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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.


New journal article: “Operation Overclocking: Computational Retrofitting To Galaxy-Class Vessel”

Freshly promoted Lieutenant (JG) Choi Ji-hu needed a confidence booster. The challenge of writing a character with general anxiety and low self-esteem is answering the question: what would get them to take up a position of command or authority? In Ji-hu’s case, he had the mantle of provisional office head of the Engineering Systems Programming Office (ESPO) thrust upon him by veteran Constitution engineer Lieutenant Dag Sindri.

I envisioned the ESPO as a team of eccentric, forgotten misfits, computer nerds–think The IT Crowd–relegated to the bowels of the Constitution, wedged between an Engineering support office and the Main Impulse engine. I dreamed up Operation Overclocking as a means of having them wreak havoc on the ship, which includes, but is not limited to, titling Jalana Rajel “Captain Cactus,” frightening an Emergency Medical Hologram, giving two shipboard holographic beings unimagined raw power and increasing computational efficiency aboard the Constitution by an astounding 0.015%.

Read it now: “Operation Overclocking: Computational Retrofitting To Galaxy-Class Vessel”


The Science in Science Fiction: The Baryon Sweep

After strangely located seismic activity, you probably would like a shore-leave. Why not request a baryon sweep, so you can not only relax, but also return to a perfectly clean ship? Sounds too good to be true? Probably. The question you need to ask yourself is: clean of what?

What does it do?
This question is easily answered by reading the Memory Alpha page on the baryon sweep. Therefore, I quote: “A baryon sweep was a procedure used to eliminate baryon particles from a starship.” So if I read this correctly, the sweep removes either certain – or all – baryons, which emit radiation, which is harmful in large quantities.


Ship Closeup: USS Blackwell

The USS Blackwell is part of a larger story that is being told in the Par’tha Expanse. The Olympic-class vessel is one of four Starfleet ships that make up the ambitious Andaris Taskforce, a multi-starship campaign being simmed by eighteen player characters.

At the head of the Taskforce is veteran Starbase 118 player Rear Admiral Renos, and his PC, Captain Akinor Onali Zaekia, commands the Blackwell.

Renos pulled together the Andaris Taskforce with the SB118 crew because he wanted to try something different. “I’ve got a large and ambitious crew, with a number of people looking for leadership opportunities as they work along the command path with the ultimate goal of getting their own commands some day.


Federation News Service Briefing: Stardate 239403

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’s what the FNS published last month:

Protests erupt over controversial war criminal case – Stardate 239402.05
EARTH — Bajorans and other Federation citizens staged a protest today in Paris, rallying against a Federation ruling to try a Cardassian war criminal off Bajoran soil.

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 239402

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’s what the FNS published last month:

Celebrations across the Federation ring in the new stardate year – Stardate 239401.11
EARTH — On the heels of the new Earth year of 2394, Federation worlds today observed the beginning of the new stardate year.

Borderland colony commemorates second anniversary – Stardate 239401.18
TRINITY SECTOR — The inhabitants of the remote Federation colony Pernipia Gamma IV are celebrating the second anniversary of the planet’s colonization this month.

Ferenginar’s 8 richest hold as much wealth as bottom half of all Ferengi – Stardate 239401.27
MUGAR MUGA, FERENGINAR — A new report published by the Divine Treasury warns that the status of global economic inequality is far more dire than predicted, with most Ferengi failing to exploit the citizens of galactic neighbors to the extent possible since the introduction of warp travel to Ferengi society.

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.


Meet the writers of 2016’s Top Sim: T’Lea and Rune Jolara

In place of our regular monthly interview with a member of the Academy Training team, we’re instead going to be interviewing the winners of 2016 Top Sims Contest, T’Lea and Rune Jolara, whose sim titled “Defying a Direct Order” won them the coveted title of “Top Sim of 2016”!

Let’s dive in and learn more about these writers and this well-written sim.

WOLF: Hi there and congratulations on your win! I’m really excited to learn more about the story behind this sim. But first, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourselves as players and writers, and how long you’ve been members of our community?

T’LEA: First, let me say that I really appreciate all the support for our sim. The competition was, and always is tough. How long have I been with the community? I believe it’s been over ten years now, and I hope to be here for ten more. When I first started writing back in 1993 I was fresh out of high school, and at the time DS9 was accepting spec scripts. I wrote a few and sent them in, but nothing ever came of it, except my growing passion for writing and Star Trek. When I found this community it combined the two things that I love, and the rest is history! Since then, this group has become a second family to me. A family of writers who understand and enjoy the same passion for Trek and storytelling that I do. As a full-time caregiver to a disabled family member, you all have provided support through friendship, and no matter what ship I have been assigned to (there’s been quite a few over the years) writing with you all has provided an outlet for me in the best of times and in the worst of times. This place truly is special to me.

JOLARA: Thank you and, likewise, I want to thank everyone for their support. I originally joined in 2005 but ended up taking an extended LOA. I came back a couple more times but, again real life got in the way. I finally came back to stay in 2012. I really can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing in one form or the other. Even during my childhood I would sneak away and write. It’s helped me through some pretty dark times in my life. My earliest memories of Star Trek is watching TOS with my uncle. When TNG came out, my interest (almost obsession) in all things Trek was reignited and hasn’t really stopped. Like, T’Lea, this group combined two things I loved the most. As a bonus, I’ve met some pretty incredible people and made some lasting friendships… really they’re like a second family. I wouldn’t trade my time here for the world.


Federation News Service Briefing

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’s what the FNS published last month:

The Klingon Empire: Accepted Ally or Tolerated Blot? – Stardate 239312.19
In this two-part editorial series, FNS foreign affairs reporter Flynn Dupond questions the Federation’s alliance with an empire built on conquest, subjugation, and conflict.

The Trouble with the Klingon Empire, Part 2 – Stardate 239312.30
FNS foreign affairs reporter Flynn Dupond concludes his two-part editorial series about the Klingon Empire, bringing attention now to its social and civil problems.

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.


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