Why ‘Admiral Cartwright’:
Admiral Cartwright is, of course, a character in Star Trek. At first glance, there’s a significant philosophical disconnect; specifically, in The Undiscovered Country, Cartwright betrayed a racist hawkishness that I do not share in the least. I needed to reconcile the character with the author in a believable way and, thus, a touch of romanticised fiction (adapted from both canon and sanctioned works) was born:
Lance Donald Cartwright hated his name growing up; he preferred to use his middle name and, later, his rank or simply Cartwright. As much as he hated “Lance”, however, he loved his planet and its people—save, perhaps, those who’d bullied him as a child.
As he moved up in rank and station, Fleet Admiral L. Donald Cartwright had allowed himself to be seduced by the “more conservative elements” within Starfleet Command and the need to protect Earth, whatever the cost: Klingons—all Klingons—posed a threat to Earth’s existence and, therefore, ‘peace’ between species was a lie; a tool to be employed in furtherance of the destruction of Earth. There could be no better ‘poster boy’ for the perpetuation of the war mentality than James Kirk, who had lost his son to a Klingon commander and who, in spite of himself, shared a hatred of Klingons. Cartwright perverted the logic that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, and Kirk and his crew were deemed expendable in a plot to assassinate the Klingon chancellor—which succeeded—and derail the peace process—which did not. When the follow-up plot to murder the Federation president at Camp Khitomer was exposed and foiled, Cartwright was among those convicted.
The sound of shuffling feet nearly drowned out the bailiff as she continued her oft-repeated speech. “Courtroom One, Belli Law Centre, United Federation of Planets is now in session. The honourable Justice Areel Shaw Presiding.”
Shaw took her seat at the bench, signalling to the rest of the room that it was okay to be seated. The handsome human woman in her 60s tapped a blinking light on her desk and opened the day’s docket.
“The Members versus Cartwright,” she announced.
Disgraced Admiral Cartwright was already seated at the Defence table, having been advised that his case was up first. He rose at the mention of his name. “Good morning, your Honour.”
“Good morning. Is Lance Donald Cartwright your full and true name?”
Cartwright’s eye twitched slightly; he hated his first name. “It is, your Honour.”
The tic did not go unnoticed. “Is something the matter, Mr. Cartwright?”
“Good, let’s keep it that way. The clerk will now read the charges and specifications.”
The man seated next to the defendant shot to his feet. “Your Honour, Sam Cogley for the defence. Admiral Cartwright would waive the reading.”
Shaw regarded the wisp of a man with warmth. She had known Samuel Thomas Cogley II since he was a young boy, and the resemblance to his father—slight frame, thinning hair not quite hidden by his yarmulke, penchant for old-school law practice, on paper, no less—was all the more astonishing with the passing years. But there would be no nonsense here. “I’m sure he would,” she smirked. “Your client is facing the most serious charges I’ve ever handled, Mr. Cogley, including conspiracy to assassinate both the Klingon High Chancellor and the president of our own federation. Why would I grant this request?”
Cogley glanced at his client, who nodded glumly. “Because the admiral will be pleading guilty to all charges.”
Shaw considered a moment, then turned her eyes toward Cartwright. “Very well, then. To the charges and specifications outlined in the complaint, Mr. Cartwright, how do you plead?”
Cartwright swallowed and cleared his throat. “Guilty, your Honour.”
“And do you enter this plea of your own free will, with no outside coercion or influence?”
“I do,” Cartwright responded.
Shaw turned to the prosecution. “Do the Members know of any reason why sentencing should not commence?”
No, came the response. “The defence?” Cogley also answered in the negative.
Shaw sighed, only barely concealing her sadness and disappointment. “A plea of guilty is accepted by this court, and will be applied to Counts One and Two, namely, conspiracy to assassinate a dignitary. All remaining counts are dismissed without prejudice. As to Count One,” she continued, “I apply the disposition of life in custody without the possibility of parole. As to Count Two, the disposition shall be life in custody without parole. These terms shall be served consecutively, with the intent that the defendant shall be required to maintain institutional status for the remainder of his existence. Mr. Cartwright is further stripped of rank and station within the Starfleet and all its operations.”
Knowing this was coming and actually hearing his fate, punctuated by the echoing bang of a gavel, were profoundly incomparable. The now-officially-former admiral hung his head as he affirmed his understanding of the sentence passed down for his crimes. Cartwright’s chin remained attached to his chest as he was led from the courtroom, shackled, remanded to begin the next chapter in what was left of what was once an exemplary, decorated life.
Over a span of five Solar years in custody, Cartwright had an epiphany: the demonisation of an entire species was akin to the crimes committed upon his forebears on Earth. His rationale against any peace with “the alien trash of the galaxy”—extolling instead the opportunity “to bring them to their knees; then, we’ll be in a far better position to dictate terms”—soured and festered, and he began work within his restricted capacity to make good on the damage. When Section 31 got wind of their former colleague’s betrayal, they plotted his assassination. Anticipating this, he reached out to now-Ambassador Spock, who helped Cartwright fake his own death and go into hiding on Vulcan, where he continued his work by proxy.
In real life, I am a male in upper-middle age. My actual existence is and has been far less romantic, with one exception: I believe that all the people of this Earth deserve the opportunity to find love in all its forms, wherever and with whomever it presents itself. My only hatred is of hatred.
When I created Admiral Cartwright the Author in 1999, I had read one too many ‘lolierotica’ stories that were literally nothing more than stroke pieces—not that there’s anything wrong with a stroke piece, per se—in which unabashedly horned-up college coed-types were aged down to create a ‘new’ narrative. (No ten-year-old, for instance, has ever said, “fuck my juicy wet cunt with your big, fat cock!” Unless she watches lots of bad pornos.)
“I can do better than that!” turned into an effort to do better than that.
My only previous experience at writing erotica was Jo and Lexi, a stroke piece involving two grown women that I had hand-written several years earlier; nevertheless, I was convinced that I could offer up far more realistic ‘loli’ stories than the pap being cranked out.
The first legitimate story to follow was My Neighbour, and the response from readers was immediate and overwhelmingly positive. Soon afterward, more authors increasingly showed a similar ethic; whether I had a hand in that, I may never know—but I like to humour myself.
So, I offer my heartfelt thanks to:
those shit stories that moved me to write;
the initial crop of readers that moved me to continue;
everyone from whom I’ve received support and kind words over the years, including BillyG, Celeste, Denny, Fidelius, Frank McCoy, Stephen, Jane Urquhart, and a whole bunch of others far too numerous to mention;
free repositories including but not limited to usenet and ASSTR (and in particular to Rey, et al., for their hard work), without which we may never have gained an audience;
anyone and everyone who posts HTML/CSS tutorials, thereby helping me with the design of this Web site;
Pedro Vila—the political rant that drove A Letter from Your Worst Nightmare was inspired in part by Leave the Children. From it, I finally created the context in which to place a few scrambled ideas;
and, finally, you, dear reader—you were, are and always will be our motivation to write.
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