In this edition of the Lower Decks, we meet a spry young newbie to the community, Ensign Gregory Able. Ensign Able has come from humble beginnings on his journey from the Orleans shipyards, to hitting the books, and now to the USS Apollo. Greg’s writer, Mark, is here to tell us a bit more about this promising young addition to the fleet.
The writer for Mr. Able, Mark, lives and works in the UK as an IT specialist. Being greatly involved in social networking, and having been part of a Star Trek based community prior to ours, his experience in RP’ing and PBeM groups is not limited. His fan group, the USS Navras, which is part of the STARFLEET International Star Trek Fan Association, served as the vessel by which he found the UFOP: SB118 community. In efforts to expand his relations with other Trek-friendly communities from within the group, Mark stumbled upon our community through Twitter, and ultimately had to check it out. “I’ve participated in a lot of RP in MMOs and before that play-by-email and no-one has ever seemed so well organised and friendly. I am glad I found you and proud to be here for sure.”
Here again in another edition of Lower Decks, we speak with an ambitious young Vulcan/Betazoid security officer and her writer about what the character has in store for our many readers out there.
A young writer by the name of Melanie, native of the United States, facilitates the journey for T’mar, who is currently stationed on the USS Apollo. Amidst a love for the Trek that appeared throughout her childhood, Melanie finds solace in things like retro-gaming (still have an N64, anyone?), gaming, Netflix, and keeping in shape. Her Trek experience started at an early age by watching the series with her father. Dad also happened to be a theoretical physicist, which we can clearly see might come in handy when delving into the Star Trek universe. Dreaming about travelling amongst the stars became slightly more attainble when she discovered the PBeM realm.
Ensign T’Mar is a security officer who’s posted on the newly commissioned USS Apollo under the command of Captain Andrus Jaxx. “I decided it would be fun to create a character that had a similar divide. And what more perfect way than to have a Vulcan who has empathic abilities? It’s like the ultimate conflict. She strives to follow the Vulcan path, but is constantly battling against her Betazoid side. Her insecurities about this inner battle, drive her to prove to everyone that she is a good officer.. almost creating a perfectionist mentality.” All is not lost for the young security officer, however… “I see her finding a healthier balance of her emotional battle. She won’t be as socially awkward, although she will still be battling those inner “demons.” I also hope to see her promoted!” And speaking of promotions, is this recruit seeking captaincy someday? “Definitely!”
In this edition of Lower Decks, we talk with Marine Captain Michael Valentino and his writer about the current assignment for the character and where he plans to go. Serving aboard the USS Thunder in their Marine contingent, Michael has a lot to strive for in the coming years. Let’s take a look.
Michael Valentino (also the name for his character), a 23 year old Londoner working as a radiologist, has always had a love for the Trek. Like most of the younger generation of simmers, his captivation was brought on by TNG and Voyager. He commented that “… [I] Love the stories, the morals and the humanity. My favorite episode from TNG is probably “Inner Light”. And like most of us, watching the series’ unfold on television just wasn’t enough. PBEM roleplay was the next course of action, leading him to UFOP:SB118. Upon enrolling, there had to be an inspiration that could breathe life into his character. As his name would suggest, he chose to model the character after himself, giving him unchained ability when it came to fleshing out the character. Training didn’t prove to be much of a challenge for the lad, as he had this to say when prompted about the challenges of training: “Nothing specific. The staff were excellent in their support and tutoring and always encouraging. A credit!”
Back to the ever growing Lower Decks, where up-and-comers and rising stars alike are brought to the table for a bit of Q&A. In this edition, we’ll be talking with Ensign Par Salen, the counselor of the Duronis II Embassy and her sister ship, the USS Thunder. The writer for Mr. Salen isn’t a stranger to our community, and feels that this time everything’s going to be A OK.
The writer for Mr. Salen, 44 year old Mike from Lafayette, Louisiana, comes to us with a variable background including time served in Desert Storm as a member of the United States Air Force – THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE! – a psychiatric technician and currently a Registered Sleep Technician, which involves helping people to breathe and sleep uninterrupted throughout the night. With activities in his spare time such as LARP, table-top RPG, hiking, kayaking and certainly anything that involves being outdoors, he tends to keep his life interesting enough. One thing you could add to the list of things that keep him going, is a love of Star Trek and all its wondrous bits and pieces.
The Trek had always been a part of his life. He can recall a time where Star Trek was more than just something to watch: “I grew up watching reruns of of Captain Kirk and crew, wishing they would come pick me up in the enterprise.” Most all of the other franchises followed suit with doses of TNG, DS9 and Voyager also in the mix. Eventually the interest in the genre led to what we’ve all done at some point in our career: aimless searching of all things Trek. This led him here, to UFOP:SB118. I simmed this character years ago, and he made it to Lt.Jg aboard the Tiger with Flt. Captain Riley, a great Captain and excellent crew. Due to Rl issues I had to leave the group and start over once I was prepared to come back. I never stopped missing the talent and comrades I found here so I am happy to be involved again. Happy to see him back in action, but hopefully this time he’ll stay!
In this rendition of Lower Decks, we take a look at the counsellor who’s making sure that all of the Starbase’s occupants have a shoulder to cry on, or a wall to vent to. Lieutenant JG Danica Valyn is proving to be a challenge, both in character and out, as her writer begins to learn what it means to sim the polar opposite of what he’s used to. Let’s take a look shall we?
The writer for Danica, Brian, is a billing coding specialist for a phsycian’s office in Indiana. He can recall not always being hooked on the Trek, but it wasn’t until he discovered TNG that he was roped in for good. “It has always been my favorite series. The only Star Trek series I really didn’t like is Voyager, and most of the time I just like to pretend that none of those episodes ever really happened.” It wasn’t until the final season of Deep Space 9 did he look towards a PBEM group. “I think I started for a couple different reasons. First, it provided me with a way to continue to explore, and enjoy, the Star Trek universe. With DS9 ending, and my contempt for Voyager, it was the first time since middle school that I didn’t have a new episode of Star Trek to look forward to. Secondly, it gave me a forum that I could use to practice, and hopefully improve, my writing.” This is actually Brian’s second round with UFOP:SB118, as the first round was halted by something we all experience… Life.
Embracing his second chance to be a part of it all, he decided to go a different route than before and face all the challenges that entails. “My inspiration for Danica was actually to make a character who was the polar opposite of my previous character (Tobius Rehn). Tob was a security officer, introverted and antagonistic. When I decided I wanted to come back to the group, I thought about reviving him, but ultimately decided that I wanted to do something different that I had done earlier. So I developed Danica Valyn. Not only did I want to make her much more open and friendly than Tobius, but I figured that playing her as a counselor would force her into interactions with other crew members. This way, she would always be in some one else’s business, rather than being content to sit alone in her quarters like Tob.” Certainly a stark contrast to his previous character.
In yet another edition of the Lower Decks, we explore the inner workings of one of our many Vulcan characters serving Starfleet. Ensign T’Mynn Ah’mygahn is one of the up-and-comers of the USS Tiger-A, and demonstrates her willingness to contribute to the crew.
Here in another edition of Lower Decks, we’ll talk with a counselor and her writer about getting an early start in the PBEM forum, where age is limitless, and so is the imagination. Lieutenant JG Zinna, hailing from the USS Tiger-A is fueled by an insatiable desire to create and weave new stories, and with her writer being a musician, novelist, and aspiring comic artist, there are no short comings when creating new sims.
In this edition of the the Lower Decks, we’re going to meet someone that has a home grown foundation for her character, and created one that not only represents one of the most inspirational persons in her life, but also drives her to achieve both in and out of character. Forged from the inspiration of her loving, caring and tough [OOC] grandmother, LTJG Vid-Lotilija is proving more and more resourceful as her tour of duty continues forth. Let’s take a look shall we?
Here again in another issue of Lower Decks, we find ourselves delving into the world of one Ensign Edward Johnson, an up and coming Helmsman from the USS Apollo. The writer for Mr. Johnson fills us in on what it took to create Ed, what he’s got going on right now, and where he’ll plan to take us for the future. Based on some of the responses I recieved in the initial interview, this should be one heck of a ride!
- Character Name: Winyah Kasara
- Rank and Current Post: Operations and communications, Duronis II Embassy and its support vessel, USS Thunder
- Species: Klingon
You hail from the Klingon homeworld of Qo’nos. How was life growing up on your planet?
It was very enjoyable. I come from a well-off family, distinguished for its service to the Empire. I was taught, from earliest time of my life, that we must all contribute to the family reputation, in some way. That may sound somewhat stern, but we had fun, too.