The Sun Queen Himiko was a figure of ancient Earth history, the ruler of ancient Japan, and the subject of many myths and legends about the Yayoi period of Japanese history. Largely regarded as a myth, or at least a figure whose exploits were greatly exaggerated, Himiko was, in fact, a historical figure whose powers, if anything were understated. In the early 25th century, Himiko was discovered to be a koh in a human body and possessed of dangerous powers based on polaric ion energy. (Star Trek Online: Valkyries)

The character of the Sun Queen Himiko was based on a character of the same name from the 2013 game Tomb Raider by Square Enix. That character was itself loosely based on a real historical figure from late 2nd and early 3rd century Japan

Nomenclature[edit | edit source]

The true name of the entity known as Himiko was never discovered. "Himiko" was the name of the first human it possessed, and the name it assumed through all its incarnations. "Koh" was the term used for it in a Japanese legend, which referred to it as a "face-stealing demon." This article will refer to the non-corporeal aspect of the entity as "koh" and the corporeal aspect as "Himiko" respectively. ("Survivors of Yamatai")

History[edit | edit source]

Previous life and transformation[edit | edit source]

The being that would later become the koh began life as a humanoid female who served as a scientist in an early warp civilization that developed on Yamatai. Late in the 4th century BC (roughly 2,700 years before 2407) her people experimented with polaric ion energy. An explosion at the experimental complex destroyed the civilization and incinerated all life on the planet. Some humanoids, including the koh, were transformed into non-corporeal entities by the blast. However because they were based on inherently unstable polaric energy, these entities quickly destabilized and died. The koh managed to avoid this fate by bonding itself with the Star of Yamatai, a fragment of an unknown crystalline substance used to focus and stabilize polaric energy in experiments. This bond made the koh much more powerful than any of the other entities on Yamatai and gave it a potentially unlimited lifespan.

Reign as Sun Queen[edit | edit source]

The koh managed to find a working starship from her destroyed civilization and left Yamatai, wondering through space for more than a decade before arriving on Earth near the turn of the 3rd century BC. It landed near Japan, where it was encountered by a curious human priestess, Himiko. The koh possessed Himiko, using her body to give itself physical form. Through Himiko, it then began to rule the early island nation of Japan.

Himiko awed the primitive tribesman of prehistoric Japan with her ability to control storms using polaric ion energy discharges. Himiko used her knowledge of advanced technology for the same effect, including staging a disappearing act by concealing a remote control for her vessel's transporter in a fan. She quickly became ruler of the Japanese archipelago. She ruled Japan for over 500 years, throughout the entirety of the Yayoi period.

During this time, Himiko advanced Japanese culture significantly. She brought peace to the warring kingdoms of the area and introduced the people to bronze and iron metallurgy, weaving, and rice agriculture. Many of her subjects saw her as a benevolent figure and worshiped her as a goddess.

But Himiko was also ruthless and dangerous. To ensure the loyalty of her troops, she touched them with her power, infusing their cellular structure with polaric ions, granting them a measure of immortality in exchange for their higher cognitive functions. They became her Stormguard and she used them to conquer anyone who opposed her. Himiko also searched Japan for young women of potential to become members of her court: her Priestesses of the Sun. Every generation she would choose a favorite among them and, when her current host began to grow old, the koh would transfer itself to the favorite, perpetuating Himiko's reign through 14 individual hosts.

At some point in the 2nd century AD, Himiko began using her starship to return to Yamatai with her subjects and terraform the now-lifeless planet. By the 3rd century, she had moved her capital to Yamatai. She had constructed a palace for her use, as well as a monastery to facilitate her worship and house the remains of her former hosts. Several villages and numerous monuments had also been constructed on the planet.

Fall of Yamatai[edit | edit source]

At the end of the Yayoi period, somewhere in the mid 3rd century AD, Himiko chose a young woman named Hoshi to become a Priestess of the Sun. Himiko became fond of Hoshi and chose her as her next host. However, Hoshi was unnerved at Himiko's affection and eventually discovered her secret identity as a koh and her intention to make Hoshi her next victim.

Hoshi believed that the only way to escape her fate was death, so she stole the dagger of Himiko's Stormguard general and used it to kill herself during the Ascension Ritual, just as the koh was about to move into its new host. Since the koh's previous host had already died and begun to break down, the koh was unable to seek a new host and became trapped in the decaying body.

Furious at her defeat, Himiko lashed out with her powers, destroying much of what had been built on Yamatai, though her polaric ions preserved the ruins from decay. As Himiko was trapped on Yamatai and unable to return to Earth, her kingdom there collapsed , giving rise to a new Japanese civilization, from which the first Japanese Emperors traced their descent.

Himiko spent the next 2,100 years trapped on Yamatai. She caused constant storms on the planet and in the surrounding Dragon's Head Nebula, leading to numerous crashes on Yamatai over the millennia. If anyone crashed on or visited Yamatai, her storms prevented them from leaving, shooting their craft down if necessary. Her Stormguard continued to guard her monastery and various other sites around Yamatai, but were evidently no longer under her control.

Solarii and death[edit | edit source]

Beginning in 2376, a Cardassian member of a Dominion research expedition on the planet began to believe he was in contact with the koh, that she had saved his life from the Stormguard attack that wiped out the rest of the expedition, and that she was directing him to release her from whatever held her on Yamatai. Whether or not Matan had any real contact with Himiko is uncertain, but his belief led him to found the Solarii in 2386, a cult dedicated to renewing worship of Himiko as the Sun Queen and a goddess. The Solarii also worked to find a suitable host (or "Chosen One") for Himiko by subjecting all human females they captured to the Ritual of Fire, wherein they attempted to burn them at the stake.

In 2407, Samantha Hayashi became stranded on Yamatai after a shuttle crash. She was captured by the Solarii and subjected to the Ritual of Fire. Himiko intervened, saving her from the flames by summoning a strong wind to extinguish them. This signaled to Matan that Sam was the Chosen One, and he prepared her for her new role, including dressing her in the preserved remnants of Hoshi's kimono. He then brought her to the Chamber of the Sun in the old monastery, where Himiko's body still lay, and began the Ascension Ritual to transfer the koh into Sam's body.

Sam resisted the transference, which surprised the koh, who had always been able to overawe her victims with her memories and experiences of advanced technology before. Sam, however, came from a 25th century Federation that was even more advanced than the koh's original early-warp civilization. Sam fought back and used the koh's powers to clear a path for Carlin Drel, allowing her to reach the Chamber of the Sun, kill Matan, and destroy the Star of Yamatai. With the Star gone, the body of Himiko disintegrated instantly. The koh also began to rapidly destabilize and died in a massive polaric ion detonation that vaporized all life on Yamatai and tore subspace ruptures in the surrounding Dragon's Head Nebula, rendering it impassible. ("Survivors of Yamatai")

Powers[edit | edit source]

The koh had the ability to possess human women of Japanese ethnicity and overwrite their consciousnesses with her own. Whether this power was limited to human females of this ethnicity for genetic or other practical reasons or simply by the koh's preference is unknown. Attempting to possess a new victim would temporarily merge the koh's consciousness with the victim's, allowing them to exchange memories, thoughts, and images. If the connection between the koh and the victim were interrupted, the victim would retain the koh's memories for a short time as their synaptic pathways restabilized.

The only overt sign of possession by the koh occurred when it began to transfer itself to a new victim. The koh's old body would begin to disintegrate and its facial features would disappear. This combined with the koh's penchant for possessing new victims to give rise to the Japanese legend that the koh was a face-stealing demon.

The koh had the ability to manipulate and cause both atmospheric and ion storms using polaric ion discharges. Using these same discharges, the koh could attack both ground and air targets, up to and including a Klingon bird-of-prey. These discharges could deliver a power of over 500 gigawatts in rapid succession and were extremely accurate. The means by which the koh targeted these discharges is unknown, but she seemed to possess extrasensory perception. The koh was also able, on at least one occasion, to project her voice over a great distance, causing it to be heard saying, No one leaves at the site of a shuttle crash kilometers from her body.

The koh could infuse objects or even people with polaric ions. This placed them in a form of temporal flux which prevented decay. The polaric ions also allowed these objects to harmlessly repel polaron energy bursts from Jem'Hadar rifles. As a side effect in humans, the polaric ions caused a confusion of the brain's sense of the passage of time which left the victim highly vulnerable to the koh's suggestions.

The koh projected a field of polaric radiation across the surface of Yamatai, rendering conventional tricorder scans and communications useless. However, a level 4 subspace resonance scan was capable of detecting the koh as a network of subspace conduits covering the planet and reaching out across the Dragon's Head Nebula. The koh appeared as a subspace nexus at the center of this network, roughly 2 meters in diameter, with a distortion 25.6 mm across representing the Star of Yamatai.

The koh could survive the death of its host body and could only be killed by destroy the Star of Yamatai, on which it depended for stability. However, once bound to a dead host, it seemingly could not return to a non-corporeal state or move around much without first transferring to a living host. This weakness resulted in it becoming stranded on Yamatai for over two thousand years. ("Survivors of Yamatai")

Perception and Legacy[edit | edit source]

Historical and Mythical[edit | edit source]

Legends were mixed on their portrayal of Himiko. On the one hand they portrayed her as beautiful, enigmatic, generous, and innovative (surrounding herself with a court made of almost all women in a time dominated by men). On the other hand, she was also remembered as ruthless, powerful, and dangerous, with some legends even naming her a demon. All agreed on the account of her having immense supernatural powers, being immortal and ageless, and ruling from a land called Yamatai, "located in the clouds, beyond the stars."

Many archaeologists believed Himiko was a historical figure and ruler, but confined her reign to the beginning of the Yayoi period, as the first of a line of Sun Queens. The legends were largely disregarded as exaggerations. It was not until the early 25th century work of Doctor Mor that the theory that Himiko might have been an extraterrestrial and that her legends might represent a primitive understanding of advanced technology gained credence.

Modern[edit | edit source]

In 2407, the crew of the USS Nautilus became the first to take detailed scans of the koh. They theorized that it could be a sentient, telepathic, non-corporeal entity based on polaric energy. They interpreted the entire nebula as a part of the entity, which would have made it the largest lifeform discovered by Starfleet, and interpreted its behavior as some form of psychic predation on crash survivors. It was not until their away team was rescued that they discovered the true nature of the entity. ("Survivors of Yamatai")

External Link[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia article on the real-world Himiko, who inspired the fictional character.

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