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To Commanding and Beyond – Jalana Rajel, USS Constitution-B 

We have a very special interview this month with someone who has been a catalyst in the fleet! I have the very special honor in taking the time to talk with Commodore Jalana Rajel, a Trill female who’s been the commanding officer for the USS Constitution-B for 5 years and running.

Commodore is an exclusive rank and title captains and fleet captains can earn in UFOP: StarBase 118 once they have served as commanding officer of a vessel for five years (whether continuously during one tenure or cumulatively over multiple commands). Having completed their own “five-year mission” aboard their ships, these COs are recognized by our community as among our finest leaders in the fleet.

GALVEN: Thank you for taking the time to be interviewed by the Community News Team! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

RAJEL: Of course, thank you for having me! I am Jess, almost 41 years old from Germany and have been a member of this brilliant community for eight years. I have been roleplaying since I was innocent 8 years old and not only have I enjoyed every moment of it but I can’t imagine ever not to roleplay in some shape or form. It just inspires my writing and energizes me to share stories with other writers.

Congratulations on your promotion and your longevity being the commanding officer for 5 years! What does the rank of Commodore entail?

Thank you! I hope it doesn’t entail more paperwork. 😉 I am kidding, but I don’t believe it is much different from being a Fleet Captain. I will continue to lead my ship and to participate as part of the Captain’s Council with the best of the fleet in mind.


Eye-popping new ship logos bring a smart look for community’s 26th anniversary

As the start of our 26th-anniversary celebration – which starts today on June 1, just two weeks shy of 26 years from the day that our group was founded in 1994 – we’re announcing the completion of our all-new ship logos:

The Image Collective – founded by FltCapt. Kali Nicholotti and currently led by FltCapt. Jalana Rajel, LtCmdr. Jo Marshall, and LtCmdr. Ayiana Sevo – has been on overdrive in the past few months, cooking up incredible designs for all kinds of things. I thought we’d bring together a roundtable of folks who worked on these, and past designs, to talk about the history of ship logos in the fleet.

In the interview below, you’ll hear from:

  • Ens. Alieth of the Thor
  • FltCapt. Jalana Rajel of the Constitution
  • LtCmdr. Jo Marshall of the Gorkon
  • FltCapt. Kalianna Nicholotti, playing Cmdr. Ash Tristan MacKenna on the Juneau
  • Capt. Oddas Aria of the Juneau

WOLF: These new designs are really striking, so thank you for all your hard work on these! What was the impetus for these redesigns, and which ones did each of you work on?

ALIETH: Well, it all started out a little unplanned, to be honest. Ensign Sirok and I just agreed to remake Thor’s emblem as a small weekend pet project, as a way to welcome Kells as our new CO. The Collective loved it when I shared it with them and Jalana and Jo (if I recall it well) suggested that we should revamp all the current starships’ emblems in the same style to give them a coherent look… and here we are!

For my behalf, I have worked on the emblems of the Thor (alongside with Sirok), the Constitution-B, the Starbase 118 and the Juneau. I assisted Sirok a bit with the Veritas’ one, but that design is basically his job.

In any case, I consider this revamp a team effort, since I have received a lot of valuable feedback from other Collective members, and I have had some great resounding walls for my ideas there.

MARSHALL: For sure! Alieth’s designs were really inspirational, so when there was a chance of revamping the rest of the designs, it was a really cool project for the collective to sink their teeth into. I cracked on with the Atlantis design of the familiar trident inverted to look a bit squid-like, and we had to find a good emblem for the Gorkon — so the new one is based on the shuttlecraft Chancellor Gorkon uses in the movie.

It was a great challenge and had us all thinking outside the box for some design ideas. Alieth and Sirok just smashed it, doing the lion’s share of the project, and really did such an amazing job.


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.


Captain’s Corner: Capt. Jalana Rajel

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. Last month, we interviewed FO of Duronis II Embassy, Brayden Jorey.

This month we’re interviewing Capt. Jalana Rajel – Jess – captain of the USS Constitution-B. Let’s get started!

WOLF: Capt. Rajel, I was just looking through our news archives and it looks like you have been interviewed only once outside of the podcast earlier this year! It’s time to rectify that glaring oversight. Tell us a little about yourself, the writer behind Jalana?

RAJEL: First thank you for having me. I’m not sure how much there is to tell about me. I am Jessica and I’m 37 years old, living in Berlin, Germany. I live there with my boyfriend of almost 15 years in a tiny one room apartment. My first steps in roleplaying I took when I was 8 years old, back then it was a German role playing game called ‘Das schwarze Auge’ (The Dark Eye) and Dungeons and Dragons. Around that time I also started to write, well I tried. My stories were short or never found an actual ending. I also wrote poetry which – remembering that I was 8 – was not very profound. But I kept writing and today I’m a self-published author working on my second novel.


New podcast segment: Interview with Capt. Jalana Rajel

Our community is not lacking in talent be it through word, art or voice. One of the ways that our members express themselves is the fleet podcast where they bring the most recent Star Trek, simming, and science news for everyone to listen to. The podcast is even available through the website and on any mobile device including phones.

One such example of talent is the podcast’s recent interview with Captain Jalana Rajel who is also a published author outside the community. Listen now by clicking here!

Do you have an idea for the podcast? Do you want to lend your voice to our unique medium? Then don’t hesitate to volunteer by posting your interest in the podcast forums or reaching out to your captain! Any help and/or idea is welcome!


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