Interview

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Lower Decks interview: Ensign Colleen Bancroft, USS Gorkon

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 Colleen Bancroft, playing a human Security/Tactical officer assigned to the USS Gorkon.

Shayne: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?

Bancroft: In real life, I am an artist across various mediums, recently married, and currently focusing on my massive backlog of personal projects while writing for both the Gorkon and other stuff! I live in Colorado, US, but am originally from Kentucky via Indiana.


Lower Decks interview: LtJG Arturo Maxwell, SB118 Ops

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 LtJG Arturo Maxwell playing a human Tactical officer assigned to StarBase 118 Ops.

WOLF: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?

MAXWELL: Hey 🙂 As those on Ops will already know, I’m Iain. I live in the UK, in Cheshire to be precise and I’m an avid fan of all things sci-fi, fantasy and historical. I’m also a reenactor of the English Civil War, but don’t tell anybody…


Captain’s Corner: Sal Taybrim

Each month, we interview a captain or first officer of the fleet to gain more insight on what it takes to command a ship and learn more about how each of these staff members found their way into these roles.

This month, we’re interviewing Captain Sal Taybrim, CO of StarBase 118 Ops – our oldest simming installation that I, myself, founded in 1998!

WOLF: As far as I can tell the last time I interviewed you was way back in March of 2016 – that’s a shame! Can you refresh our audience’s memory and tell us a little about yourself including where you hail from and what you like to do when you’re not simming or leading super fun fleetwide chats?

TAYBRIM: Well, I live in Wisconsin, USA and spent most of my time in small towns – both for work and where I live. I grew up on a farm so small towns feel comfortable; but I love having the internet as a tool to talk to people all over the globe! When I’m not writing my husband and I run a variety of 5K races and obstacle courses, I’m still training for my second degree black belt in tae kwon do, love cooking and baking and I like to knit crazy things! Like socks that proudly proclaim “Don’t Panic!”


Lower Decks interview: LtJG. Choi Ji-hu, Constitution

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 LtJG Choi Ji-hu playing a human male assigned to the Constitution.

WOLF: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?

CHOI: I hail from the distant realm of Toronto, Canada, where I live with my boyfriend and our grumpy goblin of a cat. I’m a journalist, game maker and writer. I won’t bore you with my resume, but a couple of professional projects I’m especially proud of are a column I write with a colleague on lesser known LGBTQ history, called History Boys, and I’m also currently on the writing team of a dystopian science fiction resource management game called The Last Taxi!

Is this your first simming experience, or have you done other forms of role-playing before?

I’ve been a tenacious escapist for as long as I can remember! I did forum roleplaying in high school, and then really came into my own when I was introduced to tabletop roleplaying in my early twenties. There’s something really magical about the kind of collaborative storytelling that happens in Dungeons & Dragons, or SB118. At the moment I’m running two D&D campaigns and playing in another, and one of my players introduced me to SB118!


First Officers in Focus – Mei’konda, Veritas

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 new First Officer of the USS Veritas, LtCmdr. Mei’konda, a Caitian male.

Let’s get started!

WOLF: Tell us a little about the writer behind Mei’konda. Where do you hail from, and what are you up to when you’re not simming?

MEI’KONDA: My name is Aaron, and I’ve lived in a lot of different places across the USA! I grew up in Maine originally, spent some time in New Hampshire, a decade in California, and now I’ve bought my first house in Colorado.

Other than work, which for me is Massage Therapy, I enjoy playing computer and pen & paper RPGs with local friends, motorcycling, and exercise.


First Officers in Focus – Maxwell Traenor, Constitution

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.

Our last interview was with a commanding officer (Capt. Keelah Rhani of the USS Za), so this month we’re sitting down with LtCmdr. Maxwell Traenor, First Officer of USS Constitution-B.

We previously profiled Traenor in April of last year, and March of 2015 before that, so take a look at those for more background on this dedicated and fascinating member of our fleet.

Let’s get started!

WOLF: Glad to be interviewing you again for our Community News! How have you been since we talked about your role as training officer, last year?

TRAENOR: I’ve been awesome, thank you! I went through a very busy year in real life last year, which necessitated some changes in my SB118 profile, but I’m back to full strength and having a ton of fun, as always. And now that spring has finally sprung and the weather is getting great, there’s little to not be happy about!

What ships have you served on and what duty posts have you played so far in your Starfleet career?

I have been truly fortunate to work with some of the best top officers in the fleet through the ships I’ve served on, as well as the extracurricular groups I have participated in such as the Academy Training group. I started out on the Apollo under Andrus Jaxx, then got to participate in the grand relaunch of the Darwin (now Andaris Task Force) under Renos. When the Za launched, I took the opportunity to help out another new ship and serve under Zalea Solzano and Keelah Rhani. Now, I’m under the tutelage and guidance of Jalana Rajel on the Constitution. What a pedigree of knowledge and experience that I’ve gotten to draw from, and I can’t thank them all enough!

In real life, I’m an aviation meteorologist and air traffic controller, so the Science duty post was a natural fit for my analytical mind. Through the years in other groups and through PNPCs here in SB118, I’ve tried most all other duty posts on for size, but I keep finding myself drawn back to Science. My main PC, Maxwell Traenor, has been a perfect foil for me to explore how a journeyman scientist, with all the attendant stereotypes and traits, could successfully move up the ranks in the command structure of Starfleet. I couldn’t abandon the guy, he still has so many stories to tell, and First Officer is but one more chapter in that story.


Lower Decks interview: LtJG. Ishani Kasun, SB118 Ops

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 LtJG. Ishani Kasun playing a El-Aurian/Human female assigned to StarBase 118 Ops.

WOLF: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?

KASUN: I grew up in southeast Washington and I moved to the Portland, Oregon area for my first degree and I’ve been here ever since. Professionally I’m an auditor at a smallish, local CPA firm in the metro area, which means I have to travel quite a bit. I’ve been working there for about ~6 months and haven’t been through our busy travel season yet so it’s an aspect of the job I’m still not certain if I like or not.


Lower Decks interview: Lt. Aitas, StarBase 118 Ops

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 Lt. Aitas playing a Vulcan/Betazoid intelligence officer assigned to StarBase 118 Operations.

WOLF: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?

AITAS: I’m originally from Minnesota, and am currently living in Texas with my husband and one very needy cat who has mastered the art of sitting on my lap right when I was planning to get up. It’s not very exciting overall, though I will admit I’m not a fan of the heat.

Is this your first simming experience, or have you done other forms of role-playing before?

I’ve done quite a bit of roleplaying over the last…well, I suppose it’s been about a decade now. I can’t exactly remember quite when I started. Did a little bit of it in MMORPGS, some in tabletop settings such as Mage: The Ascension and Eberron from Dungeons and Dragons, and quite a lot over various sites across the years. Starbase 118 is actually my first play by email experience though, so that took a bit of getting used to.


Captain’s Corner: Capt. Keelah Rhani

Each month, we interview a captain or first officer of the fleet to gain more insight on what it takes to command a ship and learn more about how each of these staff members found their way into these roles. Most recently we interviewed FO of the Gorkon, Alucard Vess.

This month, we’re interviewing dedicated, long-time member and captain Alex, who plays the current captain of the USS Za, Keelah Rhani. Let’s get started!

WOLF: I was surprised to realize that it’s been ages since we’ve interviewed you, so I’m glad we’re getting a chance to talk! Can you give us a little about yourself, like where you hail from, and what are you up to when you’re not simming?

RHANI: It has been a while, hasn’t it? Well, let’s see… I live in the UK, where I spend most of my time either writing in the vague hope of having something suitable for publishing and acting as primary carer for my autistic son.

You’ve been a member for years now. Give us a brief overview of your resume with us, and maybe what your favorite postings were?

I first started out here when I was browsing the internet in search of some idea what this whole “PBeM” thing was all about, and found my way to an interesting looking site that combined both it and Star Trek – and I’ve been here ever since!

I originally started out on Ops with then-Ensign Della Vetri, who was my primary character for the vast majority of the time I’ve been simming. Between her and a couple of secondaries over the years, I’ve served on a variety of ships, and have had a blast on each and every one of them. So much so, in fact, that it’s hard to pick which one might be my favourite…

I’d probably put it as a tie between the USS Avandar, which I had the privilege of shepherding into service, and the Duronis II Embassy, which has a great bunch of players crewing it.


Lower Decks interview: Ens. Jora Kalis, Andaris TF

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 Ens. Jora Kalis playing a male Bajoran/Betazoid assigned to the Andaris Task Force.

WOLF: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?

I fancy myself on an academic tour of the Northeast region of the United States, moving every few years following graduations or other such life events. I am currently working on my PhD in biology and gearing up for yet ANOTHER move in a year or two. We’ll see where life takes me this time…

WOLF: Is this your first simming experience, or have you done other forms of role-playing before?

This is definitely my first “serious” effort. I’ve dabbled in some RPG games (usually just sitting in once or twice as a tag along with a friend) in the past as well as in chat room based roleplaying.

WOLF: What duty post are you playing, and how’d you choose it?

I am writing for a Bajoran-Betazoid medical officer, who dabbles in biomedical research. I initially applied as a science officer, drawing on the strengths and interests from real life. Then it occurred to me, why not try something just a little different? Well, luckily, I was assigned to play a med officer in training and really enjoyed the experience. Decision made!

WOLF: Do you take any inspiration from films, television, or books when writing your character?

Jora is still a bit of a blank slate, though one of my priorities recently has been building his backstory and fleshing out his strengths and weaknesses. The most endearing, relatable or interesting characters are those with some flaws. I’m in the midst of a DS9 marathon and I’m definitely watching with an eye to what I like/dislike about each of the characters, now.

WOLF: What’s been your favorite part of being with the community so far?

I think it’s just that: being part of the community! I am so impressed with the cohesiveness of all the players here. The fleet chats, the forums, all of it! The sense of belonging to a community makes playing that much more fun!

WOLF: Looking back on your experience so far, what would be one piece of advice you’d give to anyone who’s just joined?

Let yourself be overwhelmed at first! It’s okay! As the e-mail floodgates open, it’s easy to think “maybe this is too much” but give it time! Once the dust settles and you find your routine, it’s an incredibly good time!

Thanks for your time, Ens. Jora!

You can read more about Ens. Jora on the wiki.


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