In Star Trek Online, in the days when it was just starting out, I had created a couple of Starfleet captains. One was a Tactical captain in an Engineering ship-a Cruiser; one was a Science captain in a Tactical ship-an Escort. So, it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that when I made up my third Starfleet captain, he would be an Engineering captain in a Science ship. Beyond that, though, I wasn’t sure of anything except the name, which was something I’d been looking for an excuse to use for ages.
Then I realized that all my captains and their crews were fairly normal. (This was well before my Borg Science captain got access to androids, holograms, and Borg officers.)
Some extra explanation is probably in order here. I’ve been a reader of Star Trek novels for…well, practically since they started making Star Trek novels. For the most part, the novels tended to be one-and-done affairs, much like the average episodes of the assorted series. The timeline would vary wildly, from the early years of Kirk’s Enterprise to the post-Motion Picture years, and sometimes a bit beyond. (They had to walk carefully to not step on the movies after; Wrath of Khan thru Final Frontier were pretty tight, timeline-wise.) Later, they started alternating with Picard’s Enterprise, then came Deep Space Nine, Voyager….
And the novels evolved, too, starting to experiment. There were storylines that crossed between the assorted series, although Kirk’s crew never interacted with the others, thanks to the time gap between them. And eventually, the people in charge of the novels decided to green light something really experimental: a series based on a ship that had never appeared in a show, with a crew that mixed brand new creations with bit characters from the shows; it was branded “New Frontier”, written by Peter David. How big was this? It introduced Mackenzie Calhoun, a character who not only got his own action figure at the time, but also is present in STO! His crew wound up being…well, let’s just say it didn’t exactly scream decorum as far as Starfleet regs might prefer. TV Tropes calls them a “Ragtag Bunch of Misfits“, and they aren’t wrong. But they took off, and other writers in the Trek setting noticed this. Not long after, we had books based on Picard’s pre-TNG days on the Stargazer, we had a ship that was cobbled together from the wrecks of a number of others in Kirk’s era, we got a space station around that same era that had its own secrets…and all of them had crews that were closer to Calhoun’s example than Kirk, Janeway, or Picard’s gangs (Neelix notwithstanding).
So, I embraced this idea with Victor Storm, a Betazoid captain. Over his career, the character managed to get the Breen, Reman, and Jem’Hadar bridge officers from the feature episodes of the day, the Borg from my preorder, and a Mirror Universe officer thanks to picking up those uniforms as part of a pack. If/when I pick his story up again (I’m still kicking around a Cast List Revival Party at some point), he’ll probably grab a bunch of those other ones that have become available, like the Hierarchy bridge officer in the Delta Rising expansion-and possibly make use of some other extras I’d picked up over the years. In other words, I had my own “ragtag bunch of misfits”.
Because of this nature, I eschewed a standard uniform…mostly. I took a Jupiter variant and applied it to the “normal” Starfleet crew, but my Mirror Universe rep got a Mirror Universe outfit to match, and my Breen, Reman, and Jem’Hadar boffs couldn’t be customized. If I get around to messing around with his bridge crew slots, I’m going to phase out the remaining “normal” crew for the crazytown ideas; I’ve got at least a few Jem’Hadar thanks to “Victory is Life” to play with, a couple of others, maybe bring an android into the mix….
You get the idea.
The ship I chose kind of evolved over time, but settled on a Solonae Science Destroyer, the Phaethon, an oddly hi-tech choice for this sort of crew. It was that or the Obelisk Carrier, which was around at roughly the same period of time, and I wasn’t quite ready to mess around with carriers at that point. (I should eventually have someone go primary on that ship, but I’m not sure how I’d get it given my circumstances…although that new T6 rep could come in handy there. That’s an awful lot of work, though, for a sub T6 ship.)
Much like my other STO characters featured here, Victor’s gotten to level 50, and not much further. No specializations at this point, although if the Revival Party happens, he’s bound to get at least one, maybe two spec points. And I’m dead certain the bridge crew shuffle will continue, because…well, see “ragtag bunch of misfits” above.