Place of Origin: Earth
Played by: Reynolds - Defiant
Chris is a lean, but muscle toned man of about 5'10". He keeps himself fairly athletically fit, but generally focuses on stamina and agility over strength. He has light brown hair that turns more blonde when exposed to sunlight. He has a fairly fair complexion, blue eyes, and an angular jawline which helps to accentuate his other facial features. He bears no tattoos or other significant markings, though he's almost always seen wearing his old Newton uniform Starfleet emblem on a dog tag chain necklace under his uniform.
Chris is a fairly withdrawn individual. He can be incredibly warm to his closest friends, but generally keeps to himself outside of that group. He is driven by a strong sense of duty and honor, but his main loyalty is to the Federation, not to Starfleet. This has caused issues within his chain of command in the past, but he has tended to come out on the right side by the end.
He is fiercely loyal and protective of his crew, willing to go far beyond the standard lengths when someone under his command is in danger. Despite this, he frequently has a hard time actually engaging socially. Many of his officers have assumed he didn't like them, only to discover just how far he'd go to save them.
Christopher Alexander James was born on November 9th, 2235 in San Diego, California to a very prestigious private citizen, Alden James. Born into a life of luxury, even for those on Earth, Chris shuffled between the families many luxurious properties. Alden owned a private technologies development firm, which frequently was used to explore more fringe technological ideas that Starfleet didn’t want to waste too many resources on. This meant Alden was frequently on the move, bouncing between whatever world the next contract was on. He decided early on that the young James would be his successor, and attempted to tailor the boy into a virtual reproduction of himself.
In 2242, at the age of 7, Chris was brought along for one of his father’s deals to one of the outer worlds of the Federation. The world was chosen due to its low population, but high quantity of construction materials. This trip was meant to introduce Chris to a love of business. Instead, it planted a seed that would ultimately shatter Alden’s plans for his son.
While wandering around the newly constructed Starbase in Earth orbit, Chris happened across a packed room listening to a brief speech from a very elderly retired Starfleet officer. The man was the venerated Retired Admiral and former Federation President Jonathan Archer. The two never spoke, never made eye contact, or anything of the sort. James simply stood at the back of the room and listened to the man’s speech. What he heard was something vastly different from the world of deals and leverage and manipulation that surrounded his father. It was a world built on honor, loyalty, cooperation, and optimism. It was the goal of Starfleet, spoken by the man who had forged its mission nearly a century ago. The speech would shape the rest of Chris’s life.
He came back from that trip with a deep interest in space exploration and Starfleet, and his father came back with a strong urge to bend his son to his will. From that point on, the relationship between the two was on very rocky terrain.
While Alden put on the air of a helpful member of the galactic community, he had secretly established an illegal arms deal with numerous unsavory groups including Orion Pirates. This deal had proven to be one of his most lucrative yet.
As James grew older, he was forced by his father to become part of the family business. Rather than protesting outright against an increasingly overbearing father, Chris decided to play along con, playing the earnest loyal son. For 3 years, he served as a loyal lieutenant and subordinate of his father, the whole time collecting evidence of his father’s dealings. On the eve of his 18th birthday, Christopher James finally sprung the trap. He waited until his father went away for a business deal, and then contacted Starfleet Intelligence and turned over everything. His father was caught and arrested mid deal, and his detailed notes brought down many of his father’s contacts with him. Alden was convicted and sent to a Penal Colony and Chris went almost immediately to Starfleet Acadamy. His relationship with his brother and mother was shattered, though he has remained close with his younger sister, Elizabeth.
James attended the Acadamy, where he rocketed through his courses. His focus was on diplomatic and command training, becoming a very adept Diplomatic Officer.
Out of the academy he aboard the USS Newton for almost 2 years as Junior Diplomatic Officer. He experienced some of the most advanced technologies Starfleet was rolling out at the time. However, the Newton kept getting pulled away from exploration responsibilities. James desperately wanted to seek out new frontiers, which sparked his renewed desire to pursue a command position. In 2257, Chris got to put his command experience to the test. Ambushed by a very well-armed portion of the Orion Syndicate, the Newton was nearly crippled. With the CO unconscious, the XO dead, and the bridge cut off from the rest of the ship, the young Ensign James took charge. Hiding the ship within the radiation rich rings of the system’s gas giant, he used a series of decoy buoys to distract the Orions long enough to repair the warp drive.
In 2258, he left the Newton to return to the Acadamy for advanced command courses. Little did he know disaster was about to strike. He was at Starflert Acadamy at the time of the Narada's destruction of Vulcan, an event which also led to the destruction of much of the Earth fleet. The Newton was among those ships that were lost. His entire crew was killed, but he was spared. In addition to this, T’Lok, his best friend since the acadamy, was among those killed. The incident left him suffering from a bad case of survivor’s guilt and ingrained a distrust for Romulans that he is still trying to challenge in himself.
He completed his command training courses and was assigned to the USS Korolev, where he served as Chief Diplomatic Officer and Second Officer. The ship was mostly assigned to regional patrols along the Romulan border, where Chris's paranoia toward Romulans didn't improve much. It was from this vessel that Chris was recruited for a deep cover infiltration mission behind Romulan lines. The operation was supposed to last only a few months into the spring of 2260. However, following the Vengeance Incident, Starfleet Intelligence lost track of a decent number of assets that had been handled by the Rogue Section 31. Chris’s unit was one of those. When their contact for retrieval never arrived at their rendezvous, they realized their mission would last longer than those handful of months. It instead lasted almost 2 years. When Chris finally was recovered and brought back to Federation space in early 2262, he no longer held his deep seated issues with Romulans. Though he mistrusted their government, he had learned to appreciate some of the differences in their culture.
Upon his return, he also became aware that his father had escaped his confinement, potentially with the assistance of S31 operatives. Chris was concerned by this development, but without any leads to follow or a ship of his own, there was little he could do. He was then assigned as the First Officer aboard the USS Aldrin. During his tour of duty, he proved himself on countless occasions, increasing his tendency toward diplomacy over violence, though only a fool would test his willingness to fight when necessary. The same political instincts that made him a good diplomat had also formed the backbone of a unique tactical strategy. Lt. James was as worthy a starship combat strategist as he was a diplomat.
After helping to mediate a territorial dispute that threatened to erupt into a sector wide war, Chris was promoted to Lt. Commander. He served aboard the Aldrin for a few more months getting some of the exploration experience he so desperately wanted. However, each new world they explored only increased his desire for a ship of his own. In early 2263, he applied for his own command.
Contacting Starfleet Command, Lt. Commander James applied for command of one of the newly completed Constitution Class vessels.
Chris was granted command of the USS Defiant and began assembling his crew.