This is the first of a new interview column with first officers of the fleet, where we’ll talk about what the first officers do, get to know them better, and introduce the fleet to this unique position.
This month, we’re sitting down with LtCmdr. T’Mar of the USS Constitution-B. Let’s get started!
WOLF: I looked through our archive, and it appears the last time you were profiled on the news was in 2012! That’s a respectable record of membership – how have you kept up with simming for so long? Any wisdom you can pass on to our newer members?
T’MAR: It hasn’t always been easy with real life being the way it can be. Outside of gaming I work full-time and have been pursuing my Master’s degree. Add on to those things, normal life occurrences both good (wedding planning!) and bad (serious illnesses, deaths in the family) and it quickly can become overwhelming if you aren’t careful.
I think when you really enjoy something, though, you make the time to do it. Something I would share with others, especially new members, is to make it a point to write every other day. It helps you stay on top of your tags and not fall behind. Beyond that, it becomes routine and helps you enjoy the experience more. I also have made many friends in the community, which is invaluable! Friends keep you going and build you up when life gets crazy. It’s these friendships that actually inspired me to join, along with improving my writing skills!
So what ships have you served on, and in what duty posts have you simmed since the last time you were profiled?
When I was last interviewed, I believe I was just an Ensign Security officer on the Apollo under Jaxx. Needless to say there have been some changes since then! I stayed on the Apollo for quite some time and initially had no plans to leave until I had a ship of my own. I was promoted to Chief of Security and stayed in that role all the way to being promoted to Lieutenant Commander. After that, the then Commander Liam Frost was given the opportunity to launch the USS Gemini and asked me to be his First Officer. Of course I jumped at that opportunity and stayed in that position for about a year before I opted to step down due to my health. After that, I was put into a Mission Specialist role until the Gemini was decommissioned. While most of the Gemini crew moved over to the Apollo, I opted to be placed on the Constitution where I served as the Chief Intel Officer before once again being bumped up to First Officer… which is where I still serve now.
Among those, has there been a favorite ship, besides the one you’re currently on?
This is always a difficult question for me, because each ship has its own personality so to speak. The Apollo under Jaxx was very special because it was my first ship and I am still friends with people that I met when I was placed there. I think, though, that the Gemini was my favorite. There is something very cool about serving on a ship from its launching. I poured my heart and soul into that ship and learned so much about command while I was there. My experiences on the Gemini helped prepare me for my journey so far on the Conny and I think changing ships helped push me outside of my comfort zone. I’ve met so many new people that I never would have if I had just stayed where I was.
What’s been your favorite plot you’ve been involved in?
Oh goodness. Between time travel, rogue Klingons, terrorists, and Iconian Gateways it is so hard to choose. I think one of the most memorable for me was when the Apollo crew’s shore leave was cut short by a terrorist attack. The terrorists took the command staff hostage and we had to hatch a plan to rescue them while preventing further attacks. Of course, travelling back in time to 1914 is a close second as well.
My favorite plots are ones that really make you scratch your head. Right now on the Conny, we are in the midst of a murder mystery and it’s fun to watch everyone work towards trying to solve it like a game of Clue. It’s always amazing to see how plots develop when so many people contribute to the story. I think a mark of a good mission is when everyone really dives in and it takes on a life of its own.
Are you thinking about command at all?
Absolutely! I think like many others, I came into this game thinking I could just fly through and get my own ship within a matter of a few months. Of course, that’s not how things work and for good reason. It’s always been my long term plan, though, and after some time away from working towards a promotion, I am now back on track working towards my next promotion. I have jokingly said a few times that I am like Riker, though. I really enjoy the XO position and love working with Captain Rajel. It’s cheesy, but I’m learning as much as I can and hope to stay in this position for awhile before jumping in on running a ship. Many people don’t really understand how much happens on the back end, and being a CO means acting like a Game Master. The longer I’ve been in a ship staff role, the more I have learned about what it takes to run a ship and I want to be well prepared for that role when the time comes.
Tell us more about your writing style. What’s your process for putting together a sim?
I was first exposed to simming in an Instant Message format, but I think I’ve worked out a general process that works for me. If the post is working off of a plot line I’ve already been writing in, I start with my last post (if it’s brand new, I skip that step). Then I fill in the post with everyone else’s information. From there, I mark things like descriptions or things that shouldn’t be in the post like conversations I wouldn’t be overhearing. Then I fill in my own descriptions and tags and remove the info that needs to be removed.
As far as my own writing style, I am a mix of business/marketing writing and poetry I think. I think my best writing comes when I watch old episodes of Star Trek though. It helps me visualize what the characters would be doing and put it into words.
And what do you do in real life?
For the past four years, I have been working in the field of Human Resources and Marketing. I really enjoy the work I do, although it can be taxing at times (I’m the one who gets to fire people). As I said earlier, I am also a grad student so I find myself writing an awful lot of literature reviews. My spare time is spent with my fiance’ and we are both musicians who love travelling and trying out new restaurants. When we started dating, my fiance’ was not into sci-fi so I have taken that as a challenge and we have binge watched Firefly and other sci-fi shows/movies, including Star Trek. We also enjoy hiking and recently purchased our first tent in hopes that we will gradually get more outdoorsy.
Thanks so much for your time. Looking forward to interviewing you again once you reach the rank of captain!