Chief Maxwell Hertzog

Chief Maxwell (Max) Hertzog
Race: Human
Age: 38
Birthplace: Spica, Kansas Earth
Height: 6’8”
Weight: 280 pounds
Hair Color: Iron Gray
Hair Length: Past the shoulder blades usually braided in a queue.
Eye Color: Green
Complexion: Deeply tanned and weathered.

Former Commander Hertzog is known for his uncanny knack to annoy authority. Passed over for promotion four times and demoted once, he has little patience for formality. Taciturn and intense he is a wildly brilliant engineer. Every ship he has served on has returned to spacedock in better working order than when fresh out of the yards. Despite this he is constantly being written up for dereliction of duty. Aboard the USS Red Cloud during the Battle of Sybaron he was arrested for allegedly abandoning his post. He was released for duty after the battle when it was pointed out the Red Cloud had weathered the most punishment of any Starfleet vessel to survive, and yet was in exceptional working order by even peacetime standards. Anyone familiar with his working habits will speak of how much he gets done without any apparent effort.

As checkered as his past is with superiors, his ability as a mentor there is without question. Two of his former subordinates have been promoted to Captain since his arrival at Kuiper. All of the engineers he has trained over the years are in high demand. Starfleet Academy has (and is) pressing him to accept a PhD. in engineering so he can teach there. Hertzog has ignored all such requests for ten years.

His personal life is largely over so far as his superiors can tell. Married to a Cardassian woman before the Dominion war, he lost both his wife and twelve-year-old daughter during the Battle of Cardassia. This appears to have had a demoralizing effect on Commander Hertzog. The news of his brother Gavin also falling at the head of his ship USS Chapultapec with all hands may have contributed to the dramatic change in the man. Starfleet records indicate a sharp decline in misconduct reports filed against him. Since arriving at the Kuiper yards he has expressed no desire for promotion or reassignment.

His marriage caused some worry for his superiors. Dar’ Hila was a respected Cardassian Judge in the Ministry of Justice. Fearing Cardassian influence reaching the upper levels of Starfleet Command, then Commander Hertzog was demoted from his post as Executive Officer of the USS Bellicose (One of the Defiant-class ships later mothballed after the war) as the Dominion War began, and he accepted a commission as Chief Engineer aboard the USS Red Cloud. His replacement aboard the Bellicose was one Commander Steven Zelazko. He was later reassigned to the Neptune Space Yards just prior to the Battle of Cardassia being judged “of questionable motives and loyalty” by Admiral Ross over the protests of Hertzog’s immediate superior Captain Schliening. Unfortunately, between his duties during the Borg incursions and his time spent in action during the Dominion War, he was separated from his family for over five years until they were wiped out by the Jem’ Haddar during the last minute purges the Dominion ordered.

After the Dominion war he was assigned to Neptune Station where he acquired his first PhD. in History while serving as a refit officer. Reassigned to the Kuiper yards two years later, he received his next PhD. in music while operating the mothball fleet.

This doesn’t appear to have affected his abilities. Universally respected for his engineering prowess, his position at Neptune saw the construction of no fewer than 55 ships and the wartime refit of 80 more before the end of hostilities saw him reassigned to the Kuiper Space Yards. Kuiper has flourished in a peculiar way since his arrival. The yards have grown to fifteen times those of Pluto (formerly the largest of them all) and doubled the size of the staff working there. His reputation as a troubleshooter and his apparent desire to be left alone has served Starfleet in many useful ways. Troublesome refits usually manage to find their way to Kuiper where they are returned in perfect working order (along with lists of scathing comments issued to the designers and superiors by Hertzog himself.)

In appearance Hertzog is an enormous man. Described by a classmate as “a big, shambling galoot with shoulders you could serve dinner on,” he tends to stoop while walking through corridors out of long standing habit. Since the death of his family, his sandy blond hair has gone to iron grey overnight. He has large green eyes that shift from soulfully anguished to bitter anger depending on his moods. He has an unsettling habit of either ignoring those about him or looking then directly in the eye (a trait that has annoyed every superior officer he’s ever had since it screams defiance.) His face is rather weathered and careworn, and in recent years he’s grown a beard to hide it. Unfortunately this beard is almost entirely white so he tends to look much older than his 38 years. His powerful build is almost entirely muscle, but he lacks the poise and muscle tone of a professional athlete. His body has been shaped and toned by work from a very early age and few can match his dexterity crawling about starships. His hands are large and he often jokes he could conduct an orchestra in New York while standing in Nebraska and still be understood.

Parents: Gary and Yvonne Hertzog
Siblings: Thomas (KIA at Wolf 359,) Anthony (KIA at Tsarsis,) Gavin (KIA at Cardassia,) Randall (Resides in Hesston, Kansas,) Nadia (Presently attending Kyoto University,) Victoria (Presently Attending University of Pretoria.)
Spouse: Dar’ Hila (Cardassian, Killed during the Battle of Cardassia)
Children: Ophelia (Killed during the Battle of Cardassia age: 12)

2343: Born the third child of Gary and Yvonne Hertzog
2363: Graduates Starfleet Academy in the middle of his class. Graduates Engineering College at Jupiter Station. Given Commission as Ensign and accepts posting aboard USS Zulu.
2364: Promoted to Lieutenant (JG) and assigned to USS Huron, USS Verdun, USS Metternich, USS Medici, USS Goliath, and Mars Utopia Planitia space yards for troubleshooting duties.
2365: Promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to USS Sadat. Meets and marries Cardassian woman during an extended diplomatic mission to Cardassia. Daughter Ophelia born December 22 on Bajor.
2367: Promoted to Lieutenant Commander. Made Chief Engineer of USS Bellicose.
2368: Commander Thomas Hertzog Killed in action at Wolf 359 trying to retreat. (Posthumously awarded DSC.)
2369: Promoted to Commander and Executive Officer of the Bellicose.
2370: Wife and daughter refused immigration permit to Earth. Sees them for the last time in July during another diplomatic mission on Earth.
2371: Dominion War Begins. Demoted to Lieutenant Commander and reassigned to USS Red Cloud.
2372: Captain Anthony Hertzog Killed in action at battle of Tsarsis. (Posthumously awarded Silver Star.) Max disowned by family.
2373: Arrested for abandoning post during Battle of Sybaron (charges dropped.) Passed over for promotion to Commander.
2374: Passed over for promotion despite widespread vacancies due to attrition. Reassigned to Neptune Space Yards.
2375: Captain Gavin Hertzog Killed in action during Battle of Cardassia. Dar’Hila and Ophelia killed by Jem’ Haddar during Battle of Cardassia. Dominion War ends.
2377: Passed over for promotion again. Receives first PhD. in History Prague University. Reassigned to USS Pathfinder (Classified.)
2378: Made deputy director of Thunderchief Project. Epsilon and Phi activated.
2379: Cha activated. Commander Barney Blackburn killed and Epsilon destroyed during Mark II Phase Drive test. Thunderchief Project cancelled. Max passed over for promotion again. Avoids demotion by accepting command of Kuiper Space Yards. Receives second PhD. in Music Vienna University.
2381: Joins Project Infinite. Demoted to Chief Engineer two days later by Commodore Zelazko.

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