Lower Decks

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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.


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.


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.


Lower Decks Interview: Ensign Pholin Duyzer, 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 Pholin Duyzer playing a Denobulan Male Science Officer assigned to the USS Columbia.

GALVEN: First off, thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

DUYZER: Thank you for inviting me! I am Quinten; I come from the Netherlands and was born and raised in the Hague. I love watching and reading science-fiction, which all started with Star Trek. I have a Goldendoodle named Silke and taking long walks with her is another hobby of mine.

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

Lately I’ve become what some would say obsessed with Star Trek, and I really wanted to be part of it. After realising I had to wait until 2063 for First Contact, I opted for the next best thing. I browsed around multiple different groups. Most websites looked like they were last updated in the zero’s. I chose SB118 for the great looking website and the extensive wiki. Of course, I stayed for the active community in the group and forums, and the quality of writing in all the sims.


Lower Decks interview: Ensign Samira Neathler, 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 Ensign Samira Neathler, playing a Human Female Security Officer assigned to the USS Gorkon.

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

Neathler: Born and raised in Belgium. A crazy little country in Europe, where the Northern region speaks Dutch (or Flemish) and the Southern region speaks French. Otherwise Belgium is known for its chocolate and beer and probably other crazy things too. Oh and I live in the Flemish part. 

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

I started simming about 12 years ago. Unlike the setup here with Starbase 118, you had to choose your own ship and had to apply. When I got the hang of it, I joined several other ships but none of those lasted as long as the first sim I joined.

Seemingly that first sim I choose and the people writing with it, fitted me well, as I remained with that particular ship/station and CO for my whole simming career. We made use of the Yahoo! Groups and later switched to the forum-style. That particular sim closed down about three years ago, mainly because of RL and internet issues. Still, the characters I’ve written for then, are still running around on that ship and station even if it’s only in my head. 

Anyway a few months ago, for reasons I still don’t know, I decided to give it another go, so a google search lead me to Starbase 118. Followed the training week and a week later I had a new character stepping onboard a starship again. 


Lower Decks Interview: Ensign Esbrun Vardai, USS Montreal

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 Vesbrun Vardai, playing a Betazoid male Science Officer assigned to the USS Montreal.

GALVEN: First off, thank you for sitting down with me and answering a few questions. Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

VARDAI: Thanks for inviting me. I’m Connor, from the UK. I work in software development, and have liked Star Trek since I was very young. Starbase 118 is my first foray into this format, but I do have a good deal of wider rpg experience.


Lower Decks interview: Ensign Kayla Drex, USS Eagle

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 Kayla Drex playing a Human female science officer assigned to the USS Eagle.

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

DREX: I’ve lived in Virginia essentially my whole life. I’m currently in the Richmond area. I moved up here to attend Virginia Commonwealth University (go Rams!), where I studied history.

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

I’m playing a science officer. Honestly, the creation of Kayla’s character came first. Who is she and what makes her tick? What made her start ticking that way? Once I felt like I knew her, I just asked her what made most sense. IC, her father is a theoretical quantum physicist and her mother is an artist. The balance of the two grew in her an unusual lens through which she sees the world. OOC, after graduating from VCU I taught high school at a REALLY small school. They needed teachers to take on multiple subjects. I’ve always loved and had a knack for science, so I was landed with Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, World History, and US History. All that coupled with my love of creating things … yeah, I guess I’m Kayla IRL.


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!


Lower Decks Interview with Ensign Emilia Krugol

The “Lower Decks” interview series is meant to highlight the newer members of our community. Named after the infamous episode of The Next Generation, this segment helps the fleet learn more about the new blood we bring into our community. Today’s interview is with Ensign Emilia Krugol, a joint security/tactical officer aboard the starship Gorkon.

SHAYNE: Thank you for sitting down with me today! Why don’t we start off with a little about the mind behind Krugol. Where in the world do you hail from?

KRUGOL: Thank you so much for having me! I’m currently a student living in the suburban outskirts of Melbourne Australia. I’m studying in my eleventh year of schooling, and I’m about a year and a half away from graduating and going to university. Outside of schooling, I’m an on and off artist and an ameteur dressmaker, that specialises in costume making.

Both security and tactical positions are highly sought after amongst new recruits especially, for a variety of different reasons. What drew you to the role?

When I did my training, I was stuck between the sciences or security, since I’m quite a fan of both roles, it was quite a difficult decision to make. But eventually, I settled for security. I wanted explore how someone as a security officer dealt with being responsible for the welfare of an entire away team, or even an entire ship. I wanted to investigate how conflict and the fate of her fellow crewmates could affect a demure and gentle character like Krugol. I also just really love writing about elaborate fight scenes.


Lower Decks Interview: Dave ‘Raven’ Young, Constitution

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 JG Dave ‘Raven’ Young, playing a Human male science officer assigned to the USS Constitution.

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

YOUNG: I’m from a little corner of Scotland where I live with my two kids. I’m steadily weaning them into Star Trek like a parenting boss.

I’m a small business owner, namely I have my own Ice Cream Van where I tour around the local city selling ice cream cones to happy people. (More or less). It’s my own little bright yellow shuttlecraft.

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

This would be my first actually. Well, my first role play with other people. I like many others dreamed of being a Captain when I was a kid and may or may not have acted it out at my local play park 20 odd years ago. Picture the one kid sitting at the top of a slide, barking out orders to imaginary crewmen. Yeah…

SB118 trumps that by far though as now I have like minded people all over the world who actually want to respond to my Sci-Fi geekiness.

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

I’m playing as LT JG Raven Young, the Assistant Chief of the Science department on the USS Constitution-B.

I, like Raven thrive on exploring and learning new things so naturally he had to be a Stellar Cartographer. One of the best parts about being a Science Officer is going online and researching things. I’d be a pretty crummy Science Officer if I didn’t know a thing about anything. I’ve found myself googling interstellar nurseries, Gamma Radiation emission sources and more.

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

Yes actually. In many of my sims, I try to have Raven add a little bit of humour or light heartedness into the scene. I’d hope that when others read my character, they feel a little uplifted. That can only be a good thing, right?

On the other hand however, I recently brought Raven’s father aboard the Conny as my first PNPC. Whilst Raven is a rather laid back and generally easy going guy much like I am in real life, his dad Jacob Young is the opposite. A tightly strung, cynical guy that tends to rub everyone the wrong way. I enjoy writing for a character like that, particularly if I’m in a bad mood. It’s quite cathartic in a way. Like venting into him.

Do you take any inspiration from films, television, or books when writing your character?

Although my greatest Sci-Fi love will always be Star Trek, I’m also a big fan of the Stargate series, particularly the earlier seasons of SG-1. I’d like to think I’ve taken a few character traits from Colonel Jack O’Neill when I designed Raven. The easy going attitude and humour being right up there.

Another inspiration for my character is actually Mr Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Whenever I watch a video with Mr Tyson in it, I instantly feel inspired. I wanted Raven to have an inspired quality to him too that gives him a reason to be out there in deep space.

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

The biggest piece of advice I could give is do NOT be afraid to jump in. For my first couple of months here, I simmed quietly and in the background, reacting to the situations presented to me rather than coming up with new ideas and scenarios myself. When I gained enough confidence to start telling Raven’s story as more than just a background character, I feel like everything just clicked. I knew who the character was. His motivations were clear almost all the time. I have had more fun in the past several months simming as Raven than I have had in years and I am incredibly thankful to everyone who takes part.

Thanks for your time, Lieutenant Young!

You can read more about Lieutenant JG Dave Young on the wiki.

 


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