Lieutenant Michael Burnstein

Lieutenant Michael 'Burnie' Burnstein is Assistant Chief Engineer for K7 Space Station and Federation Outpost 112

He is currently Assistant Chief Engineer of Starbase Aeon

Name: Michael 'Burnie' Burnstein
Department: Engineering

Rank: Lieutenant
Major Area of Study: Engineering Physics
Minor Area of Study: Chemistry/Materials Science


Race: Human
Place of Birth: New York City, Earth
Home Planet: Earth

Age: 27
Height: 1.83m (6 ft)
Weight: 77kg (170 lbs)
Hair length: medium-short
Hair-color: black
Eye color: hazel
Complexion: pale
Physical Description: Tall, slim and little gangly. His hair often seems to have a mind of its own, adopting a spiky 'mad scientist' look unless he keeps it really short, which he usually doesn't (getting hair cuts is a pain and he sort of likes the mad scientist look). On duty he usually looks a little rumpled because crawling through Jeffries tubes and playing with things that go 'boom' tends to have that effect. He usually wears a band with mini-PADD on his wrist to hide some embarrassing burn scars.


Burnie (Mike to his family and oldest friends) was born in the historic Brooklyn section of New York City. He's the second child of a history professor and an art historian. His sister Ellie is six years older and has always been the reliable, level-headed one. She's currently married, has a young daughter (Sophie) and works for the city as an architect. In addition there's a small army of extended family who were always available to take Ellie and Mike whenever their parents had to travel for work.

Burnie had a fairly normal middle-class up-bringing. What wasn't quite normal was his tendency to destroy things. Like a lot of engineers he began pulling things apart at an early age, curious to see what made them tick. Unlike most engineers, he rarely put them back together. Instead he tested the limits of the components in every manner he could manage until there was no hope of reassembly. Still, in an attempt to encourage his interest in science one of his relatives bought him a chemistry kit for his 8th birthday. A number of messy incidents later, his mother made the chemistry kit disappear. This did not deter Burnie from further experimentation.

One particularly memorable incident involved testing to see why his mother's nail polish said 'keep away from open flame'. After placing a small(ish) quantity in a glass container, he dropped a lit match in. Unfortunately the reaction caused the glass to break spending burning polish across the coffee table and splattering his wrist. Quick thinking and automated sprinklers prevented the fire from spreading, but Burnie still has a discolored scar on the side of his wrist.

After that, his father wisely decided to get him into model rocketry where older and wiser pyros could guide him. Burnie was hooked and stuck with the hobby, eventually branching into micro smart missiles and UAVs. An internship at a Starfleet contractor that built fighters lead to applying to the Academy. Burnie loved the Academy. So much to do, so much to learn (so many labs to blow up). It was there that he got his nickname - not because of his last name as many people assume, but because of an unfortunate incident with an infrared toaster and some parts that wouldn't quite fit in the sophomore level processing lab's autoclave. Despite (or maybe because of) that bit of innovation, a prominent engineering professor agreed to mentor him and Burnie learned to shine (rather than burn) in that area. He also, much to his parents' chagrin, really took to fire arms.

His first assignment was to Station 83 where he served with a research team studying to limits of warp technology, including time warps and temporal physics. Research was interrupted by war and he was reassigned to the USS James Lawrence. His tendency to improvise, which had annoyed many superiors at the research post, earned praise in action. That brought him to the attention of one of the most famous engineers in Starfleet: Geordi LaForge. He began graduate work assigned as an aide to LaForge, until his research experience made him a candidate to flesh out the engineering team on Outpost 112.


For his work in containing the threat of the Progenitor Artifact, Burnstein received a medal and commendation. A far greater reward, at least as far as Burnie was concerned, was a three month temporary assignment to the Academy to brief his peers and lecture engineering students on his approach to destroying the Progenitor Artifact. AND work with Geordi LaForge, who had retired from Starfleet to start his own business designing advanced starships. As a result of that hiatus, he returns with the USS Kafziel, a prototype on loan for him to work out an idea for semi-absorptive shields based on something he observed from studying the Progenitor Artifact. The Kafziel ('Speed of God') is the second of two in the experimental Seraphim class that LaForge developed to dynamically optimize the warp bubble to maximize response.

Notes of Interest

Hobbies: model rocketry, fire arms, old-style video games, off-beat music (plays keyboard), history

Personal Traits: Burnie is a little eccentric (okay, weird). For instance, he loves old-school video games (the kind with the really cheesy pixellated explosions) and plays them on his PADD to relax. He's bright but often a bit hyper and given to off-beat and sarcastic humor. He enjoys parodies and loves the sort of music with funny and/or strange lyrics. It is not unusual to see his head bobbing side to side as he works because he's blasting music on the earbuds covered by his hearing protection gear. He's also a bit of a pyro. Fire, explosions, and high energy in all forms fascinate him. Despite his love of pyrotechnics, he is pretty fond of life and limb and treats the tools of his trade with more care and caution than is necessarily apparent to the casual observer.

Personality: Fairly out-going and makes friends easily within the context of groups of people who share his interests. He's always willing to share ideas and help with interesting projects. Given an opening, he will flirt shamelessly, but his romances tend to be short-lived. There's a fairly limited pool of women who are interested in a long term relationship with someone so easily distracted by an interesting bit of tech.

Like many people from NYC he can sometimes come across to people from more rural areas (i.e., almost everywhere else) as being a little pushy or abrupt. Although he's not shy about verbal confrontation, he's not combative. In fact, Burnie has an aversion to actually hitting anyone (if judo wasn't an option, he probably would never have passed the hand-to-hand requirements for Starfleet). On the other hand he has no problem whatsoever with blowing enemies into subatomic components and is justifiably proud of being a good shot.

Family: Parents: Milo and Angela Burnstein, sister: Ellie, niece: Sophie

Other: Burnie is close to his family, but kind of likes the restrictions of subspace communication in terms of limiting the number of questions about when he's going to finally settle down. He's Jewish - more ethnically than religiously, but did go through religious school as a kid and can still (sort of) read Hebrew.

He may mouth off and make wisecracks, but he's good in a situation since he can generally improvise something usefully destructive from whatever raw materials are available. Obviously, he's never heard of the 20th century show McGyver, he would probably have loved it (even if he laughed at how contrived some of the scenarios were).

(writer: bookdragon)