JP Yogan Yalu & Meidra Sirin (embodying Eira Yalu) — Our life’s narrative, Part 1

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Apr 24, 2021, 9:10:59 AM4/24/21
to USS Resolution – StarBase 118 Star Trek PBEM RPG

Zhian’tara X

(( Symbiosis Institute Compound, Leran Manev, Trill — Wednesday morning ))

Yogan was delighted by his conversation with Eira thus far.  The experience of meeting his seventh host was unlike any of the others, primarily because Yogan had actually known of Eira Yalu during her lifetime.  She was every bit the erudite, witty orator she was reputed to be, and for the last hour she had regaled Yogan with stories from her illustrious career.

Yalu:  ::laughing::  You are making this up.  Senator Zah really refused to give up his office to you when you succeeded him as the committee chairperson?  What did you do?

Meidra sat back in her chair, legs crossed at the ankles, with the wry maturity of the host she was temporarily embodying. She was fascinated as she listened to stories of a culture she knew little about. 

Sirin (as E. Yalu):  I requested a bigger office, which I was granted, and had the custodial staff paint over his door - a quite brilliant mural of hasperat souffles. People went into his office for weeks thinking it was another commissary.

Yalu:  I am delighted by this story.  I always thought of the Trill Senate as this august, collegial institution.  High up in the Senate Tower...looking down on the rest of us.  It’s easy to forget that you’re still people, with all the same insecurities and foibles as anyone else.  And you, Eira, don’t seem like the type to shy away from anything.

Sirin (as E. Yalu):  As the Prophets say, silence constitutes supreme authority. I had no reason to argue the point with the man, and in the end, my authority was deemed supreme.

Eira winked at him and Meidra felt a strong wish that she had met this woman. The manner in which she handled her obstacles showed restraint and logic. And a bit of impertinence. In a way, she reminded the counselor of her grandmother. 

Yogan smiled as Eira, in Meidra’s body, spoke with such fervor and enthusiasm about her political career.  Seldom before had Yogan seen anyone who loved their work as much as Eira loved being a senator.  With her memories absent from his mind, he noticed for the first time how strange it was to hear Eira quote Bajoran religious scripture, her typical fiery nature tempered somewhat with reverence for the words of the Prophets.  As Yogan prepared to meet Eira during this zhian’tara, he was most interested in learning more about how she came to be such a Bajorophile, and what had led her to adopt the Bajoran religion later in her life.

Yalu:  I can just picture the look on Senator Zah’s face when he saw what you had done.

An interesting statement, considering that Yogan probably would have remembered the interaction, including Zah’s expression of disbelief, if Eira’s memories were still a part of him.  She was a political firebrand, her respect for the institution of the Senate matched only by her irreverence for some of its most peculiar conventions and customs, and her willingness to challenge them.  Her becoming Joined, mid-career at the age of 48, had itself been in defiance of a prevailing societal norm, and something Yogan had always been curious about.

Yalu:  It couldn’t have been easy for you, coming back to work after being Joined.  You had been a senator for nearly 20 years by that point.  How did it feel?

Eira thought back to the beginning of her homecoming, when she pretended to be the same woman who had left to become Joined. The looks her husband and children had given her when they didn’t realize she’d noticed. The profound feelings of loneliness while being irretrievably tethered to another life form seemed ironic to her. How best to convey that disoriented jumble of loss and misunderstanding?

Sirin (as E. Yalu):  ::Slowly:: At first, I did not feel anything different. I was Joined, but I was still myself. As time went on, and I could process, for lack of a better word, the previous hosts’ memories and experiences, there was so much more for me to consider when debating in the Senate. Perspectives that I had been ignorant of, became so much more important. And yet, I found myself continuing to ignore the wisdom of those voices too many times just to get my own way.

The diversity of Yalu’s hosts was eye opening in unexpected ways for Yogan as well.  It was easy to draw on Auzell’s experiences as a Starfleet officer and Zedro’s years of scientific research as those were directly relevant.  But the less obvious contributions were the most memorable:  Edanne’s ease of making friends, Benim’s knack for getting to the truth; even Keroga’s ability to own any room she entered.  They had all proven invaluable to Yogan, but knowing when to listen and when to disregard them was the challenge that never ceased.

Yalu:  I know what you mean.  There are times when I am sitting at my workstation, or going about my business, and something will happen to trigger a flood of memories all at once.  A sound, a scent, the way I move or speak.  Sometimes it’s difficult to sift through.  So much of my Initiate training was about balancing the mix of memories and emotions and personalities, but I still struggle.

Sirin (as E. Yalu):  I had always had a need to understand other cultures, other opinions. It was one of the reasons why being Joined was such a wonderful opportunity. But my pride kept getting in the way. It is not enough to learn about other people, Yogan. True understanding is when we allow them into our life’s narrative. For me, food was a way to bridge the gap. I began taking cooking lessons, and the teacher was an old, cranky Bajoran who debated politics better than some senators I’d known.

Yogan tried to remember the teacher’s name, despite knowing that the memories temporarily didn’t belong to him.  Even without them, Eira’s bonding over the intersection of food and culture and politics made perfect sense.  Some Trill had a tendency to be parochial when it came to their dealings with other species–their small population, prosperous society, and the uniqueness of their relationship with the symbionts made exceptionalist philosophy far too easy to subscribe to.  Over the last hour, as Yogan got to know her better, he came to understand just how much Eira was the complete opposite.  Perhaps her openness and her love for other cultures influenced Yogan more than he realized.

Yalu:  Joining Starfleet was a similar experience for me.  Our ship has Humans, Betazoids, Bajorans ::gestures to Meidra with a grin:: even a Vulcan/El-Aurian who isn’t a million light years away from me at the moment.

Yogan thought about the relationships he’d built in his time serving in Starfleet, and the growing importance that they had in his life.  Through their shared experiences, both heart-warming and heart-stopping, they were becoming a sort of surrogate family to Yogan.  The fact that four of them had agreed to participate in zhian’tara was evidence of that.  However, it had also shone a light on the gulf that had emerged between Yogan and his actual family.  The topic of family had come up frequently as Yogan had met his previous hosts, and the conversations had helped to crystallize some of his feelings about his relationships with his parents and siblings.

Yalu:  I’ve spent a lot of time with my family this week, reconnecting with them after a long time being away.

Sirin (as E. Yalu):  I suppose that you all had much to discuss.

Yalu:  ::nodding:: One of the most surprising things about it has been how easily we were able to reestablish those relationships.  It wasn’t effortless, of course, but being with them again this week after months, years of time apart–– ::beat:: It felt like no time had passed.


Lt JG Meidra Sirin (embodying Eira Yalu)
Counseling Officer
USS Resolution


Lieutenant JG Yogan Yalu
Helm Officer
USS Resolution NCC-78145

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