Lieutenant Shae Brennan
Shae is petite and willowy with a pale complexion and waist length white hair and blue eyes. She is mostly humanoid in shape, though instead of human feet, she has vulpine paws covered in white fur. Her ears are also vulpine in shape and she has a long bushy tail. Since El Aurians age slowly, she appears to be about 20 years old. She was raised among the Irish and as such has a distinct accent. Shae is most often quiet and reserved, willing to watch events unfold and then react. She’s a damaged individual; years of mistreatment and being held back has taken its toll on her confidence, so she's often afraid to speak to others. Though a constant observer, when she does interact with others she is warm and soft-spoken, truly a gentle soul who only wishes to see the best in others.
Shae doesn’t remember much about her life before she was adopted. She was found on an unnamed planetoid in Klingon space by a supply ship that detected a distress signal. The Klingons were informed of the crashed ship and details of the casualties for their investigation, then the captain of the supply ship received permission to take the child they had found and continued on their route. Shae was near starved to death but the ship medic was able to nurse her back to health. She was terrified of being alone now that she was surrounded by so many people, so each crewman took turns keeping her company while on their route until they could return to a settlement that could take her. Along the way, she captured the heart of the ship’s pilot, Liam Brennan, who eventually took her home to his wife on Earth where they adopted her. Her name, originally just Shae, was changed to Kalin Shae Brennan, although she continues to go by Shae.
On Earth, Shae lived a happy life. It didn’t matter that she was a strange alien of unknown origin, the people of Wicklow Ireland accepted her as soon as the Brennan’s announced the adoption. To them, family was family, and the signatures were barely signed and already Shae was ‘one of them’. Growing up, she had a few bumps in the road, but none of them directly pertaining to her unknown origins; Shae was aging slowly and had trouble identifying with her peers in school as they continued to outage her, but they made a strong effort to ensure that she remained included. Several of her closest friends joined the archery club with her in high school so they would always have something in common.
Following the example of her three older brothers, she worked hard to make it into Starfleet Academy where she earned honors in Astrophysics and became a Cartographer, voluntarily taking an extra year to expand her studies to include Flight Control. Her first assignment was not as an officer, but as a student; Shae showed so much promise in the field of Stellar Cartography that she was stationed at the Daystrom Institute where she could continue her studies in Astrophysics, but it was also something to give her a little time for her body to catch up with her brain; she was still physically immature despite the mental maturity.
As the War with the Dominion drew close, tensions were rising and Shae suddenly disappeared from her dorm room just before the outbreak of the War. An investigation was launched, but eventually she was declared AWOL, much to the displeasure of her family who considered her missing, not a traitor. About a year after the conclusion of the War, Shae returned to Earth but would not speak a word to her family of what happened or where she was in that missing time. She was investigated and a hearing was held to determine if she was a deserter or a victim as she claimed. Shae was eventually cleared of any charges against her and allowed to return to duty, but the details of the investigation and trial were classified, going so far as to removed evidence of her disappearance and the subsequent investigations from her personnel file, leaving a glaring blank in her service history. She was also under orders to maintain a human guise so as not to draw attention to herself with her normally exotic appearance.
Though she was allowed to return to her duties, it became clear that Starfleet did not trust her enough to return her to her field in Astrophysics; instead they had her assigned as a pilot to the USS Octavian, a transport going to and from the Lunar Colonies as well as transporting Cadets and military trainees to the training grounds. After a number of years, she was transferred back to the Academy at San Francisco as a teacher’s aid where she had the freedom and resources to finish writing her dissertation for her PhD in Astrophysics. Upon defending her paper and the awarding of her doctorate, she was finally promoted from Ensign to Lieutenant (jg) and assigned to the USS Galileo where her service was rather unremarkable, choosing to keep her head down so as not to do anything to bring attention to herself.
Finally a drastic change would happen when she was transferred to the USS Tornado. During the course of a mission, an explosive device was planted on the Tornado, ripping open a large portion of the back end of the ship. It would later come to light that Shae was the one who made and planted the device, though instead of trying to defend herself or get away, once caught she surrendered completely. Unwilling to talk about her motives, she waited for justice to be dealt, fulling expecting a traitor’s punishment, which she felt she deserved. But her actions up to and after her capture were uncharacteristic of someone who was actually a traitor, and so Captain Ryoko Takato dug deeper; Takato had a history in the Intel community and learned some startling truths about the seemingly human woman locked up in the brig.
Shae, it was discovered, was under the influence of the secret organization Section 31. They had been the ones to abduct her just before the outbreak of the Dominion War, and afterwards she had eventually escaped, but her escape had not been as clean as she had hoped, they still had something to hold over her: Aoife. During her time with Section 31, they had experimented on Shae to discover how her ability to shape-shift worked even though she was a ‘solid’ (to use the Founder’s choice of words), and part of that experimentation involved cloning. But it seemed cloning was quite tricky for Chameloid genetics, so they had trouble developing viable clones. The only success they had was with traditionally gestated embryos, and even then that required a great deal of genetic manipulation and use of additional donor genetics to create viable ‘offspring’. To make matters even more complicated, the embryos would not survive in surrogates and they had to resort to using Shae to finally carry a clone to term. Her maternal instincts kicked in, even though strictly speaking the child was a clone, and when they took the child away from her she became so despondent that she lost the will to live. It was then her captors realized they could use this connection to control Shae, making the child doubly useful to their goals, so they let her see the child just once, whom she then named Aoife. They promised her that so long as she cooperated, they would not harm the child, which she didn’t believe for a moment but she complied anyway. They kept Aoife in stasis when they weren’t doing testing on her, and would threaten to harm her whenever the strong-willed Shae would act up. In an effort to get her back into Starfleet where she would be more useful, her captors pushed her into rebelling to the point that she believed they were going to kill Aoife this time, which provoked her escape at the end of the war. Then when she returned to Earth, she was immediately ostracized as a traitor. She was about to be sentenced to life on a penal colony, she felt everything she had suffered was for nothing, she had lost everything, and in that moment of darkness came Section 31, revealing that Aoife was not dead, and that if she wanted any chance to see her daughter again or have a life outside of prison, that she would again do as they demanded. They were the ones to sweep the charges under the rug and to remove all evidence of her disappearance; she was once again in uniform, but she was still under their control.
At first, she was given simple tasks to do, nothing that was too outrageous, mostly delivering orders to other operatives and scouting cadets for any potential usefulness, but the more Starfleet began to trust her and give her more freedom, the more Section 31 demanded of her, until it finally happened that she was on the Tornado planting an explosive device that would kill a number of the crew. How Takato found out about Section 31 or Aoife, Shae never knew, but she knew not to look a gift horse in the mouth; a ship was dispatched to rescue Aoife and destroy the facility where she was being kept, and now that Shae was free, she and Takato contacted Starfleet Intelligence so Shae could be properly debriefed on her involvement with Section 31. Though the fact that Shae was involved in the Tornado’s bombing was never reported, as even with the underlying circumstances she would still be prosecuted as a traitor for taking the lives of Starfleet Officers, so Takato chose to keep that detail a secret so that Shae could finally have a chance to live a life with her daughter, who was returned to her a short while later.
While things were definitely looking up for Shae, they would not stay that way; during a mission involving a Klingon listening post near Gorn territory, ships belonging to rogue houses swarmed them, demanding Takato for reasons unknown. Tornado was a science ship, they weren’t designed to stand up against so many ships, and the Klingons were using inverse graviton pulses to prevent the Tornado from escaping. With no way out, Takato surrendered herself to the Klingons to save her crew, commanding the Tornado to go back to Federation space. The ship docked in the Pollux system for repairs and were assigned a new CO, but this scared Shae; what if the new CO found out that Takato had covered up the bombing? There was still so much strife between Shae and the still grieving crew, she had faced several altercations with them already, if the new CO found out, she would lose everything she had regained! During shore leave with another crewmate, Cailus Griffin, he called in a favor and it was then that Shae was transferred to the USS Pandora, where hopefully she could start to finally put the pieces of her life back together. All Shae wants at this point is to put all that unpleasantness behind her and be the best scientist and mother she can be…
The child named Aoife Brennan, though a modified clone, is still identified as Shae’s daughter. Because of the aforementioned genetic modifications, she does not look exactly the same as Shae, having a different hair color and texture, she has feet instead of paws, and Aoife is thus far unable to shape-shift, but as she is still young this is not a definitive assessment. Chronologically, Aoife is about 14 years old, though like her mother a true birthdate is unknown and a date had to be assigned for her; Shae chose the date Aoife was returned to her as the date she will celebrate birthdays in the future. Despite being 14, between the slowed El-Aurian aging and extensive time spent in stasis, Aoife has only aged the equivalent of about 2-3 years, and even then she is developmentally stunted; a normal 3 year old can walk and talk, but Aoife cannot do either. She has deformations of the legs and hips from never learning to walk, and she does not make any noises for fear of being harmed. She is currently undergoing physical and occupational therapy to learn to be a normal child and will eventually undergo surgery to correct the developmental deformations, but for now the most important part is that she is bonding with her mother. She is learning to be happy and now her tail will wag when she sees people who make her happy; she still shows no facial expressions or makes any sounds, but her ears and tail betray her feelings to those who pay attention to such things.