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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.


Rahman Reviews: Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 – “Brother” & “New Eden”

The first two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery’s second season show a new direction for the series.


Federation News Service Briefing: Stardate 239511

The Federation News Service is a spinoff of UFOP: 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:

Starfleet relaunches USS Columbia after major refit – Stardate 239510.04
STARBASE 118 — After an extensive retrofit, the venerable starship USS Columbia was reactivated under the command of newly promoted Captain Theo Whittaker.

Reconstruction within Cardassian Union surges ahead of expected timetable – Stardate 239510.08
CARDASSIA IV — A recent report compiled by a variety of Federation scientists and xenocultural experts found that the Cardassian Union is rebuilding its architecture and infrastructure with surprising speed.

Tellarite Debate Championship Final enters fourth week – Stardate 239510.10
TELLAR PRIME — Following three months of quarter-finals and semi-finals, two teams in the Tellarite Debate Championship remain.

Hopes mounting as Starfleet responds to commercial quantum slipstream liner disappearance – Stardate 239510.16
SAN FRANCISCO, EARTH — With the quantum slipstream liner Red Star still missing, a press conference was called at Starfleet headquarters spearheaded by Starfleet officials alongside Red Carrier, the owner of the commercial passenger liner at the center of the media storm.

Federation Council announces sanctions against Romulan Star Empire for failed Duronis invasion – Stardate 239510.18
PARIS, EARTH — The Federation Council voted today to impose sanctions against the Romulan Star Empire for its invasion attempt of Duronis II earlier this year.

Colonization efforts halted by outbreak of Anchilles fever – Stardate 239510.22
VURAL IX — Federation efforts to establish a colony on Vural III have suffered a major setback as the construction team slowly recovers from an outbreak of Anchilles fever.

Romulan Star Empire withdraws support from Astrofori One in response to Federation sanctions – Stardate 239510.24
RATOR III — The Imperial Senate of the Romulan Star Empire declared it was withdrawing all Romulan support immediately from the joint operations of the interstellar station Astrofori One in the Menthar Corridor.

Original Nanpart Malor artwork sells for two thousand bricks of latinum – Stardate 239510.27
VOLCHOK PRIME — A small art auction held by a Ferengi trader quickly became a bidding war after bidders learned that an ink brush drawing by famed Cardassian artist Nanpart Malor was available.

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 fns.news.


Federation News Service Briefing: Stardate 239510

The Federation News Service is a spinoff of UFOP: 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:

Decommissioned Excelsior-class starship becomes a museum – Stardate 239509.07
PSI EPSILON III — The recently decommissioned USS Melroy has been restored to its original state and turned into a museum that documents a previous era in Starfleet history.

Merger in the Ferengi beverage industry surprises market experts – Stardate 239509.12
FERENGINAR – Executives of the Slug-o-Cola company announced this morning a surprise merger agreement with upstart competitor Lappa IV Beverages.

Starfleet ranger missing in action near Tholian border – Stardate 239509.13
THE SHOALS — After weeks of no contact, Lieutenant Kehive na-Soldim has been declared missing in action as search parties find no trace of the Starfleet ranger or his runabout.

Cestus III gains new baseball team, possible league title contender – Stardate 239509.17
CESTUS III — The thriving baseball league on the Federation world of Cestus III has seen a new team, the Traerston Tigers, join its ranks.

First holographic student accepted to Aldebaran Music Academy – Stardate 239509.20
ALDEBARAN III — Despite protests from some faculty members, the Aldebaran Music Academy has decided to accept the application of a holographic student for the first time in the school’s history.

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 fns.news.


Federation News Service Briefing: Stardate 239508

The Federation News Service is a spinoff of UFOP: 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:

Pre-warp species resettled after 22nd-century Starfleet crew rescued – Stardate 239507.17
PLANET TE-965-2035 — While rescuing officers from the 22nd-century Starfleet vessel Columbia, the crew of the USS Thor helped a pre-warp species find a new home in the Typhon Expanse.

Targ numbers dwindle as concern for species grows – Stardate 239507.18
QO’NOS — The Qo’nos Wildlife Organisation has officially declared the targ an “at risk” species.

Wedding party denied boarding at Lunaport after binging on Romulan Ale – Stardate 239507.28
LUNAR ONE COLONY — A wedding party was denied boarding onto a transport from Lunaport space station after reportedly drinking four cases of Romulan Ale in fifteen minutes in response to being informed that they could not take thirty-five cases of the substance as hand luggage.

Risa-bound starliner disappears carrying 2,400 passengers – Stardate 239508.13
BAJOR – The Red Star, the flagship quantum slipstream starliner of Red Carrier, has disappeared during a routine transport to Risa.

Court martial set to begin in aftermath of USS Astraeus disaster – Stardate 239508.23
STARBASE 74 – The court-martial proceedings against Commander Victor Yaeger, previously the commanding officer of the USS Astraeus, are scheduled to begin today.

Tellarite mythology undergoes a reawakening in contemporary art culture – Stardate 239508.28
BETAZED – Rich and intriguing fables and myths passed down through generations for thousands of years have now found a new home in the contemporary art scene of the Federation.

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 fns.news.


Ship Closeup: USS Veritas

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” – Veritas motto

I recently sat down with the crew of the USS Veritas, NCC-95035, in order to better understand one of the more unique vessels that compose our great fleet. The Veritas is not your typical vessel for a variety of reasons. For one, its location in the Shoals is quite unique: Tetryon emissions extending throughout the area make for some intriguing challenges from the very beginning!

“(Y)ou cannot go higher than warp 5 in certain areas, and can by no means use slipstream drive or get communications out swiftly – subspace and letters are crackled or delayed at best” – Deliera, who plays LtCmdr. Sky Blake, the Ranger aboard the Veritas

These kinds of restrictions, not applicable to any other post in the fleet, has some intriguing side effects, which, according to Deliera, was precisely the goal. By cutting down contact with the outside universe, and the bigger picture as a whole, the crew is able to concentrate on the smaller, yet equally meaningful parts of the region they inhabit, which fosters further creativity.


Odd Jobs of Starfleet: Commander Kelrod is a SAR Team Leader

Hello and today we have the pleasure of speaking to Commander Kelrod, the SAR team leader aboard the USS Veritas.

JANN: Your character is a SAR team leader, could you tell our readers what a day looks like for you?

KELROD: That depends on the day. When we’re not in a mission, on an away team, the day for Kelrod starts early, doing some light breakfast, stretching exercises and then reading the last reports from the ship. Then he checks the crew rotations and check with the enlisted personnel that are the base of the SAR team, programming equipment checks and performing training exercises of different kinds. We have different officers that perform specific training as their duties allow and I attend to all of them, if he’s not in sick bay. He doesn’t usually spend a shift on the bridge, unless there’s a situation that requires it, so when not training or on the bridge, he studies, analyze and work with different departments to improve the team and the equipment.


Technobabble: The Universal Translator

In Star Trek we have been made familiar with a fictional device called the Universal translator, which allows for instant translation between different species without those species needing to learn Federation Standard. This was first mentioned and used in Star Trek: Enterprise where an Ensign called Hoshi Sato improved on the translation tech currently available and the improvements allowed for a portable unit to be used, thus making communication easier. Initially, the new language was compared to other Terran dialects and friendly species to make strange words sound like Federation Standard to the humans in Star Trek; the same was done for all the different languages among the people.

In Captain Archer’s time, the universal translators were blocky and small enough to be hidden when on missions. Eventually, the universal translators were merged with the personal communications devices, so when away teams during Archer’s time visited a planet the communicators automatically translated. This only worked if the foreign language was already known, otherwise, away teams during the 2150s used a proper universal translator to collect data on the new language. This continued until the creation of the United Federation of Planets.

Before 2161, the collection of languages was at best rudimentary, but collecting scientific data was more refined and Starfleet had more foreign languages to compare new ones too. Over the decades, the universal translators improved and ended up as a feature of comm badges we see in later Star Trek series. In today’s world a form of these devices exist, but they operate in a limited way: You speak a phrase in English, and it will spit back what that phrase would be in another language. One drawback is that they only work with predetermined words we know about, but the underlying technology does exist in today’s world.

Want to know more about the technology available in the Star Trek universe? Check out UFOP: Starbase 118 Star Trek PBEM RPG’s very own Starfleet Equipment & Devices page.


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