John Falkenberg

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Brief Career History of Fleet Admiral John C. Falkenberg, Retired.

Early Career

Graduated Starfleet Academy in (real time) April 1995. Studied Engineering, Science and Command. Graduated with honors. Requested brief leave of absence upon graduation to attend to personal matters. Returned to Duty August 1995, at rank of Ensign, assigned by Fleet Admiral Robert Morse to duty aboard USS Federation, Captain J. Dark Commanding, in Engineering Department.

September 1995, USS Federation crew shakeup leads to Falkenberg's temporary promotion to Chief Engineer by new Captain Charles Nicolosi. Ensign Sorvock of Vulcan assigned as his subordinate.

October 1995, accompanies Fleet Captain Natua on mission to exchange Klingon prisoners from brief Federation-Klingon war the previous summer.

January 1996, Captain Nicolosi makes Falkenberg's promotion to Chief Engineer permanent. Falkenberg promoted in rank to Lt. JG.

March 1996, Falkenberg promoted to full Lieutenant. USS Federation returns to Spacedock for major refit. Falkenberg and Lt. JG Sorvock assigned to oversee refit. Falkenberg uses Earthbound time to attend StarFleet Academy Command School under Commandant Zachary LeVasseur.

September 1996: On Completion of refit, USS Federation temporarily reassigned to reserve duty when Admiral Mitch Blackman, head of SFNC, decides Starfleet must become leaner and faster. Crew of USS Federation reassigned to USS Intrepid, still under Captain Charles Nicolosi. Falkenberg resumes duties as Chief Engineer, and is promoted by Captain Nicolosi to Lt. Commander.

USS Yorktown destroyed in collision with Sol. Nicolosi promoted to Fleet Captain. Intrepid's patrol duties double, but Captain Nicolosi begins experiencing personal problems and ship fails to make scheduled patrols.

October 1996: Commander Galinda Myron, FO of USS Intrepid, retires for personal reasons and opens a bar on SB1. Fleet Admiral Morse directly promotes Falkenberg to Commander and First Officer, orders him to pick up the slack being left by Fleet Captain Nicolosi, who is still beset by personal problems.

Promotion to Command

Captain Nicolosi sees the writing on the wall, and requests early retirement. Commander Falkenberg promoted to Captain and given full command of USS Intrepid by Fleet Admiral Morse. Commander Sencus is transferred from StarBase One to become his First Officer.

November 1996-February 1997: Captain Falkenberg commands the USS Intrepid as StarFleet's only active patrol vessel. Earns reputation for high activity and efficient training of new crewmembers. Under his command Intrepid repels 2 minor Klingon border incursions. February 1997, Intrepid under Falkenberg's command escorts S'cryn, head of the Romulan Empire, back to Romulus after illness cuts short his negotiation of a nonagression pact with the Federation Council.

The Excelsior Years

March 1997: StarFleet recommissions USS Excelsior. Falkenberg promoted to Fleet Captain and assigned to command of USS Excelsior. Commander Sorvock becomes his First Officer. On Falkenberg's recommendation Commander Sencus is promoted to command USS Intrepid. Commander Sencus, however, did not wish for command, and resigned his commission. Captain Zachary Levasseur, formerly Commandant of StarFleet Academy, is assigned to command the Intrepid.

Several weeks later, USS Intrepid is destroyed in a collision near the planet Centaurus.

Excelsior under Falkenberg's command escorts Federation dignitaries to Nimbus III for negotiations with the Klingon Empire. En route, Excelsior detects three Klingon warships near Nimbus space, indicating a possible ambush. Outnumbered and facing political pressure to complete the conference, Falkenberg refuses to allow the ambassadors to beam down until all but one Klingon vessel withdraws. The conference proceeds smoothly.

April 1997: Fleet Admiral Mitch Blackman, who replaced the retired Robert Morse some months before, formally makes Fleet Captain Falkenberg head of SFNC. Falkenberg retains command of USS Excelsior. He works with Blackman to expand the fleet.

Promotion to Admiral

May 1997: On Falkenberg's recommendation, due to increased tensions with the Klingon Empire, USS Federation is reactivated. Falkenberg is promoted to Admiral and takes personal command of the battleship. Falkenberg promotes Sorvock to Captain and assigns him to command USS Excelsior.

Commander Chipper Jones is assigned as First officer of USS Federation.

The Klingons launch incursions into Federation space near Centaurus and Vulcan. USS Federation arrives on scene and the Klingons withdraw.

Falkenberg is contacted by an emissary of the Romulan military, who proposes an alliance between the Romulans and the Federation against the Klingons, who had been stepping up attacks in Romulan territory. Falkenberg promises only to relay the offer to the Federation Council, which refuses it.

The Romulan-Klingon war begins, and ends roughly in a draw.

Falkenberg is forced to replace Captain Sorvock aboard the Excelsior. He recruits former StarFleet officer and retired FTC/FMM Commander Gavalin Brody, reinstating him in StarFleet at the rank of Captain. USS Excelsior prospers under Captain Brody's command.

USS Federation under Admiral Falkenberg's command responds to a distress call by USS Ulysses, a deep-space scout vessel that had come under attack. Falkenberg makes first contact with the Ikarans, a dangerous, psionic bear-like species capable of immobilizing individuals and assuming control of their minds. After a struggle, Falkenberg and his crew fight off the Ikaran warship, which withdraws. The Ulysses is salvaged but her crew is lost. USS Federation tows USS Ulysses back to Starbase One, and Admiral Falkenberg issues orders for her to be rebuilt.

July 1997: Falkenberg, with Fleet Admiral Mitch Blackman's approval, assigns Commander Abersol, formerly of USS Excelsior, to command the rebuilt Ulysses. He also gets approval for construction of USS Republic, a destroyer-class vessel. Commander Abersol immediately distinguishes himself and Falkenberg promotes him to Captain.

Fleet Admiral and CinC

September 1997: Fleet Admiral Mitch Blackman retires. Admiral Falkenberg is Federation Council's unanimous choice for Fleet Admiral and CinC Starfleet. Falkenberg turns over command of the USS Federation to Commander Jones, and assumes duty at Starfleet Command.

September 1997-September 1998: Falkenberg's first tour as CinC StarFleet. Major accomplishments: Assigns USS Federation to inactive duty and gives StarFleet Academy access for training missions, due to reduced interstellar tensions and the cost and slow speed of the ship. Reassigns Captain Chipper Jones and crew to USS Republic, a destroyer.

Promotes Gavalin Brody to Fleet Captain and later Rear Admiral and appoints him to SFNC. For a time, Brody retains command of USS Excelsior, but later turns over command to Captain Denna Kalouri to assume the administrative duties of the Fleet full-time.

Orders Operation Looking Glass, a highly classified mission in which USS Ulysses under command of Captain Abersol is sent into Klingon space to map out locations of all Klingon outposts near the Federation border.

Helps negotiate nonagression treaty and trade agreement with Romulan Empire.

Approves construction of USS Banneker, a scout-class vessel assigned to Starbase 1 for use of its crew.

Orders Project Magellan, a multi-year plan to map out vast stretches of uncharted territory and update all StarFleet star maps. Orders overhaul of all StarFleet regulations. Personally authors new StarFleet Code of Conduct and rules regarding proper following of orders. Gets approval from Federation Council to revise StarFleet General Orders. Pushes for expansion of Starfleet Base Command but meets resistance from Federation Council.

The Ikaran War

Falkenberg helps negotiate 4-power treaty between the Federation, Klingons, Romulans and Tholians to address the Ikaran threat. Ikaran attacks had been increasing in all parts of the Alpha Quadrant in the months since Falkenberg made first contact. An allied Fleet, protected by Vulcan and Tholian telepaths, is dispatched to the planet Ikar. Due to his extensive experience with the Ikarans, Fleet Admiral Falkenberg is named to command the allied Fleet in the Battle of Ikar (despite some objections by the Klingons.) Falkenberg reactivates USS Federation temporarily to serve as his flagship, and his Fleet is able to hold the Ikaran forces at bay while Admiral Brody is able to beam down to the Ikaran homeworld and kill the Ikaran queen, ending the conflict. Falkenberg awards Brody the StarFleet Medal of Honor. He declines to award himself any medals, but the Federation Council gives him a special commendation for his conduct of the Ikaran War. Falkenberg personally hands out over twenty medals and commendations to various members of the Fleet at the conclusion of the Ikaran War.

Transfers Captain Abersol of the USS Ulysses to command of USS Excelsior.

The Tholian Conflict

In Mid-1998, the Tholians ascend to a higher plane of existence and invite all Alpha quadrant peoples to share their knowledge and technology. Falkenberg dispatches USS Republic to Tholian Starbase Resonance. Republic is met by a Romulan ship which opens fire on her and claims all Tholian worlds and bases for the Romulan Empire. Thus begins the Tholian Territory Conflict.

Falkenberg informs Federation Council that the Romulans have violated the non-aggression treaty and now pose a security risk to the Federation by their aggressive expansionism. He recommends a military response to push them out of Tholian space. The Council rejects his recommendation, but refuses to recognize Romulan claims to Tholian space.

Captain Abersol and Rear Admiral Brody approach Falkenberg with a plan to seize the Tholian Starbase Omicron, which they believe to be outside the area of territory the Romulans have formally claimed in Tholian space. Falkenberg authorizes Brody to lead a task force of 4 ships to seize the Omicron, which was abandoned, and retrieve any Tholian technology or information onboard. Falkenberg's orders specify that Omicron is an abandoned outpost in neutral territory. He does not inform the Federation Council of his decision.

Brody occupies the Omicron base, which was completely abandoned, for two weeks, but is unable to restore shield power to the base. Cloaked Romulan vessels capture several Starfleet Officers by beaming them off Omicron. Unable to protect his people from further transporter attack, Brody sends a signal to Falkenberg that he is abandoning Omicron. This becomes known as the Omicron Incident.

Falkenberg informs the Federation Council of what has taken place. He explains that he did not inform them because his information placed the Omicron base outside Romulan-claimed territory, and believed that as CinC he had the authority to launch a salvage operation on an abandoned outpost in neutral territory. He offers his resignation to the Council, but they refuse it. Falkenberg and UFP President Jacien travel to Nimbus III to negotiate the release of the StarFleet prisoners. He and President Jacien work out a treaty with the Romulans, granting the Federation access to Tholian worlds in exchange for limited Federation recognition of Romulan territorial claims in Tholian space and the return of all prisoners.

Admiral Brody, furious that the Federation was giving in to the Romulans on Tholian space, defied Admiral Falkenberg's specific orders and journeyed to Tholia to test the limits of the new treaty. He was captured, and Admiral Falkenberg had to again negotiate for his release. Upon Admiral Brody's return, Falkenberg offers his best officer a choice: retire voluntarily or face disciplinary action. Brody agrees to retire.

Commissions USS Excalibur to replace USS Excelsior, destroyed in action under the command of Captain Abersol.

Retirement and UFP Presidency

Angered by the results of the Romulan conflict, Falkenberg takes a brief leave of absence, leaving Admiral Stephan Hansen of SFBC in command of StarFleet.

January 1999: Falkenberg returns to duty. UFP President Jacien temporarily steps down from his office, and Falkenberg is asked by the Council to temporarily assume his duties. Falkenberg thus retires from StarFleet Command and appoints Admiral Hansen to CinC. As President, Falkenberg pushes the Council toward a more aggressive stance with the Romulans.

Return to Duty and Final Retirement

April 1999: President Jacien returns to his duties as UFP President. Admiral Hansen resigns for personal reasons, and Falkenberg is requested to return to active duty as Fleet Admiral and CinC. He agrees, and serves as CinC until September, 1999, at which time he retires from active duty for good. Having spent the better part of two years as CinC, Falkenberg was among the longest to ever hold the office. During much of his time in command, the Federation had three fully crewed, active Starfleet vessels, plus one ship in reserve and one ship assigned to Starbase 1, and for brief periods had four fully crewed, active ships (although he never did fulfill his goal of 5 crewed ships plus two reserves.)

Several years after his retirement, Falkenberg was honoured with the announcement that the new Excelsior-class cruiser which was in development at the time would be named the USS Falkenberg, after the retired Admiral. Falkenberg joined Galinda Myron and Robert Morse as former Starfleet officers to have a starship named after them.

Postscript: Falkenberg's Departure

Falkenberg was one of the most active and visible players and administrators in the Federation in the years between when he arrived in 1995 and when he left in late September, 1999. As his departure took many people by surprise and left StarFleet on very shaky ground for a number of months (at least according to those who remained active after he left), he thinks it only fair to give some insight into the reasons behind his departure, and some thoughts as to his possible return.

While some might consider Falkenberg's departure to be part of the Great Defection, it is important to note that, while he did begin playing on Brody's Otherspace in the summer of 1998, he continued to be active on TOS for more than a year after that. He did not leave TOS for Otherspace. Otherspace did, however, remind him of how much fun an unfettered environment dedicated to encouraging high-quality roleplaying with a fully supportive staff could be. It was his feeling when he left that TOS had long since ceased to be such an environment.

1999 was a tough year for TOS. Pretty much all of the directors stopped being active within a short period of time. There was a series of DB crashes and regressions that caused serious problems for the TOS staff, and without directors it was difficult to speedily repair all the damage. This led to a high degree of player dissatisfaction and anger. By mid-summer of 1999, the active player base had declined sharply, and those who did remain tended to stay OOC and chat rather than attempt to revive RP. Falkenberg and Jacien, who had effectively been dividing the responsibilities of running the Federation between them for years, struggled to keep the empire afloat, but it became increasingly difficult. Falkenberg even held an empire-wide OOC meeting in an attempt to boost morale, but it was taken over by a group of players who preferred to list the complaints that had caused them to stop being active. All of this was psychologically draining.

Then, toward the end of that summer, MacGyver seemed to wake up (largely at the prodding of Falkenberg, Jacien, and several Romulan admins) and take an interest in reorganizing the game. It was at this point that he created the Head Admin position. But despite the agitation of many admins for Mac to institute new directors or to empower the Head Admins with tools that would let them fulfill many of the directors' former functions, it soon became apparent that Mac was not going to carry through on any of those promises in a timely manner.

By the Fall of 1999, Falkenberg was frustrated by his experience on TOS. His position as Federation Head Admin increasingly felt like a job rather than a recreational activity. He had been frustrated by his own inability to support player-proposed RP plots because he was unable to arrange for the creation of NPCs (one had to find a semi-active director on the rare occasions that one was around, and then get him to @pcreate an NPC for you...a process that could literally take months) or to get objects placed in space (after Athaorh's departure, there was only the marginally active Cornwell to turn to for such requests, and he was slower than a glacier in responding) and he was also frustrated by the fact that players were frustrated at HIM for these problems. There was an assumption by the player base that Falkenberg and the Fed Admins had regular access to the powers they needed to fix TOS and generate more RP, or at least had access to the people who could use those powers, when in fact that was not the case. They were wholly unsupported. It was like being on an airplane when the flight crew had bailed out, and only the flight attendants were left to keep it in the air.

While he had sympathized with the sentiments that led to the Great Defection (a term, he'd like to note, that he never heard used on TOS to refer to the departure of Brody and his followers) he believed that TOS had gone from being the overly-restrictive, RP-strangling culture under certain tyrannical directors to a thoroughly dysfunctional, RP-starved culture with admins who were expected to run the show but were not empowered to bring the game back to its former glory. He got tired of it.

And so on September 28, 1999, he quit. For good.

He remained active on Brody's Otherspace until early 2004, at which point he "retired" from MU**ing for RL reasons.

He has, however, always had a special place in his heart for TOS. He poured a lot of time and energy into the place. He left his mark there. And he'd love to see it rise again. For that reason, he's been a frequent contributor to this website, hoping to help the current generation of TOSers recover their history and give them something to strive for. He also may, on rare occasions, show his face on the game to check things out and chat a bit.

Will he ever return as a player or admin on TOS? Very unlikely... at least not for extended periods. But he'll make himself available for advice and information, and maybe, just maybe, a rare IC guest appearance or two.

Preceded by:
Mitch Blackman
Starfleet Commander-in-Chief Succeeded by:
Stephan Hansen
Preceded by:
Bruce Ingram
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
President of the United Federation of Planets Succeeded by:
James Wilton
Preceded by:
Federation Head Admin Succeeded by: