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Mon Sep 27th, 2010 @ 3:21am

Lieutenant Kaj Mikkola

Name Kaj Helviki "Natch" Mikkola

Position Assistant Chief Flight Control Officer

Rank Lieutenant

Character Information

Gender Male
Species Human
Planet of Origin Centauri VII
Age 29
Birth Date March 1st.
Location of Quarters Deck 4, section 5 outer ring.

Physical Appearance

Height 6' 1/2''
Weight 180 lbs
Hair Color Reddish Brown
Eye Color Violet and Green
Skin Color anywhere from alabaster to light bronze depending on the tan
Physical Description Despite having a very Finnish name, Kaj does not look very nordic in his build upon first glance. However he is quick to remind those who make that observation that the Sami people of northern Finland don't look typically nordic, and neither did vikings, always in jest of course.

Although he could never be mistaken for a figure of adonis or atlas, Kaj keeps himself in excellent shape thanks to a variety of traditional exercises as well as athletic endeavors both real and of the holodeck variety.

What stands out about Kaj right away is his eyes. Due to a combination of a recessive gene being harmlessly mutated by the ambient radiation of Alpha Centauri over multiple generations Kaj has heterochromatic irises, meaning each eye is a unique color. In his case his right eye is a solid violet while the left is a deep jade green. While normally this would be a marker of a possible serious genetic defect, this trait in many ohter color pairings has appeared in many other healthy centaurian citizens and is categorized as a simple coloration mutation due to the influence of a new environment on humans.
Another standout facial feature is a small roughly asterisk-shaped scar on his left temple. While it would be easy to simply undergo a dermal regeneration treatment to get rid of it, Kaj has instead elected to keep it for deeply personal reasons, along with a burn scar running diagonally across his back.
Other than that, Kajs' face is pretty unremarkable in terms of other features which definitely betray his Scandinavian ancestry despite centuries away from Finland.
Kaj also keeps his slightly wavy reddish-brown hair at a medium-short length and parted slightly on the left side. The length is a result of a longer hairstyle clashing with some of the more authoritarian instructors at starfleet, plus Kaj would readily admit that any longer and it would be a bigger hassle than its worth to him to maintain it.

Finally, those who know him best know that he keeps a constant reminder of home on him at all times, in the form of a tattoo on his right shoulder. It is the crest of Alpha Centauri, but instead of traditional coloration it instead has the colors of the ancient Finnish national flag.
Accent Alphan


Spouse None
Children None
Father Hannes (deceased)
Mother Eeva
Brother(s) Bo, 24
Other Family Oskar (paternal grandfather), Lusa (dog), too many maternal and paternal aunts uncles and cousins to list

Personality & Traits

General Overview There are two things that people notice about Kajs personality right away; he is very affable and friendly, and that he has an eclectic and sometimes offbeat sense of humor.

Kaj is definitely a people person, to the point that even if he has to read he prefers to do it in the ships lounge or somewhere else public where he runs the risk of being bothered, as well as being very inclusive in any activities he engages in. Kaj is also not above the occasional prank or practical joke, as long as its not too harmful and fun for all in the end of course.

However while this has resulted in a plethora of long-time friends, Kaj's romantic history is a lot less stable, a product of a combination of his career and his restless outlook on life. There is more to that story but again only his closest friends know the whole truth.
Another outwardly noticeable trait is Kaj's esteem for his ancestry, and it shows in many ways.

Though he does not have the typical Finnish accent, aside from his name he is fluent in his ancestral language as well, although he still speaks with an Alphan dialect and inflection most of the time, albeit with the occasional Finnish curse thrown in for good measure, and although he is not a linguist he does know enough Klingon or Romulan to know when he is being insulted.

However, Kaj does not let his personality get in the way of his duty when it is time to work, and even he has his own mental traumas. Those who have been around him long enough know that a severe break in his personality means that he has tracked down a lead on a mystery he has been pursuing for a long time, something that was answered by the JAG corps but never fully satisfied.
Strengths & Weaknesses As a helmsman, Kaj is unique in that he relies more on his own sensory input than others. While it may seem like a liability, the combination of functioning readouts and Kajs own senses and instincts have more than once gotten a ship out a tight spot where standard maneuvers would not have worked, as well as finding the performance envelope of a ship or craft and figuring out how to exploit them in rapid succession.
This also translates into combat tactics where innovation and fast lateral thinking come heavily into play. With the right synthesis of command fire control and helming, Kaj has more than once surprised a foe which went in for the kill and found themselves on the reviving end of a fatal barrage from an unusual angle.
Additionally, with his time spent at the shipyards, Kaj has flown a wide range of federation type starships and support craft, familiarizing himself with their capabilities and controls

Kaj is extremely devoted to his crew and his ship, putting them above all other concerns in every way possible.
He sees his role as one link in an operational circuit that includes the operations officers, tactical officers, and the engineering officers, and that without that chain the commanding officers can't get the best out of their ship in tight situations, so consequently he goes out of his way to build a good relationship with the aforementioned officers.

After being marooned dirtside with Marines, Kaj frequently undertakes marksmanship and combat drill tactics with onboard Marines, as well as volunteering to undertake any joint operations mission with them that might require a good pilot.

However, Kaj does have a tendency to "creatively interpret" his duties and his scope, especially when confronted with a commanding officer whom has not earned his respect. While he would never resort to outright insubordination, he has been given non-punitive reprimands for things like re-programming the navigational subroutines to take a more direct, albeit dangerous route under warp, or violently decompressing all port-side cargo and shuttlebays in order to throw off an incoming impact.
While he makes no apologies for his actions or the citations that followed them, he does respect chain of command and his commanding officers, and always respects a commanding officer who will work with him and the rest of the crew and not just bark orders and expect them to be blindly followed.
Ambitions To Kaj, moving up in rank is just a byproduct of the respect you earn from your peers, subordinates, and superior officers. His career ambitions are more about the journey and the people he works with rather than how much brass is on his collar.

Additionally, Kaj is always eager to find new speed and performance boundaries to push. If it doesn't result in his eventually becoming admiral, he won't be loosing any sleep over it.
Hobbies & Interests Kaj is an indvidual with a wide variety of tastes and interests. As stated many times over he is a people person, and as a result he is a big fan of team sports, but his favorite has always and will always be baseball. However he is not limited to that endeavor, and will participate in almost any sport that is available, although it does take a bit of convincing to get him to play parisses squares after having been whacked with an Ion Mallet frequently and two dislocated shoulders.

Unsurprisingly, Kaj is a big fan of motorsports of all kinds, but especially Rally. If it has some sort of propulsion system and goes ridiculously fast, its a sure bet that Kaj will participate somehow. In fact Kaj keeps an isolinear chip with him containing data for every vehicle he uses frequently for any sort of holodeck racing. Once again he encourages those around him to participate by organizing ship-wide rally events.
In fact anything that involves a big adrenaline rush is good in Kaj's book. Whether it be alpine snowboarding, stratospheric skydiving, or any other thrill-seeking endeavor, Kaj is always ready to proverbially (and sometimes literally) dive in head-first.

However its not all adrenaline for Kaj. He is in fact a capable guitar and harmonica player, talents fostered by his mother just as fervently as his love of speed was by his father. While he is adept at playing a wide range of styles as long as they're not too technically demanding, Kaj's great musical love will always be the blues.

Finally, it is widely known that he is a coffee fiend, and if it at all permits a mug of the liquid is always within his reach, sometimes flavored with a bit of synthehol (or alcohol if he isn't on duty anytime soon) cloudberry liqueur.
Languages Standard, Finnish, plenty of Klingon and Romulan curses and swears.

Personal History Speed is life.

That is the personal motto of Kaj "Natch" Mikkola, and though it is a strange one, perhaps it can be best explained by his heritage.

Long before his ancestors reached for the stars and helped claim a new system, a direct ancestor of Kajs' was a racing champion, in this case the great Tommi Makinen. That need for outright speed apparently carried itself through the ages to Kaj. Equally important are his more recent ancestors, for they were among the first families to colonize the Alpha Centauri system.

Born in the Alpha Centauri system on Centauri VII, Kaj was born to a typical family and had a solid upbringing. His mother was a professional operatic musician performing across the alpha quadrant, while his father worked for his own father in their habitat-building business.
It was while he was with his father and grandfather on a short trip with the company that Kaj, then 12, indulged his need for speed. "Borrowing" a non-warp capable tug craft, he proceeded to pilot it at breakneck speeds inside of a cargo transport that the company owned. While he didn't break anything it definitely earned him a month-long grounding.
His father sensed that something was needed to curb that restlessness and gave him his first racing hoverbike. Kaj quickly took to the sport and was a standout in the junior divisions right up until he was 17, when an accident sidelined him for the rest of the season. To this day the passion for speed ignited in him still burns with an unyielding fury.

Though he would not admit it, Kaj felt pressured by several members of his family to go to the University of Alpha Centauri and pursue a more sedate career rather than do something more adventurous and in fact caved to that pressure. However it only took one semester of studying to be a teacher to tell him that he wanted more, and quickly applied to transfer to Starfleet Academy at the first chance that he got. When it was accepted, it made him the third generation to serve starfleet in his family, with his grandfather and his father before him both having served as Starfleet Marines. However to say that the transition did not sit well with some of his family, especially his mother and a majority of her side of his extended family, would have been a severe understatement, and a sore spot for many years.

During his academy days Kaj was noted to be an average student in regards to scientific and engineering endeavors, but well above average in regards to operations and navigation, and had a secondary talent for diplomatic work. During his academy days he earned his nickname of "Natch", short for Natural, which stemmed from an evaluation noting that "Cadet Mikkola seems to prefer his natural senses when piloting rather than bothering to read one gauge or readout." However the same report also referenced Kaj's "keen piloting instincts" and a noted ability to find the envelope of whatever was his to pilot at the time and exploit the limits of a ships performance.
A small collection of minor infractions did nothing to impede his graduation late in 2374, and it came not a moment too soon.

His first assignment was as assistant helmsman aboard the USS Benfold, an Oberth-class science ship that had been converted to a hospital ship. Almost immediately he butted heads with the commanding officer who took issue with his at-the-limits approach to helming the ship, although Kaj would later admit that his approach in that case was not appropriate for a ship full of sick and injured people.
His time aboard the Benfold was short lived however. During a sweep of a celestial debris field for a ship in distress, the ship was ambushed by a Jem’Hadar attack ship. The signal was false and they had fallen into a trap. During the ending maneuvers Kaj had spied a gap in the debris big enough for the wounded Oberth to slip into. It was a big risk but Kaj knew that he could make it work. However he asked for permission from the CO and was immediately denied. Instead he was ordered to beat a hasty retreat in open space and go to warp in the direction of friendly lines.
The Benfold never made it, instead it was critically hit with several shots during a hard sweeping turn. Though most of the crew and patients made it off, several officers noncoms and patients did not, some of which were close personal friends of Kaj. Though the inquiry cleared him for following orders, he made a promise then and there that in desperate situations if he were forced to choose between questionable orders from a commanding officer that he didn’t fully trust or his own instincts, he would follow his instincts first.

After a short tenure at Jupiter Station training new cadets how to fly, Kaj was re-assigned to fleet operations, this time aboard the newly overhauled and upgraded USS Cape Town, a Miranda-Class ship that had been re-purposed from her exploratory roles. Now she had been envisioned as a tactical resupply ship, with her new mission one of replenishment of allied ships and troops on the surface of planets in less-than-ideal situations.
It was a task that seemed tailor-made for Kaj, affording him plenty of opporotunity to practice his kind of piloting. Fostered and encouraged by a new captain that observed the value of his particular talents, Kaj’s navigation and maneuvering skill benefited not only the Cape Town but her compliment of shuttlecraft and even her small fighter contingent.
The ship was primitive, but it was tough, not just due to the fact that key points were plated with ablative armor and the shields had been given a comprehensive overhaul, but the systems themselves were primitive enough to take abuse that more technically complex ships would not stand up to, and subsequently earned the loving moniker “SS Zombie” after surviving several missions that might very well have crippled other ships.
In fact the Cape Town briefly served with the group attached to Starbase 375, and Kaj still proudly mentions that he got to shake Capt. Benjamin Siskos hand. The Cape Town would have been part of Operation Return had not an emergency re-supply mission deep in the Beta quadrant called them away

More importantly however, Kaj truly came into his element, not only sharpening his navigational skills but picking up a few tactical and even command lessons along the way. His tenure aboard the Cape Town also gave him several friends, and provided him with a lasting reminder of why their mission was so important. During a re-supply drop to a far-flung planet, the shuttle he was using to ferry supplies to the entrenched Marines was destroyed on the ground by heavy fire from Dominion forces. That was the start of a 10 day siege on “Camp Young”, a dirty and rugged hilltop that was very nearly a last stand for not only Kaj but the 42 out of a full company of Marines that survived. That experience made a lasting impression on him, and in his mind forever indebted him to the Marine Corps.
However tragedy struck soon after his rescue. Through backlogged messages he learned that his father had been killed at Betazed when the dominion attacked. Though he had been slightly estranged from his family due to his life choices for some time, he had re-forged that bond and had promised to take time off to see them at the next venture, something that he would never get to do with his father ever again.

After the close of hostilities with the Dominion, Kaj continued to serve aboard the Cape Town, serving as a core of veteran officers in a sea of junior officer rotation. Things proceeded normally for the crew until 2378. The Cape Town was in fact assigned to escort the newly-returned Voyager home at a median transition point, but never made it. An hour into the warp transit a catastrophic failure started to develop in one of the structural integrity fields followed closely by a warp field de-stabilization. Miraculously, the entire crew made it safely off of the ship before she collapsed. The loss of his beloved SS Zombie was hard enough, but a seed of bitter resentment against the JAG corps was sown when the inquiry ruled that the ships engineer and close friend had been derelict in his duty. Kaj had suspected sabotage and that his friend was being set up or thrown into the fire to cover something up, and to this day he seeks the real truth of what happened to the USS Cape Town.

His next assignment was to the Utopia Planitia Shipyards as a test pilot, an assignment that came with plenty of recommendation and urging from his former commanding officer. The time there familiarized him with both new top-rated ships and other refurbished older models, further fine-tuning his piloting skills.
However, the need for experienced helmsmen proved too great to keep him confined to just one system, and soon he was re-assigned to the USS Orion with the Theta Fleet bound for new challenges and adventures, all to be met head on at the speed of life.
Education University of Alpha Centauri

Starfleet Academy
Service Record USS Benfold- Assistant Flight Control Officer

Stafleet Academy Jupiter Station- Pilot Instructor

USS Cape Town- Assistant/Chief Flight Control Officer

Utopia Planitia Shipyards- Shakedown Helmsman/ Test Pilot

USS Orion- Chief Flight Control Officer