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 Ensign Vesbrun Vardai, playing a Betazoid male Science Officer assigned to the USS Montreal.
GALVEN: First off, thank you for sitting down with me and answering a few questions. Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?
VARDAI: Thanks for inviting me. I’m Connor, from the UK. I work in software development, and have liked Star Trek since I was very young. Starbase 118 is my first foray into this format, but I do have a good deal of wider rpg experience.
How did you find out about Starbase 118 and what made you ultimately choose our community and stay with us?
I saw 118 advertised on Reddit and basically just thought ‘why not’. I found the community highly engaging and welcoming right from the beginning. Being a part of an entirely new crew has been a really great part of the experience so far, and I’m really liking the collaborative development of how the Montreal looks and (mal)functions.
Do you take any inspiration from films, television, or books when writing your character?
I certainly do. I’d say I have a mixture of influences, but I am trying to give Esbrun’s narration a distinct ‘voice’ that’s sometimes almost mythological in feel. The idea there is to tie into his background – his culture has a long memory and a strong mythic tradition. My major influences outside of Star Trek are probably Tolkien and Battlestar Galactica, but I take little bits of inspiration from all over.
Your character is a Betazoid. On your wiki profile it says that he prefers not to talk about his telepathic abilities. How do you plan on expanding that for character development?
Esbrun’s rather reserved for a Betazoid, and he doesn’t like making people around him suspicious or uncomfortable, particularly as he can feel those emotions. I do plan for him to open up about it slowly – there are other telepaths on the Montreal, and he might be more inclined to talk to them about it once he knows them better. We’ll see.
Choosing a duty post such as science officer can be a difficult task for some. You’ve mentioned IC that he specializes in materials science. Explain to us what does that mean?
Materials Science is a real-world hybrid field which basically involves studying all sorts of materials and how they can be used, with a focus on why a particular material is useful for a particular application. In a Star Trek context, it’s a useful specialisation to have for all sorts of reasons, but I see it being particularly useful in analysis and when trying to come up with ad-hoc, unconventional methods of solving problems.
And lastly, do you personally have aspirations in the fleet? Are there any OOC activities you’re associated with, or any you’d like to join?
I have a few I’m hoping to get in at some point, and a vague idea of how I’d like to advance (I’m interested in the Intelligence Duty Post, for one).
As for OOC, I don’t think my schedule would permit it right now, but I’m not ruling it out entirely.
Thanks for your time, Ensign Vardai!