Trill symbionts and hosts [spoilers for Fallen Gods and Unjoined]

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by datalogan, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. datalogan

    datalogan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 17, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    In the recent Titan book Fallen Gods, on page 158 at the end of chapter 14, Dr. Ree talks about the Trill joining being indissoluble, “the termination of which nearly always kills the symbiont’s humanoid host once the fusion has passed the point of permanence.”

    This seems to contradict the outcome of Worlds of DS9: Trill: Unjoined.
    In that book the technology to successfully unjoin a Trill symbiont from a Trill host—without killing either—was perfected. In fact, the Trill President Lirisse Maz became Lirisse Durghan by unjoining with the Maz symbiont towards the end of the story—and then told the entire world in a speech.
    I think it’s fairly common knowledge that there are safe and repeatable techniques available which make the joining of Trill symbiont and host not “indissoluble”.

    Interesting how Ranul Keru was there on Trill when the events of Unjoined happen and now he’s on the USS Titan.

    It’s more interesting that Fallen Gods was written by Michael A. Martin and Unjoined was written by Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin.

    So, I wonder,
    1) did Martin just forget about the technology developed in Unjoined when he wrote Fallen Gods ?
    2) is Unjoined not considered part of the same continuity that Fallen Gods exists within?
    3) is Martin trying to tell us something about the common continuity the two stories exist in?
    a. Did the technology from Unjoined turn out to be a failure, and unjoining still “nearly always kills”?
    b. Did the technology get covered up such that a knowledgeable Starfleet doctor like Ree wouldn’t know about it?
    c. Was Dr. Ree just talking specifically about unjoinings without that technology—as part of the metaphor he was trying to make—without clearly stating that caveat in the discussion?
    d. Some other explanation? Can you think of one? I can’t.

    This whole thing just reminds me of the big sweeping changes that happen on Trill during Unjoined—including the murder of about 90% of the Trill symbionts and a big movement toward equality on Trill for unjoined Trill. I’d be really interested to see how Trill has changed—hopefully for the better—in the intervening years. The elitist reality of the joined on Trill (prior to Unjoined) always bothered me.
  2. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 29, 2001
    I would say it's probably very limited, classified information. Yes, Maz announced she had undergone an "experimental procedure" to the populace, but I can't imagine that the specific details of that procedure or the chemical formula for the drug involved have been made freely available. The Trill have always been paranoid about the safety of the symbionts, and even more so now that there are so few of them left. So I don't see them letting this kind of secret out, the kind of secret that could lead to black market "join for a day" activities. Yes, it goes against the new openness that Maz promised, but I suppose old habits die hard.

    Maybe Ree would have been brought in on the information if there were a joined Trill crewmember on board the Titan, but since AFAIK there isn't, and it was probably very much a need-to-know kind of deal, he didn't need to know.

    Besides which, I never really got a feeling that there was inequality between the joined and the unjoined anyway. Certainly I can see that there could be, and when they explored that in the books, it made sense. But we'd never had a sense of that in the show - probably because the only Trill characters we ever met were all joined, so naturally we would see things from their perspective, and they would think everything was fine.

  3. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Indeed; though I imagine most of the unjoined didn't see a problem either - until they did. Whether the Trill society was dysfunctional or not depended on the angle of approach you took when considering them, and the perspective you assumed in relation to their traditions and social structuring. More to the point, it depended on how the Trill themselves saw things. It seems to me they were mostly content and not troubled by the way things were, until a trickle of discontent here met up with a frustration or two there, new perspectives took hold, and then a rush of revelations regarding the lies and cover-ups concerning joining emerged, and those quiet frustrations were fueled by the fires of betrayal and anger. "The way things are", which apparently was previously accepted happily by the vast majority of Trill, was suddenly (rightly or wrongly) viewed through the prism of exploitation and manipulation. And it reached that boiling point where whole populations are demanding change, because the structures they're working in suddenly seem unfair and unappealing, and they've realized/decided they're unhappy. Like you say, the way the books explore it makes sense and shows us that Trill society can indeed be seen as exploitative and unfair - most importantly, by the Trill themselves, if they're looking at it in a certain way (and have just been armed with evidence of conspiracy among the joined). :)
  4. Markonian

    Markonian Commodore Commodore

    Jun 2, 2012
    Yorkshire, UK
    Do we know whether the joining moratorium is still in place?

    The last thing I remember hearing about Trill was the Trill councillor in Paris complaining about the aftereffects of the social upheaval. Unfortunately, I can't remember the book. Maybe A Singular Destiny?