Randal Shayne

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Poll of the Week: Drinks All Around!

There are some unspoken rules of life that seem to hold true wherever one goes: Gas station sushi is a risk. Towels are inordinately valuable for any situation. And great leaders of any cause tend to have a beverage of choice.

Such is true for many of the Starfleet captains we’ve grown to know and love: We have seen the great Jean-Luc Picard indulge in a cup of Earl Grey on occasion, Benjamin Sisko frequently sip on raktajino, and Captain Kathryn Janeway’s obsession with coffee approaches legendary status.

Whether facing down the Dominion or trying to get across a hostile quadrant of space, drinks help fuel Starfleet and those that drive it. This week’s poll asks for your character’s favorite drink. Do they enjoy the bitter flavor of black coffee? Are they more of a tea drinker? Maybe they enjoy something else completely.

Head to the forums now register your vote. And be sure to drop some comments in the thread!


Poll of the Week: What Would YOU Do?

Captains must demonstrate astonishing qualities. They must be balanced, loyal, committed, educated, capable – and a million other things. But when it comes down to it, a captain must be decisive. Their actions, more often than not, affect hundreds, if not millions of people. While the rationale that leads them to a given decision is important to consider and reflect upon, the consequences of what happens next, both in the short and long term, may not be considered.

An ongoing point in Voyager’s plot was the various and mixed feelings people often expressed regarding Captain Janeway’s decision to destroy the Caretaker’s Array, and strand Voyager in the Delta Quadrant. The reasoning behind her decision has been debated at great length, but her choice still stood, for better or for worse. The consequences of these actions had enormous ramifications.

In the position of Captain Janeway and Voyager, would you have destroyed the array? This will be a simple yes/no question; while you are encouraged to explain yourself, the goal here is to see what you would do with all the consequences of the decision possible. In that split second, how do you react?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote. And be sure to add your comments in the thread below!


Poll of the Week: Your Character’s Myers-Brigg alignment

It’s almost impossible to divide the vast variety of personalities in the world into relatively solid, distinguished chunks. There will always be wiggle room, and ways to break the mold. I myself was skeptical about the Myers-Brigg test when I first heard of it; the claim that a simple test could categorize me into one of 16 subgroups was difficult to take seriously. Nevertheless, I attempted it, and was quite surprised at the accuracy of the results!

It wasn’t too long before I began to wonder how my 118 character would fair on such a test. This, by extension, led to curiosity regarding the results of my comrades in quill. For those unfamiliar with the test, or unsure of the results, there’s a surprisingly enjoyable free test available online that can be found here. I would strongly recommend answering the questions as your character would for maximum effect.

So this leads us to this week’s question; what Myers Brigg category would your character fit into?

Head to the forums to register your entry in the poll. And be sure to leave a comment!


Poll of the Week: Most Morally Dubious Captain?

To be made a captain in Starfleet is to be recognized with trust, respect and appreciation. Despite a variety of episodes in which our heroes encounter less scrupulous colleagues, for the most part, Captains Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway and Archer performed their duties with honor, dedication and courage.

Emphasis on the “for the most part.”

Even the best of us slip up or do something we regret from time to time. The pressures of commanding a starship and protecting ones crew can lead to a variety of ethically grey areas. No captain has been immune to this. Captain Kirk’s (somewhat understandable, if not commendable) bigotry toward Klingons was well documented. Captain Picard’s strict and uncompromising adherence to the Prime Directive lead to deep, lasting consequences on several occasions, and on one occasion, his refusal to order his tactical officer to donate blood to a Romulan doomed that Romulan to a slow and painful death. Captain Sisko was the first to engage in conspiratorially illegal actions, which included becoming an accessory to murder and a blatant violation of the Prime Directive. He was also responsible for utilizing a weapon of mass destruction on a civilian Maquis population. Captain Janeway’s decision to destroy the Caretaker’s array left the entire crew of Voyager stranded in an unfamiliar quadrant, and her obsession with exploration brought incalculable danger into their midst. Captain Archer’s often entitled attitude underlied actions with potentially disturbing implications, such as his refusal to give an entire civilization the cure to a mortal disease, and a desperate attack on an innocent alien vessel when diplomacy failed.

This week’s question is: Which captain do you believe was the most morally dubious?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in the poll. Let us know your thoughts in the thread below the poll!


Poll of the Week: What tech is next?

It can be difficult to imagine a Starfleet that is even more advanced than what it is today. Already, ships can fly at preposterous speeds, massive arsenals can be unleashed, and vast starships can be protected from seemingly anything that can be thrown at them. Humanity has proven that collaboration can bring about an age of prosperity and progress hitherto undreamt of. 

Even now, that progress continues, highlighted by the introduction of the Warp XV engine and the designing of new vessels at the hands of our Advanced Starship Design Bureau. Even so, it seems that despite our capabilities, there are a plethora of mitigating factors that can throw crews for a loop. The shields are never quite strong enough, or are easily circumvented. Phasers, though powerful weapons, barely put a dent in some of the stronger foes the fleet has faced. Ships are constantly suffering from hull breaches, explosive decompressions, and rocks being blown out of consoles. 

The list goes on and on. Fortunately for us, the research division of Starfleet is always in motion, bringing new and better technologies to our fingertips, but they need your help! Your experiences in space are absolutely vital, and they want to hear from you.

With that said, this week’s poll asks you to name the area of technology you want Starfleet R&D to study most urgently! Do you think our ship designs and materials need to be advanced? How about our weapons? Perhaps amenities aboard need improvements- nothing like a holodeck failure to take you out of the moment! Or maybe you want to fly past even Warp XV.

Head to the forums to vote in the poll now, and be sure to leave a comment below the poll to tell us your thoughts!


Poll of the Week: Exchange Officer Opportunities!

Starfleet has always been about exploring, and looking for similarities among differences, and embracing that which is unknown. As a result, from time to time, Starfleet officers are offered a rare opportunity- the chance to serve, in a temporary capacity, aboard a ship or instillation from another power. This is a truly special opportunity- representing the best of the Federation, while working on bridging cultural divides, is a prospect suited to only the finest officers.

Naturally, your characters would all qualify (wink).

So the question I have for you is this; what alien service would your character be most interested in joining? Would the confined, barren darkness of a Klingon warship suit their fancy? How about the spartan interiors of a Jem’Hadar beetle?

Perhaps you’d prefer to serve with a species not listed? Give us your vote, and explain away in the comments section!


Poll of the Week: Pick Your First Officer!

Congratulations! Starfleet Command has seen fit to request and require you to take command of the illustrious USS Insert-Overly-Used-Starship-Name-Here. This is a proud moment for us all, but the challenges are just beginning. Your first command decision must be the selection of a crew from scratch, and what crew selection could begin without bringing on an executive officer?

You have a variety to choose from; each is willing to serve under you. Spock, a half Vulcan, is renowned for his effective performance and coldly logical approach. Will Riker maintains that devotion to duty, but appreciates much more informal surroundings. Kira Nerys, a former Bajoran freedom fighter, is known for her quick temper and tough-as-nails constitution. Chakotay, though having resigned previously from Starfleet to fight with the Maquis, is a kind soul wrapped in a stern countenance. T’Pol, a Vulcan woman, has begun to explore her emotions, and attempts to integrate them into her otherwise uninhibited reasoning.

This week’s poll asks you to name your choice. It should be a decision that reflects your personal idea of what a first officer should be, and how you’d want yours to behave and look at situations.

Head to the forums now to vote in this week’s poll, and be sure to comment in the thread below the poll!


Poll of the Week: Best of Quark?

If there was a single recurring character that (at least upon first glance) seemed to embody the very antithesis of Star Trek’s sweeping vision, it would be Quark. The scheming, capitalistic, sexist Ferengi is truly despicable from the very beginning of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and shamelessly displays his materialistic mindset at every turn. Even so, over the course of seven seasons, Quark managed to work his way into the hearts of viewers. His development throughout the series is undeniable and one of the many treats audiences were able to enjoy. What was once a mostly shelved idea for a villainous species was given life through Quark and his fellow Ferengi characters. His popularity is best exemplified by the numerous episodes that had Quark as a focus. Though some of them were truly malignant (looking at you, “Profit and Lace”) the vast majority were effective, meaningful, and often hilarious.

This week’s poll asks which Quark moment or episode you found most enjoyable.

Head to the forums now to register your vote in the poll, and be sure to let us know below the poll what you think!


Poll of the Week: Most Controversial Series (Besides Discovery)?

Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that Star Trek: Discovery has been enormously polarizing, both for critics and the dedicated fanbase. The controversy stems from almost every part of Discovery itself; the appearance, the story, the characters, and much more.

For all the debate it creates, Discovery is hardly the first Star Trek series to stimulate some level of discord. The Original Series was the first of its kind, both in story style and in presentation. The racial equality, ethical musing and divisive political perspectives presented made it a bold and, in some cases, threatening television show. The Animated Series generally featured decent stories, but the animation itself was a turnoff for some of the audience. The Next Generation was greeted with disgust and apprehension from many old school fans, who couldn’t believe that it would match the original. Deep Space Nine’s grungier, darker tone bucked the utopian staple that Star Trek so firmly clutched. Voyager and Enterprise are both loved and hated by various fans, mostly for the content and direction of their stories.

So which series did you think was the most controversial?

Click here to head to the forums to vote on this poll, and be sure to leave your comments below the poll.


Poll of the Week: Best Movie Soundtrack?

The best soundtracks in films are those that match and enhance the ambiance and themes presented on the screen. In this regard, Star Trek composers have had a particularly difficult job: how do you compress wonder, mystery, and beauty into small auditory snippets?

Fortunately for us fans, it seems that each movie in the Star Trek franchise has been graced with a phenomenal musical accompaniment! Whether it’s the introspective, grand and powerful themes from The Motion Picture, or the pulsating, action-filled tunes from the nuTrek movies, there’s something for everyone.

This week’s poll asks you to name your favorite movie soundtrack. Head to the forums now to register your vote, and let us know what you chose in the comments section below!


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