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Jona ch'Ranni

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Everything posted by Jona ch'Ranni

  1. Thanks, @Alieth! Glad you enjoyed the sim. Note: The Gralaa wolf's name in the Andorian kid's cartoon that he remembers from his childhood is named Clev R'gathu Wolf. Clev R. Wolf, for short. Thought you'd want to know.
  2. September is a month where the world remembers those lost to violence: the beginning of World War II in 1939, and the tragic events of September 11th in 2001. In reality, conflict makes up a large part of modern society. Many love to escape into science fiction to forget such realities. But part of what makes Star Trek so visceral is its portrayal of dangerous conflict. Star Trek has not been shy about developing storylines that examine conflict — between individuals, peoples, planets, and empires — and the fallout of such conflict. The Maquis, freedom fighters introduced near the end of the TNG series, played a larger role in DS9 and VOY. Made up of former Starfleet officers and Federation civilians rising against the oppression of the dismissive Cardassians and rule-oriented Federation made many viewers take a hard look at real-life events happening around them. Perhaps it made some uncomfortable because in the right circumstances, they could almost agree with the Maquis and their methods. In the Enterprise series, a Xindi probe carried a devastating attack on Earth out. This precipitated a season-long story arc where Archer and crew had to respond to the attack. In the end, they found the Xindi to be responding (sort of) defensively. As someone misinformed them that the Federation would destroy their planet. Khan Noonien Singh is many times highlighted as one of the top baddies of all of Star Trek. In Star Trek Into Darkness, he causes mayhem and destruction in London and Starfleet Headquarters. However, was he just protecting his brethren from the hands of the manipulative Admiral Marcus? Was he justified in his actions? There are dozens more examples of conflict, some large and others small, that have pierced the hearts of the fans, and we want to know which ones jabbed at your soul the most? One of the above? Was it the duo-chromatic aliens in "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" (TOS)? Perhaps it was the attack on Yorktown Station in Star Trek Beyond? Or shadows of the Dominion War in DS9?
  3. Women's Equality Day is celebrated in the United States on August 26th. That is the anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave women the right to vote in elections. That initial step in 1920 has since led to a flurry of civil rights measures that have worked to provide fair and equal access and representation to all. As our eyes fall on the universe of Star Trek as depicted in the television shows and movies, we see a galaxy that increasingly has been represented as a galaxy of equals. It is a place where anyone can attain power and authority based solely on merit. Many women have featured prominently in positions of authority and power - (unfortunately) forward-thinking for our time, but treated as commonplace in the universe of Star Trek. Kathryn Janeway, depicted on-screen by Kate Mulgrew, is a sterling example of a women entrusted with power. She served capably as the commanding officer of the USS Voyager and later was promoted to the admiralty. Janeway was a force to be reckoned with that could stand toe-to-toe with the Borg and managed to return her crew safely from being stranded at the other end of the galaxy. She is a fan favorite which is perhaps why the character is set to return in the upcoming series Star Trek: Prodigy. Doctors Beverly Crusher and Katherine Pulaski, performed by Gates McFadden and Diana Muldaur respectively, provided role models for many youths. You never got the impression that either would fail to speak their mind or act in an assertive manner when needed. Crusher was even tasked with leading Starfleet Medical for a year, a testament to her skill and ability. The long list of other powerful women in Star Trek is extensive. From Admirals Nechayev and Cornwallis to scientist Carol Marcus and the villainous Romulan Sela, we see women filling every role available in the universe - true equals, as they should be. The question posed to you is who's you're favorite?
  4. Each award winner listed is fully deserved of they honors presented them. Three cheers for our amazing group of command-level officers and staff members. Thanks for keeping this place running!
  5. Congrats, everyone! I'm sure it was a tough selection for all of these because of the number of great writers in the fleet.
  6. With confirmation that Q, portrayed on-screen by the talented actor John de Lancie, will return in season 2 of Star Trek: Picard, our thoughts turn to the sly jokester. The near omnipotent Q of the Q Continuum has been a thorn in the side of Starfleet for many years. Since his run-in with Picard and crew in the first episode of TNG, Q’s acerbic humor and trickster nature have caused many headaches for our heroes. But it does make for great storytelling! After all, how do you face off against an almost unbeatable (and unbearable) enemy? One of the moral questions that meeting the Q has postulated is, “What if I was given their powers?” This question was explored in the episode “Hide and Q” when the powerful being gave Commander William Riker a taste of the Q’s power. It is said that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Is this always true? Could a lowly human (or Andorian, Tril, Denobulan, etc.) be trusted with the Q’s power? Or would they go mad with power and devolve into the selfish and conceited use of their unthinkable might? Riker struggled with being able to control his use of his newfound powers but, ultimately, he eventually decided to reject Q’s power. In another TNG episode, “True Q”, we meet Amanda Rogers. Initially, we are led to believe that she is a normal human but soon find out that - unbeknownst to her - she is a Q. As she begins to explore her powers with Q’s help, she finds it increasingly difficult to avoid using her abilities. She makes the decision to return with him to the Q Continuum to receive further training in the use of her abilities. So, when faced with the same decision, what would you choose?
  7. The Star Trek franchise is a living thing. Shows have come and gone over the years and each incarnation has added to the rich flavor of our favorite sandbox universe. When a show completes its original run, there are always mixed feelings - a sense of completeness, sadness, nostalgia. Once we've worked our way through the stages of grief and hit acceptance, we move on with our lives. We have little choice to do otherwise. But what if ... The trend has been up-ticking in recent years where studio executives will bring back popular shows for additional episodes - with some successes and some spectacular failures. True, there has been some distance from some of our favorite shows and the present day. Actors have moved on, aged, and we have lost some along the way. Some storylines have not aged well and may not work in the current social environment. So let's change the rules! Imagine a timeline where a Star Trek show from the past got one extra season. Which series is the lucky one to get another chance to wow us? Would you tune in to see Kirk and Spock seek out new life and civilizations during their five-year mission? What about seeing more of the continuing mission with Picard in the center chair of the Enterprise-D? Do you want to see what Kira and the gang are up to on DS9 as they recover from the Dominion War? Should there have been an extra season nestled in among the others that provides more details on Voyager's return home? Did Enterprise end before its time? Maybe you feel that all the series ended just where they should! Take our poll and extra credit to anyone who provides details in the comments on which storylines they want to see from the bonus season!
  8. The reality of command is that sometimes the tough choices must be made. There are more lives at stake than the hijacked crew and ship. Ask the Cardassian Gul to continue with his escort mission and assure him that you will do the same. Invite him to return to the sector at a prescribed time to carry out a joint mission to recover the missing crew and deal with the pirate problem. After leading the rest of the convoy to the nearest Starbase, return and feign a ship-wide systems outage to lure the pirates in. The distress call can be the Galor warship's cue to lay in wait and spring the trap on the attackers. Jam their communications so they cannot inform their compatriots of the deception and injure the hostages. The goal should be to disable the pirate ships so that they can be questioned on the whereabouts of the missing merchants and recover them if possible. Secondary goal should be to arrest and rehabilitate the pirates to send a clear message that piracy will not be tolerated by either government.
  9. Thanks, Lox! Your castle has been delivered by the way. Some contents may have shifted during shipping and handling. It was like that when I found it. No I don't have a tracking number in the system and no you did not purchase the additional insurance.
  10. A common trope in Star Trek is time travel. Securely in the realm of science fiction, this process is achieved several times through the series and movies. Whether it is an anti-time anomaly, the interference of powerful aliens, or an unexpected accident, time travel features prominently in the storylines we’ve come to love. Why is time travel such a popular subject? Each of us wishes we could jump to a new time, "putting things right that once went wrong and hoping each time that the next leap will be …" (wait, wrong show). The truth is that the past (and the future) fascinate us. So often we are taught that the past is immutable, and the future is untouchable except abstractly by our present actions. But what if we could directly effect the past or future? What if our decisions could ripple out to change the present instead of the other way around? One of the most popular episodes of TOS was “City on Edge of Forever” which found Kirk and Spock chasing McCoy through an alien time vortex to 1930s Earth. The captain is forced to choose between preserving the timeline and letting a woman he has fallen in love with die. It is these kinds of heavyweight moral decisions that make for great storytelling and time travel is one way to increase the stakes. But time travel adds another layer of complexity because it is a way that we could make the familiar – like Earth – more alien. Imagine being able to visit the Middle Ages, the time of Caesar, or the 60s. Time travel could also allow us to see events that are only mentioned in passing within the Star Trek universe but that could be explored and expanded upon to make the “history” more real. The possibilities are endless.
  11. Lieutenant Reginald Barclay aka “Reg” is a fan favorite in Star Trek. Brought to life by the talented actor Dwight Schultz, this character diverged from many others in the cast. He was a character with obvious flaws. He was nervous and unsure of his own abilities. He exhibited phobias and concerns about social situations. We learn a lot about the man when Reg tells LaForge, “I mean I am the guy who writes down things to remember to say when there is a party. And then when he finally gets there, he winds up alone, in the corner, trying to look … comfortable examining a potted plant.” Introduced in the season 3 episode of The Next Generation entitled “Hollow Pursuits”, we find Barclay to be a series of contrasts. His has a fine service record and a recommendation from his previous commanding officer but his actions on the Enterprise-D don’t seem to fit the man. Initially, the crew seems to view him as an outsider and even apply the nickname “Broccoli” to the man. But, over time, he becomes a recurring and beloved secondary character. He even makes the jump to several episodes of Voyager. Whether his is sword fighting holograms of LaForge and the captain on the holodeck, connecting his expanded brain directly to the Enterprise computer, or stammering through a conversation with Counselor Troi, we can be assured that if Reg is around it will be a great episode. What is it that makes Barclay so endearing? Is it that he is flawed? We spend a lot of time throughout the different series focusing on the purely good and righteous qualities of the main cast. We know they will always do the moral and correct thing. Perhaps this makes Reg more believable as a real person. He is just like us with good and bad qualities and habits. Whatever the reason, Barclay’s popularity is assured as he returns for almost a dozen episodes and the movie First Contact.
  12. Words have power. As a community of writers, we can agree on that. Behind the special effects or fancy visuals, Star Trek is about people and how they communicate. The franchise has brought us many memorable phrases over the past fifty years. Some are so memorable that they have lodged themselves into the collective culture and will forever be linked with Star Trek. The command "Make it so!" from Captain Jean-Luc Picard was a call to action for his crew. This signature line was said with such finality that it made you want to jump to fulfil the order. You knew that if you suggested a plan and the good captain uttered those three words, then it was up to you to carry it out. Spock and his Vulcan brethren had the calm farewell/blessing "Live long and prosper." Its simple statement - a wish for health and prosperity - did not in itself imply nor evoke strong emotions in the speaker or hearer. Yet the wish for peace has touched many fans' hearts. Leonard McCoy, with his rascally wit and sharp tongue, was fond of griping "I'm a doctor, not a (brick-layer, moon-shuttle conductor, physicist)!" Always with the emotional comeback, McCoy was the voice of exasperation that we all wish we could be but rarely have the opportunity to fill. The chilling statement by the Borg that "resistance is futile" wasn't exactly a threat so much as their pure statement of fact. You knew when you saw the cube-shaped ship on the screen that the next thing you'd hear on the comm channel were those three words.
  13. While Kirk and company started off the "wagon train to the stars", it was the prequel series of Enterprise that gave us a glimpse at the birth of the Federation that we have come to know and love. The intrepid crew of the NX-01 would need the explorer's spirit and nerves of steel to venture into the unknown. Who would be counted worthy of participating in this trek? Captain Jonathan Archer was a kind man and epitomized what it meant to be human. He was ready to reach out a helping hand - sometimes to a fault. His father before him worked on the warp engine design that would carry the Enterprise on her mission of discovery, so he was no stranger to what it would take for mankind to take its place among the stars. T'Pol was the Vulcan observer and represented the ever-watchful stare of the Vulcans. Because of her different views and manner, she sometimes found herself at odds with the rest of the crew. Eventually they seemed to settle into an understanding which brought us many storylines that helped us see the Vulcans as brothers and not just as rivals holding humans back. Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker III. The engineer with all the know-how and a southern drawl too. He was likable, quick-witted, and made a great mother. Doctor Phlox introduced us to a new species in the Star Trek universe - the Denobulans. Phlox was also somewhat of an outsider. He did not always understand or agree with the decisions the captain and crew made but his gregarious personality stood in stark contrast to that of T'Pol. He was always viewed as a valuable member of the crew and seemed to have a never-ending supply of wise words. Then we have crew members such as Hoshi Sato, Malcom Reed, and Travis Mayweather. And who can forget other regulars like the Andorian Captain Shran or Vulcan Ambassador Soval. Who's your favorite?
  14. Thanks @Alleran Tan for the shout out. I appreciate it! I've had lots of fun with my PNPC Vexa and I hope I get to write more of her story in the future.
  15. The huge list of actors and actresses that have graced our screens as part of the Star Trek universe adds to the complexity that is our favorite sci-fi show. These secondary characters that add a depth to the stories we love to watch. It's only natural that a stray actor might fill multiple roles. And then there's American actor Jeffrey Combs! This man played multiple memorable characters and his name should be synonymous with Star Trek! On Deep Space 9, he played the Vorta clone Weyoun. His masterful execution of this servant of the Founders and directors of the Jem'Hadar foot soldiers of the Dominion was a character we loved to hate. His weasel-y ways certainly added to many of DS9's episodes. Another character Jeffrey Combs is well-known for also hales from Deep Space 9. Liquidator Brunt was a thorn in Quark's side. As a member of the Ferengi Commerce Authority, he played a role in foiling Quark's plans in multiple episodes. Combs portrayal of the character added a lot of depth to the Ferengi species and helped pull back the curtain on a species that had been introduced before but never fully explored. A third character Jeffrey Combs gave us was that of the Andorian Captain Shran from Star Trek Enterprise. His character, a seeming villain to begin with - expanded our knowledge of the Andorian race. We came to understand them as oppressed, not war-like, and valuable allies in a forming Federation. No matter who your favorite Jeffrey Combs character is, I think we can all agree that his talent certainly brought a lot to our favorite franchise. But the question remains, who's your favorite?
  16. I think Ro's character was a popular choice because of her characterization. She was different from the other crew members. Less polished. Shady background. Not perfect. There was conflict with other members of the crew and she seemed to have a chip on her shoulder. She was someone more imperfect that we could relate to rather than someone on a moral pedestal we could strive to like the rest of the cast. Conflict helps to make good stories and so while she wasn't on the show as long as some of the other characters, her appeal grew quicker. I found her to be someone that I did not initially like but grew to love. And maybe its the nature of that changing viewpoint that speaks to her popularity. Our relationship with her is different that someone like Wesley - started out as an overachiever, let a few million nanites out on the ship, ended as an overachiever.
  17. Running from 1987 - 1994 and in reruns for decades after, Star Trek The Next Generation set a new standard for the sci-fi franchise. With each episode we could tune in to see Picard and company tackle new foes and explore new regions of space. Over seven glorious seasons (yes, even season two) we came to know these characters in and out and grew to love them. But which character of the series is the best? Are you a Picard fan? His keen intellect and moral fortitude left us with little doubt that he was a giant among men. Even the Klingons respected the man and made him the Arbiter of Succession! Whether he was staring down the Borg, battling wits with Q, or confronting the accusations of treason from Admiral Satie in the episode "The Drumhead" - Picard was the epitome of a stalwart and resolute leader. Were you more of a Will Riker admirer? The day-to-day running of the ship rested on his broad shoulders and he was up to the task. His loyalty to the ship was unquestioned and he stuck with the Enterprise far longer than those around him thought was good for his career advancement. He was a friend that you could get a drink with in Ten-Forward but also the man you wanted leading your away team. Data was Pinocchio come to life. He maintained an innocence and curiosity about everything he encountered. Through his eyes we got to see the world from the viewpoint of child which made his new experiences all the more enjoyable for the audience. Worf was such an intense and flavorful character. Living among humans, but not one of them, this Klingon tried so hard to mesh two cultures into one. We watched as he struggled to raise his son, Alexander, develop a love interest in Deanna Troi and then later Jadzia Dax on DS9, and come to terms with a debilitating injury in the episode "Ethics". Something about this character must speak to people as Worf has appeared in more episodes across the Star Trek franchise than any other!
  18. Oh wow! How could we have missed Gul Dukat! Seems like we hit a nerve there. 😛 But its true, he's such a snake in the grass with a deliciously sickly-sweet smirk on his face! Thank you so much to all of you for expressing yourselves here.
  19. Star Trek is full of men and women of principal and moral character. It is this focus on the good people crewing our favorite ships and installations that makes the universe such an appealing place. But many of the storylines found in our favorite episodes reveal villains that give the good guys something to fight. It's this conflict that makes Star Trek such great entertainment. Who makes the best villain across the franchise? Is it the cunning and deadly intellect displayed by Khan in Space Seed(TOS), Star Trek II and Star Trek: Into Darkness? He's human and yet more than that. The ruthless way in which he goes after his enemies would give anyone pause. Do you feel that the familiar yet completely opposite counterparts from the mirror universe send chills down your spine? We see familiar faces that act in ways we wouldn't expect or condone. They are our favorite characters - and yet not. Perhaps the soulless, ever advancing Borg with their declaration "resistance is futile" make the best enemy. How do you even reason with them? Q is another example of a recurring villain that causes havoc for our heroes. Pairing nigh-unlimited power with arrogance creates a deadly mixture which may be why Q has shown up repeatedly since his introduction in TNG. No matter who you choose, we can all agree that without the bad, the good would not stand in such stark relief. Here's to the good guys! But raise a glass to the baddies too!
  20. For many of us, summer is a time to consider vacations as a family. And while we may have a plethora of options in real life to visit, imagine all the countless locales that our characters could visit in the Star Trek universe! The pleasure planet of Risa is a popular choice of many Star Trek characters and is featured in three distinct television series. In the episode "Two Days and Two Nights" (ENT), Archer and crew get into unexpected entanglements. "Captain's Holiday" (TNG) presents us with an exciting, yet laid backside of Captain Picard when he meets the mysterious Vash. "The Game" (TNG) shows us Riker bringing back a dangerous technology to the Enterprise that he was introduced to by a woman he met while vacationing there. "Let He Who Is Without Sin ..." (DS9) visits the planet again and Worf becomes involved with a dangerous terrorist group. It is these kinds of secondary planets woven into the fabric of the Star Trek galaxy that gives us a deeply rich place to write and roleplay. Where would your character choose to visit for some extended shore leave away from the ship? Would they eschew the common tourist destinations and pick something a little more out of the way like Bolarus, Andoria, or Betazed? What draws them to these destinations? Let us know in the comments.
  21. Family is often at the root of why our favorite characters are the way they are. The formative years can shape who a person grows up to be and the personality they exhibit. Interactions with parents, children and siblings tell us more about a person than seeing them fire phasers or save the day. It's no wonder that some of the best storytelling we have in the Trek-verse involves the families of the main characters. The tiny glimpses we get behind the veneer to peek at what makes them tick enliven these personas even more. Who can forget the first glimpse of tiny Alexander as he stands facing his towering father Worf? This week we ask you to tell us your favorite Star Trek episode that features a family-themed story line. Perhaps it's the first view we get of Spock's parents in "Journey to Babel"? This episode goes a long way in making the Vulcan seem less alien and more relatable. Maybe your favorite episode is "Family" (TNG) where we get a picture of Picard with his brother on the family vineyard as he recuperates from the Borg assimilation and the visit of Worf's adoptive parents to the Enterprise. Does the best family story involve the long-dead family that Picard experiences within his mind in "The Inner Light" (TNG) when under the influence of an alien probe? Or it might be the Hugo-nominated episode "The Visitor" (DN9) where we find an aging Jake Sisko recounting the struggle of losing his father and then paying the ultimate sacrifice to save him. What is the best family episode in your opinion and why?
  22. I have to vote for replicators as well. Have to solve problems on Earth before you can explore the cosmos! Hunger issues, industrial supply limitations, medical breakthroughs ... all improved by replicator technology. That advancement would naturally lead to more effort and manpower being directed toward other tech advancements which could then be discovered faster than they otherwise would have been. So, all of us need to work on improving 3D printers - the tech that is closest to becoming true replicators from Star Trek.
  23. I actually like the Enterprise theme song. Please don't throw things at me! Back when I was on the Columbia I made the following intro credits view and set it to Mr. Mister's "Kyrie". The lyrics of the song repeat the phrase "kyrie eleison" which in English means "Lord, have mercy." I thought the concept of looking for a deity's blessing on your travels was a nice theme that went well with the exploration of the far reaches of the galaxy and venturing into the unknown that was our ship's assignment. As far as the Gorkon goes, I believe our theme song would more appropriately be party-oriented - something upbeat and catchy. Something like "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO. 😀
  24. The universe of Star Trek has given us some beautiful pieces of music. These iconic works of art embody the vastness of space and the wandering spirit of our favorite heroes as they traipse through the galaxy each week. The warbling tones of The Original Series reminded us of the other-worldly nature of their journey among the stars. The Next Generation brought a brassy and unforgettable tune that energized us for the story ahead. Each piece fit into an amazing tapestry of audible delight. And don't get us started on the movies! When Enterprise aired, however, many fans were split on the inclusion of music with lyrics - Russel Watson's "Where My Heart Will Take Me". For some, it is the perfect reflection of the explorer's creed. It reminds us that the intrepid explorers are on a mission that is led by their beating hearts. It is why they are out there among the stars and why we watch their exploits with such rapt attention. For others, it's something to be banished from memory. For our poll this week, we invite you to imagine that the ship or installation you serve on is the setting for a Star Trek television show. What would be the music playing over the opening credits? Let us know what music reflects the culture and ethos of your ship!
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