From Star Trek: Theurgy Wiki
|Position:||Asst. Chief CONN Officer,|
Formerly Human/Romulan Hybrid
|Played by:||Cara Gee|
|2375-2379: Starfleet Academy|
|2378-2379: Cadet, CONN, USS Endeavour|
2379-2380: Ensign, CONN, USS Endeavour
2380-2381: Ensign, Asst. Chief CONN Officer, USS Endeavour
|Received a reprimand for an altercation with one, Cadet Egon Julbi while off duty.|
Before her death, Ensign Laurel Okhala was Asst. Chief CONN Officer on the USS Endeavour. She went missing in action after Starfleet lost contact with the Endeavour in late February of 2381. She was abducted by the Savi, and Corrected into a Romulan, having been a Human/Romulan hybrid before that. Later on, she was killed in action as the abducted Starfleet officers tried to escape from the Precept-ship Versant.
Father: Aurum i-Jelai Okhala
Mother: Shreya Okhala
Siblings: Devyrie Okhala - Older Sister
S/O: Egon Julbi
Born in 2358, to a happy, if odd, family. Her father, Aurum, a former R&D technologist for the Tal'Shiar and her mother, Shreya Okhala, a former Starfleet Intelligence officer certainly made for an odd pair. But there was never any doubt for Laurel that they loved each other. Their life on Alpha Centauri was a happy one for many years despite the rigors that come with having mixed heritage and the usual sibling infighting.
Much of her youth was spent desperately trying to keep up with and emulate her older sister, Devyrie. Like most, younger siblings there was a fair amount of hero worship that Laurel placed in her strong and driven big sister. Everything Dev did growing up Laurel tried to find her own spin on. Laurel's attention however, strayed more academic than her big sister. Where Dev had to be busy and move constantly to help sway her sometimes caustic personality, Laurel could sit for hours listening to classical music and analyzing it, while Dev enjoyed the physicality of taking things apart, Laurel preferred the technical readouts and blue prints and attempting to build things from scratch.
When Dev left for Starfleet training, Laurel watched from home with awe and pride as her sister outdid herself at every turn. For a long while, she resented her for leaving her behind. The war with the Dominion was looming and her father became more irritable and worried as the days went by, leaving Laurel his sole focus. Things changed when Dev left, music was shunted to the side as her father insisted she learn the Romulan martial arts of Kormerek and N'Delrek, he also often took her on survival hiking trips. While she enjoyed the time spent with him, his increasingly acerbic demeanor often made their relationship strained as she pushed herself to please him. Knowing that the demands he put on her were what he believed would keep her safe, did little to ease the sting as his paranoia and strictness increased. This strain did not mean that either loved the other any less, but it did take a tole on them and many of Aurum's anti-social and quick temper began to affect how Laurel responded to things as well.
Laurel turned to her mother often for comfort and accepted her mother's efforts to teach her how to curb her own temper. Daily meditation with a healthy dose of cooking while listening to music made for terrific bonding between the two as Laurel's relationship with her father continued to deteriorate. Her mother being present always seemed to be enough for both of them to let whatever the latest disappointment or argument was go. As such family meals were about the only time any real relaxing was ever done.
By the time she turned 18, despite her love for her parents, Laurel could not wait to follow in her sister's footsteps to earth and Starfleet. After graduation, she booked the next shuttle to earth, leaving only a note for her parents. She had been packed for months. When she arrived at Starfleet, it wasn't at all what she had expected, she once again was either compared to her older sister in her studies or was shunted off for her Romulan heritage. Passed over again and again for the opportunities and student assistantships she applied for. Having little control over anything else about her appearance, Laurel took to undoing her braids, the ones she had worn all her life on Alpha Centauri and made her look more like her sister, in favor of a more human hairstyle which served to expose her ears but allowed her to hide her face a bit more easily.
By the time she had fully committed to CONN, with the hopes of flying the big ships, her own spin on her sister's success once again, she realized that she would have to work twice as hard to ever be considered for the helms position. And so, she threw all she had into that, sometimes unwittingly stepping on other students to get there. This new focus made her few friends and her paranoid and anti-social tendencies did not aid her either. Even so, she made herself invaluable to her instructors and made them pay attention to her in her own right. She may not have graduated with any friends, but she did graduate top of her class and she counted that as a win.
Through all the chaos and restriction, one thing was much simpler now that she was at the Academy. She could talk to Devyrie on a regular basis. In fact, as long as Devyrie wasn't on a mission, they had weekly Friday night chats. Devyrie, tried on several occasions to get Laurel to smooth things over with their parents. Laurel was clearly struggling with the lack of a support group and her big sister always tried to look out for her where she could. Leaving Alpha Centauri the way she did, it more or less ended her stained relationship with her father-he refused to talk to her, and it shook her mother- She cried every time Laurel called, it also separated her from what few real friends she had had at home. That, when combined with the lack of friends at the Academy, clearly worried her big sister. Laurel, having gotten equal the amount of Romulan pigheadedness as her sister or her father, insisted that she was fine. In the end it was Devyrie's suggestion that her withdrawn little sister would seek out a potential bond with a non-sentient being, in the form of volunteering at the animal shelter not far from campus. It was soon after she started her first tour aboard the Endeavour that Devyrie's assignments started to become more secretive and Laurel began to hear less from her.USS Endeavour was... difficult. Once again despite her grades, her willingness to please her superiors and her constant drive to go above and beyond what was asked of her, she continued to be put aside, working odd shifts, cleaning shuttles for weeks on end, being relegated to "gofer" for the other cadets and generally being pushed to the bottom of the barrel. Very few comforts were found aboard the Endeavour for Laurel, and they came in the form of the ship's Counselor, Lt. Jordana Reynolds and her Australian Shepherd, Wyatt. They met after she had an incident with another Cadet who may have called her "Ridgehead" one too many times. Laurel was ordered to do a round of psych evaluations after the altercation resulted in the security cadet having a broken collarbone and dislocated left shoulder. In the sweet and even-tempered counselor and her faithful pup Laurel made her first real friends since leaving Alpha Centauri. With her new friendship came some much welcome relief for the young cadet. She was given more regular shifts, equal time on duties she had more or less been passed over on before and an increase in respectful fear from her fellow cadets. She even was able to find a decent sparring partner and friend in the Bajoran security cadet she beat up just a week prior.
In fact, the irony of him, a Bajoran, calling anyone "Ridgehead", was not lost on them and it became a point to call each other the insult in jest. Within, a month of the fight the two had agreed to go on a date, and Laurel's first romantic relationship began.
At the recommendation of the Counselor and Chief CONN Officer C'Rusar, Laurel remained aboard the Endeavour as member of the crew after completion of her Cadet cruise. The Counselor sighting that it would be good for the, now, Ensign to gain further experience under a crew familiar with her work ethic and praise-worthy abilities before she would have to build that relationship with a new crew.
This vote of good faith from Chief C'Rusar bolstered their relationship, and Laurel began to view him as someone she could trust and rely on rather than someone she needed to fight to impress. As they learned to work with their two rather extreme personalities, they quickly became a powerful team. C'Rusar began to pay more attention to the ensign's flight scores and looking back on her progress felt that she would do well in the position of Asst. Chief CONN officer.
Despite the new friendships and improved conditions however, things were not all flight sims and praise for Laurel. She had not heard from her sister in weeks (an occurrence that was not only worrying but also a bit of a let down as she was excited to relay her new found position to her biggest fan) and even her father, who hadn't spoken to her much, other than gruff congratulations when she graduated and then occasional warnings and reminders to keep her training up, since her midnight get away four years prior, was contacting her daily to swap information. Being so low on the totem pole, meant that what information she did get outside of the talks with her father was through dubious sources and likely weeks out of date; but she dutifully relayed what she heard to him none the less. Her father was concerned. She listened as he warned her about the potential Tal'Shiar agents. This of course spurred her own paranoia ideas and spies lurking around every corner and jump through space.
Missing in Action
Disaster struck not long after the letter from her father. This, in the form of the Borg. Her recent paranoia aided slightly in the fact that despite the fact that they had no reason too, she was already on the alert. Her quick reflexes meant that she was already putting the Endeavour in evasive maneuvers before they were even asked for.
Despite her best efforts at the helm and the truly spectacular tactical efforts of their captain, the Endeavour was crippled and left a husk of floating space debris. Laurel was one of the lucky few to make it to an escape pod after the Captain called for an abandon ship. Left floating adrift in space with Security Officer Egon Julbi, R'Rori, Kelleshar sh'Zenne, Cross and Blue Tiran.
Then, the Savi found them, and she was Corrected in their care.
Due to an upbringing where being too Romulan would have drawn too much attention, and a focus pushed by her parents on mental discipline, Laurel was less hostile than she could have been. It did not stop her from coming off as aloof and cold, however. Her temper was hair trigger accessible, but years of training in meditation and martial arts refined it a great deal. By the time she left for Starfleet she was more likely to crack teeth from keeping her mouth clamped shut than to be insubordinate, but it was a hard learned lesson.
She was a people pleaser; an incessant need for paternal approval and acknowledgement made her an ideal, if quiet, subordinate and student. With the need to please superiors comes the accusations of brown nosing and being teacher's pet, but generally those ideas did not bother her, as long as those with authority approved, the thoughts of her peers did not matter much. This need also made it very difficult for Laurel to maintain eye contact unless someone pushed her far enough to trigger her temper.
Because of what she was and how she was raised, Laurel suffered from a fair amount of paranoia and anxiety. She did not enjoy social situations unless some knowledge or new approval could be gained from it. Being half-Romulan made her a target for a certain amount of bullying all her life and so she actively avoided puttting herself in situations where she might be ganged up on. Though she knew how to defend herself she often injured those she faught with which made her case for her being a friend or "normal" person more difficult to persuade others of. Of course, her isolation also did not help her case with those around her either.
In addition to the anxiety and paranoia, Laurel also suffered from a certain amount of body dismorphia, as a result of her strikingly more Romulan features. Her Romulan heritage was much more prominent than exhibited even by her fully Romulan father.
Due to the, sometimes, self-imposed seclusion and pressure she placed on herself, Laurel found solace in the presence of animals, who did not judge. When at the Academy, she even volunteered at a nearby animal shelter on her days off. This connection she formed with the animals allowed her a certain amount of comfort when she had otherwise alienated herself from others around her.
Despite all of this, she was an active thinker and thoroughly enjoyed intellectual discussions, especially if they pertained to piloting or engineering. It also meant that, while she tried to temper it, she had a sharp wit and often acidic tongue mixed with a rather self-deprecating sense of humor. She surprised more than one teacher or mentor by complimenting them then pointing out how they are wrong with a sly play on words all in one sentence.
Years of martial arts and survival training left their marks on her body in several ways. The first is in the wiry muscle she developed, though still still appeared scrawny for someone who had as much muscle mass as she did. The second, in the form of a few scars where in training with her father she made mistakes that resulted in badly broken bones. Kormerek is a brutal and combat based form that focuses on disabling ones opponent, mistakes result in extreme injuries. Another way they shaped her, was in the speed and agility with which she could move when the need arose. While she often appeared clumsy, this was a misconception she fostered to come across as a) more approachable and b) to draw potential opponents into a false sense of superiority.
Her chestnut tresses were left free from the traditional Alpha Centauri braids, although she sometimes would weave a few extra's in once she became more comfortable with an environment. For the most part however, her shoulder length hair was left down or pulled back into a single ponytail or braid to keep it out of the way while she was working.
Her facial structure had always been a point of mixed feelings for Laurel. While she was proud of her father and the bravery he showed in leaving the Empire, his heritage shone through in her in a way that had always been more noticeable on her than on her sister. Her olive skin tone and darker hair and eyes, when mixed with the high cheekbones, slanted brows and prominent ridges above her nose, meant that she always looked a bit more Romulan than she did human. Her parents always made sure she was proud of where she came from, but somedays were harder to feel that than others.
In the attack that crippled the Endeavour, Laurel suffered a series of burns along the left side of her face, neck and arm when the helm console went up in sparks and electrical fire after the shields went down.