We’re here with another interview with a couple of newer members 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 not one but two writers, those behind Lieutenant Lephi, a female Ferengi Engineer and Lieutenant Elizabeth Snow, a female ⅛ Betazoid, ⅞ human Medical Officer both assigned to the USS Chin’toka.
DeVeau: Tell us a little about the writers behind the characters — where in the world do y’all hail from? Are there hobbies that you have? What would you like to share with us?
Snow: I am from, what some consider, the Southern part of the United States. My hobbies include: simming of course ;), crafting, golfing, and putting up with the other interviewee bugging me every day. ;p I’m joking of course and she knows it. I am a stay at home mom, so I spend most of my days adventuring, chasing, and cleaning up after a bug and animal loving, imaginative, energetic 3 year old and sometimes the eldest will join us, if I manage to get her out of her room. Most days she is too cool to hang out with us.
Lephi: Most of you likely know by now, but I’m from the East coast of the Great White North. As such, I love poutine under the stars, polar dips, and long sled dog rides. No, I actually spend most of my time writing, creating, or bugging this one these days.
What is your history with Star Trek? How did you first get into it and what’s your favourite series?
Snow: Star Trek and I go way back. I grew up watching Star Trek with my dad, who is a big Trekkie himself. Till this day we still will watch it together and if there is a convention in town, we try to stop in and explore it. It’s sort of a tradition that I passed down to my littlest. Though she hasn’t gotten into it yet. I’m hopeful that it may change in the future and it will be something we can enjoy together. My favourite series would have to be The Next Generation.
Lephi: Growing up, the utopian nature of Star Trek was a big escape for me. It was peak sci-fi to me, which has always captured my interest. I would have to say that Deep Space Nine is my favourite of the Treks at this point, but they’re all wonderful.
How did you two find out about and get involved with SB118?
Snow: Back in 2011 I started role playing online and discovered that I really liked the creativity and the escape from reality for a bit. I was already a member of Outpost 10f, but that was just a chatroom. So I began searching for an actual Star Trek RPG and that’s when I found SB118. I checked it out and submitted my entry form and that’s when it began. Unfortunately due to work, I wasn’t able to continue with it, so I took my leave for a long while. Then, after becoming a stay at home mom and my little one got a little older, I decided it was time to rejoin.
Lephi: I’ve done a plethora of different RPGs over the years, in a lot of styles but I had always stayed away from PBeMs for some reason. A couple of months into the shut down last year, I went looking for an established continuous RP, and after looking at several options decided that SB118 was the best fit. Once I caught a glimpse of the community, and that beautiful Wiki, I was hooked.
How did things come about between Lephi and Snow?
Snow: Well it is very true when they say that the characters write themselves. Elizabeth was a new character for me and a relationship wasn’t on my radar for her at the time. I was still figuring her out as I wrote for her. Maybe even awkwardly so. But it all started when Lephi walked into Sickbay to finish up her onboarding exam. Elizabeth examined her and asked her a personal question that Lephi wasn’t comfortable answering in Sickbay as Sickbay makes her uneasy. Of course now she is a little better with that 😉 Lephi was reluctant to answer the question, but said she would if Elizabeth joined her for dinner on Illara Prime. She did and they were kidnapped, so they never made it to that dinner. After the whole ordeal and now that they were safely back aboard, they avoided each other like the plague. Eventually, with some persuasion from Kurt Logan and feeling guilty already, Elizabeth went to talk to Lephi and confessed her feelings for Elizabeth and it turned out Elizabeth felt the same way. Things just escalated from there and now we’re planning their wedding.
Lephi: She hit the nail on the head here, the characters sort of did it to themselves. I certainly hadn’t come into the game with any intentions of getting this close with anyone. I think it’s fair to say that the two of us owe Jacob from the Thor, who writes for Wes Greaves a huge debt of gratitude. It was his kidnapping idea which brought the pair of them together. I remember that one of my first OOC messages to April was saying something like “feel free to say no, but I think Lephi is infatuated with Elizabeth and I’d like to see where it goes”. After some serious trauma bonding IC, there was only one way for it to end up.
What are the biggest challenges they have had to face, both individually, and together?
Snow: Lephi wrote first, so I definitely have to agree with her on that. They both have jobs to do with the fear lurking in the background that they could possibly lose their other half. Even though they do a good job of setting their emotions aside for missions, it’s still something they’re struggling with. Alongside Elizabeth’s grandmother, Stahma, trying to do what she can to control Elizabeth’s life. She is ready for Elizabeth to settle down, give her great grandchildren, and she isn’t a big fan of Lephi like the other members of Elizabeth’s family. So I’m not sure we’ve seen the end of her, or how she will take the news that the two are engaged now. Individually, Elizabeth is horrible at letting others in. It’s definitely something she is working on for Lephi and she is better with it at times, but it is certainly something she is still working on.
Lephi: I think one of the biggest challenges that they’ve faced together is still ongoing; coming to terms with the fact that they both work inherently dangerous jobs. Between the last two missions alone, they’ve both had serious physical and mental wounds, and have had to deal with balancing everything in their normal lives while caring for each other at the same time. On an individual level, Lephi’s biggest struggle is one that was just recently brought to light, and that is being stealth as a transwoman with the Betazoid wedding looming on the horizon. But she’s also really struggled with losing her hearing quite unexpectedly and Snow’s hecking racist Stahma.
What do y’all see in the future for these two, professionally and personally?
Lephi: Well, the immediate future will be filled with work and wedding planning. Long term? It’d be nice to see them move up the hierarchy and maybe even end up with a couple of kids that will eventually be legacy students at the Academy 😉
Snow: Lephi said it. ;p
Thanks for your time, Lieutenants Lephi and Snow!