Hello and today we have the pleasure of speaking to Commander Kelrod, the SAR team leader aboard the USS Veritas.
JANN: Your character is a SAR team leader, could you tell our readers what a day looks like for you?
KELROD: That depends on the day. When we’re not in a mission, on an away team, the day for Kelrod starts early, doing some light breakfast, stretching exercises and then reading the last reports from the ship. Then he checks the crew rotations and check with the enlisted personnel that are the base of the SAR team, programming equipment checks and performing training exercises of different kinds. We have different officers that perform specific training as their duties allow and I attend to all of them, if he’s not in sick bay. He doesn’t usually spend a shift on the bridge, unless there’s a situation that requires it, so when not training or on the bridge, he studies, analyze and work with different departments to improve the team and the equipment.
What exactly is SAR team leader? What does the role require?
I must say that I’ve asked myself that question when the posting was offered to me. The SAR team leader is an officer that must be ready to go where the situations are at their worst and do the kind of job that has the higher chances to end up with you captured or killed, and that means that he should lead by the example, so he usually goes out every time there’s a mission for them. As team leader Kelrod is responsible for the well-being of the crew under his direct command. That includes their physical training, knowledge on different items like the use of energy weapons, hand to hand combat, emergency first aid, demolitions, explosives defusing, engineering… That’s why he tries to do his best to attend to all the training sessions and try to be up to date on different fields, like ops, engineering, medical… even counselling at some points, when you see something building on one of your officers, you don’t always have the luxury to send them to the ship’s counselor as you know them better and they know you better due the time the team spend together. So it’s up to you to fix it before you have to send them for official counselling. This could give for good B-plot stories that makes the story greater.
What were the choices that lead you to that posting?
That’s… difficult to say. First of all, Kelrod is a soldier, or better said, was a soldier a long time ago. When he joined … Starfleet, through Commander Dickens he didn’t think he’d end up being a commander in Starfleet and leading a team like the Veritas SAR. That said, when Kelrod started his career he had the luxury of having a lot of knowledge from Starfleet procedures and especially on the science field that made him a more rounded officer. With that background and after a series of transfers, I was offered the position of First Officer on the Atlantis. I wondered if I was the right person for the job, but thanks to the guidance of Captain Blueheart I accepted and served under him for quite some time. That gave me a wider view of the job of Starfleet officers and the impact on other planets, species and politics of the different missions. The different postings I’ve served on, helm, security, tactical, science, even engineering where I’ve shown the characters biggest flaws, gave me the tools to now perform such an interesting job, so close to that of the marines, but with the addition of being able to perform a wider variety of tasks and without a fixed set of officers as they vary depending of the mission layout.
What advice would you give someone who wanted to pursue this posting?
Don’t do it…. Nah, I’m joking. I’ll say that if you want to do this, you’ll have to be ready to give it time and effort and even doing that, you should be ready to face failure on a mission and take everything positive you could from those to improve your character. It’s useful to put yourself in the skin of a firefighter, a marine, an engineer and a paramedic and try to get all that together to have a good SAR officer. You must be ready to face anything that’s thrown at you.
How long have you been simming?
Wow… since… 2004, that’s about fourteen years. I started with a character named Kalin Terpes, an Ullian that started on the USS Kodiak, under the command of Admiral Hollis as security officer. After a few missions and a change to the Triumphant, he got to be Chief of Security. After a few years, I changed to Marcus Dickens, a half Angosian half Betazoid that is the character I’m currently using, with the addition of Kelrod’s personality that is now the leading personality of Dickens body (with his consent). I’ve played a few minor characters or PNPCs like Korrnis Garzón, a half human half Klingon, Kalin Terpes again as well as his sister Maiman who’s currently on the Veritas too, I’ve just had a brief period of six months of leave due personal reasons, but have been around the group since this worked on Yahoo Groups. Quite some time!
Could you tell us your character’s favorite moment?
From Kalin Terpes I’ll highlight a mission where they were caught in a kind of civil war between The One Kingdom and the Grendellai as well as being in charge of a murder investigation on a cargo ship named Pilgrim, discovering that it was made by a vampire-like creature.
From Dickens, I’ll highlight the moment he ordered some junior officers to leave him after he became trapped by some rubble while running from a terrorist group that discovered them while undercover, those officers refusing to leave him so he ordered them to use their phasers to cut his trapped arm. That was really intense, especially dealing with the after effects and getting the prosthetic replacement that he’s still wearing.
From Kelrod, the moment that Captain Washington ordered him to reveal himself to the crew or he’ll be transferred. You must know that Kelrod has been a secret only known by SFI and his Commanding Officers since he first possessed Marcus and finally came to an agreement to share the body. The fact that he has to say to the crewmates that had been serving with him for quite some time that he’d been lying to them all that time, was a hard blow from which he’s still recovering and trying to earn their trust and having some hard times trusting them too as, with the revelation, he’s become more suspicious himself, with the idea that some officers will never fully trust him again.
Where do you see your character in a few years?
Somehow, I have different plans on my mind. One of them includes the fact that I could have more free time to dedicate to the group. If that’s the case, I could consider Kelrod to work his way up to becoming captain and in that case, he’ll probably like to either make use of a Prometheus class vessel, or come up with a new type of vessel, kind of an escort, on a patrol routine on the borders of unexplored space. The other option is to remain a Commander and help to write good stories and help junior officers to go up through the ranks to keep this fleet suited with the best characters we can make of the fresh ensigns.
You can read more about Commander Kelrod on the wiki.