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New flag officer interview: Vice Admiral Quinn Reynolds, USS Gorkon

This month, in the second of our series of interviews with staff members who recently received a flag officer promotion, we’re talking with Quinn Reynolds – our newest Vice Admiral – to learn more about what she can teach members of the fleet with her long years of experience.

FORTUNE: Thank you so much for joining us today!

REYNOLDS: Thank you! I’m delighted to be here.

A promotion to Vice Admiral is not something to sneeze at! Looking back on all these years with the fleet, what do you believe is one piece of advice you would give to a new Ensign or a Cadet thinking of joining us?

Embrace the community. I’ve always found that the most fun I’ve had with 118 are the times that I’ve been sharing active in sharing story, character development and OOC ideas with other members. Other people can spark ideas in directions you would have never imagined by yourself, and give you confidence to try things you might never have dreamed up alone.

I’d like to know more about your mission-writing ideas. What gives something that pop, that ding to it that sends you mashing on the keyboard long into the night to bring it to life?

Really, I think it’s any idea that gives me more ideas; a mission seed that instantly sets the imagination spinning off in a dozen different directions. When a proposal instantly prompts lots of ideas for scenes, plot twists and outcomes, I can be fairly sure it’s something that everyone in the crew will be able to get their teeth into and have a fun time with.

Quinn Reynolds promoted to Rear Admiral

The Executive Council is very pleased to report that Quinn Reynolds has been promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral!

We now have three Rear Admirals in the group, the other two being Toni Turner (CO of Duronis II Embassy), and Renos (CO of Andaris Task Force). With the recent departure of FltCapt. Solzano (on an extended LOA), all members of the Executive Council (not counting the Captain at Large) hold admiral ranks.

Reynolds was last promoted in February of 2016 to the rank of Fleet Captain, and her rise to this new rank is quite fast in terms of the history of the group, reflecting her incredible value to our community as a competent and skilled commanding officer, but also as an incredibly sharp administrative officer. She is not only a member of the Executive Council, but also a member of the Academy Staff, acting as a Deputy Commandant.

You can read more about RAdml. Reynolds in the recent interview from this past July on the Community News: Captain’s Corner: FltCapt. Reynolds.

Please join me in congratulating RAdml. Reynolds on this promotion!

Captain’s Corner: FltCapt. Zalea Solzano

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 the Constitution, T’Mar.

This month we’re interviewing FltCapt. Zalea Solzano – Tony – who just launched a very unique new ship, the USS Za. Let’s get started!

WOLF: FltCapt. Solzano, congratulations on your recent ship launch! How does it feel to be back in the command seat?

SOLZANO: It’s exciting, definitely! We’re doing a bunch of things with the Za that we’ve never done before. Of course, the Chariot class is a new design for the fleet, but what simming ultimately comes down to is the simmers themselves–if you have a good group of people, you might well have them flying around in a giant shoe, since it’s really the community feeling that matters. We have a couple of simming firsts for the Za, too: In recent years, the Za is the first ship launched specifically to leave Federation space as a deep-space explorer, and a lot of the Za’s new simmers have been (rightfully!) excited about that. We also launched with a relatively inexperienced crew: Of our launch group of 14, 4 were ensigns straight from the Academy and 3 others were ensigns from other ships in the fleet. It’s been enjoyable for everyone to find their feet, I think!

Before launching Za you had stepped away from command for a while. What were your motivations for stepping away from command, and what got you excited to get back into it?

During my time as a CO with SB118, I’ve mentored four officers through to the rank of commander and two to the rank of captain. That mentoring has been really fun for me, and that’s one of the biggest reasons I wanted to get back into a CO spot. Both IC and OOC, I really enjoy seeing the development of a ship’s command staff and seeing those folks rise through the ranks and, hopefully, command their own ships in turn. Then, too, it’s just fun for me to pull a ship together and watch a group of writers cohere into a community of simmers!

Captain’s Corner: FltCapt. Quinn Reynolds

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 the Constitution, T’Mar.

This month we’re interviewing FltCapt. Quinn Reynolds – Emma – who’s had a really stellar year since her last interview, this past September. Let’s dive in!

WOLF: FltCapt. Reynolds, congratulations on your multiple award wins in this year’s recently completed Awards Ceremony! You received both the Staff Member of the Year and the Christopher Pike Pendant, which is an incredibly prestigious haul. What does it mean to you to receive these awards?

REYNOLDS: Thank you! It’s difficult to put into words how much these awards mean to me. I’m obviously honoured to receive them, but most of all I was really touched to read the nominations from my crew and colleagues around the fleet. The group has been a part of my life for nearly a decade now, and it’s really heartening to see that the time and effort I invest has made a positive impact on the individuals that I work with on my ship, and the fleet as a whole.

You were originally the commanding officer of the Eagle many years ago, then took an LOA. Since you returned, you took command again and are now in the center chair of the Gorkon. Can you give us some insight into how the fleet, or the experience of command, has changed since your first run?

One thing that I’ve certainly noticed is how much more visual things are. We have the Image Collective, making sure that everyone has a character avatar if they want one; the wiki is beautiful and well-illustrated as well as informative; the website is sleek and easy to navigate; and that’s just to name a few examples. I find it difficult to write if I can’t conjure a picture of the scene in my head, and it’s so much easier with all this imagery and visual inspiration we now have.

I’ve also found that the command level of the group has made great strides toward being more open and approachable, to the membership as a whole and to each other. One of the strengths of our group has always been the sense of community, and I feel that’s really grown over the years.

You chose a Sovereign class as your current command and named it the Gorkon. What led you to that class, and that name?

I chose the Sovereign class because Star Trek: the Next Generation has always been my favourite of the series. At the time there had very recently been a Galaxy-class in the fleet and I wanted a class that wasn’t currently in active service, so there was only one solution: the same class as the Enterprise-E. It certainly helped that the Sovereign is such a lovely-looking ship!

The name came about because it’s been increasingly bothering me just how human-centric Starfleet can be, despite all the equality and diversity that it’s supposed to represent. We see very few starships named after non-human places, mythologies or people, and I wanted to chose a ship name that honoured something (or someone!) that wasn’t human in origin. It was a close run thing between the names Gorkon and Kumari: the former because the Undiscovered Country is my favourite of the Trek films; and the latter is the name of Commander Shran’s ship in Enterprise, who was by far my favourite guest character in that series.

Can you give the readers some insight into what it’s like commanding a ship in UFOP: SB118?

It’s all about listening, I find. Not just to what people tell you, but what their actions (such as sim quality and quantity) are saying as well. Understanding what people enjoy, and what they struggle with, is such an important part of being a captain. Once you’ve got that down, then everything else falls into place: you can create plots to engage your crew, give them roles within a mission that they’ll enjoy, and offer support as and when necessary.

The other important thing for me is to seek the advice and opinions of my fellow staff members. There’s a real wealth of experience on the Captain’s Council and if I’m ever uncertain as to the correct course of action, or I’d just like some input on an idea, I know that I can get some really thoughtful advice and opinions from the fleet’s captains, commanders and first officers.

I’d like to ask about your time on the Executive Council. You were inducted as a full member of the EC in November of last year. Has there been anything that’s surprised you about how the EC works?

I think the greatest revelation for me was how little the EC actually gets involved in the day-to-day running of the group — and I mean that in a good way! There’s often this perception that we’re constantly making plans and micromanaging the fleet behind the scenes, and in reality that’s not what’s happening at all.

The other surprise for me was how varied the thoughts and opinions can be on the council, and how each member can approach a problem at a completely different angle. It’s relatively rare that we all immediately agree on something, and I think that’s a good thing. Plans and ideas are often challenged and refined before they get anywhere near implementation.

Tell us more about your writing style. What’s your process for putting together a sim?

Usually I use the last sim posted in a scene, and then I work backwards through everything that has come in since I last wrote to make sure that nothing gets missed out. It’s essential to me that I respect and include everyone’s contributions as much as possible, so if someone has taken the time to describe what their character is doing, then I will take the time to make sure it’s included in mine — from my character’s perspective, of course!

Once that’s done, it’s time to add my own original content. Creating an evocative image for the mind’s eye is very important to me, so when it’s appropriate, I always try to make sure that I use all five (or six, if I’m writing a telepath) senses to describe a scene.

Thanks so much for your time!

You can read more about FltCapt. Quinn on the wiki, and read the Gorkon sims in our archive.

New members of the Executive Council

The Executive Council is pleased to announce the appointment of two new members, bringing the council to its constitutionally mandated membership size of five people for the first time in a number of years!

Captain Quinn Reynolds, Commanding Officer of the Gorkon, is the first appointee. She has acted as the Captain at Large (CAL) since this summer, and has been an important advisor for the Executive Council in the last year. In addition to her role as a CO, she currently acts as a Cadet Steward, helping to answer questions for our new and prospective members.

Captain Renos, Commanding Officer of the Darwin, is the second appointee. Renos has shown himself to be a dedicated, loyal, and enthusiastic member of the Captains Council who isn’t afraid to jump in and help with the hard projects. Currently Renos is also a Cadet Steward, the Promotions Coordinator, and Facilitator of the Publicity Team.

What is the Executive Council?
The Executive Council is our community’s highest decision-making body, comprised of a maximum of five admirals and captains who have more than one year of service at that rank. The EC is endowed with the power to commission and decommission vessels, promote members to the rank of captain or beyond, and generally manage OOC concerns.

Appointment to the Executive Council is one of our community’s highest honors, denoting our utmost trust in the leadership and stewardship of each member.

With these two appointments, the EC roster is as follows:

  • Fleet Admiral Tristan Wolf
  • Rear Admiral Toni Turner
  • Fleet Captain Cassandra Egan Manno
  • Captain Quinn Reynolds
  • Captain Renos

You can learn more about the Executive Council on the wiki.

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?

Duty Calls: The Magistrate

StarBase 118 is unique in many ways, but most unique in its form of government. Today, we have the pleasure of reading about the specific position of Magistrate, currently held by Emma, player of Quinn Reynolds on the USS Garuda.

Amanda: Hello Emma, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.

Emma: You’re welcome!

Amanda: Now, before we get started, I always prefer to get to know a little bit about the person I’m interviewing – so let’s start at the beginning: When did you first hear about and join SB118?

June plot summary for the USS Garuda

The crew of the Garuda, including the surprise return of a younger Aron Kells, were busy working to save the population of the city of Bocasa. This city, the largest settlement of the Eth race on the planet Pleethion, was about to be engulfed by an unstable, volcanic mud dome.

One away team, under XO Commander Ross, was assigned to monitor the mud dome and investigate methods to stop its eruption. What no one could expect was that Commander Ross would turn rogue, kidnap Captain Reynolds, and abandon the rest of the team next to the dome. To compound his treachery, he had laid explosives aboard the USS Garuda to hinder their pursuit of him in a stolen shuttlecraft. Fortunately, Lieutenant Delano’s force shields prevented a lot of the damage to the ship.

Meanwhile, another team, led by 2O Lt. Cmdr. Calderan, was tasked with helping with the evacuation of Bocasa. However, they were surrounded and captured by Eth zealots who resented their presence on the planet. They were being taken to be sacrificed to the deity Sirilis, but they were rescued at the last minute as the Garuda restored its sabotaged transporter systems and beamed them back safely. The mud dome away team were likewise rescued, but not before LtCmdr. Alleran Tan got a limpet mine painfully embedded into his leg.

With the crew reassembled, the engineers and scientists on the Garuda worked to develop a plan to dehydrate the Mud Dome and save Bocasa, before beginning their pursuit of the wayward Harrison Ross and his captive, Capt. Quinn Reynolds.

March Featured Bio Winner!

Captain Quinn Reynolds is chief intelligence officer aboard the USS Garuda. Her long, rich history in the fleet has seen her serve on a myriad number of ships including occupying the centre chairs of both the USS Eagle and the USS Drake. A tormented Martian genius, she has been involved in a number of classified, high risk missions that led to her posting to the Menthar Corridor, an area near to Breen, Tholian and Cardassian space.

Tolerant, flexible, yet socially awkward, Reynolds often spends off duty time working on a thesis or academic project, or playing the piano. She appreciates the relationship between music and mathematics and finds the logical nature of technology reassuring. In some respects, that makes life aboard a starship ideal, although she is also a gardening enthusiast and keeps a sizable garden at her home in the Columbia Hills settlement on Mars.

This month, our star pick bio belongs to Lieutenant Alexander Richards,  so congratulations to him!!

Captain Reynolds’s bio will be displayed on the wiki’s front page for the month of January. As always, you can find out more about the contest at its wiki page or in its forum. Round 5 is now open, so be sure to drop by and submit your own nominations!

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