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Akorem Laan

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"...why did you send me into the future?"
"For the Sisko."
– Akorem Laan and The Prophets, 2372 ("Accession")

Akorem Laan was a male Bajoran poet who lived during the 22nd century (Earth calendar), and was considered one of Bajor's greatest poets. His work, Gaudaal's Lament, would be something Bajoran schoolchildren would learn by heart. Akorem was married, with no children.

Before he departed his homeworld in a lightship in the Bajoran year 9174, Akorem's brother had died in the winter. Their parents were still alive at the time of the flight.

Akorem's spacecraft was damaged in an ion storm, and drifted into the Denorios belt, where he opened the Bajoran wormhole and entered the realm of the Prophets, who healed his injuries. They then returned him to the Alpha Quadrant in 2372, two hundred years later, in order to ensure that Benjamin Sisko remained as their Emissary. Upon emerging from the wormhole, Akorem believed himself to be the Prophets' Emissary, and his presence allowed Sisko to give up the role. However, Akorem believed in the D'jarra caste system that Bajor had used prior to the Cardassian Occupation, intending to bring it back to Bajor.

Despite knowing this massive change in Bajoran society would prevent Bajor's entry into the Federation, Sisko stepped aside; it was only when Vedek Porta killed a man for not following his D'jarra that Sisko realized he must intervene. Akorem and Sisko entered the wormhole together, where the Prophets revealed that Sisko was their true Emissary. Akorem's presence in the 24th century was for Sisko's benefit: to convince the captain to accept his own role as Emissary. The Prophets then returned Akorem to his own time, to be reunited with his wife and parents, with no memory of his trip to the future.

One minor temporal paradox resulted from this action: in the prior timeline, Akorem's greatest work, The Call of the Prophets, was left unfinished after the twelfth stanza; but upon his return, Akorem finished the poem – something Kira Nerys found confusing, as her memories of the incomplete poem remained. As Sisko amusingly put it, "The Prophets work in mysterious ways." (DS9: "Accession")

Akorem Laan was played by actor Richard Libertini.
In the second draft script of "Accession" (then titled "The Other Emissary"), Akorem Laan was described thus; "He's a Bajoran male around Sisko's age, with a gentle face." He was also referred to as being in his fifties and having had children in the 22nd century. However, much of these details were changed so that, in the final draft of the script, he was described as being older than Sisko and the details about him having "a gentle face" and children were omitted. Also in the final draft, his name was notated to be pronounced "uh-KOR-uhm LAWN". Furthermore, he was described as being older than Sisko. [1]
Originally, the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine production staff approached actor David Warner, better known in the Star Trek community for portraying Klingon Chancellor Gorkon, to play the role of Akorem Laan, prior to the casting of Richard Libertini for the part.

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