This is a fanfic piece, written based off of Star Trek DS9. For those not familiar, Trills are a species that join with another in a symbiotic relationship. The symbiont lives thousands of years and is joined with a new trill upon the death of its current host. The memories and experiences of that host are passed on to the next and so on. Dax was the Trill symbiont in DS9, being joined with Jadzia and then Ezri. (You will notice that those two names make up my Muse’s name, Jezri.) Before Jadzia there was, Lela, Tobin, Emony, Audrid, Torias, Joran and Curzon. Joran was a host whose memory was suppressed because of some horrific things he did. Joran was mentally unbalanced and never should have been chosen as a host, but his illness was not discovered until after he had murdered several trills. He was killed and the Dax symbiont given to Curzon. The memory of Joran was hidden until it resurfaced in Equilibrium. It is this that I explore in the following story, introducing a character that may have been one of Joran’s friends and perhaps even more unbalanced. I am using the art of Sue Mydliak for the Friday Frights theme. Next week I will be using art from Thomas Arensburg.
By Lisa McCourt Hollar
Vosh woke in pain. Grasping at her stomach she felt the warm stickiness that could only be her blood. Kov was gone. She knew this before she even opened her eyes… while she was still in the in-between state that comes on the edge of sleep. The Trill had been joined with the symbiont for nearly ten years; the sensation the void left in her, made the pain so much worse. A part of her had been forcefully taken, cut out and destroyed. Kov was no more and soon she would be dead too.
Lighting candles to create an atmosphere perfect for dining, Enon Tan hummed a song composed by his mentor, Joran Belar. His old friend had been on his mind quite a bit lately. Joran had vanished years before and Enon often wondered what had happened to him. Recently though, he’d learned of Joran’s fate. His anger and disdain for the Trill Symbiosis Commission bubbled to the surface and glancing in the mirror he stared back at dark eyes filled with hate and anger. They dared set them up as gods, deciding who was worthy of joining. Squeezing his fingers tight around a goblet he felt the stem snap, the glass drawing blood from his palm. Blinking in surprise, he dropped the glass into the recycler before attending to the small cuts. They were a reminder to keep his anger in check this evening. Finished cleaning the wounds, Enon looked around the room, smiling in satisfaction
The lighting in the room meeting his approval, he checked the time. His dinner guest should be arriving shortly. His heart quickened with excitement, as he thought about the woman he’d invited to his home. She had said no of course, as he had expected. So he’d sent Brev to fetch her. He could be quite persuasive when he wanted to be. Enon had no doubt that his guest would be walking through his door, or carried as the case may be, at any moment.
As it was, she came walking. There was a small gash just above her eye, the dark coloring of the blood blending in with the brown spots that framed her face.
“Brev, my guest is bleeding,” Enon scolded his servant.
“Your guest?” Vosh Kov laughed, her voice almost musical, despite the rage that laced the edges.
“At the moment. Please, have a seat.
Vosh sat. Her symbiont, Kov, moved inside, indicating its nervousness. Vosh knew that Enon was mentally unstable. Roran Kov had been an agent for the Trill Symbiosis Commission when Enon had applied to be joined. He of course had been declined as being unsuitable for joining. That should have been the end of it, but it was not. He continued to hound them over the years, insisting they had made a mistake and demanding to be retested.
They did, but the psychological exam always was the end of that. He was unstable and therefor, unsuitable for joining. When his connection to Joran Belar came to light, all future demands for examination were declined. No one wanted to risk another catastrophe. Joran was the poster child for what could happen if an inappropriate host were chosen.
“Certainly you cannot believe the committee would choose to re-examine you. Not after all these years. You’re nearly a hundred years old.”
“No, I have no such delusions. I’ve found other…means to get what I want.”
“Then I don’t understand why I am here.”
“Your symbiont was involved in the death of Joran Belar. Or, I should say, he was involved in the death of Joran Dax.”
Vosh felt herself grow cold inside, at the mention of the Dax symbiont. How could Enon know this? Everyone involved was sworn to secrecy. Who could have betrayed them?”
“I see I have your attention. Would you like some tea?”
Vosh didn’t, but her throat was dry and Kov seemed agitated. She could hear Roran in her head, screaming to get the hell out of there. The sense of danger was overwhelming and she wanted nothing more than to listen to the voice of her predecessor, but Enon’s servant stood between her and the door. Her best course of action was to accept his hospitality and wait for her chance to run.
“You don’t scare me,” she said, as he sat down across from her. His eyes bore into hers, trying to find something there. She shut all emotion off, using a technique taught to her by a Vulcan friend.
“Don’t you want to know how I know?”
“It doesn’t really matter, it’s not true,” she said, taking a sip of the tea his servant set in front of her. “However, trying to convince you would be a waste of time and breath. Whatever you want, let’s get it over with.”
Enon smiled, patient. This was the part of the game he enjoyed. “How is your tea?”
She took another sip and frowned. “A little bitter, to tell you the truth. What’s in it?”
“Ero root.” He felt a thrill as the blood drained from her face. “I see I have your attention.”
“But that’s…” Her voice stopped then, her jaw refused to move as her throat seized up, restricting her airway. Vosh tried to stand, but her legs refused to move, a sensation of helplessness moving through her body.
“Don’t fight it,” Enon said, “it makes it worse.”
Vosh stared helplessly, the paralysis from the dangerous sedative beginning to take hold. In small quantities it had medicinal purposes, but only when administered by a medical professional. Too much Ero root could leave you paralyzed for days. In some cases it could cause death. Next to her Brev began to clear the table, producing a sharp knife when he was finished. Laying it on the tabletop within Enon’s reach, Brev stood still waiting for further instructions.
“Pau Renna.” Enon smiled at the terror that filled his guest’s eyes. “I see you recognize the name.”
Vosh tried to nod. Inside, Kov went cold; nothing good could come from this. Renna was the symbiont of an orderly that worked at the Institute. What had happened to Joran was known to a select few… Renna had been one of them and that knowledge would belong to its newest host, Pau. Pau’s body had been found a few days earlier, butchered nearly beyond recognition. Renna was gone.
“Oh, don’t worry,” Enon said, “I am still un-joined… in a manner of speaking. As I said, I have found other means to get what I want and the memories of one symbiont are nothing compared to the memories of two… even three. Why limit how much knowledge I can have?”
What was he talking about? But then the room began to darken, Enon’s face blurring as the sedative finished taking hold of her nervous system. She felt someone lifting her and then nothing.
“I see you are awake.”
Turning her head, Vosh stared into Enon’s eyes. She was lying on the table and he was sitting next to her, a glass of wine in his hand. “I would ask you to join me,” he said, indicating a plate. Something moved on it and horrified, Vosh recognized Kov. Lifting a knife, Enon began to cut into the symbiont. Even though they were no longer joined, Vosh could feel the sharp edge, as though it were cutting into her.
“I discovered a while back… don’t ask me how, because that is a story you don’t have time for, you will be dead before I can finish, but I discovered that if you devour the symbiont while it is alive, its memories become a part of you. That is how I know what was done to Joran. It was quite startling to me, I hadn’t thought of him in yeas. I didn’t even know it was Renna jogging past me in the park, I just knew she… Pau… looked interesting. I wanted to know who she was, who she had been.”
“Knowledge,” he said, taking another bite, “is a never ending quest.”
Her vision fading, Vosh’s eyes remained open, glazing over as she died. Above her a cloud swirled in the air… the spirits of the dead symbionts she wondered. Then all else faded. The last thing she heard was Enon humming as he finished his meal. the haunting tune of a song he and Joran had composed together.