Captain Colby Drayton
As master and commander of the Sovereign-class USS Nogura, Captain Colby Drayton (or Cole to his friends) commands one of Starfleet’s proudest vessels. As a talented leader and diplomat, Colby manages to bring the very best out of ship and crew in a wide variety of situations. Adored and respected by those under his command, Drayton has a reputation for being firm but fair and will stop at nothing to achieve his objectives and help his crew carry out Starfleet’s mandate to ‘explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations and to boldly go where no one has gone before.’ A master at hiding his true feelings about himself, Cole harbours a lot of guilt, regret and a strong yearning for peace – by-products of recent traumas and losses, and issues that he shares with no-one.
Colby was born in mid-2342 to Thomas and Elizabeth Drayton in the bright countryside of Scotland, no less than three kilometers from the tranquil Loch Lomond. Cole was the third of four children and one half of a second set of twins. Three years previously, Thomas and Elizabeth had become the proud parents of Riley and Samuel, a set of identical twins. By the time Cole and his twin, Ezmi, had come along, the only way to distinguish between the two earlier twins was their hair styles, one had a parting, one didn’t. Thankfully, it was much easier to distinguish Cole from Ezmi, in no small part thanks to the different sexes of the children. The four children got along incredibly well, sometimes considered uncommon for most siblings their age. Surprisingly, during the childhood years, it was Ezmi that gave off an air of dominance over her older siblings, but all four children had their own individual personalities and it was Cole who was considered to be the quietest and most reserved of the four.
In 2352, when Cole was ten years old, both Riley and Samuel (under the guidance of their father) began making preparations to apply for the Academy. Both were doing well at school and preparing for their final examinations. It was because of their work and their interest that both Ezmi and Cole took an interest in Starfleet, but they both had a long way to go before even contemplating it.
Secretly though, Cole knew what was to be his calling. All his life he had shared the same traits as his father. He loved to build things, destroy them, then rebuild them with miraculous modifications, whether it was old school lego, construction kits, food replicators or vintage petroleum powered cars with combustion engines. He loved engineering, especially mechanics and propulsion systems. Even from the time he had learnt to read, he could be found with simplified warp propulsion schematics and even papers written by greats such as Montgomery Scott. He was destined to be one of Starfleet’s famed Engineers, the kind that could turn rocks into replicators.
Three years later, with his elder brothers enrolled at Starfleet Academy (Riley specializing in Flight Control and Samuel in Starship Operations), Cole began his own preparations to apply to the Academy and to pursue his own dreams. Ezmi began her own preparations also, with a career in the sciences interesting the only female sibling in the group. For a set of twins, the two couldn’t have been any more different if they had been genetically enhanced.
By the time the final examinations came and went three years later, both Cole and Ezmi had surpassed the achievements of their elder siblings and graduated from school with first class honors, their new careers in sight. Meanwhile, Riley and Samuel had entered their final years at the Academy, both making a name for the Drayton family and both earning rave reviews from their instructors.
In September 2358, when new classes at the Academy started, Cole and Ezmi were part of them, together for basic training, but separated when it came to their specialisms. Both had matured into lovely, pleasant young adults, both adding to the fledgling legacy created by their brothers with their own behaviours and successes. By the end of year one, Cole and Ezmi were known to almost every instructor they came across, either for their own reasons, or as the siblings of the “gruesome twosome”, the nickname assigned to Riley and Samuel. It was soon apparent that the Drayton siblings were better in groups and so the “gruesome twosome” became the “awesome foursome”.
By the start of Cole’s second year, Riley and Samuel had graduated, both within the top ten percent of their respective classes, both graduating as Ensigns and walking straight into their first assignments. Riley was immediately assigned to a New Orleans class starship stationed at Trill, with its first mission to patrol the Badland boundaries. Samuel was given a less glamorous assignment than his identical twin, he was stationed on an Oberth class science vessel in the Beta Quadrant, one of the least desirable assignments a graduate could get.
Throughout 2359 and 2360, Ezmi and Cole continued to thrive, no longer in the shadow of their older siblings and beginning to make names for themselves independently of each other. No longer required to take joint classes, they became recognised for their talents in their respective fields and not for being a Drayton. Upon graduation in the September of 2361, both Drayton siblings graduated in the top of their classes and achieved fantastic assignments. Ezmi joined the Ambassador class USS Adelphi for her mission of exploration in the far reaches of the Beta Quadrant, whilst Colby joined the Advanced Starship Design Bureau at Utopia Planitia. At the Fleetyards, Colby shadowed several highly-experienced engineers and got to work on the Nebula-project, a brand new class of ship that was under construction and slated to be a rival for the equally as impressive Galaxy-project that was also underway. Colby remained at the ASDB, working diligently on the Nebula project even beyond his promotion to Lieutenant JG in 2363. In late 2363, when the USS Nebula was ready for launch, Cole joined the ships shakedown as one of her propulsion engineers. It was a surprise move for the youngster as the Nebula was a much-sought after posting but her commanding officer, Captain Samson Savari, believed it necessary to have engineers up to speed with the ships systems aboard. The Nebula travelled the inner core worlds, stopping at planets like Vulcan, Betazed and eventually Trill as she continued her shakedown cruise well into 2364. The ships shakedown was a renowned success and everyone working on the ships construction, including the junior Lieutenant, were given special commendations.
Colby was faced with a difficult decision in early 2365 when the Nebula returned to spacedock for final updates before being classed as on active service. He was due to return to his posting with the ASDB but Samson offered him the chance to remain with the Nebula as she began active service. It was difficult for the youngest member of the Drayton clan; construction had been his thing for so many years but now he was being asked to step up and become responsible for the propulsion systems of an active Federation Starship. It was an offer he simply couldn’t refuse and when the ship left spacedock for the final time, Colby was a fully-fledged member of her crew. A little over a year later the lives of the Drayton Siblings would be turned upside down.
2366 saw the arrival of a new enemy for Starfleet and the Federation, an enemy that was so powerful they could make entire outposts disappear without a trace. That was exactly what happened as several Federation and Romulan outposts along the neutral zone went missing, each side blaming the other until it was revealed that a destructive force known as the Borg were responsible, casting a dark shadow upon the Federation. Months later, at the Battle of Wolf 359, a task force of some 39 vessels were lost with almost all personnel lost too. Among the presumed dead were Elizabeth and Thomas Drayton, both travelling aboard the USS Melbourne as passengers when it was rerouted to combat the lone Borg cube that had invaded the Federation. During a sombre ceremony on Earth for all the presumed dead, the siblings got together for the first time in years, promising to stay in close contact with each other and seeing each other at every available opportunity, vowing to make their parents proud and to one day get justice for those lost at Wolf 359. The communication continued on a monthly, if not weekly basis but the next time the siblings would all meet was in 2370 at the birth of Riley’s son and Cole’s nephew. Days later, Colby transferred to one of the famed new Galaxy class starships, the USS Venture. Venture was in the middle of her five year mission of exploration and had explored a vast area of the alpha quadrant during her time. Cole quietly and efficiently went about his business, confidently earning the respect of those he worked closely with, keeping the ships engines running at peak efficiency and even above. In 2372, at the end of the Venture’s 5 year mission, the ship was assigned to Deep Space Nine and the Bajor System at the outbreak of the Second Federation-Klingon War. It was during a battle with two Vor’Cha Attack Cruisers that the ships engines ceased to function, leaving the ship stranded against two highly maneuverable enemy ships. Thanks to the efforts of Cole and the Chief Engineer however, propulsion was restored and the ship managed to pick up enough speed to evade its attackers. As a result of his efforts and with the recommendation of his department head, Cole was given a commendation for his efforts and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Peace with the Klingons was also restored in a bid to strengthen the alpha quadrant against a possible Dominion Invasion. Later in the year, Colby succeeded his superior as Chief Engineer.
In the year 2373 the Dominion War broke out. Ezmi was reassigned to the USS Sitak, a Miranda class cruiser as the Chief Science Officer, along with her own promotion to Lieutenant. Her family was contacted upon transfer, and graciously rejoiced on her promotion and recent transfer, however remained wary still due to the location of the vessel. Around the same time, the Sitak joined the 4th fleet along with the Venture and prepared for an assault on Dominion territory. However, before the 4th Fleet could launch its attack, the Dominion commenced theirs. They invaded places as far into the Federation as Betazed, killing thousands of Starfleet personnel in the process. In 2374 the USS Sitak was destroyed by a torpedo to a direct hit to the saucer after being disabled by a particle weapon strike to the port nacelle, claiming the lives of many more officers. Thankfully, the Venture could respond and rescue several escape pods, in one of which Ezmi had managed to escape. Venture served with the fleet for the majority of the conflict and saw action in nearly every major engagement of the war. Venture was one of the first ships to reach Cardassia Prime at the end of the final battle and brought the war to a conclusion.
In late 2375 the Dominion War was ended with the signing of the Treaty of Bajor, bringing to an end all hostilities between the two major forces. The long rebuilding process began for both sides, with many memorial services being held throughout the Federation, but there were celebrations also. Cole was once again promoted, this time in rank and position. With his new rank of Lieutenant Commander, Colby was transferred to the Xavier Fleetyards and Starbase 565 to oversee the repair of countless vessels following the conclusion of the conflict. It was during his three-year stint here that he earned recognition for his command ability as he efficiently led a massive team of engineers and oversaw the successful major refits and repair work of over sixty vessels.
In 2379, Colby’s command potential was put to the test when he travelled to Beta Ursae Minor II and the Starfleet Academy Annex there to undergo command training and review ahead of a potential transfer to the command track. It was not something that came naturally in the beginning, but once he learned to trust his instincts he quickly became a success. Upon graduating the academy for a second time he became the first of his family to join the command track and Cole was reassigned to the USS Achilles to serve as executive officer to Captain Vasilly Zaitschev. The Achilles, an ageing Ambassador class Starship, toured the Cardassian sector, delivering supplies to defeated colony worlds and escorting convoys. It was a bit of a backwards step in terms of the type of vessel and responsibilities it was tasked with, but Colby found himself thriving in his new command division duties. He was quickly earning a new reputation as a respected officer, not to mention a keen tactician and strategist (something that even came as a surprise to him). The Achilles was given a mission to escort Cardassian and Romulan vessels to a neutral meeting point in the Gavarian Corridor in 2382 to undergo negotiations regarding the establishment of trade routes through the corridor with the Federation serving as intermediaries between the two great empires. During the negotiations, Captain Zaitschev was one of three people killed by a Cardassian separatist (later found to be from a group called the Order of 12). Whilst the terrorist was ultimately killed himself, the negotiations quickly ended and Commander Drayton had to not only guide his ship out of a fire fight between Cardassian and Romulan vessels but also lead a demoralised crew who had lost their Captain in the prime of his life.
Starfleet made the controversial, but somewhat sensible, choice to promote Colby to Captain and grant him command of the crew. As part of the transfer of power, the Achilles was retired and the crew transferred to one of the fleet’s newest postings, the Intrepid class USS Roehampton. It was a move deemed to unite a fragile crew behind their new leader at a time when an outsider would only complicate matters and the crew responded in kind. The Solaria and her crew would not be perturbed by the violence and losses they suffered and instead, they strengthened their resolve until eventually, the Captain’s mission was completed and trade routes through the corridor were negotiated and Starfleet Command was agreed to be the force to patrol the Corridor so that neither the Cardassians nor the Romulans would require a military presence in the area.
With their mission complete, the Solaria began a tour around the core worlds of the Federation, ferrying diplomats, transferring precious cargo and supplies to different areas of operations around Federation space but in early 2387, the Solaria found its way back to the Gavarian corridor following the explosion of the Hobus star in Romulan space. Solaria formed part of Starfleet’s Task Force 47 that patrolled the Corridor and dealt with refugees that flooded into the area and made it their new home. Colby Drayton was granted a temporary field promotion to the rank of Commodore and oversaw some of the organisation of the 4th Fleet’s efforts in Gavarian space under the command of Vice Admiral Hanson. Later in the year when Task Force 47 was disbanded and the Gavarian Corridor off limits due to the outbreak of hostilities, Drayton was given the chance to make his promotion permanent by accepting a posting on Deep Space 10 as the Sector Commander for the region as part of the 5th Fleet. It meant leaving the Solaria behind and taking on a desk job. He declined and, in a move that many believed was designed to humiliate him for rejecting the posting, Drayton was reduced in rank to Captain. Solaria and the 5th fleet remained on the edge of the Corridor whilst the 4th fleets forces were withdrawn, only leaving late in 2388 when Captain Drayton was ordered to Bajor to meet with Rear Admiral James Ryan to discuss the situation in the Gamma Quadrant following incidents with the Consortium and the reopening of the Wormhole. With Admiral Ryan due to replace the outgoing Task Force Executive Officer for the 4th Fleet’s Task Force 9, he wanted to bring Colby along for the ride as his executive officer and have him lead some of the exploration operations in the Quadrant. Such a position would come at a price however; Colby could once again earn his promotion to Commodore but would have to sacrifice his command of the Solaria. Faced with an impossible choice, Cole ultimately chose to remain with his crew and insisted that he be allowed to complete his mission aboard the Solaria, even if it meant sacrificing promotion once again. Exploration efforts were instead lead by Captain Nilani Azulas of the USS Nogura and Solaria would remain in the Alpha Quadrant. By the turn of the year however, Colby finally felt ready to move on to a new assignment and assumed command of the Galaxy-class USS Ulysses as she became an integral part of the mission to once again explore the Gavarian Corridor with the impending signing of the Gavarian Exploration Agreement. Due to his significant experience in the region, Drayton was perfect for command of one of the larger command ships in the area.
With 2388 passing by at a great rate, Starfleet made the decision to finally give the Ulysses her first major refit in over 20 years. The ship arrived at Deep Space 10, where she would remain for nearly two hundred days as she underwent a significant overhaul. Upon the signing of the G.E.A., the Ulysses, led by Captain Drayton, finally entered the Corridor.