Maxwell Jack Duncan (neé Harrison), commonly referred to as Max, is the executive officer on board the Federation starship USS Odyssey. Previously, he was the third officer, chief counsellor & chief diplomatic officer. The adopted son of famed fleet commander Fleet Admiral Luke Duncan, Max is quite the officer and has built a reputable career. After suffering traumatic events during his childhood, he resorted to paying back the support he received by doing he same back for others in need. He is a skilled communicator, diplomat, negotiator and advisor. Duncan relies on his boyish charms, wit and intelligence to help him deal with most situations. As a result of his approaches in his work, his contributions and his past, he is well respected among his peers.
A handsome man, Max’s dimples show when he smiles and gives him the chance to use his boyish charms to calm a situation down. His sharp cheekbones and chiseled jawline give him a strong demeanour when he is in command. Through the years, he has rarely kept to one hairstyle. This has changed often and normally happens when he is promoted or takes on a new position, in recent years its been several forms of of quiff-look but earlier on he was quite keen with his tousled shiny look. It has been noted by some that Max’s blue eyes sometimes have a small glint in them when the light hits them at a certain angle. On occasions he may grow some stubble around his cheeks and chins, but he has never grown a full beard. When embarrassed, Max’s peachy skin tone is known to become a rosy shade. Though not as active compared to others on the Odyssey, Max is known to regularly go to the ship’s gym to maintain his brawny physique. With broad shoulders and somewhat strong biceps, Max is known to show them off when he is wearing tightly fitted tops during his off hours. With a strong posture and since become Odyssey‘s first officer, Max looks the part in being a leader that can command an audience and his crew well.
- Height: 5′ 10″ (1.78 m)
- Weight: 155 lbs
- Hair: Dark Brown
- Eyes: Blue
An easy-going kind of guy, Max is known for his open-minded approaches and kind personality by those who work with him. Though generous with his time spent with others, a trait he picked up while training to be a counsellor, his attitude of getting on with work and being analytical in his approaches are many qualities that make him a strong leader. He prefers to reflect on a matter before settling on a decision, nevertheless in a crisis he has shown he is capable in making quick choices and handing out difficult orders to get the job done. Assertive when he needs to be, this is something that has only come out of him since entering the command track. His boyish charms, sense of humour and practical ideas are what he relies on to gain the confidences of those he leads. Though many feel he is quite extroverted during public gatherings, when it comes to his personal life he prefers to keep it private.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Recently new to the command track, Max has shown on numerous occasions that he has natural leadership skills and abilities. Eager to do more, Max keeps himself steadfast but not jumping the gun in coming across as too green. Though trained in all of the right areas to be a successful executive officer, Max still finds himself insisting on collaborating on others that know more in other departments, especially with engineering.
Though he sees his adoption as an event that made him stronger, thanks in large parts to his adoptive parents, Max has been known to wonder more about his birth parents and whether his life would be different if he had not lost them at such a young age. That said, the relationship he developed as a child and later a teenager with the Duncans was important to him. He depended on the strength that both Luke and Nicola provided for him. It was both of them who helped him become the man he is today. As a result of this, when Luke passed away in 2399, Max took the sudden death of his adoptive father hard to deal with at first. Loosing Luke made him realise that family was important to him and that his career had become such a huge part of his life that he had forgotten everything else. Deciding he needed to do more, Max began looking at what else he could to make his life better. This resulted in him pushing himself into more command-level assignments and exploring other relationships that he had never considered before.
On a personal note, his recent rushed romantic relationship with the ship’s senior chief was something that did come out of the blue for him but is one that he found to be a form of stability he had not had in his life in a long time. Tobias Court brings something different to Max’s life and when the two had decided to keep their relationship private, the excitement of developing a young love interest definitely intrigued the new first officer. It wasn’t until their relationship was discovered by others and later on made public by an alien did it change for both men. Eventually Max knew that he wanted more from it and seeing as Tobias wanted the same, their relationship naturally developed further. When they became carers, later fathers, for two alien teenage boys, their relationship grew to bigger heights and Max found himself enjoying fatherhood more than he had expected. In some ways he found the arrival of Jorgeh and Wylem into his life as sort of full-circle symbol that reflected his own life. It was now his turn to help others who had lost their parents now.
Becoming a ship’s counsellor, then chief diplomatic officer had always been what he wanted but as he climbed the chain of command, Max is now considering other future possibilities. Keen to see where this new career path takes him, he is interested in one day having command of his own vessel and later following his father’s footsteps in joining the admiralty. He no longer sees his later career as one that rests in teaching new recruits, he enjoys being out in the field and helping those who need it. Feeling like he needs to continue the work his birth parents and adoptive parents inspired him to do, it is very likely that Max will not retire from Starfleet unless it is down to medical grounds.
- Affiliation: Starfleet, United Federation of Planets
- Birth Mother: Lianne Harrison, Starfleet Lieutenant Commander (deceased)
- Birth Father: Nathan Harrison, Starfleet Captain (deceased)
- Adopted Father: Luke Duncan, Starfleet Fleet Admiral (deceased)
- Adopted Mother: Nicola Duncan, Starfleet Captain of the USS Tereshkova (NCC-89894)
Max was born in 2365 to Captain Nathan Harrison and Lieutenant Commander Lianne Harrison on board the Federation starship, USS Roehampton (NCC-72021). Born to a ship’s captain and its chief medical officer, meant that Max did not see a lot of his parents by the time he started his full time education. For most of his childhood he was looked after either by his teachers or by friends’ parents when his parents were on duty. He became extremely close to his father’s first officer, Commander Luke Duncan, and chief science officer, Lieutenant Commander Nicola Sand. As a result of this, the young couple eventually became his godparents. Luke and Max would spend a lot of time together on the holodeck or playing a range of sports.
Max would have to deal with tragedy at an early age when his mother was killed in a shuttlecraft accident during an away team. His mother’s death caused his father to become depressed and unfit for duty. As a result of this, his father asked if his first officer would take care of Max once he had dealt with his own issues. Max moved in with Luke, while his father was off the ship for two months and would be looked after by the young commander in between shifts. Nicola would also help out where she could too.
When his father did return to command, the relationship between son and father was highly strained as Max had grown a close bond with Luke (unintentionally of course). Both he and his father would spend many weeks and months in therapy with the ship’s El-Aurian counsellor, Lieutenant Commander Tashanti.
After Luke left the Roehampton to take command of the Odyssey, Max was pretty upset. Tragedy would hit the poor boy again when the ship was on patrol in the Beta Quadrant and attacked by mercenaries. Fortunately the Odyssey arrived in time to fight off the attackers and save the ship from destruction. Sadly though Captain Harrison was killed by a boarding party. Immediately, Captain Luke Duncan took the young boy with him under his wing.
Over the next decade, Max became part of Captain Duncan’s family. He was the page boy at his wedding to Nicola and both of them eventually adopted him. The family were displaced into a temporal subspace node for a short amount of time, however they lived out almost seven years within the node. Once they were rescued, Luke and Nicole moved to Deep Space 19. On the station, Max found his new life and was able to start to deal with the trauma from his childhood. He worked hard at school, made some good friends and would regularly play basketball. Luke would always make time to see his games, even though he was now an admiral and running a fleet.
By the time Max was seventeen, he had already applied to Starfleet Academy. Completing his entrance exam on Kovar, he decided he would honour his birth parents and adoptive parents by following in their footsteps. Leaving Deep Space 19 was a challenge for him as it had become his home and he was part of the close community that had formed on the station. He was fortunate enough to start his training on Earth.
His first year at the Academy went extremely well, he was strong in all areas of his studies and training. Many of his instructors and professors thought that he would either follow in Luke’s career path in becoming a pilot or Nicola’s interest with science. Both areas he excelled well in and had interests in them too. However when it came to the crunch and he had to declare what he wanted to major in, he surprised everyone and decided he wanted to become a counsellor.
The rigorous learning journey he would undertake over the next eight years opened his eyes to so much possibility. In his six and seventh years he moved from Earth and took up his studies on the orbital campus at Mellstoxx III. The intense experience did not deter him from completing and becoming a fully fledged qualified counsellor as well as a bridge officer.
USS Vendetta (NCC-79047)
Graduating in 2383, he gained his first posting on the USS Vendetta as the ship’s assistant chief counsellor. Thankfully for him he had been assigned to the ship prior to this to complete his final year with on the job training.
Being on the Vendetta, a Nebula-class ship, gave Max a wide range of people to interact with and engage with. He worked hard and formed strong bonds with many on the crew. The ship’s counsellor and chief diplomatic officer became a mentor to him.
Offered the opportunity to take further training by the ship’s captain, Max agreed to attend the advanced diplomatic training. An intense course that he could undertake while still serving on the ship. He stepped up to the challenge and passed the course.
Deep Space 5
Wanting to flex his wings a bit, Max moved on from the Vendetta and joined the crew of Deep Space 5 for half a year as station’s chief counsellor and assisted the captain with diplomatic matters when required. The whole station’s mental health was a test too for the young officer. For the first time he was more involved in not just the Starfleet personnel but with the civilian population as well. Thinking that his time on Deep Space 5 may be like his time growing up on Deep Space 19, he eventually found this was not the case.
After a while, he found remaining in one place was not as exhilarating as he was led to believe and requested a transfer to a ship-based assignment. The station did not see much ‘action’ and daily life became quite reliable, dull and lacked any energy. Feeling that he was hurting his career in remaining on the station, Max placed a request for a transfer.
USS Charlton (NCC-71098)
It wasn’t long until Max was offered the position of chief counsellor and chief diplomatic officer on board the USS Charlton, a Galaxy-class ship. With it came a promotion to full lieutenant and Max loved every moment on board the ship. The ship’s first officer also saw Max’s command potential and started to train him further in starship operations (being the ship’s former chief engineer). Over the course of two years, in between missions and every other duty, Max became quite the well-rounded officer and was eventually put in as part of the chain of command. He undertook the advanced tactical training (something which was rare for a counsellor to do), but he ended up passing with flying colours. As part of his reward, he was placed in charge of a duty shift, running a decent size department and being involved in most away missions that required his diplomatic expertise. All of this made Max quite the officer. All the time while he served, he did his best to avoid anyone using his adopted surname to his advantage. He did not want special treatment as he was the son of a renowned fleet admiral. While on the Charlton, he made some close friends, but found his work kept him from forming long-lasting relationships with anyone. The counsellor had yet to find any romantic interest.
USS Odyssey (NX/NCC-80000)
Consequently, he was headhunted to join the brand-new USS Odyssey as its chief counsellor and diplomatic officer. Captain McCallister, the ship’s commanding officer, had been a friend of the Charlton’s skipper, and had been impressed by what he heard about Max. Alongside that, McCallister owed Max’s adopted father everything for putting him in command of his own ship years ago. As some way of paying that gratitude back, McCallister wanted Max to join his senior staff and to make Admiral Duncan proud. Having a ‘Duncan’ on the Odyssey seemed like the right thing. Max was at first reluctant as he had worked hard to avoid using his father’s coat tails to advance his career. That said, McCallister went out of his way to persuade the counsellor to join him. As such a loose sense of friendship started between the two men.
Joining the crew of the brand-new prototype for the Odyssey-class was a complete change for Max. It was much larger and the work he would deal with would keep him on his toes. He eventually accepted the offer from McCallister, especially when McCallister shared his own story of how Max’s adoptive father had changed his life years ago by giving him a promotion to captain after a battle that took away his own captain and first officer. Max, on some level, could relate with his own birth parents being killed during the line of service. Alongside this, the new ship was a lot larger than the Charlton and it was assumed the ship would be out on the frontlines of Starfleet’s efforts in flying the Federation flag.
Life on the new Odyssey was great. He would find himself quite involved in liaising with civilians that lived on the ship as well as the Starfleet crew. When the ship’s first officer left to assume command of their own ship, Max was promoted to third officer along with the rank of lieutenant commander. Over the course of the next eight years, Max’s work was more focused on his work as the ship’s diplomatic officer than as head counsellor. He advised Captain McCallister many times and his counsel was highly sought after by others too. In between his own work, he mentored his deputies and undertook his own training in developing his knowledge of starship operations with as many engineering courses he could get his hands on. Deep down, he was preparing himself for one day wanting to command his own ship, but he kept this desire to himself. By the time he had reached thirty-eight, he was made a commander. He had several offers to leave the Odyssey to take up other more senior positions as well as an interesting offer to teach at Starfleet Academy, but for the first time in his career he decided to turn them down as he was enjoying what he was doing on the Odyssey. The ship’s mission of working in the Beta Quadrant, especially with helping the Romulans come to terms with their relocation was one he found worthwhile doing.
At the start of 2399 though, he received a call from his adoptive mother, Nicola, asking him to come home as his father, Fleet Admiral Duncan, had died. The admiral’s death was of natural causes and he had the opportunity to retire and enjoy his last few years on the colony of Kovar Prime. Thankfully the Odyssey was already on its way to Deep Space 19 to resupply, which was in orbit of Kovar. Max took the death of the man who had become his father for most of his childhood hard and requested a few weeks of personal leave to grieve. Returning home to Kovar, Max assisted his mother with the funeral arrangements and remained with her for some time after. Not wanting him to be stuck on Kovar, she insisted that he returned to the Odyssey at the earliest convenience. Thankfully his crewmates were all there on his return, ready to assist him deal with his loss and be there for him as much as he had been there for them. It was at this point that Duncan realised he had to do something more with his life besides his career. He needed to push himself beyond his safe limits, try new things and build relationships with others. He also realised he really needed to consider settling down to have a family. The death of his adoptive father made him regret not doing this sooner.
Max went on to command the Odyssey during the Archanis Campaign, after the ship was crippled by two Klingon ships heavily damaging and boarding it. Captain McCallister, Commanders Cambil and Reyas were all incapacitated during this attack. Leading the ship to repel the Klingons from taking the ship and recovering from the attack, Max had the full support of the senior staff, which became a proud but humble moment for him. As all three senior officers above him required intense treatment, he was made Acting-Captain by Admiral Beckett while the Odyssey participated in the defence of the Haydorian system. For his strong leadership and the success of the mission, he was commended for his bravery and leadership with the Christopher Pike Medal of Valour.
In mid-2399, the ship entered the Delta Quadrant and Max was heavily involved during its first mission to the Uxali homeworld. There he worked closely with its leaders to repair the damage caused by Friendship One, picking up from where the Voyager crew had left it. He was instrumental in supporting the captain’s efforts in relocating the Uxali to a new planet. His work was split between helping the Uxali come to terms with the trauma they had endured for decades while at the same time leading on the ship’s diplomatic front. Working with his staff, Duncan was successful in persuading the Uxali leadership to sign a pledge that would encourage further good relations between them all. It opened a new doorway for further diplomatic interaction between the Uxali and the Federation, in hopes that a strong peace treaty would be created.
Following on from this mission, Max helped McCallister’s efforts in dealing with the Omega Directive (without being informed about it). He was able to open a strong dialogue with a Kraylor captain who revealed to Max what their people were attempting to do and where. Furthermore, his diplomatic skills helped the ship when McCallister was not present and had left Cambil in command. When two Kraylor ships had arrived, he aided Doctor Sylvexs in making the Kraylor believe their people maybe infected and it would be prudent for them to wait until the all clear was given. After the completion of this mission, Commander Cambil surprisingly resigned her commission from Starfleet leaving the Executive Officer position vacant. As Starfleet Command would not approve the promotion of Commander Reyas as she was McCallister’s wife, the captain asked Max to be his Number One instead. Max agreed on the spot, his aspirations to join the command division were now happening.
|2375 - 2376||Cadet First Year||Starfleet Academy||
Cadet Freshman Grade
|2376 - 2377||Cadet Second Year||Starfleet Academy||
Cadet Sophomore Grade
|2377 - 2378||Cadet Third Year||Starfleet Academy||
Cadet Junior Grade
|2378 - 2379||Cadet Fourth Year||Starfleet Academy||
Cadet Senior Grade
|2379 - 2382||Counsellor-in-training||Starfleet Academy - Mellstoxx III Campus||
|2382 - 2383||Counsellor-in-training||USS Vendetta (NCC-79047)||
|2383 - 2384||Assistant Chief Counsellor||USS Vendetta (NCC-79047)||
Lieutenant Junior Grade
|2384 - 2384||Chief Counsellor||Deep Space 5||
Lieutenant Junior Grade
|2384 - 2386||Chief Counsellor & Chief Diplomatic Officer||USS Charlton (NCC-71098)||
|2386 - 2391||Chief Counsellor & Chief Diplomatic Officer||USS Odyssey NX-80000||
|2391 - 2397||Third Officer, Chief Counsellor & Chief Diplomatic Officer||USS Odyssey NCC-80000||
|2397 - 2399||Third Officer, Chief Counsellor & Chief Diplomatic Officer||USS Odyssey NCC-80000||
|2399 - Present||Executive Officer||USS Odyssey NCC-80000||