14 April 2363
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
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Aaron Masterson is a Federation Starfleet officer, strategist, and tactician serving during the latter half of the twenty-fourth century. The highlights of his recent career center around assignments as Chief Security/Tactical Officer of the USS Malinche-A and USS Coral Sea. In this role, Masterson not only witnessed major events involving the Elyshan Cold War, the Hobus Disaster, unrest in the Romulan Empire, and growing awareness of the Yang Zutal, but played a key role in them also. He currently serves as Chief Security/Tactical Officer and Second Officer of the Hastings-class USS Coral Sea.
Aaron is a well-built young man, thanks to his years in competitive swimming as a member of a youth aquatics team. He always manages to appear well kept without seeming flashy or shallow. This is also reflected in his choice of simple elegance over gaudy or showy attire.
Aaron is a go-getter. He sets goals wand works to accomplish them. If he doesn’t succeed the first time, he always comes back for another round. His time on the aquatics team also taught him the importance of team work and the support of one’s teammates. Aaron likes to look for the best in his friends and coworkers, as well as those whom he has just met.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Aaron is very much a team player, using the strengths of the individual to aid the group. He is very optimistic and does not give up easily. His attitude toward failure can also be a weakness, making it difficult sometimes for him to recognize when it would be better to back down from a particular challenge. On occasion, his optimism has been taken for naivety, resulting in some hard disappointments for Aaron.
Hobbies & Interests
Aaron is an avid swimmer, both competitively and recreationally. He enjoys any activity involving water, including canoeing, sailing, and whitewater rafting. When not immersed in dihydrogen monoxide, Aaron has an insatiable appetite for reading. Whether it’s fantasy, horror, epic, historical fiction, or non-fiction, Aaron will crack open a book for a good read.
Languages: Federation Standard, German
Aaron Masterson was born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin to parents Riley and Virginia Masterson on April 14, 2363. Riley worked as a foreman for Manitowoc Shipbuilding Corporation, which dated back to 1902, overseeing the construction of vessels that would eventually sail the Great Lakes. Virginia was an English teacher at Lincoln High School, where she also coached the high school forensics team. Already five years old at the time of Aaron’s birth, Sonya was probably the most excited at becoming a “big sister”.
The Mastersons owned a comfortable house overlooking Lake Michigan just to the north of Manitowoc. In good weather, the family was able to enjoy spending time on the beach and swimming in one of North America’s Great Lakes. Their location also gave them a spectacular view of the interesting weather patterns associated with the Great Lakes and Lake Michigan in particular. During the summer, the lake would help keep temperatures cooler and a breeze off the water was always refreshing. Virginia would open up the house on days like this and let the natural air conditioning work its magic. During the winter, the lake helped to keep temperatures slightly warmer than they were further inland and it also provided a regular amount of snowfall, which meant that the Mastersons rarely went without a white Christmas. Perhaps most interesting of all were the storms that seemed to arise out of nowhere. Even though they would be stuck inside, Aaron and Sonya loved to watched the waves crash ashore and listen to the thunder when one of these storms came around.
Aaron and his sister both attended the Manitowoc Public School District when they began going to school. Sonya was five years ahead of Aaron and the two didn’t interact all that much, even when they were in the same school. Instead, Aaron spent most of his time hanging out with his own friends. When he was in fifth grade, he was invited to join a youth aquatics team. Since his mother and father felt that participation in such an activity would be good for Aaron, they enrolled him in the program. Aaron was already a competent swimmer when he joined the team, but as a member of the aquatics team, Aaron improved his swimming skills and trained for competition. Thanks to the routine and regimen of the aquatics team from grade 5 until graduation, Aaron learned how to manage his time and get things done. Eventually, when he reached high school, Aaron joined the Sea Scouts, where he learned skills associated with boating and sailing as well as important skills like lifeguarding, first aid, and CPR. Between the two activities, Aaron spent a lot of his time on or in the water.
When he wasn’t in the water, Aaron spent a lot of his time at school or with other extra-curricular activities. In middle school, and later high school, Aaron joined the forensics team, travelling to meets across the state where he would compete in a given category. His true passion and strength was Group Discussion, which focused more on group interaction and presentation than most of the other categories. By senior year, he was considered one of the “power house” group discussers and earned the highest degree in the National Forensics League.
Although neither of Aaron’s parents were involved with Starfleet, he had already begun to consider a career as an officer while a freshman in high school. There were others in his class, including some of his friends, who were also planning to head off to Starfleet after graduation. Furthermore, his “big sister”, Sonya, graduated from Starfleet Academy in 2380 as an Ensign in the science division. In his junior year, Aaron took the Academy Entrance Exams. Thanks to his time management and study skills, he was able to pass the exams and was accepted into Starfleet Academy upon graduation from high school. So it was that in the summer of 2381, Aaron packed up and headed off to San Fransisco to begin his studies as a Starfleet Cadet.
While at the Academy, Aaron found that his membership on the aquatics team had once again helped him. Not only was he able to handle the course load, but he was pleased to participate in both the Academy aquatics team and the forensics team, both of which he had thoroughly enjoyed while in high school. Because Aaron was always a team player, he enjoyed participating in study groups, which doubled as opportunities to meet and get to know his fellow cadets.
It was 2382, Aaron’s second year, before he made his first attempt of the Kobayashi Maru test. Like every other cadet who has taken the infamous exam, the few exceptions notwithstanding, Aaron failed to save the crew of the Kobayashi Maru and lost his ship in the process. Never one to take failure lying down, he returned to the examination, only to be beaten again. It was a pivotal moment for Aaron for two major reasons. First, he learned that there are times where a Starfleet officer, especially one in the field of command, is faced with what many refer to as a “no-win scenario”. As difficult as it was for him, Aaron realized that he needed to take a step back and let the situation go. Second, despite his dual failure of the exam, Aaron demonstrated an aptitude for tactics, something that his advisor and instructors noticed. Although he had failed the Kobayashi Maru exam, Aaron had discovered the path to security/tactical.
By 2383, Aaron was the in the top five percent of his flight and had been slated for field studies. His first field assignment was aboard the Sabre-class USS Armstrong, where he observed and assisted the security/tactical department. Given the nature of the Armstrong’s assignment was scientific exploration and cartography, everyone expected the mission to proceed rather smoothly. Indeed, everything went according to plan and the mission was completed without incident. Despite the lack of activity for the security/tactical department, Aaron did manage to impress the department chief, Lieutenant Gabel, with his understanding of tactics.
During one particular drill aboard the Armstrong, Aaron noticed that the simulated enemy vessel consistently approached them from aft, preventing a direct shot from being fired. The young cadet suggested that they use the Armstrong’s maneuverability to their advantage. When the enemy came up from behind, the Sabre-class vessel reversed engines and dropped along the Z-axis, causing the alien ship to overshoot its mark and giving the Armstrong a clear shot at the exposed ventral side of their attacker.
Aaron returned to the Academy to continue his studies, but soon found himself aboard the Armstrong again the following year in a rare, but welcome, second field assignment. This time, the Armstrong was tasked with investigating reports of Orion raiders near Cytek IV, a relatively young, post-Dominion colony near the Klingon border. Operating as a member of the security/tactical department, Aaron got his first taste of actual combat when two Orion raiders opened fire on the Armstrong. Unable to directly face two heavily armed raiders, the captain ordered a retreat into a nearby nebula, hoping to even the odds.
Interference from the nebula made it difficult for the Orions to locate the Armstrong, but it was just as difficult for the Starfleet vessel to know where the pirates were. Aaron watched and waited as they passed through the interstellar soup. Every so often, the ship would shudder from a nearby explosion, which the Orions hoped to use to drive the Armstrong out. After nearly three hours of a silent game of cat and mouse, they stumbled upon one of the Orion ships. Without any warning, the pirate vessel emerged from the dense nebula gasses, setting off the collision alarms. Quick thinking on the part of the helmsman managed to save them from colliding with the Orions.
Aaron knew that he needed to be thinking in three dimensions in order to be a good tactician. He recalled studying the Battle of the Mutara Nebula at the Academy in which Admiral Kirk and the Enterprise faced off against the rogue Reliant. During the battle, Admiral Kirk had used the concept of three dimensions to his advantage. Aaron realized that a similar maneuver might work in their current situation. He brought his thoughts to the attention of Lieutenant Gabel. Between the two of them, they formulated a pattern that would bring them in below the level of the Orion ships and allow them to sneak up from underneath their enemy. The plan worked and the Armstrong was able to face the Orions one at a time, thereby giving them equal footing. Once the pirates had been defeated, the raids on Cytek IV ceased.
Aaron kept in contact with his sister while at the Academy and during his field assignments. She would give him advice on courses and instructors, as well as entertain him with stories from her own assignment aboard the USS Tethys. Sonya wasn’t the only member of his family that Aaron kept in contact with. When he had the opportunity, he would send a message back home. Aaron always enjoyed receiving a response and hearing about how the family was doing, what was going on at school and in town. It helped him feel like he was still connected, despite being so far away.
In spring of 2385, Aaron made the startling decision to attempt the Kobayashi Maru test again. Many of his fellow cadets thought he was crazy, but Aaron was determined to find a way to beat the challenge. Failure, as they say, was not an option for him. Even with the added knowledge and experience that Aaron had gained, he was unable to save the entire crew of the Kobayashi Maru. However, his quick thinking and tactical maneuvers did allow him to save some of the crew and still escape with his own ship intact. To Aaron, this still constituted as a failure. According to the examination, it constituted as a failure. However, Aaron’s instructors agreed that his determination and the accomplishment he did make were worthy of merit.
Aaron graduated with honors from Starfleet Academy and, at the request of the Armstrong’s captain, returned to serve as the assistant chief of that vessel’s security/tactical department. Having worked together on two previous occasions, Aaron found his service under Lieutenant Gabel to be an invaluable learning experience. Barely two weeks after returning to the Armstrong for active duty, Aaron found himself leading his first away team.
The team was responding to a distress call from a mining station near the Romulan Neutral Zone when they were suddenly cut off by the loss of main power, which activated the emergency bulkheads. Knowing that his team was comprised of an engineer, a medic, and a fellow security officer, Aaron played to the strengths of the group. By working together, the four of them were able to get a signal to the Armstrong, providing their location and an opportunity for the transporter chief to establish a lock. Due to the dense material of the emergency bulkheads, only two individuals could be beamed out at a time. Aaron would not allow himself to be beamed out until each of his team members had been retrieved first. He received special commendation from the Armstrong’s captain for his actions, though his greatest reward was seeing his team retrieved, safe and sound.
In early 2386, shortly before the engagement that would become known as the Battle of Altorus, the Armstrong began a patrol along the Federation border near Breen and Elyshan space. Due to increasing hostilities with the Elyshan factions in the region, the atmosphere aboard ship seemed to be tenser than usual. Aaron was on the bridge when sensors picked up what appeared to be a stranded freighter not too far from their current location. The captain ordered the helmsman to adjust course to investigate. As the Armstrong approached the drifting freighter, attempting to make contact, Aaron had a growing feeling that something was not right.
Aaron’s feeling was proven correct when two Striker-class frigates decloaked to either side of the trapped Armstrong. Immediately, the captain ordered shields to be raised. Moments later, the Elyshians opened fire on the Federation ship. Although the frigates were not equipped with subspace technology, their surprise attack did manage to catch the Armstrong off guard. It was clear that the Elyshians had the upper hand, but the captain wasn’t willing to give up quite so easily, and neither was Aaron. Although a direct attack on the frigates would be a severe mismatch, Aaron realized that the freighter could be used to help the Armstrong at least make it out of the trap alive.
Working quickly and in coordination with the helmsman, Aaron laid out his plan. Instead of trying to face the frigates, the Armstrong would run on the freighter, which had been nothing more than bait for the trap. As the ship passed over the derelict, Aaron opened fire, targeting the freighter’s power and engine core. The frigates had moved in for the kill, just as Aaron had predicted, causing one of them to get caught in the explosion from the freighter. Aaron’s distraction gave the Armstrong just enough time to warp away to safety before the two frigates could recover.
Aboard the USS Malinche-A
Open conflict between the Federation Alliance and the Zutal Imperium at the Battle of Nashira as well as the bombing of the USS Wright not long afterward resulted in a pretty significant shake-up within the Eighth "Horizon" Fleet. Those at Starfleet Command desperately sought to address what had become an increasingly unstable situation by making several high profile staffing changes. Their ultimate goal in making such changes, particularly the expansion of Operation Sunrise, was to hopefully bring about greater diplomatic security to the region. Vice Admiral Iluvar was relieved of his position as the Eighth "Horizon" Fleet's Deputy Chief-of-Staff in order that he might assume full responsibility for overseeing Operation Sunrise. Transferring his flag and permanent residence to the Hastings-class USS Coral Sea, Iluvar continued to focus on developing the diplomatic relationships that had proven so influential in stemming conflict with the Elyshan Empire as well as the Zutal Imperium.
It was around this time that Captain Isabel Kersare of the USS Malinche-A received a message from Vice Admiral Iluvar about her Chief Security/Tactical Officer. Having officially transferred his flag to the Hastings-class USS Coral Sea, the admiral needed someone with a strategic mind and situational awareness to help ensure the safety of the Coral Sea as well as her carrier group. The two senior officers spoke at length before presenting the opportunity to Masterson who proceeded to discuss the matter with his fiance, then-Ensign Michael Kepler. They eventually agreed to make the transfer and, with Kersare's recommendation, Masterson was assigned to the Coral Sea as Chief Security/Tactical Officer and Second Officer in 2390.
Mike Kepler and Aaron Masterson first met at Lakeview Park in Manitowoc, Wisconsin where both their families were picnicking. At the time, Aaron was in fifth grade and Mike was in fourth. Although a year apart, the two boys did not let age nor academic class separate them. The two boys would often hang out together on the playground and outside of school. Aaron finally convinced Mike to join the Manitowoc Youth Aquatics Team a year after Aaron had joined. Both of them would travel to and from practice together and enjoyed competitive swimming. Thankfully, they did not compete in the same events and so never officially raced against one another.
They were both very popular amongst their fellow team members that it was no surprise when they were both elected to be team captains by a unanimous vote. It was generally accepted that Mike would be taking the lead captain slot when Aaron graduated. The day of Aaron's final race, a group of swimmers went down to Lakeview Park for a Polar Bear Plunge into Lake Michigan. Mike won the competition, but his life was put in serious danger due to the extreme cold of the air and water. Only Aaron's quick action saved Mike from succumbing to the elements that day.
After Aaron saved Mike's life, the two friends realized just how much they relied on each other. Aaron graduated from high school and headed off to Starfleet Academy in 2381, but kept in contact with Mike back in Manitowoc. A year later, Mike arrived at Starfleet Academy, also working toward the Security/Tactical track. Both young men realized that their assignments would eventually separate them, but they also knew it wouldn't be that hard to stay in contact with one another via subspace.
|Cadet (First Year)|
|Cadet (Second Year)|
|Cadet (Third Year)|
|USS Armstrong (2383)||Cadet Field Assignment|
|Cadet (Fourth Year)|
|2385 - 2386||USS Armstrong||
|Assistant Chief Security/Tactical Officer|
|2386 - 2387||USS Malinche-A||
|Chief Security/Tactical Officer|
|2387 - 2390||USS Malinche-A||
|Chief Security/Tactical Officer & Second Officer|
|2390 - Present||USS Coral Sea||
|Chief Security/Tactical Officer & Second Officer|
|Second Officer of USS Coral Sea
2390 – Present
|Chief Security/Tactical Officer of USS Coral Sea
2390 – Present
|Second Officer of USS Malinche-A
2387 – 2390
|Chief Security/Tactical Officer of USS Malinche-A
2390 – Present