Dr. Lorona is one of the few members of Starfleet born on the planet Gideon, which is notable for not having a single pathogen in its atmosphere before contact with the Enterprise in the 2260s. Perhaps ironically, Lorona is a highly skilled virologist, considered one of the rising stars in the field. He was at Starfleet Academy during the Synth attack on Mars in 2385, and thus pressed into service as a medic for several months as Starfleet dealt with the immediate aftermath of that devastating attack. It was this experience that made him wish to not only be a scientist but also a physician. The Arcturus is Lorona’s first deep-space assignment, after having spent the first 13 years of his career as a student, resident, and attending physician at Starfleet Medical on Earth.
While introverted in social settings, Dr. Lorona is quite assured of his own competence in a laboratory setting. As an expert in his field, he’s not one to step aside when unknown viruses rear their ugly heads. He is a stickler for cleanliness at the personal level and proper lab safety at the professional level. He is very comfortable with crowds, because of the overpopulation on his home planet making a starship seem positively deserted, but he prefers to eat meals in private, a habit he developed at the academy while acclimating to the diverse ecosystems of pathogens found Earth. He has a wry sense of humor about the dangerous pathogens he works with on a daily basis, despite the danger they pose.
Though in his 30s, Dr. Lorona appears to be a Human in his early 20s, as Gideonites have a much longer natural lifespan than Humans do, even with the loss of their effective immortality thanks to the introduction of pathogens to their homeworld. He is approximately 178 centimeters tall, and 64 kilograms, which gives him a lithe, almost-willowy build, a result of spending too much time in the lab and skipping a few meals here and there. Lorona has dark hair and eyes.
Early Life (2363 – 2382)
Alek Lorona was born on Gideon in 2363, during an era of calm and stability not only for Gideon itself but for the Federation. While the planet had once been entirely free of pathogens, giving the Gideonites exceptionally long life and good health, the gradual introduction of bacteria and viruses into the planet’s ecosystem over the previous hundred years had helped reduce the population to a level sustainable by the planet and Federation technology. Even still, Gideon was a crowded, noisy world. Lorona’s father was an architect who helped design and refit aerostat facilities that floated in the planet’s atmosphere, a relatively recent innovation meant to help with the crowding, while his mother was an artist. The family moved to one of these floating oases when Lorona was fourteen, and Lorona was fascinated by the biodome at the center of the structure that connected to the habitation wings.
Quiet and shy, Lorona increasingly found the crowds and the claustrophobia of the planet’s surface increasingly more difficult to deal with, to the point that he wondered what life might be like elsewhere in the Federation. Most Gideonites remained in their home system because even after a century of inoculation, it was difficult for them to adapt to life in a more biodiverse world, but Lorona was willing to take that risk when he applied to Starfleet Academy in the hopes of seeing what the universe had to offer him.
Starfleet Academy (2382 – 2386)
Gideonite education was well-rounded, but had a heavy focus on the life sciences, given the planet’s history and its complex relationship with other M-class environments. As such, Lorona was well-positioned to declare a major in Life Sciences, an interdisciplinary field that included biology, biochemistry, and evolutionary biology to prepare officers to serve as starship science officers. Earth was significantly less crowded than Gideon, and Lorona found himself marveling at the wide, open parklands and even just the grounds of Starfleet Academy for the first several months of his life there.
While antimatter power had solved the problem of scarcity on his homeworld, Gideonites were culturally conditioned to be extremely mindful of waste and excess, so the regimented life of Starfleet Academy didn’t phase Lorona too much, but he found himself entirely unprepared for some of the physical rigors, especially wilderness survival training, a course that he had to repeat or risk being expelled.
Towards the end of his third year in 2385, the unthinkable happened: the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards were attacked by rogue synths on First Contact Day. The result was devastation to the orbital fleet yards and to the planet’s surface. Every cadet with sufficient training was pressed into service. Larona found himself made an Acting Ensign and posted to the Athabasca, a New Orleans-class frigate, where he served as a medic for several weeks while the ship helped with the recovery efforts. This was his first real experience with death, but also the first time he’d been able to help other beings directly.
After this effort ended, Larona decided that he wanted to switch from science to medicine, out of a desire to continue to help people. Given that he only had one year left on his life science program, he chose the path of graduating as a full ensign before entering a four-year program at Starfleet Medical Academy.
Medical School & Early Career (2386 – 2399)
Larona joined Starfleet Medical Academy in 2386 to pursue his medical doctorate. While he did somewhat regret not joining the rest of his class on deep-space service, the medical academy was an excellent fit for his contemplative, introspective nature. During his four years as a medical student, he was exposed to all manner of medical techniques and practices to become a starship medical officer, but the area he was most interested in was not trauma (which he’d experienced following the Mars attack) but virology, largely because of his culture’s fascination with the field. Space travel had dramatically increased the number of new viruses encountered by members of the Federation, even with technology like biofilters, and each species interacted in a different way with those viruses, making treating patients for viruses just as important as studying them in a lab.
Following his graduation from medical school, Larona declined starship service in favor of completing a residency in virology. During the course of this six-year extended study, he worked with patients that had strange, new viral infections and helped develop vaccines and treatments for epidemics around the Federation. In the process, he also earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Virology, a research credential fitting his talent in the field. Following the completion of his residency, Larona was named one of Starfleet Medical’s attending physicians in virology, where he continued to treat patients and perform research.
USS Arcturus (2399-Present)
Following a full thirteen years at Starfleet Medical, Larona applied finally to serve on a starship, realizing that his career was quickly approaching the point where he might only ever be considered for shore assignments if he didn’t get into space. At the time, his Academy classmate, Captain Michael Lancaster, was putting the final roster together for the starship Arcturus, which was destined for a long-distance mission into the Delta Quadrant. Given the possibility of unique viruses in that quadrant, and especially because of the unknown status of the Vidiian illness known as The Phage, Lorona was selected to join the crew as a medical officer.
The Arcturus proved to be the best of both worlds for Larona, with a full hospital onboard and an exciting, challenging mission into deep space.
|2382 - 2383||Life Sciences Cadet||Starfleet Academy|
|2383 - 2384||Life Sciences Cadet||Starfleet Academy|
|2384 - 2385||Life Sciences Cadet||Starfleet Academy|
|2385 - 2385||Medic||USS Athabasca|
|2385 - 2386||Life Sciences Cadet||Starfleet Academy|
|2386 - 2390||Medical Student||Starfleet Medical Academy, Earth||
|2390 - 2396||
Resident Physician in Virology
|Starfleet Medical, Earth||
Lieutenant Junior Grade
|2396 - 2399||Attending Physician in Virology||Starfleet Medical, Earth||
|2399 - Present||
Head of Virology