Lower Decks interview: Ens. Jora Kalis, Andaris TF | UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG

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Lower Decks interview: Ens. Jora Kalis, Andaris TF

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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.

This month’s interview is with the writer behind Ens. Jora Kalis playing a male Bajoran/Betazoid assigned to the Andaris Task Force.

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

I fancy myself on an academic tour of the Northeast region of the United States, moving every few years following graduations or other such life events. I am currently working on my PhD in biology and gearing up for yet ANOTHER move in a year or two. We’ll see where life takes me this time…

WOLF: Is this your first simming experience, or have you done other forms of role-playing before?

This is definitely my first “serious” effort. I’ve dabbled in some RPG games (usually just sitting in once or twice as a tag along with a friend) in the past as well as in chat room based roleplaying.

WOLF: What duty post are you playing, and how’d you choose it?

I am writing for a Bajoran-Betazoid medical officer, who dabbles in biomedical research. I initially applied as a science officer, drawing on the strengths and interests from real life. Then it occurred to me, why not try something just a little different? Well, luckily, I was assigned to play a med officer in training and really enjoyed the experience. Decision made!

WOLF: Do you take any inspiration from films, television, or books when writing your character?

Jora is still a bit of a blank slate, though one of my priorities recently has been building his backstory and fleshing out his strengths and weaknesses. The most endearing, relatable or interesting characters are those with some flaws. I’m in the midst of a DS9 marathon and I’m definitely watching with an eye to what I like/dislike about each of the characters, now.

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

I think it’s just that: being part of the community! I am so impressed with the cohesiveness of all the players here. The fleet chats, the forums, all of it! The sense of belonging to a community makes playing that much more fun!

WOLF: Looking back on your experience so far, what would be one piece of advice you’d give to anyone who’s just joined?

Let yourself be overwhelmed at first! It’s okay! As the e-mail floodgates open, it’s easy to think “maybe this is too much” but give it time! Once the dust settles and you find your routine, it’s an incredibly good time!

Thanks for your time, Ens. Jora!

You can read more about Ens. Jora on the wiki.

About Tristan Wolf

FltAdml. Tristan Wolf, real name Jordan, founded UFOP: StarBase 118 – a Star Trek Play By Email RPG – in June of 1994. He previously served as the Commanding Officer for a number of simming installations, notably the first of StarBase 118 Operations. He currently lives in San Francisco with his partner and their Humane Society rescue dog named Baxter. Jordan works in politics, loves scifi (natch), fantasy, and new technologies.
View all posts by Tristan Wolf