by Lieutenant Commander Nugra
Starships zipping around the galaxy and saving the Federation…so what do Starbase Commanders do? In this interview you’ll find out as we interview Captain Steve McCall of Starbase 118 Ops.
Lieutenant Commander Nugra: So, Where did you first hear of UFoP?
Steve McCall: Been a while. I think I stumbled onto the UFOP website while I was running a search on goggle. I was not actually searching for a RPG at the time and the purpose of my search was to find information on a particular Star Trek episode. Not really sure why I actually clicked the link as the short description had little to do with the episode. Random chance is what brought me here.
N: When you found the group, what made you interested in joining?
SM: After finding the UFOP website I thought: "might be a good idea". I looked around at a number of other websites but for one reason or another they did not seem as well thought out. Some of the sites were flasher in design, somewhere better laid out. After arriving on, what is not he old UFOP website, you soon find your way to the groups Constitution. In many ways having a guiding document such as that makes a statement about the group. and what it stands for. That was something that none of the other groups had and with that you can get the impression that they were not going to last.
N: In the years that you have worked in the fleet, what do you think of it all together?
SM: Like everything, there is some good and some bad. The fleet brings people together from across the globe and has helped to foster a better understanding in some small way. Of course that is not always that case and there have been some rather depressing days as a result. A well-written sim or a well-placed post on the boards has been known to cheer up my day. In some ways I think we have a community feel, which is quite unique. When I put it all together my view of the fleet is a positive one. I would not still be here otherwise. 😉
N: When you became Captain, why did you pick to have your "ship" a starbase?
SM: Technically I did not choose to Command Starbase 118 – Operations. I actually inherited it from the previous CO. The group "operations" has a long and proud tradition which started long before I was even a member of the UFOP and I now have the chance to continue and add to that. A touch sentimental perhaps. I have spent most of my UFOP career serving on the Starbase in one capacity or another and did not see the need to change that. My time spent on the Starbase before Command showed what simming in such a location has to offer. In many ways it would seem a little odd if UFOP: SB118 did not actually have a group simming on Starbase 118.
N: Is it harder to run then a starship since it is only in one place?
SM: The Starbase does operate a support ship called the USS Discovery so we do not always stay in one place. Simming on the Starbase does limit mission ideas yet also opens the door for other different mission types. The Starbase is a city amongst the stars and allows for us to sim from a different direction. An example would be the fact that the Starbase’s allows people to write for civilians in a different way. They can write as nightclub owners, merchants, gamblers. The list is quite endless and nearly anything is possible. On a Starship you generally get just get family members yet the Starbase opens the door for interactions between "ordinary" civilians and the crew and this creates a varied selection of missions. Events that happen in a city are possible on the Starbase yet would seem out of place on a starship.
The Discovery is used to shake things up a bit and add a bit of variety to the missions that the group undertakes. There is after all a limited amount of exploring one can do from a fixed point. With the Romulan border on one side and the Klingon on the other you never know when a cloaked ship will pay the Starbase a visit.
N: Steve McCall sounds like a very interesting character. From his LCARS bio it seems that he is a type of man that got in to fights rather easy. What do you think about him?
SM: In his youth he did yet he has mellowed with age and is considerably less aggressive now. Considering his career path getting into fights was almost a daily occurrence and this was especially true of his time spent as Starbase 118 Chief Of Security. Ultimately he is a realist and puts a great emphasis on force, which has reflected in how, he has dealt with certain situations. He does not get into a fight for the sake of it but at times McCall could easily be provoked.
N: Where did you think up Steve McCall as a character?
SM: I did not really think up the character as such. I had a basic idea of what I wanted to write taking influences from a number of books, TV shows and movies. From that point on the influences of those seems to fade and the character grew away from what I had originally planned. Originally I had intended him to be all about duty. Not far off a walking rule book yet the more I write for him the further away from that he seems to go.
N: Where did he get his love of sports? He seemed to have played plenty before his career took off.
SM: That would be from me although the character is far better at them than I am. I play football (the non-American variety) most weekends along with a bit of cricket and a few racket sports.
N: So, where do you live and breath in RL?
SM: I live in the West Midlands of England.
N: Sounds like a nice place. Why do you like it so much?
SM: I have lived in the area for my entire life and have got somewhat attached to it. I support a number of the local sports teams. I guess I am comfortable here and it is pretty much all I have known aside from holidays that do not give a true reflection on living in an area.
N: What do you do for a living?
SM: I am currently a final year undergraduate at University.
N: You have any words of advice for new people and junior officers?
SM: Simming like everything else takes time.; quite a bit of time if done properly. Write you sim in a word processing package and copy and paste the required, and just the required, information from your web browser. This allows you to avoid rehashing someone else’s sim and should also allow for a spell and grammar check. Proof reading your final post before sending it would also be a good idea.
N: How about the senior officers on the ships?
SM: The senior officers on the ship should be the guiding light for the new members of the crew. Contribute in the OCC field by helping out the new people, thinking up subplots or even mission ideas. Anything to save the CO some work! 😉