Rank: Gunnery Sergeant (Retired)
Position: Civilian Tactical/Political Advisor, USS Venice
Born: 2345 (41yo)
Barjoran earring and cuff; 4 nose creases; slightly receding hairline. Refused to have battle scars removed.
Scars: bayonet wound on left shoulder; bullet wounds - back of right thigh, left hand, crease along back of neck; multiple scars across back from 1 year in Cardassian labor camp
Dessan was always first and foremost a professional Marine. With more than 20 years experience in combat, he brings many skills to the civilian life he has now chosen. The Marines gave structure to his life, which was difficult from the very first, because of Cardassian rule of Bejor. His loyalty was always to the Marines, in spite of the personal secrets he kept from them.
He keeps his opinions and real self hidden, but on the surface is sunny and friendly to all. It isn't that he doesn't feel truly friendly, just that he's been hurt too often to trust easily. So he kids around with everyone, teases women, makes jokes, but no one really gets to know him deeply. Unless someone took the time to think about it, they'd describe him as chatty and humorous.
Born outside Capitol City on his parents' farm - 2345. Typical farm life under Cardassian occupation, until his fifteenth year. His parents were not active in the resistance, but would occasionally hide someone from the hill forces, or provide food. For no reason that Dessan every knew, and maybe for no reason at all, his parent's farm was raided by Cardassian soldiers, his parents taken away, and he never saw them again. Dessan himself was taken to a labor camp.
Labor camp was particularly hard for a young man used to being cautious, but having the freedom to roam as he wished on his parent's farm. During his time in the labor camp, his opportunities to get to know women were almost non-existent, and he drifted toward a male-male bonding lifestyle. This was enhanced by a certain kind of torture imposed on him during his year in camp. The choice continued to suit him, though he is not opposed to relationships with women. He doesn't understand them, however, and those relationships seldom last long.
Confined to a strip mining camp, he watched and waited, and when a large-scale break took place, he escaped, soon separating himself from others. Many were killed, others were caught, but Dessan was among the few who never returned.
Hiding by day and traveling by night, he moved deep into the mountains and came across a resistance camp. He watched it for several days, and one dark morning before dawn, snuck into the camp commander's tent and awakened him, holding the man's own knife to his throat. He bargained for entry into the group, and until Bejor became a free planet again in 2369, he was part of the resistance forces.
His schooling had been steady until the age 15, and the resistance gave him the rest of the training he thought he needed. He saw no need to go back to a classroom, but he does read widely, both classics and current literature, and the great books of war from whatever culture he can access. One could not call him uneducated, though he has degrees from no school.
After the freedom fight was won, Dessan joined the Bajoran militia formally, as did many of the freedom fighters. When the opportunity was presented to become a Starfleet Marine, he chose that option. The Marines cross-trained him as a fighter mechanic, though he still thinks of himself as a Mud Marine - one who's tired of the mud.
Cardassians destroyed most of their records before withdrawing from Bajor, and all Ling knows is that his parents didn't return to the farm, nor register with the refugee council or the census. He presumes they are buried in unmarked graves somewhere on the planet, with millions of other Bajorans.
He doesn't hold any love for the Cardassians, nor does he hate them. He has developed his own form of faith, based on traditional Bajaron beliefs, but not completely orthodox. It works for him. He doesn't care for the ritual and formality of the traditional faith, and the only outward sign that he even knows of it is the earring which he still wears, more in honor of his parents than of the prophets.
Dessan speaks Bajoran, Kardassi, Standard, and a smattering of other languages he's picked up on Marine assignments. Enough to find a bar and a partner for the night, if he chooses.
The one thing he has done during his years in the Marines is keep his sexual preferences a complete secret. In spite of the current tolerance that supposedly exists among the Marines, he has seen reality as quite different. His romantic contacts with men are usually brief, and always far from his own primary existence.
After almost 15 years with the Federation Marines, Ling Dessan was promoted to Gunny Sergeant six months ago, following a particularly severe battle wound on a planet no one in the Federation wants to remember, and for a purpose no Marine really comprehended. During his convalescence, which required major healing time, he was offered his choice of several assignments and picked Kepler station. He figures a station out in the middle of nowhere couldn't be all that tough, and hopes chances for more wounds are nonexistent.
After 8 months on Kepler Station, Ling figured out that he was wrong about a station out in the middle of nowhere being a walkover assignment. When the one chance he'd ever taken on real love didn't work out, he also figured out that he didn't want to be a Marine any longer. After the station was transported through a wormhole to a destination very far away from Federation space, and most of the rest of the Marines didn't make the transition through the wormhole, he decided to retire. He was finished with the Marines.
Now he has to decide what he will do instead. Captain Grant, of USS Venice, has come up with a possibility for Ling's future.