During the run of Star Trek: Enterprise, there is an episode where the ship meets its descendants. It is through an odd time travel trope. E2 has led me to four books and two kicks back in time. Karyn is in the second one, and is seen in Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.
As in canon, Karyn is played by actress Tess Lina.
Friendly and generally upbeat, Karyn is a big part of why the older NX-01 holds together at all.
I don’t have a relationship for Karyn. People sometimes ‘ship her and Lorian, but I have him taking two separate human wives, and only having children with the first one. Karyn, unfortunately, is left out of the genetics sweepstakes.
Ikaarans are canon.
A focus (unlike a spotlight) is an in-depth look at a Star Trek fanfiction canon item and my twist(s) on it.
Of course, all of fan fiction is like that, but the idea here is to provide a window into how a single canon concept can be used in fan fiction.
With almost nothing to go on, Ikaarans were ripe for reinvention. The only person of even partial Ikaaran blood who is ever seen in canon is Karyn Archer.
The only alien characteristic that can be seen is the rather pronounced ridge running from her forehead to her nose. Her nose is also wider than most humans’, although she might have had human ancestry providing that look. She also has crow’s feet, but those are more likely to be signs of aging and stress. Furthermore, she is apparently of Asian descent, which seems to indicate a kinship with Hoshi Sato or Dan Chang or any other Asian crew members rather than any Ikaaran features.
Clicking languages have been around since prehistoric times and, genetically speaking, at least the peoples who speak them can be traced back a good 35,000 years. I believe it’s highly likely that, when we go into space, we’ll encounter click languages. In canon, the only such language is Xindi Insectoid, which appears to be a function of the shape of that alien race’s mouth parts.
For the Ikaarans, my idea is that they would be speaking in clicks by choice, rather than necessity. But they would speak names and, therefore, the intonation would be slower.
There is no information on Ikaaran culture so I created all of this. I decided to make their society completely against birth control, not even bothering to invent it. Therefore, their planet, Ikaaria, would have gross overpopulation. In order to alleviate the burdens of a huge population, two things would happen to their society.
First, they would send their young people out to work, in single-sex work gangs. They would farm or mine, mostly, as a form of community service to their race. These work groups would go out every four years during one festival, and would return in another. By staying offworld, they would not consume as many resources. Plus they would create or obtain more resources, and bring them back at the end of their work commitments. In addition, they would be separate from the other gender during peak fertility years.
The other means of controlling the population would be more sinister. Instead of birth control, their scientists would alter their genome. Hence, as a result, they would all have a kind of self-destruct sequence in their genes. They refer to the disease as the decline, and it is uniformly fatal, and kills Ikaarans before they turn 50. As a result, they don’t trust scientists much, and they don’t trust doctors. But they don’t need doctors.
Doctors are unnecessary because Ikaarans can heal themselves, and each other. They can heal members of other species, too, so long as the organs are more or less equivalent. In The Three of Us, the Ikaarans Jeris and Jobiram are able to heal Lili and Jay, but Jay has internal injuries that they cannot do anything about. In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, a weapon is devised by the Imvari and the Xindi Insectoids, and that weapon is specifically designed to counteract Ikaaran empathic healing. When that weapon, which uses percussive shock, is used, the victim must be attended to very quickly for doctors to be able to do anything at all.
In The All-Stars, the team’s trainer is an Ikaaran. This therefore opens up the possibility of giving many on-field injuries more or less instant cures without rehabilitation. No more disabled list!
Romance and Family Life
Ikaarans are generally monogamous and enjoy humans’ company. The gift of a living thing is the equivalent of a marriage proposal. Ethan Shapiro gives Bithara a perfectly ripe orange as his proposal gift in The Three of Us. In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Jonathan gives Esilia his dog, Daisy, as his proposal gift.
With the help of scientific information from Jobiram and Jeris, Phlox is able to perfect human-Ikaaran interbreeding, and hybrid children are born, including Karyn’s ancestor, Aaron Gregory Archer, named after Jonathan Archer‘s old friend, AG Robinson.
This species could have been fascinating in canon, but they are never really seen and the viewers don’t get to really know anyone. As a tabula rasa, they’ve been a lot of fun to create. I’ll try to find other occasions to show them, in addition to the upcoming sports series.
We have absolutely nothing on Esilia in Star Trek: Enterprise canon, save that she was Ikaaran and marriedJonathan 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.