Commander Thomas Forrester
Born on the agricultural world of Coltar IV, Thomas Forrester dreamed of a life among the stars as a young boy. Over his father's objections he applied to Starfleet Academy and travelled to Earth to begin his Starfleet career. Having spent the majority of his career as a Security/Tactical Officer, Commander Forrester was recently given command of the Akira-class U.S.S. Trafalgar, assigned to the Fourth Fleet's Task Force 86.
Life on Coltar IV (2356 – 2374)
Thomas John Forrester was born on New Years Day in 2356 on the agricultural colony of Coltar IV. His parents owned a small farm that had been in the family since the founding of the colony and it was expected that, as the eldest child, Tom would one day take over the running of it. Three years later the Forresters had another son, George, and their small family was complete.
From an early age, Tom was told the stories of how generations of his family poured their blood sweat and tears into the land on Coltar IV. The young Tom listened intently to these stories, it was these stories that sparked his love of history and the interest in his family tree. However, while these stories were interesting, they weren’t exciting. It was what he learned in school that caught his imagination and excited him; the Federation, Starfleet, the Enterprise, the Defiant, Deep Space Nine.
While his father would impress upon him the importance of their work and make it clear that the expectation was that Tom would continue that work, the younger Forrester would seek out news stories from Starfleet, read on his own about the adventures of Starfleet crews throughout history, imagine himself as a Starfleet Captain in command of the Enterprise. Command of a starship, preferably the Enterprise, was his ultimate dream. Tom was heartbroken to learn of the destruction of the Enterprise-D and was thrilled a few years later when he learned they’d commissioned another one.
Derry initially didn’t mind his eldest son taking an interest in Starfleet and the Federation. It was understandable that a young boy would be more taken with the exciting adventures of Starfleet. However as his son got older, he started talking of attending the Academy as if it were a certainty. When Tom was 13, his father sat him down and explained to him that he expected his son to work on the family farm and as the eldest son he would, eventually, take over when Derry got too old. He forbade him from applying to and attending Starfleet Academy.
This disheartened the young teen. While he’d enjoyed helping out around the farm as a child and teen, it wasn’t what he wanted to do with his life. But Tom was driven to succeed, working hard to achieve good grades in school and he resolved that he would attend the Academy, whether his father approved or not. The decision to defy his father did not come easily to him. Like all children, he wanted to make his parents proud and to have their support in whatever he did. But the pull of the stars was too strong for the young Tom Forrester to ignore.
Upon turning 18, the point at which he no longer needed parental approval, Tom transmitted his application to the Academy, behind his parents back. The outbreak of war only strengthened his resolve to join Starfleet and serve the Federation. A few weeks later, he received the acceptance letter and the data pack informing him where to report and when. His father was apoplectic with rage, thew the PADD containing the letter across the living room and forbade his son from attending.
Thomas pushed back and was adamant that he would be travelling to Earth and attending the Academy. The two men had a long protected argument, with Thomas’ mother and brother trying to calm both down before one said something they would regret and unable to take back. In the end, Derry told his son that if he left to attend the Academy, he would no longer be welcome back on the family’s farm. This was a gut punch for Thomas but he would not allow his father to tie him into a life that he didn’t want.
With help from a former teacher who had encouraged Thomas to follow his dreams, he was able to arrange passage on a series of transports that would take him to Earth. Leaving Coltar IV, he bade goodbye to his mother and brother warmly. His father refused to speak to him. He left home with a heavy heart while at the same time excited by the adventure that awaited him. The first adventure was travelling to Earth; having never been off Coltar IV, he was excited to visit the planet from which his ancestors had sprung.
Starfleet Academy (2374 – 2378)
The first year at the Academy was a rocky one for Cadet Forrester. He’d never spent more than a few days away from the farm before and now, here he was, on a whole new planet. Adjusting to life on Earth and a big city like San Francisco was difficult enough without the ‘farm boy’ as some of his new friends nicknamed him, having to also adjust to a more regimented way of life as an officer cadet. Academically, his first year went great. Driven to succeed, as always, Thomas applied himself to his studies and made few friends during this time. By the end of the first year, he knew that he wanted to follow the Security/Tactical track at the Academy and this would take him to the starship command that he wanted.
Thomas’ second year saw him begin his training as a future Security/Tactical officer. Having finally settled in on Earth and into life in Starfleet, he found the second year went much smoother. Thomas allowed himself to socialise a little more; his circle of friends expanded a little and he met Daniel Collins for the first time. This didn’t mean he let his school work slide and he maintained high grades in most of his classes. One particular area he excelled was in weapons training; he achieved marksmanship certification during the first semester of his second year.
While Thomas sat in classes learning what it took to be a Starfleet Officer, war raged throughout the Alpha Quadrant. Some more senior cadets were given field promotions and assigned to duties aboard starships but Thomas was too young for such action and he was frustrated; like his fellow cadets, he wanted to be out there fighting the Dominion and kicking their asses.
Little did they realise that the war would come to them when the Breen launched an assault on Starfleet Command toward the end of the war in late 2375. The attack came out of a clear blue morning sky in San Francisco and Thomas would carry the fear and anger he felt in the moment with him for years to come. Pushing his fear deep down, Thomas followed the orders given to him on that day and received a commendation on his record for his actions.
The final two years at the Academy were a much more peaceful affair. He continued to achieve above average grades in most of his classes and maintained his high scores during weapons training. None of this came from natural talent or intelligence but because he worked hard to achieve his grades and scores, often to the detriment of his personal life. However, he did begin dating a fellow cadet during the first spring break following the war. A group of cadets, including Thomas, travelled to Risa. It was one of the few times that Thomas took a break from his studies for more than a day. A one night stand with fellow cadet Daniel Collins developed into a serious relationship over the course of the rest of the semester.
The relationship lasted until the early days of their final semester. Thomas worried that the relationship would be a distraction from his classes and would impact his final grade. Collins knew going into the relationship that Thomas would prioritise his Starfleet career of their relationship but was still hurt by the break up. Thomas thew himself into his studies and managed a grade that placed him in the top 20% of his class. Most cadets would have been happy with this result but Thomas had been aiming for the top 10% and so was a little disappointed. That disappointed soon evaporated when he was commissioned an Ensign and received his first assignment as a Starfleet Officer; Security/Tactical Officer on the Sabre-class U.S.S. Swigert.
U.S.S. Swigert (2378 – 2380)
Ensign Forrester arrived onboard the Swigert full of enthusiasm and ready to get started on his first adventure. He quickly discovered, however, that the life he imagined himself living as a Starfleet Officer was very different from the reality. His day to day duties were monotonous; stand duty in the Brig (even though none of the cells were occupied), conduct security drills, practice on the phaser range. At least the training simulations the Chief of Security ran provided a little excitement and variation and standing duty as a relief officer on the Bridge, even though it was on the night shift, allowed him to be near the centre of the action, or the centre of the night shift monotony.
This by no means meant that Thomas slacked off in his duties. Whether monotonous or not, he worked hard to prove himself capable of taking on more. That’s not to say that there weren’t a few exciting adventures to be had during his two years on the Swigert; being part of a security detail on an away team, the capture of a lone Cardassian solider who’s ship crash landed prior to the end of the war, an unforeseen journey through time that saw Thomas as part of a team that had to beam down to Regency England. These incidents, however, were few and far between but despite the reality not living up to what he thought it would be, Thomas loved his job and he believed it had been worth the very high personal cost that he’d paid.
U.S.S. Okinawa (2380 – 2386)
After two year on the Swigert, Thomas was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. Soon after he learned that he was being transferred. Hoping that his new assignment would be a larger ship scheduled for a deep space exploration mission, Thomas was excited to find out where he was to be sent. It was something of a kick in the stomach to find out that he was being transferred to the Okinawa; an ageing Excelsior-class Refit.
Thomas felt this was a backward move and struggled to understand it. He’d worked hard during his two years on the Swigert and felt he was being punished for something (despite the fact that he’d just been promoted), though he couldn’t figure out what. He determined to double his efforts and work hard to ensure that whatever his next assignment would be, it would be a step forward.
The Okinawa was assigned to milk run duties within the core territories of the Federation. Ferrying passengers, carrying important cargo, responding to the occasional distress call. If life onboard the Swigert had been mundane, life on the Okinawa was downright boring. One small comfort was the fact that when Thomas was assigned to the Okinawa, he was made the duty tactical officer for gamma shift, meaning that he would get regular experience serving at the tactical station on the bridge, in addition to his duties as a security team leader.
After 3 years of hard work, Thomas was rewarded with a promotion to full Lieutenant and to the post of Assistant Chief Security/Tactical Officer. This was forward movement in his path to command and after his perceived backward step, it felt good that his career finally started moving in the right direction. The Okinawa’s assignments didn’t get any more exciting, however, but it allowed him to take a leadership role within the department and he would continue to work hard and to learn.
U.S.S. Independence (2386 – 2390)
In mid-2386, Thomas was received new orders; to report aboard the Diligent-class U.S.S. Independence as her new Chief Security/Tactical Officer. By this time the synth attack on Mars a year previously had caused the Federation to largely withdraw from its role on the galactic stage, a decision that Thomas disagreed with. But the objections of one Lieutenant would not sway the Federation Council or Starfleet Command so he kept his head down and mouth shut and continued with his duties.
Nonetheless, Thomas was excited to be serving in a senior officer billet on such an advanced and capable starship. The Independence was engaged in anti-piracy operations along the Federation-Romulan border. With the Roman Empire splintering, a rise in piracy throughout the border region forced Starfleet to respond with a show of force and the Independence was one of the ships assigned to the task. It wasn’t the adventure of a deep space exploration mission that Thomas had wanted when he joined, but it was an adventure all the same and he relished the opportunity.
There was a surprise waiting for Thomas when he arrived on the Independence; his ex-boyfriend, Daniel, was the ships Chief Engineer. Their working relationship was frosty to begin with but after a long and honest conversation, the two men were able to reconcile and become friends once more.
Within a year of arriving on the Independence, Thomas was promoted once more. Making Lieutenant Commander at the age of 31 was right in line with where Thomas wanted to be in his career and felt that a command of his own was about a decade away, possibly less. While his work over the next three years would continue with the high standard he set for himself, his personal life became more complicated.
A small party was thrown by the Independence’s senior officers to celebrate his promotion to Lieutenant Commander. Thomas didn’t particularly care to be the centre of attention in this way but the Captain was adamant that Thomas’ attendance was not optional. During the course of the party he drank a little too much and woke up the next morning with a massive hangover, no memory of the events of the previous night and his ex-boyfriend in bed beside him.
The pair avoided each other for the next few days and when they did have to interact in the course of their duties, things were very awkward. Eventually the pair sat down and discussed things over dinner. Daniel made clear that he still had feelings for Thomas and wanted to resume their relationship. While Thomas shared those feelings and part of him did want to share his life with Daniel, his drive to succeed in his career overrode all other considerations. Daniel accepted this and the two continued to work together but their working relationship began to deteriorate over the next few years to the point that they could barely be in the same room together. Thomas decided that it was in everyone’s best interests if he requested a transfer, a request that was granted and less than a week later he was on his way to his next assignment.
U.S.S. Trafalgar (2390 – Present)
Thomas travelled to the Trafalgar, an Akira-class starship, on a Runabout that was also carrying the ships new CO, Commander Christopher Branson. The chance to get to know the Captain one-on-one during the few days of their runabout journey. Both men developed a burgeoning friendship that would endure for years to come.
He quickly established himself as a capable officer and and indispensable asset to Commander Branson and the Trafalgar. The next few years saw them assigned primarily to combat operations and Thomas considered how far he’d come. As a newly commissioned Ensign on the Swigert he found life in Starfleet to be largely mundane with a few moments of excitement puncturing the boredom. But now as a Lieutenant Commander on the Trafalgar his life was filled with a lot more excitement. He was occasionally bothered by thoughts that he’d made the wrong choice, to prioritise his career at the cost of his personal life but he quickly shook those off. One thing he was certain about; leaving home for a career in Starfleet was the right choice.
After five years serving on the Trafalgar, Thomas was promoted to Commander and the position of Second Officer. This was the next step on his path to command and he relished the new opportunities and challenges that this presented to him. He’d learned a lot from the various leaders he’d previously served under, particularly from Captain Branson. The Trafalgar continued to be assigned some of the more difficult tasks and Thomas enjoyed the challenges that these missions presented to him.
Captain Branson was reassigned to Starfleet Command in 2397 and Starfleet assigned the Trafalgar’s XO to command the Akira-class starship. Commander Sanders was given free rein to choose her Exec and decided to promote Thomas to the position. He’d finally made it; he now got to wear the red uniform of command.
Having spent three years as Second Officer, Thomas adjusted to his new role easily, though the first few months were spent looking over the shoulder of the new Chief Security/Tactical Officer. It wasn’t until Captain Sanders had a private word with her new Exec that he finally let go of his old job completely and focused on his duties as XO.
Thomas spent the next three years as Captain Sanders right hand until Captain Branson, who was by this time serving as Commander of Task Force 86, requested her for a new assignment and recommended Thomas replace her as Commanding Officer of the Trafalgar. This was the moment that Thomas had been working toward his entire career. His mother and brother responded to the news with letters that expressed their joy and pride in his achievement. There was no response from his father but his mother assured him that his father was proud of him, in his own way.
Commander Forrester didn’t have time to savour his new role; a Klingon faction launched an attack on the Archanis Sector and the Trafalgar was one of the ships tasked with responding.