| Personal History
Mark Cross was initially looking into a career in science, when a cruel twist put him off several years before induction into the Academy. He discovered a love for engineering in the years running up to it, and like most engineers, he�s dedicated to working in the belly of the beast. It took him two attempts to get into the Academy, but graduated with flying colors at the end. During his time he also took several tactical courses.
A keen tennis player from his teens, Mark brought this into the Academy, entering and performing well in any tournament he could find. His only success was winning the yearly tournament in his final year. The sport took it out of him physically though, leaving him with recurring injuries to his shoulder and back by the age of 15. One muscle in his back was largely troublesome. On graduation from the Academy, Mark was assigned to Starbase 12 as a specialist in engines. Many suspected the injury that the medical staff had so much trouble treating would spell an end to Cross� career before it had even begun.
It was then that he encountered Sarah Johnson again, his future fianc�e, who was a medical technician. She had researched the arts of physiotherapy and osteopathy from the early 21st century, and was assigned to Cross in an attempt to help his recovery. The two had met in the Academy when Mark got sick of watching her sit alone in the corner. Their friendship developed further from that point. From this treatment Mark was able to walk comfortably again. He rewarded Sarah by asking to marry her.
Mark took his opportunity to move again by refitting a warp drive single-handedly. His ability as an engineer was noticed from this point, and he was promptly assigned to the USS Ranger. Almost as soon as he�d hopped aboard, the ship had crash landed on a planet in the Gamma quadrant. Within a short space of time Mark was offered the position of Assistant Chief Engineer, which he took without question.
On return to the right quadrant, the crew of Ranger was assigned to the Kamehameha, where Mark took up the Assistant Chief role. It was here that Doctor Gilyan Emberly was able to diagnose the problems with his back, to which he was very grateful. She left not long after. Mark began to find that his good friend and Chief Engineer Mystery Sanders had begun to become more and more engrossed in her work, and the pair had begun to drift apart. Mark was offered a position on the Potemkin, a Nebula class vessel as Chief Engineer and second officer.
The Potemkin assignment was a disaster. An unknown entity possessed the ship and began to draw energy from it from the first mission. The ship limped back to Starbase 517 and some of the crew, including the three officers in command was transferred to the Tempest, the oldest 14th fleet ship.
Cross was stripped of the 2XO position on Tempest quickly in order to allow Starfleet Command time to review his performance in relation to the incident with Potemkin. Cross dropped into the position of Operations Manager, where he remained for one mission before being transferred to Kennedy.
Mark was offered the position of Executive Officer on the Kennedy. During his time on the Kennedy, he worked under two CO's, Captain Nachyev (KIA) and Captain Erik Stewarts.
Mark has recently transferred to the Centaur class vessel, the USS Hiei as Executive OFficer, and will be serving under Commander Vincent Lim.
Despite problems, Mark has recently engaged in a relationship with Zaria Creighton, CMO alongside him on Kennedy, and now Hiei. The two had been developing a friendship that seemed to develop into further along the line. Mark lost his unflappable cool on shore leave after nearly losing her to young engineer Jin Ochi. After working out the problems next day, the two agreed to attempt a relationship. It's success has yet to be seen.
Mark Cross is a lively character, sometimes making him seem a little informal when talking to those in command or when filling a command position himself. He's been known to keep a positive, friendly rapport with crew under him. Some may see him as weak and unimposing due to this, although many choose not to oppose him because of the equality he encourages throughout his departments. It's not typical of a Starfleet chief of department, but it works.
Mark has an ability to form very close friendships, especially with women. He seems to be loyal and caring from the short time I spent speaking to him for this report. He is psychologically less suited to male companionship, but is more than capable of getting along well with anyone.
Mark Cross posed a real dilemma for Starfleet. His history of commendations at one point surpassed that of most of the Commanding Officers in the 14th Fleet. He was widely respected for his engineering skill, and a well-liked Chief of Department with his laid-back, unorthodox style.
With the positives however, also came the negatives. He'd work himself to the point of burning out on a fairly regular basis. He could go from being exceptional officer to one of the last people you'd want to have in a uniform at the flick of the switch. Having stuck in his previous assignment for over two years, it was hoped that maybe Cross had turned a corner. It wasn't the case.
Cross had been given enough lifelines, and was relieved of active duty. Instead, an alternative was agreed on. He'd always had a passion and a fascination with food. Mark would be given the opportunity to remain on board a starship, at the discretion of the Commanding Officer, acting as a Chef. While the door was not completely closed on a return to duty, it was at this point a far cry away. He had a small glimmer of hope. One he fully intended to take advantage of.
Return to Active Duty
Following a successful stint on the USS Tempest, including a temporary reinstatement and the occasional assignment to repair crews, Cross also settled well into his role as Chef, and had enjoyed the experience of returning to a starship in general. After considerable appeals, he was given the opportunity to return to Starfleet Academy for a series of assessments and analysis with the view of him returning to active duty.
Following over 6 weeks of scrutiny, it was determined that Cross was "of sound mind with a solid and rational emotional grounding, and was fully equipped to handle the rigours of active duty once again". It was several more weeks before his assignment to the USS Eclipse, a ship he had previously served upon, retaking his rightful place in Engineering.