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 Ikaia Wong playing a Klingon male medical officer assigned to the USS Veritas.
Taybrim: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?
Wong: Hello there and thank you for having me! My name is S4RK but most of you know me as Ensign Ikaia Wong. Anyways, I hail from Northwestern Ontario, Canada. When I’m not writing sims, I’m working hard to become a Physician Assistant. In my spare time, I can be found painting miniatures, collecting board games and obscure RPGs. I actually got interested in Star Trek through watching Star Trek: Lower Decks (And loving it!). And well, it’s actually what started me on my journey to SB118!
What duty post are you playing, and how’d you choose it?
My duty post is in medical where I also play a PA. There’s actually two big reasons for picking a PA for my character. One of which is that’s what I’m studying to be. The other is that I’m actually playing against type. Ikaia, being a Klingon, wouldn’t be the first choice for anyone to think of as being in medicine. I like the juxtaposition of having two things that don’t seem like they go together and then making it work. Oftentimes with comedy on the face of it and a much deeper story beneath the surface.
What’s been your favorite part of being with the community so far?
I think one of my most favourite things about the community is its people and how everyone works together to create a positive and supportive environment. You’d be surprised how many other communities forget about that sort of thing. Here, you are actually paired up with a mentor who helps you learn the ins and outs of the community and how to be a great team player! Another thing I enjoy is the camaraderie of the members of SB118 in general and of course, my ship, the Veritas. Everyone has been really nice to interact with and talking to everyone has become one of my favourite parts of my day. I just want to take a moment to thank everyone for their kindness and support. It’s very much appreciated!
Are there elements of real life that you especially enjoy incorporating into your simming?
I actually use what I learned in the courses I’m taking in order to play my character better. So say for instance, one thing I actually used was things I learned about skeletal anatomy in one of my classes! So I applied that to Klingon anatomy. For example, in order to explain why Klingon bones were most likely built tougher, I suggested that they may have some extra layers of compact bone to help build up bone strength and durability or the fact that they may need to ingest more protein because of the higher cell count because of all the extra organs hence having a protein rich diet. It’s small things like that which I use to weave in some realism into how I sim something in medicine.
What inspirations did you have in creating your character?
Actually, it all started with the Star Trek Adventures RPG released by Modphius. I knew I wanted to play against type. I usually do so when I play DnD with things like my half-orc wizard who plays the bagpipes. A Klingon in medicine just felt like a fun fit. I know that there are ways I can pull humour from that but also, have an interesting conversation. I then went with that further and decided to play a Klingon who maybe isn’t a stereotypical Klingon who grew up on Earth instead. What would someone like that be like if he didn’t have the constraints of Klingon culture. Who could he actually become when he could become anything he wanted? But there is also the concept of otherness that I’m also exploring using Klingon culture and everyone’s perception of it (and perception of Klingons in general). It’s actually a concept that’s personal to me as I’m neuroatypical and queer. I actually draw upon my own experiences in exploring this subject which makes Ikaia a special and personal character to me. I suppose when it all boils down to it, the two things I use when writing for my character is playing against type and writing what I know.
Thanks for your time, Ensign Wong!