|Gregory Lloyd Mason|
26 February 2368
|[ Source ]|
Gregory Lloyd Mason is a Starfleet stellar cartographer and cultural specialist serving during the latter half of the twenty-fourth century. He is perhaps best known for being only the second Skagaran ever to serve in Starfleet and the first to be commissioned as an officer. Since graduating from Starfleet Academy in 2390, Mason has been assigned as Chief Science Officer aboard the Intrepid-class USS Highlander.
Gregory Lloyd Mason was born to Paul and Anari Mason on 26 February 2368 in Glennview, North Star Colony. His father, Paul, was a Human male who served as a civil engineer with the colonial government working especially to preserve the colony's historic architecture and landscape. His mother, Anari, was a Skagaran female who worked as a historical archivist with particular focus on the colony's major cultural shift during the twenty-second century as well as its decision to remain independent of the United Earth government. In keeping with their historical interests, the Masons owned a comfortable homestead overlooking the valley just north of Glennview (formerly Cooperstown) which had been in the family for several generations. Their location offered a spectacular view of the city itself as well as the surrounding countryside.
Growing up on the family homestead certainly had its advantages. As soon as Mason and his younger brothers were old enough, they began learning how to ride and care for horses. This eventually allowed them to spend day after day exploring every acre of the property as well as the nearby wilderness area. It was through these experiences that Mason first came to learn wilderness survival, identification of plants and animals, and how to play the guitar. Camping was such an important part of Mason’s childhood, in fact, that he spent his last night on North Star Colony sleeping out under the stars.
In addition to spending time on the family homestead, Mason and his brothers attended public school in Glennview. Here they learned about the history of their colony, how humans and Skagarans used to be segregated from one another, and how far things had come since the historic visit by Captain Jonathan Archer and the crew of the Enterprise (NX-01). Mason, however, took more of an interest in the sciences, especially astronomy. It was not enough to simply know all the stars of the sky by name. Instead, Mason was fascinated by stories of the peoples who lived around those stars and who traveled among them.
Mason’s passion for astronomy demonstrated a clear academic proficiency and love of learning. Getting him to put down a book often required nothing short of physically prying it from his hands. This is not to say Mason did not enjoy other forms of recreation, but there certainly seemed to be a preference for taking solace in either literary or wilderness adventures. Perhaps this was because, as more of an introvert, Mason had a difficult time making friends. He would rather take the time to invest deeply in a few friendships than waste time with an entire crowd of acquaintances. This was often reflected by a more subdued presence in class except when dealing with subjects that particularly interested him.
A career in Starfleet was not something Mason had seriously considered growing up. Everyone certainly knew of the role Starfleet had played in the history of the colony as well as Starfleet’s having helped to defend the colony from attack during the Dominion War, but Starfleet’s presence was not really a daily experience for them. It was not until the Federation Diplomatic Corps appointed Ambassador Arthur Richardson, PhD and began establishing a permanent presence on North Star Colony that the prospect of a Starfleet career started to take shape. The ambassador worked with both Mason and Bates to help them better understand what opportunities might be available to each of them. When the time came, the ambassador endorsed Bates’ enlistment in 2386, making him the first Skagaran ever to serve in the Federation Starfleet. Around the same time, the ambassador officially sponsored Mason’s application to Starfleet Academy.
Mason was officially accepted into the programs of Stellar Cartography, Cultural Studies, and General Sciences at Starfleet Academy on 01 July 2386. Upon arriving on Earth, however, Mason found himself overwhelmed by what could only have been described as culture shock. Despite having come from mixed Human-Skagaran heritage and having worked with Ambassador Richardson, Mason felt quite out of step with the fast-paced diversity of the Federation’s capitol world. In fact, Mason did not venture off the Academy campus for several weeks, opting for the solace of his dorm room rather than the atmosphere of the local cadet hangouts.
One occasion in particular seemed to affirm Mason’s willingness to remain somewhat withdrawn. It took place during one of Mason’s earliest attempts to venture out into those areas of San Francisco surrounding the Academy campus. Joining a group of classmates, Mason soon found himself having consumed a great deal of alcohol, yet not experiencing its full effects due to his biological resistance. His inebriated classmates became increasingly frustrated by this fact, so much so that tension eventually broke out into physical violence. Mason only managed to escape the fray through the assistance of one Cadet Kyle Anderson, grandson of Ambassador Arthur Richardson, who helped the traumatized Mason safely back to campus.
Over time, Mason and Richardson began to develop a deep personal friendship. They took many of the same courses in pursuit of similar degree programs. Mutual study sessions blended into small social excursions that helped Mason learn to navigate the wide variety of cultures that intersected one another in his experiences on Earth. Mason slowly became more comfortable speaking up in class, sharing his thoughts, and taking on responsibility. Although the hesitation never truly went away, developing a group of close friends at the Academy contributed greatly to preparing Mason for his first field education assignment.
Fall 2388 saw Mason assigned as a field education cadet with the ongoing Pathfinder Project at Starfleet Communications. His responsibilities included identifying and mapping pulsars suitable for continuing to extend the range of long-distance communication. In addition to having access to the MIDAS Array, however, Mason’s position offered him the opportunity to engage with stellar cartography and cultural information brought back from the Delta Quadrant by the USS Voyager. All this served to deepen Mason’s appreciation for the connection between the “geography” of the known universe and the stories of those cultures which inhabited it.
The following year, Mason was granted a field education assignment as part of the Science Department aboard the Luna-class USS Calypso where he served under Captain Jacob Richardson, Ambassador Richardson’s eldest son. Mason continued to assist in the mapping of stellar cartography and cultural information, this time while it was being collected by the Calypso’s crew during a survey of several uncharted systems near Starbase 621. The position also offered Mason the opportunity to further develop his leadership and team management skills through experiences such as project oversight and additional bridge service.
Mason graduated Starfleet Academy on 17 June 2390 along with several other classmates including Cadet Kyle Richardson. In addition to academic honors in both Stellar Cartography and Cultural Studies, he also received special commendations from at least three Academy faculty citing growth in the areas of team management and leadership over the course of Mason's studies. It was not long after the ceremonies, however, that Mason received orders transferring him to Cestus III where he could expect to receive further instructions regarding his official duty posting upon arrival. So it was that Mason bid farewell to the life he'd known at the Academy before proceeding to Earth Spacedock and boarding a transport bound for the Galactic South.
The journey from Earth Spacedock to Eleventh "Pegasus" Fleet Headquarters on Cestus III took roughly four months. In that time, Mason found himself with little to do other than try to keep himself occupied with one thing or another, taking advantage of opportunities to converse with friends and family back home as they presented themselves. Perhaps the most difficult part was not knowing what sort of assignment was waiting for him on Cestus III. He knew it had to be something pretty significant for Starfleet Command to whisk him away so quickly after graduation, but beyond that, there really wasn't much information to go on. By the time Mason finally arrived at Cestus III, he was ready to be off the personnel transport and doing something far more worthwhile with his time. Little did the young science officer know he was about to get his wish...and then some.
It took a few days for everything to be processed and for Mason to be moved into temporary housing on Cestus III. One thing that struck him most about Pike City and the surrounding area was how much it reminded him of home. The entire settlement seemed to have much the same frontier atmosphere as Glennview did. Not long after his arrival, Mason was summoned to a meeting with someone from the Department of Personnel Management. They were the first to inform Mason he would be reporting to the Intrepid-class USS Highlander as that vessel's Chief Science Officer. This came as somewhat of a shock for Mason as he certainly hadn't expected to be receiving a department head position straight out of Starfleet Academy. Once personnel were finally given permission to start boarding the vessel following its inspection by the Starfleet Corps of Engineers, Mason went about the task of trying to settle in as well as familiarizing himself with both the personnel and the resources available to his department.
Arthur Richardson, PhD
|Cadet (First Year)|
|Cadet (Second Year)|
|Cadet (Third Year)|
|Cadet (Fourth Year)|
|2391 -||USS Highlander||Chief Science Officer|
Lieutenant JG Amir Kelshan
|Chief Science Officer of USS Highlander
2391 – Present