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.
This month, we’re interviewing the new First Officer of the USS Veritas, LtCmdr. Mei’konda, a Caitian male.
Let’s get started!
WOLF: Tell us a little about the writer behind Mei’konda. Where do you hail from, and what are you up to when you’re not simming?
MEI’KONDA: My name is Aaron, and I’ve lived in a lot of different places across the USA! I grew up in Maine originally, spent some time in New Hampshire, a decade in California, and now I’ve bought my first house in Colorado.
Other than work, which for me is Massage Therapy, I enjoy playing computer and pen & paper RPGs with local friends, motorcycling, and exercise.
How’d you choose this character species, and what do you find compelling about playing a Caitian?
When I create new characters for roleplay in communities, I tend to take a look at what’s out there already and then find something a little different. I decided that I wanted to play one of the core members of the Federation, but one that’s a little less common.
The ways that Caitians could be written appealed to me as well, such as expressing themselves through different sorts of body language and the way that their voices might sound different when they speak languages designed around human like mouths.
What ships have you served on and what duty posts have you played so far in your Starfleet career?
I started my career on the USS Mercury as a helmsman, and stuck with that crew as they transitioned to the USS Garuda and then the USS Invicta. I took a leave of absence shortly after the Invicta was commissioned, and returned to join the crew of the Veritas. Shortly into my career, I transitioned into the Chief of Operations role, where I remained until my recent shift over to First Officer.
What’s your favorite, and least favorite!, parts about playing a First Officer?
Though I’m still very new to the role, I enjoy the versatile aspect of being a First Officer, with the ability to play a role in nearly any scenario as a supervisor. On a more OOC level, I particularly enjoy the ability to help more junior players learn to push the story forward and really find the joy in the role they’re playing.
Tell us more about your writing style. What’s your process for putting together a sim?
What I do first is ensure I’ve read through all of the details written by other players, particularly ones that pertain to my character so I can ensure I’m responding to every tag that’s been left for me, and find a good way to help push the story forward. I always try to ensure that I’ve left some new tags and advanced the story so that I’m not just reacting to what other people have written, but that I’ve given them something to react to as well.
I find it very important for my own enjoyment of simming to ensure that I’m writing physical aspects to my characters that other people can react to as well as their internal thought process as things occur around them and they make decisions that affect other people.
I find the environment around my character to be essential to my ability to picture the scene and what’s happening in it, as if it were a real episode of Star Trek taking place on a TV in front of me. If I can find a way to use most of a character’s senses to describe what’s happening around them, I integrate that as well.
On the more technical side of writing sims, I try to have each of mine have a consistent look, so when I’ve finished writing, particularly if I’ve copied aspects of other peoples’ writing that may be using different fonts or font sizes, I’ll highlight the entire sim and ensure that the spacing, font style, and font size are all consistent, so that it has a good, smooth, easy to read look to it.
Looking back on your experience so far, what would be one piece of advice you’d give to others on how to be a successful First Officer?
Make sure you and your Captain are working as a team and that you’re on the same page. Ensure that you know and are living up to your Captain’s expectations. The additional duties you have as a First Officer are going to take more time than your prior simming did, so do your best to find a good, comfortable time in your schedule to do them, rather than waiting until the last minute and trying to squeeze everything in.
Is there a particular aspect of your role of First Officer that motivates you in your position?
I’ve always liked the relationships between the Captain and First officers on the shows. Friends? Maybe, but close and professional associates first, with both a great respect between them and, sometimes, philosophical differences. I find potential disagreements between Captain and First Officer to add a lot of richness to the relationship, particularly when the FO has figured out when they need to back off and start supporting the Captain’s decision.
Thanks so much for your time!
You can read more about LtCmdr. Mei’konda on the wiki.