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Name:  Captain Talon Elizabeth Steele
Position:  Commanding Officer
Birthworld:  New California, Venus
Age:  43 Standard Earth Years (2272)

Personal Data: 

Height:  5’9".  
Weight: 133 lbs.  
Sex: Female  
Hair: Auburn
Eyes: Green 
Race: Human

Immediate Family:  

Mother: Eva Fay Steele 
Father: Harry I. Steele
Marital Status: Single
Children: None

Physical Appearance: Captain Steele is tall and slender, with an athletic build that she maintains by strenuous workouts. Her hair, originally red, has mellowed through the years. One admirer described it as "the color of a spring sunset on Earth." Her brilliant green eyes are just as clear and piercing as they were at birth. Her hands seem delicate and slim, but they have a surprising strength. As with most natural red heads, her skin is soft and pale; a tan has no chance of lasting.

Personality: Talon Steele has never forgotten her security training on Venus. She demands that her subordinates know "the book" from cover to cover. They had also better know when to throw "the book" away. She may forgive a failure, but she will never forget one. A junior officer once described his experience with Talon following a mistake on his part as "being dissected by green eyes and pounded into hamburger meat by a soft voice." She still loves animals, especially cats and owns a black panther named "Jade."

Other Pertinent Data: Her favorite drink is Tanstaafl Triple Star Blackberry Brandy, but she seldom drinks more than one. She has maintained her qualifications as a Security Officer and has been known to challenge a ship’s Security Department in a game of "Catch Me if you can," where she takes a two-hour head start on a planet and the Security Department must capture her. She has never lost.

History: June 5, 2272 was a "good news, bad news" type of thing. What happened that day? Talon was born–that was the good news. The bad news was that her father wanted to name her Talon; her mother was, to say the least, not impressed. Much later, she was told by one of the nurses who helped deliver her in the New California Hospital on Venus that it was quite a scene between her parents. Eva was in bed holding her, crying, and cursing. Harry stood quite erect before her and, in his quiet, no-nonsense manner, simply said, "Eva, I have decided. There will be no more discussion on this subject. You may choose Talon’s middle name."

Why Talon? Well, to make a long story short. Her father, Harry Steele, DVM, ran the largest veterinarian hospital on Venus–a hospital his own father had established in 2220. To call him an animal lover was probably a world-class understatement. If it had four legs, it had a special place in his heart. If it had two legs and wings, well, nothing was more important. He established the only falconry in existence outside Earth. They were his pride and joy and he would spend hours with his two favorites: "Talon," a female, and "King," a magnificent male. Talon died suddenly the day her mother went into labor. So there you have it. No one has laughed at her name more than once. Eva chose Elizabeth as Talon’s middle name–her mother’s first name. For obvious reasons, her Father called her Talon, while her Mother called her T.E.

Harry had decided early on that Talon was to take over the animal hospital when he was no longer able to meet the demands of a full-time job. Although she shared his love of animals, she was never convinced that being a vet was her destiny. But, Talon never argued with him–it would have been futile in any case. So she trained, and trained, and trained. By 12 she could handle every administrative job in the hospital; by 14 she could have been a full partner, except that she wasn’t a DVM.

The New California Animal Hospital was only a couple of kilometers from Venus Prime, the planet’s major spaceport. Sometimes, while Talon was growing up, she would fall asleep studying, only to be awakened by the sounds of a freighter arriving or leaving the spaceport. She was fascinated by the concept of traveling through space, seeing new planets, and meeting new aliens. The day she met a Starfleet officer and listened to her stories of exploration and battle was the day Talon decided that she, too, would join Starfleet and see all the wondrous things the universe had to offer.

Well, it was obvious to Talon that her Father would, if he knew, put a quick halt to her dreams. So she looked around for a way to outsmart him. Finally, she had a plan. The Venus Security Forces, which served as the planet’s guards, accepted native Venusians for training when they reached the age of majority: 16. On her 16th birthday, she signed up. She’ll leave the scene where she told her Father and Mother to your imagination.

The next two years were the busiest--and best--years of Talon’s life. The school was strenuous, both physically and mentally, but her years at the hospital had prepared her well. She excelled in many classes, especially those which demanded dexterity; others, well, not everyone can be an Einstein. Her two best, and most favorite, classes, were hand-to-hand combat and marksmanship. Before she graduated, she was the best marksman in the Venusian Security Forces. And, she ranked among the top ten in personal combat. At graduation, the Commandant introduced Talon as "the lean, mean, fighting machine." While the Training Academy was tough, she still had time (made time, that is) to study for the entrance examinations for Starfleet Academy. She took them, passed them, and, with a glowing recommendation from the Commandant of the Venusian Security Forces Training Academy, was accepted!

Of course, Starfleet Academy put her into the Security field. That wasn’t what she wanted. Every semester, she would meet with the Academy counselors and lobby for a change to Command. It didn’t happen. After graduation, Talon was sent to the light cruiser USS JETSOR (NCC–1425) as a Security Officer. Although she was an exemplary Security Officer, and was rapidly promoted to LTJG, her heart wasn’t really in it. Every moment of her off-duty time was spent talking and studying with the Command officers on the ship. Her transfer to USS HANNIBAL (NCC–512) as the Chief of Security (she had again been promoted, this time to Lieutenant) put a dent in her study time. It wasn’t long before she had the Security Department running like a clock and was able to get back to her books.

The HANNIBAL was severely damaged in the Battle of Gamma Amar IV (2295) and had to be towed to a Starbase. After a careful inspection of the ship, the decision was made to send the proud ship to the scrap yard and to transfer her crew. Talon again applied for Command School and, to her delight, was accepted. Back she went to Starfleet Academy.

It wasn’t as easy as she thought it would be. If it hadn’t been for a fellow officer, Lieutenant Eric Kristiansen, she wouldn’t have made it. His tutoring in every subject got her through, barely. Her first ship out of Command School was another destroyer, the USS GERANIMO (NCC–535) where she served as the Operations Officer. After that, she was the First Officer on USS XIA (NCC–1435), a light cruiser; the First Officer on USS CONFEDERATION (NCC–2143B), a dreadnought; and USS YOUNG (NCC–1965), a through-deck cruiser, where she served as Commanding Officer.

USS YOUNG was moored at Starbase Ladco on January 23, 2314. The engines were shut down for overhaul and the ship was on shore power. On that fateful day, the deuterium tanker MILLS had a catastrophic computer failure. Completely out of control, the tanker struck the helpless YOUNG and broke it in two. Out of a crew of 1,092 on board the YOUNG, more than half were killed–no one on the MILLS survived. As is usual in such cases, a Board of Inquiry was convened to investigate the accident and determine whether or not a court-martial was appropriate. The proceedings were short and sweet: "Captain Talon Elizabeth Steele bears absolutely no responsibility for the loss of USS YOUNG (NCC-1965) and, in fact, is commended by this Board for her actions subsequent to the collision which contributed directly to the saving of many lives which would otherwise have been lost." Talon was sent to Starbase Unity as Operations Officer. She thought that, in spite of the decision of the Board of Inquiry, her career on starships was over. She was wrong.

A year later, Talon was offered command of USS PHOENIX (NCC–2315), an upgraded EXCELSIOR-class Heavy Cruiser. She had made it! The dream that had started when she was 16 had finally come true. It was unfortunate that neither her Father nor her Mother had lived to share her joy.