Lieutenant Ian Murphy
Name Ian Murphy
Position Chief Science Officer
Second Position Head of Science Corps
|Hair Color||Brown (graying)|
|Physical Description||Murphy is a tall, somewhat scruffy man with deceptively youngish features. He has a baby face, with a pug nose and dimples, and soft skin that he does absolutely nothing to maintain. In stark contrast to this, his short, usually mussed brown hair is graying prematurely, something that he refuses to remedy, letting it add a dissonant note of maturity to his otherwise youthful appearance. His shaving habits are lax at best, and he will often be seen sporting a few days' worth of beard before he bothers to shave it off. He has deeply-set gray eyes that often have an intense look about them, as if he is absolutely focused on the moment (if he's not bored or exasperated at that particular moment). His build is lean but strong, and his hands are disproportionately large with knobby joints. His hands and arms are riddled with scars and burns from his avocation.
|Other Family||Distant relatives, none close to him|
Personality & Traits
|General Overview||Although his wit and banter might come off as charming, Murphy is an introvert and tends to keep his true feelings and thoughts hidden behind barriers from the rest of the world. One of those barriers is a huge brier patch of ill-tempered snark. He comes off as irritable, cantankerous and just generally grouchy. Very few have gotten close enough to breach those barriers because he does his best to make it seem as if he's not worth the effort of knowing. He is usually soft-spoken, calm and aloof, but not necessarily diplomatic.|
|Strengths & Weaknesses||Strengths: He is intuitive, attentive, and can even manage to be pleasant. He stays calm when crunch time comes, and even when he's under a lot of pressure, he maintains rationality, although not necessarily the filters that keep him from being insubordinate. He listens well, and tends to ask apt questions. His advice is usually sage.
Weaknesses: Simply put, Murphy is an irascible, smartass jerk. He is easily annoyed and doesn't shrive people he considers foolish. He often spends time living in the past rather than the here and now, and has a hard time opening up to new people. He has a bit of a grudge against Starfleet in general and the Prime Directive in specific. Because of this, he tends to do mildly rebellious things that the Federation and Starfleet find especially irritating. He doesn't get along well with counselors.
|Ambitions||To regain some sense of joy in life.|
|Hobbies & Interests||Murphy is an avid bicyclist, a passable eskrimador and occasional bench jeweler. He has put in many years learning the trade of a weaponsmith. He collects rocks and a variety of "historically-romantic" weapons.
|Personal History||Ian Murphy was born aboard the USS Gandhi to parents Eric and Lily. His father was a science officer and his mother was a flight control officer. As both of his parents were Beta shift bridge officers, Murphy spent most of his evenings with friends of his parents (Gandhi's daycare was not 24 hours a day at the time). Most often, he stayed with the Henrickson family; a family of three. In exchange, the Henrickson's daughter, Ariella (Ella for short) would spend her nights in the Murphy quarters, with her crib right next to Murphy's. The Murphy and Henrickson children grew up together, a greater constant in each others' lives than their own parents.
This arrangement between the Henricksons and the Murphys lasted until Murphy's family was reassigned to the USS Excalibur. Murphy and Ella's parting was particularly tearful, and ended with a six year old Murphy declaring to his parents that he was going to run away and marry Ella at their going-away party. Despite the distance between them, Murphy and Ella would send subspace messages to one another on an irregular basis for the next few years. Like most children their age, however, they were meeting new people and slowly making new friends to replace the old ones.
Murphy was a very astute pupil at school, and took an interest in joining Starfleet early on in life. His project for the Excalibur Science Fair was particularly noteworthy in that he created a planet in miniature with a working geophysical composition, which meant actual working volcanoes. That was his last entry in any science fair, due to setting the rug of the schoolroom on fire. After nearly a decade, his parents were reassigned to the USS Pitcairn, which reunited the Murphy family with long-time friends, the Henricksons. The reunion between Murphy and Ella was initially somewhat aloof, until their parents started to break out the old holo-movies, including the one where Murphy said he was going to marry Ella. Embarrassed, the two teens fled to the relative safety of one of the ship's holodecks, where they renewed their friendship.
Both teens wanted to attend Starfleet Academy, and started up a study group with other academy-minded teens aboard the Pitcairn. Part of their studies included being added to away missions deemed relatively tame by the ship's command staff. While out on one such mission, aboard one of the Pitcairn's shuttlecraft exploring a nebula, Murphy discovered and beamed aboard a rock that turned out to be a nebula moissanite, formed by the heat and pressure inside a star gone supernova. He took the stone to the holodeck and had a holographic jeweler craft it into a necklace for Ella, which he gave to her for her sweet sixteen birthday party. This sparked Murphy's interest in jewelry, which he took up studying in his free time.
Although they had dated other people in the past, this marked a turning point in Murphy and Ella's relationship, and they began seeing each other as boyfriend and girlfriend around that time. Both teens sent in their applications to the fleet academy at Beta Aquilae II and were accepted. Pressured by his father, Murphy enrolled with Astrosciences as his major (specializing in forensic astrophysics) and Geology and Metallurgy as minors. Ella took her major in Anthropology and her minors in Archaeology and Paleontology. Amid their studies, the young couple grew closer, becoming lovers.
While they were at the Academy, the USS Pitcairn was destroyed in the line of duty, and among the casualties were Murphy and Ella's parents. Upset at this, the young lovers were given a bereavement leave of absence from the academy to grieve their lost parents, whom they buried in effigy on Earth with a group of distant relatives that they barely knew. When they returned to the Academy, they did so with grim determination to complete their courses and join the fleet.
Assigned to different ships for their cadet cruises following their graduation, they met up afterward on leave at Starbase 16, where Murphy asked Ella to marry him. She joyfully accepted. Not wanting to wait, they hailed the USS Gandhi, which was operating nearby, and asked her captain to marry them, which he was glad to do for two young lovers who were born on his ship. Murphy's gift to Ella was a band of polished moonstone mined on Earth's moon and clad in silver; her gift to him was a silver ring from second century B.C. Rome, bearing a carnelian stone engraved with an image of the goddess Proserpina.
Once married, Murphy and Ella were assigned to the same ship, the newly-launched USS Swiftsure, which was assigned to patrol the Klingon/Romulan border; an assignment that saw them getting into frequent sorties. In one such battle, Murphy was forced to take the Ops station, a role he would be called to serve in quite often due to the lack of replacement personnel.
The Murphys served on the Swiftsure for six years, both of them earning the rank of Lieutenant in that time. Afterward, they transferred to the Nova class USS Eclipse. Murphy was made the Chief Science Officer of that ship.
In the course of its travels, the Eclipse made a planetary survey of an inhabited planet in the Kappa Beta four two one nine (KB4219) system, discovering an organized pre-industrial culture of marsupial humanoids that were roughly equivalent to the sixteenth century on Earth. Ella and a few other cultural scientists went down to the planet to survey its peoples and its history. Observing the people, Ella made many important discoveries and transmitted them back to the Eclipse. Among her reports was an account that the natives were gearing up for some sort of "Fire Festival" that she wanted to observe to gain a better understanding of their culture. She was granted permission to proceed, and she and her team followed the inhabitants to a set of standing stones not unlike Earth's Stonehenge.
When the planet reached its vernal equinox, a magnetic alignment of the poles vis-a-vis its three moons caused the planet's polar auroras to flare towards the equator, surrounding the planet in highly charged particles and low levels of radiation. This caused a fault in the holographic field used to hide the science team's shelters, and they were attacked and captured by the natives. Only one of the science team managed to elude capture, returning to the shuttlecraft and flying out to let the Eclipse know what was going on. Murphy begged the Captain to mount a rescue mission, but was denied because doing so would violate the Prime Directive.
When the auroral flares receded, the Eclipse tried to locate the away team, but could not manage to find them with the ship's sensors. Murphy tried to locate Ella via her jewelry, which had unique resonant signatures, but only managed to find the nebular moissanite. Focusing the ship's sensors on the stone, he found three sets of human remains in a large pit filled with smoldering coal. His wife and her colleagues had been burned to death by the planet's natives.
Murphy lost control after that, rounding on the captain and XO for not rescuing his wife and the others on the team while there might still have been a chance to save them. He tried to strike the captain, but was restrained by security and confined to his quarters. The ship's counselor came to see him, but Murphy didn't want to see her, and sent her away angrily. Then he went to sleep. He slept for nearly two and a half days, barely eating and drinking enough to keep himself alive. The counselor came to see him repeatedly, but he sent her away time and again. He roused himself long enough for Ella's funeral, and watched in agony as her remains were commended to the endless void of space. And then he returned to his quarters to grieve her.
After a week and a half in near-total solitude, Murphy finally consented to see the ship's counselor. He had been officially relieved of duty pending psychiatric evaluation. Thankfully, the ship's counselor was neither empathic nor telepathic, and not as good of a face reader as she could have been, so Murphy was easily able to tell her exactly what she needed to hear to put him back on duty. He requested a transfer off of the Eclipse and his request was granted pending the ship's return to starbase in three weeks.
Just before they were set to return to starbase, the Eclipse passed through a system where it intercepted transmissions on shortwave radio wavelengths. The planet of the signal's origin was an early space-travel age culture of reptilians called the Kinisians. The Kinisians' lunar colony had detected a rogue comet that had been caught in their sun's gravitational pull and was bearing down on their homeworld's position. In two years, their world would be struck by the comet and most Kinisians would conceivably be wiped out. The planet's inhabitants had sent a rocket loaded down with primitive nuclear warheads in a gamble to destroy the comet, but their plan was pretty much doomed to failure. The Eclipse's captain sent a query to Starfleet about helping out the Kinisians, because doing so might violate the prime directive, and had the ship change course to scan the comet, but made it clear that he had no intention of delaying his return to starbase for R&R.
Incensed, Murphy kept his peace on the matter during the briefing, and attended to his duties, but he also applied himself to discovering a way to divert or otherwise alleviate the threat posed by the comet. He determined that changing the comet's course by three to eight degrees would send it barreling into the system's uninhabited gas giant. Hatching a wild plan, he requested permission to take a shuttle out to the comet to take geological samples. The captain approved, and sent the ship's assistant chief engineer with Murphy to help him. On the way to the comet, Murphy put the engineer out with a sedative-loaded hypospray and, canceling out the shuttle's gravity plating, removed its tiny warp core and its compliment of micro-torpedoes and beamed them to a strategic point on the comet's surface. Once he finished this errand, he fled the comet, remote detonating the explosives in concert with the Kinisians' missile strike and knocking the comet into a new, non-lethal trajectory.
Murphy was arrested and sent to Earth to be court-martialled for his actions. Even though the Eclipse was able to tamper with the Kinisians' radio telescopes to make it look like their atomic missiles diverted the comet, Starfleet was very disapproving of Murphy's actions, even if they had merit. Murphy was lucky to have a skilled advocate for the trial, and though he was found guilty, he was only demoted and reassigned to a desk job in the Stellar Cartography department of Jupiter Station and prescribed mandatory counseling, something he loathed.
Murphy submitted to his exile humbly, but he resented pretty much every minute of it, and not a day went by that he didn't consider resigning his commission. Worse, in some of his darker moments, he contemplated killing himself. At first, he put his energy into completing his PhD, hoping that Starfleet might see fit to assign him to a starship again, but his request was declined. He took up using the holodeck late at night, learning how to smith medieval weaponry, because it gave him a way to constructively channel the frustration of being an ensign-for-life in a soul-crushing desk job. He served for the better part of ten years at Jupiter Station before requesting an extended leave of absence, trading off some of the jewelry and weapons he'd crafted in the past few years to buy a civilian cargo shuttle and some fabrications equipment, then left Federation space. He traveled aimlessly and wrought custom weapons and jewelry, and traded or sold them for supplies when he needed them. It was a rather lucrative craft -- in a time when replicators are commonplace, real hand-crafted items were a valuable commodity. The weapons trade saw him doing business with Nausicaans, Klingons and other, less-than-sociable races. He had to harden up fast, and that's what he did. It was a catharsis, really. The combination of solitude, hard labor and dealing with intractable customers saw Murphy venting years worth of repressed anger, getting into fights (and often getting his butt kicked) and finding his voice.
|Service Record||-Accepted into Starfleet Academy at Beta Aquilae II
-Graduates from Starfleet Academy
-Completes 6 month cadet cruise aboard USS Dyomin
-Assigned to USS Swiftsure
Rank - Ensign
Position - Science Officer/Relief Operations Officer
-Promoted to Lieutenant (J.G.)
-Assigned to USS Eclipse
Rank - Lieutenant
Position - Chief Science Officer
-Put on leave following the death of his wife.
-Court martialled for violating the prime directive. Demoted.
-Assigned to Jupiter Station.
Rank - Ensign
Position - Science Officer
-Takes extended LOA to put his life in order.
-Assigned to USS Elysium
Position - Chief Science Officer
Medical and Psychological Information
|Medical Review||No major health issues or diseases.
Has accrued a lot of minor burns and cuts from his hobby; mostly self-treated.
Suffered many broken bones, lacerations and stab wounds during his 10-month leave of absence.
|Counseling Review||Major depression and anger issues following the death of his wife.
He really doesn't like counselors, and he's smart enough to tell them what they need to hear to pass examination.