In this rendition of Lower Decks, we take a look at the counsellor who’s making sure that all of the Starbase’s occupants have a shoulder to cry on, or a wall to vent to. Lieutenant JG Danica Valyn is proving to be a challenge, both in character and out, as her writer begins to learn what it means to sim the polar opposite of what he’s used to. Let’s take a look shall we?
The writer for Danica, Brian, is a billing coding specialist for a phsycian’s office in Indiana. He can recall not always being hooked on the Trek, but it wasn’t until he discovered TNG that he was roped in for good. “It has always been my favorite series. The only Star Trek series I really didn’t like is Voyager, and most of the time I just like to pretend that none of those episodes ever really happened.” It wasn’t until the final season of Deep Space 9 did he look towards a PBEM group. “I think I started for a couple different reasons. First, it provided me with a way to continue to explore, and enjoy, the Star Trek universe. With DS9 ending, and my contempt for Voyager, it was the first time since middle school that I didn’t have a new episode of Star Trek to look forward to. Secondly, it gave me a forum that I could use to practice, and hopefully improve, my writing.” This is actually Brian’s second round with UFOP:SB118, as the first round was halted by something we all experience… Life.
Embracing his second chance to be a part of it all, he decided to go a different route than before and face all the challenges that entails. “My inspiration for Danica was actually to make a character who was the polar opposite of my previous character (Tobius Rehn). Tob was a security officer, introverted and antagonistic. When I decided I wanted to come back to the group, I thought about reviving him, but ultimately decided that I wanted to do something different that I had done earlier. So I developed Danica Valyn. Not only did I want to make her much more open and friendly than Tobius, but I figured that playing her as a counselor would force her into interactions with other crew members. This way, she would always be in some one else’s business, rather than being content to sit alone in her quarters like Tob.” Certainly a stark contrast to his previous character.
The transition back into the subculture proved to be rather run of the mill for Danica, as she made it through academy with no real issues. “I think my training mission went rather smoothly. I was asked to take over the role of the team’s medical officer, which I hope I did semi-competently.” As far as her current posting she comments, “I’m enjoying Starbase 118 Operations very much. Commander Nicholotti was very helpful as I was getting started, and the crew is full of talented writers. The biggest challenge has been trying to get to learn everyone’s NPC characters. The Hammond was a much smaller group, and I’m not sure any of us had recurring NPCs. There’s still a few, every now again, that make me stop and run to the wiki to remind myself whom they are.” With goals of being a top-notch counsellor, it would seem as if her plate was full at the present time. We should continue to look for great things from this rising star in the UFOP:SB118 community. Carry on Lieutenant!