Alora DeVeau

Author Archives

Honor of the Admiralty Winner: Fleet Captain Roshanara Rahman

Join us for a special interview in our series of interviews with winners of awards from our recent 2020 Awards Ceremony. The Honor of the Admiralty is a new staff award for 2020 and is the highest award that can be conferred upon a UFOP: Starbase 118 staff member under the rank of Rear Admiral. This award recognizes those who have served as staff members for a minimum of five years in a multitude of disciplines. From facilitating our task forces, engaging with the Captains Council, and leading with the utmost dedication, these writers volunteer their time, effort, and skill to building our game and community and have comprehensively earned the respect and loyalty of members.

This month we’re interviewing the writer behind Roshnara Rahman playing a female  Kriosian who serves as Captain of the USS Veritas. For 2020, she was the recipient of the Honor of the Admiralty, the first player to earn this prestigious award.

DeVeau: Would you be willing to share a little about yourself, the writer behind Captain Roshanara Rahman?  

Rahman:  My name is Rich. I’m from Michigan and live now in New England, USA. I got into Star Trek through TNG (tuning in just as the seventh season was wrapping up!), and I love being part of a wider international fan community here at StarBase 118.

How did you come across StarBase 118 and what led you to join the group?

I joined back in 2010, five years after Star Trek: Enterprise had gone off the air and although the new JJ Abrams-directed Star Trek movie had just come out one year earlier, I really missed the “prime timeline” and specifically the TNG/DS9/VOY-era. I’d been playing a little Star Trek Online around that time to get a little taste of stories set in that era, but I wanted something deeper, and having previously dabbled in play-by-email Trek games back in the 90s, I did a search for Star Trek simming and found my way to StarBase 118.

Odd Jobs: Lieutenant JG Charlotte DeBarres, USS Arrow

In “odd jobs” we examine some less traditional posts and the characters and writers behind them to inspire you to investigate potential for your own character.

Today we have the pleasure of speaking to Lieutenant JG Charlotte DeBarres playing a Human Female Mission Specialist assigned to the USS Arrow.

DeVeau: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from, what things you like to do in your spare time, et cetera?

DeBarres: I currently hail from Maryland, I love military history, we have lots of pets and I have been an active runner for the past 30 years, but the joints are now in need of a major overhaul, but still hitting the pavement. I work with people that have significant disabilities.

Lower Decks: Ensign Rel Cassi, USS Juneau

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 Rel Cassi playing a female Bajoran Medical Officer assigned to the USS Juneau.

DeVeau: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?

Rel: Well I come from Texas, but I’ve lived in a lot of places in the U.S., recently Hawaii, and now California. I’m in the Navy so we move around every once and awhile. 

I work in the IT field in a submarine, but I love writing. I self-published a book a few years ago now, trying to work on a sequel. I also like building and tinkering. I have a small collection of models I’ve put together.

Most importantly I’m a family man. I’ve been married to my lovely wife for five months this May the 4th. I have the cutest little girl in the world, she’s almost two and runs around everywhere. And my wife is pregnant with our second little one now. We’ve got a dopey pit-bull named Gimli, and three cats that are totally not named after Marvel and Star Wars characters (really).

You'll Always Be My Number One

First Officer In Focus: Jansen Orrey

Each month we interview a First Officer or Commanding Officer of the fleet as part of our “First Officer in Focus” and “Captain’s Corner” columns to get to know them better, and learn more about what their positions entail.

This month, we’re interviewing the First Officer of the USS Juneau,  Lieutenant Commander Jansen Orrey, a human male. 

DeVeau: Would you be willing to share a bit about yourself?  Where you’re from, hobbies, that sort of thing?

Orrey: I am from Tennessee in the United States. I have all sorts of hobbies and interests but the things that either always hold my focus or that I always keep in circulation are history and painting. Reading and writing feel like mentions that have to be made as well of course.

You’ve been in Starbase 118 for some time now.  Will you tell us a bit about how you came to the group?

In short, my grandfather died. I was raised by my grandparents and my grandfather and I would sit down every day to watch TNG when it was first airing. About part way through season 3 he introduced me to The Original Series as well. It was something we shared together. When he died I missed a lot of that connection, if not all of it just outright. I have been Roleplaying in some form or fashion since I was very young as well. He even picked up some of the Last Unicorn Games Star Trek books for me just because he knew I would like them. Same as a production guide about the Original Series. So to me it seemed like it would make sense to combine those two things. One of my favorite shows, and all the memories of watching it with him, as well as roleplaying. So I started looking, and even back then this was one of the best realized places a person could go for Star Trek storytelling. 

Part of that is what keeps me coming back, I think as well, I have had periods of not being able to afford connection, my health, or even pure burnout over time. The group, though, has always been a place of friends and welcoming to me that I have always appreciated. 

What ships have you served on and what duty posts have you played so far in your Starfleet career?

As long as you have the time for it all, haha. I started on Ops way back in the Rocar years. I served as a science officer there as well as the CMO for a short time. After that I spent some time on the Constitution-B as a medical officer and then a helmsman for a short period of time. After that I had to take a break for a little while before I came to the Vigilant to take over the post of Counselor when Grier moved to XO. As Reinard got his own ship I followed along to the Darwin-A continuing as Counselor before shifting to Assistant Chief Science Officer. The Gorkon was my most active ship as I bounced from Medical to Counselor to Diplomatic Attache. After that I landed back at Counselor on the Veritas where I stayed for my entire time there before the Juneau picked me up as First Officer.

How does being a First Officer compare to those other positions?  How does it compare with your expectations of the office?

Being a First Officer is something of an amalgam of different jobs, so I think in a way all those different ships and posts helped to prepare me for the job of interacting with all the different sections of the ship’s crew to interact with. 

As far as my expectations of the post go they played out as I expected. I enjoy interacting with all the different people across the ship and so being in a leadership role to do that is just more of a joy for the position. 

What’s your favorite, and least favorite, parts about playing a First Officer?

Of course my favorite part of being a first officer is interacting with all the different members of the crew. Really being able to help all the different officers find their place and reach their highest potential. There are some amazingly talented people on the Juneau and across the Fleet it is an exciting time to be a part of everything going on here.

The struggle is the least favorite part, but if I had to pick something I would have to say the paperwork XD. Even that though is a needed and necessary part of the upkeep you need to run a ship and a Fleet as unique as this one.

What has been the greatest challenge, in character and out of character, with the command experience?

Out of character there is of course a learning curve to go from being even a ship’s staff member to the XO of a ship. It takes time to get used to those things but it is a wonderful learning experience. 

In Character it was a big change for Jansen personally to get moved to a new posting. Just having gotten married and starting a family, likewise the difference from the Shoals to the Aavaro Wilds was a big change.

However in both situations it is all about hitting the ground running. Learn everything you can and tackle the problems you encounter head first. The great thing is that within the Fleet you will always have people there to help you out and guide you on your path no matter the goal you have in our group.

What are your hopes for the future for your character and for you as a member of this community?

Well Jansen’s goal has always been to become a Captain just like his father was so that continues to be a goal for him. For myself, I hope that I can continue to help the Fleet as a whole continue on the magnificent journey it has been on for all these years. 

Thanks for your time, Lt. Commander Orrey!

You can read more about Lt. Commander Jansen Orrey on the wiki.




Lower Decks: Lieutenant Artinus Serinus

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 Artinus Serinus playing a male Magna Roma Security Officer assigned to the USS Arrow.

DeVeau: Would you be willing to tell us a little about yourself, the writer?  Where are you from and anything else you’re willing to share?

Serinus: Sure! I’m Joseph. I hail from a small town north of Amarillo, Texas. But I currently reside in Austin.

I am a disabled Army veteran that is trying to draw a pension. I served as a Combat Medic(68W) and spent most of my four years in Germany, doing one tour in Iraq.

My hobbies outside of SB118 include D&D and other TTRPGs, as well as various other online roleplaying venues.  I share a love of strategy games with my character. I was an active member of one of the bigger “boffer” L.A.R.P.s both before and after my time in the military.

Other passions include listening to music, singing, drawing, political activism, and spending way too much time on social media.

I currently serve in the Publicity and Social Media task forces.

Announcing the Intelligence Star

Rewards for a job well done are always fun and exciting to receive after a successfully completed mission.  In Starbase 118, there are a variety of ribbons given out to recognize in-character achievements, but none of the ribbons reflected service related to undercover work and intelligence missions – until now.  Adding to the ever-growing list of service ribbons available for in-character commendation, we can now count the Intelligence Star among their number.

Intelligence Star Service Ribbon

This is the first service ribbon available to those characters who work in covert operations in order to serve the interests and protect the security of the Federation or its allies. Anyone who serves in this capacity can now be recognised along with others despite the more secretive nature of their work.

Emma, the ribbon’s proposer and the writer behind Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds wrote:

[Our] current mission involves an undercover operation… and I realised we have service ribbons for many other mission types (action, exploration, science, diplomacy, etc) but nothing for covert work.

For all the your intelligence missions and outstanding achievements while performing vital undercover work, be sure to keep this service ribbon in mind for the future! As always, remember that you can read more about all service ribbons on the wiki!

Trained By The Best: Commander Alex Blair

Do you remember what it was like as a ‘cadet’ in the SB118 academy?  I know I do, and the positive experience I had in my training class really helped set me up for a positive experience in the fleet as a whole.  Often, members may not realise exactly how much power the training team really has. You see, first impressions matter, and a bad first impression will most likely result in a prospective member to abandon the attempt to join, where as a positive experience can help set up a new member for great success in our group.  That is why this particular team is so important.

The training team is made up of a number of individuals who all spend extra time and energy to help acclimate newcomers to SB118’s simming style, or sometimes simming in general!  One of those members is none other than Alex Blair.

DeVeau: Hello Alex, and thank you for joining us!

Blair: Hello Alora, thanks for having me!

How long have you been a part of SB118 and how did you find it?

I’ve been a member of SB118 for almost four years now, and have loved every minute of it! I found the group in a roundabout way. I was involved in several PBEMs in the past and never really stuck with them. After a month or two, I would get bored and leave. One day, I was looking for something to occupy some free time and did a Google Search for PBEM. I found SB118 and on a whim decided to join. Now I don’t think the fleet will ever get rid of me!

Time With Toni Turner

If you’ve been in Starbase 118 for any length of time, you’ve probably at the very least have seen the name Toni Turner. More than likely, you’ve interacted with her at some point, and for many of those in SB118, they’ve had the pleasure of seeing her in a role of leadership. Today, we get to know a little more about her in one of those roles.

DeVeau: Welcome and thank you for taking some time to allow us to get to know you and your character a little better.

Turner: That’s no problem at all. I’m glad to help in any way I can.

You’ve been a part of SB118 for quite some time now, haven’t you?

Yes, ten years last September. I suppose that’s a long time, yet it doesn’t seem so. As they say, (whoever *they* are), time flies when you’re having fun. ::smiles::

Under The Weather

Here on Earth, we are subject to the whims of weather as it walks across the planet. Such phenomena is not known only on Earth, but a variety of weather can be found on several planets in our very own solar system. What some people might not realise is that weather can also be found in space itself. Weather in space? Really?

Yes, really! While space doesn’t have air, it can still have certain forms of weather thanks to the Sun. From the sun, solar winds, solar flares, and plasma are tossed out into space which can actually affect spacecrafts that are sent to explore our solar system. Because of this, radiation can actually harm whatever scientist send beyond our atmosphere. A study of space weather can actually help scientists determine ways to protect spacecraft from damage. In space, a variety of ‘weather’ can affect the finely tuned instruments. Besides radiation, damage can occur when charged particles stop on the outside or even the inside of a spacecraft. This type of event is called “spacecraft charging”.

Certain types of space weather can also affect what happens here on earth. When magnetic surveys are conducted via aircraft, the rapid magnetic field variations during geomagnetic storms can have an impact on the interpretation of the data being collected.

Combine these with other types of weather such as coronal mass ejections (when huge amounts of plasma as well as magnetic fields are ejected from the sun), radiation belts and galactic cosmic rays, space weather is a lot more dynamic than one might think.

Want to learn more about space weather? Check out NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center and Space Weather @ NASA.

(Image source.)

Voyager: Boldly Going

Space. The final frontier. We’re familiar with the voyages of the Starship Enterprise and its mission – to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before. During the years of Star Trek: The Original Series and subsequent spin-offs, mankind has used its imagination in an attempt to answer just what might be out there. Through the course of various incarnations, new planets and new civilizations were indeed discovered, but revelations in real life haven’t been quite so dramatic. Or have they?

In comparison with television, one may not think that certain pieces of information gleaned by NASA would be significant, but perhaps if you take a closer look, you might discover exactly how marvelous what discoveries have been made truly are. Think about it, what do we know about this universe, or even our own solar system? In comparison with what we could know, it’s hardly anything. That hasn’t stopped man from attempting to find out.

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