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On Course to Captaincy: Sal Taybrim

MARK: Hi, Jamie! It’s kind of cool for me to interview you because it was your article on metagaming that landed me here at Starbase 118. So my character and I thank you!

JAMIE: Awesome, you are most welcome! It’s great to be here, and I’m really glad to hear that!

Congrats on starting your Captaincy Exam. I was hoping we could backtrack a little to explore how you got here. You took a pretty big step as a player


Time With Toni Turner

If you’ve been in Starbase 118 for any length of time, you’ve probably at the very least have seen the name Toni Turner. More than likely, you’ve interacted with her at some point, and for many of those in SB118, they’ve had the pleasure of seeing her in a role of leadership. Today, we get to know a little more about her in one of those roles.

DeVeau: Welcome and thank you for taking some time to allow us to get to know you and your character a little better.

Turner: That’s no problem at all. I’m glad to help in any way I can.

You’ve been a part of SB118 for quite some time now, haven’t you?

Yes, ten years last September. I suppose that’s a long time, yet it doesn’t seem so. As they say, (whoever *they* are), time flies when you’re having fun. ::smiles::


In Command: Captain Quinn Reynolds

Quinn Reynolds is a name that has been around for some time. Although I have only been in the group for a couple of years, I have had the fortune to serve almost all of my ‘service’ time with her – that is, until recently. Today, we get to learn a bit more about her and her new post as Commanding Officer of the Sovereign class vessel, USS Gorkon.

DeVeau: Thank you for joining us today!

Reynolds: Thank you! I’m pleased to be here.

DeVeau: Please tell us a little bit about how you came to SB118.

Reynolds: I honestly can’t remember! I think I may have been looking for a place to roleplay in the Star Trek universe, and I vaguely recall googling “Star Trek RPG” or something similar. SB118 popped up at the top of the list, and I jumped in and applied.

DeVeau: Was Quinn your first character, or did others come before?


Insights from the Command Chair: Captain Shelther Faranster

Avatar System – I’m Kyra Ilan, coming to you from Deep Space 285.  Federation News Service has secured an interview with one of Starfleet’s Commanding Officers. Reaching that goal is the pinnacle of any officer’s career. The path to Command is competitive, yet its very solitary at the top. Ultimate responsibility rests with the brave men and women who choose to follow this path, succeed at training and are entrusted with a command position.

Today we’re speaking with Captain Shelther Faranster Commanding Officer of the USS Doyle-A.  It’s a pleasure to spend some time with one of Starfleet’s Commanding Officer’s to gain more insight into the world of command.  For a short time he commanded the USS Constitution-B, his first command prior to his current assignment. Taking command of a new ship is a highlight of every Captain’s career.

Ilan: First I’d like to say congratulations on your promotion and your new command. This is a unique opportunity to speak with a Commanding Officer so we have a few questions for you. Why change ships to the USS Doyle-A?

Faranster: After the last few months, and the trouble we’ve had on the good old USS Constitution, I am suspecting that Starfleet wanted something more modern, and not as apt to have as many shield or computer problems.

Faranster (OOC) – As I worked up the ranks, I was asked what ship I would want if I made Captain, different captains had the choice ships, and others climbing the ranks had their preferences. So, I actually thought what I would want to name my ship, before I thought of the class. I wanted to know how it would sound: Captain Faranster of the USS Doyle. I chose the name because I am a big Sherlock Holmes fan, and USS Holmes, USS Sherlock, USS Watson, just didn’t sound the same.

Ilan: Tell me a bit about why you chose a Luna-class ship?


In Command: Renos

After experiencing an unprecedented amount of growth in our fleet in the last few months, we’ve responded with a series of launches and relaunches: Commander Leo Handley-Page aboard Starbase 118, Commander Renos on the Darwin, and Fleet Captain Kali Nicholotti with the Excalibur. In this interview, James, the writer behind Renos and an experienced former CO (he previously wrote for Greir Reinard), explains much about the relaunch of the Darwin and the adventures he has planned for his crew.

Q: When you were asked to become a CO again, what made you choose to relaunch the Darwin into the Zeta Gelis region?

A: The Horizon class USS Darwin NCC 99312-A was always a ship I felt passionately about, particularly as I designed and created it based off the ship as seen in Star Trek Online (STO). It always felt like I had unfinished business with the ship and region because there were so many things I wanted to do with both. It also helped that I’ve simmed in the region for something like 2 years now, so I have a lot of familiarity with the resident species and the stories that have been told in the region which I like to build upon.

The Darwin might not be the best armed ship but the containment sphere is something else no other ship has and it presents us with a number of unique opportunities. We’ve already used the containment sphere to cleanse the atmosphere of a planet poisoned with Trilithium resin and faced with the total annihilation and extinction of all life. We also have the possibility of sheltering small ships such as shuttles inside the containment sphere, or collecting huge samples from nebulas or conducting large scale experiments within it. There is also the fact that the ship is built like a tank and can take quite a considerable pounding, making any ship to ship combat frustrating to assailants, even if it takes some clever thinking on our part to compensate for the weaker offensive capabilities.

The Zeta Gelis Region is near Romulan space, which alone gives us a lot to explore post Hobus but it’s also home to a few other interesting species:
* The Zakdorn – a strategically masterful race on the edge of Federation space
* Zalkonians – a Xenophobic, isolationist species of which a handful are hunted due to an evolutionary process that seems them transform in non-corporeal beings.
* Asavii – A reptilian, underwater dwelling species of my own creation in the early stages of exploring space and intergalactic relations.

There are still stories I wanted to explore with them and I had a shuttle race planned for our home station Deep Space 6 as well as a few other surprises. Looking to the future, once I have explored that which I had in mind in the Zeta Gelis Region it is my hope to move the Darwin into a new campaign region.


In Command: Shel Faranster

A large majority of our characters are members of Starfleet. As such, our characters are often driving toward the rank of captain. Today we’ll talk to a player whose is closing on that penultimate rank: Commander Shel Faranster, CO of the USS Constitution-B.

DeVeau: Hello Commander Faranster! Thank you for joining me!

Faranster: You’re welcome, I must say I was intrigued when I got the invitation.

DeVeau: Now I always like to start these sort of interviews by getting to know a little about your background. Would you mind telling us how you got started with SB118?

Faranster: Well, I found SB118 by chance when I was looking for an old game I had once played. The site drew me in, the years of experience, the community, I just had to decide what character I wanted to play, sign up and here I am.

DeVeau: How many characters have you played?

Faranster: Oh… Well, I have Sundassa Faranster, Shelther Faranster, and a bunch of PNPCs, played an MSNPC in every mission thus far and when times call for an NPC, I throw an email out for them. The number of character, minus NPCs, comes to about 16, which includes 9 MSNPCs.

DeVeau: Who was your favourite and why?


A Moment With Cascadia Rainier

After several years of service the player behind Fleet Captain Nicholotti has decided to change directions with a brand new character. Here are a few words she had to say on the subject.

Eickleberger: Fleet Captain Nicholotti has been around for a long time, what prompted you to change characters?

Rainier: There comes a time where a story simply plays itself out. To further perpetuate the story of Kalianna Nicholotti continually felt more and more false and she became far more difficult to play than I had imagined. Yet, she had been around for so long and had been a part of so much that she needed to go out with a bang. With events transpiring that would make the transition another epic part of the story we weave on the Excalibur, it seemed like fate was telling me it was time. And so it went.

Eickleberger: What inspired you to make Cascadia?

Rainier: I wanted to play something different, and what could be different from Kali than the opposite of the well loved, popular, leader who was made through blood and fire than a little known woman from a race that was decidedly unliked and untrusted with few connections to anyone or anything. My own love for the mountains of our world led to her name.

Eickleberger: How does Cascadia differ from Kaliana?

Rainier: How doesn’t she? To be honest, I know that some things will bleed through to the character from my own personality, as they may have with Kali, but I’m hoping that I can consciously play this character differently than Kali based on the simple fact that she comes from a vastly differing background. The same base isn’t present, so it’s safe to assume the final product will be different as well.

Eickleberger: What does Cascadia share with you in terms of personality?

Rainier: I don’t know yet. I am well aware that some players plan characters out, but I’ve always been one to let them lead the way. Kali did her own thing, and while that sounds kind of strange, there was simply something that stopped me from doing things with her that she wouldn’t do. When I forced her into actions that didn’t feel right the writing suffered. When I pretty much closed my eyes and let the scene play out in my head, she came to life in ways I couldn’t have envisioned. The hope is that Cass will do the same thing.

Eickleberger: What can we expect to see from Cascadia in her command?

Rainier: At this point, her ‘big chance’ so to speak, she refuses to fail. Because of the race she belongs to and how much the Federation council doesn’t trust her, she’s never been allowed a command beyond the stations and defense ships of the Sol System. Though brilliant scientifically, having worked on the slipstream drive and other advances, she does not have experience in command of large ships outside the central system of Starfleet. At this point, she’s very ‘by the book’ and learning compromise will be one of those things that comes in time. At least I hope so.


In Command: Liam Frost

There are many types of characters that inhabit the world of Starbase 118, and many different positions to be held within Starfleet. For many, the ultimate goal is to advance through the ranks and become the commanding officer of one’s own star ship. It takes time, dedication, and hard work to achieve this goal. Today, we’re going to find out a little bit about the writer behind one of the characters who has stepped up and successfully slipped into the commanding chair – Commander Liam Frost.

DeVeau: So, let’s start from the beginning. How long have you been at SB118 and how did you come to find this group?

Frost: I joined the group just about three and a half years ago. The short version of how I came to be in this group is through a friend of a friend. I’ve had an interest in Creative Writing RPGs for many years. A good friend of mine (currently writing for LtCmdr Oliver Weston) heard about the group from a friend of his. We both decided to have a go at it and we’ve been here ever since.


A Moment with Commander Reinard

After rounding up a bushel of awards at the 2013 ceremony Commander Greir Reinard is also commanding a brand new vessel in the fleet, the Horizon class USS Darwin-A. Lets see what we can learn from the following interview conducted by Newsies Reporter, and Darwin crewmember, Jansen Orrey.

Jansen: First off Congratulations on the Awards.

Greir: Thanks very much!

Jansen: So what made you choose the Horizon class as your ship?

Greir: I wanted to use a class of ship that wasn’t currently being used in the fleet. I’ve never been massively into combat oriented missions; I prefer science, exploration and poking my nose in where it doesn’t belong. The Horizon class appealed to me because it has a very distinct look and the spherical containment section is quite different to almost all other classes of ship. I thought we could have a lot of fun with it and that it would add something distinctive and unique to the fleet.

Jansen: How does it feel to be the winner of the Top Sim contest for 2013?

Greir: It’s feels pretty great! It’s the second time I’ve won the top sim competition and I couldn’t be more proud. The sim was part of one of Greir’s major plot arcs for the year, Ed and I really enjoyed writing it. There was some pretty difficult and tense moments in there and we wanted to get it just right. I’m just really pleased that so many other people in the fleet read it and enjoyed it – that’s the best reward of all as far as I’m concerned.
Jansen: Let’s talk about Grier for a moment. What makes Grier so unique of a character to write for?

Greir: One of the most unique features about him is his fielding ability, which allows him to sense all manner of energy. It’s a sense no other species has and I’ve had a lot of fun exploring it. He’s great because he has a lot of personality. Before I started writing for him I did a lot of research about the Laudeans and their home planet Til’Ahn/Duronis II. Because I had a strong backstory for him and had an opportunity shortly after starting writing for him to do some great character development with him I was able to create a much richer character than I’d ever done previously. He has certain characteristics which work in his favor in some circumstances but which can hold him back in others.

Jansen: Grier has also had a meteoric rise to this current stop on his career path based on your own hard work. Can you talk a bit about what you most enjoy about working Out Of Character within the fleet?

Greir: What I like about doing OOC work is that it’s my opportunity to give something back. I’ve had a lot more fun playing this game than many MMORPG’s which I’ve subscribed to. I’ve met a lot of really great people and made a lot of friends. I want the group to continue being as successful and I want everyone else to have as much fun here as I do – so I roll up my sleeves and help! Not only that, but helping with different groups and projects lets me meet even more people from around the fleet that I maybe don’t get to write with regularly.

Jansen: Part of that was evidence by your Rising Star award. Much of which shows your fellow members faith and trust in you as a leader. How does it feel to receive that award?

Greir: I couldn’t be happier really. It’s a real honour to receive that award.

Jansen: You also received, The Order of the Valiant Heart, The Strange Medallion, and The Locutus Award. What drives you as a writer?

Greir: I’m always looking for ways to improve as a writer. I think that there’s always more to learn whether you’ve been writing for weeks or years. Other than that it’s the characters. I really enjoy writing for my different characters, particularly Greir and I usually have some idea or concept I want to explore with them. I also love getting to know the other characters in the fleet and seeing how they’re similar or different to mine, finding out how they interact with others and deal with events eyc.

Jansen: Can you give us some outlook into the future? Both for Greir and yourself within the fleet?

Greir: I want to carry on giving it my best really. As for Greir, I have plenty of ideas and plans for him in the works. no spoilers though. You’ll have to read along to find out what’s in store for him.

Jansen: And tell us a little about your experience within our group so far.

Grier: It’s been a very positive experience. I’ve really enjoyed all the adventures and developing my writing ability. I love that i’ve got to the point where I feel able to pass on what I’ve learned in the last two years to others. I’ve developed leadership ability too but by far the best thing about this groups is the people. I’ve met so many great people and made many friends, so I couldn’t be happier.

Jansen: Thank you very much taking the time to talk with me today.

Grier: No problem. It’s great to talk to you too.


Meet Fleet Captain Diego Herrera

After being appointed Captain at Large for 2014 and Staff Member of the Year Fleet Captain Diego Herrera has certainly had an eventful 2013.Lets see what we can learn from the following interview conducted by Newsies Reporter Jansen Orrey.

Jansen: Congratulations on your award.

Diego: Thanks very much!

Jansen: It must mean a lot to be chosen as Staff Member of the Year by your peers.

Diego: Yes! I was really grateful for the award and the write up that went with it was awesome. Made my Christmas!

Jansen: What do you think it was that led them to select you?

Diego: It’s tough to answer that question without sounding like I’m boasting, but the citation that Fleet Admiral Wolf listed in the awards ceremony basically covers it. I wanted to make sure I put a good shift in this year – I love this group because you can get reward out of writing with other people but you can also get reward out of organising things for them to take part in that are valuable, fun and memorable. Writing Improvement Month’s author interviews and Fall Fest were two big things for me this year. Both took a lot of work but both were absolutely worth it. I had support from some of the major players in the community – Fleet Captains Jaxx and Nicholotti and Fleet Admiral Wolf for both events, with no small contribution from Commander Reinard for Fall Fest. Then you have the people who hosted and attended chats. It’d be easy for me to sit here and claim glory for both of those things but without the help and support I had, nothing would have been possible. The author chats back in February were one part of a much larger event as well, which had a great many contributors!

Jansen: And how about being selected as Captain at Large for 2014?

Diego: It was really cool to be offered that position! It’s great to be able to represent the captains on the Executive Committee and it’s nice to be trusted with that responsibility!

Jansen: What outlook can you give us for the coming year?

Diego: In what respect? Are we talking for the fleet, personally, or both?

Jansen: Both as well as in regard to the Executive Committee. Do you have any personal goals after such a blockbuster year?

Diego: If we’re talking in general terms then I would like to capitalise on last year. The easy goal to set is to do as much. A better goal would be to beat that. I want to keep up my participation with the fleet, SIMming and OOC, and contribute wherever I can to help us continue to be the fantastic roleplaying group we are today!

Jansen: What is it that drives you as a writer within the group?

Diego: As a writer? I would have to say my characters. I’ve had a blast writing for all of them this year and a special shout out to Tallis Rhul who passed away IC – he set the benchmark for all of the characters I write. I don’t know if it’s normal/usual to be giving shouts out to fictional characters, but I just did! I’m enjoying seeing where Diego’s path is leading him and there’s a gaggle of other characters I’m writing for who have been great fun to play as well.

Jansen: You did some amazing things this year. Can you give us some insight into what it took not only to organize but to make everything seem so seamless?

Diego: Wow. That’s a tough question. There’s just a lot of correspondence is the best answer to that, I think. Correspondence, general writing and just making sure things are running according to plan. It’s taken a lot of online time and plugging away at the keyboard but it’s definitely all been worth it. And how to make things run (or appear to run) seamlessly? Preparation. Pretty much all of the projects I’ve worked on I haven’t done so alone, so where I’ve been in a leadership role I just make sure everyone knows what the story is and we all work together. That’s really where the success of the group lies!

Jansen: Thank you so much for the insightful answers and your time here. I am sure people will find it all very illuminating.

Diego: No problem! Great talking to you!


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