- Character Name: Andrus Jaxx
- Rank and Current Post: Captain, Commanding Officer StarBase 118/USS Victory
- Real Name: Jay
- Part of the World you’re from: North Carolina, United States
What is your earliest recollection of Star Trek?
My earliest recollection of Star Trek was TNG. I remember it running on TV late at night, and on weekends I would stay up and watch it. I was fascinated by that form of space travel, and could not get enough of the story. I remember it being a solo activity, since nobody in my immediate family like Star Trek.
How did you find the Starbase 118 group?
Accidentally. I love research and gaining knowledge, and one day after watching Star Trek: Nemesis for the 20th time…I was curious about the USS Titan, and Captain Riker. I ran a search for the USS Titan, and stumbled on the inactive page for our USS Titan. It had long since been decommissioned, but it got me to take a look at the group and what it was. I took about 2 weeks looking over every aspect of the site before deciding to jump in. I was not a big fan of writing, so I was a little nervous.
What department did you start off in and why?
Counselor, because it was the only position open on the ship that was the best fit for me. I wanted a ship that had a high sim rate, and at the time the Challenger had the highest. Counselor was actually my third choice, but I accepted the position so that I could be on the same ship as my Academy mentor. I spent over a year in that position before moving to Strategic Operations.
Do you have a specific plot you remember from the early days?
Jaxx’s early days were brutal. Jaxx was on Betazed during the Dominion Occupation, after that he was assigned to the Challenger which was always knee deep in combat heavy missions. One memory was the mission “A Cadet’s Vengeance.” The crew of the Challenger, minus the CO and the XO, were attending the graduation for Cadet Daiken Nau from StarFleet Academy. During the commencement speech, the Scarlet Brotherhood launched an attack on the parade grounds. The crew was tasked with hunting them down and restoring order.
Soon after this mission, the Challenger was dispatched back to DS24 in orbit over Shinraka. Shinraka was a developing world that was seeking entrance into the Federation. A group of terrorists with the goal of preventing their admission, attacked the University, and killed many innocent people. The crew beamed down to the surface to try and defend and protect the people as much as they could.
Both missions were very bloody, and saw too many casualties on both sides.
When did you decide to make the leap to Command?
Command was a goal from the beginning. It became more of a reality when I was promoted as Second Officer of the Challenger/Challenger-A. After that, it was more of a focus than it was in the beginning. I accepted the position of First Officer aboard the USS Resolution under Commander Turner, then transferred to the Eagle. When the Eagle split I again stepped into the role of First Officer on the Victory, eventually assuming command after Rear Admiral Rocar Drawoh retired.
What is the best part about being a CO?
Distance from the bridge to the ready room…just kidding. The best part is the crew that serves under your command. Without a core of great officers, there is no ship. By far the most rewarding part is leading a group of exceptional writers and officers.
In your opinion, what is the most difficult aspect of being a Commanding Officer, either IC or OOC?
As far as IC…it is the IC actions have IC consequences rule. Officers are not free to do as they wish, and IC I like to keep that alive. Doing something wrong IC, will carry IC consequences…demotion, time in the brig, reassignment to another department. It is a rough balance, because you have to be clear that there is a difference between IC and OOC. I have seen great people and creative writers, write for a horrible character that has problems with everything and everyone.
As far as OOC…it is the different people. We all come from different places, backgrounds, and schools of thought. Not all opinions are shared and at times there can be some OOC friction. The key for a CO is to keep it away from IC interactions. Some people have difficulty separating the two, and if they feel attacked OOC…they try to retaliate IC. As CO, you have to monitor that when it arises. If need be, as CO, I can squash anything IC. It is the one place I can say “shut up” and they listen. If they don’t security can escort them away. OOC, you have to be diplomatic and careful not to pick sides, unless there is clearly someone in the wrong. I try to search for common bonds within the crew and try to get everyone to play nice together. Luckily, these issues seem to be in the past and to date we have had very little friction on the Victory.
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?
Firm but fair. Jaxx is a character that keeps a poker face on at all times. He is careful who he lets in, and does not share his feelings very easily. It is not uncommon for him to refer to officers by their first name…even on the bridge. He is cocky, and a smart a**. Jaxx carries a commanding presence anywhere he is, and as such has a great working relationship with all of his officers. At the same time, when it comes to his personal life, he is more private. He does not have many friends he would confide in, and outside of his relationship and children on the way…he keeps to himself. He can be seen attending dinners, and get togethers, but he is usually the first one to leave. He respects his crew, and demands the same in return.
Besides being a Commanding Officer, what other activities are you involved with?
I have served on the Publicity Team, Readers Guild, and Species Development Committee. Currently, I am a member of the Training Team, and News Team.
What advice would you give a new writer who is just getting started with our group?
Stick with it. Most cadets think that the Academy is pretty rough. You only have one week to get through an entire class, and at the same time….the class is half the size of a real ship. My advice is to use your mentor, XO, and CO…if you have questions, ask. If you have ideas, share them. Your mentor is a great sounding board. Chances are they have been around for a bit, and have worked with the CO for awhile. The CO trusts them to get the new officer into the mix, so new officers should utilize this tool. No matter what, don’t give up. We have 8 ships/bases and I am a CO that will find you a place that makes you happy, even if it is not with us.
What about some advice for those of us who one day would like to Command a ship/base of our own?
Get involved. There are many groups and guilds in the fleet, and they all need members. Look beyond your own ship, and see where you can reach out an help others.
And now, the 5 questions I will ask all of my interviewees:
- Favorite Star Trek TV Show?: Star Trek: TNG
- Favorite Star Trek Movie?: Star Trek: Generations
- Kirk or Picard?: Picard
- Favorite Trek-nobabble?: Stabilize the antimatter polygraph scan with the tactical holoconsole!
- If you could visit any world from the Star Trek universe, which would it be and why?: Risa. I want to see what all of the excitement is about.
Learn more about Captain Andrus Jaxx on his wiki page!