Lieutenant Nate Beckett has had a mixed career so far. An inauspicious start at Starfleet Academy saw him graduate in the lower third of his Academy class, but he has since seen a rise in recommendations of superiors and opportunities to show his talent. Despite his comportment being recorded as notably irreverent, he has managed to punch above his weight for his youth and relative inexperience as a scientist, becoming one of the rising stars of the USS Endeavour’s Science Department and a member of its Hazard Team. Those unconvinced by his natural qualities suspect his career has been buoyed up by his father, Vice Admiral Alexander Beckett, or by the past mentoring of Captain Rourke.
Slightly above average height, Beckett comes across as rangy and long-limbed, though is in truth somewhat wiry in build. He always has a ready smile, usually lopsided, and served on any occasion however inappropriate. Those who know him well may learn to tell the difference between the grins that mask his true feelings, and the smiles of sincerity – though his delight in mischief and humour can make it harder to tell the difference. Bright blue eyes sparkle with a similarly animated light, and while his blond hair is usually rumpled, this is a styled, affected look of a deliberately cultivated state of déshabillé. He tends to either dress well when off-duty, picking items of clothing that show off his body, bring out his eyes, or make otherwise make him look at his best, or chooses the loudest and most outrageous shirts to make an attention-seeking nuisance of himself. When he speaks his accent can wander, though at his most casual or most stressed one can hear the Scotland in his upbringing shining forth.
Nathaniel Beckett was born to Starfleet officer Alexander Beckett and archaeologist Yvette Banks in 2376, not long after the end of the Dominion War. His parents had been involved in an on-again, off-again relationship for some years now, and their marriage at the war’s end turned out to be short-lived. They were different people with different ambitions, both committed to work that kept them far apart, and divorced by 2381.
While Yvette often worked on Earth, her travels for work meant Nate bounced in his childhood between the care of his mother and grandparents on both sides of the family. His father remained in Starfleet service, captain of his own ship by the time of the divorce, and was always a distant figure. An early childhood of regular disruption and being passed between care-givers gave Nate an independent streak from a young age, forcing him to adapt to quickly-changing schools and social circles.
To outsiders, this was a privileged upbringing. His grandparents were celebrated academics and Starfleet officers, and the stars of both of his parents’ careers kept rising. Nate was given the best opportunities, the best teachers, and embedded in the most affluent circles of Federation society. In practice, he was passed off by one caregiver to another once he became an inconvenience to their lifestyle, and even his loving mother would leave him for research opportunities as often as it suited her.
His relationship with his father was more complicated. At first, because Alexander had never been directly involved in his life, he became an idealised figure who could never let him down or abandon him. But as Nate grew older, Alexander’s interest grew more involved, and he made clear he expected his son to follow in his footsteps as a scientist and Starfleet officer. Nate’s utter disinterest in such an ambition was the first true wedge between them, and this disagreement marred their relationship throughout his childhood. Anything Nate wanted that deviated from Alexander’s wishes became a battle between them, any achievement which did not contribute to what Alexander expected downplayed, every failure, real or perceived, picked up on and amplified.
When Nate was eleven, Alexander insisted he attend a boarding school on Alpha Centauri with a strong tradition of preparing pupils for Starfleet Academy. Even at this age, Nate understood his own wishes had become even more irrelevant to the convenience of every adult in his life as he was shipped off. While he settled in well at such an exclusive school, a bright child with a wide array of interests and a talent for making friends, the mark left on him was indelible.
His interests were in history and literature and the humanities, while at his father’s insistence the school pushed him towards the physical sciences. He was bright enough to do well, but his disinterest shone through and so his grades were merely good, not exceptional, a perceived failure his father wielded aggressively against him at every turn. More and more Nate became disillusioned as the path forced upon him proved less and less what he wanted.
When Nate was fifteen, his father’s second wife gave birth to their son Alistair. For the first time ever, Nate was not barraged at school with regular messages and calls from his father demanding he account for failing to meet Alexander’s standards. What should have been a reprieve felt like a final abandonment, and prompted a collapse of any drive or sense of order in Nate’s life. Within a matter of months he had collected a string of disciplinary marks, and he was almost expelled after engineering a prank with friends where he stole the headmaster’s shuttle, nearly crashing it in the process.
This, at last, drew Alexander’s attention. Only by his intervention was Nate not expelled, but the incident brought his parents back together for the first time in years. While Alexander was intent on Nate continuing his studies, Yvette realised the situation was untenable. She withdrew Nate from the school, and brought him with her as she continued her travel and studies.
In many ways, this was what Nate wanted. His education continued remotely, his mother enrolling him in a program offered by her own research institute to prepare young students for higher education in history, archaeology, and anthropology. Meanwhile, he followed her to the former Cardassian Demilitarised Zone, spending most of the next two years immersed in the cultures of the region as she participated on joint research missions with the Bajoran and Cardassian governments. But while this cleaved much more to his interest and loves more than his father’s wishes, Nate knew he had simply swapped one parent’s plan for him for the other’s, and that his mother had brought him into her life only because he was no longer an impracticality.
While Nate enjoyed these years, it was another disruption to his life, another uprooting from all friends he’d made or roots he’d laid down, and everything he did and everywhere he stayed was dictated by his mother’s work. Slowly he began to resent the new position he’d been put in, and it was then that he finally listened to his father’s urging to consider, still, Starfleet Academy as an option in life. He applied largely to spite his mother, to demonstrate that he could defy her as much as Alexander, though he expected nothing to come of it.
It is highly likely that Commodore Alexander Beckett pulled strings to make sure his son’s application to Starfleet Academy was accepted. This offer caused the latest fight between Nate and his mother, who revealed that she had no interest in bringing him with her on her next project, which would take her to Cardassian territory itself; she expected him to go his own way once he was eighteen, and ideally to make the most of the education she had secured for him.
Embittered, exhausted, and feeling abandoned, Nate was vulnerable enough to his father’s manipulations and machinations to accept the place at the Academy. But Starfleet Academy was no path for someone who did not truly want it, as one of the most rigorous educational courses in the Federation, if not the galaxy. He floundered early, making friends and socialising easily, partying hard, but struggling with the expectations placed upon him academically. To his eyes, his instructors had a plan for him, one he suspected his father had played a role in shaping, and at first he took a perverse delight in defying them.
He floundered for most of his first three years of training. He sought a major in xenoarchaeology, and by his natural aptitude, interest, and experience and preparatory education, was an excellent scholar despite his best effort. This dragged him through the rest of his training, where he refused or often failed to apply himself, and every year ended with warnings that he would need to shape up or ship out. Nate proved an expert at cruising by on ‘just enough,’ and his instructors began to accept he would scrape through and have a thoroughly inauspicious Starfleet career.
In 2397, towards the end of his third year, he met new instructor Commander Matt Rourke. Rourke had long served with Nate’s father, but the two had grown apart in recent years. It was Rourke who recognised the burdens on young Nate, who understood the pressures of his relationship with his father, and took Nate under his wing. He helped him make peace with his place at the Academy, accept a career in Starfleet on his own terms, and encouraged and supported him through the last leg of his training. With Rourke’s aid, Nate finally knuckled down and applied himself, and while it was not enough for him to avoid graduating in the bottom third of his class, almost every instructor left notes in his record observing that he had become almost a different cadet, and that his potential as an officer should be nurtured by future superiors.
Ensign Beckett was posted to Starbase 514 as an Archaeology and Anthropology Officer, spending the next year on a station that acted as a launching point for many regional research expeditions. It was an inauspicious assignment, but one which helped him learn the ropes and find his footing as a Starfleet officer. Still, with his unremarkable Academy records, he might have lingered there a while.
Again it was Rourke who came to his rescue, now a captain and commander of his own starship, the Endeavour. He requested Beckett’s transfer as an A&A officer, and not long after his arrival Endeavour was embroiled in the Tkon crisis of 2399, Starfleet ships ordered to discover everything they could about the fallen ancient empire. With Endeavour’s Chief Science Officer gone, Beckett was elevated to Acting Chief, and led much of the research aboard following the leads on Tkon technology. While he was wildly under-qualified for the position, and spent much of the time leaning on the expertise of other officers, he still showed talent both as an archaeologist and a bridge officer, and received a commendation once the crisis was over and he returned to his post.
Nevertheless, Beckett seemed unsatisfied to rest on this progress. In late-2399 he requested, and was granted, assignment to Endeavour’s Hazard Team. Many suspect this latest step is yet another sign of his father’s influence, Vice Admiral Beckett eternally keen for his son to not merely excel in his Starfleet career, but excel in the way he sees most fitting. In early 2400, Beckett participated in Endeavour’s operations during the Stormbreaker Campaign, not only aiding in negotiations to establish a relief centre on the planet Whixby, but joining Lieutenant Thawn to heroically repair the world’s weather control systems in a dangerous storm. For this, and for his role rescuing officers lost in the storm, Beckett was not only decorated with the Star Cross, advanced to the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade.
|2394 - 2395||Officer Candidate||Starfleet Academy||
Cadet Freshman Grade
|2395 - 2396||Officer Candidate||Starfleet Academy||
Cadet Sophomore Grade
|2396 - 2397||Officer Candidate||Starfleet Academy||
Cadet Junior Grade
|2397 - 2398||Officer Candidate||Starfleet Academy||
Cadet Senior Grade
|2398 - 2399||Archaeology and Anthropology Officer||Starbase 514||
|2399 - 2400||Archaeology and Anthropology Officer||USS Endeavour||
|2400 - Present||Archaeology and Anthropology Officer||USS Endeavour||
Lieutenant Junior Grade