Most rosters in the StarBase 118 fleet are filled with members of well-known and allied species – humans, Vulcans, Betazoids, Klingons, Trills. But what about the lesser-known species, and the writers who create characters from those races? In this series, I explore fleet officers from unusual species and the writers behind them.
from Starbase 118 Ops, Tressa, a Gideon
I wanted to do something different right from the start. I didn’t want a more common species, so I stayed away from Vulcan, Humans, Klingons… etc. I spent a while on the ILI searching through the species before I finally decided on Gideons. I just liked how they sounded, liked their story.
What canon or non-canon material did you draw upon to create Tressa’s background?
Everything I’ve ever written about Gideons comes from what’s on Memory Alpha, the ILI and the one episode of the Original series. I can honestly say I’ve seen it more times than I can remember. I keep a quote from the movie on hand when ever I try to write something new, or have to expand on Gideons,
“The people of Gideon have always believed that life is sacred, that the love of life is the greatest gift. That is the one unshakable truth of Gideon. And this overwhelming love of life, has developed out regenerative capacity and our great longevity. We are incapable of destroying or interfereing with the creation with that of which we love so deeply; Life. In every form, from foetus to developed being. It is against our tradition, against out very nature.”
What unusual or interesting species-based quirks or traits does Tressa display?
Tressa is a vegetarian; I have written that a Gideon won’t take the life of a living creature while vegetation, fruits, and dairy products can easily fulfill their diet. Tressa also get uncomfortable in crowds; something I haven’t had much of a chance to expand on. I attribute it to the lasting effect of the overpopulation and to stress that even those born outside of the event are still sensitive to it. The biggest thing is tressa’s regeneration abilities. She’s only had one major scuffle, but I tried to impress that while it is possible for her to regenerate everything from cuts and bruises to limbs; she is by no means Wolverine (lol), and she is not invincible. Regenerating is a lot of work, and is very tiring for Tressa.