Community News

Submit a nomination to the Featured Bio contest

Have you come across a great character biography on the wiki? Been working on your own bio for a while now and want to show it off to the fleet? Then head on over to the Featured Bio Contest’s forum and submit a nomination! All that’s required is that the bio be of an active, player character such as Captain Raj Blueheart of the Atlantis, who is this month’s Featured Bio.

You can see a list of previous winners and featured nominees at the contest’s wiki site as well as an overview of the judging criteria the Featured Bio Contest Team uses to vote for a winner.

The nomination round closes this Saturday, February 1, so don’t delay! Submit your nomination today!


First contact turns into a firefight

ORTHICA’S BANE — Starfleet’s attempt at diplomacy with the Sunak over a missing Cardassian vessel quickly fell into a firefight when another race called the Strox attacked.

If the crew of the USS Victory were hoping for a peaceful and easy first contact, they were in for a surprise. Though the first contact with the Sunak Triumvirate did not begin with shooting, the octopus-like aliens that lived in a liquid environment were not pleased with the Federation’s arrival. Their leader Primus Sobol alleged that the Cardassian vessel Nuvek, under the command of Gul Minessa, open fired on one of their vessels without provocation and that the crew were being held captive for their crimes.

“I honestly did not know what to think of the situation,” said Lt. Cmdr. Barry Morris, Victory‘s beta shift deck officer, in an interview with FNS embedded reporter Cole Sphinx. “We were outgunned and outnumbered with angry squid people who wanted our heads. Furthermore, our senior staff were all off ship. That’s enough to scare any sane person.”

One would think that this was all the stress the small Federation crew would have to handle, but two hours into the Sunak/Victory meeting, the situation became worse. The already crowded section of the nebula came under direct assault by another race living there called the Strox. These cannibalistic species that preyed on Sunak launched an all-out assault against the Victory, two Sunak vessels Unama and Aqawa, and the wounded Nuvek.

“The Strox are a mixture of medium height bipedal creatures that seemed to be a cross of a lizard and a shark with larger versions that looked like monsters from hell. Their red skin was gnarly and disgusting, ” said Crewman First Class Della Minis in a report. Della was one of the many onboard security forces of the Victory that faced the creatures in combat.

“If it was not for the timely computer lockout by some JG on Deck 4, the Strox may have been able to take the Victory,” he said.

Time will tell what effect this new race will have on the crew and the Federation presence in the Tempest Sector.


New Academy Graduates

Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: John Valdivia, Rick Hudgens, Thevan th’Ethrell, and Mary Fenelli.


December recruiting stats

Each month we post the number of applicants to our community, and the number of subsequent graduates from our Academy to give you an idea of how our how we are reaching new applicants and how we can improve our efforts to reach new audiences. If you’re interested in helping with publicity efforts, be sure to request membership on the Publicity Team email list.

Unfortunately, not all applicants graduate from the Academy because they either do not respond to roll call or do not complete the Academy requirements. The Training Team makes every effort to involve all applicants and to encourage them to complete the training. Keep in mind that some applicants may submit their application in one month, but not graduate from training until the next month due to the timing of training groups.

On the chart below, applications are in blue while graduates are in red.


Scene-setting: The most important tweak you can make to your writing

While our modified script format can sometimes seem like a good excuse to write all-dialogue sims, we can’t forget that it’s the scene-setting, exposition, and character development that really motivates a reader to identify what what you’re writing and want to read more.

That’s why we’ve put together a new tutorial on our site that discusses scene-setting, explaining how this important skill can bring new life to your sims and change the way that others respond to your sims.

Read the tutorial on our website, then go nominate a sim that demonstrates great scene-setting for the Top Sims Contest!


Top Sims Contest 2015

The year is only a few weeks old, but the 2015 version of the Top Sims Contest is off to a great start. We’ve seen some wonderful sims being submitted to the contest so far. One of them might even be the Top Sim of the year! But that title might also belong to a sim that hasn’t been written yet – we won’t be able to find out without your help.

When you read a great sim, just follow these simple steps:

1. Visit the Top Sims Contest forum.
2. Start a new topic and paste the sim into the text field.

That’s it! Giving a sim the recognition it deserves just that easy. Who knows, you may be the one who submits the Top Sim of 2015?


Ion storm cripples StarBase 118

TRINITY SECTOR — An ion storm has wreaked havoc with StarBase 118’s systems and sent a civilian freighter crashing into the starbase’s strategic ops tower.

Disaster struck less than a day after Cmdr. Leo Handley-Page took command of StarBase 118 Ops with his brand new crew of intrepid officers. An ion storm hit the starbase, crippling sensors and transporters throughout Ops. The issue would have been routine, but the ion storm caused a cascade failure in the SS Cerberas, an approaching civilian freighter. The Cerberas lost control, crashing into the strategic ops tower and trapping survivors both on the crippled ship and in the tower.

“I never saw anything like it,” said Talaxian diplomatic aide Shrax. “This ship just kept getting bigger and bigger until ‘boom!’ The whole place exploded in noise and fire. It was terrible.”

Starfleet teams immediately mobilized, with a medical rescue team led by chief medical officer Lt. Cmdr. Velana working to rescue those trapped in the strategic ops tower and an away team led by Lt. Cmdr. Sal Taybrim approaching the Cerberas by shuttlecraft to evacuate the survivors before the Cerberas lost all life support. Meanwhile, the crew remaining at Ops searched for answers on why the Cerberas was so badly affected by the storm.


Starfleet rescues captured officers from pirates

DURONIS SECTOR — Starfleet has staged a daring raid on a pirate sanctuary to rescue captured officers as demonstrations broke out on Duronis II in the aftermath of the kidnapping of the Laudean prime minister.

The crew of the USS Thunder-A, with Lt. Cmdr. Hannibal Parker in command, set out in pursuit of the kidnappers who had abducted Laudean Prime Minister Vail Daysa, along with Flt. Capt. Turner, Ambassador Vetri, and Lt. Cmdr. T’Lea. Tracking communications from the kidnappers’ ship, the Thunder traced it to an asteroid field called the Zone.

The communication also contained an ominous note: the kidnapped crewmembers were to be sold at an auction in eight hours. To make the situation worse, word had gotten out that Vail Daysa was now missing back on Duronis II, and demonstrations wracked the planet. The development forced Hannibal to split his crew to deal with the multiple threats.

Arriving at the Zone and after the fortuitous commandeering of a Ferengi vessel, Hannibal and Lt. Cmdr. Kamela Allison assumed their former cover identities as outlaws, and they, accompanied by Lt. Cmdr. Rossh, set out to free their captured crewmates and bring them home.

Rossh posed as a captive to be set upon the same stage as their captive crew members. Once the curtain went up, Hannibal was stunned to see that only Turner and Vetri were offered for sale, and T’Lea was replaced by another Vulcan. Undeterred, Hannibal entered a fierce bidding war only to be interrupted by a brawl started by allegations of cheating by one of the buyers. Using the melee as cover, Hannibal, Allison, and Rossh moved to free the three women and make their escape.

Hearing the melee over the open comm, the Thunder moved in and fired an EMP pulse, immobilizing the pirate fleet and beaming the rescue team and the now free captives back to the Thunder. The ship made her escape and set course for Duronis II.

The Thunder crew swore to find their still missing shipmate, a sentiment forcefully echoed by Parker.

“We will never stop looking for her, and whoever has her will pay a heavy price for the abduction and enslavement of a Starfleet officer, the highest crime a being can commit with the exception of murder,” he said. “Rura Penthe is too good for them. They will be found and prosecuted.”

The Thunder crew on Duronis II worked to quell the building tensions on the planet, using the press to help dispel rumors and restore relative calm until the Prime Minister was located and returned. With the help of Britta Daysa, the Prime Ministers’ wife, things on Duronis stabilized, and the Embassy was no longer under threat.

However, it was soon determined that Prime Minister Daysa had been returned to Duronis by the Laudean gangster Gaev into the hands of former prime minister Chandra, who had ill intentions of her own.


The Regular Writing Challenge Ends

It’s with a heavy heart that I announce that the November & December 2014 round of the Writing Challenge will be the last regular Writing Challenge of the contest as we know it. Going forward, we will hold Writing Challenges only during special events — for example, during our yearly Writing Improvement Month — and we will be working to incorporate much of what kept the Writing Challenges going for so long into the Top Sims Contest. The decision to end the Writing Challenges wasn’t easy and involved a lot of discussion on the Executive Council, but it’s our hope that by ending the Challenge now, we will be able to improve the many forum contests (Top Sims, Featured Bio, and Graphics) that also exist.

I know that many of you will be disappointed by this announcement, so I encourage you to remember the Challenges on the forums — a favorite story or theme, perhaps, if you’re a regular writer, or something you learned or enjoyed writing as a result of the Challenge. I look forward to reading your remembrances, and I’ll start off with one of my own: In August of 2005, I was a cadet and was just poking around the forums for the first time when I noticed the Writing Challenge that was going on at the time. The theme, “Devil in the Dark,” seemed to be encouraging a lot of grimdark, gritty entries, so I decided to write something lighthearted about a Q who went by X. That story, “X Factors,” was named the Challenge’s winner when I was barely an ensign, and it established my interest in and association with the Writing Challenges from the very first.

I look forward to reading about your memories! Help us celebrate the end of this great contest in style!


Largest protomatter cloud discovered

MENTHAR CORRIDOR — One of the densest known clouds of protomatter has been discovered near Deep Space 10, and the USS Garuda has been dispatched to survey the finding.

Dubbed the Genesis Cloud, a reference to the 23rd century terraforming project that had used protomatter at its core, the cloud was first identified by the Qilin Project.

“The numbers are literally off the scale,” said Dr. Eloise Wancata, a researcher with the Qilin Project. “If we put the measurements of previous protomatter collections next to the Genesis Cloud, you wouldn’t even notice them.”

Starfleet, eager to return a sense of normalcy to the troubled region after the recent terrorist attack by the Maquis Reborn, has assigned the USS Garuda to investigate the cloud, which is eight hours from Deep Space 10 at warp.

For their actions during the crisis aboard Deep Space 10, the Garuda crew were awarded the Silver Star, and the ship’s first officer Nia Calderan was promoted to commander and named Federation Ambassador to the region. The crew spent much of the aftermath of the Maquis attack helping the station rebuild and reconnecting with their own loved ones. Several crew members attended a charity bazaar for the reopening of Room 7, a local bar and club.

With the upcoming scientific mission, Starfleet also hopes to reconnect with the Community, a species native to the Menthar Corridor comprised of a collective consciousness that uses plant-like forms to communicate. Starfleet had previously encountered the Community during their dispute with their long-term enemy the Myr Luuk. The Federation Diplomatic Corps hopes a demonstration of a standard scientific survey to visiting delegates from the Community will help pave the way for renewed relations between the Federation and the Community.


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