Where do Trill symbionts come from?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Captrek, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Captrek
    Where do Trill symbionts come from? How do they reproduce?

    Also, did the symbionts evolve inside humanoid hosts, or did they evolve as an independent species and later develop the ability to bond with a host?
     
  2. CaptainStoner

    CaptainStoner Knuckle-dragging TNZ Denizen Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Hill dweller
    A stork brings them, of course.
     
  3. Plecostomus

    Plecostomus Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Official forum sex god
    They are a product of the Eugenics Wars. They were developed by Lowes to ensure brand loyalty, but after the Dark Army Of Walmart triumphed they were exiled to deep space aboard a DY-100 sleeper ship, which got sucked down a wormhole and it crashed on the Trill homeworld.
     
  4. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Captrek
    And you guys wonder why Pocket Books won’t publish your stories.
     
  5. CaptainStoner

    CaptainStoner Knuckle-dragging TNZ Denizen Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Hill dweller
    Not if we make the DY-100 sleeper ship a stork.
     
  6. Plecostomus

    Plecostomus Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Official forum sex god
    The S.S. Stork. :techman:


    Also: Joined Trills have can suffer from fatal dissolution if they eat too much salt, and they have an unstoppable (and fatal) fascination with small tins of beer.
     
  7. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Captrek
    On a related note, why would it be so devastating to Trill society if it became known that they have a lot more hosts physically capable of hosting symbionts than they have symbionts? They’re a reasonably mature and democratic society, aren’t they? Aren’t they capable of coming up with an appropriate process for deciding who gets the symbionts, and enforcing that process?

    And how many people have known this secret? How did they convince the public (what kind of evidence did they fake) that only very few Trills were capable of hosting, and how did hundreds of people (or was it thousands? or more?) manage to keep such a huge secret without anybody ever letting anything slip?
     
  8. CaptainStoner

    CaptainStoner Knuckle-dragging TNZ Denizen Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Hill dweller
    Norm from Cheers was a Trill?
     
  9. RichMerk

    RichMerk Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    A stork symbiote brings them. :)

    Symbiotes always seemed kind of a problem to me. They are always shown as needing delicate surgery to install/uninstall, and that just doesn't seem something that would evolve naturally.

    Or maybe the symbiotes can blend with hosts naturally, but the mortality rate was very high so the Trill developed medical methods to increase the survivability of both symbiote and host.
     
  10. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    Eden Prime
    Worlds of DS9: Trill: Unjoined goes into detail exploring Trill society and answers a lot of these questions. In short, even mature and democratic societies don't stop people being greedy and thinking they deserve symbionts. Verad wouldn't be the only one willing to kill for the social and mental advantage of Joining. Also, Trill society and history is incredibly steeped in keeping secrets and hiding shame, to the point that entire swaths of history are forgotten.

    I don't recall if Trill: Unjoined ever definitively answered this question, of where exactly the symbiotic relationship originated, but I recall there being somewhat conflicting memories among the Annuated. But I'm pretty sure they all point to a biological symbiosis of some sort.
     
  11. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Captrek
    Presumably, having a stolen symbiont would be neither socially nor legally acceptable. It would be a difficult thing to hide, especially if you wanted to enjoy most of the advantages of having the symbiont, and anybody who stole a symbiont and was caught would have the symbiont extracted, resulting in the death of the host who stole it. Unless you’re planning on going into hiding in the Gamma Quadrant, I don’t see any point in stealing the slug.

    On that subject, I kind of wonder what Verad Dax was planning on doing after leaving DS9. Going into hiding in the Gamma Quadrant might make sense for Verad, but it’s horrible for Dax. If Verad dies in the Gamma Quadrant, Dax dies too, for lack of another available host. What happens when the interests of the host and the symbiont are so much at odds? How does the combined being make the decision?
     
  12. happydave

    happydave Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
  13. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Captrek
    Yes, there is a scene in Equilibrium in which we see unjoined symbionts in a pool being cared for people called “Guardians.” In this unjoined state, they are conscious, and swim around and communicate with each other through some kind of electrical signals that are visible like lightning.

    What the episode does not explain is where those symbionts came from, and I mean that on both the individual and species level. Where does an individual symbiont come from? Are there a mother symbiont and father symbiont that somehow mate and give birth to it? And what about the species? Did it evolve naturally, or was it created?
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2009
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    As said, no onscreen evidence. Thus, enter my interpretation:

    A long time ago in caves of planet Trill, slimy creatures roamed the dark subterranean waterways and used electric pulses both to stun their prey, and to communicate with their own kind. A bit shorter a time ago, they had gotten very good at both stunning and communicating - and had begun, more or less accidentally at first, to communicate with their victims rather than just with their own kind. They eventually learned how to use the pulses for luring their prey in - and, later, for controlling their prey. In essence, they could "possess" more advanced creatures. Eventually, this path of evolution allowed them to refine the possession into complete bodily control, and now they were free to leave their fetid underground pools and start preying on creatures of the dry land...

    Perhaps their victims included primitive apes, which then evolved into humanlike creatures - while the Trills evolved apace, constantly capturing a small portion of the ape-human population, and eventually becoming a biological fixture of the ape-human culture. They did little harm to their human hosts, as they were more valuable when used as hunting bodies than when used as food.

    Or perhaps there were no apes on planet Trill originally, but the Trills were able to hone their possession skills on other species, so that when the first spacefaring humanoids arrived on the planet, they fell prey to these master hunters.

    Either way, the Trills would now be in control, at least in control of small population groups. And now they would launch into a propaganda war: the population they controlled would start spreading the gospel that said the Trills were friendly and indeed beneficial, and that everybody should try one.

    Eventually, this would indeed catch on, as the Trill promises were not completely empty ones. The ability to carry memories from generation to generation would exist for real. The story about the possession being "benevolent" would mostly be fabrication, though; most hosts would be under strict control, and strictly controlled to tell everybody that they were free.

    All sorts of hosts would be compatible with the Trill, but they would soon develop a preference towards certain "easy" species. The spotted species typically associated with the Trills would be a favorite, for having that nice pouch on the tummy and thus requiring little in the way of surgery or violent burrowing... Regulation of the "market" would be important, though, and so all sorts of propaganda would emerge on this "compatibility issue".

    The Trills would still breed the old-fashioned way, in the pools. But otherwise, they'd abandon most of their original ways, and would take nourishment not through hunting, but through very modest tapping of the gastrointestinal system of the host. They'd also become quite intelligent and civilized - and whatever they lacked in education, they could coerce out of their hosts' educations.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. SharkD

    SharkD Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Every culture has its elements of angst I guess. The way they handled it in the show wasn't that great, though. Not one of my favorite episodes.
     
  16. SilentP

    SilentP Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    is in a very lonely Corner of the Circle
    Wouldn't happened to have been watching a bit of Stargate recently, eh? ;)

    Though it does paint a much more subversive version of the Trill species, I reckon would be very hard to cover up. What would happen when the Trill encounter telepathic/empathic species that might detect the subversion, or would the Trill's ability to influence thought mitigate this?
     
  17. Karnbeln

    Karnbeln Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    An interesting theory; it explains the original Trill from TNG very nicely. I'd make them benevolent after ancient history was over, though, to mesh with DS9. TNG's Trill can be the exception, or be a very ancient Trill.
     
  18. Da'an

    Da'an Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    Shibuya UG
    I've always been suspicious of the so-called "symbiosis" as well.

    How do we know that the Trill creature's minds don't infect and integrate themselves into the humanoid's minds in the same way that a computer virus or malware installs itself on a hard drive?
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    I'm happy with that, too. Odan could simply have been an old and obnoxious specimen who took no pity on its hosts - never bothering to use their names as part of its own, even.

    Possibly such old geezers are in control of the Trill society, though, explaining the weird dark secrets they seemingly unnecessarily protect.

    We could ask a host who has been liberated of his or her Trill. But Jadzia (in "Invasive Procedures") was only liberated of Dax for a brief moment, and was still suffering from post-surgery confusion, so we can't count on her testimony. Yet Riker was possessed for a while, then released, and reported few aftereffects... And if Odan really was a rude example, wouldn't it have done its very worst on Riker? Or was it so cunning as to realize that Riker would have to be released soon again, and thus held back with the subjugation viruses?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. Da'an

    Da'an Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    Shibuya UG
    Maybe it implants some it's personality permanently into the host's mind, so even if the symbiont was removed, the creature's personality would still be influencing the humanoid's mind.

    Like a combination of Stockholm Syndrome and Farscape's "Harvey".