Lower Decks interview: Lt. Solaris McLaren, StarBase 118 Ops | UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG

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Lower Decks interview: Lt. Solaris McLaren, StarBase 118 Ops

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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 Lt. Solaris playing a Human/T’Kon female assigned to the Starbase 118 Ops.

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

MCLAREN: I was born in Queens, New York but ever since I was 2 i’ve lived in Las Vegas, Nevada. I’d never recommend it to anyone though, Vegas is a great place to visit, but a terrible place to live. In my daily life i’m a stagehand.

Your character is part Human, part Tkon, a combination we rarely see in the fleet – how’d you land on that decision and what’s it been like so far?

It sort of grew organically out of one of my last missions aboard the U.S.S. Constitution as a way to make the best of a situation I was mostly unhappy with. It’s not been any different than how it was before the decision was made. I’ve not had a chance to fully explore it in character, and I honestly don’t know if I have the desire to plan something like that out for Sol.

Are there elements of real life that you especially enjoy incorporating into your simming?

Most of my characters that I create are similar to me in some way or another. One of the traits that I usually give to them is the ability to play the trombone, which in itself is something I started doing because of Star Trek, even though it’s been nearly 14 years since I last played… Maybe I’ll pick it up again one day.

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

I normally keep to myself so, it’s not often I interact with the community at large but I do like that this is a place where I can experience a familiar form of Star Trek, rather than the most recent additions to the franchise which feel very alien to me.

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

I’m currently playing an Intelligence Officer aboard Starbase 118. Intelligence is a fascinating profession in fiction there’s often elements of suspense and romance and action all mixed in to one exciting story. I’ve always enjoyed that form of story… James Bond, Jason Bourne, stuff like that, so it’s seemed natural to choose it for my duty post here. It also has the benefit of being something non-”normal” from what we often saw in the shows, though it was referenced fairly often in the later seasons of Deep Space 9.

Even though the outlook on intel for this community seems to be one based on slightly more realistic and boring expectations of an intelligence agency, rather than the fictional expectations of one, there have still been some missions that scratched that itch and it’s been fun playing as a character who is quite like myself in her love for spy stories, who quickly found out that it often times isn’t that.

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

Honestly, the biggest piece of advice would be: Ask questions. There are quite a few times where it probably would have saved me some frustration out of character if I had just spoken up a bit sooner.

Thanks for your time, Lt McLaren!

You can read more about Lt. McLaren on the wiki.

About Jarred Thoran

Jarred Thoran is currently the Chief of Security serving aboard the USS Blackwell, part of the Andaris Task Force. His real name is Richard, and his interests include sci-fi, cycling and taekwondo. He currently lives in Germany with his partner and young child.
View all posts by Jarred Thoran

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