Strange Species

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Strange Species: Lieutenant JG Fairhug

Most rosters in the StarBase 118 fleet are filled with members of well-known and allied species – humans, Vulcans, Betazoids, Klingons, Trills. But what about the lesser-known species, and the writers who create characters from those races? In this series, we explore fleet officers from unusual species and the writers behind them.

From the Duronis II Embassy, Lieutenant JG Gogigobo Fairhug, a Bardeezan male serving as a security officer attached to the USS Thor.

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

FAIRHUG: I was born and raised in London, England, but thanks to four years working on-board cruise ships, I’ve traveled fairly extensively around North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. I’m now settled back in Essex (a county just outside London) with my wife – who is from the Philippines and our two-year-old daughter.

You play the only Bardeezan officer in Starbase 118 history- why did you choose such an obscure, virtually unseen species for your character?

I wanted a character that I really connected with. Once my initial application was accepted, I started looking through the Lifeforms Index on the Wiki in alphabetical order. I was willing to go all the way to ‘Z’ to find the right species if I had to, but luckily I only made it to ‘B’. It was the culture, society and psychology that drew me to the Bardeezans. They are a naturally warm, friendly and respectful, yet hardy species which pretty much fit the bill for the type of character I wanted to portray.

Playing the only Bardeezan must present some intriguing challenges. Care to name one or two?

Well, since they are such an obscure species, you don’t have that wealth of knowledge and information to draw on about them like you would have if you were playing say a Vulcan, or a Klingon. As far as I know, the species has only appeared in one episode of DS9 and initially, there was even some confusion as to whether they were a permitted species. Thankfully the decision fell my way, as I had already created Gogi in my head and would have been gutted if I’d had to change him in any way. On the other hand, the obscurity of the species can be an advantage, as it allows you to get creative (within reason, of course). I’d love to be able to flesh them out some more, maybe even have a sim or two set on Bardeez one day.

How do you go about your writing process for Gogigobo? Do you get into a certain state of mind? Is there a procedure you follow?

I definitely do the whole “What would Gogi do?” thing. As my first PC, I wanted to base him primarily on my own values. I don’t know if that’s a common thing people do. I tend to think of him as my representative in the Star Trek universe – only better. So whatever is happening at the Embassy or on the Thor at the time, I try to imagine my own reaction and the multiple it by a factor of Gogi! Now that I’m starting to create some PNPCs though, I’m starting to explore some different types of characters.

If someone showed interest in playing a Bardeezan, what advice would you offer?

I’d say go for it! Despite the fact that they’re relatively obscure as a Star Trek species, there’s a decent amount of information on the Wiki to get you started and if you read their entry they are very interesting and fun characters to write for given their boisterous and fun-loving personalities – they’re also partial to a drink and a feast, which can come in handy for shore leave! At the very least, you’ll end up with a character with a unique and interesting name!

Thank you for your time, Lieutenant Fairhug!

You can read more about LtJG Fairhug on the wiki.


Strange Species: Dehnir, An Orion

Most rosters in the StarBase 118 fleet are filled with members of well-known and allied species – humans, Vulcans, Betazoids, Klingons, Trills. But what about the lesser-known species, and the writers who create characters from those races? In this series, we explore fleet officers from unusual species and the writers behind them.

From Starbase 118 Ops, Ensign Dehnir, an Orion female serving as a medical officer.

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

DEHNIR: My name is Richard and at present I live in Germany.

Tell us a little bit about why you chose to play an Orion female- an intriguing choice by any means.

I wanted a character that would challenge me, to push me outside of my comfort zone. I didn’t want one of the primary species so I stayed away from Klingons, Vulcans etc. After trawling through the ILI and narrowing down the species I wanted, I finally settled on an Orion. Something about their checkered history along with the recent demise of the Orion Syndicate and the potential there drew me in.

Dehnir is your second character- your primary, Jarred Thoran, is a male human security officer. What are some of the differences you notice when writing for them (process, approach, etc.)?

Jarred is essentially for the most part me. When simming for him, I put myself in his shoes and ask what would I do. Dehnir started off in a similar vein; however after only a couple of sims, she started to develop her own personality. She has become a softer, gentler character who doesn’t always think before speaking. Because she is wildly different from what I’m used to writing, I’ve found that I really have to put myself inside her head, to get in the zone as it were.

Are there challenges to playing an Orion in particular? Advantages? Unique opportunities?

Although a familiar species, there is not much known about Orion society, other than the darker side we have seen on screen, specifically the Orion Syndicate. How much influence did they hold, what impact does their destruction have on the homeworld, what was life like for an ordinary Orion, these are all things that are open and could potentially create some excellent simming opportunities. There is also the issue with Orion females and their pheromones, along with them once being a highly advanced civilisation, which are things I’d like to explore in the future.

Though you’ve only been playing her for a relatively short time, do you have any advice you’d like to offer to others who may be interested in writing for an Orion?

Let your imagination run wild, but make sure you do your homework. Watch episodes they appear in to see how they behave and act, read the information both on our wiki and Memory Alpha.

Thank you for your time!

You can read more about Ens Dehnir on the wiki.


Protesters Asking a Hybrid Question

SAN FRANCISCO, EARTH – Protests cause disruption outside Starfleet Headquarters.

Making recent news, a group of protestors who have previously demonstrated several times outside a busy fertility clinic in San Francisco have now switched their focus to Starfleet Academy. What could these two centres have in common that the people from the Species Protection League find so objectionable? The answer is hybrids.

The group made minor headlines some years ago following a series of increasingly disruptive protests in several key Federation locations, objecting to the right of inter-species marriage. After being taken to court over slanderous claims regarding several mixed-species couples, the group largely disappeared off the sensor map. Now they’re back, and this time they have taken exception not with inter-species unions, but with their offspring.

‘Hybrid children are unnatural.’ Their Holonet site claims. ‘Most cannot be conceived without medical intervention, and they require further medical aid themselves in order to procreate, if they are not outright sterile. Children of outcest (sic) have many medical problems and create a huge and unfair burden on the Federation health system.’

In an attempt to gain another viewpoint onto the group’s claims we spoke with Doctor Michael Davis, head of the Frisco Bay Fertility Clinic, previous target of the group’s protests. We asked him whether there was any basis to their claims.

“That’s a complex question,” Dr Davis told us, “because they make a lot of claims. Is it harder for a couple of different species to conceive? Yes it is. The less similar two species are, the harder it is for them to interbreed, and in extreme cases, such as Andorians or Bolians, with pretty much anyone else it’s almost impossible. Terrans and Betazoids on the other hand might almost be the same species. It all comes down to the relative extent of the genetic differences.”

“Do the resulting children, of mixed-species heritage, have a harder time conceiving, themselves? Sometimes. It depends on their heritage, and it depends on the heritage of the person they’re trying to conceive with. And it varies from person to person. And yes, some of them are sterile. But you know what? So are quite a lot of single-species people. I’ve treated far more people of single-species heritage for infertility than I’ve every treated hybrids. The majority of our patients here at the Clinic are couples of the same species, who are having difficulty trying to conceive. Regardless we treat every couple, whether of single or mixed heritage, with the same level of care and respect.”

What about the claim that hybrid children have medical problems?

“You’d be better off asking a Paediatrician, but yes, there is evidence that there is a higher rate of physical and metabolic problems in people of mixed-species heritage, particularly in the second generation, due to genetic reorganisation. However, the claim that they’re a burden on the medical system is absolute rubbish. Do you know why? Because hybrids make up a tiny fraction of the Federation’s population; there just aren’t that many of them out there. That’s the important point here, these ‘protesters’ are deliberately targeting a very small minority group. And the reason that bunch of bigoted loonies are protesting at Starfleet is because that’s where an awful lot of them are.”

“Given Starfleet’s strict intake requirements, that’s got to tell you something about hybrid vigour.”

An enquiry to Starfleet Academy’s intake department yielded a standardised response.

“Starfleet selects its officer cadets on academic merit. No regard is given to the age, sex, sexual orientation, spiritual inclination or species of the applicant.”

We contacted the offices of Professor Ramsey Bakewell, galaxy-renowned Xenosociologist and expert on inter-species relations for comment, and were able to arrange a subspace conversation with the Professor despite him attending a busy conference.

“The problem with the situation, as with many social situations, is that everybody has an opinion, and very few of them are actually entitled to them. That’s the issue with this protest group, they need to shut up.” We were told.

“People ask me what do I think about inter-species relationships, and all sorts of similar, daft questions. Well I’ll tell you. I have a friend who’s a jeweller. Someone once asked him what he thought about this, and he said he thinks the same as he does about inter-racial, inter-religious and same-sex unions. He said ‘Every couple needs two engagement rings, two wedding rings and two eternity rings; beyond that it’s none of my business’. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Unless of course it’s a polyamorous union; then obviously they’re going to need more rings.


Strange Species: Eyas Wulfantine, a Pythron

Most rosters in the StarBase 118 fleet are filled with members of well-known species – humans, Vulcans, Betazoids, Klingons, Trills. Spiced throughout are the uncommon species, and this series hopes to investigate those unique characters and the writers who decided to explore the strange new worlds of Trek.

from the USS Tiger-A, Eyas Wulfantine, a Pythron

Every previous article in this series has dealt with a species of some background, from the multiple appearances and mentions of the Orions and Caitians to the episodes based around the Brekkians and Gideons. The Pythrons, however, were not so lucky. “In the DS9 episode ‘The Rivals,’ a ‘Pythron’ couple were mentioned in passing (but never seen) as having been swindled by a confidence trickster on the station. … Once I had made sure there was no Memory Alpha details beyond the DS9 episode, I essentially let my imagination run riot. The sources I used were not so much Pythron-specific, but getting a better understanding of the Trek galaxy, and what an allied planet would be expected to be like. For example, how advanced would their spacecraft be or their domestic technology level – so that I wouldn’t create a race that would be too powerful or too weak vis-à-vis the established species.”


Strange Species: S’Acul Aveunalliv, a Caitian

Most rosters in the StarBase 118 fleet are filled with members of well-known species – humans, Vulcans, Betazoids, Klingons, Trills. Spiced throughout are the uncommon species, and this series hopes to investigate those unique characters and the writers who decided to explore the strange new worlds of Trek.

from the USS Avandar, S’Acul Aeunalliv, a Caitian

As many forum frequenters know, S’Acul’s writer goes by “Ensign FluffyPants” there, indicating an ease with the role of the character. Yet the decision to write a Caitian was completely random and based upon the desire to write for a character that would be more challenging than a “safe” human. “I went to the ILI and started scrolling down through the names until I saw the word ‘Caitian.’ I had very limited exposure to the species, not much outside of a few novels and the animated series, but I thought it could be an interesting challenge to take on that race in particular.”


Strange Species: Skyleena Blake, a Brekkian/Betazoid hybrid

Most rosters in the StarBase 118 fleet are filled with members of well-known species – humans, Vulcans, Betazoids, Klingons, Trills. Spiced throughout are the uncommon species, and this series hopes to investigate those unique characters and the writers who decided to explore the strange new worlds of Trek.

from the USS Mercury, Skyleena Blake, a Brekkian/Betazoid hybrid

For many writers, the attraction of a particular primary is in the challenge of writing that character. For Sky Blake, her writer wanted “a character that had a ‘cool’ advantage, but have a very annoying, and very hard to cope with, disadvantage.” However, Sky Blake’s creation was not solely informed by her species. “I wanted her to be the bad person with an attitude among a whole heap of good people, regardless of her species. And that is what she is. The only problem I had was that, at the time, there was no reason behind it.” The decision to make Sky at least part Betazoid seemed obvious: “I knew I wanted a Betazoid hybrid that was unable to control her telepathy as soon as I got the personality down for her.” But there are plenty of Betazoids in Starfleet and the culture has been explored in-depth; why choose a Brekkian half? “I thought of giving her the history of what no child should have to experience.”


Strange Species: Eerie, a Brikar

Most rosters in the StarBase 118 fleet are filled with members of well-known species – humans, Vulcans, Betazoids, Klingons, Trills. Spiced throughout are the uncommon species, and this series hopes to investigate those unique characters and the writers who decided to explore the strange new worlds of Trek.

from the USS Avandar, Eerie, a Brikar

Writing for a Brikar is a unique challenge because the Brikars have never appeared in canon Trek; they have to date appeared only in the spin-off book series Star Trek: New Frontier. However, this nonorganic, rocklike race appealed to Mark, the writer behind tactical officer Eerie aboard the Avandar, and he set off to make the character his own. According to Mark, he already had the basic profile for Eerie before he decided to make the character a Brikar; indeed, it seems that the primary New Frontier source was not his principal guide. “I did a web search on the species and used some of that in creating the character; one of them was a Star Trek board game.  I tried to keep it  all of it in mind when describing the species.”

It is interesting to note that while the Brikar are noted as physically imposing, “statue-like,” and very strong, it is their temperaments — cold and closed-off — which seem to have informed Eerie’s character the most. “He still has a way to go, but after his time at the Academy, he knows he must open up more with others on his ship. It is slow road, but a fun on to see the development.” And the species-based physical quirks are not based solely around Eerie’s strengths: “He finds Starships cold, and likes the tactical position , as he doesn’t particularly like to sit down, as prefers to stand on duty and even off..  He is somewhat formal, and all business on duty, but will warm up a bit with close friends while off duty.”

What advice does Mark have for players interested in investigating uncommon species? “Perhaps, try to create some type of envelope for that species and work inside of the box. I like to ask myself how would the species react to certain situations, environments, etc.  I try not to stray outside of the envelope, both character and species. It is a lot of work but I have really enjoyed seeing it all come together.”

For more on Eerie, please visit his wiki page!


Strange Species: Kazazi, a Caitian

Most rosters in the StarBase 118 fleet are filled with members of well-known and allied species – humans, Vulcans, Betazoids, Klingons, Trills. But what about the lesser-known species, and the writers who create characters from those races? In this series, I explore fleet officers from unusual species and the writers behind them.

from Starbase 118 Ops,  Makombo M’kazazi (Kazazi), a Caitian

How and why did you decide to sim a Caitian?

The first reason that comes to mind is Star Trek Online. They included the Caitians as a playable character, but I suppose that doesn’t really explain why I choose the species for my character here.
To answer that I need to say that I am what is called a furry. Therefore I was quite exited that I could actually play a character that way rather then being one of the more standard species.
Of course I could have chosen from a few others, but since the dolphin was not listed and there were also no foxlike species I chose the easy way out so to say.


Strange Species: Katy Orman, part Orion

Most rosters in the StarBase 118 fleet are filled with members of well-known and allied species – humans, Vulcans, Betazoids, Klingons, Trills. But what about the lesser-known species, and the writers who create characters from those races? In this series, I explore fleet officers from unusual species and the writers behind them.

from Starbase 118 Ops, Katy Orman, 1/4 Orion

How and why did you decide to sim Katy as part Orion?

Partly it’s my nigh-obsessive desire to be different.  I knew from the beginning that Katy was going to be mostly human, but the idea of a mixed-race heritage was really sparking my imagination.  So I decided to make her 1/4 alien.  1/4 seemed just right; not so alien that it informs everything she does, not so watered-down that it’s meaningless.
Why Orion?  Again, I suppose I was looking for a middle ground.  Not one of the primary races–I like the idea of going over the same issues from new perspectives, but it’s not what I was looking to do; I wanted to go over less-common issues.  And not something so obscure that we know very little about it and I’d basically be making everything up as I went along.  I think I ended up with Orion specifically because the idea of turning the oversexualised Orion female stereotype on its ear was appealing to me.
And really, it’s partly just because I like green skin.  What can I say?  I’m shallow like that.


Strange Species: Tressa, a Gideon

Most rosters in the StarBase 118 fleet are filled with members of well-known and allied species – humans, Vulcans, Betazoids, Klingons, Trills. But what about the lesser-known species, and the writers who create characters from those races? In this series, I explore fleet officers from unusual species and the writers behind them.

from Starbase 118 Ops, Tressa, a Gideon

How and why did you decide to sim a Gideon?

I wanted to do something different right from the start. I didn’t want a more common species, so I stayed away from Vulcan, Humans, Klingons… etc. I spent a while on the ILI searching through the species before I finally decided on Gideons. I just liked how they sounded, liked their story.