|Crew of USS Thunder|
- Full Name: Mackenzie Anne Ingram
- Species: Human
- Date of Birth: 236403.03
- Place of Birth: Seattle, Earth
- Age: 23
- Gender: Female
- Telepathic status: N/A
- Current Rank: Lieutenant
- Current Assignment: Duronis II Embassy
- Current Position: Chief Tactical Officer
- Height: 5'5"
- Weight: 125 lbs.
- Hair Colour: Red
- Hair Length & Style: To mid back, kept pulled back in a ponytail while on duty, otherwise loose.
- Eye Color: Brown
- Skin Tone: Fair
- Build: Petite with an athletic build.
- Birthmarks, Scars: None
- Face: Youthful, with soft cheeks and a defined chin.
- Tattoos/Body Modifications: Single ear piercing on both sides.
- Taste in Clothing (when off duty): Colorful clothes with an eye towards current fashion trends.
- Voice: Soft spoken, monotone and with little inflection in voice.
- Handedness: Right
- Overview: Mackenzie is an average young woman. She is not gifted with any astounding intellect, athleticism or beauty. Instead, she has considerable determination and a willingness to work long and hard to succeed in what she wants.
- Mannerisms: Mackenzie tends to be very easy to read. When nervous, she'll often fidget with her hair; when stressed, she'll chew on her lower lip; when excited, she'll smile and giggle a lot. Mackenzie often sees these habits as signs of immaturity, and has tried to improve them during her time in the academy, but with little success.
- Phobias: She refuses to admit it to anyone, but Mackenzie has a deep and pervading fear of combat. Although she knew of the potential for being involved with war when she joined Starfleet, anytime she considers being in the thick of personal danger, she finds herself choked with fear. She is deeply ashamed of this, and determined not to collapse in the face of duty, but this determination has not yet been tested.
- Religion / Spiritualism: Mackenzie does not ascribe to any organized religions. Neither does she consider herself particularly spiritual. However, she does feel that every person has a series of decisions that they must make where they can choose to act selfishly or for a greater good. She hasn't honed those those thoughts beyond very rough ideas, but it has made her ponder her own existence. It is also part of why she chose to join Starfleet, a decision that surprised many of her friends and family.
- Hobbies / Pastimes: Mackenzie is an avid tennis player. She played competitively through high school and at the Academy, and was moderately successful. She finds the physicality of the sport paired with the technical requirements oddly cathartic. She also enjoys more mundane activities such as reading, watching shows and fashion. She has no interest in music or dance.
- Languages: Mackenzie's native language is English. She is also fluent at a native-level in American Sign Language, and is very proficient at reading lips. To meet academy requirements, she also took up to level II in Bajoran, but is quite unpracticed.
- Ambitions: Mackenzie is intent upon succeeding as a Starfleet officer. She knows that she is not as naturally gifted as many of her classmates, but her determination and abilities are enough to let her make a name for herself. She is also focusing on becoming more independent, having realized since leaving Earth that her life has been considerably more sheltered and simple than many of her fellow officers.
- Marital Status: Single
- Children: None
- Father: Tobias Ingram, age 55.
- Mother: Miranda Ingram, age 53.
- Morgan Ingram, age 25.
- Michael Ingram, age 28.
Mackenzie was born on Earth to a pair of happily married attorneys. Despite a normal genetic screen and normal pregnancy, doctors quickly determined after her birth that she had a congenital defect that caused a 100% loss of hearing. Physicians were able to surgically implant a device that interfaced with the cochlear nerve in Mackenzie's right ear, but the technology was still imperfect.
After a rocky beginning, however, her life was strictly normal. Mackenzie proved to be an intelligent girl, but did not display the genius of her brother Michael, or the athleticism of her sister Morgan. However, she was a dedicated worker, especially with the encouragement of her parents and did well in secondary school, leaving her a variety of options for college. Despite, or perhaps in part because of, her parents' desire to see Mackenzie follow her siblings' lead and attend a high ranking private university, Mackenzie decided to follow a streak of wanderlust she had long been nurturing and applied to Starfleet academy. Her adequate entrance exam scores, good grades and well adjusted personality secured her spot. Her parents were surprised, but ultimately very supportive.
In the academy, Mackenzie succeeded using the same principles as before. She was never the smartest in her class, but through hard work, she always ended up doing well. Furthermore, her shy but sincere personality made her several friends both among her peers and the faculty. Mackenzie had always felt supremely comfortable with computers and technology, and harbored a small gift for working with them, so she was quickly attracted to a major in Com/Ops, and minored in Helm.
GENERAL: Mackenzie is a 22 year old 1st class cadet who presents today for a medical clearance exam prior to assignment on a cadet cruise. Mackenzie is a healthy appearing young woman who doesn't complain of any fatigue, weight loss or loss of strength.
SKIN: No complaints of rashes, swelling or abnormal bruising.
EYES/ENT: Vision is rated at 20/20. No complaints of headaches, sore threat, discharge or nose bleed. Hearing test is deferred to neurological exam.
CARDIOVASCULAR: Scan is normal. RRR. No murmurs.
RESPIRATORY: No complaints of difficulty breathing or cough. Lung scan clear.
GI: No complaints or concerns.
GU: G0P0. Last menstrual period ended 238604.14. Patient has no complaints.
MUSCULOSKELETAL: No weakness or swelling of joints. Strength tests normal.
NEUROLOGICAL: No tremors, history of seizure or difficulties with speech. Mackenzie was born with a congenital 100% hearing defect in both ears. This has been remedied by a right cochlear implant. With the implant deactivated, Mackenzie fails all standard hearing tests. With the implant activated, she has troubles distinguishing similar tones or sound patterns, but otherwise appears to have normal hearing on one side. Please see note in Mackenzie's chart from Dr Louis Madrone, the ENT surgeon who installed the implant.
ENDOCRINE/HEMATOLOGICAL: All endocrine and hematological scans come up at normal levels. No lymphadenopathy.
ASSESSMENT: With the exception of her hearing loss, Mackenzie appears healthy. As long as her hearing deficit is not seen to conflict with mission parameters, she is cleared for duty.
Report digitally signed 238604.22 by Lieutenant Kerry Harps, MD.
Letter from Dr Xien to Starfleet Academy Admissions Board
To admissions board, Starfleet academy:
I am writing this letter on behalf of my former patient, Ms. Mackenzie Ingram. It is meant to provide detailed and accurate information regarding her hearing deficit and cochlear implant so that you may make an informed decision on whether it will affect her duty to perform as a Starfleet officer.
Mackenzie was born with a congenital hearing deficit. Specifically, she has a mutation that prevented a specific protein from being expressed during development. Without this gene, the many afferent nerves that innervate the cochlear nerve did not develop. In layman's terms, her ears developed normally, except that the nerves needed to transmit the actual signals to the brain did not form. This means that she has a 100% hearing deficit: she is completely deaf in both ears. Today, we would have detected this lack of nerve development and used specific treatments in order to ensure proper development. However, when Mackenzie was born, we had no treatments to restore her hearing, and so we were forced to install a cochlear implant.
The implant is two pieces. The first is the device that I surgically installed inside of the right ear when Mackenzie was only a few days old. It uses a then-experimental neural fiber interface to transmit signals to the cochlear nerve, which then signals directly to the auditory cortex of the brain. The second piece of the implant is external. It consists of five microphones that are splayed around Mackenzie's right ear and picks up all ambient sounds and noises. It then uses advanced filtering algorithms to determine what to transmit to the internal structure of the implant. The two pieces are separable and connect through a physical port that is visible behind Mackenzie's right ear. This was chosen because we did not want any kind of electromagnetic interference to disrupt a wireless signal. The internal device is powered by the external, which uses a battery that typically lasts three to four months and is easily replaceable.
In the time since the device was installed, there have been many advances in microphone and neural fiber interface technologies. However, any attempts to adjust the device has been futile because it results in a change in the form of signal that is transmitted to Mackenzie's brain. The human brain is very receptive to change and transformation during development, which is why the implant stuck. However, once that time of plasticity (or ability to change) has passed, any change in the form of the signal transmitted to the brain results in dire side effects. When we tried to upgrade Mackenzie's external implant device, for example, she experienced severe headaches and nausea, and even passed out. For this reason, it is unlikely that until there are significant developments in neurotransformational medicine, Mackenzie will be unable to improve or replace her implant, nor have one installed in the left ear. In a similar fashion, I will be unable to build a superhearing capable bionic ear for Starfleet.
All that remains it the obvious question: what is Mackenzie's hearing capability with the implant? This is difficult to ascertain because the implant is the only form of hearing that Mackenzie has ever had, so she is unable to make comparisons or contrasts to what you or I may experience when we hear. It is clear that Mackenzie is able to clearly hear and understand verbal communication, but she has difficulty discerning between two people's voices. She can hear notes from a piano, but has trouble distinguishing between close tones. She can even recognize, with practice, a specific chord progression, but can never tell you whether it makes her feel something. These limitations are both hard to discern and to quantify, however, and I would urge you to be reluctant to dismiss her application due to them.
I hope this letter has helped shed some light on my very charming patient, and please feel free to contact me at my office if you have any further questions.
Dr Xien Cao, Director of Pediatric Otolaryngology, University of Washington Medicine and Seattle Children's Hospital
Description of Implant
As described by Dr Xien, Mackenzie's implant consists of two parts: an external implant and an internal implant. The external implant is visible and consists of a two centimeter square metal device called a nexus that links to the interface surgically implanted behind her right earlobe. The nexus then connects through thin, rigid wires to five microphones that are attached to Mackenzie's skin through biphasic magnetism. The microphones make a star shape with two points where the top and bottom of her ear connect to her head, two points farther back on her head in the hairline, and one point near the back of her skull in her hair. The nexus has two buttons on its face: a larger button on the top that toggles the implant on and off, and a smaller button that disengages the nexus from the interface to the internal implant and deactivates the biphasic magnets in the microphones, thus allowing full removal of the external implant.
When the external implant is removed, the interface to the internal implant is visible. It is a round piece with a diameter of approximately one centimeter that is surgically imbedded in the skin. There are a series of horizontal groove in the device that act as signal conductors when they are set in place with matching grooves in the nexus of the external implant.
Duronis II Embassy/USS Thunder Missions
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