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Jona ch'Ranni

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  1. For many of us, summer is a time to consider vacations as a family. And while we may have a plethora of options in real life to visit, imagine all the countless locales that our characters could visit in the Star Trek universe! The pleasure planet of Risa is a popular choice of many Star Trek characters and is featured in three distinct television series. In the episode "Two Days and Two Nights" (ENT), Archer and crew get into unexpected entanglements. "Captain's Holiday" (TNG) presents us with an exciting, yet laid backside of Captain Picard when he meets the mysterious Vash. "The Game" (TNG) shows us Riker bringing back a dangerous technology to the Enterprise that he was introduced to by a woman he met while vacationing there. "Let He Who Is Without Sin ..." (DS9) visits the planet again and Worf becomes involved with a dangerous terrorist group. It is these kinds of secondary planets woven into the fabric of the Star Trek galaxy that gives us a deeply rich place to write and roleplay. Where would your character choose to visit for some extended shore leave away from the ship? Would they eschew the common tourist destinations and pick something a little more out of the way like Bolarus, Andoria, or Betazed? What draws them to these destinations? Let us know in the comments.
  2. Family is often at the root of why our favorite characters are the way they are. The formative years can shape who a person grows up to be and the personality they exhibit. Interactions with parents, children and siblings tell us more about a person than seeing them fire phasers or save the day. It's no wonder that some of the best storytelling we have in the Trek-verse involves the families of the main characters. The tiny glimpses we get behind the veneer to peek at what makes them tick enliven these personas even more. Who can forget the first glimpse of tiny Alexander as he stands facing his towering father Worf? This week we ask you to tell us your favorite Star Trek episode that features a family-themed story line. Perhaps it's the first view we get of Spock's parents in "Journey to Babel"? This episode goes a long way in making the Vulcan seem less alien and more relatable. Maybe your favorite episode is "Family" (TNG) where we get a picture of Picard with his brother on the family vineyard as he recuperates from the Borg assimilation and the visit of Worf's adoptive parents to the Enterprise. Does the best family story involve the long-dead family that Picard experiences within his mind in "The Inner Light" (TNG) when under the influence of an alien probe? Or it might be the Hugo-nominated episode "The Visitor" (DN9) where we find an aging Jake Sisko recounting the struggle of losing his father and then paying the ultimate sacrifice to save him. What is the best family episode in your opinion and why?
  3. I have to vote for replicators as well. Have to solve problems on Earth before you can explore the cosmos! Hunger issues, industrial supply limitations, medical breakthroughs ... all improved by replicator technology. That advancement would naturally lead to more effort and manpower being directed toward other tech advancements which could then be discovered faster than they otherwise would have been. So, all of us need to work on improving 3D printers - the tech that is closest to becoming true replicators from Star Trek.
  4. I actually like the Enterprise theme song. Please don't throw things at me! Back when I was on the Columbia I made the following intro credits view and set it to Mr. Mister's "Kyrie". The lyrics of the song repeat the phrase "kyrie eleison" which in English means "Lord, have mercy." I thought the concept of looking for a deity's blessing on your travels was a nice theme that went well with the exploration of the far reaches of the galaxy and venturing into the unknown that was our ship's assignment. As far as the Gorkon goes, I believe our theme song would more appropriately be party-oriented - something upbeat and catchy. Something like "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO. 😀
  5. The universe of Star Trek has given us some beautiful pieces of music. These iconic works of art embody the vastness of space and the wandering spirit of our favorite heroes as they traipse through the galaxy each week. The warbling tones of The Original Series reminded us of the other-worldly nature of their journey among the stars. The Next Generation brought a brassy and unforgettable tune that energized us for the story ahead. Each piece fit into an amazing tapestry of audible delight. And don't get us started on the movies! When Enterprise aired, however, many fans were split on the inclusion of music with lyrics - Russel Watson's "Where My Heart Will Take Me". For some, it is the perfect reflection of the explorer's creed. It reminds us that the intrepid explorers are on a mission that is led by their beating hearts. It is why they are out there among the stars and why we watch their exploits with such rapt attention. For others, it's something to be banished from memory. For our poll this week, we invite you to imagine that the ship or installation you serve on is the setting for a Star Trek television show. What would be the music playing over the opening credits? Let us know what music reflects the culture and ethos of your ship!
  6. When the phasers stop firing ... when all the colonists are saved ... when the ship warps out of the system, we can all give a big sigh of relief. Of course, we enjoy our missions but the time in between provides a great opportunity to reflect on other things. Perhaps we converse with our shipmates about how the mission has affected us. Maybe we expand on our character's backstory or history. We might even get into a little side-story trouble! No matter what happens, it is these sims that pull our character off the screen and give them life and depth. We love to expand the depth of our characters through personal stories. Some of the best character moments we get within the plot is when the personal stories of our characters are threaded throughout. The ongoing build up creates momentum over time. But nearly as important as the story is the setting. The backdrop can add flavor to a sim. Does your character fancy a workout in the gym? Maybe a relaxing trip to Holodeck 3? Chatting over drinks in Ten-Forward? Whether at a duty station or engaging in off-duty activites, our little people get around the ship! Where do you find yourself taking your primary character to tell the really personal stories that show us who your character is?
  7. Thank you so much! I am honored. And well done to @Corliss @Jo Marshall and @Samira Neathler. Very much deserved!
  8. Jona ch’Ranni was dead bored. There was no other way to express the intensity of what he felt sitting in the pilot’s chair of the Type 2 shuttlecraft. An empty starfield was splashed across the [...]pit windows. Dabbles of starlight - so often the source of poetry for anonymous writers spread among countless worlds – taunted the normally good-natured Andorian. It wasn’t the stars at fault themselves. In fact, he hadn’t met a star he didn’t like. Except for Betelgeuse - it was a jerk. It was the tedious and menial work of waiting for a rendezvous with a supply freighter that had Jona on the wrong end of the joviality wagon. For the hundredth time, his thin cornflower-blue fingers tapped out the activation sequence on the control panel that would initiate a refresh of the sensor data. Jona sighed heavily and wondered who he had angered on the ship to pull such an assignment. No doubt the rest of his shipmates were making first contact with some genial species on a lush planet. They would regale him with the exquisite foods and picturesque scenery he had missed out on. “Well, they can just stow it.” The lanky Andorian stretched his arms above his head, working the kinks from his lower back and repositioning his frame in the seat. He ran his hands down his face, rubbing his palms into his tired eyes and tried to shake the weariness from his brain. He tapped the key sequence on the panel again – for the hundred and first time – and the gods answered his unspoken prayers. A ship. “Computer, put approaching vessel on screen.” The computer focused on a sleek Bolian freighter that exited warp, leaving a trail of luminescent super-excited particles in its wake. It bore down on the tiny shuttle like an unsuspecting insect. Jona came from a race of aliens that counted insects among their evolutionary progenitors, and so, he found the analogy a little on the nose. Nevertheless, the arrival was expected … even if a bit delayed. “Shuttlecraft K’Tang to Bolian freighter. Welcome. Lieutenant ch’Ranni, here. Ready to receive the supplies.” With any luck, Jona could be on his way back to the ship within the hour. He might even make it back in time for the springball tournament scheduled for 1800 hours the next evening. A small lopsided grin crossed his face as things suddenly didn’t seem so bad. The viewscreen activated and the face on the screen made his heart leap into his throat. The azure skin and pale, curly locks of the woman were etched in his memory. It had been years since he had last seen her. Time had been kind to her and now she was more beautiful than even his rose-colored memory allowed. The scientist with the impish smile that he had fallen head over heels for at Dehner Base was the last person he expected to see again – especially with how they had ended things. “Hello, Jona. It’s good to see you.” “Vexa.” The one word was all he could croak out before the air left his lungs with the cheap shot that reality delivered to his gut. After a few seconds Jona realized that he was not breathing and consciously inhaled again. What would it look like if he fainted at the sight of his former girlfriend? “Why are you here?” Apparently, he was now able to form complete sentences, which was a marked improvement. The Andorian girl sat back in her chair, the curls of snow white hair framing her face and bouncing in response to her movement. Her ice blue eyes seemed to search the screen, piercing straight through his shields and searing the hull of his heart. Her antennae bobbed forward as her voice took on a pleading tone. “Jojo, I need your help.” “Of course, what can I do?” The words were spoken without hesitation. Both knew that Jona would be unable to refuse whatever she asked. When they had parted ways, it was as if his heart had been shredded by a dull knife. After his reassignment far from the Sagittarius Reach, they had tried for months in a vain attempt to make things work. But they had drifted apart on the ocean of time and space. At the end, he had made a renewed attempt to solidify their relationship only to find that she had moved on. Jona’s face flushed a darker shade of blue as the pent-up feelings came crashing back on him. He truly missed her and now would do whatever she required, if only to get her back into his life in some small way. His heart swelled as he realized she had tracked him across the quadrant. It could mean only that she had realized the error of her ways. They could regain what they had lost and rekindle the spark they had shared together. “I need you to kill someone.”
  9. I believe all artificial lifeforms regardless of format - android, holoprogram, or computer - should have the opportunity to be declared sentient but not given that designation without proof. Therefore, I chose the "Only in extreme cases" option. Really it would have to be decided on an individual basis as not every artificial lifeform reaches that level of sentience, self-awareness, etc. As in the case of the EMH Doctor - he became sentient but probably didn't start out that way so potential is one thing but it has to reach a certain level. Here's how I would think the Federation would have to decide sentience on a case by case basis. I would expect that it would take a "jury" of people - psychologists and other sentient artificial lifeforms perhaps - to decide on each case. The "trial" is only conducted after the artificial lifeform itself requests the designation of sentience. The jury must observe the AI and consider its responses to questions such as - What is life? What is sentience? Are you sentient? Why do you want to be declared sentient? After considering all the facts and arguments for or against a decision is made. I see it unfair to make a blanket decision for or against sentience for a whole population, though, because each being is in a different state of growth.
  10. It is hard to pick just one thing that I'm looking forward to with the series simply because great Trek embodies all of these. I'd have to say "Recurring Characters" is what I'm most looking forward to though. Revisiting Picard and some of his old crew is what makes this story so compelling simply because we grew to love these characters over years of time. Now its been twenty years for them just as it has for us and alot has changed both there and IRL. Seeing how the crawl of time has affected these characters, their viewpoints, their struggles makes them only that more real, more human (or Borg, Betazoid, whatever). Fancy it up with some shots of space, a little pew pew, and a nebula or two and you got yourself some STAR TREK!
  11. I believe the correct response is to relieve both of their position temporarily until the situation is figured out. The ship doesn't need to be split on this issue and it does nothing good to the morale of the ship's crew to be questioning if one of the leaders of the ship is really worthy. True, that doesn't really answer the question of which one is real, only what I would do as commanding officer. Now, as regards the moral and philosophical answer it depends on one's view of what makes up a person. Is it only the molecules that form the person? Most would say no. Then every time the person transports they are a "different" person. The person must include the entirety of their experiences in life. Their thoughts, memories, experiences. So, at the time of the transport they become two separate people. This divergence is unfortunate but must be resolved. Unless they can come to an equitable agreement together, they must choose a means of random decision-making. Time for rock, paper, scissors!
  12. Great writing, @Jo Marshall. The depth of your sims is a joy to read. You have my permission to wallop Xerix with another snowball for me.
  13. Jona is a pilot at heart and would open a shuttling service. Perhaps provide piloting training for those interested.
  14. Jona prefers cultural clothing but not his culture. He is heavily influenced by Terran culture and owns a bomber jacket that he wears over a white shirt and blue jeans.
  15. I chose Worf and Alexander. Worf is such a complicated character on his own dealing with his Klingon heritage and Human upbringing. But then throw a kid into the mix and it adds so many layers of complexity to his situation. Alexander was at just the right age during TNG to be the most interesting in my opinion. Not a young infant or a whiny teenager (adult junior grade). It gave a perspective that had been missing up to that point in Star Trek - what is starship life like for a scared pre-teen who has experienced his own emotional ups and downs separate from the main cast?
  16. Thanks, @Theo Whittaker! Glad you enjoyed it, mon capitaine!
  17. I chose the luxuries available on Federation ships (i.e. personal replicators, holodecks, lounges). These comforts make a ship feel more like a home which is important for the social and psychological well-being of most species. I would not want to skimp on these details if it is a ship designed for any sort of long-term mission (more than a few weeks at a time). I believe the Defiant was able to get away with this because it didn't seem like there were very many long-term missions that it was sent on. But the day-to-day grind will soon get to a crew if they are sitting on top of one another without any outlet for stress relief.
  18. Thanks @Pholin Duyzer glad you enjoyed it. I wanted to capture those crazy out-of-control worries that all of us experience from time to time.
  19. Had to go with the option: Mistrust of T'Pol and Vulcans in general. Archer let his specist preconceptions about an entire race cloud his judgement. He imposed his human thinking and viewpoints on them. Who is to say that their ways of logic are not better? They are at least as valid as his more impassioned human thinking. That is one precept of the Vulcan concept of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations (IDIC). There are many ways of perceiving a situation and reacting to it. All of these methods of thinking should be valued and accepted as alternate paths, each with their own positives and negatives. Cultures should not be blanket judged as a whole.
  20. Had to pick "Family" from TNG. Getting a deeper understanding of Picard's family dynamics was a treat. It took this character in my mind that was strong and THE CAPTAIN and made him more human. And isn't that what Star Trek is about? Sure, it's about the future, and space travel, and seeking out new life ... yada yada yada. But ultimately it's about the people that are in the future ... in space ... seeking out new life. That's why I love this shore leave episode. Because it adds another facet to the story of Picard and who he is.
  21. I'd have to say Security. As was stated - First Line of Defense. They will be in the forefront of any engagement, except for unexpected situations. Even then they will be some of the first responders. With the various wars and skirmishes the Federation has faced, it is our Security forces who are tasked with stepping in the line of fire. On the opposite end, the safest position would probably be helmsman. That's what my character's duty is. Helm is pretty cushy. You got the padded seat, the nice view. Any danger you get in, you're rarely alone so there's just as much risk as there is to everyone else. Except for the exploding helm console...There is an inordinate amount of exploding helm consoles in episodes. Perhaps that's why we don't always see the helm officer as a very senior officer. Come to think of it I don't remember seeing a helmsman over the rank of Lieutenant. Maybe I should switch professions.
  22. It has kind of been my head canon for a while that maybe the Kobayashi Maru senario had been altered after Kirk's time. That maybe it has taken on a more personalized scenario for each individual. You might not necessarily know when you will be tested with this "no-win" scenario. In fact, I kind of thought that the psychological test that Wesley Crusher experienced in the TNG episode "Coming of Age" (Season 1, Ep. 18) at his entrance exam was a variation of the Kobayashi Maru. It's correct to think that once people know the test isn't winnable it becomes less effective. That's why it is constantly undergoing change. This is evidenced in the 2009 movie by the fact that Spock was involved in programming the Kobayashi Maru scenario. I never believed that it didn't exist before Spock worked on it, only that he was involved in a team who updated it and modified it. It likely goes through many iterations over time. That would be the only way to keep it fresh and useful.
  23. The United Federation of Planets has the best design for its emblem. The starfield appropriately identifies the organization as a cooperative whole. Each member world can believe that one of those stars on the emblem is representative of THEIR world. When their planet joins the Federation it is joining a community and they will be reminded of this every time they see that symbol. The olive branches that surround the starfield are indicative of the peace that the entire Federation strives for. Indeed, its a requirement of membership that a planet must overcome the squabbles that beset their world before they can join the larger galactic community. That peaceful approach has at times been blurred or skewed over the hundreds of years that the Federation has been in existence but every time they may have strayed from the path they have always found their way back to the goal of peace. It is that ideal that is represented by the seal of the UFP.
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