As I approach the massive installation known as Starbase 118, home base for the fleet in which I serve, I look out the transparent aluminum window of the transport ship I am aboard as the computer announces its approach and then begins to dictate the starbase’s defensive and offensive capabilities.
Impressive, I think to myself. I stand listening as the station looms larger with each passing second as the transport ship approaches. I am not in uniform as this is not an official Starfleet visit to the station. The transport ship slows to a crawl as it awaits docking instructions upon its approach. After a few moments, the transport ship adjusts its vector approach and picks up speed and I stand there, with my thumbs in my jean pockets and my carry-on bag slung over my left shoulder, smiling knowing I am about to board a station that has become a part of Starfleet lore over the last two decades.
Now under the command of Commander Leo Handley-Page, someone whom I have had the privilege of serving with in the past in different roles, the starbase has taken on a brand new feel. For that, I am sure as for each of the previous commanding officers of the station, also came along with a unique style of command.
Knowing some of the history of Starbase 118 Ops, but not all by a long-shot, I eagerly await the transport to complete its final docking maneuvers. I then hear the moorings clamp in place and the announcement describing disembarking instructions coming over the speakers, followed by the final message, “Welcome to Starbase 118”.
Moments later, I find myself in the bustling concourse area of the starbase. Here, people of all walks of life, from Starfleet officers, to civilians of all shapes, sizes and species come together to shop, dine, drink and party. It is designed to resemble a commercial sector of any city on any Federation member planet with holographic areas that would cleverly disguise the fact that this part was actually on a space station and not on a planet surface somewhere else in the galaxy. I enter one particular area of the concourse, and look up the the holographic blue sky with skyscrapers extending as far as the eye could see.
I did not just wander here as I did have a destination in mind. A small eatery known better as the RepliDeli. Finding the place quickly, I entered to a scene from a busy restaurant in the heart of a big city. The interior looked that of a typical deli from the 20th century, along with pictures of famous people of that era lining the wall. I found a seat and a gum chewing waitress approached, pad in hand.
Waitress: What’ll it be, hun?
Tracey: Just a coffee, and I have an appointment to see the owner, Joe. My name is Tracey.
Waitress: K hun? Ahll leddimno ur here.
Moments later my coffee arrived and took a sip as I allowed myself to become lost in the environment. Shortly thereafter, a rugged man in his late fifties or early sixties approached as he wiped his hands on his white yet stained, apron and took a seat across from me. I then turned to him and smiled.
Joe: Dats my name.
I shook his hand and thanked him for meeting me.
Tracey: I’ve been informed you’ve been here since they built the starbase.
Joe: Yeah. I’m originally from Noo York. Lawn Guyland ta be exact. Wanned to git out inda space, but dinna had da brains for Starfleed.
Tracey: But here you are.
Joe: Bes desision ah evah made. Bin here since ur Fleet Admiral commanded dis Starbase. Wad was his name? Wolf?
I nodded as Joe continued.
Joe: Even doe ahm nod in Starfleed, ah’ve leared quide a bid whal here. Fur example, de condinuous upgrades to de starbase an ah do know de comins an go-ins on.
Joe continued as he spoke about all the Command officers of the past speaking of each one in turn from Captain William Rogers, Captain Kalianna Nicholotti, Captain Andrus Jaxx, Fleet Captain Sidney Riley, Commander Jhen Thelev, Commander Lily Ventu, Rear Admiral Rocar Drawoh, Captain Mal Avatar, Captain Tyr Waltas, Captain Steve McCall, Captain Day-Van Pel Nekkar, Fleet Captain Hebron, Captain Malcolm Lysander, Captain Ciara Randor, Captain Curtis Arvanon and Captain Tristan Wolf (now Fleet Admiral). He even pointed out some of their favorite seats at his restaurant. He then went on to tell his tale as to how he once participated in an undercover mission for one of them, but cited he was sworn to secrecy and could not reveal for which command officer or what the mission regarded.
All in all, Joe appeared to be proud to be part of Starbase 118 and it’s history and hoped to be part of it for many more years to come. A group of people entered through the doors and Joe looked up before looking back towards me.
Joe: Godda ged back ta work. Tanks fer da talk. Broad up gread memories, an tell Leo we’re keepin his seed warm.
I smiled and nodded as Joe shifted out from behind the old style restaurant booth, stood and shook my hand one last time as I thanked him before he disappeared back into the kitchen. I then finished my coffee and thought to myself how proud I was that I was part of this terrific community after learning much more about this starbase’s history.
If you wish to learn more about Star Base 118 Ops and its history and crew, visit this page for more details: Starbase 118 Ops.