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Nechayev was born circa in the mid 2300s.
She had married by 2380, the wedding being a small ceremony. She admitted to Jean-Luc Picard that Nechayev women were rather controlling, and had to practically elope to ensure her mother couldn't take over the wedding plans.
Nechayev entered Starfleet Academy determined to prove herself. Years later, the Academy groundskeeper Boothby described her as having "a chip on her shoulder the size of Jupiter, so ready to prove a beautiful woman could be a starship captain". By 2328, Nechayev was a lieutenant in Office of Naval Intelligence. That year, based on intelligence from Bajoran dissident Keeve Falor, she traveled to Bajor disguised as a Bajoran under the name Nechen Alla, to investigate claims that the Cardassian Union was planning to occupy the planet. With her partner Gwen Jones, she was able to discover evidence of these plans, but upon returning with the intelligence to the USS Gettysburg, learned Starfleet intended to treat the matter as an internal political affair. Nechayev later informed Bajoran refugee Darrah Mace that she would do all she could to help the Bajorans resist the Cardassians.
Due to her familiarity with the Cardassian War, Vice Admiral Nechayev stayed close to the border between the Federation and the Cardassian Union. In 2363 she ordered Captain Rachel King of the USS Augustus to the Cardassian Frontier ( STA Book "The Echoes of War").
In 2365, Nechayev was contacted by Elias Vaughn regarding a Cardassian informant, Gaten Russol, who wanted to give information about the occupation of Bajor. She reassigned Vaughn to Starbase 375 so that he could make contact with Russol, but gather only information relating to the Federation and not discuss Bajor. By the late 2360s, Nechayev was responsible for liaisons with the Cardassian Union. In 2369, she assigned Jean-Luc Picard to an undercover operation on Celtris III and oversaw both that mission and concurrent negotiations with the Cardassians on board the USS Enterprise-D.
In 2369, Nechayev commanded a task force assembled to defend the Federation from an anticipated Borg attack. At that time, she dressed down Enterprise Captain Jean-Luc Picard for failing to use an invasive program to destroy the Borg the previous year. She directly ordered Picard to put aside any moral qualms and to use the weapons the next time the opportunity presented itself. Even following Picard's contact with a cell of non-aggressive Borg headed by Hugh, Nechayev's orders stood, and were disseminated to all Starfleet commanders.
In 2370, she assigned Mackenzie Calhoun to do undercover work on the frontier, after Calhoun resigned from Starfleet. She continued to give him new assignments, but after a few years, became worried that he was becoming corrupted by the nature of his work. In the early 2370s, with the rise of the Maquis, Nechayev became a point-person for issues arising between Federation expatriates and Cardassian forces. She urged officers such as Commander Benjamin Sisko to talk and reason with the expatriates, reminding them that they are Federation citizens. Admiral Nechayev and Captain Picard recruited Lieutenant Ro to infiltrate the Maquis in late 2370. The Maquis was a group of Federation citizens and former Starfleet officers who were fighting off the Cardassians in the De-militarized Zone in defiance of a recent Federation treaty with the Cardassian Union. Ro would find that she both sympathized and fit in better with the Maquis more than she ever did in Starfleet, so she once again defied orders, betrayed Starfleet and joined the Maquis. In 2371, Nechayev was part of Borath's mental simulation in which Benjamin Sisko, Jadzia Dax, Julian Bashir and T'Rul were placed. In the simulation, Nechayev negotiated a pro-Dominion treaty.
Also in 2371, Nechayev ordered Captain Picard to test a new Galaxy Class saucer section while the Enterprise's saucer section was undergoing repairs, and she accompanied the Enterprise crew during these tests. She confronted the Maquis when they attempted to hijack the saucer section, which later crash-landed in the ocean of a nearby planet and was later destroyed. Later that year, she participated in a subspace conference with Admirals Judith Hayman, Hajime Shoji and Kirshbaum, Captain Benjamin Sisko and Professor T'Kreng of the Vulcan Science Academy about a possible Fury invasion. In 2373, Nechayev controlled key aspects of Starfleet's response to the collapse of the Thallonian Empire. After being convinced by Captain Picard, Commander Riker, and Ambassador Spock, she decided that the best course of action was to send a Starfleet vessel, the USS Excalibur, into Sector 221-G to observe the situation and offer humanitarian assistance. She asked Picard to retrieve Mackenzie Calhoun from his operative work to command the Excalibur. In 2374, she engaged in a heated debate on the Dominion War with Tomas Roeder in a Federation News Service broadcast. Over the course of the Dominion War, Admiral Nechayev oversaw Tactical Operations and spearheaded strategies and fleet movements, it is at this time that Lieutenant Commander Talloc Hagen joined the department prior to his appointment to Admiral Ross' team. In 2375, Nechayev, monitoring the Double Helix incident, installed Commander Riker as the field captain of the USS Excalibur, pulling Captain Calhoun from the ship and sending him on another mission related to the Double Helix through her connections at Starfleet Intelligence. In 2376, Nechayev was the lead Starfleet Officer in the Genesis Wave Crisis. Personally seeing the evacuation of many planets, and with the crew of the USS Enterprise was able to prevent the wave from striking Earth. However, her face was temporarily disfigured when she was on a planet hit by the wave. Although protected she was given newly mutagenic soil which healed her burns and saved her life, giving an almost two-faced effect on her appearance. Nechayev later had surgery performed to restore her face to normal.
In 2379, Admiral Nechayev was one of five Starfleet admirals who along with Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Ambassador Lagan Serra decided the fate of Federation President Min Zife after the disastrous Tezwan affair. Nechayev pressed especially hard for the position that Zife had to be removed from office and punished for what he had done. The group decided to force Zife, Koll Azernal, and Nelino Quafina to step down but not to reveal to anyone where the weapons had come from. Nechayev was upset that this was effectively helping them cover up their crimes, but eventually, she was convinced that it was necessary for the good of the Federation. A short time later, she confronted Zife along with Admirals Ross and Nakamura with the threat and watched as agents of Section 31 came to escort Zife, Azernal, and Quafina away.
Later that same year, she informed Captain Picard that the Borg-assimilated Einstein class science vessel had been discovered and then ordered the USS Enterprise-E to intercept and destroy the ship at all costs.
In early 2381, she informed the Enterprise that the Borg had begun an invasion of the Alpha Quadrant by leveling Barolia and taunting Starfleet to bring its worst. As the Collective stepped up their invasion, the Enterprise was equipped with transphasic torpedoes, the only effective weapon against the Borg. Captain Picard argued with Nechayev to spread the specifications for the torpedoes to other vessels in the fleet, but she adamantly refused; she believed that greater use would provide the Borg more opportunities to study and adapt to the weapon, and additionally that communicating the specifications over a subspace channel could lead to interception and decryption. Although she understood the Captain's position, she had to oversee the entire war effort in terms of numbers and arithmetic over who lives and dies and what decisions are made. Nechayev continued to oversee war planning sessions as the Borg Invasion of 2381 continued. Nechayev was part of a meeting at Starfleet Command which included Admirals Hastur and Nakamura as well as Federation government officials Jas Abrik and Seven of Nine. Despite the confidence of Nakamura, Nechayev continued to advocate the moderation of the use of transphasic torpedoes.
However, Admiral Edward Jellico overruled the security directive and distributed the specifications of the torpedoes to all ships and stations, as well as their allies in the Klingon Defense Force. Nechayev spoke to Captains Picard, Dax, and Riker after they reappeared at the Azure Nebula, giving them full authority to do whatever they could, but to maintain operational security and not brief her. She, along with Admirals Jellico and Nakamura, monitored the attacks on Vulcan, Andor, Coridan III, Rigel, and Qo'noS from the secure bunker in Starfleet Command Headquarters, hoping that history remembered that at least they tried to fight the Borg. They had a momentary swing of momentum when the Borg began to suddenly fire upon each other and Jellico issued orders for all assets to engage, but this advantage was short lived. After the invasion was defeated, Nechayev issued new orders to Captain Dax and the USS Aventine, assigning them to help coordinate rescue and recovery operations for the next few months.