Captain Chakotay
chakotay.jpg

Name: Chakotay
Rank: Captain
Position: Commanding Officer USS Voyager
Age: 50

Starfleet History
2344: Enters Starfleet Academy
2348: Graduates Starfleet Academy
2368: Resigns from Starfleet
2371: Given provisional rank of Lieutenant Commander and serves as Voyager's First Officer
2378: Rank made permanent and promoted to Captain and named Commanding Officer

Personal History
Chakotay was born in 2329 on a Federation colony that his native tribe had moved to several generations earlier near the Cardassian Demilitarized Zone, where he was raised by his father, Kolopak. His father considered him a "contrary" from the beginning because he had come out of his mother "upside down" as his father once remarked. Chakotay also had a sister and a cousin who lived in Ohio. During an incident in 2373 that took Voyager to late 20th century Earth, Chakotay mentioned he knew of an ancestor who worked as a school teacher in Arizona. One of Chakotay's early ancestors was Ce Acatl, a man who was fathered by a white conqueror when they first took over Chakotay's tribe's native lands on Earth. Being of Native American descent, Chakotay's tribe – mainly because of the intrusion of more technological societies – left Earth to find their own home on another planet near the Cardassian border. From an early age, his father tried to impart his values on Chakotay in many ways, such as taking him on hikes to nearby forested worlds of their ancestors. In 2344 he took Chakotay on a quest through the Central American rainforest, looking for their fellow descendants of the ancient Rubber Tree People that had never left the forest. As a young man, Chakotay was rather resistant to his family's way of life and in a technologically advanced world often felt out of place among the members of his tribe who asserted a strong connection to their ancestral lands and spirits and lived a simple life. Chakotay dismissed his tribe that he believed lived in the past of fantasy and myth. He did not want to be part of that and instead wanted to be like all the other tribes that had embraced the 24th century. When his father would take him on expeditions to discover his roots and connection to the "sky spirits", Chakotay remained a reluctant participant, even ridiculing the sky spirits once by suggesting they had "taken a wrong turn" somewhere. Kolopak tried to teach Chakotay that without Spirits to guide him, he would lose his way. But Chakotay did not want to hear any of that as he did not place much value in spirituality. He remained resistant, instead choosing to embrace technological advancement, believing that he was the master of his own life. One of Chakotay's childhood heroes was astronaut John Kelly. While initially somewhat disappointed in his son's lack of interest in the culture and traditions of their tribe, Kolopak remained patient with Chakotay and even allowed him to read about other societies as he was growing up. However, by the time Chakotay was fifteen years old, he had already set his sights on Starfleet and greatly surprised his father when he told him that he was going to leave the tribe to attend Starfleet Academy. His father disapproved of his son's decision but, at that time, was unable to convince him otherwise.

At the age of fifteen, Chakotay entered Starfleet Academy, sponsored by Captain Sulu. Chakotay possessed great piloting skills and during his first year he trained as a pilot in North America. He then went to Venus for a couple of months to learn how to handle atmospheric storms and later dodged asteroids for a semester in the Sol system asteroid belt. He also became a proficient boxer at the light heavyweight level, with a record of twenty-three wins and one loss. The loss was to a Nausicaan with "a mean right hook." According to B'Elanna Torres, "legend has it that 'The Tattooed Terror' has put more men in sickbay than the Ankaran flu." His personal trainer was Academy groundsman Boothby.

Chakotay graduated from Starfleet Academy in 2348 and went on to serve aboard a Starfleet ship. He recalled once visiting a tomb excavation on Ktaria VII on one of his earliest away missions. There, unaware of local custom, he – wanting to take a memento – stole a small stone from the burial. He was later informed that each stone represented a prayer and that he had desecrated the burial site. Another of his earliest missions was being on a diplomatic team to make First Contact with the Tarkannans. After spending a lot of time pushing his captain to let him be on the team, he began studying everything about them. When he finally came face to face with their delegation, he very proudly made the traditional gesture for "hello", not realizing that males and females have different styles of movement when making such symbolic gestures. He later found out that he had actually propositioned the ambassador. He remembered this encounter and mentioned it to Captain Janeway when in 2372 they made first contact with the Drayans. On another occasion, he beamed down to a planet and the pattern buffer malfunctioned, misreading his Starfleet uniform. When he rematerialized, all he had was his combadge. Once, while serving in Starfleet, he learned to communicate with a "Terrelian seapod"; something normally thought very difficult to communicate with.

After his father was killed in 2368 while defending their colony, Chakotay resisted the Cardassian takeover of his planet – as per the terms of the border treaty between Cardassia and the Federation. He refused to stand by and watch his people be displaced once again, as had happened on Earth hundreds of years ago. Chakotay and his father were not on good terms when Kolopak was killed while defending his colony against Cardassians. When the news reached Chakotay, he was unsure about how to reconcile their differences and heal their old wounds. On March 3, 2368 he resigned from his position as an instructor in Starfleet's Advanced Tactical Training by submitting his resignation to Admiral Namimby. Some time later he joined the Maquis. It was then that he took the mark, the tattoo, on his forehead in order to honor the memory of his father and to signify his Native American heritage. After joining the Maquis, he became one of its leaders and his cell became one of the most successful in resisting the Cardassians and Federation. Chakotay was one of the Maquis who were in the fight for principle, not mercenary gain or violent outlet.

While trying to escape from a Cardassian warship piloted by Gul Evek in the Badlands, Chakotay and his crew, including B'Elanna Torres and Tuvok – Captain Janeway's security chief working undercover as a Maquis – were transported to the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker's array. In an attempt to locate the disappeared Maquis ship, USS Voyager followed them into the Badlands, becoming trapped 70,000 light years away in the Delta Quadrant shortly after. Being alone, in an uncharted part of the galaxy, Chakotay agreed to cooperate with Janeway when both of their crews were abducted and subjected to medical testing by the Caretaker. The crewmembers were eventually found and the Caretaker's Array destroyed so it would not fall into the hands of the ruthless Kazon. In order to protect Voyager while it destroyed the Array, Chakotay crashed his ship, the Val Jean, into a Kazon carrier vessel. Following the destruction of his ship in the Delta Quadrant, Chakotay and his crew joined Voyager's crew as one Starfleet crew in order to find a way home. He was granted the provisional rank of Lieutenant Commander and became Voyager's second in command. A man of great moral conviction and courage, Chakotay embraced Starfleet principles once again and served Captain Janeway as first officer – eventually being able to forge a meaningful friendship with her; his loyalty never wavered and he helped keep the peace and establish cooperation and a positive rapport between his Maquis and the Starfleet crew.

During their first year in the Delta Quadrant, his shuttlecraft was attacked by the Komar during an away mission. After the attack, Chakotay was apparently rendered brain dead, forcing The Doctor to use artificial means to keep his body alive. In reality, however, his neural energy had been extracted, turning him into a disembodied spirit, while Tuvok – who had been in the shuttlecraft with him – was possessed by the Komar in an attempt to lure the crew into a nebula and steal their neural energy. Although Chakotay soon learned how to control others in order to prevent the crew being led into the trap, his actions were initially taken as being the actions of a hostile entity trying to sabotage the ship. However, Chakotay's presence was confirmed when he ejected the warp core after having occupied B'Elanna Torres' body: she lacked the authority to eject the core by herself, but, as first officer, Chakotay possessed the required command codes. With his presence confirmed, he subsequently used a medicine wheel that Torres had placed in sickbay to provide the crew with a map out of the nebula. The Doctor later developed a treatment that returned his mind to his body. His devotion to Voyager and Starfleet were strong; he even threatened to throw Seska and Jarvin into the brig when they said they would support him in a mutiny. When Tuvok wished to train a group of Maquis in order to bring them up to Starfleet standards, Chakotay forcefully persuaded them, after they initially resisted and wanted to do things "the Maquis way."
Despite his attempts to stay as neutral and objective as possible when it came to the merged crew, he sometimes felt the need to stand up for some of his former Maquis members, knowing that if he didn't stand up for them, no one else would. He, for example, recommended a hot-tempered B'Elanna Torres as chief engineer and was willing, against all odds, to give Seska the benefit of the doubt when she was accused of secretly collaborating with the enemy. He also had his share of personal disappointments after joining Voyager: he found out that Tuvok was a Federation spy and actually Captain Janeway's security chief sent to infiltrate his crew, Seska, his lover, was revealed to be a Cardassian spy who had begun to secretly collaborate with and transfer Federation technology to the Kazon, and he had to deal with Tom Paris, a person he not only disliked, but whom he actually considered to be nothing but a mercenary willing to sell out to the highest bidder. The betrayal of Seska was particularly hard on him as he not only had an intimate relationship with her but also because he had personally vouched for her. Her betrayal of his trust angered and humiliated Chakotay. When he confronted her, she told him that she did it for him and the crew because their captain was a fool and incapable of getting them home. Seska shortly after escaped from the ship and joined Maje Culluh of the Kazon Nistrim.

Chakotay became one of the central figures in the conflict with the Kazon. One of the first encounters took place during the time he was performing the Pakra, a ritual to honor his father's death. A young Kazon, Kar, who was being initiated as a warrior, attacked him while he was alone in the shuttle craft performing the ceremony. Chatokay destroyed his ship, and both were captured by the Kazon and condemned to die. After escaping their death sentence, Kar killed the maje and was proclaimed a warrior, thanks in part to Chatokay's help. However, Chatokay was warned that next time he met the Kazon, they would not be as lenient and kill him. While stranded on a planet during an away mission, Chakotay came in contact with an alien race that spoke the language of his ancestors. The aliens explained that they had visited his ancestors over 45,000 years ago, gave them a genetic bonding and were known to the tribe as the Sky Spirits. When they eventually returned to Earth on their last trip, finding no trace of the tribe, they believed they had been wiped out by other Humans. When Chakotay met and spoke with the Sky Spirits, he was finally able to feel the kind of connection to his heritage that was always missing when he was younger. He wished that he could see his father's face now in this moment of epiphany. He explained to the aliens that Kolopak had died fighting for his colony; honoring the land just as he always said he would and just as his ancestors had done. During this encounter, Chakotay finally came to truly understand his father, telling him in spirit that he could finally hear the sky spirits. His next meeting with the Kazon also was a reunion with Seska, who had defected to the Kazon-Nistrim, led by Maje Culluh. They had stolen a module that enabled them to penetrate Voyager's shields. Chakotay was able to board the Kazon ship and destroy the module; however, he was captured and tortured by the Kazon. He was rescued by Voyager, but shortly thereafter, Seska told him that she had extracted his DNA and impregnated herself with it. During a constant series of attacks on Voyager by the Kazon, Chakotay suggested to Captain Janeway that Voyager form alliances with some of the Kazon factions and others in the quadrant. This failed when the Trabe, the Kazon's enemies, under the guise of cooperation with Voyager and the Kazon, attempted to assassinate the Kazon leaders at a conference and otherwise didn't show much interest for diplomacy and building coalitions. The same year, Chakotay and Janeway were infected with an incurable virus which necessitated them being left behind on a planet whose environment somehow could halt the progression of the disease. They named the planet New Earth and while Janeway was not willing to give up on a cure, Chakotay came to terms with their predicament and worked on making the planet a better home. He even built Janeway a bath tub. During their time together, they drew closer and Janeway asked him to drop the formalities and call her Kathryn. The first signs of affection between the two also began to manifest as outside of a command structure a romantic relationship seemed less inappropriate, but both were still hesitant to act on their feelings. After an antidote was found for the disease and they returned to the ship, they decided to leave everything that had happened on the planet between them behind and maintain a professional relationship which eventually developed into a deep friendship between the two. Shortly after that, Chatokay received a message from Seska that she had given birth to his child, and that Culluh planned to kill her and take the child. Conflicted as to whether he should accept this child into his heart and life given that it was conceived against his will and through deception, he sought the wisdom of his father through a vision quest. In his vision, his father appeared to him saying that the child knows nothing of deception, that it is innocent and that Chakotay must accept him just as centuries ago his ancestors accepted the children of the white conquerors who had forced themselves upon their women; one of whom was a direct ancestor of theirs. Chakotay recognized the wisdom in his father's words and decided to go find his son. Although Seska was not trustworthy, Janeway agreed to try and help him. It turned out to be a trap, however, and Voyager ended up being captured, and the crew stranded on a barren planet with nothing to survive on while the Kazon took the ship and left. Chakotay's knowledge of nature and his Maquis training helped the crew survive. He rescued Kes from the primitive tribe that inhabited the planet. He also helped the crew to elude an enormous eel-like creature that lived inside a cave that they sought shelter in by sealing off the opening as they exited. He also won the friendship of the tribe when he saved one of them from a lava flow. The crew was eventually rescued by Tom Paris, The Doctor, and Lon Suder and returned to Voyager to resume their course home.

After Voyager traveled back in time to 20th century Los Angeles on Earth to stop Henry Starling from stealing a time ship, Chakotay had a conversation with Torres about what they would be doing with their lives if they were stuck in the 20th century. Chakotay said that he could see himself pursuing archeology full-time, teaching at the university or working in Central America, making important discoveries and maybe even winning the Nobel Prize. Later that year, he was injured during an away mission and trapped on a world where the inhabitants were engrossed in conflict. While recovering from his injuries, among one of the people who rescued him was a Human named Riley Frazier who, as it soon turned out, was a former Borg drone severed from the Collective just like all the inhabitants on the planet. She explained that five years ago, their Borg cube was damaged by an electrokinetic storm and their link to the Collective severed. They moved to the planet but unfortunately, as soon as people began to assert their identities, conflicts erupted and people turned against each other. Some, like Riley and her companions, were not interested in fighting. They asked Chakotay to help them by activating the neuroelectric field generator in the Borg cube so that they could reconnect the entire population. Riley explained that the Link would provide them with the unique ability to cooperate and problem-solve so they would be rid of conflict and instead could finally create a safe and productive community. Chakotay passionately advocated for Riley but Janeway found it unconscionable to reactivate the cube. Pretending to have respected Janeway's decision, Riley and her friends – who had previously linked with Chakotay to help his severe injuries – used the residual effects of the Link to telepathically connect with him again and force him to reactivate their Link. After Chakotay reactivated the cube, he was let go and the cube – as promised – destroyed by the New Cooperative. Chakotay was somewhat disappointed with what they had done, stating that even though they held their part of the bargain, they did not hesitate to impose their collective will on him when it served their purposes. He wondered how long their ideals would last in the fact of that kind of power. The same year, Chakotay became involved in the Distant Origin Theory controversy among the Voth, a saurian species that believed to be native to the Delta Quadrant. Forra Gegen, a leading Voth scientist, believed that the Voth were descended from a species in a different part of the galaxy: Earth. The official interpretation on the planet was that the Voth were the first beings to evolve into intelligent beings in the galaxy. After finding the bones of a Voyager crewmember, he believed that he had evidence of his theory. He discovered Voyager, and, using a cloaked device, boarded the ship, abducting Chakotay. The Doctor determined that the Voth had evolved from the dinosaurs on Earth. When the evidence was presented to the Voth council, Chakotay stood with him to support his evidence. The council rejected it and threatened to imprison Chakotay and the rest of the Voyager crew, unless Gegen publicly disavowed his theory, something Gegen felt he had no choice but to do. Before leaving, however, Chakotay gave Gegen a small hand-held globe of planet Earth in the hope that one day the Voth would see it as their place of origin. Chakotay's holodeck image became a central figure in a Tuvok-written holoprogram about a Maquis-led mutiny. In that holonovel – which was originally written for training purposes in case of a mutiny – Chakotay was depicted as a traitor instigating a mutiny against Captain Janeway and the rest of the Starfleet crew in order to get them back home unhindered by Federation rules and principles. While amusing at first, the holonovel quickly turned dangerous when it was discovered that the program had been accessed by Seska before she left the ship and programmed to trap and kill whoever submitted changes to it. That year also proved to be one of the most challenging chapters for Voyager and its crew as they finally entered the much dreaded Borg space. When they discovered that the Borg were at war with a powerful species known as Species 8472, Janeway decided to enter into an alliance with the Borg for safe passage through their space in exchange for helping them beat Species 8472. Chakotay was strongly against entering into such an unholy alliance but Janeway was convinced that it was the only option available to them. When the Borg betrayed Janeway, just as Chakotay had predicted, and she was injured, Chakotay took command and broke off the alliance. When Janeway recovered, she was disappointed that Chakotay did not trust her. This incident marked one of the many clashes between Chakotay and Janeway over command decisions.

In 2374, Chakotay had various encounters with a number of different races. He was brainwashed by the Vori, who had him join their war against the Kradin. They used scenarios of innocent Vori being killed and tortured. He became so embittered that he turned into a killing machine. He was rescued by Tuvok. He and the crew were used in medical experiments by the Srivani. During the "Year of Hell" conflict with the Krenim, he was captured by Annorax, the commander of the Krenim ship. At first, he helped Annorax, who promised to return Voyager intact to its original timeline if Chakotay gave him enough detail about Voyager's time in Krenim space, so that Annorax could have the right calculations to use in his time weapon. But after Annorax destroyed a species to try to restore the timeline, Chakotay helped sabotage the ship by transmitting its location to Voyager and taking its weapons off line. This allowed Janeway to crash Voyager into the Krenim time ship and through its destruction restore the timeline. When Neelix was almost killed in an accident and brought back to life, he questioned his beliefs in the afterlife, and the meaning of life itself. Chakotay, being a spiritual man himself, urged Neelix to not draw any negative conclusions from his experience but instead hold on to his faith. Chakotay saved Voyager from the Dream species: they had caused the crew to remain in a dream state while they were attempting to destroy the ship. Chakotay used lucid dreaming in order to remain in control during his dream and thus interaction with the aliens. He eventually found that a large transmitter was responsible for the dream state the entire crew found itself to be. He told The Doctor to deploy a torpedo at the cavern, and the alien leader was forced to neutralize the transmitter, which woke the crew and freed them from alien control. Chakotay also encountered Species 8472 again, when Voyager discovered an Earth-like structure on a planet. It turned out to be a training facility for a possible invasion of Earth by Species 8472. They had assumed various identities of Starfleet officers. He became romantically involved with one of the aliens who had assumed the identity of a Starfleet lieutenant commander named Valerie Archer. He also encountered aliens when Voyager became trapped in chaotic space. Chakotay saw the faces of his friends as the aliens who told him how to guide the ship out of chaotic space before it was destroyed by the anomaly. One of the more serious conflicts between him and Captain Janeway occurred in late 2375 with the discovery of the USS Equinox that was commanded by Starfleet Captain Rudolph Ransom. Ransom and his crew had been using nucleogenic lifeforms as fuel for their special warp drive; an act that appalled Janeway unimaginably, leading her to set upon a relentless hunt until the Equinox and its crew were brought to justice. In her fury, she not only compromised the safety of the ship in numerous occasions, but also wanted to subject one of Ransom's captured crew members to torture to retrieve information out of him. Chakotay was successful at preventing the worst from happening and warned her that he would not tolerate her crossing that line again. Janeway, angered and determined, relieved Chakotay of duty, so she could pursue Ransom unhindered by Starfleet rules. When she finally came to her senses she realized how she had crossed the line herself and that Chakotay certainly had good reason to stage a mutiny of his own.

Voyager helped defeat the Vaadwaur, a confrontational and treacherous species that was revived after over eight-hundred years in stasis. They were revived with good intentions but when they began turning on Janeway and her crew, she realized that she had made a fatal move. Chakotay had warned Captain Janeway earlier and was leery of awakening the Vaadwaur, recalling an old Greek myth about a dragon killed in battle whose teeth fell to the ground only to spring up as full-grown warriors to continue the fight. He used this allegory to demonstrate how Voyager might inadvertently be re-instigating a bloody war that had long stopped. In the same year, Voyager encountered an ancient spaceship from one of Humanity's first manned missions to Mars floating in a gravimetric distortion. Chakotay instantly recognized the phenomenon, recalling how the Ares IV was lost to it in the early 21st century. He was intrigued by their discovery and more than enthused to be leading the mission to enter the distortion to retrieve the command module. Tom Paris was impressed that Chakotay knew more about the Ares IV than he did. Chakotay remarked that the Mars missions paved the way for the exploration of space and that Lieutenant John Kelly, who piloted the Ares, was one of his favorite childhood heroes. During the away mission, however, Chakotay was injured and had to remain on the Delta Flyer while the task of retrieving the command module fell on Seven of Nine, who did not share Chakotay's or anyone else's enthusiasm for such sentimental attachments to history. Chakotay did express his envy when he realized that he could not beam on board the Ares but insisted that Seven download everything she could while she was there "touching history." Chakotay suffered from violent dreams that put him in the middle of a massacre that killed innocent civilians and about the cover-up that followed after an away mission. This was a result of a synaptic transmitter in a structure on the planet that sent neurogenic pulses that caused memories of the massacre to be implanted on anyone who came near the structure. It was a memorial to the victims and a reminder to never let such a massacre happen again.

In 2377, the last year before Voyager's return to the Alpha Quadrant, Chakotay attempted to hijack Voyager with his former Maquis crew due to a mind control suggestion implanted into Tuvok by a Bajoran Vedek named Teero Anaydis. Later that year, he also restored Voyager to the proper timeline when it was hit by a chronokinetic surge from a spatial rift. He also rescued the crew from the Quarren workforce when the crew's memories were wiped out in order to solve the workforce shortage on Quarra. For that, he assumed the identity of Amal Kotay. In a Quarren power plant, Chakotay displayed expertise in thermionic conversion, but it was revealed he had only moderate knowledge of microkinetics. After Chakotay and Neelix took Torres back to Voyager. Chakotay was able to lose the Quarren guards. He then tried to convince Captain Janeway to help, but she turned him over to the authorities. Chakotay was then taken to Dr. Ravoc, where Chakotay was brainwashed and ordered Voyager to rescue him and the rest of the crew. Chakotay and the rest of the crew was then rescued and resumed their voyage home. Near the end of Voyager's time in the Delta Quadrant, he became romantically involved with Seven of Nine. They became very close during an away mission when they were stranded on a planet due to a shuttle crash. They discovered a primitive tribe known as the Ventu, that helped them contact their ship. Chakotay returned to the Alpha Quadrant with the rest of the crew using a Borg transwarp hub. Admiral Janeway returned to the past to help her counterpart, Captain Janeway, defeat the Borg and return the ship sooner than the twenty-three years it originally took her. This saved the life of Seven, who had been killed on the original journey home, and helped Tuvok avoid a mental breakdown due to a neural disease.

After returning to Earth, Captain Janeway was promoted to Vice admiral and Chakotay was then promoted to the rank of Captain, and given command of Voyager. Tom Paris, who was also promoted two steps in rank, was Chakotay's choice to become Voyager's first officer. He was, however, overruled by Starfleet and Commander Andrew Ellis was assigned to be first officer. When Ellis was revealed to be a renegade changeling, Paris was transferred to the position of first officer. In June 2379, Chakotay met Admiral Janeway for dinner. The two talked about work and also possible romances before finally admitting a romantic interest in each other, which developed into a romantic liaison. Janeway and Chakotay agreed to meet each other in Venice the following year, following Voyager's return from the Yaris Nebula. The mission to the Yaris Nebula was cut short when Voyager was reassigned to a the Project Full Circle Mission and will have a slipstream drive installed to explore the Delta Quadrant.

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