They are the leaders of our community, the top of the Command structure on our ships, the ones we turn to with problems… they are our Commanding Officers. In this series, we will sit down with each of the COs and get to know them a little better.
Our inaugural interview is with Captain Quinn Reynolds, Commanding Officer of the USS Drake. Hailing from the United Kingdom, Captain Reynolds graciously answered my questions.
Nathan Baker: What is your earliest recollection of Star Trek?
Quinn Reynolds: Watching the Wrath of Khan as a child. The part where they put the ceti eels in Chekov and Terrell’s ears. That fascinated and freaked me out in equal parts.
NB: How did you find the UFOP: SB118 group?
QR: I was looking for some way to RP in the Star Trek universe and it popped up in Google.
NB: What department did you start off in and why?
QR: Quinn started off as an engineer. It was always going to be either engineering or science for Quinn; she was painfully shy and understood physics and machines far better than she understood people. To an extent, that’s still true.
NB: Do you have a specific plot you remember from the early days?
QR: I can remember most – if not all – of the plots Quinn has been involved in, partly because I keep the salient points listed on her wiki page. I think the two that were most formative in her early career happened on the Triumphant; one where she met someone who remains a friend even now (and reminded her that if she wanted an easy life, she should not have picked Starfleet as a career) and another where she commanded her first ship and took her first life. Well, lives. She blew up a ship. By ramming it.
NB: When did you decide to make the leap to Command?
QR: I don’t think I can pin it down to a particular moment, it was more a natural progression. Prior to UFoP I had been a GM for a wide variety of groups; from six or so people in tabletop, to being part of a storytelling team in an online game of thousands. I was used to running games and groups.
NB: What is the best part about being a CO?
QR: Watching your crew grow and develop as writers, seeing someone contribute a truly brilliant and inspired plot twist.
NB: In your opinion, what is the most difficult aspect of being a Commanding Officer, either IC or OOC?
QR: IC, Quinn would tell you that it’s forming relationships with people you know you may well have to order to their death one day. OOC, well, it’s never fun when you have to have a stern word with someone who has stepped over the line.
NB: Do you try to have your character conform to a certain “command style”? For example, are you the friendly CO who will have drinks with your crew? Do you distance yourself in order to maintain respect? How would you describe it?
QR: I don’t think I’ve ever consciously tried to give Quinn a command style, as her entrance into the command track was never something she actively wanted, but rather fell in to. I think she’s become the kind of captain that tries to make herself available and approachable to her crew, but she very rarely lets any of them get close to her as a person.
NB: Besides being a Commanding Officer, what other activities are you involved with?
QR: Not as many as I’d like unfortunately, as my computer time is limited to the evening and shared with several other hobbies! I do try to help out with the news team when I can, participate in the engineering duty post group and enter the writing challenges when I can.
NB: What advice would you give a new writer who is just getting started with our group?
QR: Write. It can be difficult when you’re new and nervous, but it is important to write regularly and keep your hand in. Take advice as it’s intended; when it’s given, it’s to try and help you grow as a simmer in our group, not to put you down. If you do get stuck: Speak up. No one will bite your head off and it’s far, far easier to help you out if we actually know that you need a hand!
NB: What about some advice for those of us who one day would like to Command a ship/base of our own?
QR: Be prepared for the long haul. It’s not a quick or easy process to become a CO, nor should it be. Let your captain know that’s your aim, ask for guidance as to how you can get there, but don’t nag or try to rush the process.
And now, the 5 questions I will ask all of my interviewees:
NB: Favorite Star Trek TV Show?
QR: The Next Generation.
NB: Favorite Star Trek Movie?
QR: It’s a toss-up between The Wrath of Khan and The Undiscovered Country.
NB: Kirk or Picard?
NB: Favorite Trek-nobabble?
QR: Quinn started as an engineer. I couldn’t possibly pick just one.
NB: If you could visit any world from the Star Trek universe, which would it be and why?
QR: Vulcan. I’d love to visit all those temples and statues.
Very special thanks for Captain Reynolds for her time. Stay tuned next time when we’ll have an interview with another of our fleet’s Commanding Officers. Happy Simming!