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 Ensign Dekas playing a Male Aurelian Engineering Officer assigned to the USS Juneau.
DeVeau: Hi Ensign Dekas! Would you start off by telling us a little about the writer behind the character? Where are you from? What sort of hobbies do you have? Anything you’d like to share!
Dekas: Hello! I go by Ace. I’m from Utah. As for hobbies, I obviously like to write. Reading is also a common pastime, and as long as it’s a fun story I’m not picky about the genre. I enjoy a good tabletop game. I do D&D with friends and roommates once a week and it’s a good time every time. I also like to use any available opportunity to pet every visible cat in the vicinity, and I have 8 cats so there’s always one or two around me.
What was your first experience with Star Trek, and what shows or movies are your favourite?
This is probably going to sound funny, but I used to dislike Star Trek. Except I hadn’t even watched it, I was just stubborn about it for some reason. Then my sister got super into Voyager, my dad would talk about TNG episodes he liked and how he remembered when the pilot episode first aired. So I gradually warmed up to it. I think my first moment of accepting, okay, Star Trek is really cool was the 2009 Star Trek movie. Which had me watching the other series in the following years. I am very glad I didn’t stay stubborn about it because it’s so much fun. My favorite show is DS9, but Enterprise is a close second. As for which movies? The Voyage Home, Insurrection, and Beyond.
How did you get into roleplaying?
My sister introduced me to the concept of it, started in various fandoms on facebook, moved to other spaces as I progressed into the hobby. But I’ll admit SB118 is the first PBeM space I’ve played in.
What made you decide to give SB118 a try?
My dad was one of the few people I felt like I wanted to talk about Star Trek with for a while, because he was a fan of the series. But at the end of last year my dad passed away unexpectedly, and I wanted a feeling of community and people who were also into it. A little bit of comfort from something when things were difficult. And since I already did some roleplaying in other spaces, I decided to seek it out. SB118 was the one that stood out to me. Had a good time browsing wiki pages for a while. I’m glad I gave it a shot.
You’ve chosen a species that I don’t remember being played before since I joined several years ago. Why Aurelian? What inspired you to create your character?
It wasn’t the original plan. I was considering a trill, I love the trill. But I also really like to window shop, so to speak, so I also looked through other options. I saw the Aurelian on the list of things I could play, and remembering the episode they first showed up had me intrigued. So I read the page for them, and the very small number of past player pages. I took little bits and pieces of inspiration from two or three of them as well as the Aurelian page to get a decent starting point idea in mind, and by that point I was in too deep to choose anything else. Plus a little inspiration from having grown up around very big, and audacious parrots definitely played a role in me choosing to make him very colorful.
What are your future goals for Dekas and yourself in SB118?
I have a few small ideas for Dekas. Mostly him messing around with Engineering projects and making something cool out of it. Or using Aurelian practicality to his benefit. The growth of direct individuality, coming from a community where his people are all very alike in appearance and certain cultural things, and now being in a space where people are all very different and finding himself being okay with what makes him different too. Letting Dekas have at least one funny interaction with Captain Oddas during shore leaves because he’s very friendly and just thinks she’s neat. Aside from that, I have two current goals for myself. The smaller goal is to gradually flesh out Aurelians. Through conversation and narrative. But maybe during a shore leave a little farther in the future I’ll see if I can’t convince some people to play some of Dekas’ family and flock members during a proper visit home. Really play in that space with people. But the bigger goal is to stop getting so in my head and just have fun. Sometimes I really struggle with the endless cycle of overthinking. Even with my last few sims I’ve had to talk myself into harmless narrative details, remind myself that it’s okay to just go for it. The worst that can happen is I have to try again, or I need to ask for help. And that’s okay. It’s hard sometimes, but that’s okay, too. Gotta keep trying.
Thanks for your time, Ensign Dekas!
You can read more about Ensign Dekas on the wiki