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Fri May 19th, 2017 @ 12:55am
Lieutenant Ryley Kincaid
Name Ryley Kathryn McKenna Kincaid M.D.
Position Chief Counselor
|Physical Description||Ryley is confined to a specially designed gravchair, which she operates via a panel on the left armrest. The chair can be raised or lowered, depending on the height required. The chair has its own power source and backup systems independent of the ship or Starbase where she resides.
Personality & Traits
|General Overview||Despite Ryley’s experiences on the Charity and Caduceus, her dedication to duty and intense passion for her work has not diminished an ounce. With determination and hard work she has learned time and again that success can be hers, regardless of her physical capabilities or personal circumstances. She is an outgoing woman who loves to have a good time, but has a tendency to place the psychological and physical well-being of those she cares for above her own happiness, something she had to fight to overcome while in the hostile environment of the Charity.
She rarely drinks or takes medication because of her biological family’s history. She has long red hair that she usually wears up while on duty, bright eyes and a ready smile. She prefers the nickname “Ry” as it’s easier to say and ironically is an accurate portrayal of her personality.
Every year, Ry stays at the Sisters of Mercy Orphanage on December 24, 25 and 26. By visiting her birthplace during the last days she spent with her biological mother, Ry hopes she will one day be able to reconnect with her and come to understand how a mother could give up her own child.
|Strengths & Weaknesses||She can be quite outspoken at times, particularly if she feels she or someone she loves has been mistreated. She is stubborn and often uses a quick wit and sarcasm to put people at ease, who might otherwise be hostile or uncomfortable because of her disability. Ry shares her birth mother’s fiery temper, something Ry can rechannel while debating an issue.
Her experience as a physically disabled adult and her time on the Charity has also made her more sensitive to the feelings and perceptions of others. Though she will talk of her disability and any other subject openly and candidly, her desire to be seen as “just one of the girls” is paramount, and she prefers independence whenever possible. She abhors the idea that being the daughter of two Admirals has gotten her where she is, and will quickly set the person straight who dares to comment otherwise.
First and foremost, she sees herself as a healer rather than a Starfleet Officer, though she has come to admire Starfleet and Federation ideals, more through her own experience rather than because it was expected of her as a member of the powerful Kincaid family. She is cool under pressure and can be all business when it’s required, but she prefers to use candor and kindness when speaking to or working with someone else, regardless of rank.
|Ambitions||Ry aspires to be a wife and mother someday.|
|Hobbies & Interests||Forensic psychology, suspense holo-novels, cooking|
|Personal History||Ryley “Ry” Kathryn McKenna Kincaid was born Ryley McKenna on December 24, 2353 at the Sisters of Mercy Orphanage, located in Janaran Falls, Betazed. She has no idea who her biological father is, but she has been told her mother was Kathryn McKenna, an actress and singer, who only after washing out of the Medical Division of Starfleet Academy, decided to travel with a major theater company. The little information the women at the orphanage have about Kathryn indicates that prior to giving birth to Ryley prematurely at the orphanage, she had been seeking treatment on and off for Felicium and alcohol addiction at the local Rolling Hills Rehabilitation Center.
Ryley was born two months premature and addicted to both drugs, and as a result suffered brain damage that left her confined to a gravchair. According to the sisters at the orphanage, there were times Kathryn considered leaving the abusive father of her child, another actor in the theater company, but when she learned her child had suffered so much because of her addictions, Kathryn felt she no longer had the time or the inclination to raise a sick and “needy” child. Whether it was the pull of the drugs, the influence of a controlling boyfriend or just plain selfishness that led her to the decision to abandon her child, three days after giving birth, Kathryn gave full custody of Ryley to Sisters of Mercy until such time that she could be adopted.
The first two years of Ryley’s life were spent at the orphanage, where she formed a bond with everyone who worked and lived there. Though she was at first a sickly infant not expected to live, Ryley far exceeded expectations, to the astonishment of her caretakers. Though her guardians didn’t know what her capabilities would be in the future, they focused on teaching Ryley how to be independent and self-confident. This attitude was nurtured further when Admiral Thomas Kincaid, then Starfleet Chief JAG Officer, and his wife, Admiral Eleanor Kincaid, former Head of Starfleet Medical, adopted her in 2355.
When her adoptive parents realized their only child was not walking like the other children her age, they took her to a specialist who diagnosed Ry as having cerebral palsy, a motor impairment that left her unable to walk, keep her balance and with impaired fine motor skills. Though doctors encouraged Ryley’s adoptive parents to consider therapies and surgeries which could restore her mobility, Thomas and Eleanor, people of strong faith, were adamant their child was not “broken” and in need of repair.
It was obvious early on she suffered no such limitations mentally. She was treated no differently than any other child her age, and was always taught to value education and hard work. It was decided that she wouldn’t be told of her adoption until she was old enough to understand, and because she never mentioned memories from her “other life,” this seemed to be a perfectly reasonable decision.
From the ages of five to eighteen, Ry studied at the Betazed Preparatory Academy, where she hoped to learn the skills necessary to enter Starfleet Academy. Her studies mainly centered on the fields of medicine and law, subjects she had learned to appreciate because of her parents’ enthusiasm for their work. She was an excellent student, though some of her peers alienated her because of her need for an adapted environment. As the only physically disabled student, Ry broke new ground and was often the subject of intense scrutiny.
Ry used this attention to her advantage, participating in theater and debate clubs. Once the attention was focused on her as a student and a performer, people no longer cared what she couldn’t do or where she came from. In fact, the outspoken teen had finally found her niche. In 2371, she applied to Starfleet Academy for admission and was excited and pleased to find out she had been accepted, all without the considerable influence of her adoptive parents. She couldn’t wait to tell her family, whom she assumed would be ecstatic.
Unfortunately, they weren’t as pleased as she’d hoped, for they had always assumed Ry would agree to stay on Betazed. Both her parents knew the demands of Starfleet and didn’t want their daughter to know the painful reality of prejudice and discrimination that she would surely encounter once she moved beyond her home planet. It was at this point that her parents decided to tell Ryley the truth about her adoption, in the hope that she would want to stay and try to locate her birth mother, but instead Ry grew angrier, feeling betrayed by her biological mother and adoptive parents. More than ever, Ryley wanted to prove to herself and her adoptive parents that she could achieve all the goals she had set for herself, goals she was never told she couldn’t achieve until that day.
Now that Ryley knew the truth, and although it had been a legal adoption, she felt obligated to disclose her birth name, Ryley Kathryn McKenna, to the officials at Starfleet Academy because she didn’t want to continue to live as a fraud. Still furious at her parents’ deception, Ryley moved out of her parents’ home and went to San Francisco to attend Starfleet Academy. At eighteen, her parents didn’t try to stop her, trusting in the fact that they’d raised their daughter well enough to lead her own life, something that had been their ultimate goal as parents from the beginning. Ry wanted make her own decisions, and her parents hoped one day that would include forgiving them and learning to understand why they had avoided telling her the truth for so long.
Ryley, still angry, but more determined than ever before to choose her own path and identity, at first wanted to change her name to the one she was given by her birth mother and so she set the process in motion, only to decide later to keep the name given to her by her adoptive family. She made the ultimate decision to keep the name Ryley McKenna Kincaid, deciding it was unfair to deny the role her adoptive parents had played in her upbringing, no matter what the nature of their current relationship. She could finally admit to herself that much of her anger was aimed at her birth mother, whom she saw as self-centered enough to give her illegitimate daughter her first name as a middle name, but was not responsible enough to raise her.
Dropping Kathryn from her birth name was just as much an act done out of fairness as it was anger, at least in Ryley’s eyes. She soon realized it wasn’t being lied to about her name that bothered her, but it had more to do with taking control of a situation that she’d had no control over until the day she was told of her adoption. Her admission into the Academy was deemed legitimate because she had earned admittance on her own merits, no matter whom she believed she was when she applied.
Ryley entered the Academy in 2371, as one of the few chosen to participate in the newly established Program for Students with Disabilities. She decided to major in pre-medicine studies, a lofty goal given her handicap, but still attainable in her eyes. Psychiatry and therapeutic practice were at first an afterthought, and was chosen reluctantly after her advisors thought it best she choose a fall back option, should her original career goal become an impossible dream. For Ryley, it was a minor that would help her better relate to her patients. To her surprise, Ry loved her fall back option as much, if not more than her medical focus and that was all the incentive Ryley needed to set her sights on finishing with medical school with a focus on emergency medicine and psychiatry.
Like the two other girls in her program, Karyn Dallas and Laural Witley, Ryley once again experienced the pressure of intense scrutiny and the expectation of failure, but decided to use those feelings to push herself harder. All through school Ry didn’t speak to her parents, filling the gap between them had grown too wide. She worked on the Students with Disabilities Council, founded by her friends Karyn and Laural, was a member of the debate team and drama club, as well as a participant in the academic team. They all faced discrimination the likes of which the three had never encountered before, but all of them endured it, too proud to quit and too scared to admit defeat.
For Ry, failure meant she was just like her biological mother and that her adoptive parents had been right, and she was just too stubborn to admit that. Four grueling years later, she graduated with highest honors and to her chagrin, was offered the opportunity to complete her dual residencies in emergency medicine and psychiatry. Upon completion, she applied for an immediate posting and was assigned to the USS Charity, an Olympic-class Medical Research and Rescue vessel, as a counselor/medical officer.
Admittedly, Ry was nervous about serving in such a specialized and highly coveted post straight from the Academy, but at the time, her medical and counseling background appealed to those who were looking to staff the highly specialized ship. Ryley actually suspected her adoptive parents used their influence to put their daughter at the top of the list, though she had no evidence to prove it. Annoyed at the idea that her parents could have the gall to interfere once again in her future, Ryley decided the best revenge was to succeed at all costs.
What was supposed to be a shining moment quickly turned into Ryley’s worst nightmare. She was constantly belittled and discriminated against by the entire crew, including the captain. Her captain did not appreciate a disabled officer being thrust upon her, no matter what Ry’s qualifications, and she made sure to make that clear to Ryley every time she could. Ryley’s work was above average but suffered because of how she was treated, and so she took shore leave every opportunity she could, something that pleased her captain because it got Ry out of her hair and gave the old fashioned CO an excuse not to promote her.
Constant confrontation between herself and the Commanding Officer was taking its toll on Ry, but she was determined to handle things her own way, taking a small amount of pleasure every time she put the bigot in her place. Ry wasn’t about to run to Starfleet Command, because she surmised they had placed her in a situation where she was either going to sink or swim, something they did to every other newly commissioned officer. Instead, she made the best of the situation, taking time away when she needed to recharge mentally.
While Ryley was on emergency leave visiting a very ill Head Mistress at the orphanage, she received word that a mechanical failure with the USS Charity caused the ship to stray into the turbulent Badlands while they were conducting a search and rescue of the USS Liberty. The Liberty was a scientific research vessel on a routine survey mission. All hands aboard the USS Charity and USS Liberty were lost, except for Ryley who was too busy running from her problems at the time the vessels were destroyed.
Overwhelmed by her feelings of both relief and guilt, Ryley sought solace on Betazed, where she was assigned as Commodore Kurchiev’s adjutant at the Montview Clinic, a counseling facility meant to help Starfleet officers and civilians recover from severe psychological trauma. The majority of her duties were administrative, although she was a part-time counselor as well. Her efficiency earned a promotion to Lieutenant Junior Grade, which pleased Ry, who was just happy not to be confronted with shipboard duty again. She used the time to reflect on her future.
Kincaid’s personal journey to heal from trauma and extreme prejudice ultimately led to a desire to help other trauma survivors. She realized as much she enjoyed conquering the challenge of emergency medicine and saving people on the brink of death, she accepted she didn’t have to please anyone but herself. Ryley found a deeper sense of satisfaction helping people heal their emotional wounds, and she also wanted to better understand the psyches of those who would victimize others, physically and emotionally. Rather than return to Starfleet service immediately, she decided to return to Starfleet Medical to pursue a PsyD with concentrations in forensic and trauma psychology.
The loss of the Charity prompted her adoptive parents to reach out to her, and this time Ry didn’t refuse. They began a tenuous relationship that is still strained, but is improving every day. By then Ry was accustomed to living on her own, a fact that is still hard for her parents to swallow. They rarely speak of the day she moved out or the time in between, but her parents, particularly her father, seems intent on reconnecting with his daughter. He suggested that she return to shipboard duty several times following the destruction of the Charity, but it took her almost a year to seriously consider it.
Deciding it was high time she faced her demons, Ryley applied for an assignment on another Federation vessel, to the delight of her parents and Commodore Kurchiev. Ry was assigned to the new USS Caduceus-A in a dual posting as the Assistant Chief Medical Officer and Counselor, specializing in trauma therapy. Along with assisting the Chief Counselor in coordinating counseling aboard ship, Ry’s duties included maintaining the physical and psychological well-being of the medical staff and Paramedic Flight Team as well as helping to improve patient care.
Commodore Kurchiev was quite pleased with the posting, as she felt with Ryley’s background she was still a perfect match for a medical vessel. Her final assignment as the Commodore’s adjutant was to aid her in supervising the final review of crew evaluations for the personnel formerly assigned to the destroyed Ambassador class USS Caduceus, and to those newly assigned to the Caduceus-A.
Ryley spent three years aboard the Caduceus – A, and although it was a rewarding and challenging experience which earned her a promotion, seeing the worst trauma cases day in and day out really took a toll on Kincaid emotionally and physically. Having to maintain the same level of adrenaline constantly while going behind enemy lines, comforting hundreds of refugees or designing a cure for a widespread illness eventually burned Ryley out. Transferring to a fleet ship would not only give her a chance to recharge her batteries, Kincaid also hoped it would rekindle her passion for helping others whether as a general physician or as a psychiatrist.
She was anxious to begin her assignment on the USS Miranda as a medical officer/counselor and after two years of service, she felt even more confident in her abilities as a clinician and advisor. When Starfleet Medical assigned her to be a Starfleet Medical Representative, an advocate and helping hand for crews in need, she was pleased to be of service. Her first assignment is Oberon Colony, a joint Starfleet and civilian venture aimed to promote scientific and diplomatic interests. Eager to ensure the success of such a venture, Starfleet Command assigned Ryley to support the base’s efforts.
After two years with Oberon, Starfleet Command was pleased with her contributions and was eager to assign her permanently to a new more challenging posting, the USS Arcadia.
|Service Record||2358 – 2371: Betazed Prepatory Academy, Janaran Falls, Betazed
2371- 2375: Starfleet Academy, San Francisco, CA – Pre-medicine Track
2375 – 2379: Starfleet Medical Academy, San Francisco, CA – Emergency Medicine/Psychiatry
2379 – 2383: Starfleet Medical, San Francisco, CA – Emergency Medicine/Psychiatry Residency
2384 - 2387: Starfleet Medical Academy, San Francisco, CA – Psy.D. (with concentrations in Trauma and Forensic Psychology)
2382 – 2383: Medical Officer/Counselor, USS Charity
2383 – 2384: Medical Officer/Counselor, Montview Clinic, Betazed
2387 – 2389: Assistant Chief Medical Officer/ Counselor, USS Caduceus - A
2389 – 2390: Chief Counselor, USS Caduceus - A
2390 - 2391: Medical Officer/Counselor, USS Miranda
2391 - 2393: Chief Counselor, Oberon Colony
Present: Chief Counselor, USS Arcadia