Community News

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.


USS Montreal Destroyed Over Karakka

KARRAKA, SHOALS — Following the destruction of the USS Montreal (NCC-64927), the crew was transported to Star Station Esperance where they remained for the duration of Commander Mei’konda’s court-martial.


Lower Decks Interview: Ensign Addison MacKenzie, USS Veritas

We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community. The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border.

This month’s interview is with the writer behind Ensign Addison MacKenzie playing a Human female medical officer assigned to the USS Veritas.

GALVEN: Thank you accepting this interview with me! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

MACKENZIE: Thanks for the invite! My name is Matt, I’m 31 and from Cleveland, Ohio (in the United States). I’m a professional musician and love all things Trek – but I have to say I’m more a fan of the TNG and VOY eras. I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but I haven’t seen any of Discovery yet (I know, I know), and I never finished the final season of the Enterprise series. Rest easy, though – they’re on my list of things to get to before the summer is over.

How did you find out about StarBase 118 and what made you choose to ultimately stay with the community?

Well, I’ve been writing [for a lot of] sims/organizations since I was in high school. …I was figuring it out the other day, and I think it’s been about 18 years. Recently, I had been writing for a few sims in another fleet, but the progress was so slow (it took about a year to finish a mission), and the quality of the writing wasn’t that great. I got bored quickly and started looking for other places to write.

Google came through for me.

As a seasoned writer, I have to admit I wasn’t big on the idea of needing to go through training, but when I got in and saw the formatting was different, I totally understood why. The quality of the writers here is fantastic, and the commitment to detail on an organizational level is something to really be respectful of and admired. What Starbase 118 can offer a potential writer to develop a character (or characters) is something special. I haven’t encountered anything quite like it anywhere else.


USS Constitution-B Evacuation Attempts Successful, Science Stymied

GAMMA ORIONIS – Following a successful evacuation, the USS Constitution-B leaves an abandoned outpost and heads for home.


Poll of the Week: Exchange Officer Opportunities!

Starfleet has always been about exploring, and looking for similarities among differences, and embracing that which is unknown. As a result, from time to time, Starfleet officers are offered a rare opportunity- the chance to serve, in a temporary capacity, aboard a ship or instillation from another power. This is a truly special opportunity- representing the best of the Federation, while working on bridging cultural divides, is a prospect suited to only the finest officers.

Naturally, your characters would all qualify (wink).

So the question I have for you is this; what alien service would your character be most interested in joining? Would the confined, barren darkness of a Klingon warship suit their fancy? How about the spartan interiors of a Jem’Hadar beetle?

Perhaps you’d prefer to serve with a species not listed? Give us your vote, and explain away in the comments section!


Undercover Mission Into Pirate Haven Sees Gorkon Challenged

NASSAU, MA NO UMI — Three infiltration teams from the USS Gorkon (NCC-82293) descended upon the pirate haven asteroid  Nassau, hidden within the perilous territory known as Ma no Umi.


Embassy Staff Enjoy Shore Leave After Final Disposition Of Renegade Android

DURONIS II — The staff of the Embassy enjoyed a needed shore leave on Duronis II after dealing with a renegade android which was destroyed by Starfleet Security.


Writers Workshop: 25 Common Word Alternatives

Ever sit down to write a sim and find yourself stuck for words? Read through what you’ve written and realise that you tend to use the same words over and over again?

Below you’ll find a list of alternatives to 25 common words to spice up your writing. Let us know how it goes in the Writing Improvement Forum.

Angry:
Irate, enraged, touchy, cross, resentful, indignant, infuriated, wound up, worked up, seething, raging, heated, bitter, bad tempered, offended, frustrated

Bad:
Awful, lousy, poor, unacceptable, crummy, dreadful, rough, inferior, substandard, atrocious, appalling, dreadful, defective

Beautiful:
Striking, stunning, magnificent, lovely, charming, gorgeous, radiant, dazzling

Big:
Massive, huge, giant, gigantic, enormous, large, colossal, immense, bulky, tremendous, hefty, sizeable, extensive, great, substantial


USS Eagle Crew Enjoys Shore Leave, Promotion Of Officers

STARBASE 281 – In the aftermath of the disastrous first contact with the social group known as The People, the USS Eagle (NCC-74659) returned to Starbase 281 for a much-needed period of shore leave.


UFOP: SB118 was founded 25 years ago

Today, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of our community!

In that time, families have been formed as members become friends, and then partners, and then parents. Other members have joined as teens and then departed, to return years later as adults who had fond memories of simming in their youth. Some have found the opportunity to write for a character a way of understanding themselves in a new light, allowing them to become their true selves. And many who’ve been here have become better writers, have learned about leadership, and have honed communication skills that helped build their careers in real life.

Through all these years, there has been great stories told. There have been fights about community policies. There have been many people who’ve come and gone.

What remains is the fellowship, the idea that we can come together for a common purpose and find solace, find laughter, find joy.

What do you love about our community? What have you learned? What keeps you here? Click here to head to the forums to tell us all about it.

See also: “20 Years of Star Trek Simming,” published June 15, 2014.


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