STAR FLEET PERSONNEL COMMAND FILE
|Assignment:||USS Artemis, EX-11000|
|Time on Site:|
|Affiliation:||United Federation of Planets|
|Birthplace:||Archer, Eta Draconis|
|Status of Parents:||Mine manager, Sherwood Mining Company on Eta Draconis|
|Siblings:||Mary, 30; David, 29.|
|Marital Status:||Single (Divorced)|
Hundreds of years ago on Earth, there was an organization called the Foreign Legion. It was an army that served France in one of its forms for quite some time and was shall we say less than picky about who it took as a recruit. Criminals and vagabonds from numerous nations would come to serve there, whether as a way to escape the law or simply to escape from the life they had led before. The traditional view of them was stationed in some border fort in the desert wastes, guarding a forgotten and abandoned outpost against an enemy that would likely never come.
It was a place to go when there was nothing left, when life had upended you and there was nowhere left to go. That was the place Benjamin was what when he joined Starfleet.
Benjamin wasn’t born with an innate desire to see the stars. He wasn’t an explorer, he wasn’t a dreamer. His world was a much more concrete one, growing up in a colony in the Eta Draconis system. His mother died when he was young and his father worked the mines, leaving Benjamin mostly alone with his siblings. He quickly learned to be the responsible one, as though they had a loving father who tried his best, long hours in the mines left him either absent or exhausted. He stayed long enough to see his brother and sister off to universities off-planet, and then joined up with a long-haul freighter out to the edges of known space, glad to finally bid the bleak mines farewell and take up his love of machines and engineering rather than caretaking.
He served a few years making runs between outer colonies and Ferengi space when, as often happens in these stories, he met a girl. Her name was Iris, and she owned a small boutique in the home port of the Aces Wild, the ship he was currently on. They hit it off one night at a small bar he frequented, and after a couple months of meeting up every time he came back, they got married. His ship didn’t allow families, but that was alright – the run was a fairly short one, and he was home with her at minimum two days every week. They’d both known the kind of work he was in when they married.
During a run through Ferengi space, there was an accident in engineering. They were testing a replacement conduit they had gotten from a less-than-trustworthy merchant, when it failed during a pressure test. Shrapnel lodged in his eye, and was beyond the skill of their medic to repair. Due to a lack of credit and low available funds, he wasn’t able to get much more than a functional replacement from the Ferengi hospital he was taken to. When he got back to Federation space, he inquired about getting it and the scarring healed, but discovered the Ferengi rushed the job and it wasn’t attached to the optic nerve correctly, so replacement could wind up damaging the nerve beyond repair. For fear that things would simply get worse, and since the eye he had was functional - if a little glitchy - he simply kept it and made the best of it. Besides, Iris thought the scar gave him a roguish air, which made her happy, and so he was happy, too.
After a year or so, though, the Aces Wild landed a fantastic contract carrying cargo between multiple worlds, running at least four legs per trip. They were gone for two weeks or more at a time, and furloughs between runs were frequently shorter than before. Benjamin, by this time the ship’s chief engineer, could do little but watch things start wearing down. First he saw the crew get more and more tired, which the captain tried to overcome with hefty bonuses coming out of their increased profits. Then he watched the ship wear down and start to break, with Benjamin unable to get new parts until there were no other options. Before long, the ship was a cobweb of jury-rigged and bypassed systems.
Eventually, however, the worst consequence happened. Iris had been understanding when the contract changed, but that patience wore thin quickly. She had always hoped he’d eventually settle down with her, or that they’d find something together on another world, but with the turmoil in the Federation and neighboring powers it just never materialized. And when he was gone for weeks at a time, the strain was simply too much. Her fears and doubts magnified, despite being completely unfounded, and she accused him of cheating on her. No matter what he did, Benjamin couldn’t assure her that she was wrong, but despite trying he couldn’t find a job planetside that would take him, either. Before their third anniversary, she had left him.
In grief, Benjamin left the Aces Wild for an opportunity he’d heard of but passed on before: a lone freighter making runs into Tzenkethi space. It was technically a legitimate run – the Tzenkethi may be xenophobic, but they still needed certain items from other nations – but when it had been offered before he’d known that it was definitely running contraband, as well. There was simply too much profit at stake for the ship not to be, and Benjamin didn’t want to be mixed up in that. Now, though, he didn’t care. He simply told the captain that he didn’t want to know about it if it happened, and she agreed to his terms.
So it didn’t really surprise him the next year when a Tzenkethi patrol ship stopped them on the border the next year and demanded an inspection, despite the inspection point being half a lightyear inside the border. Apparently, the captain had been smuggling narcotics, and had shorted one of her clients. When weapons were fired, he knew that the tramp freighter wouldn’t be able to do anything; their systems were held together by forcefields and prayer. So he did the only thing he could: bundled into an escape pod and launched it back towards Federation space, keeping the beacon off in the hope that the Tzenkethi wouldn’t notice him. And for once his luck held.
He was picked up by the Philadelphia on a routine border patrol, and duly ferried back to the Federation. He was interviewed by law enforcement – after all, he had technically been serving under a criminal – but since his record was otherwise clean and they couldn’t connect him to any illicit activity, he was released. One of the crewmen aboard the Philadelphia that he had befriended by showing him some shortcuts on the maintenance cycles for the transporters recommended he join up, that he could do some good in the fleet.
For the first time in a long while, just doing some good sounded like something he wanted to do. After all, running from his problems hadn’t worked. The kindness he was offered helped him remember that there was still more that he could offer, more to his life than what he had lost.
At first, Benjamin went to a recruiter on Rigel, intending to enlist and just join quickly, but the lieutenant manning the station looked over his records and recommended he go to the Academy proper. “You may be older than the typical cadet,” he said, “but looking at what you’ve managed to do so far in your life, I think you’d do quite well, and would make a fine officer.” Despite being dubious, he agreed and was shipped off to San Francisco.
Fortunately for Benjamin, he was able to get course credit for some of his previous experience in engineering, though he still had quite a few theory classes to take since much of what he’d learned had a more practical bend. Already a bit of a social outcast due to his age, advancing quickly didn’t help him make friends. He dived into his studies to at least have a reason why he wasn’t socializing, though he also spent many a Friday night in the Alien Quarter at some of the seedier bars, as they felt more like home. This lead to more than one reprimand for drunken disorderly, though just enough to be noticed and not be considered unruly for a junior officer.
He graduated a semester early, and while not top of his class, he exited Cum Laude and was quite proud of his achievement. He wished his family could have attended, but he knew they were all busy with their lives, and wouldn’t have time to come all the way to Earth to see him. It was fine, though; he was shipping out quickly, and wouldn’t be able to spend time with them even if they had come.
Assigned to the Intrepid, Benjamin reported in during what appeared to be a showdown of sorts, where the then-First Officer was led off by a vice admiral for “debriefing”, and the long missing Commander Kaiser returned to take up the post. Unfortunately, while it all seemed very significant, Benjamin had no idea what was going on, and simply tried to stay on the sidelines.
During the Transwarp transit to Pioneer Station, the Intrepid dropped out in the middle of the Cardassian DMZ. Transwarp isn’t supposed to allow for that, so they began working diligently to try and figure out what happened. During their investigations, however, they encountered a civilian freighter from a colony in the DMZ, populated by both Cardassians and Bajorans, and shortly after a Cardassian warship arrived.
Eventually, the situation was defused, and the Intrepid was able to make it to Pioneer in one piece. Due to the Transwarp issues, a full diagnostic of the gate mechanism was ordered, and as one of the crewmen with experience of what Intrepid went through, Benjamin was temporarily detached to help with diagnostics. It was resolved fairly quickly, but by the time it was he was being reassigned to the USS Gettysburg.
Two quick hops later, Benjamin was flying out of Starbase Charlie with a small load of medical supplies and relief personnel, into the middle of a standoff with Klingons. Rather than dock, they were beamed into a meeting with the first officer, Jennifer Braggins. After embarrassing himself by handing in a letter to his father rather than his transfer orders, Benjamin immediately got to work trying to ensure quarantine of a medical crisis on the ship. As the lowest-ranked engineer present, he wound up doing most of the schlep-work, though the highlights included designing an interface between a 250-year old black box and the Gettysburg computer, and then keeping his new department head from getting shot by a very pregnant security officer, Eliana McKenna. He was subsequently invited to her wedding.
Due to their coming aboard together, Benjamin was assigned to bunk with Midshipman Nathan Ramius, a security officer. A bit young and innocent, Nathan managed to make an utter fool of himself during the mission, requiring action from no less than Captain Crawford herself. Benjamin was reminded far too much of his younger brother, David, who had had a similar problem keeping himself out of trouble when he was younger. Helping to bolster the younger officer’s spirits made him miss his family even more, but he still couldn’t bring himself to reach out to them. Indecision over what to say, or maybe simply shame at all he had done, kept him from doing so.
Until Iris reached out to him, saying Benjamin’s father had messaged that Mary, his sister, was in the hospital on Earth. Someone needed to be there, and both David and Peter were unable to get there soon. Benjamin went without a thought, and got there the next day. She had gotten injured in a bar brawl at the bar she and her band were singing at, and would fortunately quickly recover. He was grateful to see her, and to tell her what had happened to him. They spent quite a bit of time talking to each other, but she made him promise to contact their father sooner rather than later. He agreed to, but after the Gettysburg’s decommissioning ceremony. Since he didn’t have new orders other than to attend, he felt like he was up in the air until then, and wanted a more concrete footing for that particular conversation.
Academy Major(s): Engineering
Academy Minor(s): Warp Field Theory
Hobbies and Pastimes: Model building
Short-Term Goals: Try to fit in with his new crew. He’s used to much smaller crews, and so he’s unsure how he’ll handle a larger ship
Long-Term Goals: Undetermined; currently very much in flux
Personality: Quiet and reserved, but boisterous with friends
Sense of Humor: Self-deprecating.
Phobias: Being stranded, either trapped underground or adrift in space
Likes: Folk music, a good book
Dislikes: People who don’t carry their weight
Pet Peeves or Gripes: When someone thinks they know how he should handle his family life better than he does. His life has been a complicated one; unless they’ve lived it, too, they should keep their noses out of it.
Bad Habits or Vices: Heavy Drinker
Achievements: Graduated Cum Laude, Has been successful as a starship engineer for several years
Disappointments: His divorce. He still loves Iris, and wishes he could’ve made it work. Still wears his wedding band.
Illnesses: Replacement eye due to a shipboard accident on the last ship he served on. Replacement works just fine, but it still itches. Doctors tell him it’s a psychosomatic issue. Doesn’t stop the itching.
Strengths: Excellent problem solver when something breaks on ship
Weaknesses: Still has trouble doing things the Starfleet way at times
Fears: Starfleet is his last chance; he’s afraid he’s going to do something to blow it
Prejudices: People who abandon family when they need help; after all, if you can’t turn to family, who can you turn to? To willingly turn your back on them is just a step too far for Benjamin.
Off Duty Clothing Tastes: Tee shirts and jeans
Distinguishing Features: Scar over the right eye, right eye is mechanical.
Friends: . Currently none.
Personal Paradigm Shifts
Most Painful Experience: While losing his eye would rank up there, the worst was definitely when his wife left him. He’d sensed it coming for a while, as the last few months of their marriage were conducted by subspace more often than in person, which is no way to make a relationship last. He had looked for new jobs with little success, but after she left he questioned just how hard he’d tried. Despite knowing how much he had loved her and tried everything he could to keep her, there’s always hindsight that plays tricks on the mind.
Best Time: Watching his younger siblings as they left for university. He knew they were destined for great things, and seeing them get off of Archer and out into the wider galaxy was wonderful
Most Crucial Experience: The death of his mother. She died when Benjamin was only 11 - old enough for him to know what he was going to have to do. His father tried to be there for them, but mining isn’t the easiest profession, and with three children he just couldn’t do what he wanted and needed to do. So a lot of the time, it fell to Benjamin. He became very take-charge as a result, but also grew to resent his father a bit. He understands, especially now, all the pressures on his father, but still hasn’t quite gotten past having to be a parent to his siblings.
Role Model: James Temlin, the mine technician where Benjamin’s dad worked. He was gruff, but always friendly whenever Ben came up to the mine, and taught him some basics that got him started on his career path. Whenever he tried to picture what an engineer should be like, James is what he comes up with, and tries his best to project the same picture to those around him.
|Cadet||Star Fleet Academy||241406.10 – 241806.25||Star Fleet Academy Graduate Ribbon|
|Engineer||USS Intrepid, CA-1708||241806.26||Midshipman|
|Engineer||USS Gettysburg, CA-1863||241812.01||Role Player of the Month|
|Engineer||USS Gettysburg, CA-1863||241812.01||Ensign|
|Engineer||USS Artemis, EX-11000||241903.01||Transferred|
|Engineer||USS Artemis, EX-11000||241903.01||Lieutenant Junior Grade|
|Engineer||USS Artemis, EX-11000||241903.01||Star Fleet Commendation Medal|
|Engineer||USS Artemis, EX-11000||241905.01||Role Player of the Month|
|Engineer||USS Artemis, EX-11000||241907.01||Role Player of the Month|
|Engineer||USS Artemis, EX-11000||241908.01||Role Player of the Month|
|Engineer||USS Artemis, EX-11000||241908.01||Lieutenant|
|Engineer||USS Artemis, EX-11000||241911.01||Role Player of the Month|
|Engineer||USS Artemis, EX-11000||241912.01||Star Fleet Achievement Medal|
|Engineer||USS Artemis, EX-11000||242004.01||Star Fleet Cross of Gallantry|
- Unless otherwise specified, the information contained in this document is rated CONFIDENTIAL.