The Andorian Imperial Guard
Born to a military family in the southern regions of Andor, with almost five generations having served (and still do) in the Andorian Imperial Guard going back to the days before the Federation itself. Was the second of his family to break with tradition to a degree and join Starfleet primarily due to a belief that service in Starfleet allowed for one to better protect not only Andor and her colonies but also those whom stood in defence of Andor.
However, to please his family and honour its traditions as the second eldest son he trained at the Imperial Academy, doing a three year tour with the Guard with a focus towards shipboard tactical systems and small team tactics. Most of his tour being aboard the IGS Ushati, an Andorian cruiser tasked with patrolling the outer most regions of Andoria’s holdings often bringing him into conflict with Orion smugglers as well as pirates. During his four years he would serve in a number of operations which would see the demise of multiple criminal organisations operating in the outer regions of Federation space, eventually heading up one of the squads aboard the Ushanti as the Federation was entering the cold war with the Dominion.
Following the end of his tour of service with the Guard, he would utilise his time and education at the Guard to undertake study and training at Starfleet Academy’s with the Accelerated Officer’s Training Program due to the close ties between the institutions. Th’Zohan focus would remain in the realm of the trooper, albeit in more the “warrior scholars” of his family, focusing on specialities that spoke to a greater command of the field of operation such as small-team tactics, ordinance, intelligence, reconnaissance.
He would graduate from the Academy with the rank of Ensign in 2372, first assigned aboard the USS Fuji, an Excelsior-class starship. During this tour, he focus would shift from the likes of pirates and marauders to an entirely different flavour of enemy: Klingons. With the denouncement of Klingon aggression against the Cardassian Union, the Empire had begun to show aggression against its former allies. Much of the year would be spent protecting Cardassian shipping and materials against raids from Klingon marauders. Several of those would see boarding action aboard disabled Klingon vessels with the intent on capturing and interning any Klingon troops, one such incident would lead to hand to hand combat with a Klingon which saw the young Andorian earn a nasty wound to his side before finally managing to subdue the Klingon with a blast of stun at point blank range. He would often lament that he did not keep the scar, though he did keep the Klingon D’ktagh as a memento of that day. The weapon signalling the start of what would be his collection of weapons as well as a growing interest in the martial traditions of not only various Federation members but also Klingon and Romulans.
In early 2372, he would experience his first true taste of warfare when the Klingons invaded Federation space. The Fuji along with a taskforce of vessels being sent to Arcanis as the Empire pressed to claim the territories. He would be part of the force that undertook the ultimately failed defence of Arcanis IV, being dispelled from the world in the space of a month with heavy casualties and ultimately a retreat in which he would be almost lost along with the crew of the Fuji after the vessel was rendered effectively unspaceworthy after returning to Federation Space at Starbase 242.
It would be here that would he find himself assigned for a time with the Fuji being taken back to be repair and recommissioned. His tenure on Starbase 242 would come during the lull in hostilities during the Ty’gokor Incident which brought a fragile cease-fire between the Klingons and the Federation. For a time, he would find a semblance of peace and stability on the front-line station, though that like many things would come to the end. In mid 2373, with the announcement of the Cardassian Union joining the Dominion came a heightened tension throughout the Federation.
The tension would ultimately come to ahead in late 2373, with the start of the Dominion War. With the impending attack on Deep Space Nine to begin the coming war, th’Zohan would be assigned a berth on the Akira-class Churchill as the ship’s beta shift tactical officer. The Churchill would be assigned with a fleet of Klingon and Romulan ships to attack and destroy the shipyards at Torros III. Victory though would be a fleeting thing in the coming months, with th’Zohan and the Churchill being in one battle after the other, each time seemingly giving up ground while barely managing to attain any new ground.
It would be the call for Operation Return that would see fortunes change, with the Churchill managing to be one of the few ships to break through the blockade and rendevous with the Defiant at the newly reclaimed Deep Space Nine and for a time the Churchill would have formed the defense flotilla that guarded the station against Dominion attack. That would be until the Churchill was reassigned to Second Fleet in the lead up to the second failed counter attack to reclaim Betazed in the wake of the surprise ten-hour conquest by Dominion forces from Kalandra.
The ensuing counter-attack would be repelled, with Federation forces in full retreat, Theylan himself suffering a particular brutal injury that saw him suffer extensive injuries as well as damage to his face and the loss of his left eye following an explosion on a transport platform from Jem’Hadar heavy ordinance as he was (ironically) evacuated wounded for transport up to the Churchill and other ships as they began moving out of the system. This would result in Theylan being removed from the front line for several months and sent to a rehabilitation facility where he would undergo extensive treatment as well as gaining an ocular implant to replace his lost eye.
As a means to both cope with his injuries and his time away from the front, Theylan would take to seeing it as an opportunity to improve so that when he was returned to the front (and in typical Andorian fashion approached the goal of returning to duty with zeal). He would seek out ways to improve the use of his eye in regards to combat, effectively augmenting his existing biological abilities with his new cybernetic replacements. He undertook detail study of what was known of Cardassian and Jem’Hadar tactics to improve his understanding of the enemy, utilising the opportunity of time unoccupied by duties and tasks.
He would return to duty in 2375 shortly after the Raid on Trelka V by General Martok and the entrance of the Romulan Star Empire into the war, and be assigned back to the Churchill (itself having sustained heavy damage during the Battle of Chintoka) to aid to Federation forces hold the recently taken Chintoka System from Cardassian and Dominion forces. The ensuing combat serving to be some of the bloodiest and most grinding of the war, Theylan himself being put to work heading up a small company of soldiers whom like himself were well trained in hunting entrenched combatants. Thus for the span of six months Theylan would work to root out stubborn entrenchments of Cardassian and Jem’Hadar forces, his recent extensive study of their tactics earning him a rather impressive skill of 52 combatants, 29 Cardassians and 25 Jem’Hadar. It also earned him a collection of Cardassian combat knives and Tarkatans for his collection.
One such mission involving a particular entrenched group of Dominion soldiers that had been plaguing attempts at allowing the Federation forces in the area advantage to a strategically useful series of cliffs overlooking a valley where Dominion supplies would be transported (due to the use of transporter scramblers throughout the region). This operation would be conducted with a cache of captured Dominion polaron weapons dealt out to his company. Theylan devised a strategy using the weapons to conduct hit and fade attacks on individual Cardassian soldiers, focusing on sow dissent and suspicion amongst the Cardassian soldiers and the Jem’Hadar. First it was from long range, steadily fanning the flames of suspicion due in the investigators, then it would become more daring with Theylan secretly slaying a number of Cardassian soldiers with a Tarkatan in rigid adherence to Jem’Hadar bladework.
The process itself took three weeks, but ultimately the lack of cohesion and trust between the two sides saw the break down to the once impenetrable bulwark. For his actions, he would be promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade.
However, as it seemed par for the course with the war, with the arrival of the Breen the forces on Chintoka would be sent into retreat following the disastrous loss of 311 starships at the Second Battle of Chintoka, once more they would retreat and effectively be sidelined for a time with the Klingons taking over fighting (along with the chance rise of the Cardassian Rebellion) in the war due to the Breen weaponry.
Finally, he would be given a chance to return to the front with the Churchill joining the armada that would take part in the bloody invasion of Dominion territories culminating in the Battle of Cardassia, a battle that would see a slew of surprises from the out and out rebellion of Cardassian forces to the final surrender of the Dominion leading to the Treaty of Bajor.
Following the signing of the Treaty of Bajor, Theylan would find himself assigned to the USS Taniwah in a role of a simple security officer, though given the Taniwah’s initial focus in helping to rebuild the Cardassian worlds his experience was deemed useful. He would remain there for three years until 2378 where he was assigned to security detail on Cardassia to provide security for the second stage of redevelopment of Lakarian City, one of the major urban centres decimated in the Dominion bombardment of Cardassia only three years earlier. It would be during this time that he was brought face to face with the notion of providing security and support to a people he had spent effectively the best years of his life fighting and where his focus would shift from that of a simple soldier to a peacekeeper. It would be here as well where the first embers of an interest in the investigative side of his path (a fact that had been glossed over in the wartime years). In the years that followed, he would attempt to apply the same methods that had seen him through the war, attempting as best he could to understand his “foes” and in this case his wards and thus he took an interest in Cardassian culture and psychology, ultimately finding a degree of respect for it if perhaps viewing it as a bit too… barbaric when compared to the more refined Andorian culture (in his opinion).
This would be his life for the next two years, until ultimately it was deemed that Cardassian security could handle the task in 2380. Now at the age of 29, he would return home to Andor to partake in the much delayed shelthreth (due to the war) and for several years he would take leave from Starfleet both to recoup from the wartime and post-wartime stresses as well as begin to raise the next generation of his family, helping to sire a duo of twins.
Return to Duty
In 2385 he would return to active duty in the relatively quiet but busy trade station of Starbase 320 where he would find himself taken under the wing of a Lieutenant Commander Kalious, a human male whom served as the station’s chief of security whom cultivated and encouraged Theylan’s pursuits in the realm of law enforcement and developed in him a developing love of applying his rather logical mind to mysteries (ultimately culminating in something of a fixation with puzzles and pulpy crime novels of not only human but a wide range of cultures, surprisingly Vulcan ones as well due to the complexities placed with by their writers). It would be his assistance in busting a ring of Ferengi smugglers that had been selling the controlled substance of a dangerous laced form of “saf” (a substance used during the [i]shelthreth that non-Andorians used as a recreational drug) which saw him earn the rank of Lieutenant in 2388.
Towards 2389 he would find himself in an altercation with a particularly difficult former Starfleet Captain whom he was tasked with the security with, little is known of the particular exchange but whatever resulted ultimately had him being pulled from duty at Starbase 320 and assigned to the Messier 4 project as something of a “promotion” to the billet of Chief of Security for the project on Canopus Station.
In many ways, Theylan could be considered the consummate Andorian and professional. Being born to a military family the notions of service and duty have been ingrained in him as a child and even coming into his fourties he’s a man whom is defined but such things. When on the job he might almost be considered severe, approaching his duties with a surprising degree of dispassion that had caused a few to wonder whether he was part-Vulcan. A matter best not raised in earshot. He’s a man not disinclined to take anything to help him in his duties, most noticeably the ocular implant which serves as sort of a monument to his eternal mission to find better ways of getting things done, almost constantly seeking out new ways to expand its functionality including certain software hacks to expand the functionality of the eye. Hacks that one time or another had forced his eye to be effectively rendered useless and requiring a recalibration to return to some semblance of functionality.
Beyond the role of a soldier though, he’s an eternally curious fellow with a thirst for knowledge (albeit usually revolving around his job or potentially spurred by his job) that has serve him well in Starfleet. Outside of his duties he’s considered something of a mellow and relaxed fellow with a natural degree of typical Andorian passion. Something of an admirer of the “beauty” of weapons, particularly weapons of a different age due to his penchant for the “warrior scholars”, often finding a sense of charm in depictions of warriors of old and the exploration of martial traditions and arts from various cultures including Klingons and several pre-Federation and pre-Unity Human cultures. A lover of puzzles, he enjoys applying his surprisingly logical mind to the pursuit of fixing problems be it a strategy or a simple puzzle.
In a way he might also be considered a romantic, given his penchant of viewing the role of a warrior at times as something more romantic while at the same time recognising the harsh reality of it. Perhaps it is that same romanticism that helps him keep his sanity after the horrors he had witnessed during the Dominion War and the period following on Cardassia.
With regards to his family, in many ways for him that was considered more duty than passion, even though he maintained as best a relationship as he could with his children in the best ways one could.