JP Yogan Yalu & Etan Iljor (embodying Edanne Yalu) — Watch it grow, Part 1

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Apr 17, 2021, 8:15:56 PM4/17/21
to USS Resolution – StarBase 118 Star Trek PBEM RPG

Zhian’tara VI

(( Symbiosis Institute Compound, Leran Manev, Trill  — Sunday afternoon ))

Under the watchful eye of the senior Guardian Rohjess Beem, Yogan’s brother Nedal quietly began the ritual to transfer the memories of Yogan’s second host, Edanne, into the body of Etan Iljor.  Having been through the experience once before, Yogan felt less apprehensive, and tried to convey through his body language that Iljor had nothing to worry about.

Yogan closed his eyes as his brother spoke the ceremonial language to call forth Edanne from within him.  The experience had been a surprise the last time, and Yogan consciously tried to focus on the feeling of the memories departing him now.

N. Verso:  I’nora, ja’kala Yalu.  Zhian’shee Edanne tanus rem.  Gon’dar Yogan tor.

As the transfer took place, Yogan opened one eye, hoping to catch a glimpse, some visible indication of what was happening.  He saw nothing except for a stern expression from a clearly displeased Rohjess Beem, and a sufficiently chastised Yogan quickly snapped his eye shut.

N. Verso:  Yogan, zhian’tara vok.  Tu Yalu, zhian’tani ress.  Zhian’par Edanne garu’koj.

The journey from memory to a simulacrum of life was never what Edanne expected. During her own zhian’tara she had expected the former host to return in degrees, like a trickle that grew into a brook and then into a river. But time after time, she returned as though somebody had clicked their fingers, fully formed in an instant as though she had never died.

She felt the presence of the mind whose body she was now inhabiting. She regarded him briefly and knew who he was instantly: a young Bajoran man- Iljor-, a scientist. She felt the tenor of his thoughts: curiosity and amazement intermingled with a serene contemplation and an unquenchable drive for knowledge. Rekela would have liked to have known him.

She opened her eyes- no, Iljor’s- and looked upon Yogan for the first time. Her mind touched Iljor’s for a moment and she felt the man’s impressions of him. There was a gentleness about Yalu’s latest host, despite his burly, somewhat hulking stature. He was the sort of man that people like Iljor looked up to, much like a little brother did an older sibling. It was reassuring to know that there were still people like Yogan in the universe.

Etan (as E. Yalu):  You must be Yalu’s newest host… Yogan. ::she uttered softly, not at all discomforted by the male voice that now spoke her words.::

Yogan opened his eyes and saw Iljor, his comportment entirely changed.  Gone was the contemplative and quiet scientist.  In his place was the warm, welcoming farmer and weaver from 22nd century Devritane.  So unlike Zedro in every conceivable way, Yogan immediately felt at ease in her company.

Yalu:  It’s a pleasure to meet you, Edanne.

The two Guardians, satisfied that the transfer was successful, left Yogan and Edanne to themselves.  Edanne bid them thanks and a farewell as they left the room with a gentle bob of Iljor’s head. Yogan turned a knob on the altar, which increased the intensity of the burning flame and cast more light into the room.

Etan (as E. Yalu):  And I you. ::she smiled.::

Yalu:  I wanted to show you something.  ::retrieves PADD from his bag::  There was an exhibition at the ethnohistory museum in Chi’tar a few months back, with an entire display of artisan textiles from the last 500 years.  I think you might recognize one of these.

Yogan handed Edanne the PADD, which displayed a brightly colored, intricately woven piece of fabric.  The inscription at the bottom identified the weaver by her birth name:  “Edanne Ozanis – c. 2190.”

She took the proffered PADD and a breath of amazement left Edanne and she felt a familiar welling of emotion in her throat and in the corners of her eyes. She recognised it immediately and memories of creating her art came flooding back to her. The hours spent in firelight weaving while Rajim and Rekela read silently at her feet, the encouragement that Laharno gave her when she grew tired and wished to discard the project, the way that the needle pierced the cha’hara fabric.

Etan (as E. Yalu):  Oh Yogan. ::she said, holding back tears.:: This brings back so many, many memories.

Yalu:  There were a few of your works in the exhibit.  According to the descriptions, they are “exemplars of late 22nd century folk art from the Devritane region.”

Etan (as E. Yalu): I never imagined my creations would be displayed in a museum. ::she laughed breathily.:: It was just a way for me to wind down after a long day in the fields. I was the first female weaver in my family, did you know that? I was a lot of firsts, come to think of it. ::she smiled wistfully.::

Yalu: Not least among them, the first from your village to become Joined.

Etan (as E. Yalu): That's right. ::she replied with humility.::

Yalu:  I lived on Earth when I was very young, but the rest of my childhood was spent in a village as well.  My family home is in the agricultural areas on the outskirts of Grodor town.  If your upbringing was like mine, you must not have encountered many Joined people.

Etan (as E. Yalu):  I don't think I ever encountered another joined Trill. I was content to return to the village and spend my days on the farm. The Symbiosis Commision could never understand that. They kept pushing me to "exceed my host's limitations". ::she let out a noise, a middle point between exasperation and a laugh.::

Yogan was familiar with Edanne’s experience.  Almost immediately after he had been Joined, the Commission was contacting him with “encouragements” to continue his education, advance his career, or embark on some other journey of self-improvement.  “It is for the symbiont, to elevate Yalu to the next level.”  Among other things, it had influenced Yogan’s decision to choose Starfleet Academy for medical school.

Yalu:  ::speaking to Edanne, but also referring to himself::  That must have been a tremendous amount of pressure on you.

As she shrugged, she felt a sense of camaraderie and amusement from the young scientist who had kindly loaned her the use of his body. It made her smile when she realised, after probing his memories , that he too had grown up on a farm before leaving it behind for a life of discovery and adventure.

Etan (as E. Yalu): When your heart wants you to stay close to home, there is really very little that anyone can do to dissuade you. ::she leaned forward and placed one hand on Yogan's.:: Not every host has to lead an "extraordinary" life.

Yogan always found Edanne to be a calming presence amongst his former hosts, balancing out the more dynamic personalities of the others.  With her memories currently hosted within Iljor, Yogan could definitely feel the difference caused by her absence, but in interacting with her, he was experiencing her warmth and her equanimity in a new and wonderful way.

Yalu:  I’ve been Joined for about six years now.  I remember when I was first getting to know all of you.  Seven lifetimes of memories and experiences.  I wondered how I was going to set myself apart, how I would make my mark on Yalu and be remembered by future hosts.  Between you, Zedro, and all the others, it seemed like it had all been done before. ::beat::  It took me a while to realize that my life is still my story to tell, not a continuation of any previous host’s.  You helped me with that, Edanne.

Etan (as E. Yalu): Sometimes it is enough to plant your crop and watch it grow. Don't ever let anybody tell you otherwise, Yogan. ::she leaned forward and took his remarkably large hand in hers.:: As long as you feel fulfilled, it doesn't matter what the Commission or society wants from you.

Yogan looked down at their hands, his somewhat dwarfing Iljor’s.  Edanne spoke plainly, without pretence or performance.  To Yogan, she was the embodiment of the old adage, “bloom where you are planted,” something which didn’t come naturally to him.  The last decade of his life had been the pursuit of one goal after another:  university, Joining, Starfleet, promotion.  Now, looking back, all of his accomplishments had the unintended consequence of leaving so much unaccomplished.


Ensign Etan Iljor (embodying Edanne Yalu)
Science Officer
USS Resolution


Lieutenant JG Yogan Yalu
Helm Officer
USS Resolution NCC-78145

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