When one lives in a paradise such as New Halana, one rarely wants to leave. However, Jolani always looked for a new challenge. She knew they existed out there but Halanans rarely left. The reason they did not leave was patently obvious: when Halanans mate, they become biologically tied to that individual for life. Halanans rarely survive the death of their mate. Those that do, often find ritual suicide preferable to living with a broken heart. Of the few that do not commit suicide fewer yet ever find love or happiness thereafter. Therefore, Jolani reluctantly contented herself to the thrills that New Halana could offer.
As a teen, she took up Parrises Squares, a dangerous and physical game at which she excelled. From high cliffs, she dove into beautiful pools of water. When she did not dive into the water, she would leap off on a hang glider and enjoy the world from a bird’s eye view. Meeting boys was fun and entertaining until she met Fell.
Upon meeting Fell, she knew, just knew that he was the one. She knew it because he managed to beat her at Parrises Squares. It never felt so good to lose. The two found that they had similar lifestyles and both felt trapped by their lives on New Halana. They agreed, that when they mated, they would find a life beyond New Halana.
In seeking that life and yearning for more thrills, the two became pilots and quickly mastered the skill. At 22, they were married and mated. Descriptions of the bond they felt and loved they shared could not be fairly represented. The two hearts became as one. It was if something that was lost was forever found. Beshert and Besherta – their preordained or inevitable oneness.
Despite their mutual families’ disapproval, the two decided to enroll in StarFleet. They discovered that they would only be the third and fourth Halanans to enroll in Starfleet. The first had been disinherited by her family and the other was only half Halanan. To them, this made Starfleet all the more attractive to them, being pioneers to their species. Their families, however, knowing that they would be together, did not fear as greatly for the Kohnars. For a single Halanan would be alone and other cultures could not understand what mating would mean to a Halanan’s health and life.
While many cadets found StarFleet challenging, the Kohnars did not have as great of difficulty with the adjustment. After all, academics, stress, and studying were not as hard to bear with your best friend and life mate constantly by your side. The two were inseparable during the Academy, regularly playing together, studying together, and flying together. The two both graduated in the top 10% of their class. Starfleet recognizing the unique nature of Halanans made sure that they were both assigned to the USS Belfast.
Their charmed lives continued on the Belfast, both eventually rising to the level of Lieutenant, with Jolani becoming the Chief of Operations and Flight Control. The day that she became the Chief was the happiest in their lives. It also made for numerous in jokes about who was in charge on duty and off duty.
However, the Fates are not kind and such a charmed life would soon end. Jolani was placed in charge of creating a unique program for a celebration at which the Belfast and its crew would be at the center. Jolani created a complicated but beautiful flight program using the Belfast’s fighters. She tested it extensively in simulations and then with a squadron of the fighters. She saved the highlight for herself and her husband where their ships would appear to intertwine and then blast in flames of a double helix to the delight of the crowds. Everything worked well in practices and the routes were preprogrammed into the ships. However, when the day of the celebration arrived, Fell’s ship deviated slightly from the programmed course, clipped Jolani’s ship and then rammed into the Belfast. Jolani felt Fell’s death before anyone knew the results of the crash. Several Belfast crewmembers were severely injured and the Belfast itself needed repairs but none other than Fell died. StarFleet conducted an investigation. Given the routes were prearranged by Jolani, she was suspected as a potential murderer but given all the reports, Halanan biology, and lack of motive, she was cleared. Eventually, StarFleet concluded there was computer or pilot error and Fell’s death was deemed an accident.
Jolani was completely despondent and depressed upon Fell’s death. She, herself, was shocked that she did not die when he did. She did not eat or drink for nearly 72 hours. She was placed in medical care and forced fluids. When she knew that she was still alive, she wanted to conduct her culture’s ritual suicide but found that she could not do so. Jolani suspected this was because she could not accept that Fell’s death was an accident. But she also could not understand who would want him dead. Nothing made sense.
Counselors immediately cared for her. She tried to reach out to her families but they were offended that she did not love Fell well enough to have committed suicide. They cut her off and refused further contact with Jolani. This sent Jolani into a greater depression, causing Jolani’s psychoprojective telepathy to kick in whenever Jolani was unconscious.
Her doppleganger referred to herself as Maeve. Maeve sought the company of men and women. She was passionate, seductive, and unabashed. When counselors learned of Maeve’s connection to Jolani, they relieved Jolani of duty indefinitely. Jolani was transferred to a mental health facility and for a year, counselors worked on Jolani’s depression. A well intended counselor once said to her, “It was better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all.” Jolani’s angry retort was, “Try it.” When she later elaborated, she explained, “The world was in color. Smells were sweet. All senses were heightened. Now, everything is grey and there is no flavor.” As she progressed, she described her malady, “I was whole and now, I just am whatever is left.”
When Maeve stopped appearing, counselors reviewed Jolani’s case. She had made progress but doing nothing seemed to keep her dwelling on Fell. They recommended that she be placed back into service with counselor supervision. She was eventually assigned as the Assistant Chief of Operations on the science ship, USS Hawking. Once working, Jolani’s attitude improved. It was if the constant black cloud over her parted because she felt useful. While the counselors could not get her to be joyful other than in her work, after a year of supervision, they could find nothing dangerous about her ability to perform her duties and discharged her from mandatory counseling. Counselors further recommended that she be kept active to refrain from dwelling on her husband’s absence.
After another year, she was transferred to the USS Trident and given the Chief position again. The Captain insisted that she not work herself to death, ignoring recommendations from the counselors. As a result, Maeve made a few appearances and she earned some reprimands.
When she learned that the Traveller was leaving the galaxy, she applied, hoping against hope that she would be selected so she could leave all of her history behind. Perhaps then, she could finally find peace and some happiness again.
Character Service Record
|2382 - 2385||Chief of Operations and Flight Control||USS Belfast||
|2386 - 2387||Chief Flight Officer||USS Hawking||
|2387 - 2388||Chief Flight Officer||USS Trident||
|2388 - 2389||Chief Flight Officer||USS Traveller||
Jolani shows little emotion except when she is piloting or strategizing. These things keep her going in life. While StarFleet counselors reluctantly pronounced her fit for duty, she does not show desire or the same range of emotions that she did prior to her husband's death four years prior. She maintains a flat but professional and business like tone for all other interactions. She participates in activities as expected but rarely goes out of her way to interact with crewmates anymore. Because her biological and emotional connection to her husband was severed on his death, Jolani does not fear for her own safety and she will regularly engage in risky behaviors.