Place of Origin: Earth
Played by: Reynolds - Defiant
Charlotte is a woman of relatively small build, with blonde hair and greenish-blue eyes. Her physical size has frequently led to her being underestimated, a fact she has exploited on numerous occasions. She has a small tattoo of a phoenix on her lower back, a reference to her place of birth and her favorite mythical creature. A lot of people have assumed there has to be some deeper meaning than that, but that's really the extent of it.
She has the lingering scar across her abdomen, front and back, from a near fatal injury she suffered as a younger officer.
She tends to prefer her hair tied back while on duty, but tends to style it much more while enjoying personal time. Its part of her compartmentalization of her life that has kept her sane so far.
Charlotte Reynolds has never struggled to find a fight. She's not an intentionally combative person, but her personality has gotten her into trouble more than once. She is a strong willed individual, firmly set in her beliefs, and willing to fight harder than most to stick to those.
She is a generally cheerful person, but has a bit of a sharp edge to her personality. She's idealistic, occasionally to a fault. She's opinionated and not afraid to make herself known. There's a sarcastic edge to her, but she doesn't really tolerate nonsense under her command. That's not to say that she doesn't get along with her subordinates. But friendship with the CO isn't an excuse to get yourself in trouble.
She holds herself as very formal while on duty, though that is somewhat a facade. In the past, she was nearly killed by a grievous injury in the line of duty, sidelined for months to recover, and is there for much more aware of the risks she's inflicting on her crew.
Despite plenty of training on how to survive it, she has no love for combat and will do her best to avoid such situations. That said, when she decides to throw down, her opponents would do well to take her seriously.
Charlotte Reynolds was born Febuary 12th, 2235 to Jacob and Mallory Reynolds in Phoenix, Arizona on Earth. Her family had a a history of Starfleet service on both sides. They had a modest planet side home where she grew up for a few years, before the gravity of Starfleet service pulled his parents back into space. From a very young age, she was used to the idea of being away from the planet for months at a time, and life aboard a starship came easy to her.
At the age of 10, Charlotte had her first experience with battle. In a skirmish with the Klingons at Donatu V, the USS Agincourt, her home at the time, engaged one of the peripheral forces near Sherman's Planet. The Agincourt only suffered minor casualties, but one of them was the ships head nurse, who Charlotte had been close with. The loss was one of many that would eventually form Charlotte's attitude toward war.
At the age of 13, Charlotte was able to attend a Starfleet Command conference on exploration. The conference had been taking place aboard Starbase 6, her father's station at the time. Despite the darkening mood of the time, several key officials, including Fleet Admiral Jonathan Archer, had advocated for sticking to Starfleet's better angels. Charlotte had considered the elderly admiral a personal hero even before the meeting, and having actually gotten to meet him only strengthened her resolve to get her own command.
It was around this time that her relationship with her father also began to sour. The two had always had a somewhat strained relationship, but it slowly turned more bitter. Charlotte's growing independence came with a rebellious streak and her father grew increasingly authoritarian. However, Mallory Reynolds, her mother, was able to smooth the relationship a bit.
For several months, Charlotte left Starbase 6 to do a brief shadowing tour aboard the USS Charon. The CO was a close friend of her father's and she was able to shadow numerous departments to help decide what direction she would pursue during her academic career. She was also able to experience life away from the shadow of her father for a little while.
At the age of 18, Charlotte departed to join Starfleet Acadamy. Her parents were not even remotely surprised at this, as her bedroom had been a shrine to Starfleet history since she had been old enough to speak. However, it was still an adjustment for her. Suddenly, she was no longer with her family every day, but could only communicate with them via comm. Additionally, she was back on Earth, but not at the family home in Phoenix. Away from her father, but away from her mother as well. She struggled initially with this transition. She hadn't honed her social skills with peers particularly well, as she was used to dealing with the personalities of the older officer's aboard her father's vessels. However, she eventually came into her own.
She found she had a knack for piloting and soon become one of the top pilots of her graduating class. She gained certifications in several smaller craft, before seeking out helm officer training.
In 2255, she was placed as a Cadet helm officer aboard the USS Kingdom. The tour was relatively uneventful, though she did get her first taste of combat piloting.
She soon returned to San Francisco and sought out command courses to round out her experience.
Charlotte graduated directly into the brief, but tumultuous war with the Klingon Empire. She was assigned to the USS Bradbury.
For the next several months, she piloted the Bradbury to safety time and again. However, her luck ran thin. In a shockingly brazen attack, the Klingon forces decimated the defenses of Starbase 1, the station which Bradbury had been assigned to. The ship managed to escape the battle, but only just. Struck by a torpedo as it made the jump to warp. The bridge plating collapsed and a piece of it impaled the young helm officer. It was only the quick actions of the medical staff aboard the vessel that stopped the injury from becoming fatal.
Charlotte spent the next few weeks in and out of consciousness and went into surgery several separate times to deal with the consequences of having a sizable metal beam go straight through a human abdomen. She was eventually transferred to Andoria for more medical treatment.
Charlotte had only just returned to service when news came in of an attack on Vulcan. Her vessel, the Bradbury, had been part of the fleet in the Laurentian System. Though called upon by the Enterprise to deal with the Narada, they never did meet up with the Constitution Class vessel, and the Narada was destroyed before the fleet became relevant.
Despite her distance from the activity, the event did not leave her unscathed. In addition to the fellow officers she knew aboard the Earth fleet vessels and on the planet Vulcan, she had lost someone very dear to her. Her mother had been on Vulcan for a conference at the time, and she was not among those rescued.
The loss permanently damaged the relationship between Charlotte and her father. She had needed someone to rely on, but her father buried himself in his work. The darker aspects of his personality came to the forefront. His criticisms became harsher and more frequent. Regardless of her climbing accolades, nothing she did was ever good enough. The divide led to some extremely harsh words being traded and the two were soon barely speaking.
Charlotte was transferred to the USS Cairo, where she finally became part of a deep space mission. The Cairo did was assigned to catalog nebulas in the Beta Quadrant, exploring countless systems along the way. The Federation had finally found peace, and Charlotte found that helm was less intense when you weren't being shot at. That wasn't to say the journey was without conflict. Numerous skirmishes with Klingons, pirates, and other races kept things from getting too calm.
Due to her surprising amounts of experience for an officer her age, Charlotte was made second officer of the Cairo. The transition toward more command duties confirmed her belief that that was her calling. She began to pursue a transfer to a vessel that would allow her a path to the command chair. Later that year, she transferred to the aged USS Zheng He, which was exploring space near the galactic center.
Charlotte served as the Executive Officer of the Zheng He for 2 years, gaining valuable leadership experience from Captain Adebowale. The vessel was old, but it was home. Things proceeded smoothly for most of this time. Charlotte became emotionally involved with an intelligence officer on her ship, Alina Soyka, and the Zheng He truly began to feel like home.
However, the Zheng He eventually hit uneasy waters. Cut off from Federation contact for a few weeks following an Ion Storm, the vessel was ambushed by an aggressive bunch of Nausican Mercenaries. Captain Adebowale was killed when the mauraders stormed the Zheng He, leaving Charlotte in dire situation.
Mourning her mentor and dealing with her first true command situation, she tricked the Nausicans into following Zheng He into a dangerous nebula. Dodging wild energy discharges somewhat successfully, the older vessel used a torpedo trick to create an energy cascade, knocking out the Nausicans. After the return to Federation space, Charlotte was promoted to Commander and granted command of the vessel. Alina was promotted to Lieutenant Commander and became the Zheng He's first officer.
The USS Zheng He continued its survey of the galactic center. Charlotte found that she grew into command relatively easily. The survey uncovered fascinating new data about the behavior of the inner-galactic blackholes, leading some to wonder if the supermassive blackhole at the center was contributing to this. However, the new command also came with difficult choices. A murder aboard her vessel brought her face to face with the darker decisions of the command chair. The perpetrator was one of her own noncommissioned officers and she struggled with her reactions to the situation. Her compartmentalization techniques wore a bit thin and some sharp words got her in trouble with a local dignitary and the admiral for the region. Regardless, she continued to command the vessel admirably.
As the Klingon war broke out, the Zheng He was recalled to Federation space. They participated in a few skirmishes, but the age of the ship prevented it from being a front line player.
It was at this time that a JAG investigation revealed that Alina, Charlotte's CO and paramour of nearly 2 years, had been involved in a smuggling ring for much of that time. Charlotte's own estranged father arrived in the USS Tempest to take Lt. Commander Soyka into custody and to reprimand Reynolds for not catching the criminal activity.
The incident would permanently change the relationship between father and daughter, cementing the hostile attitude the two had toward each other. It would also seriously shake Charlotte's confidence and undermine her authority aboard the Zheng He.
Following this, the Zheng He returned to its support missions for a brief time. The closest thing to direct action that the ship saw was the rescue operation at Outpost Belfast.
Not long after the battle, Charlotte was given curious orders. Report to Starbase Arcadia for a new posting. Believing herself to be in trouble, she had arrived at the station ready for a fight...only to learn of just how prestigious her new command would be.