- 80 Mission Posts
- 3 News Items
Mon Dec 19th, 2016 @ 8:20am
Lieutenant Laurel Oakley
Name Laurel Ives Oakley MD
Position Executive Officer
Second Position Chief Counselor
|Species||Brekkian / Betazoid|
|Physical Description||Short in stature, thin as a twig, and quiet as a mouse were just a few quick witted ways to describe Dr. Laurel Ives Oakley. She was a plain Jane for all sense and purposes. With large brown doe eyes and a petite build, she looked as though she could hardly hold a phaser in her hand without having a serious case of the nervous tremors. Many stated that she looked awkward in a Starfleet uniform and very out of place. However, Laurel herself felt no more at home than she did in uniform serving Starfleet. Holding an advanced doctoral degree in Psychology, this MD in her early 30s is anything but ordinary. Her youthful appearance made her look more like a cadet or an ensign freshly graduated. Her short dark brown bob cut styled hair does not help her catch the attention of many people, but this is perfectly fine by her. In fact, she greatly prefers not to be noticed as it makes her job as Ship's Counselor a lot easier in some ways.|
|Spouse||Ensign Oakley (KIA 2387)|
|Mother||Idonya Ives (née Milo)|
|Other Family||▪ Preston Milo - Uncle
▪ Dr. Landon T. Milo - First Cousin
▪ Frankie Vachon - Laurel's Carin Terrier
Personality & Traits
|General Overview||Embarrassingly shy and somewhat reclusive yet still full of lively unyielding energy and passion, it does not take Laurel to make an impression on people, especially when it comes to her fellow shipmates. Though the impression that she makes on them can likely go either way or be left up in the air for an extended period of time. Her first impressions are not always her best impressions. Shaped with an intuitive mind and an investigative nature, Laurel is a young woman who has been known to snoop around for clues and eaves drop from time to time in order to settle her curiosity.
The mysteries of life are of great interest to her, but she's not overly analytical that she'll lose sleep over trying to figure out the nuances of life's many mysteries. Instead, she'll just always be accepting of its complexity and compassionately hold life in high regard for its beauty and mysticism. Scientists are often diehardily attached to facts, and skeptics need to see things in order to believe them, but Laurel is quite contempt with having a little bit of faith.
Laurel has always enjoyed freedom and creativity. These were two things that she sometimes struggles with when getting into a Starfleet uniform, a reminder of the decision that she made. Joining Starfleet was not a mistake, and she knows this. However, the sometimes rigid structure and subtle militant sense that she associates with Starfleet rubs against her personal beliefs at times. Regardless though, Laurel has remained in Starfleet and continues to prove herself to be loyal to Starfleet and to the United Federation of Planets which the organization serves.
'There are always two sides to a coin' is a saying that could be applied to the personalities of a lot of people. This saying does not do justice to Laurel whose personality is more like that of a cube. There are many sides to a cube and to Laurel. For the most part, people see two prominent sides of her personality. On duty and in a Starfleet uniform, she is a professional albeit one with optimistic idealist outlook on matters. Off duty, she is more at peace with life, showing a calmer sense of serenity. She'll socialize, but often only with those she has befriended and has gotten to know well. She's enthusiastic and free spirited yet also very concealing, guarded, and self-protective.
The side that few people see happens because she keeps a lot of her negative emotions bottled up inside and away from people. All this negative energy has to eventually go somewhere and when it does, it's best to stay clear and take cover. If someone is taking lives, harming the innocent, or placing her friends in serious danger, Laurel will go from a calm and peaceful woman to a very stern and protective guardian ready to unleash fury on anyone who she deems a threat.
|Strengths & Weaknesses||Strengths
▪ Curiosity - This trait of Laurel's can serve her well as a strength and yet does a great job at working against her as a weakness equally effectively. She has a wide-eyed view of the world and wants to explore every nook and cranny of it even when it is not in her best interest to do so. Thus, at times, she'll see too much good in people that she shouldn't or or she will turn over things best left undisturbed.
▪ Energy and Enthusiasm - Laurel is a woman who does not lack in this department. She has more energy and enthusiasm that she sometimes does not know what to do with it. If you are lucky enough to get her to come out of her shell and bestow trust in you as a friend, be prepared to have lengthy conversations about whatever is on her mind.
▪ Diplomacy and Regulations - Naturally, one would expect a ship's counselor to be a great listener and effective communicator. This along with her open minded nature makes Laurel a good diplomat when need be. However, even though her Starfleet training is limited, she has and continues to throughly study Federation and Starfleet rules, regulations, and protocols.
▪ Lack of focus and Over thinking - Laurel has no issue with coming up with imaginative and creative ideas to problems. However, her inability to focus or tendency to over think often lead her to an inability to act or arrive at the solution. It's like having all the tools needed for a job, but not knowing how to get from point A to point B with the tools.
▪ Highly emotional and Easily stressed - Hearing about other peoples' problems and helping them deal with their own drama, especially as an empath will put a lot of strain on you. Laurel has to deal with this constantly and sometimes it gets the better of her. If she's stressed or nearing an emotional breaking point, she'll seek space and it is wise to give it to her.
▪ Overly independent - She's non-traditional in about every sense. She is most certainly not your everyday Starfleet Officer and it is best to remember that. Not a product of the Academy, she has not been 'brain washed' and sometimes this leads her to openly disagree with Starfleet's way of handling a situation. However, her loyalty to the Captain and crew will more often than not keep her in check.
|Ambitions||Since joining Starfleet, Laurel is out to prove herself not just as a Psychiatrist and Counselor, but also (if not more so) as an officer of Starfleet. She fully recognizes and understands that she is not a regular officer of Starfleet and that her means of becoming an officer were not usual. However, this will not stop her from asserting herself a 'just one of the guys' in the sense that she puts on her uniform like the rest of those she serves with and Laurel is not afraid to set foot on a hostile planet or put her life on the line to save lives.|
|Hobbies & Interests||▪ Her love for music has lead her to taking up the piccolo and the guitar, though she primarily focuses on the piccolo as her instrument of choice.
▪ Laurel has an artistic side that she often expresses through painting or sculpting.
|Personal History||There's hardly anything special about being born on Betazed or the not inheriting the necessary genes the to possess telepathic and empathic abilities like a purebred Betazoid. Betazoids had very open and expressive sexual relationships with several dozen species ever since they developed space travel eons ago. Humans, Vulcans, Risans, and so many more species have had the pleasure or misfortune of mating with a Betazoid and producing a child with 'limited' abilities. Most half Betazoids only retain certain traits and more often than not they are empathic or unfortunately are born without any abilities. Laurel however, was uniquely blessed/cursed with abilities beyond anyone's understanding.
Laurel was one of those children born as a result of a Betazoid woman experiencing 'the phase' and the hyper sexuality of one Betazoid woman, Laurel's mother resulted in a chance encounter with an exquisite and exotic young man. Needless to say, Laurel was born on Betazed after her impregnated mother returned from a galactic conference (after going through a recent divorce from a Betazoid man). Several months later, Laurel was born and raised on the planet Betazed by her mother. Laurel knew nothing of her father growing up and in time only learned what her mother could tell her about the man whom she had 'excellent chemistry' with. As a young child Laurel didn't display too many signs that she was going to be a strong empath, but by the time she was ready to start school, her empathic abilities were really starting to shine.
What Laurel's mother was not ready for was the peculiar abnormal ability her daughter started to display just before her seventh year of birth. When Laurel was upset and crying... things would happen. Her mother once made the mistake of trying to cheer Laurel up by placing a comforting hand on her shoulder when the girl was crying about the death of her pet. A small little jolting shock hit her mother and took them both by surprise. It was always assumed that Laurel's father was human or at least some sort of closely human species.
It wasn't until after Laurel's pediatrician consulted several Federation physicians that they identified the true nature of Laurel's genetics. She was more than just half Betazoid. Her father was from a species known as Brekkians. It appeared that Laurel had inherited the natural ability to generate electrical charges, something normal for Brekkians. Being half Brekkian made things a bit more interesting for Laurel. Mostly because at the time, the Federation only had one documented formal encounter with the Brekkian species aside from her mother's apparent procreative encounter with one.
At first these electrical discharges only occurred once in a while, mostly when Laurel was upset. They were very minor and felt no stronger than a decent shock of static electricity. However, as puberty began to set in and as Laurel would enter into her teenage years, she became a lot more emotional and the electrical discharges became stronger in force. Still not quite deadly, they could definitely render a person unconscious if Laurel lost control which was definitely a thing as a teenager. In time, she would learn to control her Brekkian trait better.
For some teenagers looking to get away from home, yearning for adventure and to see the galaxy, Starfleet may be that answer either through enlistment or trying to get accepted into Starfleet Academy. Laurel Ives, however, pushed Starfleet aside. She had grown up as a teenager on Betazed during the Dominion War and had witnessed the cold brutality of warrior first hand as she was on the planet during the the Dominion invasion of Betazed. By the end of the war, she knew that she wanted to help people. She had always been interested in people and in how they thought. This was likely what pushed her to pursue her education further.
By 2375, the Dominion War was over and damage had been suffered from all those involved and even some worlds who had just been caught in the crossfire trying to stay out of the war. The Federation was working closely with the Cardassians to help them rebuild and set up a new government in the wake of the war. Tension was still strongly strained and cold between a lot of Cardassian citizens and the Federation, but Laurel saw this as an opportunity to try and do some good. Though her mother wanted her to stay close to home where it was safe by applying to the University of Betazed, Laurel went against her mother wishes and applied to the University of Culat on Cardassia Prime.
Whatever the reason was be it her ambition, her strong grades, or her just fate, Laurel Ives received a correspondence from the university, accepting her immediately for the coming semester. As a student at the University of Culat's School of Medicine, she studied primarily Psychiatry (Forensic), declaring it her major. Though she minored in Peace and Conflict Studies, a program that had never been taught at the university in the years prior. The university was historically a Cardassian university, and even in 2375, Laurel made up a student population of less than 5% who were not Cardassian.
Finishing her program in 2379, Laurel earned a Bachelor's of Science in Psychiatry. This would only mark the beginning of her education though. For the most part, she had relatively few friends at the university and for obvious reasons had faced a lot of discrimination. This, however, would not scare her away or deter her from holding her ground as she opted to remain at the university and pursue a Master's of Science in Psychiatry which she earned two years later in 2381.
After spending the past six years on Cardassia Prime, Laurel felt it was time to leave the planet and the Cardassians behind. Tension with the Cardassians had been flaring up again slightly, and Laurel did not want to be trapped on Cardassia in the event another conflict or a full scale war broke out again. She relocated back to Betazed much her mother's delight. It took her a month or so to collect her thoughts and decide what she wanted to do, but she did finally attend the University of Betazed albeit to finally a Doctoral degree, the capstone of her academic endeavors. Laurel knew that it would be a long and tiring road, but she wanted to achieve her goals.
Laurel completed her in class seat time at the University of Betazed in 2385, though this was only one step towards completion of her desired degree. She would have to complete a few years of residency before taking her final examination and earning the title of an MD. In a interesting twist of fate though, Laurel's assigned residency was not at one of the hospitals on Betazed, but rather aboard a Federation starship, the USS Barton, an Olympic class science and medical starship.
Laurel spent three years aboard the Barton, working closely with the ship's Chief Counselor and the Barton's Chief Medical Officer as part of her residency. It gave her a lot of hands on experience dealing with a variety of patients be they Starfleet officers or civilians. She also found herself becoming romantically involved with a Starfleet officer aboard, Ensign Oakley. The two dated for nearly two years before Oakley proposed to Laurel. She had never really thought about marriage or starting a family before, at least not until she was done with her education and had been working as a Psychiatrist for a while.
In the end, Laurel had said yes to Ensign Oakley. After several months of engagement, the two decided to tie the knot and were wed aboard the USS Barton by the ship's Captain. Tragedy, however, would cut their lives together short as the Barton was attacked and several members of the crew lost their lives, among the list of casualties was Ensign Oakley. Laurel took the death hard, but she knew that it would dishonor her late spouse to give up after being so close to completing her residency. She finished off her residency aboard the Barton, earned her doctoral degree and left the Barton behind.
Her life was now at a new set of crossroads. Prior to her marriage and the loss of her spouse, Dr. Laurel Ives Oakley would have gone into practicing Psychiatry and seeing patients immediately, keeping a somewhat quiet civilian lifestyle. However, serving aboard the Barton, working closely with officers of Starfleet, as well as meeting and marrying Ensign Oakley, just left Laurel feeling confused and disconnected. She felt that she needed to do something to honor her late spouse, to perhaps pick up the chapter than Ensign Oakley left off at and continue the journey.
Ultimately, Laurel knew how to do this and deep down knew what even she wanted. What she wanted was to become an officer of Starfleet, to join the cause, but traditionally that meant four years as a cadet at Starfleet Academy. In a sense, doing so was a step backwards for her. She had practically just spent ten years of her life as a student and had earned an advanced degree. There were, however, alternative routes for someone in Laurel's boat to take towards a career in Starfleet.
One option was to potentially earn rank through warrant and serve as a warrant officer, though such a route was usually taken by someone specializing in a technical skill or have a vast technical skill set. A second option on the table was to enlist in Starfleet. Due to her prior education and life experience, Starfleet would have likely put her through an officer training program for several weeks and upon completion, she would have earned an officer's commission. The third route for someone in her position to take was to be granted a field commission or brevet, a bit unconventional, but not entirely unheard of especially for physicians.
Dr. Laurel Ives Oakley took the latter route, following in the foot steps of officers like Dr. Leonard McCoy and Dr. Katherine Pulaski, albeit they were doctors of the body and she was a doctor of the mind. After some rather lengthy discussions with the Director of Starfleet Medical and some brass at Starfleet Command, Laurel's formal request for a commission was accepted a couple moths later. Due to her education and experience, she earned an officer's commission adequate to both. Her subsequent orders were to report to the USS Argonaut.
Her assignment to the USS Argonaut was short, simple, and sweet. She was to serve a few months aboard as the Ship's Counselor (Interim status) in order to give her some experience as a Starfleet Counselor and evaluate how well she could handle herself. Laurel quickly made friends with the Chief Engineer, Lieutenant Lora Kisewe. The two bonded over being pretty tough Betazoid women and shared a love for music. Laurel and Lora would sometimes play together in one another's quarters, combining Lora's violin with Laurel's piccolo.
After her few months were up, the USS Argonaut was seeing a change in command as Captain Michael Cousland was reassigned to command a new starship. Laurel's friend, Lora Kisewe was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and assumed command of the USS Argonaut. However, Laurel found herself being reassigned as well.
She found her way to the USS Tornado where she served as Chief Counselor after receiving a field promotion to the rank of full Lieutenant by order of Starfleet Medical and Starfleet Command. She performed her duties to the best of her abilities in her first month aboard, even rising to temporary fill the position of Acting First Officer while Captain Ryoko Takato was in a comatose state.
However, with the resignation of Lieutenant Commander Tyler Vorran, Lieutenant Luarel Oakley made a push, a bide for the vacated position of First Officer and was successfully approved. She was officially moved up to First Officer of the USS Tornado and continued to serve under Captain Ryoko Takato for a few months.
Laurel's time as Captain Ryoko Takato's right hand, however, was not all she had hoped it would be. The Captain and First Officer were constantly in disagreement and could not find a working relationship that gelled well with their diverse backgrounds and strong personalities. Though Laurel appreciated her time as a learning experience, what she mostly took away from it was several injuries and consequences that she was not ready for.
In the end, after a few months and turning down a promotion, Laurel had received a mixed bag. On one hand, she earned decorations like the Christopher Pike Medal of Valor and a Bronze Star, but leading a questionable boarding of a Ferengi shuttle and a few injuries brought about a lashing from Captain Takato, and left Laurel feeling as though her time as First Officer was premature. Lieutenant Oakley tendered her resignation as First Officer, stepping down from the command position.
|Service Record||▪ 2385-2387: USS Barton; Counselor - Civilian (Residency)
▪ 2388: Received Starfleet Commission
◊ 2388: USS Argonaut; Interim Chief Counselor - Lieutenant JG (Field Commission)
▪ 2388: USS Tornado; Chief Counselor - Lieutenant (Field Promotion)
◊ USS Tornado - Stepped up into the position of Acting First Officer in 2388 during the "We Will Rock You" & "The Gorn Connection" missions while Captain Takato was comatose.
▪ 2388: USS Tornado, First Officer - Lieutenant
▪ 2388-XXXX: USS Tornado, Chief Diplomatic Officer
Awards & Decorations
- Christopher Pike Medal of Valor
- Bronze Star