Lower Decks – Savel, USS Artemis-A

Lower Decks – Savel, USS Artemis-A

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 Savel playing a male Vulcan Security Officer assigned to the USS Artemis-A.

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!

Savel: I currently live in South Carolina, specifically in a suburb just outside of the capital. I work in Emergency Management which can be a very interesting field that presents a lot of unique challenges.

What was your introduction to Science Fiction in general and Star Trek specifically?

My first introduction to sci-fi was probably Star Wars when I was a kid, watching the VHS tapes of the original trilogy at my grandparents’ house. I don’t think I was introduced to Star Trek until much later when it would just happen to come on TV because I didn’t know anyone else that watched it. I remember getting to watch TNG a lot while I was getting ready for school when it’d come on BBC America but I didn’t get to sit and watch the whole series in order. Most of my Star Trek experience was from playing different video games, mostly STO and Bridge Commander. I’ve also spent quite a lot of time watching and re-watching Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis. Pretty much, if it’s got “star” somewhere in the name I’m probably going to be interested in it.

It wasn’t until I got into SB118 that I actually started to sit down and watch the Star Trek series in full. I started with TNG and the subsequent movies, mostly because Picard was my favorite Captain at that point with my limited exposure, and just finished it sometime last year. Now I’ve moved onto DS9 and I’m about halfway through that. In between I’ve also watched the first two seasons of SNW which have been really fun to watch. I hope to eventually get through at least one watchthrough of all the series at some point.

What is your experience with roleplaying?

I’ve been doing roleplay online for a little under 15 years now. Most of that has been done in different games, usually MMOs, but I’ve also had a little bit of experience doing forum RP as well. The format for all of that has been prose, so there was a bit of adjustment to the style done here in SB118. I’d never written anything in the style of script before, even just something for myself, so it took me a few to get used to that. SB118 is also the first time I’ve done any PBEM ever. I was admittedly a little hesitant since it was very different from what I’d done in the past but I’m glad I didn’t let that keep me away.

What brought you to SB118?

Every once in a while I’ll jump back into STO and play a little bit. During one of those times, I got the itch to try roleplaying there so I started to search the web for any fleets that were focused on doing RP. At some point during my search I came across the SB118 website and was immediately drawn in. After reading the website and glancing over the wiki, I immediately started to fill out an application and that is easily one of the best decisions I’ve made. I’m super glad I stumbled across this community because I’ve met some absolutely amazing writers that are even greater people. 

Why did you choose this specific character and duty post?

I’ll start with the duty post, because that one was pretty much a case of writing what you know. Since I wasn’t super familiar with Star Trek I figured I’d choose something close to what I do in real life. Having a career in Emergency Management means I’m familiar with how law enforcement and emergency response operate so security seemed like a good fit. I also figured that no matter what was going on, security would likely be somewhere nearby, which meant my character would also get a chance to be involved.

Choosing a Vulcan was actually a little more boring. I didn’t want to write a human, because I thought an alien would be more fun for me personally, and Vulcans were one of the aliens that I knew the most about with my limited knowledge of Star Trek overall. I unfortunately can’t say I took inspiration from a Tuvok archetype because I still haven’t gotten to Voyager yet.

Where do you see your character five years from now?

Ideally he’ll be moving along the command track, possibly even in a red shirt someday, but I’m not eager to see him move up just for the sake of collecting pips. So, as long as he’s at least further along in his career than he is now I’ll be happy.

The biggest thing I want is to have him continue to grow as a person. It’s been fun exploring his inexperience navigating different social situations, for example. It was something I started with the help of another writer in the fleet and have since roped in a few other people on the ship to slowly start growing that part of him. If I can keep that going and help him become a more well-rounded and interesting character, then I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished my goals with him.

Thanks for your time, Ensign Savel!

You can read more about Ensign Savel on the wiki.

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