Natal, Jorem/Personal history
Like most Bajorans, the Natal family endured abuses—beatings, starvation, illnesses, and the like. Yet, the elder Natals found joy in raising their daughter according to the Bajoran culture, customs, and religion. They were proud of their bright, shining star and thought that nothing, not even the dream of a free Bajor, could eclipse their delight in her. Eleven years later, Kylar and Megal’s joy was indeed eclipsed when the Prophets blessed them with another daughter, whom they named Jessa.
Jessa was special. Everyone who met her fell in love with her. She made the grumpiest people smile, the saddest laugh, and the most desperate find hope. But that hope was lost when Jessa, six years old, was diagnosed with Orkette’s disease.
The Natals brought Jessa to several folk healers. All of which came to the same conclusion, Jessa would die without a bone marrow transplant. The transplant was quite difficult to come by when one belonged to a vanquished people and a doctor with the knowledge and skills could not be found.
Jessa’s disease took the heart out of the Natal family; they drifted apart out of fear and grief. Desperate to save her family, seventeen-year-old Jorem did something she would never have done before, she became a comfort woman to the Cardassian Gul in charge of the settlement in which she lived. She hoped that in exchange for her services the Gul would provide Jessa with a bone marrow transplant. The Gul had made several advances before, but Jorem, with a heightened sense of integrity and morality, always refused. Jessa’s disease changed everything for Jorem.
The Gul, ecstatic over his conquest, yet prideful, wanted to punish Jorem for refusing him in the beginning. He decided to show off his prize to one and all, Bajoran and Cardassian. Jorem’s shame became very public. To the Cardassians, Jorem was a source of amusement and scorn. The Bajorans named her as collaborator, and as such, shunned her. To Kylar and Megal, Jorem became a blight to their existence. They disinherited her. And the Gul never provided Jessa with the bone marrow transplant.
Ironically, Jorem could have avoided all the pain and humiliation of being a comfort woman if she had only waited. A few months after Jessa’s diagnosis, the Bajoran resistance fighters finally freed Bajor from Cardassian tyranny. In 2369, the Cardassians were forced to flee. Kylar and Megal found a doctor to perform the transplant; Jessa lived.
Jorem, while happy that Jessa was alive and that Bajor was freed, could not celebrate. She found out that she was pregnant. Not wanting to keep this constant reminder of her shame, Jorem gave up her baby and left the settlement.
A few weeks later, feeling as though she had made the worst mistake ever, Jorem returned to the settlement to get her baby back. There, she found that her son had been taken to Tozhat Resettlement Center, in Tozhat Province, an orphanage formerly run by Cardassians. Jorem found transport where and when she could and walked when she couldn’t. The journey took weeks because the Cardassians had sabotaged many of the transporters between Hedrikspool and Tozhat.
Once Jorem got Ryak, her son, back, she supported the two of them by finding odd jobs. She eventually went to medical school. Upon graduation, Jorem took a job as a doctor at a prison. Still dreaming of stars, however, Jorem took a chance and applied to Starfleet.