Lieutenant Joel Henderson

Tour of Duty: Klingon
Name: Joel Henderson
Race: Human
Gender: Male

Joel is a sharp looking man, well groomed with dark hair and dark eyes. He always seems to have a smile on his face and is obviously in peak physical shape.

Joel is a vivacious man, full of life and eager to get things taken care of. He's a hard worker and a great friend. Joel has his introspective moments, usually in his quarters with a baby grand that he takes with him everywhere so he can unwind by playing some Jazz music.

Joel had a very normal life growing up, right up until the age of fifteen. He lived in a rural neighborhood in New Orleans, not far from the French Quarter. Say what you will about the distant future, some places in the world were still dangerous, and that was one of them.

One night, about three weeks before Joel's sixteenth birthday, a burglar broke into their house trying to find something to hock for drugs. Joel's father, Alan, tried to stop him, but the man shot him, then gunned down his mom when she tried to see what was going on.

Joel darted to his younger brother Isaac's room and dragged him under his bed before the thief could see them. They waited for hours, until the sun was up and they knew the thief was gone.

By then it was far too late to save their parents. Isaac, only ten years old at the time, was terrified, but Joel stepped into action. He contacted the police and took his younger brother over to their neighbors house. Before long, the Henderson's household was crawling with investigators and policemen.

The next few days were a blur for the Henderson boys as they were pushed through social services until a suitable foster home could be found. During that time, their parents murderer had been found, dead in a crack house after overdosing on Orion Blue. To this day Joel still appreciates the irony of that.

Joel and Isaac both wound up in the watch stead of Latoya Washington, a middle-aged African American woman with a lot of room, and more than enough love in her heart for the two boys. She took them in, treating them like her own children right off the bat, after assuring them that she wasn't their mother, wasn't going to try to be their mother, and could never replace their mother, but she'd be damned if she didn't _take care_ of them like their mother.

Isaac ate up the bombastic woman's love and affection, while Joel tended to gravitate upstairs, where Latoya's grandfather Jedediah stayed.

Jed was eighty-seven years old when Isaac and Joel moved in and had more life in him than most thirty year olds. Joel hadn't thought much of the old blind man until one night on his way to bed, he heard the most beautiful Jazz piano coming from Jed's room.

The door was cracked open, and Joel expected to find Jed listening to a recording... but was shocked to find the old man on a well-used baby grand, playing the tune himself. From that point on, Joel began learning to play with Jed, and he put all of his pain and hurt into the music he played, catching on quickly and loving every note.

Two-years passed,and Joel was surprised one day to find Jed sitting in his room with an application to Starfleet Academy. It turned out that Jed had served in Starfleet back in the Kirk era, and asked Joel if he'd do him proud by joining Starfleet and following the Ops path.

Joel agreed without hesitation and focused all of his efforts into his studies, making top grades in all but his last semester in the Academy. But all of his professors understood the drop.

Halfway through the last semester, Jed Washington had died in his sleep at the age of ninty-three. Joel was crushed, almost as badly as the night his parents had been murdered. He took two weeks off from his last semester to mourn, unable to focus on anything but his loss.

Joel finally pulled it together during the last few weeks enough to come to his classes. His professors knew Joel was a hard worker and they knew how much Jed had meant to him, so they all agreed to pad his final grades a bit to where he could still graduate in a top percentile of his class. None of his fellow studnets objected.

Joel requested a one month leave before being assigned to a ship so that he could go home to the only family he had left, his brother and Latoya. He spent a month with them, remembering, laughing, and singing, then, finally, pulled himself up by the boot straps once again to take his fist commission on the USS Excellence, a Daystrom Class starship surveying new planets near the edge of the Alpha quadrant.

Joel served on that ship for sixteen years, through the dominion war, and the Shinzon incident. He worked his way up the Chief of Operations and was even offered three different spots on the command staff, but he rejected them all, deciding to stay with the department that he promised Jed he'd take.

Last month, the USS Excellence was decommissioned and Joel was reassigned to the USS Camelot as the Chief Operations Officer there, eager to get back to work.