Each month, we interview a captain or first officer of the fleet to gain more insight on what it takes to command a ship and learn more about how each of these staff members found their way into these roles.
This month, we’re interviewing the Captain Randal Shayne, a Human Male in charge of the USS Arrow.
DeVeau: Would you mind sharing about the real you to refresh our memories from your last interview? What sort of things do you enjoy, your roleplaying and simming experience, anything you’d like to share?
My memory is not the best (you will no doubt attest to this, Commander) and I’m too embarrassed to read my own past interviews, so I will take the risk of repeating information and say that 118 is my first experience with roleplaying; that said, now that I’ve found the best, why would I need anything else? I have a bachelor’s degree in communication, and I have yet to memorize how to write “bachelor’s degree” with proper grammar- the above is a crapshoot. I enjoy writing, rewriting sims because someone added to the scene two minutes before I was finished, and being screamed at by disgruntled voters who don’t understand that I am not getting paid enough to be distracted from my ship…!
I also have a fondness for Star Trek, though it might not be readily apparent.
You’ve been in our community for about seven years. What spurred you to try out SB118?
“Spur” is, perhaps unintentionally, the best word to describe it, because when I found 118’s website, I galloped up and down the hall for thirty minutes with uncontrolled excitement. At the time, I was looking for a community, stability and a place to be my odd self without judgment or speculation. The fleet was everything I had been looking for without knowing I was looking for it. I had no idea how we were structured or what the purpose was- I just submitted an application on the spot and found a second home.
What made you decide to work toward Captaincy in our community?
The simple answer is I was asked to. As the XO of the Juneau under Oddas, there was a short period in time when 22 individual writers were crammed into one ship. It was impressive but unstable, and we needed a new launch. I was invited to take my shot, and now, a mere two years later, I may finally be starting to approach the vague notion of possibly one day getting the hang of it.
What made you decide on the Arrow as your ship when you became Captain?
Looking at our shipyard, it’s amazing how many vessels we have in there. That a D’Deridex class warbird is just sitting there chilling, as if it’s not totally out of place simply confirms this. Some of my favorites were untenable; heck, the Drake was old before I joined the fleet, and anything with a spherical secondary hull was out of the running from the get-go. Galaxy’s look like someone’s stepped on them. Luna’s are too hip for me, and I’ve written on pretty much everything else. Then I thought, “why not pick one you know about, but have rarely seen? Why not command a litter shovel with a growth hormone issue?”
Seriously, though- Saber’s are just my style. Compact, outclassed, old but rugged- it’s got all the makings of character-driven story growth and plotting. More experienced captains can deftly have immensely powerful ships without making things too easy. I’m not sure I’m there yet. In any case, the Arrow called to me; it was unobtrusive, with just enough lore in the beginning, so I felt interested in building upon it, and it just seemed like it had the makings of a character in its own right. It felt scrappy, run-down, grizzled, determined, squat and tough and fiercely protective of the meat puppets inside it. It’s a ship I wanted to make my own, and after some hemming and hawing about this thing or that, I claimed it.
I’m not sure I will ever want another one.
You’ve been a Captain for two years now. What are some challenges you faced during that time and how did you work through them?
One challenge flowed into the next, especially in the first year. Staffing problems, leadership problems, time problems… they all stacked on top of one another and made everything that came after just that much more difficult. In terms of working through them, I came to an odd conclusion. I wasn’t working through the problems; instead, the problems were working through me. So many of the issues I faced might not have started with me, but my immediate reactions made them more troublesome. Sometimes it was a matter of sticking with it or swallowing a hard pill. Other times, the crew of the Arrow was the singular reason I didn’t quit- the stories they were telling, and the community they’d created for us helped keep me going. It’s one of many reasons I’m grateful to my staff and crew.
For those looking to become a Captain in the future, what advice would you give?
Think of some good responses to interview questions so you don’t keep the nice people on the news team waiting.
Thanks for your time, Captain Shayne!
You can read more about Captain Randal Shayne on the wiki.