Rear Admiral Rigley O'Connor was born to mixed-heritage parents Irene and Michael O'Connor approximately thirty-seven years ago on Earth. His early childhood was somewhat normal, although he demonstrated technical aptitude at a rather early age. His parents encouraged this, often accepting his somewhat mediocre grades and academic fortitude as his proficiency grew.
Despite several major injuries incurred during his high school years from various experiments, he finally graduated (with a solidly earned B average!), and immediately applied to Starfleet. Failing his first entrance exam (due to a poor score on the general sciences portion of the test), he reapplied, and was accepted the following year.
Things were about to get very interesting.
As a cadet, he quickly found a nitche in the engineering field, and decided upon that as a major (much to his relief, they did not ask about his prior.. experimentation in that field, nor the ultimate location of the family's previous cat), and was additionally assigned secondary training in medicine, as the fleet was severely depleted post-Ikaran War. Completing his coursework in near-record time, he was posted to the USS Federation under then-Captain Jeremiah Banks, which discovered a partially intact cruiser crash-landed on a planet. The Cadet was instrumental in the analysis of the wreck which lead to it being identified as a Mirror Universe vessel, and a precursor to the first invasion attempt later that year. For this work, he was awarded the Bronze Star, and the Engineering Commendation Medal.
After graduation, the Ensign was assigned to the USS Saratoga under Captain Palin. The Captain quickly found him to be an exemplary officer, and he rose quickly to Lieutenant Junior Grade, then Lieutenant, and Chief Engineer of the Saratoga, all while taking part in several dangerous and classified missions with the Captain and crew of the Saratoga, which quickly became known for both it's combat ability and scientific exploration -- by both the Federation and the other Quadrant empires.
While aboard the Saratoga as a young JG, he also met his future wife, former Fleet Admiral Katherine Agne (O'Connor), who was serving as a science officer aboard the Saratoga.
To Starfleet Command, though, the Saratoga was most-known for something else: Warp Core issues, core breaches, and generally being the most expensive ship to maintain in the entire fleet. Through a combination of tactical coincidences, abortive engineering modifications, and some just plain bad luck, then-Lieutenant O'Connor was recognized as the single most expensive Chief Engineer in the fleet, a distinction he will respond to with pride, and a snappy comeback. Despite this, he also became the most decorated Engineer in the fleet, rising quickly to prominence, and a degree of isolation. As he began to outpace his former superiors in rank, he also encountered a great deal of indirect difficulty with them, something that continued for a long time.
Rumors abound as to how he first was selected for command rank, including an oft-quoted rumor that Starfleet Command figured it would be a lot cheaper for him to be in the center chair than down in engineering.. regardless of the ship. However, regardless of how it happened, he was administered the Koboyashi Maru examination by Captain Palin and Commander S'tok, nearly making it back to Earth with the Enterprise by baiting the Klingon ships with specially modified torpedoes acting as mines, pushed out of the back of the ship at warp.
Immediately thereafter, he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander, and second officer of the Saratoga, while his new wife was made the Chief Science Officer. A subsequent hallmark of their serving together would be the frequent arguments, attested to by many of the Saratoga's staff. Some of the better ones are still talked about in fleet lounges by the older members of her former crew.
When Commander S'tok was chosen by Starfleet for promotion to Captain and assignment to the USS Banneker, the young Lieutenant Commander was the natural choice for succession. Promoted to Commander, he served for exactly one week before being promoted to Captain and assigned to take command of the USS Excalibur at the behest of Fleet Admiral Neil Shukla and recently-promoted Commodore Palin, still in charge of the Saratoga.
The Excalibur soon earned a reputation for being every bit as tenacious and hard hitting as the Saratoga, with all the power and energy of an Excelsior-class starship. The green Captain soon proved himself, while Katherine continued to rise through the ranks alongside him, eventually becoming Fleet Science Officer, and moving aboard the Excalibur to raise a family with Rigley -- a move literally unheard of in Starfleet at the time.
In his off time he continued with his passion -- Engineering. Branching to Research and Development, he began working on a retrofit version of the Excelsior-class ship, which eventually culminated in the USS Kiev, a design the Captain can easily claim to be his brainchild, and whose name is prominently figured on the plaque of that ship.
About this time, an event would occur that would leave a black mark on the Captain's record for some time. See Roberts Affair.
Meanwhile, the unfortunate passing of Commodore Palin left Naval Command unheaded. Admiral Shukla quickly offered the position to O'Connor, who accepted it with the provision that he be allowed to retain command of the Excalibur. He was promoted to Commodore, and thusly joined the ranks of Flag Officers. This proved to simply be too much to do in total, and he reluctantly stepped down from charge of her, assuming command of his old stomping grounds, the USS Saratoga, and running Starfleet Naval Command from there for quite a while.
One of the most alarming events in his life was the kidnapping of his children from the Excalibur during a fight with the Orions. They were recovered, yes, but this proved to be a turning point for him. While he was not yet ready to leave fleet life, after spending a few years as SF Naval Command chief, he found that he wished to spend time with them while he still could, and resigned from Starfleet for nearly a full year.
However, like so many officers who felt the call of fleet life, he was soon drawn back by the destruction of the Excalibur under command of Captain Suvin Grey, resulting in the loss of all hands, including many of his old crewmates from the Saratoga. Several upper tier officers were aboard for the cruise, and the damage to Starfleet Command was incalculable. He accepted his former position as SFNC, and was soon leading a complete reorganization of starship assignments under the watchful eye of the Fleet Admiral, and being eyed as the successor as Commander-in-Chief, should Shukla ever step down.
This was to happen sooner than anyone expected, albeit briefly. The then-President of the UFP, a Vulcan (although many would argue his classification as such, he was often described as emotional, irrational, and illogical) by the name of Tektos, during an extremely heated and charged Council meeting, ordered the Commodore to relieve Fleet Admiral Shukla of his command. Torn between his loyalty to the Admiral, Starfleet, and his Oath to the United Federation of Planets, the Commodore did as he was ordered, and assumed charge of Starfleet. Presumably as 'payment' for this action, the President ordered he was to receive the Medal Of Honor, the Federation's highest honor.
The Acting Fleet Admiral held the post for approximately three hours. Never a man to avoid questioning himself, he quickly realized the error in the situation, and in a press release to the entire Federation, voided his previous stataements, rescinded his orders, condemned the President for such a causeless action, and publically refused to accept the MoH (ostensibly the first person in the Federation to ever deny such an honor).
Admiral Shukla was placed back in charge, but his spirit was broken. He resigned soon afterwards, and that particular action haunts Rigley even to this day. The nomination of former Commander-in-Chief Stephan Hansen to succeed Shukla instead of the generally commended and popular O'Connor may have been a pointed statement towards the young Commodore.
In the midst of all of this, Commodore Palin was found to have miraculously survived what was thought to be a terminal condition (he had been thought to have died on Vulcan, but this turned out to not be the case). He was quickly recommissioned as Captain, and placed back in charge of his old ship, the USS Saratoga. However, as fate would have it, the starship was attacked later the day after this, and the Captain was once again ferried away to Vulcan for treatment. To this day, his ultimate status remains unknown.
Heartbroken over the loss of both his mentors, Rigley took charge of the Saratoga again, and tried to reclaim some of his former faith in the system. However, this was not to be. One evening, as the Commodore slept, the Saratoga was attacked. The first officer, inexperienced at the intricacies of command, overrode the self destruct command pathways and destroyed the ship without his permission.
The situation becomes vague at that point. While no one is exactly sure how, the Commodore found himself alive and alone on a Class M planet, surrounded by wreckage of the Saratoga. Using his survival training, he built himself a shelter using those pieces, and spent two long years alone, something he rarely, if ever, will speak of.
He was found by a passing scoutship doing scans on the other planets in the system by pure luck, and brought aboard amidst a flurry of controversy, which quickly spread to the entire Federation. Some wished to have him tried for the destruction of the Saratoga, despite the flight recorder's data, which clearly established that he was nowhere near the bridge during the events, nor did he have time to get there. Others wished to condemn him for merely surviving, while so many others did not. The external pressure eventually died down, but O'Connor continues to feel the pain of the Saratoga's loss to this day.
Luckily, he was not alone. Admiral Shukla had returned to Starfleet Command during his absence, and was instrumental in returning him to Starfleet service. After a lengthy debriefing and rest period, he accepted a voluntary demotion to Fleet Captain, and assumed command of the USS Tardis flight group, consisting of that vessel plus several others of differing classes, including the USS Federation, and the USS Pericles. While slowly settling into civilized life again, he continues to search for his wife, the once-Fleet Admiral Katherine O'Connor, and their children, whereabouts of both unknown.
More recently, the officer has been re-established in the flag ranks, with a promotion back to his former rank of Commodore, then shortly thereafter a formal promotion into the Admiralty at the rank of Rear Admiral, while being reassigned as the full-time Chief of Naval Operations, a position that places him nominally third in the fleet chain of command, under the Chief of Operations and Fleet Admiral himself.
Among those who he calls friends in the service is Admiral Roger Wilco, whose uncanny ability to sense the impending doom of starships, and amazing service record are the stuff of legend, as well as his exploits with the women (and alternately gendered beings) of Starfleet.
During his service, O'Connor has also been appointed as:
- Commanding Officer, USS Federation
- Commandant, Starfleet Academy
- Fleet Chief Engineering Officer
- Chief Design Officer, USS Kiev (Excelsior-class subtype)
- Fleet Chief of Operations
- Fleet Tactical Coordinator (Wartime)
- Fleet Special Operations Officer
- Judge Advocate General Special Investigative Officer (Temporary Promotion to Rear Admiral)
- Starfleet Representative to the Federation Council (both in a voting and non-voting capacity)
- Supervising Engineer, USS Federation Refit Project
- Chief of Starfleet Naval Command (Current Position)
In spite of his best efforts, O'Connor is a recipient of the Starfleet Medal of Honor.
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