Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of Duty Post awards from our recent 2018 Awards Ceremony. Our goal is to give you insight into how our fleet’s best simmers write, and imagine their characters.
This month we’re interviewing the writer behind Lieutenant JG Lystra playing a Boslic female Tactical Officer assigned to the USS Constitution. She won the Sisko Tactical Cross: “Awarded to those tactical officers who have shown cunning and bravery in battle. Master strategists, and experts in targeting and shield power distribution, these officers have done the impossible to save their ship and the lives of its crew.”
GALVEN: Thank you for agreeing to have an interview with me! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?
LYSTRA: Of course! I’m Rameses and I live in the States, specifically the most miserably muggy one. Florida. I’ve been simming with 118 for going on 3 years now and love it. I also help out the podcast team and the Academy as well when I’m not working myself to death.
Winning a duty post award that’s based on pure creativity and problem solving must be a great feeling! Do you take any inspiration from films, television, or books when writing your character and her actions?
All. The. Time. I’ve been a huge fantasy and sci-fi junkie since I could read and comprehend movies. More or less. Among my favorites that I often draw inspiration from is Trek of course, but also Star Wars, Babylon 5, BSG both old and new, Dune, etc. If it’s got spaceships and lasers and aliens I’ve likely gotten inspiration from it. But I also play D&D regularly as a player and a DM, so I have often had to come up with creative ways of engaging people.
Fleet Captain Jalana Rajel said that Lystra puts herself in dangerous situations in order to protect civilians and her superior officers. Could you provide an example of a situation when she did such a nobel action?
Definitely. I believe the one that she was likely referring to was from a not so distant mission where the Conny was sent on an emergency rescue mission to a research outpost on a small moon, orbiting an unstable gas giant. Said moon was home to several varieties of LALFs. Large Aggressive Lifeforms. Ranging from swarms of sonic bugs, massive Dune-like serpents, and the most terrifying of all, arachnid-scorpions Lystra referred to as Stingy-nopes. She has a tendency to use non-Starfleet naming conventions. Anyways, I digress. Hehe.
During that mission some of the teams, we had three away teams using Argo buggies, we separated in the research station trying to find survivors. A storm had badly damaged it and their defence systems were offline, letting the bugs get in. It was very Alien-esque. Lystra held down fire letting those with her escape and when she became cut off she purposefully lured a rather large swarm of the mastiff sized things away from everyone else. Thankfully, she was beamed away via shuttle before she became lunch.
On Lystra’s wiki page, there’s a heavy DS9 atmosphere. What do you do in regards with that for her own character development?
That’s partly because I enjoyed the show so much, but mostly because of the age I wanted her to be. I spent a lot of time referencing the 118 Primer on the wiki, using the dates of major canonical events as reference. And since I wanted her to be alive during the Dominion War, but young it seemed to fit. The rest sort of fell into place like Legos as I was making her up.
What kind of advice can you give new and older members who want to expand towards other kinds of unique and exciting duty posts such as a Tactical Officer?
Hmm. Try it. Not counting the Starfleet Marines and Security I suppose the notion of Tactical officers is combat all the time. It can be, depending on the ship and crew but it’s more than that. In a way, when it comes to space-born threats the tactical officer is responsible for the safety of the whole crew as much as the Helm or the Captain. Even the best pilots get shot at and hit eventually. You have to be quick and knowledgeable about your ship, it’s defenses. Not just when to shoot, but, where and so on.
Since at least a few ships have little in the way of space battles, Tactical officers often can overlap with Security. But even when there’s no phaser array or photon torpedoes to fire, we’re the ones that have to think smart. After all we’re Tactical officers, not Weapons Officers. There’s a huge amount of tactical thinking that has to go into everything. An Away Team stuck on which route to take, or where to go, we’ve got the mindset to help the leader make a decision that will hopefully work out the best.
And lastly, what are your goals and aspirations for yourself and Lystra as you continue her career moving forward in StarBase 118?
She’s a rather conflicted sole. Loner type who’s only recently had things happen to start changing her outlook for the better. I hope to see her continue to grow and perhaps fill the big chair one day. That, or at the least rename everything in the species database. 😛
Thanks for your time, Lieutenant JG Lystra!
You can read more about Lieutenant JG Lystra on the wiki.