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Ask the engineer: Quantum slipstream drive

What is a Quantum Slipstream Drive?
Otherwise known as “QSD” or “slipstream drive,” this is the latest in propulsion technology allowing a starship to travel at 300-lightyears-per-hour, or equivalent of warp factor 9.99998477. It is, in principle similar, to transwarp corridors used by the Borg and it was developed from technology the USS Voyager brought back from the Delta Quadrant.

How does it work?
QSD works very differently from a standard warp drive that has warp coils and nacelles. The slipstream drive routes energy through the deflector, which focuses a quantum field, allowing the vessel to penetrate the quantum barrier. The ship then enters the “slipstream.”

Does every ship have a slipstream?
As 2390, all new ships will be fitted with a slipstream drive where resources and logic suggest they would be appropriate. Starfleet wants to use the technology to expand the reach of the Federation. Older vessels will be fitted with QSD if it makes sense for their mission . A number of vessel in the StarBase 118 fleet are fitted with slipstream, and you can see a list of ships on our wiki.

Why still have conventional warp?
There are a number of limitations to slipstream drive, as it can only run for 12 hours maximum before the drive is required to shut down for 36 hours. The drive also requires 40 minutes of warm-up preparation, overseen by a trained and certified Starfleet Engineer, before it can be engaged. Slipstream Drive itself puts significant wear on the vessel’s hull, and higher than normal maintenance times are required to carefully scan the starship for hull wear. In practice, QSD is used as an additional propulsion system to travel long distances, or in case of emergencies, rather than the primary propulsion system.

Learn more about the Quantum Slipstream Drive on our wiki!


Ask the Scientist: Planetary Classifications

Last mission, we visited a Class L planet. What do these classes mean?

The Federation, and Starfleet by extension, recognizes 20 distinct classes of planets. They are classed by factors such as planet age, mass, and distance from their sun, and labeled by an arbitrary alphabetic designation. Here are some of the more common classes of planets:

  • Class M – derived from the Vulcan word Minshara, these planets are among the most habitable in the galaxy. Notable examples include Earth and Vulcan
  • Class L – marginally habitable, able to support vegetation but rarely animal life
  • Class P – glaciated, habitable planets, such as Andoria
  • Class J – gas giants, like Sol VI (Saturn)
  • Class Y – also sardonically called the ‘Demon Class’, these planets are in the habitable zone of their solar systems and have comparable mass and gravity to Class M, yet are highly toxic

If you would like to learn more about Planetary Classifications, visit the wiki for more information!


Duty Post Spotlight: Security and Tactical

As players in any roleplaying game we’re drawn to certain character classes and types. Some like the strong fighter-type, some like the sneaky information handler. In this feature, we highlight different players around the fleet in various positions to show how they approach their particular duty post. What drives them? What do they like most about the post? Have they discovered anything interesting in their duty? This month we turn our attention to Security and Tactical, with Lieutenant Jarred Thoran of the Andaris Task Force ship USS Blackwell.

To start, tell us a little about the writer behind the character — what is your name and where do you hail from?

Jarred Thoran: My name is Richard and I’m originally from the UK, but for the past year have been living in Germany.

What first drew you to the Security and Tactical post?

My first choice on joining was tactical. It was only when posted to the USS Blackwell I found out I’d be playing a dual role of Security and Tactical. I chose tactical initially as I’ve always had an interest in tactics and strategy, plus I’m useless with any scientific, medical or technical so it seemed the best choice for me.

What is your favorite thing about the post?

I really enjoy the variety that it brings and not being limited to one role. I can spend one mission on the bridge, engaging enemy vessels at the tactical station, then the next mission as part of the security detail for a visiting ambassador.

One great thing about security in particular, is as it is a duty post that was rarely seen in it’s full capacity on screen, it really gives you the chance to make it your own.


Duty Post Spotlight: Intelligence

As players in any roleplaying game we’re drawn to certain character classes and types. Some like the strong fighter-type, some like the sneaky information handler. In this feature, we highlight different players around the fleet in various positions to show how they approach their particular duty post. What drives them? What do they like most about the post? Have they discovered anything interesting in their duty? This month we turn our attention to Intelligence, with Lieutenant Commander Aitas of StarBase 118 Ops.

VONDARYAN: To start, tell us a little about the writer behind the character — what is your name and where do you hail from?

Aitas: My name is Heather, and I’m currently living in Houston, Texas with my husband and one cat. Said cat occasionally tries to send messages via discord; if they’re supposed to mean anything I haven’t yet been able to decode them.

I’ve been roleplaying for a while now, in MMOs, on forums, as well as the occasional bit of tabletop. The Starbase is my first PBEM game, so that was a bit of an adjustment at first.

What first drew you to the intelligence post?

I usually play characters related to the intelligence field in some manner or another. Spies, agents, an information broker or two. Choosing what I wanted to play wasn’t the hard part.

When I started looking into the duty post on the wiki I did reconsider a bit, unfortunately some of the information was outdated or confusing. But I’m glad I stuck with my original intent there.


Duty Post Spotlight: Medical with LtJG Anath G’Renn

As players in any roleplaying game we’re drawn to certain character classes and types. Some like the strong fighter-type, some like the sneaky information handler. In this feature, we highlight different players around the fleet in various positions to show how they approach their particular duty post. What drives them? What do they like most about the post? Have they discovered anything interesting in their duty? This month we turn our attention to Medicine, with Lieutenant JG Anath G’Renn of the Andaris Task Force ship USS Blackwell.

Trellis Vondaryan: To start, tell us a little about the writer behind the character — what is your name and where do you hail from?

Anath G’Renn: I normally just go by my first initial, J, and I am from Northeast Texas.

What first drew you to the Medical post?

I’ve always loved the sciences and was originally considering between science and medical. I generally tend to enjoy writing and reading about science, so I wanted to give the other blue shirt duty post a try and give myself a little extra challenge. On a more personal note, I have always found the medical officers on Star Trek to be some of my favorite characters in each series.


Duty Post Spotlight: Security

As players in any roleplaying game we’re drawn to certain character classes and types. Some like the strong fighter-type, some like the sneaky information handler. In this new feature, we highlight different players who are in the same position to show how they approach their post. What drives them? What do they like most about the post? Have they discovered anything interesting in their duty? This month we turn our attention to Security.

To start, tell us a little about the writers behind the characters — what are your names and where do you hail from?

Sinda Essen: In real life I’m Chris, from Sheffield in South Yorkshire, UK.

Marcus Dickens: In real life my name is Sergio and I write from the city of Barcelona located in the north east of Spain.


Duty Post Spotlight: Science (Part 2)

This is the second in a two-part article interviewing members of the Science duty post. You can see part one here.

We pick up where we left off, with LtCmdr. Trellis Vondaryan of StarBase 118 Ops interviewing John Valdivia (Chief Science Officer, USS Darwin-A), Merrick R’Ven (Science & Cybernetics Officer, USS Darwin-A), and Ayiana Sevo (Chief Science Officer, USS Gorkon).

Trellis Vondaryan: Any interesting items, species or phenomena that you have discovered?

John Valdivia: For my personal interests (as in real life personal), the most interesting object would be a Dyson Sphere. And during his career, Valdivia has found two! And they are amazing objects in that they have nothing to do with each other. Each Dyson sphere gives you a new world to explore. Actually, something several million times the size of a world. And it’s like discovering a new race. You can take it on a mission, or extend the exploration for several missions, or years. Other amazing things I remember dearly were the Reman Vampires, or the Mini Air Ones, a group of nanobots that were the Star Trek version of an old Catalan legend (the Minairons, hence the name).

Ayiana Sevo: The episodes and sims I remember the most are ones that affect Ayiana in some way. The first mission on the Gorkon, A Sinking Ship, involved us rescuing a Starfleet ship. On board, the crew had been driven insane by escaped parasites. They had set traps all over the ship, severely hindering our ability to save them. At one point, Ayiana found herself and her group, including Captain Reynolds, trapped in a jefferies tube filling with water. She had to use her exceptional swimming skills (which I made up right there) to save the day. Other times, I have thought up fun, scientific ways to turn the tide in a conflict. In the same episode, I came up with a way to nullify phaser discharges using her tricorder.

The thing that fascinates me the most is Quantum Slipstream. Ever since VOY introduced it, I have been enamoured by the concept. It was explored even further in Andromeda (another great sci-fi show). It is the reason why I made Ayiana an expert in it. One of the last missions of the Victory had her doing a shakedown cruise after a major refit. Ayiana was glued to the computer, analyzing every single detail of the new QSD. Speaking of that mission, it saw her engage Tholians, a very interesting race.


Duty Post Spotlight: Science (Part 1)

As players in any roleplaying game we’re drawn to certain character classes and types. Some like the strong fighter-type, some like the sneaky information handler. In this new feature, we highlight different players who are in the same position to show how they approach their post. What drives them? What do they like most about the post? Have they discovered anything interesting in their duty? This month we focus on Science Officers around the fleet.

Trellis Vondaryan: To start, tell us a little about the writers behind the characters — what are your names and where do you hail from?

John Valdivia: I’m Eric, and I am from Barcelona. My character is John Valdivia, Chief Science Officer aboard the USS Darwin-A. Valdivia is a mathematician, and so am I. However, my Real Life character is not a Starfleet officer, but a future high school professor.

When I was little, a public TV here passed sci-fi shows at dinner time, and that’s how I started, first with TNG, but then Stargate, Babylon 5, Farscape, Voyager… On the other hand, I have been into tabletop roleplaying for years (started with D&D, but I would play possibly any game). My playing mates, however, were not that much into Star Trek, so I did not manage to get any Star Trek roleplaying done, decided to look on my own… and you know how that ends.

Ayiana Sevo: My name is Aaron. I’m from California, in a small town just south of Yosemite National Park. My main character is Lt. Commander Ayiana Sevo, Chief Science Officer of the USS Gorkon. She specializes in Quantum Mechanics, Subspace Mechanics and dabbles in Stellar Cartography. We both have a love of science, but my skill ends at math. It hurts my brain.

Star Trek has always been a part of my life. I can’t remember when I was first introduced to it; it was always just “there.” I grew up watching TNG, then later DS9 and VOY. I love pretty much anything sci-fi, from Farscape, Stargate, to Babylon 5.

Merrick R’Ven: My name is Preston and my primary character is Merrick R’Ven, Science & Cybernetics Officer on the USS Darwin-A.

I live in several places along the east coast of the USA, but at the moment I live South Carolina. I started roleplaying in general in middle school in the mid 80’s. Starting off with Dungeons & Dragons (D&D, AD&D, AD&D 2Ed), and progressing into Villains and Vigilanties, Star Frontiers, DC Heroes, Marvel and even a home spun version of Transformers. (Yup the friends I had liked to roleplay!). From 2000-2004 I enjoyed the MUSH/MUX sites which allows you to roleplay with other in real time. I played on Transformer sites, most of which are gone now unfortunately.

However my love for Star Trek goes back to 1979 when I saw Star Trek: The Motion Picture. At that point I was hooked and went back to watch all the other episodes and then later on onto TNG and beyond. I have played at one other Star Trek RPG site before coming here, but I didn’t stay there long. This place is just awesome!


Dr. Skyfire Talks About the Medical Duty Post Forum

Have you checked out the Duty Posts section of the forums lately? For the past few months we have had some lively conversations for the individual departments. The duty post section of the forum is a great way to interact with fellow players from across the fleet, as well as getting great ideas for how to develop your character and sim your post in a stronger manner.

You don’t need any special requirements to step up and make your duty post a thriving part of our forums. Today we’re chatting with Lieutenant Chythar Skyfire of the USS Garuda, one of the driving forces behind the medical duty post forum which has seen a lot of action lately! From tips on how to train up medical skills while away from the academy to the Dear Doctor medical advice column, let’s see what Dr. Skyfire has to say about his involvement in SB118’s medical lore.

Q: What made you choose to play a medical officer?
Skyfire: Do you ever have one of those concepts that writes itself? I initially thought when I joined up that I would have fun playing a science officer. However, as I went through the application and training for the game, the concept sort of evolved from what I had originally written. He’s a med school graduate in his life before Starfleet, then somewhere along the line he polymorphed in my head from a science cadet into a doctor.


Calling All Engineers!

… or those with Engineering tendencies!

The Starfleet Corps of Engineers is putting out the call to all Engineers to join the IC Duty Post Conference and discuss what the Engineers throughout the fleet are currently doing!

Formatted like our SIM on ship, the IC Conference welcomes all those who play an Engineer in the Fleet or those who have Engineering PNPCs. There is also the Duty Post Discussion for all things Out of Character relating to the IC Conference.

So, if you feel you have something to contribute to our ongoing mission, please join us and lend your brains!


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