Captain Nilani Azulas
Whilst she looks attractive, even cute and innocent, Azulas has a strong will and a feisty attitude that can be attributed to former host, Kalani. Lani is a confident young woman with an aptitude for Advanced Subspace Geometry and Warp Theory, although the Jennica host has provided her with an understanding of Quantum Chemistry following her time as a scientist in Starfleet. Lani is a talented Engineer having spent most of her career at the Advanced Starship Design Bureau and Titan Shipyards. Cool, calm and collected, Nilani is very methodical in her work and prefers time to think things through before acting.If she thinks an opinion or suggestion is wrong, she is not afraid to say so. Behind her strong exterior she is the kindest, most caring person and fiercely loyal to her friends.
First Host: Toran (26 when joined, died at 78)
Second Host: Jennica (24 when joined, died at 54)
Third Host: Kalani (28 when joined, died at 47)
Fourth Host: Aissa (25 when joined, died at 58)
Current Host: Nilani (26 when joined)
The Azulas symbiont has lived for a total of 136 years in four previous hosts and is now with its fifth. Azulas was first joined in 2256 to a male called Toran. Toran was an incredible athlete and spent a lot of time running and taking part in different athletic sports. He won many interplanetary competitions until he was beaten in his prized event, the 5000 meters by a young upstart in 2275 at the age of 45. Toran spent the next thirty three years as a recluse, turning his hand to writing about the many events he had participated in. He died in 2308, a bestselling author and a father to two children prior to his joining.
The Azulas symbiont took these experiences with it when it was transferred to the Jennica host in 2308 when she was only 24. Jennica remains the youngest of the hosts to date. Jennica was a Science Officer in Starfleet at the time of joining, one of the first few Trills to have been accepted to the Academy and graduate. She spent thirty long years travelling the stars and developing a keen understanding of astrophysics and quantum chemistry until her death in 2338 at the age of 52. Jennica died after being struck by an energy surge in the main Engineering bay of the Excelsior class USS Potemkin. The energy surges caused an isoboramine imbalance that put the Azulas symbiont at risk. The symbiont was removed and kept stable as it was returned to Trill for re-joining, but this resulted in Jennica’s death. A selfless act that Azulas has never forgotten.
By the time Azulas was joined with its third host in late 2338, the symbiont had already lived for eighty two years. The symbiont was transferred to its second female host, and oldest until Nilani, a short woman named Kalani. Kalani provided the Azulas symbiont with a strong sense of morality, but at the same time, every host since Kalani has commented on how feisty and confident they have become after being joined with the symbiont. Kalani and Azulas were joined for only 19 years, the shortest of all Azulas hosts. Kalani was a trader, serving the trade routes near to Cardassian space when a deal with a Cardassian Gul went sour. Her ship was chased into the Badlands and once there, it was struck by an energy stream. The stream resulted in significant damage to the freighter and she limped out of the Badlands, only to run into a Federation Starship, the USS Manchester. The Freighter crew had suffered with injuries and Kalani had been struck down by an exploding console. Her injuries were quite severe and the Manchester returned her to Trill. Whilst on Trill, the Cardassian Gul she had had problems with turned up and held her hostage at her home, refusing to let her leave. Kalani was stabbed during an altercation and died instantly. The Azulas symbiont was close to death when it was eventually rescued and returned to the Caves of Mak’ala and the care of the Guardians.
After a few months of recuperation, the symbiont was given to its fourth host, Aissa. The second male host for the symbiont, Aissa was a quiet, tolerant man who enjoyed painting and the arts. He loved to dance and entertain people and in later life, he served as a composer of music and a choreographer. In his spare time, Aissa would frequently visit the famous Hoobishan Baths and could be found hiking along the Tenaran Ice Cliffs. Aissa Azulas died of heart complications in early 2386 at the age of just 58.
At this point, the Azulas symbiont was transferred to a successful Trill initiate called Nilani, who served Starfleet as an Engineer.
Nilani Joranza was born on the Trill homeworld in 2355. Her father, Josias was a worker at the Symbiosis Commission when his wife, Mekela Prel gave birth to their only child. Mekela took a six month sabbatical from her position at the Trill Science Ministry in order to raise their child. Neither parent had ever been joined with one of the Trill symbionts but both wanted the very best for their child and put aside enough funds and resources to ensure she could do all the training she could possibly need to in order to become a Trill initiate when the time came. Josias used his experience at the Commission to get information and share that with Nilani from a young age. The girl was seen to be quite happy at the idea, but deep down, she was quite apprehensive at the prospect of becoming joined. When she was old enough to fully understand the process of joining and what it meant to Trills in particular, Nilani got even more nervous at the prospect. There were only three hundred symbionts available most years and over five thousand people would apply to become a host – what made her parents feel she was suitable? She was 15 and had yet to choose her career path.
Just over a year later, Nilani expressed her desire to pursue a career in Starfleet, something that neither of her parents had ever entertained as a choice for her, but neither opposed her choice. She applied for the entry exam and showed her first real signs of being suitable for joining – she passed the entrance exam with flying colours and was admitted to the Starfleet Academy complex on Beta Ursae Minor II. The young Trill, now 17, chose Advanced Theoretical Physics and Engineering as her majors. She chose to follow her keen interest in the design of warp engines and propulsion systems so opted for basic warp design, warp theory and warp equations as her minor subjects.
During her time at the Academy, Nilani showed a certain aptitude for warp design and was invited, as part of a three man Cadet group, to join in on the Diligent Project at the Utopia Planitia Fleetyards. The Cadets spent their entire third year with the project under the watchful gaze of Captain of Engineering, Captain Andrew Sheridan. Nilani gained valuable experience from the Engineers, working on the designs warp and propulsion systems. She saw engineers at their best as they worked on innovations made by both the Intrepid and Sovereign Class projects to boost to improve the Diligent’s warp design. The warp coils were based off of a scaled-down Sovereign platform, whilst the team developed a warp core based on a dilithium swirl chamber, loosely based off of the Intrepid Class design. The design allowed for excellent power and speed. Nilani was directly involved in the design and improvement of the ships variable orientation pylons that the warp engines were mounted on. The design allowed for the nacelles, when not at warp, to be held close to the ship, minimizing the ship’s target profile from the front and rear. The notion behind the design was to give the nacelles some amount of protection by leaving them less exposed. The design allowed for the nacelles to be deployed just before going to warp in order to create a warp field that wouldn’t harm subspace, similar to the way an Intrepid Class vessel’s nacelles pivoted upwards prior to engaging warp speeds. It was a fascinating experience for the young cadets, and Nilani in particular. On a personal level, it was during her time at Utopia that her colleagues gave her the affectionate nickname of Lani, a name that has stuck with her into her late 20’s.
Returning to Starfleet Academy for her fourth and final year, Nilani subscribed to the Academy Extension Course #4077 in order to get a better understanding of the engineering developments of other major species in the Quadrants. Soon enough though, the time came for Nilani to depart the Academy. She took her final exams and, in the best of traditions, she finished as Valedictorian for her class.
Upon graduating with the highest of honors, Nilani returned to the family home for a short period of time to have a break and discuss further the families desire to see her put herself forward for joining. Her father cited the fact that she graduated as valedictorian with high honours and had taken part in a project that most Cadets only got to dream about as proof that she was worthy of joining and would make a crucial contribution to the symbionts life. Nilani was hesitant of the possible changes that could affect her should she be joined but was talked around by her family who celebrated as if she had successfully applied and been given a symbiont of her own. It was decided that Lani would take up her first posting and then, at the age of 25, she would apply to the Symbiosis Commission. With that in mind, and with an array of options open to her, Lani opted for a posting with the Advanced Starship Design Bureau at the Titan Shipyards.
Upon returning to the Sol System, Lani joined the team initially working on the construction of the Century class USS Constitution before being moved to the Atlantia Project that was still in its relative infancy. A light cruiser in the making, the Atlantia was utilizing many aspects of the failed Nimitz Project from the end of the previous decade. It was down to Nilani and the rest of the Propulsion team to provide the prototype for the class with functioning power systems and engines. It was decided to make use of the advanced internal nacelle design seen in the Sovereign and Intrepid, for higher sustained warp speeds for long time periods. The biggest issue was ensuring the ship had enough power to run all of the advanced systems that were required to fulfil her role as a rapid response vessel. For a few months, the team had difficulty with the warp core design and the intermix ratio, but once this was solved, a lot of smaller things started to fall into place. By 2380, the first ship departed the Shipyards for her first trials and shakedown mission. Nilani was temporarily assigned back to the USS Constitution construction project in order to assist with teething issues between the new warp core and the power distribution systems. Following the conclusion of her assignment with the Constitution, Nilani was granted a leave of absence in order to apply for joining with the Symbiosis Commission.
It would take only seven days to have a decision made; the decision makers believed Nilani to be a more than suitable host, having shown great skill and dedication to her career and having graduated with honors in three subject areas. Nilani Joranza was now officially a Trill Initiate. As an initiate, Lani underwent an intense series of exams and evaluations, both mental and physical, in order to determine her suitability for the joining process. It was determined that she was a calm, collected individual who had clearly thought of all the consequences of joining. After a few months of tests at the Commission, Lani was allowed to return to her posting at the Titan Shipyards where she would await a Field Docent to be assigned. Back in her element, Lieutenant Nilani Joranza was assigned to the Development Team at Utopia Planitia. Work began on the design phase of a new Starfighter to boost the various units dispersed around the Federation. Lani was to head up the team designing the Starfighters propulsion system at the time of her Field Docent, Tolen Dalar, arriving at Utopia. Dalar, a joined Trill himself, observed Nilani at work for a few days and then set about preparing the young woman for the process she was about to undertake. They spent several hours a night discussing different matters and why Nilani wanted to be joined. Eventually, when the time came for Dalar to leave, he was happy to give his recommendation that Nilani be joined. All being well, the woman would now be given a symbiont.
Getting back to work on her Project, Nilani didn’t hear anything for a few months and, when approaching her twenty sixth birthday, began to fear that she wouldn’t be joined after all. With most Trills being joined in their early to mid twenties, she was now approaching the upper limit. She had no reason to worry though, as with a little over a month to go before her birthday, she received the confirmation she was waiting for – a suitable symbiont had been found.
Following a trek on the Tenaran Ice Cliffs, a Trill man named Aissa Azulas was taken to the Symbiosis Commission suffering from heart pains. It was a worrying time for both Aissa (the host) and Azulas (the symbiont) as heart problems couldn’t be linked to either being and were rare. The doctors at the Commission did as much research as they could, but fearing the worst, they began the process of identifying a new host – picking Nilani from a strong group of candidates. Nilani was immediately sent for and requested another leave of absence. As work on the Atlantia project was at an advanced stage, her request was granted and once the USS Constitution had reported to Earth prior to its voyage to the Bajoran Sector, it picked up and transported the young Trill home. The next time she would set foot at the Titan Fleetyards, she would, to all intents and purposes, be a different person.
Nilani spent two anxious days at the Commission, visiting her father as she waited for news of the symbiont. Sadly, the time came when the Aissa host began to reject the symbiont. The surgeons removed Azulas and returned the symbiont to the Caves of Mak’ala whilst they ascertained if the medical problems had affected the symbiont at all. It didn’t take long for the symbiont to be given the all clear and Nilani was prepared for surgery. With her mother and father watching on from outside, Nilani and Azulas were successfully joined. Lieutenant Nilani Joranza now ceased to exist and in her place, Lieutenant Nilani Azulas was born.
At first, Lani struggled like most newly joined Trill. Under the watchful eye and tutelage of the guardians she was taught how to control the memories and experiences she had inherited and was helped to come to terms with the changes in her personality. A once quiet, kind individual, Lani had become a feisty, confident young woman who was not afraid to stand up for herself and others. She also became more tolerant towards others and their opinions, which was especially helpful in her line of work. After a month of work with the guardians, Nilani was freed to go back to her duties and explore what it meant to be a joined Trill – but not without instructions to report in every two weeks for the first six months to ensure that everything had gone well.
With a full set of medical notes for the Medical staff at Titan, the Lieutenant returned to the Sol System, bartering transport aboard a Bolian Freighter. Put back to work with the team of the Atlantia Project, Lani arrived just in time to ship out with the shakedown cruise of the USS Atlantia. The ship went on a cruise from Earth to the Raeya Sector of the Beta Quadrant, testing all of the ships systems, including the propulsion systems she had worked on. During the voyage, Nilani was ordered to transfer to the Excalibur Class USS Al-Batani. The Al-Batani, under the command of Captain Gabriella Mendez, had been involved in a scientific survey of an unchartered system when she was pulled into an energy wave which rendered many of her systems inoperative. Nilani served as Chief Engineer and used her specialism with propulsion and warp systems to get the ship moving again. As the Al-Batani, travelling at a maximum of warp six, returned to the San Francisco Shipyards for repairs, the Lieutenant was given the chance to return to the Titan Shipyards or remain with the Al-Batani. Commander Natarliah Shewell (XO) sat down with Nilani and discussed her options with her. Nilani ultimately decided that she had done much of the design and creation aspect of Engineering and now wanted to put her knowledge to work on a daily basis on a serving Starship for a longer period. It was decided that Lani would remain with the Al-Batani as Chief Engineer at the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
In mid 2387, the Al-Batani was headed for the Cardassian Border when news came in that the Sovereign class USS Nogura had come into difficulty near the Badlands and required assistance. The Al-Batani responded to the call but ran into the same difficulties, being dragged in to the plasma field by intense gravimetric distortions. The two ships took significant damage until Commander Shewell and Commander Azulas managed to modify the main deflector of the Al-Batani to emit a verteron pulse that managed to disrupt the plasma fields hold long enough for the two ships to escape, but in doing so, both ships suffered heavy damage and even heavier casualties.
When the wrecks of the two ships had been towed to Starbase 565 (by the Starships Venture and Horatio) a comprehensive list of casualties had been drawn up. The Nogura had lost nearly 100 crewmembers, including her Captain and first officer. The Al-Batani had lost just 36, but among them was Commander Shewell. For her part in the rescue, Nilani was awarded the Starfleet Citation for Conspicuous Gallantry. Captain Mendez had wanted to appoint the Commander as her new Executive Officer, but Starfleet Command felt they had seen enough to award Commander Azulas with command of the ship she had rescued, the Nogura. Despite a lack of command experience, Azulas had shown courage and dedication at the risk of great sacrifice to herself and that was the type of officer Starfleet wanted in their new breed of Commanding Officers. Accepting the posting, Commander Azulas oversaw the repair and refit of the Nogura over several months whilst travelling to different Starbases and Outposts to undergo training in the command field, including her very own Kobayashi Maru simulation at Deep Space 9. Whilst she failed, like everyone in history had (apart for one infamous exception), she demonstrated to a number of instructors that she had what it took to take command.
Over the next year, Nilani and the crew of the Nogura would take part in some decisive conflicts, culminating in the ships participation in the events leading up to the conclusion of the Consortium plot to take over the Gamma Quadrant. Some time later, the Nogura was involved in a skirmish with a Borg cube that saw her dragged first, to the Delta Quadrant, and then to the Beta Quadrant and the Gavarian Corridor. There, it quickly became apparent that the Consortium plot against Starfleet had not ended afterall. They had infected the Nogura with a parasite that ate away at her hull until it was impossible for the ship to survive. Her crew were evacuated to the USS Ulysses and Nilani had to watch as her ship finally succumbed to its wounds. Once returned to Federation space, Nilani took the next six months as shore leave on Trill before returning to the Gamma Quadrant to await her next assignment.