From The Writing Desk: “Troubled Passage” ahead!

[fabulous artwork by RYKOE. click to enlarge]

Yes, here it is. We are embarking later tonight!

Just  a few words beforehand.

First of all, and most importantly, I am putting the chapters up behind a password, since I keep getting flashes of unsuspecting opera lovers with a blog subscription ending up with steamy love scenes in their inboxes over breakfast. The password is “1944“. If you want to come along for the journey, just sign in to read and discuss.

Second: I am no WWII buff, nor do I pretend to be one. I researched as much as time allowed me to, but I may get details wrong (feel free to point them out to me in the comments or via email at aniklachev [at] web [dot] de). Some liberties I had to take for the sake of the story. Also, when I say that this story is based on the Voyager episode “The Killing Game”, I mean this in the broadest sense. There are a few Über characters, there is France 1944, and some involvement of the Résistance, but that’s about it. I changed and specified both name and location, and  both added and omitted some of the side characters.

Third: For a long time – this story has been lurking on my hard drive for a decade, after all – I had scruples about writing a story in this particular setting and using a time of such horrors as a backdrop for a little romance story. I hope to not step onto anyone’s toes by writing this story after all. Rest assured that I do not approach the setting lightly. Being German, my family history is linked with the dark years between 1933 and 1945 and there are stories on both sides of the fence: Of my two grandfathers, one became a member of the SA right away in 1933 to move up the career ladder (and he did), while the other chopped down the flagpole in front of his house so he didn’t have to flag for the regime. There is a leftwing lesbian great-grandaunt who miraculously made it through unscathed on the good side, but on the evil side, there was a granduncle with a special carrying permit who was employed to hunt down and shoot fugitives who had escaped to Scandinavia (he ended up as an alcoholic and ultimately comitted suicide in the 1960s). Another grand-uncle had in-laws who were so fanatic that they preferred to commit suicide when it became obvious that Germany would lose the war. And then there is the story of a great-granduncle twice removed who took his own life along with his wife after his two 18-year-old sons died senselessly during the very last months of warfare.

While developing the storyboard, I had those stories at the back of my mind, particularly the last one. And so, while this is supposed to be a romance story first and foremost (and with some fun thrown in, too, because we never need the warmth and wit of humor more urgently than in times of fear and terror), I had to get this off my chest first and make it clear that I am not using this setting as a backdrop without having given it a lot of thought.

Fourth: There will be weekly updates, generally on Friday nights – some weeks, real life may take over, making chapters late or skipping a week, but if you’ve ever been along on one of my WIP journeys, you know that I always finish my stories and will do my best to keep up. Due to my writing rhythm, this story will be unbetaed for now (if there are volunteers out there who would like to beta, just drop me a line). I will edit it after finishing it and post it in the fiction section (Writing Desk) as well as over on var[title].

Fifth: Since the story includes a singer and references to songs (of the cabaret kind – no mezzo soprano arias in this one, although I did manage to smuggle in some Fauré), I’ll try to include YT links for those interested. Since this is French 1940s, I opted for French 1930s and 1940s repertory (something that the original Voyager episode failed to take into account), mainly Kurt Weill. Much of this repertory is available on the market sung by Ute Lemper, who may not have the exact tone I envision for this story, but I warmly recommend her interpretations.

Sixth: The artwork for this story – both the poster and the teasers – have been designed and created by the wonderful Rykoe (if we nag her enough, she might open up a tumblr or joing deviantart and I can include a feedback address for her here). As a special gift for the J/7 Über crowd, Rykoe has given me access to the original 10MB poster-size version of the titel graphic, which qualifies for a wall print and which you can download here.

Seventh: If there are any further questions or access difficulties, use the comments below or drop me a line at aniklachev [at] web [dot] de.

14 thoughts on “From The Writing Desk: “Troubled Passage” ahead!”

  1. I did it – made my first fanvid of Janeway and Seven of Nine as Orpheus and Eurydice with the soundtrack provided by Kasarova of course. I’m counting on you opera nerds to get the bits of the plot that I’ve matched to the Italian lyrics…

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    1. When fandoms collide,.. (wait, wasn’t that my favorite Xena episode, too?)
      Eother way, parallels have just met in infinity. I think I can die happy now. 🙂

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      1. Ooh I hadn’t thought of the snakebite – thanks for pointing that out! And thanks for your kind comments. I didn’t plan on including the operatic happy end originally but then I couldn’t resist Q as deus ex machina. Still, I wanted it to feel as unreal and anticlimactic as they make it feel in the Kasarova DVD version.

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    2. just saw the video by search, so i knew exactly where to go to find the source! i know nothing of star trek but still LOOOVE the video!!! now it goes on my blog, if you don’t mind…

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      1. one of these days, we may have to have a Star Trek Voyager subtext Marathon, Dr T! With the appropriate soundtrack, of course… 😉

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    3. hm, wonder why i can’t watch it in germany, some geo-prohibition going on although Anik could apparently watch it… help, please?

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        1. got it, thanks!
          cool video, Tove S – I’m a J/7-fan and not much into opera, I have to admit. I found that the soundtrack fit very well with the scenes you selected and I loved the Q-intervention 😉

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      1. that’s vhat i suspected, all music from sony (all her cd’s) is blocked in Germany, but thanks for the tip Anik, proxtube, never knew it before. I on the other hand know only opera, but also found the scenes fitting very well with the soundtrack, thanks Tove S!

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  2. Thank you all for your comments, I’m flattered! And for you trekkies who don’t fancy opera I’m really getting into vidding and am making more J/7 vids set to different music.

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