Commander Nathalia Nerell
|Age||65 years (as of 2410.09.03)|
|Assignment||First Officer (USS Pathfinder)|
Nathalia might be somewhat on the short side, but she more than makes up for that with her presence. You know she's in the room, even if you don't see her.
While she makes sure her grey hair is always perfectly styled, somehow a strand of hair always manages to make its way in front of her eyes. She's often thought about adopting another hairstyle, but she loves mid-long, waving hair.
Nathalia was born as Nathalia H. Udua, with the H standing for Helaen. She was born on the 9th of October, 2344, in an isolated town on the Trill homeworld. Her parents, Naya and Pedresco Udua, were working from home: Naya was an artist, and Pedresco worked as a farmer. Nathalia had two siblings: a brother, Bordon, and a sister, called Eminy. Where both siblings were more than content to stay on Trill and work on the farm - perhaps even become a host to a symbiont, one day - Nathalia had other plans.
As a child, she was always very inquisitive. Whenever she could, she talked her parents into taking her to the big cities, where she spent hours simply looking at the many ships leaving the planet. When she got older, the spaceport became her second home. All those ships, of all those various shapes and sizes... she loved it all.
So, unlike many of her friends and classmates, by the time she got old enough she didn't apply to the symbiosis institute for a small chance to obtain a symbiont. Instead, she knew exactly what she wanted to do: she wanted to fly a spaceship. And the best way to do that, was to join Starfleet Academy. This greatly upset her parents, but Nathalia was stubborn: she knew what she wanted, and went for it.
Life in the Academy wasn't easy for the Trill. She had a knack for piloting ships, and learned as much as she could about this area, since it held her interest... but in order to be a Starfleet officer, she also needed learn about the stuff that didn't interest her. Things like scientific protocols, or medical procedures. Her desinterest caused her to flunk the second year, and she had to re-do it.
This turned out to be a wake-up call for Nathalia. With all her former classmates now a year ahead of her, she was thrown back on herself, forcing her to look at her own attitude towards the Academy. It was quite a confrontation with herself, since she found her own attitude lacking. Nevertheless, she didn't give up: she worked long and hard, and focussed more on her studies. This time, she did pass to the next year, and she actually learned something from it as well!
In 2367, she finally graduated from the Academy. She'd grown up in the time here, having discovered that learning new things wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Flying was still her passion, but her eyes were now opened to other areas as well. Engineering, for instance.
Nathalia's first assignment was a grim one. She was assigned as a pilot to the USS Herschel, an Excelsior class vessel that was assigned to Wolf 359. Their mission: to go through all the remains of the 39 ships destroyed by the Borg attack, and bring the bodies of the crews of those ships, home. Not to mention, recover anything that could be used in new ships. This really made its mark on Nathalia, as she learned that space, despite its wonders and its miracles, wasn't all fun and games.
The assignment lasted over a year, in which Nathalia learned much more about piloting starships and shuttles while salvaging pieces of starships. This also helped her in becoming more of an expert on engineering matters: she frequently assisted the Herschel's CEO with removing components of the salvaged ships.
SECOND ASSIGNMENT, THE INCIDENT:
Late 2368, Nathalia was reassigned. This time, she was promoted to Lt.jg and became the Chief of CONN on the USS Faraday, a Steamrunner class vessel. Even though the ship wasn't nearly as large as the Excelsior class she was used to, the Faraday provided Nathalia with a challenge: to pilot the ship through asteroid belts, nebulae and around planets, as the Faraday patrolled the edges of Federation space.
Life was good for Nathalia... but in 2370, all of that changed. Responding to a distress call from a Cardassian freighter, the Faraday moved into an area of space where once, two planets had collided. As a result, the system was filled with asteroids, big and small, all on an erratic course. Confident she could pilot the ship through them safely, Nathalia got the Faraday close to the Cardassian freighter. It turned out to be a trap: the freighter was a hologram, set there by pirates to lure unsuspecting ships in. The Faraday managed to fight off the pirates, but in doing so, Nathalia failed to see a single asteroid, coming from starboard. It collided with the Steamrunner class ship, knocking the ship out of course. As a result, more and more asteroids pummelted the Faraday, until its shields and hull could withstand no more. The captain ordered everyone to abandon ship, but it was too late. Out of a crew of 185, only 27 made it out alive, including Nathalia.
This incident made Nathalia turn her back on piloting. Even though Starfleet disagreed, she deduced that the entire incident was her fault. She took an extended LOA, and went home to her parents, where she spent a full year, a mere shell of the enthusiastic young girl she used to be.
BACK ON TRILL:
Even though she'd not had much contact with her parents up until then, they welcomed her back with open arms. For a little while, life was simple: Nathalia got up, worked at the family farm, worked on a painting, and went to sleep. After a while, her mental wounds began to heal. During those times, the various farming supplies were often delivered by a young man named Janol Arben. Nathalia and he started talking one day, and one thing lead to another... pretty soon they fell in love.
It was Janol who encouraged Nathalia to go back to Starfleet again. He could tell that staying here only made her miserable, even though she was with him now. Reluctantly, Nathalia took Janol's advice, with one exception: she felt she couldn't be a pilot again. What if she'd ever make a mistake like the one she made at the Faraday? So instead, she returned to Starfleet, and took additional courses, where she emerged from in 2372 as a Lieutenant, and an Engineer.
BACK IN THE FLEET:
These were trying times. Starfleet was at war with the Klingons, and they were taking heavy losses. For Nathalia though, it meant that she felt useful, working out of Starbase 324, repairing all the ships that came through. When the Klingon war ended, Nathalia returned to Trill, and asked Janol to marry her. The ceremony was held not two months later. Being apart for so long, faced with such hardships, made Nathalia realise that she wanted Janol in her life.
However, the trying times didn't end: the Dominion War flared up. Nathalia was assigned to the USS Wright, a Galaxy class starship, assigned to the Fifth fleet. Once again, Nathalia was separated from Janol, but the two kept in touch as much as they could.
As the Chief Engineer on the Wright, she saw a lot of action, both in space-, and hand-to-hand combat. It hardened her, and until this day, she believes that was the place where she lost whatever remained of her childhood. Not even her talks with Janol could erase those memories.
Once the Dominion War was over, and peace returned to the Federation, Nathalia continued to serve on the Wright, this time with Janol by her side. Nine months later, Nathalia gave birth to a baby girl: Lydia Arden. It ushered in a new time for the family. A happier time.
Things went along smoothly on the USS Wright. The ship ferried passengers between diplomatic conferences, aided in the construction of new colonies and even had a first contact or two. All pretty standard, which was exactly what Nathalia needed at the moment. She rose to the rank of Lt.Cmdr, and was appointed the 2O position in 2384. Two years later, in 2386, the Wright was decomissioned, and Nathalia, Janol and Lydia - now an 11 year old girl - moved to Deep Space 4, where Nathalia took over as 2O/CEO. Unfortunately, this wouldn't last long. The family spent just a year there, until disaster struck: Due to - what later was discovered - a faulty component, one of the power generators on the station blew up, causing massive damage to several sections of the starbase. The station's lounge was hit pretty hard, where the Arden family was just sitting down for a drink. Nathalia, Janol and Lydia were all injured, but it was Janol who was hit the worst. The doctors did whatever they could to save his life, but he died in surgery. Nathalia and Lydia recovered, but life on the station simply wasn't the same anymore.
So, Nathalia did whatever she'd done her entire life when something terrible like this happened: she and Lydia fled home to Trill. She found a job as a Starfleet engineer at the Federation embassy there. It was a mediocre job, but that meant that she had time to heal her mental wounds, and to take care of Lydia.
Now though, it wasn't Nathalia, or her parents, who encouraged her to move on again: in 2392, five years after Janol's death, Lydia confronted her mother. The 17 year old girl wanted to do something with her life, something other than sitting here and mourn her father. She wanted to be an artist, and wanted to attend the Andorian artists' academy.
GOING BACK TO STARFLEET:
This was another wake-up call for Nathalia. Her daughter was right: she was wasting her life here. So, while Lydia went off to become an artist, Nathalia asked for a transfer. And she got one: she became the Chief Engineer, and later Second Officer, of the Nebula class USS Tesla. Much to her surprise, she found she enjoyed taking command now and again, just like she had when she'd taken over command at times on the USS Wright. She asked the captain for more time in the big chair, and she got her wish: in 2396, she was promoted to First Officer of the Tesla.
Life was once again good. Lydia - who was turning out to be a great artist indeed, especially with sculptures - came to visit her mother frequently, and Nathalia was thoroughly enjoying her role as First Officer. She served as the Tesla's FO for three years. Then, after the Sident invasion in 2399, Starfleet decomissioned the USS Tesla, and sent the crew to different assignments. Nathalia was assigned to Earth spacedock to oversee the repairs to the Academy and to the various starships damaged in the Sident attack. In that position, she managed to get quite a few looks at the USS Calhoun, the transwarpship that as undergoing a major refit. When her job at Earth spacedock was done, she requested to be assigned First Officer on one of the transwarpships.
Starfleet agreed: with Captain Jalando leaving Starfleet, a position on board the USS Odyssey opened up. There was even talk that she could become the Odyssey's new captain in time! Excited, she travelled to Yeager Colony, where on January 1st, 2400, the official rechristening of the Calhoun would take place. She was really looking forward to it.
THE NERELL SYMBIONT:
However, like many things in Nathalia's life, it didn't turn out the way she had planned. The Calhoun was taken over by Romulans, who fired at Yeager Colony, injuring and killing dozens of people. One of those was Alan Nerell, the colony's Trill AOPS. As Alan was near death, the Nerell symbiont had to take a new host in order to survive. Nathalia was the only Trill in the neighbourhood, so with less than an hour to prepare, she entered surgery...
Only to exit it as a completely different person. Nathalia Nerell was born.
After a short stint as FO of the Pathfinder, Nathalia once again returned to Trill, this time to find out who she was, exactly. Her stay on Trill and the guidance from the symbiosis committee helped her come to terms with what happened, and instead focus on the future. So, she went back to Starfleet and helped out in several engineering projects. While useful, she found that it wasn't as satisfying as it used to be. So, she applied for a First Officer position, and when one was available on the Pathfinder, she jumped at the chance.
Nerell symbiont history:
2200 - 2245: Host: Leanna. She was a pilot, especially good with small shuttlecraft.
2245 - 2301: Host: Dekarr. He was a chef, in a restaurant on Trill.
2301 - 2383: Host: Farenn. During the Dominion war, she was captain on the Trill vessel Kareem, in order to defend Trill. But there was no threat, and she felt she had wasted her time there.
2383 - 2383: Host: Tessa. Due to an administration error, she got the Nerell symbiont. But a few hours later, this mistake was rectified. The symbiont was removed.
2383 - 2387: Host: Rikaros. He was a Starfleet Ops officer, who got killed in a barfight. Fortunately, the symbiont was saved.
2387 - 2400: Host: Alan. An OPS officer, sister to Tessa.
2400: Host: Nathalia. First Officer, and last-minute host of the Nerell symbiont.
Before the joining, Nathalia had a strong character. She knew what she wanted and she went for it. There was a downside to this zeal though: when she felt something was her fault, her guilt completely overwhelmed her. Small setbacks don't bother her that much, though. She knows how to deal with those.
Now, after the joining with the Nerell symbiont, Nathalia's still trying to figure out who she is. All these lives, all these experiences... it's a bit overwhelming. Still, the fact that she had a strong personality before, did help. It allowed her to slowly but surely find new traits that she didn't have before. For instance, she now loved music of all kinds, something she had no interest in before.
She also finds that being called 'Nathalia' bothers her a bit. It didn't before. She's thinking about asking her friends to call her 'Nat' or 'Thal', or even use 'Helaen', her middle name.
Specialties and Skills
Nathalia's a great pilot, even before the joining. She can perform grand maneauvres with her eyes closed, as it were, and has a keen sense of direction. After the incident in 2370 though, she took up Engineering, and found that she was really good at that too: she loved taking things apart, putting them back together and repairing something that once was broken. She really disliked anything related to science or medical, though. She learned how to use a hypospray or tricorder when she had to, but it was never her favourite.
Now, after the joining, she finds that using science doesn't seem as boring as it used to. She's still not great at it though, and don't even think about asking her to be a doctor.
Hobbies and Interests
Nathalia's an avid painter. She inherited that gene from her mother, probably. It helps her relax, even though, compared to her mother or her daughter, she's anything but good. She also loves talking about her daughter, the incredibly talented artist!
Next to that, Nathalia loves to sit down with a good book and a cup of tea.
Recently, after the joining with the Nerell symbiont, Nathalia found that she enjoys listening to, and especially making of, music. She's beginning to get quite good at it too!