Portrait of a Character – Boris Yarin
Boris Yarin was fun to create.
I wanted a character who would be paranoid, itchy and dangerous. And I wanted him to be a healer, too, a paradox. I further decided that he would be a combination of human, Klingon and Xindi sloth. The sloth part would make him paranoid. The Klingon part would make him physically powerful. And the human part would make him all-too emotionally vulnerable.
I stumbled across his surname quite by accident (and nearly literally), as I used to walk in an area where a Toyota Yaris always seemed to be parked.
It was not due to any great affection I had for this vehicle. Rather, I just liked the combination of letters. As I sometimes do for foreign or alien names, I did a bit of brainstorming/free associating with sounds. Yarin, apparently, is Turkish for tomorrow, a fitting surname for a character who lives and dies in the thirty-first and thirty-second centuries.
And so Boris Fyodorovich Yarin was born.
For a man who was almost constantly jumping out of his skin, who would be better than Henry Rollins?
I had initially seen Boris as being somewhat slight, like a Klingon with menace but no muscle behind it. But the more I thought about Rollins, the more I liked the idea. Rollins always seems to be on fire just underneath his skin. Boris, too, is often barely this side of exploding.
In addition, Boris’s intelligence is masked by a severe lack of confidence. He doesn’t think he can do the work, so he gets his job through his wife’s connections. And then he decides he wants to retain his post, so it’s even more imperative that he tread a fine line with his wife. If he’s out of the marriage, he reasons, he’ll also be out of a job.
Paranoid and angry, yet wildly intelligent, Boris is problematic from the start. He marries for prestige and position, and not for love. As a result, he’s vulnerable when Marisol Castillo seduces him. And then he’s considerably more vulnerable when she begins blackmailing him. For him, what started as hanky-panky has turned into something more, and he is not only desperate to keep his marriage together and retain his job, he’s also genuinely hurt because he actually loves Marisol.
Boris’s wife is mentioned in passing but she is not seen until Ohio when, in an alternate timeline, she isn’t his wife at all. They have a marriage of convenience for the most part. Whether Darragh loves Boris is debatable. Whether Boris loves Darragh is obvious – he doesn’t.
For this femme fatale, Boris is an easy conquest. At first, it’s sexual (and in A Long, Long Time Ago, that’s one of the first times they’re seen together – in flagrante delicto). After a while, though, Boris realizes he has feelings for her, calling her his “angel” (which he also calls Darragh). By the time he figures out that he’s been betrayed, in Shake Your Body, there is but one endgame for him and Marisol.
Boris does not yet have a Mirror Universe counterpart.
But that would be pretty scary, eh?
I have always wanted Henry Rollins to portray a Klingon, and I wonder why he never has.
“My name is Boris Fyodorovich Yarin. I am forty-six years of age, and of sound mind. This letter will be farewell, confession, warning and will all in one.
First, to my wife, Darragh Stratton Yarin, I leave everything I own, with no exceptions, to do with as she wishes. It is all I can offer, for apologies are worthless. I have acted completely without honor. I owe you many things, and cannot repay that debt. All I can hope is for you to live your life without any thought of me – no sorrow, no mourning, no regret, no compassion and not even memory. If I could erase our time together, and spare you, I would.”
I hope Boris conveys as much menace as I’ve envisioned. I think more of his backstory could be explored, and a Mirror Boris would be, perhaps, even a revolutionary.
May thanks again to FltCpt. Bossco of the STPMA site. The photomanipulation is truly stunning and is exactly what I wanted.