Each month we interview a First Officer or Commanding Officer of the fleet as part of our “First Officer in Focus” and “Captain’s Corner” columns to get to know them better, and learn more about what their positions entail.
This month, we’re interviewing the First Officer of the starship USS Constitution-B, Lt. Commander Edward Spears, a Human Male.
DeVeau: You’ve told us a bit about yourself in a past interview, would you mind sharing about your character, Edward Spears?
Spears: Ed Spears is a physician by background, and spent his formative years with the fleet moving along from Medical Officer, to Chief Medical Officer on the Constitution. That progression allowed me to write a long arc of development that saw him go from a competent but junior physician, to a qualified surgeon, and then a leader of the ship’s medical department. Ed (along with his writer!) recently got back from a fairly lengthy leave of absence, and rather than simply returning and picking up as if nothing had happened, I used that year off to create some off-screen character development opportunities as well, which can now be explored with my fellow writers!
Would you share with us a bit about your character and his journey to First Officer?
Before my LOA, Ed was serving as both a department head and the ship’s Second Officer. Both roles afforded in-character opportunities to lead. Out of character, I’ve served as one of the Constitution’s staff members for quite some time, ensuring I’m right in there mentoring new officers who come aboard, and helping to plan and contribute to future mission ideas. Both the IC and OOC elements have now come together with this assignment as First Officer.
What is different about being a First Officer as opposed to a regular crewmember?
It’s about being a facilitator and a role model to the crew, and a helpful administrator for the captain. For those who are new to the fleet, there is a lot of administration that happens behind the curtain. There’s paperwork to produce when players come aboard or leave, including work on the wiki. There are also monthly reports on ship activity, news service updates, and then the business of trying to make sure everyone on the crew is engaged and excited about their role in the current mission. Now don’t get the wrong impression; I do management and administration for a living, so I’m enthusiastic about getting to help out with these kinds of tasks so that the players can focus on their enjoyment of the game.
What has been the most difficult part of this position?
I’ll be honest, I haven’t been in the seat long enough to have run into a ‘most difficult’ situation yet. Ed hasn’t even officially changed out of his teal shirt yet in character, since we’ve just come off an undercover mission (Shhh. It’s a secret, y’know?). I will say that there’s a huge benefit to having a really great working relationship with Jess (the writer behind Commodore Jalana Rajel) from my time on the ship’s staff thus far. We communicate well, and I think that will make it a lot easier to tackle the inevitable difficulties in the future.
What is your favourite thing about being a first officer?
The feeling of giving back. SB 118 has been an amazing place to practice a hobby I love, telling stories with likeminded people. Sitting in this position now, I feel like I get to channel my enthusiasm for the game, and for great writing and character development to the crew, and anyone new who comes aboard. It also means getting insight on some of the even higher level conversations that happen behind the scenes by the game’s most senior leaders, and learning from those exceptional leaders the kinds of decisions that have to be made at that level to keep the game fun, fair, and running like a well-aligned warp core.
What are your future plans for Spears as a character and for yourself as a member of SB118?
Well first someone needs to pull Ed out of sickbay and plant him on the bridge! I plan a bit of a period of development for him where he adapts from his role as a specialist, to becoming more of a generalist. I’m sure the engineering, ops, and tactical departments will eventually get annoyed with him showing up trying to figure out how everything works on the ship, but I’m sure his efforts to become a well-rounded officer will pay off in the end (probably).
As for myself, it’s time for me to look at how I can do more around the fleet as a whole, looking for my niche for how to keep this amazing hobby of ours going well into the future.
Thanks for your time, Lt. Commander Spears!
You can read more about Lt. Commander Edward Spears on the wiki.