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Lower Decks Interview: Lieutenant Junior Grade Ghant Xerix, USS Gorkon

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 Ghant Xerix playing a Betazoid/Risian male Helms Officer assigned to the USS Gorkon.

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

Xerix: My name is Johnny and I write for Ghant Xerix, a young officer from a noble house of Betazed. I’m also an entrepreneur, husband and father of two children. 

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

Probably a joint post between myself, Ukinix and Rahman involving some dancing with a Betazoid noblewoman. They are great writers and it was a lot of fun. 


Poll of the Week: Best Looking Uniform?

There’s no getting past it; the United Federation of Planets has got style. Every live-action show has made some change to uniform audiences were introduced to in the 1960s. Often, it’s a complete departure from precidented looks, and other times, its merely a subtle shift, but whether you prefer the utilitarian jumpsuit of Enterprise, or the “Monster Maroons” of Star Treks II-VI, it’s likely that you have a favorite.

Which of the uniforms, in your opinion, looks the best?

Click here to head to the forums now and cast your vote in this week’s poll! Don’t forget to leave a comment!


Poll of the Week: Superpower Your Character Would Want For A Day?

They might be heroes to us, but it’s easy to believe that our characters have dreams just like their writers. It’s not too far a stretch of the imagination to believe that those dreams might take a similar form to common fantasies in our daily lives. Who hasn’t wondered what it would be like to fly, or blast away at the bad guys with laser sight? Even with phasers and replicators at their disposal, the occasional dalliance with the impossible is only human.

Which superpower would your character like for a day? 

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


Neelix cooking in the USS Voyager's mess hall

Poll of the Week: Bon Appétit

On a Starfleet ship or station – especially in the days before replicators and advanced food synthesizers – one of the most valuable members of the crew is the ship’s chef. The crew works best if there are a variety of quality dishes available in the mess hall. Just take a look at Deep Space Nine: The promenade was full of restaurants for the crew to choose from. Whether you would rather join Bashir and Garak for lunch at the Replimat, visit Quark’s, or make your own meals like Captain Sisko, there is a dining option for you.

Even in the age of replicators, creating ready-to-serve meals out of thin air there is still a preference for food made from scratch. People are willing to forgo the convenience of a replicator for a home-cooked meal. A real chef and a dining establishment to supplement a mess hall full of replicators can still benefit a 24th century ship or station. But who would you pick to be your ship’s chef?

There are no shortage of chefs with culinary experience, both Starfleet and civilian. Some of them are restaurateurs full-time, while others just see cooking as a hobby or skill. If you had your own ship, who would you ask to keep the galley on your ship running smoothly and producing good food? Do you think that your crew is tough enough to survive Leola Root everything? Maybe you would prefer to see Sisko’s Creole Kitchen open a location on your ship.

Who would you choose to run your ship’s mess hall?

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: Second Duty Post?

“Deanna, take the helm!” The four scariest words in Star Trek history.

It can be a challenge to master a single position on a starship, both in and out of character. Despite sharing similar uniforms, the engineers, doctors, security officers and other staff have wildly different responsibilities. Nonetheless, an officer may be asked to take over the duties of a fallen comrade or a temporarily unavailable one at any moment.

With that in mind, what second duty speciality would you be most interested in having your character try out?

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


Poll of the Week: Non-Canon Ships

One of the most impressive things about the Starbase 118 community is the wiki. It provides an extensive record of the group’s history going back years, having been online since early 2004. You can find hundreds of character biographies as well as a list of ships in the fleet, both active and inactive.

When it comes to the various classes of ship in the Star Trek universe, everyone has their favorites. Ships range from the pride of the Federation fleet like the Sovereign-class or Galaxy-class to the very fragile Oberth-class. Many of the “official” starship classes have been used for PC vessels in the fleet at one time or another. However, starship classes from sources outside of the main shows have also been used. Simming on a new class of ship provides exciting opportunities to expand on the locations and bring to life ships that we didn’t get to know over several seasons on-screen. This week we’d like to know which of those non-canon ship classes you think deserves a promotion. Information about any of the classes that you haven’t heard of before can be found on the wiki.

Which non-canon ship class would you most like to see featured in a future series?

Click here to head to the forums and cast your vote now. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: Doctor You’d Want To Treat You?

Doctor, doctor, gimme the blues! Medical professionals are steadfast parts of any Star Trek series, Just as captains and first officers have their distinctive personalities, the series’ doctors are a varied and fascinating bunch, each with their own specific skills, weaknesses and quirks. Sometimes even their sense of medical ethics goes against what is generally accepted, such as with Drs. Phlox and Russel. Of course, part of healthcare is choosing which doctor you feel most comfortable with.

With that in mind, this week’s poll asks you which Star Trek doctor you’d feel most comfortable being treated by. Assume time differences are not an issue. Would you prefer the irascible but caring Dr. McCoy? Perhaps the enthusiastic Dr. Bashir fits your image of a desirable medical practitioner.

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


Poll of the Week: To Captain and Beyond

Starfleet is an incredibly large organization with many different branches. Starships, the backbone of Starfleet are, explore the galaxy and serve as the primary line of defense for the Federation. There are also starbases and ground facilities throughout the Federation that often have a similar roster of senior staff as Starfleet ships. Not to mention special branches of Starfleet that are focused on specific issues like legal matters and courts martial, intelligence-gathering, or medicine. And we can’t forget those highest-ranked admirals at Starfleet Command who oversee the entire organization!

Each Starfleet officer has their own specializations and their own ambitions for their time in Starfleet. Not everyone wants to be an admiral or rise all the way through the ranks. Every Starfleet officer isn’t in it for the long run. The galaxy offers plenty to see and do beyond Starfleet. Or they might just like what they do and not want to take on different responsibilities.

This week we want to know more about your character’s career ambitions in Starfleet. What are your character’s Starfleet career goals? Are they the ambitious type aiming to become an admiral, or are they more than happy where they are now? Or did Michael Eddington get it right when he said, “it’s the captain’s chair that everyone has their eye on”?

Click here to head to the forums and vote now in the poll. Be sure to add your comments below the poll if we missed something.


Lower Decks Interview: Ensign James Colquhoun, USS Columbia

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 James Colquhoun playing a Human male Tactical Officer assigned to the USS Columbia.

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

COLQUHOUN: Sure.  I’m a Charlotte, NC native but moved to Bloomington, IN about a decade ago for school.  I finished my undergrad recently in philosophy and started a masters program in cybersecurity.  I work in IT for Indiana University. One thing I will for Bloomington, we embrace the claim to fame of Jameway being born here.  There’s a group of people working right now to install a Captain Janeway statue in town.

Having joined in November, what has been your favorite moment writing aboard the USS Columbia?

Probably our shore leave rotation on the planet Losaria.  I think the whole crew enjoyed that, getting to create a whole world and culture as we went.  Losaria still comes up in sims as fond memories for everyone.


Poll of the Week: Four-Pipped President?

It’s been accepted that, following the conclusion of his missions in space, Captain Jonathan Archer ran for and won the presidency of the nascent United Federation of Planets. Though the specifics of his term are almost non-existent, in both alpha and beta canon, one can assume that he faced it with the same relative attitude as he faced his challenges in space. That got me thinking. We know the Federation survived after Archer’s service, but other captains held in high esteem might have filled the role in a similar fashion, using their own experiences and personalities to guide the Federation into new and uncertain territory.

This week’s poll asks you which of the five original captains do you think would make the best president? Was Archer preserving it as he did sufficient to earn your vote, or do you feel that Jean-Luc Picard’s reserved, dignified nature would lend itself more effectively to a politician’s office? Maybe Katherine Janeway’s appreciation for the scientific and unexplored would contribute to the furtherment of Starfleet’s missions, and usher in a new age of discovery.

Head to the forums now to register your vote in the poll! And be sure to leave a comment in case we missed any options.


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