NEW BAJOR, GAMMA QUADRANT — After a nearly fatal assassination attempt on their CO and a narrow escape from a massive explosion, the USS Thor (NCC-82607) is licking its wounds and weighing its options as the situation on New Bajor continues to deteriorate.
Join us for the fleetwide chat at a special time on Saturday, November 14 (US/EU) / Sunday, November 15 (AUS/NZ)
We invite all members of our community to join us in the Discord chat room on Saturday, November 14th (US/EU) / Sunday, November 15 (AUS/NZ) when we’ll be meeting at a special time for our players in Australian and New Zealand. As usual, we’ll talk about what’s happening around the fleet, learn more about each other, and discuss Star Trek!
The chat starts this Saturday, November 14 at 3:30pm Pacific, 6:30pm Eastern, 11:30pm UTC and Sunday, November 15 at 10:30am for Australia. Click here to see the start time in your zone, and add this event to your calendar.
This chat is open to all and casual, so feel free to come and go as you please. See you there!
THETA 122, THE ALPHA ISLES — Newly installed Alpha Quadrant patrol ship USS Arrow (NCC-69829) recently hosted to several Alpha Quadrant leaders while conducting operations on nearby Theta 122.
Whether you are looking for a way to better define your player character’s backstory, thinking about creating a new NPC or playing a mission related character one critical thing to think about it what prompted this character to take action?
In some role-playing systems this is called a “kicker” which is short for the thing that kicks your character into action. The kicker is an event or realization a character has just before a story begins. This functions as a catalyst that propel characters into taking action, whether that is action for the cause of the mission to to antagonize the mission.
You can think of this like the opening scene of many movies. Before the kicker, the focal character whether they are a protagonist or an antagonist is just some person. Maybe a good person, maybe a bad person, but one that is living a static life. The kicker pushes a character forward into action and that action becomes a story.
With a laundry list of accusations, enemies, nicknamed “The God of Lies”, Guinan doing the cat claws, described as “obnoxious”, “interfering”, a “pest”, and Picard’s glowing character reference of “devious and amoral and unreliable and irresponsible and… definitely not to be trusted,” how could we not cover the most wonderful, the sublime, and the irresistible charms of Q?
As a powerful, almighty, and divine-like entity from a race of faux-celestial beings known collectively as the Q, Commanding Officers of starships were briefed on the existence of this super influential race. Q would usually appear in humanoid form, dress in the uniform of a Starfleet Captain, and in every instance where he appeared, Q immediately commanded the stage. The obnoxious and sometimes dangerous being turned up on the bridges of the USS Enterprise, USS Voyager, and appeared on Deep Space Nine, to hassle the Captains with an underlying guise to better understand the human race for their folly and their actions, all with the best interests for the survival of Humanity kindling beneath.
Star Trek has in him one of the finest antagonists ever known, who eventually — through much, much trial and error — becomes a friend.
This week, we’d like to know…
What is your favourite moment of Q throughout the Star Trek series?
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 Corliss Fortune playing a Betazoid female counselor assigned to the USS Gorkon. She won the Order of the Valiant Heart: “This award is given to those ship’s Counselor who have shown great skill in protecting the mental health of their crewmates, clearly demonstrating superior ability to care, assist, and comfort those in need. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty in assisting their crewmates with their problems, and in preventing future problems from occurring.“
GALVEN: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?
FORTUNE: Heya! I’m Hailey and I’m from the grand ol’ state of Texas (we even have our own song, haha). It’s warm and sunny with plenty of allergens to knock you for a roll! I found SB118 way back in the day, but due to College I didn’t have time to check it out. A few years ago a friend of mine stopped roleplaying with me and I felt…lonely, I suppose, so I hunted down a roleplaying group, remembered this place, and decided to leap in and man, I’m glad I did!
Congratulations on being awarded the Order of the Valiant Heart! What does that mean for you and your character?
I’m so excited about it!! I mean it! I think it means that I’m doing a pretty swell job at keeping both in character and keeping things realistic. Sometimes you always get a little niggle that oh man, I’ve messed this up, but it feels good, you know? Means I should keep up the good work and get to it!
Do you take any inspiration from any of the Trek shows/books/movies or anywhere else when you begin writing for a scene?
As a kid, I went to visit my grandmother in another state. On the way there we slept at a hotel with like, two channels, and one of those held a marathon of TOS. My biggest memory is the one with the Horta and just a simple scene of Kirk talking with Spock.
I know various details from fanfics or the show, but when I don’t know something, I go detail hunting with a net and Bing, my own personal search engine, haha.
However when it involves a session, I fall back on Psychology books and magazines and articles of all kinds, searching for a little start of what I’m needing.
In Vice Admiral Quinn Reynolds presentation she says that you help the ship’s writers delve into their character psyches. Could you provide an example on what she means by that?
Sure! I think the one JP with Jo was absolutely interesting. In a pretty recent (how long has it been?) mission, Erin Reynolds (that is to say, Jo’s girlfriend) and Genkos Adea combined minds to ‘swim’ into Quinn’s mind to help her out (it’s very interesting, I greatly suggest reading through it).
Jo’s character was having a bit of an inner argument on how she felt about it.
Now, the thing is, obviously, irl we don’t have people with these powers, and thus the ‘feelings’ behind this is hard to explain. So instead, I rip it down to shreds on what a realistic envisioning of this would be.
However, you also have to take into effect how Corliss, herself, as a telepath and Betazoid, views this scenario. Plus, I tend to poke a little and ask how the writer wants to kind of see things going.
Thing is, you don’t quite know HOW things will go! You try your best! So, she pries a little, focuses on Jo’s feelings (as that’s what was the crux of things), and then gently suggests she speaks with Genkos and Erin about what occurred.
So far what’s happened is: delved into emotions, feelings, and even opened the door for more simming opportunities between Erin, herself, and Genkos at some point.
It helps evolve the story just as much as evolving the character of Jo herself, leaving the door open for her to ask more questions in the future about what may or may not happen between the three (and leaving the writer eager to bash out their own personal story alongside the main plot!)
And lastly, what advice can give new and/or veteran players when they choose to write for a unique duty post such as the counselor?
The best quote I have ever read is “You all have a little bit of ‘I want to save the world’ in you, that’s why you’re here, in college. I want you to know that it’s okay if you only save one person, and it’s okay if that person is you.”
What I like to do, what helps keep me floating along, is when I help others and dig around in their characters and go ‘hey, have you ever considered that this little detail might be evidence of something greater?’ It’s exciting to me, and it’s perfectly okay to let it excite you as well!
Don’t let just one type of counseling session be your ONLY type. Laying on the couch is only useful for some. Some like to pace, to shout, to yell, some like to use the holosuite to go on walks or challenge you to a duel. These open the door to not only exploring their characters, but your own by seeing how YOU react to a new environment!
And uh, don’t hesitate to research! If someone comes up and says ‘hey my character’s drinking problem is becoming an issue’, but you don’t know how to address it, take to Google! Read through AA sources, pound through psychology magazines, buy an audiobook and let it take you on a journey as you make notes.
But above all: have fun with it! Instantly fixing things might be tempting, but it’s much more fun-and helps your own character with their relationships with the crew-to keep digging in and offering real solutions to problems that take more than one attempt to work (such as anger management, couples therapy, EMDR, etc.) and more than one session to get to the bottom of.
Thanks for your time, Lieutenant Corliss Fortune!
You can read more about Lieutenant Corliss Fortune on the wiki.
Ops led the fleet with 344 sims in October, with the Chin’toka following at 279, the Gorkon at 261 and the Juneau at 191. Following the upper four were the Arrow with 168, the Thor with 158, and the Constitution with 157 and the Veritas with 155 and the Resolution with 153.
As we move towards the end of the year we look forward to seeing what ships have planned for their adventures to keep the momentum going!
Check out some of the highlights of this past month’s simming through our Appreciations forum, where you and your fellow members can nominate sims, great quotes, and other memorable moments for the rest of the fleet to enjoy!
Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Ikaia Wong!
Now that we’ve all exhausted ourselves on the candy we didn’t get to hand out last night because there were so few trick-or-treaters, all that’s left to do is announce who won this year’s Halloween Avatar Contest!
Just to reiterate how this works: We have one judge from each ship in the fleet review all the entrants, and rank each ship against the others on two metrics: Originality and Design. We add those two scores together and then multiply it by the crew’s participation in the contest – ships with fewer participants are marked down a certain percentage for each player who doesn’t participate. (We did discount players who had accessibility challenges.)
Over the years, science fiction has become synonymous with the weird and the wonderful, and the downright spooky. Twinning with the likes of horror and thrillers, such as the X Files and Doctor Who, during its run, each series of the Star Trek franchise has found something creepy and fantastic about exploring the edges of our understanding, our universe, and where the fringes of our reality lie. Week on week, Star Trek explored these ideas in sometimes fun and frolicking episodes, sometimes whimsical, sometimes philosophical, and now and then, we all had to get a cushion ready.
The horror effect is brought to bear in the movies, too. In The Wrath of Khan, parasitic ear bugs are used by Khan to crawl into the victim’s brain, wrap around the cerebral cortex, and turn the unwilling host into a compliant slave, going as far to inflict merciless pain on the victim if they fought against the subdermal orders. Frightening to think about. Gross to watch. First Contact ensured many of us developed an adequate fear of the Borg when Lieutenant Hawk became one with the collective, succumbing to the attacking Borg, and returns in Borg form to attack Picard.
From traditional horror to the more psychological in Voyager’s episode “The Haunting of Deck Twelve”, as Neelix gives a Halloween campfire-style ghost story to the young Borg kids to feast their fears upon. A strange tale for some, a gas nebula cloud for others, the space alien roams the deck, seeing the next victim. Or there’s the Next Generation episode, “Night Terrors”, with plenty of the tropes we like to see in a good sci-fi horror, such as Dr Crusher hallucinating the morgue stuffed with corpses all sitting up, the crew of the USS Brattain who murdered one another coming through the communication, and the persistent themes of insomnia.
Honourable mention: While it didn’t make it to the final list of spooktaculars, Voyager’s “Scientific Method” is, perhaps, one of the best episodes there is. Aliens doing scientific experiments are all over the ship, all over the crew, and people are dying. If you’ve not seen it, I won’t spoil it for you, because honestly, it’s one of my favourite episodes of Voyager, if not Star Trek, ever. Strong acting performances all round make it superb. Go watch it. You won’t be disappointed.
Dishonourable mention: Of course, we can’t let this slide past us without mentioning the actual ghost story (kinda), TNG’s “Sub Rosa”, where Dr Crusher fornicates with a ghost in a candle. There. It’s in here, it’s had a mention, let’s just move on.
Considering this is the final leg before Halloween, I’ve selected a couple of my favourites which sent my pulse racing the first time I saw them, so, this week we’d like to know…
Which of these episodes gave you the frights, jitters, and jumps?