Each month we interview a First Officer or Commanding Officer of the fleet as part of our “First Officer in Focus” and “Captain’s Corner” columns to get to know them better, and learn more about what their positions entail. Last month, we heard from FltCapt. Zalea Solzano of the Gorkon, and before that LtCmdr. Theo Whittaker of SB118 Ops.
This month, we’re sitting down with LtCmdr. Brayden Jorey, First Officer of the Duronis II Embassy. Let’s get started!
WOLF: Tell us a little about the writer behind Jorey. Where do you hail from, and what are you up to when you’re not simming?
JOREY: My real name is Shawn and I live in Toronto, Canada. However, I’m a small town boy at heart being born and raised in a small village (less than 100 people) about 600km north of Toronto. Grew up hunting, fishing, playing hockey, drinking beer… basically a perfect example of your Canadian stereotype. In Toronto, I’m a personal trainer and life coach who spends most of his free time playing volleyball (indoor and beach 2’s), cooking good food for me and my hubby, and heading out to the bars and clubs with friends.
What ships have you served on and what duty posts have you played so far in your Starfleet career?
Brayden Jorey started on the USS Tiger-A as a helmsman. Over my couple years on the Tiger I made my way up to full Lieutenant. I became the Chief Helm Officer, then was the Commanding Officer of the Tiger’s Air Group, eventually adding Chief of Security and then Chief Tactical to my duties. When the Tiger-A was decommissioned I moved over to the USS Gemini as her Chief of Security, but I was only there for about a month. It was at that time that I made plans for Brayden to become an Intelligence Officer and took a month to slowly transfer over the Embassy and Thunder-A as their Chief Intelligence Officer and Second Officer.
Then came the launch of the USS Darwin-A. Jorey (and I) was brought on board the Darwin as the First Officer just prior to it’s launch. It was my first taste of really doing the behind the scenes work that has kept the fleet running smoothly for so long. Unfortunately, a short time after launch my real life situation changed and I took an LOA from the fleet. It was an email, many months later, from Captain Renos that brought me back to the fleet and to the Darwin. It was great to see something I had a hand in launching doing so well! My return was also timely because the Embassy and Thunder-A needed and First Officer and I was more than thrilled to jump at the opportunity – the rest is history.
The Embassy is a very unique simming installation. What might be interesting for others who don’t know as much about the Embassy to learn how it works or what kind of plots it sims?
The Embassy has a lot to offer! It’s definitely not your typical boldly go exploration type experience, although there is some of that. It’s primary focus is trying to secure the membership of Til’ahn and it’s people (Laudeans) into the UFoP. The Federation has been granted access and an Embassy on their homeworld as a base of operations. However, there are a lot of groups in play when it comes to Laudean politics – not all are favourable. The Federation is not the only major power interested in the planet and its people. There has been a ‘cold war’ situation with the Romulans and the Zalkonians for a long time, however the Orion Syndicate (as part of the fleetwide plot-arc) now have an interest in the area and what was once a cold war is about to break wide open! Off the planet and away from the Embassy, the crew travels the galaxy and tries to stabilize the Duronis Sector and surrounding territory in the Akira-Class USS Thunder-A.
In dealing with the Zalkonians and Romulans plots have included espionage, ground battles, space battles, and diplomacy. On Til’ahn (Duronis) plots are wide-ranging. Sometimes they are like episodes of a cop drama as we try to deal with criminals, other times like a soap opera as we try to maneuver the Federation up the social ladder, and then there are all the wonderful character driven plots set against the beautiful backdrop of a tropical paradise and political intrigue.
What’s been your favorite plot you’ve been involved in?
I think my favourite is happening right now. There’s a lot of tension between Jorey and many others at the Embassy on how they view the Romulans. The whole first half of Jorey’s career was in the Ithassa Campaign Region on the Tiger-A. A big part of the his early missions involved helping Romulan refugees who’d been displaced after the Romulan homeworld was destroyed by the Hobus disaster. In the Ithassa Region, the Federation spent a lot of time and resources helping the Romulans re-settle and self-govern as the Romulan Republic. Meanwhile, the Embassy on the opposite side of the galaxy spent all that time fighting off the Romulan Empire and dealing with the Tal Shiar.
Cut to now with Jorey having a soft spot for Romulans, as he sees the Republic as a potential ally in need of help to crawl out from under the iron fist of the Empire and Tal Shiar. Meanwhile some very vocal officers at the Embassy see the Romulans as a threat and their primary enemy in the region. I absolute love writing conflict and tension that is based on what is happening in the SB118 universe. The best character development and lasting relationships are often built from tension. Although, sometimes I feel bad for Admiral Turner who often finds herself caught between her new First Officer and her more established senior staff.
Tell us more about your writing style. What’s your process for putting together a sim?
I actually just put together a guide for our new members that can be found on the wiki.
My writing style has been a constant ‘work-in-progress’ since I joined the fleet. The truth is, with the exception of academic papers in university, I had never really taken an interest in writing. I came to SB118 because I had an interest in role-playing and a love of the Star Trek universe. I’m sure my first sims must have been dreadful and painful to read! However, I kept at it. I read the sims of everyone else, even people from other ships. Over time I realized what works in sim and what doesn’t.
The truth is, my writing is extremely formulaic. The guide I mentioned spells it out. My sims come from big ideas, both mine and from others. The formula I use helps to focus and simplify those big ideas into descriptions and dialogue that help to tell the story while developing my character – bit by bit. I really do believe that a good story starts with well thought out characters. Even the most simply written story will be interesting, engaging, and compelling if it has a character that an audience can relate to and want to know more about.
What’s your favorite, and least favorite!, parts about playing a First Officer?
In-character, there’s little difference between my former positions on a ship and this one. I’m still writing the same character, trying to include and engage other writers, all while keeping the plot forever moving forward. It’s still the same thing I’ve always tried to do. The difference is I’m now in a position to help guide and mentor others. I generally subscribe to the ‘lead by example’ philosophy, while making myself available to the crew out-of-character if they ever have questions, need inspiration or guidance.
I really do enjoy encouraging others be the best they can be. I do it as a personal trainer, as a life coach, a volleyball coach and now as a First Officer in Starfleet! If I had to pick a favourite part of being a First Officer it’s the impact I can have on the fleet in the form of community building and hopefully by inspiring others to take a more active role in the success of the fleet in whatever capacity they can.
Do you have any advice you can give to newer members of the community, perhaps about longevity of membership or reaching toward higher ranks?
That’s easy! Talk to your FO and Captain! Check-in every once in awhile. Let them know how things are going for you – good and bad. All CO/FO’s want members, especially members on their own ships, to be happy, do well, and be as involved as much as they want. The more we know about your concerns and aspirations, the more we can help solve problems and facilitate your climb up the ranks. The truth is, the better you do, the better we look!
The second piece, and equally important, piece of advice is to find your ‘simming rhythm’. There are tons of times, early on, where trying to post three sims a week seemed impossible! It took me a long time to realize that getting into the habit of simming was more important than what I was simming. My simming only really improved, along with my writing, when I started to sim three sims a week. It used to take me hours to put a sim together! The more I did it the more practiced I got. It took me less and less time to put a sim together and that’s when my simming and writing started to really improve. So, before you start worrying about trying to win a Pulitzer with a sim, just focus on how to work out writing at least three sims into your weekly routine. Everything else becomes so much easier after that!
Are you thinking about command at all?
Of course! HA! From probably before my very first sim I had dreams of Brayden Jorey being the captain of his own ship. I figured everyone does. Of course that changed relatively quickly, once I had a decent guess at the time commitment and OOC-work being captain would mean. Cut to nearly five years later and I’m dreaming again. Of course, I have a much clearer idea of the work involved and with Admiral Turner’s help and guidance I’m slowly working my way to Commander and someday Captain. However, like all things good in life I’m focused on the journey and not the destination. Although, let’s be honest… Captain Brayden Jorey has a nice ring to it!
Thanks so much for your time. Looking forward to interviewing you again once you reach the rank of captain!
You can read more about LtCmdr. Jorey on the wiki.