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Friday March 5th, 2021 @ 11:54pm

Cleo Ortega

Name Cleo Ortega

Position Ship's Physician


Character Information

Gender Female
Species Betazoid
Age 25

Physical Appearance

Height 1.68m (5’ 6”)
Weight 58 kg (128 lbs.)
Hair Color Black
Eye Color Black
Physical Description Though young and somewhat attractive, Cleo’s features are often downplayed by a desire to be plain and nondescript. Her charcoal black hair is simply styled and kept just long enough to cover her face, should the need arise. The only time she stows it is while performing planned medical procedures. She has the eyes of a used shuttle salesman, and though naturally charismatic, she often can’t help but look furtive and untrustworthy in many social interactions. Cleo is rarely seen wearing anything besides traditional medical scrubs, which are always impeccably fitted and wrinkle-free. She only wears three colors: grey, black and navy blue.

At present, Cleo still wears a prison-issue suppression collar that prevents her from accessing her Betazoid telepathy and heightened empathy. It also makes her instantly recognizable as an escaped prison inmate. It is a dull metallic band two fingers wide, fitted snugly and seemingly seamless. She has no way of removing it or any idea how, and has yet to trust anyone else with the task.

Family

Father Jesu Kina (biological father, deceased c.2374)
Mother Zely Kina (biological mother, deceased c.2374)
Delia Ortega (surrogate mother, deceased c.2391)

Personality & Traits

General Overview Cleo lacks a strong, well-defined personality. She prefers to keep her head down and clearly seeks to avoid drawing attention to herself. If she has strong feelings about anything or anyone, she keeps them close, all but forcing others to pry in order to have any sort of meaningful conversation. Contrary to what some might think, Cleo is not a coward and she will stand up for herself if she feels she needs to, but years spent incarcerated has taught her to pick her battles wisely, so she is not easy to provoke. Little seems to surprise Cleo, and if she has a moral compass, she doesn’t speak up for it very often. Going off her personality alone, some people may wonder whether Cleo even has a soul. But if others knew what she’s been though, they might forgive it for not shining very brightly.
Strengths & Weaknesses Cleo considers herself to be a skilled physician. But then again, she can count the number of other trained doctors she’s met on one hand. She served on a vessel that was no stranger to combat, and has seen and treated all manner of battlefield trauma. Her hands and nerves are very steady, and she has a good grasp on deciding whether a situation calls for a firm or a gentle touch. She’s treated a wide variety of former Federation species, and is a quick study on the physiology of other known species.

Though she claims to be skilled at her profession, Cleo has no formal education or credentials to speak of, and outside of the field of medicine she’s worryingly ignorant about a good many things; this may give cause for others to devalue her intelligence and skill. Compounding this is the fact that she is all but wholly institutionalized, and requires a great deal of structure in her life to be able to function in any productive capacity. She rarely takes initiative unless she’s trying to save a life. Cleo has also been cut off from her Betazoid abilities for nine years, and lacked formal training even before then. Though damaged without them, Cleo fears what might happen, were she ever to regain use of those abilities.
Ambitions Having already surpassed her projected life expectancy, Cleo is at a loss when contemplating her future. She would like to continue living, but she's seen enough death to have little fear of it and she knows that there is nothing special about her, or her ambitions. All of the people she knew and cared about are dead. The list was short to begin with, but now that it's completely empty she’s considering adding to it. That seems like a good plan. Truth be told, if things don’t work out, Cleo wouldn’t really be that upset if she ended up back in prison.
Hobbies & Interests Cleo enjoys helping people, and easing their pain. She likes low-impact tasks that involve working with her hands, and has developed a knack for several extracurricular activities that also involve helping people. She’s adept at cutting and styling hair, and is also a skilled tailor, should the need arise. Most of Cleo’s hobbies involve doing useful things, and she has little time for hobbies that only provide gratification.

Personal History By some reckonings, Cleo should’ve never been born. Most days, she wishes she never had been. Her biological parents, both Betazoid officers in Starfleet, very much wanted a child, but separate postings, paired with other issues led to difficulties in getting pregnant. They began considering other options, and though the galaxy going to hell in a handbasket may have dissuaded many other would-be parents, Cleo’s mother, Zely, a junior medical officer aboard the USS Pacifica, convinced her shipmate and best friend Delia to serve as their gestational surrogate, or birth mother.

Though the fertilization took, the pregnancy was about the only thing going according to plan. The war was taking a bad turn, and Zely, a strong empath, began having difficulty absorbing all the desperation and negativity around her. Everyone missed the warning signs, even the ship’s counselor. Then news came of the loss of Betazed. Zely’s husband Jesu was killed in action during the invasion, and her parents were presumed killed when deorbiting debris destroyed much of her home neighborhood. Zely was found dead in her quarters that same day, of an apparent overdose on medications taken from sickbay. The crew took the news hard, especially Delia, who had lost her best friend, and was now stuck with a pregnancy she didn’t want, and could not ethically terminate.

Cleo was born two weeks after the unconditional surrender of the Federation. The Pacifica had been ordered to report to the nearest core world, where the crew was to surrender the ship. That never happened. By that point much of the senior staff had already left their posts to try and save their own families as the core worlds fell. Most of the younger crew, however, were not so eager to give up. They did not have spouses and children back home. Their ship was their home, and their crewmates, their family. They chose to continue the fight, or at least go out defiantly. They fired on and destroyed their Dominion escort, and fled into the void.

One of the senior-most officers remaining, Tactical Officer Delia Ortega assumed the role of captain. Everyone looked to her for some kind of strategy or plan to keep them alive. This made Delia a very busy woman, too busy to care for the newborn daughter that she didn’t really care that much for at all. Or at least that was how it seemed to young Cleo growing up.

Cleo’s childhood was brief, and one of fear and neglect, interspersed with heavy burdens and wholesale lies. The Pacifica was always on the run, and when it wasn’t under attack it was attacking, targeting supply depots and cargo freighters to keep the dream alive. Even if that dream was a total nightmare. No one wanted to tell Cleo about her real mother and father. No one wanted to tell her about the war, or the places they had come from. The adults avoided her in general, really. Much of her care and upbringing was delegated to a handful of crewmembers, who often passed the duty onto the ship’s emergency medical hologram. The latter educated her thoroughly on modern medical science, but aside from that she learned little else of any practical value. Cleo spent much of her time in sickbay, learning from the hologram, and occasionally bearing witness to the messy aftermath of battle when the wounded arrived. She witnessed quite a bit, given how easily people seemed to forget about her.

Cleo was nine years old when she treated her first patient, tasked with plugging the artery of a critically injured crewmember to try and stop the blood while the overwhelmed medical staff triaged and treated other patients deemed more likely to survive. Cleo’s patient unfortunately did not survive. It was not the first time she’d witnessed a death, or left the medical bay covered in someone else’s blood. She’d long become desensitized to those things. It was, however, the first time she’d been noticed, and given an important task. Nothing seemed to compare to the feeling of being needed, and the responsibility of helping those in need. Others had noticed her willingness to help as well. From that point on she was tasked with basic things, to see just how much she’d learned on her own.

Cleo was fourteen when she completed her unofficial residency and was more or less accepted as a member of the crew, though by that point the crew had little choice but to take whatever reinforcements they could get. One day Cleo decided to start wearing a uniform, and even took it upon herself to assign herself the rank of ensign. No one stopped her, but no one really bothered to make it official either. The uniform didn’t last long though. It wasn’t very practical for her messy job, and the crew started looking at her strange, as if she was a ghost. Some even called her by some other name.

A few years later the nightmare ended. Cleo never would’ve thought anything could be worse, until the new nightmare began. The Pacifica’s luck finally ran out, and the ship was dealt a mortal wound. The order was given to abandon ship, but no one wanted to surrender. The crew had fought for too long, and had done too much to come back from. All knew a grim fate awaited them. But there was hope that their children would be spared the worst of the punishment. Only sixteen at the time, Cleo was counted among them. She was dragged to an escape pod kicking and screaming, and stunned unconscious so she wouldn’t abort the pod’s launch sequence and doom the other children.

By the time Cleo awoke, she’d already been captured and separated from the rest of the surviving youths. She never saw any of them again, and has no idea of what happened to them. One thing was certain, she had enough problems of her own to worry about. Cleo was sent to a series of black site detention facilities where she was ultimately imprisoned for nine years. The Pacifica had been suspected of being a major player in the ongoing resistance, and Cleo was interrogated many times, by many people, using a variety of methods ranging from drugs, isolation, psychological conditioning and planted inmate confidantes, to list a few. She was seen as potentially too important to torture or kill, and too dangerous to ever be set free. Cleo knew this, and quickly learned to accept the fact that she would spend the rest of her life in prison… however long the rest of her life might be.

Fortunately (or unfortunately—too soon to tell, really) Cleo did manage to regain a semblance of freedom. While en-route to another detention facility, her prisoner transport was attacked and boarded by rebels, looking to free one of their own. There were casualties, and Cleo was all but forced to go with them to treat their wounds while the rebels escaped. Now a wanted fugitive and enemy of the state, she has little choice but to take her chances with the rebels, even though she already knows how the story ends.

Political Status

Dominion Enemy of the State
Romulan Star Empire Unregistered
Klingon Empire Unregistered
Ferengi Alliance Unregistered