Alternate Voyager: Engineering

Before we get to the actual stories in our Alternate Voyager, we need to introduce the crew. One of the things we like about the original Voyager was that they kept a pretty consistent group of extras throughout the show, so it felt like there was a finite, real crew. In our Alternate Voyager we’re going to push that even further and do something the shows were never able to do, which is expand the “Lower Deck” crewmen into having a more substantial supporting role. First we tackle our version of the Engineering crew, which is much different than their original counterparts. The central idea for our Engineering is that they are comprised mostly of Maquis, which was part of the agreement when Janeway and Chakotay were dividing up roles on the ship. The Engineering team is a tight knit, rowdy, and familial group.

B’Elanna Torres
B’Elanna will head up this team by being more like a Klingon in some ways, although she still doesn’t care about the Klingon Empire. Instead of her Klingon instincts manifesting exclusively as a bad temper, our Torres will also have a tendency to drink and cause trouble. She’ll also have fierce loyalty to her friends and her cause, and a streak of dark humor. This attitude is part of what made her crew into the tight group that they are. They see themselves as a separate unit from the rest of the ship. They spend all their free time together, and B’Elanna is the ring leader. Alternate B’Elana will still be very good at engineering, except that the things which have held her back will be more pronounced. She just doesn’t take things seriously, at least at first. Another key difference is that B’Elanna gets command of engineering in a compromise made by Janeway, rather than B’Elanna proving herself to the captain. It’s also worth noting, on a procedural level, that B’Elanna almost never goes to the Bridge. She attends staff meetings (when she feels like it) and hangs out with her crew, but other than that she sticks to Deck 11.

Lt. Joseph Carey
In Alternate Voyager, Carry will be one of the main characters in Engineering. Part of our story arc regarding the maquis and Federation crew mirrors the conflict in the original Voyager, with Carry being Janeway’s choice for Chief of Engineering. In our version, Carry initially doesn’t think B’Elanna is a wise choice, but he mostly keeps that to himself, and comes to appreciate the team he’s a part of. When the engineering crew mocks him, he doesn’t do anything to resist, or fight back, or prove himself to them. He keeps his head down, does good work to benefit the team, but doesn’t make a show of it. B’Elanna thinks he’s weak- a mindless starfleet suit motivated by legalism and blind duty. She’ll come to realize everything is the opposite: he’s resilient, smart, and motivated by a common good. Once B’Elanna approves and defends him, everyone else in engineering follows.

Seska’s personality will be the same for the most part. She’s charming, but there’s an undercurrent of self interest that will become more apparent as the first season unfolds. We’ll emphasize her friendship with B’Elanna more, in fact she’ll be B’Elanna’s closest friend and #2 person in Engineering. Also, her romantic relationship with Chakotay will be depicted more consistently, and have a more significant impact on his character from the beginning of the alternate series.

Ensign Vorik
Vorik will still be a straightforward Vulcan, but one of the main purposes of his character is to play off the rest of the engineering team and to illustrate the group mentality. He’s one of the first starfleet officers to be accepted by the Maquis. The Engineering crew might be a little wild, but they aren’t bad people. They have a problem with authority, which coincides with disliking Starfleet most of the time, but Vorik is young and eager to please B’Elanna, and after their first experiences in Engineering together she takes him under her wing. He’s also a foil of sorts for their attitude toward Tuvok, who they hate. When Vorik gives his perspective the engineering team responds with a range of good natured attitudes, whereas they despise Tuvok for his Vulcan philosophy.

Chell is being moved to engineering. He’s also a lot dumber in our version. Just to generally contribute to the nature of this engineering team Chell will be a lovable but decidedly unskilled engineer. The other members of the team laugh at him, but they also protect him.

Eske Retal
Eske is a new character, relatively minor in the first season. He’s a Rigelian, because Rigelians seem cool and haven’t been in Trek much, even if they’re mentioned a lot. It’s our fan fiction and we do what we want! He’s a bigger guy, and likes to get into brawls, which are usually started by B’Elanna. Unlike some of the other Maquis, Eske served in Starfleet for a number of years previous to joining the Maquis. He was a good officer, but used his time in the Maquis to cut loose.