UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek PBEM RPG offers opportunities for writers and their characters to climb their way up through the ranks while embarking on amazing adventures we, the writers, can only dream about. Of course, with adventure comes risk, and no one knows about more than the character of Kali Nicholotti. Today, I had the opportunity to learn a little bit more about this protagonist and her trek.
DeVeau: Welcome, welcome!
Nicholotti: Thank you, it’s good to be here.
DeVeau: You’ve been around SB118 for a while? Will you share some of your history with us?
Nicholotti: I’ve been here for just over 5 years. I originally joined after seeing the new Trek movie. When I was a teenager, I once played a PBeM Star Trek RPG where I rose to captain a ship. I remember loving it, so on a whim, I went to Google and looked for a similar game. The one I used to play was nothing more than a dead website, but Starbase 118 wasn’t. I had my application in that day and started training a couple days later. From then, I’ve had one epic journey after another.
DeVeau: Kali ran into some trouble pretty soon after you created her, didn’t she?
Nicholotti: Not exactly what I expected to be writing when I joined, but I quickly learned that some trouble can be well worth it. In this case, my first officer had a thing against Marines, which I was playing as. We had a writer who loved to go way overboard with it at the time, so I could see why he might have disliked the duty post. Well, I’m all about changing minds, so when the opportunity arose to write something epic and prove that Marines were more than just meatheads, I jumped on it with all four feet. Kali died for the first time in that plotline, starting an irrevocable downhill slope that’s led back to that point, or close to it, a couple of times.
DeVeau: Her career with Starfleet since has been peppered with all sorts of adventures – even supposedly taking her life! At that point, had you planned to retire Kali?
Nicholotti: Honestly I had. I finally got things in order so that I could go back to school. I was working third shift and going to school full time during the day and I knew that there was no way I could juggle that and captain a ship the way it deserved. With that in mind, I stepped down with every intention to retire, or at least not being an active member until post-graduation.
DeVeau: What made you revive her?
Nicholotti: Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans, right? This is just another example of this concept. Ultimately it came down to the ten hour work shifts back to back with 4 hour classes every day of the week, which was beginning to have more side effects than just fatigue. It was clearly not sustainable, so I dropped to part time. I’m still on track to do what I want to do, but I’ve got time to get back to the things I love. Starbase 118 happens to be one of those things.
DeVeau: But Kali was dead! How did you bring her back to life?
Nicholotti: She wasn’t *really* dead. Though no one knew it, she’d only really crossed over a space-time rupture into another universe where mental energy existed, but little else did. As her actions and sacrifice had saved that universe, the beings that resided there tried to preserve her mind as they built, atom by atom, another body for the mind of Kalianna Nicholotti. And then, as the final ties between their universe and our own were fading, they sent her mind into the new body. The problem with that was that they were unfamiliar with anything abstract. As a result, Kali now remembers everything she ever read or learned, but she doesn’t remember anything having to do with her emotional connections with others. Her friends and family are strangers to her now, though she’s finding that the memories may still be there, albeit in need of decoding.
DeVeau: Now you’re rising back up in command. Tell us something about the journey from Ensign to where you are now.
Nicholotti: Oh, it seems like it’s been such a long time really, and for most of it, the term whirlwind comes to mind. On a serious note, I don’t think I ever saw myself where I am now when I started, but here I am. I’ve made tons of friends along the way, and I’ve even learned a thing or two to take back into the real world. It’s been a long road, but I’ve enjoyed it and I can only see myself being here for some time to come.
DeVeau: Did you always want to have a command position?
Nicholotti: No, I didn’t. It was Admiral Jaxx who ultimately told me to go for it. I guess he saw something that was promising, and I guess he was right, because here I am. =)
DeVeau: Kali isn’t the only one who has come back from the dead, so to speak. Now the Excalibur is making a comeback. Could you tell us a little bit about why it was decided to bring this ship back from the grave?
Nicholotti: The Excalibur was my dream-ship so to speak. I had loved the design when it wasn’t known and was only a partially fleshed out idea on Mark Rademaker’s website. I still love the design and am so glad that it got some fame. The time I spent on coming up with her spanned many months. I mean, everyone has a ship they’d like to command if and when the time comes, or if they got a chance. The Excalibur was that to me, so it was easy to pick her out of mothballs when I got the chance to step back into command.
DeVeau: With her new body and altered emotional state, it sounds like Kali’s got some challenges ahead. Where do you see her headed?
Nicholotti: I learned long ago not to assume Kali will go where I want her to. She really has her own mind and does what she wants. As a command officer I can say that there are times I have to write something she doesn’t like, and the entire sim seems forced and far from natural. That’s why, generally speaking, I let her do her thing. What do I see for her future? She’s at odds with her instincts, partially because she doesn’t know where they come from. I can see her consumed, to a point, with finding her memories and remembering her past experiences. It’s important to her, though she’s not quite sure how to go about getting where she wants to be. I’m sure she’ll make new friends in her crew and perhaps they will help her.
DeVeau: We look forward to seeing what you dish out. Thank you for your time!
Nicholotti: It was great to be here, and thanks for yours as well. =)