Portrait of a Character – Esilia
Putting a face on a woman who never got one.
We have absolutely nothing on Esilia in Star Trek: Enterprise canon, save that she was Ikaaran and married Jonathan Archer. Their only known descendant in the canon E2 episode is Karyn Archer. Hence Esilia and Jonathan had at least one son together. After that, there’s nothing.
There are no log entries, no pictures, no voice recordings, no lore. There are no images of full-blooded Ikaarans anywhere. It’s possible that Karyn’s notched nose comes from some other ancestry. It is canon that other species were taken aboard in order to help assure that generational ship‘s survival.
Because Karyn is dark, I figured Esilia might be dark as well. Karyn has Asian features, but those might come from Hoshi Sato or Daniel Chang being in her ancestry. But I wanted her to be somewhat darker for another reason, and so I hit upon the idea of Courteney Cox. Cox is a beautiful woman, to be sure, but she is also good at playing neurotic.
For me, Ikaarans have a damned good reason to be neurotic – they don’t live for very long. But Esilia gets a very different chance, and that’s really only because I decided on two kick backs in time instead of just one. Esilia is a part of the second kicking back. Hence the If I Had to Do It All Over Again ficlet, while it refers to Esilia, is actually a misnomer. That ficlet really belongs to Esilia’s predecessor from the first kick back in time, Ebrona.
Where Ebrona (also played by Cox) is somewhat cautious, Esilia only starts out that way. This has to do quite a bit with Phlox‘s medical abilities. In the fourth of my four E2 stories, he manages to cure the genetic time bomb ticking inside all Ikaarans, known as the decline. Given a reprieve on life, Esilia makes the most of that.
Esilia’s only known relationship is with the captain. Much like Ebrona, she is the First Officer on her vessel and, as such, is thrown together with Jonathan quite a bit. So much company creates a familiarity that makes falling in love a lot easier. For Ikaarans, the gift of a living thing (animal or plant) is the equivalent of a marriage proposal, so Jonathan gives her a living gift for that very reason.
With a new lease on life after the decline is cured, Esilia and Jonathan have a happy and fulfilling marriage.
“I accept your living gift, and all that it entails. I will love you until the decline takes me.”
For a character with no background, no past and no more than the barest of sketches, I like to think that Esilia now has some depth.