Pivoting after a twenty year career as a science officer, Captain Taes is the commanding officer of Constitution III-class explorer, the USS Constellation. After more than a year of commanding starships (the USS Dvorak and USS Sarek), Taes continues to experiment with her own leadership style: she reaches for a balance between objective aloofness and seeking delight in exploration.
From her posture, and the way she moves, Taes has been said to have a graceful carriage. Taes stands 171 cm tall and weighs 54 kg. She has dark brown eyes that look to you with empathy. Since her shift to the command track in her late thirties, Taes has recommitted to physical fitness and skincare.
As a senior science officer, Taes had fallen out of maintaining her Starfleet Academy exercise regime. Later, as a Commanding Officer, Taes continuously sets new goals for her health and wellness to reach peak athletic physical condition for her age and species. Although she doesn’t wear cosmetics daily, Taes is experimental in keeping up with various fashions from across the Federation. As a Deltan, Taes is hairless except for her eyebrows and eyelashes. This is most noticeable from her bald scalp.
Commander Taes, Starbase 310 Gala
Cadet Taes, Academy graduation
As a Deltan, Taes is highly attuned to all of her senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing and empathy. As a sensual being, Taes takes delight in the full spectrum of emotion and sensation. She even takes joy in feelings like hunger or shame, because they still present her with unique experiences in the universe. Taes strives to lead with empathy; she’s not afraid to name the emotion she’s feeling or observing. As a leader, Taes makes a show of vulnerability at times, because it puts people at ease. Sometimes, her vulnerability is sleight of hand: she shows a pretty flaw to make a point, all the better to hide her real pain.
Rooted in her trauma, Taes feels a deep-seeded need for control over her body, her mind and her environment. Flare ups of fear and panic can cause exaggerated emotions when she loses the illusion of control. She has often been a perfectionist in her life. Her strategic vision allows her to imagine what perfection would look like, and she feels lesser than if she can’t deliver that perfection. Even if she observes the struggles of others, she may take the blame on herself, because it’s comfortable to her, like a childhood blanket. Taes continues to manage these urges through counseling and has sometimes succeeded in being comfortable with good-enough.
From her parents, Taes inherited a focus on inner-space. She is acutely aware of her own emotions; at times, she has lost this ability due to her traumas. As an adult, she has been extremely determined in her desire to be of value to the Federation. She has many qualities of a natural leader –discipline, determination, visionary sight– and that confidence can often engender trust from others. In Taes’ more recent determination to become a starship Captain, she has started to lose some of her inner-space clarity. She’s put so much effort into becoming a Captain, she’s lost sight of what kind of Captain she wants to be.
Reinforced by her Starfleet oath of celibacy, Taes prioritizes duty above almost all else. She has had difficulty forming healthy romantic relationships, and even her close friendships have often slipped away as she’s moved on to new assignments. Taes, understandably, grew up feeling like she couldn’t rely on her family or friends, and this has left her with a feeling of disconnect or lack of belonging in many of her formative relationships as an adult. Her tendency towards being a caretaker has also begun to cast a shadow over her sense of self; determination in her career has made her lose track of what truly gives her satisfaction.
Early Life (2358 – 2373)
As a child, Taes had never once imagined a future for herself as a starship captain. Laying in the grass, her body connected with the earth, she would imagine herself as a philosopher, an imaginaut or a composer. Her dream was to invent a new perception for experiencing existence. She wanted to invent new frames of references; a new way to think. Traveling the stars –taking hold of lives to inspire and protect in her hands– never appealed to her, not once. Taes was raised in a Deltan belief that satisfaction from exploring one’s inner-life greatly outweighed any wonders that could be found in the galaxy at large. Perhaps it was this inward focus that caused Taes, her family, and even the leaders of their colony, to miss the early warning signs that something had gone amiss at home.
Born as the only child to her parents, Taes grew accustomed to playing alone. She grew up at the Deltan colony on the planet Nivoch. Taes developed a vivid imagination, which was always encouraged by her parents. Her mother taught her creativity-enhancing meditation and tested her with visualization training from infancy. Even as Taes developed sufficient independence to be welcomed into schooling and the community, she craved time alone to recharge her energy. Metal sculpting became one of her hobbies of choice once she had the dexterity for it.
Colony Disaster (2373-2377)
When Taes was a teenager, the technological infrastructure of the colony began to fail very slowly, until it failed very suddenly. The weather control systems couldn’t keep up with weather becoming inhospitable season after season. Tectonic instability made itself known with earthquakes. By the time the solar power generators had no access to sunlight and the geothermal power tap was destroyed by an earthquake, the colonists were left alone, for many months, to fend for themselves with dwindling resources. Colony leadership never determined if the planet was souring because of sabotage by the Maquis or Cardassians in their dispute over the demilitarized zone, or if something had gone wrong with the terraforming process, decades earlier. Taes certainly never found out, but she was too preoccupied with keeping her family warm and fed.
The Federation had declared war with the Dominion by then, and neither Starfleet nor Delta IV had the capacity to send sufficient aid to the colony for a long time after the infrastructure collapsed. Perhaps it was childish hero worship at first, but Starfleet’s eventual rescue of the survivors was what turned Taes’ head away from interior exploration. Starfleet’s remit for galactic exploration and humanitarian endeavours made Starfleet officers look like rockstars to her. Not only was Taes inspired by the goals of Starfleet, a part of her believed she owed her life to Starfleet. She desired to become Starfleet. She desired Starfleet training, if that meant she would never be helpless again.
After the loss of her parents on Nivoch, Taes was taken in by family on Delta IV. The rehabilitation facilities tended to her physical, mental and spiritual recovery, while Taes recommenced her education and enrolled in the Starfleet Academy preparatory program.
Starfleet Academy (2377 – 2381)
Through reflection, and considerable medical assistance, Taes had found a way back to herself well enough to be accepted by the Starfleet Academy campus on Delta IV. In her first year, when her grades weren’t on par with many of her peers, there were rumours that her acceptance to the academy had been a political decision after everything she’d endured on Nivoch. Or that Starfleet had lowered its admissions standards, given all their losses through the Dominion War.
The curriculum itself posed no challenges to Taes. The Deltan education system had amply provided with Taes with all of the mathematical and scientific skills she would need to excel in Starfleet. More than that, Taes was prone to think in systems: she understood the workings of the academy and knew where to prioritise her energy. It was Taes’ instincts as a caretaker that got in her way. Her big-picture view offered her perspective on those cadets who were falling through the cracks. Taes could not control her urge to help, to tutor them, often to the detriment of her own studies. At times, assignments were unsubmitted or tests were missed.
Following advice from her counselors and advisors, Taes re-focused on her xenoanthropology major at the academy, and she minored in archaeology as well. For all her admiration of Starfleet’s adventurous lifestyle, scientific research proved to suit her best. It was what came easiest when her grades had taken that dip. In approaching her bachelor’s degree thesis, her advisors encouraged her to mine her own Deltan culture and her childhood dreams of reframing the perception of self. Other advisors encouraged her to leverage her upbringing near the demilitarized zone; suggested she research the Cardassian and Maquis conflict. Defiantly, Taes wrote her thesis on the Tkon Empire. Archaeology appealed to her because the subjects were long dead. Anything more recent was too fresh — it could trigger panic attacks about her final days on Nivoch.
Archaeology & Anthropology Officer (2381-2386)
Ensign Taes’ first mission as a junior science officer was tempered by culture shock. After swearing to an oath of celibacy, and being assigned to the diverse crew of the USS Mnemosyne, the academy hadn’t fully prepared Taes to live in the strange new world of Federation society. Delta IV and Nivoch had been all Taes had known, aside from a brief cadet cruise. Taes leaned on the ship’s counselor to manage her adjustment. The way non-Deltans communicated was so much less tactile, cerebral, sexual and empathic than how Taes had learned to communicate as an adult. Relying solely on verbal communication felt flat to Taes; it made her feel paranoid in larger spaces, like the mess hall or rec rooms. Although there were no logical connections between the two, the stress of the adjudgment brought back intrusive memories of her time stranded on the failed colony. Taes could only find comfort in the secondary science labs and her quarters, where she was roomed with another Deltan officer. With Taes’ nervous system in overdrive, she perceived her shipboard duties with hypervigilance, as if her life literally depended on how well she catalogued artefacts from archaeological digs.
Taes found security in duty more than anything and that drive for results was recognized when she was promoted to Lieutenant (Junior Grade) and assigned to the USS Ludovician as its Archaeology & Anthropology Officer. In her first year with the crew, Taes’ hypervigilance won her praise and recognition by the science chief. For a brief time, Taes was considered to be an expert on the Ma-aira Thenn, because she alone managed to open one of their ancient puzzle boxes, which had been found by the crew. The research had been a team effort and Taes’ contribution represented a mere glint of brilliance, solving the final clue to opening the box. She had found a different perspective on the challenge. Taes had been rewarded by leading the project team to translate the engraved tablets they found within the box.
As much as Taes’ hypervigilance served her need for scientific excellence, she reached a point in her personal development when it stopped serving her as an officer. During an anthropological study into Tholian societal expectations, Taes reacted with increasing defensiveness when team-members questioned her approach. Defensive was an attribute that had rarely been described in her life prior. The tension, and exhaustion, grew within Taes for months as she drove herself to notice everything, to think of every angle, to perform with perfection. At times, her superiors let her get away with it, because she was performing so well, and the outbursts were relatively infrequent.
Taes’ slow spiral was exacerbated by the Ludovician being re-directed to join the rescue armada to ferry Romulans away from the impending supernova. Taes was haunted by how easily she could relate to the Romulan refugees. Worse, when Starfleet withdrew their support of Romulus, Taes got into a shouting match with colleagues in the main science lab. She vociferously objected to Starfleet’s decision to withdraw. Subsequent conversations with the ship’s counselor led Taes to understand how the pressures of vigilance and perfection weren’t serving her as a person anymore.
Chief Science Officer (2386-2390)
In her remaining time aboard the Ludovician, Taes taught herself practices to remove her ego from her duty. Her active participation in counseling continued to move her forward in her recovery from the traumas of Nivoch. She put more energy into collaborative and facilitative leadership, working towards excellence with her peers, rather than focusing so much on what she alone had to offer. As these practices became a habit, this shift in energy was recognized in her promotion to Lieutenant, and assignment to the USS Honne as its chief science officer.
Taes’ transition to serving as a leader of others didn’t come without turbulence. Her need for control led her to over-stretch beyond her capabilities. She wanted to build relationships with all of the science officers, she wanted to answer every question from the Captain perfectly, she wanted to know everything, and all by her first week. Over-exerting herself led to a psychosomatic illness, giving herself headaches and cold symptoms, and the return of forgotten nightmares from the bad days on Nivoch. It took a couple of heart-to-heart conversations from her executive officer to believe –to sincerely believe– she could give herself time to become the department head of her dreams. She didn’t have to be good at the job immediately. All she had to do was show up; show up and she could learn the rest as she went along. As a Luna-class explorer, the USS Honne offered her time and space to practice serving as a department head in its exploration of the Gamma Quadrant. Taes and the science team supported duck blink operations, first contact missions, exploring abandoned worlds, and other interstellar phenomenon.
Starbase 310 (2391-2399)
In her assignment to Starbase 310 as Head of Archaeology, Taes progressed through positions of increasing responsibility to Deputy Director of Social Sciences and eventually Director of Social Sciences. Feeling herself further and further from the angry youth stranded on Nivoch, Lieutenant Commander Taes experimented with a proudly aloof leadership style. In some ways, she was emulating her mother, but she also felt lost at sea in her earliest days of leading entire functions composed of teams and sub-teams. Aboard the USS Honne, Taes had learned to lead through charisma, meaningful interactions, and high levels of support. Her science team had performed amazing things, and aboard Starbase 310, she had to learn to lead through trust. Taes stopped running away from studies that reminded her of Nivoch. Given the starbase’s proximity to the Cardassian border, Taes lead studies into Cardassians for the first time in her life, expanding Starfleet’s understanding of the shifting powers that influenced Cardassian foreign policy, the growing economic crisis, and the scattering of their historical artefacts across the quadrant.
It was during her posting as Deputy Director of Social Sciences that Taes began to chafe between a fear that her career had become self-indulgent and a fear of change. Taes’ Deltan upbringing had taught her supreme satisfaction in exploring the mysteries of the past, along with looking for themes and patterns in the interconnections among sentient beings. In the pit of her stomach, Taes felt she could be doing more; she owed Starfleet more. She began splitting her time between her duties and advanced starship operational training, until she was able to pass the bridge officer’s exam. Even after her promotion to Commander, it took Taes months to seek out a mentor who could guide her through making a change. It terrified her to think about walking away from everything she had worked towards, and often redoubled her focus on her duties to Starbase 310.
In the thick of Taes’ questioning her own career, Taes’ reputation as a researcher was assailed when a representative from the Romulan Free State gave an interview to the Federation News Network, accusing Taes of paying the Orion Syndicate for Romulan artefacts she had obtained aboard Starbase 310. Although Taes denied the accusations –and fervently questioned if the artifacts belonged to the Free State any more than they belonged to the Romulan Star Empire or the Romulan Republic– Starfleet made diplomatic overtures by providing the artifacts aboard Starbase 310 to the scientist Flavia of the Romulan Star Empire.
It took Taes more than year to work up the courage, but she finally enrolled in a full-time curriculum with the advanced training command.
Command Training (2399 – 2400)
After her time at Starfleet Academy on Mellstoxx III, Commander Taes was assigned to Starbase 72 to complete her education through the command training program. Leveraging her past scientific experience, Taes was assigned command of the social sciences ship, USS Nestus, a Raven-class corvette. With a rotating specialist crew from the starbase’s compliment, Taes commanded the USS Nestus on short-term archaeology and anthropology missions of exploration, research and diplomacy.
By the earliest days of 2400, the USS Nestus was assigned on an anthropological study to evaluate Federation emergency management policy amid the live emergency of the Century Storm raging through the Paulson Nebula. Resettled survivors were interviewed by Commander Taes’ crew to gather a deeper understanding of their needs and ancestral resiliency amid this kind of crisis. Through misadventure, misunderstandings, and a hands-off leadership style by Commander Taes, the crew of the Nestus gradually came to question the efficacy of the ethnographic interview questions that had been selected by Taes. Taking responsibility for her mistakes, Commander Taes found solutions to complete the anthropological survey with revised interview questions.
In the aftermath of the Century Storm, Commander Taes was assigned a new team of archaeologists from Starbase 72, serving as the first responders to the Trill colony of New Tenar. During the Century Storm, New Tenar’s entire population was evacuated by Starfleet to escape the ion storms.
The capital city of New Tenar in ruins, Commander Taes’ team conducted an archaeological study of the city to identify heritage sites of historical and cultural importance. Halfway through the mission, Taes discovered her nascent senior staff was engaging in duplicitous and coersive behaviours behind her back, requiring all of Taes’ growth as a leader to keep her senior staff from tearing itself apart.
Once Taes was promoted to the rank of Captain, she was assigned command of the aging Springfield-class science ship USS Dvorak, following its lengthy refit and shakedown cruise. The Dvorak‘s first mission was to investigate the archaeological site on Camus II, after it was looted by Cardassian True Way pirates. After her first away mission to the planet, Captain Taes returned from the planet’s surface as a changed woman and her maiden voyage almost become her last. Taes and much of her senior staff were body-swapped by ancient, failing technology they discovered at the archaeological dig.
Taes, for her part, was body swapped into the most junior member of her entire crew, Ensign Melchor Dolan. This physical manifestation of finding herself in the uniform of a junior science officer once again heightened the sensation of impostor syndrome Taes was feeling on her very first mission as a captain of a starship. Following a romantic encounter with Chief Engineer Leander Nune, and the counsel of Executive Officer Elbon Jakkelb, Taes worked with her science team to swap the senior staff back into their own bodies. Taes’ hand-picked Chief Science Officer –Jeffrey Holmgren, whom she had worked with on Starbase 310– suffered from the experience of being swapped with a non-humanoid body. He was returned home to his family in a coma.
By the time independent Remans asked the Federation for help in reaching self-sufficiency from the crumbling Romulan Star Empire, Captain Taes believed she had found her footing as a starship captain. The USS Dvorak was assigned to feed the world of Kunhri III. Not only did Taes design a strategy to give the Remans a figurative fish, to teach the Remans to fish, and to identify what fish can thrive in the ecology of Kunhri III, Taes also tasked her crew to determine what species of fish would be most nutritious for Remans, and discover if Reman mythology would even allow them to eat fish!
Although the Dvorak crew experienced early success in providing Kunhri III with replicators and hydroponic gardens, diplomatic relations chilled when the Dvorak’s Science Chief Priya Susarla and several Reman adolescents were killed by poisoning. Tal Shiar agents had poisoned the hydroponic gardens to create distrust between the Remans and Starfleet, and the USS Dvorak was banished from the Kunhri star system. Determined not to fail her mission, Taes stranded herself and a science team on the surface of Kunhri III to complete the algae farms they had set out to prepare for the Remans of Kunhri. The provisional government begrudgingly accepted Taes’ assistance.
The Great Experiment (2400 – Present)
Later that year, Captain Taes was unexpectedly reassigned away from the USS Dvorak when Task Force 17 embarked on a new great experiment. After the fall of the Romulan Star Empire and the loss of the Artifact, the Romulan Free State made diplomatic overtures to the Federation once again. The Sutherland-class research cruiser USS Sarek was launched with a permanent team of seventy five scientists from the Romulan Free State among the crew. Given Taes’ expertise in archaeology and anthropology, and her diplomatic successes at Kunhri III and Tenope, Taes was hand-picked to lead the joint Starfleet/Romulan crew.
Although the USS Sarek set out on her maiden voyage to explore the Typhon Frontier, Captain Taes and crew were often waylaid: first by rescuing the USS Jaxartes from an attack by a independent Romulan faction and then by the search for the sensor ghost of a subspace phase pulse passing through the Typhon Frontier. When the Sarek crew located the sensor ghost, they remotely observed a massive subspace phase pulse spanning fourteen sectors of the Gradin Belt in the Delta Quadrant.
As a member of Task Force 17 –the fourth fleet’s deep space operations– the Sarek was tasked with journeying to the Delta Quadrant through the Barzan wormhole and studying the mysterious red dilithium that has bloomed in the same sectors that were visited by the subspace phase pulse. The archaeology and anthropology expertise of the Sarek was assigned to investigate the remains of a civilization, discovered by a Starfleet mining operation, on what they believed to be an uninhabited moon.
Captain Taes found herself cornered between Starfleet’s needs to understand the “blood dilithium”, the scientific avarice of her new crew members from the Romulan Free State, and that menacing voice in her head whenever blood dilithium was near. Said dilithium proved to be haunted by the collective rage of telepathic Brenari who had been murdered over generations. Taes’ empathic sensitivity, as a Deltan, made her susceptible to the blood dilithium and caused Taes to lose her temper and her senses when her Romulan Free State Science Chief, Flavia, engaged in grave robbing from the moon of Burleigh Minor. As a result, Taes was briefly relieved from her command of the Sarek by Chief Medical Officer Nelli. Only after the USS Sarek participated in sending the blood dilithium back to subspace did Taes begin to feel like herself again.
|2377 - 2378
|Starfleet Academy - Delta IV
Cadet Freshman Grade
|2378 - 2379
|Starfleet Academy - Delta IV
Cadet Sophomore Grade
|2379 - 2380
|Starfleet Academy - Delta IV
Cadet Junior Grade
|2380 - 2381
|Starfleet Academy - Delta IV
Cadet Senior Grade
|2381 - 2383
|2383 - 2386
|Archaeology & Anthropology Officer
Lieutenant Junior Grade
|2386 - 2390
|Chief Science Officer
|2390 - 2392
|Head of Archaeology
|2392 - 2395
|Deputy Director of Social Sciences
|2395 - 2398
|Director of Social Sciences
|2398 - 2399
|Command School Student
|Starfleet Academy - Mellstoxx III
|2399 - 2400
|2400 - 2401
|2401 - Present