|Assignment(s):||Chief Engineer Deep Space 3|
|Stationed:||Deep Space 3|
Jennifer Forrestal was your typical Starfleet Engineering Officer with a good understanding of technical, as well as administrative aspects of the job. However, as prepared as she was, she could not have anticipated what was awaiting her when she reported for duty at Deep Space Station Three.
Ensign Forrestal was an energetic up and comer out of the Academy, getting noticed by the right people for the right things. She was on the fast track for a senior staff job when a team of new engineers reported to Her posting aboard the Haskell Solar Array. Among them, a Starfleet Intelligence operative named Yamanu Lancer, on an undercover assignment. Sadly, Lancer's preparations for his investigation did not include any training in engineering, a gross error in planning. His lack of engineering training was all too apparent. Initially, Forrestal tried to help the struggling engineering tech, but her efforts were rebuffed, in earnest. It got to the point of where Forrestal was forced to report Lancer's errors to higher authority. Before that happened, Jennifer was unceremoniously relieved of duty and shipped off to Deep Space Three
At normal Starfleet starbases and space stations, full Lieutenants could expect to be assigned as watch supervisors, even a department head within engineering. So it was a complete shock when in 2361, Deep Space Three Station Commander Captain Montaine Buchanan dropped the responsibility for the entire station in Lieutenant Forrestal's lap after relieving Chief Engineer Commander Sudet. The station itself was already in a deteriorated state, with more than one system needing attention. As per procedure, LT Forrestal began the exhaustive task of undertaking a full engineering assessment of the station and requisitioned parts as necessary to bring the station back up to Starfleet specifications. Captain Buchanan took Forrestal's requisitions under advisement. The requisition requests were deemed as superfluous and unnecessary, even though, the need was well documented.
Refusing to allow the station's condition to deteriorate any further, Forrestal, with the help of Master Chief Petty Officer Burt "Hard" Knox, bargained, haggled, and bartered, whatever it took to get the parts and supplies she needed to keep the station running. Her efforts even led her to the black markets of the sector to get what she needed. Still, despite her best efforts, she came up short.
Compounding Forrestal's troubles was the fact that Deep Space Three had never been truly completed. At some point during its construction, Starfleet closed off the unfinished sections and "called it good." Forrestal and her teams scavenged parts from unoccupied sections of the station to keep the occupied portions functioning.
One concession Buchanan made was to allow Forrestal and Knox to accept decommissioned Starfleet vessels for salvage. This proved to be a good source for spare parts for the station, as well as a veritable gold mine of replacement parts for Chimera. Forrestal and Knox frequently battled over the "scraps." Ships accepted for dismantling included the USS Sutter's Mill, the USS Cassiopeia and the USS Leone.
Sadly, as hard as Forrestal fought to keep the station together, even she couldn't stop the downward spiral of the station's condition. Four years after her arrival at the station, Captain Buchanan was critically injured in a turbolift accident. The initial investigation revealed that a majority of the turbolift shafts had likely suffered galvanic corrosion due to leaks from the antigrav coolant. The corrosion had made the turbolift's duranium shells brittle, compromising not only the turbolifts themselves, but the shafts in which they operated. When Forrestal briefed the acting station commander, Lieutenant Commander Gregory Torkelson, she accepted full responsibility for what happened, saying, "I thought I was doing what was best for the station...patting myself on my back for my ingenuity - even dared to compare myself to Chief Knox...I know the Captain would rather have him on the station than me, if Knox would give up his obsession with the Chimera..." Torkelson dismissed Forrestal's "confession," telling her it wasn't her fault; she had done the best she could with what she had. However, Torkelson also indicated that it was time to deal with the problem, directly, not just from the periphery. Torkelson ordered that the engineering assessment be completed and arranged for additional help from the crew of the USS Remington which was docked at the station. Torkelson set Commander Gant, the Chief Engineer of the Remington on the task of completing the assessment, despite Forrestal's protests. Torkelson also arranged for outside help from the 214th Construction Battalion, which was based out of Starbase 512.
The reality of outside help hit Forrestal when Gant excluded her from assisting with the engineering assessment. "No, Lieutenant. It is now MY review," he said. "My understanding is that my team and I have been conscripted to do this review and report for you...because you obviously didn't feel it was valuable or deserving of your time." The situation worsened when Forrestal met Commander Olivia Twist, the CO of the 214th. When Forrestal expressed enthusiasm about the 214's arrival, Twist not only dismissed Forrestal's involvement, but told Forrestal that the best thing she could do would be to "Stay out of our way."
Following the arrival of the 214th to DS3, Twist's initial frosty attitude toward Forrestal warmed slightly when she saw the herculean effort she had made to keep the station running. Even Gant had to concede: "Credit is due where credit is due, Lieutenant," he said. "It is hardly up to Starfleet's operational codes...I'm not even sure it can be compared to Starfleet's operational codes. But I do acknowledge that it does function."
Jennifer Forrestal was one of the three names submitted to Starfleet by Commander Torkelson for promotion. Forrestal's recommendation was also endorsed by Commander Twist. Despite her initial misgivings, Twist recognized Forrestal's hard work and dedication to DS3's upkeep, in the face of Captain Buchanan's miserly policies.
Initially demanding Forrestal's name be withdrawn after [wrongly] believing the damage to the station was a result of her dereliction of duty, Buchanan finally conceded Jennifer's value and endorsed Torkelson's recommendation.
Following the discovery of two deaths, the Ferengi, Goshen, along with the Quartermaster from the Trosper, Forrestal concluded the damage to the turbolift and shaft was actually due to a previously unknown arthropod duranium based lifeform that had arrived aboard the station earlier aboard the decommissioned USS Leone, and was feeding on the exotic metals on the station. It eased Forrestal's overwhelming sense of guilt and helped her focus on the crisis at hand. With the help of Chimera Chief Engineer Burt Knox, along with Engineering Technician Jack Graves, Forrestal formulated a plan to eradicate the bug infestation. The plan worked, but station power, shut down to lure the bugs to the plaza, was damaged and was proving difficult to restart. With no power, DS3 had less than 10 hours of life support remaining. Thanks to an around-the-clock repair effort by the 214th, Chimera, and Station Engineers, full power was restored to the station with 15 minutes to spare.
With her subordinates
Master Chief Burt Knox
Personal animosities aside, Forrestal held a grudging respect for Master Chief Petty Officer Burt Knox's engineering skills. The two of them engaged in a full-on battle for the meager remnants of supplies Captain Buchanan permitted. More often than not, Master Chief Knox was Forrestal's point of contact for obtaining replacement parts via "alternate sources" when Captain Buchanan took Forrestal's supply requisitions "under advisement." Knox came up with improvised weapons to deal with the bug infestation.
Since his arrival on the station in 2362, Forrestal's right-hand-man was Engineer Jack Graves. With the arrival of the 214th Construction Battalion, Forrestal came to realize how much Graves resented being assigned to DS3 and having to endure the abusive austerity of Captain Montaine Buchanan and his policies. Graves challenged Forrestal by saying, "If you had a choice of staying here or leaving with the 214, even if it meant being hit with a agony device every day from now on, wouldn't you take it?" Despite Graves' anger toward the situation, he didn't hold any of it against Forrestal. (Star Trek Outpost - Episode 33 - The Tell-Tale Ferengi) Jennifer was among those at Graves' bedside when his life support was shut off at the order of Captain Buchanan. (Star Trek Outpost - Episode 75 - Eight Bells)
Engineering Specialist Neela Gliss was among the newest to be assigned to DS3, having previously served aboard the Excelsior class USS Joseph Kittinger. She wanted the opportunity to perform "real engineering" as compared the Kittinger, the "modern marvel" of technology it was. Her enthusiasm and upbeat nature stood in stark contrast to the general malaise permeating DS3. Forrestal had taken a personal interest in the young engineer, going so far as to consider her "Chief Engineer material." Gliss confessed an enthusiasm for the idea though she realized she had a lot yet to learn.
With her peers
Lieutenant Karen Denali
From the moment of her arrival on the station, Karen Denali engendered an atmosphere of animosity with regard to the station and the personnel of DS3. One of the earliest recipients of Denali's angry outbursts was Lieutenant Forrestal. Without realizing she was speaking to the Chief of Engineering aboard the station, Denali spoke frankly (some would say brutally so) about the austere conditions onboard the station. Denali's comments were so frank that Forrestal had to broach the subject with Lieutenant Commander Greg Torkelson. (Star Trek: Outpost - Shades of the Past) It was not until the incident with the Sovereignty, when the two women were forced to work together, that they developed a measure of respect for each other. (Star Trek: Outpost - Death Sentence)
Lieutenant Nathaniel Farmer
DS3's Security chief Lieutenant Nathaniel Farmer, was Lieutenant Forrestal's harshest critic, often citing the lack of sensors and communication units in the non-occupied areas as a threat to station and personnel security. Using Captain Buchanan's disappearance during his convalescence as an example, Farmer complained, "You're the Chief of Engineering. If something isn't working, it is your fault. If we had scanners in these areas, our work would be done by now."
Agent Yamanu Lancer
The individual responsible for Forrestal's reassignment to DS3 met her while she was still assigned to the Haskell Solar array. Lancer was part of a contingent of 25 engineering techs reporting for duty on the array. In actuality, Lancer was a Starfleet Intelligence undercover operative conducting an investigation of the senior staff. Unfortunately, Lancer's preparations for his assignment did not include any engineering training. This became readily apparent when his lack of familiarity with his cover assignment drew the attention of Forrestal. Rebuffing her attempts to help, when it became apparent that Jennifer was going to report his poor performance and compromise his mission, Lancer had her relieved of duty and reassigned. It wasn't until four years later that he found out where. His attempts to apologize and make peace with her have met with no success at all.
Unlike the reaction shared by the majority of the senior staff, along with CDR Twist and LCDR Gant, Forrestal was more receptive to Skelerune's offer to do the majority of 'heavy lifting' with regards to repairs to the station. She believed, that though he was an enigma, his efforts, along with his willingness to help could shorten the repair and refit time by months, allowing the engineering teams to focus on the fine tuning. It wasn't until Skelerune turned his powers on the senior staff that Forrestal realized how big a threat he really was.
With her superiors
Commander Olivia Twist
From the moment they met over subspace communications, Commander Olivia Twist had been the source of consternation, frustration and agitation for Lieutenant Forrestal. When Forrestal told the Commander, "I look forward to working with you on the station." Twist's reaction was as simple as it was brusque: "What the 214 does as a construction battalion is very different than what a station's Chief of Engineering does under normal circumstances, Lieutenant. Given the scope and magnitude of our task at Deep Space Three, staying out of our way may be the best help you can give us." Despite Lieutenant Commander Torkelson's support and persistence, Twist was incredulous at the idea of a station the size of DS3 had as its Chief Engineer a "mere Lieutenant." Normally, a station the size of DS3 had a full Commander or even a Captain as Chief Engineer. Twist even gave consideration to the idea of taking over as Chief Engineer, herself. After her arrival at the station, Twist developed a grudging measure of respect for Forrestal's efforts in maintaining the station. As a measure of her new appreciation, she endorsed Commander Torkelson's recommendation for Forrestal's promotion. Despite this, Twist remained of the conviction that Forrestal's rank "Is still an issue". (Star Trek: Outpost - Episode 33 - The Tell-Tale Ferengi)
Captain Montaine Buchanan
The station commander of Deep Space Three was the bane of Lieutenant Forrestal's existence -- from the beginning in 2361 (when the responsibility of Chief of Engineering of the station was unexpectedly dumped on Forrestal) to the turbolift accident in 2364 (when Captain Montaine Buchanan (wrongly) placed the blame for the accident on Forrestal's shoulders, citing her negligence and dereliction of duty). Forrestal constantly battled with Buchanan's miserly obsession with his demands for absolute control over all submitted requisitions going out to Starfleet Command. Often, her requests for supplies had been taken "under advisement" by Buchanan, meaning that he would sit on the request until Forrestal's needs became so great that she would be forced to find "alternative" ways of providing for them -- such as bartering on the black market. Given that, Master Chief Petty Officer Burt "Hard" Knox was Forrestal's point of contact for getting supplies using non-Starfleet sources. Buchanan was generous in blaming Forrestal for equipment failures, despite her heroic efforts. When Buchanan was told that Lieutenant Commander Gregory Torkelson had recommended Forrestal for promotion, the Captain demanded that the recommendation be withdrawn. Torkelson refused, stating, "She is very much deserving. She's done a remarkable job given the circumstances... better than anyone could be expected to do given the conditions in which she has had to do them." Following the resolution of the bug crisis, Captain Buchanan reviewed all of Torkelson's recommendations. He relented, adding his own endorsement to Torkelson's, as well as Commander Twist's.
Lieutenant Commander Gregory Torkelson
Jennifer Forrestal first met Lieutenant Commander Gregory Torkelson as he disembarked from the USS Gorgon, reporting aboard DS3. She curtly demanded to know why he had released control of the USS Leone to Master Chief Petty Officer Burt "Hard" Knox. When Torkelson sputtered that Knox had told him that he was acting under her authority, Forrestal shot back, "Master Chief Petty Officer Burt 'Hard' Knox works for only one person, Master Chief Petty Officer Burt 'Hard' Knox!" First impressions aside, Commander Torkelson quickly became one of Forrestal's supporters, defending her to Captain Buchanan, Commander Twist, and Lieutenant Commander Gant, as well as any other would be detractors. Forrestal was with Commander Torkelson when he presented his recommendations for improving and upgrading the station facilities to Captain Buchanan. Buchanan scoffed at the idea, threatening to shut down and recycle the holodeck and the recreational module in his continuing quest for short-term gains, in lieu of long-term viability of the station. Forrestal lamented, "I knew this was a bad idea." Forrestal's respect for Torkelson grew, to the point where she even supported his own attempts at austerity. As recognition for her hard work, Torkelson recommended her for promotion, despite demands from Captain Buchanan that he withdraw the recommendation. Torkelson understood that the accident was not Forrestal's fault; she had done everything to keep the station running under the most difficult of conditions.
2361 - Assigned position of Chief Engineer by Captain Buchanan, replacing CDR Sudet
2364 - Captain Buchanan injured in a severe turbolift accident. The initial investigation suggested structural failure was a result of extensive galvanic corrosion via leaking antigrav coolant. Acting-Station Commander Lieutenant Commander Gregory Torkelson requested assistance from the 214th Construction Battalion which was based out of Starbase 512. Later discoveries determined the a previously unknown duranium based anthropoid species had recently arrived on DS3 and were feeding on the exotic metals onboard.
- - Joined with DS3 Chief medical officer Commander Arban Breetal, First officer Lieutenant commander Gregory Torkelson, and Security chief Lieutenant Nathaniel Farmer to stage an intervention, demanding an explanation to Station Commanding officer Captain Montaine Buchanan's recent change in behavior and command style.
- "I'm not as lucky as you are, Lieutenant Farmer. I deal with equipment, not people. Captain Buchanan may interpret regulations regarding technical issues in a way no other command officer does, but that doesn't mean his interpretation is wrong - just unpopular. And I have to deal with it. On the other hand, Starfleet regulations are very specific regarding how many hours and how much work you can assign a crew. You may automatically get assigned so many security officers per human asset posted to this station, but I have to argue to Captain Buchanan that I need more power conduits to service the 20 additional petty officers being sent our way."
- — Star Trek: Outpost - The Gathering Storm
- "Well, welcome to Deep Space Three. You've now got to start thinking outside the box, Gliss. It's not a matter of what the damage requires, but what Captain Buchanan will allow. He'll have all of us hustling up and down Jeffries tubes before he authorizes anything from outside the station to make these repairs"
- — Star Trek Outpost - Shades of the Future
- "I thought I was doing what was best for the station ... patting myself on the back for my ingenuity - even dared to compare myself to Chief Knox .... I know the Captain would rather have him on the station than me, if Knox would give up his obsession with the Chimera...."
- — Star Trek Outpost - The Needs of The Many
- "For those people who thrive on challenges, there is more opportunity out here than you could ever find elsewhere. I was a Lieutenant when I was given responsibility for the station. I admit I wasn't prepared for the job when I got it, but I grew into it, and I think I'm meeting the challenge . . . and I AM proud of THAT."
- — Star Trek Outpost
- "I may not have become the engineer I thought I would be when I graduated the academy, but I have grown in ways I never expected. And there is value in that."
- — Star Trek Outpost
- Jennifer Forrestal is played by Cathy Rinella in all her appearances in Star Trek: Outpost.