OKAY, I’m super late but let’s do this thing!! Thanks to @wellntruly, who is a GEM and helped come up with a ton of these and was just super fun to scream about this with
little background: most everyone has powers, it’s very House of M although since this is a Star Trek universe they make a BIG DEAL out of ~equality~ between powered and non-powered people. Still, life is harder for you if you’re non-powered or have weak powers, especially in terms of employment. Would you hire a non-powered bodyguard if you could get one that could shoot fire? I didn’t think so. It’s one of those undercurrents of society that DS9 addresses, and everyone else pretends doesn’t exist. Unsurprisingly, most colonists (and Maquis) are non-powered or have weak/not ‘useful’ powers as they willingly risk that danger to create a world for themselves where they’re not the ‘lesser’.
And not every planet/species has the same style of powers that we’re used to in our mutant comics, where everyone has different powers. Some are like Changelings, where everyone has the same powers. Some have symbiotic powers, like the Trill who have individual powers and then the symbiont all have the same power - which is the ability to retain and pass on memories and powers from previous hosts.
Ezri and Jadzia are both so thin… if they’ve got a big ole slug in their belly pouch, where are their organs?? Before being joined was it just empty space, like their belly caves in a whole bunch instead of looking normal? Where is there room for a baby? Does the baby cuddle up against the symbiont, can they sense each other? What happens when the baby kicks???
!!!!!!!!!!!! what are your biological headcanons for Trill??
sorry this took me so long to answer!! life’s been a mess lately. but so anyway here are my Trill thoughts:
the book excerpt you posted talked about how Trill neurochemistry is unusually complicated? which makes total sense. but what i think about a lot is how ridiculously complicated Trill vasculature must also be?? because the symbiont would obvi need a blood supply, but most Trills don’t have a symbiont, BUT all of them have the biological capability to have a symbiont (regardless of whether they have the psychological/neurochemical capability). (related: DO all of them have that capability? are some Trill born with internal structures that are incapable of supporting a symbiont? they would necessarily be excluded from the joining selection process. how is that handled in Trill society?)
so there must be all kinds of “extra” convoluted blood vessels in the abdomen of a Trill that can be used to nourish a symbiont, in the event that one is inserted. this could have a bunch of implications – the one i mostly use in fic is the headcanon that Jadzia’s hands are always freezing because relatively more of her circulatory system is in her abdomen and relatively less in her extremities (also it’s a nice mushy trope to contrast with the fact that Bajoran body temp is higher than both Trills and humans, which is also my headcanon. fight me). this is also related to that ep in season 2 when Jadzia’s symbiont was stolen and Julian was like ‘that leads to unstoppable death’ and the mechanics weren’t explained, and in my head i filled that in to be a combination of neurochemical imbalance and also nigh-unstoppable bleeding from the very complicated symbiont blood supply. and good LORD think about the internal mechanics of a Trill with a symbiont who is also PREGNANT, like, how is there any blood supply left for the mother, who the fuck knows, what an evolutionary mess.
WHICH ALSO LED ME TO THINK ABOUT how this arrangement evolved in the first place?? in modern Trill society symbiont transfer is done via surgery, but it couldn’t always have been like that. for such an intricate system to have functioned at all, it must have been evolving and in process MUCH longer than Trills have had modern society or surgical capabilities. (I think there is a star trek book somewhere out there that contradicts me on this, but fuck that). so my idea is that symbionts were originally a kind of parasite, probably one that infiltrated via the GI tract, probably one that was relatively benign. then it was noticed that Trills infected with this parasite sometimes displayed impossible knowledge and underwent bizarre personality changes and claimed to be different people, proving their claims by saying things that only their ‘other self’ would know, and this eventually got incorporated into various forms of Trill religion, and in that way the ‘parasites’ were cultivated and their evolution progressed in step with that of Trills until they attained the form of mutualism they have today. (i kind of like to think that symbionts have other, less obvious evolutionary benefits than just holding memories – like maybe they confer resistance to certain GI infections or filter out agents that cause blood diseases, maybe diseases that aren’t a problem anymore but would have been hugely important to early Trill.) the introduction of surgical techniques allowed the symbionts to undergo an explosion of growth (previously, in order to be passed on they would have to be small enough to be swallowed) so now they can be the size that they are.
also it’s my headcanon that the Trill spots are remnants of a system of arboreal camouflage, the same reason that leopards have spots. probably stone-age Trill were entirely spotted, head to toe, and the ‘racing stripe’ configuration is just the vestigial pattern randomly selected for when spots stopped being necessary for survival.
bonus Bajoran headcanons: Bajorans are smaller than humans, like Kira is
average Bajoran height, and their metabolism is faster, including heart
rate and etc. their basal body temp is higher and they tolerate heat
better than humans but tolerate cold worse. they also can’t go as long
as humans without food because their bodies burn through nutrients faster.
the reason their spirituality involves grabbing the ear is because due
to a quirk of evolution, there is a nerve branch in the left earlobe
that is connected to the brainstem and produces a mildly
euphoric/slightly disembodied sensation when stimulated, since it messes
with proprioception (your awareness of where your body is). there is an
artery that supplies this nerve, so the pulse can be felt in the ear.
also: Bajoran nose ridges are sensitive and can be tickly like the soles
of a human’s foot. Jadzia does a LOT of nose-smooching and Kira tries
really hard to pretend that she hates it.
ANYWAY THIS IS WHAT I THINK ABOUT ALL DAY. IF YOU READ THIS FAR, YOU’RE AMAZING, THANK YOU