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Duty Post Award winner – Addison MacKenzie (Prantares Ribbon)

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 Lieutenant Commander Addison MacKenzie playing a Human female Chief Medical Officer assigned to the USS Thor. She  won the Prantares Ribbon: “Awarded to those Medical officers who has moved beyond competence to display a true gift for the healing arts in the context of space medicine. The officers given this award should display the ability to keep a steady hand in the often hazardous conditions in which they must practice, as well as the willingness to risk their own life to save the lives of others.

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

MACKENZIE: Sure! Born, raised, and living in Cleveland, Ohio, right on Lake Erie in the U.S. I’m a former professor, but now a full-time musician and conductor when COVID isn’t a thing. I love reading and hanging out with my orange Maine Coon, Fritado.

Captain Aron Kells specifically called out your character’s “mature, professional but wryly funny” attributes. As a CMO character personal connections are important. What advice can you give others who want to create a nuanced bedside manner?

Well, I think that’s something that’s totally dependent on the character. Addison cares deeply about the welfare of her patients, as I think all good doctors do, but she also isn’t afraid to throw shade when someone deserves it. There were a number of people on the Thor who recently had physicals that resulted in some serious sass from their CMO… I think that’s just part of who she is, though. If she were a Vulcan, for example, she’d be a lot different. Probably still funny, but the humor would be very different.


Ship Closeup: U.S.S. Thor Continued …

In part two of the Thor’s Ship Closeup special, I meet with the Medical and Science teams to learn more about the specific medical and scientific capabilities of the Vesta class.

Hearing a rumour that the Thor’s medical team are dispensing gummy bears to encourage regular crew medicals, I’ve decided to try my luck and head over to Sickbay on Deck 10 to meet with Lt. Jg Alieth and Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Brodie.

Garcia: No, I don’t know where the gummy bear rumor came from, but I’m thankful for your time nonetheless. The medical provision seems quite substantial aboard the Thor. What medical facilities does the Vesta class come equipped with?

Alieth: The main sick bay of the USS Thor is slightly larger than that of the rest of her Vesta class sisters. We have 15 state-of-the-art biobeds, an ICU with 3 dedicated biobeds and a quarantine unit with the latest technology. We also have two fully equipped surgical suites, which are independent of each other and to the main room of the facility.

In addition to all this, we have an excellent medical department staff, assisted by the latest EMH program, which has a greater capacity of assistance throughout the ship thanks to the holoemiters. This way, medical assistance can be provided even in secluded areas of the ship, or in circumstances that could be dangerous for the medical personnel.

Brodie: We also have a fully equipped counseling suite including not only areas for individual sessions but also a morale and welfare center to cater to the crew’s wider needs – such as family issues and spiritual well-being. We have some families aboard the ship so having these kinds of facilities really makes the difference to caring for everyone aboard.


Duty Post Award winner – Ash Tristan MacKenna, Arrow (Black Cross)

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 Commander Ash MacKenna playing a human female Intelligence Officer assigned to the USS Arrow. She won the Black Cross: “This award is given to a member of the Intelligence community that strives to accomplish the goals of Starfleet Intelligence, while simultaneously upholding the ideals and structure of Starfleet command. This person has the cunning to gather intelligence by means of deceptive dialogue or espionage, as opposed to force drawn confessions. While matters of intelligence are often game changers, this person strives to attain those goals within the boundaries of their Commanding Officer, and the regulations of Starfleet.

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

MACKENNA: Though I spent most of my life growing up in the shadow of America’s space program on the space coast of Florida, I currently reside in the exact center of the state of North Carolina, surrounded by woods, cattle fields, and the Uwharrie Mountains.

Captain Oddas Aria of the USS Juneau said in her presentation that you collect information from both conventional and unconventional sources. Working in a world of technology and diverse species, could you give some examples of where you obtain information?

I think the information aspect can be a tricky thing, especially depending on the mission. Of course there are set sources and things that are known OOC’ly in the mission build, but within the Trek universe there is a wealth of places to potentially get bits and pieces of intel that can be used to build stories to provide information on just about anything. There’s everything from rumors that go through civilian populations on starbases, legends from primitive races met and catalogued along the way, patterns in movements and actions not outwardly spoken in words, and of course a number of databases that provide a place for intelligence officers across starfleet to combine the mass of information they see, feel, and hear in their travels. 


Ship Closeup: USS Thor

In a two-part article, we’re going to be taking a close look at the USS Thor, under the command of FltCapt. Aron Kells. Join us as we take a deep dive into this ship and her crew!

The Vesta class is a multi-mission explorer with a crew capacity of around 750 with a 3,500 evacuation limit. It is fitted with one 1,500+ Cochrane warp core and is also QSD equipped. In addition, the Vesta class boasts a formidable armament and a state of the art class XIX Bioneural/Isolinear Computer Core.

To put the Vesta class into some sort of perspective, when lined up against the Galaxy class it’s 30 meters longer, but 268 meters shorter in width and around 107 meters shorter in height.

To get a more tangible sense of the Vesta class, its capabilities and role within the fleet, I sat down with the Thor’s current CO, Fleet Captain Kells, and First Officer, Lt. Commander Geoffrey Teller to talk about the USS Thor – the fleet’s currently active Vesta class vessel.

Garcia: First, thank you both for taking time out to talk about the Vesta class. Why don’t we start by learning a bit more about each of your backgrounds. Fleet Captain Kells, while the Thor is the fourth starship you’ve served on, it’s the first Vesta class, yes? Can you tell us more about your career in the fleet and how the Thor differs from your previous ships?

KELLS: So what you need to know first is that I have a reputation of being the “weird ship” guy, ha. I inherited the Mercury for Kells first command, and from there I moved my crew to the Garuda, a Galaxy class ship. That was purely because I was a TNG fan first! But after that, I knew I wanted to launch something that was a little odd, which is how I came to both the Invicta and the Za, both of which are non-canon designs, and fairly unusual ones at that. By comparison, the Thor is actually pretty standard and quite powerful, which is a fun change of pace for me as a CO. Basically, the Thor can do whatever its simmers can dream up!


Federation News Service Briefing: Stardate 239707

The Federation News Service is a spinoff of the StarBase 118 Star Trek PBEM RPG, reporting news headlines from across the United Federation of Planets to Federation citizens, along with other reader-submitted stories from other RPGs and fan works. Here are the latest stories published by the FNS:

Kesprytt III Denied Federation Membership for Second Time – Stardate 239707.24
KESPRYTT III — Following an inability to reach a cohesive stance regarding planetary unity, the mutually hostile nation-states on Kesprytt III have been denied entrance into the Federation for the second time.

Strongest Fire Storms on Bersallis III in Recorded History – Stardate 239707.17
AAVARO WILDS, STARBASE 821 — Recent sudden transfers to and from the Federation flagship of the Aavaro Wilds has Starfleet officials on edge this week as drifting wreckage found.

Tellarite Debate Championship Final enters fourth week – Stardate 239706.26
BERSALLIS III – The Bersallis III outpost has reported that the most recent firestorm activity is the strongest ever recorded since the outpost was founded.

First Galactic Ice Hockey Tournament Kicks Off on Andoria – Stardate 239706.19
ANDORIA – Andorian Aces and Kindred of Kahless meet on the ice in an epic battle for the title of Champion in first Galactic Ice Hockey tournament held on Andoria.

Starfleet R&D begins work on Emergency Medical Hologram update – Stardate 239705.22
GALOR IV – Medical and scientific personnel at the Galor IV Annex of the Daystrom Institute announced today that they have begun development on the next major update for Starfleet’s Emergency Medical Holographic (EMH) Program.

Twelfth Annual Galactic Regatta Championship to be hosted on Bolarus IX – Stardate 239705.15
BOLARUS IX – For the third year in the event’s history, the Galactic Regatta’s championship leg will be held on Bolarus IX home of the defending cup holder. The event is being touted to run for four days to maximize both fan enjoyment and time for the unique events centred on the Bay of Bolse.

Interested in keeping the public updated on the latest developments across the Federation? The Federation News Service welcomes both one-time and regular story submissions.

Enjoy a creative avenue for simmers, role players, and fan fiction writers to develop the larger prime Trek universe. What’s going on in the entertainment world of the Federation? What’s happening back home on Earth, Vulcan, Andoria, and beyond? You can help shape life in the 24th century! Learn more at fednewsservice.com.


Ship Closeup: USS Juneau

“Toow-u latseen khaa jeexh attee.”

Juneau motto translated from Tlingit language it means “It gives strength to the Spirit.” The Tlingit language is spoken by the indigenous Tlingit who resided along the coastline from the Pacific Northwest to Alaska.

The USS Juneau (NX-99801) launched stardate 239705 (May 2020) under the command of Captain Oddas Aria. The ship was designed with experimental warp technology. It is the first to utilize this advanced warp propulsion system. Fittingly, Captain Oddas co-developed a prototype Warp XV engine that eventually became known as the Oddas-Rahman Next Generation Warp Propulsion Assembly, the precursor to the now OR-400MV. The Juneau is the first non-test ship to hold the OR-400MV and it is still working out some of the kinks. She is a fast ship with a cruising speed of warp 12 with a maximum sustainable cruising speed of warp 14 and a maximum warp speed of 15.

When contacted for this article, Captain Oddas Aria noted the ship was “designed to be used as a test bed. It’s the result of really a multi-year effort from a lot of talented people in the fleet and I’m just beyond glad that we get to be the ones who are trusted with its continued success.”


Interview With Fleet Captain Roshanara Rahman

Each month, we interview a captain or first officer of the fleet to gain more insight on what it takes to command a ship and learn more about how each of these staff members found their way into these roles.

This month we’re interviewing recently promoted Flag Officer Fleet Captain Roshanara Rahman – Rich – commanding officer of the USS Veritas. Let’s get started!

SHAYNE: Some time has passed, but it bears repeating – congratulations on your promotion to Fleet Captain!  Last time we had the pleasure of talking with you, you had just launched the USS Veritas. Can you tell us more about how your ship has grown and progressed since launch?

RAHMAN: It’s hard to believe we’re warping off into our fourth year/season! When we originally designed the Shoals campaign region, we wanted to create a more intimate setting to allow us to fully explore the worlds and people within it for the next several years, and we still have places that we haven’t even seen yet! The crew has changed over the last couple of years, most notably when nearly half of them went over to help launch the USS Montreal under then-Commander Mei’konda in 2395 (2018). Since then, the crew has remained pretty much the same, and we have such a great group of talented and strong storytellers, and it’s a joy to lead them as their captain.


New flag officer interview: Vice Admiral Quinn Reynolds, USS Gorkon

This month, in the second of our series of interviews with staff members who recently received a flag officer promotion, we’re talking with Quinn Reynolds – our newest Vice Admiral – to learn more about what she can teach members of the fleet with her long years of experience.

FORTUNE: Thank you so much for joining us today!

REYNOLDS: Thank you! I’m delighted to be here.

A promotion to Vice Admiral is not something to sneeze at! Looking back on all these years with the fleet, what do you believe is one piece of advice you would give to a new Ensign or a Cadet thinking of joining us?

Embrace the community. I’ve always found that the most fun I’ve had with 118 are the times that I’ve been sharing active in sharing story, character development and OOC ideas with other members. Other people can spark ideas in directions you would have never imagined by yourself, and give you confidence to try things you might never have dreamed up alone.

I’d like to know more about your mission-writing ideas. What gives something that pop, that ding to it that sends you mashing on the keyboard long into the night to bring it to life?

Really, I think it’s any idea that gives me more ideas; a mission seed that instantly sets the imagination spinning off in a dozen different directions. When a proposal instantly prompts lots of ideas for scenes, plot twists and outcomes, I can be fairly sure it’s something that everyone in the crew will be able to get their teeth into and have a fun time with.


New Flag Officer Interview: Fleet Captain Jalana Rajel, USS Consititution-B

Just recently there were some pretty big promotions within our fleet. One of those community members – who, with great determination and pride, was just promoted to Fleet Captain was the commanding officer of the USS Constitution-B: Jalana Rajel.

We’re here today to talk more with her about her time in UFOP: SB118, what experience she brought to the game, and how she rose through the ranks. Let’s dive in.

GALVEN: It’s an honor and a privilege that you accepted to do an interview with me. Before we get started, could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

Rajel: It’s a pleasure and honor to be asked to be honest. There isn’t too much to tell about me really. I’m Jessica, a month away from being 40 years old even though I feel more like I’m still 18 in many ways. I live in Germany with my boyfriend of 17 years and if I don’t write in SB118, I write on my own stories and novels, play computer games and, as of recently, dig into my studies of the Korean language. I’ve been a roleplayer since I was 9 years old and bombed my uncle’s D&D group with my annoyance and am still loving it.

Congratulations on being promoted to Fleet Captain, which must’ve been exciting for you! What do Fleet Captains do – are there more responsibilities IC and OOC wise?

Thank you very much! It really is exciting, I assumed that I’ll be at the rank of Captain forever, since I am not taking on more OOC responsibilities than I can shoulder, which isn’t too much. I don’t think that I have been doing anything differently than I have before, so I hope nobody realizes that they want the rank back. 😉

I serve on the Constitution with my secondary character, and you do an extremely job well done as captain! Can you give the readers some insight into what it’s like commanding a ship in UFOP: SB118?

Thank you, that’s very kind of you. I’m thrilled to have you on the Conny. What is it like… every CO might answer this differently, so here is my own view of it: Basically, you are having all the fun, but have to put in the work for it. I see my crew as a family and hope that they feel like that, but that doesn’t just happen. Consistent writing, putting out fires, planning behind the scene, making sure everyone is involved, has fun and feels at home is pretty much what I do, but not alone. My staff helps me tremendously and they are a fantastic bunch of people without whom I’d be lost. Another important part to me is that you want others to shine, so I try to give them opportunities to tell their stories, to have their moments and balance it with having my own fun in many ways.

You give so much of your time and are available to those when they need you the most which is quite praiseworthy! What has been the greatest challenge, in character and out of character, with the command experience?

I think the biggest challenge is to make everyone happy and to keep everyone involved at all times. I am not always successful with that. Sometimes we have missions that, while liked by the majority, have been disliked by a minority. So trying to find ways to make the minority enjoy the mission as well is a challenge. Also, even if a mission is the best mission in the world, sometimes they don’t kick off or our crew members have real life things going on that will come in the way of writing. So we, as staff, deal with the challenge to keep things interesting and engage everyone. That can be a balance act and sometimes – no matter how hard we try – we drop into the safety net, while other times we soar into the skies.

Now, I was reading your profile and saw that you joined only seven years ago. Is that right? Where do you get your much talented inspiration from?

It’s been seven years already? Oh my. It doesn’t feel that long! Indeed, it’ll be eight years in June, amazing! My inspiration comes from everywhere, to be honest. It comes from looking around with open eyes, watching people, reading books, watching TV… I don’t believe that there is anything in this world that can’t be inspiring.

Out of all the OOC activities 118 has to offer, there’s The (Image) Collective which you’re the co-facilitator of. How did you get so talented in creating graphics, and what’s the best kind of advice you can give someone who is hesitant in exploring their image skills?

I got where I am through practice. As everyone else I want to pick up a hobby and be immediately awesome at it, sadly that doesn’t work. My first image manipulations were horrendous but I was so proud of them and didn’t know how bad they are! So I’ll tell you what I did in the beginning: I watched video tutorials on YouTube, followed them for months and months. I got Photoshop and played around with all the options to figure out what is doing what, and even now – after 10+ years – I still find new tools and ways to do things, so never stop learning. We also have a tutorial section in the wiki, some video tutorials and the like so check those out too. (http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=The_(Image)_Collective:_Tutorials) Keep practicing and if you are curious what you can do better, you can ask anyone in the Image Team and they will gladly help you. We are not only here to provide images for the members, we also aim to grow and improve together by helping each other out. More than anything, enjoy yourself, don’t be afraid of mistakes, there is an undo button! 😉

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

Have fun! Seriously, I know that especially in the beginning it can be intimidating. All these strangers to write with, stories that have been going on for such a long time, friends have been made already and then you come in as the new person and have to find your footing. We’ve all been there. But one thing that always helped me was to just jump in, join the fun, make up your stories and don’t be afraid to tag others. And most importantly if you are stuck, have no ideas, RL hits you hard… communicate with your mentor. You are never alone and we are all here to make sure you are having as much fun as we do so you as well can form these friendships, write these stories and be part of this amazing community.

Thank you for your time, Fleet Captain Jalana Rajel!

You can read more about Fleet Captain Jalana Rajel on the wiki.


Rahman Reviews: Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 – “Point of Light” & “An Obol for Charon”

The third and fourth episodes of Star Trek: Discovery’s second season revisit threads from last season while continuing the overall return to more traditional Trek storytelling.


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