When I first joined UFOP:SB118 back in 2005, the fleet was a very different place. However, at least one thing connects that time and this: A Gorn character named Nugra was in play on the USS Victory. Back then, when I was only an ensign with my first PC, Nugra was a lieutenant commander and chief of security and tactical, and later the first officer. Now, he’s a commander and new to the Victory‘s center chair, so I was very interested to know more about Nugra, his writer, and their winding path to command.
I remember well when you became a command officer, the Victory’s XO, many years ago. How do you think Starbase 118 has changed between now and then? How have you changed?
What is very interesting is how much has changed, but yet has not changed. The first thing that struck me when I rejoined back in 2012 was that there was a lot more emphasis on writing than had been present back in the early days. Not only have many of the processes that were still new when I first took a LOA in 2006 are now tried and true, but many of the beginner writers are staff! One of the ways I changed is I’m “older and wiser”. After joining the U.S. Air Force, I “grew up” a lot and find that a lot of my original thoughts and ways were childish and it helped me form my moral code to the way I feel that I am a much more rounded person.
The crew returned to Starbase 118 with a sense of relief. The physical and emotional stresses of the last mission had taken their toll, and the crew gladly accepted the announcement of leave. Commander Orman chose to use this time to leave for a fighting tournament, while the FO and others spent the first night relaxing at the pub. Of course, SB118 is never boring, even on leave. Immediately the following morning, the Captain and FO received orders that a new first officer was arriving within moments. Lt. Commander Matthews arrived to tension amongst command as they tried to work out the intricacies of the new situation. In happier news, Doctor Maclaren was asked “the question” by Marine Captain Dubeau, a proposal happily accepted and announced at the meet and greet for the new FO, along with the promotions of Lt. Silveira and Lt. Livingston. The holodeck made for a great place to talk and enjoy the beach, but the newly repromoted Captain Walker spiced things up by creating a circus tent. And under the big top, the members of the starbase could see themselves taking on the roles of various circus performers! Not to be outdone, Lieutenant Silveira brought real steaks to be grilled, as well as a piano to support the songs to be sung. Through it all, Captain Nicholotti felt strongly the loss of stability in the past days, and that of Commander Cody, still in a coma.
The trip through the gravimetric hole lead the crew to Odyssey station. During the transition through the anomaly, multiple crewmembers experienced images of things that had, or could have been. Coming out on the other side, it was quickly determined that a telepathic wave had flowed out and encompassed the ship for an unknown purpose. Moments later, the ship was pulled onto the station by a powerful tractor beam. As the crew disembarked from the runabout, they were met by a holographic entity called a “Greeter”. They were informed that they had to abide by a code that prevented weapons from working. Further questions didn’t reveal what was most important, where Anya and David Cody could be located. Unwilling to separate, the crew slowly investigated the huge station, areas of which were large enough to accomodate a starship. While there, other “travellers” were met, describing a transportation system that worked by taking the user to the location they subconsciously desired most, something that was proven when Doctor MacLaren’s dog suddenly appeared among the crew! Now under even more of a time crunch before the crew’s subconscious desires might send them anywhere, the Dragon-like creature Puncdor that they’d met, combined with the dog Hope’s nose, were able to find the two lost crewmembers. Commander Cody was found, but locked in a coma after his experience and Anya had lost her memories from the Captain. Tired, the crew returned home to SB118 and shore leave.
The attacks on the ship lead to a number of key injuries. Doctor MacLaren and Commander Breeman were hurt, but able to continue. Commander Walker’s injury, however, revealed an additional twist. A sentient shadow-like creature had been “sharing space” in the officer’s head. Realizing the security concerns, he was confined to sickbay as the rest of the crew determined how to proceed. The dragon-creatures had caused enough damage to prevent the ship from transitioning to Odyssey station, so the crew would have to move via runabout and fighter escorts. Fighters that would have their phasers reconfigured to red/orange lasers, making them more effective against the dragon-creatures.
Meanwhile, Doctor MacLaren used a vulcan mind meld to contact the sentient and Commander Walker within his head. Captain Nicholotti, needing her FO, approved the potentially dangerous plan to have the Doctor connect to Walker’s mind and put the sentient to sleep. It wouldn’t be a permanent solution, but enough to complete the mission. Using the nano-tech probes used to restore Commander Breeman’s hand, Commander Walker’s injuries were similarly corrected. As the runabout prepared to leave, the Captain gave out a number of battlefield promotions to the now Lieutenant MacLaren, Lieutenant JG Nevarass, and Marine Captain Dubeau. Turning toward the front of the runabout, she warned everyone to “Hold on!” as she piloted the runabout toward Odyssey station and the people stolen from them.
As the Victory entered the desired coordinates, joined by the Achilles and the Apollo, the culmination of the Klingon plot was revealed. The captain, knowing the Klingons were monitoring the signals, literally called them out. The message that was immediately replied to by the Klingon commander, who thanked the Apollo and Achilles for bringing the Victory “to justice,” along with the “war criminal” known as Captain Nicholotti. Tensions rose as the Klingons, acting contrary to their normal nature, continued to taunt and talk, but not fight. Instead, they held back, cloaked, as the Thracian Alliance formally allied with the Federation. Unbeknownst to the Federation ships or Captains, this was the point Klingon Commander Krax had waited for. The first trap was a salute for fallen comrades, that just happened to look like 15 torpedoes being fired at the ships. Fingers began pulling the trigger to fire back, before realizing the trick. Feeling that this was the ploy, Captain Jaxx ordered the Klingons out of the area, something that, surprisingly, Commander Krax agreed to. His plan manifested in a seemingly suicidal manuever, slowing moving between the allied ships, and calling back the torpedoes…onto his own ship! Just as the first torpedoes hit, the warship fled into warp, causing a warp bubble rupture that was magnified by the multiple torpedoes. Rocked by the resulting backlash, but glad that the situation had been resolved, the Victory limped home to a welcome home party.