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  1. 3 points
    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!” You’ve had one of the faster progressions through the ranks in the past few years. Did you come to our community with experience in writing or roleplaying? Yes, I did. I started simming in e-mail based Star Trek games back in 1996. I got my first e-mail address and immediately found a Star Trek game to play. I actually found StarBase 118 after one of the longest games I played folded; and I was looking for a new game that stood the test of time, and StarBase 118 seemed like the best candidate! That said, while e-mail simming was always a part of my life, my biggest roleplaying experiences came from playing the White Wolf tabletop games in college – Particularly Vampire: the Masquerade and Changeling: the Dreaming. After I graduated from college my friends and I gathered on the White Wolf online roleplaying chats where I ran an epic Changeling venue for a little over ten years straight. The last chat also closed about the same time I came to StarBase 118, so this is my new roleplaying haven to call home. What was it like to learn our style and try and adapt to a new community? It was very difficult for me at first because I came into StarBase 118 expecting it to play like most of the e-mail games I had played. But simming styles are really different across the board; and I was used to various prose-based sims (in particular round-robin style sims where you can write for other people’s characters. I’m sure just saying that will make a few player’s hearts skip a beat!) The StarBase 118 script style was very hard for me to adapt to until one of the senior officers I was talking to – I think it was Kael Thomas – mentioned that StarBase 118’s script style came from StarBase 118 starting as a chat game. And everything clicked. I knew a lot about how players interacted and collaborated over chats and that change in thinking really helped me adjust to how players are expected to work together in a script style format. Talk to me about Starbase 118 Ops – while lots of other simming groups have starbases, ours is certainly one of the “oldest” Out Of Character since it was founded way back in 1998. How have you made it your own, and how often does your crew leave the base to go on “away” missions? One of my biggest tenents in starting a new game is to make sure the players feel they have an ownership of the setting. If we were playing Dungeons and Dragons, I would have the adventuring party find a castle and clear it out of monsters before rebuilding it or have them earn land and build a keep rather than just putting them in a shiny new castle. That’s a bit harder to do in Star Trek where Starfleet usually puts a crew on a ship. I struggled quite a bit in trying to think about what ship I wanted to take on when I took command; and I remember a moment when Admiral Wolf suggested that it might just be better to stay on StarBase 118 until I could create the ship I wanted. And internally I went “wait, I can have Starbase 118? Why didn’t I realize that?!” and I decided that I would take on StarBase 118 and really make it not just my Starbase, but my crew’s Starbase.. From there I worked with the crew and staff into fleshing out important aspects of the base such as the commercial section and dealing with things we wanted to change. The most important one was the section called “the Below” which was a secret ‘deck 13’ style area of the base where criminal activity went on right under Starfleet’s nose. Everyone on staff had an issue with that because there was no explanation how The Below evaded sensors for years. So we did a lot of digging in the archives to find all the posts concerning this area and tried to make a good explanation on when this level was added and how this level avoided detection based on previous missions. And then we crafted a mission to get in there and deal with it. I loved how invested our crew became in revamping and recrafting this area and I’m really proud at how much creativity and detail the Ops crew put into reshaping areas of the base into a setting they love. I also have to say I’m so excited we were able to take on the USS Columbia as our support ship. We have so many crew (including my own character) who have a connection to and positive memories of the Columbia. It feels so fitting to bring this storied ship back to StarBase 118 and have her at the forefront of our adventures. As to how often do we leave the base? Usually we try to run two missions on the base and one away from the base. Although the line blurs a little when it comes down to the nitty gritty of the action. All of our long term plotlines center on StarBase 118, but sometimes we end up launching the Columbia to complete specific mission tasks. Running a starbase is certainly a different feel from running a ship that’s out there exploring – we don’t launch the Columbia to seek out new life, we almost always launch the Columbia to complete a specific goal that ties back to the storyline going on with StarBase 118. Fortunately we have a wonderful campaign region, where we can create a fascinating political tapestry that drives our stories. With the Klingons, Romulans, Federation and Orion Syndicate all staking claims in the same little area, we can always focus the drama on Starbase 118. The last time you were interviewed here on the Community News you were just starting your command. What’s it been like over the last year or so getting situated. What do you feel like you’ve learned in the last year? It feels like StarBase 118 had grown slowly but steadily in terms of how much the crew has fleshed out both the Starbase and the surrounding area. I am very happy with how detail oriented my crew is, and how we can keep building off every mission. Sometimes there’s a small detail that doesn’t really factor into a current mission that can be the focal point of a future mission and one thing I have learned is to keep track of all those details so they can be used again. For example, in one mission we had a list of Klingon colonies that was offhandedly mentioned as part of a report. In a future mission there was a ship destroying Klingon colonies so we brought that list up and used the same names. It was just a tiny detail, but it made the area of space we play in seem so much more alive. I particularly love that the base is stationary because we can keep detailing the Trinity sector, pulling from hints and names in the wiki and giving each of these planets which may have once been just a mention some good dimension and life. I have also learned that it’s very valuable to encourage my crew to help build these worlds. Not only do many hands make light work, but I think that the more a crew helps to build a setting the more connection they will feel to that setting! What has been the greatest challenge, in character and out of character, with the command experience? In character I think the biggest challenge Sal has had is that he’s not a very play-by-the-rules sort of personality. He’s very much a character who will do what is right, even if it’s not a popular or even a sanctioned action. I have played with this in character having him get reprimanded by Starfleet, and having to work towards building a trusting relationship with his superiors. This makes the character more fun and interesting for me to play – I prefer to portray characters with flaws and to work through those flaws over time. Out of character? I think building a strong and wonderful crew and staff was challenging but also extremely fulfilling. The more a commanding officer can give to their players the more they can expect back from them. I love it when a crew comes together like a well oiled machine, willing to pass the story spotlight around so that everyone gets their turn to shine as well as ther turn to support others. And we can’t forget that you just won the prestigious Christopher Pike Pendant – awarded to commanding officers who command their ship with honor and dedication, and help to provide a creative atmosphere which fosters outstanding simming. Congratulations on this achievement! What does it mean to you to receive this award? Thank you! I was surprised and very honored to receive this award. To me I feel this is one of the best honors I could receive, because I place a high value on creating a good story and great place for my crew to express their own story ideas. In many ways I feel this reflects as well upon me as it does on my crew. We all work together to create a wonderful setting to play in! Thanks so much for your time! You can read more about Capt. Taybrim on the wiki. The post Captain’s Corner: Sal Taybrim appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  2. 2 points
    ((CMO's office - Starbase 118)) ((Time index - Night before Keal's party)) ::There was a small crack in the wall. Barely noticeable. It looked more like a chip of paint, probably leftover from when she'd moved her desk the first time and stubbornly refused help to do it. The crack was jagged, but easily fixed. In fact, the more she stared, the more she wondered if it was a crack at all, or just a shadow. All the lights were off, nothing except the soft glow of her monitor at her desk. The desk which she'd vacated about an hour ago, to curl up on the sofa and stare at the wall. Seven hundred souls. Seven hundred rescued slaves. Since they returned to base, Mirra had been working with Ishani and her crisis response team, as well as Aelia and her veritable army of counselors. They'd all been running ragged, offering aide when and where they could. They were exhausted. But...they didn't have her job. After the treatment plan had been developed and implemented, she was approached with a rather delicate situation. That mine had been under Syndicate operation for years. Given the conditions of the rescued workers, life expectancy in the mines varied...but was consistently short. Her job, had been attempting to identify the remains. Cataloging the species in hopes, bringing closure to families who had long ago given up hope of ever finding out what happened to their missing loved ones. Tucked away in her office, she shouldered the burden and began her work. The worst was the before pictures. Smiling, healthy faces with the bold red "Missing" banner, and the date. Some were old enough to be her grandparents. Each match she made would bring a small bit of peace to those waiting at home, but each match took a bit of her soul with it. Mirra had to step away for a moment before she gave it all away. And that brought her to the innocent little crack in her wall. So absorbed in her examination of the curious little crack, she missed the light tapping on the door of her office.:: Zotav: ::quietly:: Mirra...? ::Aelia Zotav had been Mirra's roommate at the academy. Both had majored in medicine, but life had taken them to different paths. Separated by duty for years, they'd recently been reunited, Aelia choosing to move from medicine to counseling, her trained eye took a backseat. Mirra at this moment didn't need a therapist, she needed a friend. She carefully settled next to Mirra, who was staring intently at the wall, knees up and arms wrapped protectively around them. Maximum safety position. Aelia knew what Mirra had been doing, and her heart broke just a little for her friend. Laying her head against Mirra's shoulder, she spoke softly.:: Zotav: ::gently:: How many...? Ezo: ::evenly:: Three hundred and twelve. ::Three hundred and twelve souls returned to their Gods, freed from the mines long before Starfleet ever arrived. Those were the only ones she'd been able to identify, so far. There were countless numbers she hadn't been able to match...yet. She planned to ask Aitas to do some more extensive digging. Some of those people were most likely drifters, no official medical record reports to match them to. There were even more so degraded they would never be identified. They were cataloged in a massive log that hurt to even think about. Those lives would be remembered as a file, on a database somewhere, and nothing more.:: Zotav: ::wrapping her arms around Mirra in a tight squeeze:: You did a good thing. Ezo: ::hollow:: I didn't do anything...I couldn't ::her voice cracked:: Zotav: ::gently:: You brought peace. Closure. ::hugging tighter:: Mirra...they were already gone... ::Mirra took one arm from around her own legs and wrapped it around Aelia. Burying her face into the ocean of inky black curls of her friends hair, and lost the battle against her tears.:: Zotav: ::holding her friend close, her own tears slipped down her face. She kept her voice even:: And now, you honor them with your tears. You've been doing this for hours...alone. Ezo: ::whimpering softly:: So many I can't...they won't match...and...no one will remember them if I can't find them... Zotav: ::softly:: It's alright...you've done everything you can...and we will remember them. We will honor them. ::Aelia moved her hand through Mirra's hair, making soft soothing motions and humming softly. After a few moments, they both managed to stop crying, and the two friends linked hands, each in their own thoughts, but focused on the small crack in the wall.:: Ezo: ::quietly:: I should fix that crack... Zotav: ::tilting her head:: It kind of looks like a happy little bunny...I think it's cute. You should leave it. ::A small smile broke across Mirra's face. No matter how dark the moment, Aelia was never far from the sun. She snuggled closer to her friend, who never ceased to bring Mirra back into the light. Nuzzling her shoulder affectionately, Mirra gazed on her little bunny shaped crack in a new light. Even in the most dire of times, with Aelia's help, she'd work a little harder to find the bunny. In whatever shape it took.:: ------------------------------------------ PNCP Lt. Aelia Zotav Counselor & Lt. Commander Mirra Ezo, MDChief Medical Officer Starbase 118 OpsC239205ME0
  3. 1 point
    The staff of UFOP: StarBase 118 would like to take a moment and recognize the following officers on their recent promotions. Please be sure to say congratulations if you see them around the forums! ANDARIS TF Anath G’Renn to Lieutenant JG Jarred Thoran to Lieutenant JG The post Promotions for July appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  4. 1 point
    ((Starbase 118 - Marine C.I.C.)) ((1 Day After the Columbia's Return)) ::Tyler was sitting at a console in the C.I.C. filing the lengthy mission report in which he had to explain how he'd wound up flying the Columbia. He'd also had to submit a signed affidavit detailing the events surrounding Bomba's dismissal, which he'd happily provided. Fortunately, the Columbia's logs provided enough evidence to keep Bomba out of the center chair for the foreseeable future. It had been touch-and-go there for a minute, but in Tyler's opinion, the mission had been a great success in the end. Considering the state he'd been in for his last couple of missions, his own morale had made massive improvements. He'd gone on a mandatory leave to try and find some way to cope with his trauma and had very nearly found himself discharged by Starfleet Medical when he'd met the man that would help him turn it all around.:: ((Flashback - a few months earlier)) ((Utopia Planitia Support Colony - Starfleet Counseling Offices)) ::Tyler Kelly had served as a Starfleet Officer for the better part of 11 years, he'd never had the chance to set down roots or start a family. Hell, Mirra had been his first steady girlfriend in several years and even that was history now too. All these years of serving the greater good, whatever the hell that was supposed to mean, had served only to get Tyler beaten, scarred and finally marooned in the cold vacuum of space as he watched his own ship die. As he sat in the waiting room to be seen by the Counselor for his mandatory sessions, he leaned back into his chair until his head came to rest on the neutral colored wall behind him. He'd come back to Mars because it was the only place he had any history. His mother, Dana Kelly, still lived and worked there at the Fleet Yards but so far he hadn't been able to bring himself to visit her. Tyler could see her face as if she was standing right in front of him, frowning as she took in his slightly overgrown hair, scraggly beard and generally scruffy appearance. Not to mention the fact she hadn't yet seen the 3 parallel claw marks running down the left side of his face where an enraged Gorn had given him a little love tap. No, instead he spent his leave staying in uncomfortable barracks-housing and drinking too much nearly every night just so he could sleep. Tyler didn't know it, but things were about to turn around that day. Not in the counselor's office, but there, in the waiting room.:: Man: Son, you look like something the Targ dragged in. ::Tyler sat up a bit straighter as his eyes found the only other person in the waiting room that morning. He was an older man with a thick neck, square jaw and a head of close cropped silver hair. He seemed like the kind of man that had seen it all and didn't like most of it. Tyler, already aware of his rough appearance, he didn't really feel like discussing it.:: Kelly: Thanks. ::He leaned his head back against the wall.:: I hadn't noticed. ::Despite Tyler's attempt to disengage from the conversation, the man, who looked like someone's tough old grandpa crossed the room and took the seat immediately adjacent to his. Annoyed, Tyler adjusted in his seat as the man turned towards him, clearly intent on continuing the conversation.:: Man: So what's your problem? ::He narrowed his eyes curiously as he prodded.:: You're obviously Starfleet or you wouldn't be here. D'you lose some buddies? Get your [...] kicked? Tortured? ::At first Tyler was caught off guard by the man's indelicate approach, but really he preferred it to the light-handed track the counselors took. Still, he had no idea who this grizzled old grump was or why he was talking to him. He just wanted to get the mandatory counselling session over with so he could get on with his day, not chat it up with strangers.:: Kelly: I don't know, uh... ::He shook his head in confused annoyance.:: All of the above, I guess. ::He paused::...Do I know you or something? ::If the man was put-off by Tyler's attitude, he didn't let it show. He simply sat up a bit straighter, puffed out his chest a little and fixed Tyler with a proud little expression that hinted that he'd been waiting for him to ask that question.:: Man: Colonel Roderick Holland, SFMC retired. ::He chuckled in his grizzled way.:: Well, as retired as a Marine can ever be, that is. ::His gaze found Tyler's:: And I'm here, Commander Kelly, because I've been down in the same hole you're in now and I'm going to tell you how to climb out of it. ::The Colonel had used his name without Tyler ever mentioning it, it was becoming clear that his being her was no coincidence. He just wondered why he was here, and what he'd have to do to bring this strange encounter to a close.:: Kelly: Look, Colonel Holland, I don't know what you think you know about me but let me save you some trouble. ::He felt the same anger and frustration brewing that had driven away everyone who tried to help.:: I'm done. I've given my whole damn life to the fleet and what do I have to show for it? Nothing. I've got no family, what friends I do make get lost to transfer or killed, and there's no place in this god forsaken galaxy that feels like home. ::He fixed the Colonel with an icy glare.:: No, all I've gotten are a bunch of scars, ghosts that won't let me sleep and an extremely vivid memory of what it feels like to freeze to death in a frakking vacuum. ::The older man waited patiently for the tirade to end, a look that was suspiciously close to amusement playing across his face. He pulled a small worn shoulder patch from the pocket of his civilian jacket with a picture of a Galaxy Class ship and the name U.S.S. Cairo emblazoned on it. It looked to Tyler like it had been cut off an older EV suit, judging by the tattered remnants of fabric still clinging to the edges. The name didn't ring any bells, but he could tell by the reverential way the old Marine handled the patch that it held some great meaning to him.:: Holland: I have a feeling I know more about you than you know about yourself, Mister Kelly. ::He shook the patch:: U.S.S. Cairo. We got ambushed by the Dominion patrolling the Cardie border back in '74. Lost with all hands... well, almost. ::He stared past Tyler, obviously remembering events long passed.:: I was a Security Officer, like you, and it was pure dumb luck that I happened to be preparing to run an EVA drill in the shuttle bay. When the ship got hit the force field went down and I got sucked out with an extra canister of o2 in my hands. ::He stuffed the patch back in his pocket.:: I guess the baddies missed me in the wreckage, I floated for a full day before my suit put me under. Woke up half frozen on a Romulan Warbird. ::Tyler eyed the Colonel cautiously, he'd never heard this story, but he had no reason not to believe him. As the old veteran relived his experience Tyler could see flashes of himself in the Marine's eyes. He still didn't know how he was planning on helping him, but Tyler decided the man had earned his attention.:: Kelly: ::Leaning forward slightly, interested against his will.:: Then what happened? ::Holland waved his hand in Tyler's direction and gave another gruff chuckle.:: Holland: I went through all of this too. ::He patted Tyler on the shoulder with a sad smile.:: I think every man, men like us anyway, is born with the notion that they if they wanted it bad enough, they could be invincible. That if we just trained a bit harder and planned a little better than the rest, we could never possibly die. Then we survive a few crazy missions and it just reinforces the notion that we just might be un-killable by virtue of our own bad-assery. ::He glanced down at his hands then back up to Tyler:: Then we are confronted with something like this and our brains aren't conditioned to handle it; no amount of planning or training can save you when you're in freefall in the cold, dark, infinite expanse. You realize that the indestructible self-image you've created, the legend you've built for yourself to cling to when times get tough is, was, and always will be a complete fallacy. ::He let out a sigh.:: And it hurts. ::Tyler felt his face go red as a wave of embarrassment washed over him. He was never the type to share his feelings openly, but this man he didn't even know had just cracked open his head and poured it's contents out on the small coffee table in front of them. It was true, all of it. He was scared of dying, afraid to let his crew down again and terrified of space itself. Tyler felt like he had a lump in his throat the size of a hand grenade.:: Kelly: I... well...::He gave up on words and nodded slowly:: ::Holland stared at the broken man in the wrinkled gold uniform across from him with the sympathy of someone who had been in this exact place so many years ago. Carefully he began the same pitch given to him by another old Marine just like he was now.:: Holland: You're not a lost cause. The things you have done have mattered. ::He pulled a small PADD from an interior coat pocket.:: You want a family? I can give you as many brothers and sisters as you could ever hope for and you will love them like they were your own flesh and blood. I can give you another chance. You will never be invincible, but I can make you a part of something that is. ::The older man pushed the PADD into Tyler's hands and he glanced at what it was. He saw that it was the necessary paperwork for him to transfer from Starfleet Security to the Starfleet Marine Corps and it was already approved, awaiting only his signature. Tyler brought his gaze up to find Holland watching him expectantly, he knew the Marine had pulled some serious strings to get this done before Tyler scrubbed out of the Fleet completely. It was all pending his successful completion of the grueling Starfleet Marine Basic School, but the fact that Tyler found himself considering it, rather than brushing it off and retreating to the nearest bar like usual, was promising. He gazed at Holland with all the desperation of a man at the end of his rope.:: Kelly: Did it work? ::The old marine smiled and [...]ed his head to the side slightly.:: Holland: You think I'd be here if it didn't? ::He paused to let the words sink in.:: Come on Mister Kelly, lets go make you presentable. ::Surprisingly, Tyler rose from his chair and followed the man out the door.:: ((END FLASHBACK)) ((Starbase 118 - Marine C.I.C.)) ::Tyler was shaken from his memory by the voice of the Bajoran Second Lieutenant he'd met back in the Columbia's Brig.:: Torok: Major. ::She waited for him to look her direction.:: You're needed in holodeck 4 to oversee the Orbital Drop Quals, Sir. ::He rose from his console as he fixed her with a quick smile and nod.:: Kelly: Thank you Lieutenant. ::He kept his smile as he made his way to the holodeck, wondering what Colonel Roderick Holland was doing now, wherever he was.:: ======//////======> Major Tyler Kelly Marine Officer Sb118 Ops O238811CD0
  5. 1 point
    Hello, I wanted to say Hi to my new friends and family here at UFOP my name is Dustin I live in Iowa so I start training soon and very excited so I started working on my new character and was wondering if anyone was looking for family members or suggested race to play? I am pretty open and always liked the idea of having a connection with other players.
  6. 1 point
    Hello and welcome to the fleet! When I was choosing a character race I had a tough time choosing between Andorian and Bajoran and ultimately chose to Bajoran. Since then I've spun up characters (PNPCs and NPCs) that are Andorians and others. So, keep in mind you can explore some other races with other characters once you get started. One thing I do sometimes when I need a new character for something is browse through the Permitted Species page on the wiki. It's a great reminder of some of the great species out there that are available and is a great inspiration.
  7. 1 point
    The day has finally come, the future awaits...my future that is. Harold takes a gander around the transport vessel that he is on and finds that there are many conflicting emotions running through him. He should be excited about this new phase of his life, but at the same time terrified that he will find a way to screw it up. The situation from the very beginning was not of my own choosing... joining Star Fleet that is. The casual observer will undoubtedly discern that Mr. Turak is most assuredly human with the shape of a man that is fit from all the training that Harold has gone through for the last four years. Some nervous ticks are trying to be subdued through focusing on his holo-reader. From Harold's reckless legs to be out and about and probably one thing is predominately going through his head at the moment... lets get this over with. You see, to understand the Turak family is to understand that we have a family legacy going back generations of Navy officers, to Star Fleet commanders like my Grandfather, to if truth is to be reliable... a history of pirates. That of course, was way back in the family lineage to be sure, but no son can buck this tradition in this family. Hence, why the nervousness because there will be hell to pay if I do not eventually become an officer. A cold and smooth voice is heard on the overhead of the transport shuttle, " Attention passengers, we are on final approach, so please be courteous to the others around you. Be ready to disembark in ten minutes, and welcome to Star Base 118. That is all." As the transport shuttle arrives, Harold lets the other passengers precede him to the exit. He is not really that tall when everything is said in done, all of 5'9" with maybe an extra inch from these dress shoes. His wiry frame usually has people underestimate his true strength. Definitely not strong, but one of the few things that I did excel at is that i can withstand endurance challenges with the best of them, both mental and physical. The first real smile comes to Harold's face when he gets out of the shuttle and onto the starbase. I can deal without the tests, but there is just something about the bustling of people of all different species that gets the blood pumping. A clock displays that the shuttle made some good time and not to many stops along the way and still have some time to explore the star base before a debriefing and how this Cadet Cruise is going to start. My Father and Grandfather both give a go ahead into my head as there last departing advice was given when I was given the notice that I would be arriving at Star Base 118. " Know thy ship, people are all well and good, but the journey is one through space. Know what your ship can do, but most importantly what it can't do" ... easy for him to say. My father is a shipwright by trade after the academy. Grandfather gave the more direct approach to things saying," Every Journey is a beginning, trust in your crew and mates, they will be the ones with the knowledge you don't. Plus, without them you would probably go insane, Turak or not." Harold Turak stands at an intersection with his travel bag in one hand and his holo-reader in the other. "Take a deep breath, you Turak, and don't screw this up," you can hear Harold mutter as he gives a big sigh. Im already 23, but this is the intersection in my life at the moment. What path to take, what side of the family do you lean, but more importantly then ever this is my decision. Harold then braces his shoulders, starts to take long confident strides, only to find himself in a maintenance closet five minutes later. I must carve out my own path in life and best not anyone hear about this first adventure to maintenance. First things first, find a map, find a drink, and find thy self.