Pivoting after a twenty year career as a science officer, Captain Taes is a first-time commanding officer of Springfield-class science ship, the USS Dvorak. Experimenting with her own command style, Taes reaches for a balance between objective aloofness and seeking delight in exploration. Operating among the Fourth Fleet’s Deep Space Operations, Task Force 17, Taes leads a science ship that specialises in archaeology and anthropology.
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.
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. 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.
USS Nestus (2400 – Present)
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.
|2377 - 2378||Xenoanthropology Cadet||Starfleet Academy - Delta IV||
Cadet Freshman Grade
|2378 - 2379||Xenoanthropology Cadet||Starfleet Academy - Delta IV||
Cadet Sophomore Grade
|2379 - 2380||Xenoanthropology Cadet||Starfleet Academy - Delta IV||
Cadet Junior Grade
|2380 - 2381||Xenoanthropology Cadet||Starfleet Academy - Delta IV||
Cadet Senior Grade
|2381 - 2383||Science Officer||USS Mnemosyne||
|2383 - 2386||Archaeology & Anthropology Officer||USS Ludovician||
Lieutenant Junior Grade
|2386 - 2390||Chief Science Officer||USS Honne||
|2390 - 2392||Head of Archaeology||Starbase 310||
|2392 - 2395||Deputy Director of Social Sciences||Starbase 310||
|2395 - 2398||Director of Social Sciences||Starbase 310||
|2398 - 2399||Command School Student||Starfleet Academy - Mellstoxx III||
|2399 - 2400||Commanding Officer||USS Nestus||
|2400 - Present||Commanding Officer||USS Dvorak||