In the late 2240s and early 2250s decades, Lieutenant Finney was serving as an instructor at Starfleet Academy. At the time he was the youngest officer to ever serve as an instructor and often felt isolated from his colleagues. When James T. Kirk entered the Academy in the year 2250, Finney and Kirk soon became good friends, and Finney even named his daughter, Jamie Finney, after Kirk.
However, that friendship was severely strained in early 2251, when Finney and Kirk were assigned to a training mission aboard the starship USS Republic. Kirk was taking a practicum course, whereas Finney was on his first assignment after having left his instructor’s post. When Kirk relieved Finney of duty when he was monitoring the ship's impulse engines, Kirk discovered that Finney had left a circuit to the atomic matter piles open. Kirk closed the circuit and reported the incident to Captain Rollin Bannock. Bannock reprimanded Finney and sent him to the bottom of the promotions list. (TOS - My Brother's Keeper novel: Republic; TOS novel: The Case of the Colonist's Corpse; TOS episode: "Court Martial")
- The incident was noted as having occurred in 2250 in ST novel: The Captain's Table Omnibus (Biography, James T. Kirk).
A few years after Kirk graduated, he thought they’d patched up their friendship. Finney was serving as records officer of the USS Excalibur in 2265, and by 2266, he had been a records officer for more than ten years. (TOS - My Brother's Keeper novel: Enterprise, TOS - Crucible novel: The Fire and the Rose)
Finney became extremely resentful of Kirk when Kirk was given command of the USS Enterprise, a command Finney believed should have gone to him instead. After Kirk took command of the Enterprise, he had Finney assigned to the ship, not realizing how Finney felt about him. Gary Mitchell, however, had overheard Finney complaining about Kirk and alerted him to what Finney had said. Following Mitchell's death, Kirk's personnel officer recommended Finney to replace Mitchell as first officer. Now knowing how Finney felt about him, Kirk refused to do so and instead named Mr. Spock as his new first officer. (TOS novel: The Autobiography of James T. Kirk)
On the Enterprise, Finney also served as an orientation instructor for newly-arriving crew, along with Barry Giotto and Sam Fuller. The focus in his classes was Federation history. He served as records officer of the Enterprise for seven months. (TOS - Errand of Vengeance novel: The Edge of the Sword, TOS - Crucible novel: The Fire and the Rose)
In mid-2267, as records officer, Finney saw his chance to have his revenge on Kirk. After an ion storm, he went into hiding, leading the crew of the Enterprise to believe that he was dead. Finney tampered with the computer records of the Enterprise, and when Kirk gave a sworn statement, the Enterprise computers contradicted his statement and Kirk was forced to stand in front of a court martial board. Finney sabotaged the primary energy circuits of the Enterprise shortly before he was exposed in an attempt to kill a number of high-ranking officers. Kirk repaired the damage, and the bridge crew was able to save the Enterprise. All the charges against Kirk were then dropped.
Afterwards, Finney was himself charged for his actions following the storm. Samuel Cogley, who had defended Kirk in his court martial, took on Finney as a client, and was confident that he could get Finney acquitted. (TOS episode: "Court Martial")
Kirk appeared as a character witness. Finney, however, was found guilty of his crimes and was sent to the New Zealand Penal Settlement. (TOS - Crucible novel: The Fire and the Rose, TOS novel: The Autobiography of James T. Kirk)
In 2269, Kirk believed that Finney had been cured, and had heard that Ben and his daughter were living on Rigel II, operating an import-export business. Finney had been trained not to think of Kirk. (TOS novel: Crisis on Centaurus)
By 2270, most of Finney’s hair had gone gray, and he wore a closely-trimmed beard. He was recruited to join a plot to discredit Kirk and the Federation masterminded by a Klingon agent on Chyrellka, a rogue Starfleet officer named Jason Carmody. Finney spent six months writing a complex computer virus to sabotage the Enterprise's computers. He installed it covertly while a space shuttle from Chyrellka was docked in the hangar bay, and the virus worked successfully, generating false information from the sensors of nonexistent planetary shields and cloaked vessels. The plot would have Kirk fire on an unarmed ship full of civilians. However, when Finney realized the Klingons would use his virus to cripple Starfleet and conquer the Federation, it was too much, and he fled in a shuttlecraft, crashing on the Chyrellkan colony world Vancadia. Finney was rescued by Spock and Leonard McCoy. Together they and a group of colonists took off in a large shuttle which the Enterprise was made to think was an empty terrorist ship. Finney expected his program would work and the ship would be shot down. In a panic, he hallucinated that his daughter was aboard. He finally realized that, while his daughter wasn’t there, everyone there was someone’s child, and that his hatred of Kirk was endangering innocent people. He agreed to a mind meld with Spock to extract his memories of the code, helping foil the Klingon plot. Afterward, he turned himself over to Federation authorities, ready to give therapy another chance. He also agreed to help any way he could to stop future deployments of the virus. (TOS novel: Renegade)
When Kirk visited him in the 2290s, Finney was incarcerated at the New Zealand Penal Settlement but was due to be released a short time later. Finney's daughter Jamie and her wife intended to take in Finney once that happened. Even though Finney no longer hated Kirk and had forgiven him for his past actions, he informed Captain Kirk that it was probably best that Kirk make no further attempts to contact him, feeling it would interfere with the progress of his rehabilitation. (TOS novel: The Autobiography of James T. Kirk)
Appearances and references
- TOS - Errand of Vengeance novel: The Edge of the Sword
- TOS episode: "Court Martial"
- TOS novel: Renegade
- TOS comic: "Starfleet Academy!"
- TOS novel: The Autobiography of James T. Kirk
- TOS - My Brother's Keeper novel: Republic
- TOS - My Brother's Keeper novel: Constitution
- TOS - My Brother's Keeper novel: Enterprise
- TOS - Crucible novel: The Fire and the Rose
- TOS novel: The Case of the Colonist's Corpse
- TOS - Errand of Fury novel: Seeds of Rage
- TOS - Errand of Fury novel: Demands of Honor
- TOS - Errand of Fury novel: Sacrifices of War
- TOS novel: The Vulcan Academy Murders
- TOS novel: Crisis on Centaurus
- TOS - Section 31 novel: Cloak
- TOS - Strange New Worlds 10 short story: "Empty"
- ST novel: The Captain's Table Omnibus (Biography, James T. Kirk)
|Starfleet Academy Personnel|
|D. Arakelian • Reginald Barclay • M. Becker • Boothby • Brannon Braga • Andrea Brand • Sun Chang • Paul Chapman • L. Cole • Louise Dorton • Benjamin Finney • Jerry Fleck • Robert Fletcher • D. Gabrielle • Richard Galen • John Gill • D. Gluck • Gort • C. Graffeo • T. Grodnick • Eric Hahn • Hendricks • A. Henry • H'ohk • Walter Horne • Yuuto Hoshide • J.R. Jennings • James T. Kirk • David Livingston • J. Longo • D. Maltese • Leonard McCoy • M.C. Minor • J. Mitchell • John Nesterowicz • Nimembeh • Novakovich • Miles O'Brien • Brunnel Olafson • Onafuwa • Owen Paris • Theoderich Patterson • Jean-Luc Picard • G. Rescher • Saul Rubichik • Montgomery Scott • Adele Simmons • Sofak • Somak • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Jovar Tal • Sylvia Tilly • Tuvok • Nyota Uhura • Ernst Vassbinder • D. Wise • J. Wong • Leslie Wong • Xon • Brad Yacobian • Zakarian • Herman Zimmerman|
|USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) administrative personnel|
|Anderson • Atkins • Ayers • Barrows • Bates • Briel • Burns • Cappa • Chavez • Colotti • Colt • Cusack • Davis • Ferro • Figgs • B. Finney • Greene • Granada • Harris • Harris • Harrison • Hatcher • Jamal • Jaramillo • Jones • Landon • Lawton • Layton • Loo • Marion • Mears • Moskowitz • Phillips • Rand • Ross • Roswind • Sinclair • Singh • Smith • Takayama • Tamura • Tankris • Thagard • Thompson • Trask • Trian • Wellman • Wodehouse|
|see also: Personnel roster • communications personnel • engineering personnel • medical personnel • pilots & flight control personnel • security & tactical personnel • sciences personnel • senior staff • unnamed (2240s and 2250s • 2260s • 2270s and 2280s)|