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  1. 4 likes
    Name: Dominic Reed Rank: Cadet Specialty: Tactical Date of Birth: 19 May 2372 Home: Clarksville, TN, Earth Species/Gender/Race: Human; Male; Caucasian Height: 5'8" Weight: 205 lbs. Hair: Light Brown, crewcut Body: slight athletic build Cadet Dominic Reed stepped off of the transport and onto the arrival platform at Starbase 118. Checking his PADD, he noticed that he was not due to meet with his training officer for another two hours, so he decided to spend some time in the New Orleans sub-district. After doing a little sight-seeing, he decided to grab a bite to eat. Since there was not a Sisko's restaurant available, Dominic settled on a Cajun restaurant call Bien Vendredi. The gumbo and crawfish etouffe were pretty tasty and the mint julep went down smooth. Shortly after finishing his meal, Dominic received a message on his PADD. It was from Lt. Mitchell, his training officer, asking him to report to him on the Promenade. He proceeded to there as quickly as possible without trying to look like he was in a hurry. A few minutes later, he arrived to check in. "Cadet Dominic Reed, reporting for duty, sir", he said, somewhat out of breath. "At ease, Cadet. We have plenty of time. Orders, please", Lt. Mitchell said. Dominic handed over his PADD and Mitchell reviewed it. After pressing a few buttons, he replied, "Okay, Reed, you are officially checked in. Your quarters are Apartment 543 on Deck 789. Get some rest; you're gonna need it in the morning. We'll assemble here at 0600." Dominic thanked him and proceeded to his assigned quarters. Upon arrival, he saw that his roommate, a Ferengi, had already settled in. "Cadet Dominic Reed. Good to meet you, Cadet...?" "Cadet Grek. Good to meet you, Reed", he responded with a eager handshake. "I can't wait to get started on our training cruise. My specialty is Tactical. How about you?" "I am also trained in Tactical. I don't blame you for being excited; I am, too. Who knows, maybe we'll be lucky enough to be assigned to the same ship after the training cruise." "That sounds nice", Grek said. The two roommates spent most of the night getting to know each other a little more before 'Taps' at 2200 hours. Dominic somehow knew he and Grek would become good friends.
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    We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community. The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border. This month’s interview is with the writer behind Lt. Aitas playing a Vulcan/Betazoid intelligence officer assigned to StarBase 118 Operations. WOLF: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from? AITAS: I’m originally from Minnesota, and am currently living in Texas with my husband and one very needy cat who has mastered the art of sitting on my lap right when I was planning to get up. It’s not very exciting overall, though I will admit I’m not a fan of the heat. Is this your first simming experience, or have you done other forms of role-playing before? I’ve done quite a bit of roleplaying over the last…well, I suppose it’s been about a decade now. I can’t exactly remember quite when I started. Did a little bit of it in MMORPGS, some in tabletop settings such as Mage: The Ascension and Eberron from Dungeons and Dragons, and quite a lot over various sites across the years. Starbase 118 is actually my first play by email experience though, so that took a bit of getting used to. What’s been your favorite part of being with the community so far? That’s a tough one, but I’d have to go with how the staff and other players on ops have been willing to explore how cultural viewpoints and differences within the context of the setting. There’s characters from a variety of species and backgrounds on Ops, and seeing them butt heads or work through differing perspectives on everything from clothing to romantic relationships is something I find especially intriguing. It’s also a great opportunity for character development and encourages me to think more creatively about just how Aitas might approach different situations. She’s got a lot of different influences in her background, both from being a Betazoid/Vulcan hybrid and her past experiences with Risian, El-Aurian, and Orion cultures. What duty post are you playing, and how’d you choose it? Aitas was recently promoted to Chief Intelligence Officer on Ops, and she started out as an intelligence officer there. While I’ve played a variety of different roles in roleplaying over the years, I’ve always enjoyed how the process of gathering and analysing information can help facilitate plots, so intelligence-related roles are one of my favorites. Once I saw it was an option, it was a pretty easy choice. Do you take any inspiration from films, television, or books when writing your character? I grew up on a lot of science fiction and fantasy so I’m quite sure that I do, but in most cases it’s also difficult for me to tease out the specifics because I’ve had such a variety of inspirations there. There are a couple things I tend to go back to such as the Vlad Taltos books by Steven Brust, the Dunmer society from the Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and parts of the Eberron setting from Dungeons and Dragons. I’ve been watching and rewatching some of Voyager, TNG, and Deep Space Nine since I joined Starbase 118, which has been pretty helpful with plot ideas as well. Looking back on your experience so far, what would be one piece of advice you’d give to anyone who’s just joined? It might be a bit of a cliché, but I’d have to say be willing to ask questions. There’s a lot of history and information to Starbase 118, and while I find myself astounded by how much of it is on the wiki, there’s still details that were important or useful to me that I had to inquire about. Also while I’d like to think I read the documents over pretty well when I joined, there have still been details about simming and such that I felt a bit uncertain about. The Ops staff have been most helpful with answering such things, and ultimately I wound up feeling far more confident in my simming because of it. Thanks for your time, Lt. Aitas! You can read more about Lt. Aitas on the wiki. The post Lower Decks interview: Lt. Aitas, StarBase 118 Ops appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
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    ((Civilian Ship Pegasus -- 239404.15 22:55)) For the sixth time, Colleen absently glanced over the orders on her PADD. She'd memorized them already, knew the exact timeline for the next two days -- maybe not down to the second, but close enough. Arrive in the middle of the night (23:17), check in (23:32) and get a bunk (23:35). Cadet Orientation started in less than thirty six hours (09:00, day after tomorrow), so she had a day and a half to get herself together. Tomorrow, she had to go and check in with Station Medical for one last checkup (11:30). It wasn't like it was all that much to remember, and not being assigned beyond Cadet Orientation left her with almost a sense of boredom. 'Course, flying with her parents for ten years had left her with all manners of ways to get up to trouble when not busy, but... not a time to fall back on that. The rumble of engines and the very, very brief sense of nausea told her that the Pegasus had dropped out of warp, and sure enough, a few seconds later, the Executive Officer's voice came over the speakers. “All hands, we are approaching Starbase One-One-Eight. Set Condition Blue throughout the ship.” Colleen stood and threw the couple of items she'd taken out of her pack, back into said pack, and zipped it up. She checked her appearance in the mirror of her small temporary quarters, smoothing the long dress, and sighed. Multiple surgeries, years of hormones, and somehow her body still wasn't... perfect. “Yes, well, that's how life goes,” she muttered to herself. Slinging the pack across her back, she checked the small room one more time — nothing left. Time to go. The queue in the hallway to the airlock was mercifully short, and she snagged a handhold as the ship decelerated. Old habits die hard... CLANG. The ship jolted a bit as it locked into the Starbase's grip. Apparently that old habit wasn't such a bad one after all. Colleen threw a small glare in the direction of the Bridge and the helm officer. It wasn't much longer before the airlock opened and the smells and sounds of the starbase drifted into the Pegasus' hallway. The smells of ships, civilian and Starfleet, the sounds of shouted voices and various vehicles driving about... Colleen smiled. It'd been a while. As the passengers ahead of her filed off, she adjusted the straps of her pack, making sure it was sitting correctly and wasn't going anywhere, and moved ahead. A glance at the chrono — 23:27. Basically on time. Eventually, she made it to the customs desk, where she pulled the small PADD out of the pocket of her dress and put it on the table, thumbing it on. “Starfleet Cadet Colleen Bancroft, reporting for Orientation. Permission to come aboard?” The Petty Officer, Second Class that was sitting at the desk glanced over the PADD, entered a few things into his terminal, and nodded, looking up at her finally. “Permission granted, Cadet. Your room assignment —” he gestured at her PADD — “and other information has been sent to you. Welcome to Starbase One Eighteen.” “Thank you, Petty Officer,” she responded, smiling. She picked up the PADD, slipped it into her dress pocket again, and began the walk to the nearest turbolift shaft. Once inside the lift, and against one of the walls — her paranoia never left — she pulled the PADD out once again and thumbed it on. With a quick check over the new information (room assignment, standard welcome from the Base CO, information on where to report Monday morning), she reset her destination for the turbolift. Considering that she wasn't hungry, and she hadn't slept since last night, it was time to go get some sleep. Fifteen minutes and a couple of turbolift switches later, Colleen arrived at her temporary quarters. With a deep breath, she stepped forward, identified herself, and the door slid open, allowing her entrance. The quarters were mercifully silent, and she stepped in quickly, allowing the door to quietly swish shut behind her. After a moment of allowing for her eyes to adjust, she made her way to the second bedroom door, and let herself in. A roommate — another female member of Starfleet (thank goodness they hadn't fraked that up this time) — was snoring softly in the first room, with the door open. Colleen would introduce herself in the morning. When the door shut behind her, she spoke, “Computer: Lights, twenty five percent.” As the lights came up to a low glow, she looked over the room — standard quarters for a Starfleet junior officer. Could have been worse. The pack hit the ground, and Colleen crashed on the bed. “Computer: Lights out.” -- Few quick facts: *Name: Colleen Bancroft *Age: 23 *Species: Terran (Human) *Hair color: Brown *Eye color: Green *Height: 1.65 meters (5'5") *Family: Mother (dead) and Father (living) are both former Starfleet, and two of her three siblings are or were Starfleet (the third is considering joining). *No spouse, no kids.
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    We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community. The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border. This month’s interview is with the writer behind LtJG. Ishani Kasun playing a El-Aurian/Human female assigned to StarBase 118 Ops. WOLF: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from? KASUN: I grew up in southeast Washington and I moved to the Portland, Oregon area for my first degree and I’ve been here ever since. Professionally I’m an auditor at a smallish, local CPA firm in the metro area, which means I have to travel quite a bit. I’ve been working there for about ~6 months and haven’t been through our busy travel season yet so it’s an aspect of the job I’m still not certain if I like or not. Is this your first simming experience, or have you done other forms of role-playing before? I’ve been roleplaying in general for several years but SB118 is my first simming/script style role play. Nearly all the rest of it has been via forums and prose style of RP. What duty post are you playing, and how’d you choose it? Ishani’s currently the Assistant Chief of Security on Ops, which wasn’t something I had considered when coming up with the character. When I first concepted and applied with Ishani, I had picked counseling (with medical as a secondary choice) as her duty post and had gone through training with her as the counselor. I had a friend on Ops and so I had picked that as my desired posting, but unfortunately in between applying and finishing training the medical/counseling department had filled up. Since counseling/medical wasn’t an option on Ops anymore I was given the option to either stay in counseling and chose a different posting or to stick with Ops and choose another duty post. I wanted to stay on Ops but I also wanted to keep as much of her backstory as possible. After some back and forth the solution we came up with was having her be a security officer in a newly created division that specialized in handling crises which would allow me to use her counseling background in character. In the end, I’ve found I like this duty post better and I feel I get the best of both worlds. Where would you like to be in a few years? Have a taste of command of your own? Or maybe planning on joining one of our great OOC groups? I’d like to get Ishani up to Chief of Security but beyond that don’t know yet where I’d like to go with her quite yet. It will depend on how busy I end up being in real life. I do want to help Ops out as much as I can even if I don’t end up having time to do anything officially. Looking back on your experience so far, what would be one piece of advice you’d give to anyone who’s just joined? Give yourself time to get used to the simming format SB118 uses and don’t be afraid of taking chances, especially if this is your first time with this particular kind of role play. Everyone on Ops was helpful and welcoming, but it still took me quite a bit to get the hang of simming, not only in the writing style but also in the underlying expectations of how you move the plot forward. Forum RP from my experience tends to be a lot more rigid than simming on SB118, and it took me a while to relax and realize that I wasn’t committing a great RP sin by saying that someone’s character had moved three feet to the left or assuming that they were going to respond a certain way. Thanks for your time, LtJG. Kasun! You can read more about LtJG. Kasun on the wiki. The post Lower Decks interview: LtJG. Ishani Kasun, SB118 Ops appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
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    The Tournament of Simulations (ToS), now in its 12th year, is an annual award of best organizations across the Star Trek simming community, as judged by simmers. Previously, two UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek PBEM RPG ships/bases have won honors: Duronis II Embassy in 2011, and the USS Vigilant in 2013. This year, we’re very excited to announce that our Andaris Task Force, led by RAdml. Renos, has been honored in the “Great Star Trek” category! Congratulations to the Commanding Officer and crew of that sim for their dedication and creativity. Learn more about the Tournament of Simulation and see the full list of winners at the Ongoing Worlds website. The post Andaris Task Force honored in 2016 Tournament of Simulations appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
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    The staff of UFOP: StarBase 118 would like to take a moment and recognize the officers – please be sure to congratulate these folks when you see them around the fleet! ATHENA Frank Hawkins to Lieutenant Commander CONSTITUTION Choi Ji-hu to Lieutenant JG Solaris McLaren to Lieutenant DURONIS II EMBASSY Brayden Jorey to Commander The post Promotions for April appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
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    Four times a year, the fleet at large is asked to vote for the Top Sim in each Set, which then goes on to the final vote by the fleet to crown the Top Sim of the Year. But how do these sims get decided on for your votes? The Contest year is divided into 26 Rounds, and each Round lasts for two weeks. At the close of the nomination period for each Round, the Top Sims facilitator compiles the nominations and brings them before the Top Sims Judges for voting. The Top Sims Judges, comprising of a member from each ship in the fleet, use their best judgement and the Contest ranking criteria guidelines to determine a ranking of the nominations using a system called “Instant Runoff Voting”. In order to maintain fairness and integrity, a Top Sims Judge is not allowed to give top ranking to a nomination from their own ship. Once all the votes have been cast from all Judges in a Round, the facilitator will calculate the Round winning nomination by compiling the votes. The Top Sims Judge from each ship works hard to represent their ship, so be sure to send them a note of thanks for their efforts! If you are interested in being considered as a Top Sims Judge, let your commanding officer know, as Top Sims Judges are in place for set term lengths and new Judges are needed all the time. For a more detailed look into the system that goes into determining Top Sim voting, be sure to check out the Contest wiki page and forum threads. The post How Does Top Sims Contest Judging Work? appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
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    Am I the only one holding five tabs next to my half-written sim to add science jargon and try to explain what is going on while still abiding to the laws of nature or am I just not made to be a science officer? Our lovely characters have had years of training at the Academy, but, sadly, we have not! So there is a gap between what our characters know and what we know. Let’s try to make that gap smaller, starting with: seismic activity. Normal circumstances Under normal circumstances, a class M planet would look a bit like this from the inside. The crust would be divided in plates, which we call tectonic plates, and would drift on the mantle. The friction between plates, so at the fault lines, build up and when the stress becomes too much, it suddenly moves, aka seismic activity. In these areas also volcanic activity is very common. Nothing is Normal So seismic activity takes place at fault lines, but what if it does not? There are some different scenarios. Firstly, you could be looking at the wrong scale. Look at this picture of the Eurasian and African plate. North Italy should have little worries about seismic activity, right? As you see in the picture below, there are a bunch of microplates in the area, which still make Italy a perfect place for seismic activity. Secondly, you could be at a hotspot. Perfect example is Hawaii. It is not near any fault line, but the islands are actually just vulcanos, which come to existence because of weak spots (hotspots) in the crust. Prior to major explosions, seismic activity is very common due to pressure build-up inside the volcano. Thirdly, there could be inhomogeneous geophysical properties within a plate. (Oh look at that beautiful science jargon. It means the plate is not made of a single kind of rock.) These differences in local composition divide the stress on a plate unevenly. The stress concentrates in a single place until the rock just gives in. Lastly, there could have been a case of induced seismicity (science jargon for seismic activity caused by anything but nature itself). For example in Groningen (province in the Netherlands) there has been gas extracted from the ground. This gas used to cause counter-pressure on the soil above it, which made it strong enough to support cities on it, but with the gas taken away, the ground is weak and subsidences. Alternatively, water leaking into ground, where soluble soil is beneath the upper layer, could cause the lower layers of the ground to dissolve, causing the same effect as the gas extraction. Seismic activity can also be artificially produced by a herd of panicking elephants running around, but if that is the case, I am sure you have figured out the cause by yourself. Fixing it With natural causes there is little you can do, but induced seismicity can be dealt with. For example, you could replace the gas taken out of the ground with another gas, just make sure this gas is already in large quantities in the air so it doesn’t pose a problem when some of it escapes and definitely do not choose a gas that is explosive for obvious reasons. For the dissolved soil, gas could also be the solution. It is easier to inject gas in the ground then try to fill up the ground with new rock. (Liquid rock followed by cryogenic gas (gas that can freeze stuff) should work in theory, though I do not think it is possible to do in real life. Then again, this is science fiction.) Lastly, calm the herd of panicking elephants down and make sure to neutralise whatever set them off. References: Fillingim, M. (1999, March). Intraplate Earthquakes: Possible Mechanisms for the New Madrid and Charleston Earthquakes. How the Earth is changing: Inside the Earth. Plate Tectonics. Dr. Shabestari, K., Dr. Pondbriand, C. & Fobert, K. (2013, July). Earthquake Risk Due to Hotspot Volcanoes: The Case of Hawaii. Drs. Pol, van der, R. (2014, september). Systeem aarde Plaatbewegingen wereldwijd VWO GB54e druk 2014. (2015, January). Stikstof oplossing voor bevingen. The post The Science in Science Fiction: Seismic Activity appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article