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, 29; David, 28.|
|Marital Status:||Single (Divorced)|
Pre-Star Fleet Life
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 on Allanis, the home port of his current ship the Aces Wild. 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 USS 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. The captain of the ship, Aitrus Colso, recommended that he join Star Fleet. "You're wandering in the dark," he said, "but that doesn't mean it's claimed you yet. We could use you, and you could do some good out here if you just tried."
It seemed like some good advice, and 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.
Early Career - Intrepid and Gettysburg
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.
While the Gettysburg was still on patrol, Nathan came to him with a problem: his oldest friend had contacted him, saying her brother had disappeared on an independent world. He wanted to go look for him, and against her better judgement, Captain Crawford let the two of them go. Pomn was not the most unfriendly of worlds, but it had a reputation as a place controlled by criminals - and the large Ferengi presence did nothing to alleviate that reputation.
Passing themselves as a pair of Federation citizens looking for a good time - though poorly - they began investigating. The police were less than helpful, though they were able to find one detective who had heard of the man they were looking for, and traced him to a bar. Going there, Nathan and Benjamin were ambushed by a pair of Klingons and a fight broke out. They were able to inflict some damage, but were overpowered and taken prisoner.
Waking up in a holding cell, they were able to take advantage of an overconfident Klingon guard to make their escape, discovering that they were in the middle of a sentient trafficking operation. Their friend wasn't there, but soon they found out where he had been taken - a cloaked ship in orbit. Setting all of the other prisoners free while incapacitating the remaining guards, they beamed to the enemy ship, a Bird of Prey.
Fortunately for the two officers, the Bird of Prey was running with just a skeleton crew. They were able to locate their friend on the bridge, and decided to split up. While Nathan went there, Benjamin went to engineering to attempt to commandeer the ship. The pair managed to extricate themselves from the situation, along with their friend, though Captain Crawford was highly displeased with their antics upon return to the Gettysburg. The two were sworn to secrecy, and the incident was swept under the rug since there were no charges filed, despite the two being framed for the death of the police detective. Hours upon hours of punishment details were levied, however.
As Gettysburg approached Earth once more, Iris reached out to him saying Benjamin’s father had messaged her 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.
At the Gettysburg's decommissioning, the USS Artemis was launched to replace her, with the majority of the old crew moving to the new ship. He narrowly avoided an altercation with an older gentleman, whom he later discovered was a former officer friend of the captain's, in an ill-guided attempt to defend Cera Morgan from his spurious advances - an event that surprised him no less than it did everyone else. However, the evening passed without incident, and the crew boarded the Artemis soon thereafter.
In the day or so prior to launch, Benjamin was able to see his sister one more time after she was injured in an accident during her band's tour of Earth. A couple of days to heal and rest, and "Between the Travelers and Me" were able to finish off the tour with one final performance. Benjamin was surprised when his brother David showed up, as well, and brought along a Trill woman that he introduced as his fiance, Sarrai. The prospect of a wedding soured him on the evening, however, and Benjamin soon excused himself, heading back to his new ship and diving back in to work.
Their first mission, as part of their shakedown cruise, brought the Artemis to a rogue planet on the far side of Cardassian space. Utilizing the Artemis' slipstream drive, they were able to make an end-run around them in a matter of hours, instead of the weeks it would have taken with normal warp drive. The mission began uneventfully enough, with the Artemis arriving on-station to support a research team that had arrived a matter of weeks before and shuttling down supplies. Unfortunately, it took a turn for the worse when it came out there was a missing team in a nearby cavern system.
The Artemis away teams were divided up into search teams; Benjamin wound up on the team with Nathan and, more spectacularly, Captain Crawford. They began exploring cautiously, amazed at finding strange metals and alcoves that lined the walls. There were even solid metal humanoid skeletons, which was intriguing. Eventually, though, the tunnels began to spiral down. Benjamin tried to maintain communications by daisy-chaining a signal through various devices such as padds and tricorders, though that only worked so well.
As they went down a sloping spiral, their medic - a 300-pound Caitian - lost their footing and started to slide down. In the man's panic to catch himself, he managed to put a claw straight through Benjamin's foot, which came out when his weight drug him further down. Eventually, he was lost in a chasm at the end of the tunnel. With the help of Lieutenant Briggs he was able to get the wound dressed and press on.
He quickly wished he hadn't, though, as the team made a discovery. The planet wasn't uninhabited, and more importantly it wasn't a planet. It was a Borg vessel. Soon the away teams were attacked, and in a terrible display, Benjamin ran. The captain told him to run, and he took the advice more literally than intended, and accidentally took Nathan and Michelle Price with him. Fortunately, they were able to rally after a stern reprimand from Tyra, and make it out of the cave system. The planet - officially dubbed the Megasphere - was unfortunately able to get away.
While on leave, Benjamin received his invitation for David's wedding, and for lack of a partner to go with, he invited Cera Morgan. They had hit it off at Eli McKenna's wedding, and he had helped her on a project building a firearm for Commander Braggins' birthday, so he called in the favor. The wedding went as anticipated - complete with a long talk between Benjamin and his father that brought them back together for the first time in most of a decade - until the wedding itself was over.
When Benjamin returned to his room, he was confronted by his old captain, Harkens. The criminal had evidently gotten himself free of the Tzenkethi, and begun working for the Syndicate that he and Nathan had run afoul of on Pomn. As punishment for their transgressions, the Syndicate's leader wanted the two officers eliminated, but Harkens saw an opportunity for more. He kidnapped Iris to blackmail Benjamin into stealing weapons for him to sell. He managed to placate the criminal with emergency supplies - Cera was the quartermaster, and would immediately be alerted that something was wrong if their shuttle's weaponry was missing - but he was told he would have to deliver, and soon, if he wanted Iris to live.
Battle of the Megasphere
Returning to the Artemis, Benjamin became surly and aloof. Part of this was by design - Harkens had warned that he had a spy that would be keeping tabs on him - and part of it was simply out of pain. His mind turned and wheeled, trying to find a way out of his predicament, and failing miserably. His drinking worsened, though he managed to hold himself together somehow. The last straw, however, was when he met Lieutenant Commander L'Haan, who had just been assigned as the Artemis' chief engineer.
She was a former instructor from the Academy, and a veteran of the Krynar War. She had a reputation as a superb engineer, but she was also a stickler for the letter of the rule, rather than whether or not it was functional. When she read about the most senior of her new department - an ensign, a former criminal, and a civilian freighter engineer all in one person - she did the only logical thing and banished him to the bridge, rather than having him cluttering up her engine room. This left Benjamin flabbergasted and angry; what right did she have to sideline him like this, when she had come aboard just this day - and now the ship was heading in to battle? She needed what expertise he could offer, and he couldn't stand idly by on the bridge, relaying damage reports when terrible things were about to happen to his ship and his friends.
So, instead of obeying orders, he answered the call from Commander Braggins for volunteers to man the USS Voltaire. He was grateful when he discovered Crewman Kathryn Whitby had followed him, pulling another crewman with her to help him out. The Voltaire was to lead the charge against the Borg, while the Artemis coordinated the captial ship attack force and Admiral Thrawn lead a larger force that would act as a distraction. The battle was indescribable, and best left to the after action reports. The Voltaire was crippled by friendly fire, forcing them to return to Artemis. Benjamin did go to the bridge this time, but soon left again to convert the Voltaire into a spare generator in order to keep the shields of the Artemis running.
Eventually, he was given word of a radiation leak in engineering, and ran to help. Donning his radiation suit, he helped to evacuate those he could, before heading in to look at the warp core itself. He recognized the leak as coming from there, and sealed off the core chamber to protect those in the rest of engineering as much as possible. He stayed inside, however, to close off the leak and ensure that the warp drive continued functioning. His actions earned him the Cross of Gallantry, though Benjamin refuses to discuss it much. From his perspective, the repairs were simple; the difficult part was that four people - friends and fellow officers, even including LCdr L'Haan - had been too close to the core while it was leaking, and lay there in the room with him, already dead when he had reached them.
After the battle, and the escape of the Borg and their two Doomsday Machines, the Artemis returned to Pioneer Station. Harkens pressed the issue and forced him to try and divert several cobalt torpedoes to his clutches, but Benjamin sprung the trap that he had set for Harkens. Making use of the trip home from the wedding, he had hatched a plan with Cera - who was able to get Tyra involved swiftly upon their return - to find the mole and to find Iris. They were able to isolate and trace the mole's communications with Harkens, allowing the local police to find her while Artemis security was able to arrest the mole and the courier they had hired. The fact that Nathan got caught up in making the arrests, and in fact arrested Benjamin as part of the ruse - a fact that Benjamin had to apologize for profusely later on.
As Artemis returned to Federation Space proper, Benjamin took the opportunity to meet with Iris again. He met her new husband and child, and they were able to finally put some of their history behind them. Iris admitted she had been wrong about him, and he admitted that they were wrong for each other in the first place. It was a painful meeting, especially to see how battered and bruised Iris was from her time in Harkens' clutches, but by the end of it Benjamin was able to put her behind him properly for the first time since she kicked him out nearly a decade previously.
Academy Major(s): Engineering
Academy Minor(s): Warp Field Theory
Hobbies and Pastimes: Model building
Short-Term Goals: Be worthy of becoming the chief engineer
Long-Term Goals: Start a side business making weapons and other devices; perfect the bottomless coffee cup
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 - has lessened this of late, though he still overdoes it occasionally.
Achievements: Graduated Cum Laude, Made chief engineer on one of the most advanced starships in the fleet
Disappointments: His divorce. He's come to terms with his ex, but still has bad feelings about what and how it happened.
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, but that doesn’t stop the itching.
Strengths: Excellent problem solver when something breaks on ship
Weaknesses: Still has trouble doing things the Star Fleet way at times
Fears: Star Fleet is his last chance; he’s still 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: Nathan Ramius, Eliana McKenna, Cera Morgan
Personal Paradigm Shifts
Most Painful Experience: While losing his eye would rank up there, the worst was definitely when his wife left him. Despite trying everything he could think of, including trying to find a new job where he could stay closer to home, nothing had worked. She let her own insecurities get to her, and nothing he could have done would have helped that. He knows that now, but could in the moment... it was a dark and painful time, and a time that lasted for years.
Best Time: Watching his younger siblings as they left for university. He knew they were destined for great things, and seeing them get out 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|
|Engineer||USS Artemis, EX-11000||242004.01||Chief Engineer|
|Chief Engineer||USS Artemis, EX-11000||242005.01||Role Player of the Month|
|Chief Engineer||USS Artemis, EX-11000||22012.01||Star Fleet Commendation Medal|
- Unless otherwise specified, the information contained in this document is rated CONFIDENTIAL.