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Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old November 3 2013, 09:48 PM   #1
Sran
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Let's Play a Game: Pick Captain Decker's Senior Staff

Not much is known about who Captain Decker would've chosen to fill out his senior staff had Kirk not taken command of the Enterprise prior to the V'Ger mission. Various materials suggest only Scotty and Uhura were assigned to the vessel before Starfleet declared the emergency that necessitated the ship launching weeks ahead of schedule. We also know that Sonak was appointed as science officer. Whether this happened before or after V'Ger was spotted isn't clear.

So why not make a game of it and help Decker pick the rest of his officers? Any character from Star Trek novels, fan fiction, or television is eligible provided that they were alive during the TMP time period and served in Starfleet. If you choose a character from fan fiction, it may be helpful to include a brief description of who the character is and how they came to be on the Enterprise, as others may not be familiar with them. Consideration should be given to whether they could've performed the task you have in mind for them. In other words, the Enterprise helmsman should be someone with piloting experience, and the CMO should be a physician.

I've always liked the idea that Decker picked out the most diverse crew in Starfleet history (until his TNG alter-ego surpassed him with Titan's crew), so I'd vote for someone like Commander Thelin th'Valrass as his science officer and executive officer.



Not much about Decker's career pre-Enterprise is clear beyond his serving on Delta IV and meeting Ilia before eventually completing a tour as the executive officer of the USS Boston. My depiction of these events in fan fiction has him serving under Harry Morrow, who eventually rose to Commander Starfleet by 2285 as seen in The Search for Spock. The Boston undertook an extended tour of the Romulan border, tangling with their Beta Quadrant counterparts on several occasions.

It's not out of the realm of possibilities that the Enterprise would be sent back to the Neutral Zone after dealing with V'Ger. For this reason, I could see Decker selecting a known expert in Vulcan/Romulan physiology as his Chief Medical Officer, someone like Dr. Jabilo M'Benga. Dr. M'Benga appears in at least two TOS episodes that I'm aware of but also figures prominently in several novels, including the popular Vanguard series.

I don't think Decker would have approved of Ilia serving as navigator: he'd have chosen someone else for that spot. Marcella DiFalco was already aboard and filled in for Ilia after she was taken by the V'Ger probe. DiFalco was an enlisted officer but could have served as navigator without difficultly given that several others with presumably limited experience (Stiles, Bailey, Chekov) were stationed there previously.

I like the idea of Morgan Primus/Number One returning to serve as Enterprise helm officer, as it keeps Majel Barrett aboard without Chapel hanging around. In the event that Chapel makes a guest appearance, it gives fans the opportunity to see the two characters interact. I don't exactly how to explain the reason for her absence or her seeming drop in status, though the events of numerous TOS novels and comics may provide one.



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Old November 4 2013, 03:01 PM   #2
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Re: Let's Play a Game: Pick Captain Decker's Senior Staff

A very interesting idea Sran. Here are my initial thoughts (of course they may change over time):

Commanding Officer – Captain Willard Decker – Human, Male
Executive/Chief Science Officer – Commander Thelin th'Valress – Andorian, Male
Chief Engineering Officer – Commander Montgomery Scott – Human, Male
Chief Communications Officer – Lt. Commander Nyota Uhura – Human, Female
Chief Security/Tactical Officer – Lieutenant Arex Na Eth – Edosian, Male
Chief Navigation Officer – Lieutenant Ilia – Deltan, Female
Chief Medical Officer – Lieutenant Christine Chapel – Human, Female
Chief Helm Officer – Ensign Xon – Vulcan, Male

Since this is Decker’s crew then he has to be there. I went with Thelin as well simply because I like Andorians, and it would be good to see them really explored further in a series. Scotty had to be in Engineering, seeing as how he put so much into refit then no one would know the ship like he would. Uhura could be better developed, whilst her promotion would see her take charge of the ship on occasion.

Arex is a character I loved from TAS, he would be a very alien perspective on things. With Decker in charge, Ilia kinda needs to be onboard so as to give him some personal issues to work though—as well as a will-they/won’t-they element. Doctor Chapel has seen a lot during her time on the Enterprise, now an MD she would combine her medical training with great empathy. Xon was meant to be in Phase II so I thought it fitting to have him onboard, but in another role—plus I thought it’d be interesting to have a Vulcan and Deltan sitting side-by-side.
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Old November 4 2013, 03:37 PM   #3
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Re: Let's Play a Game: Pick Captain Decker's Senior Staff

I thought we pretty much saw his entire senior staff in TMP? Though we don't know who his XO would've been.

Sonak - Science Officer
Chapel - CMO
Scott - Engineering (Though this is the only one I'm honestly not sure about. With his experience he may have ended up supervising the upgrades of other Constitution-class starships.)
Sulu - Helm (He was already on the bridge when Kirk arrived and you would think someone would've needed to be trained on the new design before being able to fly a mission.)
Ilia - Navigation
Chekov - Security
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Old November 4 2013, 05:15 PM   #4
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Re: Let's Play a Game: Pick Captain Decker's Senior Staff

BillJ wrote: View Post
I thought we pretty much saw his entire senior staff in TMP? Though we don't know who his XO would've been.
Not necessarily. Sulu and Chekov were aboard, but we don't know that they were permanently assigned to the crew, nor do we know what Sonak's involvement would have been had Kirk not recommended him as science officer. The Enterprise was launched several weeks ahead of schedule, so it's likely a substantial portion of her crew was rushed aboard due to the emergency situation. Of those who were aboard, we've no way of knowing who was supposed to be there beyond the V'Ger mission versus who was simply filling a role until the intended crew member could come aboard.

None of Decker's prospective crew was mentioned on screen because Kirk's return made them irrelevant. It's likely Kirk would have notified any of Decker's remaining crew of his MIA status after the V'Ger mission and kept his original senior staff aboard with Spock returning to his position of executive officer and senior science officer.

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Old November 9 2013, 06:17 PM   #5
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Re: Let's Play a Game: Pick Captain Decker's Senior Staff

One note about the XO...I've noticed that quite a few people have the XO and science officer combined. That is not necessarily routine. In fact several sources have indicated that having them combined was an unusual situation created specifically for Spock since he was able to balance the needs of both positions. In most situations they are seperate positions. Indeed, TMP proceeds from just that perspective.
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Old November 9 2013, 06:36 PM   #6
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Re: Let's Play a Game: Pick Captain Decker's Senior Staff

Gotham Central wrote: View Post
One note about the XO...I've noticed that quite a few people have the XO and science officer combined. That is not necessarily routine. In fact several sources have indicated that having them combined was an unusual situation created specifically for Spock since he was able to balance the needs of both positions. In most situations they are seperate positions. Indeed, TMP proceeds from just that perspective.
Perhaps that's why Sonak was assigned to the Enterprise to begin with? So he could do double-duty after the V'ger mission. He was wearing full-Commander's braids.
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Old November 10 2013, 02:31 AM   #7
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Re: Let's Play a Game: Pick Captain Decker's Senior Staff

Gotham Central wrote: View Post
One note about the XO...I've noticed that quite a few people have the XO and science officer combined. That is not necessarily routine. In fact several sources have indicated that having them combined was an unusual situation created specifically for Spock since he was able to balance the needs of both positions. In most situations they are seperate positions. Indeed, TMP proceeds from just that perspective.
You're correct that the executive officer is often its own position and not filled by another officer. However, in the Myriad Universes continuity in which Thelin serves aboard the Enterprise, he serves the same dual-role that Spock did.

BillJ wrote:
Perhaps that's why Sonak was assigned to the Enterprise to begin with? So he could do double-duty after the V'ger mission. He was wearing full-Commander's braids.
It's not clear what Sonak's role would've been beyond science officer. Kirk didn't need a separate first-officer for the V'Ger mission because Decker was serving in that capacity.

Following the mission, a lot would've depend on whether Kirk was staying or going. Nothing's ever stated on-screen or elsewhere, but it's possible Decker had already vetted a first-officer. We never saw this person because he or she wasn't needed during the crisis, but the person in question would have been necessary had Decker captained the ship as intended.

Christopher's Ex Machina mentions Uhura being considered for first-officer, but there's nothing from the film itself to support this.

One factor that's not been talked about is whether Spock would have stayed aboard had Kirk decided to leave. McCoy clearly would not have remained as he was there only because Kirk asked for him, but Spock's status is more ambiguous. He came aboard because of V'Ger, not because of Kirk being there- recall that Kirk was as surprised as everyone else that Spock had decided to come aboard- so he may have stuck around to serve under Decker and could've again filled the dual role he had under Kirk.

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Old November 11 2013, 08:09 AM   #8
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Re: Let's Play a Game: Pick Captain Decker's Senior Staff

Gotham Central wrote: View Post
One note about the XO...I've noticed that quite a few people have the XO and science officer combined. That is not necessarily routine. In fact several sources have indicated that having them combined was an unusual situation created specifically for Spock since he was able to balance the needs of both positions. In most situations they are seperate positions. Indeed, TMP proceeds from just that perspective.
I was thinking to just have Thelin as Executive Officer, but couldn't decide whether to have Shiboline M'Ress or M'yra as Science Officer.
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Old November 15 2013, 12:40 AM   #9
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Re: Let's Play a Game: Pick Captain Decker's Senior Staff

Commanding Officer – Captain Willard Decker – Human, Male
Executive/Chief Science Officer – Commander Sonak - Vulcan, Male
Chief Engineering Officer – Commander Montgomery Scott – Human, Male
Chief Communications Officer – Lt. Commander Nyota Uhura – Human, Female
Chief Security/Tactical Officer – Lt. Commander Kevin Riley - Human, Male
Chief Navigation Officer – Lieutenant Ilia – Deltan, Female
Chief Medical Officer – Lieutenant Christine Chapel – Human, Female
Chief Helm Officer – Lt. Commander Hikaru Sulu - Human, Male

For the most part, I tried to go with what was supported on screen, such as Sonak as science officer. It's easy to assume that he would have been selected for Decker's crew, since even he was surprised that Kirk was going to be taking command. If Kirk wasn't there, nobody would have requested McCoy. Riley just happened to be one of my favorite characters, so I would have just wanted to find any way to fit him in plausibly. I figure if he could be both engineering and navigation, then he could also be security.
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Old November 30 2013, 10:17 PM   #10
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Re: Let's Play a Game: Pick Captain Decker's Senior Staff

Sonak already seems to be under the command of Decker, so I suppose he'd probably bring him aboard as a Science Officer.
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Old December 1 2013, 05:45 PM   #11
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Re: Let's Play a Game: Pick Captain Decker's Senior Staff

It seems kind of awful that after all those years, even decades, that Number One wouldn't have risen above being a first officer. That opens up the "no female starship captains" debate though.
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Old December 1 2013, 06:32 PM   #12
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Re: Let's Play a Game: Pick Captain Decker's Senior Staff

borgboy wrote: View Post
It seems kind of awful that after all those years, even decades, that Number One wouldn't have risen above being a first officer. That opens up the "no female starship captains" debate though.
Huh?

We have no idea what happened to Number One after "The Cage". In one of the Byrne IDW comics, she was a Commodore and commanded the Yorktown.
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Old December 1 2013, 07:54 PM   #13
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Re: Let's Play a Game: Pick Captain Decker's Senior Staff

^She also appears in the New Frontier novels, though her life continuity is different in those books.

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Old December 1 2013, 08:15 PM   #14
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Re: Let's Play a Game: Pick Captain Decker's Senior Staff

Sran wrote: View Post
^She also appears in the New Frontier novels, though her life continuity is different in those books.

--Sran
Yep. I had forgotten about Morgan Primus.
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Old December 1 2013, 09:07 PM   #15
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Re: Let's Play a Game: Pick Captain Decker's Senior Staff

Yes. I love Morgan in NF.
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