John Valdivia

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Poll of the Week: Temporal Prime Headache

Your ship has discovered a deserted starbase. It’s old, it appears to have been abandoned for centuries, and yet the technology is very advanced, so you set out to explore it. Before you send your away teams there, however, a shuttle appears out of nowhere. It is of Starfleet design, but it’s not one you can recognize. It hails you, and the sole crew member identifies herself as a traveller from the 27th century.

She tells you to avoid that starbase altogether. Apparently you will activate the station defenses, and afterwards leave a message for Starfleet to avoid that region of space in the future. A message that her fiancé, an archaeologist, will find, and it will draw him towards the station. This chain of events will end with his premature death, along with those of his team.

She assures you nothing else will change by your action, since the changes will be confined to the station. However you find that hard to believe, knowing enough about temporal mechanics and chaos theory to know that even a minor alternation can have huge repercussions in the long run.

You know that, even if you did, you would not be violating the Temporal Prime Directive since you will be changing your future, not your past. But she is openly violating it. Would you help her? Come and tell us!

This is a new edition of our category Morals of Trek, where you are in the shoes of a Starfleet Captain facing a dilemma any of our favourite characters could have faced in Star Trek. If your crew has faced any such dilemmas and you want to see it featured in a Poll of the Week, let us know!


Poll of the Week: Relevance of the starship

Although all Star Trek series had a group of main characters, all of them had a protagonist who was not a crew member. Not a civilian, or even an officer that was not technically part of the crew. Not even a live being — it was the ship itself. The different incarnations of the Enterprise, Voyager, even Deep Space 9 (or, if you want, the Defiant) were also protagonists of their own series, and they also helped shape the stories that were told in them. A similar phenomenon happens in our simming. The stories we write are about our characters’ experiences, but our starships play an important role in those tales. Our characters learn to love their ships, or their stations, and we make them part of the story.

The fleet offers a great variety of starships, each of them different. Right now, the crew of the Darwin is embarked in launching a new expedition, and you can even help name the new medical ship that is joining it!

So it is natural to ask, how relevant is the starship in our story? And with that I mean, how does the choice of starship affect how our simming develops, what stories we play, what we do aboard? What does our choice of starship say about our simming?

This is a new post in our category Simming Questions. Here we will be asking questions about our community, our characters and our writing, and how you interact with it all.


Poll of the Week: The falling station dilemma

As captain of an starship, you respond to a distress call coming from a station orbiting a heavily urbanized planet. The station’s engines have failed, and it is falling towards the planet as its orbit decays. You rush in and start evacuating personnel, but before you are done the station enters the planet’s dense and electrically charged atmosphere. Your transporters and tractor beams are useless.

According to your officers’ records, there are 147 life signs left aboard the station. They could get to escape pods and save themselves, landing somewhere in the planet in relative safety. However, that procedure will take so long the station will end crashing on the surface and your crew estimates the resulting life loss in at least a thousand people. You have an alternative: You can order the station fired upon. The destruction of the station will reduce the falling impact to relatively harmless debris. But there is no way the remaining crew could escape in time before you are forced to destroy it.

Of course, you could order them to use the auto-destruction system themselves, without time to get to the escape pods, but it’s a hard decision to put on their shoulders, and you have no guarantee they will comply.

Would you fire your torpedoes on the station? Come to the forums to let us know, and afterwards check the Wikipedia article on the trolley problem to know the original formulation of this classical dilemma.

This is a new edition of our category Morals of Trek, where you are in the shoes of a Starfleet Captain facing a dilemma any of our favourite characters could have faced in Star Trek. If your crew has faced any such dilemmas and you want to see it featured in a Poll of the Week, let us know!


Poll of the Week: Reflecting Humanity

Star Trek has given us lots of things over the years, including five series, with their own ship, and their own crew. And there were many things common to all of these crews, but one particular thing was worth noticing: Each of them had a character alien to humanity, on a personal quest to either understand or become more similar to one of us.

While this was their personal objective in the series, their roles for all of us were different. They allowed us, or even forced, to look at ourselves from a different perspective. To review all of those behaviours that we give for granted, as part of our own nature, and look at them from the eyes of an alien with a different way of understanding the world. For us, these characters were a mirror on which we could see our own reflection, and maybe look at ourselves with a new light.

Now we ask, from all those characters, which do you feel better accomplished this job? Which gave us a better, deeper reflection on humanity? Tell us in the forums!

Here you go with a new General Trek question, where we discuss the series and their characters.


Poll of the Week: Life changing experiences

Some experiences are definitely life changing. It could be argued that all of our experiences alter our lives to some degree, but some of them make changes so deep that our lives are fundamentally and forever different. Initiating a relationship, getting married, having a child — or suffering an accident and permanent injury, for example. Whether we chose to experience these life changing events, or whether they come upon us in surprise, we must all adapt and learn to live with the consequences.

When simming, we want to make our characters alike to real people, even when our characters are living out their lives on starships set in the distant future. That means some of these events will also affect our characters. We have seen characters start or end relationships, have children or receive terrible injuries. But on this, we have control — we decide what experiences our characters go through, especially those experiences that will mark them forever.

For this week’s poll, we want to know how much you exercise this control. Do you carefully plan every major change for your character, or do you let them happen and explore them as they come? Come to the forums to tell us.

This is a new post in our category Simming Questions. Here we will be asking questions about our community, our characters and our writing, and how you interact with it all.


Poll of the Week: Space Wildlife

You are the captain of a starship, and on your exploration, while studying an asteroid belt, your crew has made a most amazing discovery. Space fish! Fish-like creatures that live autonomously in space. Each specimen is big as a shuttle, and as you entered, a group of them has been playing around your ship, while you studied them.

Meanwhile, you have detected lifesigns within an asteroid, similar to those of the creatures following you. Eager to find more, you use the phasers in your ship to open a hole in the rock. And a new creature appears. But this one is huge. And not like the others. It is clearly a predator, and after you freed it, it is now eager to have a meal, chasing the small fish that had been accompanying you through the asteroid belt.

You should defend them! Or should you? Is it your fault they are going to be eaten? Should you interfere in the natural cycle of life in such an environment? Does the prime directive even apply to this situation? Come to the forums to tell us your opinion!

This is a new edition of our category Morals of Trek, where you are in the shoes of a Starfleet Captain facing a dilemma any of our favourite characters could have faced in Star Trek. If your crew has faced any such dilemmas and you want to see it featured in a Poll of the Week, let us know!


Poll of the Week: Gender in simming

Part of the appeal of simming, and Star Trek more generally, is in Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a brighter future. Throughout our diverse community, we have a wide spectrum of people who identify differently in terms of gender and sexuality. From the androgynous monogendered J’naii to the tri-gendered Laudeans, Star Trek gives us space to explore these aspects of human experience widely.

Our community even has the Lambda Alliance forum to support those who either identify with the LGBT community, consider themselves allies or who wish to know more and perhaps try simming a point of view different to their own!

What we want to ask is, whatever your character’s gender and sexual orientation are, what brought you to choose them?

Maybe you had not even thought much about it until now, or maybe you tend to choose the same you identify with. Or maybe not, maybe you wanted to give visibility to some option or explore the stories your choice could bring. Come to the forums and tell us!

This is a new post in our category Simming Questions. Here we will be asking questions about our community, our characters and our writing, and how you interact with it all.


Poll of the Week: Also part of the crew

As captain of your starship, you are sitting in the central chair, looking through the screen at a Ferengi ship. After a heated discussion with their Damon, your tactical officer informs you they are powering up their weapons. Suddenly, your own ship plunges forward, rolling sidewise and launching a full salvo of all your weapons on the Ferengi, completely obliterating the ship. You jolt up from your chair and look and your Tactical officer, who looks back at you, surprised, ignoring what just happened. Looking around the bridge, nobody seems to know why you have just killed over a hundred Ferengi. You command them to find out.

“They were going to attack you,” says the computer, “they were dangerous.” Surprised, you look around. Slowly, you respond, only to find out you are talking to your own ship’s computer. After some more interaction, you realize the computer has suddenly become sentient. And it wants to help. Is eager to help. In fact, it is so intent on pleasing you that it has taken the initiative with the Ferengi, and several other minor things you are already receiving protests over. Not to mention that, being a sentient being, it has certain rights now that you have to observe.

You sigh and sit down, getting ready for a long talk.

What’s next? Tell us how do you think it would go. Head on over to the forums to participate in the poll of the week!

This is a new edition of our category Morals of Trek, where you are in the shoes of a Starfleet Captain facing a dilemma any of our favourite characters could have faced in Star Trek. If your crew has faced any such dilemmas and you want to see it featured in a Poll of the Week, let us know!


Poll of the Week: The simming we love

The recent and exciting launch of the USS Za gave us the opportunity of a transfer as the requests sweeped the fleet. Some people took the chance, some didn’t. But it gave us all an opportunity to reflect on our current post and ship. On what we love about the ship, the style of simming we are enjoying. Or maybe what we hope to find, or even help shape, in a new post.

We love our ships, older and newer alike. Though each one of us loves them for different reasons. Maybe the people? Maybe the quality of the sims? The plots, or the approach your crew takes to them? Maybe the commanding officers and their leading style? We are sure there are lots of things, but what is the best?

Each one of us has different reasons. Come to the forums and tell us what yours are!

This is a new post in our category Simming Questions. Here we will be asking questions about our community, our characters and our writing, and how you interact with it all.


Poll of the Week: Transporter Double

As standard for your duties, you walk into the transporter pad to transport to a nearby ship, for transfer. After a final look back, you sigh and nod to the transporter chief and feel the familiar blue haze engulf you. An instant later the blue shimmer disappears and you stand there, in the very same transporter room, looking at the very same, albeit surprised, transporter chief.

“Sorry, sir.” she says, as he starts checking the computer for an explanation. She contacts your destination ship, but there seems to be a problem. Apparently, you are already there. For some reason, as your pattern was transmitted, the computer failed to eliminate your copy from this ship. The transporter chief doubts. Two armed security officers enter the room.

“Sorry, but we would need you to step back into the transporter so it can complete its cycle.”

This is a new entry in our Morals of Trek category. This time, it’s a familiar scenario from TNG, where Commander Riker experienced something similar – but not exactly the same since, where the two Rikers had years to lead separate lives, you barely had a few seconds!

What would you do? Come to the forums to tell us what you would do! Click here to vote in the poll now.


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