Toren Nalar was born into a relatively prosperous family on Betazed in the years before the Dominion War. His school record was solid but unremarkable, he performed to an acceptable level in his academic pursuits but lagged notably when it came to the physical areas of his education. The area in which he truly excelled was music, he was something of a child prodigy on the piano, combining Betazoids natural sensitivity to emotion with an innate musical ability.
In his Teens, Toren expressed a desire to play music professionally and began working towards that end. He became recognised as one of the most promising young Pianists on Betazed and was widely tipped for stardom within the Betazoid musical community.
The outbreak of the Dominion War cut short his musical career. As the furious conflict crept ever closer to his homeworld, Toren found himself inadvertently caught between opposing schools of thought. On the one hand, there were those Betazoids who, in collaboration with Starfleet, believed that Betazed should prepare itself for the coming conflict and begin the first militarisation effort in its history.
On the other hand, the far more significant proportion of Betazoids believed that adherence to their strict tenets of pacificism and non-intervention would protect them from the Dominion. They felt that if they made it clear they were no threat, then the Jem’Hadar would leave them in peace.
The conflict between these two factions affected Toren and his family personally, as his father, a junior minister in the Betazoid Government and proponent of closer integration of Betazoids into Starfleet, supported the idea of militarisation. His mother, however, a traditional, conservative matriarch who was raised in the tradition of Betazoid pacifism, stridently opposed any attempt to drag Betazed into the War.
In the end, a compromise was made in which Betazed itself would not be militarised, but the Tenth Fleet would be assigned to protect it from The Dominion. This compromise satisfied no one, as the Pacifists believed the fleet made them a target, and the Militarists thought that the Tenth Fleet was not enough to offer viable protection.
In the end, whether or not The Dominion percieved Betazed to be a threat is not known, but what cannot be denied is the fact that, when the blow finally came, the Tenth Fleet was caught out of position and swiftly defeated, leaving Betazed open to invasion. The Betazoids weren’t capable of mounting a serious defence and quickly surrendered.
What followed was a brutal occupation in which politically unreliable Betazoids were quickly rounded up and interned, including Toren’s father, who would die in Cardassian custody. Meanwhile, the Elders, Betazoid’s communal leaders and what passed for their government, urged the people to remember their pacifist traditions and offer no resistance.
Toren, for his part, initially followed the Elders instructions, even when his father was arrested, and even after his body was returned showing signs of violent treatment, Toren refused to give any thought to the idea of violent resistance, fearful, like many Betazoids, that they were hopelessly outmatched by the brutal military efficiency of the Cardassians and their Jem’Hadar allies.
But Toren was a young man, and he had a young man’s sense of justice. As time went on, Toren found he could no longer sit by and watch the Cardassians pillage his homeworld, and he decided to resist. At first, he did not know where to begin. He had no military training or survival skills; he was not even in particularly good physical shape, his focus had been on music for so long.
The Betazoid resistance and Toren himself were radically altered by the appearance of Hent Tevren. Tevren was spoken of only in hushed tones and never when one of the Elders was in earshot. Indeed, many Betazoids did not believe he existed, such was the mystery and horror that surrounded him. The stories that were told were of a vile beast that used his telepathic abilities as a weapon, delighting in the taking of life and revelling in the terror of his victims.
Lacking a harsh justice system due to the pacifist nature of their society, the Elders had excluded Tevren from the community, effectively exiling him to a remote corner of Betazed and denying all knowledge of his existence. But Tevren did exist, and his abilities were very real. More importantly, they could be learned.
Toren, and other young Betazoids like him, heard the whispers of Tevren’s existence and, lacking any other options, they flocked to his cause. Tevren turned out to be a cruel, manipulative individual, who had no regard for the well being of his charges. Many would die attempting to master the skills around Offensive Telepathy, and many more would be driven mad by the effort needed to focus one’s mind to the extent that it could be used to kill.
Those who succeeded were turned into fearsome killing machines, able to blend in seamlessly with other Betazoids and kill without warning. The Cardassian occupation forces were at a loss as to how to deal with this new threat and turned to increasingly brutal reprisals in order to deter further resistance.
Toren remained with the resistance until the end of the war brought liberation to Betazed. With the occupation over, there was no further need for Toren and his comrades, but their methodology left the Betazoid government with a potentially explosive problem. For as long as they had been in contact with alien species, Betazoids had worked hard to cultivate their image as pacifists, diplomats and counsellors, beings who could be trusted to act with sensitivity and discretion, and whose abilities were nothing but a boon to a galaxy so frequently torn apart by conflict.
The Betazoid Resistance had proved that Betazoid abilities were not merely limited to the passive, and, with proper training, Betazoid minds could be turned into weapons. This reality had the potential to transform the perception of Betazoids on its head, and that was something that the elders on Betazed would not allow. Although the actual membership of the resistance had never numbered more than a few dozens, almost every Betazoid had heard of their exploits, and while some dismissed them as simple stories, others knew the truth and shared the Elders concern.
Lacking a formalised prison system, and shunning the idea of dealing with the problem violently, the Betazoids chose to deal with the matter the only way they knew how; they simply told the resistance members to leave. In exchange for keeping their abilities a secret, the Exiles, as they became known, were promised free passage to any destination as well as the resources necessary to start new lives, far away from Betazed.
The Exiles were scattered to the wind, forbidden from ever returning to their homeworld, they all went their own way. The myriad stories of the lives that followed could fill several dozen books by themselves, but it was Toren who was perhaps the most audacious. Instead of quietly accepting exile and a new life as a smallholder on some distant world, Toren gambled that the Elders wanted him gone and didn’t care how much it cost.
Wanted a guaranteed career, and not finding the idea of a settled life appealing after his experiences in the war, Toren demanded a recommendation letter to Starfleet Academy. Despite being furious at his gall, the Elders were true to their word, and Toren was soon on his way to Earth with a glowing recommendation in his hand.
His arrival raised more than a few eyebrows at the Academy, his academic record was good but hardly exemplary, and his physical scores all fell well below the standards required for Academy entry. Attempts to investigate the legitimacy of his recommendation letter were quietly but firmly diverted by several well placed calls from the Betazoid Embassy, and Toren was allowed to enter the Academy without further delay.
Once he was in, Toren set about making up for lost time. His time at War had left him in much better physical shape than his school reports suggested and he quickly found himself moving up the grade rankings. When the time came to select a specialisation, however, Toren again raised eyebrows. Whereas most Betazoids, sensitive as they were to emotion, chose careers in Medicine or Counselling, Toren did not hesitate in his decision to pursue a path in Security.
Toren caused surprise once again when he unexpectedly showed a natural aptitude for military tactics and strategy, not to mention physical combat, showing none of the hesitation that came with those unaccustomed to inflicting harm on other sentient beings. His instructors immediately noticed this and raised questions with the Academy staff over exactly who it was they had beating up their Cadets.
The Instructors were told that there was nothing on record to suggest that Toren Nalar was anything other than an extraordinary cadet and that they should make use of him rather than waste time investigating his apparently unremarkable past. Toren continued to excel in any class related to Combat, and although his academic grades remained unremarkable, by the time he graduated, his scores were in the top 10% of his Class.
Upon completion of his studies, Ensign Nalar was assigned to the security detail aboard the USS Olympic. His time aboard the Olympic was unremarkable, he progressed through the ranks steadily, first to Lieutenant Junior Grade, then full Lieutenant, before finally taking over the vacant COS position. Promotion to Lieutenant Commander came shortly afterwards.
Toren pursued an affair with the Olympic’s Counsellor, Micah Glass during this time, a relationship that inadvertently lead to the birth of a child, Lake. Shortly after her birth, Counsellor Glass hired a live-in Nanny to take care of Lake during her busy work schedule. Unbenknownst to Toren, this Nanny developed an unhealthy obsession with Micah, identifying Toren has a danger (which was not entirely inaccurate) and himself as the only one who could protect Micah and the Baby.
When Micah rejected his advances, his mind snapped, and he violently raped her. Toren, upon discovering what had happened, beat the man nearly to death. Ironically, the only thing that prevented Toren from becoming a murderer again was that his daughter, crying out, brought him to his senses.
However, although the man was not dead, his injuries were life-threatening, and if had not been for the medical technology available on the Olympic, they would have left him permanently crippled. Toren was quickly remanded in custody, charged with violent assault and conduct unbecoming of an officer. Although the nature of the incident was taken into consideration, Toren found himself stripped of rank and sentenced to 6 months in Federation Prison, to be followed by immediate discharge from Starfleet.
Toren served his sentence quietly, but when it was over, he had no desire to find himself thrown out of Starfleet. Exactly who he spoke to his not known, but the discharge order was quietly dropped. However, despite the leverage he had with the Betazoid Government, Starfleet Command was less enamoured with someone they viewed as a violent criminal who had escaped punishment. While his political connections protected him from immediate discharge, it didn’t protect him from the worst assignments Starfleet had.
What followed was two years of Mining Colonies, Trading Stations and Prisons, each assignment more unpleasant than the last, a ploy designed to ensure that Toren would resign his commission voluntarily. This ploy was based on the idea that Toren had been an exceptional, but ultimately unhinged soldier, not the hardened killer that the Dominion War had made him. Toren endured everything Starfleet subjected him too, no matter how tedious, how menial or how dangerous, he waited, knowing he’d get his chance.
|Lt Glass: Quarters||USS Olympic||1 day, 13 hours ago||View|
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|The Arrival||USS Olympic||2 weeks, 6 days ago||View|
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