Alexander Richards was born to Harriet and Gary Richards on S.D. 236111.06 on the Tycho city Lunar colony. From an early age he, like his wife Marissa Richards showed an aptitude for learning. However, unlike his wife he was very much an introvert. He found socializing with others in his peer group very difficult and preferred to keep his head in a PADD reading various children's tales. At the age of 2 his parents decided that they should seek counseling for their son to try to help him with his social interactions. At first he rejected the idea but after six months, he began to show rapid progress. By the age of 5 Alexander had started school and found making friends much easier than he had during his time in preschool.
Whilst at primary school, Alexander met and befriended a young boy by the name of Michael Hollins. The two developed a very strong friendship over the following years, often finding themselves partners on assignments at school. The two enjoyed participating in many extracurricular activities together including climbing, a form of exercise Alexander would enjoy well into his adult life. Working together, Michael and Alexander quickly rose to the top of the class excelling in every subject they took. Both picked up a more than casual interest in the sciences.
At the age of 9 both Michael and Alexander sat the Tycho Institute of advanced learning entrance exam. Whilst Michael passed, Alexander missed out by a few marks. Although Michael did his best to reassure his friend, Alexander was crest fallen. Worse than that, he rebuked his friend's attempts to console him as worthless cocky put downs and grew jealous of him. This ended the first major friendship of Alexander's life and to the present day remains one of his biggest regrets.
The following year, Alexander began his studies at the Tycho school of science. Although it was not as prestigious as the institute of advanced learning, the quality of teaching was still excellent and Alexander began to expand his knowledge of the Universe. By the age of 12 Alexander knew the periodic table off by heart and was a dab hand at chemical experiments. On the weekends and during school holidays his parents would often take him to their labs where he could see what he was learning at school put into practice. He continued to make friends, although he preferred a close circle of friends to having a large number of acquaintances.
Alexander's first place trophy at the Vulcan junior rock climbing championships.
During his early teenage years Alexander continued to study hard and socialize with his friends. By the age of 14 he had become an accomplished rock climber and regularly traveled to Earth, Vulcan and Risa to participate in junior rock climbing championships. On one such trip to Vulcan in 2366, he won first place. Unfortunately his celebrations were short lived as he collapsed due to exhaustion soon after reaching the summit. His trophy was presented to him in his hospital bed.
In early 2376 Alexander applied to the Daystrom Academy of science. By the June of that year he learned that he had been accepted. At first his parents were worried about how he would cope with being away from home but they soon realized that given his many trips to other worlds to compete in rock climbing events. In September 2376 Alexander began his studies at the academy and knuckled down hard. At first everything was going well and his professors had nothing but praise for him. However, slowly but surely, the adulation started going to his head and he began to become arrogant and at times, reckless.
At the age of 16 Alexander had begun studies into warp mechanics. During an experiment in one of the institutes laboratories a catastrophic failure occurred in a scale model of a type VI Warp core that caused an explosion destroying the lab and surrounding classrooms, injuring 25 students and professors. When the accident was investigated, it was discovered that several safety protocols had been disengaged in an attempt to increase the efficiency of the matter anti matter reaction. Although the results had at first looked promising, the reactor soon went critical and was unable to be stabilized. For his part in the ill fated experiment, Alexander was expelled from the academy and warned that he may have jeopardized any future career or education ambitions he might have had.
Alexander returned to the Tycho City colony dejected. He felt himself a failure and found his only solace in the fact that nobody had died during the ill fated experiment. To his surprise, he found his parents supportive of him despite his mistakes with his father even making reference to the Manhattan project of the mid twentieth century. Despite his parents reassurances that accidents were still a fact of life in science, even in the twenty-fourth century, he considered giving up on academics and joining the merchant navy. It wasn't until six months before his 18th birthday that he reconsidered academic study. He applied late that year to Oxford University and to his surprise was accepted on merit based on his aptitude test scores and his interview. Despite the accident and his lack of qualifying school grades, the dean and board of governors had decided everybody deserves a second chance.
Alexander's first year at university was quite difficult. His fellow students knew of the accident at the Daystrom Academy and looked down on him. He was fortunate however in that a few of his fellow students chose to look past his history and saw him for who he was. One of these students was Adam Tanner, a young go getter from Cornwall who was studying applied fusion mechanics at the University. It was Adam who suggested Alexander attend the seminar on the dangers of inter species relations where he first met Marissa, his future wife.
During his second year at Oxford, Alexander 'accidentally' bumped into Marissa in one of the common rooms. Being the gentleman he was, he offered to pick up her books which had been scattered across the floor. Having accomplished the task, he asked the young lady on a date and she graciously accepted, much to the displeasure of her friends. The couple continued to court for the rest of the year, including over the summer break. Alexander also focused hard on his studies during the year and passed all his course work with firsts, placing him in the top percentile of his year group in the entirety of England.
In late 2382, Alexander proposed to Marissa in front of a large number of students at the university. Although embarrassed at first, Marissa accepted and the pair married in a quiet private ceremony on S.D. 238301.01. The pair postponed their honeymoon until after their graduation later in the year so that they could focus on their final year of studies. For his dissertation, Alexander wrote a piece on 'Warp mechanics past, present and beyond' which was not only published but, along with his previous grades earned him a first in applied Warp Mechanics and brought him to the attention of Starfleet. He applied to Starfleet Academy in the April of 2383 and was accepted in the June of that year. He would have liked to have said that the offer was unconditional however, the commandant of the Academy made it quite clear that any repeat of the incident at the Daystrom Academy would result in immediate court martial and a minimum of five years in a Starfleet prison. That summer, Marissa and Alexander enjoyed a brief two week vacation in San Francisco before they both started their new journeys in life.
Alexander's Academy Diploma.
Alexander was pleased when he learned that Adam Tanner, his best friend from university had also successfully applied to Starfleet Academy. The two opted to share a bunk together whilst at the Academy and to help each other with their studies. The first year almost seemed to breeze past Alexander who found the workload to be intense but stimulating. When he wasn't busy studying, he spent the majority of his time with his wife, Marissa off campus. Although slow to make friends, with the help of Adam he quickly found his feet and could often be found telling anecdotes in one of the common rooms. At one point during the telling of one of the aforementioned anecdotes, he noticed a first year cadet, much like himself having troubles with some third year Tellarite cadets. Without even thinking, he moved from where he was an interrupted the exchange by insulting the loudest of the group. After a few minutes of insults being thrown back and forth, a loud bellowing laugh was heard coming from the Tellarite Alexander had initially insulted. Impressed with his knowledge of their culture, the Tellarite group brought Alexander a bottle of Saurian brandy and became good friends with him.
During his second year Alexander continued to study hard and help Adam with his studies. Whilst sitting in on a seminar regarding the four Quadrants, Alexander began thinking about why he joined Starfleet. In the April of 2385, Alexander had a conversation with his wife regarding their future and his desire to serve out on the frontier. Marissa gladly accepted Alexander's proposal and suggested he talk to the Academy administrators about it. By the end of his second year, the Academy agreed to grant Alexander a one year leave of absence to transfer to the Academy satellite on Starbase 118.
Whilst traveling to Starbase 118, Marissa fell pregnant with the couple's first child, John. Thankfully the journey between Earth and the Starbase was uneventful despite the political events occurring at the time. John was born on S.D. 238605.22, just two months after the couple arrived at the base. Until the start of the new term in the September that year, Alexander worked as a barman for a shady Ferengi named Grek. Alexander got to know the regulars quite well and kept himself out of the managements business to avoid any problems with Starfleet security. His thought process on the matter was simply: "What I don't know, can't hurt me."
In his third year, Alexander began the process of making new friends. He found this difficult at first as he found little time to socialize outside of the classroom due to his parental commitments. He found the work load had increased two fold over the second year and his LOA left him a little rusty on his study habits. Thankfully, the commandant was understanding of the mitigating circumstances and pointed him in the direction of a group of fourth year cadets who helped students with their studies. Before long Alexander was once again back to his old studious habits and passed his third year with flying colors.
Alexander's fourth and final year at the Academy included a six month cadet cruise that took him away from his family. Although he missed them deeply he focused on his tasks with diligence and dedication. His primary role was as a communications officer although he spent a fair chunk of his time in Engineering. Unfortunately, Alexander found himself becoming quite arrogant amongst his peers. It would later be discovered that this was due to feelings of inadequacy. Although he was very good at what he did, he was beginning to feel like others were far more competent at his job than he was. This arrogant persona would haunt him all the way until his transfer from the USS Mercury to the USS Drake. Upon completion of his finals, Alexander (with his family in tow) was packed off to Deep Space 17 to begin his service career on the USS independence A.
Soon after arriving on Deep Space 17, Alexander found himself thrust into an unfamiliar environment. The USS Independence A was due to have an unorthodox promotions ceremony involving beach volleyball. It was during this event that Alexander met and befriended Eyas Wulfantine who would become one of Alexander's closest friends in Starfleet. The two often have a laugh when mentioning the exact circumstances of their meeting. During the Volleyball match, Alexander went to spike the ball but instead connected with the rather large Pythron's nose, breaking it. The young ensign was very apologetic insisting that it was an accident. Thankfully the man was very understanding of the situation.
After the match Alexander got the grand tour of the USS Independence A from the ships then first officer Commander Karynn Ehlanii Brice who also gave him his first official psychiatric evaluation. He was cleared fit for duty and joined his crew mates as they set off on their mission. During this first mission, Alexander came under telepathic attack from what was later discovered to be a Pagh'Wraith. This left him with a intense psychiatric trauma and confined to sickbay following his actions on the influence of the alien. However, it wasn't all bad. Whilst in sickbay, he met the also freshly minted Ensign Velana who nursed him back to health. At the time Alexander remarked how her bedside manner was impeccable. By the end of the mission, Alexander realized just how dangerous life in Starfleet was on the front line and decided that he did not want his family to serve with him under such circumstances.
Alexander's friendships with Eyas and Velana continued to grow upon the crews safe return to Deep Space 17 culminating in Alexander helping the Python male up a sheer cliff during a crew bonding session on the holodeck. However, the fun times were not to last. During the holodeck adventure, Deep Space 17 was put on high alert and the crew set about their duties. It was eventually revealed that the alert had merely been an exercise to test the competency of the crew of the USS Tiger orchestrated by Starfleet Intelligence. Alexander immediately resigned from Starfleet in a fit of anger and moved his family back to Starbase 118 where he took up work as a barman at Grek's for the next several months.
When the Klingon situation erupted in 2389, Alexander reapplied to Starfleet and was immediately placed into the returning officer program at Starfleet Academy, Starbase 118. When he passed out, he was assigned to the USS Mercury where his arrogance would once again get the better of him. He instigated a fire fight between the crew of the Mercury and the Klingons on the planet who had captured several key members of the crew. Disgusted at himself, he was about ready to throw in the towel when Captain Aron Kells offered him an alternative. At the time Alexander could not understand the Captain's reasoning, especially when his good friend Eyas had been punished for his transgression but, it later dawned on him that the Captain was giving him an opportunity to show his truth worth. During the mission, Alexander befriended Roshanara Rahman the ships chief engineer who saw Alexander's potential.
You can read Alexander's conversation with Captain Aron Kells here
In early 2390 tragedy struck Alexander whilst on an away mission to Deep Space 10. The away team he was a part of had been investigating a part of the possibly ancient station when he activated the stations dormant defenses. An attack by one of the defenses left Alexander paralyzed from the waist down. Starfleet are still unsure as to whether the condition is treatable. Confined to a wheelchair, Alexander once again began to question his worth and whether to resign from Starfleet. Thankfully his friends and his wife stuck by him and he worked at regaining his health.
Alexander got his first taste of command and the responsibilities therein soon after. Word had reached the USS Mercury that Eyas Wulfantine's mother was to be put to death on Pythro for crimes against the state. Captain Kells not wanting the Pythron male to risk rescuing his mother alone rallied the crew around to assist. Alexander was crest fallen that his disability meant that he could not go but soon perked up at the news he would be left in command as the highest ranking senior officer left on board the ship. Soon after the departure of the senior staff, the USS Mercury received a distress signal and investigated as per standard Starfleet protocol. The mission was almost a disaster and left Alexander once again feeling as if he was not cut out to be a Starfleet officer, let alone in command. This would have near fatal consequences on the ships next mission.
With the senior staff reunited, all be it minus the departing Eyas Wulfantine and Doctor Velana, the ship set out on its next mission to investigate a possible ancient library. Commander Rahman had been assigned to Deep Space 10 temporarily to oversee the final reconstruction efforts. She left Alexander in charge of Engineering on the Mercury as it's acting chief engineer. Oozing with new found confidence Alexander helped prepare the Mercury for the effects of the star system the library was located in. Everything went fine until a defense system on the planet's surface attacked the USS Mercury and a nearby cloaked mercenary vessel. Alexander was tasked with leading an away team to the other vessel to try to save it. The away mission was a disaster with Alexander's arrogance nearly costing the lives of the entire team. Although he was absolved of all blame, he decided that for the sake of his family it was probably safer to move back to Starbase 118. Saying his goodbyes, Alexander put in a transfer request and was promptly reassigned as a science officer on the USS Drake.
Lieutenant Commander Pandora
Upon arrival at Starbase 118 Alexander once again found himself in a situation where he was confronted by a group of officers he didn't know in an unusual situation. His new Captain, William Rogers had decided to host the USS Drake's promotion ceremony in a bar dressed up like a speak easy from early twentieth century Earth. The only person in the room he did know was Lieutenant Pandora, the USS Drake's Engineer whom he had met in one of the many arboretums on Starbase 118 whilst on a walk with his family. He adapted to the situation faster than he thought possible and was amazed when his new crew mates rallied around to help him when his wife had been for all intents and purposes assaulted by the very people who had been employed to make sure the occasion remained private.
Over the following months, including the crew's transfer from the retired USS Drake to Starbase 118 operations Alexander had made very few friends, although he had earned a deep respect for the skills and dedication of those he worked with. He was also aware that he was a valued member of the crew and that his opinions were respected, even when he was wrong. His arrogance had begun to tail off as his career progressed and he was happy that he could live with his family when his shifts were finished. He slowly started coming to terms with his disability and was adapting well to life in a wheel chair.
Whilst stationed aboard the Starbase, Alexander made contact with his old friend Eyas Wulfantine. The two spent some time discussing each others current situations and past exploits. Although Alexander was saddened to see the state of his old friend, he endeavored to make sure that he would never leave it more than three months between contacts.
You can read the conversation between Eyas Wulfantine and Alexander Richardshere.
USS Gemini - First Tour
Commander Liam Frost
Lt JG Vanessa Driscoll
In February 2391, Alexander was transferred from Starbase 118 to the USS Gemini as the ships chief science officer. He took the decision, with the full support of his wife to go alone owing to the mission parameters of his new posting. Furthermore, with Marissa being settled in her new job aboard the station and John having started school, it was decided any upheaval would have been bad for the entire family. Although Alexander missed his family he knew that he would at the very least be able to make new acquaintances at his new posting. Acquiring a hover chair and leaving his old relic of a wheelchair behind, Alexander set out on the next great step of his adventure.
During the USS Gemini's first mission Alexander found himself back on the bridge of a starship during a tense situation. In that time, he got a chance to study his new CO who unbeknownst to him was also paying attention. At one point, Alexander remarked that he would get Commander Liam Frost a crate of alcohol of his choice. Following the end of hostilities, Commander Frost invited Alexander into his ready room by his first name and promoted him to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. The two shared a few words over a drink before returning to the bridge.
Whilst on the bridge, Alexander was approached by Lieutenant Commander Oliver Weston who congratulated him on his promotion. Although Alexander had spent very little time with the intelligence officer outside of work, he was quite happy to accept the adulation noting in his mind to spend time getting to know Oliver. This was primarily due to the fact that unlike most intelligence officers Alexander had ever met, Oliver seemed approachable and open rather than introvert and sleazy.
SinceVanessa Driscoll had transferred to his department, Alexander had worked very closely with her and come to know her as a friend. During the Gemini's first mission she had been instrumental in helping to track the Klingon Bird of Prey and in helping Alexander keep the Commander appraised of the battlefield situation. Her work was instrumental in helping to secure the USS Hermes and ensuring a safe resolution to the crisis that had unfolded near and in the Celendi Nebula. Alexander admired her dedication to duty and her ability to move beyond her rather tragic recent past.
In a briefing for the Gemini's second mission in the Borderlands, Vanessa had vocally stood up for Alexander despite the fact that in doing so she found herself directly in conflict with a superior officer, one Ian West who was at the time the ships Mission Specialist. She appeared to agree vehemently that placing a mobile laboratory on the surface of Rathos Prime was an incredibly reckless act. Alexander would later agree to the idea, being convinced that it was the lesser evil of the three options presented. Regardless, Alexander was impressed by the tenacity that Vanessa had shown and the strength of character she possessed.
Sadly during her involvement with the away team on the surface of Rathos Prime, Vanessa became infected with the Rathosian Pathogen, a certain death sentence. Despite this she continued to work tirelessly to try to find a cure for the pathogen once again showing her strength of character. Her accident, and ultimately her death weighed heavy on Alexander's mind causing him to question his ability to lead and his position in Starfleet. This eventually led to him snapping at Ensign Lan Riel, one of the ships counselors, during an impromptu session in Alexander's office. Alexander had faced the death of a colleague before but, never of one so close. It was the first time he had faced the no win scenario and his performance left him wondering just what his place in Starfleet was. He knew deep inside that he had some serious questions to ask of himself and that it was going to take a long time for the scars to heal.
USS Gemini - Sabbatical
Once the USS Gemini had docked with StarBase 224 Alexander said his goodbyes to the people he had come to know as his family away from home and settled in for what would be a three month period of soul searching. His first task was to visit the brother of the late Vanessa Driscoll and return a photo of the Driscoll family to him for safe keeping. Although his meeting with him was short, it reaffirmed in Alexander the belief of just how important family was. This knowledge of course did not make Vanessa's death any easier to handle and almost certainly made him think twice about returning to the Gemini.
Having finished with Vanessa's brother, Alexander headed immediately for StarBase 118 where he would meet his wife and son. After a very brief stop over which included Alexander bearing his soul to his wife for the first time in many years, the trio departed for Earth or more specifically the Tycho City Lunar colony where they would be spending some time with their parents. Alexander used the family time well to take stock of everything he had in life and where his future, and that of his family lay. It took a lot of convincing from his family for him to decide to stay with Starfleet and to put in a request to rejoin the USS Gemini at the earliest opportunity. With Marissa soon leaving for a long term research mission on the behalf of Starfleet within two weeks and Alexander due to rejoin the Gemini, the hard choice was made to leave John behind on Tycho at least until Marissa returned from her Scientific Exploration.
After Marissa's departure, Alexander found himself paying more and more attention to the FNS. Both he and his wife had been fortunate enough to avoid the calamity that had befallen the StarBase but had returned soon enough to witness the clean up operation. They were very glad they had left John behind as it was not a pretty sight. News on the FNS feeds seemed very bleak from colonies making demands for greater protection to mysterious disturbances in sub-space opening up near Prometheus station. Alexander spent the last few weeks of his Sabbatical relaxing in his house or eating out at Grek's Bar. A few days before the arrival of the USS Gemini, he met Doctor Dale McGregor whom he found out would be joining the crew of the USS Gemini. The pair got on rather well and bonded over some fine Scottish single malt whisky and Haggis.
USS Gemini - Second Tour
The Gemini returned only for a quick personnel transfer and equipment requisitions stopover before setting course for Deep Space 10. The destination caused some rather painful old memories to surface in Alexander that he would have very little time to deal with. Deciding to focus on other things, he made his way to Engineering to look at the QSD in operation and to learn about it's operation.