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Poll of the Week: It’s Been a Long Road…

Of all the famous Starfleet captains, there are few who have made as many controversial decisions as Captain Jonathan Archer of the NX-01. Archer’s Enterprise was the first warp five starship built by Humans. It was Earth’s first deep space explorer, and Starfleet itself was still a fairly new and inexperienced organization. Captain Archer did not have any of the benefits that future Starfleet captains enjoyed. He had access to less data, was a member of Starfleet when the organization was relatively weak, and didn’t have the experience of previous Starfleet captains to call on as he was the first to go out into the unexplored reaches of space. Archer would eventually serve as a role model for his successors, teaching them both what to do and what not to do.

Mistakes, even major mistakes, have happened with every captain. Some have even acted in a criminal manner. Some of Captain Archer’s decisions do make some sense given the lack of precedent and his limited experience. However, there are some decisions that seem to indicate a simple lack of good command skills. The use of an airlock to torture a prisoner is just one example. We’d like to know what you think of the command decisions of one of Starfleet’s earliest captains.

What do you think is the worst thing that Captain Archer did?

Click here to head to the forums and register your vote in the poll. And be sure to leave a comment below the poll!


Poll of the Week: Best Shore Leave Episode?

For all the work they do exploring and saving the Federation from endless threats, it seems our beloved crews don’t get anywhere near enough shore leave. But when it is shown, the results is excellent television.

With the first episode to fit this bill – aptly titled “Shore Leave” – a precedent was set. “Shore Leave” itself is often lauded by fans as a fun romp, and a standout of TOS’ first season. “Captain’s Holiday” features uptight and work-addicted Jean-Luc Picard become embroiled in a time-bending adventure on Risa. “Family” from TNG’s fourth season, follows the events of “The Best of Both Worlds”, and gives the audience a rare and cherished glimpse of characters dealing with the consequences of previous events. Incidentally, this is the only episode in all of Star Trek canon that does not include a scene on the bridge. Enterprise follows this trend twice – once with the episode entitled “Two Days and Two Nights” in its first season, and another entitled “Home”, which features Enterprise crew members dealing with the personal issues following the conclusion of the Xindi conflict.

While there are other episodes that mention or feature shore leave, these are those predicated around it. With that in mind, which shore leave episode is your favorite?

Head to the forums now to register your vote. Be sure to drop a comment in the thread below the poll!


Poll of the Week: À la carte

If you are looking for something to eat on a ship with replicators there is no shortage of options. Starfleet replicators have a massive library of recipes from across the Federation and beyond. It doesn’t matter what a Starfleet officer could want. Whether as simple as a piece of toast for breakfast or catering a dinner party for members of a dozen alien species, the replicator can provide. Simply push a button and ask for whatever dish is desired. And if on the off chance there is a food not already in the database the replicator pattern can be created and uploaded to the database.

However, everyone has their own preferences for food. Everyone has foods that they prefer not to eat if they can at all avoid it. It is unlikely that many people could go through the entire replicator database and not find some foods that they would dislike.

This week’s poll asks you what dishes would not be found on your character’s table. What types of food can your character not stand?

Click here to head to the forums and register your vote in the poll now. Be sure to comment when you’re done!


Lower Decks interview: LtJG. Edward Spears, USS Constitution-B

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 LTJG. Edward Spears, playing a human male medical officer assigned to the Constitution-B.

YITO: We spoke to you a few months ago after you won duty post ribbon. Do you want to tell us a little more about the writer behind the character — and remind us where in the world do you hail from?

SPEARS: Thanks for having me for another interview. It’s always a pleasure to chat about my experiences with the fleet so far. As I have mentioned before; I live in the chilly northern reaches of Canada and tend to move around the country quite a lot as a serving military officer. Beyond that, I’m a father, science fiction fanatic, and of course a Trekkie.

Living in a country filled with diverse landscapes, climates, cultures, people, and traditions have really informed my view of the world at large. I also hold a bachelors degree in cultural anthropology, which has helped me cultivate an endless desire to learn more about the way other people live. I think my early love of Trek might have helped push me in that direction during my university studies.

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

I’ve had the pleasure of roleplaying in a wide variety of formats and settings. I started with Dungeons and Dragons when I was in 6th grade, and haven’t really looked back since then. I’ve been involved with other Star Trek roleplaying groups in the past as well but had to take a break from my writing and from roleplaying in general thanks to that pesky thing we call real life.

How did you find out about Starbase 118 and what made you ultimately choose our community and stay with us?

I was feeling the urge to get back into roleplaying via writing but wanted to keep an open mind about my options. A few Google searches brought me here to SB118 and I’m so glad that this is where I decided to pick up my proverbial pen again. Creative writing has always been a passion, and doing so collaboratively is still my favourite way to keep the inspiration flowing. To get with a group of people as passionate as this, and to watch the ideas and the enthusiasm flow so easily is exactly what is keeping me engaged in this community.

Everyone from the upper echelon on down shows time and again how committed they are to not just the fun side of writing characters and having adventures, but also to the business of managing a growing community of talented people. A lot of personal work goes into keeping this community afloat and feeling the way that it does and that work by those tireless enthusiasts is really what helps keep players around, so a big shout out to everyone committing their time to the fleet’s continued mission!

When we spoke last you were the second medical officer on the Constitution, now that officer has transfer to one of the new ships, how are you finding having sickbay to yourself?

Well as we know in this fleet nothing stays the same forever. The formation of several new ships just goes to show how active this community is, and that’s how we all get opportunities to try new things, whether that’s new duty posts or new ships. At the time of writing this interview, I’m already back to being part of an outstanding team in the Constitution’s sickbay, but with a different dynamic from before. I’m beyond excited at the prospects these new character relationships are going to bring for my character, and to continue adding to the overall story of our ship.

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

My aspiration is to be the best writer I can be and to be an integral piece of telling the stories of whichever group of other writers I’m with at any given time. As to the opportunities that such continued involvement might bring; I am always excited to take on new challenges and responsibilities.

My current OOC activities include volunteering as a wiki-helper for the Constitution and continuing to work on a journal article for Starfleet Medical (It’s coming, I swear!). What I’m most looking forward to in the future is the chance to become a mentor, and to help new members of the fleet fit in and thrive as they find their feet here.

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

Can I only give one? Take advantage of the experience of all the other amazing writers you’re going to work with. Read their sims, learn how they tell stories from the perspectives of their characters, and then use that to help you develop your own unique storytelling style and to truly bring your character to life. It will help you feel connected to and inspired by your character, and will easily integrate you into the crew. Once that happens you’ll be at the centre of the action no matter what duty post you’re holding down.

Bonus advice! Don’t be afraid to take some risks in developing your character. Add some drama in your backstory, form a rivalry with a PNPC, or throw in a quirk of your character that both adds to your story, and sets you apart as unique. This roleplaying format is like a huge blank canvas for you to play with. Take advantage!

Thanks for your time, LTJG. Spears!

You can read more about LTJG. Edward Spears on the wiki. You can also read his interview duty post.


Duty Post Award Winner – Mirra Ezo, USS Columbia (Lwaxana Troi Medallion)

Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of Duty Post awards from our recent 2018 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 Commander Mirra Ezo playing a Betazoid female diplomatic officer assigned to the USS Columbia. She won the Lwaxana Troi Medallion: “This award is given to a member who takes on a unique and non-traditional role outside of the normal Starfleet positions, while creating a colorful and engaging character such as, but not limited to: diplomat, civilian or mission specialist.”

GALVEN: First off, thank you for taking the time with me and answering a few questions! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

EZO: Thank you for having me! I’ve been a member of the fleet for about 3 years now, I live in Ohio with my two daughters, and I work in the healthcare field. Pretty much very un-Mirra like.

Winning such a distinguished award in our community must be a great feeling! Congratulations by the way! The award is given to a member who’s character is colorful and engaging outside of normal Starfleet positions. Do you take any inspiration from films, television, or books when writing your character and her actions?

Thank you very much, I was honored. Honestly Mirra just kind of lives in my head. I had an idea of what I wanted to play, and she kind of just became this larger than life little creation. I primarily played her as a doctor, so I did indeed take inspiration from TV and books for someone in that high pressure type role. And if I found something funny, I went with it. 


Poll of the Week: Which Position Carries the Most Risk?

Let’s face it: Space travel is a risky business. Swimming through a void specifically designed to kill any organic life as we understand it is no mean feat, and that’s not even mentioning the various dangers that the political climate can bring to bear. If the vacuum doesn’t boil your character’s blood, the Romulan disruptors pointed at them will. If the hostile natives don’t run a spear through their body, the flesh-consuming bacteria they picked up will finish the job quick enough.

No matter what position and department they fill on a ship or a station, there is always immense risk. But while some of that risk is universal, others are more specialized. A security officer is the first line of defense against enemy incursions. A doctor runs the greatest risk of infection by plagues, due to their exposure to them. Engineers constantly effect repairs in dangerous and less than ideal circumstances. Counselors deal with potentially violent or disturbed patients.

This poll asks you which duty post/department carries the most risk overall. Head to the forums to vote now!


Poll of the Week: Reunification

In the distant past, Romulans and Vulcans were one. Romulans did not exist for centuries of Vulcan history. Only during the Age of Surak did the Romulans begin as their own people. They refused to adopt Surak’s philosophies about logic and emotion. These Vulcans who “marched beneath the raptor’s wings” left the planet on a long odyssey. Eventually, these wayward Vulcans would find their way to Romulus and form the Romulan Star Empire.

For the longest time Vulcan and Romulus remained separate. They went on divergent paths of history and developed their own unique cultures. The Vulcans joined the Federation and continued to follow the logical path of Surak’s teachings. Meanwhile, the Romulans became an expansionist military power built on extreme paranoia and mistrust. Despite their common roots the two civilizations didn’t seem to have much in common. This hasn’t kept people on both sides from desiring a unification between the Vulcans and Romulans.

What form would this reunification take? For most Vulcans, the idea was to have peaceful diplomatic discussions with the Romulans. The Romulan Star Empire saw the goal of reunification as the conquest of Vulcan. Reunification remains a dream for many Romulans and Vulcans despite the barriers to unification. What do you think about the prospects of a reunion for the two powers?

Could Vulcan-Romulan Reunification work? Click here to head to the forums now and vote for your choice.


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.


Poll of the Week: Which civilization had the best emblem?

Emblems, flags and symbols are ubiquitous in the universe of “Star Trek.” Civilizations across the galaxy, be they powerful empires or miniscule entities, are easily identified by their particular sigil of identity. These designs are generally eye-catching, descriptive and easily discerned from one another.

The Federation’s has undergone several changes over the shows and movies, but all have maintained the peaceful colors, olive branches and starfield that exude an air of serenity and cooperation. The brazen, barren trefoil design of the Klingon Empire strikes perhaps the opposite note, effectively displaying their imperial approach and aggressive stance to their allies and enemies alike. The Romulans employ a wide-winged raptor, announcing their commitment to their roots and a desire to dominate. The list goes on and on, and for the eagle-eyed viewer, it can provide a seemingly endless source of interest and world-building potential.

This week’s poll asks you to tell us what your favorite civilization emblem is. Consider aesthetics, effectiveness and uniqueness in your answer, then vote in the poll and be sure to comment on your favorite!


Lower Decks Interview: Ensign Reema Poq, Starbase 118

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.

Today, we’re sitting down with Ensign Reema Poq, a Trill medical officer aboard Starbase 118.

SHAYNE: Tell us a little about yourself- where in the world do you hail from?

POQ: Short answer: SoCal. Long answer: I was born in Montreal, QC. When I was 10 my family moved to the States, where I swapped primary and secondary language. Then I moved to San Francisco for college, and now I live in LA.

Trills are an especially interesting species to play, and a popular choice in the fleet. Is there a reason you chose that race in particular?

When I first found out about SB118, I was directed to the Discord, and the lobby happened to be talking about how more trill were needed. I prefer to build my characters by randomization usually, and the needs of the team were randomizer enough, so I picked Trill, and here Poq is.

Is this your first PBEM/roleplaying game, or do you have more experience in that realm?

Hahaaa not even slightly. I started RPing on forums in 2000- then livejournal, then gaia, more forums, anyone else remember those terrible myspace-era make-your-own-website servers? Angelsomething? Yeah. So it’s been about 18 years for me, and I’ve covered everything from original fiction to horses (yep you heard me, I was 11 what do you want) to fandoms including Star Trek. And that’s just online text rp! I also play TTRPGs like D&D, and I do long and short form improvisation on stage. If a version of RPing exists, I’ve probably tried it. Except LARPing. …LARPing is next.

Your wiki page for Poq indicates that Poq is in her first joined life- why did you chose this characteristic for them?

Whenever I start creating an original character, I ask myself what’s different from the norm about them, and how can it feed my story. Like I said I’ve been doing it a long time, so I don’t tend to think big trauma anymore, and instead the everyday little things that differentiate us. Internal conflict is important to me as a writer and an actor, so I thought- what kind of arc could I give her immediately to worth through as well as the usual trials and tribulations of being a Trill officer? Since joining is such a huge thing on Trill, and receiving the past life memories the sold ‘benefit’ of joining, I thought it’d be fun for her to have to struggle with getting what she wants (joining) without getting what she expected out of it (past life knowledge/experience), and Reema having to come to terms with it. Eventually I hope that Reema will be excited and proud to be Poq’s first lifetime, but she’s certainly not there yet!

Do you have any thoughts on what you’d like to aim for in terms of development and growth for Poq? Any goals in mind, or are you looking to go more with the flow?

Oops did I answer this too early? That’s just one of her things though! She also spent all her time in academia, and now has to deal with (a version of) the real world. Having her deal with socializing in a less structured environment, especially in one that has so many divergent personalities, species and situations, and being forced to expand her horizons should be really fun, so– I’m happy to see what she gets handed and to see how we can learn from there. The joy of RPing for me is not planning more than a vague direction and seeing what happens. I plan on Reema growing, but the direction in which she grows is up to SB118 and its wonderful denizens.

Where do you see yourself in a few years- would you like to move into a command role in time?

We’ll see how much free time I have in a few years… but tbh I always want power 😉 Nah, meaning, RPing is a very important hobby for me and I want to spread it to others. It helps with writing skills and communication skills as well as empathy, and it builds such magical relationships, I’d love to assist the community. And if that means taking a command role? I’m there.

Do you have a favorite episode or movie of Star Trek?

Favorite episode? I can’t even pick a favorite series. Hmm…. Maybe “The Ship” from DS9. It has two fantastic one-time characters, great moments for many of the main cast, Miles especially. I definitely feel like the script was written with Munez intended to be early 20s while the actor seemed more like 30s, but the actor did such a terrific job I’m eh about it. “A Year In Hell” deserved way more time than it got, and would kill it in today’s serialized tv system, rather than the episodic programs we had before. Oh, and “City on the Edge of Forever” is a classic.

Thank you very much, Ensign Poq!

You can read more about Ensign Poq on the Wiki.


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