Dr. Richard Allan Ballston MD Psy D.
Place of Origin: Azzia (Nubar)
Played by: trevor
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 158 lbs
Hair Color: Dark Blond with sandy highlights
Eye Color:Pale Sapphire blue with speckles of darker blue highlights.
Richard resembles a human male. He appears to be in his mid to late twenties even though he is considerably past that. His appearance has changed drastically in only a four year span of time. At the age of 82 the man finally reached true physical maturity for his species and the experience nearly cost his him life.
The counselor has very expressive pale sapphire blues eyes with the deep, Betezoid like, sapphire speckles around the outer rim of his cornea there is also the darker color, all remnants of what once was their overall color. It is Richard’s winning smile that has remained his most remarkable feature. The Doctor keeps neatly trimmed and parted on the left side so it feathers over to the right.
Richard comes across as a self-confident, outgoing person in love with life. This is more of a façade than realty though his life and his opinion of himself have been improved dramatically. When introduced to a person he beams with an open and inviting smile. On duty he is more subdued and radiates professionalism. His counseling couch is always open to whoever needs to talk and he never seems to get tired of hearing the same complaints over and over again. Most of his associates wonder how he accomplishes as much as he does. They see him laugh and warmly interact with people as if each individual were somehow special and of particular interest. His eyes and body language display a keen desire to understand and get to know whomever he is conversing with. Always the consummate gentlemen, Richard dislikes discussing any of his successes preferring to steer the conversation away from anything personal and onto the other person making them feel important and special.
Underneath this polished demeanor hides a man still hurting from the challenges of his life. Now a single father taking care of a child, he struggles with learning how to be a parent to Abigail and perform his duties at the exceptional levels he is accustomed to.
Since discovering his true species and the freedom it provided him from missed medical diagnoses, mistreatment and abuse because of being considered a genetically engineered individual Richard is much more content and happy than he ever was in his past. He still suffers from the memories of times past when he was abused and treated unfairly. Now with the knowledge that he actually has a species to belong to and not some, “freak,” Doctor Ballston feels vindicated but has learned not to hold grudges.
Realizing that the Federation has done him so much harm, physically emotionally, and that much of the misinformation spread about him were outright lies it is surprising to many that he would choose to stay in the service let alone become a commissioned officer. Dr. Ballston still feels he has much to contribute and that he owes much to those who have stood behind him even in the worse of time. There are still a few that do not want to accept the fact that he is not the genetic mutant they wish to portray him as but most if not all have been silenced by the discovery in his life that the Federation has hid the truth and a starship they captured in order to try and decipher the highly advanced technology found aboard.
Strengths & Weaknesses Weaknesses:
Learning disabilities: Richard has an extremely rare and debilitating learning disability often compared with dyslexia. He is completely unable to read or write in a way that would be considered normal. For years he was entirely dependent on computerized devices to read and write for him. Thanks to the linguist and voluntary assistant he had while on the USS Elysium, then Petty Officer Aidan Datari. With the aid of a blind professor at the Academy aboard that vessel he learned brail. This has freed him from his dependence on devices that have proved be more of a nescience than a good. The Azzians do no see this as a problem at all and refer to his condition as Ko’ Diono or “visions of the blessed ones.”
Painful, abusive past: This needs little explanation if you read Richard’s history.
Medical issues: Doctor Ballston has had several medical issues in the past related to his hormone levels. Some of these have been nearly fatal and at times have required hospitalization and treatment to keep them in check. Now that the true identity of his species is known and with their assistance this is not hear the issue it once was. However there are other issues that will present themselves that have more in common with the medical treatments given him over the years that in effect tried to prevent him from maturing. This has also interfered with something the Azzians call Sodi’ onar. Similar to the Vulcan Pon Far, Azzians are compelled to mate every four years but with Richard it may occur at any time. It is believed with time and proper treatment he will return to his species normal physical cycle.
Shy around Women: Richard feels far less at ease with women, especially beautiful ones, than he does around men. It is understandable given the nature of the abuse he suffered as a child and his complete dependence on his adoptive mother. This is something he has been working on for a long time and has yet to master.
Slightly clumsy: As with many individuals with severe learning disabilities Richard is known to be less than nimble. Martial arts exercises have healed to improve his eye-hand coordination and for the most part his ailment is rather unnoticeable, except when he is around women he is particularly attracted to.
Internal scar tissue:
Perfect pictorial and auditory memory: Both a blessing and a curse The counselor can remember any spoken word or anything he sees.
Exceptional Intelligence: His remarkable intellect has allowed him to overcome obstacles most would not be able to. It has also propelled him to the status he now holds in the counseling community.
Charismatic: Richard can be quite the charmer though it is hard to say how well it actually works on women.
Well Respected in His Field: In spite of the many horrible misrepresentations of the mental health professional he has earned the credentials and credibility respected by many others in his chosen profession. From time to time, even when believed to be a horrible mistake of science he has been asked to lecture and write articles on a variety of mental health issues.
Dedicated: No doubt if he is willing to continue counseling for the Federation after what has occurred in the past.
Detail Oriented: Perfectionist is closer to the truth. Much of this is from a desire to be seen as a professional and not as the mentally deranged imbecile he has been portrayed as.
Ambitions The Counselor desires to serve as best he can the people of the Federation. He would also greatly enjoy someday finding a romantic relationship with a female. Now that he has become a father Richard feels it would be good to find a mother for his daughter.
Hobbies & Interests Counseling
Starfleet Interstellar Communication
To: Admiral Gregory A. Griffin, USS Douglass, Constellation Class Federation Starship
From: Chief Warrant Officer Dr. Richard Allen Ballston, USS Douglass, Constellation Class Federation Starship
Dear Admiral Griffin
As requested I have set out to record important events through my life. This has been long coming and your patience has been greatly appreciated. These events have shaped me and my personal philosophy of Service and Counseling. Please bear in mind that in order to do this I have included information that is classified and of a personal nature. Given your clearance level and our personal friendship I am comfortable disclosing this information.
I will begin with my birth or as close as I can come to that information. According to Federation and Starfleet records on stardate 2307a small craft compiled from various parts from a number of starships was towed in a tractor beam to Starbase 32 by the USS Sullivan, an Excelsior-class starship under the command of Captain William Baldwin. Ships logs indicate that he and his crew answered a distress call in the Maxia sector. The captain describes what they found as, “this contraption adrift in space.” Baldwin added that the vessel bore, “a striking resemblance to the KX-class starship in the primary hull.” By this it is assumed he was referring to the saucer section though without being able to review the entire log I cannot be absolutely certain. Apparently the ship had undergone several refits with technology unfamiliar to the captain and his crew. It is reasonable to assume that since the vast majority of this information is highly classified that what was discovered is either not understood yet or farther advance than what Starfleet has produced to this point. This assumption is warranted as he noted that massive modifications had been done since further on he states that the ship, “merited further examination,” and that, “if made functional might influence the design of future starships.” The vessel itself still exists and is highly classified. Having requested permission to see the ship for myself on several occasions and being denied for security reasons it would be safe to assume it is highly classified as well. 34 individuals, presumably all human, were found aboard the disabled craft. I was found by Insigne Patricia Jacobson, the medical support for the away team. In her personal notes she mentions that, “the infant was swaddled in a dark blue silken blanket the color of his eyes.” Leave it to a human female to notice that my eyes matched the blanket. At any rate she goes on to tell of a broach that appeared to be of earlier human origin. Both items are classified and I have not actually seen either one.
Autopsies were performed on the deceased crew members. One was found to have given birth approximately three months earlier. According to the ships computers her name was Samantha Ballston. She was later ruled to be my mother based on trace DNA. I can only speculate what is meant by this statement as it appears in the portion of the report that is classified at a low enough level that I have access to it. Seeing it also states that we do not share enough genetic information to determine her as my maternal mother. This has always been a mystery to me. None the less Starfleet medical in all their wisdom has deemed it so and at this point I have no way to clarify their findings. Her husband, Patrick Ballston, was ruled the father because his medical information allegedly passed the paternal testing. Again I must mention that any further data about the two is classified to a degree I do not have access to it. My name at this point was Baby Boy 147841. For the next eight months of records this name was used to identify me.
I realize you have seen my medical records, both classified and not. For the sake of completeness however I will include some of the highlights here. At the time in was discovered Latinate J G. Dr. Bernard Jonson was the Chief medical officer aboard the Sullivan. He performed several medical examinations on me. Most of this file has a low enough classification I am able to read it. Medical scans performed at this time reviled several, “abnormalities.” These imaging procedures demonstrated bilateral lateral bifurcation of the temporal lobes. Other tests revealed that irregularities in DNA were present and that two previously unseen hormones were found in trace amounts. He did not speculate as to their function.
I was then taken to Starfleet medical in San Francisco, Earth for further evolution. After nearly a year I was sent to the Darwin Genetic Research Station on Gagarin IV , a planet in the Gagarin system. At the time it was considered an outpost and now it has grown into a thriving research facility. You may recall that in the 2350s and 2360s they were producing children with enhanced immune systems. By 2365 it was discovered that their immune systems were so aggressive they were able to attack other humans by its means. This information is not classified and readily available so I will not go into it except to say that I have often been confused with this group of enhanced humans even though I was not even at the research station at the time.
Dr. Susan Kramer was one of the chief researchers for the center at that time and was placed in charge of my care. She was instructed by Starfleet Medical to perform more studies on me, “to see exactly what modifications had been performed, what their intended purposes were and if they could be reversed.”
She proceeded to enlist the aid of many medical professionals from a variety of specialties requiring what I would assume were vast resources to acquire. The intentions she stated were slightly different than that requested by Starfleet. Here they are in her own words, “to discover what affect the subjects variances from the normal human DNA and biological brain structure have on his abilities and to determine whether he is a threat to the Federation and all Society.” By these words it is a wonder why anyone would subject a child of just over a year to her care let alone allow her to perform the numerous procedures and tests.
Being convinced that I, like the genetically-engineered humans developed during the Eugenic wars of the 21st century, would rise up and try to take over the world and from there the universe. She wrote over 187 papers with me as her primary subject though I was never named other than as, “the subject.” The majority of these papers were laced with warnings regarding the dangers of such experimentation. I have personally read each of these and found them incredibly offensive to any scientific mind. They are filled with statements presented as fact that have been proven erroneous.
Within both her published research and available files is mention of supposedly confidential information regarding the autopsies of the 34 crew members found aboard the ship I was found on. According to her writings she claims, “Maternal tests reviled that although she had carried the subject they share virtually no DNA markers. Paternity tests also reveal that Patrick Ballston was indeed the father though he did not demonstrate the genetic and biological abnormalities present in the research subject.
If I had access to further information on the subject verification of her statements could be made. Without it I am forced to conclude that Dr. Kramer had insufficient information on which to form most of her findings regarding my heritage. In addition there are numerous places where she seems to contradict herself apparently in an effort to support her conclusion that I was a threat to the Federation.
To support this position I will provide an excerpt from the report made by Dr. Hasselmen, a distinguished researcher and professor in the field of genetic research. “In contrast to her suggestions the child exhibited highly complex Quadruplex structures and super coiling far different from that of earlier genetic engineering experiments. They also show no evidence of gene spicing or unraveled segments that would also indicate manipulation of the DNA structure.” He goes on to state that, “further studies have indicated that Baby Boy 147841 demonstrates more as a completely separate life form than a genetically altered human. This view can be supported by the unique nature of the examined DNA structures, protein alignments and the existence of two hormones not present in the human species. No data existed on the classified ships computers or within the vessel itself that verifies any Genetic engineering was being performed and that the evidence presented from the autopsies on the alleged mother resembles more of attempts to keep a fetus alive than to modify its genetic structure. With both alleged parents deceased and the other crew members as well it would seem impossible to verify that the child underwent any genetic modification either before or after conception.”
It was also at this time, 2311, that Dr. Karin Hensley, a human researcher on Starbase 324 named and identified the function of these two hormones mentioned above. Follicle-stimulating hormone 184 was believed to enhance in some fashion the process of spermatogenesis. Later studies conducted in 2347 and 2362 confirmed Dr. Hensley’s findings. The second hormone was labeled Prolactin 23. Like the human Prolactin, it is believed to behave similarly. These further studies already mentioned verified the previous findings and added that it was believed that because of these hormones and their functions I would be sterile.
I will also address some other issues that have been raised. First Dr. Basher and I are not related. I never met the man and am not a product of his experimentation. I am also aware of the existing ban by the Federation on genetically enhanced individuals serving as Starfleet officers. I have accepted this fact and have satisfied myself that I shall never be able to obtain even the rank of Ensign. If the ban were lifted today I would readily take on the prospect of entering the Academy even at my years to earn the rights and privileges accorded those individuals who are officers. The matter of how I happened to be allowed to study medicine and become a counselor serving the Federation will be addressed later.
Dr. Kramer kept me in what amounted to house arrest. From the moment I arrived at the facility I was not let outside of any structure let alone the few rooms designated for my study. Every moment I was constantly monitored. Security followed me constantly. Many of the rooms were testing was done contained observation windows where visitors and fellow researchers could observe my behavior. I was given virtually no privacy and no opportunity to really be a child.
There were valid finding within her research. For instance she reported that I suffered from severe learning disabilities. She observed that my eye hand coordination was not what it should be and that if forced to try and comprehend any written letters or numbers I would become irritable and distracted. To her this was a sign of my “overly aggressive nature.” She would write that I was, “extremely strong willed,” and, “disobedient.” Over eighteen times she stated that I only responded to physical pain as a form of punishment. In reality I was acting like a child who did not understand what was expected of him and who in spite of his best efforts received negative feedback from the adults in his life.
Even at two or three I was well aware that I was considered inferior to everyone else. This was instilled with verbal, emotional and physical abuse. This was not just from Dr. Kramer but also from the other four researchers that worked alongside her. The children of all the researchers at the outpost were instructed not to have anything to do to me because I was violent and uncontrollable.
In 2312 Starfleet medical sent a team of observers to the research facility to follow up after a complaint from Dr. Richard Lansing, chief medical officer. He reported numerous instances where I had been abused severely enough that medical treatment was necessary. His medical records showed bruising, contusions and broken bones consistent with abuse. When Kramer was questioned regarding these she stated that, “research on such a child was a messy business.” She indicated that the forced isolation was for my benefit as well as others. I was painted as being uncontrollable and highly disobedient. Kramer also stated that she feared for the safety of her fellow researches and visitors because of, “this wild child,” as she put it.
All four of her fellow collogues, Dr. Beverly Simmons, Dr. Amanda Graham, Dr. Thomas Langley and Dr. Cory Phillips agreed with her assessment. They all believed that I was overly aggressive and if allowed out into the world would be a threat to the Federation.
One of the Observing team members, Dr. Herriot Fredericks, talked to the rest of the staff at the research center and heard another story. Many offered sworn statements revealed my, “highly obedient nature,” and that I actually, “seemed to do everything possible to win their approval.” In direct contradiction to what Kramer claimed they revealed that I was indeed teachable and had in fact learned to speak three languages besides English as well as children twice my age. Dr. Susan Yoder was responsible for teaching me science and math and stated that other than my inability read a text or numbers I was able to calculate in my head and if the information was given to me orally I understood and remembered it remarkably well.
If you recall I earlier mentioned that I was being visually and audibly recorded. These records were submitted my security to the investigating team which concurred with the finding that mistreatment and abuse were prevalent, that the injuries I had suffered were not the result of my uncontrollable tantrums but rather of physical abuse.
Dr. Ra'Vesti Serranstivlen was a Vulcan who was sent as part of the investigative team. He performed a mind meld on me after Dr. Kramer refused to have one performed on her. His report is on file with Starfleet was highly instrumental in having Dr. Kramer and her co-offenders tried and convicted. I must admit how horrifying this experience was. To be forced to relive every event of one’s life was indeed traumatic. In spite of this I am grateful for his assistance.
In addition to the abuse charges Dr. Kramer was found guilty of the misappropriation and embezzlement of Federation funding. Shortly after this Dr. Kramer was sent to Starbase 231 to serve a twenty three year sentence for her crimes. Her co-offenders were each sentenced separately and served from eight to fourteen years for their respective roles.
Although I still lived at the facility I was happier and the quality of my life greatly increased. Dr. Emily Ballston, a Betazoid counselor was assigned to my case. She saw to it that I was allowed outside the confines of the building and tried to establish a more normal life for me. For the first time I was allowed in the same room with other children. I was allowed to participate in activities other than those directly related to research. At fist some of the children had to overcome predigests imbedded by what they had heard from the now former researchers. It wasn’t all that easy for me either. I was painfully shy but quickly discovered that if I wanted to be accepted I had to be more outgoing. With the boys and some of the girls I was able to accomplish this but around certain of the girls I was still shy, clumsier than usual and found myself stuttering. Even today I experience much the same problems. Though now I often choose to avoid the woman in social setting to avoid the embarrassment that is sure to follow if I try to converse with them.
My emotional development as you might assume was severely curtailed to this point and it actually took some time before I became accustom to life as a child rather than as a research animal. I have likened the period of my life to being treated similar to that of a zoo animal or what used to be present on old earth known as a freak show. With the change in my care taker came freedoms and experiences that opened up a new veranda of possibilities for me making each day a new and somewhat frightening experience for me.
Dr. Ballston reported I was experiencing an alarming number of night terrors. Nearly every night I would wake up convinced that Dr. Kramer or one of the other researchers was still there and going to harm me. To compensate for these she developed what many would consider a rather logical solution. She instructed me to stop, ask myself a series of questions that would give me time to calm down and realize what I had just experienced was in my mind and was not real. I still use this same technique today when I have one of these episodes.
By 2313 I no longer lived at the research facility. Dr. Ballston had filed for custody and began enquiring what might be done to correct my severe learning disabilities. I was taken back to Earth and Starfleet medical. New tests were performed that indicated there were no surgical options or medical procedures designed to solve the problem.
A Dr. Herman Scolfield took an interest in my case and devised what seemed to be a suitable solution to their problems. Using available research data, some additional information gained from ocular scans and further tests the doctor devised implantable devices that he felt held great promise in allowing me to actually read. In early 2314 the devices were implanted but the results were far less than what was expected. These were removed and the in 2315 after several attempts to modify them so they functioned better had failed. I still have occasional pain from what minor scarring that happened during these attempts though I do not hold this against Dr. Scolfield and his associates and am grateful for their valiant efforts.
I also was given my first tricorder that could read printed material for me by merely placing the item on a stack of paper or a book. It could scan each page individually giving an oral dictation of what was printed there. The device could also linked to a PaDD and accomplish much the same thing. Larger computers such as what are found on starships, starbases and Federation facilities contain vast volumes of information. If the desired material was already in its memory banks the computer could read what I wanted back to me. For writing I leaned to use the dictation features of these computers as well to turn my spoken words into readable matter. Needless to say this was and still is a much easier method for me than to attempt to read something I would probably not be able to decipher or write what would probably not be legible. Over the years I have had several versions of the tricorder with increasing features such as additional language capabilities and the ability as you are aware of speeding up the reading times. They have become much smaller and the less noticeable this thing becomes the happier I am with it.
There were drawbacks that quickly became apparent. In order to hear what the tricorder or computer was reading I had to be able to hear it. This proved to be an annoyance to many including myself. Personal matters had to be read verbally instead of processed silently and I was uncomfortable with this. Others found the constant noise irritating especially when I sped up the computer’s speech. To solve this problem Dr. Amanda Jenkins developed cochlear implants that allowed both specially programmed tricorders and other computers to send its information directly to these microscopic devices eliminating the need for an audible voice everyone could hear. I still use these though they have been replaces eight times in the past and do cause me some irritating pain similar to an ear ache from time to time. When in my office I will often instruct the computer to read the information audibly. I seem to enjoy this even though it is not necessary. As you are well aware I have always used a female voice for this and will probably continue to do so.
With the loving and stable home I now had my education began in earnest. Under Dr. Ballston’s guidance and care I discovered I actually had great potential for learning. Within months I had completed all his secondary education requirements and then began taking courses via correspondence towards a Bachelor degree in pre-med at the University of Beta. This was also under the guidance of Admiral dr. Lindsey Ricardo who advised me as to what courses should be taken in the event I could later attend Starfleet Medical School.
As I mentioned earlier Starfleet and the Federation had established rules regarding genetically enhanced humans and that they were not allowed to be physicians or serve in Starfleet. I realized this would be a problem so I consulted with Admiral Ricardo as how I could be work around this limitation. In 2322 She along with a few of her colleagues appealed on my behalf to the Federation Counsel. Armed with the recent data provided by Dr. Karin Hensley and others they argued I should be classified as a non federation race rather than as a genetically altered human. Although they lost this appeal and was not allowed to enter Starfleet Medical School they agreed that I would be able to attend another medical training facility within the federation as long as I agreed to strict limitation and would not enter the field of genetic research. These limitations included that I would be checked quarterly by a counselor to assure my continued stable mental health and by a Starfleet medical officer. In addition they wanted assurances that I would not attend Starfleet academy and become a commissioned office. They also insisted I not be without a tricorder with the modifications that allowed it to decipher printed material. This restriction they argued was to insure I would be able to read posted notices and follow such instructions. Finally they required I take an oath of celibacy stating that with the unstable nature of my medical conditions it would be unwise for me to, “copulate with a member of any species and thus create the potential to perpetuate the problem.” Please note that the ban on intimate relationships was lifted in 2346 and the requirement of the ever constant tricorder was done away with in 2348.
I wanted desperately to follow in my adoptive mother’s footsteps and become a counselor. Because of this I would agree to any stipulations. I was crushed that I could not attend the Starfleet medical school as planned but there were other options. My adoptive mother, Dr. Ballston took a position On Betazed so I could attend the medical college at the university there. He made arrangements with his professors and was able to complete the four year course less than three. I won a prestigious residency in neurology at the hospital on Starbase 287.
While living at the starbase Latinate James Quinn befriended me. He was serving as the Chief of Security at the time. Quinn began to teach me several forms of unarmed martial arts. In what little spare time I had during my residency I practiced and improved on my skills. This served to further increase my growing self-confidence improving my appearance and my agility. I still practice daily and even have a holographic version of Quinn I use to encourage and instruct.
Once my residency was completed I had finished the required courses for the medical degree. I was still rather young, only 16 and determined to complete the necessary training to begin my career by my twentieth birthday. I moved back, as did my mother to her home world, to the University of Betazed and begin work on my first degree in psychology. Again, I was able to reduce the allotted time required for the degree to three year. For what would have been my third year I chose courses in Neuropsychology. This raised some concerns at The Federation that I planned to go into some branch of research in that area. I had to assure them that I had no intention to perform any sort of experimentation on any sentient beings that involved anything other than observation. This seemed to satisfy them and no further correspondence from them was received that year. For my last year I took courses in Space Psychology, an area I understood Starfleet greatly valued in counselors within their service. The University on Betazed offered me a position immediately after I had completed my course work and internship. I served as a civilian at this point under the watchful eye of more experienced counselors.
Much to my embarrassment at eighteen I finally entered puberty. My voice changed and I grew hair in places it had not been before. This was a relief to my mother, the medical staff at the hospital and others that worried I might never mature into an adult. It is doubtful I have ever been as emotional in my life as I was during this time.
I should note here that I learned a great deal about the Betazionds while living and working among them. With a mother of that race and having spent many hours studying, working and enjoying recreation with them I have learned to greatly admire them and their culture. Many deep friendships with them have been formed and I imagine if the stipulation regarding sexual relations were not in place at that time I would have found myself either the plaything of their beautiful women or married to one. Yet I remained faithful to the Federation’s wishes as difficult as it was.
When my nineteenth birthday arrived I was there serving at the Hospital on Betazen. If it had not been for the support of my mother, colleagues and my counselor I may never have risen from the deep depression I experienced. The date was symbolic as it would have been the time I could have applied to become a Starfleet officer. I felt rejected and unwanted, as if I had done something wrong by the mere act of being born. After a period of eight month the depression lifted completely and I was able to perform my duties with this cloud hovering over me.
I stayed as a counselor on Betazen until 2334 at the hospital before I received a call from Admiral Ricardo. She advised me to apply for a position in Starfleet as an enlisted officer. At first I was a little puzzled why she would make this suggestion seeing it had already been ruled that I could not serve as an officer. The Admiral pointed out that the ruling only stated I could not be a commissioned officer, it did not state I could not enlist. I did as she suggested and shortly found myself on a starship headed to Starbase 12 in the Gamma 400 System.
To be honest I could not have asked for a better experience as my first placement. Admiral Phillip Jacobs was in charge of the facility at the time and was extremely patient with me as I learned the ins and outs of life as a Federation enlisted personnel. Life there was a bit uneasy for me because somehow I felt the stations orbital spin and constantly felt slightly out of balance. This was a minor annoyance and one I would heartily accept if I had this part of my life to do over.
One thing I added unofficially to my duties aboard the station was serving as a moral officer. From time to time I would arrange for events that brought the crew and personnel together. As you know while at the university I learned to cook. It is only a hobby but word of such ability gets around. When I first arrived I was careful not to let anyone know. This was not that difficult seeing I could use my personal holographic privileges. It was about my second year at the starbase when the idea came to me to invite the officers for a meal that I would prepare. I would try to make at least one dish from every home world represented and make the experience as enjoyable as possible. This is something as you know I have done quite regularly for those I have worked with and I know you in particular have enjoyed some of my feeble attempts at creating fine cuisine. There is so much to say about my experiences aboard Starbase 12 but I feel I must continue on for the sake of time.
This brings me to when I met you my good friend in 2342. You were a mere Ensign at the time and I with only eight years of service to the Federation under my belt. Much has happened since. Friends have died and others made yet the two of us have forged a bond that has lasted all these years. Take care my friend as you enter into you so-called retirement. I do hope you will keep in touch.
Dr. Richard Ballston
Starfleet Interstellar Communication
To: Admiral Gregory A. Griffin, USS Douglass, Constellation Class Federation Starship
From: Chief Warrant Officer Dr. Richard Allen Ballston, Federation Embassy, Capital city of Dao’chi, Nebar.
Dear Admiral Griffin
I received your well wishes regarding my pending transfer to the USS Nightingale and promotion to Chief of Mental Health only a few hours ago. Much has transpired I wrote you at your request about my life. As you already know a great deal about what has transpired since I wrote that message I will only recount for you a few of the highlights.
First you should know I am now the father of a beautiful two and a half year old. In 2390 I was informed by a mysterious handmade card that I had a daughter. Imagine my surprise at this news. I was not in a relationship and as you are well aware I am unable to have children of my own. The mother was Lieutenant Lennora Angelos who had taken a sample of my DNA some 40 years earlier and with the aid of the scientists found on the Federation compound in San Francisco, Earth. Her name is Abigale Elizabeth Ballston and it has been a blessing to have her with me. It was only after Angelos death during an attack on the Azzians that I was finally able to gain custody.
I will also mention the fact that I can now read. Thanks to the efforts of a Petty Officer Adan Datari who volunteered to serve as my assistant. With the aid of a professor at the Academy aboard the USS Elysium who happened to be blind. Mr. Datari offered to help and between the two of them they were able to train me to read Braille. This has been a great help to me. I believe Datari has also attended officers training and has earned himself a much higher rank with his hard work and intellectual prowess.
As you are well aware I have been serving the past two years as part of the diplomatic detachment for the Federation to the Azzian people. I realize I may be bios towards them but if you have not had the privilege of getting to know their culture I would strongly recommend you do.
While I was serving on the Elysium I was ordered to attend hearings to determine if any or all of the limitations placed on me as a genetically altered human could be lifted or modified. While on Earth I had a chance meeting with Lei’hallah Asrar 'Inayat Ve’hassi who is the Azzian Ambassador to the Federation. She invited me a few times to her ship and we shared some meals together. She felt there was something different about me than the other humans she had met and after checking into my history she became convinced I was actually an Azzian. I too thought this was a possibility but was not too sure. Lei’hallah tried to get more information not only about myself and about an Azzian starship that went missing at the same time I was born. When she ran into bureaucratic walls and outright lies she left, breaking communication with the Federation. I thought this would end my chances of finding out for sure if I really was Azzian but there was an amazing change of events.
The Federation who has always refused to recognize even the possibility that I may be anything other than a genetically enhanced human reversed its position, admitted it had been wrong. The consented that I had been unfairly treated and been prejudiced against because of this. They formally apologized for past actions and offered me a position as part of the Federations Diplomatic liaison to the Azzians. It turns out that Lei’hallah had insisted that I be part of any diplomatic negotiation. She also insisted that that the remains of the Azzians that had been kept and the starship I was born on be returned to Azzia.
Much as I have suspected all along the documents regarding this vessel have been altered to hide the truth. The Azzians have been a species long mistrusted and mythically held as villains. Both the Romulans and Kingons have horror stories regarding them though most if not all these stories have little if any correlation to reality.
The Azzians are indeed a species with superior technologies in many areas, mostly regarding temporal and dimensional sciences. It is my understanding that the reason such lengths were taken by the Federation to hide what they had retained from my discovery was they hoped to discover a way to utilize the highly advance technology found on the starship. I happened to be a rather unfortunate side issue that they really wished would go away. Unfortunately this opened up the opportunity for abuse and misguided diagnoses of medical conditions.
Now that the truth is out in the open it is amazing the difference in how I am treated as a person by my Starfleet colleagues. With this new species reassignment all limitations have placed on be because of it have been lifted.
I was astonished when I received word that Admiral Tako Dieson had deemed my services as part of the diplomatic team, “exceptional,” and added that I, “undoubtedly was responsible for the sustained contact in spite of previous actions taken by the Federation.”
As you may have heard the Azzians have been extremely helpful in resolving the many health concerns I have experienced due to the misinformation in regards to my species. They have eliminated most of these and the two hormones that have been so problematic are now stabilized and as long as I am able to follow the precautions they have suggested they should remain that way.
You may also know that I am in a relationship with the Ambassador. She is an amazing woman who actually knew my birth parents. She explained that the reason my mother was aboard that ship and pregnant is that it is considered the greatest honor by the Azzians to send a pregnant female, especially if they are expecting a male child, along with diplomatic delegations. It shows trust to their counterparts and if the child is born while on that mission it is considered a high honor. You will notice I did not say they brought their pregnant wife with them. The Azzians have chosen over four hundred years ago to eliminate marriage from their society. This, as I understand it, was done because of the extraordinary number of females in relation to males. Perhaps it is a result of the temporal anomaly that has enshrouded their planetary system. According to the Azzians the anomaly was caused by an early attempt at combining temporal technology drive for a starship with warp technology. The drive failed and as the ship was destroyed resulting in the engulfing anomaly that has trapped them. It has served as both a blessing and a curse providing them protection from their enemies for centuries wile at the same time isolating them from the universe they so loved to explore.
The Azzians are pleased they have found ways to get through the anomaly without severe trouble but are concerned that if they release their technology to the Federation those that would wish to ruin their “idealistic culture” would obtain it. As much as I admire these people I do not feel things are as ideal as they feel. I will have to say there are so many exceptional attributes within this society that many cultures could learn a great deal from them.
As I am about to embark on a new era in my life, I am well aware of the efforts on my behalf so many people have taken over the years. I am grateful for the faith they have had in me and staying on my side through the best and worst of times. You sir have been among those.
Service Record 2334 Assigned to Starbase 12, Petty Officer First Class, Counselor
2336 Promoted to Petty Officer Third Class
2342 Reassigned to USS Burke, Counselor
2352 Promoted to Chief Petty Officer
2366 Reassigned to USS Edensor, Assistant Chief Counselor
2389 Reassigned to USS Elisyum, Promoted to Senior Chief Petty Officer
2390 Reassigned as Counsel to the Diplomatic Delegation to the Azzians on Debar
2392 Transferred to the USS Nightingale as Chief of Mental Heath and to enter officer training
2392 Transfered to the USS Crown, Chief Medical Officer