Place of Origin: Gornar, Gorn Confederacy
Played by: deletham
Standing at an impressive 2.1 Meters (Well over 6 and a half feet) Sslar is just above average height for a Gorn, but well above the height of any mammalian biped. Weighing 220 Kilograms (485 pounds) , Sslar is not one to be pushed around; for a Gorn, however, he is still just above average. As to be expected, Sslar is covered from head to toe in scales, deep green leathery scales that provide protection from the elements and is even tough enough to render crude melee weapons or even standard knives ineffective. Energy weapons still pose a threat to the Gorn despite his size and naturally thick armor. As a result, a higher setting may be required to achieve the desired effect, particularly with the stun setting.
Sslar’s strength is impressive for any creature, but is proportional to his size and caste within the Gorn Hegemony. Capable of lifting massive rocks, tree branches, or equipment the size of warm blooded creature with relative ease, Sslar proves a formidable opponent in open melee challenges. As with all Gorn, claws and talons are found on his hands and feet, respectively. The claws on his hands are quite sharp, capable of easily shredding a uniform and slicing through the soft skin of any creature. Traditionally, Gorn let their claws grow out and sharpen them against stone as necessary, but Sslar keeps them shorter than average to accommodate Federation starship design and cultural norms where hand shaking and physical contact is common. His talons are also kept intentionally short, but still sharp should Sslar need to use them. This is to facilitate Federation EVA suits and combat boots should the need arise.
During combat, Sslar fixes special operations shields upon his eyes, protecting his sensitive reptilian eyes from harm while also interfacing with weapons or ship systems to provide a rudimentary “Heads Up Display” or data feed from the ship's computer during an engagement. The shields do not impair his vision or ability to function when outside of combat.
Gorn civilians are not common aboard Federation Starships, Gorn Diplomats an even more rare sight, and Gorn Officers…well those are things of legend. Sslar S'Weshis is not of the first two categories and thus falls into the third…a thing of legend. Sslar isn’t part of an officer exchange program, an adopted Gorn, or even construct. Sslar is a product of a desperate moment in Federation history, a volunteer who answered the call and joined the United Federation of Planets in Order to stop the Dominion and their crusade to conquer the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.
Sslar’s time aboard Federation Starships has made him more open to conversation with his fellow officers and even granted him a few friends in the process. Sslar, however, finds difficulty adjusting aboard new starships, his appearance is not a welcoming one, the spikes atop his head, the scaled hide, the sharp talons and claws, all of these make him a somewhat…difficult creature to approach. As a result, Sslar has learned to take the initiative, drinking in ten forward with his section chiefs, attending social functions, but the stoic appearance of his people is difficult to alter, their features and expressions masked under muscle and scale, save for the perceptive ‘squishy’ who might see the makings of a smile or a frown or even the strange hissing and chortling of Gorn laughter.
Once you get through the tough exterior, Sslar has a personality as dynamic as any would aboard a starship. He has good days and bad, knows the nuances of conversation, can tell a decent joke (though they tend to be a bit on the twisted side and involve violence), can be a listener or a story teller, though many wish to hear his own story curious about how he ended up aboard a Federation starship. However, his practice to take the initiative has at times been met with prejudice; some assume that as a large, lumbering creature he is either stupid or slow and good only for his muscle. Sslar has learned to ignore them, but it was difficult in the beginning with fights reported and disciplinary action noted several times in his service jacket; however, the last incident was over four years ago during the first week of his posting on the Akagi.
As a Gorn, Sslar has a natural physical strength, while it does not define him; it certainly improves his ability to function as Chief of Security, providing not only more physical strength to an away team but a greater presence, which is often the only thing required.
As a soldier in the Dominion War and a Gorn Volunteer, Sslar has seen action since his first day as a starfleet officer and during his training on Gornar to become a Marine in the Gorn Hegemony. As a result, his sense of duty and focus during a battle or engagement is unbreakable and as a Gorn completes his mission or task no matter what the consequences to himself.
While his unbreakable will to complete a task may be a benefit when trying to complete a physically demanding task or lasting in a ground engagement, it can also lead to catastrophe. Gorn are trained to complete their mission no matter the cost, even if it means the loss of life, this is not a policy favored by Starfleet. While Sslar has adapted to Starfleet philosophy, during great stress or frustration Sslar will have difficulty giving up on an idea.
Personal relationships with other members of the crew continue to challenge the norms of his society. He is cold to individuals in initial encounters.
His cold-blooded physiology also puts Sslar at risk when faced with extremely cold temperatures. While his uniform provides the heat necessary to sustain him in ordinary operations, if the uniform is damaged or subjected to extreme cold Sslar may slip into a coma and potentially succumb to death.
Sslar keeps his ambitions hidden, unsure if he could even achieve them as a Gorn in Starfleet. Sslar S'Weshis desires his own command, though not an exploratory ship in Starfleet, but one that handles internal security or peacekeeping operations, perhaps even with matters related to Starfleet Intelligence. While his command fantasies are far fetched, he does wish to ascend the ranks as he would in the Gorn Military and attain the highest honor of his own command.
Hobbies and Interests
Sslar S'Weshis enjoys an interesting variety of hobbies due to his transplant into Federation culture. On Gornar, Sslar invested much of his time in training for the Marine Division, but set aside time to study his people's mythology, pouring over the ancient scrolls and listening to hours of oral histories. As a result, Sslar became competent enough to be given permission to recite the oral histories of his people during festivals and gatherings.
This fascination with his mythology has carried over into the Federation, while he finds the myths of Andoria, Vulcan, and Betazed fascinating, Sslar finds himself drawn to the myths of ancient China and Greece, tall tales of fantastic deeds and creatures that sound extremely similar to his own people and perhaps explains human nervousness around him.
On ship, Sslar participates in Kal-toh tournaments and Strategema (although finding gloves that work with his hands has proven difficult on some vessels) and generally places well and has even won a few Strategema tournaments aboard ship.
Sslar S'Weshis would appear, on first glance, to be out of place aboard the bridge of a Federation Starship and many would be correct in assuming that it was not common for Gorn to be present. Sslar S'Weshis represents a unique group of Gorn, a group who answered a desperate plea from the Federation during its darkest hour when it sought allies from every corner of the galaxy and in this search the Gorn Hegemony was not overlooked. Sslar was barely of consenting age to join a foreign military expedition, but on behalf of the United Federation of Planets, the Gorn Hegemony put out a call for volunteers to aid the Federation in their costly battle against the Dominion. Sslar was one of the many who answered this call. Contrary to popular belief, the Gorn were not opposed to the Federation, instead they merely wished for their borders to be recognized by other interstellar powers.
In late 2373, a single starship, the SS Ericsson, arrived at Gornar. Within hours, Sslar and the other 2,286 Gorn Volunteers left their home world with the blessing of the Gorn Hegemony and the spirit of their people behind them. Sslar and his fellow Gorn were given a crash course in Starfleet protocol, ethics, procedure, and tactics at a specialized training facility on Vulcan in order to meet their unique physiological requirements as cold blooded creatures. It was understood they would be soldiers, most of them were destined to join the Gorn Hegemony Marine Unit and fight on the front line for their people - Sslar was no different. None of the Gorn Volunteers were stupid, the Starfleet trainers knew this, they were training specialists, not cannon fodder like the Remans being trained by the Romulans, soldiers designed to take a beating and give it out all the same. Finally, Starfleet had the men and women they needed to combat the Jem'Hadar assault groups that so often liked to charge into hand to hand combat.
Sslar was stationed aboard the USS El Alamein, a galaxy class vessel assigned to patrol duty along the frontline, as a Shipboard Security Officer and a Ground Combat Officer for boarding action or ground deployment. Sslar’s first posting wasn’t a smooth one, adjusting to life on a Federation Starship was difficult to say the least. The food was different, the people were…soft, and the females so small compared to the males. The hardest adjustment was the climate, being cold blooded may make for fantastic Special Forces teams when evading heat based sensors, but aboard a ship constructed around the comfort of warm blooded creatures was a challenge of its own. His first few days aboard ship, Sslar went to and fro with speed, trying to keep his muscles working and his body warm, but being posted on guard duty meant he couldn’t move more than a few meters otherwise he’d be abandoning his post. Weeks passed, Sslar was unwilling to request for some sort of accommodation to be made for his sole benefit, he was here as a volunteer after all. In the Gorn Marines, the ships were perfectly heated and when tasked with assaulting an enemy vessel or planet, they were outfitted with combat suits that provided the warmth they required. Despite the gracious thanks of Starfleet, command had over looked the physiological requirements of the Gorn species when issuing their already over sized and reinforced uniforms. It wasn't until Sslar's shift commander, noted his constant requests for patrols or postings in the warmer parts of the El Alamein and finally realized his Gorn officer was a cold blooded creature. Sslar was relieved that he did not have to request for special treatment on his own accord and appear weak or incapable. A specialized combat uniform was created, utilizing small induction coils that provided the heat that the Gorn needed, powered by a small, durable battery.
Within weeks of his posting, the El Alamein was deployed to the front, fighting border skirmishes in a mixed Klingon/Federation patrol; these early engagements weren’t what Sslar expected. Ships fighting each other didn’t convey the dire nature of the war to the Gorn forced to stand guard on the bridge, rifle in hand, waiting for a boarding party that he was trained to repel. Finally, his day came. During a routine patrol along the Cardassian border after the recapture of Deep Space Nine, the El Alamein was ambushed by a mixed Cardassian/Dominion Force, her shields were overwhelmed and the Cardassians and Jem’Hadar began beaming aboard before emergency dampeners could be erected. This was his time…Sslar was trained for this, practically bred for this moment of his life. As the first Cardassian materialized on the bridge, Sslar had his weapon raised, time began to slow, and his heads up display queued his targets in red brackets with friendlies in blue. Sslar didn’t think, his claw tightened on the firing stub; his weapon responded, the phaser beam lanced out from his weapon, molten red energy emitting from his weapon and colliding with the Cardassian within an instant, killing him without a second thought.
Time began to speed up, the Gorn dropped to the floor, rolling behind a console for cover as fire spilled across the bridge, sparks flew from the console behind him as a Jem’Hadar energy weapon destroyed the Master Situation Display. Sslar was already standing again, weapon leveled on Jem’Hadar his display identified as the First, he fired again, the phaser beam landed squarely on the soldier’s chest, dropping him in an instant. The bridge crew was finally returning fire, the captain diving for cover behind the tactical console, the chief of security throwing himself in front of a phaser beam that would have killed the XO. Sslar was aware of all of this and didn’t once let himself panic. He fired methodically, clearing his targets as he moved upon the Jem’Hadar invaders, the muscular Gorn surprisingly limber as he ducked behind consoles, rolled in and out of cover – albeit without the grace or ease of his counterparts. Finally, the Jem’Hadar charged, it was what Sslar wanted. The last of the Jem'Hadar drew his blade, charging at the Gorn with a terrible cry. Despite the distance between them, the Gorn didn’t bother to use a phaser, instead tossing the rifle aside; with a hissing snarl, the Gorn reached behind, pulling his combat blade from the sheath concealed under his jacket. The closest approximation for his blade was a khopesh, an axe with a brutal, sickle like curve at the end that gave the user a little more momentum before hacking into the target.
The Jem’Hadar’s twisted, curved weapon was formidable, but mass produced and prone to poor construction, especially in the Alpha Quadrant. Sslar knew this, he slammed his weapon down upon the soldier’s blade, the sound of snapping metal echoed throughout the bridge. The Jem’Hadar’s eyes went wide as he saw his blade snap in two and before he could even muster an attempt to fight back, Sslar whipped his blade around, coming in a wide arch from his right side in line with the Jem’Hadar’s neck. The blade cut clean, the soldier’s body slumped to the floor, his head falling next to him with a dull, lifeless thump. Sslar stood there, panting, frozen in his position over the Jem’Hadar with his blade nearly clean, perfectly level as he reveled in the kill…his blade kill. His form was perfect, legs extended, hunched forward slightly with the exertion of his entire body being put into the cut. As he stood there, amber blood splattered across his uniform, some even blocking his combat shields, the bridge crew stared agape. Finally, the Captain spoke, “Stations…stations everyone and Mr…Mr. S'Weshis, you have our thanks…and please man the tactical station.”
Sslar S'Weshis served aboard the El Alamein for the remainder of the war, eventually becoming her Chief of Security near the end of the war. The El Alamein would see action at the First Battle of Chintoka before being rotated out for R&R at Deep Space 9, just days before the Second Battle of Chintoka. Whether by luck or chance, the El Alamein was spared the terrible fate of the allied force at Chintoka, but the news was difficult for Sslar to accept. He felt as if he had abandoned his comrades in arms by being absent at such a disastrous battle, one thousand Gorn volunteers died at their posts at the Second Battle of Chintoka in addition to the tens of thousands of Alliance crewman, Sslar and only a little over a thousand other volunteers remained and that number would only get smaller.
The end of the war saw the loss of over 2,200 Gorn volunteers, every one of them was awarded a special citation from Starfleet, even a monument was erected at Starfleet Headquarters in their honor, a quartet of Gorn charging into battle, weapons raised in the air, the banner of Starfleet, the Gorn Hegemony, the Federation, and even the Klingon Empire behind them at equal standing, their sacrifice remembered. The bronze statues gleamed in the light, a certain dignity to them and a way of illustrating their reptilian attributes. Sslar had been at the dedication, watching the curtain pulled away to see the four Gorn charging valiantly toward victory, flags whipping in the powerful San Francisco bay wind. If a Gorn could cry, Sslar would have on that day; he had lost comrades in arms to answer the call to duty, a call so many had ignored but they felt compelled…no driven to answer. In the end only twenty-five of the 2,286 Gorn Volunteers survived, the names of each one had been engraved in Gorn, Federation Standard, Klingonese, Vulcan, Andorian, Tellerite, and even Romulan on the base of the monument. The President of the Federation read the dedication on that bright, windy San Francisco day, “We asked for volunteers from every corner of the galaxy, we sought friend and foe alike in our quest to ensure the freedom of the all life and only one people responded to our plea. They did not offer ships, weapons, supplies, or even resources; no, they gave us something far greater and far more valuable. The people of Gornar responded with 2,286 of the bravest men and women they would offer, as others turned their backs on the Federation, the people the Gorn Hegemony said no to tyranny. We area forever in the debt of the people of Gorn, I speak not just for the Federation, but for the Klingon Empire, and the Romulan Star Empire…today we remember their sacrifice now and forever.”
Sslar was given a choice after the war to leave Starfleet and return to the Gorn Hegemony with full honors, an immediate commission to Commander and command of his own vessel. In the end, he stayed with Starfleet, this was his family now. He had bled for the Federation, killed for the Federation, and was ready to the die for the Federation just to ensure no harm came to the Gorn and the Federation was still the best way to ensure that would never happen. After the Dominion War, Sslar was transferred to the USS Capetown, an Ambassador Class vessel serving as a security vessel in Cardassian Space as her Chief of Security.
In 2360, Sslar was transferred to Starfleet academy to serve as an instructor in Starship Defensive Operations and Advanced Melee Combat Techniques. In addition he has spent time aboard various starships, assisting Security Departments reorganize and retrain their departments with Gorn combat techniques...and indulges himself in the occasional game of Stretegema.