31 July 2362
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Thomas Rolands is a Federation Starfleet officer, engineer, and design specialist serving during the latter half of the twenty-fourth century. The highlights of his recent career center around assignments as Assistant Chief Engineering Officer aboard the USS Frontier, USS Pandora, Starbase 621, and USS Tethys as well as Deputy Shipyard Foreman at the San Francisco Fleet Yards. In these roles, Roland 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 Assistant Chief Engineering Officer aboard the Prometheus-class USS Tethys.
Thomas Adahar Rolands was born on 31 July 2360 to Lokar and Tahre Rolands in the village of Aeral on Betazed. Lokar was a respectable member of the local village government and his wife, Tahre, was a teacher in the Aeral public education system. Living a rather average lifestyle meant the Rolands' were certainly blessed with the means to provide for their son. Because Rolands was an only child, his parents often made concerted efforts to encourage interaction with other young children in the neighborhood. They hoped such positive relationships would help to develop the proper social and behavioral skills expected of every young Betazoid by the time they reached school-age.
Academically, Rolands was what one might have considered to be a proficient student who grasped most concepts quickly and without significant difficulty. His teachers would frequently comment on how often Rolands appeared to struggle with paying attention in class only to respond with the correct answer when called upon. Despite suggestions the boy might be better suited to a more advanced level of education, Rolands' parents insisted he remain with other children his own age. Rolands, for his part, did not seem to mind and settled for finding his own challenges. The young boy took particular interest in learning how different objects worked and would often take things apart to see what made them tick before reassembling them all on his own.
The age when natural telepathic and empathic abilities first begin asserting themselves can be a very frightening time in a young Betazoid’s life. It is expected they might become more distant with people their own age and experience drastic mood swings with little or no warning. When Rolands reached the typical age of Betazoid mental development, he experienced the same feeling of chaos and disorder that usually accompanies sudden perception of the thoughts and emotions of others. Yet he seemed to take all of this in stride and seemed to open up toward his peers just a little bit more. By the time he had reached the secondary level of education, Rolands appeared as if his ability to interact with others had improved significantly.
The Dominion War
The invasion of Betazed by Dominion forces in 2374 came as a complete surprise to the planet’s populace as well as Starfleet Command and the Federation as a whole. Although the Rolands family knew nothing of the Dominion fleet that had been assembled in secret or the fact Starfleet’s Tenth Fleet had been caught while on training exercise, they could clearly see how different life was about to become under the constant watch of the Jem’hadar. Life supposedly continued on as it always had except for the fact Betazed had become occupied territory. Mandatory curfews, a noticeable change in public communications, and the need to comply with random security checks by Jem’hadar soldiers were but a few of the changes which began being implemented during the Dominion occupation. It brought the war directly into people’s everyday lives and the Rolands family, like so many others, simply had to learn how to live with it.
Being fourteen years old at the time, it was difficult for Rolands not to notice the changes which had taken place around him, even though he seemed to be somewhat less affected by the events of the Dominion Occupation than either of his parents. Although he continued going to school like he always had before and came home every night to the same house, there were strange-looking soldiers enforcing a strict curfew and imposing restrictions on travel of any great distance. By the time the planet was liberated by a Federation-Alliance fleet in 2375, however, Rolands had only experienced less than a year of military occupation by the Dominion.
Later that year, his parents volunteered to be one of several families participating in the colonization of Talaris IV primarily because its distance from the frontlines of the war. Their transport was ambushed by a Dominion raiding party while en route and left drifting in open space. The Akira-class USS Thunderchild arrived several hours later in response to the transport's distress call and an away team led by then-Lieutenant Commander Lorian Tharos beamed aboard the striken vessel to conduct a quick search for any possible survivors. It wasn't until they had nearly completed their search of the vessel that Tharos discovered Rolands hiding amongst the ruins of one of the cargo bays turned make-shift bunk room. The away team returned to the Thunderchild with the young man and managed to depart the area without being detected.
Because both Lokar and Tahre Rolands had been killed during the ambush, Tharos sought permission from his Commanding Officer to assume temporary responsibility for Rolands while the crew of the Thunderchild tried to locate his closest living relative. When they were unable to do so, Tharos filed for and received permission to assume official custody of Thomsa. The two seemed to fit together better than a jig-saw puzzle and were always seen to be getting along well. Rolands' thirst for knowledge was a perfect match for the years of experience. He instructed Rolands in various cultures, starship operations, history, and so much more. Tharos even briefly considered the possibility of taking leave following the end of the war in order to spend time showing Rolands some of the more interesting sights of the quadrant.
Following the conclusion of the Dominion War in 2375, Tharos was offered a transfer to the Sovereign-class USS Avenger where he continued to serve as Chief Flight Control Officer and Second Officer. The El-Aurian only agreed to accept the transfer on condition that he be allowed to bring Rolands along with him rather than having to find alternative custody for the boy. Their move to the Avenger not only marked another change in Tharos' professional career but signified an important step in Rolands' personal interest in possibly pursuing his own career in Starfleet as well.
A disastrous encounter with three Tzenkethi warships in early 2376 caught the crew of the Avenger off guard during what was supposed to have been the scientific study of a gaseous anomaly forming from the remains of a millennia-old supernova. The surprise attack caused significant damage to the ship itself and resulted in the deaths of twenty-two personnel including the Executive Officer. It was shortly after this incident and around the same time Tharos received a promotion to Executive Officer of the Avenger that Rolands was accepted for entry into Starfleet Academy.
Rolands arrived at Starfleet Academy in the fall of 2376 as a Starfleet cadet pusuing studies in starship operations and engineering. It did not take the young Betazoid long to discover how much his time living with Tharos aboard ship would once again help him in his studies at the Academy. Self-discipline and time management skills allowed him to handle the academic course load as well as the physical training requirements with little difficulty. Rolands focused a majority of his extra-curricular time toward participating in study groups which doubled as opportunities for him to get to know his fellow cadets.
By 2378, Rolands was in the top five percent of his flight and had been slated for field studies. His first field assignment was aboard the Excelsior-Refit-class USS Repulse where he observed and assisted the engineering department. The Repulse was tasked with conducting an extensive survey of regions along the Cardassian border aimed at updating official starcharts to reflect changes made following the end of the Dominion War. Everyone expected the assignment to proceed rather smoothly and Rolands managed to find ways in which to keep himself occupied, an ability which seemed to impress the department chief greatly.
Rolands experienced his first taste of combat in early 2379 when the Repulse came under attack from two unidentified raiders while operating near the former Demilitarized Zone. Defenses were quickly overwhelmed by the surprise assault which also resulted in significant damage to the ship's port nacelle. Unable to continue facing two heavily armed opponents directly, the captain ordered a retreat into a nearby nebula in hopes of evening the odds. Interference from the nebula made it difficult for either side to locate one another. Every so often, the ship would shudder from a nearby explosion, which the raiders seemed to hope would drive the Repulse out. After narly three hours of a silent game of cat and mouse, they happened to stumble upon one of the raiders which emerged from the dense nebula gasses without any warning.
Although quick thinking on the part of the flight control officer managed to save them from collision, the raider managed to score several direct hits on the already weakened port nacelle where Rolands was one of several technicians working quickly to repair some of the damage and restore warp power. Rolands was nearly crushed when a segment of the maintenance tunnel in which he was working collapsed under the stress and was immediately transported to sickbay to begin treatment for several potentially life-threatening injuries.
Following the battle, he returned to Earth where was told his injuries might prevent him from graduating at the end of his senior year as planned. Rolands' injury even prompted Tharos to leave the Avenger and return to Earth so he would be around to help the young Betazoid recover. Despite Tharos' words of caution, Rolands continued to work on his studies while recuperating and was eventually able to graduate with the rest of his class.
Early Starfleet Career
Rolands graduated with honors in starship operations and engineering from Starfleet Academy in the spirng of 2380 and was immediately assigned as an Engineering Officer aboard the Orbeth-class USS Montgomery which had been assigned to conduct a survey of the Paulson Nebula. He found the smaller crew compliment and specialized mission profile of the Montgomery meant considerable opportunity to work with his shipmates in other departments as well as interact with them while off-duty as well. It was during this time that Rolands distinguished himself applying traditionally out-dated engineering solutions to more contemporary problems with some measure of success.
During one encounter with a space-dwelling lifefrom which had been harassing efforts to study subspace vacuole discovered within a class three nebula, the Montgomery found itself outmatched and quickly overwhelmed by the creature. Rolands quickly sized up the situation and realized there was no way they would be able to succeed in a direct assault against the creature with the Montgomery as damaged as she was. He recommended to his superiors that they adjust the Montgomery's power frequency to make the ship less desirable. The plan works and they are able to break free before the creature even realized what was happening.
The actions undertaken by Rolands during that incident as well as his performance since arriving aboard the Montgomery earned him the recognition of his superiors and a transfer to the Intrepid-class USS Frontier as Assistant Chief Engineering Officer under then-Lieutenant JG Jacob Warrington. Rolands took advantage of his new authority to begin incorporating both historical and alternative engineering methods into departmental procedure with emphasis on applying these techniques to contemporary operational issues.
The Two Man Team
Rolands continued to serve as the Frontier's Assistant Chief Engineering Officer through mid-2386. During that time, he helped to oversee at least two scheduled refits as well as actively participated in several encounters with the Elyshans which culminated in the Battle of Altorus. He also developed close friendships with several members of the Frontier crew including Lieutenant Commander David Skii, Lieutenant John Forest, and Lieutenant Jacob Warrington. It came as somewhat of a surprise when the latter made the difficult decision to leave the Frontier and, although Rolands reacted with uncertainty at first, the young Betazoid eventually decided he would follow his friend to whatever assignment Starfleet chose to give them.
The two engineers disembarked from the Frontier at Starbase 214 and proceeded directly to Deep Space Four where they were ordered to rendezvous with the USS Pandora. It was here that they assumed responsibility for the supervision of the Pandora's engineering department with the explicit understanding their assignment would be temporary until more permanent replacements could be found.
Shortly after the Pandora was recalled from an investigation into mysterious attacks on merchant shipping near the Black Cluster, the two had the fortune of running into Lieutenant John Forest, a friend and former colleague from their time aboard the USS Frontier. They agreed to meet for lunch and talked at some length of their respective adventures since having parted ways earlier that year. Rolands was surprised to learn Lieutenant Forest had left the Frontier to become dockmaster at the San Fransisco Fleet Yards. The lieutenant offered to put them in touch with someone regarding a few openings amongst the yard staff if the two engineers were interested. Although Lieutenant Warrington had reservations about the possibility of finding himself trapped behind a desk, both he and Rolands decided to accept the offer.
San Fransisco Yards & the Legacy Project
It came as no surprise when Lieutenant Warrington asked Rolands to assist him in overseeing construction of the USS Yorktown (NCC-88288) which began taking place virtually in parallel with the USS Bismarck (NCC-96834) shortly after their arrival at the San Francisco Fleet Yards in early 2386. Both ships were expected to take about eighteen months to build following much the same construction process as one another. Construction of the Yorktown was noticably delayed, however, when the destruction of the USS Orlando resulted in Vice Admiral Quinn Androski selecting the Bismarck (redesignated USS Orlando (NCC-10722-A)) as his new flagship and causing vessel's launch date to be moved forward. This decision resulted in a majority of yard personnel being reassigned to accomodate the shorter construction schedule, leaving Warrington and Rolands with little more than a skeleton team to simply maintain the Yorktown's current status until the Orlando was completed.
Construction on the Yorktown resumed in mid-2387, proceeded without incident throughout the remainder of that year and into the following January. Rolands played an important role in helping Warrington lead yard teams to incorporate new methods and advances from their own experiences aboard the Frontier as well as by engineers aboard similar vessels already in the field. He recognized how the delays had affected Warrington as well as their teams and made an effort to help ease the frustrations caused by the Orlando's modified construction schedule. Despite these minor setbacks, they were able to successfully complete their work in time for Starfleet to officially commissioned the USS Yorktown (NCC-88288) on 26 June 2388.
The reassignment of Lieutenant Commander Zargas Entolius to Utopia Planetia Fleet Yards in late June put yard administrators in somewhat of a lurch as the commander had been overseeing construction of the Nova-class USS Tesla (NCC-84827) since January of that year. Having just finished on the USS Yorktown, Lieutenant Warrington was chosen to pick up where Entolius had left off. Rolands and Warrington chose to continue with the timeline established by the predecessor while incorporating newer methods and advances learned from their own experience as well as that of field engineers. Adjustments were made as necessary and the later phases of construction proceeded without incident, allowing Starfleet to officially commission the USS Tesla (NCC-84827) on 24 December 2388, four weeks ahead of the most conservative estimates.
On 18 January 2389, one year to the day after the Tesla's hull had first been laid, Warrington was ordered to assume temporary command of the vessel and transfer it to Starbase 621 where he would be taking on the role of Chief Engineering Officer. Someone in Starfleet Operations had apparently come to recognize the two engineers' ability to work with one another because neither of them had submitted a request for the orders transferring Rolands to the station as Warrington's Assistant Chief Engineering Officer. The journey to Starbase 621 was expected to take nearly two months with a brief layover at Betazed to take on supplies and personnel for the station.
Back to the Federation Frontier
Rolands spent the first two months of his service aboard Starbase 621 dealing with growing frustration between Warrington and the station's Commanding Officer, Captain Charles Lysander. Although far from being the only member of the station's crew who felt as if the captain were constantly watching over their shoulder, it was clear to Rolands that Warrington felt as if he was being singled out apart from the others for even greater scrutiny, something they had both experienced in the past, most notably with Commander Sara Vickers of the USS Frontier. Like Vickers, Captain Lysander was extremely critical of Warrington's work and would often micro-manage down to the smallest detail. It became such that Warrington soon found himself consumed with even the most insignificant tasks and, despite having only just gotten back into the field, the engineer began seriously considering seeking another assignment elsewhere. In fact, the only thing that kept him from doing so was Rolands' ability to keep his superior and friend grounded in the reality beyond whatever Captain Lysander might have brought to bear.
Command of the station soon passed to then-Commander Brin Nalys. As it turned out, Starfleet Command had become increasingly disappointed in the ability of Captain Lysander to stabilize relations between the Federation and the Tirrans. It was hoped that Commander Nalys' presence might help recoup what had been lost over the conflict between Captain Lysander and Tirran negotiators. The situation began to improve and Rolands was pleased to hear that Warrington had set aside thoughts of seeking another transfer. Hopefully, this would allow both of them the opportunity to get a better feel for the new station commander's way of running things.
Although Rolands was not among several Starbase 621 personnel who became involved in events surrounding the Battle of Nashira, the engineer was certainly affected by the results of a conflict which saw a combined strike force of the Federation and her allies pitted against an expeditionary force of the Zutal Imperium. Like the Battle of Altorus four years prior, the Battle of Nashira as well as the subsequent terrorist attack on the USS Wright sent shockwaves throughout the region, drawing the attention and concern of countless governments including the Federation Council. Starfleet Command acted swiftly to formulate a response. They consulted with key personnel within the Eighth “Horizon” Fleet administration, Operation Sunrise, and the Federation Diplomatic Corps.
Mid-2390 saw both Rolands appointed to the Prometheus-class USS Tethys as Assistant Chief Engineering Officer under Captain Mark Anderson. Rolands was admittedly somewhat taken aback to be receiving new orders, especially since Warrington insisted it had been some time since he last made inquiries regarding a new posting. The revelation that both he and Lieutenant Jacob Warrington had been selected at the recommendation of Vice Admiral Iluvar was even more surprising. Regardless, both Rolands and Warrington rendezvoused with the USS Tethys on 02 April 2390 whereupon Rolands officially assumed the duties of Assistant Chief Engineering Officer.
|Cadet (First Year)|
|Cadet (Second Year)|
|Cadet (Third Year)|
|USS Repulse (2378)||Cadet Field Assignment|
|Cadet (Fourth Year)|
|2380 - 2384||USS Montgomery||
|2384 - 2386||USS Frontier||
|Assistant Chief Engineering Officer|
|Interim Assistant Chief Engineering Officer|
|2386 - 2389||San Fransisco Fleet Yards||
|Deputy Shipyard Foreman|
|2389 - 2390||Starbase 621||
|Assistant Chief Engineering Officer|
|2390 - Present||USS Tethys||
|Assistant Chief Engineering Officer|