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 Kayla Drex playing a Human female science officer assigned to the USS Eagle.
TAYBRIM: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?
DREX: I’ve lived in Virginia essentially my whole life. I’m currently in the Richmond area. I moved up here to attend Virginia Commonwealth University (go Rams!), where I studied history.
What duty post are you playing, and how’d you choose it?
I’m playing a science officer. Honestly, the creation of Kayla’s character came first. Who is she and what makes her tick? What made her start ticking that way? Once I felt like I knew her, I just asked her what made most sense. IC, her father is a theoretical quantum physicist and her mother is an artist. The balance of the two grew in her an unusual lens through which she sees the world. OOC, after graduating from VCU I taught high school at a REALLY small school. They needed teachers to take on multiple subjects. I’ve always loved and had a knack for science, so I was landed with Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, World History, and US History. All that coupled with my love of creating things … yeah, I guess I’m Kayla IRL.
What’s been your favorite part of being with the community so far?
The love. That’s the simplest answer. I have been absolutely astounded by the love and support of this community. I’ve been poking my way around the Internet for a long time now, and have NEVER experienced a group of people that are so quick to welcome, eager to help, and slow to judge. I have spoken with a great many players both in the Forums and on Discord, and have been incredibly supportive. I was going through a bit of a rough patch when I first joined SB118, but because of the way I saw everyone interacting so freely and without judgement, I felt I would share a bit. The response brought me to tears. Literally. I can’t emphasize strongly enough how much I love this community.
Kayla’s bio indicates she has a vibrant family back home on Earth. How does her family play a role in her character?
As I mentioned, her mother and father were huge influences in forming her life-view. Her dad would tell her bedtime stories about quantum phenomena, and her mama had a beautiful singing voice and could do things with paint that seemed to stretch the realm of possibility. Kayla has four older brothers, each of whom has a unique place in her heart. They were always protective but supportive of her – watching out for her, but from enough of a distance to where she learned to take care of herself.
I’ve actually just started working on a flashback of Kayla as a little girl. It’s the moment a kind word from her mama caused her energetic spirit to crystallize and make her who she is today. You’ll have to wait for that though. The time has to be right.
Are there elements of real life that you especially enjoy incorporating into your simming?
Oh absolutely! Kayla is all the best parts of me gathered together, amplified, with the benefit of time to think before I speak. The way I’ve always written any fictional character is to find some aspect of my personality and dig as deep as I can into that aspect. (It makes the character less fictional) This makes writing easier for me, and makes the character more believable/relatable. With Kayla, it’s her curiosity, lust for life, and love of people. I am an avid learner, constantly researching one topic or another, and I firmly believe that life is too short to let yourself get bored. In regards to people, everybody has stories you don’t know yet, and that can give you a fuller perspective of the world and our existence in it. It should be a beautiful blending of stories when you get to spend even a tiny portion of your life interacting with another person. Their life touches yours, and your life touches theirs. Kayla and I try to make our impact on those we meet a positive one.
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?
Well, Kayla is extremely ambitious. Her biggest current aspiration is to develop and apply a few theories that would not only revolutionize the very concept of space travel, but make quantum theory and application principles understandable to even grade-school children. She was thrilled to get posted to the Eagle. Both the region of space she’s in and the upgrades to the ship are perfect for Kayla’s research. There are really good things in store.
Out of character I would like to get involved with the Image Collective, but I’m holding off until I’m sure my sim writing wouldn’t suffer from splitting my time before committing. I studied graphic design, and worked as a graphic designer while I was at VCU, so that would be a fun way to contribute.
As far as command goes … Captain Kayla Drex does have a nice ring. But first things first!
Thanks for your time, Ensign Drex!
You can read more about Ensign Drex on the wiki.