Commander Wade MacHugh
A young officer from a recently war-torn region, he is the sort which strikes many as hard to pin down. A firm holder of the Federation's basic creeds he is none-the-less the former child of an extremely xenophobic world where he was never allowed to feel at 'home', and where his tendency to be skeptical, investigative, and defensive began. A former security department head, his skills will be no-doubt useful to himself and the rest of the crew of Carnwennan Station in the days to come.
Wade is described best in two words, separate and not normally used together, though they are the pillars of his persona and mental strengths. Those words are enthusiastic, and responsible. Despite the torment he’s seen in the world, despite the stereotypes which people would no doubt expunge towards a part-Vulcan, he is a young man who loves easily and readily, makes friends without concerns, and keeps his responsibilities as the anchor in his proverbial ship high in the waves of happiness.
This is not to say he is a perfect human, or a perfect sentient being. Given his heritage and his lack of concern or even disdain with Vulcan culture, which is pointed- even having shown offense at being offered a Vulcan delicacy by a friend in Starfleet Academy who did not know his history, he is rather emotional over all. His own attempts at meditation help cool his more heated passions, but it is not unlikely to see the security officer breathing heavily as he holds back a volley of heated words or heated actions. He is a good listener, and calm aside from a short and ready anger when buttons are pushed, but it can be said that the entirety of his happy-go-lucky and enthusiastic personality is a mask put up by a young man who is concerned heavily with his own dark side, especially with the actions of his father and the ready and violent temper said half-Vulcan, Aedan, had. So despite his disdain for Vulcan culture, and his own Vulcan nature, this fear of his darker emotions does make him come off from time to time as the ‘typical Vulcan’, despite his heavy human genetics and leanings.
The one exemption to the rule of hiding himself, at least with everything but the dark side, is his little sister, Eradis. She does now and has always, gotten his full affection, love, and attention- especially after the expulsion of the two from of their homeworld, the former colony of Gaebolga, and his becoming her primary guardian.
Wade was born on the federation colony of Gaebolga, the sixth generation of his paternal grandmother’s family born on the colony, his story couldn’t really be told best from his own birth. It would be incomplete, confusing, to quote a certain borg, ‘insufficient’. The colony itself was born initially by neo-celtic colonists from the planet Earth, who had left it to make their own way of life and also to keep themselves from getting overly influenced by new age federation culture or the culture of the aliens which so readily mingled with humanity. While not specifically a ‘human’s only’ colony, it was a colony which had such a vast amount of human-preferring businesses, persons, and attitudes that any alien minorities which settled upon it often found themselves feeling so unwelcome that they felt it was better to leave.
This was in part from the influences of the old human terrorist organization, ‘Terra Prime’ on its founding members, some of which were even remarked to be indoctrinated in the group as children or were the children of members. So his familial line blossomed, and continued unfettered as human, proud, and hard-working. That is to say, until a certain incident with his grandmother, Laura. A woman who had been raised to view humans as superior to others, and had innate distrust of alien species, she none the less worked closely with a Vulcan who had settled upon the planet under the employ of the Federation geological commission, a Vulcan by the name of Lubrok.
Logically, over the course of time they worked together, Lubrok began to admire her mental capacities and her appearance, as well as what he mistook for logical indifference to emotion, what was actually an attempt to be socially frigid with him. In the end, Lubrok, devoted to his work, ignored the signs of his Pon’Farr, or simply did not know what they were. When he requested her to be his mate, citing that she was the only suitable partner on the planet or within traveling distance, he was denied–of course. But he had ignored the symptoms for too long, hoping too much for a positive answer, and in the end he committed an act which he has regretted since that time, if not still regrets, feeling guilty as his conscious will allow. He raped her, inevitably impregnating her with the son who would be known as Aedan.
Rage-filled as she was at the incident, at her own weakness, at the fact that her willingness to trust (even minutely) an alien such him being returned with that action, she did not do as many would expect her to do, and abort the ‘unclean’ child which she found herself bearing. No, she carried him to term, knowing full well that it would be unlikely that after such tainting she would easily find a husband amongst the friends whom she had known so long. But more than that, she knew that as long as Lubrok lived, even if he left the planet, he would know there was a sign of his sin, of his weakness to emotion and of his offense against her, in her son’s existence.
Wade’s father, Aedan, was raised by Laura as she would raise any other son as a single mother. He knew that he was the apple of his mother’s eye, or as much as he could be, given the ‘not being whole’ he realized himself to be as soon as he first saw a mirror, and compared it to no one else having ears like him; but he was raised as a human by his mother, by his extended family, by the community. While at first there were reservations, in the end they decided it was true, the boy’s father wasn’t any choice of the boy’s. That was an unlucky draw of the cards.
Time passed, and Aedan grew proud of himself, different or not. He began to find a seed of anger, of hate, when he realized who his father was; and when as a teenager his mother finally revealed to him the exact cause of his conception. This man, this, ‘Dirty knife-ears’ was the reason why he was different, the reason why he was hated! It sent the boy into a rage and for days he did exactly that, raging. Out in the outskirts of town he punched and kicked and tantrumed until he had to visit the doctor for the bruises, bumps, cuts, and wounds he had given himself in his anger.
Of course Lubrok had watched, in silence, as it happened. He had seen his ill-begotten son and after the incident attempted to council him, to tell him of his Vulcan heritage, to teach him to better control his emotions. Anything to make the hurt he had causes a little better, Lubrok felt. But he was denied, of course he was denied. Aedan hated him, and soon as he was an adult and attempted Starfleet Academy, he realized this hatred wasn’t for Lubrok alone, it was for all Vulcans. They were all like this male who had brought about his existence, had desecrated his mother. Emotionally, irrationally, illogically, he allowed the cycle of hate to continue until he of course found himself out of the Starfleet Academy and on a shuttle back home.
It was in the time at the Academy that he had met the woman who would be his wife, and she returned to Gaebolga with him, already heavy with their first child. Aedan went into construction and general contracting work, putting his mind for engineering (and destruction) to work, and soon they had a son.
Wade. A boy born with features which heavily featured his father’s mother’s family, but also heavily favored his human genetics. A boy who his father both hated for having the smidgen of Vulcan blood he had, and loved. A son who quickly took to his father’s teachings about the Vulcan species, about their flaws, about their perceived sins. Wade, a boy who glared at his own grandfather every day on his way home from school.
But the colony had grown since the time of his grandmother, it had and while his immediate family loved him or at least tolerated him, his neighbors and peers often treated him different, or ignored him altogether. Even at things such as the school dance, he was denied by a girl because, ‘why would she want to go to a dance with a stupid knife-ears?’ In the end, the same pressures which sent his father into Starfleet sent the boy into it, tension with his father over his heritage, with his neighbors over his existence, and the boyish pursuit of love. At the age of 17, he left for Starfleet and didn’t look back until upon his first posting, on the USS Stirling, he found that he had a little sister. A girl who even in the vidcall to him beamed and smiled, giggling at him- despite being only a half-year old.
He felt a connection immediately, and any ill-will he felt to the rest of the world, human, vulcan, or otherwise, he couldn’t even hope to feel towards this little girl, just like him. So he did his work with a smile, a grin, a bounce in his step, because he realized if he did well he could help his sister, even if it wasn’t his place, even if she wasn’t born until he was already a grown-adult, he felt he should be her shield.
So he worked hard in the Stirling’s Security division, but didn’t seem the most friendly. Both because of his natural problems with social skills and his lack of real time to spend with his peers, thanks to his typical use of any free time he had to talk to his little sister, or leave he had to visit her and his family. Whatever problems he had with his father, whatever violent incidents he had seen him commit as a child, he kept them to himself as he visited home- and his parents were both proud of him.
So time passed, and he continued working hard, stationed on the Stirling for another two years before asking for a transfer to a ship stationed a bit closer to Gaebolga. Continuing his hard work, despite his frigid interactions with other crew and officers from time to time, he soon found himself in the rank of Lt. Junior Grade. Things looked good, though he was restraining himself from the full Starfleet experience and possibly even hindering his progression in rank with his lack socializing with superior officers and peers.
It as five years after Starfleet Command’s initial departure from Starbase 205 and the Carnwennan System, in 2384, was when things changed. On leave to Gaebolga, he felt tension in the air even days after he returned, and after an incident where a mob of colonists nearly killed a Ferengi merchant who was accused of attempted kidnapping – an incident which Wade interfered with to stop, things erupted. He and the Ferengi barely escaped the scene, and the Ferengi scurried to his ship but took off without even reloading the goods which had been taken off the ship in look for ‘evidence’.
Even with the child found, apparently having been camping in a nearby forest for the past two weeks but having neglected to tell her parents, the anti-alien, and anti-federation fervor by the human majority of the planet was at an all-time high. When a federation patrol vessel was picked up coming its way, coming largely because the vessel was Wade’s ride back to his ship, the fervor erupted into warfare. The aliens, and part-aliens were rounded up by this raving mob, and a declaration of independence from the Federation was called from the planet’s leaders in hope of furthering their own political power and calming the mob’s fervor and demands.
Luckily, the MacHugh household lived on the outskirts of town, but unluckily, Aedan was so well known that he was one of the first they came to round up for trial, execution, or ejection. Wade knew his father was respected enough to get out of the situation, but given his status as an officer of Starfleet, and given his little sister’s status as a hybrid he didn’t want to take chances. Even as the patrol vessel left to report what was going on, he packed his bags and his sister’s bags, kissed his mother good-bye, and left in the dead of night, before the mob arrived. Taking Eradis with him, he went into the wilderness of Gaebolga, searching for the one person he felt could help them, to save them. Lubrok.
It hadn’t taken the galaxy’s greatest detective to be able to tell that Lubrok was his likely grandfather, and even if he wasn’t he felt the need to warn him. Because the old Vulcan was an object of hate and obstrication by the citizens of Ternyan’s Cross and Gaebolga as a whole. Lubrok found his first step to redemption then, of course. Because when Wade arrived with Eradis, Lubrok was able to save them at least. Taking the small spacecraft which he owned and used as he had for personal travel since his retirement with the Federation Geological Service, the Vulcan and his ill-begotten grandchildren left Gaebolga perhaps for the last time.
Independent of the Federation, one of its first laws banned non-human citizens aside from specific cases, and banned non-human residents outside of specific residential areas near the spaceport. Further, it put major limit on what non-humans could do on Gaebolga, and their trade. So it wasn’t rocket science that made Wade move to cease custody of his sister in Federation courts. While his parents didn’t fight it, wouldn’t have–Gaebolga did and lost.
Returning to the USS Dallas, the ship which he was stationed upon, he arranged for his sister’s residence upon the ship as well and took primary care of her, working hard to be a good big brother and parental figure to her, and further, to make things better for them. It was for this reason, that despite his finally beginning to make friends on the USS Dallas, even if it was the pure magnetism of his little sister’s ready smile being the perfect beginning point for interaction between he and others; that he jumped after only minimal consideration at the chance of being stationed upon the USS Sentinel as potential chief security-tactical officer, having lived on the USS Dallas for 3 years and in that time making Lieutenant, he felt it was probably better to get better places for them, especially because his current quarters had started to be a little crowded when counting a six year old little sister in things.
Wade was accepted onto the USS Sentinel as the Chief of ‘Tactical Operations’, which on that ship was the combined security, tactical, and intelligence departments. While serving on the ship, once again his sister proved the outlet of socialization for the quarter-Vulcan, the young girl making herself quickly popular amongst the crew of the ship, particularly the senior staff. Things were looking up, and continued largely to be looking up despite circumstances on the Sentinel which no crew would wish to happen. Many members of the crew were attacked and wounded, if not killed by an alien entity most commonly called ‘The Probe’ by the crew of the Sentinel, a probing drone machine which had crashed itself into the Sentinel and through the bulkheads. In the effort to stop the probes and keep the ship from being taken over by them, several members of the security-tactical department, and several marines were killed; a few under the supervision and orders of Lieutenant MacHugh himself.
This incident, the first time he had actually had crew die on his watch, weighed heavily on Wade’s psyche, and as he continued to carry the heavy workload of the Tactical Operations department along with this psyche guilt, he inevitably got into a squabble with another senior officer who happened to do a lot of skirt chasing, and which the already strained security department had to keep investigating. The result saw Wade given the third shift bridge watch in the Captain’s chair as punishment, and as a way to try to make him ‘mature’ over the matter of how a senior officer is meant to act. While Wade served this duty without issue, continuing to run his department and participating in away missions, the total work load on the ship on his shoulders began to give strain to the Lt, and after the incident with what may well have been an AI infecting the Sentinel from the Drone’s attack, left over- Wade began seriously to consider a transfer to a station or starship which was stationed in a less dangerous region; if not for his own ease, but for his sister’s safety- given while the Sentinel had yet to even travel through the Gavarian corridor, it had been in seriously dangerous situations twice in a very short time.
He felt conflicted on the matter- and did not fully seek a transfer despite considered it; but soon found things chosen for him. The Starfleet Base 205, otherwise known as ‘Carnwennan Station’, which itself had been in his home system for quite a while with a skeleton crew to deter Talarian incursion into the system, apparently found itself in need of a new command- and Task Force 72, as well as the Fourth Fleet’s Admiralty, thought that Wade best fit that job, given his experience with the system and his status as a former Gaebolgan, who was a Federation citizen and along with his sister, persona non grata on the secessionist planet, even if he had never done anything to be hated by it. As a part of the initial group which investigated the original station following its infestation by pirates and Gaebolgan secessionist elements, he had advised the command staff and General Potter against the destruction of the station, and even with its destruction and his reassignment from that task force had filed several reports on the incident and his official thoughts on the danger it provided to the region as a whole because the death of secessionist elements by Starfleet assets, purposeful or otherwise, was the sort of thing which would just fuel more and more of their like into the fold.
His reports seemed to go unnoticed, at least to himself, until the new Starbase 205, ‘Carnwennan Station’ was completed nearly a year later, and the then lieutenant commander was tapped especially to be its executive officer, and reassigned along with his sister, to the region he once called home. If the task ahead of him didn’t already make the 29 year old feel the pressure, the weight of his recent billet promotion to Commander personified that weight all the more.