Lieutenant Junior Grade Ben Batono

Unit of Merit, Bronze

Name: Benjamin Uriah Batono
Race: Human
Gender: Male
Date of Birth: 2348
Place of Birth: Titan Colony
Height/Weight: 5'9"/210 lbs
Hair/Eyes: Black/Black

Appearance: Dark skinned with short, muscular build

Personality: Quiet, introverted, perceptive, articulate, decisive.
Born in 2348, Benjamin was creche raised within one of the many settlements of Titan Colony. Batono's natural parents operated multiple subatomic simulator farms and made sure that the young lad had a healthy appreciation and knowledge of quantum physics. With a well-rounded education at age 17 he applied to Starfleet academy only to be selected as an alternate, but was admitted when the primary candidate contracted Paranisti Measles.

In 2369 Ben joined the USS Crazy Horse in time to be part of the fleet assembled to repel a possible second Borg invasion. Seeing the Borg in action prompted Ensign Batono to tinker in weapons development. His thesis on beam hardening, by adjusting the composition of ultra emitters, was used in the then state of the art phasers on the Intrepid and Akira classes. Benjamin’s career was on the fast track.

In 2371 Batono was assigned to USS Mary Rose, a Nebula Class vessel tasked with spying on the Cardassians. Struck by a cloaked mine, the crew spent a week adrift before being rescued.

Batono was then assigned to the USS Malinche. Aboard the Malinche Captain Sanders was given the duty of apprehending the Maquis traitor Eddington at Veloz Prime despite great odds that they wouldn't reach the planet in time. However, Sanders would have no more luck at the task than the USS Defiant (disabled earlier) did. When the Malinche responded to a distress signal from a Cardassian Freighter, it was discovered that the freighter was actually a booby trap left by the Maquis: a focused particle beam punched through the starship's gyro-shielding, and three Maquis raiders then attacked and disabled the ship, damaging the Malinche's navigational systems and warp core matrix compositor. Batono was the on duty tactical bridge officer at the time of the incident. The Maquis was such a political hot button at the time that Starfleet, and as a knee jerk reaction, placed official reprimands in all the bridge crews' jackets. Batono's fast track career was stymied after receiving a reduction in rank.
  Benjamin was then assigned to the USS Thomas Paine, under the command of Captain Robert Merrill, where he quietly worked as the assistant chief tactical officer. By then the Dominion War had already started, and the Thomas Paine was relegated to patrolling the Breen border. It was then in 2374 that the Paine was assigned to the 10th fleet, then conducting training near Betazed. The Dominion-Cardassian fleets arrived and dealt Starfleet the biggest lost of ships and life in Federation history. The USS Paine was severely damaged early in the battle. Lieutenant Patrick Reese, an aide to the many admirals that were observing the training, was assigned to the Paine. Reese took command after Captain Merrill was incapacitated and fought the ship brilliantly. After suffering a massive head wound Lieutenant Reese ordered the Paine to ram one of the larger Dominion capital ships. Batono relieved Reese and ordered all hands to abandon ship. Few escape pods made the trip to Betazed. Many survivors were killed in the Great Purge on Betazed; millions of Betazed civilians and hundreds of Starfleet personnel were slaughtered. Batono, Merrill and Reese survived the purge and joined the underground resistance until the end of the Dominion War.

Reese had quietly considered his removal from command as an embarrassment and harbored hatred for Batono. Immediately after the liberation of Betazed he brought charges of mutiny against Benjamin. The well-publicized trial ended in acquittal that in no small part was aided by Captain Merrill’s swaying testimony. Twice burned by Starfleet politics, Batono immediately resigned from Starfleet, and took a shuttle to Archer VI, a backwater Federation protectorate near the Beta Quadrant. The call of being in uniform was still strong, and Benjamin took a job a constable with the planet's police force. After earning his Juris Doctorate he was promoted to investigator for Starbase 278 Federation Attorney's Office. It was there in 2383 that his former captain, Robert Merrill, found him and asked for a favor. Reinstated in Starfleet at the rank full Commander Ben was to investigate a controversial, classified Federation incident. Patrick Reese, now a Lieutenant Commander and personnel officer for that sector, caught wind of arrangement. His hatred for Batono, greater than ever for side tracking his career, used a loophole in the personnel regulations to have Benjamin reduced to his original rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. Captain Merrill convinced Batono not only to continue the investigation but also to stay in Starfleet.