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Lower Decks Interview: Lieutenant Junior Grade Charlena Vanlith, USS Veritas

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 Junior Grade Charlena Vanlith playing a Risian female Engineering Officer assigned to the USS Veritas.

GALVEN: Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there

VANLITH: Right well. I’m born and bred in London and have never been far away from London for more than a few months. I’m work in a school now but have had my fair share of different professions over the past couple of years. I’m dabbling more into my musician side recently playing for an RAF Voluntary Band for the past year.

What has been your favorite moment writing with UFOP:StarBase 118?

I’d have to say my favourite part was the creation of BAXTER. In creating my backstory I gave Charlena a disabled brother for whom she built gadgets and where her desire to be an engineer came from. BAXTER was originally intended to be for her brother however, by chance and a bit of inspiration he became used in a mission and now he is a definite part of the Veritas crew. 


It’s time to chat! Join us today for our monthly fleetwide party.

Join us in the chat room today (Saturday, April 18) for our monthly OOC chat starting at a special time: 3:30pm Pacific / 6:30pm Eastern / 11:30pm London / 8:30am+1 (Sunday, April 19) Sydney. (See your timezone here.)

Click here to join the chat on Discord. It’s fun and easy, and only takes a minute to get set up if you’ve never signed up on before.

Our monthly chats are a place to meet other members of the fleet, catch up on current fleet events, share stories, and talk about Star Trek. Especially if you’ve never attended a chat before, we hope you’ll participate this month!


Join us for the fleetwide chat at a special time this coming Sunday

We invite all members of our community to join us in the Discord chat room on Saturday, April 18 (US/EU) / Sunday, April 19 (AUS/NZ) when we’ll be meeting at a special time for our players in Australian and New Zealand. As usual, we’ll talk about what’s happening around the fleet, learn more about each other, and discuss Star Trek!

The chat starts this Saturday, April 18 at 3:30pm Pacific, 6:30pm Eastern, 11:30pm UTC and Sunday, April 19 at 8:30am for Australia. Click here to see the start time in your zone, and add this event to your calendar.

This chat is open to all and casual, so feel free to come and go as you please. See you there!


Lower Decks Interview: Lieutenant Ceciri Ariadust, USS Veritas 

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 Ceciri Ariadust playing a Human female Helm officer assigned to USS Veritas.

GALVEN: Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

ARIADUST: I work customer support in the Seattle area. That being said, I am a rather huge sci-fi fan, and occasionally also a fantasy fan. 

Do you take any inspiration from music/movies/TV/books when writing for your character?

Somewhat. It’s hard to really isolate influences but I do write plot ideas from what I read. I also try to come up with character motifs based on ideas from stuff I see.

You have a lot of passionate feelings and opinions when you’re watching a Star Trek series which I’m curious about what exactly do you take into account as you get into an episode? 

When I watch an episode, I generally first just start piecing it into component bits. It’s one of the curses of what I’ve seen – I am able to break it down. I also then just try to enjoy the character acting. This results, often, in me really enjoying the acting, but looking askance at the underlying plot. As for what do I take into account – I’ve built up a sort of picture of Trek from previous episodes, and what interviews I’ve read, and compare it to that. It’s a way to generate a narrative, I suppose, and I compare it to that.

A few years ago you had been involved with SB118 and then took a hiatus from the group. Before and when you came back, has the community changed and if so, what’s different you’ve seen that has improved?

It feels like the community is far more open instead of restricted to each ship nowadays. I enjoy that a lot.  It feels a lot more like a fleet nowadays.

You’ve served on several ships throughout your 118 career, what has been your favorite IC moment?

Honestly, I think my favorite was one where I got to argue with a past member of the group about who should tell the Captain, infinitely politely fighting. I’m not good with a lot of forms of levity, but I enjoy it when I see it. Speaking of other peoples IC moment, I recently read several JPs when several characters were transferred from the Veritas to the Embassy. Those sims were touching, and I enjoyed every moment of reading them.

What kind of advice would you give someone who’s thinking about joining SB118 or even to current members of the fleet?

For what it’s worth, always try to refine your craft. And make sure you allot time properly.  And lastly: have fun! That is why we are here, after all..

And lastly, do you personally have aspirations in the fleet? Are there any OOC activities you’re associated with, or any you’d like to join?

I’m not sure what aspirations I have now, but I do want to work on my writing. And I look forward to writing more for the FNS and doing research in the History team. 

Thanks for your time, Lieutenant Ceciri Ariadust!

You can read more about Lieutenant Ceciri Ariadust on the wiki.


The forward consoles on a Galaxy class bridge

Duty Post Award Winner – Chloe Waters, USS Eagle (Pilot’s Sextant)

Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of Duty Post awards from our recent 2019 Awards Ceremony. Our goal is to give you insight into how our fleet’s best simmers write, and imagine their characters.

This month we’re interviewing the writer behind Lieutenant Junior Grade Chloe Waters, playing a Human female assigned to the USS Eagle as the Helm Officer. She won the Pilot’s Sextant which is given to those Helm officers who have proven themselves to be the best of the best. From finding a safe route home to flying an emergency atmospheric landing, pilots who have earned the right to this award know the importance of staying focused, and puts their ability to make spectacular maneuvers at the service of their ship and its mission.

GALVEN: Thank you for agreeing to have an interview with me! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

WATERS: Thanks for the invitation to do this interview.

Well, my name is Jesse. I’m a blind cancer survivor who hails from Canada. In my spare time I enjoy working on audio projects, promoting accessibility and playing choose your own adventure games.

I’ve been a Star Trek fan for almost twelve years, but took my fandom to a whole new level around 2015-2016 when I started listening to various Star Trek podcasts (audio dramas such as Starship Excelsior and Star Trek Outpost and discussion-based podcasts such as Mission Log).

It wasn’t long after that when I started poking around the web and joining up with various Star Trek roleplay groups, before eventually landing here.


Stuck at home and needing something to do? Check out the new 118 Podcast episode

We know everyone’s looking for new entertainment while at home! Join Lieutenant JG Lazarus Davis as he discusses the mystery of transporters! This episode is hosted, and edited by Lieutenant JG Chloe Waters.

Interested in joining the Podcast Team? Head to the forums and respond to this thread.


Lower Decks Interview: Lieutenant Jona ch’Ranni, USS Gorkon

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 Jona ch’Ranni playing an Andorian male Operations Officer assigned to USS Gorkon.

GALVEN: Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

CH’RANNI: Hello! My name IRL is Josh and I’ve loved everything about Star Trek since I was a child. I work in the education industry in IT support in the midwest US. I’m married and have twin 4 year old boys – one of whom is named Jonah and is the inspiration for my character’s name.

What has been your favorite moment writing aboard the USS Gorkon?

Right now we are recovering from a mind-warping encounter with Q. I found it fun to imagine the feelings that would develop in someone exposed to such a strong personality with near unlimited power. Several crewmates got into a group therapy session with our ship’s counselor and dealt with the emotional and mental fallout. 


Duty Post Award Winner – Esa Kiax, USS Atlantis (The Voyager Medallion)

Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of Duty Post awards from our recent 2019 Awards Ceremony. Our goal is to give you insight into how our fleet’s best simmers write, and imagine their characters.

This month we’re interviewing the writer behind Lieutenant Esa Kiax playing a Trill female assigned to the USS Atlantis as the Operations/Communications. She won the Voyager Medallion which is presented to those Operations officers who have shown great skill in keeping a starship in working order despite near-impossible circumstances. The officers receiving this award have advanced the field of Operations, making sure duty rosters, provisions, gear, and even recreation time are available… no matter what.

GALVEN: Thank you for agreeing to have an interview with me! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

KIAX: Hey there, always a pleasure! My name is Matt Ide, a 24-year-old part-time music student from London, UK. When I’m not studying, I work as a sound engineer in a local theatre. I’ve been simming for about eight or so years now, and have been a member of our happy little family here at 118 for fifteen months. Besides music, I’m an avid climber and video gamer!

Winning such a unique duty post award such as the Voyager Medallion award must be really exciting! Is there any kind of inspiration from anything in Star Trek or elsewhere when you write a scene?

Exciting? Heck yes. I recall audibly screaming at my computer screen when I read the awards post, to the point where my housemates asked if I was okay! I was genuinely not expecting it. Of course, there is a lot of inspiration from Trek. Where would we be without it? Harry Kim was my favourite character in Voyager, which was the first series I ever watched as a kid. Beyond that, the rest of my inspiration comes from the 2004 Battlestar Galactica Re-Imagining. The way that they portray the day-to-day inner workings of a starship is fascinating to me.


Lower Decks Interview: Lieutenant Esa Kiax, USS Atlantis

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 Esa Kiax playing a joined Trill female Com/Ops Officer assigned to USS Atlantis.

GALVEN: Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

KIAX: Hey there, I’m Matt, a 24 year old MA Music Performance student and Musical Theatre technician from London, UK. Percussionist, avid gamer and lover of all things sci-fi! I’m also big on mountaineering, climbing and cycling!

What has been your favorite moment writing aboard the USS Atlantis?

So far? There was this one mission where the crew had to venture out into the Jenatris Cloud to investigate several newly discovered Chon outpost stations, it was pretty exciting to be investigating something that’s been floating there for 13,000 years, and seeing what each different away team encountered on their trip. That, and our Captain at the time ended up getting a hybrid Chon/Bolian clone of himself, which was quite interesting to work around. Though, I’m sure there will be plenty more favourites in the future!


Join us for the fleetwide chat this coming Sunday

We invite all members of our community to join us in the Discord chat room this coming Sunday, for our regularly scheduled get-together, where we’ll talk about what’s happening around the fleet, learn more about each other, and discuss Star Trek!

The chat starts this Sunday, March 8th at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern, 6pm UTC. Click here to see the start time in your zone, and add this event to your calendar.

This chat is open to all and casual, so feel free to come and go as you please. See you there!


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