Lieutenant Commander Neydani Velia

Like all Bajoran’s Velia is a very passionate, outspoken, hardheaded and has an intensity about her that comes from her time in the resistance. A person with an opinion on everything from the best hoverball team to Federation Policy she has never really been afraid to voice them. Her instincts are to root for the underdog and she won’t hesitate to go for the long shot. Velia enjoys the sciences, especially the opportunity to test theory with a good experiment and to apply the results to practical use. She is comfortable around Starfleet Officers and will generally portray a more sarcastic and playful attitude aboard ship.

History

Born in Hedrikspool Province during the 30th year of the Bajoran Occupation, Velia’s depressing childhood was limited to the first few years of her life, most of which she has long since forgotten. Like most Bajorans born during the Occupation, Velia’s life revolved around survival; her earliest memories were of scrounging for food during a particularly harsh winter in 2353. Because of her family’s strong presence in the Ornathia resistance cell, Velia rarely saw her parents or older siblings except when they would visit the Karnoth resettlement camp. Despite this separation, Velia’s own “association” with the Resistance began when she was just 12 years old. Her older brother Neydani Haron had been severely wounded during a raid on a Cardassian supply depot and was not expected to survive. The children were brought up from the refugee camp to say their goodbyes, while the rest of the cell went out and paid the Cardassians back for killing one of their own. The twelve year old Velia was no stranger to death but having to watch a member of her family suffer, especially one she was so close to, shook her to her core. Stealing a phaser Velia snuck off and eventually caught up with the fighters waiting to ambush the Cardassians. Velia did her best to stay hidden while they waited but she was quickly discovered by the Resistance scouts. The scout leader Laran Anjar wanted to send her back to the camp but with the Cardassians so close they were forced to hold their positions. Waiting through the night Velia eventually fell asleep and only woke up when the rock above her head exploded under Cardassian phaser fire. The whole ambush seemed to flash before her eyes. Velia was never sure if she actually hit anything that night; all she ever knew for sure is that she emptied her phaser’s powercell. While Laran still wasn’t pleased that Velia had snuck out of camp to join them, she couldn’t deny the young girl’s potential with a phaser rifle. Despite their involvement with the Resistance, her parents were not comfortable with their eldest daughter sneaking out and risking her life or her sneaking out or her skills with a weapon.

From that point on Velia was nearly always watched by somebody in their cell that her parents could trust not to let her sneak off. For about a year Velia wasn’t really allowed to do anything but take care of her younger siblings. It took quite a bit of nagging and begging on her part before she could convince her parents to help out their cell’s medic. Her parents agreed, hoping that the reality of working in their cell’s “medical center” would dissuade Velia from wanting to join fully. Their plan however had the opposite effect; rather than changing Velia’s mind it only further motivated her to prove herself a valuable asset to the cell. When she wasn’t working in the “med center” she was trying to learn everything she could about weapons, explosives and tactics from anyone who would teach her. By age 13 she was accepted as a full member of the Resistance cell and began to go on low priority assignments. Over the next several years, under Laran’s guidance, her assignments became much more important and dangerous. Because of the danger, it wasn’t long before Velia had her first kill.

Returning from a raid on a Cardassian munitions depot Laren’s team was ambushed in the Tilar Forest. Laran, who had been leading the patrol, was hit with the opening volley,; the other more senior members falling in quick succession. Velia tried to fight back but it quickly became clear that it was of little use. Somehow she was able to grab Laran and escape the ambush. Velia wasn’t sure how far they ran before stopping. Eventually they lost the Cardassians and had a chance to assess Laran’s wounds. She had been shot clean through the belly and shoulder; both of them knew she would only last a couple of hours. Being in the resistance meant you grew up quick, but watching her mentor bleed out made Velia feel even younger than her age. Racing back to the camp Velia didn’t pay close enough attention and soon ran straight into a pair of Cardassians. After securing her, one went off to find his patrol while the other kept an eye on Velia. After what felt like an eternity he got sloppy and she was able to get her hands free. Rushing the soldier had given her the element of surprise, but Velia was soon being overpowered. The next thing she knew was the Cardassian was dead and she was holding his phaser. Fighting off the urge to vomit Velia got to her feet and resumed her mad dash for the resistance camp. It took her another hour to get back to camp as she dodged the Cardassian patrols in the area. When she and another group of scouts finally made it back to where she had left Laran, Velia found her friend & mentor had died. Not being there for Laran when she was needed was the final straw. Velia physically and mentally collapsed and had to be carried back to camp; she was so drained by the experience she barely made it to Laran’s burial.

By 2364 Velia’s parents had become very worried about their 16 year old. Velia had become a very closed in young woman; she rarely socialized with anyone, even her family. Any interaction she had was usually related to some mission she was preparing to go on. She had also become quite a bit more reckless like she didn’t care anymore, often volunteering for the most dangerous assignment she could. They did their best to keep her from going on these missions but their successes were few and far between. Mid-way through the year a permanent solution presented itself. With the Occupation on what appeared to be its last breaths, the Federation had become discretely involved in Bajor’s situation. While they still did not openly support the Bajorans and did not provide munitions or supplies, the Federation began preparing for the eventual pullout of the Cardassians by recruiting young Bajorans to serve in Starfleet to strengthen its ties to Bajor. Starfleet believed that if they could show an ever increasing influx of Bajorans escaping their homeworld and joining its ranks, more member worlds would support pushing the Cardassians to relinquish their hold on the Bajoran people. When Velia’s parents heard about these recruiters moving from camp to camp they made sure they would see Velia. It took some persuading on their and the rest of the family’s part but they were eventually able to convince Velia it was for the good of Bajor, so she agreed and arrangements were made to have her smuggled off planet with about 30 others.

Seeing Earth for the first time was a surreal moment; after spending her entire life living in refugee camps, or in the mountains with the resistance, she felt totally out of her element. The pristine cities, people walking the streets without fear, no soldiers with phaser rifles on every street corner, it actually made her feel a bit sick that these people could comfortably live like this while Bajor was being ravaged. It didn’t help any that she was going to be joining this society, but she kept telling herself it was all for Bajor. This line was even easier to swallow once she was in the Academy, at least for a while. It was surprising how quickly Velia began to adapt to Academy life. While she began her first year near the bottom in both academics and temperament, by the end of her second year she had climbed into the top third of her class. When it came time to select a specialty for her third year Velia was torn; while her instructors had mentioned her aptitude for the sciences she felt security and tactical training would be more useful to Bajor.

Things started going wrong in the beginning of her third year. With the Cardassian pullout of Bajor all but official, debate had spread like wildfire across the Academy. One of her professors used Bajor as an example of the “importance and merits of the Prime Directive” on the actions of both Starfleet and the Federation. Velia could not disagree with this view point fast enough. The level of arrogance ingrained on a societal level that the Federation and thus Starfleet existed on some higher plane of existence led some to believe that the goings on of others did not concern them. Velia’s opinions quickly became the minority opinion in her class and among the general student population, which often led to debate and sometimes outright arguments with students and faculty alike. These conflicts came to a head when she got into a very public and very heated argument with a Bolian classmate who argued that her opinion was colored by her upbringing and thus she couldn’t render an opinion of merit, no Bajoran could. The Bolian’s attitude made her snap and she hit him; by the time the deck officers had broken up the fight she had broken his jaw, left arm and three ribs. Velia was brought up on disciplinary charges that would normally have led to her expulsion, but because of the recent Nova Squadron controversy, Admiral Brand was eager to put the whole issue to rest. Because of Velia’s academic standing, her record, the nature of the disagreement and because she was Bajoran, Brand was able to offer to revoke her academic credits for that year as a punishment. By this time Velia was so fed up with the Federation, Starfleet and the Academy that she resigned on the spot and was off Earth within two days.

The Bajoran Militia

Returning to Bajor was very difficult for Velia. She felt like she had failed after resigning but at the same time she knew that staying in the Academy was not an option. Her parents, while disappointed she didn’t finish the Academy, were glad to have her home. After being home for a few weeks, Velia felt she should be doing more and joined the Bajoran Militia. Because of her experience with Starfleet and the resistance, she was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and assigned to a Provencal Guard Battalion. With much of the planet still in disarray after the Cardassian withdrawal, the Militia found itself filling in for local law enforcement in many areas of the province. It wasn’t long before the cracks in the system became apparent: Government representatives diverting Militia Patrols away from their private interests or high profile confrontations with criminal groups, and Militia personnel taking bribes or openly working with these same groups. Velia quickly became disillusioned and left the Militia and Bajor soon after.

The Maquis

After leaving the Militia, Velia “hitchhiked” for a while until she finally ended up on Riva Prime in the Cardassian DMZ. Despite the sometimes harsh living conditions and threats of violence from the Cardassian settlers of the zone, Velia felt comfortable on Riva Prime. It was like putting on an old coat that fit just right. Eventually she became trusted on Riva Prime and was approached by several members of the Maquis. Playing off her hatred of the Cardassians and her mistrust of the Federation & Starfleet, they were able to persuade Velia to join them. Velia’s past as a resistance fighter, a Starfleet Cadet and an Officer in the Militia gave her a unique set of skills. Velia quickly grew tired of being relegated to training the former Federation colonists to become resistance fighters and tried to get more field time away from Riva Prime. It took a bit, but as more and more former Starfleet Officers joined the Maquis their training base expanded exponentially. With the newfound support it wasn’t long before Velia was able to sign on with one of the mobile Maquis cells.

Signing onto the Val Jean under another former Starfleet Officer turned Maquis – Chakotay. Running missions for Chakotay was like running missions for the resistance all over again. She had an enemy, a clear sense of purpose and a defined outcome. All of this without governmental politics, diplomats or rules…except what was laid down by Chakotay. For the most part Velia got along with the rest of Chakotay’s crew, many having similar if not identical experiences to her own. There were bumps along the road, an argument here, a disagreement here, a fight with Torres that ended with them both very drunk in a bar, but no real issues.

USS Voyager
After being stranded in the Delta Quadrant and forced into abandon their ship, Velia was not a proponent of joining Voyager’s Starfleet crew. Despite her resistance Velia was made one of Lt. Tuvok’s Security Officers and given the provisional rank of Ensign. More than a little surprised, she agreed to do the best she could but couldn’t promise to like it. In the beginning Velia had a bit of trouble getting along with the Starfleet crew and instead spent most of her time with her fellow Maquis, particularly Kurt Bendara and Simon Hogan. They would often keep her on track and provide a counterpoint when she began slipping too far back to their Maquis ways. It wasn’t long before Velia started branching out and ‘meeting’ more of the Starfleet crew. This was due in no small part to the efforts of her roommate; Ahni Jetal. The woman needled, pestered, nagged, hounded, prodded, pushed, pulled and generally annoyed her into interacting with the rest of the crew. In the end it all paid off and she did begin to make connections with the Starfleeters, which Ahni never let her forget. The deaths of Bendara and Hogan, two of her three closest friends on the ship, weighed heavily on Velia but she soldiered on as the Maquis always have. The connections she had made with the rest of the crew in these two short years also helped significantly.

Despite her early resistance to re-joining Starfleet, Velia found herself quickly slipping back into the role. Even with all her years of fighting it, she was starting to see the benefits of Starfleet. Captain Janeway’s influence was a large part of this, the Captain often considered the human spirit of Starfleet’s ideals rather than just the letter, unlike the Academy instructors. Velia felt that the Captain’s way of interpreting the prime directive was the correct way. It showed her that not all Starfleet types were as inflexible as those she met when she was younger. Over time some of Velia’s own anti-Federation views began to ebb. As her opinions and attitudes started to change, her on duty performance began to steadily rise. Her improved attitude and performance didn’t go unnoticed and she was soon promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade, running her own security team. Leading a team was good for Velia; it kept her mind off some of the news they had received from home and helped her integrate more with the crew. Her routine quickly became about reports, drills and competitions between herself and the teams led by Ayala and Kashimuro Nozawa; Velia liked to think she won most of the time.

When Ahni was killed on Stardate 50979 it crushed Velia. It didn’t make sense to her that someone so vibrant and kind could be killed like that; it wasn’t fair. For a time all she could do was blame people:; The Captain for ordering the mission, Harry for not being worse off in sickbay, Tom for not being a better medic, the Doctor for choosing Harry. She was however quickly reminded that this was not how Ahni would have acted or would want her to act. Embarrassed beyond belief at how she had been coping, Velia did her best to accept that another so close to her had died and move on. In time it seemed that she had been able to put the Ahni’s death behind her, although she still had trouble speaking to the Doctor, especially after they were forced to alter his memories. When everything was brought back to the surface 18 months later, Velia found herself once more wallowing in her own bit of self-pity and anger. In the following months Velia spent a lot of time with the Doctor; sometimes talking or arguing with him. She wouldn’t have thought it at the time but speaking with him and being able to vent her anger actually helped her and their relationship heal. Even from the beyond the grave Ahni found a way to be right; and Velia took comfort in that knowledge.

The crew’s last year in the Delta Quadrant was a big one for Velia. Having decided that when they reached home she would like to stay in Starfleet, Velia worked to make this hope a reality. Remembering what her Academy Review Officer had said about her aptitude for the sciences, Velia switched departments and was made a junior science officer. While she had little formal training in any of the main scientific disciplines, Velia found that the review officer had been right; she had quite an aptitude for science and was a quick study. While she was an expert in nothing, she was proficient in just about everything.

Return to the Alpha Quadrant
Never so happy to see Earth in her life, Velia was as ecstatic as everyone else when they returned. After a lengthy debriefing by Starfleet and several hearings before various sub-committees of the Federation Council she was able to go home to Bajor while Starfleet considered her petition for reinstatement. Everything there was so completely different then when she had left almost 9 years before hand, her family had told her about the changes that had come to Bajor in their letters but seeing it all was something else entirely. Spending most of her two weeks on planet just trying to get to know her family again Velia didn’t have much time to explore the planet before she was recalled to Earth. While her Academy record was far from stellar and joining the Maquis hadn’t endeared her to Starfleet Command, her glowing performance reviews from her time aboard Voyager convinced Starfleet to give her a full pardon, credit for her service on Voyager applied to completion of her Academy training and a formal confirmation of her field commission as a Lieutenant Junior Grade. Reassigned to Voyager (once its refit was complete) Velia joined many of her old shipmates as Science Officer.

Over the next year and a half Velia was introduced to many new phenomena. As Voyager renewed its mission of exploration, it started to become clear to her that her limited scientific training was beginning to be a detriment. Needing to further her education and with many of Voyager’s former crew already moved onto other assignments, Velia knew what she had to do. Applying for admission to the Bajoran Science Academy, Velia was quickly accepted into the class of 2382. Although it was hard to leave what had become her home it was time to move on.

Deep Space Nine/Bajoran Science Institute
Able to secure an assignment aboard Deep Space Nine as a science officer, she was able to split her time between her duties aboard the station and classes on planet at the newly established Bajoran Science Institute. After spending the entirety of her Starfleet career crossing the unexplored Delta Quadrant Velia thought that being assigned to a space station would be a nice, calm change of pace and would give her time to devote to her studies. Being assigned to Deep Space Nine, however, meant that the next four years were anything but nice and calm. Week to week some new crisis would arise that would interfere with her getting all her studies done in a timely fashion. Nonetheless, the constant occurrences, whatever they may been, often gave her unique opportunities to demonstrate her skills and knowledge to her professors. Somehow between viral mutations, stellar phenomena and political intrigue Velia was able to keep up her classwork and graduate in 2382 with degrees in Astronomy and Stellar Cartography. She continued to serve aboard Deep Space Nine until 2384.

In between her studies and her duties Velia somehow found time to spend with her family. As before much of their time together was about them getting to know each other again. Velia had changed since she had been a teenager; no longer was she the reckless angry resistance fighter. Since the end of the occupation Velia’s parents had tried their hand at being simple farmers living out their lives in a semblance of peace after a lifetime of fighting. To see their eldest daughter who had been on such a destructive path turn her life around and become an officer in Starfleet made them very proud.

USS Sugihara
Wanting to branch out into space once more, Velia requested a transfer to a deep space assignment. With her experience it wasn’t long before she was offered a position of the Head of the Stellar Science division aboard the Insignia class USS Sugihara. Aboard Sugihara, Velia quickly integrated herself with the crew, doing her best to become more than just another shipmate. It didn’t take long before she was quite popular and well-liked by the ship’s crew. In 2385 she first met Makayla Perin when she came aboard as the Operations Officer. Recognizing a lot of herself in the Trill, Velia decided to do for Makayla what Ahni had done for her all those years ago; become her friend. At first Makayla resisted Velia’s attempts to get friendly but in time she was able to annoy the Trill into submission. From her attempts grew what could have been one of the closest friendships in Velia’s life; Ahni would have been proud. The pair became nearly inseparable off duty often spending hours doing everything from bouncing work problems off each other to killing time on the holodeck. After Sugihara struck a Quantum Filament Velia was forced to move into Kayla’s quarters as they limped back to the nearest Starbase. While living with the Trill Velia began to feel as if there was something more than just a close friendship between the women but before she could find out Kayla left the Sugihara for the USS Triton.

USS Triton
Although she was initially furious and hurt at Kayla leaving for a new assignment so suddenly; Velia instead took the time to reevaluate her own feelings. It quickly became apparent to Velia how she felt about the Trill. Deciding to go after what she wanted Velia transferred aboard Triton as a science officer. It took some time but Velia was able to corner Kayla and get her to confront what they had both been feeling for quite some time. They began what has been a very passionate romance during Triton’s mission to Kovar. Things were good for a while, but the pair soon hit a rough patch. During a mission to study the Iyari, a pre-warp civilization, the Cardassians attempted to enslave the populace and drain the planet just like they had with Bajor. The crew was split over the issue; on one hand there was the prime directive’s non-interference provisions and on the other there were the moral questions of letting yet another entire race be subjugated. Velia was a very vocal opponent of letting the Cardassians have their way; she wanted the Captain to take action and defend the Iyari. Kayla was much more indecisive about her position and this angered the Bajoran. She couldn’t understand how anyone, especially the woman she loved, would be willing to even consider letting the Occupation happen all over again. Confronting the Trill just led to an argument, which led to another argument and another until the point they were arguing just about constantly.

Even after the mission was over Velia was in a bad way. Feeling betrayed by everyone, her performance slipping; she needed to get off Triton. After patching a few things up with the Trill, Velia gave her an ultimatum; either they left Triton together or she would leave Kayla. Kayla chose her, but was able to swing a bit of a compromise; Kayla got to pick the assignment. At first Velia wasn’t happy about this, but she was able to make peace with the decision until she was told of Kayla’s pick. Deep Space 10, formerly Empok Nor, was close to Cardassian space — the last place she wanted to be.

Service Record

Start End Rank Role Assignment
23492365
Resistance FighterBajor - Ornathia Resistance Cell
23652366
Cadet Freshman Grade
CadetStarfleet Academy
23662367
Cadet Sophomore Grade
CadetStarfleet Academy
23672368
Cadet Junior Grade
CadetStarfleet Academy
23682369
Cadet Senior Grade
CadetStarfleet Academy
23692370
Second Lieutenant
Platoon LeaderBajoran Militia 3rd Provincial Guard Battalion
23702371
Weapons OfficerMaquis ship Val Jean
23712373
Ensign
Security OfficerUSS Voyager
23732376
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Security Team LeaderUSS Voyager
23762377
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Science OfficerUSS Voyager
23782379
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Chief Science OfficerUSS Voyager
23792382
Lieutenant
Science OfficerDeep Space Nine
23822384
Lieutenant
Stellar Cartography OfficerDeep Space Nine
23842386
Lieutenant
Stellar Sciences Department HeadUSS Sugihara
23862388
Lieutenant
Science OfficerUSS Triton
23882388
Lieutenant
Science OfficerDeep Space Ten
2388
Lieutenant Commander
Assistant Chief Science OfficerUSS Venture