Sun Oct 6th, 2013 @ 3:54pm
Position Executive Officer
|Hair Color||Dark Brown|
|Physical Description||A lithe, athletic and slender woman, T’Vel has inherited the distinctive traits indicative of both her parental races; with a gently ridged Bajoran nose and prominent Vulcan eyebrows and ears, she has defined features with vibrant dark blue eyes but usually wears an expression typical of Vulcans, with a face that – due to years of following the teachings of Surak – is still growing accustomed to smiles and frowns.
Her dark brown hair, however, is not fashioned in the typical Vulcan manner, being of a longer length that is usually neatly arranged and pulled back whilst on duty as per Starfleet regulations.
|Father||Vel Karim, Bajoran (deceased)|
|Mother||Commander T'Lal (99), Vulcan (Doctor, Vulcan planetary medical institute)|
|Sister(s)||T'Chen (deceased), Vulcan half-sister|
|Other Family||Paternal Aunt: Vel Caris (69), Bajoran
Brother-in-Law: Sonnek (71), Vulcan
Nephew: Serek (41)
Niece: T'Pall (38)
Mentor: Former Commander Sarish Jana (65), Bajoran (Incarcerated)
Pet: Kyi'i, cat (2)
|General Overview||A product of both of her parents’ races, T’Vel was raised as a true Vulcan on their homeworld, wholly entrenched within the teachings of Surak and logic under her traditional mother. However, she has since abandoned embracing these ways in their entirety and has tried to loosen her emotional control to be in touch with her Bajoran side.
Recent to higher command authority, T'Vel expects officers to serve with precision and competence, sometimes not as forgiving as some feel she should be when concerning their duties, but will typically concede to judgements superior to her own, although she does not prize experience over logic.
|Strengths & Weaknesses||As a result of her Vulcan upbringing, T’Vel is a highly logical individual, but is something she has tried to temper with emotional rationality, although the former tends to prevail. Whilst this can make her seem cold and distant to individuals – particularly those she is opposed to – it has served her professionally very well, with her keenly intellectual mind well-suited to investigative purposes. As a result, she can often present a rather detached command style, although those that know her well are aware she does not mean to isolate others, only that she has confidence in her own judgements, and does not always feel the need to inform others.
Nevertheless, her innate need and undying strive for law and justice may serve her well in Starfleet but can result in her sidelining others and their feelings in exchange for her “logical and just course of action”, sometimes taking the Vulcan mantra of the “needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few” too far (see “Ambitions” description).
Luckily, her often cold and frosty disposition towards others, given how slow she is to trust in others, both personally and in terms of ability, is sometimes outweighed by her deadpanned dry humour, which can sometimes – as has been found by Vulcans in the past – be particularly revealing and apt in its contents.
She is also able to form and hold strong grudges when slighted, and her temper patience have become shorter as her emotions become more prevalent in her psyche, although she still does her utmost to manage these where possible.
As an executive officer, she is able to challenge the captain's ideas and decisions with ease, and is not hesitant at speaking out of turn, believing it is never out of turn for one to present alternatives she believes more appropriate, although is certainly known to make her own mistakes (and then resent that matter afterwards).
|Ambitions||It has been T’Vel’s goal since leaving Vulcan to further embrace, understand and internalise her Bajoran heritage; T’Vel seeks to become more at ease with her emotions and let them flow more freely, as they do with others. As it is, sadly, this is far from accomplished, as even years of efforts have failed to undo a childhood devoted to Surak, and whilst many emotions sometimes wander to the fore, many others remain repressed or poorly shown, which can sometimes make her appear uncaring or non-understanding (which may even be the truth in some cases).
In terms of career, she has never expressed any desire to command or ascend the ranks too highly, although she has also never expressed any wish to avoid these roles, particularly given experiences and events have led her into such positions. Typically, she embraces these well, but is unlikely to change her demeanour to suit them.
|Hobbies & Interests||Chief amongst T’Vel’s interests, quite luckily, is doing what she believes to be the right thing – of what is legal and just, which is served by her role in security. This is of course derived from her time learning the ways of Surak and her father – a very active Bajoran rights campaigner whom she looked up to, and has informed her entire ethical system and way of living.
On a more personal basis, she spends a good deal of time honing her physical skills that are pertinent to her position as security chief, alongside a fascination with mysteries and crime stories. Beyond that, she continues her studies into Bajoran culture in hopes of further facilitating her transition from being wholly Vulcan to something more akin to what her father had wanted.
She also owns a Siamese cat she saved as a kitten from the USS Thelian prior to its destruction, named Kyi’i (Vulcan for “brave”).
During the 2350s, the Cardassian Union – an empire ruled through strict military might – was at war with the United Federation of Planets, and was a time when the world of Bajor was occupied by the Union. It was during this period of history that Vel Karim, a Bajoran who managed to escape from the labour camps of his homeworld with the aid of sympathetic merchants, met T’Lal.
The merchant ship carrying the fugitives attempted to cross the border into Federation space but was pursued and attacked by Cardassian forces. Luckily for Karim and the others, the Starfleet vessel USS Belfast was in the vicinity, immediately rallying to the beleaguered vessel and fending off the Cardassian assailants, taking on board the injured merchants and Bajorans. As a medical officer on board the Belfast, Lieutenant JG T’Lal – a widowed Vulcan still in her effective youth – was responsible for the care given to Karim. The two grew close in a very short period of time, and were married within the year in a traditional Vulcan ceremony.
Not long after eloping, a daughter was born to the couple on board the Belfast – around the conclusion of the war – whom was named T’Vel, in honour of her father’s Bajoran name and her Vulcan heritage. However, issues soon arose concerning how to raise this new child, which brought a new dynamic to their marriage. Having had a child many years prior with her betrothed, who had died suddenly many years before, T’Lal had seen what she believed to be the merits of a Vulcan upbringing, and insisted upon raising T’Vel in the ways of Surak and Vulcan logic. Enamoured with his wife, child and newfound freedom in the Federation, as well as wishing to live on a planet and not a starship, Kerim agreed to move to Vulcan, where he soon found himself becoming involved in political circles, namely against injustices in Cardassian space.
As the years went on, however, schisms started to form between the two. T’Vel had begun her emotional conditioning as a Vulcan and scholarly studies, and Kerim – whilst engrossed in his political campaigning – found himself upset at what T’Lal was teaching his daughter to be, discovering he wanted her to be both Bajoran and Vulcan, and not just one, having seen how such hybrid children had been treated on Bajor (as well as in some cases on Vulcan, although with less regularity than had once been common). T’Lal, unwilling to compromise as she became more entrenched in Vulcan traditionalism, did not agree to what Kerim wished and the two quickly began to drift apart, eventually culminating in a legal separation when T’Lal announced the traditional Vulcan betrothal a child went through for T’Vel – to a young boy named Savek.
T’Vel was old enough to understand at least some of what was happening and greatly missed her father, but was heavily under the sway of her mother, and devoted herself to the pursuit of logic, and was taught to apply that to the situation at hand with her parents. T’Lal pushed T’Vel hard in her academic studies, where the girl was discovered to have a sharp intellect and an uncanny awareness of individuals’ psychologies, often examining the characters of those around her.
Even though he now spent much of his time campaigning on numerous worlds, Kerim would find time to spend with his daughter, although the meetings were often frosty. Encouraged by her mother to embrace her Vulcan teachings, the reunions were never more than discussions between father and daughter, although these soon began to hold heavy meaning for her as he told her more and more about her Bajoran ancestry and culture, of what it meant to him and his feelings for her.
Sadly, T’Lal tried to discourage these meetings as she realised the profound effect his words were having on T’Vel, until one day when a message was received informing the young woman of Kerim’s death during an attempt to aid Bajoran prisoners in Cardassian space. Full of upset over her father’s death and the lack of time they had spent together, coupled with the many thoughts and ideals he had injected into her over the years, T’Vel grew resentful towards T’Lal, believing her stoicism and obsession with Vulcan ways ruined her opportunities to know her father before his untimely death. The mother and daughter grew distant, with T’Vel beginning to reject many of the teachings of Surak in favour of learning more about other races of the Federation, and primarily about her Bajoran heritage. What further incensed the young T'Vel was how she had been treated by the rare few others of her age group in her youth, who had penalised her - in their own Vulcan way - for her mixed heritage.
Leaving Vulcan and the Dominion War
Finally, after the Occupation of Bajor ended and the Federation took an active role in the future of the planet, T’Vel got into contact with her father’s sister – her aunt – who was now free and living on Bajor. Val Caris was only too happy to hear from her niece, promptly inviting her to move to her home and live with her. Of course, T’Lal advised against such a course of action, but the damage to the relationship was done, and her daughter left Vulcan behind to discover her Bajoran identity. With surprising support from her late (having died in childbirth) half-sister’s family, she formally dissolved her betrothal to Savek – whose family took the gesture as a slight – before making her departure.
Leaving behind a childhood and years of Vulcan teachings and ways, however, proved difficult for the young T’Vel, who not only struggled to be accepted by the others for her mixed race, but also her awkward Vulcan personality, which was taking time to adjust to the rediscovery of accepting outward emotions. Indeed, given a natural disposition towards volatile moods, T’Vel had to maintain much of her Vulcan composure even as she re-accumulated and rediscovered herself. Nevertheless, she grew close to her aunt, who taught her much about Bajoran history and cultures – as well as about her father – and continued her studies as best she could, but peace was still a long stretch away for the area.
With tensions rising with the Dominion and the Cardassian Union, T’Vel – now reaching the end of her teens – set her sights on greater things. Having inherited the sense of justice from her father against the Cardassians and a clear belief in protecting the citizens in the Federation way – a way that had freed, in her opinion, her father and his species from oppression – T’Vel looked to joining Starfleet, as her mother had before her. Even though she no longer embraced Vulcan teachings as she once had, she still maintained a belief in the logic behind much of the code and her childhood academia stood her in good stead as she applied to enter the Academy on Earth.
Early Starfleet Career
Accepted on her second attempt, T’Vel left the Bajor system only a short time before the Dominion War broke out, and considered returning on numerous occasions for fear of her aunt’s wellbeing, but was often dissuaded through her lingering connection to logic, and her aunt’s own dismissals. Indeed, she herself was put at risk when the Breen staged their daring attack on Earth. Whilst she was uninjured, she readily involved herself in the aid work following the assault, receiving credit for the way she conducted herself. Following the end of the war, Bajor had become a member of the Federation – an event that T’Vel felt genuinely pleased about – and it was only another year before she graduated. Her time at the Academy, even with her primitive developments in social interaction, was troubling with other cadets as she found herself better at the scholastic and physical elements than social ones, yet she still managed to form some friendships, chiefly with other Vulcans and Bajorans.
Commissioned as an ensign, she was assigned to the USS Mandela as a security officer around the time she discovered her mother had reactivated her own commission, and had begun serving in a medical capacity planetside on Vulcan and the nearby systems. Sharing only brief communication, T’Vel was willing to let their relationship slip to the wayside in favour of her career, which soon culminated in a promotion to junior-grade lieutenant. At the request of an old friend of her father's, Sarish Jana - a woman who had been in the Bajoran Resistance and later a member of the Militia - she was permitted time to serve in the Office of the Judge Advocate General responsible for systems including Bajor, as she continued her father’s interest in the rights and justices of the Bajoran people in relation to the Federation, as well as learning some finger legalistic skills under a woman she thought highly of.
A short while after, whilst still serving as a junior official within the JAG office, T'Vel uncovered evidence of Commander Sarish’s own corruption concerning previous cases, as well as engaging in criminal activities in the sector itself, having used her senior rank and position to cajole others into aiding her scheme, abusing Federation resources. Conflicted, T'Vel nevertheless undertook a covert investigation, despite not being sure of whom she could trust against her old family friend, before bringing her findings before a senior officer. Sarish was stripped of rank and sentenced after a gruelling trial (which later took place in the core systems), and surprised T'Vel by thanking her and expressing her pride in her, as well as saying how Karim would have also felt the same way, and that T'Vel was a credit to her father.
Even after the incident, the pair have maintained a correspondence, with Sarish often admitting how she had effectively betrayed her own cause and principles, but was gladdened that she could her friend's daughter's development, and has remained somewhat of a mentor to T'Vel. Nevertheless, her career remained an important factor.
With her attention to detail and loyalty recognised and appreciated, T’Vel was later reassigned back into a security department, this time on board the USS Surak (something which she considered to be a joke by the Prophets she still did not quite understand or worship) as a security investigations officer, effectively an on-board detective. In this position, T’Vel truly excelled, able to use her objectivity yet inner sense of justice to drive her to succeed and be fair, often resolving cases quickly and in a way appreciated by the innocent parties.
Nevertheless, T’Vel kept her focus on her career and readily accepted a promotion to full lieutenant and a transfer to the Ambassador-class USS Thelian as assistant chief of security, a post she held for three years and served with distinction in. As in her previous assignments, she struggled to form close bonds with her fellow officers, yet a few that were willing to make the effort for her – and in turn received effort from T’Vel – formed very close bonds with the half-Bajoran, finding her dry sense of humour yet sharp intellect a refreshing take on a typical Vulcan.
Ascending the Ranks
Always fair to the officers beneath her and honest to those above, she was keenly received as a member of the department, although it was in 2387 that events propelled her career forwards, and not under the best of circumstances. The Thelian was amongst the many vessels sent to aid the Romulan Star Empire during the Hobus supernova crisis, and was aiding a sector when they were caught in the periphery of one of the many waves resulting from the disaster. Her immediate superior, the chief of security (and second officer), was killed as a result, and T’Vel was forced to step in as privateers soon attempted to make easy pickings of the Starfleet and Romulan victims.
Following this event and thanks to her responsible handling, T’Vel was promoted to lieutenant commander and made the official chief of security and second officer on board the vessel, spending four years in this post and continuing to earn the recognition of her peers. The role allowed her to expand more and more in terms of emotional development, and whilst she never mastered her Bajoran side in this time, she nevertheless came more to terms with the way she was, earning more friends – some more intimate than others – in this time.
However, this came to an end in 2392, when the USS Thelian came under attack from forces calling themselves the “True Way”, a Cardassian terrorist organisation devoted to restoring the Central Command of days past. The attack was relentless and the Thelian – whilst holding out for an extensive period of time, far longer than expected – was defeated. Narrowly saving their lives via escape pods, T’Vel watched with anguish as the Thelian exploded before her, but counted the crew lucky the True Way did not hunt down the escaping crew.
The USS Nimitz
T’Vel spent the remainder of the year assisting the Starfleet complement and JAG office in the Bajor sector, enjoying the time with her aunt and extended Bajoran family, as well as taking time to visit Sarish at her penal colony before, in a move that fundamentally changed her role and expectations in Starfleet, being personally hand-picked by Captain Daniel Moreno of the state-of-the-art Legacy-class USS Nimitz to serve as the vessel's executive officer. Along with the unexpected position came an even more unexpected promotion to full commander, although she has embraced both facts with an interested and cool ease.
|Service Record||2354 – Born on USS Belfast during UFP-Cardassian War
2356 – Moves to Vulcan
2361 – Betrothal to Savek
2362 – Parents’ divorce; remains with mother
2367 – Kerim dies
2369 – Cardassian Occupation of Bajor ends
2370 – Formally separates from Savek; moves to Bajor
2373 – Dominion War; Starfleet Academy
2375 – End of Dominion War
2376 – Bajor enters the Federation
2377 – Ensign, Security Officer (USS Mandela)
2380 – Lieutenant Junior Grade, JAG Office (Bajor system)
2383 – Security Investigations Officer (USS Surak)
2384 – Lieutenant, Assistant Chief Security Officer (USS Thelian)
2387 – Hobus supernova; Acting Chief Security Officer (USS Thelian)
2388 – Lieutenant Commander, Chief Security Officer/Second Officer (USS Thelian)
2392 – USS Thelian destroyed; temporary assignment to Bajor JAG
2393 – Commander, Executive Officer (USS Nimitz)