|Lieutenant George Carlstrom, 2389|
|[ Source ]|
From a very early age, George was a tinkerer. Almost every toy he ever had was dismantled and reassembled more times than his parents could count, and he had a natural affinity for learning about technology; he was the first boy in any of his classes to learn and become comfortably familiar with the operation of many of the school gadgets used by later years, such as the PADD and the school's computer system. By the time he left his first school, just before he entered his teenage years, he had reconfigured his workstation for accessing the school's computer to run more efficiently than any other in the building.
This natural talent, as well as his eidetic memory very naturally guided him towards an interest in the field of engineering during careers days at school, though initially he was unsure of which field of engineering to enter. He applied for, entered and graduated from the Daystrom Institute of Technology after finishing school, but was still uncertain as to whether a full-time position with the Institute's Research division would be the place where he'd want to make a life for himself.
Ultimately, his future was decided upon by two things; primarily, his overt desire for constant challenges he knew could only be fulfilled in space. Second was the fact that the Dominion War had broken out shortly before he had been accepted to the Daystrom Institute's college, and though it was over before he had graduated, he and everyone else on Earth thanks to the recruiters knew that Starfleet was still in serious need of new officers to replace those tragically lost in the quadrant-wide war. Thus, he applied and was accepted into Starfleet Academy in the same year that the famous USS Voyager returned home from the Delta Quadrant.
George's first assignment out of the Academy was to the USS Intrepid, under the command of chief engineering officer Donald Kaplan, a long-time veteran of the starship, having served aboard for over ten years. Assigned as a general-billet engineer, Carlstrom's assignments varied from day to day, and this work pattern allowed him to gain a sound working knowledge of each of the systems aboard the Intrepid-class prototype on top of his theoretical knowledge from his four Academy years. It wasn't long however until his speciality was noticed, and he was assigned to form part of the dedicated warp systems team, with a promotion to Lieutenant JG.
It was during his time on the Intrepid that he came to the attention of USS Enterprise-E chief engineer Commander Geordi LaForge. Commanders LaForge and Kaplan had engaged in contests between their two engineering departments since the former's time as chief engineer on the Enterprise-D, and had continued the friendly competition following LaForge's transfer to the newer Sovereign-class flagship; a move which made the work of the Intrepid's engineering teams even more difficult whenever Kaplan declared a contest. During one of these contests, it was Carlstrom who made the suggestion and followed it up with an all-night refit of the anti-matter flow regulators and related power systems which won the contest for the Intrepid. Proud of his team's new star member, Kaplan gladly introduced Carlstrom to Geordi upon the elder engineer's request, and the two have continued to write to each other on a semi-regular basis.
George's first real opportunity for advancement came when news of an opening as assistant chief engineer aboard the USS Virgil came to the Intrepid. Knowing that his own assistant wasn't going to be going anywhere soon, Kaplan recommended that George apply for he position, and the Virgil's chief engineer accepted the application upon both Kaplan an LaForge's recommendation.
Carlstrom transferred aboard the Virgil just as it was beginning its patrol along the Romulan Neutral Zone - which in times past would have been a very different assignment. In 2383 however, the Shinzon coup was still only four years past, and the Romulan Empire was hardly a calm environment. The Virgil was one of many ships on the increased border patrols, with missions encompassing the prevention of rogue attacks on Federation (or Romulan) colonies in and around the Neutral Zone, the escort of food provisions to the Romulan capital, and even taking part in a blockade to prevent a Klingon General from launching a full-scale invasion of southern Romulan territory. These varying assignments provided George with all the challenge he could ask for during his two short years aboard, and helped even further to expand his technical knowledge beyond that of the warp systems and associated circuits.
In 2385, the Klingons had, by Starfleet Command's estimate, now fully recovered from their losses during the Dominion War, and if left untended, Starfleet knew that the escalating tensions between the Klingons and their neighbours the Gorn would overspill into a full-blown conflict before long. Several new ships had already been commissioned in the wake of the Dominion War, and some of the newest were assigned a captain who had extensive experience in dealing with the Federation's Klingon allies, and ordered to the border regions to keep the two aggressive species in check. This reassigning of personnel and the commissioning of new starships left several positions open on the other vessels already in service who had lost crewmembers to the transfer pool, and it meant that when Captain Kwan offered Carlstrom the position of chief engineer aboard the USS Okinawa with a promotion to full Lieutenant, he jumped at the chance.
George's four years as commander of the Okinawa's engine room have been some of the most fulfilling for the man to date. Finally in charge of everything he loved about a starship, the engineer flourished, as did his abilities to coordinate teams to work efficiently on the tasks at hand. The New Orleans-class ship wasn't the largest in Starfleet, nor was it the most advanced, but to all intents and purposes, it was his ship after the captain had given his orders. The Okinawa's warp efficiency rates very quickly became high enough to challenge even the Intrepid's, and George's engineering team began to become known as the best in the region for efficient and skilled repairs, with George himself taking on the mentorship of the various younger personnel who came into his engine room looking lost amongst all of the technology. Soon, the starships patrolling the Beta Quadrant began to form a network of chief engineers, with each talking to the others about the problems they've come across and how they've managed to solve issues, sharing amongst them the knowledge they had each developed amongst their daily routines, and it was Carlstrom's team of engineers who had modified the Okinawa's communications systems and disseminated the instructions to the other ships which made such an extensive sharing between all the ships simultaneously possible with such a small drain on the ship's power reserves.
Two years into his tenure as chief of the Okinawa's engineering decks, the situation in the Romulan Empire began once again to provide George with a change of pace, as Starfleet began sending ships to assist the Romulans in re-homing the refugees and rebuilding after the damage caused by the unusual supernova of the star Hobus. Though none of the planets outside of the Hobus system had been destroyed, several including Romulus itself had suffered severe damage as a result of the shockwave that followed, which somehow travelled through subspace to reach the Romulan worlds far quicker than any explosion should have across such vast interstellar distances.
The Okinawa spent the first year assigned to rehousing and reconstruction efforts in the Cheron system. The system - home of a long-dead civilisation and the battleground for the final conflict during the ancient Earth-Romulan War of the 22nd century - had only had a small population relative to the world's size, but was fast receiving refugees from planets who could not provide the additional housing for the displaced Romulan and Reman refugees. Able to use the rubble from the Romulan buildings damaged by the earth tremors caused by the supernova as well as the ruins of the ancient Cheron natives' cities, George and his team were able to construct large complexes for the refugees to live in, along with the infrastructure they would need to survive such as water supplies and agricultural replicators. After its year's assignment to Cheron, the Okinawa was finally pulled back to Earth for some R&R; the starbases closest to the Romulan Neutral Zone would have merely provided more work for the tired crew, as they had also been receiving displaced refugees and dealing with those who had decided to flee Romulan space.
By the time the Okinawa's crew returned to duty a month later, the situation in the Romulan Empire was beginning to calm down; the panic caused by the supernova had abated, and reconstruction efforts were well on their way, though the Empire was still severely weakened by the natural disaster, and the Klingons had been creeping in on their borders once again. When the Okinawa returned to active duty, it was to a patrol route along the Klingon border near Starbase 34 and the Klingon world of Khitomer, where the ship was to serve as a deterrent to further Klingon aggression on the weakened Romulan state.
Relationships between the Federation and the Klingons had been declining ever since the Federation's refusal to allow the Klingons to annex Romulan worlds after the Shizon coup, and the Okinawa was involved in a number of skirmishes with Klingon vessels; all relatively minor in scale. Her final skirmish however crippled the ship, and left her adrift with minimal power in the Azure Nebula, after the Klingon Gragh and his cruiser had opened fire on them, forcing them to flee from the far larger and heavily armed vessel. Though George and his team were able to effect enough repairs to keep the crew alive and to get a distress call to Starfleet for assistance, the damage was severe, and Starfleet opted to reassign most of the crew, as the starship wasn't a priority repair for the dockmasters.
Due to his parent's life as field-assigned Starfleet officers, George grew up living a rather nomadic lifestyle, and his distance from his parents led to him developing a rather solitary lifestyle, able to live and cook for himself from a very early age. Whilst this led to him growing up a lot earlier than most children - a situation which he sometimes wishes hadn't been the case - this has given him a strong sense of self-reliance and confidence in himself, which is easily noticeable to those around him. Even with this solitude however, his affable nature and good sense of humour have persevered, even as his responsibilities have gradually increased throughout his career.
The nomadic lifestyle he knew as a child also gifted him with an adept knowledge of several Federation languages, and an ability to learn new languages if given the time.
George's musical tastes aren't as classical as many officers in Starfleet, who each grew up in the re-popularisation of the genre, but they aren't so far away from it that others find his sense of music distasteful. Though he lacks any ability of his own, he prefers jazz and guitar music.
George's parents - Emile and Katerina - were both Starfleet officers in their own right long before their son's birth. They were both posted to many of the same assignments after they began courting, though with their differing fields - Katerina was in the sciences, whereas Emile was a security officer - did not always easily allow their joint reassignment requests to be granted.
George only rarely keeps in contact with his parents now, due to his estranged upbringing, but he does keep up to date with the more important news of the family. Katerina has since become a starship captain, whilst Emile grew tired of Starfleet three years earlier and retired back to Earth.
Carlstrom's relationships since joining Starfleet have been relatively short affairs, usually lasting a few weeks at the most, due to the nature of the roving life of a Starfleet officer. This lifestyle seems to suit Carlstrom though, who has never stated any particular desires to settle down to his friends, though some of his shipmates believe that he lives a rather solitary and lonely life outside of the engine room.
The vast majority of George's friends are either his shipmates or his former shipmates, with a few exceptions which consist of other members of his profession whom he has met whilst attending the various conferences that are hosted on various engineering topics each year, and to which George tries to attend as many as possible.
George and Geordi became friends during the former's service onboard the USS Intrepid, where his department head would often engage in contests in efficiency with the Enterprise chief engineer. Since Carlstrom came to his attention, he and LaForge have remained in contact with each other over sub-space, sharing stories, engineering ideas and remarks about the various conferences that they each attend, and George often turns to Geordi if he has an engineering problem that he and his team can't solve. Though the two have only ever met in person three times, LaForge has often expressed an interest in George's career, and has on two occasions added his recommendation to George's application for a new assignment.
|Cadet (First Year)|
|Cadet (Second Year)|
|Cadet (Third Year)|
|Cadet (Fourth Year)|
|2381 - 2383||USS Intrepid||
|Warp Systems Specialist|
|2383 - 2385||USS Virgil||
|Assistant Chief Engineer|
|2385 - 2389||USS Okinawa||
|2390 - Present||USS Marshal||
|Chief Engineer of USS Marshal
2390 – Present