Jarred Thoran

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Need some inspiration for writing award nominations? Check these out!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… for Awards! Great nominations for your crew mates and drum beats from across the fleet show your appreciation for a job well done. Inspiring sims coming from inspiring people, and to that end, we want to help you get the best out of your nominations to fuel that raging inferno of energy and enthusiasm.

Below are some of the best nominations we had during last year’s ceremony that stoked that fire for a win.


First Officers in Focus – Jocelyn Marshall, Gorkon

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 Gorkon, Lieutenant Commander Jo Marshall, a Human female.

Let’s get started!

THORAN: Tell us a little bit about the writer behind Marshall. Where do you hail from, and what are you up to when you’re not simming?

MARSHALL: Thanks for having me! I’m Emily, forged a Royal Navy brat and swiftly moved up to Manchester in the UK – so I wouldn’t try to take over the Admiralty, I suspect. My plans for military domination successfully hampered, fast-forward and I’m working in Belgium (where the chocolate is good and beer is plentiful) as an ICT minion for a General who whistles full Madonna albums. When I’m not putting everyone in simming peril, I’m going out on my bike to get some sunshine, playing volleyball, throwing myself at video games, or strumming guitar in the garden to the consternation of my neighbours.

How is the FO position similar or different from your previous posting?

Ah, you can take the Marshall out of Ops but you can’t take the Ops out of Marshall. As the writer, it’s been interesting exploring this new realm of emotion and thought for Jo. She’s a laid back and happy soul, so to have the weight of the crew she considers her family now partially on her shoulders is sobering for this kid that came on the Gorkon as an Ensign straight from the Cadet Cruise. In Ops, she didn’t have that. Life was a breeze.

In some ways, it’s wildly different. There’s a lot more admin to do and it really opens your eyes to just how much the Captain of your ship does, and the rest of the fleet too! It’s crazy. Like the old iceberg philosophy – you see the top, but not the groundwork that goes into making it what it is. It’s also a huge privilege to be selected for the role and I’m massively grateful for the chance to do it for the Gorkon. There’s so many good writers on our ship, so it’s a real heartwarming thing for me to be able to support us in any capacity.


One…Two…Three…Four New Badges?

One of the greatest things about StarBase 118 is the community, and all the hard work that goes into making it such a fantastic place to be a part of. It is for this reason the Captain’s Council has approved the creation of four new badges.

Appreciation Forum Nominator

Appreciation Forum Nominator Badge
Appreciation Forum Nominator Elite Badge

The Appreciation Forum Nominator badge is presented to an individual who submits a fellow players sim to the appreciations forum. There are two levels that can be awarded:

  • Standard: Awarded to a player who submits a sim highlighting a fellow player to the appreciations forum.
  • Elite: Awarded to a player who submits at least 1 sim per month for a 6 month period that highlights a fellow player in the appreciations forum.

This badge can be earned once every 6 month period. Players submitting their own sims do not count for this badge – they must appreciate a fellow player. Joint posts do count, even if one player is a contributing member. Players may submit sims from any vessel.

Read an exciting sim from a fellow player? Open up a new thread in the Appreciations forum and share it now!

Awards Ceremony Nominator

Awards Ceremony Nominator Badge
Awards Ceremony Nominator Elite Badge
Awards Ceremony Nominator Legendary Badge

The Awards Ceremony Nominator badge is presented to an individual who nominates fellow players during the annual awards ceremony. There are three levels that can be awarded:

  • Standard: A player must submit at least 1 nomination for a fellow player during an awards ceremony, in any category.
  • Elite: A player must submit at least 5 nominations for fellow players in any category.
  • Legendary: A player must submit at least 10 nominations for players on more that 2 vessels in any category.

This badge can be earned multiple times; however it is only awarded once per year. A player earning an elite or legendary badge is not eligible to receive the lower level badges in the same year. For instance, if you receive the legendary badge during the awards period, you will not be able to receive the standard or elite badges that year.

Whilst the Annual Awards are still a short time away, why not use the time to start thinking about who to nominate?

Poll of the Week Team Member

The Poll of the Week Team Member badge is a standard badge awarded to individuals who have served on the Poll of the Week task force for a minimum of a year, with badges being awarded in 3 & 5 year increments.

You can find out more about the Poll of the Week Team on their wiki page.

Ponder Prompter

The Ponder Prompter badge is awarded to individuals who have contributed ideas for future Poll of the Week segments. There are two levels that can be awarded:

  • Standard: Presented to a player that has suggested at least ten different poll ideas, and has had at least two accepted and utilised.
  • Elite:Presented to a player that has had ten poll suggestions accepted and utilised.

If you think you’re eligible for a badge, let your Captain know, who will verify your contributions. Once this is done you’ll be presented with your new badge which you can display with pride for your efforts at recognising your fellow players.

Want to learn more about our badges? Head over to our badge page on the wiki to find out more. Who knows you may be eligible for badges you didn’t know existed!


Lower Decks interview: Ens. Geoffrey Teller, 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 Ens. Geoffrey Teller playing a Human engineer assigned to the Veritas.

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

TELLER: I’m originally from Brooklyn, New York but for the last several years I’ve lived in Seattle, Washington with my wife and, most recently, our wonderful 5 month old son.

Were you a Star Trek fan before joining UFOP: StarBase 118? If so, what were your favourite shows and/or movies?

Indeed I was – I’ve watched every series, including the Animated one, and read a number of the EU books. As far as favorites, it’s difficult to choose but overall it has to be The Original Series as my favorite, with TNG a close second. Best movies are Wrath of Khan and First Contact, respectively. Favorite episode actually comes from DS9 – In the Pale Moonlight. That single episode added so much depth and texture to the ST universe I think it should be on a little pedestal by itself.


How you can help us grow

The more people who join our community, the more ships we can launch and the stronger our community becomes, as well as providing exciting opportunities for our players. But spreading the word about our community to prospective members can be challenging when there’s so many other things vying for peoples’ attention, which is why we need your help!

JOIN THE PUBLICITY TEAM
On the Publicity Team we share ideas on how to advertise our community, and then put those ideas into action. You don’t need to be a marketing whiz to join, and participation on the team can be as simple as finding content to share on our social media channels. Most other tasks take no more than an hour or two a month. Not only that, but there is no commitment, so you can join now and step back later if it doesn’t fit your schedule. What’s to lose?

Click here to join the team. You’ll be added to the team’s email list, introduced to the others and then be able to jump right in.

SHARE OUR POSTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
We’re really active on Facebook, Twitter & Tumblr? We post a variety of content, from Star Trek to writing, so there is something for everybody. If you see something you like, make sure to like it, and if you want, why not give it a share or a retweet or even post a comment?

Found something interesting, why not share it with us? It could be an article relating to space exploration, an updated on an upcoming Star Trek project or even an image related to writing. If you liked it, it’s guaranteed someone else will.

If you have a great idea for something we should post on social media, use the submission box – it only takes a moment!

BLOG ABOUT US AND SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE
Do you write a blog? Providing a link back to us along with a review of our community and game can have an impact on how we rank in search engines, meaning we are easier to find.

Between 400 & 800 words about your experience with us will help us, and a personal review really helps validate our community. You could talk about what brought you to us, what has kept you here and how you’re enjoying your time with us.

If you happen to write a blog post about us, please let us know, we’d love to share it our social media channels.

TELL FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Word of mouth is still one of the greatest forms of advertising. By sharing your love of our community with others, you can inspire them and pique their curiosity on what happens here.

Let people know how you having discovered new life forms, or have managed to outwit an old Star Trek foe, such as the Tholians. You’d be surprised how infectious your enthusiasm can be!


Lower Decks interview: Ens. Wallace Williams, Embassy

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 Ens. Wallace Williams playing a Human male assigned to the Embassy.

THORAN: Can you tell us a little about yourself for the folks who may not know you?

WILLIAMS: My name is Jerry, I am from Amsterdam in the Netherlands and I turn 25 on Oct. 7th! I have seen a great part of the Netherlands when it comes to living already, but I am happy to be back in Amsterdam. I recently started my own Webshop!

Is this your first simming experience, or have you done other forms of role-playing before?

This is my first sim style RPG so this was a brand new experience for me. I didn’t expect I would start to like it so much! I am really happy to be here!


From the archive: Writing Challenge 2013

Our community Writing Challenge ran from 2003 to 2014 and provided players with writing prompts six times a year. Prompts could be anything from “a character’s sacrifice” to “where do you see the universe in 10 years.” Over the course of 11 years, an anthology of creative writing was produced.

While the challenge ended in 2014 after a long and successful run, there’s lots to read and remember from this archive. In this column, we’ll be looking back at some of the highlights. This month’s edition includes two entries from June 2013. The challenge was simple: “From The Past”. Let’s take a look at some of the stories that were produced!

The Light Of Darkness” by Hannibal Parker
Star Trek is a filled with tales of exploration, of life aboard a starship on the frontiers of space. It was not until Deep Space Nine that we saw a change, into a more grittier and at times darker story especially with the introduction of the Dominion War. This is a story firmly entrenched in that era, the tale of a combined marine and Klingon ground force assaulting a Ketracel white facility. The writer has done a great job in their telling of a story/theme that we have rarely seen on screen, bringing the action of the assault along with the raw emotions to life.

Questions and answers from the past ” by Alexander Richard
This story is the epitome of what we’ve come to expect from Star Trek. The USS Hawking is heading to Deep Space Nine for some much needed R&R, when the ship’s sensors begin picking up a spike in neutrinos. In true Starfleet tradition, the Captain delays shore leave for the opportunity to investigate a new wormhole. Despite being able to provide answers to an event that happened over thirty years ago, you are still left with the mystery of the wormhole. This is an excellent story, focusing more on the journey than the actual events and includes an excellent reflection by Hawking’s Captain, a thought that no doubt crosses the mind of every Starfleet officer during their career.

Hungry for more? Check out more entries from the 2013 contest in the Hall of Fame by clicking here.


From the archive: Writing Challenge 2012

Our community Writing Challenge ran from 2003 to 2014 and provided players with writing prompts six times a year. Prompts could be anything from “a character’s sacrifice” to “where do you see the universe in 10 years.” Over the course of 11 years, an anthology of creative writing was produced.

While the challenge ended in 2014 after a long and successful run, there’s lots to read and remember from this archive. In this column, we’ll be looking back at some of the highlights. This month’s edition includes two entries from August 2012. The challenge was simple: “A Moment In The Life Of…” Let’s take a look at some of the stories that were produced!

The Life in a Moment” by Velana
At first glance, The Life in a Moment is one of the shorter entries in the writing challenge; however don’t let that deceive you. This is a short story, so well written that it really does tug at the heartstrings with its intensity, leaving you almost breathless. You may want to keep a tissue handy – it really is that good. As if that wasn’t enough, the writer also does an excellent job of tying the ending straight back to the beginning.

A Moment in the life of a miracle worker” by Jorus Cogud
This entry is probably one of the most unique stories entered into the writing challenge. Correction – this poem. That’s right, this writer chose to break from the norm, creating a poem rather than the usual short story. And what a job they did! As you read over the lines, you can really envisage the scene, the chaos surrounding the character, almost as if it had been pulled directly from a scene in Star Trek.

Hungry for more? Check out more entries from the 2012 contest in the Hall of Fame by clicking here.


From the archive: Writing Challenge 2011

Our community Writing Challenge ran from 2003 to 2014 and provided players with writing prompts six times a year. Prompts could be anything from “a character’s sacrifice” to “where do you see the universe in 10 years.” Over the course of 11 years, an anthology of creative writing was produced.

While the challenge ended in 2014 after a long and successful run, there’s lots to read and remember from this archive. In this column, we’ll be looking back at some of the highlights. This month’s edition includes two entries from Sep/Oct 2011. The challenge was simple: “Where No Man Has Gone Before” Let’s take a look at some of the stories that were produced!

Tomorrow, Today, Yesterday” by Jaxon Mc Ghee
A tale guaranteed to soften even the hardest heart. This story is told in a series of episodes, switching between the past and the present that with a few extremely well written characters draws the audience in, bringing them on the journey to the final emotional climax.

Origins” by Alucard Vess
What is worse than waking up with no memory? Waking up as a child, with no memory in a strange, unfamiliar environment. The story does an excellent job of portraying the reactions and emotions of somebody finding themselves in that situation, alone and afraid, their world turned upside down. Without giving too much of the story away, it does feature an appearance from a current member of StarBase 118. See if you can guess who.

Hungry for more? Check out more entries from the 2011 contest in the Hall of Fame by clicking here.


Lower Decks interview: Lt. Solaris McLaren, StarBase 118 Ops

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 Lt. Solaris playing a Human/T’Kon female assigned to the Starbase 118 Ops.

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

MCLAREN: I was born in Queens, New York but ever since I was 2 i’ve lived in Las Vegas, Nevada. I’d never recommend it to anyone though, Vegas is a great place to visit, but a terrible place to live. In my daily life i’m a stagehand.

Your character is part Human, part Tkon, a combination we rarely see in the fleet – how’d you land on that decision and what’s it been like so far?

It sort of grew organically out of one of my last missions aboard the U.S.S. Constitution as a way to make the best of a situation I was mostly unhappy with. It’s not been any different than how it was before the decision was made. I’ve not had a chance to fully explore it in character, and I honestly don’t know if I have the desire to plan something like that out for Sol.

Are there elements of real life that you especially enjoy incorporating into your simming?

Most of my characters that I create are similar to me in some way or another. One of the traits that I usually give to them is the ability to play the trombone, which in itself is something I started doing because of Star Trek, even though it’s been nearly 14 years since I last played… Maybe I’ll pick it up again one day.

What’s been your favorite part of being with the community so far?

I normally keep to myself so, it’s not often I interact with the community at large but I do like that this is a place where I can experience a familiar form of Star Trek, rather than the most recent additions to the franchise which feel very alien to me.

What duty post are you playing, and how’d you choose it?

I’m currently playing an Intelligence Officer aboard Starbase 118. Intelligence is a fascinating profession in fiction there’s often elements of suspense and romance and action all mixed in to one exciting story. I’ve always enjoyed that form of story… James Bond, Jason Bourne, stuff like that, so it’s seemed natural to choose it for my duty post here. It also has the benefit of being something non-”normal” from what we often saw in the shows, though it was referenced fairly often in the later seasons of Deep Space 9.

Even though the outlook on intel for this community seems to be one based on slightly more realistic and boring expectations of an intelligence agency, rather than the fictional expectations of one, there have still been some missions that scratched that itch and it’s been fun playing as a character who is quite like myself in her love for spy stories, who quickly found out that it often times isn’t that.

Looking back on your experience so far, what would be one piece of advice you’d give to anyone who’s just joined?

Honestly, the biggest piece of advice would be: Ask questions. There are quite a few times where it probably would have saved me some frustration out of character if I had just spoken up a bit sooner.

Thanks for your time, Lt McLaren!

You can read more about Lt. McLaren on the wiki.


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