This month we’re interviewing the writer behind LtCmdr. Kayla Drex, playing a Human female Science Officer assigned to the USS Eagle.
She won the Cochrane Award: “Given to those Science officers who have contributed greatly to the advance of science in the midst of their Starfleet career, by staying knowledgeable about their field, participating in the community of science, but most importantly, by placing their knowledge at the service of their ship and its mission.”
FORTUNE: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?
DREX: I live in Richmond, Virginia. I’ve been here since 2009 when I moved up to finish my undergrad at Virginia Commonwealth University (Go Rams).
Your Captain has praised your ability to introduce realism into the scientific portion of Star Trek and your eye for details. Have you always been drawn to the Science field?
Some of my favorite Trek characters have always been scientists. I was a high school science teacher IRL too. I believe there’s a beauty and wonder in asking discovering new ways of seeing the universe. It’s been said that truth is stranger than fiction, but I would go a step further: The reality of something mysterious, once explored, often becomes more wondrous and mysterious. Even more than that, the more we know about something, the more entwined everything in existence becomes with everything else. I’ve heard (non-scientifically-minded) people say that science can be cold, calculating, and impersonal, but when you realize that the movement of quarks and atoms mirror the movements of whole galaxies … Sorry, can I have a tissue? ::wipes eyes:: Sorry, but seriously – We’re part of something amazing. If I can help people better see that, and as a result realize that their lives have greater significance than they could ever imagine, I’ve done something good. … wait. What was the question? Oh right. Yes. I like science.
Interesting! Is there one field over the others that you prefer? Like Physics, Bio, Chemistry, etc.?
Probably orthodontics. Ok, maybe not. I really love astrophysics and quantum theory. It all goes back to what I was saying before about how interdependent and entwined everything in the universe is. Looking at theories like entanglement theory and special relativity, it blows my mind that every action not only has an equal opposite reaction, but has a sympathetic reaction you may never know about, but is nevertheless real, important, and integral in the dance of the universe.
When you first made Kayla, did you ever envision being where you are now?
Honestly? Yes. Kayla was made originally by taking parts of my own personality and focussing on them until they became the central defining characteristics of who she is. I have always been thirsty for new knowledge and discoveries of new ways by which to see the world, my life, and the human condition in general. Kayla takes that to the next level … cuz space. Kayla’s just been promoted, which is great, but in my mind, as long as she can be a bright spot in the blackness of space, she could have stayed an Ensign forever, and I would have been just as happy. Seeing Kayla succeed has been encouraging to me OOC, because since she was made from parts of me, her success means that I have it within myself to change the world.
It was mentioned you’ve participated in a few of the cross-fleet activities! Is there one that stands out above all the others? Or maybe one that you just enjoyed more?
I wrote several backsims about Kayla’s Academy days. Those were fun. I like building backstory that not so much dictates present decisions, but helps to show motivation (that I may or may not already have had in mind) for present
Is there something you’d like to say to any aspiring Science officers out there with stars in their eyes?
Don’t blink. Those stars are the future. Don’t ever lose the wonder of the unknown, regardless how much you learn. There is magic out there, and we are the ones to find it.
Thanks for your time, Lieutenant Commander Drex!
You can read more about LtCmdr. Drex on the wiki.