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 Rachel Flores playing a human female engineering officer assigned to the USS Constitution-B.
DeVeau: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from? What sort of interests do you have? Anything you’d like to share!
I’m from north Texas originally and have stayed here. Besides writing and science fiction, I enjoy playing chess, reading fiction and poetry, and enjoying the parks in my area (when Texas isn’t too unbearably hot).
What is your experience with the Star Trek universe?
My dad introduced me to the original Star Trek when I was younger, and while I did like it there were some moments when its age and effects just didn’t work for me. When I found out about The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, I took to those a lot more. I’ve since really developed a love for all things Star Trek, while DS9 is probably still my favorite. Space exploration was always something I was interested in. I always looked forward to talking about space in science class and wanted to visit all the NASA space centers whenever a family trip took us near one. An optimistic look at future humanity exploring the stars was a concept that really spoke to me.
How did you get into roleplaying?
One of my friends in high school band invited me to join a D&D campaign that her boyfriend was starting up, and that was my first introduction to roleplaying. Beyond that, I had always been interested in writing stories and found getting myself into the mindset of characters easy. Those two things intersected well in a written roleplay format, just like simming here.
You’ve actually been with SB118 for a while. Why did you choose to write an ensign?
I had been on a few different LOAs for some time, dealing with some personal issues. When I left, I was playing my original character, Dr. Anath G’Renn, as a medical officer aboard the Constitution. When I came back, there were already three medical officers in the department, necessitating a change in character. I already had a secondary character who started off as an ensign. Since Flores was already established, it seemed like a natural choice.
Why did you choose engineering as your officer’s duty post?
A lot of things about Rachel’s past and training were originally decided based on the needs of a mission. She started out as an MSNPC I played during a mission aboard the USS Blackwell. She was the chief engineer-turned-XO of a 22nd-century Earth Starfleet ship that was stranded and was among the survivors brought into the 24th century. So, after a couple of years of retraining, she was ready to go as a now-Federation Starfleet ensign.
Since it was already established that she was an engineer, that remained her speciality after retraining. I also liked the idea of an engineer who had received training in modern cutting-edge technology but maintained a bit of an old-school mindset from the earlier days of space travel.
What would you like to see for Rachel in her future?
The more significant concern for her story-wise is dealing with the long-term consequences of getting displaced two centuries into the future. It still hangs over everything and she doesn’t have a grand strategy for moving on yet. Career advancement might also be on the table. She was chief engineer in her previous life and might wind up climbing that ladder again. And if I ever felt confident in aiming for the big chair, she would probably be my best-suited character for command. My doctor had no plans on leaving sickbay.
Thanks for your time, Ensign Flores!
You can read more about Ensign Rachel Flores on the wiki.