Dr. Kaeli Justine Rankin Borgin, MD/Ph.D
Ph.D. biology (microbiology, xenobiology)
M.D. anaes, surg.
Originally born in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada, Kaeli was the oldest of five children. Her father had been a high school biology teacher, her mother a medical doctor. It had lost its UNESCO designation during her childhood, and her father’s hobby of restoring tall ships was ruined by the destruction of Lunenburg’s historic waterfront. Her mother, part Mic’maq and part Scottish-Canadian, was a doctor who had treated many people with a generous and warm spirit.
Kaeli had inherited her mother’s healing instincts and her father’s passion and sensitivity. She had begun attending university in Montreal, Canada at the age of 16, graduating with a Ph.D degree in biology then began attending medical school in California, USA, at the age of 22. During her undergraduate years, she would attend virtual lectures by well-known xenobotanist, Dr. Grace Augustine, the foremost scientific expert on Pandora. Fascinated with the planet, she had thought of going then and there, but decided to join Stanford’s MSTP (Medical Scientist Training Program). Obtaining her MD/PhD, she specialized in anesthesia, trauma surgery, and microbiology.
Kaeli had been married to a Dr. Kyle Borgin during her residency, and suffered a stillbirth in her late twenties. The marriage dissolved a year later after her husband was unable to deal with the loss.
Kaeli then spent the next few years working primarily in a laboratory affliated with Stanford to develop new sorts of medication, leaving the hospital where she and Kyle had worked. She began her research with other doctors and scientists, synthesizing a new antibiotic that would fight the current crop of superbugs, when the laboratory they worked for was taken over by a private company named the Resources Development Agency (RDA).
Kaeli was dismayed by the new ownership, who had told them to discontinue work on their antibiotic. Demanding to continue the work they’d begun, Kaeli was summarily transferred to the RDA’s Avatar program, and informed she would be leaving for Pandora after her avatar was created. She began working with a brilliant scientist named Bru Yakubu, who had left for Pandora before she did. Kaeli had sealed the records of her research of the antibiotic before her departure to Pandora.
She arrived at Pandora after the six year trip, and was awakened from cryo. In the beginning, when she had arrived, she’d seen a mix of hostility, friendliness and curiosity from the Na’vi. The last two she could deal with, however she would return hostility with anger and stubbornness. Her feeling was that she would take responsibility for things she’d done. If someone else with her had erred, she would apologise for the error, but she would not take responsibility for others’ actions. That would include the RDA’s destructive policy on Pandora. She would keep busy, do her work, and continue to try to communicate with the Na’vi.
As she continued to work with the Na’vi, attempting to convince them she meant no harm and was outright fascinated by them, she began to learn the language. She studied it with intensity, murmuring the words she’d learned before going to sleep and constantly speaking the words to the Na’vi. She worked with someone whom she worked with before in the Avatar Program…her mentor, Dr. Bru Yakubu.
She and Dr Yakubu would work at compiling the language together at the small research base they worked at near three clans: the curious and questioning Alimatan; the hostile and provocative Pa’li clan; and the aloof Tanhi standing to the side and observing.
Her turning point, or coming of age, came when she challenged a soldier named Hunter Mystere on his viewpoints, especially on the mining. He pointed a weapon at her while she was linked to her avatar. She turned, still linked, and ran for the school, followed a Na’vi who was speaking with her when this happened. She had kept her avatar in the forest for days, refusing to leave the lab in her human body and spent time now with the Na’vi. She was now allowed into Hometree, and while there, she began teaching the Na’vi English. When she brought the avatar back to the base, leaving the lab now, she had realised that this was a turning point…a wake up call.
After some years on Pandora, she met a young friendly Na’vi male named Jai’Tu’Kan. After dealing with hostility from her own people for siding with the Na’vi, voicing her strong opposition to the mining, Jai was told to protect her. The two spoke together and spent much time together. Kaeli would speak of the problems she had experienced in the base. She had made it clear that she felt the destruction of Pandora was wrong…and as a scientist and doctor, she knew that all life was a miracle.
Jai’Tu’Kan and Kaeli drew closer and closer together, until other Na’vi began to tease them of this. When they did finally mate…Kaeli had felt she’d never been this close to anyone…any soul…before, like this. This was deeper than any relationship that any human would experience, she felt. She had written so far many things on the Na’vi culture, however her observations and feelings for Jai were kept in an encrypted journal to be opened upon her death.
During the time she’d spent there, she’d observed several times where peace and war would ebb and flow. Her feeling in the base became more and more of a siege mentality as she now kept her viewpoints hidden. Some in the base did know she was very close to the Na’vi, and had begun treating her with suspicion.
However one day, a loud crash was heard outside. A large meteor had impacted the Pandoran ground. Kaeli had gone out to get a sample of it, only to have cut herself while doing so. It became apparent afterwards that the illness she suffered afterwards was linked to the meteor. After a long and protracted illness while the virus ravaged her system, crossing the blood/brain barrier, she slowly began to recover. Her body, weakened from being underweight and slight, has suffered permanent damage. She began to walk using leg braces, her avatar more than before. Kaeli has been informed that the virus was still in her system, and she possibly could be deteriorating rapidly. She has been countering it with a synthesized antiviral medication as a temporary measure.
During this recovery period, she moved to the link shack. Since then, she’d become a rogue. She and Bru stayed at a hidden link shack in the Pandoran forest. In the link shack remains a mini lab which she uses to make the medicine she takes to control the seizures that had been occurring.
During the long illness, she also sought the help of Na’vi healers, to see if there was a way of healing her. She was informed that there was no cure for her ill human body, but there was a way to transfer her to her Avatar body permanently.
In a weakened state, she had passed through what the Na’vi called “the Eye of Eywa”. When she awakened, in her Avatar body, it was left with the blue eyes and her hair had turned redder..a remnant of her human body.. a gift given to her.
She is now a member of the Alimatan Clan, as an apprentice healer with unique skills as a human surgeon, while pursuing a path to become closer to the people she loved by becoming ikran makto.
As well, she still maintains contact with the resistance on Earth, becoming known as the rogue terrorist, “The Anarchist” to the RDA. Her methods are normally that of bombing RDA equipment and attempting to subvert the RDA personnel to question their employer’s motives.
“This is Dr. Kaeli Rankin, former director of the Avatar Program on Pandora, nAvitar region, location rogue mobile link. It’s been..” Her voice seemed to give out, then she resumed, still in a raspy tone”..Three months since this illness began. The treatment that was given was insufficient to allow my immune system to finish it on its own.
“Some time ago, I approached the lead healer of the Alimatan Clan, Ka’china, to confirm what I already knew. This virus, this illness, is killing me. I was told I would be dead by the end of the season. Though I’ve outlived past the season, I can feel the time is near though. A doctor knows. Even one..” She again stopped, more to allow herself time to breathe, then continued “..who is a difficult patient. However..something was mentioned. A way of a type of..consciousness transfer is the best way I can put it.. into a different body..such as my Avatar. Ka’china said it was mentioned before but she thought it was far fetched, she’d not seen it done before. Liyanin..the Tsahik of the Alimatan clan, thinks she may be able to do this…transfer…”
Her blue eyes, looked like it dominated her face. Bags under her eyes, and she took a deep breath. “There is also a chance, I’m told.. it may not succeed…and I will die. However.. I am dying anyhow…so ..this is worth..the chance to take. Especially if it means being with Jai..having children again..a new lease on life. I have to take that chance that it will work. If not..I know that I will find rest..”
“If this does not work.. this will be..goodbye..to my family at home..to dear friends such as Dr. Yakubu, who has studied this world with me since I’ve come here….
“This is Dr. Rankin..signing off…”
She reached over, and shut off the camera.