By Commander Rhys Bejain
In the second installment of our survey of our junior officers, we meet Ensign Marcus Dickens of the Atlantis. Dickens is an up-and-coming Science Officer for whom great things are forecast. Via subspace, from the twenty-fourth century … Marcus Dickens.
Rhys Bejain: How did you become interested in Star Trek?
Marcus Dickens: I’ve seen the movies when I was a child and became attracted about all space related things and the idea of travelling to other planets. Since then, I waited for the rest of the movies and when I was able began looking for more of Trek world until ‘The Next Generation’ series arrived to my country and that was the point where I find that I like Star Trek.
RB: How did you find out about UFoP?
MD: From a friend. She joined UFoP and let me know about it talking quite well of it so I applied.
RB: How did you find the training process?
MD: I found it easy to follow and the tutorials very useful. Also the trainers were so up to help those with problems to follow the training process as my self the first time that for some problems couldn’t follow the training and they care for me to join the next one.
RB: We have many simmers who are outside the US. I’m one of them. What’s been your experience of simming in UFoP from outside the US?
MD: I found it very interesting. On one hand, simming with people from other countries of the world gives me the chance to experience so many ways to think, act and response to different problems and with the OOC messages to know so much people. On the other, I have the opportunity to enjoy such creative people planning different kind of missions. In my first one, our ship worked a covert operation mission.
RB: Tell me about Ensign Dickens.
MD: He’s almost overprotected by his mother, due the loss of Dickens’s father in an accident. Dickens was very like his father, wishing to help people but unsure of how they’ll treat them due his Betazoid and Angosian heritage. When he lost his father and moved with his mother to Betazed, he found that most of the people were kind, but some of them gave him a wide berth for that reason. As soon as he was old enough, he applied to Starfleet. One reason was to find himself among people of many races and feel more integrated and the second to know better his father as he had worked for the Federation.
RB: Why did you decide to make Dickens as he is?
MD: Well, he’s part of me and part of what I’d like to be if I was in the Federation. I think that Betazoids are to be a good example to follow for their openness between them and others that will help me to do interpersonal sims and character development. On the other hand I like more active characters, so searching on the Intelligent Lifeforms Index, I found that an altered Angosian father could help me when other kind of sims are required.
RB: Our readers may not be familiar with the Angosians. Tell us about them, and what attracted you to them?
MD: They’re from the TNG episode The Hunted. Internet information, as well as the Intelligent Lifeforms Index, say that the Angosians were a very advanced species in the development of the mind and intellect and typically are thoughtful and intelligent. That proved to match very well with what it would became a science officer and a perfect match for a Betazoid woman like Marcus’s mother, due the non violent nature of the Angosians, except the war veterans modified soldiers and even those are non violent unless provoked. The Angosians proved to be very intelligent but it seems that they need to learn that all the members of their community deserve respect and help and that the problems didn’t disappear by tearing them apart, thing that they’re starting to understand after the unrest of the war veterans against whom the normal Angosians were defenceless. The Enterprise D crew finally convinced the Angosian government to star talking with the war veterans and also offered assist the veterans return to a normal life.
RB: What were your initial impressions of the Atlantis?
MD: I find that it’s quite a group. I’m still trying to get to know people there. I was the only ensign there at this time, so I tended to lean on Lieutenant Commander Jamar, my superior, to help me integrate into the ship.
RB: What’s happening on board now?
MD: Actually we’ve recently finished a mission with a covert team to find a man responsible for some terrorist acts. This man hides on a station outside of Federation space, surrounded by the Jenatris cloud, a kind of nebulae that affects the sensors and the warp capability. Behind the Jenatris cloud is unknown space and we’ll be the first ship to chart it.
RB: What part did Dickens play in the mission?
MD: Actually he’s helping in charting the new zone and recently had to help engineering where part of the Jenatris cloud entered the ship. He was called in to assess the damage before a repair was done and the injured treated.
RB: What advice would you give a new ensign arriving on a new ship?
MD: Don’t restrain yourself. If you don’t know what to do, just write about yourself and you’ll find people wanting to know more about your character and working with him/her.
RB: What are your future plans for Dickens?
MD: I’m just trying to fit him in the ship and trying to fit in the science department. I’m thinking about making Dickens study another thing like medicine or, with time, engineering. Personally Dickens is a private, inner person about his feelings so he’ll need time before really opening to anyone.