

Author Note:
This is really just a hobby project that I work on because I like doing it. It is based on a story that I wrote almost 10 years ago. Characters and plotline have been improved and I promise that this time around, I will do a spelling and grammar check.

Chapter one - The appearance of favoritism

There was an uncomfortable silence. Nervously Danielle pulled on the sleeve of her uniform. At first she had been unsure whether this whole thing was a good idea. After all, people were going to say Mick only had gotten the position she had just offered him because he was her brother, or that she had only offered him the job because she didn’t want him to end up on a war vessel patrolling the Neutral Zone, which had been everything but neutral lately.

On the other hand, she couldn’t think of anybody more qualified for the job, even though she had given it some serious thought. “So, what do you say?” She didn’t bother to try to smile, he would see right through her anyway.

“You want me as your Chief Engineer?” Mick paused for a moment. “Are you sure that’s even going to work? No offence but aren’t we kind of familiar and stuff? I can’t say I can see myself following your orders.”

He clearly had the same concerns she had. She couldn’t help but to smile now. “Can’t you just see past the fact that I’m your sister?”

“Do pigs fly?”

“Depends, do they have wings?”

He smiled back at her. “Unlikely, but not impossible.” Slowly the smile faded from his face. She let him think for a moment. She couldn’t expect him to immediately say yes to something she had spent weeks thinking about before reaching her final conclusion. She wanted the best, and if that just happened to be her brother that didn’t change a thing. She still found herself unwilling to settle for second best. “Who did you have in mind for the rest of your senior staff?”

She handed him the data pad that had been sitting on the table the whole time. He picked it up and started reading while he took a sip of his coffee. “That’s actually a pretty impressive list you got there.” He said as he looked up. “But why the hell haven’t you selected a science officer. This is a mission of exploration right?”

“I had selected Lieutenant Turek, but he declined. He had also been offered a spot at a research facility that he found, I quote, ‘quite challenging’.”

Mick rolled his eyes. “Am I out of line saying that the pointy eared idiot actually did you a favor saying no?” She gave him a look and he smiled. “Aw, come on, you know I’m right here.”

“And you still wonder why I made it to starship captain and you didn’t?”

He took another sip of his coffee and laid down the pad. “I never said I did, politics just aren’t my thing I guess.” He paused as he glanced back at the pad. “Aren’t you going to request another science officer?”

She sighed. “No, I don’t know anybody else who stands out in the field. Any random officer will do as far as I’m concerned.”

“You want a suggestion?” He leaned back into his chair.

She gave him a questioning look. “Since when do you even know any science officers?”

He shrugged. “I worked with her on my last assignment. She’s sort of young but I think she really has potential.” He paused and studied her face. “You like potential right?”

She picked up the pad from the table. “What’s her name?”

“Ensign Emma Zinck.” He replied and she entered the name in the database. As the file loaded on the pad her attention was drawn to the picture of the ensign in question. Emma Zinck turned out to be quite handsome with her long blond hair, bright blue eyes and wide smile. As a matter of fact, she exactly fitted Mick’s taste in women.

She threw her brother a look. “Are you sure you don’t just like her to be a part of the decor?” She asked before taking another good look at the picture.

“Just read her file. If that doesn’t convince you I don’t know what will. It’s better than mine for crying out loud.”

“It’s not like that’s impressive.” Danielle mumbled as she quickly scanned the file. It wasn’t bad, far from actually. It wasn’t the best she had come across selecting a science officer, but overall it was better than average. Ensign Zinck had not only been accepted into Starfleet academy at her first application, but also managed to graduate in the top ten of her class four years later. She was inexperienced though, ensign Zinck had never been assigned to a starship before. Her previous assignments were mostly temporary assignments on outposts or star bases. Which only left her with one question, “Where did you meet her anyway? Wasn’t your last assignment on the USS something?”

“The USS Unicorn. Yeah, I was. I met Emma when the outpost she was assigned to needed our assistance. It was some sort of engineering problem I won’t bore you with. I was part of the away team.”

“So you two are on a first name basis?”

He rolled his eyes. “That’s what you got from what I just said?”

There was a silence. “I don’t know Mick. This might not be a good idea.”

“How is this not a good idea?”

“This might not be a good idea because you obviously have a personal connection to ensign Zinck.” Danielle felt as if she couldn’t stress the word not enough in this sentence.

Mick threw her a skeptic look. “So? It’s not like you are avoiding the appearance of favoritism seeing the fact that you asked me as your Chief Engineer. I don’t see the problem.” He paused for a moment to study his sister’s face. “You wanted the best right? Well, this is it.”

Danielle sighed. She knew her brother was stubborn. It had been one of many reasons why he never made it to command, but she knew he wasn’t stupid and having to spell everything out to him was becoming somewhat tiresome. “It’s a problem Mick, because I already asked you. One staff member I can explain using the term ‘coincidence’, but for some reason, that doesn’t work the second time around.”

“You’re talented, I’m sure you’ll find a way to explain.”

He smiled at her as she shook her head. “Flattery will get you nowhere Mick. So what will it be?” She put down the pad on the table as she looked at her brother. He leaned towards her a little.

“I’ll be your Chief Engineer if ensign Zinck will be your Science Officer.” He got out of his chair and looked down at his sister. “Let me know when you’ve figured it out okay?” Without saying another word, he walked off.

Danielle cursed herself. He hadn’t set foot on the ship, or even accepted his new position as Chief Engineer, but he had already done exactly what she had been afraid he’d do. She rubbed her forehead and glanced over at the pad on the table. How bad could it be really?

Getting up Danielle checked her coffee cup, it was empty. She got her coat of the back of the chair and picked up her pad and the empty cup. While she walked off to her next meeting she made a mental note to at least make her brother sweat for a couple of days before letting him know she accepted his terms.