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 Lieutenant Junior Grade Toryn Raga, playing an Al-Leyan Security Officer assigned to the USS Atlantis.
TRAENOR: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?
RAGA: I hail from the oft hellishly hot and humid landscape known as Orlando, Florida. 🙂
Were you a Star Trek fan before joining UFOP: StarBase 118? If so, what were your favorite shows and/or movies?
Oh most definitely! I have been a fan since the day my dad sat down with me to watch syndicated runs of TOS. Though, to be honest my love for all things trek began with TNG. I fell in love with it after watching Encounter at Farpoint. So needless to say, Next Gen is among my favorites. Though I enjoy things about every one of the series. Discovery I have not seen much of, so I abstain on that one.
I adore First Contact, Generations, Voyage Home especially as I am often quoting Chekov or Scotty with my friends. Search for Spock is another favorite of mine and of course, Wrath.
Aside from Discovery I have seen every episode of every show.
Is this your first simming experience, or have you done other forms of role-playing before?
Hehe, I’m an old hat to simming or roleplaying as I’ve known it more as. Got 20+ years under my belt in that regard. I got my start playing D&D with my parents. As far as what we do here, I’ve done both free form chat simming, forums and now PBEM. Though, this is my first venture into the latter and I am loving it so far!
Your character is an Al-Leyan, an uncommon species for characters in the fleet. Why did you choose this species, and why did you choose your duty post as a Security Officer?
It’s actually something that surprised even me. When I was first beginning to think on what I wanted to play I brought up the Intelligent Lifeform Index and looked through the permitted species list to see what I wanted to play.
I knew I didn’t want to play human. I am one. Play one everyday of my life. Hehe.
Al-Leyan was actually the first one I looked through and after finishing the wiki on it, I didn’t bother to look through any other species. I knew then and there I wanted to play one. It was different from a human, with a unique culture that I thought would be great to sim. I didn’t know much outside from the wiki, but thankfully Lt Cmdr Rune Jolara was one of my training officers in the Academy. As she also plays an Al-Leyan, her experience and advice has greatly helped me shape Toryn as a character. In fact, reading her bio was what made me want to also have him to have gone through the Al-Leyan attitude adjustment therapy. And the impetus for why he had to endure the procedure twice, for different reasons. That driving force and struggle to be true to his culture and to himself is something I am wholeheartedly looking forward to exploring.
He’s already had to deal with the ramifications of being the sole Al-Leyan on the Atlantis. Since alien cultures and intimate relationships with non Al-Leyan is wholly frowned on by his kind it makes for a wonderful stew of IC drama and tribulations for him to have to overcome. Or not. 😀
And Security just seemed like a good fit for him. As I was creating him the idea that he has an ingrained drive to protect others stood out and with his species’ enhanced strength and senses it seemed like a good fit.
What’s been your favorite part of being with the community so far?
Easy. Hands down, the community itself. Everyday I eagerly look forward to checking my phone and seeing if a notification that another sim has been posted. Even if I’m not tagged in it. Or to jumping on Discord and enjoying a bit of banter with my fellow Academy graduate Lt Dermont. We’re often the source of many hijinks and whatnot on the chat. And our crew, while new to one another is coming together really well.
And the simming. By the gods I love the simming. I aspire to become a novelist someday and being able to forge stories with so many is just remarkable.
Looking back on your experience so far, what would be one piece of advice you’d give to anyone who’s just joined?
Just one? That’s a tough call. There’s a couple that come to mind.
For brevity sake I would say get into a habit of rereading every sim you’re privy to with your ship. Even if you’re not tagged in it, there may be pertinent information that someone else comes up with that you might be able to incorporate with yours. Continuity is a big thing with me, it makes the overall story so much deeper and it’s also a great thing to add little tidbits that others have already made. Like easter eggs that are also shout outs to your fellow crewmates. A way of saying, we’re all in this together. Keeping a notepad/word/google doc file for any information you might want to notate for future reference is a great tool to go along with that. And I do it for IC personal information for my characters. Helps not having to remember every little idea you’ve mentioned IC from a while back when you can more easily reference it.
So, that’s sort of like two pieces of advice. Haha, hope that’s alright.
Thanks for your time, LtJG Raga!
Thank you! It was my utmost honor to answer your questions!
You can read more about LtJG Raga on the wiki.