Lower Decks – Toxin Arlill, USS Octavia E. Butler

Lower Decks – Toxin Arlill, USS Octavia E. Butler

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 Lieutenant Toxin Arlill playing a Bolian/Tellarite male assigned to the USS Octavia E. Butler.

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!

Arlill: Hi there DeVeau. Let me start by saying how honored I am to be selected for this interview, it truly made my day and week. Im Erik and I hale from Northern Vermont in the United States; the cold north.

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

I was born too late to truly appreciate TOS, and that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. But I was old enough to enjoy TNG. I fell in love with technology at a very early age, taking apart a Mickey Mouse train at 3 years old, down to the tiniest screws, my mother never expecting it to run again and factiously giving me a small screwdriver; 10 minutes later it was running again. So when I discovered the technology of Star Trek, the thought of living amongst the stars, I was sold from a very early age.

What is your experience with roleplaying?

I play a weekly game with a few local friends, but that only started up during COVID, before that my experience in RPG was really limited. Outside of RPG I’d been in a few plays in school, but that was some time ago and I’ve since been out of practice. I have, however, always enjoyed writing and never really had a good outlet until I found SB118. I only wish my life lately was a little less busy so my focus could go back into SB118 writing more.

What brought you to SB118?

To find a like-minded group of people with a passion like mine for Trek. TBH I found SB118 in a Google Search of Star Trek during a time that I was trying to find more to dream about escaping the real world. This is going to sound odd, but there have been times where I legit have said “Computer end program”, and times when I’ve been outside and just said “beam me up” hoping that someone was listening and observing us. Don’t get me wrong, I have a good life, but I sometimes wonder if I was born a few hundred years too early.

Why did you choose this specific character and duty post?

To be completely honest I wasn’t 100% sure on my character. I found SB118 and thought, oh this is cool, it looks kinda corporate, must be corporate, I’ll just give it a try. Honestly I wasn’t prepared for what I found. This community of people is amazing, the way they treat each other, the way they care about each other’s lives, IRL, and the way they connect with each other’s characters building real-life-like bonds, it’s amazing. I almost crying, I was darn close, when one of our own fell to the Zet (spoiler, sorry).

Where do you see your character five years from now?

I have no ambition of being an admiral or even a commodore, I would love, however, to see Toxin make it to captain of his own ship. I can’t explain how honored I felt when my fictional gaming character, if you will, made it to Lieutenant JG and again when I was honored with Lieutenant. That recognition was validating in so many ways. When I’ve had mentors tell me they had no notes for me in a given week, it made me feel, well, recognized.

Thanks for your time, Lieutenant Arlill!

You can read more about Lieutenant Toxin Arlill on the wiki.

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