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 Ensign Wyatt Ral playing a Human/Betazoid Engineering Officer assigned to the USS Chin’toka.
DeVeau: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from? Anything you’d like to share!
Ral: I live in the North East of England in the UK. A fifteen-minute drive will take me to the beach or a five-minute walk takes me to the countryside. It also doesn’t rain half as much here as some people think 😊. I’m a Business Analyst with an international bank and I’ve worked from home since the start of the Covid pandemic in 2020.
What was your introduction to Science Fiction and Star Trek specifically?
Thinking back, Dr Who (Tom Baker and Peter Davison) and Blakes 7 will have been one of my first introductions to science fiction when I was young. To be honest, there were quite a few on the BBC. There are probably too many to mention, really. I was just fascinated by what the future could bring. I, of course, saw the odd repeat of TOS Star Trek, but when TNG was released, that was a game changer and I fell in love with it immediately.
I have and continue to rewatch the different series and movies. It’s difficult to pick a favourite as all the series had their good and bad bits.
What is your experience with roleplaying?
None really, so this is a whole new experience. Getting used to doing this via email was certainly new to me, and the disjointed nature was a massive learning curve at first. Always good to try something new, right?
What brought you to SB118?
Honestly, Google. One day I just searched for any ST roleplaying games and SB118 was the one that caught my eye. It looked well-presented, and the people were clearly committed based on the amount of information on the sites. It just impressed me overall, so I thought why not give it a go? I’m so glad I did as it’s been a great experience so far.
Why did you choose this specific character and duty post?
My first thought with Wyatt was that having a mix of the two species would allow me to take the character in different directions as he developed in the storylines. We’ll see where Wyatt takes things, but as part Betazoid he’s open and understanding of his crew members feelings and emotions. The experiences of his parents during the Dominion annexation of Betazed have shaped the way he thinks of Starfleet and made him determined to become a part of it.
The history of the character has led him into engineering after spending lots of time with the Chief Engineer on Starbase 50 as a child. Engineering keeps the ship working and everyone safe on board. It also opens up multiple avenues to go down with Wyatt across the entire ship. He came in near the end of the last mission, so the next mission should allow him to come out more and build relationships with the rest of the crew.
Where do you see your character five years from now?
Wow, that’s a tough one. Who really knows what the future holds, except maybe Q 😊! Now, I’d hope that he’d progress through the ranks and reach Chief Engineer, whether that’s on the Chin’toka or some other starship or research base. Solving problems, getting his hands dirty. That’s where Wyatt likes to be, more than possibly commanding a ship. However, that may change in the future as he grows. Of course, he’d hate to leave his new Chin’tokan family.
Thanks for your time, Ensign Ral!
You can read more about Ensign Wyatt Ral on the wiki.