Adrian was born on Risa, to an aspiring lawyer Tiberio Valer and a local dancer Ateutia. Members of his paternal family had been a fixture in Federation politics – and by extension, Starfleet – as far back as anyone could remember. And if the family’s genealogical records were accurate – which should always be taken with a grain of salt – the Valers could even trace their ancestry to one of the ancient families of the Res Publica.. Not surprisingly, his grandfather, then Captain Mario Valer, felt scandalized by his son’s nuptial union with, in the captain’s words, “an entertainer of questionable background”, and never gave the couple his blessing.
In spite of this, Captain Valer took a special interest in his grandson, and took personal charge of the boy’s education, which, besides the usual classics, Latin and social etiquette lessons, always included a daily reminder of his illustrious, if not noble, family name. Young Adrian resented his grandfather’s less than cordial attitude toward his mother, but otherwise met and even surpassed the admiral’s expectation. After high school, he even followed his grandfather’s footsteps and entered Starfleet Academy.
Perhaps partly due to his half-Risian heritage, at the Academy, Adrian quickly earned a reputation as a ladies’ man, incurring more than a few censures from his grandfather, now Rear Admiral Valer, who kept a close watch of his grandson’s Academy performance. Yet Adrian still managed to finish seventh in his class.
A laudable Academy record – at least the academic one – and a few kind words from his grandfather and father gave Adrian’s Starfleet career a jump-start. In his senior year, he was field promoted to acting ensign during his training cruise onboard the USS Westchester, a Galaxy class ship under the command of Captain Ladosia, a protégé of Admiral Valer. During his stay, his father arranged for the Westchester to transport members of the Federation Council committee overseeing Starfleet so that he could make an early impression with the high echelon of Starfleet and Federation politics, a rare opportunity for most cadets. And impression he made. Following his graduation, Adrian entered the fleet as a Lieutenant Junior Grade, skipping the rank of Ensign, and little more than one year later, received another promotion to full Lieutenant.
Adrian gladly accepted the help his family was able to provide him. The way he saw it, his family simply supplied him with opportunities, which he then turned into a stellar career on account of his own efforts. So conscious of his ability, he declined it almost with indignation when his grandfather offered him the chance to become one of the youngest lieutenant commanders in the fleet. He could do it on his own, he believed.
Little did Adrian know at the time that his stellar career would soon make a dramatic downward turn. A casual – and careless – relationship landed him in the middle of an espionage scandal. Having stubbornly refused any intervention on his behalf by his father and grandfather, when the dust settled, he was demoted back to Lieutenant Junior Grade for conduct unbecoming an officer, aggravated negligence and a number of other unspecified charges.
However, this did not stop some from seeing Adrian as no more than a spoiled brat who owed his entire career to his family connection. Such a sentiment was especially strong among some Betazoid officers who lost loved ones in the war, as his grandfather was the flag officer responsible for the Tenth Fleet being caught off position on a training exercise when the Dominion launched their attack on Betazed. To aggravate the resentment, the then rear admiral was never reprimanded for the blunder, and was even promoted toward the end of the war. To some, his grandson’s disgrace was a late, but just, punishment for his wrongs.