First up is our resident Vulcan, senior officer, and chief of engineering, Taurik.
Who Is He?
Taurik is a canon character who premiered in TNG’s “Lower Decks” in season seven of the show. He was instantly a character I took to and wanted to use in some form or fashion in a story. It took a few years, but I finally managed to get him into one.
In my story, Taurik has been working in starship repair/engineering from space stations after the destruction of the 1701-D in 2371. Background information from Memory Alpha said that Vorik (of VOY fame) was Taurik’s twin brother (which makes sense because they’re both played by the same actor). So, in my story, after Vorik was lost aboard Voyager that same year, Taurik promised his mother (who isn’t well by Vulcan standards) to stay off starships, which he did for the better part of 14 years till 2385.
Taurik is written like a lot of Vulcans in that he is cool, calm, collected and possesses a bit of a dry wit. Where Taurik differs and where he has really endeared himself to me is in his inner turmoil: Taurik is not so calm on the inside as he is on the outside, which is refreshing to see a Vulcan admit that (even if he doesn’t directly do it). Further, Taurik is an absolute idea generator — if there’s a problem, he comes up with a way to get past it. He’s been instrumental in coming through so far in the story.
Speaking of …
What He’s Done So Far
1. Taurik accepted the post of chief engineer aboard the Challenger and managed to get the ship running smoothly out of dock (despite it being rushed out).
2. He was able to successfully adapt a methodology used by the Enterprise and Voyager to enter transwarp conduits and not die.
3. He succeeded in restoring impulse drive during a battle with a Dominion cruiser by crawling into a Jeffries tube and doing the job himself, suffering severe injuries and risking his life.
4. He succeeded (temporarily) in restoring visual communications throughout the ship, while being greatly injured and working with a decimated engineering staff.
5. He struck up an unlikely friendship with Doctor Felicia Sarzan.
6. He helped keep sickbay going when emergency power failed, playing a role in keeping three patients alive.
7. He helped engineer the biological weapon (despite objections) that would need to be dispersed through the ship in order to save all their lives.
If He Lives …
Taurik will have a massive challenge ahead of him. His engineering staff has been decimated, as well as at least half the Challenger crew, and he’ll have to effect short-term and long-term repairs in order to give the ship a fighting chance in enemy territory. Doing this while understaffed will be incredibly difficult.
Further, Taurik will continue to explore the unlikely friendship he’s struck up with Felicia, and the dynamics between them could get interesting …
From a story standpoint, Taurik living makes my life easier as an author. He’s a go-to idea guy who comes up with some really good sounding stuff (that actually doesn’t seem as looney as some of Trek’s technobabble). He has a lot of potential in terms of revealing his backstory (which is heartwrenching) but it’s gonna take a while to get to that point. Vulcan’s aren’t exactly forthcoming when it comes to their personal history/feelings.
Taurik living would also introduce a new dynamic into the Felicia/Trisha/Rajik relationship (which Rajik sadly doesn’t get a lot of play with here, but he’s the XO and his mind is on work first) as he’s someone Felicia and Trisha like. Rajik respects him but I feel like the two are closer together than either would like to admit, at least in personalities, and that would lead to some conflict.
If He Dies …
Captain Max Phillips will have to find a replacement chief engineer on the fly, which will be very difficult considering most of the engineering staff is injured or dead. Taurik’s death would be a huge blow to deal with during a crisis situation and would have negative long-term implications for the ship/crew itself.
As far as the actual story stuff goes, Taurik’s key to an idea I have about how to make the ship survive longer but if he dies that becomes more difficult to pull off. He can still be a part of it (thanks to meticulous file keeping, he documents all his ideas) but without him physically there it’ll be harder to do.
Trisha Reynolds (our next possible victim) would likely slot in as the next chief engineer, which presents its own problems for her, the crew, and her friendship with Felicia/Rajik.