Community News

Writing Challenge: First-Time Winners

Did you know that, before the writer behind Sal Taybrim won the January/February Writing Challenge, she had only entered once before? Or that Jess, aka Jalana Laxyn, who won the December holiday Challenge back in 2012, had never entered before at all? The Writing Challenge judges are always looking for that fresh new story by a great new writer, and though our list of winners does have many champions who have won several rounds, you’ll note plenty of names who have won once or twice. Don’t let being a first time entrant discourage you! We always want more stories, so enter yours today!

Remember, too, that our current Challenge, “Rabbits,” will end this Friday, April 25th. Be sure to hurry over to the Writing Challenge forum and enter your story today!


The Admiral’s Corner – Rear Admiral Andrus Jaxx

On April 6, 2014, Andrus Jaxx was officially promoted the to rank of Rear Admiral. The News Team previously interviewed then Captain Jaxx in early 2012 as part of a segment called The Captain’s Corner, where we learned a little more about the character and the writer behind Admiral Jaxx. Now that he’s attained his new rank, we thought it would be a good idea to catch up with him and find out what’s been going on since then. Admiral Jaxx was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule and answer some more of our questions.

andrusjaxx The Admirals Corner   Rear Admiral Andrus JaxxWhen we last interviewed you on the Captain’s Corner, you were “Captain Andrus Jaxx” and Commanding Officer of Starbase 118. Regarding positions held, where have you been since then and where are you now?

Wow, that is a dated article!  Looking at the date, it was published about a week before I launched the USS Apollo.  I have been commanding officer of the Apollo ever since.  Excitingly enough, we just lost the USS Apollo, and will be moving to the USS Apollo-A in the next couple months.  The new Apollo-A is an Odyssey Class starship and we cannot wait to get her into service.  While I have advance to Fleet Captain and Rear Admiral, I will still continue to call the USS Apollo home.


New Academy Graduates

Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Arias Cavvar and Charea Zol!


Sowing the Seeds

There are enough potential members out there for us to double the number of ships in the fleet almost overnight — we just need to help them find us! It’s easy to contribute, doesn’t take a lot of time and converts directly into applications to the academy! It’s time to answer the call!

The Publicity Team has been working to keep the name of UFOP: StarBase 118 up in lights around the simming community and the internet as a whole, but we can never have enough members! We don’t ask for a huge time commitment, just 15 minutes a week, but imagine how you’d feel when those 15 minutes convert themselves into a member who applied because of something you did! There’s no feeling like it – you’re at the cutting edge of the group and one of the people responsible for sourcing its very lifeblood: new cadets.

Do you want to take a role in expanding our universe? Do you want new shipmates and a way to directly contribute to your progression in the fleet by involving yourself in an OOC group? Just submit your information below and you’ll be added to the team by Fleet Captain Diego Herrera.

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March Plot Summary for the USS Apollo

With the Borg incoming, and the major component of the Omega, the boronite, still not dealt with completely, the USS Apollo, NCC-71669 was put on a tight deadline that had members of the crew questioning the ethics of the Omega directive. Put to the test, Ensign Eileen McClaran hatched a plan to create and detonate another Omega within the event horizon of the first detonation, which should mask the boronite, as well as making the area treacherous to travel through. She was to perform the task with only one assistant, so to limit the possibility of the Borg collecting this information.

At the same time, Lieutenant Commanders Sundassa Faranster and Jalana Laxyn were preparing an evacuation, getting medical, food and security supplies ready. While Ensign Kaliantha Hawn was holding down the fort in medical, keeping one of their injured from bleeding out.

Meanwhile, Commander Tal Tel-ar suggested a means of destroying the second cube by taking one of the shuttles filled with anti-matter torpedoes on to the Borg cube. With the shuttle inside the shield, he would set it up blow up after he is teleported out into space. Two marine pilots, Lieutenants 1st Class T’Aven and Karolina Cranford got wind of this, and offered up their services to rescue and assist the Commander.

Once everything was in place, the evacuation commenced and got all the families, civilians, and non-essential personnel off before the Borg were engaged. Then the Apollo sped to meet them, preventing the Borg from splitting up.


Witty Wordsmith: Tricky Definitions

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

~The Princess Bride

Our language is full of words that get used incorrectly more than they get used correctly. Maybe they sound similar to another word; sometimes they have an obscure meaning or grammatical pitfalls. This month we will be looking at a few words that are commonly misused both in the mass media and in our own writing. By picking them apart you can give yourselves some mnemonic hooks to use them correctly and even find ways to incorporate them into your character’s vocabulary!

decimate

Like the words decimal and decagon, the deci- at the beginning of decimate implies a power of ten. The literal definition of this word is to ‘slaughter one of every ten’ but the more accepted definition is to ‘destroy a portion of the whole.’  This is a noticeable but not overwhelming portion. If you want to say ‘every last thing was destroyed’ opt for a word like massacre or annihilation.


March Plot Summary for the Duronis II Embassy

The Embassy, Duronis II Away team continued to explore the archaeological digs in the Quentisi Mountain Range. Going deeper into the mountain via a subspace elevator, the team found themselves in an inner cavern and the discovery of a glowing cube. Taking the cube in custody, the team soon found themselves under attack by small metal creatures which could meld themselves together and form ever larger, more menacing forms. During the furious fight which erupted, several members of the away team were injured, most critically being Commander Nugra. With the team now fighting for survival, efforts turned to escaping the caves and the metal sentinels which guarded it. Rigging a device which held the creatures at bay, Major Parker tried in vain to get the power up and running…but the creatures had other ideas. Left with no other choice, the team made their bid for escape, fighting their way back to the ancient elevator just as one of the metal monsters was about to swoop down on them…and the explosives planted by the away team detonated, destroying the caverns and the metal creatures as the away team made a run for it from the collapsing cave….

Meanwhile, back at the Embassy, talks between the Romulan diplomat and Ambassador Vetri took a turn as they decided the fate of the Romulan assassin, T’Ana. Laudean Prime Minister Daysa also made a claim to keep T”Ana on Laudean soil, as an accomplice to the second assassin who killed his butler. Other claims to keep T”Ana were also made, which further complicated the Ambassadors’ mission…..

Meanwhile, the second assassin, now identified as a Starfleet traitor, committed a horrific act and is now loose on Embassy soil, and a new member of the crew is causing ripples with his arrival…..


A Closer Look: The USS Vigilant-A

“The candle of liberty has always been kept lit by a vigilant few.” -Russell Pearce

This is the motto of the newest Starship to be commissioned for StarBase 118: The USS Vigilant NCC-75515-A. A Hephaestus-class starship launched in April 2391, the Vigilant-A will patrol the Zeta Gelis Region along with the USS Darwin-A, keeping that candle burning to represent the interests of United Federation of Planets. Equipped with a quantum slipstream drive and capable of operating in Multi-Vector Mode, the latest incarnation of the Vigilant is tougher and better equipped to deal with the demands of maintaining a Starfleet presence in such a remote sector than her predecessor.

Fleet Captain Diego Herrera, the Commanding Officer of the Vigilant-A, was kind enough to chat with me about his new ship in this installment of “A Closer Look.”

Nathan Baker: Firstly, the Intrepid class Vigilant was knocked out of action by a cascade failure of the computer core, correct?

Diego Herrera: That’s correct – a sophisticated virus created by someone with extensive knowledge of the LCARS system found its way aboard. The crew had been able to contain it for some time but when they tried to purge it it caused irreparable damage to all of the system start-up protocols. That left the computer systems throughout the ship crippled and made it unsafe to power the Vigilant back up.


March Plot Summary for the USS Atlantis

The crew of the Atlantis thought that the most dangerous part of their mission to Uzoka 4 would be dealing with any diplomatic snafus around the gift, or perhaps the arrogance of the ambassador. Working through the potentials, two members of the crew went to speak to the Ambassador, theoretically about local politics, but in actuality to scan the mysterious gift. Unfortunately, they were discovered by the ambassador and it was brought to the Captain at the diplomatic dinner that evening.
The dinner was a grand event that showcased the cuisines of the Federation, but ended up being overshadowed by one cloud. Specifically, a miniature version of the Jenatris cloud, whose presence caused everyone with psionic potential to have varying levels of reactions, including causing the Ambassador to appear drunk before passing out! Sickbay worked feverishly to determine something beyond a stop gap solution with psionic blockers, while the science team worked to understand what the cloud was, or rather clouds were! The ambassador woke up to reveal that the gift held several of the entities and that the clouds ate energy from the ship!

Stabilizing the situation as best they could, the crew continued slowly to Uzoka 4, but with several new shocks. The clouds were sentient, and the Universal translator was being adapted, and several combat ready ships were heading toward them from the Krayav home planet. Worse, the tactical systems had been completely drained while dealing with the clouds with no idea when they’d be restored!


New Academy Graduates

Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Colin Stonestreet, Clio Margariti, and Tyler Kelly!


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Today’s Stardate

239104.25 - stardates are the way in which the current date is formatted within a sim. More information.

Fleet Activity List

Looking for something fun to do? We have a whole list of fleet activities that are looking for members like yourself! You can participate in our monthly Writing Challenges, our Top Sims Contest, a Guild (for Readers, LGBT players, and those who play Vulcans), help recruit new players on our Publicity Team, or help write the Community News. Check out the Fleet Activity List today to see where you can help!

Simming Tips

Extraordinary Tip #3
"Don't apologize for your character or for the story. Take your cues from the senior people, be respectful of course, but take risks with the plot and help make the story your own!" -Medai Cyrce

Inspiration

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant." -Robert Louis Stevenson