PAGE 13 OF 18 (Ensign Mayweather, cont.)
of his favorite places on a space vessel is the "Sweet Spot" - a location usually halfway between the grav-generator and the bow plate, where the gravity is null and one can float freely. While growing up he liked to sleep in zero-G, which he describes as "just like being back in the womb." His father kept the artificial gravity on his cargo ship at 0.8 G, because he thought it put a little spring in his step. This, of course, means that normal Earth gravity like that on most starships feels a bit heavy to Travis, but that never slows him down.
His family hauls dilithium ore between Draylax and Vega Colony on the Earth Cargo Ship Horizon, a J-class freighter which runs no faster than Warp 1.8. At that speed, a crew's got a lot of time on their hands between ports, and that's how the Mayweathers ended up with Travis. He is proud of his heritage as a "boomer" and relishes the unique experiences of his upbringing - the "Siren Calls" of gas giants which sometimes gave him nightmares; the "mystery meals" made out of nutri-paks when real food started running low; and the independent spirit of the cargo crews, who were determined to handle any situation that arose without help from any outsider. In fact, the crewmembers often hold down several jobs at a time - Travis' mother is the ship's medic and chief engineer, while his grandfather held the record of five jobs at one time, two of them on the Bridge. Travis has also had the opportunity to visit many worlds - Trillius Prime, the Teneebian Moons, Draylax with its uniquely endowed women - even though it took years to get to each place.
As a youngster, Travis stayed up for a month mapping every system he planned to visit when he grew up. He also enjoyed turning off the grav-plating to jump on the bed with his best friend, Nora. Naturally, the duo was grounded for their mischief. Once he grew up, Travis had to figure out where he wanted to spend the rest of his life, and he was pretty sure it wasn't on the Draylax-Vega run. That's when he decided to leave the E.C.S. Horizon and join Starfleet. It was a move that created tension among his family, because his father was expecting him to someday take over the cargo ship, although ultimately he respected the decision. In fact, when Captain Archer was looking at candidates for helm officer, Travis' father sent the captain a one-sentence recommendation, saying that he'd never seen a more natural "stick and rudder" man in his life. Travis is fully aware that his choice to leave home makes him unpopular among his fellow boomers, who are worried that more young people will follow in his footsteps and leave the freighter business shorthanded.
Travis was devastated when word arrived that his father had passed away in 2153. A visit to the Horizon shortly thereafter made for more tension between Travis and his family - though his mother, Rianna, welcomed him with open arms, his brother, Paul, was somewhat hostile. As the newly-promoted captain of the Horizon, Paul felt slighted when Travis attempted to make upgrades to the ship's systems. Luckily, a dangerous encounter with some marauding aliens forced the brothers to work together and brought them closer.
Travis has never regretted his decision to join Starfleet, considering it to be the best thing that ever happened to him. It gives him the opportunity to see more places and experience more things; the technology is more advanced, such as the newly perfected transporter (which he has yet to experience, but he's curious to try it out); and besides, the food's better! Also, he