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 Samira Neathler, playing a Human Female Security Officer assigned to the USS Gorkon.
FORTUNE: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?
Neathler: Born and raised in Belgium. A crazy little country in Europe, where the Northern region speaks Dutch (or Flemish) and the Southern region speaks French. Otherwise Belgium is known for its chocolate and beer and probably other crazy things too. Oh and I live in the Flemish part.
Is this your first simming experience, or have you done other forms of role-playing before?
I started simming about 12 years ago. Unlike the setup here with Starbase 118, you had to choose your own ship and had to apply. When I got the hang of it, I joined several other ships but none of those lasted as long as the first sim I joined.
Seemingly that first sim I choose and the people writing with it, fitted me well, as I remained with that particular ship/station and CO for my whole simming career. We made use of the Yahoo! Groups and later switched to the forum-style. That particular sim closed down about three years ago, mainly because of RL and internet issues. Still, the characters I’ve written for then, are still running around on that ship and station even if it’s only in my head.
Anyway a few months ago, for reasons I still don’t know, I decided to give it another go, so a google search lead me to Starbase 118. Followed the training week and a week later I had a new character stepping onboard a starship again.
What drew you to our little section of the internet here?
The website, the daily updated wiki. I like the updates the FNS gives, so you can keep track of what is happening with the other ships without having to read their sims. Also when people submit ideas they’re listened to and if possible those ideas are implemented.
But what caught me the most is the positive vibe that runs through this community. The helpful, supporting people that make Starbase 118 what it is. A place or sanctuary, where people are accepted as they are.
Are there elements of real life that you especially enjoy incorporating into your simming?
Think it’s more the opposite. At times my job can be rather stressful and draining so I try my best not to have that seep through in my characters. I probably don’t always succeed but one can only try of course.
Where would you like to be in a few years? Have a taste of command of your own? Or maybe planning on joining one of our great OOC groups?
Although the idea of an own command is tempting, I see myself more in a supporting role than actually leading a ship.
For now my first focus is on the writing and getting to know the ship and the crew I’m with. When the time comes, I would like to join the Training Team as it seems an interesting thing to do. And in the meantime I’m gonna get myself more familiar with the wiki and do some stuff in there. The Federation News Service Team seems interesting too but now I’m already getting ahead of myself. Time will tell where I end up.
Looking back on your experience so far, what would be one piece of advice you’d give to anyone who’s just joined?
Focus on the writing and get involved in the great community we have. Also don’t hesitate to ask questions, whether it’s on the forum or on the discord-chat, there’s always someone available to answer. And mainly, remember to have fun.
Thanks for your time, Ens. Neathler!
You can read more about Ensign Neathler on the wiki