Recurrent Themes – Commanders
For every captain, ever since Kirk and Spock, Star Trek has always had a second. Or if you prefer looking at the timeline historically, then the position dates back at least to Archer and T’Pol. And it continues to Picard and Riker, and Janeway and Tuvok.
While this character exists in canon, I never really felt I could write her well until the E2 series of stories. T’Pol has competence and intelligence but, like a lot of Vulcan characters, can sometimes present a feeling of superiority.
During the first E2 kick back in time, and then in the In Between Days time period, after Fortune, Malcolm gets the promotion. In E2, he gets it because Jonathan Archer promotes a number of people. In the post-Fortune time frame, he gets it due to Tripp Tucker’s untimely demise.
And then in the Mirror Universe, Travis gets the nod for two reasons: one, because he and the Empress Hoshi Sato are sleeping together (although she makes an effort to sleep with every man on the ship) and two, because he makes a dandy human shield for her. Hoshi gets a measure of safety because people like Doug and Tripp realize Travis would be worse.
During the first E2 kick back in time, Karin gets increasing levels of responsibility, eventually rising to a very high level.
For this canon character, he gets to shine in the Barnstorming series. I feel Martin Madden has a lot of potential as a character.
While Mack MacKenzie technically has three people under her who could be second in command (the doctor refuses as she thinks it wouldn’t work), Daniya ends up being more of a second in command than Wesley Crusher or Crita (who would be too timid to really command, anyway).
Seconds in command make vital decisions and keep ships running. Without them, the captain would do too much. Furthermore, seconds in command often do the more dangerous work of command – as well as a lot of the more mundane.
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