We’re here for 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 Lieutenant JG John Kendrick playing a Human male security officer assigned to the USS Juneau.
DeVeau: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from, what sort of hobbies do you have? Anything about yourself you’d like to share with us!
Kendrick: My real-life location is a small city called Hasselt in the northern, Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. I’ve been living here together with my husband for about 10 years now and it’s great here. Next to writing, my other two big hobbies are hiking and travelling through Europe. I’m also somewhat of a history buff and interested in politics. I’m always browsing through wiki pages about all kinds of historical events and persons. It just fascinates me!
What is your favourite Trek show and why?
I’ll start by telling you a little story. The first time I saw the Enterprise D on TV, I was hooked. I never ever missed an episode. But then – I think it was during season 6 – the broadcaster here in Belgium switched from TNG to DS9. It was the mid-nineties, and we didn’t have the internet at home back then. So I just thought that TNG had ended and was replaced by DS9. It took me an entire season to get over that! I just missed the adventures of Captain Picard and his crew. But then season 2 of DS9 opened with The Circle trilogy and I was blown away. The show from that point on, for me, only got better and better. Still, to this day, I consider DS9 to be the best Trek series ever made. It has the heart of Trek but still found ways to challenge Roddenbery’s vision of utopia in interesting ways.
What was your first experience with roleplaying?
Actually, this is my first experience with roleplaying. I’ve written a lot of Star Trek fan fiction over the years, but I was missing the experience of writing together with other fans. So now I have both!
How did you come across SB118 and what made you want to give us a try?
I was looking at Star Trek fan art over at DeviantArt when suddenly I stumbled upon some artwork for Starbase 118. I did some googling, found the website and wiki pages and was just very impressed. Although I had zero experience with RPG, I was curious and decided to, well, enlist in Starfleet. My instructors at the Academy were Lieutenant Commanders Jo Marshall and Samira Neathler. They immediately made me feel welcome here and taught me the ropes of writing for a roleplaying game.
What is the most challenging thing about playing a security officer?
That’s a tough question. For me personally, the biggest challenge was learning how to write for an RPG. What may be challenging about writing for a security officer is to know how his position relates to that of the tactical officer and the MACOs aboard the ship. They have similar roles, yet each role has its speciality. The wiki page on Duty Post was, and still is, very helpful to make sure I have the right focus.
What sort of trouble has your character got into?
I think most trouble stems from the fact that he’s still fresh out of the Academy and doesn’t have the experience of a seasoned officer. He is still finding his way. He has to learn to trust his instincts, but not act on them. I think what happened to him during our last mission could be a turning point for him.
What are your goals for the future in SB118?
I hope to grow as a writer and contribute interesting storylines for our ship and crew.
As for my character Kendrick, as I mentioned earlier, he is still very much searching. He’s had this difficult relationship with his father and family, which still troubles him to this day. Also, the transition from the Academy to the Juneau has had its ups and downs. Right now, he’s kind of a loner, trying to find out where he belongs. As for his future career: I think he’s trying to take it one step at a time. After our last mission, he’s come to accept that some people were born to be a Starfleet Officer. Others – like him – have to stumble, fall and get back up many times to get there. As a writer, I’m looking forward to that journey.
Thanks for your time, Lieutenant JG Kendrick!
You can read more about Lieutenant JG John Kendrick on the wiki.