Tag Archives: relationships

Dramatis Personae

Summary:

The station crew are struck down by a ‘telepathic matrix’ brought on board by a Klingon who dies on arrival. The matrix causes everyone to become randomly obsessed and Kira mounts a mutiny with the rest of the crew taking sides. Sisko, though, seems completely disinterested in the whole managing the station thing, and instead locks himself in his office and obsesses over blueprints which he eventually uses to build a clock.

I’m not sure why.

Dax meanwhile does nothing but reminisce about old times with previous hosts, seeming pretty oblivious about the mutiny. In the end, Odo, who is unaffected by the matrix (although it knocked him out when it tried to affect him) works out  a way to assemble all the affected crew together and defeat the matrix by blasting it out into space, and everybody is alright again.

OK.

Probably the most interesting thing about this episode is the way Kira and O’Brien both fight for Odo’s loyalty, and Kira basically tries to seduce him with her feminine wiles! Perhaps this episode shows how the characters would act and behave if all pretense and inhibitions were abandoned?

Real Life Notes:

I’ve been so distracted, I thought I’d already written and submitted this post. But then I remembered that I struggled to see much purpose in it all. I’m not sure I can see any of this in our real-life characters. Thankfully, there is no big fault-line which could lead to familial civil war. The main issues are between Julian and Quark, and they regularly need pulling apart. But as far as I know, nobody takes sides, it’s more a case of learning to be peacemakers and negotiators. It is, however, depressingly constant. These two never seem to be able to learn to get on together.

I mentioned earlier that I would introduce my characters more properly in the episode ‘Dramatis Personae’, so here goes:

Sisko: my husband. We’ve been together 23 years which is somewhat miraculous considering how very different we are. Level headed, slow to anger, never acts in haste. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear he was a Vulcan.

Dr Julian Bashir: my eldest. Highly strung, sensitive and quite brilliant, friendly and sociable but never quite understanding people, so constantly confused, disappointed or frustrated. Feels strongly about social justice.

Jadzia Dax: my only daughter. Beautiful, strong, determined and feisty, capable and knows what she wants, but plagued by self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy. Talented and creative, but with no strong sense of direction.

Quark: my middle boy. Clever in a cheeky, cunning sort of way. Constantly working on any number of projects which usually include avoiding work and getting rich quick at the same time. Extremely sociable and extrovert. Has a heart of gold really but masks it with a thick layer of bravado.

Rom: my youngest. Shy and quiet and almost completely overshadowed by his older brother, (and like Julian, often completely confused about everything) but slowly beginning to come out of his shell to reveal a kind, clever funny young man.

Kira: that’s me. Even when I’m perfectly happy, there’s anger bubbling beneath the surface. I’m not sure anymore what I’m angry about, it just seems to be in my nature. In another dimension, I’m definitely Klingon.

For the purposes of this blog, the characters are interchangeable as I see aspects of ourselves in their stories.

ds9-cast

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Q-Less

Q_and_Vash_DS9

Although I love the actor John deLancie, I think I feel about Q exactly how one is supposed to feel about him – he’s an obnoxious, loathsome character, who is always unwelcome and turns up when you least expect him, and he keeps on popping up when you think you’ve got rid of him.

Thankfully I can’t think of anybody in real life who fits his character. Loathsome and obnoxious, yes. Manipulative, yes. But nobody who combines all those features rolled into one.

The idea in this episode is that Vash had been with Q ever since the Enterprise (TNG QPid) but had lived to regret it, and was now struggling to shake off this abusive partner.

A few of our married friends have gone on to split and divorce, one couple’s split in particular was a big surprise, seeming to have been the perfect couple with happy home and settled family.

But after the split the wife claimed that the husband had been abusive all through their marriage, and managed to turn all his kids against him.

In actual fact there was more than a little evidence that it was the other way round – she had been the drinker, violent, unfaithful, verbally abusive, shopaholic, and he had put up with it all, through thick and thin.

Who knows what really goes on behind closed doors? Presumably the children would be in the best place to know the truth of what went on in the relationship.

Vash’s character is not all innocent at all. When Picard met her, she was already a mercenary, thieving dealer in historical artifacts and of course her character has not improved through her time with Q. Q hangs around because she’s up to her old tricks again, and one of her artifacts puts the station at risk. Together with Quark’s insatiable greed, they make quite a pair.

“I’ll never understand this obsession with accumulating material wealth. You spend your entire life plotting and scheming to acquire more and more possessions until your living areas are bursting with useless junk. Then you die, your relatives sell everything, and start the cycle all over again.” – Odo

The highlight of the episode is Q and Sisko’s fight.

You hit me… Picard never hit me.
I’m not Picard.
Indeed not. You’re much easier to provoke. How fortunate for me.

Of course, everything is resolved in the episode, and Bashir wakes up completely ‘clueless’ about the events that have unfolded while he was asleep.

But we can be sure that we’ll see more of Q. Having spotted Sisko’s vulnerabilities, as all manipulators do, he will be bound to return to cause trouble another day.

I hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas and wish you all a happy new year. Or, as Spock might say, I hope you experience a pleasant celebration of your planet’s winter solstice, and a most logical new year.

solstice

LLAP.

 

Captive Pursuit

Ah, Tosk. A species designed and bred to be prey, for the entertainment of a hunting species, to the extent that he does not even have his own name, he just identifies as Tosk, his very identity is prey. (There’s an echo of this in Voyager’s Hirogen and their holographic prey who rise up against them.)

I remember writing about this episode, but I don’t remember who I would have originally cast as Tosk, the hunters, Sisko, or O’Brien who is the hero of this story.

tosk

Right now I think that Tosk is me. I’m not really being pursued. No-one is after me. It’s just a feeling. But it is a recurring theme in my dreams, being on the run. I think it’s just a result of general anxiety really. I can’t pinpoint a specific worry.

But somehow, I seem to have attracted (or been spotted by) a string of manipulative, controlling women who used me and caused a lot of trouble.

The fact that it happened so many times made me begin to wonder why – I am not a pushover, I am not an easy target. I do not view myself as a victim. And I don’t think I am a bad judge of character. Actually, the first time I was taken in because I had no idea – the person in question was a real charmer, a complete snake.

But I wised up real quick, and I knew from the outset with the others that there was something not quite right. But still they kept spotting me. I think it was because I’m a basically nice person and probably more tolerant than most. But they were always surprised when I turned around and said “No” because when they make a mark, they think they can do anything!

I have found that drawing boundaries is really important, those type of people will push and push to see just how much they can get away with. And often, they’re subtle and cunning and you don’t realise you’re being pushed until you’re already well outside your comfort zone – like the proverbial frog in the slowly boiling water.

It becomes necessary, for those of us who are essentially as ‘harmless as doves’ to also be as ‘wise as serpents’, because that’s just what they are.

wise serpent

Emissary part 2

Act Four

Continuing on from yesterday’s post, in Act Four we are introduced to Odo, Quark, Nog, Jadzia, Dr Julian Bashir, Miles O’Brian (who we know from TNG) and the Cardassians.

In my original blog, Dr Bashir sometimes represented my eldest son, Jadzia my daughter. I can’t remember if I had a use for the others at the time. I suppose the Cardassians could represent anybody who might be my enemy. I think that, because they’re imperfect metaphors in that they don’t perfectly match specific characters in my real life, they will not always represent the same people.

Quark rather suits my middle son as he is absolute chock-full of cheek, and is always working on some scheme or other. I’m not sure who my youngest son was represented by but right now I am thinking along the lines of Quark’s brother Rom. O’Brien represented different aspects of Sisko’s character.

In the story, the crew of DS9 (and specifically Kira and O’Brien) move the space-station to the Wormhole to stake a claim on it before the Cardassians do. In my story, it was Sisko’s idea, and the move was designed to protect us from the Cardassians and give us all a better quality of life. I think it was a good plan in theory, but the reality has been far more complicated.

“The Provisional Government and I disagree on a lot of things, that’s
probably
why they sent me to this god-forsaken place.” – Kira

We have actually had to move several times, and although we are close to the Wormhole, I am not sure we have reached our final destination.

 

Act Five

Meanwhile, Dax and Sisko are meeting with the Wormhole Aliens, the ‘Prophets’ as the Bajorans see them, and Sisko tries to explain to these aliens who live outside of time the nature of linear existence, but they show to him how – due to the intensity of his grief in losing Jennifer – the existence that he experiences in his mind isn’t linear at all, but he “exists here”.

I love this sequence, and I think it is so profound. Until Sisko faces this fact, he is unable to properly grieve and move on. There are supposed to be stages of grief (5 or 7, depending on which scale you use) which takes you through anger and denial and so on, but in reality grieving doesn’t follow a linear progression at all. You might go from stage one to stage two to stage three and then back to stage one and back again before the next stage you’re ‘supposed’ to reach, and contrary to the lists of ‘stages’, you never get to a point of ‘done’ grieving, as even years later, grief still hits you in waves and you’re right back there at the beginning of the scale again. Perhaps not as raw as it once was, but no less real.

As I have already mentioned, my Sisko isn’t like this, he doesn’t like emotion and he doesn’t (as far as I can tell anyway) experience grief in the same way that I do. But Sisko in this sequence is me. I experienced grief, first in 2010 when I had a personal loss (which I probably won’t go into here) and then again in 2011 when my Dad died, and it has changed me profoundly.

I exist there.

It has become the pivotal moment of my life, and what defines the rest of it.

“And I have never figured out a way to live without her.” – Sisko

By the way, before you object, my ‘Acts’ don’t perfectly match with the content of the divisions of the episode. I haven’t fully covered Sisko’s meeting with Kai Opaka or Sisko and Dax’ orb experiences, so I will try and do a ‘part 3’ next.

I will love and leave you with another Metallica track from the most excellent Ride the Lightning album: Fade to Black. It won’t all be Metallica in future, I promise, but this is such an appropriately sad and melancholy tune, I thought it fit nicely with the theme.

LLAP.

Emissary part 1

Background:

On star-date 05.20.13, Captain Jean-Luc Picard was kidnapped by the Borg and was forced to lead an assault on Starfleet at Wolf 359. In that battle, Lt. Commander Benjamin Sisko lost his wife Jennifer. Now he has been reluctantly posted to DS9 to work alongisde Kira Nerys who will function as liaison between the Bajoran government and Star Fleet.

In this universe, for the purposes of this blog, Jean-Luc Picard (and sometimes the Borg) is the devil who causes all the yuck in my life.

Jennifer wasn’t Sisko’s wife, but rather his mother who died in May 2013 (hence the faked star-date above).

Oh, and Sisko and I are not just feuding colleagues but man and wife. And since the metaphor is not quite ideal to my real-life situation, Jake will often be replaced by four Ferengis, or a variety of other characters and races, depending on what fits. I will introduce them properly in the episode ‘Dramatis Personae’.

In my original blog on Open Diary, I wrote a series of posts about my life based on the first season of DS9. Some of the themes of the episodes seemed to bear a spooky resemblance to what was going on in my life, or at least my mind. But it may just be that I became so immersed in the story that I began to see my life as Kira’s. When I look back it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was at the time, and I don’t honestly know why I was so hostile to Sisko. Our real-life situation is much worse right now than it ever was then (between 2006 and 2008) but our relationship is actually much better than it was.

Act One

So in Star Trek DS9, neither Sisko, Jake or Kira are happy to be posted to the DS9 Space Station – which is after all in Deep Space – but Sisko is trying to make the best of it, and encourages Jake to do the same. Kira isn’t specifically bothered about being on DS9, her objection is to Star Fleet’s involvement, and she makes that very clear, very rudely! In real life, it was Sisko’s idea to bring us all here.

The Ferengis weren’t happy to begin with, but they have got used to it – they love the Wormhole, and they are now far too settled to move back to Bajor. Family and friends are still there, and even though they are lonely (no kids their own age), they want to stay. I on the other hand objected to the move. I miss my family and friends terribly and although, alright I do actually love the Wormhole now (which, by the way, is the Atlantic Ocean) and I know I would miss it if we were taken away from it, I object strongly to being moved without my consent, and haven’t been able to get used to my new life. I am making him sound like a tyrant, but in fact he took me away from a very unhealthy, emotionally toxic situation. it was for my own good. But it was very painful.

In real life, when we moved here in 2011, I didn’t shout and fight and feud with Sisko (that season of our relationship was for the years previous to our move), but I cried a lot for months, moped around the house, pleaded with him to take us back. But failing that, I learned that pleading didn’t work and our old life was not there for us to go back to (more on that in another episode). I am not happy, but instead of fighting to control a situation that is out of my hands, I am turning to my spiritual life for serenity. Not sure if it’s working really, but I will let you know.

Act Two

In DS9, Sisko meets with Jean-Luc Pickard to object to his assignment and request a move anywhere else. It’s a tense meeting because Pickard was responsible for Jennifer’s death. He can’t forgive him, and lets him know it.

In real life this never happened because in fact Sisko himself is the devil in the sense that he was responsible for moving us here. it was his choice, this was what he wanted. That’s not to say of course that Sisko was in any way responsible for the death of Jennifer his mother, far from it. But he did have the opportunity to go and see her and say goodbye before she died, but he refused – finding the situation emotionally intolerable. I will elaborate on this in another episode, but in another emanation where I see myself as a passionate Klingon, he is the emotionally repressed Vulcan. That has changed somewhat, but it still permeates our relationship.

Where I am an irrepressible, red-headed Celt, he is a cool Scandinavian. In fact he does have a deep, dark svårmod river of passion, joy and anger running below his icy exterior, but it rarely shows.

Act Three

At this point, Bajor’s spiritual leader, Kai Opaka, is introduced along with the Orbs, the ‘tears’ of the Prophets.

I think that in the original blog, I glossed over this part, but I will mention that my spiritual mentor – the person I most respected and to whom I would always turn to with questions about Life, the Universe and Everything, the person who most understood and shared my tastes (except perhaps in music – see below, he wouldn’t have approved), whose opinion I valued above all others, was my Dad. I have already mentioned him – when I was very young I believed he played Spock in Star Trek’s Original Series. It was he who introduced me not only to Star Trek but to the love of all things science and science fiction. If you know DS9 well you will know that Kai Opaka does not last long as a character and her passing was devastating. My Dad died in early 2011 and the world has never been the same.

I’m not sure I have a use for the Orbs yet as a metaphor – but if I think of anything, I will let you know and weave them in to the story!

Act Four and Five

I will have to leave Acts four and five for another day, as I am very tired now and will give myself a headache if I go on. I hope you have enjoyed reading my ramblings as much as I have done writing them.

My soundtrack to writing this post was Metallica’s excellent and underrated album ‘And Justice For All’ – if you happen to appreciate that sort of thing, please enjoy. If you can’t stand it, I won’t make you listen. Awesomely, it co-incidentally finished just about the time that I was finishing up the post. 😀

Memories of a Rebound Romance

I had a facebook notification this morning about an old friend’s birthday. I haven’t seen or spoken to this friend in over 20 years and know very little about her life beyond the fact that she got married and had children.

20 years ago though, I mopped up a broken heart when my friend dumped her boyfriend for another, and on the rebound he took an interest in me.

At the time, I was also being pursued by somebody else (in what, in hindsight was a slightly creepy manner, which was repeated as stalking when I left him a few years later).

My friend’s ex, we’ll call him Boy A, became besotted with me, to the point where I felt suffocated – buying me flowers and gifts, wanting me to spend whole weeks at his house and so on. I was only 17, and I didn’t want to be tied down in a serious relationship. The attention was nice but it also felt heavy. I knew I was a rebound but I don’t think he did. He thought I was the love of his life. He asked me to marry him after a two week romance.

When I finally made the decision to go with the other boy, let’s call him Boy B, Boy A accused me of – well, let’s just say some not very nice things which particularly concern a girl’s integrity. My old friend took his side and accused me of breaking his heart and hurting him very deeply. This after two weeks, even though she had left him after two years and an engagement! Apparently he swore off girls for good after me because I had shown that they are all no-good, two-timing users and betrayers. My friend later told me that he had something of a breakdown afterwards and never recovered, and it was all my fault.

Seriously.

I did like him very much, and at the time I wished things had been different. I felt guilty for years about hurting him, and wondered if I had made the wrong choice. But when I think about it now, with the benefit of age and experience, it does rather make my blood boil. I had never agreed to go steady. I knew Boy B before I met Boy A, and I made it clear from the outset that he was in the picture. We had only been together a fortnight and I had been very open about my friendship with Boy B and that he was pursuing me. Boy B even called me at Boy A’s house (creepy! But not secret.)

If the roles had been reversed, and I had made such a fuss as a woman scorned after a rebound fling, I have no doubt that I would have been told to let it go and not be so ridiculous. But somehow, what I had done, as a young woman, was viewed as deeply wrong and inappropriate, and his reaction was never questioned even though it was clearly over the top and out of proportion.

Boy A, if you’re out there, I’m sorry I hurt you, it wasn’t intentional; I hope you recovered and can see things in perspective. I was never the kind of person you imagined me to be. But I hereby relieve myself of the guilt that I ruined your life, because I didn’t. Even if I had done the things you accused me of, I never lied to you, and I never made any promises. You were on the rebound and I thought I was helping. I’m sorry my involvement made it worse in the end, but it wasn’t my fault.

In both cases though, these boys seemed to think it was their right to be able to completely possess me, as though I were some kind of chattel they could own (and presumably discard at will). But when the chattel rises up to discard the possessor, all hell and fury breaks forth. It was a long time ago, but it was the 1980s, not the 1880s, and I hear that young women don’t have much of a better time of it today.

I have never been particularly feminist in my thinking, but this is the sort of thing that makes me want to explore feminism.

Just had to get that off my chest this morning!