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"Their work has been nothing short of stellar. They're, really something."
– Paul Stamets, 3189 ("The Sanctuary")

Adira Tal was a non-binary Human who lived on the planet Earth and later the USS Discovery during the late 32nd century. Adira preferred to be addressed by the pronouns "they" or "them".

Biography

Early history

They were born as Adira on Earth in 3173. (DIS: "People of Earth") Adira lost their parents at a young age, becoming an orphan. In the 3180s, Adira was aboard a generation ship seeking out Federation Headquarters. They formed a relationship with Gray, a young Trill. Following the death of Admiral Senna Tal, who was also aboard, Gray was joined with the Tal symbiont. He reassured Adira that this would not change their relationship.

In 3188, the ship was struck by an asteroid, killing Gray and wounding Adira. With Adira's consent, medical drones implanted the Tal symbiont in Adira, the first successful joining with a non-Trill in two thousand years. Adira escaped the ship in an escape pod, where they were found by the United Earth Defense Force. They lost their memory up to that point. (DIS: "Forget Me Not")

United Earth Defense Force service

Adira joined the United Earth Defense Force as an inspector.

In 3189, Adira participated in the Defense Force inspection of the Discovery. While investigating the engineering section, they showed their technical acumen by quickly noticing several facts about the ship's technology. Fascinated by the by-then-ancient technology as well as the spore drive, they sabotaged Discovery's systems to interfere with the Defense Force inspectors' personal transporters, then struck out independently to investigate the ship.

Adira's search led to a confrontation with Paul Stamets in a Jefferies tube. The two struck up a friendly conversation, and Adira asked and was allowed to join the crew of the Discovery. Adira also revealed that Admiral Tal, for whom Discovery was searching, was actually Adira themself: despite being Human, they had become the host to the Trill symbiont Tal after their boyfriend Gray Tal's death. (DIS: "People of Earth")

When Discovery approached Federation Headquarters, Adira, along with Captain Saru and Michael Burnham, met with Fleet Admiral Charles Vance, the commander-in-chief of Starfleet. (DIS: "Die Trying")

When the Discovery underwent a retrofit with 32nd century technology, Adira changed the spore drive interface to utilize nanogel, which allowed Stamets to control the spore drive without needing to use his implants, permitting them to be removed. (DIS: "Scavengers")

By analyzing the combined data from several black boxes, and the SB-19 data from Ni'Var President T'Rina, Tal and Stamets were able to pinpoint The Burn's point of origin. They were also able to identify a signal which was still being sent as a Federation distress call. Adira then wrote an algorithm to decode this message. (DIS: "The Sanctuary") When the algorithm had finished Adira and Stamets were able to show the decoded message to Saru. (DIS: "Terra Firma, Part 1")

After becoming more comfortable with Stamets, Adira told him, "I've never felt like a 'she' or– or a 'her,' so… I would prefer 'they' or 'them'." Stamets was the first person Adira had confided in besides Gray. (DIS: "The Sanctuary")

Adira appearing Xahean in the Khi'eth holo

When Saru, Hugh Culber, and Michael Burnham were trapped on Theta Zeta in the Verubin Nebula and at risk of deadly radiation exposure, Adira concealed themself aboard Booker's ship without the crew's knowledge, and beamed down to the planet with radiation pills to buy the away team some time. (DIS: "Su'Kal") The holographic environment aboard the KSF Khi'eth caused them to look like a Xahean and also made Gray appear in the form of a Vulcan hologram. (DIS: "That Hope Is You, Part 2")

In speaking to Aurellio, Stamets referred to Adira as his child. (DIS: "There Is A Tide...")

Starfleet service

Tal as a Starfleet ensign in 3189.

Following the rescue of Su'Kal from the wreckage of the Khi'eth and the defeat of Emerald Chain in 3189, Adira was given a Starfleet commission as an ensign in the sciences division. (DIS: "That Hope Is You, Part 2")

Five months later, Adira was working in main engineering alongside Commander Stamets during Discovery's mission to Alshain IV, helping Stamets workout how to repair the Alshain satellite grid. They were later present along with other Discovery senior officers at the reopening ceremony of Starfleet Academy. Soon after, when Discovery was sent to repair Deep Space Repair Beta Six, Adira was chosen for their first away mission because of their experience with programmable matter. (DIS: "Kobayashi Maru")

When Discovery investigated the anomaly that destroyed Kwejian, Adira worked with Tilly to process the information Stamets was able to collect from Booker's ship. (DIS: "Anomaly (DIS)")

As Dr. Culber promised, his continued research into returning Gray to his own body eventually led Culber to a 24th century process by Dr. Altan Inigo Soong, which Culber shared with Adira and Gray. (DIS: "Anomaly (DIS)") Soon after, Culber was able to prepare a Gray golem, and supported Adira and Gray (through Adira) through the process. Though Adira was concerned about losing Gray, they sought to stick by Gray's side, which helped Gray successfully transfer and awaken. (DIS: "Choose to Live")

Memorable quotes

"This science vessel's practically a museum"
"Okay, well, museums are cool, so..."
"That's what someone who lives in a museum would say."

- Adira and Sylvia Tilly, on museums (DIS: "People of Earth")

Appendices

Appearances

Background information

Adira is played by Blu del Barrio and is the first recurring character in the franchise not to identify with their assigned gender at birth.

Adira's non-binary identity was discussed on both StarTrek.com and in a GLAAD interview stating that, like del Barrio, Adira is recognized as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. Blu del Barrio said, "They remember nothing from their past, and very little about themself. They know they're non-binary, of course, but coming onto Discovery they're cautious about sharing that information with anyone… It's not until Adira has found a place of comfort with Stamets and Culber that they feel they can talk about who they are." [1] [2] Because of this, both Adira and other characters consistently used feminine pronouns in the episodes in which the character appeared prior to "The Sanctuary". As part of the publicity around the introduction of Adira, del Barrio made it clear that Adira's non-binary identity would have nothing to do with their being joined with a Trill symbiont. [3]

Del Barrio commented: "To research for the role of Adira, I watched Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Specifically, to follow the storyline of Jadzia Dax (now one of my favorite characters). There's not a whole lot of information about the Trill species elsewhere in the other series, so I spent a lot of time with DS9". [4]

Adira is the first Human known to become a "permanent" host to a Trill symbiont. William T. Riker was temporarily host to the Odan symbiont in the aptly named episode "The Host".

External link

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