Tom Paris
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Helmsman Tom Paris, played by Robert Duncan McNeill.
Early in his career, Thomas Eugene Paris served aboard the Starship Exeter. He majored in astrophysics at Starfleet Academy and as a cadet chose the Starfleet base outside Marseilles, France for physical training in his second semester of the academy. He spent most of his time that semester at Chez Sandrine, a bistro that he later re-created in the holodeck of the U.S.S. Voyager.
The son of a Starfleet admiral, Tom Paris was a graduate of Starfleet Academy and was involved in a fatal accident that claimed the lives of three other Starfleet officers. Paris initally denied responsibility for the accident, but later admitted he had falsified reports to hide his culpability, and was forced to leave Starfleet. In later years, Paris realized that his greatest mistake was not having told the truth. Paris became a mercenary for the Maquis, but was arrested by Federation authorities while on his first assignment for the resistance group. He was imprisoned at the Federation Penal Settlement in New Zealand on Earth, but was released in 2371 at the request of Captain Kathryn Janeway. In exchange for his parole, Paris agreed to help Voyager locate his former colleagues in the Maquis. While carrying out this mission, Paris and the Voyager personnel were swept into the Delta Quadrant, where they were forced to join forces with the Maquis crew in order to survive. Janeway subsequently reinstated Paris's Starfleet commission and assigned him to the ship's conn. Paris experienced some discomfort at working under Commander Chakotay, a former Maquis officer.
In 2372 Paris made history by becoming the first human pilot to cross the transwarp threshold and attain a warp 10 velocity. The experience accelerated the evolutionary process in his cellular DNA, mutating him into an amphibious creature. Fortunately, Voyager's Emergency Medical Hologram was able to reverse the process. Voyager Captain Kathryn Janeway was also mutated by Paris's transwarp flight, and while mutated, the two had three amphibian children, which they left on a planet in the Delta Quadrant.
Tom Paris was an aficionado of 20-th century America, and was fond of traditional Earth foods from that period. He was an experienced rock climber and was skilled at spelunking.
Tom Paris realized in 2372 that he was very much attracted to Kes. He decided not to act on these feelings out of respect for Neelix, who was, at the time, involved with her. Paris was an instrumental part of an elaborate scheme devised by Janeway and Security Chief Tuvok, intended to trap a spy believed to be operating aboard Voyager. Paris exhibited increasing anger and discontent with his life aboard the ship for several weeks in 2372, culminating with his departure from the Voyager crew. In doing so, Paris was able to determine that Michael Jonas had been acting as a Kazon operative, working against the interests of the Voyager crew.
Paris, born into a long line of distinguished Starfleet officers, had a troubled relationship with the high expectations of his father, an admiral, who joined his friends and teachers to praise him as a child but remained tough and remote, telling him for instance that crying was a sign of weakness. He managed to graduate from Starfleet Academy after a stormy four years, almost failing stellar cartography as a freshman; he chose Marseilles, France as the site of his physical training second semester. He did hone his natural aptitude for piloting skills on craft large and small and proved adept at holo-engineering.
Despite his family legacy, Paris buckled under to the self-imposed pressure and tried to cover-up an error that caused the deaths of three officers at Caldrik Prime; it was only his self-confession at the point he would have been exonerated that netted him a discharge rather than harsher punishment. After leaving Starfleet he turned to the Maquis for fulfillment as a fighter pilot, but was captured by Starfleet on his first assignment and this time was sentenced to the Federation Penal Settlement near Auckland, New Zealand, wearing an alarm anklet.
Paris was given a reprieve of sorts in early 2371 when he was temporarily released from the rehab colony and given a second chance by Captain Janeway, who needed him to scout her new starship through the Badlands in search of her lost security chief who had infiltrated the crew of a Maquis vessel whom Paris had served with, led by former Lt. Cmdr. Chakotay. Had he successfully completed the mission, Paris could have applied for permanent parole.
In later counseling, Paris revealed an unsatisfying relationship with women that had fostered no long-term associations, including a relationship with Susie Crabtree as an Academy freshman and a French woman, "Ricky," met during his Marseilles semester. He also has an affinity for antique Earth ground vehicles and Terran American history and culture, especially of the 20th century, and has enjoyed sailing.