Born in the mid-24th century, Selke was technically the first full-blooded Romulan to join Starfleet. She’s also technically deceased, but components of her personality live on, in the mind of the woman T’Priell. Possessed of a scholarly nature, and something of a political dissident, the original Selke sought a career in academia. Her enthusiasm for archaeology - her chosen field - surpassed any loyalty to the Romulan Star Empire; she cared little for her government’s conflict with the Federation. Over the course of her career, she met and befriended the Vulcan T’Priell, which ultimately resulted in her conscription by the Tal Shiar.
As a young woman, Selke was a student of archaeology professor N’Vat. She considered him a mentor in life, and aspired to be his star pupil. She cared little for the politics of the Empire, and was unconcerned with the galaxy at large. In 2371, Selke agreed to join N’Vat and another student named Terek on an open-ended expedition to discover the common origins of the galaxy’s Vulcanoid species. Though N’Vat was motivated entirely by scientific curiosity, he nonetheless believed his expedition embodied the spirit of the Romulan people. Anxious to install in Selke the same values, he took her to view the famous Firefall of Gal Gath’thong, which he considered the embodiment of the Romulan heart.
N’Vat, Selke and Terek soon journeyed to an unclaimed world on the edge of Romulan space. While there, they encountered a young Vulcan woman named T’Priell. Like them, she was investigating Vulcanoid history, having deferred her entrance to Starfleet Academy in order to do so. N’Vat suggested they combine their efforts, and T’Priell accepted. The small group began to catalogue the planet’s artefacts, and in a short amount of time, Selke and T’Priell became friends. Unfortunately, N’Vat’s dissident politics had come to the attention of the Tal Shiar, who had worked to ensure the findings of the expedition would be made to serve the Empire. After the startling discovery of advanced technology, Terek revealed himself to be an undercover agent, who hoped to deliver the equipment to his masters on Romulus. Using excavation explosives in her backpack, T’Priell instead managed to destroy the technology. Sadly, the explosion mortally wounded her. T’Priell then made the ritual request that Selke carry her katra, and return it to Mount Seleya on Vulcan. Touched by her friend’s sacrifice, Selke readily agreed, and accepted the essence of T’Priell’s mind into her own.
The Tal Shiar, however, had a very different agenda than returning the katra home. Arresting Selke, they realized the great potential in a Romulan possessing the mind of a Starfleet cadet. A Tal Shiar Sub-Commander named Thokol decided to reconfigure Selke into the perfect spy for the Romulan Empire. Thokol had the young woman press-ganged into Tal Shiar service, and brainwashed into accepting a violent persona at odds with her original personality. She was also surgically altered to look like T’Priell. Thokol then submerged Selke’s true identity deep within her own subconscious, allowing T’Priell’s katra to control the body. Essentially, Thokol created a spy unaware of her own mission or true identity. She would act as, and believe herself to be, the Vulcan cadet she’d once befriended; at least until Thokol triggered the re-emergence of the Selke persona. The Tal Shiar now possessed the perfect sleeper agent.
Upon arrival at Starfleet Academy in 2372, “T’Priell” was placed in Omega Squad, under the command of Trill Commander Kyethn Zund. Other Omegans included Nog (also the first Ferengi in Starfleet) Matt Decker, Pava Ek’Noor sh’Aqabaa, and squadron leader, Kamilah Goldstein. The transfer of T’Priell’s katra to Selke was never meant to be a long-term commitment, and “T’Priell” often felt out of place, as well as suffering unexplained emotional breakdowns. Also, despite the thoroughness of Thokol’s programming, she had occasional - and confusing - memory flashes of her true self. During the squad’s first liberty to Sydney, Australia, “T’Priell” encountered a drunken Oguran woman who claimed to have the ability to identify a person’s race on sight, regardless of cosmetic alteration. She indeed identified “T’Priell” as Romulan, but she was so drunk no-one took the claim seriously.
“T’Priell’s” psychological instability did prove useful on occasion. When Omega Squad took a runabout to the Thasus system, they encountered the Human Charlie Evans, who had been granted god-like power by the Thasians back in the 23rd century. When the Thasians left this plane of existence they were unable to take Charlie with them, and he’d been left alone on Thasus. Charlie had created a slightly out of phase alter-ego for company, but the being quickly grew unstable. It attacked the crew of the freighter El Dorado as well as Omega Squad’s runabout, trapping them both in a pocket universe of its own creation. “T’Priell”, sensing a duality in Charlie that was similar to her own, was successful in talking him down from his anger. In an act that may have cost him his own existence, Charlie defeated his other self, and restored his captives to their original position. T’Priell had indirectly resolved the crisis, but the antipathy between Charlie’s two selves was deeply troubling to her, and complicated her own sense of disjointed selfhood. Another benefit to Omega Squad resulting from “T’Priell’s” true nature came in the form of a Tal Shiar guardian angel. In 2373, when Omega Squad was fleeing a death sentence brought on by the cadets’ journey to Talos IV, they were unknowingly assisted in escaping the USS Sagan by Thokol, aboard a Romulan Bird-of-Prey. The spy-master didn’t wish his greatest experiment to be killed. Fortunately for both him and Omega Squad, the charges against them were later dropped following the meme virus crisis.
Selke’s cover identity wasn’t perfect, of course. Being based upon the katra of T’Priell, rather than the Vulcan’s full consciousness, it wasn’t sufficient to fool those who’d known her. When the real T’Priell’s parents visited the Academy for the traditional sophomore parent’s day, they realized something was terribly wrong with their daughter. Telark and T’Pen hadn’t seen T’Priell since she left for her independent study project two years prior, and already felt something was wrong. Their concerns were intensified during their visit and after returning to Vulcan they came to the conclusion that, illogical as it might seem, the woman calling herself “T’Priell” was not, in fact, their daughter. They immediately contacted Academy Commandant Andrea Brand with their suspicions.
However, as part of her conditioning by Thokol, Selke had subconsciously programmed the communication system at the Academy to alert her if such a message was detected. She was thus aware of her ouster as soon as it happened. This triggered the re-surfacing of the brainwashed Selke persona, who immediately aimed to return to Romulan space. Using cruel and painful tactics taught to her by the Tal Shiar, Selke attacked Omega Squad and overpowered her former friends. She was able to deliver them to Thokol, who was very interested in Selke’s newest squad-mate Edam Astrun, a Betazoid who had the highest psi-Q ever recorded in his species. Instructed to perform invasive medical experiments on Astrun, who, ironically, the T’Priell persona had begun developing romantic feelings for, Selke then left the rest of the squad to die at the hands of ravenous raptor rats. Remnants of her pre-conditioning, pacifistic self still existed underneath Thokol’s brainwashing, though. These sub-conscious impulses from the “real” Selke momentarily seized control and Selke countermanded her previous actions, and her orders, in order to save Omega Squad from death. With further assistance from the Romulan Re-Unification Movement and Professor N’Vat, the squad sought to escape the Romulan base. Their initial attempt was foiled by Thokol, who then killed N’Vat. The trauma of seeing her beloved mentor murdered caused the real Selke to shake off her Tal Shiar programming, and Thokol was defeated.
Rescuing Astrun, the rest of Omega Squad initially planned on leaving Selke to her fate. Astrun insisted they help her, though, having sensed the conflict within her as her original character traits reasserted themselves, as well as her feelings for him. He insisted she was two women in conflict, as well as their friend and comrade in need. Finding Selke at the edge of a firefall, contemplating suicide, Astrun and Decker convinced the confused Romulan to step back from the brink and accept Omega Squad’s forgiveness. Astrun confessed his own feelings for Selke at this time. The cadets were retrieved from Romulan space by the timely appearance of, ironically, the starship Sagan.
The external crisis was over, but Selke’s internal torment still required resolution. The Sagan travelled to Vulcan, so T’Priell’s katra could finally be removed from Selke’s mind. The process wasn’t easy, though, as the priestess assigned to the case reported that the katra had been in residence too long. It could no longer be removed unless it wished to depart, and it had no desire to leave after integrating so deeply in its current body (having fully controlled it for months). Essentially, both T’Priell’s katra and Selke’s original consciousness believed themselves rightful owners of her mind and body, and began to struggle for dominance. With the assistance of Kyethn Zund (who, as a joined Trill, had plenty of experience with shared minds) and Astrun, the two psyches were eventually able to merge, forming a new functioning personality incorporating traits and memories from both forebears. The new combined being chose to go by the name T’Priell, as that was how her squad-mates knew her best. Following the integration, Telark and T’Pen accepted T’Priell as their daughter.
The Federation gave the young woman political asylum, anxious to have access to her knowledge of the inner workings of the Tal Shiar. Starfleet allowed T’Priell to continue her education at the Academy; as it was deemed the best way to enable healing. The agreement was conditional, though; she had to undergo regular psychiatric counselling and periodic mind-melds with a Vulcan katra expert. Given the precedent established by the half-Romulan Soleta, it’s unlikely T’Priell would ever receive a posting on a starship.
In early 2374, when in combat with the cadets of the rival Klingon squad First Cadre, T’Priell combined the discipline of a Vulcan with the ruthlessness of a Romulan agent.