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An Efrosian, as the President of the Federation

Poll of the Week: Would YOUR Character Run For President?

Many officers approach Starfleet with high hopes and ambitious dreams. In some cases, these dreams include reaching the captain’s chair, or even the admiralty – a noble conclusion to a fine career of service and exploration. However, in some rare cases, Starfleet officers have gone beyond even these remarkable achievements, and have taken up positions in governance and civil service, or, as with Jonathan Archer, the presidency.

It goes without saying that politics and civilian work do not appeal to all characters in our universe, or people in our world, and that acting as the president of a trillion individuals united under a single banner would be no easy feat. But someone must fill the role, and who better than an officer that has spent their life in the pursuit of the Federation’s ideals?

How interested would YOUR character be in acting as President of the United Federation of Planets?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!

Lower Decks Interview: Ens. Alieth, Thor

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.

We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community: the writer behind Ensign Alieth, who is playing a Vulcan female medical officer assigned to the USS Thor. 

SHAYNE: Tell us a little bit about the writer behind the character- where in the world do you hail from?

ALIETH: Hi, Shayne! I greet you from a small town in the Spanish mountains! My name is Andrea and I’m a little more expressive than my character (laughs). In real life I’m a freelancer and I work mostly in design and illustration.

You play a medical officer- a role I’ve always found a bit tricky! What drew you to that profession?

In fact, when I applied to join the 118, I tried to assume the role of science officer. However, there was another colleague at the Academy who was applying for the same position, so I was re-assigned as a doctor. Actually, I had a lot of fun with that, since the combination of Vulcan stoicism and a doctor’s concern for her patients is such a wonderful balance to portray. 

So, once I graduated from the Academy, I was encouraged to adopt the medical career and I was happy to accept it. 

I must also admit that I’ve always loved medical shows and that the EMH and McCoy are two of my favourite characters on Star Trek, so it’s certainly a position I’ve embraced with enthusiasm.

Who doesn’t want the chance to say “I’m a doctor, not a…” from time to time?

Poll of the Week: Small Ships Packing a Punch

When you mention ships of the Trekverse, the one everyone remembers is the Enterprise; the beautiful vessel that has captured the hearts and imaginations of the audience and the crew through years of successive storytelling. In the series, where space flight could be perilous, encounters with enemies more so, and hosting everyday life on board, the ships of the line became as recognisable in the shows as the characters themselves. You’d be hard-pressed to find a Star Trek fan who can’t identify the sleek lines of the Galaxy class on sight, or punch the air when the Sovereign class makes that famed strafing run against the Borg.

However, there are the unsung heroes of the Starfleet ship catalogue in the smaller ships; those with a smaller crew, designed for a specific purpose, and perform their role within the universe perfectly. This broad range of starships includes vessels designed for war the Federation didn’t plan for, scientific vessels with limited weapons capabilities, ships solely for transport and supply, or for scouting in areas larger ships would be detected. In a universe where space vessels make up the primary settings for our characters, encounters, and stories, having a ship which suits the tale you want to tell is paramount. 

So, this week, we want to know if any of these ships have captured your interest and your imagination. Have you had dreams of sailing around the galaxy doing all the science in your Oberth class, opted for the cloak and dagger aspects of a Saber class, or would you be interested in running search and rescue missions in a Defiant?

Which of these smaller ship classes has ever piqued your interest?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!

Poll of the Week: Starfleet Retro Revival

When it comes to Starfleet ship design, there are always new designs in the works. When it launched, the Galaxy-class was considered the safest, most advanced ship in Starfleet and assignment to one was an honor. Within ten years of its launch, the more powerful Sovereign-class was designed, built, and put into service to take its title as the most advanced class of ship in the fleet. The 2370s also saw new designs tested in the form of the dedicated warship Defiant-class, the Intrepid-class full of new technologies, and the Prometheus-class with an experimental multi-vector assault mode. However, this constant change of what design is the most advanced of the moment doesn’t detract from how dependable Starfleet ships designs can be. Some ships, like the Excelsior-class and Miranda-class, were still seeing regular use a century later. Starfleet ship classes are routinely refitted with new technologies to extend their useful lifespans. Even the Oberth-class remained in regular service for decades.

This week, we’d like to know if there are any older models of ship that could be a valuable asset to Starfleet if they were just updated to modern standards with new technology. Do you think that a Constitution-class redesigned and rebuilt from new components could hold its own against modern explorer designs? Would you like to see the Miranda or the Excelsior revisited and retooled to see that they remain on the front lines of the final frontier into the 25th century? Or maybe you think that Starfleet should be trying new designs and new ideas rather than remaking old ships?

Which older class of ship would you like to see redesigned and reintroduced into the fleet?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!

Captain’s Corner: Fleet Captain Aron Kells, USS Thor

Each month, we interview a captain or first officer of the fleet to gain more insight on what it takes to command a ship and learn more about how each of these staff members found their way into these roles.

This month, we’re interviewing Fleet Captain Aron Kells, the CO of the USS Thor, one of two support ships from the Embassy of Duronis II. The crew of the Embassy has transitioned permanently to the Thor and embarked on a new mission.

GALVEN: Thank you for agreeing to take a moment and be interviewed! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

KELLS: Sure! My name is Tony, which I use primarily in part because I’ve used half a dozen different characters as PCs since I first joined the fleet back in 2005. Kells is probably the character I’ve simmed for most often, which is one of the reasons I chose him for command this time (but more on that later). A fun fact about me is that I joined 118 when I was still in high school and I’ve just recently finished my PhD, so the group has seen me through my entire higher education journey.

You just recently took command of the USS Thor. With your previous command service record, has it been a smooth transition process? 

Very much so. My first regular command was of the Mercury, almost exactly eight years ago, and that was a more difficult situation. The original CO retired only four months after launching the ship, and his replacement lasted less than a week before he had to take an emergency, long-term LOA. The Mercury’s XO was a real trooper and was a great help to me when I came on as CO, and I knew when I found out what a force Brian (Lt. Cmdr. Teller, the Embassy’s and now the Thor’s XO) had been in helping to keep things together, I knew that the work he and the other great staff members had started put me in a really strong place to come in and help the Embassy crew move to Thor.

Poll of the Week: Academy Extracurriculars

A student’s stay at Starfleet Academy can be a lengthy one, spanning four years of intensive training and education, combining multiple disciplines and academic achievements of phenomenal proportions. Many of those who graduate in their fields are the top the academy has to offer, including some with double majors, some cramming in as much study as they can into the brief season until they’re flung off into the wide-open wilds of space.

However, outside that realm of high academic achievement and success, like any other college and university, Starfleet Academy provides the students with the opportunity to take part in multiple extracurricular activities. Activities are structured around exercise, learning new skills, socialising with other cadets, becoming self-disciplined, and taking a break from the rigours of their chosen career.

With that in mind, our question for this Poll of the Week is:

What extracurricular activities at Starfleet Academy did your character find love or loathing for?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!

First Officer in Focus – Geoffrey Teller, USS Thor

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 starship USS Thor, LtCmdr. Geoffrey Teller playing a human male.

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

TELLER: My real name is Brian, and my family and I hail from Bainbridge Island in the Pacific Northwest of the US. It’s about a 40 minute ferry trip across the bay to downtown Seattle.

Tell us more about your writing style. What’s your process for putting together a sim? How do you keep the story moving and get others involved?

Generally speaking, I do my sims in a single sitting and, for the first pass, actually use just plain old Notepad. Got into the habit early in my simming because it was the easiest way to normalise and strip formatting that different mail clients liked to apply. After I’ve got all the tags laid out that I need to respond to, I try to focus on either affirmative or additive statements – agreeing with or praising what has come before (with rare exception) and then encouraging additional conversation with pointed questions or concerns.

I find that it’s easy, especially for junior officers who haven’t developed their ‘voice’ yet, to get lost in big scenes – briefings, meetings, etc. I’ll specifically look for those people clinging to the walls and try to drag them in with a question related specifically to their speciality. It’s not a perfect system, but when a shy writer suddenly begins opening up and responding, it’s a great feeling.

Poll of the Week: Crossing The Great Barrier?

It was a staple of The Original Series for its entire run – visited three times over the seasons, the Great Barrier stands as one of the more esoteric and dangerous threats the crew of the starship Enterprise ever faced.

As more of the Milky Way galaxy is explored and examined, it’s only natural that curious eyes and intrepid spirits should turn outward. Starfleet’s mission, one of discovery and protection, make the Great Barrier a tempting target for starship crews across the quadrants. But attempting to penetrate the enormous purple energy field usually comes at a great (or absolute) cost. Even advanced races struggle to make the trip beyond.

We’re forced to wonder how wise such an attempt might be, but the unknown origins, and equally unknown purpose of the barrier, make for a tempting mystery. And though dangerous, the secrets the barrier holds are enticing.

This Poll of the Week asks: Under what circumstances would you cross, or enter, the Great Barrier?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!

Counselor Troi talks with a member of the Enterprise-D crew while in her office

Duty Post Award Winner – Alexander Brodie, Embassy of Duronis II (The Order of the Valiant Heart)

Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of Duty Post awards from our recent 2019 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 Lt. Commander Alexander Brodie playing a Human male chief counselor assigned to the Embassy of Duronis II. He  won the Order of the Valiant Heart: “This award is given to those ship’s Counselor who have shown great skill in protecting the mental health of their crewmates, clearly demonstrating superior ability to care, assist, and comfort those in need. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty in assisting their crewmates with their problems, and in preventing future problems from occurring.

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

BRODIE: Well, I hail from the United Kingdom and stay up in Scotland currently. To be fair, I consider myself Scottish having lived here pretty much my whole adult life. Always been a fan of Star Trek from watching TOS reruns on the BBC after school.

Rear Admiral Toni Turner said in her presentation that Brodie counsels by not counseling and this is powers of observation is excellent. Could you provide us an example of what she means by that? 

I’ve always tried to have Brodie be a very alert character, sees a lot but doesn’t always act on it. He’s definitely a watcher and listener. That allows him to work with his crewmates ‘out of the office’ as it were, spending time talking to them and being there when he’s needed – or when he feels he will be.

I suppose a recent example would be the reported death of Irina Pavlova. Brodie had met Irinia briefly when he arrived at the Embassy so knew how it may affect her former crewmates. This allowed him to come at the situation as a concerned friend rather than as a medical professional. It helps to talk but sometimes people find it easier to just ‘talk about old times with a friend’ than ‘go and see ‘the shrink’.

Lower Decks Interview: Lieutenant Junior Grade Charlena Vanlith, USS 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 Lieutenant Junior Grade Charlena Vanlith playing a Risian female Engineering Officer assigned to the USS Veritas.

GALVEN: Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there

VANLITH: Right well. I’m born and bred in London and have never been far away from London for more than a few months. I’m work in a school now but have had my fair share of different professions over the past couple of years. I’m dabbling more into my musician side recently playing for an RAF Voluntary Band for the past year.

What has been your favorite moment writing with UFOP:StarBase 118?

I’d have to say my favourite part was the creation of BAXTER. In creating my backstory I gave Charlena a disabled brother for whom she built gadgets and where her desire to be an engineer came from. BAXTER was originally intended to be for her brother however, by chance and a bit of inspiration he became used in a mission and now he is a definite part of the Veritas crew. 

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