Community News

Witty Wordsmith: Turns of Phrase…

We all love a good saying. There are many different phrases that get used over and over, from favorite movie quotes to curious cultural references. But what about those odd phrases we hear on a regular basis, but we don’t really know where they come from? Have no fears! In this session of the Witty Wordsmith we will delve into some frequently misheard or misunderstood phrases to sort of where they came from and what they really mean.

“I nipped that problem in the bud”

Nope. I didn’t spell that wrong. This has nothing to do with being bitten in your posterior region (though you will frequently see this misused as nipped in the butt or bum). This phrase has its origins in horticulture where you nip (cut) a bud off of a flowering plant to either keep it from flowering or spreading.

Emergency Rations: Travel Edition

Welcome to Emergency Rations, where each month we highlight details from the worlds of Star Trek and UFOP: SB118 to fuel your fandom, inspire your writing, and help bring your sim to life.

This month’s theme is vacation! We’re well in to vacation season here, and I haven’t gone any farther than the other side of town. In Star Trek, exciting destinations are only a transport away.

You have caught up on your reading; you have scrolled through all the forums; you have read the entire wiki again. You could use one more detail to close out your post before you get away. It’s time to break out the Emergency Rations…

Kaitlyn Falcon Named May/June Writing Challenge Runner-Up

While their praises may not be sung quite so loudly as the winners, runners-up from the bimonthly Writing Challenges still deserve accolades for crafting fine pieces of fiction! One such story is “Orders and Consequences,” the May & June runner-up, written by the writer behind Lieutenant Kaitlyn Falcon. The story, which follows the ongoing saga of Captain Robert Falcon, was praised by judges for its provocative take on the Challenge’s theme. Wrote judge Toni Turner: “Mr. Falcon spun a tale reminiscent of Swiss Family Robinson, taking into account that command was more like a family decision.” By using the familiar character of Robert Falcon and his XO and wife Jiana, the writer was able to weave together his continuing story with the Challenge’s theme. Well done!

The next Challenge, “Fashion,” is already up, so be sure to hurry over to the Writing Challenge Forum for guidelines, deadlines, and inspiration!

As always, don’t forget that you can pick up a complete collection of all this round’s short stories, in PDF format, for free. Get yours here!

SDC Species Spotlight: ZEVIAN

“Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.” – a Zevian saying.

This restricted species is fiercely independent and distrustful of most other species. They even distrust of their own government, which is a form of dictatorship, and fear it as well — and with good cause considering the informants, secret police and spy devices everywhere! State rules are strictly enforced, and while most of their lives is controlled and dictated by various government policies, freedom is beginning to grow since rule by nobles ended.

As a result, this stoic species are acclimated to hardship, hard work, and deprivation. They have a strong sense of community that is encouraged by the government, a willing to work together that originally allowed them to finally overthrow the old feudal system of government they laboured under, and which allows them to survive under the current government as well. They tend to be a bit standoffish, reserved and almost isolationist with other species.

Learn more about this species from their wiki page!

June plot summary for the USS Gemini

After battling the Klingons, the USS Gemini, NCC-80564, made its way back to StarBase 118 for repairs. While they were docked, the crew enjoyed their leave. The crew was all invited to a beach BBQ on one of the doctors’ was hosting. Captain Liam Frost attended the funeral of Fleet Captain Nicholotti, while LtCmdr T’Mar dealt with the unfortunate consequences of an overeager doctor running tests on her empathic abilities after she sent Ensign Braddock for testing due to his sudden onset of abilities. Both also received news of the destruction of their old ship, the USS Apollo. Once repairs were completed, the crew boarded the ship again and are now on their way to StarBase 224.

Liam Frost promoted to captain

The Executive Council of UFOP: StarBase 118 is pleased to announce the promotion of Liam Frost to the rank of captain. This is an honor of highest proportions in our community, and we’re truly happy to see someone with such a unique voice, and clear talent in the role of commanding officer.

After promotion to commander last October, Captain Frost was given authorization to begin his practical examination aboard an entirely new vessel, the USS Gemini, which was comprised of officers from StarBase 118 Ops and the USS Discovery-C.

Be sure to offer Captain Frost your congratulations, and we wish the crew of the Gemini the best of luck on their adventures.

Dancing With The Stars

Have you ever compared the skies and stars to dancing? In many books and stories I’ve read, heavenly bodies have been depicted as undulating in a coordinated array of motion, as if swaying to some unheard melody that only they can fathom. ‘The stars danced in the sky’ seems to be a popular description among many fellow sim players in the various games I’ve played over the last decade. So do stars really dance? Perhaps they do. At the very least, they play music! Okay, the stars may not play music, but a black hole did – well, a single note anyway.

Back in November of 2003, astronomers actually heard a note coming from the Perseus Galaxy, a massive cluster galaxies located a mere 250 million light years away from earth. What sort of note? Using technology along with gold old fashion music theory, Dr. Andrew Fabian and a team of colleagues at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, England determined that a note detected from the cluster was, in fact, a B-flat. Don’t expect to be able to hear this celestial tone – it rings out at about 57 octaves below middle C. That’s over a billion times lower than the lowest note the human ear can hear.

So next time you gaze up at the stars and see them gleam and prance in the night sky, it may very well be to a tune that only they can hear.

You can read more about this musical cluster by heading over to Nasa’s website.

New Academy Graduates

Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Raissa Moonsong and Nicole Fullmer!

June plot summary for the USS Apollo

After the alien vessel’s AI, Rapture, made itself known on the bridge of the USS Aegis, NCC-74323, Lieutenant Commander Sundassa Faranster spoke with the ambassador of the alien species, and agreed to assist them, asking them to send over details of what was needed.

While they waited, Sundassa worked with Lieutenant Commander Jalana Laxyn to organize a team that would go to the other ship, consisting of their Engineer, Lieutenant JG Eileen McCleran, Nurse Ensign Dial. Since transporters didn’t work with the alien ship, they had to rely on a shuttle and their HCO Lieutenant JG Patrick McLeod to pilot it.

The team on the Aegis continued to try to scan and get answers about the strange aliens while their away team shipped out. Ensign Ar’jin working on deciphering the scans of the ship.

Once the away team got over there, the away team separated to get the work done, while Laxyn went to meet the Elder. While Laxyn was with the Elder, the Ambassador took things wrong, attacked and imprisoned some of the away team, causing a lock down on the ship, and the Aegis crew was left to negotiate the return of their crew mates.

The captured team escaped during negotiations and made their way to the shuttle bay with the assistance of the AI and some of the aliens, while the Elder offered Laxyn use of his emergency escape pod.

20 years of simming: 5 big changes in the past 20 years.

Last month, StarBase 118 celebrated its 20th simming anniversary! Simming – and Star Trek – have come a long way since 1994. Today we take a look at some of the biggest changes in simming between then and now and how those changes have formed our game today.

1: Changes in the Trek Prime canon

In 1994, Next Gen was coming to an end, Deep Space Nine was getting started and Voyager was an exciting proposal. The biggest decision a sim needed to make when starting up was whether they were going to include the Borg as an enemy or whether it would be a plain old ‘explore the galaxy/threat-of-the week’ style sim.

Since then we have watched the Dominion War devastate the quadrant, multiple major changes in politics with the Klingon, Romulan and Cardassian empires, the explosion of the Hobus Star, the development of the Delta and Gamma quadrants, the revelation of Section 31 and a myriad of new races come to life on the big and small screens. Sims today need to not only recognize the changes in canon, but pick a time in canon to play in. Sims, like SB118 that have built stories while canon was changing needed to talk about how they could incorporate the changes in Trek canon with the story lines of their own game.

All in all, the later Trek series and the Trek movies brought a newfound complexity to Star Trek, and became a point of discussion and sometimes dissension between fans. It has made our simming games more complex that they were in the past, often times including long term political plotlines and overarching story elements.

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Today’s Stardate

239107.31 - 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


"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not." -Ralph Waldo Emerson