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Randal Shayne

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Everything posted by Randal Shayne

  1. I'd forgotten about that one! Well remembered!
  2. Weddings. Whether you’re throwing rice at the bride and groom or beating them over the head with Ma’Stakas, they are generally happy occasions, and symbolize a sacred union between two people. From the first (aborted) marriage of Robert Tomlinson and Angela Martine aboard the Enterprise NCC 1701, to the long-awaited conjugation of Deanna Troi and William Riker, Star Trek has a long tradition of showing such ceremonies on the screen. Each has taken a different tone, different visual style and, of course, different participants. This poll asks you which of the many marriage ceremonies shown on screen was your favorite. Did you enjoy the Japanese-styled ceremony of Miles O’Brien and Keiko Ishikawa? Or were the somber, aggressive overtones of Worf and Jadzia Dax’s wedding more to your taste? Perhaps the less than romantic civil union imposed upon Quark by the widow Grilka struck the right tone. Give us your vote and explain your choice in the comments section below.
  3. It’s rather surprising to realize just how many relationships in Star Trek are principally parent/child based. In most cases, these connections between beloved characters has yielded fantastic character building episodes, while often posing intriguing philosophical questions. Since the first episode to feature an example of this trend, TOS’ “Journey to Babel”, in which Spock must confront the burden of command and the needs of his family, a long standing tradition has been maintained. Whether the relationship exists for a short time (such as in the TNG episode “The Offspring”) or for the length of an entire series (Benjamin and Jake Sisko), they almost always manage to add heart to a show that can sometimes feel clinical and dry. This week’s poll asks you which parent/child relationship in Star Trek you found most interesting. Give us your vote, and let us know your reasons in the comment section below!
  4. There are an enormous number of inter-series cameos in Star Trek, and more often than not, they’re delightful treats, designed to connect and further flesh out a universe so massive it might otherwise become tangled and unfollowable. Quark and William Riker have enjoyed a number of these appearances, but for this particular poll, we’ll be focusing on those moments where characters from the original Enterprise were featured. Dr. Leonard McCoy’s tour of the Enterprise D is the first of these shown in the pilot episode for TNG, later followed by Ambassador Spock and his attempts to reunite the Romulan people with their Vulcan brothers in “Unification Parts I and II”. The discovery of Montgomery Scott’s shuttle on the Jenolan Dyson Sphere was the focus of the TNG episode “Relics”. Additionally, Sarek (featured in the aforementioned episode, shortly after appearing as a titular character in the previous season of TNG) helped to connect the old to the new, and to pass on a well-known legacy. Finally, in one of the most popular episodes of Voyager, Hikaru Sulu, shown in a memory as the captain of the Excelsior, and Janice Rand, provide excellent background information into Tuvok’s past, while adding some much need variety to the show’s stories. Of these appearances, which was your favorite? Give us your vote, and explain away in the comments section!
  5. For all the work they do exploring and saving the Federation from endless threats, it seems our beloved crews don’t get anywhere near enough shore leave. Nevertheless, when it is shown, more often than not, the results is excellent television. With the first episode to fit this bill- aptly titled “Shore Leave”- a precedent was set, one that episodes following it would generally honor. “Shore Leave” itself is often lauded by fans as a fun romp, and a standout of TOS’ first season. “Captain’s Holiday” features uptight and work-addicted Jean-Luc Picard become embroiled in a time-bending adventure on Risa. “Family”, another offering from TNG, this time hailing from the fourth season, follows the events of “The Best of Both Worlds”, and gives the audience a rare and cherished glimpse of characters dealing with the consequences of previous events. Incidentally, this is the only episode in all of Star Trek canon that does not include a scene on the bridge. Enterprise follows this trend twice- once with the episode entitled “Two Days and Two Nights” in its first season, and another entitled “Home”, which features Enterprise crew members dealing with the personal issues following the conclusion of the Xindi conflict. While there are other episodes that mention or feature shore leave, these are those predicated around it. With that in mind, which shore leave episode is your favorite? Give us your vote, and let us know your reasons in the comments section below!
  6. Which Position Carries The Most Risk? Let’s face it- space travel is a risky business. Swimming through a void specifically designed to kill any organic life as we understand it is no mean feat, and that’s not even mentioning the various dangers that the political climate can bring to bear. If the vacuum doesn’t boil your character’s blood, the Romulan disruptors pointed at them will. If the hostile natives don’t run a spear through their body, the flesh-consuming bacteria they picked up will finish the job quick enough. No matter what position and department they fill on a ship or a station, there is always immense risk. But while some of that risk is universal, others are more specialized. A security officer is the first line of defense against enemy incursions. A doctor runs the greatest risk of infection by plagues, due to their exposure to them. Engineers constantly effect repairs in dangerous and less than ideal circumstances. Counselors deal with potentially violent or disturbed patients. This poll asks you which duty post/department carries the most risk overall. Give us your vote, and explain away in the comments section below!
  7. Emblems, flags and symbols are ubiquitous in the universe of “Star Trek”. Civilizations across the galaxy, be they powerful empires or miniscule entities, are easily identified by their particular sigil of identity. These designs are generally eye-catching, descriptive and easily discerned from one another. The Federation’s has undergone several changes over the shows and movies, but all have maintained the peaceful colors, olive branches and starfield that exude an air of serenity and cooperation. The brazen, barren trefoil design of the Klingon Empire strikes perhaps the opposite note, effectively displaying their imperial approach and aggressive stance to their allies and enemies alike. The Romulans employ a wide-winged raptor, announcing their commitment to their roots and a desire to dominate. The list goes on and on, and for the eagle-eyed viewer, it can provide a seemingly endless source of interest and world-building potential. This week’s poll asks you to tell us what your favorite civilization emblem is. Consider aesthetics, effectiveness and uniqueness in your answer, and let us know what you think in the comments section below!
  8. No matter what ship you write on, what position your character fulfills, or what department they’re attached to, he, she or ner has an important role in the smooth operation of the vessel. We’d not get far without helmsmen or engineers, exploration would be a drag without our scientists and specialists, and the crew would certainly falter without the skills of the medical and counseling staff. The shared usefulness of these departments, however, marks where their similarities end. Each has a different expectation, a different goal, and different challenges when it comes to simming for them. Finding a way to engage an engineer in the plot without having something break can often be something of a struggle. Coming up with a way to keep a counselor relevant in a given story is another often-cited problem. A medical officer needs some degree of understanding when it comes to the art of healing- not exactly an easy prospect when a writer’s only aid is a knowledge of biology, and a few loose threads shown in canon. The same might be said for a science officer. The rest have their own obstacles. With these limitations in mind (and others that you’ve encountered in simming for a duty post) which department is the most difficult to sim for? Give us your vote, and let us know your reasons in the comments section below!
  9. Many cadets enter Starfleet Academy with high hopes, boundless aspirations, and plan to excel in their field wherever possible. The vast majority proceed to do just that. But very few seem to give consideration to what happens after their time in Starfleet, after their career has reached its peak. It’s well into the 25th century (or even the 26th). Your character is a captain, or perhaps even an admiral, and for whatever reason, they have decided to finally retire from the active fleet. They are still in relatively good health, and despite technological advancements and the usual political and social machinations that have always presented threats the the United Federation of Planets, our great civilization has enjoyed an unprecedented period of relative peace and calm. Without the weight of those pips, they are free- free to do what they will in a galaxy seething with opportunity. This week's poll asks how your character would spend that time? Would they focus on family, settling down to be among loved ones in waning years? Would they explore on their own, seeing parts of the galaxy they hadn’t been to during their tenure in the fleet? Maybe they’d consult for Starfleet, or teach at the Academy. Or perhaps they’d enter the private sector- leaving Starfleet might not be the end. Give us your vote, and explain away in the comments section!
  10. This fleet has an incredibly diverse array of teams, collectives and activities. Most of these are not directly tied to simming, but allow our member’s creative inclinations to flourish, while enriching this wonderful group. The Wiki Team, Image Collective and Podcast Team are just a few of our more popular facets. Another, from the mind of Captain Roshanara Rahman, is the Federation News Service, or FNS. On our spinoff site, https://fednewsservice.com/, a team of writers help to bring the rest of the Federation to life through news stories that don’t necessarily include Starfleet matters. The team is attempting a resurgence, as a variety of new articles have been published in recent months, and more are on the way, but we need your help! With that in mind, this week’s poll asks you what you’d like to see in the FNS. Are you interested in current events across the quadrant? Are editorials and opinions on matters affecting the galaxy more your style? Perhaps you prefer in depth cultural analysis, or reports on the actions and stances of other galactic civilizations. Perhaps you’d like to see a completely different side to our reporting. Give us your vote, and explain away in the comments section below!
  11. Lt. JG Choi Ji-hu, you are hereby charged with the following egregious crime; that you did knowingly, and willfully, elicit prolonged and genuine laughter from this writer, on Tuesday, December 18th, 2395. Upon opening the email, the victim came across the best opening he had ever seen in a sim. HOW DO YOU PLEAD, @aphelion?!
  12. There’s something quintessentially beautiful about Federation starships. Their curves, symmetricality and proud bearing provide a sense of awe. With the exception of a few, special cases (looks furtively at the Yeager class) most of these vessels carry on a long lineage of amazing designs. With that said, Starfleet isn’t the only organization that knows how to sculpt a shapely ship. The Klingons, and their bold, imperious designs have struck fear into the hearts of enemies for centuries. Romulan warbirds dwarf their competition with sweeping wings and imposing, almost beak-like hulls. Even the Borg offer something to the obsessively compulsive- who doesn’t enjoy perfectly geometric shapes? This week’s poll asks you which galactic civilization has the most pleasing ship aesthetic. Do you enjoy the horseshoe shaped crafts of the Ferengi? Or do the jagged, asymmetrical combat barges of the Breen catch your eye? Give us your vote, and let us know in the comments section below!
  13. Embracing others, despite cultural differences, is a key aspect of Star Trek’s message and enduring legacy. Though Gene Roddenberry was loathe to include any sort of strife, negativity or conflict in his scripts, there have nonetheless been some superior character relationships that blossom from early dislike. In the Original Series, Spock and McCoy quickly despised one another’s perspectives and mentality, but over time, despite (or because of) the many arguments between them, mutual admiration and respect starts to underpin their association. Julian Bashir and Miles O’Brien are good examples of this phenomenon as well. The grizzled, business-like chief found Bashir’s outgoing and excitable nature almost intolerable, but sharing in danger and serving together for a period of time sees them grow into acquaintances, than friends, then inseparable brothers. Star Trek is filled with these changes over time- with that in mind, which friendship started through adversity did you find most enjoyable and compelling? Give us your thoughts and explain away in the comments section below!
  14. The worst has finally happened- the alternate future seen in The Next Generation episode “Parallels” has come to pass. The Federation is no more, the Borg are swarming the Alpha Quadrant, and the only thing holding them at bay is Riker’s uncontrollable beard. Amidst this madness, you are determined to survive at any cost. But you can’t do it alone! In this desperate hour, you need a security officer by your side that you can trust, someone who has served Starfleet faithfully. The list is long and varied, and you may use any canon security officer from any time period. With that in mind, who would you pick? The disciplined yet somewhat trigger happy Malcolm Reed? Worf, who’s hand to hand skills might be extremely useful? Maybe a Changeling might be your style- Odo would be a formidable ally. Or perhaps you’d prefer a random redshirt from The Original Series- hey, if they’re focused on him, they’re not focused on you. This week’s poll asks you which security officer you’d want at your side the most in an apocalypse. Give us your vote, and let us know your rational in the comments section below!
  15. @Solkar Ah, man- the Vulcan sass is just wonderful! ((Main Sickbay, USS Eagle)) :: Solkar strode into Sickbay with a sense of purpose and what might be called enthusiasm. He looked around the area, taking note of the biobeds, the monitors, supplies, desks and his fellow medical staff. A blur of blue moved in his peripheral vision, and he found a small Andorian standing in front of him. His rank was Lieutenant Commander. Solkar knew this was Doctor Foster, his Chief Medical Officer and direct supervisor:: Foster: Hey, you must be the new kid. Solkar, right? ::Solkar didn’t bristle at being called a ‘kid’, a sobriquet meant for those younger than himself. He assumed that this was Doctor Foster’s attempt at humor or bonding. Not to be confused with the Andorian matrimonial bonding.:: Solkar: Yes, sir. Doctor Solkar, at your service. Foster: Doctor Shar’Wyn Foster, chief medical officer. : I prefer Wyn. Doctor works. Never ‘Doc.’ I do respond to ‘hey you’ but you’ll get a lecture afterwards about it. Solkar: Wyn. ::He furrowed his brows, as if trying to identify a taste that he had not encountered before. :: Wyn. Yes, sir. I shall endeavor to follow your preference. ::The Doctor had a smirk on his face, and it pleased Solkar that he had correctly identified humor as being his superior officer’s predominant mode of informal communication. He decided to try his hand at it.:: Solkar: Yes, sir. Wyn. ::He caught himself.:: Should I ever lapse and call you “hey you”, I shall present myself forthwith so that you may proceed with the lecture at your convenience. I shall also make sure that a comfortable seat is available, as it will probably take some time. ::He allowed the right corner of his mouth to move up just a millimeter or so, hoping that the Andorian would recognize the attempt.:: Foster: Response Solkar: You are very kind, sir. Foster: So, Doctor Solkar, tell me, what’s your medical area of expertise? Solkar: At the Vulcan Medical Institute, and then at Starfleet Medical Academy, my major was surgery, on both the major and minor species. Occasionally, I read some on Xenobiology to stay up on new discoveries. Foster: Really? ::The Doctor showed interest, Solkar saw his antennae tip to one side. As they were both surgeons, Solkar assumed that would also be part of upcoming discussions:: That’s interesting. Is this your first posting? Solkar: Yes, sir. This is my first Starfleet posting. After graduating from the Institute, I was stationed at a hospital that specialized in treating veterans of the various wars and battles in our recent past. It was very gratifying to assist them. I believe my interest in Starfleet could be traced back to that assignment. I passed all of Starfleet’s requisite tests and this is where I find myself today. Foster: Response Ensign Solkar Medical Officer USS Eagle E239510S10
  16. The name says it all. In an organization as diverse, multifaceted and accepting as Starfleet, there’s bound to be a variety of different reasons to make the commitment to the fleet. For some, it’s the mission itself. More noble goals than Starfleet’s are difficult to come by, and their pursuit contributes to the expansion, continuation and improvement of an astonishing interstellar civilization. Other characters might have joined out of a sense of familial obligation. The fleet has been around in some form or fashion for centuries, and a tradition of service exists in many families, sometimes reaching back three, four or even five generations. Some might feel a desire or a need to protect the Federation, especially considering the many conflicts and dangers that exist in the not so empty depths of space. Other, less personal reasons might have been an impetus as well. Serving aboard a starship is an excellent way to get the feel for a society, and appreciate its positive and negative aspects. This is especially true with newly discovered species, or those that wish to be the first of their kind in a Starfleet uniform. The reasons are, naturally, varied, and can say a great deal about a character before we even get to know them. With that in mind, what was your characters’ impetus to join Starfleet? Was it a desire to contribute to the Federation and be a part of something bigger? Was it to protect and defend? Explore? Something not mentioned here? Give us your vote and let us know in the comments section below!
  17. Brell brings up a good point- the vulnerability of shuttles makes them an excellent storytelling element, but from an in-universe perspective, I'd hate to get inside one. They get a raw deal- not strong enough to survive any sort of firefight, not small enough to escape most notice, not fast enough to pursue or run, not powerful enough for anything, it seems, besides a quick jaunt to the planet and back- which will, more often then not, be made complicated by atmospheres that interfere with power systems or some such. All in all, they have their purposes, but they're extraordinarily fragile, and extremely dubious from an IC standpoint. Still. Fun!
  18. Starfleet officers are saddled with an immense amount of responsibility. It seems like each day is just another chance to be vaporized, tortured, spaced, sucked into a black hole, or anything else in the pantheon of untimely demises. And yet, the beloved organization of exploration and defense grows its ranks and carries on a legacy of honor and optimism- boldly going where no one has gone before. These risks are accepted by all aboard, but there seems to be one duty description more hazardous and unpredictable than any other- First Contact specialists. A variety of Star Trek episodes show us what happens when first contact goes horribly wrong- namely, “Tin Man”, in which an entire Starfleet landing team was massacred due to a cultural misunderstanding. Indeed, the risks and dangers of First Contact, and the numerous ways it can be performed poorly, inspired Starfleet to insist on creating General Order 1- the Prime Directive. While this mitigated certain issues, the fact that someone would still need to speak for the entire Federation in truly precarious situations remained. Starfleet captains are particularly sought for, among other things, the ability to diplomatically and tactfully introduce an entirely new race to the people of the United Federation of Planets. Only nerves of steel can handle this job. With that in mind, do you believe your character would be comfortable handling First Contact situations on a regular basis? Would they relish the importance and the strain? Would they collapse under pressure? Perhaps something in between? Give us your vote and let us know in the comments section below!
  19. You may have a point there. 😁 I'm not at all surprised Garak is in the lead.
  20. They can’t all be from Starfleet! Certainly, our beloved crews are the main focus of virtually every episode of Star Trek, in some form or another. However, while interpersonal relationships and conflict are featured, it is generally an outside force or character that sets the tone of the episode, and the events that occur. Star Trek has a bad, though not entirely unearned, reputation for “one-off” characters- created simply to hammer home a message or make an otherwise improbable story believable. And then there are the regulars- characters that show up from time to time and have, in many cases, become as beloved by fans as the bridge staff themselves (sometimes even more so). How many times did Marc Alaimo’s brilliantly complex Gul Dukat entertain and intrigue us with his villainous (or not so villainous) ways? Who could forget the insidious, dangerous Weyoun, demure and alternatively vicious in the blink of an eye? And of course, there is the almighty Q to consider, the only antagonist to try the patience of three separate starship crews on screen. Really, though- what other fabulous being could earn such a distinction? Supporting characters are a must in Trek, and though their names might not appear in the opening crawl, their importance and regard cannot be overstated. With this in mind, which was your favorite supporting character in Star Trek? Was it the brusque but likable General Martok? Or did Garek the simple tailor strike your fancy? Perhaps someone not listed below is your choice. Give us your vote and let us know in the comments section below! ((Note: To be considered a supporting actor in this list, they must have appeared in at least two episodes across the various series.))
  21. I found this stunningly powerful- beautiful writing, @Kali Nicholotti!
  22. ((Corridors Outside Sickbay, USS Columbia)) ::It had been a very long time since she had last stood in this place, and it looked entirely new. Nothing was left of the battles fought, save for the memories (or lack thereof) and the log entries and damage reports from years prior. It hadn’t taken Kali long to uncover her link to the ship before it had been refit, and in a way she hoped that her history with her would open the doors to some memories somewhere.:: ::But here as she stood, just outside the doors where the dragon had apparently crashed through the bulkhead, she still remembered nothing.:: ::With a frown, she looked down at the padd in her hand at the damage reports and the images they included. Deep claw marks marred the metallic walls and the doors themselves had been thrown haphazardly to the side in the process. Dark stains on the deck left little to the imagination when it came to the price paid by those who defended sickbay that day, and the lighting itself seemed dim in the aftermath of it all.:: ::And yet Kali could not remember any of it.:: ::The logs from the event that would eventually take her and her crew through the waycorridors to Odyssey station, in another galaxy, outlined the trials the crew faced from the newly named Draco Stellarium, barely making it out of the Azure nebula alive. The destruction to the ship was awful and complete, leaving entire sections uninhabitable until their return to the Starbase.:: ::As Kali looked up at the door she saw, nor remembered, any of it. The pristine surfaces only rang of a newness that didn’t come with history. The carpet on the deck was clean and fresh. There was no trace of claw marks or death, aside from the idea that this was sickbay. And in her mind, there was no trace of any of the memories that should have been there.:: ::With a sigh, she stopped thinking about it. The pictures on the padd looked so unfamiliar, not just in the context of her past, but in the context of the present as well. The ship had truly been refit, completely and totally. It shone like it had just come off the assembly line, still in need of her first shakedown cruise. Perhaps that was what threw her…:: ::Apparently it threw her so hard she didn’t even notice that she was blocking the door until she was nearly face to face with an officer she didn’t know.:: Duyzer: ? ::Kali blinked, focusing her crystalline blues on the person who had seemingly materialized in front of her.:: Nicholotti: Oh, I’m sorry. ::Smiling.:: Guess I kind of got lost with my thoughts there. Duyzer: ? ::The ambassador stepped back to give him room to enter the corridor. She nodded in greeting.:: Nicholotti: Indeed. I don’t recognize you. Are you newly assigned here? ::Of course he was. Kali let her own mischievous grin dance across her face at her own question. They were all newly assigned, so this officer she didn’t know was also.:: Duyzer: ? ::With a slight bit more flourish that was probably necessary, Kali bowed slightly, letting her long raven hair fall over her shoulder.:: Nicholotti: Ambassador Kalianna Nicholotti, at your service. Duyzer: ? TAG/TBC Fleet Captain Kalianna Nicholotti Federation Ambassador at Large As simmed by: Lieutenant Commander Ash MacKenna Chief Science Officer USS Columbia R238605KN0
  23. There’s no shortage of starship classes within the fleet. It seems that almost every mission has the perfect vehicle to achieve it. Operations that necessitate tactical ability can look to the nimble firepower of the Defiant class. Long forays into the depths of uncharted space are ideal for the massive explorers of the Federation- the Galaxy and Odyssey classes. And, of course, once those tactical aims have been achieved, or those planets have been explored, science/medical ships are needed, and that niche is filled by the Olympic class medical cruiser, or the Nova class science surveyor. Of course, these are just the barest descriptions of the hundreds of mandates nd tens of thousands of operations that the Federation contends with on a daily basis, but it seems like every niche is filled with an appropriate type of ship, with the ASDB working hard to fill in whatever gaps may exist. With that said, every style of command is different, and befits a different mission. This poll of the week asks you to consider your character’s particular style, their strengths and their weaknesses to answer this question: “Given the opportunity to choose, which type of starship would your character choose to command?” Are they more of a fighter, befitting a posting to a combat vessel like the Defiant class? Would they thrive as the CO of a deep space explorer, like the Galaxy class? Or would they fit more into a support role- say, a medical frigate or even a starbase? Perhaps they don’t fit into any of the above? Whatever you decide, give us your vote, and let us know your reasoning in the comments section below!
  24. Faith has always been a delicate question, one that Star Trek often enjoys examining. It’s no secret that Gene Roddenberry, creator of the idea for Star Trek, found religions to be undesirable, and this fact reflected quite clearly in many of the episodes produced under his tenure. That said, there have been a variety of installments that discuss the topic of faith in a balanced matter. Deep Space 9’s Kira Nerys proudly proclaims a spiritual relationship, and there have been other characters, both in Starfleet and elsewhere, that live similarly. On a starship or starbase, teeming with hundreds or thousands of people, cultural differences are unavoidably abundant, and part of what makes Starfleet such an incredible organization. That said, from a writer’s perspective, the storytelling and character development possibilities that stem from imbuing one’s character with religious leanings are boundless. On the other hand, a lack of religion can be just as influential for a character, helping to shape their worldview and their priorities. This week’s poll is simple. Essentially, does your character follow a set religion or faith? Are they believers of the Bajoran Prophets, or the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition? Perhaps they were raised in such a fashion, but let that fall away as they grew older. Maybe they have an undefined faith, or an agnostic approach to the universe, or they find religion undesirable for any number of reasons. Give us your vote, and if you’re feeling generous, offer a bit of explanation in the comments section!
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