Born on Bajor at the height of the Cardassian Occupation, Prida Rala was a figure of hate and ridicule in her early years. The daughter of a Cardassian military officer and his Bajoran comfort woman, Prida was born in the darkness of tunnels and caves in the Kendra Valley following her mother’s escape and subsequent capture by a cell of the Shakaar Resistance group. Believed to be a collaborator, Prida Leku was held captive by the group, nursing her young child in the process, until they were able to verify her story; how she had come to be a comfort woman in order to protect the life of her family and friends who had been involved in a bombing of a Cardassian munitions depot just over a year before the birth of her child.
When her story had been corroborated by a captured Cardassian soldier, Leku and Rala were released. Retreating to the homestead of one of the cell members who had taken a shine to Leku, the pair were able to live in relative secrecy for the child’s formative years. Unlike many Cardassian children who had been born under similar circumstances, Leku adored her child, and brought her up to understand her Bajoran heritage. When the Cell was put at risk by the capture of three members, the rest of the cell and their families bought passage off of Bajor and, by some miraculous twist of fate, Prida Rala and her family were able to flee to the safety of the only power that the Cardassians had not been able to defeat in living memory – the United Federation of Planets.
Many weeks later, when their ship arrived in the Trill system, the occupants were granted refugee status by the Federation and could begin a new life for themselves with the freedom that the Federation afforded them. For Prida Rala, only 11 at the time, the Federation was like nothing she had encountered before. Gone was the hostility she so often saw and felt at the hands of those that did not understand her history, instead she was made to feel special and her skills could flourish in a Federation school. It quickly became clear that she had an aptitude for cultural history and politics, studying the origins of the Federation and its many member worlds. Three years later, when she was nearly fifteen years old, the news that her kind had been waiting for finally came; the Cardassian occupation of Bajor was over. Under intense pressure from all sides, the Cardassian government had pulled all their forces from the planet, leaving it a wasteland compared to fifty years before when it had been a beautiful world. Many Bajorans took the opportunity to return home, but Prida Rala had expressed an interest in something better for herself and, sometime later, with the backing of her mother and some new friends they had made, the youngster sat the exams for entrance to Starfleet Academy. Although she failed the first time, she set about pushing herself harder so that the next time she would not be so unlucky. When she re-sat the exams a year later, the sixteen-year-old was successful and travelled to Earth to begin her training in Starfleet.
Once there, Prida really began to grow as an individual. During her first year, she spent a lot of time immersing herself in cultures she had never dreamed of meeting, becoming close friends with people from many different species. To many, she was unique; while there had been Bajorans and even a Cardassian at the academy before her, she was the first daughter of two worlds and that made her intriguing to those around her. She continued to excel in her studies, and, under the guidance of her lecturers, she was identified as having an aptitude for strategy, as well as diplomacy and political studies. When it came time to choose her majors, the Cadet began down a path that would lead her back to her home world. But not before tragedy struck.
In her third year at the Academy, the Alpha quadrant was plunged into war as the Cardassian Union joined with a new, powerful species from the Gamma Quadrant known as the Dominion. All Cadets who had shown great enough aptitude were granted postings in the field to make up troop numbers in the face of the growing conflict. As a major in strategic operations and political studies, Prida was given the privilege of serving on the staff of Admiral William Ross aboard Starbase 375 during the initial stages of the conflict. Serving from the side lines, she saw the devastating toll that war with Cardassia was having on moral, especially after the capture of Deep Space 9, the Bajoran station that had been under the command of Starfleet forces. Her hatred of her father’s species grew with each passing day, and her affinity with the Bajoran people made her determined to one day return home.
After months of demoralising losses, Starfleet Command finally approved a plan to go on the offensive, and it was a plan that Prida was particularly invested in when it became clear that Captain Sisko of the Defiant was launching an audacious bid to retake Deep Space Nine. At the Admiral’s side aboard Starbase 375, Prida received quite an education as she watched and listened to the more experienced officers involved in the operation – it was strategy and politics at their finest. Eventually, the battle was won thanks to the timely intervention of the Klingon fleet and, in celebration, Prida joined the Admiral in his first trip back to the station just a few weeks later.
As the war began to unfold, there was no rest for the wicked and Prida was transferred to the USS Atlantia, a Nebula-class starship commanded by the experienced Captain Mitchell Hanson. Under Captain Hanson’s tutelage, Prida’s knowledge of strategy (and the tactics of other species in particular) helped the ship survive several engagements. It was soon deemed that she had done enough in the months since she had left the Academy that she would not be required to sit her final year. Instead, the youngster was granted a battlefield commision to the rank of Ensign. As a commissioned officer, the young woman really began to assert her influence, often acting as a strategic advisor to the Captain during engagements, even stepping up to tactical in the wake of an injury to the ships Chief Tactical Officer during battle on the Cardassian border.
As the war reached its conclusion, Atlantia participated in the final battle of Cardassia, a battle that very nearly became a costly failure and would have been a disaster for the quadrant had it not been for the timely switching of sides by the Cardassians. With the war at an end, Ensign Prida watched the signing of the peace accords with great interest. But, with the conflict over, the services of strategic operations officers were even more sought after as Starfleet vessels poured into Cardassian territory to help with the rebuilding efforts. With Atlantia leading the efforts in the Almatha sector, Ensign Prida was faced with the unenviable task of dealing with the demons of the past. On more than one occasion, Prida faced great resentment from the Cardassians working alongside her because of her heritage and this only caused her dislike of the Cardassians to grow.
Prida was granted shoreleave in late 2376 to visit her homeworld and take part in the celebrations following Bajor’s admittance to the Federation at long last. Strong allies were now family as a new day dawned for her people.
In 2379, five years to the day since she had joined the USS Atlantia, Ensign Prida was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade and accepted a posting on board DS11 in the Gamma Quadrant. There, she would become integral to the strategy behind the exploration initiatives in the region. As Strategic Operations Officer for the sector, the Lieutenant planned many different excursions and assignments for different vessels as exploration of the unknown region continued at great pace. Such assignments brought masses of new data pertaining to new species and as a Strategic Operations Officer, it was her responsibility to ensure she could brief her superiors on any and all species they encountered.
A promotion to Lieutenant came in 2385, as a response to yet another dramatic event. It was discovered that a Romulan sun would soon become a supernova, destroying the planets Romulus and Remus as well as dozens of others, and killing at least nine hundred million Romulans. After a series of tense negotiations, the Romulan Star Empire requested aid from the United Federation of Planets, and Admiral Jean-Luc Picard convinced Starfleet to mobilize a massive rescue armada — “ten thousand warp-capable ferries” — to aid in the evacuation efforts. Lieutenant Prida Rala transferred to Earth to help in the coordination of this massive operation, specifically looking for the planets which could house millions of refugees. A humanitarian mission of such scope, despite the political pressures from several worlds on the outer rim of Federation space, was exactly the kind of work she had joined Starfleet to do.
The armada was being constructed at Utopia and in orbit of Mars when, on First Contact Day, multiple A500 synthetic androids at Utopia Planitia, suddenly went rogue. They lowered the deflector shields protecting the shipyards and the planet itself and hacked the Martian defense net. Moments thereafter, numerous synth ships began targeting the rescue armada, the Utopia Planitia Shipyards, and the Mars Orbital Facility. The satellite network surrounding Mars was turned against the surface and the synths began bombarding the surface, igniting flammable vapors in the stratosphere and causing massive damage to the planet’s infrastructure.
Prida could do nothing but watch from her office at Starfleet Operations whilst Starfleet dispatched a task force to Mars at high warp in response to the attack, but they were unable to prevent the destruction of almost the entire surface of the planet. Though initial reports of the task force estimated over three thousand had been killed, the death toll was eventually revised to 92,143 in total. It was a devastating attack at the heart of the Federation, made worse by the fact that it could not be determined how or why the synths went rogue.
With the destruction of the Romulan rescue armada, the operation was in tatters. Admiral Picard submitted a plan to replace the lost ships with mothballed vessels from Beta Antares Shipyards and the 40 Eridani Starfleet Construction Yards. Instead of pushing forward with a revised operation, the Federation abandoned its promise to aid the Romulan evacuation, a decision that shocked Picard, and caused dozens of resignations. With their department on the verge of collapse, Prida and three others remained, tasked with seeing what aid, if any, they could render under the new guidelines issued by Starfleet Command. The task was difficult, and eventually abandoned as the team was disbanded and Prida found herself with some unexpected shore leave. After taking almost a year of leave, Prida watched on in horror once again as the disaster that had been predicted unfolded much sooner than anyone had anticipated.
In mid ’87, the Hobus Star, located deep into Romulan Territory, did indeed go supernova, causing a massive shockwave that destroyed several key planets, effectively decimating the entire Empire. Pride jumped at the chance to get back into the action and was reassigned to the USS Thesis which was involved in several early relief missions along the former Neutral Zone until the Romulans ordered Starfleet forces assisting them to leave Romulan space. With relations at an all-time low, and the Empire in tatters, Thesis was reduced to border patrols and escort duties that felt like a return to the 2360’s when the Empire first came out of isolation. In just shy of two decades since the war, the quadrant had changed beyond recognition.
The Cardassian Union and the Federation were becoming close friends and tensions were rising with the Klingons, who were desperate for a return to the old ways and thus, had begun a conflict with the Gorn. The Romulan Empire had been replaced by the Free State, yet factions continued to vie for power in different sectors of Romulan space. All the while, Starfleet exploration operations had become limited, and in less scope than before as the great union of planets threatened to tear itself apart from within.
Thankfully, by the time her tour on the Thesis had come to a close, Starfleet seemed to have come to its senses once again. With exploration back on the agenda thanks to a new Federation President, new vessels were being created with a focus on visiting worlds beyond Federation borders once again. After taking some advice from her commanding officer on the Thesis, Prida finally took the first steps on a new career path as she put her skills to use in a different area. She applied for the vacant executive officer position on the newly constructed USS Komorkis, an Insignia-class starship, transferring before the ship left spacedock.
An excellent standard of living and a healthy lifestyle on Bajor for the entirety of her life has helped Prida maintain a fresh faced complexion, but it is clear for all to see that she is no normal Bajoran. She may have the standard nose ridges and wear a beautiful pair of earrings like her mother but her pale grey skin and cranial and neck ridges clearly mark her out as one of hundreds of Bajoran-Cardassian war orphans. A relatively tall, slender woman, Prida has been described by many as having a beautiful, classy and elegant look to the way she presents herself – she has a quiet, sultry voice to accompany her feminine charm and dresses in outfits that accentuate her features.