What was the hardest story I ever had to write? What was the easiest? And why?
Let me start with the first question. The hardest story I ever wrote was called Hard Realities. Hard Realities was really a labor of love for me as a writer. It took me nearly two months to get the complete picture of the story I wanted to tell before I put it into words.
Hard Realities takes place in the TNG world, somewhere between Season’s 6 or 7. The Enterprise comes to the aide of the badly damaged U.S.S London, when they arrive, she’s adrift in space. No functioning engines and in the Gamma Quadrant.
When the Enterprise tries hailing them, they get no answer. So Picard sends an away team over to the London. The London is barely holding it together. They arrive to find a little girl screaming and her mother pinned under some titanium support beams. The screaming little girl notices Riker and mistakes him for her father. Confused but staying with the mother and daughter as they beam to Sickbay on the Enterprise, Riker plays it down.
In this scene we find that Riker’s ‘twin’ from the episode Second Chances has married and had a family of his own. On the verge of death we find that the woman Riker’s ‘twin’ has married is called Morgan. She soon passes on after giving birth to a daughter named Erica.
In the second chapter we find that ‘Thomas’ has recorded a video for Riker in case anything had happened to him. The video reveals that he’s leaving both his daughter’s Jessica and Erica with Will and to take good care of them.
Riker finds fatherhood rewarding yet challenging. Jessica and Erica worm their way into Will’s heart and he learns to cherish every moment with them. He plays with Jessica and her stuffed dog Spot, and he plays peek-a-boo with Erica.
His happiness is cut short when Rose and Roger Jansen, Morgan Jansen-Riker’s parents contact Will to say that they want Jessica and Erica. They are to meet at Starbase 96 to discuss who would get custody of the girls.
When the Enterprise arrives, both Riker and Troi find that it is a trap and that a Family Support JAG Officer has taken the side of Jessica and Erica’s grandparents.
A week passes by and Riker finds himself alone and unable to sleep. He receives a message from Roger Jansen, Jessica and Erica’s grandfather informing Will that there has been an attack on the U.S.S. Hood. A Cardassian Warbird crossed the Neutral Zone into Federation space and attacked. In the loss of 35 people aboard the Hood were Jessica, Erica and their grandmother Rose.
Riker is beside himself with grief. He goes to Ten Forward and grieves while he nurses a few drinks. He retells what he’s learned from the subspace message to Troi and Guinan. Q to cause more of a mess appears and Will lunges at him, angry at everything in the universe, and what it had stolen from him. He asks Q to bring his girls back, but Q replies with: I cannot bring them back. The universe wanted them.
I absolutely bawled as I wrote this story. There was just so much Tragedy in it. One of my best-to-date though. The last chapter we see Q has sent Will to the past and we see through ‘Thomas’ eyes, the birth of Jessica. Trying to avert the tragedy that has happened in the future hasn’t helped. Morgan had intended to send Jessica and Erica with her parents anyways.
Again, Hard Realities was a labor of love and difficult to write since there was so much tragedy in it.
If you’d like to have a look at the fanfic it’s posted to the Archive:
Comments most welcome. I spent a lot of time on this and am proud of it.
Second Question: What was the easiest fanfic to write? The easiest story for me to write was Trapped In The Past: Area 51.
I’d had the idea of Riker, Troi and Doctor Crusher going to the past and experiencing what life was like for us in our time frame. Area 51 seemed appropriate because it was about aliens and alien contact.
The premise is this: Q transports all three to the past and to Area 51. Troi and Riker are caught and arrested at one of the restricted area entrances to Area 51. Doctor Crusher is found at another gate on the East side of the compound.
The fanfic tells the story of the three of them having to deal with 21st Century tech and not knowing exactly what things were. Doctor Crusher on the other hand knows how each medical instrument is used and what’s it for, for that time frame. The doctors in the secret facility soon find out that Troi is only half human and want to take her and Riker’s daughter from them to see where she comes from. It appears that the doctors at the facility are hiding more than they lead on. Troi soon gives birth to her daughter Laura and she is taken to a nursery with four other children that we find are from Riker’s past. This is where it gets kind of AU.
Each child is taken from a different point in time. We find that the scientists and doctors have found a way to open up Temporal Distortions and move through time.
Q toys with them a little longer and after Riker demands he send them back to the Enterprise, he reluctantly sends them back. He sends them back to the same point he took them from. Laura is safely tucked away inside her mother.
Soon things begin to change when the scientists from the 21st Century find the right frequency to open up a Temporal Distortion into the 24th Century. They board the Enterprise, surprised at the technological advancements made in the last 3 centuries. They are highly suspicious.
But there is only one soldier/doctor who isn’t suspicious and is absolutely fascinated by everything the future has to offer. He doesn’t agree with the other doctors and breaks away from them. We learn his name is Wallens, and soon Doctor Crusher takes him under her wing.
Later we find that Doctor Crusher’s great-great-great-great-great grandmother is working at Area 51. Q has transported them back there just after Riker and Troi find that Laura was a twin. The other baby, Lily had essentially hidden from all medical scans for 8 months.
It’s a tough labor with Lily, but with Doctor Crusher and her grandmother’s help, everything goes smoothly.
I finish off the story with Q sending the three, now four back to the 24th Century and the Enterprise. A happy ending for all.
We also get to learn about Doctor Crusher’s grandmother and her grandfather.
This fanfic can be found on the Archive:
Trapped In The Past: Area 51
Comments most welcome. The fanfic is 22 chapters long, but believe me, well worth it.