Each month we interview a First Officer or Commanding Officer of the fleet as part of our “First Officer in Focus” and “Captain’s Corner” columns to get to know them better, and learn more about what their positions entail.
This month, we’re interviewing the First Officer of the newly relaunched USS Atlantis, LtCmdr. Alexander Williams, a Human/Bajoran male.
Let’s get started!
WOLF: Tell us a little about the writer behind Williams. Where do you hail from, and what are you up to when you’re not simming?
WILLIAMS: My name is Roel and I have been a member of SB118 for 4 years now. Star Trek is a dying genre in The Netherlands but I grew up with it as a kid. TNG was on every saturday and I have seen all the series that followed. I work at a high school (pre-university level) as a history teacher and in my spare time I like to read and play video games. All related to history of course.
Why’d you choose a Bajoran hybrid, and what do you find compelling about Bajorans?
I’ve always been interested in religion. Since religion isn’t a big factor in Starfleet I decided to add that part by making my character half Bajoran. I am not wearing an earring but I like to write Alex thinking about the Prophets every now and then. In a way Alex is lot like me.
What ships have you served on and what duty posts have you played so far in your Starfleet career?
That is quite a list. I started on the old Apollo under the command of Captain Jaxx as a tactical officer. When it was destroyed by the Borg (maybe, just maybe, I added them to the plot) half the crew moved to the USS Constitution where I started to serve as chief tactical and security. About a year later I moved on the Excalibur but that was a short lived ship so I went back to the Conny, this time under a new captain and I changed my main character since the tactical station was already taken. I came up with a Betazoid geek, but truth be told I missed Alex. When the community launched a new ship, The USS ZA, I didn’t hesitate and moved over to roll back to Alex and become the chief tactical again. There I met my girlfriend and together we moved over to the Athena when I was invited to be its First Officer. Me and Nicole go a long way back ever since the first Apollo so it was good to have a chance to explore a new role and be with some old friends again. With the Athena crew moving over to the Atlantis I kept my role as First Officer and well… that’s how I ended op here. Quite a history in 4 years!
What’s your favorite, and least favorite!, parts about playing a First Officer?
That is tough one as I am still getting to know the part. Obviously there is a lot more responsibility. That is both good and bad. It’s fun to see you get tagged more often and it’s a great way to develop my character in its new role. Of course the task more demanding as well. I have a lot of plots to keep moving. And the job comes with a little paperwork behind the scenes. But so far it’s not as much as I feared.
Tell us more about your writing style. What’s your process for putting together a sim?
I always take my last sim to start with. I copy past the last few tags and add a bit of narrative in front. From there I add all the sims that came after. Adding all the tags and narratives from the others. Then I started to add my own narrative and tags and most of the time i try to add a bit of new content and tags for others to work with. As a FO I decided to give a bit more room on how the plot is going to the new writers as they still find it challenging to push the plot forward and the best way to learn is to “just do it”.
Looking back on your experience so far, what would be one piece of advice you’d give to others on how to be a successful First Officer?
I think it’s too soon to say I am a successful First Officer. That’s not being modest but I am still learning the job. I think my sims are entertaining and keep people moving and that is what a good writer/officer should do. Right now for example I am in the middle of a standoff with a space station. With the captain on the planet I have to make the calls and avoid a fight. I know Alex as a tactical offer would like to push the buttons and start shooting, as a first officer he can’t. It’s fun to sim the struggle Alex goes through and by tagging others I want to keep them part of that discussion as well. Keeping people active is key to success.
Is there a particular aspect of your role of First Officer that motivates you in your position?
As I said, being first officer is a key role. The other members of the group want to interact more and that is a lot of fun. When we started our first mission a few weeks ago I was tagged from all sides. People wanting to talk to me in the briefing, calling me over to engineering, someone tagged me in my office. That is a big difference from my days a tactical officer. There is more to sim and that is what i like the most. Simming, and keep people active. Challenging them to come up with some nice unexpected tags.
Thanks so much for your time!
You can read more about LtCmdr. Williams on the wiki.