Star Trek Expanded Universe

Into The Field is a series written by VinEsquire. The series was started on Trek Writer's Guild in 2008 and continued on As of January 2012, there have been 10 chapters and the story is still in progress.


In a slightly parallel universe, USS Voyager has a Starfleet JAG prosecutor and a platoon of MARCOs - Marine Commandos - assigned to help capture the Maquis. As the Maquis are integrated into Voyager's crew, the MARCOs must adapt to the situation.

The story mostly revolves around JAG prosecutor Vallicent W. Shin, who was initially assigned to USS Voyager as a fugitive retrieval operations oversight officer to ensure that the outlaw Maquis captured were not tortured or otherwise mishandled during interrogation. Along with Shin are a small platoon of MARCO troopers who were added to the Voyager mission to chase down the Maquis outlaws in the event they were followed to a planet and a ground engagement ensued.

All of the chapter subtitles start with the word (or prefix) "in."


Expanded.png Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Chapter 1: Invisible: This chapter introduces the main character, legal Counselor Val Shin. Captain Kathryn Janeway, commanding officer of the USS Voyager, is having some trouble finding a role for Val. Since she has integrated the maquis into her own crew, she no longer needs a JAG oversight officer.

There is much animosity between the MARCO troopers and the Maquis, more so than between the Starfleet members and the Maquis. The two groups have engaged in fisticuffs and are a major distraction. Janeway asks Val to take charge of the MARCOs. She does not want to see any more reports of scuffles throughout her ship. She wants the MARCOs to become invisible. Otherwise, she will maroon the MARCOs on the nearest inhabitable planet.

While there is some level of dislike between the MARCOs and Fleet officers, Janeway picked Val to take charge of the MARCOs because the MARCO troopers seem to get along fairly well with Val. At the very least, the sergeants do. It is revealed that the reason for this is that during flight training, Val met and befriended the former MARCO platoon leader, Brevet Major Aaron Douglas. Douglas perished when Voyager first arrived in the Delta Quadrant.

Chapter 2: Independence : This chapter sees Val Shin and the MARCOs leave Voyager for a new ship, the Vetara. This occurs after another scuffle between members of the maquis and the MARCOs, instigated by the Maquis Ensign Seska. The Vetara is a Cardassian Galor-class vessel that was modified to be an unmanned exploratory ship sent to the Gamma Quadrant to explore possible threats.

Chapter 3: In Command: More is discovered about the Vetara. A Cardassian hologram named Kejal is the ship's caretaker, and cedes command to Val. It is discovered that the Vetara fell under a joint operation between the Cardassian Obsidian Order, the Romulan Tal Shiar, and the human "Bureau 31." Val has been (perhaps mistakenly) identified by the Obsidian Order as a level 2 operative of the bureau. As such, he is placed in command of the ship.

Chapter 4: In Bed With: This long chapter involves two major arcs. The first arc is the discovery of an entity called the Krowtonan High Guard. They have allied themselves with the USS Solstice, which arrived in the Delta Quadrant in a similar way to the USS Voyager. The second arc involves the second hologram from the (originally-intended) unmanned exploration ship Vetara. Ensign Harry Kim and Crewman First Class William Telfer have both been attacked by small alien creatures which have then attached themselves to the internal organs of the two humans. The two creatures have very distinct biology and the Doctor cannot figure out a way to extricate the creatures without possibly harming the two Starfleet personnel. Janeway suggests he create an exobiology adviser. While looking through profiles, the Doctor chooses a Cardassian named Crell Moset. Lt. Torres, whose help is needed to create this hologram, refuses. Tom Paris asks her to think about Harry's life.

Meanwhile, the Vetara has caught up with Voyager. Val beams over to visit and offers Tom some friendly support. Val recognizes the Cardassian as looking similar to his biology tech, a hologram he calls "Zet." When it is discovered that Vetara's hologram is based on Crell Moset, the Doctor is excited and asks for Val's help. Zet and the Doctor appear to get along very well and make substantial progress studying the alien creature. However, at one point, a maquis ensign shrieks at the sight of Zet and an ethical conundrum transpires.

Chapter 5: Inactive: This short chapter reveals that Val Shin has recently turned 30 years old. He is also visited by a member of the Q Continuum, who identifies himself as "Quintus."

Chapter 6: Inheritance: Val and the Vetara rescue a Krowtonan princess whose ship stalled and was in danger of being attacked by various enemies. This princess is about to be crowned as the leader of her planet. Meanwhile, in the Alpha Quadrant, Val's brother gets a mysterious visitor, someone who claims to have known Val when they were younger. She insists he is still alive. After accidentally coming across some of Val's personal effects given to him after Val's disappearance, the brother starts to wonder whether Val is still alive.

Chapter 7: In the Dark: Starfleet Command has received a strange communication from the Romulan Government. They claim that almost 21 years ago, in the year 2351, a Starfleet ship stranded in the Delta Quadrant made contact with a Romulan science ship through a small wormhole. Starfleet Intelligence isn't quite sure what to make of it.

Meanwhile, in the Delta Quadrant, Val is attempting to get Djeena to negotiate a cease-fire with the rebels on her planet.

Chapter 8: (Written) In the Stars: A Kazon carrier ship attacks Evansworld, a planet with a human population.

Meanwhile, the rebels on Djeena's homeworld have kidnapped Ensign Marleyna Gilmore of the USS Solstice. Furious, Admiral Max Burke swears he will both rescue Gilmore, and kill the Krowtonan responsible.

Chapter 9: In her Heart: Val and Djeena grow slightly closer. Max Burke has been relieved of command at Yammja. Val speeds to Yammja to help, and gets into a heated conflict with the new group commander sent by the Krowtonan Emperor. Burke has set out to rescue Gilmore by himself. After absentmindedly placing himself in danger, he himself requires rescue. None of the Krowtonan will do it. MARCO leader Sergeant Driver volunteers to perform a rescue after Val recalls some Section 31 equipment which might prove useful in the rescue operation.

Chapter 10: In the Streets: Val is requested to help in yet another Krowtonan emergency. Later on, Max reveals to Val that Krowtonan scout ships have detected Borg presence in adjacent sectors. They are also getting preliminary reports of an alien species called the Hirogen wolfpack. The Krowtonan High Guard are gearing up for major battles. Val also wonders whether the Vetara can make it across the rest of the Delta Quadrant to reach Earth if there is major Borg presence in between.

Chapter 11: In Another Life: Upcoming

Main characters[]

  • Val Shin: JAG prosecutor. Becomes the captain of the Vetara.
  • Nathan Driver: platoon sergeant for the MARCOs. Val considers him the ship's weapons officer and his second in command in field batter situations.
  • Kejal: Vetara{{'}]s repair technician hologram. Val considers her the ship's chief engineer and also his second in command onboard the ship.
  • Maximus Orwell Burke: Admiral of the Krowtonan High Guard. A former second officer of the USS Solstice, he retains the Solstice as his flagship.

(this character is based on Lt. Maxwell Burke, of the USS Equinox)

Comparative ranks[]

The Starfleet Ranking system is slightly different in this world:

  • Captain -- four pips
  • Vice Captain -- three pips. This rank appeared because the rank "commander" was confusing to many alien species, especially those which had commander as an equal or even superior to a captain.
  • Third Captain -- 2 solid and one hollow. This rank is rarely used and only appears for large starships, mainly Starfleet's three flagships, to identify a third in command.
  • Lieutenant -- 2 solid pips.
  • Junior Lieutenant -- 1 solid pip, 1 hollow. This rank is reserved only for officers in professional staff positions such as JAG lawyers or doctors. They attain this rank immediately after graduating and are promoted to full lieutenant soon after.
  • Ensign -- 1 solid pip

In addition to pips on their collars, commanding officers have 2 red braid stripes at the cuffs of their sleeves while a second-in-command wear one stripe. Regardless of the officer's actual rank, some smaller ships are commanded by a vice captain, and some minor outposts even by a lieutenant. All other officers wear plain black sleeves.

The Ranks of the Krowtonan High Guard are as follows:

  • Shi -- usually a civilian minister. Rough equivalent to general or admiral.
  • Jang -- rough equivalent of a brigade general or commodore.
  • Char -- rough equivalent of a field colonel or ship captain. Commands small squadrons of ships.
  • Pow -- rough equivalent of a lieutenant. Commands the typical Krowtonan ship-of-the-line, a frigate.
  • Mah -- rough equivalent of a lieutenant, junior grade

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