|StarBase 118 Ops
Ensign Zel Rohan was roped back into Starfleet service after two decades of drifting.
- Age: 50
- Race: Cardassian/Bajoran
- Sex: Male
- Height: 5’6”
- Weight: 145 lbs
- Eyes: Green
- Hair: Dark brown and unruly
- Appearance: Short and wiry, Zel perpetually looks like he just got blown out an airlock, ran through a phaser fight and fell down three flights of stairs. His face bears all too clearly the marks of his mixed heritage and a rough and tumble past. His nose is slightly crooked from when it was once broken, and there is a scar that splits his left eye ridge, traveling down to his cheek. He wears loose, unassuming clothing that can conceal a small pistol, and is always seen with an old Bajoran earring.
- Personality: Zel is a mixture of charming and irreverent, caring and roguish. On the downside, he’s arrogant, generally seen as untrustworthy, fears far too little, talks far too much and if anyone dug into his past they could probably make a convincing case to get him locked away for life. On the bright side he’s undeniably moral, brave and curious. Some people consider those faults.
- Place of Birth: Bajor
- Citizenship: Technically, Bajoran… though most any sane governments abandoned him long ago.
- Father: Kirne Altero (Bajoran) (Age: 73) High ranking member of the Bajoran militia, turned into a high yield businessman.
- Mother: Rohan Leka (Cardassian) Deceased. Cardassian war orphan turned clerical aide.
- Half Brother (Paternal): Kirne Balto, (Age 41) Spoiled little rich boy, heir to a fortune
- Spouse: none
- Extended Family:
- Grandmother: Rohan Alise, (age 91), Grounds tender for a temple of the Prophets, retired.
- Uncle: Rohan Karos, (age 66) Starfleet Officer, Chief Engineer.
- Favorite Drink: Aldeberan Whiskey, Romulan Ale and Raktajino (in that order).
- Preferred Food: Eggs. Jumja.
- Hobbies & Interests: Playing and collecting strategy games of all kinds, talking out of his ass, gambling, flirting, making sure no one comes to kill him.
- Romantic Interests: Romance gets you killed.
- Goals: To impress ladies everywhere. To live fast and play hard as much as possible. And maybe… just maybe to actually find a stable place in life where people trust him.
- Talks fast, sometimes very fast.
- Likes to make up many conflicting stories about his past, particular how he got a scar over his right eye.
- Fiddles with his Bajoran earring when nervous.
- Usually carries a small Cardassian disruptor pistol hidden on his person.
A note on the name: Zel will introduce himself as “Zel Rohan” when he meets new people and insist that he follows the Bajoran style of naming. This would make his last name Zel and his given name Rohan. Most people call him “Mr. Zel”
However, Zel is a compulsive liar. Any character that knows anything about Bajoran or Cardassian names would recognize “Zel” as a common Cardassian given name, and/or Rohan as a Bajoran family name. If he was telling the truth and following Bajoran naming standards, his name should be “Rohan Zel”
To make this all worse, the name he was given when born is “Rohan Marco” and that is how he is listed in the Bajoran (and Federation) records.
For what it’s worth, Zel thinks of himself, as simply “Zel” doesn’t really care about where the “Rohan” goes and despises the name “Marco”
Zel has a smattering of formal education. While in secondary school on Bajor his teachers were continually frustrated by how bright the kid was, and how quickly he caught on to new concepts – but how little he wanted to apply himself.
During his Starfleet education his Starfleet professors felt the exact same way – Rohan Marco was an intelligent student who quickly learned and integrated new ideas and skills, but he continually failed to apply himself. Still he did manage to graduate with focus areas in flight control and operations, solidly in the unmemorable bottom 50% of his class.
Through his travels he has amassed the following skills: Gambling, cracking security measures, ‘flying by the seat of your pants’ piloting, jerry rigging simple space vehicles, marksmanship with beam weapons, and the ability to eat the most noxious things possible and still not get sick. He has also become a patient listener and keen observer after all these years.
Zel’s story really starts with his mother. She was born Laika Torim, daughter of two prominent Cardassian scientists. Her parents took her to Bajor when she was 2, researching the fertility of Bajor soil, in an effort to use Bajor’s resources to revitalize Cardassian colonies. They were killed in a resistance bombing, and Laika was left behind when the Cardassians pulled out of Bajor.
Rohan Alise was a woman who lost her family to the Cardassians, seeking to find sense in the senseless killing. She adopted Laika Torim, and changed her name to Leka (mostly because it was all the young child remembered). Alise was a devout woman who saw it her holy duty to retrain Leka in the ways of the prophets. She was a caring mother, but a suffocating one as well; training her adoptive daughter to completely dismiss her Cardassian heritage.
Rohan Leka grew to be an extremely shy, religious young woman; a clerk in the Bajoran records offices. Kirne Altero was an angry young man that wanted to get back at the Cardassians for everything they had done. He started his relationship with Leka out of morbid curiosity and continued it because controlling her gave him a feeling of power. He dropped her and ran when he found she was with child, and Leka returned to her adoptive mother, shamed and afraid.
No one quite knew why, but Leka was never well after that. She bore a healthy son, named him Marco, and then seemed to fade away, slowly getting ill as the boy grew. Leka passed away while Rohan Marco was still a child, and Alise decided to raise him. Once again she subscribed to her old theory of training the child strictly in the ways of the prophets. She hoped it would raise a pious grandson. Instead it raised a rebellious one.
Some might say Rohan Marco had a bit too much Cardassian in him, but he never really accepted that he was fully Bajoran. Cardassians frightened him, but they fascinated him as well. Constantly pulling against Alise’s will, he finally decided that he would never feel settled or whole if he stayed on Bajor. At the tender age of 17 he ran away from home, stowing away on a Bajoran freighter, only to be caught and dragged back home by his uncle Rohan Karos.
Karos and Alise sat down and decided that Marco needed structure in his life to whip him into shape. Having strong connections with Starfleet, Karos suggested pressing the kid into Starfleet Academy in the hopes that military style training would help focus him and give him a career. He fronted and supported Rohan Marco’s application, highlighting the kid’s skill in repairing various machines, and basic piloting skills. To everyone’s surprise, Starfleet accepted.
Rohan Marco headed off to Earth, a highly unenthused cadet. Unlike his classmates who saw the possibilities of Starfleet as a bright and shining frontier, Marco thought they were naive and that Starfleet was stuffy and misguided. Once again he drove his professors nuts with his ability to quickly pick up and excel at new skills, but his unwillingness to focus and apply himself. Neither grades nor the accords of his classmates seemed to motivate Marco, he seemed more interested in finding out new ways of cracking security systems and hot-wiring shuttlecraft. He squeaked by his final exams, passing on his technical skills and quick thinking. At 22, on his first assignment as a helmsman on the USS Yourke cruise when he ended up assigned back to the Bajoran sector to help evacuate refugees. Piloting shuttlecraft after shuttlecraft of refugees through a war zone, Marco started listening to the stories these people told, and started thinking that Starfleet’s idea of shuffling victims of a war from planet to planet was a poor solution to a bigger problem. While on planet, he got caught up in the resistance effort against the forces that drove the refugees from their land, and he simply jumped ship.
For the next several years Marco was easily caught up in other people’s idealism. He ended up drifting from cause to cause, finally joining a group made from the dregs of the Maquis resistance, still carrying on their outdated zealousness against anyone they could justify as oppressing them. He changed his name to ‘Zel Rohan’ taking the name ‘Zel’ from a Cardassian children’s book he found on one of the raids. Zel liked the idea of being a part of something fighting for a cause, but he soon found that the idea of a ‘crusade’ wore thin. While he liked chasing whatever ‘bad guys’ the group had on their hit list, he found that he actually hated killing them. Or anyone for that matter. At first he wondered if it struck a little too close to home for him as Cardassian colonists remained an ever popular target, but later he started to see the hollowness in the ‘truths’ of the Maquis and every other rebel group he got caught up with.
He ended up keeping silent… very silent about his beliefs lest they decide that he would be next on their list for eradication, until he got the chance to steal and jerry-rig a shuttle and flee to an outer colony.
From there started a long odyssey of flirting with danger. He took readily to the more unsavory side of life… spying, gambling, smuggling and all manner of petty crime, but when it really got down to it he didn’t have the heart to dive fully into it. He didn’t really like wallowing in darkness and he certainly didn’t like hurting other people.
He enjoyed the thrill of danger and the creative plotting of new schemes to make an illegitimate strip of latinum or two, but he refused to delve deeper into the underworld. This won him enemies both from legitimate authorities who considered him a petty thief (which in many ways he was) and criminal syndicates who found his discouraging overflow of morality to be a dangerous liability. It kept Zel moving from world to world and role to role. Waiter, gambler, faith healer, actor, janitor, and pilot…he’s been all that and more.
Despite several less than positive run-ins with Starfleet authorities, Zel remains a very minor criminal in the grand scheme of things. He currently counts far more enemies with criminal syndicates (not only is he moral, but he has uncannily bad timing and sharp eyesight) than he does with legitimate authorities, so he figures that hiding out on a Starfleet space station might preserve his meager life for a few more years. That and he is starting to get old. He is growing weary and slowly Zel longs for some stability.
Zel certainly never intended to get back into Starfleet, but the universe loves to ruin people’s plans. Recently Zel ran a shuttle of Gold Dew past a wartime blockade in an effort to pay off some old debts he owed to a Ferengi businessman. He never knew that the crates were tampered with by a third party, and carried a powerful explosive device hidden in the alcohol. Zel suspected there was a problem when the merchant ship he delivered the crates to had ‘engine trouble’ and blew up. He knew there was a problem when he went back to settle his debts and found that his Ferengi associate had been murdered. Unwittingly caught up in things far beyond anything he intended to get caught up in, Zel’s broke and on the run from people who want to kill him before he can testify.
Yes, he’s even desperate enough to hide out on a Starfleet station.
Notes: Zel has a criminal record eight miles long … if you really wanted to dig it up. All of it is petty crime. Low grade smuggling, con artistry, stealing from people with a lot of money, stowing away, lying to authority, getting into barfights, breaking and entering…and any other rule you could probably think of. However, Zel is also very conscious of the people he works against. He has been known to refuse to sham people who cannot afford it, turn in drug runners and help authorities for no good reason if he thinks it might benefit someone he views as innocent.
Zel believes that rules are basically a construction of authority to enforce their narrow minded viewpoint; while morals are basic and universal laws that one does not break. So while he will throw anybody’s rules to the wind, he is very conscious about doing good things for good people. To Zel smuggling Romulan Ale is breaking the rules: Romulan Ale is illegal partially because it’s strong and mostly because the Federation and the Romulans don’t like one another. But the people who buy Romulan ale drink it themselves, and don’t really hurt anyone else. On the other hand, he would never smuggle hard drugs, because these are peddled to innocent kids in the bad parts of cities. Whether or not people agree with Zel, he sticks by his own internal moral compass, even if it gets him into more trouble.