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The U.S.S ExcaliburThe U.S.S. Excalibur is a Galaxy-class starship in the United Federation of Planets' Starfleet. It is comissioned to go provide humanitarian relief in the former Thallonian Empire and is populated by some of Starfleet's best and...quirkiest.
- Badass Crew: Almost everyone has an amazing story or two.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: All of the crew seems to be this. All of them except Shelby.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: How other members of Starfleet tend to view them and their adventures.
- Dysfunction Junction: Just about everyone has a crippling personality flaw of some form or another.
- Nakama: The crew becomes so loyal to thir captain they take to routinely breaking Federation law on his behalf.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Two demigods, a daughter of an immortal, a exiled prince, a Conan-the-Barbarian Expy, a hermaphrodite Handsome Lech, and so on...
Mackenzie CalhounCaptain of the USS Excalibur. The first and, so far, only Xenexian in Starfleet. Born M'k'n'zy of Calhoun, he watched his father die at the hands of Danteri oppressors at a young age and eventually led his people to their liberation...all before the age of twenty. A chance encounter with one Captain Jean-Luc Picard set his path in motion to Starfleet, moving up through the ranks until the Grissom incident caused him to resign his commission (though he continued to work for Starfleet Intelligence on the DL). His nomination to command the Excalibur was met with much resistance, particularly with Admiral Jellico, but so far it seems to have worked out pretty well.
- Badass: Won a civil war on his planet against a vastly superior technological race.
- Batman Gambit: Performs many of these over the course of the books.
- Canon Foreigner: He was included in Star Trek: Online.
- The Captain: A great example of such, being the center of a ship of complete misfits.
- Chick Magnet: Women like Calhoun. He's only really after one, though.
- The Chosen One: Was one of these on a world he visited. Is this to his people.
- The Comically Serious: Downplayed Trope example. Calhoun reacts to his crew and insane adventures as if nothing at all were strange.
- Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Is a Pragmatic Hero compared to most Starfleet Captains.
- Consummate Liar: He's amazingly good at this and it served him well in Starfleet Intelligence.
- Cowboy Cop: Or whatever the equivalent of a Starfleet Captain is.
- The Cynic: His view on the galaxy is darker than most.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Grew up on a Death World where his people were enslaved.
- Expy: Conan the Barbarian...IN SPACE.
- Word of God says Captain Calhoun is based on the historical William Wallace, who was a teenager when he did many of his great deeds.
- Genre Savvy: Understands he's in a different kind of Star Trek story than most.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a very noticeable one from a battle on his homeworld.
- Happily Married: To Shelby.
- Human Aliens: Xenexians are identical to humans in appearance and seemingly every other respect. They don't even have the usual funny foreheads or noses. In fact, purple irises seem to be the limit of it.
- Military Maverick: This is the captain whose solution to the Kobayashi Maru was to Shoot the Hostage for Pete's sake.
- Name From Another Species: Justified. His Xenexian name more accurately translates to English as M'k'n'zy of Calhoun (Calhoun being his hometown). He goes by "Mackenzie" or "Mac" among humans because they're close enough and were easier for his Academy classmates to pronounce.
- Mind Rape: Is subjected to this by Soleta of all people. Then he's subject to actual rape, though she wasn't actually at fault.
- Only Sane Man: Subverted. Calhoun is just as crazy as everyone else but handles it all in stride.
- Pragmatic Hero: As a contrast to the majority of Star Trek captains.
- Punctuation Shaker/The Unpronounceable: His Xenexian name.
- Purple Eyes: Fairly common among Xenexians.
- Slave Revolt: Led a successful on of these on his homeworld.
- Take a Third Option: During his test for the Kobayashi Maru No Win Scenario, he targeted the ship and blew it up because he thought it was a Romulan trick.
Elizabeth ShelbyElizabeth Paula Shelby first came to the attention of Starfleet higher-ups with her quick expertise on the Borg. After consulting with the Enterprise through the Locutus incident and the Battle of Wolf 359, she became first officer of the Chekov under Captain Morgan Korsmo, whom she would follow onto the Excalibur. When Korsmo was killed during the second Borg attack on Earth (in the events of Star Trek: First Contact), she was ready to move on to a captaincy when Admiral Jellico requested that she remain first officer so she could ride herd on Mackenzie Calhoun, with whom she had a relationship at the Academy. She eventually gets her own command in the Trident, then becomes an Admiral in charge of Bravo Station.
- Ascended Extra: Appeared for a pair of episodes in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Admittedly, these were The Best of Both Worlds.
- Battle Couple: With Calhoun.
- The Captain: Finally becomes one after a lot of effort.
- The Fettered: Holds to Starfleet regulations above just about everything, which makes her a huge pain in the butt for Calhoun. It gets better when she gets her own ship.
- Four-Star Badass: What she aspires to be. She eventually achieves it.
- Girl of My Dreams: Calhoun first sees her in a near-death hallucinatory vision long before he enrolls in Starfleet Academy. (He also first sees Jean-Luc Picard this way, thus pretty much affirming his visions).
- Happily Married: To Calhoun.
- The Idealist: Shelby attempts to hold to Starfleet ideals at all times. She's unaware that's a horrible idea in this series.
- Only Sane Man: Believes herself to be this but in the Ragtag Band of Misfits, she's actually the only insane one.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Thinks she's in a more typical Star Trek series so she acts as The Idealist and The Fettered, which means that she's completely out of her depth with the craziness she encounters.
- And Zoidberg: Shelby never quite learns to fit in with the Excalibur crew. Ironically, a more professional crew dislikes the oddball habits she picks up from the Excalibur.
Burgoyne 172Burgoyne 172 is a Hermat, a hermaphroditic species, and chief engineer of the Excalibur. S/he is uninhibited in hir sexuality, and generally has affairs with several crew members at a time. When Selar became the CMO, s/he pursued her, but was rebuffed many times, until her pon farr reignited and she finally gave in to hir charms. This resulted in a son, named Xy after the captain's son (who was at the time missing and presumed dead). A short custodial battle ensued, after which the pair decided to raise him together. Promoted to first officer when Shelby gained command of the Trident.
- Crusading Widower: After Selar dies.
- Gadgeteer Genius: In the proud tradition of Starfleet Engineers.
- Genius Bruiser: Is incredibly dangerous once they put their mind to it.
- Handsome Lech: At least he chooses to behave this way.
- Hermaphrodite: Very vocally so.
- Mayfly-December Romance: With Selar.
- Stalker with a Crush: Behaves like this to Selar due to sensing her attraction.
SelarDr. Selar was a medical officer aboard the Enterprise for many years. During that time, she experienced pon farr, and returned home to mate with her chosen one...only to have him die of a heart attack while still in its throes. She covered her shock reasonably well, but her urges returned when she became CMO of the Excalibur two years later. After rebuffing Burgoyne's advances for a time, she finally gave into hir, and produced a son. A few years later, she became obsessed with finding a cure for her son's condition, to the point of kidnapping. She would eventually die trying to save the child she kidnapped from the Bretheren, while in the process uncovering a cure for her son's condition.
- Anyone Can Die: Her death is one of the surprises of the series.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Due to the incident with her husband.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Her arc with Burgoyne.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Performs one as part of her efforts to save her son.
- Mama Bear: Will do anything for her child.
- Out with a Bang: Accidentally killed her husband during sex.
- Tsundere: A major one for Burgoyne.
Robin LeflerOperations officer of the Excalibur and special liaison to Si Cwan after a tour on the Enterprise. Bright and cheerful; best known for her "Lefler's Laws" she started to impress her mother. Seems like the Only Sane Man...until her mother, whom she thought was dead, turns up alive in Thallonian space. Eventually falls in love with and marries Si Cwan, and serves as a Starfleet liaison to the New Thallonian Protectorate until she resigns her commission after her husband was murdered by opposition forces. He did leave her Someone to Remember Him By, but that caused her even more trouble, sending her to Bravo Station for refuge.
- Adorkable: Is definitely this with her oddball laws, beauty, and shy demeanor.
- Notable that Robin Lefler was played by Ashley Judd.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Possesses a particularly bad case of this.
- Ascended Extra: Was a minor character on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- Cannot Spit It Out: With Si Cwan until she finally does.
- Crusading Widower: Is one of these after Si Cwan's death.
- Pregnant Badass: Is briefly one of these.
Zak KebronChief security officer of the Excalibur. A member of the Brikar species. Known for his mighty strength and his Deadpan Snarker tendencies...at least until he molts; then he becomes quite a bit more verbose (and doubles as Excalibur's counselor).
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: A ship's counselor who looks like the Thing.
- Character Development: Becomes a wise and erudite ship's counselor after his change.
- Genius Bruiser: Becomes one after his change.
- Heavyworlder: Was born on one and it made him nearly indestructible.
- Mighty Glacier: Has a Meaningful Name for his species ("Brick").
- Teens Are Monsters: It's discovered his angry demeanor is because he hasn't hit adulthood yet for his species.
Mark McHenryThe helmsman of the U.S.S Excalibur. He turns out to be part-god.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Once his past comes out and he resolves his issue with them.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Can fly the starship while asleep. No, this isn't a metaphor.
- The Bus Came Back: With the Returned series.
- Good with Numbers: Better than the computers.
- Last Second Showoff: He is very good at quickly calculating trajectories and other math in his head, so he spends most of his time looking bored and not doing anything, then at the last minute he'll calculate and set the coordinates, then go back to being bored.
- 90% of Your Brain: Has been modified by the Aesir.
SoletaThe half-Romulan/half-Vulcan science officer of the ship. Soleta is the secondary protagonist of the series and one of the most important characters in the series. She would eventually leave Starfleet after her Romulan heritage was uncovered, and rise to prominence in the Romulan hierarchy, getting a ship right around the time of Star Trek: Nemesis.
- Babies Ever After: Is carrying Captain Calhoun's child at the end of The Returned.
- Batman Gambit: As her mutinous Romulan crew discovers.
- Child by Rape: Her mother was raped by a Romulan pirate.
- Deadpan Snarker: In the proud Vulcan tradition. Soleta actually does this better than most of her species.
- Defector from Decadence: Zig-zagged as she defects from the Federation to the Romulan Empire then back. Sort of.
- Easily Forgiven: A Downplayed Trope example with her rape of Captain Calhoun. She had to be willing to sacrifice her life to save his, survive, and reveal that she had been in the midst of pon'far.
- Heel–Face Revolving Door: From Starfleet's perspective. She actually has always remained the same moral person, just her allegiances have changed to whoever she feels supports her.
- Expy: Of Valaris.
- Mind Rape: Is much more willing to subject people to this than most Vulcans. Because she comes to identify more with her Romulan side than her Vulcan.
- The Stoic: Subverted as she's in a state of near-constant anger and barely-concealed exasperation.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: The discovery of her Romulan heritage didn't improve her disposition.
- Unwitting Pawn: Her biological father claimed a Faith–Heel Turn. It turns out he was just using her to get revenge.
Si CwanThe last remaining prince of the Thollonian royal family. He, alone, amongst them wasn't a complete scumbag. He attempts, throughout the series, to try and rebuild the Thollonian provinces into something resembling a functioning government. He succeeds.
- Abusive Parents: His parents were real scumbags.
- Anyone Can Die: Is killed by his political enemies just as everything worked out for him.
- The Exile: Was driven off his homeworld in a coup.
- Hope Spot: Finally manages to organize a new government for his people.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: Has to sneak aboard the Excalibur in a cargo container.
- Impoverished Patrician: Lost everything when his family was overthrown.
- Like Brother and Sister: He gets over it, though.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Is a warrior prince and "diplomat" despite having no authority anymore.
JanosSecurity officer under Kebron. A genetically-bred mutant (who looks quite a bit like a mugato). He reverts to mindlessness in Stone and Anvil.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: He is known to pretend to be a non-sentient animal on occasion.
- Uncanny Valley: His resemblance to a famous wild beast in-universe causes some strange looks.
- Uplifted Animal: It turns out he doesn't look like a mugato so much as is one.
Kat MuellerOriginally the Executive Officer of the Grissom (she worked the night shift where Calhoun and the captain worked the day shift); was imported to the same position on the Excalibur. She would later become Shelby's first officer on the Trident, then promoted to captain when Shelby was promoted to admiral.
- Action Girl: Quite capable of throwing down when events require.
- Amazonian Beauty: Is built like Ronda Rousy versus Eppie's more traditional form.
- The Captain: Becomes one after Shelby's promotion.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a number of these.
- The Lad-ette: Hard partying, hard-working, hard-edged XO.
- New Old Flame: Used to be lovers with Captain Calhoun after his relationship with Eppy at the Academy.
- Remember the New Guy: Has always been there, just off-camera.
ArexOne of two alien crew members from Star Trek: The Animated Series imported to the novels.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Has many of them and can use them all.
- Starfish Aliens: Quite the exception to the usual Human Aliens.
Shiboline M'RessThe other alien character from Star Trek: The Animated Series.
- Cat Girl: A fact she is very much aware of.
- Hurricane of Puns: She discusses the cat jokes the crew makes about her.
KalindaThe sister of Ci Cwan and one of the last remaining members of the Thollian royal family. After the fall of the Thallonian Empire, she is brainwashed into believing she's a native of a local culture before being rescued by Xyon. She can see the dead and has visions of a world called the Quiet Place.
- Bi the Way: Starts a relationship with a woman after losing Xyon.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Briefly thought she was someone else entirely (as well as a different species).
- I See Dead People: Her primary power is the ability to do this.
- Nice Girl: One of the nicest in the series.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: As active as Ci Swan in trying to make the galaxy a better place.
XyThe son of Selar and Burgoyne. Because of the conflict between his parents' genetics, he grows up extremely quickly; the three year time-skip between Stone and Anvil and After the Fall is long enough for him to grow up and become a Starfleet science officer. It's intimated he'll die just as quickly, thus causing Selar's parental conflict and would lead to her betrayal and death...and his possible salvation
- Dead Guy Junior: Is named after Xyon when he was believed to have sacrificed himself for the ship.
- The Smart Guy: Which is doubly-impressive in Starfleet.
- Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Justified by his unique biology. He ages mentally and physically so he doesn't bog down the cast.
- We Are as Mayflies: Was originally cursed with rapid maturity and aging but compensated for it with enhanced intelligence.
Morgan PrimusAn immortal citizen of Earth who has a striking similarity to a number of Starfleet characters.
- Abusive Parents: A Downplayed Trope example. She abandoned her daughter early on by faking her death.
- Canon Immigrant: Was the XO of the original Enterprise pilot.
- Character Death: Happens twice.
- Continuity Porn: Is one long joke about the role of Majel Barrett in Star Trek. Then she turns evil.
- Face–Heel Turn: Turns evil due to becoming a machine.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Is almost indestructible in her human form. More so when she becomes a starship.
- Spaceship Girl: Her fate after a series of adventures.
Edward JellicoThe Starfleet Admiral of Deep Space Five and one of the direct supervisors of Captain Calhoun's mission.
- Da Chief: Serves as this since he's the head of Starfleet operations.
- Flanderization: From his appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He's gone from being a curmudgeony Reasonable Authority Figure to Calhoun's version of J.J. Jameson. He gets over it.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Calhoun and the Excalibur crew are, bluntly, completely insane.
- Jerkass With A Heart Of Gold: He wants what's best for the Federation and Alpha Quandrant as a whole.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Has this role with Captain Calhoun. He gets over it.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Is actually one of these, underneath his terminal dislike of Calhoun.
TakahashiA blonde Asian with a southern drawl. Works ops on the Grissom and later the Trident.
Worked the conn on the Grissom and later on the Trident. His sister Leanne went to the Academy with Calhoun and Shelby. Died at the hands of the Brethren.
Tania TobiasThe conn replacement for McHenry and a former subject of the Worlds Within Worlds project. The project left her with terrifying psychic visions she'd rather not have.
MokeSon of a mother on Yakaba, a dry planet where Calhoun crash lands after the Excalibur is destroyed. Calhoun adopts him as his own after his mother is killed. He later learns that his father is the All-Father (Woden, Odin, and Santa Claus) and has inherited weather-related powers from him.
- Divine Parentage: He is the son of Odin. Yes, really.
- Happily Adopted: Zigzagged Trope. He loves and admires Calhoun a great deal but the latter is an awful father.
- Tykebomb: He has a lot of powers that he's only begun to tap.
- Weather Manipulation: He can do this thanks to his heritage.
XyonA mysterious starship captain working in Thallonian space. He turns out to be Captain Calhoun's son.
- Antihero: An Unscrupulous Hero variant in Star Trek that's notable even compared to the rest of the crew.
- Attack Hello: He loves this.
- Chekhov M.I.A.: He was the child borne from Calhoun's one time "duty tryst" with the widow Catrine from his days of being a warlord on Xenex.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Xyon is always betraying his partners, whether they be the Excalibur crew or their enemies.
- Expy: Han Solo.
- Karma Houdini: Gets off with a slap on the wrist for his many misdeeds. This includes genocide. Planting an all-consuming organism on the Redeemer's homeworld.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mostly. Occasionally, even the reader is left to wonder if he's a Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk.
- Luke, You Are My Father: Captain Calhoun's son
- Moral Myopia: Does several absolute bastardly things to get back at his father, which potentially could have gotten the Excalibur crew killed.
- Robosexual: With his starship's holographic A.I.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: It seems to be the case after the destruction of Xenex.
D'n'dai of CalhounM'k'n'zy's older brother. Was the far more political savvy of the two, and helped solidify Xenex's standing in space after his brother got the Danteri off the world. Unfortunately, one of his first decisions was to trade with their former oppressors, which put a strain on his relationship with his brother. Died at the hands of the Brethren.
- Cain and Abel: Subverted. D'n'dai is hateful to his brother but doesn't want to see him dead.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Thinks Xenex views his brother as a living god while they look down on him as second best despite both being vital to freeing their home planet.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Mac calls him out on the fact he traded Xenexian independence for a foreign power's aid. D'n'dai points out they never would have won their independence without said aid in the first place. For once, Mac is speechless.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Points out Mac left their home planet when they needed his presence most.
LodecA Danteri nobleman. Calhoun rescued him at the behest of a Thallonian mercenary, where he then discovered that as a young soldier in the Danteri army, Lodec was the whipman in the torture and execution of Calhoun's father. Although he tried several times to get revenge, Lodec escaped and returned to Danter, where he helped negotiate for ambrosia with the Beings, and the Danteri became their first willing subjects.
- You Killed My Father: How Mac views him—which is not at all inaccurate.