::Music plays and the dark screen brightens to review a well lit room decorated with orange and yellow furniture. A backdrop of stars and galaxies stretch across the wall behind the two people who sit in the two chairs – a female in the orange chair and a man in the yellow one. Both of them sit facing the screen. The woman, tall with dark hair cropped to her shoulders smiles, her lips painted red and and a wispy dress of blue covering her frame.::
DANICA: Good evening and welcome to “Stardate Now” – I’m your host, Danica Galaxie. For our guest today, we have Tato Zeme, Chief of Security and Tactical on the USS Mercury.
::She turns toward Tato, diagonal to the camera and Tato does likewise.::
DANICA: Hello Tato Zeme, and welcome. We’re glad to have you here.
ZEME: Glad to be here, Ms Danica.
Danica: Let’s start off with something simple. Where were you born?
ZEME: A medical facility on Starbase 28.
::Danica nods then asks her second question.::
DANICA: Tell us something about your childhood.
ZEME: There’s really not much to tell. I was born, grew up, had the usual plethora of issues one has along that route… my parents were part of a xenopsychological research team at the time, which kept us in motion from planet to planet. I got to see a lot of the galaxy, although the Dominion War did stifle that somewhat.
DANICA: I see. Yes, war does have a tendency to ‘stifle’ certain activities. What was your favourite place that you got to visit?
ZEME: I honestly don’t remember the name of the place — I was too young for something like that to matter, at the time, but there was a mountainous island we stayed at that had a three kilometer waterfall, and our rooms were halfway up the mountain, bathing us in a perpetual rainbow. I think I spent most of my stay there on the balcony looking out, or at least that’s all I can remember of it.
DANICA: Lovely. Now, how old were you when you entered the academy and why did you desire to join Starfleet?
ZEME: Nineteen. I’d finished the groundwork of my psychology degree and, at my mothers’ urging, applied to StarFleet’s counseling program.
DANICA: Psychology? But you are Chief Officer of Security and Tactical!
ZEME: That’s right. As you know, every discipline is required to know the basics of the other disciplines — everyone should know how to do basic field medicine, everyone should know how to do basic repairs, that sort of thing. Well, when it came to my tactical courses, I did well enough in them that my professor suggested the move to tactical. ::he shrugged.:: and I guess I was in the mood to rebel against my parents around then.
DANICA: I see. Well, tell us, what is your fondest memory of academy?
ZEME: Honestly, my fondest memories from the academy came during my teaching years. ::A corner of his mouth jagged upwards.:: And there’s a lot of them. But if I had to pick — the moment when a student got it, who hadn’t before. The epiphanies. They’re a lot of fun.
DANICA: I can certainly understand how that would encourage a teacher. Now, what one thing do you wish you could have done differently?
ZEME: It’s funny. There’s a lot of things that have been done to or around me that I’d like to change. Missions with high death counts, mistakes that I made, mistakes that others made — or decisions that seemed good until we had a bit more information. You can’t be an officer for long without a list of quiet regrets, even if you do nothing wrong, make no mistakes, there’s always a way things could have gone differently, or better.
But when you ask that question, my mind immediately goes back to when I was seventeen, visiting my parents on a planet that we’d made first contact with just a few years earlier, and one of the people there gave me — well, gave me the local equivalent of her phone number. And I never called her. ::he shrugs.:: It’s tiny compared to other things, but it’s had a disproportionate weight on my psyche ever since.
::Danica can’t help but laugh. It’s not an impolite sort and she nods.::
Danica: I have to admit, I think most of us have regrets like that. So what made you decide to transfer to a ship? Why did you give up teaching?
ZEME: Honestly? Because my career had progressed as far as it was going to, as a teacher. I needed to get some more field work under my belt.
DANICA: Is there a special person in your life?
ZEME: There are a lot of special people in my life.
Danica: Come now. ::She winks.:: There must be _someone_ who catches your eye as something more than a friend or acquaintance.
ZEME: If that’s a coy way of asking me on a date, I accept. But I’m afraid I’m too discrete to mention anyone else who might or might not have my eye, heart, or hand.
::Danica’s smile takes on a more mischievous tone.::
Danica: Ooo, we’ll definitely have a talk after the show! So, if you don’t have a significant other, what about pets? Do you have any, what are they, and their names.
ZEME: I have a calico cat. I actually found her on a derelict space craft — the only living creature we found aboard it. She proved a hearty companion in a fight, so I decided to keep her after we were rescued. I’m not sure if she’s accepted it as her name, but I call her Miss Mangle.
Danica: What about hobbies? Surely you don’t work _all_ the time.
ZEME: Not all the time — I’m actually a… well, you could call me a bare-knuckle brawler. I fight.
Danica: Oh really? How do you do when you fight?
ZEME: Not very well, really. I don’t have the bulk to trade hits like some of the better fighters do, but I can generally hold my own. For a while.
Danica: In your opinion, what is your greatest accomplishment?
ZEME: Having a hand in the next generation of Star Fleet. Hopefully for the better.
Danica: I suppose that might give us a hint to the answer on the next question – where do you see yourself oh, let’s say, twenty years in the future?
ZEME: Twenty years — it’s honestly hard to say. Perhaps I’ll end up back at the academy, perhaps I’ll retire my commission and pick up my mothers’ work, perhaps I’ll manage captaincy of the Enterprise. I’m sure it’ll be available by then.
Danica: Perhaps it will be. Well, I’m afraid that’s all we have time for today.
::Danica turns to face the camera, her smile returned to her lips.::
Danica: Join us next time on ‘Stardate Now’.
::Just before the camera turns off, she leans toward Tato and purrs.::
Danica: Now, how about that drink?
Want to learn more about Lieutenant Tato Zeme? Check out his wiki page, and stay tuned for more inside interviews with members throughout the 118 Fleet!