Lower Decks interview: The Dutch team from the USS Za | UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG

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Lower Decks interview: The Dutch team from the USS Za

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We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community. The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border.

A warm hello from the Netherlands as we are here to conduct another below decks interview with two new members of our community. It’s my honor to tell you that with their arrival the number of Dutchman in the fleet has tripled! Today we’ll talk with Yasmine, playing Ens. Femi Cattan from Egypt, and Patrick playing the Klingon science officer LtJG. Nak’aqi Socxo, both serve on the USS Za.

WILLIAMS: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?

Cattan: first of all, thank you for this opportunity. I’m born in Sri Lanka but I’m adopted and grew up in The Netherlands. I’m 22 years old now and I’m third year student speech and language therapy. I like reading, singing, acting and of course writing.

Socxo: In contrast to Yasmine I’m born in The Netherlands. I’m 28 years old and in my exam year of Employee Human Resources. I like to write, work with technology that is new or old and help other people.

As a Dutchman I know the Star Trek community on our little country is rather small. What’s your relation to Star Trek and why did you join this group?

Cattan: Simply said, Patrick introduced me to Star Trek and made me join this group (For the people who don’t know us, we’re a couple). He was always talking about Star Trek but I didn’t grow up with it. At one point he wanted to join sb118 and I wanted to know more about his hobby. Since we both had to join as Cadets I wanted to give it a try. Now I’m totally into it!

Socxo: Yes I now formally regret to get her involved into this, she keeps bugging me, nah I’m just joking. I actually started about 16 years ago with a Star Trek group that was focused on the old style IRC RPGing. These days you don’t see those kind of real time groups anymore due that they are hard to manage for everyone that wishes to join it. But I joined SB118 out of curiosity of its writing style and to involve Yasmine more into an easier and open Star Trek community that she could understand better.

Cattan: ::walks towards a corner to cry:: I won’t bug you anymore okay…. Yes I’m glad he introduced me to this community where I get the chance to grow into the Star Trek world.

What inspires you two to write so many great sims?

Cattan: I once was a fantasy fan-fiction writer but I’ve never written with so many people before. That’s what drives me right now. It’s fun to write together on a great story. The paths you take with your character will be connected with the paths from other characters. That makes it interesting. You never know where you end up.

Socxo: Mainly out of interest to see how one can grow into something else. Character development is in my personal opinion the best way to create your character. You create a basic form and mold it into something else. Let it be romantic or getting wounded in the line of duty. Seeing that develop is something I love to do.

Patrick, I’ve come to known you as someone who shares a passion for the Klingons. What do you find so fascinating about them and how do you reflect that in your sims?

Socxo: Klingons are used in Star Trek on various episodes and in various ways. Their character development over the years defined the Empire growth and the story around it. The sad part is that they are not explored or used as much as they actually should. I have been part of groups that neglected aliens and primarily focused on the Federation. But in my opinion, that would the very idea of the Federation and Star Trek. So playing them is a challenge? Yes very much as you got limited information on selected view species or in case of the Klingons too much information to relay on. But that makes it fun!

Vulcans would call it illogical for a Klingon to serve in the Federation science department. Why did you pick that area of expertise?

Socxo: That is a question I get quite a lot and the answer is very simple. Klingons are seen as a warrior species that lust for battle and die in glory. But there technology development had to come from somewhere? Their Engineers are used on repairs and building, their Medics used on healing the people that lost an arm….thought that would still count as a flesh wound. But Science is something that is almost as low as a Farmer, what honor or glory would one gain from exploring a gas giant? Not a Klingon, no they work most of the time on the development of new weapons or learning who their enemy is. Socxo is a person that rejects this vision, he wants to be something more, do more and see the unknown that is out there.

Cattan, your nurse has an Egyptian background. What made you come up with that?

Cattan: I’m fascinated with almost everything that has to do with history. But the Old Egypt history is something so magical and fascinating. Of course I could’ve given Femi a Sri Lankan background but then I would just create a “fiction me”. That’s why I gave her my favorite culture as background. But she is a nurse most of all. The only times you notice she’s Egyptian is when she’s talking with her sister Rhina in Arabic or when she showed up as a Egyptian Goddess to the ceremony.

Are there elements of real life that you especially enjoy incorporating into your simming?

Cattan: Oh definitely. I wanted my character to be a nurse because I admire them in RL. Their dedication to help others. But in RL time and money are sometimes getting in the way off quality. This is something I could change in my sims. Femi takes her time for patients. She cares deeply about them since that is the essence of nursing.

Socxo: Actually Yasmine is a big drama queen. I really should stop making fun of her 😉 I try to keep personal life and simming life separated, but it can’t really be avoided always? I mean if something happens in real life like someone dying or you’re winning something. It affects your mood in your posting. Like Yasmine not winning her lottery ticket…again.

Cattan: You should stop otherwise you can sleep with the dog in the bench….if I ever win something I won’t share it with you anymore.

What’s been your favorite part of being with the community so far?

Socxo: That people are very open to new ideas and that there is space for innovation of new projects. For Socxo it is quite good in character development and it also gives him the ability to grow and get more contacts on different ships.

Cattan: I agree with that. I also like the fact that we’re getting mentored. There are not many community’s offering that.

Time for the final question. You both just finished your first mission. Socxo gained his first promotion and you both had your first service ribbons. No doubt the first steps on the career ladder. Where do you see yourself in two years?

Cattan: mmm difficult question. I hope Femi will one day become a Chief Medical Officer. I don’t know when or how but that would be great.

Socxo: Most likely behind this laptop, writing another sim….

Cattan: oO perhaps I should throw this glass of water over his head…. His humor is getting dry. Oo

Socxo: Okay okay, I would not really know. It can be a Command Chair or it can be a Chief position. What I have learned over the course of the many years is that you never really can expect something to happen without crossing your path.

Thanks for your time, Ens. Cattan, LtJG. Socxo! It was an honor to have this interview with my fellow Dutchies and I look forward to your next sim on the Za!

Cattan: it was an honor you asked me/us for this interview. I enjoyed it 😉

Socxo: You are welcome, I am always open for interviews!

You can read more about Ens. Cattan & LtJG. Socxo on the wiki.

About Alexander Williams

In real life I'm known as Roel, a 31 year old history teacher living in The Netherlands.I started writing with Starbase 118 in June 2013
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