Chris has always been a very modest person, consumed with a passion for perfection in his actions but always too humble to take first place when another wants it more. He is known for his calm, often expressionless demeanor and gentle gaze that simultaneously comforts and mystifies. He prefers to be the wall flower, the silent participant in a conversation, more interested in studying the words of others than filling others ears with his own. As for his time spent as an Executive Officer, Chris has always chosen to lead by example and tends to promote leniency for simple “learning” mistakes in all but the worst grievances. He wants the people he works with to view him as approachable, not the revered titans that other XO’s and CO’s have been famously known for. At the same time, he demands
Chris was born aboard the USS Frigate, a Miranda class picket ship aboard which his father was Chief Diplomatic Officer at the time. Chris spent the first five years of his life aboard the Frigate and can vividly recall many fond memories from that time in his life; but, after his father retired from Starfleet, he spent the rest of his childhood on Earth in his parent’s native Southern Region of the old United States of America.
The youngest of 5 children, Chris often received the most attention from his mother but very little from his father who spent most of his time in the service of the Federation’s diplomatic corps (Pre-and-Post retirement) and visited home only when the chance arose. During those times that Johnny was home, his attention was mostly given to his wife and two oldest children, who were then adults themselves and attending prestigious schools in eastern Europe. There was an unmistakable bond between Chris and his older siblings but all were very independent and lead lives of their own. It wasn’t often that their interests placed them on common paths.
As he got older Chris spent more and more time by himself, hiking the hills of his parent’s rural ranch property and tending to his mother’s Horses. He had taken to riding Horses and competing in regional shows, enjoying the physical and mental challenge of training an animal to perfection as well as the deep bonds that he shared with his equine companions. At the time, he preferred the company of the horses and his dogs to that of others his age but did maintain a few close friendships.
As Chris grew into a man, he began to spend more time with his father who had come to take more of an interest in his youngest son’s life. The older children had all gone on out of the house and pursued their own desires in life and Johnny lamented that none had chosen a life in Starfleet, as he had when he was a young man. Chris knew that his father wanted him to enlist as he had but while Chris had become interested in a life in the service he dreamed of commanding a ship of his own one day, breaking it and perfecting it as he had done his stallions as an adolescent. He finally chose to apply for entry and he was accepted into Starfleet Academy at the age of 19.
Chris had been entirely unprepared for life at the academy; he had never lived in a city or among such a diverse group of people in his adult life. Though he had read about many cultures he was directly exposed for the first time to numerous alien species, cultural concepts and customs, the sheer magnitude of the experience nearly overwhelmed him within his first month but through counseling assistance and a hardnosed work ethic he managed to endure. As time went on, he remained as secluded as he was at home, preferring his dorm room and academic studies over fraternization in his free time.
Through the prodding of his roommate, another American from the old Earth state of Texas named David Cooley, Chris eventually emerged from his self-imposed isolation in his second year and joined one of the minor league Soccer teams at the academy. After a few months of playing he earned the nickname “Keeper” after proving to be one of the best goalies the campus had seen in years.
It was late in his second year that tensions with the Dominion finally broke out into a full-scale war. The mood on campus changed and what was once a mostly jovial life had become one of necessity and dread. Chris had nearly completed half of his degree in Starship Operations when he and the bulk of his class were re-directed into crash courses in Security/Tactical and Command. Within six months of the change the then third year cadets were sent out to their first assignments with field commissions as Ensigns and expected to bolster the dwindling ranks of the fleet.
Half of the war was over when Chris was assigned to the USS Lee, an older Ambassador class escort, as a Tactical officer; but even so, the ship and its crew saw more than its fair share of combat. Serving in half a dozen major confrontations toward the end of the war the crew of the Lee saw many casualties and it seemed to Chris that the death of a superior was always the manner in which he was promoted. By the end of the war, Chris found himself a Lieutenant JG and the assistant head of the tactical department aboard the Lee.
After the end of the war, much of the ship’s crew was given a month leave for recuperation and many chose to resign their commission, the stress having been too much. Chris was one of only a handful that chose to remain on board to assist with the ship’s systems’ recalibrations and readiness checks. He had lost a few friends and mourned as many others did, but knew that work was the best way that he could manage his feelings.
Later, Chris was made the chief Tactical officer aboard the Lee and continued serving aboard the ship under two different Captains. In that time Lee had seen action on many different sides of the Federation and against various adversaries, but he never enjoyed the tense combat situations. He actually hated having to face combat and disliked his duties as tactical officer, but knew that he was good at his job and enjoyed the atmosphere aboard the small vessel.
After two years, Chris was finally ready for a change of scenery and, after carefully considering various position offers, he chose to accept a position as Chief Tactical Officer aboard the USS Omaha, one of many new Starfleet patrol ships preparing to embark on its first mission from Utopia Planitia. Once aboard he was put to work calibrating tactical and scanning systems and greatly enjoyed the opportunity to put his Operations training to use.
The ship was ready to sail later that year and was assigned as its primary mission the patrol of the Federation’s most northerly borders. Through the following two years, the Omaha spent the majority of its time in that region, occasionally taking on escort assignments, guiding high profile ships to and from the region. Chris was pleased that his first few years aboard the Omaha went by with little conflict, the ship’s first Captain, James Wescott – had a talent for diplomacy quite uncommon among picket ship’s COs.
Captain Wescott was eventually reassigned to command a larger Prometheus class vessel and the command of the Omaha fell to its then first officer, a Commander Yuvok of Vulcan. Chris and Yuvok had never been close, but they were amicable toward one another. When the new Captain chose to promote Chris to Lieutenant Commander and make him his XO, Chris was surprised. He had wanted a shot at command since he first started at the academy; he hadn’t expected it so soon.
Through the following year, Chris distinguished himself as the XO of the Omaha, leading numerous successful away missions and resolving a handful of crisis situations in the absence of the Captain. One such event was as a member of a covert task force dispatched to the Hades system to assess the condition of a purported Yang Zutal colony. As one of the escort vessels the Omaha was prepared to fight to defend the task force and Chris was commended for the tactical preparedness plan that fortunately was never tested.
Captain Yuvok was later reassigned to command the USS Miyagi and Chris applied for Command of the Omaha. Unfortunately, Stafleet did not feel as confident in his command capabilities as he had and decided to reassign him as Executive Officer onboard the Altai in order to gain more experience before receiving his own command.