“Are fragile relations with a reclusive race we’ve had very little to do with and know even less about worth more than one loyal officer’s life and liberty?”
Noah Wrightson was the seventh commanding officer of the USS Cantabrian (NCC-24705) between 2369 and 2373 and, later, the USS Cantabrian (NCC-24705-A) from 2374.
Noah Wrightson was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in November 2326. His father, an engineer, cultivated his interest in engineering and education, while his mother nurtured his interest in gardening and reading.
Noah Wrightson lodged a successful application for Starfleet Academy in 2344. It was there he first met Salin Jonar, starting a friendship with the Jonar symbiont and its hosts, lasting for over 20 years. (“Catalyst, Part One“) He graduated the Academy with honors in 2348.
Some of the starships Noah Wrightson has served aboard include:
- USS Fendalton
- USS Hillary (NCC-26291)
- USS Christchurch (NCC-18005) (aboard which he was first officer under then-Captain Zahara Hogan)
While aboard the Christchurch, he served with Samantha D’Angelo and Marie Senegal, both of whom he would select in 2372 to take on the vacant positions of first officer and flight controller respectively. (“Catalyst, Part One“)
He impressed then-Captain Zahara Hogan so much during his duties as her first officer on the Christchurch, that when she was promoted to admiral and given command of Deep Space 4, she promoted Wrightson to the rank of captain and gave him his own command.
Whether this first command was the USS Cantabrian or some other ship is not known, although previous back story created for Wrightson included his command of the USS Christchurch previous to his Cantabrian command.
Aboard the Starship Cantabrian
Captain Noah Wrightson took command of the USS Cantabrian: the seventh person to do so. Around the same time, his long-term relationship to Alexander Santos ended.
Two members of his senior staff were security chief Ulitania Jonar and counselor Leslie Hernandez. He selected Jonar as one of her symbiont’s previous host, Marjal Jonar, had served aboard the Cantabrian with then-Captain Thekla Lawless, and he had been a close friend with Jonar’s previous host Salin. Ultania Jonar and he were close friends even before she served on the Cantabrian with him (see Jonar below for further information). He had tried to convince Samantha D’Angelo to take the first officer position, but she seemed determined to stay aboard the Christchurch to ensure it got to drydock in one piece: something Wrightson admired. (“Catalyst, Part One“)
Later in that same year, in a tense stand-off with the Wthaure, a subspace weapon detonated, severely damaging both the Wthaure battle cruiser and the Cantabrian. During the stand-off, Wrightson nearly lost his cool, but Leslie Hernandez ensured he remained calm and focussed. (“Catalyst, Part One“)
Ship refit (2369 – 2372)
When Starfleet Command decided to refit the Cantabrian, Wrightson oversaw some parts of the refit. During this time, he met Antonio Fernandes and Ethan Arden, both of who impressed him very much. Towards the end of the refit, he requested them as his operations manager/second officer and chief engineer respectively: a decision he felt Kwong Ju’an, their supervisor, would not be terribly happy about. (“Catalyst, Part One“)
Wrightson and a skeleton crew launched the Cantabrian from Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards and headed towards Starbase Expanse 4 to gather the remainder of the crew. With SE4 destroyed, and various other Starfleet ships and bases under attack, the mission became partially rescue and partially defense of the Federation. Despite personal losses and the feeling of being “always on the back foot”, Wrightson maintained his strong leadership and helped defeat the Myhr’an planet killer and the other Myhr’an ships responsible. One Myhr’an ship escaped. (“Catalyst, Part One“)
When the Lelari demanded Benjamin Caldwell‘s extradition to face charges of attempted mass murder and attempted genocide, Wrightson lodged a protest with Admiral Hogan, wondering if one man’s life was less important than relations with a reclusive race the Federation barely knew. Despite his objections, Starfleet ordered him to comply with the Lelari requests: a measure he followed through on. He reviewed Dr. Marie Bourget‘s defense evidence to help Caldwell‘s case. Wrightson, as well as his fellow officers, were surprised by the Lelari verdict all “offworlders” were deported off Lelar Prime and forced aboard the Cantabrian, seeing Klingons, Romulans and various other alien races hitching transport with the ship to the nearest port. (“Breaking Benjamin“)
While checking up on isolated Federation colony Caldea IV en route to Starbase Expanse 7 to drop off those deported citizens and facilitate repairs on the Cantabrian, Wrightson was stricken with a variant of the incurable Caldean Acute Cardiopulmonary Syndrome (CACS) upon beam-up. With the isolation bays on the Cantabrian damaged and the colony still fragile from a different medical outbreak, Wrightson’s and Daniel Radke‘s transporter signals were deflected to a derelict orbiting station (housing a make-shift isolation bay). During this time, Wrightson was stuck in isolation, and, when scuffles and nearly all-out war between various civilian parties aboard the Cantabrian broke out, forcing the ship to proceed to Starbase Expanse 7, Radke remained behind to keep Wrightson company. As he accepted his imminent death, Wrightson spoke about his life and confided in Radke. Near death after massive systems failure, he was rescued by a remedy formulated by Helena Bourget, raising her in his opinion and quelling his suspicions about her allegiances. (“Isolation“)
Wrightson was the first Starfleet captain to make first contact with the reclusive and mythical Renai’i after discovering the fate of the missing USS Eagle. Despite his efforts for a peaceful outcome, he and his crew squared off against the Renai’i, a warrior race, only escaping narrowly after the Renai’i retreated to regroup. (“The Eagle“)
With limited Starfleet resources in the Typhon Expanse region, Wrightson and his crew attempted to hold Canaileus Prime from succumbing to a Myhr’an invasion and occupation force. Reluctantly, he sent the majority of his crew to the surface to stave off the attack, resulting in moderate losses, including the death of his long-time friend, Ulitania Jonar. The rage at his losses propelled his determination to win the battle and keep Canaileus Prime as Federation territory. (“Oh, What a Lovely War“)
Orders and his conscience clashed again when Starfleet demanded no interference with a pre-warp planet affected by a subspace rupture caused by the triggering of Samantha Delaney’s booby-trapped folded space drive at Dante Station. Wrightson agreed with Tony Fernandes‘s conclusion to collapse the anomaly and save the planet’s inhabitants, and, when Fernandes stole a shuttlecraft to collapse the rupture, after asking his crew to step aside if they objected to his direct violation of an order, Wrightson piloted the Cantabrian to stall the USS Auckland (NCC-65201) from stopping Fernandes. (“Salvation“)
Learning to accept Helena Bourget more and more as part of the Cantabrian team despite his initial concerns about her and her loyalties, Wrightson’s trust was nearly fully destroyed when Helena showed her true colors, betraying the crew and her mother. After Helena‘s escape, Wrightson vowed to hunt her down and bring her to justice. (“Daughter’s Keeper“)
Near the end of 2372, the Myhr’an approached the Federation with a truce. Wrightson and the Cantabrian were assigned to meet with the Myhr’an but quickly found it was a trap. A Myhr’an boarding party kidnapped Wrightson, Radke, Caldwell and Elizabeth Singh, and the Myhr’an super battle cruiser retreated. While the Cantabrian confronted the Myhr’an later, Wrightson and the others escaped with Helena Bourget’s assistance, with Wrightson and Radke confronting the Myhr’an commander. With the super battle cruiser’s imminent destruction, Wrightson and Radke were beamed out before the Myhr’an commander could kill them. (“Deceptions“)
Months into 2373, the Cantabrian was still under repair at Deep Space 4 and Wrightson was facing a court martial for disobeying a direct order during the events of “Salvation“. A Treaty Killer attack disrupted the trial, and he was forced to strongly urge Daniel Radke to leave with Liam de Gaillimhe aboard the USS Aotearoa. With his quick thinking, Noah Wrightson modified the station to emit a graviton pulse, disrupting the Treaty Killers’ ship’s warp drive, buying the Aotearoa precious time. (“Repercussions”)
When Aumil Killan and members of the Trill Symbiosis Commission came aboard Deep Space 4 on a “witch hunt” against Tawana Jonar in an attempt to remove the Jonar symbiont from Tawana (as some Trill saw a Trill-hybrid hosting a Trill symbiont as impure), they met fierce opposition from Wrightson, who took every action available as a Starfleet captain to protect not only a subordinate under his command but also a close friend. His fierce and logical arguments brought Aumil Killan to his senses, and the latter called off the investigation immediately.
After his court martial resumed with the return of Captain de Gaillimhe to the station, Wrightson was found guilty of disobeying a direct order, but, in light of his contributions to the Myhr’an effort and an otherwise clean record, Hogan and the others gave him no penalty but an official warning on his record. Wrightson felt betrayed by this, and it would continue to haunt him in his service to Starfleet and the Federation. (“The Betrayed”)
Wrightson and his crew were assigned to find Samantha Delaney after she was linked to the dark starship that sent Liz Singh into an alternate reality. (Star Trek: The Cantabrian Expeditions: “Stranger Than Fiction”, “Bitter Sweet”) Delaney’s destructive and vindictive nature, demonstrated by her going back in time to severely cripple Benjamin Caldwell‘s mother’s starship, convinced Wrightson she was a serious threat to the Federation, and Hogan concurred, instructing him to stop her at all costs. (“Bitter Sweet”)
Wrightson hosted Marjal Jonar’s memories during Tawana Jonar‘s zhian’tara ceremony. He felt he could not host either Salin or Ulitania due to his association with them and the deep pain their sudden deaths caused him. (“Finding the Edges of Who She Is”)
Wrightson and his crew tracked Delaney down, and a cat-and-mouse fight erupted. Believing she was calling his bluff, he ordered the Cantabrian to back her Dark Starship into a corner with the Aotearoa assisting: the wrong move to make. Wrightson later expressed deep remorse, as he felt responsible for the Aotearoa’s disappearance as a result of the Dark Starship’s temporal weapon. (“Best Served Cold”, “I Who Have Nothing”)
Like the majority of his crew, Noah Wrightson was affected by Damian, The Dark Angel, and his Murder. (“Dark Angel”)
A temporal displacement wave threw Wrightson, Fernandes and Jonar back in time where their shuttlecraft crashed on an uninhabited planet. Studying the caverns and attempting to find any resources to help repair the shuttle, Wrightson and his team bumped into Captain Thekla Lawless and an away team, including then-Lieutenant Marjal Jonar. Wrightson spent time with his idol, eventually coming clean about him and his crew being from the future. Lawless, on the other hand, admitted she felt Starfleet’s mission of peace and exploration was being detracted from by scuffles with the Klingons and Romulans; something Wrightson expressed would pass. Lawless’s encouragement of Wrightson and vice versa helped the other discover why they were in Starfleet in the first place. When a storm on the surface prevented the original Cantabrian from beaming Lawless up, Wrightson and his crew, in the repaired shuttlecraft, left the planet and transported Lawless back aboard, then finding the temporal rift to return back to their original time. (“The Fire in Which We Burn”)
The final showdown between the Cantabrian and Delaney’s Dark Starship was brutal, with Captain Anne Lansing sacrificing her ship in an attempt to stop Delaney’s push towards Earth; it didn’t succeed. Three days before his birthday, Wrightson ordered the Cantabrian into range to stop Delaney at any cost, and the Cantabrian was severely crippled in the process. As he gave the abandon ship order, Wrightson, Lansing, Radke and several other Cantabrian senior officers beamed over to the damaged Dark Starship, confronting Samantha Delaney and her crew. In a showdown on the Dark Starship’s bridge, Noah Wrightson and Samantha Delaney fought a spectacular battle. At one point, Delaney triggered the temporal weapon in an attempt to escape, but Wrightson captured her before she could. With the temporal weapon overloading, Wrightson exchanged a tearful good-bye to Radke before throwing himself into the weapon, losing him in time and space. (“By All Means Necessary”)
Midway through 2374, the new USS Cantabrian-A’s captain, Patricia Graves, found a time portal on an unexplored planet leading to ancient Egypt on Earth. Exploring the portal, Graves discovered Noah Wrightson living in ancient Egypt, attempting to quell an alien threat. Previous to his arrival, he believed Nefertiti had been killed by the aliens. Graves begged to not only swap places with Wrightson to restore the timeline, taking her place as Nefertiti, but also agree to a cease-fire, to which the aliens concurred. In accordance with the agreement, Wrightson was returned to the 24th century and assumed command of the Cantabrian-A. (<“Where There’s a Man Who Has No Voice, There Ours Shall Go Singing”)
Wrightson was still in command of the Cantabrian-A in 2384. A task force under his command staved off a Romulan attack on a Romulan shuttle carrying his husband Daniel Radke (disguised as Tal Shiar operative Tovath and the comatose Corey Aster). (“Dream a Little Dream of Me“)
Excerpt from counselor’s report
Profile by Counselor Leslie Hernandez. Stardate 49008.3
Captain Noah Wrightson instills confidence in his crew through positive praise, constructive criticism, open-mindedness to suggestions, approachability and dedication. He delivers praise where deserved and criticism to learn from. Senior staff meetings often consist of freely exchanging ideas, fostered by Wrightson, and he seems willing to attempt the most promising theories in the most dire of situations. Wrightson welcomes crew members to approach him with problems or concerns he or she feels he or she can’t approach anyone else about. One trait paramount to Captain Wrightson’s success as a leader remains to be his dedication to his crew and his ship. On many occasions in the past, he’s demonstrated this dedication, especially in his dealings with races like the Zmakians, Fralkoni, and Wthaure, all of whom threatened the lives of his crew.
Amongst Captain Wrightson’s most notable achievements remain a successful first contact and on-going relationship with the Ukaldians and the discovery of unique subspace eddies supporting primitive life, leading to the establishment of a Federation task force dedicated to protecting the life forms, relying primarily on Wrightson’s findings.
Starfleet stands confident in the abilities of Captain Noah Wrightson and tout him as one of Starfleet’s up-and-coming officers.
Noah Wrightson held a keen interest in gardening, even going so far as to cordon off a section of the Cantabrian‘s arboretum for his own personal use (called the Captain’s arboretum). One of the flower types he grew here was dahlias, and he also grew native New Zealand plants there such as manuka and Pōhutukawa. He claimed gardening helped him relax. (“Catalyst, Part One“)
Wrightson also enjoyed music of various types, including classical. He found more mellow, soothing music and a nice cup of green tea helped calm his nerves after a hard day. (“Catalyst, Part One“) He was also an avid fan of Cole Porter. (“Isolation“)
He also knew how to play both the piano and organ. This also helped him unwind after a tough day, although if he had “butter fingers” on the day, it would frustrate him more than help him unwind.
Classical English literature was a passion of his, and so, in his ready room, he kept works by Shakespeare, Dickens and others. (“Catalyst, Part One“)
Noah Wrightson also was a keen amateur Egyptologist, absorbing as much information on ancient Egypt as possible. Some of his favorite works on the subject were authored by Arman Ronserd and Dr. Kenneth Lillington-Hughes. (“Isolation“)
Memorabilia and traditions
His family Bible was returned to him, and he kept this displayed in his ready room, being of significant importance to him as one of his brother’s descendants had taken the time to calligraph the names into the book. (“Catalyst, Part One“, “Catalyst, Part Two“)
Wrightson had a piece of the Berlin Wall a friend gave him, which he kept in his ready room. He told Daniel Radke once the piece of the Wall reminded him of humanity’s ability at social injustice and repression, and the attempts in the past of a few people trying to control the masses from their own free will, and how the fall of the Wall symbolized so much to him, that the mistakes of the past should not be repeated. (“Catalyst, Part Two“)
Wrightson also had several photos of things important to him in his ready room. This included a picture of the Ambassador-class USS Hillary he served on once, and reminded him of his childhood hero, Sir Edmund Hillary. Another picture had him, Ulitania Jonar and former partner Alexander Santos enjoying a holiday together. (“Catalyst, Part One“, “Catalyst, Part Two“)
In his ready room, Wrightson had his family’s tartan, Clan Lamont displayed, and, on some formal occasions, would wear a replica with his formal officer’s dress uniform. (“Catalyst, Part One“, “Oh, What a Lovely War”)
He kept the tradition of ANZAC Day alive aboard the Cantabrian — a tradition started by Thekla Lawless — and, in 2373, he led a commemoration on the holodeck attended by dozens of crewmembers, including Ethan Arden, Elizabeth Singh and Daniel Radke. (“Finding the Edges of Who She Is”)
At Radke‘s request, in 2372, he and Radke celebrated Christmas, even having a Christmas tree. We assume they celebrated it as Radke asked Wrightson if he moved in with him, if he could have a Christmas tree for Christmas. (“Deceptions“)
Wrightson and Hogan both found a blossoming friendship when they started serving together aboard the Christchurch. Hogan liked Wrightson’s no-nonsense approach to command, and the two at first held a mutual respect for each other, but, after several events where they learned to trust one another (and where commanders were separated from the crew because they gave the hard orders), their friendship grew rapidly.
The two dealt with each other on a first name basis in 2372 even though Hogan outranked Wrightson. He also felt comfortable enough to challenge her when he did not agree with orders. (“Catalyst, Part One“, “Breaking Benjamin“, “Salvation“)
When Wrightson joined Starfleet 2344, Salin Jonar was a crew member who took Wrightson under his wing. The friendship between them grew as Salin acted as a mentor to Wrightson. Salin Jonar was killed in 2353, and the Jonar symbiont was transfered to Ulitania Aujan. (“Catalyst, Part One“)
Wrightson was reunited with Salin’s personality (using Benjamin Caldwell‘s body) during Tawana Jonar‘s zhian’tara ceremony in 2373, after rejecting the opportunity to act as either Salin or Ulitania‘s host during the ceremony. He admitted meeting with Salin again helped him close the wound left by Salin’s sudden death. (“Finding the Edges of Who She Is”)
Ulitania Jonar first met Wrightson when she contacted him to inform him of Salin’s death. She claimed it was difficult, because part of her was now so familiar with him and the other part was not. (“Catalyst, Part One“)
Despite being younger than Wrightson, Jonar continued her role as Wrightson’s mentor, evolving into a trusted friend and adviser when she came aboard the Cantabrian as security chief. He found this friendship closer and deeper as the two dealt with one another on a day-to-day basis. (“Catalyst, Part One“, “Catalyst, Part Two“)
There is a 16 year period where Ulitania Jonar and Noah Wrightson were not aboard the Cantabrian together but we assume she worked with him aboard the Christchurch sometime during those 16 years, explaining why he chose her to join his crew once he was given command of the Cantabrian.
Ulitania‘s death in 2372 hit Wrightson extremely hard, and he channelled this anger to defeat the Myhr’an at Canaileus Prime. He openly grieved at the funeral service for her and the other Cantabrian crew, over which he presided. (“Oh, What a Lovely War”, “An Innocent Time”)
In 2373, during Tawana Jonar‘s zhian’tara ceremony, he was briefly reunited with Ulitania‘s personality (embodied by Yh’ahni), before Yh’ahni reacted unexpectedly during the telepathic link. (“Finding the Edges of Who She Is”)
We would assume Wrightson was not present for Ulitania Jonar‘s zhian’tara ceremony as he does not let on that he had been reunited with Salin’s personality after his death.
Samantha D’Angelo and Wrightson served aboard the USS Christchurch together and, being so impressed with her skills, he asked D’Angelo to serve as his first officer aboard the Cantabrian.
They played Euchre together, a game at which she was “excellent” at, in his opinion.
Her sudden death in 2372 due to an orbital bombardment by the Myhr’an planet killer upset him a great deal. (“Catalyst, Part One“)
When Tawana Killan was not joined to the Jonar symbiont, her relationship with Wrightson was more of one seeking guidance from an experienced officer. Once she was joined to the Jonar symbiont, this relationship flipped, with Tawana, holding the memories of Salin and Ulitania before her, stepping into the mentor role. Wrightson found this change initially somewhat unsettling. (“Oh, What a Lovely War”)
Late in 2372, Wrightson sought Tawana Jonar‘s advice on when to ask Daniel Radke to move in with him. In typical Jonar fashion, she gave the ambigious, but correct, answer he would know the right time to ask. (“Deceptions“)
When Tawana‘s father, Aumil Killan, and members of the Trill Symbiosis Commission came to Deep Space 4 on a “witch hunt” over the Jonar symbiont in early 2373, Wrightson protected Tawana as best as he could. He even went so far as to tell Killan he should be ashamed of himself for antagonising his own daughter. (“Thicker Than Water”)
Wrightson agreed to host Marjal Jonar’s memories during Tawana‘s zhian’tara ceremony a few months later. He felt he couldn’t host either Salin or Ulitania‘s memories as their sudden deaths were too painful for him and therefore would not do them justice. (“Finding the Edges of Who She Is”)
Noah Wrightson’s long term relationship with Alexander Santos started in 2352 and ended in 2366. He described Santos as “the love of his life — at the time”, but, as time went by, they grew apart. Santos wasn’t a Starfleet officer, and he sometimes made Wrightson feel he was sacrificing so much by following Wrightson and his assignments. When they split up, Santos attributed his “sacrifices” as one of the reasons why he was leaving. (“Isolation“)
Wrightson grew closer to Daniel Radke as a result of Radke staying behind while Wrightson was ill and in isolation. The two shared some very personal and private memories and information, drawing them closer. After Wrightson was cured, he asked Radke to his quarters for dinner and champagne: something Radke agreed to. (“Isolation“) While they had had dinner together on previous occasions, the two decided to start dating. (“Two Hit, One Stone“) Their relationship grew so serious that Wrightson considered asking Radke to move in with him but didn’t know when the appropriate time would be, and he sought Ulitania Jonar‘s advice on the matter (to which the response was he would know when the time was right). After nearly being killed by the Myhr’an commander, an exhausted and beat-up Wrightson, freshly transported to the Cantabrian, asked Radke if he’d move in with him; the counselor said yes. (“Deceptions“)