Hair Color: Red
Eye Color: Grey
Height: 5' 9" / 1.75m
Weight: 135 lbs / 61.23 kg
Birthplace: Corryong, Australia, Earth
Distinguishing Features and Characteristics
Tall, slender and athletic but not muscular. She’s very guarded regarding her personal life though straightforward and sometimes even gregarious in duty situations. She’s an equestrian but hasn’t rode in competition for years.
Family and Personal History
Sheila Foster was born in 2375, in the small town of Corryong in the Australian Alps to Bruce J.R. Foster and Matilda Lucy Heinz-Foster. She is a twin; her brother is Bruce Lollard Foster. At the time of her birth, her father owned nearly 4000 acres of land, over which ranged a large herd of Brumbies. He made a good living by drawing off about 10% of the herd yearly for domestication to sell to various wealthy buyers throughout the Federation. Matilda was at the time the senior campaign advisor to Eugene Bota-Kone, a long-serving Australian representative to the Earth Government.
Sheila and Bruce were home schooled by their mother until the age of eight, when their mother’s own political career took off. The aged Bota-Kone announced his retirement. He’d been grooming Matilda for years to take his place and he backed her during the election of 2383. Matilda had developed a sharp political sense of her own during her years working for Bota-Kone. With the addition of support from many of her husband’s well-to-do business associates and cronies, she swept the election.
The same year, Bruce J.R. saw his own fortunes enhanced as old family contacts on the planet New Sydney, in the Sappora System, put him in touch with a host of new clients eager to purchase both wild and tamed Brumbies. Bruce J.R. temporarily relocated to New Sydney and stayed there for several years growing his business. Sheila and Lil’ Bruce’s education and rearing was left to family friend and Bruce’s herd manager Eoth Brex. Though Sheila was an unabashed ‘daddy’s girl,’ Brex nevertheless instilled in them a strong regard for simplicity and self-reliance during his time as tutor/mentor.
She threw herself into horse husbandry to help her cope with the separation anguish during her father’s absence. She became quite good at it and seemed to have an innate ability to commune with the animals. This earned her the nick-name of horse-whisperer (based on an old 20th century earth Movie), which she decidedly did not like.
Her father and mother were opposites. Bruce was free-living, cigar smoking jokester with a penchant for ‘rough talk.’ Matilda, on the other hand, was cosmopolitan and cultured. And though she, like Bruce had little interaction with her children once her political career took off, she did what she could to try and mitigate the ‘roughness of being’ she saw in Sheila (in her estimation inherited from her father). In 2387, Bruce and Matilda succumbed to Sheila’s nagging and allowed her to travel to New Sydney to spend some time with her father.
Most of New Sydney’s colonies teemed with vice, crime and decay. Large criminal organizations flourished on this planet, outside of the Federation and thus its order and rule of law. Bruce did his best to shelter Sheila from these powerful, dark influences, but she was affected by what she saw. Then, six months after she arrived, her father was arrested by Federation agents and the two were whisked away to the nearest star base. Bruce was charged with colluding with the Orion Syndicate to fix prices for horses and other livestock. Though the crimes occurred (allegedly) while Bruce was on New Sydney, as he was a citizen of the Federation, he was technically under their jurisdiction. While her father was confined and transported back to earth to stand trial, Sheila was sent home on a different ship, the USS Marblehead. She was crushed by her father’s arrest and at first believed that he had been detained unjustly. En Route back to earth, however, the crew of the Marblehead treated her very kindly. She was treated like a ‘junior member’ of the crew, given tours of the ship and even allowed to occasionally wear a uniform. By the time she made it back home, she decided that when she came of age, going to join Starfleet.
Her father was eventually acquitted of the charges filed against him on a technicality. But political opponents of her mother accused her of using her influence as a member of the Earth Government parliament to get him off the hook. A huge political scandal erupted. It nearly ruined her career. However, due again to her political skills and Bruce’s contacts, she narrowly won the next election.
Her parents grew estranged after the fallout from the scandals dissipated. In order to ‘protect’ Sheila from what she felt was the bad influences of her father, her mother sent her to a all-female prep school in Canberra. Sheila hated it. She longed for the simple pleasures of life on the ranch. She missed her horses, Brex but most of all, her father.
She spent several years at the school. She behaved badly and received terrible marks for the first few years. However - and though she fought it - the strict discipline and strong, civilizing influence of the school instilled in her the ability to channel her internal negative energy into positive effort. She became a bit ‘smoother’ about the edges and developed a lifelong passion for literature (of all types).
However, she never gave up on her dream to join Starfleet. At age 17, she left the school (without telling her parents) and took the Starfleet entrance exam at the satellite SFA campus in Sydney. She did poorly on the test, but nevertheless was accepted into the academy in 2392. Unbeknownst to her, the test proctor was a good friend of her mother’s and ‘fudged the numbers.’ He contacted her mother and told her that Sheila had taken the entrance exams and that he ‘helped her out.’
Matilda was furious for two reasons. First, she had absolutely no idea of Sheila’s plans. No child of hers was going to join Starfleet. Second, the proctor had passed Sheila because of his friendship with the mother, assuming that she knew of Sheila’s plans. Matilda knew that this could lead to another political scandal. Yet Sheila had already been told she’d been accepted. Matilda tried unsuccessfully to change her mind and she was prepared to tell her that she actually had failed the exam to that end, but Bruce managed to convince her not to.
So Sheila embarked on her plebe year at the academy with no knowledge that she’d actually failed the entrance exam. Nevertheless she did well her first year though she wasn’t at the top of her class. Her mother, though to Sheila’s face grudgingly accepted her academy endeavors, threw her considerable powers of persuasion into attempting to derail them. Yet Sheila remained firm in her decision. During the break between the first and second years, however, Sheila’s aspirations were almost foiled - for a different reason.
Several candidates who’d tested with Sheila lodged a complaint and requested an inquiry into their being denied entry into the Academy. The subsequent investigation revealed that Sheila had in fact failed the exam and was given a pass by the proctor. It was soon uncovered that the proctor had ties to Sheila’s mother and another scandal ensued. Sheila thought that her mother had concocted the whole thing in order to destroy her dream.
Matilda was thus embroiled in another political scandal. The academy board of directors held a session to determine Sheila’s future with Starfleet. After studying the evidence and hearing testimony from both her peers and academy instructors, Starfleet decided to allow her to remain in academy and continue on to her second year. Sheila refused, instead requesting to retake the exam and, if she passed, redo her first year. The board agreed. She passed the test and started her first year over.
From then on, her days at the academy were tough ones. She was shunned by most of her class mates and became the subject of rumors and innuendo. In fact, she was driven to excel and by the time she graduated, had made it to the top 10% of her class. Also, while at academy, she met and fell in love with another cadet, Svein Trygvasson. He became her rock and helped her successfully weather the next four years. And though their relationship was often stormy, Sheila would later credit him for ‘getting her through’ academy. She majored in Tactics and Operations.
Her mother had again barely survived political disaster but the whole incident seemed to bring the family together. She reconciled with Bruce and when Sheila graduated, both parents were there to proudly celebrate her achievement. Sheila still harbored deep disappointment at her parents, but did her best to hide it. So at age 22, she left the academy as Ensign Foster, to embark on her new career as a Starfleet Officer. She and Trygvasson were engaged, though they knew that they would likely be posted far apart. They decided to wait until the end of their first tours to get married.
Sheila’s inauspicious start at academy haunted her for some time after academy. Her first posting to the Starship USS Hammer Lothar was cancelled at the last minute and she was reassigned as an admin officer at a Starfleet training center in the Australian Outback in 2397. It was made known to her, though subtly, that the ship’s commander didn’t want ‘that kind of person’ on his ship. However the two years she spent at the training center were good ones. She proved herself and was awarded a SF Achievement Medal and a Good Conduct Medal for her efforts. She was also promoted to LT (JG).
Her next posting, in 2399, was as a tactical officer on the USS Brian Boru. This posting was, like her first, withdrawn at the last minute and she was instead assigned as an ops officer aboard the Starfleet Star Base 442. Though infuriated and disappointed, she accepted the posting without complaint and resolved to work even harder to prove herself. From the moment she reported aboard Star Base 442, she excelled at her duties. She spent three years aboard, attaining the position of Assistant Chief of Operations. During this time she was awarded the Meritorious Service Award for the part she played in keeping the base up and running during an attack by, ironically, Orion Syndicate-backed pirates. She also received the SF Achievement Medal, 2nd award and was promoted to full Lieutenant at her going-away ceremony.
She finally received a posting to a starship in 2402, aboard the Steamrunner-class vessel U.S.S Bonanza, where she served first as a tactical officer. That same year, Bonanza took part in ‘policing’ actions around Cestus III which were designed to protect the Federation colony there from Gorn Separatists. The Bonanza engaged several vessels of the rebel Gorn fleet during a skirmish in May of that month. Sheila manned tactical during the fight and distinguished herself during the action. She was awarded a SF Achievement Medal, 3rd Award, a Combat Injury Ribbon for wounds sustained as a result of a ‘console flame out.’ During an away team mission a few months later, she received her 2nd Meritorious Service Medal for quick thinking that helped the team survive an ambush by Gorn rebels. She continued to serve with distinction aboard the Bonanza through 2407. During the rest of her tour, Sheila also spent a year in Engineering and two years in Security. She received several other medals and commendations and wrapped up her 5 year tour on the ship as CTO.
She was reassigned to the Academy in San Francisco in June of 2407. Before she reported in, she took two months of accrued shore leave and briefly reunited with her beloved Svein. Though they didn’t tie the knot, they reaffirmed their commitment to do so. Beginning August 1st, she spent the rest of 2407 at the academy working with a team of ‘experts’ gathered to help update some of the curriculum for the Operations and Tactics school.
On 1 January 2308, Sheila was promoted to Lt. Commander and reassigned to Starbase Horizon as base executive officer.
Decorations and Commendations
3 x Starfleet Achievement Medal; Good Conduct Medal; 2 x Meritorious Service Award; Combat Injury Ribbon
Starfleet Service Record
8/2392 - 6/2397: Starfleet Academy, top 10% of class (Tactics and Operations)
7/2397 - 6/2399: Administrative Officer, SF Outback Ground Weapons, TNG FAC
7/2399 - 9/2402: Ops Officer, Starbase 442
9/2402 - 5/2407: Tactical / Engineering / Security - USS Bonanza
6/2407 - 12/2407: Curriculum Advisory Team, SF Academy San Francisco, IN
1/2408: Executive Officer, Starbase Horizon II
Back to Horizon