From Star Trek: Theurgy Wiki
Lieutenant Commander Jennifer Dewitt was the Commanding Officer of the Black Opal before she defected to the USS Theurgy. Dewitt aided in the opposition against the parasites that compromised Starfleet Command in the end of the 24th century.
In Dutch, the meaning of the noble name Dewitt was "white". The surname fit the redhead that was born in 2347, and Jennifer Louise Dewitt was raised by her Dutch parents in Dordecht before she later attended school in Oxford University at the age of sixteen, moving to the United Kingdom in her youth. Oxford University welcomed applications from students regardless of their age, as long as they could demonstrate a mature approach to the study of their chosen fields, including skills of critical analysis, wide contextual knowledge and the ability to manage their own time effectively.
During her time at Oxford, however, she didn't feel that the fields offered were to her liking, so she dropped out after two years in order to attend Starfleet Academy in the year of 2365. She graduated in 2368, the same year as Leon Marquez, though they had no extended affiliation or common friends, Marquez being in CONN and Dewitt in Tactical. She acquitted herself well enough to be picked for the newly commissioned Akira-class starship, fresh out of the fleet yards, serving as an Ensign on the USS Britannic. Two years later, in 2370, Petty Officer Salem Martin transferred to the Britannic and served in Tactical with Jennifer Dewitt, until she was promoted to Junior Lieutenant and transferred to the USS Cortes, just a year before the Britannic was lost beyond the Cardassian border.
During the Dominion War the Cortes served as a troop transport under the command of Captain Quentin Swofford. For this purpose, its secondary hull modified to hold a small battalion of troops. The war hardened Dewitt, rising in recognition as a capable officer, and luckily for her, she did not remain on the Cortes in 2374, when it went missing, presumed destroyed by the Jem'Hadar. Dewitt had been promoted to Lieutenant and to serve on the USS Rapier by then, a Sabre-class ship. There, she briefly served as Chief Tactical Officer with Aisha S'Iti at the helm, after the Cardassian ex-Maquis came aboard in 2375.
Recognising how ill all former Maquis were treated, Dewitt took it upon herself to correct this injustice, which ended up with her causing too much controversy. They were given specific orders concerning the Maquis crewmembers, which she chose to oppose. This caused her to be transferred to the Black Opal, a secret weapon facility in the middle of nowhere, close to the RNZ.
Story Excerpt: Concerning Transfer to the Black Opal
"I questioned the orders of the wrong morons," she said, clearing her throat, "who were as high in the food-chain as they were lacking in their regard for female, headstrong officers. They told their moronic friends, and wanted me out of their hair, so that they could continue being morons and abuse their command. I prefer, however, to mention no names, but sufficed to say, they did not get any Christmas cards from the Black Opal."
Her shortcoming was that she had not been vocal enough, and dragged the officers in the dirt before it was too late, and they had made their move to get her out of the way. Jennifer sipped her drink, clenched her jaw against the cloying taste but continued.
"I reported them, instead, in all ways I could from my remote location, but I had nothing in term of evidence, and I was clearly a bother, who's messages were circulated like hot coals that no one wanted to deal with. In retrospect, not the best way to get me off the Opal, but I clung to hope that someone would pull my name for a new assignment. The years passed, and now... I'm suddenly here."
- End of Story Excerpt
Between 2376 and 2381, Lieutenant Commander Jennifer Dewitt was the Commanding Officer of Black Opal depot station at the point of the supply raid executed by the officers and crew of the USS Theurgy in early 2381.
Story Excerpt: Arrival of the USS Theurgy, The Black Opal
The rarest type of opal, black opal was once the most valuable of its mineraloid kind. The brilliant play of fiery colour in these dark gems - along with their scarcity - caused them to be a highly valued find for traders, even in the 24th century. The namesake for the facility that Jennifer Dewitt commanded had been a rhetorical means for her to accept the commissioning - lubricating the position of 'command' that was shoved down her throat. Just like every other morning, the bitter after-taste still lingered, no matter how much syntheol she tried to rinse her mouth with.
In the middle of nowhere, just outside the Romulan Neutral Zone, it lay hidden - one of a several outer-rim weapons storage bases. Built into the side of a large asteroid, the construction was basic and largely utilitarian. The seemingly distant and isolated location for this base was purposeful, as its hidden status required secrecy to all but Starfleet personnel who had the clearance or reason to know of it. Indeed, Jennifer had been told - whenever she raised her issues - that the supply base had a very important purpose. It was supposed to supply starships with the necessary munitions in the event the Romulans broke the guidelines established in 2160 and war once again ensued. Because of its hidden nature, the close proximity to the RNZ could have been advantageous for keeping a close watch on the boarder. In event of any imminent breach, the Federation could have been notified immediately and not be caught unawares. Alas, that was not a priority since Starbase 84 was only a few sectors away, and lay even closer to the border. It had systems in place that made the Black Opal facility insignificant beyond its primary purpose.
The purpose of wasting your best years in waiting... Jennifer thought and downed her glass, staring into those dead, green eyes in the mirror. Jennifer had been made to believe that the clandestine existence of the facility, being responsible for resupply of photon torpedoes and other high powered weaponry would be exciting. But in reality, she felt like she was bleeding her life away. In her morning routine, following the shower, the brushing of her red hair and the hard drink, she was about to get dressed and then head to her office. The challenge each morning was to limit herself to one drink, and to leave once she finished it. So she sipped it, staring at herself as she thought of her ill fate. Trying to find some way to leave the prison of her command. Eventually, she donned her uniform and left her base commander's quarters, loathing every step she had to take.
The way the base was kept hidden so close to the boarder of the RNZ was a bit of a tricky matter. In addition to being built inside an inconspicuous space object and having a minimal sensor profile, cloaking technology had been installed in the event of raised hostilities. This was of course, a violation of the 2311 Treaty of Algeron which prohibited use of cloaking devices. However, as weapon supply facilities could change the tide of battle, and minimise damage from a frontal assault through the RNZ, it was considered an appropriate risk, being off the official record. At the event of war, the treaty was more or less obsolete anyway. As sophisticated as they were, these cloaking systems were turned off, and would only be activated after an all-green from Starfleet Command was given. As for the actual security personnel, there was minimal Starfleet Security aboard, but in lieu of a standing guard, all staff had combat training in the unlikely event of a breach aboard by hostile operatives. That was not to say there were no defences against enemy battleships. Defending this valuable weapons supply base and strategic position was imperative, or at least that was what Jennifer was told. She didn't believe any of it. Not any more. There were shields of course to defend against attackers until the cavalry could arrive, but there were also four photon torpedo launchers if retaliation was necessary. The main objective of the facility, however, was not to be found at all since it would not last for very long without backup.
As for non-combat equipment, there were meagre crew quarters, a sickbay, a mess hall with replicators, and a command centre with a view screen for vid-conferencing. There were also docking stations for resupply and long range sensors, the two most important components besides the magazines inside the hollowed-out asteroid. The sensors comprised both active and passive methods, with passive being preferred over active as it was less likely to be detected by scans. The docking stations were suitable for all but the very largest starships. They were designed with special automated weapons tracks that could quickly resupply weapons without relying on the sluggish speed of manual labour.
Stepping into the command centre, Jennifer looked at the logs on the viewscreen for a moment, nodding to the gathered staff. She got a few words of greeting in return, no more. Usually, there was nothing to occupy the crew with except for menial maintenance tasks, filing reports of useless information, and each other. Looking at the logs, it was evident how that morning was just one of those days. It had been quite a long time since the last starship came in for resupply. There would be nothing to do but a lot of the usual stuff. The lead staff stood at their stations absentmindedly performing their tasks. Calibrating and re-calibrating the long range sensors, sending orders to the twenty enlisted to meticulously clean their workspaces, or to check the replicator for efficiency, and other dull duties that occupied the twenty non-commissioned crew. People that would, of course, work just as slow to make each task last long enough to make it so that they would not run out of daily tasks. When that happened, there was really nothing to do, but contemplate the solitude they presently found themselves in.
The reason the lead officers that reported to her had ended up there varied. It was not the kind of position you wanted to end up in. Many saw the position as a punishment or demotion. As such, morale was generally low. Jennifer had more or less given up on trying to do something about it. Even though they had each other, any company, of any quality would wear thin in that level of isolation. The base itself and the command centre was not especially interesting in architecture. Basic Federation design mostly grey, with flashes of colour here and there. Red desks, floor lights, and the lighting of the control panels. Their quarters were not the most comfortable, but not too uncomfortable, just good enough which made it hard to say anything about them. All in all it was a fairly bearable but seemingly meaningless existence. They likely wondered if there would ever be a call to action for them, or if they would spend months, years of their lives in the stasis of a underwhelming job. Of course, life was what you made of it. Some tried to spice things up on their ample downtime, creating art out of whatever they could find, or writing in their logs, though for even them with same grey walls and the same stars to gaze at day after day inspiration could run short. It was mostly just work so that you could get back to more work. The only thing worse than doing the same thing over and over with the same people would be having to eat the same thing, so replicators provided a brief respite from the mundane in terms of gastronomic opportunity. There were of course different cliques and groups the crew had settled into, rigid social divides between them. Perfectly expected, and Jennifer didn't care any more.
The relatively low-ranking lead staff knew Jennifer as a strong willed and stern leader, though she suspected that her headstrong and somewhat argumentative personality had landed her in her somewhat inglorious position to begin with. Next was Lieutenant Masuda Yukimura, a soft spoken yet still commanding man, he was far less intimating than Jennifer, but to her lasting chagrin, his word was taken a bit more seriously. Below him there was Ensign T’sebl Felr, an enterprising young Vulcan man in Engineering who led the two Cadets that had the misfortune of serving at the Black Opal; Zhong Wu and Vitaly Stanimir. The head of the small science team aboard was Science Officer Morwen Angharad, a flamboyant yet kind woman who mostly kept to her research and helping iron out issues on the base with the engineers. She had a reputation of sleeping with four of the enlisted, but it was not spoken of openly. If anyone was injured or became sick, then they saw Dr. George Hernandez and he would patch them up and send them off with one of his trademark quips. Finally, rounding out the noteworthy crew members was Chief of Security Edgar Rogers, who many believed was sent there for his rowdy behaviour and to get him away from all the impressionable Ensigns that got sent to better first posts. Some of the enlisted personnel were promoted to petty officers, but it was difficult to show much in the way of outstanding accomplishments when mundane tasks were all you had to work with.
With a quiet sigh, Jennifer turned to enter her office. It was looking like it would be another slow day, which would trickle away into infinity. Perhaps she could take another drink before she...
The chirp from sensor array halted her in her tracks. Suddenly, there was movement on the long range sensors. The staff couldn't believe it, looking as baffled as she felt. Hesitantly, Morwen checked the sensors again to make sure everything was working properly. Of course it was. Theirs could be the most well-maintained long range sensors in the galaxy, with their endless upkeep they had been performing. The rush of excitement with the anticipation of something new to do, and to be actually busy for once was twinged with the sudden dread of what could be approaching…
"What is it?" Jennifer asked, voice hoarse.
"A ship..." Of course it was. "Too early to say anything more," said Morwen.
"Orders, Jen?" said Masuda quietly, turning to face her, and Jennifer waited for a moment since she knew he was going to make a suggestion. He always did. "With the Theurgy and the Harbinger alert, we should contact Starfleet Command and ask for clearance to use of our cloaking systems. This is potentially a high-risk situation. Task Force Archeron was disabled, so our storage is at the risk of being compromised... not to mention our lives. Ives and Vasser have not shown any compunction about killing before."
"Fuck command," said Rogers with a curled lip, scarred face twisted by his grimace, "raise the cloak anyway. Not going to die because of protocol."
Jennifer was suddenly thrust into a hard decision, and she looked between the screens for an answer. If she were to break the treaty of Algeron, would she do it now and raise the chance of their survival, or would she do so after word from Starfleet Command - at least making her entry into the history books say that her order had been sanctioned. Then again, perhaps it wasn't one of the renegade ships. Was it not wiser to know for certain?
"Verify the identity of the ship first," she said, her voice gaining some strength. "We have both the Akira- and Theurgy-class signatures in our systems. Then, we alert Starfleet Command of contact with the defectors and request reinforcements, and to use our cloak. Perhaps its just a cargo ship heading for Starbase 84. We know too little at this point. We can wait another minute or two..."
Like kicking an anthill, the argument began, with various degrees of insubordination against her, and she had to lash back to keep them all in line.
- End of Story Excerpt
Although she attempted to defend the station from the incursion, she soon ordered a surrender when she was captured by the Theurgy’s first officer Commander Carrigan Trent. She was skeptical during Trent’s initial attempt to sew doubt into the falsified reputation of the Theurgy for Starfleet Command had declared that Captain Jien Ives and his/her crew had defected to the Romulans. Starfleet’s claim was proven false when the Romulans attacked Black Opal after being fed intelligence from an agent who had infiltrated Starbase 84. She saw firsthand the lengths the Theurgy’s personnel were willing to go to keep Federation data and technology out of foreign hands.
Jennifer Dewitt was evacuated along with the rest of Black Opal’s personnel and met with Captain Ives, who convinced her to join his/her crew and fight against the mysterious parasites who had taken over Starfleet Command. During the raid on Starbase 84, Trent made Jennifer Dewitt and Yukimura from the Black Opal his closest adjutants, answering directly to him and helping with intelligence matters. Despite her rank, she had not been appointed the position of Second Officer since Wenn Cinn held that position. During the Starbase 84 mission, she was in command on the USS Allegiant.
During the Battle of Starbase 84, she was in command of the USS Allegiant, where many others of the officers from the Black Opal served during the battle. Among them Jaya Thorne and Sithick, and during the fray, when they had lost their shields, a Kzin named Deacon beamed aboard from his shuttle, the USS Allegiant chosen out of survival for the Kzin. Dewitt spoke with the tall felnoid after the battle, and learned that he had come to warn the Federation about his people and their mobilisation of war. Dewitt personally made sure Deacon was granted free access to the public areas of the Theurgy, and passed on the report about the Kzinti Empire to Captain Jien Ives.
Three days later, Jennifer Dewitt was in command of the Theurgy’s Vector 03 stardrive section known as the "Stallion" when the Theurgy first encountered the Savi and the Asurian armada. She was beamed to main bridge in the dreadnought's vector 01 stardrive section known as the "Helmet" when Captain Jien Ives was abducted by the Savi as part of the Continuance Protocol to serve as first officer of that stardrive vector while Natalie Stark was beamed to the vector 03 battle bridge to take her place.
She was on the bridge acting as the Vector 01 stardrive section’s Executive Officer when the Helmet encountered Task Force Archeron. She was deeply concerned, however, about Carrigan Trent's ambitions for the USS Theurgy´s continued mission.
Story Excerpt: Earlier Conversation with Commander Carrigan Trent
"Jennifer, Trent said, "this can never leave this room, you understand? I have no idea if I'm doing the right thing."
During the whole time Trent spoke after that, Jennifer had seen his points, but his arguments... she felt that they could be made to advocate Ives' orders too. She foresaw great contention among the crew, even if there was a chance Trent might be able to get his will through. She was still going over it in her mind when he gave an order that she saw great peril in executing at that point, when they had just left the Versant behind - still not entirely clear from Savi fighter pursuit.
"I need you to inform the crew that I intend to go after our people, so we have a crew that'll be able to complete our mission."
Jennifer felt her eyes widen a bit, and she cleared her throat. "Captain, I urge you to reconsider this order." Did he make it because of Warrant Officer McMillan? She just couldn't shake the idea. "We have yet to reintegrate, the Stallion and the Sword likely still not clear from the Savi yet. As your First Officer, I must advise you against giving that order now, before we have managed to rendezvous with the others. We don't even know the full extent of the damage done by the Savi and the Asurian saucers, especially not on the other Vectors. I say this while also taking the crew into consideration. They are - right now - following Ives last order, but if you go against that order without the support from the other Vectors, without even knowing the full tactical situation for such an undertaking, it will be like..."
She fumbled for a fitting allegory, eyebrows raised as she raked her brain. "It would be... like asking a soldier to invade an enemy camp alone, without even knowing if he will be armed. Personally, I don't think this is a compromise, for you'd be asking a crew with fragile morale - past their breaking point - to attempt a suicide mission. They will, indeed, follow our orders... but only up to a point. You do not yet wield the same authority that Ives did, and since the preparations before Starbase 84, you are known as a quite cruel taskmaster. If you ask this of them today... the crew of the Helmet might indeed shatter, and then the mission will fail."
She wondered if she ought to say something about Trent calling Thea 'a component', knowing what the crew felt about the soul of the ship, but she would just have to hope his disregard towards the A.I. wouldn't shine through in public. She would, however say something about his estimation of their chances, as premature as they had to be.
"I am not saying we don't stand a chance, sir. It might very well be that we can prepare and use the element of surprise, but before we know what we'll have at our disposal, I think that openly defying Ives' last order could seed another mutiny, so I urge caution and timing. If we are to attempt taking them back, to satisfy the intent of an honourable course of action, this is not the day to tell the crew."
"Very well," said Trent after a while. "Get with Mister Veradin. At our first stop, get that saucer towed out of the lounge and into the shuttlebay. See if it can be used as an asset, either through ripping its guns out and installing them on empty pallet spots, or if we can bring the whole thing into service. We'll do it your way for now and not announce it just yet. But be aware that it remains my intent to go after our missing crew. Yes, Captain Ives did give me a mission. But it's exact execution remains my prerogative."
"Yes, sir," she said, not sure she ought to linger on the topic at all. She paused, still concerned, yet she had come to the last bit of counsel she had.
"Lastly, I am sorry, but I have to say it," she said, hoping she'd appreciate her candour. "This mission is more important than the survival of your honour, or whether or not you can look yourself in the mirror. I must ask the obvious, and hope you don't think less of me for doing so." She took a deep breath. "My sense of duty towards the mission compels me to ask; Has the fact that Warrant Officer McMillan being one of the abducted factored into this decision?"
Trent's eyes lowered to the desk, before screwing themselves shut to staunch the tears that started to well there; his hands clenched into fists, and his entire body trembled with a few harsh, silent sobs. And, a few moments later, blinking the tears away, he looked up. She had been candid with him, he would be honest with her. "Yes," was his sole answer.
"Oh, I... see," she said, realising what damage she might have caused, and she pressed her lips together, getting to her feet and slowly walking around the desk. She would not blame him for having a heart. She would not lay blame upon any officer that acted in defence of a loved one. Seeing him hurt so, she couldn't just sit there. When she reached his side, she grew hesitant, but decided on putting her hand on his shoulder. She rid herself from any ideas about the gesture. She just wanted to comfort him. She squeezed the muscles underneath her palm.
"I'm so sorry," she said, remaining standing next to him. She was conflicted about the right course of action, but remained nonetheless, feeling that embracing him would be too forward. Far too much. As much as she wanted to comfort him, he was a man of great integrity, so she would not do anything untoward. "I can't imagine what that must be like... Please, don't assume the worst. Don't forget that. There is always hope. The natural thing is to prepare for the worst, but in this case, that is not applicable. Anything shy of hope, and you cannot function as an officer. You know this. As hard as it is, you must put the thought of her aside in order to command this ship."
- End of Story Excerpt
As it were, facing Task Force Archeron, Dewitt knew she might have to relive Trent from command under Starfleet Regulation One-Six-Nine. Because his love interest Heather McMillan was abducted by the Savi, she believed the Vector's Commanding Officer had become emotionally compromised and unable to make rational decisions.
Headstrong, dutiful and pragmatic, Dewitt might have have had a promising career in Starfleet if it wasn't for her punishment in being transferred to the Black Opal. Since she came aboard the USS Theurgy, she took on a vow of sobriety, correcting her decline on the Opal. On the holodecks - when they were available - she had resumed her exercise in the form of swimming and skiing. On her shoreleaves, she enjoyed hunting in the wilderness, open to such excursions on any planet that allowed it. In the evenings, when not still attending to duties, she enjoyed reading.
Before 2381, Dewitt never had any lasting relationships, being married with her duties, and whatever intimate distractions she'd had were brief and without any deeper feelings to it.
Fit to begin with, Jennifer Dewitt had assumed a strict exercise schedule and nutritional regime when she left the Black Opal. In order to substitute her drinking healthily, she never enjoyed sweets and she skipped ingesting any dairy products. Doing this, she felt less bloated, and ended up only drinking almond milk. She abhorred sweet and fruity drinks.
Her rigorous dietary and exercise regime quickly payed off, having a very healthy body only a week after coming aboard the USS Theurgy.