Rear Admiral Elizabeth Hayden
One of the most experienced and decorated commanding officers of her generation, Hayden is an accomplished diplomat and explorer. After sixteen years as a botanist, Hayden transitioned into the command division following the Battle of Wolf 359, serving in starship command roles for the next two decades. Reserved and contemplative, she prefers to let her officers speak before making her decisions, but when she has made up her mind she communicates this with an authority that few would dare question.
Early Life (2332 – 2350)
Born in Upstate New York, Elizabeth Hayden had an early fascination with nature, especially the vast forests near her family’s home in the Adirondack Mountains, where she spent many long days sketching the flora and fauna that thrived there. As the only child to a former Starfleet officer, George, and a conservation scientist, Alexandra, she was homeschooled all the way up through her high school years, which led her to be both socially reserved and academically inquisitive. The Hayden family often went camping, and she learned survival skills including hunting and fishing from an early age.
As a teenager, Hayden developed an interest in horticulture, learning how to grow and cross-breed roses as part of her scientific studies. This led to her to start to think about a career as a botanist, working with nature as her mother did, but she was also fascinated by her father’s stories of the time he’d spent on starships exploring the galaxy.
Starfleet Academy (2350-2354)
USS Malinche (2354-2357)
USS Galaxy (2357-2367)
USS Magellan (2367-2376)
USS Antares (2376-2390)
USS Lafayette (2390-2399)
USS Arcturus (2399)
Task Force 9 (2399-Present)
In early 2399, the Arcturus was recalled to Starbase 38 for repositioning from the Nacene Reach to head up an expedition to Swallow Nebula, deeper in the Delta Quadrant. However, this was not to be. The Arcturus returned through the Barzan Wormhole during the Breen Attack of 2399, with the Seleya already in flames and the station’s support vessel destroyed. Before the Arcturus could intervene, Vice Admiral Knox rammed his flagship into the attacking Breen dreadnought, slicing it in two and saving the station, but still leaving several dozen fighters in the theater. With Admiral Belvedere focused on the station itself, Hayden assumed command of the mobile assets, including the sixty or so runabouts from both her own ship and the starbase and the Arcturus‘s own support ship to secure the star system. She retained command of the defensive garrison which received reinforcements from other sectors over the following days, still intending to prepare for her mission to the Swallow Nebula, once the situation was resolved and a permanent field commander was selected.
However, following Vice Admiral Knox’s funeral, Hayden was promoted two steps from Fleet Captain to Rear Admiral and was placed in charge not only of the garrison over Barzan II but an entire mobile task force assigned along the Breen and Kzinti borders, with the goal of securing the coreward section of the Federation’s Alpha Quadrant territory against further destructive raids. While she had spent her entire career as an explorer, it was felt that her tactical acumen and her diplomatic talent were needed back home, rather than in the Delta Quadrant. She accepted the promotion reluctantly as her friend, Knox, had done, but was ready to lead from the front to bring stability to the region. She kept her flag aboard the Arcturus but made her former XO, Captain Michael Lancaster, her Flag Captain rather than a mere First Officer.