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  2. @Dassa Alexander-Dalton I thoroughly enjoyed all of the descriptions in this sim! I found it thoroughly gripping and I just wished I could keep reading. So intense! ((Outside the Service Entrance, Conference Center)) ((Short Timeskip)) The closer they got to the place where Lyra had last seen the assailant, the more nervous she became. Her gaze flickered around the area near constantly, looking for anything that could be used as a weapon in case she needed to defend herself. She was more likely to [...] them off than to do any real damage, but at the very least she could provide a temporary distraction while someone with more training incapacitated them. She jumped at the sound of voices around her. She’d been so lost in thought that she had forgotten who was around her. th’Koro: Doctor, you okay? Journs: ::exhales a shaky sigh:: I’m fine. This whole situation was making her very nervous. They were all exposed and there was no way to predict the lengths the spy would go to in order to keep from being found out. Clearly, whoever it was had a poor moral compass and likely wouldn’t think anything of killing anyone who got in their way. Journs: ::to Lyra:: Through that entrance? Tralan: Response th’Koro: Looks good to me. Thoran: Let us continue then. Remember, keep your guard up and watch for anything. Bjørge / McKnight / R’Val / Tralan: Response Her ears perked up at a clicking sound from the door and she heard shuffling that sound like someone dragging something along the floor. She turned to her commanding officer who was putting in a good deal of effort to open the door. She allowed Amuro to enter first before she followed behind. The others were behind her. A faint chirp caught her attention and she turned. A commbadge. th’Koro had been on the verge of entering the room apparently when it had sounded. Kiax: =/\= Kiax to Lieutenant Knight, Ensign Lephi and Ensign th’Koro; I have a request to make of the three of you. =/\= While th’Koro took the comm call, Ishka took the opportunity to study the room they were in. Nothing about it really stood out beyond the posters along the walls. However, she was too distracted by her thoughts to pay much attention to the contents. They were in a semi-dark room with no way of defending themselves. th’Koro: You probably heard that, sir. With permission I will need to head to the MSD and complete the shutdown. Without the virus, it is unlikely that the spy can complete their mission. She grimaced, feeling even more nervous. Of the group, the Captain, th’Koro, R’Val and McKnight were their most experienced fighters. Having one of them depart, regardless of the reason, increased the chances whoever they were tracking could cause one of them injury before they even knew what was happening. Thoran: Carry on Mr. th’Koro. Stay safe and keep comms open. Watching th’Koro leave, she felt her heart jump to her throat and her stomach plummet. She released a shaky exhalation in an attempt to calm her nerves. Her first semester at the Academy had been rough. The officer put in charge of her group of incoming cadets had given no quarter. She’d always suspected that he’d been applying pressure to see if she’d quit. A few around her had packed their bags for home within the first week. Some had lasted a few weeks longer, but in the end they’d done the same. The recruiters had put stars in their eyes with promises of exploring and meeting new species. However, those realities quickly dissolved as they learned just what they were committing to when they’d signed their papers. She’d come from a world of order and peace, so naturally hearing about the wars and incidents throughout the galaxy over the centuries had been a shock. If it hadn’t been for the fact that she really didn’t have much of a home to return to, she’d have likely followed in the footsteps of the departed. Studying their current surroundings, she had the distinct feeling that was nothing to what she could come face to face with here. This was a real danger. It wasn’t some holodeck or battle simulation. Lives were really on the line here. Thoran: Lyra, do you recall which direction they headed in? The Captain’s voice drew her attention back to the situation at hand and she mentally shook the thoughts from her mind. She had a duty to perform and couldn’t afford distractions. Tralan: Response Bjørge / McKnight / R’Val: Response She followed silently, reaching for the tricorder holstered at her side. They hadn’t brought weapons, but as a medical officer, a tricorder was an essential piece of equipment. Her medical kit was back in their suite should they need it. It was her sincere hope that they didn’t. The sound of shattering glass caused her to wince. It was loud, but not loud enough to keep her from gauging the distance. She stopped, listening closely for any other sounds that would give more clues as to what had broken the glass. There were voices, distant and indistinguishable, but they were there nonetheless. Her gaze narrowed as she tried to determine from the timber and the tone if they were male or female. Thoran: Any idea what that room is? Tralan: Response Bjørge / McKnight / R’Val: Response She saw the Captain’s gaze shift in the direction of the sound and her grip tightened on the tricorder. A glance at it revealed two lifeforms, but something was interfering with the device’s ability to get a clear read on their physiology and their exact location. The others lined up alongside the wall beside the door and she followed suit, adjusting the settings on her tricorder all the while keeping an ear out for trouble. A loud noise disrupted her focus and she looked up. It all happened so quickly that she wasn’t entirely sure what had occurred until she looked down to find the captain lying on the floor in a pool of liquid. Her eyes widened and she sucked in a sharp breath as she scanned the liquid with her tricorder. Blood. Journs: ::to the others:: He’s bleeding heavily. We have to move quickly. ::to Tralan:: Look around for some kind of clean fabric to apply pressure and slow the bleeding. Tralan: Responses Journs: ::to McKnight and R’Val:: I need something sterile to create an incision and something to cauterize the wound. Something hot. McKnight / R’Val: Response Journs: ::to Bjørge:: I left my medkit in our suite. Run as fast as you can to get it. It has medicines that we need. Keep an open comm line. Bjørge: Response As the others got to work on their tasks, she studied the captain and noted a tear in his uniform on his abdomen. Grabbing the edges, she used her strength to rend the fabric to get a clear look at the injury. Journs: oO Sorry, sir. I’ll replace it out of my rations. Oo She exhaled slowly, trying to focus. There was a lot of blood. Studying the dispersal, it was mostly from the abdominal wound. She’d been worried that some came from the collision of his head onto the hard floor. But that didn’t mean there wasn’t hemorrhaging there. Picking up her tricorder again, she began scanning his body for injuries. It wasn’t as detailed as a medical tricorder, but it would have to do until Ensign Bjørge returned with her kit. She noted all of the landmark symptoms of intracranial bleeding, but due to the severity of his injuries, she just couldn’t be sure until she either had a medical tricorder in her hand or until she beamed him back to the ship for a more detailed analysis of his condition. Journs: ::taps her commbadge:: =/\= Journs to Serala. =/\= Serala: =/\= Response =/\= Journs: =/\= The Captain has sustained serious injuries. I’m still working on determining the extent of them. But there’s a lot of blood. He needs to be stabilized quickly and beamed back to the ship. =/\= Serala: =/\= Response =/\= Journs: =/\= He might very well need surgery. If I had the weapon that caused the injury, it would go a long way toward determining what happened. =/\= Serala: =/\= Response =/\= Journs: ::nods:: =/\= Understood. Journs out. =/\= ::turns to the others:: How’s it coming? We really need to hurry before he bleeds out. Tralan / McKnight / R’Val: Response Bjørge (if present): Response --- Lieutenant Ishkabela Journs, XnP/GS Assistant Chief Medical Officer USS Atlantis, NCC-74682 I238110RH0
  3. So WOW. First off, I would like to just say as a “new kid” here, I cannot tell you enough how much discovering this group has meant to me, both personally and professionally. when I found y’all I was very much wondering if writing was really worth the effort and strongly considering packing it all in just for my own sake. but then I found this place and the richness of the community as well as the instantly warm and inclusive group dynamic here just gave me an entirely new perspective on myself as a creative. It is TRULY an honor to get to create with you all here and I count myself very, very lucky that I have a place where I can write JUST for me, alongside some of the kindest and most compelling creatives I’ve ever had the privilege to share a “stage” with. @Oddas Aria, I’m sorry to embarrass you by extolling your virtues publicly (as we all know public speaking it up there with the freaking Gom Jabbar for the good Captain), but I have to do it NOW before you get to a rank where you can throw me a box forever. I couldn’t have asked for a better first Captain. You were always there for me as a PC and were a tremendous editor and co-writer for the arcs I wanted to offer the crew and got me thinking about format and form better than ANY teacher I’ve ever had. I’m so sorry I was annoying but I’m very glad to have served under you. It absolutely made me a better officer. @Randal Shayne, yet another person who would gladly deflect literally everything I am about to type, but it wouldn’t make it any less true. He was another who just always listened, always CARED to listen, and always offered precisely the right advice that you needed in the moment you needed it. And just a total force of love for Star Trek and all the nerdy junk we get up to here. I couldn’t have asked for a better XO for my first posting and I couldn’t have expected to find a better friend here than you, brother. I apologize in advance for all the stupid mission pitches I’m about to send you. To everyone else @Sal Taybrim @Chloe Waters @Melody Delri'ise @Artinus Serinus @Maxwell Traenor @Noa T'Nessa Levinson thank you ALL FROM the BOTTOM OF MY BLACK HEART for being such amazing scene partners and such wonderful writers in your own right that make me want to improve for YOU. To impress YOU. you have all made me such a better fan and writer and creative. I have seemed to run out of words to properly articulate my feelings. I just thank you all so very much. For being here when I truly needed you.
  4. Each month we interview a First Officer or Commanding Officer of the fleet as part of our “First Officer in Focus” and “Captain’s Corner” columns to get to know them better, and learn more about what their positions entail. This month, we’re interviewing the First Officer of the starship USS Atlantis, Lt. Commander Serala, a Half-Romulan female. GALVEN: Tell us a little about the writer behind Serala. Where do you hail from, and what are you up to when you’re not simming? SERALA: Well, I am from the capital city of the great state of Texas. I have been an avid fan of Star Trek my entire life (which is very nearly as long as the series has existed, having been born while the original series was still being produced). When I am not simming, I work from home (currently) as a supervisor for a call center for a major automobile manufacturer handling Lemon Law claims. I also play a lot of Elder Scrolls Online. I do love to play all forms of tabletop RPGs, but I am not currently part of a group. And finally, I love doing photoshop and other graphics type work, which led me to join the Image Collective, where I have learned a lot of very valuable tips. Tell us more about your writing style. What’s your process for putting together a sim? That’s a great question. I doubt I am unique in how I do things, but essentially I utilize a word processing program. In my case, I prefer Google Docs. I start a document each new mission or shore leave and pretty much keep a string of posts going. When the other writers in a scene send their posts, I add their responses, make note of any scene details they have added and rewrite everything from Serala’s perspective. Then I will add my own responses, some more details and narrative, and try to include at least three open tags for each person in a scene. Is there a particular aspect of your role of First Officer that motivates you in your position? Mentoring. I am a very big supporter of the mentorship program and that reflects a lot of my responsibilities in my real-life job. I really enjoy helping to develop new writers and helping mentors to become better mentors. I also love writing the ship’s reports each month. Looking back on your experience so far, what would be one piece of advice you’d give to anyone who’s just joined? I actually have several, but since you asked for just one, I think the biggest one would be “don’t hesitate to ask questions.” That’s what part of what your mentor, First Officer and Captain are for. There can be a lot to try to assimilate when a new player joins a ship, especially if it’s in the middle of a mission, and it can become confusing and overwhelming for many. If you find yourself lost or confused, or you just don’t know what to do, ask. Even reach out on the ship’s Discord channel. But I also have to add that this is supposed to be a game. Enjoy yourself. After all, that’s what this is all about. And lastly, do you have any aspirations to become a Commander and beyond? Absolutely. I have been working on my requirements almost since I made Lt. Commander. Having looked over the requirements, I believe I really have only one requirement left before I am eligible to test for Commander, and I am hoping to achieve that one soon. I made a joke (I can’t remember if it was in-character or out, or both) about wanting Captain Brell’s job when he was still the CO of Atlantis. I was only half-joking when I said it. And here I am the First Officer. It would be nice to achieve that goal at some point, hopefully in the next few years. Though for now, I am just very happy to be a First Officer and I am realizing I still have a lot more to learn before I am really ready to take over a CO’s job. Thanks for your time, Lieutenant Commander Serala! You can read more about Lieutenant Commander Serala on the wiki. The post First Officer in Focus – Serala, USS Atlantis appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  5. On the one hand I think that quarters have the special quality that they are something very intimate and one of the few moments in which we can develop our characters in the privacy in which they can be themselves without being an officer. BUT I decided to vote for "others" because there are really many ways to do character building and many great chances come from interacting with others and putting our characters out of their usual shoes. So I think that flexibility is the key
  6. I tend to mix it up a little - typically for character building sims or the like I try and show off some little known areas of ships/bases. Try and help expand on the ship and add the odd detail here and there.
  7. As a HCO officer, I dig procedural sims - it's great to see how the ship ticks over. This post by our talented Chief Engineer @Sirok and mighty marine @Wes Greaves ticks lots of boxes for me. I like the inter-departmental collaboration, the fact that we see a team struggle to get the basics right and two department leads having to figure it out for the benefit of the ship! Nice one! ((Marine Quarterdeck, Deck 9, USS Thor)) The quarterdeck was oddly quiet for being mid-morning on a duty day. Hannibal’s reassignment had been abrupt and equally as shocking to the Marines as the move to the Thor. Despite the ever present need to train, the detachment had gathered to give the Major the proper send off he deserved before his departure. For yet another morning after their last mission, Wes regretted the alcohol related decisions of the previous night. Come to think of it, most of the detachment was probably regretting the choices of the previous night. Wes whistled softly to himself, and immediately stopped as the piercing noise caused a shooting pain in his head. Reading a training report on his padd, he was enjoying the abnormal quiet of the quarterdeck. The Marines were hardly rowdy in the near sacred room, but it was uncommon to be able to hear the dull hum of the engines so clearly. The man was lost in his own thoughts, no longer focused on reading the words on the device, when a notification caused the padd to beep and vibrate softly. Puzzled upon receiving a message from the newly appointed Chief Engineer, Wes opened the communique and read through it quickly. Wes looked up from the padd and gave a mental shrug. Now was as good of a time as any to run such drills. Well maybe not this specific moment, with most of the detachment hung over. Regardless, most of the crew would be in reduced working hours or off ship. The officer looked up across the quarterdeck to the empty office once occupied by Major Parker. The reassignment had been so sudden, no one had spoken to Wes about the change of command. He was reluctant to occupy the office intended for the Detachment Commander until someone told him he was the new boss. Even so, Wes was the ranking Marine aboard the ship now, and as Commander of Troops, it was his call to make. ((Main Engineering, Deck 20, USS Thor)) Sirok was waiting in engineering for Greaves. The activity in the huge chamber seemed to be what it should be. All the repairs had only been completed a few days ago. They had been exhausting. After them, the engineers had had to take mandatory shifts, including the chief engineer, in order to get back to normal, physically and mentally. Once the repairs were completed, the space in the cargo bays where the Azcou and the colonists had been, could also be fully recovered. Therefore, the cargo bay the Marines had assigned themselves had to be shared. At the time Ensign Sirok simply told him that given the small space of a starship it was practically impossible for anyone to be assigned such a large space. For the same reason he had to talk to the captain one day about the bowling alley, it was totally illogical from the point of view of the available space. Sirok: Lieutenant Greaves, welcome. ::Without further preamble or ceremony, the Vulcan turned on his holographic table, displaying a three-dimensional map of the ship.:: Wes smirked as the chief offered a greeting. Greaves: Nice display you’ve got there. Excited to see me? Wes wasn’t surprised that his friend decided to ignore the joke and he listened attentively as the Vulcan dove directly into business. Sirok: To simulate a situation in which your men are deployed, I have chosen a yellow alert situation, which will turn red once the simulation begins. It's practically impossible to know where they might be in a normal situation, some in their quarters, recreational or training areas. So I think it's best to start in a controlled situation. Greaves: A logical decision. Wes studied the holographic layout of the ship. The Vesta class really was large, and the detachment was just a drop in the bucket that was the manpower of the ship. There was no way they could cover even a portion of the vessel’s emergency responsibilities themselves. The moment struck Wes with the weight of the need for teamwork in the bleak hostility of space. Sirok: The engineering team is distributed near the most important locations, shield control, deflectors, weapons controls, thrusters... You can see it on the map. Unless the command officers order otherwise due to circumstances. As you know, security usually sets up teams on different decks, to protect key locations. Greaves: Right. They’ll make sure that no unauthorized personnel are about, and defend the critical ship functions are protected in case of being boarded. Sirok: I do not know the deployment of your men in a situation like this. Reinforcing security work and a strike team on standby in case they have to go after a target? Wes turned inward in thought and crossed his arms as he wracked his memory. Honestly, the precise reactions in the different alert states needed review as they hadn’t been discussed in detail since the Thor was an auxiliary vessel to the Embassy and most the Marines were assigned to the Thunder-A. For not the first time, he missed Major Parker’s expertise and experience. He tried to remember how they did it back on the U.S.S. Hood when he was there. Greaves: If I remember the S.O.P. right, during yellow alert the Marines report to the armory and don combat gear. On red alert, the squad on duty sets up as a quick reaction force on the quarterdeck. They are responsible for repelling boarders or rushing to emergency locations. The other squad reports to main security to reinforce their positions. Sirok: I will set up the teams for the simulation as you say. ::The Vulcan started typing on the console and the marine teams showed up in the yellow alert simulation.:: Greaves: We could rewrite our procedures so our medic reports to sickbay and our combat engineer leads the fighter maintenance personnel as damage control teams. Wes paused as he turned the idea over in his mind more. Greaves: Actually, it might be better to keep the medic with the reaction force as an emergency trauma team. . . Regardless, that’s a discussion to have with our medical department. Our combat engineer is the perfect leader for a damage control party. Sirok: I do not know how many doctors you have but I would keep them distributed near their equipment. Except in an extremely serious situation, the infirmary should be able to proceed very quickly. In many cases your medics should not even give them time to stabilize the patient if the transporter is available. But as you said, it would be better to coordinate with Dr. McKenzie. ::Sirok spoke as he entered the data to place the teams as Wes had said in red alert.:: Sirok: As far as your combat engineer is concerned, their knowledge should be taken very seriously by the teams they are on. Greaves: Agreed. So what were you thinking for drills? It’d probably be smart to start with some classes and demonstrations on the appropriate tools and responses before we dive into some full scale drills. Sirok: It would be convenient. I would start by teaching them the operation of the systems closest to the areas to which they are sent. Security protocols for the most common damages and ways to disconnect that system and to switch it to the secondary if it has not been achieved remotely. Obviously in that process they would be taught how to use the necessary tools and where to find them on the ship. Wes nodded along as Sirok described his plan of attack and made his own mental notes on how best to organize the classes before turning to some live drills. ((Training Holosuite C, Deck 9, USS Thor)) It was a strange feeling to step out of the quarterdeck, walk down the hall, and then step into a holographic representation of the same quarterdeck. Immediately upon starting the simulation Wes determined he did not like it. It was disorienting. How could he even know if he ever left the holodeck if the simulation looked and felt exactly like being aboard the ship. Wes visibly shook his head to clear the thought. Surrounding him and anxiously chatting with each other were seven Marines in full equipment. The lighting of the simulated room was normal, but diodes built into the walls gently flashed yellow indicating the alert status of the ship. This was going to be their first try at a damage control simulation after Sirok’s classes and Wes was sure the chief engineer was going to be putting his Marines through their paces. For their part, the teams talked amongst themselves and watched the officers calmly. At least as long as they thought Sirok wasn't listening to them. Sirok: We are on yellow alert, move on. :: Sirok: It was hard to tell if the Vulcan was saying it in an informative way or half a lecture, because of his monochordly tone. :: At the sound of the Vulcan’s voice, Wes and most of the Marines turned to face the Vulcan. Sirok: For the purposes of this training I will not act as chief engineer, someone must supervise. We can use a more impartial arbiter later, perhaps Commander Teller. Given our current area of operation on the Thor, it simulates a battle with tzenkethi ships. Greaves: Sounds like as good of a plan as any. Let’s get started. Wes turned to the group of Marines and began addressing them. Greaves: Alright, here’s the deal. We just hit yellow alert while in Tzenkethi space. Per the regs, you all were on duty and raced to the quarterdeck, geared up. What happens next is on you, and the simulation. Take Chief Sirok’s classes to heart, and we’ll do just fine. ::motioning to Sirok and himself:: We’ll be monitoring your progress from here. Any questions? Wes looked about the room at the assembled group. Aside from a few glances, and one imperceptible comment in the back, no one made any indication of wanting to speak. Greaves: Very well then. Computer, begin simulation. Immediately the room shook as if the Thor had taken a violent impact and the yellow flashing lights on the walls shifted to an angry red. Wes shot a dirty look toward the Vulcan who designed the training simulation. Greaves: oO He’s not giving us any down time in this sim Oo All the rooms turned red followed by the alarm buzzing indicating that the ship was on red alert. Sirok: Now everyone must go to the designated red alert stations. :: The Vulcan had configured the simulation so that the physical effects of the simulation would not affect him, so that when the ship had a first shock, he stood still, like a column, looking at his padd. He had never looked so much like an artificial being as he did at that moment. :: Another teeth rattling tremor rocked through the room and the Marines looked back and forth between one another, not exactly sure what to do. Sirok looked up from his padd when he noticed that the Marines were not moving. Sirok: If you studied the documents that have been administered, you should be able to know where you have to go. If you have not, think, act logically. But move on. ::He looked at Greaves in case he wanted to add anything else.:: Wes didn’t exactly shout, although his voice was no longer at a conversational volume. His face and body language wasn’t that of a furious man, but he obviously was not relaxed. His words and his posture suggested something else altogether. Something that the assembled group had no desire to discover the true meaning of. Greaves: It’s not play time. You’re Starfleet Marines and your ship is under attack. Do something. It was obvious the group hadn’t studied or prepared for the exercise and cold rage burned within Wes’ chest. He had a certain style of leadership that centered on mutual respect. He treated all of his subordinates like the grown men and women they were, and he expected them to adhere to their responsibilities as such. The obvious lack of preparation was a spit in his face and Wes intended to correct that attitude following the simulation. Fortunately, a few of the group had studied, and they quickly took charge, snapping the trainees out of their stupor and into action. Within a few seconds, the simulated quarterdeck emptied for all but Sirok and Greaves. The Marines broke off into two teams and scattered across the holographic recreation of the ship. Sirok: Both teams are far behind their designated position. They're not taking the optimal route. :: He shook his head slightly, foreseeing what would happen.:: Greaves: :Stroking his chin:: Seems so. It’s pretty obvious they aren’t even remotely ready for this duty yet. ::gazing off into the distance:: Oh, we’re going to play games after this... Sirok raised his eyebrow at Greaves' comment. Sirok: I just think they have decided not to read the protocols properly. Immediately after his comment, a huge impact was felt on the simulation.The Vulcan waved his hand from his padd to one of the walls, where the contents of the padd were projected. In the large projection, a diagram of the Thor could be seen, with colored dots showing the position of the Marine and engineering teams. A yellow area of the ship was shown on Decks 4 and 5, due to the impact of a Tzenkethi weapon. Wes tapped a few buttons on a nearby wall console, and holographic screens appeared to either side of the diagram of the Thor. After a brief pause, the floating screens faded from a dark gray into a video feed of the yellow indicated area. A long corridor stretched off screen, with the camera focused in on an intense blue and yellow jet of flame just outside of a turbolift. From what Wes could gather, his best guess was a ruptured EPS conduit. Greaves: Here comes the first big challenge. Let’s see if they remember how to deal with this. Sirok: At the moment they don't seem to know what to do. ::He touched the padd a couple of times to save that precise moment, for later evaluation.:: The screen showed the damage control team approaching the inferno. Now clad in heat resistant EV suits, the Marines of the ad hoc team attempted to spray flame retardant on the EPS rupture. Sirok: They are only delaying the real problem, they must go to the panel in the next section to make the derivation. Greaves: ::Shaking his head in disappointment:: Yup. They didn’t pay attention at all. The ship took another big jolt, this time the damage was to the secondary hull. Closer to the antimatter containers. Apparently the battle was not going well for the Thor. Sirok: So far the damage would only cause some personnel casualties and damage to secondary systems, but if they don't help contain the problems near the antimatter, the simulation will be over. Greaves: Agreed. They’re not going to put out the fire from that EPS conduit until they redirect the flow anyway. If they don’t start thinking…. Wes trailed off as he watched the pair of video screens. While the left most screen continued to surveil the team battling the raging inferno on deck five, the other monitor clearly showed another Marine damage control team approaching the antimatter storage tanks. The teams approached the danger without hesitation, perhaps because they knew it was a simulation. But there was a sense of improvisation in tackling the problem, rather than knowledge and organization. Greaves: If containment is lost on that storage tank, it’s all over. At least one of the teams is thinking right. Sirok: The antimatter leaves virtually no room for improvisation. The floating diagram hovering in front of Sirok clearly showed angry red indicators surrounding main engineering and the antimatter storage tanks. Multiple EPS conduits spewed jets of plasma into the compartment, flickering brightly in high winds. The environmental controls fought against a small hull breach that hadn’t been sealed by a force field, and the oxygen being pumped into the compartment created a harsh wind as it was sucked out into the simulated vacuum. Greaves: Did you program that or is it a random simulation? Sirok: There are a number of base situations that appear randomly. Depending on how they help control damage, Thor will either improve or worsen her combat performance. If the damage is not controlled, the ship will be destroyed. Greaves: That’s pretty challenging for their first run through the gauntlet. Sirok: The events they faced, for the most part, appeared as examples in the technical documentation given to them. The more complicated ones, but those that will appear less, require using their technical knowledge in an inferential way. Greaves: Fair enough. You’re the chief, and they’ll be working for you if we find ourselves in a situation like this for real. Wes watched as the Marines braced themselves against the wind. One stand out in the group pointed enthusiastically toward the hull breach. Greaves: Seems like with the ruptured conduits, there isn’t enough power for the automatic force fields to engage. Sirok: Cascade failures begin. They can still divert power and get the force field going. Wes watched in surprise. As the pair of officers spoke, the Marines hurried to reroute power in the compartment. Almost as soon as they had mentioned it, the EPS conduits stopped spewing plasma, and power was restored to the compartment, sealing the hull breach. A smile grew on his face, his chest swelling with pride. Greaves: Well, I’ll be… they managed it well. Wes noticed a new indicator on Sirok’s diagram. A long snaking line that ran directly underneath the antimatter storage was now flashing red. Sirok: A plasma fire is reaching the power system of the containers. ::He didn't have to explain to Wes that a failure in the containment field would cause the antimatter to touch the matter in the container itself. Which would result in an uncontrolled release of energy that would destroy the entire ship. Sirok: They have one minute to put out that fire. Wes watched the right most video feed as several of the Marines high fived each other, oblivious to the simulated problem below their feet. On the left screen the damage control team still attempted to suppress the plasma fire on deck 5 with flame retardant to no avail. A silent countdown slowly ticked away the time remaining to containment failure on Sirok’s overlay. Greaves: They’re too busy celebrating their small win to even notice the new problem. Wes watched in silence as one of the Marines near main engineering finally recognized the imminent failure, too late to matter unfortunately. Both screens flashed bright white momentarily. Computer: Simulation Complete. Antimatter containment field failure. USS Thor destroyed. The room in which Sirok and Wes were standing, which had previously been an immaculate representation of the Marine Quarterdeck, was replaced with the black walls and orange grid pattern of a holodeck. In one far corner of the huge room was the damage control team from engineering and in the other corner was the team from deck 5. Wes shook his head in awe. The number of calculations and the sheer processing power it took to allow three groups of people to explore a ship in a single holodeck without bumping into each other, or the walls, was impressive. The two damage control teams took a moment to reorient themselves to the change in the environment before making their way over toward Wes and Sirok. They knew they had failed miserably, and they approached with bowed heads, not wanting to make eye contact with the two officers. Greaves: ::sternly:: It is exceptionally obvious that you all disregarded the classwork and technical reading that Chief Sirok assigned. Your performance was down right awful. At any moment we could be thrust into a combat situation, and one way you’re going to keep the Thor fighting is to make sure it doesn’t explode. Wes paused his lecture to size up the Marines and let his next words sink in. Greaves: Usually I’m proud to serve with each and every one of you, but today I’m overwhelmed with disappointment. Wes let his gaze sweep across each Marine, none of which were willing to return the look. Finally he turned to Sirok. Sirok: The task at hand was not easy. But a lack of knowledge has been noted. Improvisation is useful up to a point, but to use it correctly you need to have enough knowledge. Still, congratulations on solving problems 3A and 6C. ::Sirok used a technique to help sentimental beings accept criticism. Start and end with something positive. It was something he was trying to use with his own crewmen and so far it wasn't giving him bad results.:: Greaves: ::glowering and with a reluctant voice:: Agreed. Sirok: If you have any doubt about the material, or need to practice any particular circumstance do not hesitate to consult. What you are learning will help you to work better with other crew members, not only on the Thor but on any other starship or space station where you are posted. The assembled teams still refused to make eye contact, but seemed to have regained some of their composure at the Vulcan’s reassurances. Greaves: There’s a saying I’m fond of. Amateurs train until they get it right. Professionals train until they can’t get it wrong. ::Looking over the Marines:: We’ve got a long way to go until we can’t screw that up again. Looks like we’re just going to have to keep practicing. End ========================= First Lieutenant Wes Greaves Acting Marine Detachment Commander USS Thor - NCC 82607 E239702WG0 & Ensign Sirok Acting Chief Engineering Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 Fleet Captain A. Kells, Commanding E239702S10
  8. Shore leave is a great time to ... sort out all the paperwork 😛 I always look forward to @Alex Brodie's mission reports at the end of a mission! Maybe I should get more paperwork done, so I can enjoy shore leave haha
  9. 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?
  10. Yesterday
  11. ((Counselling Suite, Deck 7, USS Gorkon)) Trepidation forming like a stone icicle in the pit of her stomach, Jo Marshall, ever the effective evader of most things emotionally explaining, slipped into the Counselling Suite with her hands clasped behind her back. Some while since she’d last had anything that approached near to counselling, despite sending new Ensigns and fellow officers off for their heads to be shrunk, the guilt of that hypocrisy had finally reached a little pinnacle and toppled over, which led to Jo standing there, which led to Jo feeling uncomfortable. An appointment made with the bubbly Counsellor, Jo pressed the button for the contact on the side of the door. Fortune: Come in! Inside was the usual style of Corliss’ office, various colored chairs, her plant at its home on a shelf, and herself settled in a seat with a PADD, one leg slightly bouncing. Fortune: Jo! It’s nice to see you. Marshall: You too, Corliss. Feels like it’s been an age. The blonde took a quick glance around the counselling office, a representation of the internal workings of their unique counsellor. Fortune: Well, it feels like decades between missions sometimes. It’ll take a bit for my internal clock to reset itself. She chuckled, sweeping a loop of pink hair back behind her ear, gesturing at a chair. Fortune: Come, come, sit, sit. Need anything to drink? Leaving the safety of the doorway behind, Jo walked inside and took up a seat where instructed. Ever comfortable on a ship she knew like the back of her hand, coming for an appointed talk was something that set her on a bit of an edge. With a heavy exhale, Jo relaxed into the chair and smiled. Marshall: Coffee would never go amiss, but I think I’ll go for green tea, this time please. Influence of the better half. Fortune: Strangely, I’m not at all surprised Erin drinks tea. Some people have that feel to them, I suppose. Anything added to it? Marshall: I’ll take it how you have it. ::Said with a grin.:: Show me the ways of the tea. Fortune: A roommate showed me the glory of a dab of honey inside, and I’ve never gone back. Corliss happily replicated them a pair of cups of tea, slipping the steaming cup onto the table between them towards Jo. Her own cupped into her hand, the steam warming her face a little as it curled up. Across from her, the blonde picked up the mug and cradled it in her hands; the little warmth was welcome. Fortune: So! Here to chat things out, I take it? Marshall: If you’re willing to have your ear bent in all kinds of directions. I’m not one for sticking to a particular topic when the flood gates open. Fortune: Everyone likes a listening ear, sometimes just as a sounding board, or just to reason things out to themselves. ::she cooled her tea with a breath, taking a sip.:: If walls could talk, I’m sure they’d report me to Quinn for losing my common sense...and, sometimes, a random object. They always end up on the dresser… Marshall: Always the dresser. Or the coffee table. I’m half convinced there’s a blackhole down the back of the sofa that just randomly drops things back onto various bits of furniture from pockets. Sipping at the warm tea, Jo relaxed a little further into the chair. Never one to sit in a chair like a normal person, she tucked a leg underneath her and leaned to one side. This was just a conversation; nothing to worry about, no hidden depths to probe, no hidden meanings to discover. Just a conversation with a friend over tea. Marshall: It’s been a while since I’ve sat down for this, you know. Last time wasn’t long after we came back from Over There. I’m a bit rusty. Fortune: Momentum is a funny thing like that. Once you get going, there’s no stopping. Marshall: I’ve never found it easy to do, not about me anyway. ::She hazarded a smile, motes of nerves threading through it.:: People can be usually persuaded to talk about themselves more. Anyone who does find this kind of thing easy to do are right up there with those who eat salad for breakfast. Fortune: ::she wrinkled her nose at that thought.:: Salad? I’m more of a waffle person. ::she grinned.:: Actually, a lot of people find it hard to talk about themselves. They’re not sure what to say, or how to say it, until they’re asked questions or something pertains to their interests. Nodding, Jo dropped her gaze to the tea in her mug, floating there without a care in the world. Marshall: What do you suggest? Fortune: Well, your bike...or talking about Erin...oooorrr maybe something you’ve done on shift lately? Maybe anything with the recent mission…? Jo pursed her lips for a moment, teeth chewing on the inside of her cheek, mind revolving around several things simultaneously. Despite the appearance of being as shallow as a teaspoon sometimes, there were hidden depths in there, as deep as the oceans of the planet revolving beneath them, as expansive as the space around them. Marshall: I’m finding it harder to… ::The false start didn’t help and she rolled her eyes at herself.:: Do you ever find yourself so angry with someone it just sits there? Fortune: Ah, stewing anger? ::she popped her lips in thought.:: Sometimes, if I’m frustrated. It’s a normal response to certain events, but it’s not healthy to keep it rolling around like a hot ball in a pan, you know? Marshall: I’m aware completely ignoring these issues is an unhealthy coping mechanism, ::she took a sip of tea and exhaled,:: so I’m ignoring that fact, too. Fortune: Ignorance may be bliss, but only up until whatever it is sideswipes us across the face. The young blonde exhaled again, this time through her nose as the tea mug came down away from her lips and rested in her lap. On the out breath, her shoulders relaxed and she willed her heart to stop beating so fast, like a drum behind her ribs, solid and consistent. Marshall: I— ::She bit her lip at the false start again and closed her eyes.:: When we were trapped in the dreamworld, ‘Kos and Erin did a mind meld to get back and wake the Admiral up. They… I don’t know, merged minds? Is that a thing Betazoids can do? Fortune: Not…::she paused, as if trying to work through her words.:: Not...really...in a way. Marshall: It’s a difficult one to explain, ::she exhaled with a self-deprecating smile,:: I’ve thought about this in so many ways. Is it like how Vulcans share their melds? Like how Deltans do? Or something else entirely. Fortune: Not like Vulcan melding, in...a way. So. ::She sighed, raising her hand up, then placing it back down in thought.:: So there is something, like bonding, but it’s not something any one Betazoid can do on their own. A blonde eyebrow raised as Jo took a sip of warm, fragrant tea, enjoying the soothing effects of it more than anything else, though still surprised she hadn’t tried to drown in the contents of the mug. Marshall: You guys do this in groups? Fortune: Oh you need priestesses, some people from the Houses to stand over and ensure all goes well. ::she flittered her fingers in the air.:: But not like how Vulcans can...reach in and grab someone’s mind. I...suppose our difference would be like...well, like a river. ::she placed her cup down, lacing her fingers together.:: With Vulcans, they’re fisherman. They can reach in, grab up someone’s thoughts, and physically touch them. With us, or rather, in my experience, it’s like...grazing the river. You can touch the river, but not the fish. Marshall: And you make a bond with the river or the fish? ::She scratched at her cheek with a slender finger, confusion bouncing around on her features.:: I’m not sure I understand. Fortune: There’s not a bond as much, unless a familial link of course. Is...there something you’re worried about for the both of them? Wrinkling her nose, Jo looked down at the liquid in the mug sloshing around as she held the vessel in her hands. That was the Skarbek; this simmering layer of viscous liquid and the rest of it beneath the surface. They were different people in there, leading different lives under different circumstances, but out of it… She chewed her lips as she looked back up at the lively counsellor and her shoulders deflated. Marshall: Yes and no, with a hefty dose of I don’t know in there, too. ::Her tongue stuck in her cheek and she exhaled heavily.:: Erin says it’s like a library in her mind; there are all these books there dedicated to Kos’ life and she could choose to read whatever she wanted, but she doesn’t. It’s a choice not to. Fortune: How intriguing to think of it like a library...and kind of her not to intrude in on his privacy. Is it the fact she’s able to access those memories…? Marshall: That she’s in that position in the first place. That she’s walking around with someone else’s every thought and memory in her head. It didn’t do anything, it didn’t change anything, it just implanted this in her head and her in his. She leaned forward and placed the mug down on the table, fingers threading into her hair as she sat back, curling one leg beneath her. Visible agitation wasn’t in Jo’s litany of behaviours and she didn’t know what to do with herself while every cell tried to vibrate on an unfamiliar wavelength. To Corliss, it was like watching sparks of electricity around a statue, shifting and crackling in equal measure. Marshall: He knows more about her than I ever will, and he knows more about me than I want anyone but her to know. Fortune: And...you don’t like that. Jo chewed the inside of her cheek as blue eyes unfocused somewhere around where the table was; the serious side of the middle Marshall brimming up to the surface through those deep layers where she kept it as buried as possible. It made her heart hurt to think about, and had done for the longest time; tarred on the inside, set aflame and left to burn. She bit her lips as the rolling urge to burst into tears in a hot ball of rage melted and stemmed. Marshall: I can’t be mad about it and I can’t even begin to talk to Erin about it. She’s the one with all of this to deal with, not me. What kind of person feels like this is anything to do with me? Fortune: A private person. A concerned one. And, it makes you human, Jo. Marshall: Does it have to? Fortune: Well, mortal, human, same? ::she laughed, shaking her head.:: All the same, it makes you a person. If there’s something besides ‘just a feeling’ that’s making you worried, for instance, some new habit she has or the like, then I’d suggest encouraging her to talk to someone about it. With a shake of her head, the young blonde lifted the mug to take a drink, thinking through the year since. Erin hadn’t changed; still as funny, unassuming and genius as ever. Jo had lost countless hours watching her talk, laugh and frown and so much love had given her the strength to seek counselling for all the anger with nowhere to go. Marshall: And if there’s not, what do you suggest? Fortune: Well...I suppose you should think about your view on privacy. A frown crested for a second and Jo leaned forward, elbows on her knees as she looked at Corliss as though self-reflection were a foreign concept. Her hand found the back of her neck, feeling coming in waves like fluctuations in temperature. Growing up in a Federation colony, the majority population Bajoran, the sharing of telepathic and empathic thoughts and feelings was a near foreign concept to her until she started seeing more of the galaxy. Perhaps picking up on the fact she didn’t know quite what to say, Corliss continued. Fortune: It wasn’t until I went to Academy that the foreign thought of someone not knowing what I was thinking, or about to do, had settled into my mind, and made me feel...alone. For some of my friends, the thought of their families being able to access and stroll through their mind like a walk in the park made them cringe. ::she shrugged, lacing her fingers together as she watched the other.:: Every feeling someone feels is valid. I do think you need to talk to Erin about this. It’s about her, and about Genkos, and about your relationship as well, and being open and honest in a relationship is something I always encourage. Nodding, as though the information had filtered through her mind and wrapped in vines around her heart, her lips disappeared behind her teeth for a second as she thought on it, then exhaled again slumping back into the chair, hands on the arms of it, fingers drumming. Talking to Genkos would be difficult, talking to Erin doubly so. Pinpricks of tears started at the corner of her eyes as her jaw clenched at the back, one long breath exhaled and she smiled; a fleeting thing that barely remained. Marshall: How are you, Corliss? I’m sorry I haven’t asked. ::Picking up her mug again, she smiled.:: Your hair looks good, as always. Fortune: Ah, do you think? ::she slipped a hand up to a stray curl, winding the pink hair in a small circle.:: I gave it all a good scrubbing on my shift off, it’s my own form of stress-relief, I suppose. ::she cracked a grin, tilting her head.:: Would you like to talk about my wigs, I take it? Marshall: I can only take so much talking about me. ::Her lips thinned into a smile that verged on the self-deprecating, or mawkish, certainly nothing joyful.:: And it’s a rare occasion we see each other; not properly since we were on Nassau playing pirates. Fortune: It’s hard talking about oneself, it’s true. We tend to prey upon our own fears and embolden them in ways that others don’t tend to see them. ::she hummed, shrugging.:: Plus, I think I made a convincing pirate captain. A chuckle through a mouthful of tea shook Jo’s shoulders and she nodded, remembering full well the destructive force that was the Captain persona Corliss had undertaken on their Nassau journey. It wasn’t the most welcoming of places; even when they’d first touched down, it was touch and go whether they would be able to stay or not, and Jo recalled trying to think of an easy escape route should it go south. Marshall: The fact that you pulled the character out of the hat with a seconds’ notice was incredible; that you kept it up while an Andorian with a mohawk asked for the docking fee was something else. I can just about remember you talking to the docking agents when we were trying to leave. Fortune: Well, I think had they pressured more questions, I might have cracked. I do like the name Marisol however, it’s very...rolls off the tongue, hm? Marshall: It does. Maybe she’ll make a reappearance one day. Their trip there had been anything but simple, and resulted in the near-death of not only the Orion trying to prevent their escape, but Jo had almost tripped the light fantastic too; sitting in the back of that shuttlecraft, preparing for the eventuality that seemed a little too inevitable. With Corliss’ quick thinking, they’d finally got free of the asteroid and back into space to meet up with the Triumphant, and it couldn’t have come soon enough. Fortune: How are you and Erin? Beyond the…::she wiggled her fingers in the air.:: with Genkos, how are things when you’re together? Anything new? Any sentient plants I might need to warn the Admiral about?? ::she teased.:: Marshall: There’s always sentient plants to warn the Admiral about. ::She grinned at the mention of her partner and settled a bit further into the chair, not quite the live wire she’d walked in as.:: We’re fine, at least I think we are. She’s met my parents recently, she seems to get along with my younger brother fairly well, through a mutual love of adrenaline rushes and building things. Fortune: Ah, a pair, are they? ::she chuckled.:: It’s good they’re getting along, I know some feel anxiety over if their family will care for someone they are in a relationship with. ::she took a sip of her tea again, humming.:: Mm. So...what’s brought all this on then? Marshall: Guilt, I think. ::Her teeth chewed around on the inside of her lips, the feeling like a warm stone sinking from heart downwards.:: She’s empathic; I know she can feel it when I’m… ::Her hands made a gesture as though she were holding a lump of energy between her palms.:: A tiny ball of rage. Corliss nodded. People in a rage tended to sit like a stone around her, feeling like they were about to burn to a crisp should they continue to smoulder. It certainly was an odd feeling. Fortune: Yes. She’s most likely waiting for you to come to her about whatever it is. I’m told it’s improper to bring up someone else’s emotions if they don’t talk about it first. Jo chewed the soft fleshy bit of her cheek as she nodded slowly, trying not to imagine how hard it would be if their roles were reversed, knowing she’d be afraid of asking the question in case the answer shattered them like glass. But they were made of stronger stuff than melted sand, sustained heavier blows than an internalised quarry over a Betazoid/Deltan mind warp. As if knowing Jo needed an explanation from the part of a Betazoid, Corliss continued. Fortune: Thoughts, emotions, they’re all kept tight under lock and key. Those of us who can easily feel or read them, we try not to step into the pitfalls of privacy that others may have. ::she paused.:: It can be hard, especially if you care for them, but can’t bring it up under the pretence of privacy. Marshall: You're right. I haven't really... ::she sighed with the words,:: thought about how it feels for her. You'd think an operations officer would be half decent at communicating. ::Swallowing down a swell of emotion and ran a hand into her hair, she exhaled a laugh.:: Selfish in more ways than one. Fortune: Not selfish...well...::she gave a helpless shrug.:: It's so much easier to read someone's mind than to talk it out that speaking can oft seem straining. Speaking was often straining, especially about the tumultuous warp core performing the fusion reaction every day. Jo felt selfish, and that was the issue; at the core of herself, where her internal M/ARA drive pumped fluid around her vitals. Erin — the ichor and nectar of her life as they tried to navigate being together — was different. Part of her wasn’t human, and it was that part which made Jo’s spine tingle and flesh goose and read from her skin that crosscurrent of emotions. It was selfish that Jo had tried to hide it for so long while Erin could feel it simmering beneath. Fortune: Lots of couples dance the dance of 'do I or don't I?'. People, in general, do that as well. They don't want to talk about something, but at the same time, wish the other party just...knew what they were thinking. If you...want, there's also mediation you two could do. Marshall: As in diplomatic mediation? Fortune: Mostly I sit here as you two talk to one another, and fill the silences in-between with compliments to your uniforms for the day. ::she cracked a grin, chuckling.:: But no, some people find a serious talk daunting and having someone they can rely on, a little, to help get their words across, helpful. The thought had some merit as Jo’s blonde eyebrows furrowed in thought, winding her way through how that would work between them when a red blush caught her cheeks as she remembered how Deltans usually took their diplomatic mediation. With a grin, she shook her head. Marshall: I errr, I think it might be best if I do this one alone, Counselor if you don’t mind. Fortune: Ah, no insult taken, but it’s there if you’d like it to be. Has our talk panned out like you thought it would? ::she smiled.:: I’m told counselling can be…’an experience’. Not sure what that could entail. Marshall: An experience. ::She smiled with an exhaled laugh, heart feeling a little lighter for the moment, even if it wouldn’t last long.:: I haven’t had counselling like this for anything other than work and myself for a long time, and I’m glad it was with you. Fortune: You’re kind, Jo. ::she chuckled.:: So, what’ve you got in mind then? Marshall: Some kind of an action plan, I think. ::That was the best way she worked, after all. Give her a task list and it would all be done in no time; let her mind wander and she’d be thinking of new bike parts.:: Erin deserves an explanation and I… ::she forced the words out as they tried to stop in her throat,:: need to talk about this with her. It’s not going to be easy, but nothing worth having ever is, is it? Fortune: That’s how the saying goes, I believe. So! ::she clapped her hands, looking excited.:: Action plan it is! Some people find writing out what they want to say easier so that they can let it all out at once. The blonde nodded again, the process of getting her thoughts down onto a PADD to make sense of them seemed like a good idea. Seeing everything in a line would give it a priority, give it purpose, let her refine her thoughts before they came tumbling out into her partner’s lap like tribbles from an overhead storage locker. Fortune: There’s no guessing how she’ll respond, but you can take the time to craft out your beginning explanation, that way there’s no...hesitation, or fumbling for words. And then, from there, the conversation flows. Marshall: I think I might just have to do that, Corliss, thank you. ::She smiled and let out a breath to relax her shoulders again; armed with a plan, it would be easier. Armed with a plan, she could do next to anything. It was only two steps. Two steps she could do. It filled the inner cavity with a motivation; a need to press on and do it now.:: Would you… would you mind if we cut the session here and I go do just that? Fortune: Oh! Not a problem at all! ::her hands fluttered a bit in the air, although she figured Jo would want to go and get started now that she had a starting point.:: It’s always as long or as short as you prefer. If you need me, I’ll be here! Filled with the inspiration to do just that, Jo deposited the empty mug into the recycling pad of the replicator and when she returned to Corliss, it was with a growing sense of gratitude, perhaps a little bit of a high now they were finding a way through those mental blockages like her brain had started to speak in a language she understood instead of strings of curses. Fortune: As my great-grandmother would say, may fortune be with you! And probably an admonishment on not visiting more often. Marshall: Then, I’ll definitely try to. Next time, I’ll bring danishes and we can talk about my parents. ::Her lips twinged in a smile, definitely finding its way to her eyes this time.:: Thank you, Corliss. I was dreading this and… you’ve actually made me feel a lot better about it. Like I can try and do this. Fortune: I’ve never doubted you, Jo. Danishes sound very good! I’ll look forward to it. ::she grinned, pleased with how relaxed Jo looked now.:: There was a slight moment of hesitation, as if Jo wanted to say something else and just couldn’t quite bring herself to, then she smiled and shook her head. Another time, perhaps. She had other things to worry about. fin -- Lieutenant Corliss Fortune Highest Quality Counsellor Brain USS Gorkon G239510CF0 & Lt. Commander Jo Marshall First Officer USS Gorkon, NCC-82293 G239304JM0
  12. As awards season draws to a close, the podcast team is excited to announce that a new full podcast is now available, including: the Wiki Roundtable Discussion featuring Roshanara Rahman and Sky Blake with Lazarus Davis and James Colquhoun; Captain’s Corner featuring Aron Kells with German Galven; the winning and runner-up Writing Challenge entries; the Red Carpet Fashion Report with Dassa Alexander-Dalton and Sheila Bailey; and much more! Watch below, or click here to listen on YouTube. Below is a list of the links mentioned in this PADDcast: Writing Contest Winning Entry: Lullaby by Geoffrey Teller Writing Contest Runner Up Entry: Time To Move On by Pholin Duyzer Awards Ceremony: Days One through Four 2020 Awards Red Carpet Jalana Rajel Promoted To Commodore Want to give a shout out to someone in the fleet and have it read for one of our podcasts? Visit the forums here to submit your shout out. The post New full-length PADDcast available: Awards Season wrap-up appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  13. An absolutely devious and devastating finish to a long running side story about addiction and personal choice. Bravo! ((T’Mar’s Quarters, USS Constitution)) T’Mar and Saveron sat across from each other, each with a cup of their preferred beverage, the picture of cool Vulcan composure. T’Mar: I see. ::pause to sip her tea:: You have spoken to Commander Foster. Saveron: Affirmative. ::There was no logic in denying it.:: He informed me of your extended use of Lexorin following a medical procedure which, I understand, resulted in unwanted effects related to your natural empathy and telepathy. He watched her expression, not really expecting it to change but wanting to be certain that he had the story straight. There was no benefit in proceeding on incorrect assumptions. T’Mar: Succinct. So he had understood correctly. Saveron: Would you wish to talk about the procedure? The details were probably of more use to medical in the context of resolving the situation, but sometimes simply talking through a traumatic situation could be beneficial. Being heard was a powerful medicine. The clatter of the teacup indicated that he had, as some cultures put it, ‘hit a nerve’, which she tried to cover by carefully setting the cup down. There was definite trauma there, that tiny slip confirmed it, and he wondered how such a thing could have been allowed to happen. Perhaps one day she would have the confidence in him to let him work to reduce it’s impact, but first he had to build that confidence, that trust. She closed her eyes for a moment and he remained silent, giving her that space in time. T’Mar: Not particularly. It was done against my will. I was given medication to prevent me from blocking out the feelings and then subjected to a bombardment of emotions. It was.. Unpleasant to say the least. Vulcans were the masters of understatements. He couldn’t even imagine what it would be like, being subjected to the emotions of others, multiple others, against one’s will. But he would not ask her to relive that day now. Saveron: Will you describe for me the changes that you experienced following the procedure? T’Mar: I.. ::pause:: I had a strong feeling of violation, but I also experienced an inability to properly suppress my emotions as well as my empathy. Hardly surprising that T’Mar felt violated, and Saveron suspected it could well have led to a distrust of other health professionals, whether consciously or unconsciously, which would have reduced even further her desire to seek the follow up she should have had. The anger that welled on her behalf was heavily suppressed. Now was a time of logic, and through logic, hopefully, the gentle unwinding of the knot T’Mar had gotten herself into. Saveron: Disagreeable. ::He empathised.:: And for these symptoms you were prescribed Lexorin? T’Mar: Indeed. I was hesitant at first, however, it was necessary. The Counsellor set his empty cup aside and laced long fingers together. Saveron: Entirely understandable. ::There are times when such support was beneficial; but it was never meant to be permanent.:: And I anticipate that the medication has been supportive. The question is; how to do you wish to proceed from this point? Saveron wasn’t aware of that particular part of her conversation with Cade, but T’Mar was exactly right when she insisted to Foster that no treatment would be efficacious, no effort to resolve her addiction succeed, if she was not willing. Given that she had been an unwilling participant in the original procedure, consent and active participation was particularly important. T’Mar: I am quite content continuing on the way I have been. Saveron: By which, you mean continuing treatment with Lexorin? He paraphrased to be certain that he understood her. T’Mar: There seems to be this notion that I am doing something wrong, but this medication helps me, Commander. The defensive tone of her words was obvious. Deep down, she knew that it wasn’t the right answer, and she’d heard accusation from him where he’d deliberately offered none. Oh, he could have, but he anticipated that Cade might have already taken that path, and was possibly not the first. He was deliberately walking a different one, since clearly the other had not been efficacious. Saveron: One presumes that others have championed this notion, based on the recommended treatment protocols. T’Mar: That’s a matter of opinion. The protocols were, technically, a matter of opinion, but a several very educated, expert opinions. Saveron: The general medical opinion is that long-term Lexorin use is to be avoided. He said it to see what she’d say to that, whether she’d acknowledge the current medical wisdom. T’Mar: I had hoped that you of all people could understand the complexity of my situation. And that was a no. Saveron: I am endeavouring to do so. ::He assured her evenly.:: I have never had another’s emotions forced on me, nor known what it is to be perceptive to the minds of others at range. ::Every telepathic contact he’d experienced had been individual, and consensual.:: I… cannot truly begin to comprehend such a violation, or the after effects. ::He admitted.:: Only that they would be intolerable. I understand that you would not wish to endure them. T’Mar: ? He inclined his head in acknowledgement. Saveron: I collated these documents for you, in anticipation of your preference, to provide you with relevant information. He offered over a PADD for her to take. T’Mar: ? Saveron: I have included several studies of the long-term effects of Lexorin, including a metanalysis of the available data. In addition there is an account from a patient who was under palliative care for a terminal illness, and also on Lexorin, which provides a more personal rendering, so that you know what to expect. He spoke in the same, even tones, entirely professional, even dispassionate, in the way of their kind. A sharp contrast to Commander Foster. The analyses detailed the relative effectiveness of the medication over time, the cumulative neurotoxicity and eventual progression of synaptic breakdown. Sopek had documented his mental condition in great detail, until he was no longer able to do so. Because that was the reality of what T’Mar was facing if she continued the way she had been, as she wished to. And since they were being logical, stoic Vulcans, he was simply providing her with information with which she could make informed decisions and plan for her future. Unfortunately it wouldn’t be a long one. T’Mar: ? Saveron: I can provide a prescription of Lexorin for you; it will be dependent on quarterly neurological scans. ::And be set to cancel immediately, should a scan be missed.:: Once the scans show neurological degradation, you will be discharged from Starfleet on medical grounds. Not only for her own sake, but for that of her colleagues. T’Mar: ? Saveron: Depending on your current synaptic state and frequency of use, and based on those studies, I estimate that you will have between two and five Standard years of service, before that occurs. The synaptic degradation curve is exponential, so once it becomes detectable you will need to enter care. I have included a list of care facilities that specialise in telepaths’ medical needs. The one on Betazed is particularly highly regarded, but has a long waiting list, so I would recommend submitting your application now. Five years, maximum, and she wouldn’t be able to look after herself. T’Mar was absolutely right, it was her choice. But the important thing about the freedom to choose was that it came with the responsibility to accept the consequences. That was a lot of life to miss out on. T’Mar: ? TAG Commander Saveron Counsellor USS Constitution-B R238802S10 ((T’Mar’s Quarters, USS Constitution))
  14. ((Corridor, Deck 6 - USS Juneau)) What a way to spend one's holidays. Maxwell Traenor had allotted several weeks of his pent-up earned leave in order to attend a major symposium on Starbase 821. There was an exotic and unique discovery in the Dialrin system in the Aavaro Wilds, and scientists from around the quadrant were being drawn in for study. Maxwell was attending the symposium out of personal curiosity rather than as a professional requirement, unlike many of the Starfleet physicists and geologists and xenoarcheologists and all other kinds of 'ologists' being transferred to the starbase for the task. His path from his ship's area of operations to the symposium was a veritable tour of the Federation, spanning almost the full breadth of the Alpha Quadrant. The milk run needed to transit the route had Maxwell hitching rides on 5 starships and 2 transports over the course of 9 days. Finally, though, he was on his last leg on the Juneau and he was content relaxing in the luxurious guest quarters on the relatively new starship. Until the klaxons started, of course. Maxwell was off duty, almost technically a civilian, though of course not really. A Starfleet officer on a Starfleet vessel or installation was always to be ready for duty, especially in an emergency. So despite having absolutely no idea what was going on, or what was where, or even if he could be useful in any way, Maxwell struggled into a uniform and exited his quarters. Random Lieutenant: Sir, didn't you hear the hail? Hurry, we need to get to Transporter Room 4! Traenor: But- The gaggle of officers led by the interjecting lieutenant had swept him up in their group before he could even catch his breath. Were they abandoning ship? What were their orders? His collective knowledge of personnel on the Juneau resulted in three - the transporter chief who had welcomed him aboard, the Ops ensign who had checked in on him in his guest quarters, and of course the bartender in the lounge. And he didn't even know their names, likely wouldn't even recall their faces from a lineup. Maxwell still didn't know what was going on as he was all but frog-marched onto the transporter pad. He couldn't even glean what was going on though the excited chatter of the others who crowded the pad alongside him. Transporter Tech: Prepare for transport. Traenor: But- ((Corridor, Deck 4 - USS Arrow)) Wherever it was that Traenor and his gaggle had materialized, it was Starfleet through and through. The corridor design was unmistakable. There was much to be said about the housekeeping, however. His comment card at the end of his trip would certainly reflect that. It was dark, dingy, dirty, and most egregiously, hot. Those who had beamed over with him scattered in all directions, leaving him standing there bewildered. A different officer, a JayGee in operations colors, approached rapidly and before Maxwell could utter a sound, she shoved an engineering kit into his chest. Engineer: Commander, this way! Traenor: But- Engineer: ::without looking over her shoulder to ensure Maxwell was following - which of course he was, because what else did he have to do?:: I know, I know, not your specialty. But this is triage, just of a mechanical kind. Do your best, sir, and start with that junction over there. The officer pointed one direction and walked another, leaving Maxwell alone and no less bewildered. Dammit, he was a physicist, not an EPS plumber! But, an emergency was an emergency, so to work he went. He even managed to keep grumbling to a relative minimum. ((Bridge, Deck 1 - USS Arrow)) Ugh. Grimy and sweaty. Not a scientist's natural state. Well, maybe if one was a speleologist, but Maxwell was not one of those. The bridge of this vessel, which he had finally learned was called the Arrow, was marginally better than the working conditions that he had endured belowdecks. The lights were back up, there weren't techs lying under every elevated surface fixing things, and there didn't seem to be too much panic among the resident officers. The center chair was supporting a man in a blue collar, who Maxwell had never seen before and would likely never see again. He shuffled over to stand tangentially before the officer, and waited until the object of his attention noticed the weary and discomfited scientist before him. Traenor: Sorry about your ship, Commander. But the officers from the Juneau seem to have most of the big problems back under control. If you would be so kind as to give me leave to return to the Juneau, I'll be on my way. Collins: response Traenor: But- He looked mutely and slack jawed between the viewscreen and this harbinger of disastrous news, as if by sheer will he could beckon the Juneau back from wherever it was off chasing or doing or whatever. Now how in the hells was he supposed to get to the starbase in time for the symposium? And why oh why did he have to be so nosey as to leave his quarters? Collins: response Of course, Traenor was fully aware that any officer at any time could be commandeered and pressed into service wherever they found themselves, which was the automatic reaction that had lured him out of those now long gone comfortable quarters on the Juneau. It's just... well, this was supposed to be his holidays! It also meant that he might have to explain to this fine officer that no, he was not trying to be insubordinate, it's just that he should never have been here in the first place. Unlike the Juneau officers who had been specifically ordered to be here, he was... well... just along for the ride? Traenor: ::defeated:: Well, that's that then. I don't suppose we'll get anywhere near Starbase 821 in the next, oh, 24 hours or so? Collins: response Traenor: ::shrugging, determined to make the most of it:: I'll make myself useful around here then, sir, if you've anything in mind. You won't find me on the Juneau's roster, since I'm transient, but you can find my service record if you search a bit further out. If you have need of a scientist, then I'll do what I can. Maxwell Traenor, at your service. He wasn't going to make the symposium after all. He was on an unknown ship, added to the roster at least until it was returned to a starbase for the desperate repairs it needed. His vacation was shot. But! It was a bit of an adventure, and Maxwell was willing to tough it out - after a hot sonic shower and a hot meal. There *was* going to be a shower and a meal soon, right? Collins: response TAG/TBC -- Commander Maxwell Traenor Chief Vacation Specialist, USS Arrow A239111MT0
  15. Last week
  16. I'll make a confession: I'm a verbose person. I begin to write and I easily exceed the number of words I had intended. That's why SIMs like this marvel me. It has many good things and, its conciseness is only one of them. In a very succinct way, without dialogue and with a very short and elegant description, it shows us a very intimate moment of a character that, in a usual way, is a force of nature. With very few lines and in a very subtle way it reflects what past events have meant for the character, how they still weigh on her and what she is dealing with. All in a missive to home, a sweetened message to really conceal what is in her mind. A true delight for its succinctness, its intimacy and the vulnerability it displays. Thanks for this gem @Addison MacKenzie ! ____________________________________________________ (( Room 0502, Deck 5, USS Thor )) Addison sat on the couch in her quarters with her feet up and re-read the letter composed on her PADD. To: Priscilla MacKenzie, 34 Linnaean Street, Cambridge, MA, Earth From: Lt. Cmdr. Addison MacKenzie, M.D., Ph.D., FASFS Hi Mom, I know, I know – I don’t write or call enough, and you’re right, so let’s just get that out of the way now. Things have been crazy, as you well know from the bits I’ve been able to send you. I’m on my third assignment in a year and a half, which either means they really like me, or they really hate me. Time will tell, I’m sure. We recently got took on several new junior officers, including a Vulcan doctor. While she’s a colossal pain in my [...], she’s an excellent addition to this crew, and so too for medicine as a whole, I’m sure. The rest of the lot are a good bunch and will make fine officers. Hopping the galaxy does have its perks, though – I had the best burger of my life at a greasy spoon on Ketar V. While I wouldn’t recommend The Shoals as a destination hotspot, these burgers might be worth it… I know Ryan would love them. Sorry I don’t have time to write more. Try not to worry too much – Geoff is still here and keeps me in line. Give Dad and the bunch a big squeeze for me. Next chance I get, I’ll be home to visit. Promise. All my love, Addy She decided not to mention the part where she had been abducted and abused, though it was likely her parents already knew – they always seemed to have a way of finding things out. Addison took a deep breath and hit send. She desperately hoped she was able to keep that promise. --- Lieutenant Commander Addison MacKenzie, M.D., Ph.D., FASFS Chief Medical Officer USS Thor V239601AM0
  17. Even if technically isn't a "Lost Colony" quote: 😜
  18. Like Shayne, I wanted to also give a shoutout to several folks who are so deserving of the awards they've received this year! First big kudos to the amazing and future Galactic Empress @Jo Marshall. May she find me useful during her reign. But seriously, lady, you rock! Besides organizing this year's ceremony and making sure everything got done, you've brought that same leadership to the FNS and I have no doubt as well to your ship. I'm glad we got to sim together over this recent mission, and I hope we have more opportunities in the future! @Wil Ukinix, you've become such an amazing writer and player on Veritas, and especially this year, with the personnel changes we've had, you have stepped up to keep our ship vibrant. I cannot wait to see what's in store for you. Congratulations on all your achievements! @German Galven, I am so glad to see how well you are doing on Ops, serving Jamie as a vital member of her staff. Thank you for everything you do for the fleet, from the news articles to representing 118 at events beyond like Project Khitomer. @Lazarus Davis, it's been a pleasure listening to you on the podcast and getting a chance to speak with you for a segment. Earning the TOSMA on your ship is a momentous event, and I look forward to one day simming with you. @Addison MacKenzie, I'm so proud of what you have accomplished over this past year. Congratulations on both the TOSMA for Thor and the fleetwide duty post award for medical. That's truly a remarkable recognition from our community, and I know whether you wish to continue as a chief medical officer for a few more years or have your sights set on the red collar, nothing will stop you from achieving your goals! Thank you for everything you do for your shipmates and our fleet. @Sophie290999, it's so wonderful to see you thrive and how much you've grown as a player. You've made a lasting impression and fun, distinguished contributions to Veritas, whether it be BAXTER or just Charlena's overall awesomeness. I can't wait to see what adventures are in store for you next! @Randal Shayne, congrats on all the accolades and now your new ship! Cherish this moment; it's just the start of a wonderful (and yes challenging) journey ahead, but I know you will steer your crew well with the same dedication that you commit yourself in everything you do. @Ceciri Ariadust, after working with you for so long before in other parts of the fleet, I've been so glad to sim with you since you came to Veritas. I hope you have been enjoying your time in the fleet as well since your return. @Jalana, congrats, Commodore, again, and for everything else you do in the fleet, thank you. I can't imagine 118 without you, and it's safe to say it literally wouldn't *look* quite the same without your hard work. @Geoffrey Teller, I'm glad to see you get the recognition now from the fleet that I saw myself first as your CO. You've done a "good job" indeed, and as I've told you before, I'm so proud now that you are serving as an inspiration, mentor, and role model for the players that have since joined us and are under your care. @FltAdml. Wolf, you are truly deserving of the descriptor "champion" for all you do for this community. Though your title may be founder or fleet admiral, you really are more like the mayor or community manager of a small city. Someday, we need to do an article that covers really *everything* you do to keep this place running. Know that you have the gratitude always of over a hundred members and the countless more before and after for giving us all a second home on the web. @Quinn Reynolds, congratulations on our fleet's highest honor! There are so many things you do for our community beyond just the obvious roles you play as a CO and academy commandant. You bring a perceptive eye on our governing councils while continuing to set the standard for writing and creativity when it comes to your own characters and stories. Working on the EC and elsewhere isn't just a responsibility but a joy thanks to your presence and support. @Oddas Aria, congrats again on everything this year. From Capstone to CAL, you've earned it, and I'm excited to see what other innovations you continue to bring to our group! I still can't believe you were a cadet in my class, but it just reminds me that every cadet has the potential to become the next outstanding leader. @Sal Taybrim, we might not have simmed together yet, but I feel a connection to you through your former CO/command mentor. Maybe you feel it, too? Anyway, you've always brought an insightful perspective to how we can improve our fleet and what's important in a game versus just fan fiction writing. I can't think of a better person to lead our namesake installation. Congratulations to everyone! The best part of the awards for me is getting to read all the nominations and to see how much of an impact each recipient has had on their crew and other players across the fleet.
  19. @Sal Taybrim I am- and this is true- an absolute cretin. Please accept my apologies. I completely forgot that you were the mind and writer behind Cade Foster. I look forward to writing with you again, either with Cade or Taybrim. And this time, I'll try not to be such a fully-rigged, rate A-1, ocean going pillock.
  20. I'm delighted to present the badges for this years award ceremony! See below for the full badge list. If you believe you should have earned the badge but are not listed, contact your CO. Learn more about badges and how to display them on your wiki pages here. And don't forget: Make sure you take our survey about the awards ceremony to let us how you think it went. The full ceremony has been posted on the wiki now, as with all previous ceremonies. Awards Chairperson Presented to a staff member that has held the position of Awards Chairperson for an Awards Ceremony. If more than one staff member holds the title, or is appointed an assistant or deputy, all receive the badge. Sky Blake, Veritas Ishkabella Journs, Atlantis Randal Shayne, Arrow Jo Marshall, Gorkon Awards Committee Presented to any staff member that participates in the yearly Awards Committee to select Duty Post and Special Awards. Nugra, Constitution-B Ash MacKenna, Juneau Jarred Thoran, Atlantis Awards Ceremony Nominator (Standard) A player must submit at least 1 nomination for a fellow player during an awards ceremony, in any category. This badge can be earned multiple times, but is only awarded once per year. A player earning an elite or legendary badge will not also earn the lower levels in the same year. Awards Ceremony Nominator (Elite) A player must submit at least 5 nominations for fellow players in any category. This badge can be earned multiple times, but is only awarded once per year. A player earning an elite or legendary badge will not also earn the lower levels in the same year. Awards Ceremony Nominator (Legendary) A player must submit at least 10 nominations for players on more than 2 vessels in any category. This badge can be earned multiple times, but is only awarded once per year. A player earning an elite or legendary badge will not also earn the lower levels in the same year.
  21. In June 2020 the fleet saw a small decrease in the total sims posted – to 1665 sims total and an average per ship of 238. Not reflected in the data was the Fleet’s ‘soft launch’ of the USS Arrow at the command of Commander Randal Shayne in the final days of the month, but nonetheless managed 48 sims of its own. Of the ships with complete data for the month, Ops raced ahead with 372 sims, followed by the Consitution with 292, the Gorkon with 232, and the Juneau with 217. The Veritas was close behind with 197 posts, as was the Thor with 194 and the Atlantis with 161. Coming off the excitement of the Awards Ceremony and the launch of the Arrow we are sure to many exciting things over the next month! Check out some of the highlights of this past month’s simming through our Appreciations forum, where you and your fellow members can nominate sims, great quotes, and other memorable moments for the rest of the fleet to enjoy! The post June 2020 Post Counts appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  22. ((Starbase 118, Marine Training Holodeck 3)) Training was a mainstay for a Marine, and even with the hangover from the excursion into Little Risa, Anthony could not let himself rest. After selecting some equipment from the armory, he made his way to the training holodecks exclusive to the shipboard Marines. He selected a training program and entered when the doors opened. He found himself on a rocky hilltop overlooking a grassy meadow approximately 80 meters below. There were targets set at random distances, some clearly visible to the naked eye, some not so easy to see because of their distance from him. The targets were approximately one meter tall by one-half meter wide and rectangular in shape. All were black in color, silhouetting nicely contrasted by the bright green grass. Anthony unrolled his pad and took a prone position on it. He placed the Type 32A Operational Support Rifle in front of him, extending the bi-pod for a rest. His wind meter told him there was a slight left to right breeze at his position and the ambient temperature was a comfortable 19 degrees C. The humidity was right at 23 percent, making the air dry by relative comparison. The sun in the simulation was behind him, which tactically was not the best situation, but it made it far easier to see his targets, not having to look against the glare. All things considered, the conditions were perfect. Taking a position behind the rifle, he set his PADD next to his left forearm on the ground in front of him. Anthony tapped a tab on the PADD, opening his notes. He had never used the Type 32A OSR before, so he would be starting with fresh DOPE. DOPE, or Data Of Previous Engagement, for lack of a better term, is the data recorded from rounds fired at a range. It is used as a reference for the sniper to estimate what elevation and windage adjustments must be made to ensure a first round hit on the target. The optics on the Type 32A OSR were enhanced using active scanning technology, but the weapon still relied upon the user to deliver the projectile accurately onto the target. Anthony placed his cheek against the side of the weapon’s stock and allowed his right eye to focus through the scope. He kept his left eye open to avoid losing his situational awareness. It was a comfortable position and he allowed himself to relax against the ground and the gun. From his position he, he had a complete view of the field of fire. Anthony focused on one of the targets and the range finder in the optic indicated the black rectangle was 800 meters from his position. Taking in a deep breath, he held it for about four seconds before letting it out through pursed lips. When he had expelled the air, he slipped his finger onto the trigger and began to press. He could feel the slack leave the trigger and the pressure against the weapon’s sear. Only a few ounces more pressure and the weapon bucked lightly against his shoulder. Through the viewfinder, Anthony watched the projectile strike the center of the target, about 10 cm lower than the reticle indicated the point of impact should have been. He entered the information into his PADD for the first shot, and without making any changes to the equipment, repeated the ritual for a second shot. The second round impacted in nearly the same place, touching the impact of the first. After entering this information into his PADD, he repeated again and fired a third. The results were the same, and the three round group told him all he needed to know about the adjustment on the optic. After entering the DOPE into the PADD, he adjusted the elevation on the scope and settled in for another three rounds. This time, the point of aim and point of impact were consistent. Checking his wrist chronometer, he realized he had been lying in the same position for over an hour. Oh, how time flies… 2Lt. Anthony Meeks Marine Officer 292nd TMR Starbase 118 Ops/USS Narindra R238801IG0
  23. Wow!!! What a fantastic sim. The writing level of USS Arrow is getting higher and higher at each sim. Happy to have you among us Mr. @Maxwell Traenor 🥳
  24. Since this covers a few sims: Imagine a beach scene, the start of the conversation between Tali Namura (written by @Jo Marshall) and Arlo Thornton (written by @Theo Whittaker) A few sims later, the end of the scene: 😂
  25. Keep your descriptions fresh and infuse them with the lexicon of coffee! The Coffee Tasters’ Wheel is a tool to help professionals and hobbyists articulate the complex flavours and aromas of coffee. There are several variations of the wheel, with World Coffee Research contributing to the latest re-designs. Have a google and pick your favourite one! For most wheels, tasters start in the middle of the wheel and work towards the outer edge, distinguishing the tones and hues of the blend as they proceed. For the enthusiasts among the fleet, the Speciality Coffee Association describe the methodology in a step-by-step guide – all you need is a cup of your favourite roast! For writers, the coffee wheel is an incredible word bank, meticulously researched and readily sorted into categories and near synonyms, which makes finding the right word fun and simple. While the words won’t always suit the situation you’re describing (not everything can smell as good as freshly roasted coffee), the wheel is a useful tool for helping you to think about the senses and how to describe them – a great way to get your creative juices brewing! Let’s give it a try and take this description of a chemical leak as our example. (( A funny taste in the Science Lab, U.S.S. Caffeine. )) With the staff rotas finalised, Shannon logged them into the system. Signing off the terminal, Shannon coughed. Her eyes squinted at the bad taste stuck at the back of her throat. Shannon: Ensign, did your coffee … ::Shannon struggled for the words.:: … taste off? Tim: ::Apologetically.:: Didn’t have any Ma’am. The Ensign paused a beat. Tim: Now you mention it … there is a funny ::Tim swallowed.:: … taste in the air. Shannon’s expression stiffened as she nodded. Here’s how you might use the coffee wheel to craft a sensory driven description. This example uses WCR’s 2017 lexicon. (( A funny taste in the Science Lab, U.S.S. Caffeine. )) With the staff rotas finalised, Shannon logged them into the system. Signing off the terminal, Shannon coughed. Her eyes squinted at the dry, acrid taste that scratched at the back of her throat. Shannon: Ensign, did your coffee … ::Shannon struggled for the words.:: … taste … sharp? Tim: ::Apologetically.:: Didn’t have any Ma’am. The Ensign paused a beat. Tim: Now you mention it … there is a funny ::Tim swallowed.:: … acerbic cut to the air. Shannon’s expression stiffened as she nodded. Using the coffee wheel added a visceral dimension to the description – you can almost taste the toxic fumes! It also provides the other writers in the scene with information about the properties and characteristics of the mystery substance, allowing them to build upon the scene and the mystery. The post Writer’s Workshop: Coffee fuelled sensory description appeared first on UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG. View the full article
  26. Chief Vacation Specialist, USS Arrow this ABSOLUTELY KILLED ME @Maxwell Traenor. The whole sim itself was so charming, but this was just the icing on the cake. Original Post: "But"
  27. Congratulations again to everyone who was awarded this year. Deepest thanks to those who facilitated, coordinated and made this ceremony possible. For those who didn't win an award, this wasn't a loss. There's an entire fleet of incredibly talented people that comprise this wonderful community. See it, as I do, as a challenge to yourselves to keep writing great stories. To keep leaning on each other for inspiration, guidance, or even, when the time comes, a shoulder or ear to listen to the reasons why your motivation is sapped or waning. We are Starbase 118. @FltAdml. Wolf Created and continues to keep this community thriving, the heart and soul, but each and every one of us are apart of this great community. This is perhaps my favorite time of year, because I get to recognize those I write alongside and see the recognition and praise from all across the fleet. I look forward to seeing more new names in the awards next year!
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