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Lower Decks Interview: Lieutenant Junior Grade Kudon, USS Resolution

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 Kudon playing a Vulcan male Engineering Officer assigned to the USS Resolution.

GALVEN: Thank you for accepting to do this interview with me! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself for our readers out there?

KUDON: Happy to share!  I live near the Boston area in Massachusetts.  I’m 41 and I teach high school history and economics.  I grew up and went to college and grad school around Boston and am finally starting to branch out with some travel outside New England, which sadly COVID has put a limit on for now.  When it’s over I want to go back to Montreal.  But right now I’m using my summer as a teacher to do my simming, take some online classes in French and acting, and get some reading done that I often do not have time for when the school year starts.

You don’t play the typical Vulcan and write him figuring out emotions. What do you set your style of character development with when you begin writing? 

It was challenging at first, because I was not quite sure how much about my character I should plan in advance.  But you and others in Starbase 118 OPS both gave me great advice to let the character unfold naturally.  Acting classes I have taken in the past year and a half actually helped a lot, since when I was writing my first sims, rather than thinking too cerebrally, I would just ask myself questions like “How would Kudon react to this situation?”,  “What kind of things would he say?”, or “How would he talk?” and my emotional instincts basically carried me along to develop a more consistent character.  He has decided to explore emotions, but he never had role models, since growing up on Vulcan, just about everyone suppressed emotions.  So what I did at the start, and still do now, is think to myself “How would someone behave who had little guidance regulating emotions and had to figure it out on his own?”  A large number of my sims flow from how I answer that question.


Poll of the Week: Holodecking Across the Universe

Star Trek has provided us with a chance to delve into the future of technology and discover what could lie in store for us in the next 400 years. We’ve explored the variety of technology that we want to see earlier, rather than later, and every day, scientists and engineers make new discoveries fuelled by dreams of reaching those heights. Holosuites, however, could be a closer reality than once believed. Introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation, the holodeck quickly became a fan favourite, allowing the writers to expand on the entertainments available to those posted on ship for long stretches of time as starships became mobile stations, and storytellers to explore the lines between reality and fiction, created by a perfect simulacrum.

Taking a nosedive into the world of the holodeck, the series has shown us a variety of holoprograms to entertain and thrill, and to train and educate. We can slide through the scuba-diving in Hanauma Bay, or jumping into the training simulations of Operation: Fort Knox, experience the Klingon Rite of Ascension or take coffee in Café des Artistes. They recreated simulations of great Earth battles; the Hirogen sought the holodeck for Klingon war games, while training simulations allowed Doctors the independence to learn without harm.

The holodeck also allowed the viewer a glimpse into the private life of the characters we know and love, with unforgettable moments. Picard role played as the eponymous Dixon Hiil in detective noir, Tom Paris as Captain Proton, Julian Bashir as a secret agent listening to the crooning melodies of Vic Fontaine, Data as a Deadwood gunslinger and Sherlock Holmes, while Janeway liked to kick back in Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop.

This week, we’d like you to have a think about what holodeck experiences you and your characters would like to indulge in. What could tempt you into the holodeck, or what does your character like to simulate?

What’s your favourite holodeck simulation from the series, and why?

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: Ensign Lephi, USS Atlantis

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! This month’s interview is with the writer behind Ensign Lephi playing a Ferengi female Engineering Officer assigned to the USS Atlantis.

GALVEN: Thank you for accepting to do this interview with me! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself for our readers out there?

LEPHI: Thanks for sitting down with me for this interview! My real name is Daphne, and I live on Canada’s East coast. I’m a freelance writer at this point in my life since my workplace is still shuttered. I used to have my pilot license and I’ve traveled a fair bit, doing a bit of everything in life along the way.

Do you take any inspiration from movies/TV/books when writing for your character?

There’s a couple of good podcasts and books out there that have really fleshed out the nuance of Ferengi personality, so I pull from there but of course I put my own spin on it to make her uniquely Lephi. 


Poll of the Week: Boldly Going Where No Trek Show Has Gone Before

Each series of Star Trek has explored different genres of television, veering from deep and meaningful dramas (In the Pale Moonlight), outright comedy (any Ferengi episode), philosophical quandaries (Let That Be Your Last Battlefield) to even ghost stories (but let’s not mention Sub Rosa, eh?) whilst all remaining within the same overall genre of space opera. Heck, TOS did a western (as did TNG now I come to think about it).

With the addition of an animated comedy to the Trek canon, and an upcoming children’s show, it would appear that exploring different genres within the Trek universe is the way to go if you’re making a new show. What sorts of show would you like to see? Perhaps a medical show in the vein of General Hospital, but set at Starfleet Medical? A police procedural set on Qo’nos, the Klingon homeworld? Perhaps an anthology show like American Horror Story, but set in different points of Starfleet’s history? A mockumentary like the Office, but at Starfleet HQ (don’t lie, you’d love to see Commodore Oh’s Jim Halpert face)?

Would you like to see a new genre of Star Trek show set in the universe?

Let us know in the comments and let’s hope nobody nicks them to make a kick-ass show!

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


Odd Jobs of Starfleet: Second Lieutenant Anthony Meeks, Company Commander

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 Second Lieutenant Anthony Meeks, a Marine Human male from Starbase 118 Ops.

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

MEEKS: Ya know, that is the hardest question I think there is. ::Chuckles:: I live in the beautiful State of Oregon on the West Coast of the United States. I’m married and have three grown children and five grandchildren. I’m a United States Army veteran and a 20 year law enforcement officer. I’ve been writing with Starbase 118 on and off since 2011.

Your character is the Company Commander in the Marines Department, could you tell us what that posting looks like on a day-to-day basis?

Meeks: Anthony Meeks has a lot of me in the character. For me, it’s always easier to write about something familiar. The Starfleet Marines are based on the United States Marine Corps and the Royal Marines, but because the duty posting isn’t necessarily canon, there is a lot of artistic license for the posting. This means the Marine doesn’t have a particular set of rules to play by, which opens up a lot of avenues for the character. The Meeks character is the Company Commander for Delta Company, which is a Search and Rescue team. Because of that, Anthony has the opportunity to be a soldier, a medic, a tactician, and really anything.


Poll of the Week: Let The Good Times Be Gin

We raise a glass in toast at social events, we crack bottles of champagne against ships leaving dry dock for the first time, it brings parties together and gets the Doctor relaxing after a hard day in the medical office. Raising the spirit by raising the spirit is a time-honoured tradition we honour on each and every ship with one beverage or another, taking the time out of the busy shore leave schedule to sing drinking songs in the evening and recover from the hangover come the bright sunlight.

Star Trek has given us a wealth of alcoholic drinks to weave into our narratives, from all different species throughout the galaxy, including bars from one end of Bajor to the far reaches of the Klingon Empire. Quark stocked his bar to the brim with everything from the Cardassian liquor Kanar, to the Modela aperitif, while on the Enterprise we had the ever-wonderful Guinan providing her sage advice and wisdom to all who turned up at that bright blue bar of Ten Forward. So, whether your Trill adores the subtle notes of a Bajoran springwine, or your Andorian challenges themselves with a Romulan ale, there’s something for everyone to get stuck into.

For this week’s poll, we’d like to know what beverages your characters are likely to kick back on shore leave with? What alcoholic drinks, or non-alcoholic, do your characters sup when not in the pilot’s chair?

What alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) beverage does your character enjoy?

Let’s pop the cork and let the good times roll!

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


Duty Post Award winner – Wes Greaves, USS Thor (Semper Fidelis Award)

Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of Duty Post awards from our recent 2020 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 First Lieutenant Wes Greaves playing a human male marine assigned to the USS Thor. He won the Semper Fidelis award: “For those Starfleet Marines who have shown great skill in protecting their crew, accomplishing their mission, avoiding tragic loss of life in the line of duty, and upholding the values of the UFoP in times of crisis.”

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

GREAVES: Hey there! The name behind the character is Jacob, and I originally hail from Washington state in the US, although I’ve lived all over it seems.  So far I’ve called Washington, Virginia, Missouri, California, and North Carolina home.  Of all of the places I’ve lived though, I still love the Pacific Northwest the best.  

I’m a proud  nerd through and through, like I assume most of us here are.  Grew up in the 90s watching TNG after school, and I’ve loved trek ever since.  In real life I’m a military police officer, however my career has been so crazy I’ve actually never been involved with law enforcement. Spent most of my time doing training to do mounted combat patrols, working battlefield forensics, and leading a section that does strategic transportation planning.  In the last few years I rediscovered a love for aviation, and I am slowly but surely working my way toward a transition to commercial aviation as a new career path. 


Poll of the Week: Greatest Rivalry

Since the earliest times, we fill tales and saga with the struggles of the epic hero and the vicious villain, from Homer’s The Iliad through to the casting down of Lucifer in John Milton’s poem Paradise Lost. Each story shows the archetypes of good and evil, the battle between the two raging on throughout the narrative in themes, concepts and arcs. If we’re lucky, the fall comes with a redemption arc, allowing the villain to redeem themselves and repent for their actions in the eyes of the beholder, and the hero to show themselves to be magnanimous and gallant in their forgiveness.

In our beloved world of Star Trek, this epic battle between good and evil is a little more complex. The villains presented to us over the course of the series allow us a deeper look at their motivations, perhaps even what makes the villain tick behind the simplification of evil doing evil for the sake of being evil. There are glorious examples of this in the way Deep Space Nine treats their villains in Kai Winn and Gul Dukat, allowing the viewer that additional knowledge about the motivations behind their actions.

Similarly, within our own Star Trek universe of Starbase 118, we’ve had our epic battles between good and evil, between hero and villain, and our intricate narratives reflect this. And sometimes, just sometimes, evil wins.

This week we’d like to open up the discussions of those epic villains in the Star Trek universe, those wonderful rivalries which kept us glued to the serial episode after episode, and which you believe to be the best of those rivalries.

Which of these on screen rivalries was the best of Star Trek?

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: Best Planet for Vacation

For many of us, summer is a time to consider vacations as a family. And while we may have a plethora of options in real life to visit, imagine all the countless locales that our characters could visit in the Star Trek universe! The pleasure planet of Risa is a popular choice of many Star Trek characters and is featured in three distinct television series. In the episode “Two Days and Two Nights” (ENT), Archer and crew get into unexpected entanglements. “Captain’s Holiday” (TNG) presents us with an exciting, yet laid backside of Captain Picard when he meets the mysterious Vash. “The Game” (TNG) shows us Riker bringing back a dangerous technology to the Enterprise that he was introduced to by a woman he met while vacationing there. “Let He Who Is Without Sin …” (DS9) visits the planet again and Worf becomes involved with a dangerous terrorist group.

It is these kinds of secondary planets woven into the fabric of the Star Trek galaxy that gives us a deeply rich place to write and roleplay. Where would your character choose to visit for some extended shore leave away from the ship? Would they eschew the common tourist destinations and pick something a little more out of the way like Bolarus, Andoria, or Betazed? What draws them to these destinations?

Where would your character like to visit for some rest and relaxation?

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


Duty Post Award Winner – Quentin Collins, USS Arrow (Cochrane Award)

Learn more about how to be a great simmer in this interview with a winner of a Duty Post award from our recent 2020 Awards Ceremony!

Our goal is to give you insight into how our fleet’s best simmers write, and imagine their characters, and this month we’re interviewing the writer behind Lt. Commander Quentin Collins, playing a Human male science officer assigned to the USS Arrow. He won the Cochrane Award which is awarded to those science officers who have contributed greatly to the advance of science in the midst of their Starfleet career, by staying knowledgeable about their field, participating in the community of science, but most importantly, by placing their knowledge at the service of their ship and its mission. 

GALVEN: First off, It’s an honor and a privilege that we could sit down together for an interview and answering a few questions. Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

COLLINS: THE HONOR IS ALL MINE. As people have surely seen by now on the Discord, I could talk forever, so this is WONDERFUL for me.  My name is Justin and I am a full-time/freelance writer from the north of Texas! I’ve been writing full time for a living for about ten years now. Mostly I focus on feature writing and criticism, mainly comics and movies BUT I’ve started to put in a number of pitches for work-for-hire comics and audio scripting. To try and “level up” as it were in my writing career.

I found the 118 toward the end of 2018, was given my first posting shortly thereafter,  and it’s been just a delight and privilege to get to hone my prose and create here with so many other wonderful writers and creatives.


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