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Antosha's drabble -- "Eyes Locked"

Antosha's drabble -- "Eyes Locked"

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antoshevu  requested a Star Trek/DS9 drabble; the prompt was, Ezri and Jadzia -- Memory.

The title is Eyes Locked.

For readers who don't know DS9, there's an explanatory note at the end of the drabble.


Ezri writes, Patient exhibits identity-related issues.

She chews her lip. You’re one to talk.

Symbionts don’t have indexes. Whose memories are whose? That park in the city – all the hosts were there several times. Audrid took the children there; Torias and Nilani made love there at midnight.

Jadzia stormed through that park, fuming about the Commission, when she spotted a pixie teenager chatting animatedly with friends. And their eyes locked.

Even Ezri was there, when her family visited Trill. She was arguing with Norvo when she saw a tall, strong woman striding like an angry giant.

And their eyes locked.


For those who don’t know Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, here’s a character explanation:

There are two intelligent species on Trill, symbionts and hosts. Symbionts, which live for centuries, have no minds of their own, but, when mature, are "joined" to adult hosts, where they share the host’s thoughts and memories. When the host dies, the symbiont can be transferred to a new host – who will then have the memories of all previous hosts.

The Dax symbiont is over 300 years old and has had several hosts: Lela (a female legislator), Tobin (a male mathematician), Emony (a female gymnast), Audrid (a full-time mother), Torias (a male test pilot), Joran (a male musician and psychopath), Curzon (a male diplomat and soldier-of-fortune), Jadzia (a female scientist and warrior) and Ezri (a female counselor).

Jadzia Dax, brilliant and valiant, was host for nearly all of the DS9 series, until she was killed in the war. While in transit back to Trill for a new host, the Dax symbiont had a medical crisis and had to be transferred to the only Trill available – young Ezri, who never wanted to be joined and was never trained for it.
  • Interesting drabble, but even with the explanation, you lost me :) Did feel sympathy for Ezri.

    I saw the comet again early this morning.
    • Ah, well. I tried.

      The idea is that Jadzia and Ezri saw one another briefly before either of them was joined to the symbiont. Ezri remembers seeing Jadzia; she also remembers Jadzia seeing Ezri. But she didnt' put it together until this moment.
      • Sorry :( My poor little brain did not pick this up the first . I went back and reread. Now I understand. Now the drabble seems powerful.

        Have patience with me. I never saw any of the Star Treks. I read somewhere they are going to bring up yet another Star Trek series for TV for 2008.
  • Wonderful! Evocative and multi-layered—and a lovely snapshot of poor Ezri, sharing all of those memories that she was in no way prepared for.

    And I love the idea of the two Dax hosts having run into each other so randomly....

    The idea of the Trill symbiosis was one of the more interesting threads in DS-9—which was, in some ways, my favorite ST series, partially because the acting was (for the most part) good, and partially because the storyline was by necessity less episodic then the typical travel-to-new-planet-and-deal-with-new-crisis Star Trek show.

    (I have a large, partitioned external hard drive that I use for back-ups. The drive is called Dax. The three partitions? Curzon, Ezri and Jadzi. ;-) )
    • and partially because the storyline was by necessity less episodic then the typical travel-to-new-planet-and-deal-with-new-crisis Star Trek show.

      I think you can blame Babylon 5 for that. The first major-league SF show that boasted of a long (5 year) story arc. I'm pretty sure DS9 took on some characteristics of B5 as it went along. I remember Majel Barrett once jokingly confessing that 'of course' the Trek writers stole some of B5's flavour.

      (I have a large, partitioned external hard drive that I use for back-ups. The drive is called Dax. The three partitions? Curzon, Ezri and Jadzi. ;-) )



      I'm NOT going to talk about how I named all the Unix computers in my IT department after superhero teams, and the Novell servers after planets in the E. E. Smith Lensmen series, okay? ...
      • I think you can blame Babylon 5 for that. The first major-league SF show that boasted of a long (5 year) story arc. I'm pretty sure DS9 took on some characteristics of B5 as it went along.

        Perhaps. Probably, even. I think, too, that as ST: TNG went further along, the scriptwriters began playing with more character- and relationship-development. Some of it was wonderful (Picard and Dr. Crusher, Crusher and Troi, Data and his cat, etc.) and some of it wasn't (the Riker/Troi/Whorf triangle). But they seem to have felt the constraints of the episodic setup. So when they considered a spin-off series, one of the bright minds said, "Hey, how 'bout instead of a ship wandering around, we have a station that stays put in a really strategic location?" ;-)

        As for the names... Well, seeing that all of my computers have been named after prominent SF computers, robots and cyborgs... I'm hardly one to talk. ;-)


        • I think it was Pillar who had the bright idea. Things took a decided turn for the better on NG when he took over as story editor. (Of course, practically anything would have been an improvement after Melinda Snodgrass...)
          • Okay.

            I think you win the nerd sweepstakes!

            (This is not a bad thing. But I have to say, I never paid much attention to who the head writers were. Probably should have!)
            • *Sigh* I've always been a champion Trek-nerd, unfortunately.

              But so far as the Snodgrass-Piller transition is concerned, it was like a switch being flipped. For the first two seasons, you always wondered why everyone sounded stupid except Picard -- then you realized that all the lines were awkward, but Stewart could make them sound reasonable. (Hence my line about carrying the whole series on his back.) Then in the third season everything changed: the concepts got more intellectually challenging, the writing became more graceful, the actors seemed to gel. I said to myself, "what happened?" Then I looked at the credits...
              • Ah!

                Well, I feel better.

                Me, I just noticed that the costumes and the acting had improved. They let Deanna Troi's hair down. Oh, and Tasha Yar left. I never did like her. ;-)

                Actually, even Patrick Stewart came off as very stiff the first few years. And Riker? A Kirk-wannabe of the worst kind.

                But you're right—though the scripts in the first seasons were at least aiming at interesting themes, they didn't really begin to tackle them in any kind of deep, intelligent way until that switch you mentioned flipped.
      • Ds9 premiered a few weeks before the Babylon 5 pilot, and it's clear to me that it had an overarching story-arc (the Prophets and the Emissary) from the very first. I know that Straczynski accused Paramount of stealing his play-book, but (1) he never showed it to Berman and Pillar, (2) Berman and Pillar had their own, very sound reasons for the "closed world" concept, and (3) people in the Harlan Ellison clique seem to enjoy accusing others of stealing their ideas. Majel Barrett is a nice lady, but she wasn't on the inside of the production for this series.
        • Hmmm. I remember reading the brief behind Babylon 5, on Usenet, months or years before I ever saw the pilot. Of course there was a delay in getting it here, but I thought B5 had been bandied around a lot before it was actually made. Maybe it was the 'play-book' I read online.

          Also - just as a DS9 viewer, and one who lost track around the second-last season and who had to catch up by renting the videos - while the Prophets and such were established from the first, the episodes themselves seemed to be very much self-contained until the war got going for real in the last season or two. And that was well after B5 had shown the way, I thought. Maybe B5 influenced the implementation of the last couple of DS9 seasons?

          Just my impressions though, which may have been muddied by hopping nations while DS9 was still screening. I didn't know that Straczynski had actually accused Paramount of copying! I'll cheerfully agree with Antosha that you know more about the details of all this, and accordingly concur in his awarding you 'head nerd' status. :-)
    • DS9 was definitely my favorite of the series, and for precisely the reason that it had a story-arc: beginning, middle and end. It made internal sense, and layers kept being added to make it richer.

      The acting, I agree, was excellent. As in the case of STNG, they brought in some ringers (Stewart and Spiner in the case of NG, Brooks and Auberjenois in the case of DS9) who could have carried the whole series on their own backs if they had to. (In Stewart's case, occasionally he did have to.) But the other actors really grew into their parts, in DS9 especially Nana Visitor and Terry Farrell, and some of the continuing guest characters (especially the Cardassians) were just lucious, chew-the-scenery roles.

      The Trill symbiosis got me hooked from the first day of the series. It gets me where I live, the bullseye of "memory and loss" that is my own recurring thems (portraits, anyone?). The episodes focussing on the Trills were my favorite, especially when they got into the inevitable gender-bending.
      • Rene Auberjenois and Patrick Stewart are both brilliant stage actors; it was nice to see Stewart in particular grow into the new medium (Auberjenois was, of course, an old pro). Gates McFadden was another ringer, btw—she'd been a regular at South Coast Rep for years.

        Terry Farrell was wonderful. Nana Visitor... well, she grew on me in a bad way. It was her voice, I think. ;-)

        In any case, yes, Garek and some of the other Cardassians added a wonderfully over-the-top balance to Avery Brooks's steely gravitas and Auberjenois's... Odo-ness.

        Obviously, memory and loss are big themes for me as well. It must be the whole Eastern European thing. ;-)

        The gender thing really was brilliant. After TNG blatantly ripped off Left Hand of Darkness, DS9 had what I believe was the first prime time same-gender kiss... only the brilliant, subversive part was that it wasn't a same-gender kiss, it was a kiss between a husband and wife... in new hosts. Wee! On the whole no more momentous than the Kirk/Uhura kiss, but I remember that it sure made my eyes pop. That Terry Ferrell was one of the women probably didn't hurt... But even so...

        • My first exposure to Patrick Stewart was his role as Sejanus on I, Claudius, which he instantly got my attention. Thereafter, I could spot him a mile away, even in the briefest roles (Excalibur,, "Smiley's People," etc.). When I heard they were going to do NG, and I heard he was in it, I was practically more excited about the casting than the show.

          I remember the LeGuin-ripoff episode primarily because it featured Callan White, an actress with whom I worked once in New Jersey (and who is so beautiful that I was disappointed they made her up that way...)

          I can see how Visitor would be grating, but from the other things I've seen her do I think that the nasal, edgy voice was a specific choice for Kira. Graceless, emotionally and physically battered, violent, super-tough, internally fragile -- I think the voice was right for that role. What impressed me was all the layers she was able to add to the character over time.
          • It's funny—I'd loved Patrick Stewart as Sejanus, and I'd even seen him at the RSC as Leontes in Winter's Tale. But I didn't recognize him for the first few seasons until he... opened up.

            Callan White... did a beautiful job with that role. I think her beauty shown through in spite of the get-up—I'm sure that's why they cast her. It was one of the few episodes I ever really enjoyed Jonathon Frakes in.

            And perhaps it was the musical-comedy energy mixed with the Major Kira voice and attitude that bothered me. I don't know. She was one of the few actors on the show whom I didn't love. Like all romances, fan-love is a strange, mysterious and fickle thing. ;-)

            Armin Shimmerman as Quark. Hee.
  • Oooo, I like this! Very neat idea having them encounter one another like that.

    Now: please tell me you had to look some of that up. You can't really recall all the Dax hosts from memory, can you? The only one of the earlier hosts I ever remember is Emony, and that's just because of that great scene where Lyta-as-Emony thanks Jadzia for finding her such a terrific body ;-).
    • Thanks, Cookie. How's the ankle?

      I'll admit that I knew the names of the Dax hosts phonetically (except for Emony, on whom I drew a blank), but I did have to look up the spellings of Audrid, Lela and Joran. I didn't remember the names of Nelani (Torias's wife) or Norvo (Ezri's brother), but I knew I'd be able to find them somewhere. "Terrific body." OMG. Yes, I've been to the Chase Masterson fan site...

      • Getting steadily better, thanks, though it's a little worse for wear at the moment since I went to an office party with H last night and spent too much time standing. Giving it lots of ice and rest today.
  • So Ezri is the pixie teenager, and Jadzia is the tall, strong woman? I want to watch star trek. One day. All ST means to me at the moment is a silly tune "Star Trekking across the universe, always going forward, cannot find reverse..." And after reading and rereading this drabble and explanations, I'm quite impressed. :-)
    • Hey, Berte. Yes: Jadzia was played by Terry Farrell, a woman who's about 2 cm taller than you are, while Ezri was played by the much smaller Nicole de Boer. Also, at the moment I was imagining, Ezri would have been only about thirteen, while Jadzia would have been in her mid-twenties. So I imagined that each of them had an exaggerated view of the other's size. "Pixie" for Jadzia looking at Ezri, and "giant" for Ezri looking at Jadzia.

      Deep Space Nine is the conceptually richest and by far the most moving of the Star Trek series (lots of tragedy, pathos and passion -- just my cup of tea :)). If you started off watching that one, though, you'd probably have to stop every few minutes to check a concordance to see what they're talking about, at least for the first few episodes. (The first episode, if memory serves, begins with a flashback to something that happens in NG....)
  • A loop of memories, nice concept!!
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