With Commander Miles Unum taking a Leave of Absence due to a career change, the USS Mercury now has a new commanding officer. Commander Aron Kells has reported for duty! Tony, the writer behind Aron Kells, is no stranger to Starbase 118. Graduating from the academy back in 2005 with the character Lily Ventu, he was first assigned to the USS Victory as a Counselor. When asked about his time on the Victory he stated, “The ship was running a mission that didn’t have much to do with the counseling department and so I was a pretty inconsistent simmer. Nevertheless, when I finished the mission strongly, I was promoted.” Lily Ventu remained in service for quite some time. She made it to the rank of Lieutenant Commander on the Victory and remained in her role until her decommissioning in 2007.
Since her time on the Victory, the character of Lily Ventu served on many ships, in various roles. One of the more interesting posts was as a Diplomatic Officer on Starbase 118 Operations. Ventu also spent time aboard historic ships such as the Constitution, Triumphant, Independence, and Tiger. After a LOA, Tony returned to the group, this time with a new character…Aron Kells. Kells started on the USS Drake under then, Captain Quinn Reynolds, as a Science Officer. I asked Tony what one of his favorite missions for Aron was, he said “I’d have to say that I had the most fun with the Drake’s mission to “the Ring.” It was memorable for me because Aron the ensign was just beginning to come into his own, but midway through the mission he was replaced with his future self. Exploring the other characters’ reactions to that, and Aron’s sudden command of sickbay’s evacuation, was a fun challenge to write: Aron had to grow seven years in one sim, and essentially become almost a different character!”
Soon after that mission, Aron Kells was given the rank of full Commander, a rank that Tony had achieved with Lily Ventu. His time on the Drake would soon come to an end as he transferred to Starbase 118 Operations as the new First Officer under Commander Kalianna Nicholotti. No stranger to command, having once commanded Starbase 118 Operations, he quickly jumped in to the role of First Officer. It was a role that he would hold for only a short period of time. Soon after his move to Ops, an opportunity came up that sent Commander Aron Kells to the Menthar Corridor, near the Cardassian border, to take command of the USS Mercury.
It seemed to be a perfect match. Commander Kells was written to have deep roots in science, and science was the primary focus for the USS Mercury. When asked how his character would view the posting Tony replied, “With the Mercury, I didn’t need to come up with such an explanation: He’s a scientist, it’s a science ship, it all made sense. I was even more pleased to discover that the Mercury’s XO, Arden Cain, also came up as a science officer — they’re the perfect command team for the ship!”
Each commanding officer makes it to where they are by having basic skills. A couple of these skills are communication and consistency. I asked Tony what was something he learned as a junior officer that he carries with himself today. It is a pretty straightforward question since most command level officer learned a great deal before taking their positions. He stated to me, “Hands down, the most important thing to me was the community aboard the Victory, which was created and supported by the CO I served under there the longest, Captain Robin Phoenix. Fred, who played Phoenix, was unceasingly helpful, patient, and understanding, and it didn’t hurt that he’d played a counselor himself for many years. It was really from Fred that I learned how to maintain a positive experience for a simming installation, even in difficult times.”
As Tony and his character Aron Kells take up their new role as commanding officer of the Mercury, I was left with just one question…what kind of trouble can we expect the Mercury and her crew to get into? Tony responded with, “I’m very interested in seeing what kind of mission ideas the crew comes up with, but I do have a few ideas of my own. Because the Mercury is a science ship, I intend all of its mission to have at least a partial or beginning science bent (even if they don’t end up that way), and I’d like to create a semi-permanent Starfleet anchorage near the Menthar Corridor, probably a deep space station, to which the Mercury can return if necessary. I’d also like to explore some of the unexplored biological and scientific mysteries from the Trek TV shows, but we’ll just have to see where that may go…”
We would like to wish our new CO smooth sailing as he ventures out into vast openness of space, a place where many of us call our home away from home. With all that he has learned, he will begin the road to making the rank of Captain. With a strong crew and a great ship, there is no doubt he will soon reach his goal. When you spot Tony around the fleet, be sure to congratulate him. Be sure to follow Commander Kells and the rest of the Mercury crew on their Yahoo! Group.