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"Some people choose to live their lives as if nothing is a miracle. But Airiam fought for her life, and so everything was. Everything that she saw, everything that she felt, all of her memories, they made a kind of… constellation for her."
– Sylvia Tilly's eulogy for Airiam, 2257 ("The Red Angel")

Lieutenant Commander Airiam was a female Human cyborg, a Starfleet science officer who lived during the mid-23rd century. Beginning in 2256, she served aboard the USS Discovery as the spore drive ops officer. (DIS: "Context Is for Kings", "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry")

Early lifeEdit

Airiam at the beach, 2257

Airiam and Stephen

At some point in her life, Airiam eloped with a man named Stephen. However, Stephen was killed and Airiam was seriously injured when the shuttle they were traveling in crashed on their return home.

The location of this elopement might be Hawaii, as she kept sand of the beach in a bottle labeled with the words aloha and Hawaii.

Following the aftermath of the accident, Airiam received cybernetic augmentations. One side-effect of her augmentation was the requirement to manually manage her memories, choosing for each individual memory whether to delete it or archive it. (DIS: "Project Daedalus")

By 2256, Airiam had risen to the rank of lieutenant commander and served aboard the USS Discovery as the spore drive officer, assisting Commander Paul Stamets. (DIS: "Context Is for Kings")

Service aboard Discovery Edit

Federation-Klingon WarEdit

During the battle with the Klingons to save Corvan II, Airiam managed the ship's excess energy cavitation and maintained contact with Lieutenant Stamets and engineering, apprising the bridge when the spore drive was ready to use for escape. (DIS: "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry") She frequently maintained communication between the bridge and the spore drive engineers during critical situations. (DIS: "Choose Your Pain")

Airiam captains chair

Airiam in command during repairs

Lt. Commander Airiam was one of the higher ranking bridge officers, and as such was occasionally left in command when Captain Lorca and Commander Saru were away from the bridge. After Lorca's death, she held the bridge while Saru met Michael Burnham in the transporter room following Discovery's return from the mirror universe. After Saru's return to the bridge and boarding by Admiral Katrina Cornwell's team, she stepped back from her station with her hands up while Admiral Cornwall assessed Discovery's situation. (DIS: "Context Is for Kings", "The War Without, The War Within")

Post-warEdit

In 2257, in recognition for her role in ending the Federation-Klingon War, Airiam was awarded the Starfleet Medal of Honor. (DIS: "Will You Take My Hand?")

The Red BurstsEdit

Airiam was at her post on the bridge when Discovery responded to a distress call by the USS Enterprise. She was among the bridge officers present to witness the transfer of command codes when Captain Christopher Pike took command to investigate the red bursts, and identified herself as part of a bridge officer roll call Pike ordered (the only one who stated her rank, despite orders to the contrary). Later, preparing for the deployment of a gravity simulator to capture a fragment of an interstellar asteroid, she coordinated communication from the shuttlebay to the bridge and confirmed they had a flux coupler ready. (DIS: "Brother")

TerralysiumEdit

Airiam was involved in the use of the spore drive during the mission to Terralysium, (DIS: "New Eden") and again for the mission to rescue Sylvia Tilly from the mycelial network. (DIS: "Saints of Imperfection")

The SphereEdit

Working together with Sylvia Tilly, Airiam was instrumental in sorting through the hundreds of thousands of years of information transmitted to Discovery's computers by a mysterious sphere lifeform. According to Tilly, the task would have taken months without Airiam. (DIS: "An Obol for Charon", "The Sound of Thunder")

Corruption and deathEdit

In 2257, her cybernetic parts became infected by an unknown entity from the 28th century; any time it would assert control over her, an inverted pyramid of three red dots would flash in each eye. (DIS: "Light and Shadows")

This infection led to Section 31's threat assessment computer, Control, taking over her motor functions in an attempt to upload the hundred thousand years of information the entity dubbed "Sphere" had collected on artificial intelligence in an attempt to gain full sentience and, as believed by the crew of the Discovery, fulfill the vision Spock was shown by the Red Angel.

She was able to upload 25% of the data before Michael Burnham and Nhan intervened. Burnham was able to lock Airiam in an airlock in the course of the fight. After an attempt by Burnham to save Airiam by deleting the data Airiam had uploaded failed, she – at her insistence, in a moment of lucidity – was ejected into space by Nhan. She subsequently froze due to exposure, causing her systems to shut down. (DIS: "Project Daedalus")

Discovery Crew 2257

Crew assembled in the shuttlebay, 2257

Prior to her away mission to the Section 31 base and subsequent death, she uploaded the majority of her personal memories to the Discovery's database. (DIS: "Project Daedalus") Her body was retrieved by the crew, who held a funeral for her in the shuttlebay before releasing her torpedo casket into space. (DIS: "The Red Angel")

Personal relationshipsEdit

She was, through her memories, shown to be close friends with Sylvia Tilly, Keyla Detmer, and Joann Owosekun. Additionally, she was sparring partners with Gen Rhys. (DIS: "Project Daedalus")

Appendices Edit

Appearances Edit

References Edit

Background informationEdit

Airiam was played by Sara Mitich in the first season and by Hannah Cheesman in the second season. Discounting occasions in which characters have been recast due to meaningful changes in the character's appearance, e.g. story lines set in alternate or earlier time frames, she is one of the few ongoing supporting characters to have changed actors, along with Christopher Pike, Saavik, the Borg Queen, Alexander Rozhenko, Bok, Braxton, Owen Paris, Neral, Ishka, Kimara Cretak, Naomi Wildman, Kol, and Tora Ziyal.

Airiam's nature was initially subject to a number of divergent background statements. StarTrek.com described Airiam as being a "synthetic-Human hybrid," while Ted Sullivan tweeted that she was an alien. Meanwhile, After Trek: "Episode 3" described her species as "augmented alien," while After Trek: "Episode 5", involving Gretchen J. BergNeville Page, and Glenn Hetrick, called her instead an "augmented Human." That term was also used by the second Airiam actor Hannah Cheesman [1] and ultimately confirmed on screen.

While this was never shown, the possibility of her being modular so that her appearance might change depending on the mission was discussed behind the scenes. (After Trek: "Episode 5")

Critic Darren Franich referred to Airiam as "the greatest background character in 'Trek' history since the glory days of the Deep Space 9 bar." [2]

External linkEdit

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