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Poll of the Week: Let’s Talk About Ships, Baby

For once, we’re not going to be asking about relationships, but STARships.

One thing Star Trek has done really well in their fifty-plus year history is that almost every show has a completely different style of spaceship on which the stories take place, and in many of them, the ships themselves almost become characters in their own right (certainly I think the Deep Space Nine and the USS Voyager have distinct personalities).

So, our question this week is, should a new series be commissioned tomorrow, what kind of spaceship would you like to see our heroes (or villains) flying through the stars?

The original Enterprise had the most wonderful colour scheme (why doesn’t anyone else have lavender walls and bright red grilling?) that is very much a product of the time (it’s the 60s! Throw in every colour for new televisions!) and I’m really hoping that when Strange New Worlds starts, the Enterprise looks as mental as it did in the Original Series.

The Enterprises D/E had that giant, massive, humongous entire-culture-on-a-ship vibe, which was really interesting (why don’t we ever see anyone else getting their haircut on a ship) and is something that a new series could explore in more detail (Cetacean Ops anyone?), whilst Deep Space Nine had that we-can’t-go-anywhere-so-bring-the-plot-to-us vibe on their immobile space station. Again, a future series could show us a lot more than *one* promenade and half a dozen offices, and an anthology series exploring the different lives of the different people on board could be cool.

Then, with Voyager and the Cerritos, you have smaller, more specialised spaceships that perform completely different roles in the fleet.

And the less said about Archer’s Enterprise, the better… (jokes).

What kind of ship would you like to see focused on in a future instalment of the fleet?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll on which you would choose, or let us know your own! Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: You’re the Captain now! A Pirate’s Menace

As part of a new series in the Poll of the Week, we’re bringing you into the centre chair. When presented with a situation, how would you react? What would you do?


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.


Poll of the Week: Nothing But Red Shirts

Over the many years of Star Trek, we’ve seen multiple Red Shirt deaths to the point it’s one of the most popular memes — if not the most popular — in the fandom. Nothing says “you’re about to kick it” like being summoned on an Away Team with all the major characters, and you turn up wearing red. Like a flag to a bull, no matter the direction someone fires their phaser in, somehow it’s going to end up slap bang in the middle of the Red Shirt. Synonyms for the redshirt include sacrificial lamb and spear-carrier, so you know what conotations are a given.

HOWEVER!

Someone did the science! In a recent Star Trek: The Math of Khan talk at the Museum of Mathematics, one determined trekkie, James Grime, discovered out of three seasons of our beloved Original Series, only 25 died out of 239, a stunning 10 percent of deaths. However, out of 55 gold shirts, 10 of them died, resulting in 18 percent. In true defiance of everything we hold dear, if you wanted to cheat death, science came out alive with a staggering 6 percent dead. 

Perhaps the Scientists and Doctors have it right all along. Wear the blue, avoid the chop. 

Regardless, in honour of this humble trope, we’re asking you this week to choose your favourite red shirt death from the Original Series. You’ve got a few good ones to choose from, so let us know which plucked at your heartstrings the most!

So, this week, we want to know…

Which of these classic redshirt deaths factor in your top five?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll on which you would choose, or let us know your own! Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


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.

 

 

 


Dear Kr’Abby: Ponderous Questions

Dear Kr’Abby,

A Betazoid in a bar told me that the Intrepid-class fly through space by flapping their nacelles. It doesn’t sound right, but he was very insistent and I’m embarrassed to ask anyone else. Is it true that, at warp, the nacelles of the Intrepid-class flap like wings? Is that how they move?

~Confused About Flight

Dear Confused,

While I do not have the space in this column to go through the finer points of subspace displacement fields and how to ride them for fun and profit, I can assure you that most everything you are told in a bar should be something you question.  An Intrepid class ship uses the same warp technology that every other Starfleet ship with warp nacelles uses.  It also has variable geometry pylons to increase its operating efficiency at various speeds.  In this way the nacelles can move and could be said to flap.  However that flapping does not produce movement, it merely enhances movement.

Next time tell your Betazoid companion, with as straight of a face as you can manage, that they are wrong; only Klingon B’Rel class birds of prey travel through subspace by flapping.


Taskforce in Focus – Podcast Team

The Podcast Team is responsible for The PADDcast, an in-universe podcast that gets real-world, wide release. The release schedule for The PADDcast is monthly, making the Podcast Team one of our most active teams.  Today we meet with the Podcast Team Facilitator Lieutenant Lazarus Davis so we can learn more about this important part of our community!

TAYBRIM: Thank you for joining us.  Can you please start by giving us a short overview on the Podcast Team and how it supports our StarBase 118 community?

DAVIS: You’re quite welcome. Thank you for having us! Our primary value to the community is giving us a space to address ourselves as a group. The diversity and breadth of Starbase 118 can make each ship feel somewhat disconnected from the rest of the fleet. Things like the PADDcast, our podcast, help us create a group identity.

What is your favorite thing about working on this taskforce?

For me, it’s the complimentary continental breakfast. That, and the chance to work on a creative media project in a group setting. Something about remotely working on a podcast is very enticing to me.

Who can join this taskforce?

Any active member of the fleet is not only welcome, but encouraged to reach out to us. I think one of the misconceptions about the podcast team is that you need some kind of special technology or training to be a member of our team. While the most visible members of the team are people on mic, there’s so much more that goes on behind the scenes.

How would a new member join this taskforce?

It’s easy!  You can message us on Discord (I’m Lt. Lazarus Davis and my co-facilitator is Teller), posting in the podcast forum or talking to your commanding officer.

What is the most fun thing about working on this taskforce?

To me, one of the most fun aspects to our taskforce is that that PADDcast is new, and we’re in the process of developing it and defining it as we go along. We get to actively work together to create something new!

Thank you so much for your insights on the Podcast Team!

You can read more about the Podcast Team on the wiki.

 


Poll of the Week: All the Time in the World

A common trope in Star Trek is time travel. Securely in the realm of science fiction, this process is achieved several times through the series and movies. Whether it is an anti-time anomaly, the interference of powerful aliens, or an unexpected accident, time travel features prominently in the storylines we’ve come to love.

Why is time travel such a popular subject?

Each of us wishes we could jump to a new time, “putting things right that once went wrong and hoping each time that the next leap will be…” (wait, wrong show). The truth is that the past (and the future) fascinate us. So often we are taught that the past is immutable, and the future is untouchable except abstractly by our present actions.

But what if we could directly effect the past or future? What if our decisions could ripple out to change the present instead of the other way around?

One of the most popular episodes of TOS was “City on Edge of Forever” which found Kirk and Spock chasing McCoy through an alien time vortex to 1930s Earth. The captain is forced to choose between preserving the timeline and letting a woman he has fallen in love with die.

It is these kinds of heavyweight moral decisions that make for great storytelling and time travel is one way to increase the stakes. But time travel adds another layer of complexity because it is a way that we could make the familiar – like Earth – more alien. Imagine being able to visit the Middle Ages, the time of Caesar, or the 60s. Time travel could also allow us to see events that are only mentioned in passing within the Star Trek universe but that could be explored and expanded upon to make the “history” more real.

The possibilities are endless.

So, this week, we want to know…

When and where would you like your ship to go for a time-bending mission?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll on which you would choose, or let us know your own! Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


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