Born in Dalaria near Betazed’s largest spaceport, Karna was one of the rare Betazoids who displayed telepathy in infancy. What truly mystified later researchers is that both of his parents were on the low end of the telepathic spectrum as little more than empaths. This disparity is believed to be what led to their untimely deaths before his first birthday.
Karna was raised as an orphan in various outpatient clinics and research centers connected to the University of Betazed. Before he reached puberty, the scientists handed him over to the priests, with the risk of continued research being labeled high given Karna’s lack of compassion and sympathy toward others.
Life among the monks in the mountains near Lake Cataria gave Karna an understanding of the value for other sentient beings, if not a natural appreciation for them. Karna studied well in hopes of understanding his place in the universe, but adolescence took its toll when he accidentally killed his friend and mentor in a meditation exercise.
At this point, he was a pariah on Betazed, and was given to the Vulcan monastery on P’Jem as a last ditch effort to impart reason into the young man. Vulcan Logic helped shape his focus and drive into a complex system of self-determined morals. This personal moral code was deemed acceptable by his Vulcan tutors as a substitute for what is otherwise known as a ‘conscience.’
When Karna turned 20, he was accepted into the Academy on the recommendation of the P’Jem abbot. Upon arrival, Karna reveled in the anonymity of his class. Betazoids were genuinely well-respected as a species, and nobody knew of his dark adolescence. He found a substitute for the Vulcan monastery in a San Francisco enclave of Taoist monks. Their philosophy of action without action better suited him than the self-denial of Vulcan Logic or the mystical Naturism of his homeworld. Despite never fully converting to Taosim, Karna adapted many of its principles into his already intricate worldview and philosophy, along with several years of Tai Chi study.
Though Karna majored in Psychology as many Betazoids do, rather than become a ship counselor, Karna entered the Diplomatic Corps.
Karna Zsan first served aboard the USS Cairo as an ensign attaché to Ambassador Elantris who was permanently stationed there. His intrinsic ability to read people proved invaluable for Federation interests and diplomatic negotiations.
Karna learned almost immediately that the ambassador he served was an asset for the Obsidian Order. Rather than turn Ambassador Elantris in to Starfleet, the young ensign was conscripted by Starfleet Intelligence to covertly monitor the ambassador’s activities and determine the extent of the Federation vulnerability. Karna would serve in this capacity for several years and eventually earn a promotion.
The traitorous ambassador eventually ran afoul of the Romulan Tal Shiar when performing a clandestine operation in Romulan space. Elantris perished under rigorous interrogation, as he possessed vital information for both the Federation and the Cardassians.
As his attaché, Karna was sent to the Carraya IV penal colony for torture and indefinite detainment along with the Obsidian Order operative Tydeus Amarak who had been Ambassador Elantris’ Cardassian handler and contact. The two managed to maintain contact during their 11 month isolated confinement via Karna’s telepathy, and eventually found their way to freedom.
Rather than return to Starfleet, Karna stuck with Amarak as an unofficial asset for the Obsidian Order. Amarak utilized Karna’s innate skills of persuasion and crowd-reading in order to gain the upper hand against adversaries and end conflicts before they began. In return, Karna quickly learned the Obsidian Order tamorh-galor, or spycraft, as well as the Cardassian tactical martial art of Ca-Pa-Edek.
Eventually the Obsidian Order compelled him to use his telepathy in direct acts of violence against innocent people, which violated his long-held personal code of conduct. It was a dangerous game to play the Obsidian Order’s network against them, yet Karna did it anyway. When he had compiled enough classified information to buy his way back into Starfleet Intelligence, Karna arranged a clandestine meeting where he surrendered himself. The Obsidian Order has disavowed any knowledge of his previous actions.
After the destruction of the USS Cairo in 2385, Karna was presumed Killed-in-Action until 2387 when he was located on an adrift Cardassian freighter. He demonstrated little memory of the past few years. After being debriefed, he was sent back to Earth for a year of post-traumatic stress treatment.
When cleared for duty, Starfleet Intelligence offered him a position as a field analyst in assessing duty personnel and undercover assets.
Character Service Record
|2380 - 2382||Diplomatic Attaché||USS Cairo|
|2382 - 2385||Diplomatic Attaché||USS Cairo|
|2385 - 2387||MIA||MIA|
|2388 - 2389||Psychology and Psionics Specialist||S.F.I. Delphi|
|2389 - Present||Mission Advisor||USS Kitsune|
Karna maintains a deadpan fascination with the world around him that is often mistaken for indifference. His wit is wry as his humor is macabre. The analytical side of him understands this to be a complex series of barriers to keep himself from forming attachments with others, but his baser self would not have it any other way. Due to his upbringing in one controlled environment or another, Karna prefers confined spaces and starships, and avoids large open areas when possible. Being raised by Betazed researchers and priests, and then educated by Vulcan monks before the Academy and Human Taoists during his time on Earth, Karna is a unique individual and a high-functioning sociopath.