|Crew of the USS Ashoka|
|Captain Marina Zhao|
Capt. Marina Zhao was the commanding officer of the USS Ashoka, a Defiant-class vessel that was heavily damaged by Orion vessels near the Duronis II system and later ceremonially destroyed by the USS Thunder.
Zhao was a native of Hong Kong, Earth. She had been married at least once. After joining Starfleet, she received several commendations during the Dominion War. During the conflict, Zhao, then an ensign, was pinned down by Jem Hadar for two days before being rescued by Hannibal Parker and his group of marines.
Some years later, she was put in command of the USS Ashoka on 238905.01. She was also involved in several battles with the Klingons during their most recent incursions. She achieved Starfleet objectives each time with minimal casualties. Zhao received multiple Starfleet honors. Becaues of her qualifications, she had been frequently offered other vessels but she turned them down to stay aboard the Ashoka. Zhao considered the Ashoka to have been far more faithful than her ex-husband.
Some time before her mission to the Duronis System, Zhao met Rear Admiral Toni Turner.
Mission to Duronis System
Shortly prior to SD 23930704, Zhao was diverted to Argelius II to transport the planet’s minister of security, Varaal, a Vulcan whom she had met previously, to the Embassy of Duronis II. Only Zhao was completely briefed regarding their mission to collect the rescued patient who had been designated as Kaumari. While Varaal had briefed her on various outcomes of the mission, a worse case scenario occurred when the Ashoka encountered five hostile Orion vessels before reaching the Duronis system. Preparing for the worse, Zhao sent a short coded message to Admiral Turner asking for assistance. Thanks to Zhao’s tactics, the Ashoka destroyed the first two vessels. Unfortunately, she was not as successful with the last three. The Ashoka suffered heavy damage after which an Orion boarding party tried to commandeer the vessel. After the final Orion vessel retreated, Zhao was attempting to assess damage and casualties when an unknown vessel decloaked. Shortly thereafter, Zhao lost consciousness. When the USS Thunder arrived at the Ashoka, Zhao, along with Varaal and her surviving crew, were found to be missing. As the Ashoka was severely damaged and the Embassy under threat, the Ashoka was ceremonially destroyed to prevent its capture by Orions or other parties.