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CURT DANHAUSER'S GUIDE TO
Lieutenant Mark McHenry.
Ship's Navigator and Conn Officer aboard the Starship Excalibur under the command of Captain Calhoun.
Mark McHenry was born in the midwestern area of North America in 2340. He
had several brothers and sisters. Mark was a normal happy child until about age seven when he began to act
abnormally. He would space out as if his mind was literally somewhere else. His parents took
him to several specialists and they all agreed that there was nothing to be alarmed about. Mark's brain, it
was learned, was simply wired differently that other children's. In primary school he was often teased because
of his tendency to zone out or spend long minutes watching a fly walk on the ceiling. But the children
didn't laugh when he effortlessly outscored them all in mathematical courses. Mark decided that he belonged
in space and he entered Starfleet Academy in 2357, the same year as Zak Kebron, Soleta, Worf and Tania Tobias.
The five cadets became friends and the group was often called the "dream team" because their various talents
and temperaments complemented one another so well, and because they were quite effective at the
various missions they were sent on together. McHenry had an incredible natural talent for astronavigation,
but his performance was adequate at best in several other subjects. He had no head for deep philosophical
discussions because he had trouble concentrating on them. McHenry was not physically impressive and his
performance in the Academy's self-defense classes was nothing short of disastrous. He completed all courses,
but excelled only in classes such as navigation, astronomy, mathematics, piloting and tactical maneuvering.
Mark graduated from the Academy in 2361 and for the next eight years he was
assigned to duty aboard various starships. Although he was naturally talented in astronavigation
and piloting, Mark only spent one tour as conn officer. His duty on starships included one tour
in engineering, a tour as junior science officer and also operations officer. In 2369 he was
rotated planetside and spent four years teaching advanced astronavigation at the Academy. While
on Earth he also found time to do some research in advanced holographic stellar cartography
display systems. Truth be told, Starfleet Science used him as a guinea pig to create the next
generation navigation displays. He was often told that he must be part Medusan since he "felt" his ship
through space as much as navigated it by controls. In 2373, Mark received word from Starfleet Command
that he was to report to the U.S.S. Excalibur as the ship's new Navigation/Conn Officer. He was overjoyed
to learn that he would be joining fellow dream team members Soleta and Zak Kebron aboard the vessel.
Mark McHenry is an ebullient, optimistic, unpredictable, and often inscrutable fellow.
He truly seems to exist on a plane apart from the rest of the crew, but he can galvanize into action at a moment's
notice when needed. Mark is extremely intelligent, more so than anyone around him would believe, but he has no ego
to speak of. As a navigator, he simply has no equal in Starfleet. Commander Data would be a close second, though.
He is also among the best pilots in Starfleet, with an instinct that is impossible to match. In battle situations
McHenry can take evasive maneuvers that often belie the size and capabilities of the massive ships being flown. He is
especially good at navigating through abnormal space such as near singularities or within dense nebulae. As a person,
McHenry is very loyal and he forms easy friendships, but not even his best friends really knows what makes him tick.
His Academy classmates and friends, Zak Kebron and Soleta, know him fairly well and can predict his behavior
fifty percent of the time. Kebron and Soleta are protective of McHenry as if he were their little brother,
although they are all of the same age. McHenry often speaks his mind in an almost too naive way, but in his years in
Starfleet, his childlike honesty has won over many a hardened personality. His close friends sometimes call him
"Mac." He spends much of his off time reading and is a history buff.
As stated before, Lieutenant McHenry is currently the Navigation Officer and Conn Officer
aboard the U.S.S. Excalibur. As Navigator, his duties are to plot courses taking into account such
phenomenon as the effects of quasars, nebulae, tachyon eddies and the gravitational effects of planets.
He also must constantly review Starfleet databanks for any hazards to navigation that might exist in the space ahead
of the ship. As Conn Officer he pilots the ship through its maneuvers. The Conn Officer is also the ship's chief pilot
of shuttles and he conducts the training and certification of all shuttle pilots aboard ship. As needed, he will
coordinate with the Operations Officer, Lieutenant Robin Lefler, in regards to hangar deck operations. In
battle, the Conn Officer carries out all evasive and tactical maneuvering of the ship. The Conn is also often
given weapons-release authority to better coordinate intricate maneuvers with the firing of offensive systems.
On ships capable of landing, he is in charge of Condition Blue and he performs the landing and subsequent lift-off
of the ship from planet surfaces. Because of the importance of the position and the high level of piloting
experience required, the Navigation/Conn Officer is usually occupied by an officer with the minimum rank of Lieutenant.
Years ago the job of starship Navigator and Helmsman (Conn) were held by two different individuals, but by the
2360's Federation starships had become sufficiently automated to allow one highly trained officer to carry out both duties.
- The characters of Zak Kebron, Soleta and Mark McHenry first appreared in three STAR TREK: The Next Generation Starfleet
Academy books written by Peter David and published in 1993 by Minstrel Books, an imprint of Pocket Books.
Other Members of the Excalibur Command Staff:
STAR TREK is a Registered Trademark of
Paramount Pictures Corporation.
All Rights Reserved. The STAR TREK: New Frontier books are published by Pocket Books,
a division of Simon & Shuster Inc., under exclusive license from Paramount Pictures.
New Frontier concept by John J. Ordover and Peter David.