Beta Reader: creepylicious
Fandom: Star Trek: Alternate Original Series/Star Trek: Generations
Characters/Pairings: James Kirk, Spock Prime, some OCs, with appearances by most major (and many minor) Enterprise officers as of STID; background Spock/Uhura and Kirk Prime/Spock Prime
Warnings: (skip) Canon-level (well, TOS-level) non-consensual use of telepathic/memory manipulating powers.
Word Count: ~17,000
Summary: concatenation /kɑn.ˌkæt.ɪ.ˈneɪ.ʃən/
1. A series of links united; a series or order of things depending on each other, as if linked together; a chain, a succession.
2. The application of these series of links.
Synonyms: chain, connecting, continuity, integration, interlocking, link, linking, nexus, series, succession, uniting
An easy mission gets complicated for the crew of the Enterprise, and a whole mess of concatenations start popping up: to the future, to each other, and to that other universe, the one that started everything, too close and not near enough simultaneously.
[And for more rambly, spoiler-filled author's notes than the ones that come with the actual fic, read on!]Well, here's what I've been working on all summer - an expansion of an idea I first tinkered with four years ago! The end product is in a lot of ways not even remotely what I expected when I started - it was supposed to be 3rd Person Limited, but Kirk just refused to let anyone else take over the narration, so I gave in and let him have 1st Person. It was supposed to be much more about K/S versus prime!K/S, where they are and how they deal with each other, how they feel about seeing this future that didn't, can't happen, but, and I don't even know how this happened, that got sidelined for OCs angsting about their lost lives. (My mental image of Carvalho is essentially Gina Torres, btb. Orlan I had no particular inspiration for, but she's got a skin tone falling in the Middle East~South Asian range. Because I can, dammit!)
It was also supposed to end happy, but midway through outlining I realized that my attempt at technobabble required that Kirk go back not remembering anything. That made me feel a little terrible and a little cruel, but I couldn't deny the necessity once I realized it, not for the sappy ending I'd had in mind initially.
If I could go back and change some things, I don't think I'd change anything plot-wise? I might have forced Kirk to shut up, so I could actually get into other characters' heads, make things explicit that I'd tried my hardest to imply. (Like, Spock isn't insulted by the idea of Kirk as t'hy'la, he's baffled by the idea of having t'hy'la at all. It's an archaic concept, very romantic for Vulcans, and not something he'd ever considered a possibility for himself.) (Also: Spock Prime's flicker of emotion? Hope, followed by horrified despair.) I'd've gotten that conversation between Guinan and Chekov on screen, rather than tossing it in as an anecdote from McCoy. Probably the same for Soran's family.
I wouldn't have tried as hard to conceal the identities of the El-Aurians the readers should know stay in the Prime universe. It would've been more suspenseful to make it clear to the reader who they are and what must happen, and allow the suspense to develop from waiting for the characters to learn that themselves.
But what's done is done! Unless I get an idea that blows the redo up to ten times the original's length (again), I won't be changing things up anymore. It may not be the best possible telling of this story, but it's the one I was capable of writing.