Announce List/2014, Part 1

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Contents

Jan 1, 2014

Awards Ceremony, 2013

  • FltAdml. Tristan Wolf

Every year, our organization comes together for our annual awards ceremony process. While General Awards are presented to members on their vessels, we also prepare a fleet ceremony to present Special, Duty Post, and Staff awards, as well as any other important commendations for the fleet, like our annual Top Sims Contest winner.

This year’s ceremony is now complete, and has been posted on our wiki. Head over to the 2013 Awards Ceremony page at the link below to find out who won which awards — your name might be on that list!

http://go.starbase118.net/awards2013

Jan 3, 2014

Weekly Newsletter 2391.01

  • Raj Blueheart

Happy weekend and Happy New Year, Fleetmates! Please enjoy the very first newsletter of 2391!

FLEET EVENTS

Fleet Chat

  • Our next chat is scheduled for NEXT Sunday, 12 January 2014 at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern (US) / 5pm GMT (UK) / 4am Monday UTC+11 (AUS). Always check your time zone for accuracy/DST if applicable! http://bit.ly/fVGEmH
  • Our fleet chats are a space for all the members of the Starbase 118 group to meet each other, learn about fleet events, and talk about Star Trek. Chats are always held on the second Sunday of every month, but you can head into the chat room at any time to see who else is there. Watch this space for another themed chat session announcement soon!

Top Sims Contest

  • Congratulations to Commander Greir Reinard and Fleet Captain Diego Herrera of the USS Vigilant on winning the 2013 Top Sims Contest! Read their winning entry, “Come Hell And High Water” here: http://goo.gl/uZlxMu
  • Nominations for Round 5 end NEXT Sunday, 12 January 2014. Read the rules to submit a nomination: http://sb118.net/10OSHt3
  • The list of past winners can be viewed here: http://goo.gl/V5Xw0i

Featured Bio Contest

  • Congratulations to January 2014 Featured Bio winner, Lieutenant Commander Saveron! http://goo.gl/RfEbnF . Congratulations also to Fleet Captain Andrus Jaxx whose bio is the Star Pick of the Month! http://goo.gl/tIMXpG
  • Nominations for Round 3 end 1 February 2014. Read the rules and submit your nominations here: http://goo.gl/dxb0FK

Writing Challenge

  • The winner of the "Treason & Plot" Writing Challenge is none other than the writer behind Saveron with the entry "Sins of the Mother", while our runner-up is the writer of Diego Herrera, with "Pray for Favour". Congratulations to them both!
  • Get your PDF version of the full compilation of the November & December Writing Challenge, with all the entrants' stories and judges' comments here: http://goo.gl/jQPCV5
  • The January & February Writing Challenge is now officially open and all entries must be received by 21 February 2014. For this Challenge, be inspired by this Trek conceptual art: http://goo.gl/aZk9eR

Poll of the Week


PUBLICITY Get your FREE promotional flyer and post it in your community to help find new members! US: http://sb118.net/15Rg8D9 UK: http://sb118.net/16VBJyZ


COMMUNITY NEWS

  • Community News team is working hard to bring us something new to read every day and keep us informed about happenings in the Fleet. If you like what they are doing, show them appreciation by leaving comments on the articles.

(newest at the top, oldest at the bottom)
1. Potential Themes for Poll of the Week! http://goo.gl/hxkFMt

2. Welcome to 2391, Farewell to 2390! http://goo.gl/d5MRRU

3. Awards Ceremony 2013: http://goo.gl/VlH8c6

4. November Recruitment Stats: http://goo.gl/3cZuJC

5. New Academy Graduates: http://goo.gl/cyb5bN

6. TheTrek Plate Special: Glazed Salmon, and Green Beans: http://goo.gl/MCysBQ

7. Somewhere Over The Rainbow: http://goo.gl/LMXxbV


FULL TEXT ARTICLES

** Potential Themes for Poll of the Week! **
Posted: Friday, 3 January 2014

Since I began dreaming up these weekly Polls of the Week, I’ve been itching to add theme music to it. Why? Don’t ask me. Maybe I’m crazy :P But as with all my polls, I don’t want to actually choose the theme, so I tried to fathom a way that the theme can be chosen by you all. The readers and contributors to the Poll of the Week segments. This week will be a lead-up poll where the outcome may have long lasting effects on this Poll of the Week thingy. This week I would like the members of our little community to come up with suggestions for our theme and next week I will compile the list and our members can then choose their favorite. So this week the onus is on all of you to decide what theme(s) would work best for the Poll of the Week, and thus, for this week’s poll, the question is simple. Do you think this is a silly idea or a great idea or you just couldn’t care less? If you want, have fun with this and nothing is off the table. So head on down to the polls (http://goo.gl/ePqYAq ) and suggest a theme, with preferably a link so others can hear it, and your choices will be added to next week’s Poll of the Week. There you will also see my suggestion :)

** Welcome to 2391, Farewell to 2390! **
Posted: Thursday, 2 January 2014

It’s official; we’ve turned the page on yet another year and are marching into 2391. Leaving 2390 in the past, it may only be now that we realize the many events that transpired throughout the last year. In case you’ve missed them, or you’re one of our newer members, here’s a brief overview of the many history-making events of year 2390 for the Starbase 118 Fleet. January:
Starbase 118 Ops wins an award in the Simulation Cup: http://goo.gl/ZtSRSu
Writer T’mihn teaches us to cook a variety of Trek-ish dishes with her Cooking Corner: http://goo.gl/ouaNiH
The first podcast of 2390 is released: http://goo.gl/LkqRb9
February:
Writing Improvement Month welcomes -
Margaret Wander Bonanno: http://goo.gl/rbgtQg
Lev Grossman: http://goo.gl/TFGQBi
David R George III: http://goo.gl/9fgPDT
Melinda Snodgrass: http://goo.gl/Zgu6NQ
Peter Watts: http://goo.gl/XBWsMi
Captain Kalianna Nicholotti is named Captain’s Council Magistrate: http://goo.gl/4uYLLk
Captain Diego Herrera wins a Simming Prize from the Simming Encyclopedia: http://goo.gl/GbiPFA
March:
Starbase 118 Ops wins a Squiddie Award from Ongoing Worlds: http://goo.gl/sC46HZ
The State of the Federation Address is released: http://goo.gl/TIH3Wv
We support Equality – standing in solidarity with others throughout the fleet and around the world: http://goo.gl/U1NnfO
April:
Alucard Vess is promoted to Commander: http://goo.gl/duUFwk
Saveron wins the January/February/March Writing Challenge: http://goo.gl/XOtZtF
Fleet prepares for Into Darkness recruitment drive: http://goo.gl/mfQF6E
May:
Sciworld Online convention held, 118 Fleet participates: http://goo.gl/yCwPQ4
Sinda Essen wins the April Writing Challenge: http://goo.gl/EWVOP2
June:
Raj Blueheart is promoted to Commander: http://goo.gl/YVZTHC
Starbase 118 celebrates 19 years of roleplay: http://goo.gl/3WohTV
July:
Captain Herrera wins the May-June Writing Challenge: http://goo.gl/jbRiFU
The Locutus Award is added to the yearly awards: http://goo.gl/u9B32l
The Fleet prepares for this year’s Summer Blockbuster - Through Open Gates: http://goo.gl/0Sr0q4
Starfleet introduces the Quantum Slipstream Drive: http://goo.gl/W6ceuO
August:
Captains Kalianna Nicholotti and Diego Herrera are promoted to Fleet Captain: http://goo.gl/hpmj1B
The USS Excalibur A launches under Fleet Captain Kalianna Nicholotti: http://goo.gl/AH7Cj4
Greir Reinard is promoted to Commander: http://goo.gl/7G4PcB
Marcus Dickens is promoted to Commander: http://goo.gl/T0IA6t
Flashback week starts, in conjunction with Ongoing Worlds: http://goo.gl/dBOVnP
September:
Leo Handley-Page and Velana’s writers tie the knot in the real world: http://goo.gl/1d9ezl
Ben Livingston wins the July-August Writing Challenge: http://goo.gl/j03O9b
Fleet Captain Andrus Jaxx steps up to lead the Starbase 118 Academy as the new Commandant: http://goo.gl/2WqIYI
Captain Herrera wins Flashback Week competition: http://goo.gl/AbLNqg
The Fleet makes the move to Google Groups: http://goo.gl/fFPzVR
October:
The Fleet prepares to participate in the Ongoing World’s annual Fall Fest, hosted by Starbase 118: http://goo.gl/9V7kpz
Captain tenure is analyzed throughout Starbase 118 history: http://goo.gl/Wv2loV
November:
Winners of the third annual Halloween Avatar contest are announced: http://goo.gl/RbIfvG
Sinda Essen wins the September-October Writing Challenge: http://goo.gl/9fozeq
December:
The sixth, and final podcast of the year, is released: http://goo.gl/lqDLF1
USS Vigilant wins Best Star Trek Sim in the Tournament of Simulations: http://goo.gl/pfgyK9

Here’s to another great year filled with all of the excitement of the last! Welcome to 2391.

** Awards Ceremony 2013 **
Posted: Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Every year, our organization comes together for our annual awards ceremony process. While General Awards are presented to members on their vessels, we also prepare a fleet ceremony to present Special, Duty Post, and Staff awards, as well as any other important commendations for the fleet, like our annual Top Sims Contest winner. This year’s ceremony is now complete, and has been posted on our wiki. Head over to the 2013 Awards Ceremony page to find out who won which awards — your name might be on that list! http://goo.gl/hmJy8X

** November Recruitment Stats **
Posted: Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Each month, the Publicity Team (http://goo.gl/9ZzWHf ) posts the number of applications our community received for the current year and how those applicants found our group. That summary will give you an idea of how we are reaching new applicants and how we can improve our efforts to reach new audiences. If you’re interested in helping with our publicity efforts, click the link above to check out the Publicity Team’s wiki area, and then the link to the Publicity Team’s Yahoo! Group where you can sign up to be a part of the team. We also want to keep you apprised of the number of graduates from the StarBase 118 Academy. Unfortunately, not all applicants graduate from the Academy because they either do not respond to roll call or do not complete the Academy requirements. The Training Team makes every effort to involve all applicants and to encourage them to complete the training. **Note: The site was down for the biggest part of May, resulting in the lower numbers. Applications: http://goo.gl/r9za3g Academy Graduates: http://goo.gl/dAxBhC Annual Application Source: http://goo.gl/ckrxUS

** New Academy Graduates **
Posted: Monday, 30 December 2013

Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Joseph Morgan and Kela Idisha! http://goo.gl/8TefSM

** TheTrek Plate Special: Glazed Salmon, and Green Beans **
Posted: Monday, 30 December 2013

::As the logo swells with the music it is replaced by a happily smiling human looking man with grey hair and a white apron around chef’s whites that are technically medical collar blue in color.:: Ritellian: ::With a happy laugh as he smiles into the holo recorders.:: Hello my friends! Doctor Regulus Ritellian here again to show you how to survive without a replicator! Or more importantly have a use for individual items in So today I’ve got three things for you that are sweet, spicy and good enough to curl a Vulcans ears and flatten Klingon ridges! ::Another happy laugh echoes from the old man as shot pulls wide and the lights come up showing him standing in a kitchen.:: So come on and let’s get started. ::Turning around and the active view switches to follow him as he cleans his hands and dries them on the left side of his apron. He looks up at the recorder again the same happy soft smile on his face.:: Ritellian: Alright so the first thing we have today is a spicy, sweet salmon using the broiler part of your oven. Salmon is not just a beautiful delicious fish but, and I’m going to take my chef hat off and put my doctor cap back on, there are few and far between healthier foods out there for you. So what you’re going to do is take a three quarter pound salmon fillet, with the skin off and set it over here and leave it alone. ::Laughing again.:: Didn’t think it would be that easy did you? ::He twirls a sauce pan up in one hand and a broiler pan in the other he settles things on the counter. As he reached over turning on the oven. Regulus starts to wipe down the top of the broiler pan leaving it with a sheen.:: Ritellian: Well it’s not. ::Another laugh from the human.:: Now while the oven gets started you need to get the pan greased, slicked, sprayed, whatever it is you do to keep the food from sticking. ::He holds up the sauce pan up.:: Now in the sauce pan we have to make a glaze. ::As he sits the sauce pan down he starts to name ingredients as he adds them in.:: Ritellian: Now in the sauce pan we are going to add together. One and one half cups of apricot nectar and one-third dried apricots that have been chopped up fairly small. Follow that up with two tablespoons of honey, two tablespoons soy sauce and one tablespoon fresh grated ginger. Finally add in two cloves garlic minced, one-fourth teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and finally one-eighth teaspoon of cayenne pepper. ::Adding in the last items he stirs it together sitting it back on the stove. With his ever present smile he sits the dial and looks up.:: Ritellian: Okay so take all of that, and we are going to bring it to a boil. While we are waiting on that let me say this, if you don’t have the apricot nectar or dried apricots you could use one-half cup of water and one cup apricot jam. For the ginger as well you could use one teaspoon of ground ginger. ::His attention turns to the stove once again as the glaze starts to boil, reaching up and turning the dial and starting to stir it with a spoon.:: Ritellian: Alright! Now that it’s boiling turn that down to the low side of medium and let it simmer for about twenty minutes or until it’s reduced by about half. You will have to stir it to keep it from burning. ::The pan gets moved from the heat as he smiles.:: Ritellian: Now take anywhere from a fourth to about half of that and we come back over here and brush the glaze on the salmon that we put on the broiling pan and stick in the oven about three inches from the heat source. Broil it for around twelve minutes until the salmon flakes easily with a fork. Flip it over gently about halfway through then baste it frequently during the last four minutes. Ritellian: Now I have with you a choice to make my friends. The other three-fourths or half of the glaze left over. You can serve it over the salmon, or you can use it to glaze over baked or grilled chicken and it works beautifully! ::Regulus spoons the glaze out into a bowl and sits it aside, bringing up a small pot and medium skillet. He starts filling the pot with water smiling at the holo recorder.:: Ritellian: Okay. Now while that’s working itself out we are going to work on the green beans. ::As he cuts the water off he sits the pot on the stove.:: So we take one and one half cup of water with one and one half pound of green beans that you want to break into about two inch pieces. ::As he shows the green beans and adds them in he sets the burner and covers the pot.:: You want to cover those and bring them to a boil. ::He moves back over slightly and takes up the skillet sitting it on a burner which he turns on before looking back at the viewing audience.:: Ritellian: While we wait for those to boil we can start on the second part. So in a medium skillet you take a fourth a cup of butter and melt it over medium heat. ::Once that is set he steps back over to the cutting board and smiles.:: While that melts let’s go over our other ingredients. ::As he lists off the other items he adds them into the skillet all the way smiling happily. His obvious love of cooking showing through.:: Ritellian: So we need one tablespoon of sugar, about a fourth a teaspoon of garlic salt, a teaspoon of pepper, one and one half chopped fresh basil. You also need two cups of cherry tomatoes halves. Now that’s two cups of the halves, not two cups worth cut into half. ::He side steps just slightly and lifts the skillet by the handle rolling the pan around and returning it to the heat. Then turns his attention to the pot with the beans in it.:: Ritellian: Now those cook until the tomatoes just start to soften. So while that cooks some We are going to drain theses beans. :: He shifts to the side as does the camera view while he empties the pot through a strainer into a sink.:: Toss them just a pinch and get all the water out and set them aside. ::Regulus plates them and steps back over tossing the things in the skillet once more.:: Alright. Now we need to pour this over the green beans and then toss to mix. ::Regulus nods some and tosses the mixture together. He then also moves to the oven removing the salmon and sliding it on the plate smiling as he arranges some drizzling a pinch of the glaze over the fish before smiling at the camera.:: Ritellian: There now! Look at that! Nice simple work for good flavor and food. Now the salmon takes the longest to prepared at about thirty minutes then twelve minutes to bake. While the green beans take about five minutes to prepare and fifteen minutes to cook. ::Here he laughs again, with a quick playful wink.:: Then again I’m old so it may take you half the time. For now my friends this is the Trek Plate Special and I am Doctor Regulus Ritellian Starbase 10, wishing you good food, good times, and good luck. —————————— Glazed Salmon Ingredient list 1 1/2 cups apricot nectar 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots 2 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 (3/4 pound) salmon filet without skin Green Beans with Tomatoes Ingredient list 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces 1 1/2 cups water 1/4 cup butter 1 tablespoon sugar 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil 2 cups cherry tomato halves

** Somewhere Over The Rainbow **
Posted: Sunday, 29 December 2013

For years, scientists have touted the big bang theory as the most likely candidate for the creation of the universe and this is where time began – somewhere around 13.8 billion years ago. The Universe’s origins haven’t been a recent debate, either. Aristotle even suggested that rather than have a finite past, the universe had an infinite one. This caused quite a stir among religious philosophers of the day. Yet, recently, some scientists may have offered some support to Aristotle’s own philosophy. The ‘Big Bang Theory’ was ultimately a twentieth century creation when a scientist by the name of Georges Lemaître theorized that the universe began with the explosion of the primeval atom. It was later called by its current name when Fred Hoyle, advocate of a completely different theory, referred to it as “this ‘big bang’ idea” during a radio broadcast on 28 March 1949. The name stuck, and as time went on Lemaître’s theory became the most accepted. Recently, however, some scientists have formed another theory, this one known as the ‘Theory of Rainbow Gravity’. Why even bother with this theory? Because the Big Bang theory actually doesn’t mesh so well with Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Somewhere, there’s a plot in the hole. In waltzes the Rainbow Gravity Theory in an effort to reconcile these differences. It’s so named because according to the theory, “gravity becomes a cosmological prism that can separate different colors of light.” (http://goo.gl/OwhbSq ) If correct, this means that light actually travels through the galaxy and the colours spread apart – though supposedly we are unable to see that. If the theory is correct, then that means Aristotle was correct when he suggested the Universe has been around since…well…since forever: http://goo.gl/ywcLNg

-----------------------------------
Commander Raj Blueheart
First Officer
USS Discovery-C
Newsletter Editor

Jan 7, 2014

This Week on 118Wiki - The Non-Canon Encyclopedia

  • Will Maurer

What's the name of your character's favorite brand of Romulan Ale? Or the absolute best Klingon Opera? We want to know! There's a place on our wiki for short articles about this exact type of information: The Non-Canon Encyclopedia.

Over the next few months, we're going to be sending out a new prompt each week, looking for these items and more. All members will be encouraged to add their own creations to the wiki -- any creations that have appeared in sim are welcome, even if they're not yours. Here's how it works:

First, check out this guide with all the information you need to guide you through the quick and simple process of starting a short article on the encyclopedia.

Second, each week we'll send a new prompt. You can add an item from the prompt or something else entirely.

Third, feel free to take one moment more and show off your work on the forums. And who knows? Your brilliant idea may be showcased in a column for everyone in the fleet to see.

Here's a couple samples to get you started:


Spotlight on: The Fourth Line Art Gallery

Located in the Commercial Sector of Starbase 118, The Fourth Line Art Gallery features artwork from across the galaxy and across time. It has hosted such masterpieces as Turner’s “The Slave Ship” and many others. The next time you’re on the starbase, stop in for a visit. Be sure to leave your lunch outside – the gallery has a strict policy against food on the premises!


-----
Lt Commander Ben Livingston
First Officer
USS Excalibur-A

Jan 11, 2014

Weekly Newsletter 2391.02

  • Raj Blueheart

Happy weekend fellow fleetmates!

FLEET EVENTS

Fleet Chat

  • Our next chat is scheduled for TOMORROW, Sunday, 12 January 2014 at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern (US) / 5pm GMT (UK) / 4am Monday UTC+11 (AUS). Always check your time zone for accuracy/DST if applicable! http://bit.ly/fVGEmH
  • Our fleet chats are a space for all the members of the Starbase 118 group to meet each other, learn about fleet events, and talk about Star Trek. Chats are always held on the second Sunday of every month, but you can head into the chat room at any time to see who else is there. Watch this space for another themed chat session announcement soon!

Top Sims Contest

  • Congratulations to Commander Greir Reinard and Fleet Captain Diego Herrera of the USS Vigilant on winning the 2013 Top Sims Contest! Read their winning entry, “Come Hell And High Water” here: http://goo.gl/uZlxMu
  • Nominations for Round 5 end TOMORROW, Sunday, 12 January 2014. Read the rules to submit a nomination: http://sb118.net/10OSHt3
  • The list of past winners can be viewed here: http://goo.gl/V5Xw0i

Featured Bio Contest

  • Congratulations to January 2014 Featured Bio winner, Lieutenant Commander Saveron! http://goo.gl/RfEbnF . Congratulations also to Fleet Captain Andrus Jaxx whose bio is the Star Pick of the Month! http://goo.gl/tIMXpG
  • Nominations for Round 3 end 1 February 2014. Read the rules and submit your nominations here: http://goo.gl/dxb0FK

Writing Challenge

  • The winner of the "Treason & Plot" Writing Challenge is none other than the writer behind Saveron with the entry "Sins of the Mother", while our runner-up is the writer of Diego Herrera, with "Pray for Favour". Congratulations to them both!
  • Get your PDF version of the full compilation of the November & December Writing Challenge, with all the entrants' stories and judges' comments here: http://goo.gl/jQPCV5
  • The January & February Writing Challenge is now officially open and all entries must be received by 21 February 2014. For this Challenge, be inspired by this Trek conceptual art: http://goo.gl/aZk9eR

Poll of the Week


PUBLICITY Get your FREE promotional flyer and post it in your community to help find new members! US: http://sb118.net/15Rg8D9 UK: http://sb118.net/16VBJyZ


COMMUNITY NEWS

  • Community News team is working hard to bring us something new to read every day and keep us informed about happenings in the Fleet. If you like what they are doing, show them appreciation by leaving comments on the articles.

(newest at the top, oldest at the bottom)
1. Poll of the Week: Happy Hour! http://goo.gl/DS6Hg2

2. December 2013 Post Totals: http://goo.gl/wcvwPg

3. January’s Featured Bio Winner! http://goo.gl/P2bQuf

4. New Academy Graduates: http://goo.gl/S58nPS

5. Forums Roundup – January 2014: http://goo.gl/aKpP1n

6. December Plot Summary for the USS Discovery: http://goo.gl/dhiG9f

7. January Fleetwide OOC Chat: http://goo.gl/y2Xmzk

8. Captains Council Chooses New Magistrate: http://goo.gl/F5jpZX


FULL TEXT ARTICLES

** Poll of the Week: Happy Hour! **
Posted: Friday, 10 January 2014

Hiya all and welcome to another Poll of the Week!

This week we're celebrating the awesome creation known as "Happy Hour". An idea dreamed up to quench the thirst of those who like to party way too early. Or at least those looking for more bang for their buck. So on that note, this week, the team of pollsters, mathematicians, engineers and scientists here at the Poll of the Week have decided to give you all a double dose of button clicking fun!

So on that note, this week we have two...yes count 'em...two polls! The first being our follow-up from last week's Poll of the Week where it's up to you to decide on the theme of the Poll of the Week. We have ten to choose from and to those who have submitted their ideas, many thanks go out to them for submitting some wonderful potential tunes to choose from.

The second will be more Star Trek oriented with a special focus on TOS. Of the Captains who have commanded starships or installations in the Next Generation era, who do you think would also be best suited to command a starship from the old series era and why do you think so? So make your choices, and don't be shy to add your comments. But if any of you start a bar brawl, I'll sic the team of mathematicians on ya'!

** December 2013 Post Totals **
Posted: Thursday, 9 January 2014

As part of the ongoing overview of the fleet as a whole, here are the monthly figures for total posts for each ship. This summary will give you an idea of how active the ship is on a month-by-month basis. The first of the charts shows the average number of sims across all ships in the fleet by month, so far this year. So, summing the total number of sims in a month and dividing by the number of ships, we get the figures you’ll see below. Right at the end of December came the fantastic news that we were launching the USS Darwin-A, followed by the news that the USS Avandar would sadly be decommissioned. This meant that throughout the month we still had 9 ships active at any one time, which is how the December average was calculated. Our next chart gives the number of sims for each ship over the course of December. As the nights drew in and the weather got colder for a large proportion of the fleet (this is the time of year where a lot of us get jealous of our Australian members), people took the chance to huddle down in the warm and get typing, which meant more activity on many of the fleet’s ships!

** January’s Featured Bio Winner! **
Posted: Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Saveron is the Chief Medical officer on the USS Garuda. He began his career aboard the USS Ronin under the command of Captain Toni Turner back in 2388. Between then and now, he has seen ships launch, introduced his son to the Laudean people, confronted the Borg and acted as chief medic and advisor to a selection of captains throughout the fleet. When not in sickbay, he practices Vulcan martial arts, reads and plays music. He is strongly averse to the use of phasers. He is known for keeping a white pet tribble and has a holographic piano! The best advice for anyone visiting his quarters, though, is to wear an EV suit – he likes to keep them at Vulcan humidity, temperature and gravity, so it may not be a comfortable visit otherwise! INTRODUCING A NEW FEATURE: Each month from here on out we will also be announcing the judges’ star pick – the bio that came close to winning the round but was just pipped to the line! This month, our star pick bio belongs to Fleet Captain Andrus Jaxx, so congratulations to him!! Lieutenant Commander Saveron’s Bio (http://goo.gl/IHOAHt ) will be displayed on the wiki’s front page (http://goo.gl/7W9J2G )for the month of January. As always, you can find out more about the contest at its wiki page (http://goo.gl/Xn0EYg ) or in its forum (http://goo.gl/3aJehF ). Round 3 is now open, so be sure to drop by and submit your own nominations!

** New Academy Graduates **
Posted: Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Kaerae ap Rhys, Daniel Wood, and R’acha! http://goo.gl/1QZBqB

** Forums Roundup – January 2014 **
Posted: Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Breaking into the new year is easy! 2391 will have just as much, if not more, to offer the members of our community. As you sit down to make your New Year’s Resolutions, be sure to making visiting the forums one of the items on your list. There are always great parts of our community out there for you to get involved with. Most of the time, it just takes a few spare minutes. See a Sim on your ship that is really well written? It only take a couple minutes to open a thread and submit it to the Top Sims Contest. It is a great way to showcase the sims from your ship, and an awesome way to give recognition to your favorite writers. Be sure to check it out: http://goo.gl/SGgyXu The fun does not stop there. We have an extensive wiki that is used to document…well, everything. From newly discovered systems, to odd new species the wiki has a ton of information at your fingertips. If you see a profile for a character that you really like, and you think that it should be featured on the front page, simply head to the Featured Bio Competition and submit it. It is easy to find, if you know where to look: http://goo.gl/pXzJ0n If you have ever been told that nobody cares what you think, ignore it! You can always share your opinion in the Poll of the Week. Each week Lt. Commander Tracey Townson asks a question that is sure to get your brain working in overdrive. Swing by and check out what the question is this week. Then, make sure you check back in every Friday for the new poll: http://goo.gl/6bVW9j Quit playing games! Scratch that, how about starting playing games? The forums also have a great place for you to participate in many fleet-wide games that have been ongoing for years. Do not be afraid to dive right in and have a blast. Got an idea for a new forum game? Open a new thread and watch the fleet flock to play with you: http://goo.gl/RySDYa With so many cool things to check out in 2014, you will find so much to do on the UFOP: StarBase 118 Forums…that you may have to visit daily! Make this year the year that you really make your presence known. Stop by and try your hand in any thread you can find. And if you cannot find it, start it.

** December Plot Summary For The USS Discovery **
Posted: Monday, 6 January 2014

The USS Constitution, in all her deadly Dreadnought configuration, has been stolen by none other than Fleet Captain Hebron and Captain Nekkar, the former commanding officers of Captain Waltas. The crew of the Discovery has been assigned to the massive USS Odyssey and tasked with finding the stolen ship and apprehending the two traitors. Returning to the scene of the crime at SB118, the team learns that Hebron and Nekkar are headed towards Daris II, where over a decade ago a deadly genetically-engineered viral outbreak mutated the research station’s crew into flesh-eating zombies beyond salvation, all of whom had to be wiped out by the Constitution. While also on SB118, Captain Waltas bumps into commander Merigold KitiganZibi, his former flame and once Hebron’s wife. Is her appearance on SB118 merely a coincidence, or a devious ploy by Hebron to cripple the Discovery at her weakest point – Captain Waltas? With Commander KitiganZibi and her daughter in custody and on board the Odyssey, the crew make their way to the Daris system. Upon arrival, they receive a distress call from the USS Varyag, a Miranda-class ship under attack by the mobile defense platforms that were placed to protect the Daris system. Hebron and Nekkar are believed to be behind this. The Odyssey separates into multi-vector assault mode to both save the Varyag crew and to draw out the Constitution from hiding.

** January Fleetwide OOC Chat **
Posted: Sunday, 5 January 2014

Mark your calendars for the next fleetwide chat, coming up on Sunday, January 12th at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern (US) / 6pm GMT (UK) / 5am Monday UTC+11 (AUS). Always check your time zone for accuracy/DST if applicable! To participate, simply head to our online chat room, at: http://goo.gl/BxKuf7 — if you have problems connecting, use the instructions listed below the chat box. Our fleetwide chats are a space for all the members of the StarBase 118 group to get together and talk in real time about everything that’s happening within the group. Come by and see what goings-on are happening off your ship! Chats are always held on the second Sunday of every month, but you can head into the chat room at any time to see who else is there.

** Captains Council Chooses New Magistrate **
Posted: Saturday, 4 January 2014

The Captains Council magistrate organizes discussions and manages votes for the council, and plays an important role in ensuring that day-to-day business stays on track. The position is elected once a year by voting members of the council. The outgoing 2013 magistrate is FltCapt. Kali Nicholotti, who was adept at keeping the council on time and target, with military efficiency. The council thanks her for her service as she steps back to focus on commanding the Excalibur in the face of some real life changes. The incoming 2013 magistrate is Capt. Cassandra Egan Manno (former Capt. Aron Kells), CO of the USS Garuda (formerly the Mercury — the crew moved to a new vessel this week). We look forward to this year’s service by a captain who is respected for his diplomacy and team-focused attitude.

-----------------------------------
Commander Raj Blueheart
First Officer
USS Discovery-C
Newsletter Editor

Jan 14, 2014

This Week on 118 Wiki - The Non-Canon Encyclopedia - Beverages edition

  • Will Maurer

What's in your cup? Everyone has a favorite, and whether you drink a unique blend of Vulcan tea at briefings, a local Andorian ale with friends, or your own special concoction, we want to hear about it! If you or a shipmate have written about a new drink, it belongs in the wiki's The Non-Canon Encyclopedia.

This guide and template make it quick and easy. Any beverage created by and for use in with Starbase 118 is fair game, whether it was introduced by you or someone else in a sim. Of course, you can always add your latest creation to the encyclopedia, beverage or not. When you're done, brag a bit on the forums!

There is a specific template for adding beverages to make the job that much easier; just follow the directions here.

Here are a few already in the encyclopedia:


Spotlight on: Starshine Surprise

Warning! A Starshine Surprise is not a drink for everyone! Humans and those with weak constitutions should stay away. But if that doesn't apply (and if you’re up to the task), you may want to try this strong beverage, known for unleashing the stargazer in all of us (in other words, expect to wake up on the floor a few hours later). If it's still not strong enough, make it a double -- that's called a Faendra Sunburn.


----
Lt. Commander Ben Livingston
First Officer
USS Excalibur-A

Jan 17, 2014

Weekly Newsletter 2391.03

  • FltAdml. Tristan Wolf

Happy weekend fellow fleetmates!

FLEET EVENTS

Top Sims Contest

  • Nominations for Round 6 end Sunday, 26 January 2014, and this will be followed by the first run-off round for the year from 27 January 2014 to 23 February 2014. Read the rules to submit a nomination: http://goo.gl/FS1w5e
  • The list of past winners can be viewed here: http://goo.gl/V5Xw0i

Featured Bio Contest

  • Congratulations to January 2014 Featured Bio winner, Lieutenant Commander Saveron! http://goo.gl/RfEbnF . Congratulations also to Fleet Captain Andrus Jaxx whose bio is the Star Pick of the Month! http://goo.gl/tIMXpG
  • Nominations for Round 3 end 1 February 2014. Read the rules and submit your nominations here: http://goo.gl/xw6ELE

Fleet Chat

  • Our next chat is scheduled for Sunday, 9 February 2014 at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern (US) / 5pm GMT (UK) / 4am Monday UTC+11 (AUS). Always check your time zone for accuracy/DST if applicable! http://bit.ly/fVGEmH
  • Our fleet chats are a space for all the members of the Starbase 118 group to meet each other, learn about fleet events, and talk about Star Trek. Chats are always held on the second Sunday of every month, but you can head into the chat room at any time to see who else is there. Watch this space for another themed chat session announcement soon!

Writing Challenge

  • The winner of the "Treason & Plot" Writing Challenge is none other than the writer behind Saveron with the entry "Sins of the Mother", while our runner-up is the writer of Diego Herrera, with "Pray for Favour". Congratulations to them both!
  • Get your PDF version of the full compilation of the November & December Writing Challenge, with all the entrants' stories and judges' comments here: http://goo.gl/jQPCV5
  • The January & February Writing Challenge is now officially open and all entries must be received by 21 February 2014. For this Challenge, be inspired by this Trek conceptual art: http://goo.gl/aZk9eR

Poll of the Week


PUBLICITY Get your FREE promotional flyer and post it in your community to help find new members! US: http://sb118.net/15Rg8D9 UK: http://sb118.net/16VBJyZ


COMMUNITY NEWS

  • Community News team is working hard to bring us something new to read every day and keep us informed about happenings in the Fleet. If you like what they are doing, show them appreciation by leaving comments on the articles.

(newest at the top, oldest at the bottom)
1. Poll of the Week: Mirror Mirror On The Wall… http://goo.gl/VI8y8a

2. That’s The Way, Ah-ha, Ah-ha… http://goo.gl/D48AeX

3. December Plot Summary for the USS Apollo: http://goo.gl/P6g8xi

4. Donation thanks to Wanda Dyamone: http://goo.gl/n5JLiU

5. Lower Decks: Lieutenant Commander Jalana Laxyn: http://goo.gl/yK5XEY

6. December Plot Summary for the USS Excalibur: http://goo.gl/pKxY2O

7. December Plot Summary for the Duronis II Embassy: http://goo.gl/aLqUrq


FULL TEXT ARTICLES

** Poll of the Week: Mirror Mirror On The Wall… **
Posted: Friday, 17 January 2014

Now that we have our theme, it’s time get right down to business with this week’s poll. And speaking of business, my character has recently changed her job on Discovery and now wears a different colored uniform. She has gone from gold to grey as she is now an Intel officer. Those of you in the back! Stop snickering! Anyway…that brings us to this week’s Poll of the Week question. Which Star Trek Captain do you think was the most intelligent? Why and what made you think he or she was the most intelligent? Was it something they did or said on a regular basis, or was it just a feeling you perceived? Was it the way they handled situations and/or themselves in various aspects? Basically, who do you think was the brightest, think on their feet, captain in Star Trek? Head on down to the polls and let us know who you think was the smartest Captain of them all, and why: http://goo.gl/RSBnuJ

** That’s The Way, Ah-ha, Ah-ha… **
Posted: Thursday, 16 January 2014

It’s a new year and a new start for the recruitment drive for UFOP: Starbase 118! As we take our first steps into the brave new year, it’s time once again to let you guys know exactly how you can help us to get our name out as far and as wide as possible! Are you on facebook? If so, did you know that UFOP: SB118 has its own facebook page? If you have your own non-character based page then it would be fantastic if you could drop on in and give us a like: https://www.facebook.com/ufopsb118 There’s something released through social media channels every day, but this month, a concentrated effort on facebook could really help us to take off. You can help us in three ways. Liking our posts is a fantastic way to increase the number of people who view what we write – that includes ship summaries, fleet events and also general articles about Star Trek, Sci Fi and Science. In turn, that could lead to friends of yours (or indeed friends of friends) liking our page, which spreads our sphere of influence ever wider! Even better, you can share what we post, which gives people a direct chance to take a look at the interesting article of the day. The best possible way to get involved, though, is to post a comment! Your friends will be able to read that you did, but they will then have a chance to add their own views! If we’re talking about a little known piece of trivia from one of the trek films, or asking for your opinion on a recent scientific discovery, why not post up your viewpoint? The more discussion we get, the more the posts stay alive and the more people will see us chatting! That will tempt them to join in and give them a chance to interact with the members of the 118 fleet. We’ve said on countless occasions that you’re our best asset for publicity because you’re a fantastically welcoming bunch so let’s get out there and see how many people we can draft in! After all, once we pass a certain level of popularity on Facebook, each post we make will be seen by that many more people, so this is the kind of work where each mote of effort really contributes to the overall picture! Many hands make light work and every person counts, so see you on Facebook!

** December Plot Summary For The USS Apollo **
Posted: Wednesday, 15 January 2014

After the crew of the USS Apollo had been notified of the death of late Lieutenant Marcus Raiden, they all made their way back to the ship. One of the Apollo’s Dark Star pilots had captured and transported those responsible for the death of Raiden to the USS Apollo. Fleet Captain Andrus Jaxx, Lieutenant Commander Sundassa Faranster and Lieutenant Commander Jalana Laxyn made their way back to the ship. Jaxx and Laxyn went to sickbay to find out what killed Raiden, while Faranster went to the bridge to get caught up. This included greeting the new officers, and being notified of a Klingon guest looking for Lieutenant JG Alexander Williams, that was being entertained by Major Viktor Lanius. Once it was discovered that Raiden had succumbed to poison, Jaxx set the new counselor, Ensign Hail Samford, to work at planning his memorial. She enlisted a few members from operations to help her achieve her goal. At the memorial, a message that Raiden had recorded prior to his death was played, and the crew mourned or celebrated in honor of him. Lieutenant Alexander Williams, not wanting the only big celebration during the shore leave to be in mourning of a death, so close to a holiday close to his heart, took it upon himself to start planning a Christmas party for those on the Apollo that celebrate the holiday.

** Donation thanks to Wanda Dyamone **
Posted: Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Many thanks to Wanda Dyamone of StarBase 118 Ops, who donated recently. Donations like this help keep our website ad free and ensure that we’ll fulfill our yearly fundraising goals! Can you donate $10, $25, or $50 today to help sustain our community: http://goo.gl/jLqgmd

** Lower Decks: Lieutenant Commander Jalana Laxyn **
Posted: Tuesday, 14 January 2014

:: A deep pulse of bass music opens up with a graphic of turbolift flashes over the screen before the screen lights raise up to focus in on Vulcan man seated in a chair with a pai of ceramic coffee mugs on a small table between his chair and the as of yet off screen occupied one. :: Sopek: Hello and Greetings. My name is Sopek and it is time for a program we call The Lower Decks. Where we leave behind the center chair and big office and go down below to speak with the crew of the vessels and bases in Starfleet. ::He shifts slightly to meet the changing camera and waves a hand to the other chair.:: Tonight’s guest is Lieutenant Commander Jalana Laxyn. She is the Chief Medical Officer on the USS Apollo and also serves as the ship’s second officer. Good Evening Commander. Layxn: ::smiling:: Good evening, Mister Sopek. Thank you for inviting me. Sopek: So I understand you are have spent your entire career on the Apollo, yes? Layxn: That is correct. Sopek: That seems a very lucky streak to have that posting your whole career. You must know the crew well. Layxn: ::laughing slightly:: On a professional level, yes. Some of them better than they might like, though that comes with the position of Chief Medical Officer. Sopek: A position I understand you acquired while still researching for your medical degree. How have you felt balancing your studies with the duties of your rank and station? Laxyn: I actually had some studying to do for single cases that were not as common as others. A big part of that got integrated into my dissertation, which I finished just recently. I do see studying as integral part of my work as research never stands still. There is no way to offer my patients or the crew my best help, if I am not up to date. So it was not much different from my usual work. Sopek: How do you enjoy what free time you can find from time to time? Laxyn: Most of my free time I spend with my fiancé and try to forget work for just a little while. I also enjoy some quiet time reading, on the holodeck or making an effort not to forget my musical talents. Sopek: So music is an interest for you? Laxyn: It is. I play the Trillian flute, though not as often as I did before the Academy. But with my financé playing the Violin there might be a chance to play a little more with him in the future. It’s always nicer not to do things alone. Sopek: The Trillian flute covers a wide and varied range of notes. It must allow for a notable flexibility in instruments to accompany you. Laxyn: It certainly does. It is traditionally accompanied by simple and complex instruments to show the variety. Sopek: You are engaged yes? What can you tell us about your intended. Laxyn: ::smiling:: Well, he was one of the first people I met on the Apollo after I got transfered. Major Viktor Lanius is the leader of the Marine fighter wing that just got instated on the ship. Before that he was Intel Officer and then First Officer. Sopek: A variety of experience you must be proud of him to hold so many prestigious positions. Laxyn: In either position I am proud of him and am happy to be with him. On a more personal level there is not much to say I can tell you without asking him first ::smirking:: Sopek: ::tilting his head slightly.:: Of course. What does medicine mean to you? Laxyn: A lot. Okay, that might not be a satisfying answer. I have dreamed to become a doctor since I was little. To help people, find ways to improve people’s lives. I know that there are many ways to do that outside of medicine. But everything that had to do with medicine always fascinated me. To follow my dream despite the obstacles is something I never regret. Sopek: And your position. Please tell us what being Chief Medical Officer means to you. Laxyn: It is an honour to me. I would have done my work either way. I serve the ship as good as I can while keeping the dream alive. ::smiling:: But that I had been chosen for this position was almost like an award from my Captain, a sign that I am doing a good job, which I am not taking lightly. Sopek: Do you hope one day to become a captain yourself? Laxyn: ::laughing slightly:: You are not the first asking this. Right now I am happy being Chief Medical Officer and Second Officer. I am aware that the logical step after this would be First Officer and then Captain, but right now I am happy where I am. Who knows what the future holds. Sopek: So very true. Serving on one ship for so long, you have made many friends yes? Laxyn: I have made friends, yes. I treasure every friendship that forms with someone. To be that far away from our families and familiar home planets can be hard, to have friends to share this life with makes it all a bit easier. Sopek: I am sure y Do you have any regrets? Laxyn: ::thinking for a moment:: Mhm. There are things that in hindsight I could have done or handled differently, nobody is free from doing mistakes. But everything I did brought me to where I am now. I am officer, have my own department, are going to marry and have great friends. There is a chance that if I would change any of my decisions I might not be there and that would be terrible. So no, I do not have regrets. Sopek: A very wise thought to consider Commander. Our time is, unfortunately, drawing to a close. Is there a lasting thought or idea you would like to leave us with? Perhaps a quote or motto you hold dear? Laxyn: From the moment we can crawl we often hear about things we cannot do. And that does not stop. Of course there are things we shouldn’t do like jump into a warp core or out of an airlock. But when you have a dream to do something, become someone, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Like my mother used to say to me, quoting a terran journalist: The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. Sopek: A fitting discourse Commander. Thank you for your time today with me. ________________ In Real Life the player of Jalana Laxyn is a 34 year old housewife, geek, nerd, creative nutjob and writer from Germany. Her love for Star Trek was born with the first airing of TNG, which will always be her first love and got only bigger with any of the other series and movies. She’s been an avid roleplayer for over 20 years and still enjoys every second of it. When she joined SB118 it was the very first time she challenged herself to participate in an English RP and after 1.5 years she is still surprised about how seamless the transition has been.

** December Plot Summary for the USS Excalibur **
Posted: Monday, 13 January 2014

During their shore leave aboard Starbase 118, the crew of USS Excalibur-A planned an elaborate dinner party to celebrate their most recent success. The event, hosted in a holodeck, was set in an enchanted forest with all the expected the ambient details. The evening began with an award ceremony that saw a number of promotions and service ribbons distributed. Following the formal proceedings, the crew enjoyed a homemade dinner prepared by the junior officers. Though the stew was a hit, dinner was soon interrupted by a swarm of mischievous faeries unintentionally included in the holodeck program. The crew quickly retook control of the situation, but not before food was stolen and dresses damaged. Nevertheless determined to enjoy the evening, the party continued with dancing and conversation. The following day involved further enjoyment of shore leave as well as preparations to leave the starbase. With the new crew now through medical exams and checked in, the final preparations are all that remain before Excalibur will set out on a mission of exploration.

** December Plot Summary for the Duronis II Embassy **
Posted: Saturday, 11 January 2014

With LtCmdr Nugra’s team onboard the space station and Major Hannibal Parker’s team on board the derelict Klingon D7, they both worked to dim the hazards they faced. Parker’s team discovered the ship had been a sleeper ship, which had been attacked by the Hirogen with a loss of all hands. They also found a way to get the remaining reactor on line to power up the thrusters to move the D7 into a trajectory away Habitat. Commander Nugra’s team, now separated, were joined by a team from the USS Thunder NCC-70605-A to bolster their position. From there, they encountered two heretics who lived separately from the main Habitat, who did not believe Nugra’s party were the Originators, the station builders, but from the outside. They were introduced to the AI that ran the station. With the help of the Heretics and the AI, they were able to retrieve their separated compatriots and reunite. During that process, it was discovered the station’s solar panels needed realignment, or the station would become uninhabitable. In exchange for the materials the Thunder-A crew needed to repair the QSSD, the Thunder-A would realign the station, which they did. Once everyone was back aboard the Thunder-A, a ceremony marked the destruction of the D7. Supplied with materials they needed and the ship repaired, the Thunder-A began her journey to Deep Space Nine, but not before a traitor revealed herself, one which could not only be a threat to the command crew, but to Duronis itself…

-----------------------------------
Commander Raj Blueheart
First Officer
USS Discovery-C
Newsletter Editor

Jan 21, 2014

This Week on 118Wiki - Non-Canon Encyclopedia - SB118 shops

  • Will Maurer

Where do you go to get away from it all? After a long mission if you find yourself back on Starbase 118, there are plenty of establishments willing to take a few credits in exchange for their services. Whether you like to recoup in a café, rejuvenate at a spa, or sit down for some cards, the Starbase has plenty, and it’s growing! If you or a shipmate have written about an establishment in Starbase 118’s commercial sector, it belongs in the wiki's The Non-Canon Encyclopedia.

This guide and template make it quick and easy. Any shop created by and for use in with Starbase 118 is fair game, whether it was introduced by you or someone else in a sim. Of course, you can always add your latest creation to the encyclopedia. When you're done, brag a bit on the forums!

There is a specific template for adding shops to make the job that much easier; just follow the directions here.

Here are a few already in the encyclopedia:


Spotlight on: The 8 x 8

Knight to D4. Or maybe full house, sevens over threes. Or maybe nine ball in the corner pocket. Whether you prefer chess, poker, billiards, or another game, you can probably play it here, at the 8 x 8.Don’t let the quiet atmosphere fool you – this is one of the hottest spots on the Starbase. Expect to pay whether you’re playing, drinking, or just watching, but don’t worry. It’s a great show, especially when owner David Cox sits down for a game.


----
Lt. Commander Ben Livingston
First Officer
USS Excalibur-A

Jan 24, 2014

Weekly Newsletter 2391.04

  • Raj Blueheart

Happy weekend fellow fleetmates!

FLEET EVENTS

Top Sims Contest

  • Nominations for Round 6 end TOMORROW, Sunday, 26 January 2014, and this will be followed by the first run-off round for the year from 27 January 2014 to 23 February 2014! Read the rules to submit a nomination: http://goo.gl/FS1w5e
  • The list of past winners can be viewed here: http://goo.gl/V5Xw0i

Featured Bio Contest

  • Nominations for Round 3 end 1 February 2014. Read the rules and submit your nominations here: http://goo.gl/xw6ELE
  • In the meantime, congratulations to January 2014 Featured Bio winner, Lieutenant Commander Saveron! http://goo.gl/RfEbnF . Congratulations also to Fleet Captain Andrus Jaxx whose bio is the Star Pick of the Month! http://goo.gl/tIMXpG

Fleet Chat

  • Our next chat is scheduled for Sunday, 9 February 2014 at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern (US) / 5pm GMT (UK) / 4am Monday UTC+11 (AUS). Always check your time zone for accuracy/DST if applicable! http://bit.ly/fVGEmH
  • Our fleet chats are a space for all the members of the Starbase 118 group to meet each other, learn about fleet events, and talk about Star Trek. Chats are always held on the second Sunday of every month, but you can head into the chat room at any time to see who else is there. Watch this space for another themed chat session announcement soon!

Writing Challenge

  • The January & February Writing Challenge is now officially open and all entries must be received by 21 February 2014. For this Challenge, be inspired by this Trek conceptual art: http://goo.gl/aZk9eR
  • The winner of the last challenge, "Treason & Plot", is none other than the writer behind Saveron with the entry "Sins of the Mother", while our runner-up is the writer of Diego Herrera, with "Pray for Favour". Congratulations to them both!
  • Get your PDF version of the full compilation of the November & December Writing Challenge, with all the entrants' stories and judges' comments here: http://goo.gl/jQPCV5

Poll of the Week


PUBLICITY Get your FREE promotional flyer and post it in your community to help find new members! US: http://sb118.net/15Rg8D9 UK: http://sb118.net/16VBJyZ


COMMUNITY NEWS

  • Community News team is working hard to bring us something new to read every day and keep us informed about happenings in the Fleet. If you like what they are doing, show them appreciation by leaving comments on the articles.

(newest at the top, oldest at the bottom)
1. Poll of the Week: Voila.. Here Is The New.. : http://goo.gl/c2Hzb4

2. December Plot Summary for the USS Avandar: http://goo.gl/qNgt2q

3. Featured Bio Contest Reminder: http://goo.gl/avC7s4

4. New Academy Graduates: http://goo.gl/8bgSFg

5. Writing Challenge Updates: http://goo.gl/hChbU8

6. December Plot Summary for the USS Vigilant: http://goo.gl/z6p7Ec

7. Meet Fleet Captain Diego Herrera: http://goo.gl/59G8IU

8. In Command: Captain Cassandra Egan Manno: http://goo.gl/7E62sp

9. Donations thanks to Alex Blair: http://goo.gl/4Gv51f


FULL TEXT ARTICLES

** Poll of the Week: Voila.. Here Is The New.. **
Posted: Friday, 24 January 2014

When the original series of Star Trek first aired, it was, despite it’s monetary shortfalls, a television show filled with new gadgets and technologies that at the time were truly fictional, new and different. Voice operated desktop computers, hypo-syringes, pocket-sized communication devices, etc. The list goes on and on. However, a lot of these devices were dreamed up not because they had such a keen eye for the vision of the future, but more so because they had to work around certain constraints. One example is the transporter. “According to The Making of Star Trek, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s original plan did not include transporters, instead calling for characters to land the starship itself. However, this would have required unfeasible and unaffordable sets and model filming, as well as episode running time spent while landing, taking off, etc. The shuttlecraft was the next idea, but when filming began, the full-sized shooting model was not ready. Transporters were devised as a less expensive alternative, achieved by a simple fade-out/fade-in of the subject. Transporters first appear in the original pilot episode “The Cage”. The transporter special effect, before being done using computer animation, was created by turning a slow-motion camera upside down and photographing some backlit shiny grains of aluminium powder that were dropped between the camera and a black background.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transporter_%28Star_Trek%29 So what we have is a technology created, that has become immensely popular, not because of amazing foresight, but because of budget and time constraints. This is the type of setback that recent incarnations of Star Trek no longer have to deal with. And in my personal opinion, since Star Trek revealed the holodeck in the first episode of the Next Generation, Star Trek hasn’t really come up with anything spectacularly new. At least not to me. So that brings us to this week’s Poll of the Week question. Do you think there is still new and exciting technologies for Star Trek to dream up for future renditions of the franchise? Or do you think the powers that be have become so complacent that they will just reinvent those technologies already introduced in earlier versions of Star Trek? Basically, is necessity the mother of invention, not only in the real world, but also in the Star Trek franchise itself? Or do you think future Star Trek can still deliver technologies that make us go collectively “wow!” What do you think? Beam over to the polls and share your thoughts with the collective: http://goo.gl/qH3Dhd

** December Plot Summary for the USS Avandar **
Posted: Thursday, 23 January 2014

The USS Avandar has been destroyed, torn in two by a giant creature intent on devouring the tasty morsels inside, and with the ruined halves cast onto the surface of a nearby world. Or at least that was what those trapped in a mental construct intended to keep them occupied believed had happened. For those of the crew *not* caught in the mindscape, the challenge was simply trying to find a way to detach the small entity they had encountered from the ship’s warp core and awaken their crewmates, preferably before anything unfortunate happened to either, or both. Their efforts regarding the creature proved less than successful, however, as their main plan was precisely what resulted in the mindscape – a defensive measure by the creature – to be created in the first place. Based on the the first, clearest, mental imprint it could find, the entity used the mental outlook of a telepathic toddler to form the basis of the illusion, and it was that self-same framework that rapidly proved the mindscape’s undoing – Starfleet officers not, as a rule, bring inclined to believe in a world made of cartoon characters and toy bricks. Realising it’s error, and having gleaned enough energy from the warp core to make it to it’s destination, the creature dissolved the illusion and departed, regretting the trouble it had caused and planning to make sure it never went anywhere near a starship again if it could help it… In the wake of this encounter, it took some major medical work to ensure that the effected crewmembers suffered no ongoing effects, and the crew itself received news that did not bode well for their continued exploration of the L’heia Sector – the Avandar was being recalled, the crew to be reassigned among the fleet whilst the ship itself was used as a test-bed for a number of scientific and engineering protoype programs. Whilst Starfleet maintains a presence in the Sector, the Avandar’s voyages of exploration are, for now, drawing to a close…

** Featured Bio Contest Reminder **
Posted: Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Please remember to nominate a character bio for the latest round of the Featured Bio Contest (http://goo.gl/N5jK5l ) before it closes on Saturday, February 1, 2013. The rules have been simplified so it’s even easier than ever before to nominate a bio to the competition. Just check these three simple points: • Nominated articles must be of a player character played by a CURRENT and ACTIVE member. • Nominated articles must be either a PRIMARY or SECONDARY player character. PNPCs are ineligible. • All information in the article must be CURRENT as of the submission date. We’re looking for the highest quality bios in the fleet to not only help provide an example for our members on how to structure their bio, but also to show off how much our members put into the creation of realistic and emotional characters. Head to the Featured Bio Contest forum to nominate a bio today: http://goo.gl/kJ6t0i

** New Academy Graduates **
Posted: Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Daniel Underwood and Aurora Jenevieve James: http://goo.gl/Gn1764

** Writing Challenge Updates **
Posted: Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The most congratulatory of congratulations is due to Sarah, the writer behind Saveron and the winner of our non-traditional holiday-themed Writing Challenge! The last Challenge of 2013 took its cue from Bonfire Night as it asked respondents to respond to the theme “Treason and Plot.” Sarah’s “Sins of the Mother,” which poses some very interesting questions about the Federation’s ideology, is told through the frame of a debate at Starfleet Academy. In its own words, “You cannot believe that!” Bourke insisted, advancing on the podium. His face was red. “It’s people like you who would sabotage the peace that we live in. People like you who undermine all that we strive for, and damage countless lives in the process. Do you even hear what you’re saying, or did you learn to parrot it all on your mother’s knee?” ... “They invade our allies and possible future Federation members on Duronis II.” Another step. “They attack the USS Drake at Gateway Station, and attempted to mine the USS Avandar.” Another step. “Finally, they occupy Thracian space, requiring the intervention of Starfleet to prevent the subjugation of millions of sentient beings.” She stopped walking. “Are these the actions of a people who seek peace?” For the second Challenge in a row, a downloadable compilation of all the entries and judges’ comments is available, so be sure to take a look through and see what these talented writers had to offer: http://goo.gl/qYfS2E Our first Challenge of 2014 is also open, with one month left to go, so be sure to check out this Challenge: http://goo.gl/TJ68uz ; it’s our first that asks you to write in response to a piece of artwork, and we look forward to seeing what you write!

** December Plot Summary for the USS Vigilant **
Posted: Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The crew of the USS Vigilant, NCC-75515, is still trapped in the alternate reality of “Ravensville.” The hospital staff debated the use of Gracialis. Doctor Diego Herrera eventually ruled that it was to be the new go-to medication for their patients. Meanwhile, the police found that Gracialis was emerging as a street drug. Strange occurrences rippled through Ravensville. Officer Aaron Zerxes was stunned when Police Captain Mark “Eerie” Swift stepped into the street and was struck by Zerxes’ car! The man got up without a scratch, which caused people to question the world around them. Dueld taJoot, who had initially been against the use of Gracialis, suddenly became an advocate for it. Kael Thomas found a strange metal surface behind the wall at the Plaza Caglia bar, which grew larger as the crew tried to stop the piece of music they had been hearing for weeks from playing on their phones. Illegal Gracialis distribution was traced back to hospital worker, Dan Panell, who confessed quickly but was unaware why he’d done it or who his contacts were. Soon after, the world around them faded away. The crew awoke together in a large containment chamber, remembering who they really were. They were greeted by a pair of aliens who identified themselves as Senivans. They informed the crew that they’d been part of a behavioural experiment which the aliens conducted on “primitive species.” The crew was returned to their ship unharmed, though they still carry the memories of their time in Ravensville.

** Meet Fleet Captain Diego Herrera **
Posted: Monday, 20 January 2014

After being appointed Captain at Large for 2014 and Staff Member of the Year Fleet Captain Diego Herrera has certainly had an eventful 2013.Lets see what we can learn from the following interview conducted by Newsies Reporter Jansen Orrey. Jansen: Congratulations on your award. Diego: Thanks very much! Jansen: It must mean a lot to be chosen as Staff Member of the Year by your peers. Diego: Yes! I was really grateful for the award and the write up that went with it was awesome. Made my Christmas! Jansen: What do you think it was that led them to select you? Diego: It’s tough to answer that question without sounding like I’m boasting, but the citation that Fleet Admiral Wolf listed in the awards ceremony basically covers it. I wanted to make sure I put a good shift in this year – I love this group because you can get reward out of writing with other people but you can also get reward out of organising things for them to take part in that are valuable, fun and memorable. Writing Improvement Month’s author interviews and Fall Fest were two big things for me this year. Both took a lot of work but both were absolutely worth it. I had support from some of the major players in the community – Fleet Captains Jaxx and Nicholotti and Fleet Admiral Wolf for both events, with no small contribution from Commander Reinard for Fall Fest. Then you have the people who hosted and attended chats. It’d be easy for me to sit here and claim glory for both of those things but without the help and support I had, nothing would have been possible. The author chats back in February were one part of a much larger event as well, which had a great many contributors! Jansen: And how about being selected as Captain at Large for 2014? Diego: It was really cool to be offered that position! It’s great to be able to represent the captains on the Executive Committee and it’s nice to be trusted with that responsibility! Jansen: What outlook can you give us for the coming year? Diego: In what respect? Are we talking for the fleet, personally, or both? Jansen: Both as well as in regard to the Executive Committee. Do you have any personal goals after such a blockbuster year? Diego: If we’re talking in general terms then I would like to capitalise on last year. The easy goal to set is to do as much. A better goal would be to beat that. I want to keep up my participation with the fleet, SIMming and OOC, and contribute wherever I can to help us continue to be the fantastic roleplaying group we are today! Jansen: What is it that drives you as a writer within the group? Diego: As a writer? I would have to say my characters. I’ve had a blast writing for all of them this year and a special shout out to Tallis Rhul who passed away IC – he set the benchmark for all of the characters I write. I don’t know if it’s normal/usual to be giving shouts out to fictional characters, but I just did! I’m enjoying seeing where Diego’s path is leading him and there’s a gaggle of other characters I’m writing for who have been great fun to play as well. Jansen: You did some amazing things this year. Can you give us some insight into what it took not only to organize but to make everything seem so seamless? Diego: Wow. That’s a tough question. There’s just a lot of correspondence is the best answer to that, I think. Correspondence, general writing and just making sure things are running according to plan. It’s taken a lot of online time and plugging away at the keyboard but it’s definitely all been worth it. And how to make things run (or appear to run) seamlessly? Preparation. Pretty much all of the projects I’ve worked on I haven’t done so alone, so where I’ve been in a leadership role I just make sure everyone knows what the story is and we all work together. That’s really where the success of the group lies! Jansen: Thank you so much for the insightful answers and your time here. I am sure people will find it all very illuminating. Diego: No problem! Great talking to you!

** In Command: Captain Cassandra Egan Manno **
Posted: Sunday, 19 January 2014

I think most of us are familiar with Tony, the player behind that temporal magnet, Aron Kells. Recently, some events have taken place which took the USS Mercury out of comission and Aron Kells out of the spotlight. Not to worry, Tony isn’t going anywhere, and he’s brought on a whole new character – Captain Cassandra Egan Manno. I had the opportunity to sit down and get a little information about his new face. 1. So your original Captain, Aron Kells, has disappeared from the radar, but you’ve introduced a very interesting new Captain – Cassandra Egan Manno. What inspired you to create this character? First, leaving Aron behind. I do want to clarify that Aron Kells has not disappeared forever; he’ll return as a PNPC, but not for a while yet, and with somewhat of a different mindset than the one he had as a Starfleet officer. However, there are those relationships — such as his with Saveron — that I want to continue and will be very productive in the long run. Second, Cassie specifically. I have usually used digital artwork to represent my characters, and that art is generally not based upon actors or even real people, necessarily — but for Cassie, I had just been shown an episode of The Walking Dead, and when I saw Danai Gurira’s acting, I suspected I had found the actress I wanted to base my new captain on. I researched her some more and decided that she was indeed my model, and from that appearance and knowledge of the roles she’d played, I developed Cassie. (As an aside, I’ve only ever seen the one episode of The Walking Dead — zombies aren’t my thing — but I grateful to the show for introducing me to that actress!) 2. Does she share any characteristics with you as her writer? In her specifics, no. Her background was built off of her reluctance to assume a commanding role (see the next answer for more!), so that’s specific to her character and her universe. Thematically, however, I would say she is rather similar to me, in that she’s unsure of filling a role that she believes (rightly!) to be complex and difficult. One thing I will note here, however, is that Cassie is decidedly a competent woman: She is an excellent developmental engineer and became an outstanding deployment officer, but the command of a starship — or even service aboard a starship — isn’t one of her skills, yet. However, as Quinn Reynolds has so recently reminded her, though she may not have that particular skill set, she’s still led others and done well at it, so her choice as CO is not as strange as it may seem. 3. Captain Egan Manno has taken the commanding seat very reluctantly. Can you tell us a little about why she feels she’s not suitable for her new role? Ah, I suppose I answered more of this than I meant to in the previous answer. I will add, then, that a large part of her character arc is not that of discovering that she did have the ability all along and just had to discover her confidence; that arc, to me, is staid and inappropriate for a woman with Cassie’s accomplishments. Rather, her arc is one of being ranked by Starfleet as a captain but having no command experience, and how she can develop those command skills based upon the foundational abilities she possesses and the choices she’s made throughout her life and career. 4. How does Captain Egan Manno compare to Captain Kells both in personality and with the way she handles her command? Captain Kells was much more the Kirk-style captain, updated into the 24th century: He wouldn’t have lost his shirt in a fistfight, but he definitely would’ve bent the rules to avoid that fight in the first place. Even when he aged a bit, he still possessed that rule-bending edge, and when it got him in big trouble after the disaster at 83 Leonis, that contributed greatly to the completion of his character arc. Captain Egan Manno, on the other hand, is much more cautious, technically inclined, and rule-abiding; she’s spent her career in the heart of Starfleet, with much of that at Starfleet Administration, and she’s always been surrounded by plenty of other officers; she’s never before seen the frontier, so she’s going to be cautious there. 5. The USS Garuda is a Galaxy class ship – the same class as the beloved Enterprise. For many, this is the ultimate ship. How do you feel now that you are the captain of such a ship? Well, I designed it, so I feel pretty good about it! I loved the Mercury’s design, the dedicated science space of the Oracle-class’s sensor module, and its emphasis on defense, not offense; but I do feel really strongly about having a recognizable, powerful ship exploring the Menthar Corridor and beyond. The Enterprise-D was the Federation Starfleet’s flagship for many years and — even though the -E is her flagship now — the Galaxy-class became and remains, in my mind, one of the faces of the Federation, and certainly a proper avatar to represent her beyond the boundaries of known space! 6. You were the recipient of the Sarek Star this year. How did it feel to receive such a well deserved award? I hope I can live up to it! Honestly, though, as many folks on the Garuda and in the CC know, I’ve worked in education for the last few years — the last two teaching college, the three before that as a college tutor — and I find that running a ship in a sim like this and managing a classroom are remarkably similar. There’s often the implicit assumption that, in online games, you can be ruder or more inappropriate than you might be in a situation in which you can interact with a person face-to-face — I’ve certainly made that assumption before, though becoming aware that it was something I did was a large part of overcoming it. Most of the time, when someone comes to me with a problem or an issue, I ask myself what I’d do if that person was a student or another teacher and treat them with the appropriate level of respect. Also, it’s always important to validate how people are feeling! When someone comes to me and expresses that he or she is sad or unenthused or angry, I’ve found it’s incredibly beneficial to acknowledge those feelings and talk about them, not to simply see them as problems to be overcome. 7. You were recently appointed as the Magistrate for the Captain’s Council. Please tell us a little about your new role and what it means to you. I’m incredibly excited about this! The past two magistrates, Marissa and Jay — Fleet Captains Nicholotti and Jaxx, respectively — are two people who I have immense respect for and am honored to succeed. My goal as magistrate is to be as timely and helpful as my predecessors — and I’m also looking forward to taking a larger role in the commander promotion process as I facilitate the administrative work behind those processes; promotions to commander are immensely important to the group as a whole and I can’t wait to be more active in those processes! Thank you Tony for your hard work and incredible talent. We look forward to seeing more from you and your new Captain!

** Donations thanks to Alex Blair **
Posted: Saturday, 18 January 2014

Many thanks to Alex Blair of the USS Tiger-A, who donated recently. Donations like this help keep our website ad free and ensure that we’ll fulfill our yearly fundraising goals! Can you donate $10, $25, or $50 today to help sustain our community? http://goo.gl/rMdeKL

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Commander Raj Blueheart
First Officer
USS Discovery-C
Newsletter Editor

Jan 28, 2014

This Week on 118Wiki - Non-Canon Encyclopedia - Food

  • Will Maurer

We all eat. Well, most of us, anyhow. And that means there’s probably a meal we love more than anything. What’s your character’s favorite? Or perhaps they really love to sneak an extra dessert? Is there a “street food” that you always look forward to picking up as you stroll through the Promenade? If you or a shipmate have written about a favorite food, it belongs in the wiki's The Non-Canon Encyclopedia.

This guide and template make it quick and easy. Any food created by and for use in with Starbase 118 is fair game, whether it was introduced by you or someone else in a sim. Of course, you can always add your latest creation to the encyclopedia. When you're done, brag a bit on the forums!

There is a specific template for adding food to make the job that much easier; just follow the directions here.


Spotlight on: Bolian Falafel

If you’ve been to the Aquarium, you know that the first thing you notice is the wall-to-wall tank of water housing a variety of fish, but the second thing to greet you is the aroma. And chief among their menu items contributing to this spicy scent is their very own recipe, Bolian falafel. Inspired by the Terran dish, this is a new, foreign take on a classic. Served warm, these small vegetarian patties pack a punch – they’re much spicier than their namesake, and with Bolian spices that add to the delight. Whether you’re visiting the Starbase or looking to get something flavorful from the replicator, try a plate for yourself – but you may want a glass of Pato handy when you try it!


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Lt. Commander Ben Livingston
First Officer
USS Excalibur-A

Jan 31, 2014

Weekly Newsletter 2391.05

  • Raj Blueheart

Happy weekend fellow fleetmates!

FLEET EVENTS

Featured Bio Contest

  • Nominations for Round 3 end TODAY, 1 February 2014! Read the rules and submit your nominations here: http://goo.gl/xw6ELE
  • In the meantime, congratulations to January 2014 Featured Bio winner, Lieutenant Commander Saveron! http://goo.gl/RfEbnF . Congratulations also to Fleet Captain Andrus Jaxx whose bio is the Star Pick of the Month! http://goo.gl/tIMXpG

Top Sims Contest

  • Nominations for Round 7 end NEXT SUNDAY, 9 February 2014! Read the rules to submit a nomination: http://goo.gl/FS1w5e
  • The first run-off round for the year is already underway and will end on 23 February 2014.
  • The list of past winners can be viewed here: http://goo.gl/V5Xw0i

Fleet Chat

  • Our next chat is scheduled for NEXT Sunday, 9 February 2014 at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern (US) / 5pm GMT (UK) / 4am Monday UTC+11 (AUS). Always check your time zone for accuracy/DST if applicable! http://bit.ly/fVGEmH
  • Our fleet chats are a space for all the members of the Starbase 118 group to meet each other, learn about fleet events, and talk about Star Trek. Chats are always held on the second Sunday of every month, but you can head into the chat room at any time to see who else is there. Watch this space for another themed chat session announcement soon!

Writing Challenge

  • The January & February Writing Challenge is now officially open and all entries must be received by 21 February 2014. For this Challenge, be inspired by this Trek conceptual art: http://goo.gl/aZk9eR
  • The winner of the last challenge, "Treason & Plot", is none other than the writer behind Saveron with the entry "Sins of the Mother", while our runner-up is the writer of Diego Herrera, with "Pray for Favour". Congratulations to them both!
  • Get your PDF version of the full compilation of the November & December Writing Challenge, with all the entrants' stories and judges' comments here: http://goo.gl/jQPCV5

Poll of the Week


PUBLICITY Get your FREE promotional flyer and post it in your community to help find new members! US: http://sb118.net/15Rg8D9 UK: http://sb118.net/16VBJyZ


COMMUNITY NEWS

  • Community News team is working hard to bring us something new to read every day and keep us informed about happenings in the Fleet. If you like what they are doing, show them appreciation by leaving comments on the articles.

(newest at the top, oldest at the bottom)
1. December Plot Summary For The USS Darwin: http://goo.gl/pHzsSb

2. Poll of the Week: Is That.. ? : http://goo.gl/Creom1

3. The Case of the Mysterious Stone: http://goo.gl/KK3pzG

4. December Recruitment Stats: http://goo.gl/4w8jMq

5. Top Sims Contest Update: http://goo.gl/asI14x

6. December Plot Summary for Starbase 118 Ops: http://goo.gl/828ywI

7. IT’S BACK! Writing Improvement Month 2014 Launches Next Week: http://goo.gl/dzOEQR

8. New Academy Graduates: http://goo.gl/U3z7d3

9. December Plot Summary for the USS Tiger: http://goo.gl/vrNQ4M


FULL TEXT ARTICLES

** December Plot Summary for the USS Darwin **
Posted: Friday, 31 January 2014

The crew of the USS Darwin NCC-99312-A had to quickly assemble for an early departure because StarFleet Command needed them to respond to a distress call from D’Nal Hheinia, the Governor of the Romulan World Talvath. A Nybarite freighter collecting a dilithium shipment from the planet had a fatal and unexpected malfunction in the warp core sending it plummeting into the planet’s atmosphere. The resulting explosion showered the populace with debris and caused massive damage to one of their largest population centres. Emergency response agencies and government officials on Talvath realised that trilithium resin was dispersing through the atmosphere from the freighter’s badly kept engines. The chemical is lethal to humanoids and colony leaders quickly realised that the resin would mean the end of all life on Talvath; it would have spread too far before an evacuation attempt could be mounted and they did not have the means or resources to scrub the resin from the air in time! The crew of the USS Darwin are tasked with finding a way to avert a planetary holocaust while keeping their eyes peeled for trouble of misdirection by the Romulans. As if the planet wide disaster wasn’t a big enough concern on its own, the crew are aware that success or failure here could have far reaching consequences and either sway or deter other Romulan colonies from joining the Federation.

** Poll of the Week: Is That.. ? **
Posted: Friday, 31 January 2014

This week we’ll be looking at cameos on Star Trek. Cameos are those who appear briefly in a work on stage or on television or in a movie and are generally unnamed characters or someone who appears as themselves. They are generally minor roles and many times non-speaking roles and generally appear, uncredited. Many times they are actors or actresses that hold a significance to the work where they are making an appearance or are popular in some other genre of work. These short appearances are quite common and Star Trek itself has had no shortage of cameo appearances throughout its running. This week we’ll be looking at those cameo appearances of famous actors and other professions that have made cameos on Star Trek. Who did you think was the best and why? Did you even notice all of them as you watched the episodes and movies? If there are others I have missed, please let us know. So head on down to the polls (http://goo.gl/Et7tYd ) and let us know who your favorite cameo appearance(s) in Star Trek were. This week I will allow multiple responses so don’t be afraid to click away.

** The Case of the Mysterious Stone **
Posted: Thursday, 30 January 2014

In the original Star Trek series, there were several alien beings that would appear or disappear at will and without the use of a teleporter. We don’t have that ability in the real world, but it seems that a certain rock on a certain red planet might. Actually, the rock probably doesn’t have any strange abilities or psychokinetic powers, but it did manage to give NASA scientists a start. The organisations rover, Opportunity, has made its home on Mars for the last ten years – all the while sending pictures of the fourth planet. Two pictures, taken within seconds of each other, show one difference – a rock appeared where one hadn’t been previously! While some may attempt to use this as proof that life does exist on Mars in the form of jelly doughnut shaped rocks that enjoy photobombing as a hobby, scientists believe one of the rover’s wheels simply kicked up the rock as it rolled along. Its shape certainly caught the eye, but what makes it so unusual is the rock’s makeup. Scientists found that it’s extremely high in sulfur and contains twice as much magnesium as anything else they’ve found on Mars. Head on over to read more about this strange, small stone: http://goo.gl/fVsRMM

** December Recruitment Stats **
Posted: Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Each month, the Publicity Team (http://goo.gl/Q2KykI ) posts the number of applications our community received for the current year and how those applicants found our group. That summary will give you an idea of how we are reaching new applicants and how we can improve our efforts to reach new audiences. If you’re interested in helping with our publicity efforts, click the link above to check out the Publicity Team’s wiki area, and then the link to the Publicity Team’s Google Group where you can sign up to be a part of the team. We also want to keep you apprised of the number of graduates from the StarBase 118 Academy. Unfortunately, not all applicants graduate from the Academy because they either do not respond to roll call or do not complete the Academy requirements. The Training Team makes every effort to involve all applicants and to encourage them to complete the training.

    • Note: The site was down for the biggest part of May, resulting in the lower numbers.

Applications: http://goo.gl/iMLQxV Academy Graduates: http://goo.gl/6cPToJ Annual Application Source: http://goo.gl/UlnTFS

** Top Sims Contest Update **
Posted: Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Top Sims Contest is now accepting nominations for Round 7 of 2014. Every day, your crew mates write the kinds of sims that make our community one of the greatest groups of our kind. Making sure they get the recognition they deserve is easy, and only takes a minute: 1. Visit the Top Sims Contest forum: http://goo.gl/BYMQkT 2. Check the calendar to see which round we’re on: http://goo.gl/hSdtrw 3. Start a new topic and paste the sim into the text field. Easy, right? Each sim gets sent to our top-notch judges panel who will decide which of them will go on to our next run-off round for a chance to be names best sim of 2014. But they can’t win if you don’t take the time to nominate them. And be on the lookout for the First run off of the 2014 contest. This is where you get to decide which of the six wining sims gets to move on to the final run off to determine the best sim of 2014. It may be early, but they can’t win if you don’t vote. Stay tuned.

** December Plot Summary for Starbase 118 Ops **
Posted: Monday, 27 January 2014

The battle to contain the four Elementals continues to rage throughout Starbase 118. Thanks to the daring flying of Lt Washburn the crew is able to lure Chan the Air Elemental into the main docking bay. The trap is ready to be sprung with Brine the Water Elemental is lying in wait at the bottom of the lake that now occupies the center of the bay. The majority of the senior officers seek shelter on the shore of the lake amidst the wreckage of equipment and various sunken starships while they witness the battle between Air and Water. The Water Elemental Brine is victorious and as the crew rescues the child used as an Avatar for Chan. As the child is rushed to medical Lt Richards activates a series of force fields which greatly reduces the remaining Elemental’s power and corrals both the Earth and Fire Elementals down into the docking bay. A fierce three battle ensues with the Earth Elemental Shale finally emerging as victor. Cmdr Danzia arrives in a runabout and deposits a clam like creature onto the deck. When this is opened it reveals an androgynous child who appears to be a blend of all the four Elemental’s Avatars. After a brief conversation with the victorious Elemental where it appears that he will depart until the next round of combat the crew are left with the task of healing the wounded, clearing up the significant mess and looking after the child from the clam.

** IT’S BACK! Writing Improvement Month 2014 Launches Next Week **
Posted: Monday, 27 January 2014

With February just around the corner, UFOP: Starbase 118 is proud to announce its second annual Writing Improvement Month (http://goo.gl/U8IC8I )! Those of you who were with us last year will remember how many useful events, tutorials and competitions we crammed into the space of 28 days and for those of you who weren’t? Well, there’s a lot for everyone to get excited about this time around, too! How about we start with our opening ceremony, on Sunday 2nd February at 11am PST/2pm EST/7pm GMT? It’s the perfect place for you to chat to the organizers behind the Writing Improvement Month event and to find out which parts of the month-long convention will directly benefit you! Added to that, you’ll have a chance to engage other writers from around the fleet in conversation, sharing your thoughts about what makes a good SIM and asking for advice on areas that you’d like to develop! From there – how about daily items designed to get you thinking about your writing, such as tutorials, top SIM spotlights and quizzes? The whole month is jam-packed with these so that there’s always something new for you to wrap your inner author around! Throw into that a series of IRC chats with commanding officers from around the fleet designed to give you a chance to get tips on specific topics such as making your narrative have as much impact as possible and making your characters three dimensional and you’re not short of chances to work on any of the aspects of your writing that you feel like you want to polish up! The Writing Challenge competition will continue throughout the month, and we’ll also be launching the second annual competition for academy training officers to design a new scenario for the training team! Surely, there are no more stops to pull out? You’d be wrong! We’re very pleased to announce that we have confirmed two Spreecast chats with returning panellists from last year:- On February 8th at 10am PST/1pm EST/6pm GMT, join us for an interview with TV writer, author and WGA nominee Melinda Snodgrass (http://goo.gl/rfuHGu ), author of This Case is Gonna Kill Me (http://goo.gl/cBtR3N ) and Box Office Poison (http://goo.gl/dv0HJ4 ) (as Phillipa Bornikova)! And on February 14th at 1pm PST/4pm EST/9pm GMT, we’ll be interviewing Hugo Award winning author Peter Watts (http://goo.gl/2rUj6e ), who will be releasing the sequel to the novel we were giving away last year, Blindsight, later in 2014! The great news? Both of these writers have agreed to spare some of their precious writing time to chat to us and share their expertise – you get to ask them questions in an interactive interview setting! So how will you keep up with all of this? Well, we’ve taken care of that as well! Each week, we’ll be sending you a schedule on the announce list to let you know what’s planned for the week ahead! Keep your eyes open for special announcements as well – there may be one or two more famous authors in the pipeline! Crack those pens, keyboards and typewriters out, and hold onto your hats! February couldn’t be more awesome!

** New Academy Graduates **
Posted: Sunday, 26 January 2014

Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Eileen McCleran and T’Rhiu Vernek Andarai! http://goo.gl/vZ4OZN

** December Plot Summary for the USS Tiger **
Posted: Saturday, 25 January 2014

Currently, the USS TIGER-A has returned for its first shore leave in many months. Upon arrival at DS 17, the Tiger was completely emptied of personnel as massive repairs were needed after the previous mission. At the starbase, the crew gathered for the awards ceremony. Lieutenant Brayden Jorey received the Genesis Badge and the B-Plot award. Lieutenant Commander Blair received the Neelix Award and the Scotty Cross. The Sheathed Sword went to Lieutenant T’Mihr and the TOSMA went to Commander Ian West. First Officer Darius Clack received the Nebula Bar rounding out the awards event. Before the event concluded, an anomaly appeared that caused havoc on the starbase. The senior officers are investigating the matter as primary systems on the starbase have been affected.

-----------------------------------
Commander Raj Blueheart
Commanding Officer
USS Atlantis, NCC-74682
Newsletter Editor

Feb 1, 2014

Writing Improvement Month 2014 Starts Now!

  • Marrissa Jeffrey

Fleetmates, It’s back. Last February, Starbase 118 dedicated an entire month to writing. Well, “Writing Improvement Month” was such a hit that we decided to bring it back. This February, you’re in for daily opportunities to bring your sims to the next level, including some unique chances to interact with professional science fiction writers (see below!), discuss the finer points of simming in IRC chats led by our own staff members, pick up new tricks through tutorials and downloadable resources, and check out some of our most stunning writing of the past year. Each week of February will be focused around a theme: writing skills, scene setting, character building, and plotting. The agenda is packed with new writing resources, tutorials, and top-notch sims that all bring you new ideas and help you hone your craft. Here is the schedule for the first week, focused around overall writing skills. Most of these will appear on the news feed, so keep an eye out to make sure you don’t miss a thing! Sunday February 2 – We’ll start by kicking things off with Opening Ceremonies in our IRC chat. The ceremonies begin at 11am PST / 2pm EST / 7pm GMT / Monday AM for Australia. Sunday February 2 - Fleet Captain Kalianna Nicholotti hosts a fun grammar quiz on the news feed that will help you review and pinpoint focus areas. Be sure to stay tuned later in the week for the answers! Monday February 3 – Tutorial: “Tackling Common Grammatical Errors Forever”. Fleet Captain Kalianna Nicholotti helps you banish those demons of the English language. Forever. Tuesday February 4 – Spotlight on a top sim (which? It’s a surprise!) written by one of our members. This sim and others will be shared in the Writing Improvement Month Forums Wednesday February 5 – Tutorial: “Further Refining Grammatical Prowess”. Fleet Captain Diego Herrera covers the finer points of grammar. Thursday February 6 – Spotlight on (another!) top sim … to be revealed on the day. Stay tuned on the forums to catch another brilliant example of writing, thanks to another of our members. Saturday February 8 – Help us round out the week by welcoming Melinda Snodgrass, author of numerous Star Trek episodes, for a live spreecast beginning at 10am PST / 1pm EST / 6pm GMT. Melinda will share her expertise on writing in the Star Trek universe (and writing in general) with us, so bring your questions! And of course, that’s all week 1! Look forward to week 2 for more events to keep your writing at its peak! - Writing Improvement Month Staff

Feb 4, 2014

This Week on 118Wiki - January Roundup

  • Will Maurer

Fleetmates,

For the last few weeks, we’ve asked you to be on the lookout for those wonderful, elusive details that color our 118 world. These details belong in the wiki’s The Non-Canon Encyclopedia. Some have already heeded that call. Here is a sampling of what’s popped up in the past month:


  • Tycho Sunset – If you’ve ever thought a TJJ (that’s the energy drink Tycho Java Juice, for those not from Earth’s moon) could stand a bit of stiffening, a Tycho Sunset is a good place to start. Served on the rocks with a sugar-frosted rim and a slice of lemon, the cocktail can even be ordered as a non-alcoholic beverage!
  • Jalara Fire – This Betazoid alcoholic beverage looks like a thick, luminescent purple syrup. Hailing from the Jalara Jungles, the sweet drink is presented in a small, clear glass – and only on special occasions!
  • Pato – An unsual drink, Pato is an Andorian sparkling wine, though its appeal extends to other species and even beyond the borders of the Federation. Made from a cave fungus, it’s usually served cold. Connoisseurs rave about the earthy, slightly sweet flavors.
  • Stuffed Claka – The next time you’re in the mood for seafood, but want a bit more substance than a little fillet, order the stuffed claka. This preparation is often found in Laudean kitchens, and the meal features savo wrapped in claka and seasoned with puppa and sea salt.
  • Rose d’Orléans Café – A charming little restaurant in the heart of the Starbase 118 Promenade, patrons of the Rose d’Orléans Café are greeted by an entresol, roses, a wonderful view, and French accent, although depending on one’s server, this may range

from barely noticible to over-the-top. Be sure to try their famous croques!


Thanks to Brayden Jorey, Alexander Richards, Toni Turner, Katy Orman, and all of our other contributors! This effort is far from over, and we still need everyone’s help.

This guide and template make it quick and easy. Anything created by and for use with Starbase 118 is fair game, whether it was introduced by you or someone else in a sim. When you're done, add a link on the forums – it’s the best way to make sure people know it’s there and use it in their own sims!


----
Lt. Commander Ben Livingston
First Officer
USS Excalibur-A

Feb 5, 2014

State of the Federation Address, 2014

  • Jay Jeffrey

Greetings fleet-mates!

With another great year behind us, it is time to update the fleet with the State of the Federation Address! Each year the fleet releases a recap of things on administrative side. We share goals and achievements for each team, as well as discuss any changes to the fleet. This is a way to keep your finger on the pulse of what is going on across the fleet.

When you have time, check out the 2014 State of the Federation Address: http://go.starbase118.net/sotfa-2014

After that, feel free to stop by the forum and discuss the information, or ask questions: http://go.starbase118.net/2014-sotfa-discussion

Good luck in 2014!

-- Fleet Captain Andrus Jaxx
Commanding Officer
USS Apollo, NCC-71669
Executive Council Member
Commandant, StarBase 118 Academy

Feb 7, 2014

Spreecast with Melinda Snodgrass!

  • Ed Brown

Hi guys!

It gives me great pleasure to be able to invite you to an interview with author and Star Trek episode writer Melinda Snodgrass! This will be held on Spreecast and it will be an interactive event that will allow you to pose your writing questions to Melinda!

For those of you who weren't at Writing Improvement Month 2013, these interviews are webcam-based (you will see me and Melinda on screen) - you will have the opportunity to submit questions for her to answer, which I will read out and she will answer verbally. If you have a webcam yourself, there is also the chance for you to appear on screen to ask your question directly to Melinda! How can it possibly get more awesome? Not only that but if you attend the event from the beginning and stay for the whole thing, you'll be automatically entered into a draw to win a copy of "This Case Is Gonna Kill Me", a supernatural thriller written by Melinda under the pen name "Phillipa Bornikova"!

OK, OK, I can hear you asking "when?" and "where?" - it's Saturday, February 8th at 10am PST/1pm EST/6pm GMT and all you need to do to attend is click this link!

http://www.spreecast.com/events/melinda-snodgrass-qa-ufop-sb118-2014--2

You do not have to have a webcam to enjoy this experience - you'll be able to see the action unfolding and you can still submit questions in the spreecast window! We're looking forward to seeing you there - you do not want to miss this!

Fleet Captain Diego Herrera
Commanding Officer
USS Vigilant
NCC-75515
Deputy Commandant: UFOP: SB118 Academy
EC: Captain At Large

Feb 8, 2014

Weekly Newsletter 2391.06

  • Raj Blueheart

Happy weekend fellow fleetmates!

FLEET EVENTS

Fleet Chat

  • Our next chat is scheduled for TOMORROW, Sunday, 9 February 2014 at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern (US) / 5pm GMT (UK) / 4am Monday UTC+11 (AUS). Always check your time zone for accuracy/DST if applicable! http://bit.ly/fVGEmH
  • Our fleet chats are a space for all the members of the Starbase 118 group to meet each other, learn about fleet events, and talk about Star Trek. Chats are always held on the second Sunday of every month, but you can head into the chat room at any time to see who else is there. Watch this space for another themed chat session announcement soon!

Top Sims Contest

  • Nominations for Round 7 end TOMORROW, 9 February 2014! Read the rules to submit a nomination: http://goo.gl/FS1w5e
  • The first run-off round for the year is already underway and will end on 23 February 2014.
  • The list of past winners can be viewed here: http://goo.gl/V5Xw0i

Writing Challenge

  • The January & February Writing Challenge is now officially open and all entries must be received by 21 February 2014. For this Challenge, be inspired by this Trek conceptual art: http://goo.gl/aZk9eR
  • Get your PDF version of the full compilation of the November & December Writing Challenge, with all the entrants' stories and judges' comments here: http://goo.gl/jQPCV5

Featured Bio Contest

  • Nominations for Round 4 end Saturday, 1 March 2014. Read the rules and submit your nominations here: http://goo.gl/xw6ELE
  • In the meantime, congratulations to Feb 2014 Featured Bio winner, Lieutenant JG Chythar Skyfire! http://goo.gl/9OXfNb Congratulations also to Lt Commander Eerie whose bio is the Star Pick of the month! http://goo.gl/ZhM9HN

Poll of the Week


PUBLICITY Get your FREE promotional flyer and post it in your community to help find new members! US: http://sb118.net/15Rg8D9 UK: http://sb118.net/16VBJyZ


COMMUNITY NEWS

  • Community News team is working hard to bring us something new to read every day and keep us informed about happenings in the Fleet. If you like what they are doing, show them appreciation by leaving comments on the articles.

(newest at the top, oldest at the bottom)
1. January Plot Summary for the USS Excalibur: http://goo.gl/VO2EQb

2. Poll of the Week: Heading Into 2391! : http://goo.gl/2eEtgz

3. Top Picks: For Him! : http://goo.gl/qwTxut

4. January Plot Summary for the USS Discovery: http://goo.gl/qFxw1c

5. Watch That Grammar! : http://goo.gl/vKD118

6. A Moment with the Academy Commandant: http://goo.gl/xVn8hc

7. Forums Roundup – February 2014: http://goo.gl/IuHYNG

8. Revisiting Grammar – Avoiding Those Pesky Errors: http://goo.gl/UTdhqC

9. New Academy Graduates: http://goo.gl/UotQBJ

10. February Fleetwide OOC Chat: http://goo.gl/FjLyEI

11. A Fun Test Of Your Grammar Skills: http://goo.gl/rMCNWv

12. Writing Improvement Month 2014 Kicks Off: http://goo.gl/MvAswb


FULL TEXT ARTICLES

** January Plot Summary for the USS Excalibur **
Posted: Friday, 7 February 2014

Having set out from Starbase 118, the crew of USS Excalibur-A set a course for an empty asteroid field that was to become a training grounds for the crew. Before setting out upon their true mission of exploration, Fleet Captain Kalianna Nicholotti ordered a simulation to test the capabilities of the ship and crew, as well as give them a chance to learn to work together. The officers nominated Nicholotti to be their adversary in the mock-combat; she selected two officers – Lt. Commander Katy Orman and Ensign Azin – to assist as shipboard accomplices. Lt. Commander Brek was appointed Second Officer. The simulation tested the crew’s abilities, pitting them against hidden weapons platforms and internal sabotage. As Excalibur headed into the asteroid field to get cover from some of the weapons, the saboteurs managed their greatest feat. Shields faltered, then fell. The deflector lit up, funneling the ship’s power out into space. The damaged deflector left them in the asteroid field with no protection. Calling an emergency stop to the engagement, the ship carefully worked its way out of the field as Captain Nicholotti rejoined the ship. The crew spent the evening preparing reports, repairing damage, patching up emotional wounds, and welcoming aboard a new members of the crew: Marine Officer Debra Cross and Daniel Underwood, their newest Helm Officer. In a surprising turn of events, Lieutenant Luna Walker was reassigned to USS Atlantis with little opportunity to say farewell to the crew.

** Poll of the Week: Heading Into 2391! **
Posted: Friday, 7 February 2014

The State of the Federation Address for 2014 is out folks and could be found here: http://goo.gl/xvuVX7 and your comments on the address can be added here: http://goo.gl/ztSdsK That being said, we have undergone a few changes since this time last year, which is normal, for as time passes, things inevitably change. When I first came to this group back in 2000, I recall how the main site looked back then (http://goo.gl/MhhYSX ) and was enthralled in both its simplicity and its ease of navigation. I went through training with wonderful and helpful personnel and have had a special place in my heart for this group ever since. I have left on a few occasions due to real life demands, but even in those days, I have always remembered fondly my days of SIMming in this group and have inevitably always found a way to return. As we are now in the 20th year of our group, which in fact is a testament in and of itself as so many Star Trek based PBeM groups have come and gone during this time, there have been many changes since those early days when I first joined. The main website has been overhauled, we have daily news feeds from our wonderful volunteers over at the Newsies team, a regular podcast, an automated archive system for our SIMs, a wiki, which didn’t yet exist when I first joined, and so many other additions that would take way too much space to list. In order to expand and grow with each new year, we rely on our volunteers in each area, for these additions and changes don’t magically occur. So that brings us this week’s Poll of the Week question. As each member of our group offer a different area of expertise as we all come from different backgrounds and regions from the planet known as Earth, are there any areas of expertise you wish to assist with and are not doing so presently? Are there any areas that you think may be improved upon? If so, how so? Do you have any new ideas that can be added to the group to make it an even more enjoyable experience to be a part of in the upcoming years? So head on to the polls (http://goo.gl/4UqstL ) and as always, please add your feedback and vote so that I can give the team of scientists and pollsters something to do this week.

** Top Picks: For Him! **
Posted: Thursday, 6 February 2014

Do you ever have trouble wondering what to get that special man in your life? Sometimes it can be difficult. However, if your man is a Trekkie, there are some items out there that may appeal. Here are Alora’s Top Ten Picks – For Him! Note: Some of these may also appeal to women, but I’m going from the angle of what might appeal to my man if he was a Trekkie. 10. Star Trek Tea, Earl Grey, Hot (Official!): http://goo.gl/3Lu5ke Picard is perhaps one of the favorite of the Star Trek Captains and every Trekkie knows exactly how he has his tea – Earl Grey, Hot. Now your man can have his in the same way and, perhaps, get a feel of what it’s like to be the Captain – if only for the time it takes to finish the mug. 9. Star Trek Socks: http://goo.gl/rFpqzR No uniform is complete without the socks. Or maybe your man wants to show off his geekiness in the office without being too obvious. Either way, these socks are a styling way to put a little Star Trek in your work day. 8. Star Trek Picard Tie: http://goo.gl/0SMC67 This would be the perfect addition to those socks as mentioned previously. Even better, this is a little more obvious but still subtle enough to be appropriate for any work environment. Now you can be the boss and say ‘Make it so’ in the office to your heart’s delight. 7. Star Trek Boxer Shorts: http://goo.gl/LyfFct Yes, we’re a little ‘outfit’ heavy here, but that’s all right. If you’re in a particularly hard core environment where little examples of your Star Trek pride are appreciated, you can still get your geek on without anyone knowing! 6. Star Trek Talking Bottle Opener: http://goo.gl/eZ5qTY After a long day at work, some guys just like to come home and chug back a cold one. Now you can open that bottle and imagine you’re on the enterprise with this one of a kind bottle opener. The disk even separates and talks to you as you pop open that brewsky! 5. Star Trek Delta Shield Money Clip: http://goo.gl/70e6X1 My husband isn’t a fan of bulky wallets, and while he doesn’t generally use a money clip for money, he often carries around index cards which he keeps clipped together. Either way, this little beauty is a great way to keep that money – or those cards – all together. 4. Star Trek Shot Glasses: http://goo.gl/AZ94vO Sometimes the day is long and hard enough to require something a little stronger than just beer. That’s where these come in. Sit yourself down with a little something to keep you warm during the cold, winter nights. 3. Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise Watch: http://goo.gl/WZBbHe This is another stylish way to show your Trekkie side. This gorgeous watch will make heads turn just by the beauty of it. And if you aren’t a fan of the Enterprise, there’s also one depicting the Delta Shield: http://goo.gl/6grwRw 2. Star Trek Cycling Jersey: http://goo.gl/f8kx4E My father in law has really been enjoying his bicycle when it’s not below freezing and snowing. This jersey can be enjoyed by your favorite cyclist too and help him stand out among all those other lookalikes traveling down the road. You have to admit, it’s pretty stylin’. 1. Star Trek Communicator Cufflinks: http://goo.gl/opdCmq I know, I know, cufflinks? Number one on the top picks? Yeah, I didn’t expect that either – until I saw these little beauties. These aren’t your normal cufflinks – they’re shaped like miniature TOS communicators. They are so ‘realistic’ that they even flip open to reveal actual buttons. Beam me up Scotty! So that’s it for Alora’s Top Picks for Him. Next time, we’ll visit the Top Picks for Her, so stay tuned!

** January Plot Summary for the USS Discovery **
Posted: Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The crew pursues the Constitution to the Ba’ku homeworld. It becomes apparent to everyone that Hebron and Nekkar plan to unleash the deadly Daris virus on Ba’ku, to show the world what Starfleet sought to not only sweep under the rug but to erase altogether. A horrific battle ensues between the two powerful ships and just when the Odyssey is about to deliver the deciding blow on the renegade Federation vessel, all power is lost – courtesy of a saboteur working for Hebron, who kills Lt Frye before sacrificing himself. Just when all hope is lost, the Discovery – captained by none other than Waltas’ daughter, Daisha – drops out of warp, guns blazing, to save the day! Following the battle, Hebron surrenders, but Nekkar, acting on his own, beams aboard the Odyssey to try to wrest control of the ship to complete his task. He is confronted by Waltas and an ensuing one-to-one combat leaves both men wounded and the virus destroyed. A second saboteur is apprehended on the Odyssey – but not before she activates a warp core breach, which effectively blows up the prototype vessel. Back on board the Discovery, Waltas makes a startling announcement to his crew. He will be retiring as CO and staying behind on Ba’ku for an unspecified amount of time. The Discovery, now under the command of Raj Blueheart, limps back to DS-285 to be officially decommissioned, her legacy as the longest serving starship in the fleet coming to a glorious end. __ With this plot summary, we say farewell to the USS Discovery for at least the foreseeable future. While she will be available to future Commanding Officers who might want to reignite her long history, for now, she has earned a long rest in the Starbase 118 Fleet Yards.

** Watch That Grammar! **
Posted: Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Part of writing well is finding a way to keep your grammar razor-sharp. It’s the best way to be sure that you’re conveying all of your thoughts, feelings and ideas correctly and without ambiguity. While it’s possible to communicate without following the letter of the law and certainly true that your characters probably won’t do that while they’re talking (unless they want to sound as though they’re from a Dickensian novel), it’s actually a lot easier to get to grips with grammar than you think. It’s just like playing a game by a certain set of rules – once you’re familiar with the guidelines, it becomes much easier for you to chalk up some easy grammatical victories! 2014′s new grammar tutorial (http://goo.gl/Ua9iZD ) points towards some specific issues that can often go wrong but are easy to fix. When do you use capitals for trek-specific terms and when do you not? How can you use commas to preserve the meaning in complex sentences? And how do semicolons work? With specific examples of how all of these can slot nicely into the pockets on your utility belt, we hope this tutorial helps you towards your first dan in grammar-fu!

** A Moment with the Academy Commandant **
Posted: Tuesday, 4 February 2014

One of the most important aspects of our group has always been, and will continue to be, the Training Team. It is through our Academy, staffed by the training team, that new members are welcomed into our fleet and introduced to our way of simming. Because of that, and the importance of new members to the health of the fleet, it’s vital that things continue to run smoothly. But what does it take to make that happen? Today, we talk to Fleet Captain Andrus Jaxx, the Commandant of the Starbase 118 Training Academy. Having taken over as head of the Training Team and our Academy not that long ago, it’s been his job to step into the shoes of those that have come before and, as he says, “build upon the efforts launched by Fleet Captain Riley”, the previous Academy Commandant. One of the initiatives started by Fleet Captain Riley was the Training Scenario Contest, won by Commander Alucard Vess. This year, Fleet Captain Jaxx is moving it to February to coincide with Writing Improvement Month. When asked about this contest, Fleet Captain Jaxx said, “Our trainers have the ability to write a scenario that can be used for a year. It’s a fresh scenario for our trainers to use that’s different from the eight that we cycle through normally.” Of course, like any good leader, he’s also got a few plans of his own. When asked about some upcoming goals for the training team, Fleet Captain Jaxx said, “For 2014, we will be launching a new “Meet the Trainer” news column, where we can feature a trainer and what they have learned in the Academy, as well as their favorite part of training. Another focus for this year, which started when I took over as Commandant, will be sim quality. Dialogue heavy sims are a thing of the past, and we want to inspire our new cadets to embody their characters, not just speak for them.” Fleet Captain Jaxx, along with the Academy staff, will be providing trainers feedback, just as they give feedback to incoming officers. “The biggest thing that members can get is experience and development in leading. The Academy is designed to help them develop as future command officers, just as much as it is for them to develop new cadets into members of our community. I think that was the intention when the Academy was conceived, and I think that will always be the goal as we drive forward. We have instituted a new feedback system so that as a trainer develops through the roles of ghost, mock, FO, and CO, they receive pointers from the Academy Staff. This will give them direction as they progress through the system.” Jaxx said. For anyone aspiring to become a training officer, Jaxx also had some words of wisdom for them. “The training team can always use great officers. I think anyone looking to train new officers has to have good mix of dialog and descriptive text. If they have a passion for simming, and a desire to pass that passion on to new recruits, then the Academy is a team they can enjoy. It can be demanding at times; when serving as the CO or FO, daily simming is required for the duration of the class. Each class can be a week, to a week and a half in length. We urge anyone that feels like this is something they would like to do, to speak to their CO!” As we move into 2014, it is apparent that the Training Team will continue to provide high quality instruction to our newest members of the fleet. Thanks to Fleet Captain Jaxx for taking time out to answer our questions, and for giving us an inside glimpse at what it is to be the Academy Commandant. For more information on the team, be sure to visit their page (http://goo.gl/1UgnMn ), or talk to your CO today about joining.

** Forums Roundup – February 2014 **
Posted: Tuesday, 4 February 2014

It’s February, which means that it’s that time of the year again. What time? Writing Improvement time of course! With lots of events planned throughout the month, there’s a lot to get into both on the forums and off. This year, the WIM team decided it would be a good idea to involve the Fleet via the interactivity of the forums, so be sure to take part in this year’s festivities there. See sim spotlights, ask questions, or learn more about improving your writing by visiting the WIM forum threads: http://goo.gl/bC9Rrl Want to help bring the fleet up to date technologically? Step in and help one of our own update the wiki so that our technology can match the year we are simming in. For more information, head over here: http://goo.gl/8vZB8N There’s a new roster in town – one with images that is automatically generated! Take a look here and consider contacting your CO to take advantage of this new wiki ability: http://goo.gl/ISXFB7 Don’t forget that the Top Sims contest, the Writing Challenge, and the Featured Bio contest are all still running. Nominate your favorite sim, write something using your newly learned Writing Improvement skills, or share your favorite bio and participate in one of these fleetwide contests: http://goo.gl/Cu1hxu For those who have recently moved to a new home ship, stay in touch with your old crew on the forums as well: http://goo.gl/HrjoEU Of course, as there is every month, there is plenty more where that came from. Be sure to visit the forums and take part in the festivities this month. Until March, we’ll see you around the galaxy!

** Revisiting Grammar – Avoiding Those Pesky Errors **
Posted: Monday, 3 February 2014

If there is one topic related to writing that we can’t say enough about, it’s the topic that involves grammar. Having the right grammar in your writing can do more than help others read your sims, it can help people get into the story without being mentally knocked out of the plot every time they see an error and have to pause to think about what it might mean. Of course, as most of us already know, the English language is anything but easy. That’s why it’s important to familiarize yourself with the most common errors that we make. As writers, it is these errors that somehow make it into the things we write most often. Avoiding them, thankfully, takes some effort, but generally only in learning a few simple rules or notes that you can always turn to when a question comes up. We’ve taken the guesswork out of the process for you too. Last year, during Writing Improvement Month, we took some time to highlight some of the most common errors. This year, we think it’s important to revisit. Check out last year’s tutorial here (http://goo.gl/UgdklI ) and commit these simple thoughts and rules to memory so that you’ll never make these errors again.

** New Academy Graduates **
Posted: Sunday, 2 February 2014

Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Tamaiti Scott, Corban Holloway, Ren Rennyn, and Frank O’Malley! http://goo.gl/KgX2O7

** February Fleetwide OOC Chat **
Posted: Sunday, 2 February 2014

Mark your calendars for the next fleetwide chat, coming up on Sunday, February 9th at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern (US) / 6pm GMT (UK) / 5am Monday UTC+11 (AUS). Always check your time zone for accuracy/DST if applicable! To participate, simply head to our online chat room, at: http://goo.gl/n2g40w — if you have problems connecting, use the instructions listed below the chat box. Our fleetwide chats are a space for all the members of the StarBase 118 group to get together and talk in real time about everything that’s happening within the group. Come by and see what goings-on are happening off your ship and talk more about Writing Improvement Month! Chats are always held on the second Sunday of every month, but you can head into the chat room at any time to see who else is there.

** A Fun Test Of Your Grammar Skills **
Posted: Sunday, 2 February 2014

This is a TEST of the EMERGENCY GRAMMAR SYSTEM. This is only a test. If this had been a real grammar emergency, you would have been directed to the closest grammar textbook or website for further instructions! So, what do you do here? Take a minute and record your answers. Then, stay tuned for the answer sheet to see how many you got right. Miss a few? This tutorial (http://goo.gl/9Mbz87 ) includes helpful information on common grammatical errors and how you can avoid committing a crime of grammatical proportions! 1. Which of the following sentences is correct?
a. I see a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s probably a mirror.
b. I see a light at the end of the tunnel; it’s probably a mirror.
c. I see a light at the end of the tunnel it’s probably a mirror.
d. I see a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s probably a mirror.
2. I think you left ______ combadge in my quarters.
a. your
b. you’re
c. yur
d. yours
3. I can’t believe ______ going to let him return to duty so soon after his injury.
a. their
b. they’re
c. there
d. they
4. Can you get to ______ inner components?
a. it
b. its
c. it’s
d. it is
5. ______ tricorder is that on the shelf?
a. Whose
b. Who’s
c. Who
d. Whos
6. Do you know ______ going to go ______ the jeffries tube to fix it?
a. whose, through
b. who’s, through
c. whose, threw
d. who’s, threw
7. Go over ______ and get ______ scans before they leave. a. there, their
b. they’re, there
c. there, they’re
d. their, there
8. Which of the following sentences is correct?
a. Do you know what to do when no one else shows up to a briefing?
b. Do you no what to do when no one else shows up to a briefing?
c. Do you know what to do when noone else shows up to a briefing?
d. Do you no what to do when noone else shows up to a briefing?
9. He ______ the light from the suns of at least ten different planets.
a. seen
b. saw
c. has seen
d. see
10. Which of the following sentences is correct?
a. Is the new discovery that of a intelligent species?
b. Is the new discovery that of an intelligent species?
c. Is the new discovery that of a intelligent specie’s?
d. Is the new discovery that of an intelligent species’?
So how did you do? Here’s the answers to the ten questions we asked: http://goo.gl/sljI7F Be sure to read more of our tutorials (http://goo.gl/U9gjN0 ) or contact your mentor (or commanding officer) for more help!
1. B or D
2. A
3. B
4. B
5. A
6. B
7. A
8. A
9. C
10. B

** Writing Improvement Month 2014 Kicks Off **
Posted: Saturday, 1 February 2014

February is finally here, and with it comes a number of activities we’ve set up just for you. With the end goal of improving the quality of writing across the fleet, and helping those who want it to reach new heights with their sims, there are lots of activities planned. Week one starts now, with the following events planned. Sunday February 2 – We’ll start by kicking things off with Opening Ceremonies in our IRC chat (http://goo.gl/W2hdXJ ). The ceremonies begin at 11am PST / 2pm EST / 7pm GMT / Monday AM for Australia. Sunday February 2 – Fleet Captain Kalianna Nicholotti hosts a fun grammar quiz on the news feed (http://goo.gl/f6es2J ) that will help you review and pinpoint focus areas. Be sure to stay tuned later in the week for the answers to see how you did! Monday February 3 – Tutorial: “Tackling Common Grammatical Errors Forever”. Fleet Captain Kalianna Nicholotti helps you banish those demons of the English language. Forever. Tuesday February 4 – Spotlight on a top sim (which? It’s a surprise!) written by one of our members. This sim and others will be shared in the Writing Improvement Month Forums. Wednesday February 5 – Tutorial: “Further Refining Grammatical Prowess”. Fleet Captain Diego Herrera covers the finer points of grammar. Thursday February 6 – Spotlight on (another!) top sim … to be revealed on the day. Stay tuned on the forums to catch another brilliant example of writing, thanks to another of our members. Saturday February 8 – Help us round out the week by welcoming Melinda Snodgrass, author of numerous Star Trek episodes, for a live spreecast (http://goo.gl/KJj59Z ) beginning at 10am PST / 1pm EST / 6pm GMT. Melinda will share her expertise on writing in the Star Trek universe (and writing in general) with us, so bring your questions! We’re really looking forward to these awesome events and learning a lot. Please join us on the forums, the news feed, and for our live events and help make this year’s writing improvement month even better than the last!

-----------------------------------
Commander Raj Blueheart
Commanding Officer
USS Atlantis, NCC-74682
Newsletter Editor

Feb 9, 2014

Writing Improvement Month Week 2

  • Marissa Jeffrey

Fleetmates,

We’re off to a great start for Writing Improvement Month, 2014! For week 2, we’ll be leaving behind grammar and moving on to setting a scene, looking at this from many different viewpoints. Here is our schedule for the week. Remember – most of this will come directly through the news feed, with Sim Spotlights available on the forums.

Sunday February 9 – We’ll start off with a sampling of ideas to kick-start a sim when you’re not sure where to go with it.

Sunday February 9 – Join in on a special fleet-wide IRC chat on improving writing, beginning at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern (US) / 5pm GMT (UK) / 4am Monday UTC+11 (AUS)

Monday February 10 – Watch the news feed for a tutorial on adding that special something to a sim to make come alive.

Tuesday February 11 – Watch the forums for another great sim spotlight.

Wednesday February 12 – Ever find your sim reading more like a script than a narrative? Today’s tutorial helps you move away from all-dialogue sims and more effectively tell a story.

Thursday February 13 – Watch the forums for another great sim spotlight.

Friday February 14 – Please welcome professional author Peter Watts, author of Starfish, Blindsight, and more for a live spreecast about writing! We begin at 1pm PST / 4pm EST / 9pm GMT, so tune in for this wonderful opportunity.

Saturday February 15 – If you want to improve your narrative style (and who doesn’t?), today’s fleet-wide IRC chat is tailor made for you. Join us beginning at 1pm PST / 4pm EST / 9pm GMT with your thoughts and ideas to share with the fleet.

Week 2 is packed with great opportunities to hone your skills, but week 3 is coming up, so there’s even more on its way! - Writing Improvement Month Staff

Feb 9, 2014

Forums and wiki down tonight

  • FltAdml. Tristan Wolf

Our web host for the forums, wiki, and sims archive is performing short, routine maintenance that will last about 30 minutes, starting at the following local times:

  • Sunday, February 9th:

** Honolulu, 7:59pm ** Pacific Time: 9:59pm ** Central Time: 11:59pm

  • Monday, February 10th:

** Eastern Time: 1:45am ** GMT UTC (London): 6:45am ** UTC +8 (Singapore): 2:45pm ** UTC +11 (Sydney): 5:45pm

If you're submitting anything to the forums or wiki once the maintenance starts, you could lose that data.

Feb 12, 2014

This Week on 118 Wiki - The Non-Canon Encyclopedia - Professors

  • Will Maurer

“In the words of my professor …” begins many a memorable quote. They’re some of the most influential folks in the galaxy, shaping the minds of the Federation’s best and brightest. Whether you remember a professor from StarFleet Academy or another university, it belongs in the wiki's The Non-Canon Encyclopedia.. Who knows? Someone else in the fleet may have been a classmate!

This guide and template make it quick and easy. Any professor created by and for use in with Starbase 118 is fair game, whether it was introduced by you or someone else in a sim. Of course, you can always add your latest creation to the encyclopedia. When you're done, brag a bit on the forums!

There is a specific template for adding professors to make the job that much easier; just follow the directions here.


Spotlight on: Professor Cintarvis

If you happen to be on Deep Space 17 and run into a tall, light-orange Botnovian, you may have found Professor Cintarvis. Although many humanoids might find him odd looking, the man is quiet and generally peaceful, living on the nature level of the station. He frequently plays music for himself (or perhaps for his plants); even his voice has a melodic character to it.


----
Lt. Commander Ben Livingston
First Officer
USS Excalibur-A

Feb 13, 2014

Spreecast with Peter Watts, February 14th!

  • Ed Brown

Hi guys!

I'm pleased to announce that UFOP: Starbase 118 has lined up an interactive Q&A with Peter Watts, Hugo Award winning author of Blindsight and Beyond the Rift! Peter was kind enough to give us some of his time last year and this year he returns to offer us some more of his insights into writing! He's known for being able to tie scientific theories into his novels but he has shared his outlook with us on a number of writing topics so far and is happy to take our general questions once again!

All you need to do is come and join us at 1pm PST/4pm EST/9pm GMT by clicking the link below - sign yourself in and submit questions using the handy box provided and they'll be added to a queue and read out. If you have a webcam, you'll have a chance to ask yourself, in person! How could this get any more awesome?

Just head here: http://www.spreecast.com/events/peter-watts-qa-ufop-sb118-2014

This kind of an opportunity doesn't come around every day so grab it by the horns! We're looking forward to seeing you there!

Fleet Captain Diego Herrera
Commanding Officer
USS Vigilant
NCC-75515
Deputy Commandant: UFOP: SB118 Academy
EC: Captain At Large

Feb 15, 2014

Weekly Newsletter 2391.07

  • Raj Blueheart

Happy weekend fellow fleetmates!

FLEET EVENTS

Writing Challenge

  • The January & February Writing Challenge is now officially open and all entries must be received by 21 February 2014. For this Challenge, be inspired by this Trek conceptual art: http://goo.gl/aZk9eR
  • Get your PDF version of the full compilation of the November & December Writing Challenge, with all the entrants' stories and judges' comments here: http://goo.gl/jQPCV5

Top Sims Contest

  • Nominations for Round 8 end 23 February 2014! Read the rules to submit a nomination: http://goo.gl/FS1w5e
  • The first run-off round for the year is already underway and will also end on 23 February 2014. Vote here, vote now! http://goo.gl/Z6Vnyw
  • The list of past winners can be viewed here: http://goo.gl/V5Xw0i

Featured Bio Contest

  • Nominations for Round 4 end Saturday, 1 March 2014. Read the rules and submit your nominations here: http://goo.gl/xw6ELE
  • In the meantime, congratulations to Feb 2014 Featured Bio winner, Lieutenant JG Chythar Skyfire! http://goo.gl/9OXfNb Congratulations also to Lt Commander Eerie whose bio is the Star Pick of the month! http://goo.gl/ZhM9HN

Fleet Chat

  • Our next chat is scheduled for Sunday, 9 March 2014 at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern (US) / 5pm GMT (UK) / 4am Monday UTC+11 (AUS). Always check your time zone for accuracy/DST if applicable! http://bit.ly/fVGEmH
  • Our fleet chats are a space for all the members of the Starbase 118 group to meet each other, learn about fleet events, and talk about Star Trek. Chats are always held on the second Sunday of every month, but you can head into the chat room at any time to see who else is there.

This Week on 118 Wiki – The Non-Canon Encyclopedia

Poll of the Week


PUBLICITY Get your FREE promotional flyer and post it in your community to help find new members! US: http://sb118.net/15Rg8D9 UK: http://sb118.net/16VBJyZ


COMMUNITY NEWS

  • Community News team is working hard to bring us something new to read every day and keep us informed about happenings in the Fleet. If you like what they are doing, show them appreciation by leaving comments on the articles.

(newest at the top, oldest at the bottom)
1. Poll of the Week: These Are The Voyages! http://goo.gl/u6A9uk

2. This Week on 118 Wiki – The Non-Canon Encyclopedia: Professors: http://goo.gl/W2KigR

3. January Plot Summary for the USS Apollo: http://goo.gl/l6QJKX

4. Definitive Tips on Including Exposition in Your Sims: http://goo.gl/cRN1MV

5. New Academy Graduates: http://goo.gl/pYA7Av

6. February Featured Bio Winner: http://goo.gl/Shm6YQ

7. January Plot Summary for the USS Darwin: http://goo.gl/fHUXSV

8. Top Sims Contest Runoff: http://goo.gl/sgJYi0

9. Revisiting Exposition: Adding That Magic to a Sim: http://goo.gl/1TuJHO

10. Donation Thanks to Oliver Weston: http://goo.gl/ZjgUeK

11. Scene Setting Prompts for Writing Greats Sims: http://goo.gl/EjuFkx

12. Writing Improvement Month Podcast: http://goo.gl/F81ZXJ


FULL TEXT ARTICLES

** Poll of the Week: These Are The Voyages! **
Posted: Friday, 14 February 2014

The names Star Trek and Enterprise are almost synonymous and the Enterprise has been an integral part of Star Trek lore since it’s inception. Commanded by Captains from Jonathan Archer to Jean-Luc Picard we have witnessed it’s destruction and it’s return on many occasions. People have mapped out every deck of each incarnation with pinpoint accuracy right down to the location and square-footage of each Enterprise’s bathrooms. So to say the Enterprise is just back-drop to what happens in Star Trek would be somewhat remiss of what draws so many to the franchise. Over the years, the Enterprise has become as important to Star Trek as much as the actors who have portrayed the characters that serve on-board her, from the NX version all the way to Enterprise E and beyond. This week we’ll be looking at the various Enterprises that have graced our television screens and movie theatres throughout the years, and you can now choose your favorite! Are you a fan of TOS version or the JJ verse version? Is the Sovereign class more sleek than the Galaxy class or vice versa? Is the refit Constitution your favorite or does the NX version, being the original, grab your fancy? Head on down to the polls (http://goo.gl/hM4wTE ) and pick your ship, and let’s make sure history never forgets the name…Enterprise.

** This Week on 118 Wiki – The Non-Canon Encyclopedia: Professors **
Posted: Thursday, 13 February 2014

“In the words of my professor …” begins many a memorable quote. They’re some of the most influential folks in the galaxy, shaping the minds of the Federation’s best and brightest. Whether you remember a professor from StarFleet Academy or another university, it belongs in the wiki's Non-Canon Encyclopedia: http://goo.gl/7lh5vZ Who knows? Someone else in the fleet may have been a classmate!

This guide (http://goo.gl/SsOasi ) and template (http://goo.gl/KKM88X ) make it quick and easy. Any professor created by and for use in with Starbase 118 is fair game, whether it was introduced by you or someone else in a sim. Of course, you can always add your latest creation to the encyclopedia. When you're done, brag a bit on the forums (http://goo.gl/iKt6KP )!

There is a specific template for adding professors to make the job that much easier; just follow the directions here: http://goo.gl/Pb94qL

Spotlight on: Professor Cintarvis

If you happen to be on Deep Space 17 and run into a tall, light-orange Botnovian, you may have found Professor Cintarvis (http://goo.gl/W2KigR ). Although many humanoids might find him odd looking, the man is quiet and generally peaceful, living on the nature level of the station. He frequently plays music for himself (or perhaps for his plants); even his voice has a melodic character to it.

**** January Plot Summary for the USS Apollo **
Posted: Thursday, 13 February 2014

The crew of the USS Apollo, at the request of Lieutenant Alexander Williams, celebrated Christmas, with a party; complete with tree, refreshments and music. During the down time, the Apollo regained Commander Tal Tel-ar in the role of Chief Operations Officer, and Lieutenant Commander Sundassa Faranster’s brother also came to the ship. Lieutenant Commander T’Mar and Ensign Kyla Kirosa tried to go through a training exercise until they ended up on the receiving end of a prank by Lieutenant Dade Triston that involved snow, and Borg elves. Once everyone got back to work, and they started moving towards their next mission, Jaxx ordered for the ship to go into the slip stream. They were full speed ahead until the ship sensors picked something up, and dropped out of the stream, cutting the engines and locking everyone out of their terminal, only displaying the symbol for Omega. The Captain requested the data, unlocked the terminals and locked himself away in his ready room, as everyone stared on in confusion. The Omega molecule was detected, and now they were left with trying to figure out how to handle it. The Apollo was designed to serve as a special ship that could be called in to neutralize Omega. Once the crew was briefed, the Captain initiated the Omega Directive.

** Definitive Tips on Including Exposition in Your Sims **
Posted: Wednesday, 12 February 2014

If you’re looking to include more exposition in your sims, but you’re not quite sure where to start, we know you’ll get something out of this week’s Writing Improvement Month tutorial. We know that it can be difficult to meet the expectations or levels of writing that you might see around the fleet, but not because you don’t have time or desire. If you want to give your sims more depth, and you want to offer your fellow crewmates more inspiration and paint imagery that you may get from some other’s sims, then consider the tips included in our newest tutorial; Forcing Good Habits: Halting and Avoiding All Dialogue Sims: http://goo.gl/NFIiBc Regardless of how much you don’t think you are a writer, the tips included in this tutorial will be certain to help you improve your sims. Sure, setting stipulations on your writing, and following simming ‘rules’ might seem counterproductive, but for those who have implemented this approach, success wasn’t far off. Yes, it takes some work at first, but if your goal is improvement, and you just can’t force it naturally, consider the contents of this tutorial. And if you give it a try, be sure to come back and let us know how it worked for you. We’d love to hear your experiences and any tips you might have for other writers following the same path you have already traveled.

** New Academy Graduates **
Posted: Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Class 1: T’Pen, Francis deMarc, and Aidoann Danara! http://goo.gl/WCSaBB Class 2: Vance Carter and Peter Coyum! http://goo.gl/NTnyLj

** February Featured Bio Winner **
Posted: Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Lieutenant JG Chythar Skyfire is a medical officer aboard the USS Excalibur-A. He is passionate about science and languages. Although he serves as a Starfleet officer, he has mixed feelings towards the organization as he feels it robbed him of time with his mother, who died while on assignment with them. Since joining the fleet in 2390 he has also served aboard Starbase 118. In his spare time, he can often be found making chainmail or reading in his quarters, although he also enjoys conversations with his crew mates. His best friend, Sal Taybrim, serves aboard the USS Darwin-A. His middle name, Daniel, has earned him the nickname “CD”. This month, our star pick bio belongs to Lieutenant Commander Eerie, so congratulations to him!! Lieutenant (j.g.) Skyfire’s Bio (http://goo.gl/DRlmkX ) will be displayed on the wiki’s front page (http://goo.gl/TIIzfi )for the month of January. As always, you can find out more about the contest at its wiki page (http://goo.gl/eb959x ) or in its forum (http://goo.gl/nPvS4Q ). Round 4 is now open, so be sure to drop by and submit your own nominations!

** January Plot Summary for the USS Darwin **
Posted: Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The crew of the newly commissioned USS Darwin NCC99312-A have hit the ground running answering a distress call to the planet Talvath on the outskirts of the Romulan Empire. Prior to their arrival a freighter suffering a catastrophic explosion deposited a large amount of toxic Trilithium Resin into the atmosphere. Responding to the emergent situation Commander Greir Reinard dispatches away teams led by Lt Commander Kael Thomas to get to the surface and provide humanitarian aid to the already suffering Romulan residents. On the Surface Ensign Taybrim and Lieutenant James worked quickly to restore water supply to the colony while Lt Commander Malcolm and her team did their best to heal the wounded and bring order to the chaos at the local Triage site. Carrying a few injuries the teams headed back to the Darwin. Arriving on the Darwin they found Commander Reinard’s team aboard the Darwin had worked to remove the Trilithium Resin using the unique qualities of the containment sphere attached to the forward section of their ship. With some clever piloting from Lt Kaitlyn Falcon the team were able to successfully start removing the resin from the atmosphere and keep it contained in the sphere. Meanwhile, unbeknown to the crew Governor D’Nal’s entourage took down several security officers and attempted to take the Darwin by force. With their plan thwarted and placed in the Brig the Governor must convince the crew that he is innocent of blame in order to get his people the help they need.

** Top Sims Contest Runoff **
Posted: Monday, 10 February 2014

Folks, it’s that time again Time for the first run off round of the 2014 Top Sims Cotest. This round has six of the best sims written so far this year, as determined by our team of expert judges. So what comes next? That’s where you come in. To determine which sim goes on to the final run off for Top Sim of 2014, we need your vote. The winning sim goes on to the next round. • “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” by Lt. Cade Whitman (PNPC): http://goo.gl/dYF6WX • “I am here, don’t you hear me?” by LtCmdr. Jalana Laxyn: http://goo.gl/GONvGv • “Churches,” by Irina Pavlova: http://goo.gl/5dJTbd • “Fighting Fire with Fire,” by Lt. Sinda Essen: http://goo.gl/iS3KJO • “Kindred Spirits,” by LtCmdr. Wulfantine & Lt. Richards: http://goo.gl/q3QGs8 • “Confronting The Past,” by Capt. Tyr Waltas: http://goo.gl/D74yTy So head over now and cast your vote and make your voice heard. Power feels good, doesn’t it?

** Revisiting Exposition: Adding That Magic to a Sim **
Posted: Monday, 10 February 2014

There are two kinds of sims out there that you’ve probably read; ones that are simple and answer the directives given by others in prior sims, and those that really add ambiance and feeling to a scene. It is these latter sims that we tend to remember, even as we move forward and write more to the scene itself. It is this base that we add on to, and the feelings invoked that we tend to carry over. But how do you create the magic of such a sim? How do you design a sim that invokes feelings and paints a mental picture for other members of your ship to build onto? It might seem like pure magical ability, that some of us may lack, but the truth is that anyone can really write an amazing sim. Anyone is able to add the magic that will carry through in future sims, if you just remember a few simple things. In order to learn how to add this special edge to your sims, be sure to revisit last year’s Writing Improvement Month tutorial: http://goo.gl/G6zaiu . With solid examples on how to weave your words in a most intricate manner, in order to build a base that your fellow writers won’t soon forget, you’re sure to walk away with something you didn’t know before. And while you’re at it, take this chance to put these things to work in your next sim and see what kind of reaction you get from your fellow crewmates. You might be surprised at the amazing injection of creativity a little ‘magic’ really adds to things.

** Donation Thanks to Oliver Weston **
Posted: Sunday, 9 February 2014

Many thanks to Oliver Weston of the USS Gemini, who donated recently. Donations like this help keep our website ad free and ensure that we’ll fulfill our yearly fundraising goals! Can you donate $10, $25, or $50 today to help sustain our community? http://goo.gl/TR18Tl

** Scene Setting Prompts for Writing Greats Sims **
Posted: Sunday, 9 February 2014

Setting the scene well is important because it’s what brings the environment to life and can transport the reader to strange and new places. It can spark the imagination, add depth and help hold the reader’s interest. Setting the scene can set the tone for what’s to come and you can give the same environment a different feel with the descriptions you use. Compare the following: ((Abandoned Settlement, Uncharted M-Class Planet)) ::The five man away team beamed down to the abandoned colony; their goal was to search for any clues about why the settlement was abandoned and where the people may have gone to. They materialised in a small cobblestone courtyard and there was a cluster of buildings off to the right, which may have been houses, and a much larger building dead ahead of them. :: ((Abandoned Settlement, Uncharted M-Class Planet)) ::The five man away team beamed down to the abandoned colony; their goal was to search for any clues about why the settlement was abandoned and where the people may have gone to. They materialised in a small, weed ridden, dusty cobblestone courtyard. There was a cluster of rundown buildings with chipped and peeling paintwork off to the right. They had broken roofing and boarded up windows, they might have been houses once. A much larger building, with weeds trailing from the guttering and trying to climb up to the windows, lay dead ahead of them. It seemed a long time since anyone had lived here and the place had gone to ruin. :: ((Abandoned Settlement, Uncharted M-Class Planet))

::The five man away team beamed down to the abandoned colony; their goal was to search for any clues about why the settlement was abandoned and where the people may have gone to. They materialised in a small, well-kept cobblestone courtyard. There was a cluster of buildings with unblemished, fresh paintwork off to the right. They had well maintained flower boxes and clean windows; they might have been houses once. A much larger building with a gleaming name plaque lay dead ahead of them. It seemed the place was well maintained, that people took pride in it, and to look at it you’d think the population had vanished in the night. :: There are three different descriptions of the same place. The settlement layout is the same and very little has been added to the second and third versions of the scene. With just a few simple descriptions the second and third scenes paint very different pictures. The second depicts a settlement that may have been long abandoned – or which was never well maintained. The third depicts a clean, well-kept place that seems too well looked after to be long abandoned. You also question why a whole population would want to leave someplace that’s so nice. You could see the plot panning out differently in each case and they bring different questions to mind. Both are more interesting to read than the first and as you can see it doesn’t have to take a lot to bring a little more to you scene setting. The following is a list of prompts to refer to when setting the scene. Not all of them should be used in every scene, instead take them as inspiration and see how asking questions about where your character is, how they relate to the scene and the overall story can help you write more in-depth, engaging descriptions. Where does the scene take place?
What do the immediate surroundings look like?
What is the weather like (if they are outdoors)?
What time of day is it?
How does the character feel emotionally?
What do they feel physically ?
What do they hear and do the sounds remind them of anything?
What do your own and other characters’ facial expressions look like?
What are they physically doing at the moment?
Do the current events or scene remind them of anything else?
What can they smell and do the smells remind them of anything?
Can your character taste anything?

** Writing Improvement Month Podcast **
Posted: Friday, 7 February 2014

Greetings fleet-mates! With the return of Writing Improvement Month (http://goo.gl/GQNBYx ), there is a ton of activities going on. To find out what is going on, check out the main page, or you can listen to this nifty special release from the Podcast Team, headed up by Lt. Commander Leo Handley-Page! In this edition, Fleet Captains Andrus Jaxx and Diego Herrera provide details, previews, and plenty other teasers for upcoming events. To check out this gem of information, check out the StarBase 118 YouTube Channel: http://goo.gl/enRfhl

-----------------------------------
Commander Raj Blueheart
Commanding Officer
USS Atlantis, NCC-74682
Newsletter Editor

Feb 15, 2014

Today: Nailing your narrative chat

  • FltAdml. Tristan Wolf

ttention fleetmates!

Are you looking for tips on how to bring your SIMs to life? Do you want to grab your readers by the eyeballs and pull them headfirst into a realistic world where they can practically reach out and touch your characters, feel what they are feeling and live the story as it’s being told? The secret to that is narrative! It fills in the blanks that dialogue doesn’t and it’s an important part of each and every SIM that you read. Want your readers to know something about the way your character is feeling? Leading up to a shore leave subplot and you need to lay the foundations? About to enter a dangerous area and the tension isn’t high enough? Then the tips you need are right here!

Today (Saturday, February 15th), at 1pm PST/4pm EST/9pm GMT, join Commander Greir Reinard in the Writing Improvement Month chat room to pick up top tips on how to write all kinds of narrative, including descriptions of your surroundings and your character’s internal thoughts and feelings. Have any specific questions? Bring them with you! Think you’re sure of what you’re doing? Come on down and put the theory to the test!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Chat right on our website: http://www.starbase118.net/writing-improvement-event/live-chat/

Feb 16, 2014

WIM: Week Three

  • Marissa Jeffrey

Fleetmates,

It’s hard to believe that Writing Improvement Month, 2014 is half over! As we move into week 3, we’ll tackle something we all have to deal with – building character. Here is our schedule for the week. Remember – most of this will come directly through the news feed, with Sim Spotlights available on the forums.

Sunday February 16 – Do you know your character? Maybe not as well as you thought! Take a character questionnaire to find out.

Monday February 17 – Watch the news feed for a tutorial on bringing your characters the spark they need.

Tuesday February 18 – Watch the forums for another great sim spotlight.

Wednesday February 19 – Watch for our newest tutorial yet! Commander Reinard covers writing for alien species, and even for the Terrans among us, this is great for the NPCs that work their way into our plot.

Thursday February 20 – Watch the forums for another great sim spotlight.

Saturday February 22 – Wondering how other writers in the fleet write deep, complex characters? Today’s fleet-wide IRC chat is all about adding the third dimension to a character. Join us beginning at 1pm PST / 4pm EST / 9pm GMT with your thoughts and ideas to share with the fleet.

Once we close out week 3, there’s just one week left, but it covers a topic we all deal with – plot. Stay tuned! - Writing Improvement Month Staff

Feb 21, 2014

Champions of Characterisation!

  • Ed Brown

Hi everyone!

As WIM 2014 rolls on, I'd like to extend an invitation to all of you to join us in the Writing Improvement Month chat room tomorrow, February 22nd, at 1pm PST/4pm EST/9pm GMT for a chat on how to write effective characters!

This is your chance to ask questions about any issues you've been experiencing with building new characters and to generally get tips on the best way to roll new characters, make them balanced and keep them interesting over the years that you write for them! That counts for PCs, PNPCs and any mission NPCs you're thinking of including - wouldn't it be great if you could make them so memorable that people were clamoring for them to return?

The chat will start off with general characterisation tips and dos and don'ts as well as a chance to specialise and move into things such as writing believable villains and planning for character development! If you're finding yourself stuck for ideas during shore leave, this could be the chat you need!

Looking forward to seeing you there:

http://www.starbase118.net/writing-improvement-event/live-chat/

Fleet Captain Diego Herrera
Commanding Officer
USS Vigilant
NCC-75515
Deputy Commandant: UFOP: SB118 Academy
EC: Captain At Large

Feb 22, 2014

Weekly Newsletter 2391.08

  • Raj Blueheart

Happy weekend, fleetmates!

FLEET EVENTS

Writing Challenge

  • The January & February Writing Challenge closes TODAY, 21 February 2014. For this Challenge, be inspired by this Trek conceptual art: http://goo.gl/aZk9eR
  • Get your PDF version of the full compilation of the November & December Writing Challenge, with all the entrants' stories and judges' comments here: http://goo.gl/jQPCV5

Top Sims Contest

  • Nominations for Round 8 end TOMORROW, 23 February 2014! Read the rules to submit a nomination: http://goo.gl/FS1w5e
  • The first run-off round for the year is already underway and will also end TOMORROW, 23 February 2014. Vote here, vote now! http://goo.gl/Z6Vnyw
  • The list of past winners can be viewed here: http://goo.gl/V5Xw0i

Featured Bio Contest

  • Nominations for Round 4 end Saturday, 1 March 2014. Read the rules and submit your nominations here: http://goo.gl/xw6ELE
  • In the meantime, congratulations to Feb 2014 Featured Bio winner, Lieutenant JG Chythar Skyfire! http://goo.gl/9OXfNb Congratulations also to Lt Commander Eerie whose bio is the Star Pick of the month! http://goo.gl/ZhM9HN

Fleet Chat

  • Our next chat is scheduled for Sunday, 9 March 2014 at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern (US) / 5pm GMT (UK) / 4am Monday UTC+11 (AUS). Always check your time zone for accuracy/DST if applicable! http://bit.ly/fVGEmH
  • Our fleet chats are a space for all the members of the Starbase 118 group to meet each other, learn about fleet events, and talk about Star Trek. Chats are always held on the second Sunday of every month, but you can head into the chat room at any time to see who else is there.

Poll of the Week


PUBLICITY Get your FREE promotional flyer and post it in your community to help find new members! US: http://sb118.net/15Rg8D9 UK: http://sb118.net/16VBJyZ


COMMUNITY NEWS

  • Community News team is working hard to bring us something new to read every day and keep us informed about happenings in the Fleet. If you like what they are doing, show them appreciation by leaving comments on the articles.

(newest at the top, oldest at the bottom)
1. Featured Bio Contest Reminder: http://goo.gl/qKq4Ry

2. Poll of the Week: A New Ap! : http://goo.gl/BXpHlN

3. January Pot Summary for the USS Garuda: http://goo.gl/xkSxsd

4. January 2013 Post Totals: http://goo.gl/vV0ulq

5. Writing Alien Species: http://goo.gl/njtDTj

6. January Plot Summary for the USS Tiger: http://goo.gl/LoAAKQ

7. Podcast 2391-1 Released! : http://goo.gl/ulM34R

8. Revisiting Characterization: Adding The Spark Of Life To Your Character: http://goo.gl/NC0Vmi

9. New Academy Graduates: http://goo.gl/EPJ3lv

10. Even More Character Questions! : http://goo.gl/GEgPeH

11. January Plot Summary for the Duronis II Embassy: http://goo.gl/S60udI

12. Nailing Your Narrative Chat Today! : http://goo.gl/HiWkUj


FULL TEXT ARTICLES

** Featured Bio Contest Reminder **
Posted: Friday, 21 February 2014

Please remember to nominate a character bio for the latest round of the Featured Bio Contest (http://goo.gl/f64pc3 ) before it closes on Saturday, March 1, 2013. The rules have been simplified so it’s even easier than ever before to nominate a bio to the competition. Just check these three simple points: • Nominated articles must be of a player character played by a CURRENT and ACTIVE member. • Nominated articles must be either a PRIMARY or SECONDARY player character. PNPCs are ineligible. • All information in the article must be CURRENT as of the submission date. We’re looking for the highest quality bios in the fleet to not only help provide an example for our members on how to structure their bio, but also to show off how much our members put into the creation of realistic and emotional characters. Head to the Featured Bio Contest forum (http://goo.gl/nhWEnW ) to nominate a bio today.

** Poll of the Week: A New Ap! **
Posted: Friday, 21 February 2014

This week we’ll be looking at the technology in Star Trek that was used once or a few times and never seen or heard from again. Technology that may have appeared cool and unique, but technology that appears to have been deemed either useless or too taxing to those those who used it and the characters decided to not even bother again with it. Yes folks, it appears that even in the 24th Century, fads come and go at warp speed. This week we’ll be looking at that technology and deciding which was the one that left you scratching your head why it was not used more often than the one shot deal we were exposed to. So head on down to the polls (http://goo.gl/GvaSzs ) and vote for your favorite one time seen piece of technology that you would have liked to have seen more often and don’t be afraid to add to the list!

** January Plot Summary for the USS Garuda **
Posted: Thursday, 20 February 2014

The month began with shore leave aboard DSX as both captain and crew came to terms with the results of the last mission and their assignment to the Garuda, the Mercury’s Galaxy-class successor. However, while controlled chaos reigned behind the scenes — civilian astrophysicist J. Cowens disappeared during the Mercury’s firefight with the Cardassian warship Nok’Tan, and that disappearance precipitated a fierce but quiet manhunt, among other things — the majority of the crew enjoyed a pantomime of Peter Pan as brought by the United Service Organizations. Unexpectedly, though, many members of the senior staff were asked to participate in the panto when the USO’s full troupe did not arrive on the station. After a week of rehearsals, however, the crew was recalled on opening night for the Garuda’s first mission: A first contact with a powerful race deep in the Menthar Corridor. Just before the Garuda departed DSX, however, it was approached by a Cardassian diplomatic shuttle with Detapa Council member Prianna and Federation Ambassador Lily Ventu aboard, both of whom were welcomed politely but guardedly as both openly mentioned complicating agendas that extended beyond the first contact. However, the trip to the meeting with the Kubarey, the new species, proceeded smoothly, at least up until the contact at Rho Aurigae IV: The Kubarey contact vessel did not respond at all to overtures from the Garuda, so Captain Egan Manno decided to take a diplomatic away team down to the planet’s surface to investigate in more detail while ordering her crew to probe the other ship in greater detail.

** January 2013 Post Totals **
Posted: Thursday, 20 February 2014

As part of the ongoing overview of the fleet as a whole, here are the monthly figures for total posts for each ship. This summary will give you an idea of how active the ship is on a month-by-month basis. The slate is clean for January – we’ve started the year by taking the bull by the horns and submitting more SIMs than December 2013. We’ve also snuck slightly ahead of our post rate for January 2013, raising the average number of SIMs per ship by 2 posts! Our next chart gives the number of sims for each ship over the course of January. A majority of ships raised the bar since December with sound of Auld Lang Syne ringing in their ears and almost all of the others stayed within 10 SIMs of their December total. Only 2 ships showed decreased SIM rates (the urge to have a snowball fight being too tempting!)

** Writing Alien Species **
Posted: Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Writing for an alien species can seem daunting at first, particularly when there are nearly two hundred unique species permitted for use on the Intelligent Life Index (ILI) (http://goo.gl/JQFEMD ). It can be a highly rewarding experience and a good way to look at the universe in a new way. The latest tutorial, brought to you for Writing Improvement Month 2014 focuses on highlighting the different considerations and things can be done to make them come to life. As the guide will show, the key to writing for alien species is in knowing the species well. Use the similarities to give them their humanity and the differences to set them apart from humans. There are physical variations from appearance right down to how strong each of their senses are, with some having senses that humans do not such as telepathy, empathy or fielding. Aliens have their own interesting cultural backgrounds and ideals. Some of these are quite well known such as the Ferengi commercialism and love of making Latinum, the warrior race of Klingons who have a strong sense of honour, or the emotionless Vulcans who are known for their strong focus on logic. These are some of the things that affect how a character perceives and behaves in the universe. Even if a character isn’t typical of the rest of their species to have a deep understanding of the species makes it easier to see and work out how, why they vary from the mould. It makes it possible to explore alien characters on a deeper level. Read the full tutorial (http://goo.gl/xG4hsd )to see how to write more convincing aliens.

** January Plot Summary for the USS Tiger **
Posted: Tuesday, 18 February 2014

While the Tiger crew were enjoying themselves at a New Year’s Eve party Deep Space 17 was rocked by an unexplained shock wave that caused chaos throughout the station by taking the reactors for main power offline and wrecking havoc with the gravity control systems. Engineering crews worked on getting the station up and running and the rest of the crew began investigating a mysterious void in space near the Eratis star. A trio of runabouts was sent to conduct an up-close investigation of the void. During their approach, two of the runabouts were destroyed by an unknown craft. LtCmdrs. West and Blair, and Ensign Sam Braddock were kidnapped and then replaced by Commonwealth spies. In addition, the Queen of the Erati appeared on the station requesting help against an unknown force threatening the region. Science officers began working on ways to load science probes with micro warp cores to investigate the rift. And the crew is starting to expect something odd is going on with the trio of officer replacements. The Commonwealth has launched ships through the rift in an effort to set up pods to pull power from the star and construct a transwarp gateway. Meanwhile the spies have found out the USS Tiger-A is still in dry dock awaiting the Slipstream drive to be installed. The Commonwealth has decided to make stealing the slipstream drive a priority as it will make building gateways needless.

** Podcast 2391-1 Released! **
Posted: Monday, 17 February 2014

The new episode has been released! For those of you that want would like to listen online, check out our release on the StarBase 118 YouTube channel (http://goo.gl/v96dgY )! Whilst we recognize that some members would love to listen to the podcast on the go, we have uploaded it to Archive.org (http://goo.gl/nkMxyZ ). You can download it from the menu on the left hand side! Keep your ears open for our next release! Feel free to subscribe to our YouTube channel for automatic updates. To join the Podcast Team, visit the team’s Google Group (http://goo.gl/4LKuHO ) and apply for membership!

** Revisiting Characterization: Adding The Spark Of Life To Your Character **
Posted: Monday, 17 February 2014

There’s one thing some long-time members know well; if you play them right, and you give them enough of a spark of life, your characters will actually grow into their own. This doesn’t mean that they necessarily become their own human beings in cyberspace, but they will, in many ways, become live characters with desires and personalities of their own. Sounds strange, right? It’s really not, and all it takes is a little characterization. What your character says is good, and often necessary to move a plot forward, but it is the words in between what’s said that really brings a character to life. How they react to what’s said, how they perceive the environment around them, and how you describe them in general will provide the sparks that ultimately bring them to a new level of life. Want to know more? Revisit last year’s tutorial on characterization (http://goo.gl/5AesuQ ) and start writing your character in a way that will bring them into a new realm of realism. And don’t forget, be sure to share your successes with us here or on the forums!

** New Academy Graduates **
Posted: Sunday, 16 February 2014

Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Nathan Baker, Mark Ricks, Caleb Royce Alexander, and Toja Loren! http://goo.gl/pwiyM6

** Even More Character Questions! **
Posted: Sunday, 16 February 2014

Last year, we bombarded you with 25 questions to really get you thinking about your character. This year, the list is a little shorter but more in depth – just how much thought has gone into your character and where can you flesh them out more? It’s always great to see well-rounded characters aboard ship and, quite often, when there are a group of them all in one place they have a tendency to develop themselves! Have a read through the questions below and answer them as honestly as possible. If necessary, ask your character to help you! Once your PC has gone through the gauntlet, throw your PCs at it too and see what happens! 1. How would your character sum themselves up in 3 words or less? 2. How would you sum up your character in three words or less? 3. What are your character’s immediate goals? Why do they have those goals? 4. What are your character’s long term goals and why? 5. Why did your character join Starfleet? What do they hope to get out of it? Are they career driven? Do they want to see new sights? Is there something else that motivates them? 6. What characteristics do they appreciate in other characters? Who are they likely to make friends with? 7. If they are confrontational… why are they confrontational? In what circumstances could you see that changing? If they aren’t confrontational, what would push their buttons to make them reach that stage? 8. What is your character’s biggest weakness? Are they aware of it? Does that weakness hinder your crew in any way, or is it more personal? 9. How do you think the other writers on your ship see your character? Have you asked them for their opinions? 10. Do you have any plans for character development that include other characters aboard your ship? What are they? Have you spoken to the appropriate writers about them? 11. What changes do you have planned for your character? How do you plan to see them grow over the next mission/6 months/year? 12. If your character was an acquaintance or friend of yours in real life, what would you think of them and why?

** January Plot Summary for the Duronis II Embassy **
Posted: Saturday, 15 February 2014

It is a time to rest and recuperate for the crew of the USS Thunder NCC-70605-A. With the arrival of their new liaison to the Laudean government, Ambassador Della Vetri has a lot on her plate when it comes to working with the people of Til’ahn. Though the planet has calmed since the invasion of the bluegills, distrust in the motives of Starfleet is still there. Another issue had been thrown at them. Ensign T’Ana, the aide to Lt Cmdr Nugra turned out to be really a Romulan assassin that turned herself in to Lieutenant S’Lone Tr’Khellian instead of carrying out her mission. She told the command staff of the USS Thunder that her mission was to kill Fleet Captain Toni Turner, but changed her mind for an unknown reason. Now being held in the marine brig, security and intelligence now must find out what shadowy plan they may be facing. The situation did not improve when a hidden saboteur made another attempt to kill the command staff and the already apprehended assassin, who offered little during her interrogation, but signs point to a more even sinister development, one which had the ability to endanger not only the Thunder, but Duronis as well…

** Nailing Your Narrative Chat Today! **
Posted: Saturday, 15 February 2014

Attention fleetmates! Are you looking for tips on how to bring your SIMs to life? Do you want to grab your readers by the eyeballs and pull them headfirst into a realistic world where they can practically reach out and touch your characters, feel what they are feeling and live the story as it’s being told? The secret to that is narrative! It fills in the blanks that dialogue doesn’t and it’s an important part of each and every SIM that you read. Want your readers to know something about the way your character is feeling? Leading up to a shore leave subplot and you need to lay the foundations? About to enter a dangerous area and the tension isn’t high enough? Then the tips you need are right here! Today, Saturday, February 15th, at 1pm PST/4pm EST/9pm GMT, join Commander Greir Reinard in theWriting Improvement Month chat room (http://goo.gl/VyHMs1 ) to pick up top tips on how to write all kinds of narrative, including descriptions of your surroundings and your character’s internal thoughts and feelings. Have any specific questions? Bring them with you! Think you’re sure of what you’re doing? Come on down and put the theory to the test! We look forward to seeing you there!

-----------------------------------
Commander Raj Blueheart
Commanding Officer
USS Atlantis, NCC-74682
Newsletter Editor

Feb 22, 2014

Relocation Relocation Relocation!

  • Ed Brown

Hi guys,

There appears to be an issue with the chat room right now (I can't get into it and neither can anyone else I've spoken to) so... come and join us at our new emergency venue!

http://www.spreecast.com/events/wim-2014-characterization-chat

Fleet Captain Diego Herrera UFOP: SB118

Feb 22, 2014

The Final Week of 2014 Writing Improvement Month

  • Marissa Jeffrey

eetmates,

It’s been a great month so far, but Writing Improvement Month, 2014 is going out not with a whimper but with a bang. As we move into week 4 – our final week – we take on a topic we all work with, and we all collaborate on every day. We’re talking about plot. Here is our schedule for the week. Remember – most of this will come directly through the news feed, with Sim Spotlights available on the forums.

Sunday February 23 – Feeling tense? It’s not good in a writer, but writing needs tension. Review methods of controlling the level of tension so you can dial it up or down as needed.

Monday February 24 – Watch the news feed for a tutorial on plot at the micro- and the micro-levels.

Tuesday February 25 – Watch the forums for another great sim spotlight.

Wednesday February 26 – Advancing the plot in a meaningful way isn’t easy. Fleet Captain Jaxx shares his thoughts on how to do it in our final tutorial of the month.

Thursday February 27 – Watch the forums for another great sim spotlight.

Friday February 28 – Stay tuned for a round-up of everything we’ve covered this month.

Saturday March 1 – The whole fleet will gather for an IRC chat closing ceremony celebrating the conclusion of Writing Improvement Month. See what others learned, and share your insights. Join us beginning at 12pm PST / 3pm EST / 8pm GMT with your thoughts and ideas to share with the fleet.

While that will conclude Writing Improvement Month for 2014, the benefits last the whole year. Tutorials and resources are always available on the website. Thanks for helping to make this a great month!

- Writing Improvement Month Staff

Feb 25, 2014

This Week on 118Wiki - Non-Canon Encyclopedia - Creatures

  • Will Maurer

Who doesn’t love a unique pet? Or maybe a safari of the wilderness of a distant moon? Creatures of all types inhabit the universe, and if you’ve discovered a new one recently, it belongs in the wiki's The Non-Canon Encyclopedia.

This guide and template make it quick and easy. Any creature created by and for use in with Starbase 118 is fair game, whether it was introduced by you or someone else in a sim. Of course, you can always add your latest creation to the encyclopedia. When you're done, brag a bit on the forums!

There is a specific template for adding shops to make the job that much easier; just follow the directions here.

Here are a few already in the encyclopedia:


Spotlight on: Le-matya

Go hiking deep in the deserts of Vulcan and you may find yourself face-to-face with a Le-matya, an experience few survive. The quick cat-like creatures are large, usually have orange and green skin, and are claws tipped with a nerve toxin. If you survive the desert variety, you might want to stay away from the volcanic plains, where a different variety of the creature can grow to be over two meters long and more than seventy-five kilograms. Watch out!

----
Lt. Commander Ben Livingston
First Officer
USS Excalibur-A

Mar 1, 2014

Weekly Newsletter 2391.09

  • Raj Blueheart

Happy weekend, fleetmates!

FLEET EVENTS

Writing Challenge

  • The January & February Writing Challenge is officially over! Congratulations to Sal Taybrim, winner of the first image-inspired Challenge with his story “Conspiracy Theories” (http://goo.gl/iCmYwe ). Congratulations also to runners-up Ceilidh Riverview, with “New Beginnings” (http://goo.gl/UYJDGE )and Kieran Waddell, with “Back-up Plan” (http://goo.gl/uzzwxz )
  • Get your PDF version of the full compilation of the January & February Writing Challenge, with all the entrants' stories and judges' comments here: http://goo.gl/KPVe5B

Featured Bio Contest

  • Nominations for Round 4 end TODAY, 1 March 2014. Read the rules and submit your nominations here: http://goo.gl/xw6ELE
  • In the meantime, congratulations to Feb 2014 Featured Bio winner, Lieutenant JG Chythar Skyfire! http://goo.gl/9OXfNb Congratulations also to Lt Commander Eerie whose bio is the Star Pick of the month! http://goo.gl/ZhM9HN

Top Sims Contest

Fleet Chat

  • Our next chat is scheduled for next Sunday, 9 March 2014 at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern (US) / 5pm GMT (UK) / 4am Monday UTC+11 (AUS). Always check your time zone for accuracy/DST if applicable! http://bit.ly/fVGEmH
  • Our fleet chats are a space for all the members of the Starbase 118 group to meet each other, learn about fleet events, and talk about Star Trek. Chats are always held on the second Sunday of every month, but you can head into the chat room at any time to see who else is there.

This Week on 118 Wiki – The Non-Canon Encyclopedia

Poll of the Week


PUBLICITY Get your FREE promotional flyer and post it in your community to help find new members! US: http://sb118.net/15Rg8D9 UK: http://sb118.net/16VBJyZ


COMMUNITY NEWS

  • Community News team is working hard to bring us something new to read every day and keep us informed about happenings in the Fleet. If you like what they are doing, show them appreciation by leaving comments on the articles.

(newest at the top, oldest at the bottom)
1. Poll of the Week: The Razor’s Edge: http://goo.gl/jVbLYi

2. Farewell WIM 2014: http://goo.gl/8m04kv

3. Advancing the Plot: http://goo.gl/n19XSi

4. International Space Station: 15 Years Old! : http://goo.gl/rv0nBn

5. New Academy Graduates: http://goo.gl/3OKpky

6. January Recruitment Stats: http://goo.gl/IjUwRb

7. This Week on 118 Wiki – The Non-Canon Encyclopedia: Creatures : http://goo.gl/1AVzLa

8. A Closer Look: The USS Garuda: http://goo.gl/PxHgnP

9. Revisiting the Plot: How to Create the Base of a Convincing Story: http://goo.gl/XhgU77

10. Donation Thanks to Alexander Richards: http://goo.gl/DVZCXV

11. Tension: The Story’s Warp Drive: http://goo.gl/IQPIyn

12. January Plot Summary for the USS Vigilant: http://goo.gl/IuFI4z


FULL TEXT ARTICLES

** Poll of the Week: The Razor’s Edge **
Posted: Friday, 28 February 2014

No one can argue that Star Trek is a family oriented show. From its humble beginnings straight on through to the present day, watching Star Trek is one of those things that the whole family can participate in. Basically, it’s clean, fun, family entertainment. However, much like other family oriented television shows, the writers and producers sometimes like to see how far they can push the envelope and perhaps stir up controversy. Star Trek was not immune. This week we’ll look at some controversial episodes of Star Trek that have graced the small screen and let you will decide which you thought was the most controversial of all time, and why. So head on down to the polls (http://goo.gl/hWQu5J ), and as always, feel free to add to the list, should you know of a controversial episode of Star Trek that is not there.

** Farewell WIM 2014 **
Posted: Friday, 28 February 2014

It’s been an amazing month with plenty of things to learn. From live discussions and chats, to new (and old) tutorials, we’ve tried to offer you something that you can carry with you throughout the year. Now, as we say farewell to February, we hope that everyone is able to take with them a lesson or two that will improve their simming as the future months come and go. Be it information on how to develop the plot, or how to include more narrative in your sims, the items we touched on this month are readily available whenever you need them. Just head over to the Tutorial Library (http://goo.gl/o5XhQ3 ) to re-read the highlighted tutorials, or view some from years past. If you still have questions, never hesitate to contact your command staff for help or more information on how to develop your writing further. The WIM forum will also be available for a short while if you would rather ask your questions there. As we conclude our Writing Improvement Month for this year, please join us for the closing ceremonies in our IRC room (http://goo.gl/CdItQB ) at 12pm PST / 3pm EST / 8pm GMT / Sunday AM for Australia. We’d love to hear what your favorite part of the month was and what we can do to make it better in the future!

** Advancing the Plot **
Posted: Thursday, 27 February 2014

The secret to any good story is an incredible plot. There is so much story to be told, that you never want to miss a chance to flesh out an idea. Whether it is a personal plot, or a plot for a much longer story arch, they key to a great plot is detail. In a writing group, the only real way to convey this, is to weave your words together to make others sit on the edge of their seat. Keeping things interesting is the key to including others. It is easy for a plot to change with just a couple great ideas. The best way to advance the plot is to include others, and really focus on what is going on. Keep a close eye on what has already been written, because the most interesting plots are the ones that are believable. If you are operating near the Romulan Neutral Zone, would it really make sense for a Cardassian ship to show up? There are countless things to think about, and ways to advance any plot. Read the full tutorial (http://goo.gl/2xPR68 ) to see how easy it can be to advance the plot, and think about the things you may not have focused on in the past!

** International Space Station: 15 Years Old! **
Posted: Thursday, 27 February 2014

In November of 2013, humanity’s first international effort to place mankind in permanent orbit above our planet was accomplished. On the back of a Proton type rocket, the first segment of an ambitious endeavour was launched and placed 230 miles (370 km) above the planet’s surface. Since then, the International Space Station has accomplished hundreds of scientific mission and has made breakthroughs in the way we understand the universe. Originally born in the murky times of the 1980s and the cold war, The I.S.S. started out as a the Freedom project to counteract the Soviet Mir station and in 1984 the European Space Agency was invited to participate. It was not until 1993, that Vice President Al Gore and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin announced the creation of “international” space station. Since the first module was launched in November of 1998, fifteen countries have participated in building the station and over a thousand experiments have been run by the many scientific modules that had been included. It has been considered one of the first and best examples of national cooperation as many of the different sections were funded and built by a nation. Even with it’s six man multi-national crew, the station is considered one of the most important pieces to space exploration that is presently in operation. The International Space Station was originally only designed with a lifespan of a few years, but has broken records by being in use today. Even now, plans are in the work for the breakdown of the station and de-orbit of some pieces while others will be the building blocks for a new nation that would lead the way in to the first manned missions into the solar system. No matter the fate of this famous station, it’s contributions to the scientific community and as monument to the mutual cooperation, the importance of this station will not soon be forgotten.

** New Academy Graduates **
Posted: Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Kaliantha Hawn, Mathias Duncan, and Frank Lynn! http://goo.gl/gwf8wx

** January Recruitment Stats **
Posted: Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Each month, the Publicity Team (http://goo.gl/ANFgBi ) posts the number of applications our community received for the current year and how those applicants found our group. That summary will give you an idea of how we are reaching new applicants and how we can improve our efforts to reach new audiences. If you’re interested in helping with our publicity efforts, click the link above to check out the Publicity Team’s wiki area, and then the link to the Publicity Team’s Google Group where you can sign up to be a part of the team. We also want to keep you apprised of the number of graduates from the StarBase 118 Academy. Unfortunately, not all applicants graduate from the Academy because they either do not respond to roll call or do not complete the Academy requirements. The Training Team makes every effort to involve all applicants and to encourage them to complete the training. Applications: http://goo.gl/4MRTQD Academy Graduates: http://goo.gl/8ZNWXm Academy Graduation Rate: http://goo.gl/zr1XVi Annual Application Source: http://goo.gl/WnPhFC

** This Week on 118 Wiki – The Non-Canon Encyclopedia: Creatures **
Posted: Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Who doesn’t love a unique pet? Or maybe a safari of the wilderness of a distant moon? Creatures of all types inhabit the universe, and if you’ve discovered a new one recently, it belongs in the wiki's Non-Canon Encyclopedia: http://goo.gl/mI31xI

This guide (http://goo.gl/uhN7OZ ) and template (http://goo.gl/Llrua6 ) make it quick and easy. Any creature created by and for use in with Starbase 118 is fair game, whether it was introduced by you or someone else in a sim. Of course, you can always add your latest creation to the encyclopedia. When you're done, brag a bit on the forums (http://goo.gl/wfhP5d )

There is a specific template for adding shops to make the job that much easier; just follow the directions here: http://goo.gl/N0ndts

Here are a few already in the encyclopedia:


Spotlight on: Le-matya

Go hiking deep in the deserts of Vulcan and you may find yourself face-to-face with a le-matya (http://goo.gl/AA6NnV ), an experience few survive. The quick cat-like creatures are large, usually have orange and green skin, and are claws tipped with a nerve toxin. If you survive the desert variety, you might want to stay away from the volcanic plains, where a different variety of the creature can grow to be over two meters long and more than seventy-five kilograms. Watch out!

** A Closer Look: The USS Garuda **
Posted: Tuesday, 25 February 2014

To everything there is a season. Recently, two ships have come to the end of their seasons and two more have merely begun theres. One of these ships has included the Galaxy Class Starship, the USS Garuda.

The USS Garuda is, as mentioned before, a Galaxy Class ship. While not brand new, she is a post-Dominion ship, which means that she’s more advanced than the Enterprise-D. She houses state of the art laboratories and the advanced technologies available for scientific exploration and research. Compared to the Mercury, she has stronger shields and certainly more firepower. This will aid her as she explores deeper into the Menthar Corridor than her predecessor and will help protect the crew and civilians aboard. The purpose of the USS Garuda is the same as the Mercury’s – to seek out new life and new civilisations and to boldly go where no one has gone before! That’s just what she’s going to do to. The Garuda’s first mission is a First Contact with a new alien species called the Kubarey. According to Tony, the mastermind behind Captain Egan Manno, “the Kubarey are unique in the new species the Menthar Corridor mission has encountered in that they’re technologically matched with the Federation; they’ll serve as recurring antagonists or allies, depending upon the situation.” This, of course, opens up a whole new world of possibilities, especially in territory with such tense relations. Captain Egan Manno also let me in on another tidbit of what’s to come for the Garuda. At one point there was an Ancient Alliance, a group of powerful races that lived within the Corridor a thousand years ago. Whether they coexisted, subdued, or even allied with other races – well, perhaps we shouldn’t really get into too much detail. Some surprises are good after all. Thanks to the mountain of work that must be done on the Mercury, all of the staff have been transferred – most to the Garuda. While some of the Garuda officers were merely reassigned, others have suffered demotions to make room for those coming in from the Mercury. What will this mean as officers have to work together? Will there be resentment? Or can they let it go? Only time will tell. Welcome to the fleet, USS Garuda!

** Revisiting the Plot: How to Create the Base of a Convincing Story **
Posted: Monday, 24 February 2014

Without a good plot, or a story to follow, our characters are basically just muddling around in the dark. Every player knows that if there are no problems to solve, or crises to overcome, then there is little reason for our characters to even be there. At the heart of every great sim, and exciting moment aboard your ship, is the plot that you and your fellow crewmates are weaving. So how do you add to it in a way that not only lends itself towards realism that can help bring a story to life, but also helps make things more exciting for you and those you sim with? It might not always seem easy, which is why we think it’s a good idea to revisit last year’s Writing Improvement Month tutorial on Sowing the Seeds of a Convincing Plot (http://goo.gl/YnX7jC ). Within, you’ll find helpful information that you can use regardless of what rank you are. Put these tips to use right away and start improving the story your characters live in, while making it more fun to sim yourself. In the end, you’ll soon realize how helpful it can be to build on a plot realistically, enabling those around you to do the same.

** Donation Thanks to Alexander Richards **
Posted: Monday, 24 February 2014

Many thanks to Alexander Richards of the USS Gemini, who donated again. Donations like this help keep our website ad free and ensure that we’ll fulfill our yearly fundraising goals! Can you donate $10, $25, or $50 today to help sustain our community? http://goo.gl/cfPwDv

** Tension: The Story’s Warp Drive **
Posted: Sunday, 23 February 2014

Your story could transport readers to strange new worlds, but without tension in the right measure, it’s sure to be an unmanned mission. Tension is the warp drive that pulls a reader along the course you’ve set; it’s what keeps a reader (wait for it …) engaged. So how do you use tension to keep a reader on the edge of their seat rather than on the verge of sleep? Below are 10 ideas to kick-start a scene that’s missing a certain bite. Pulled in all directions Before we can talk about adding in tension, there’s a big question to consider. How much tension do you need? And when? It depends on where you are in the story and whether it’s long or short. In general, tension must rise and then fall, but the exact course varies – you may want to release tension along the way so you can build it up again quickly near the climax. The charts below show what your story might look like if plotting tension over the course of the story. Novel/Multi-mission Arc: http://goo.gl/FJK0XJ Short Story/Mission: http://goo.gl/vaI25y Sim - Rising Action: http://goo.gl/vbLbQC Sim - Falling Action: http://goo.gl/pXIldT Building and Releasing Tension Knowing how much tension you need is moot if you can’t control it. When your writing needs a quick jolt or feels overwrought, try one of these methods adjust the tension up or down: 1. Characterization: Without relatable characters, it’s difficult to get readers invested enough for anything else to work. Sorry, this isn’t a “quick fix,” but it’s what you need to get readers invested in the story. Start here. 2. Secrets: A character keeping a secret builds tension, especially if the audience knows they’re keeping one but doesn’t know what it is. Uncovering the secret releases that tension, as long as it was a good secret! The DaVinci Code is filled with secrets kept from one another and from the audience. The uncertainty the reader feels toward them pulls them through to the last pages. 3. Danger: Putting a character in physical, social, or emotional peril gives readers a reason to keep going. The greater the danger, the more tension in the scene. North By Northwest’s scene on top of Mount Rushmore wouldn’t pack the same punch if it happened on flat ground. 4. Twists: Plot twists can keep readers fully engaged, but only if they can believe the twist. If it doesn’t seem plausible, it doesn’t work. 5. Reveals: Allowing the audience a quick, incomplete peek at a mystery pulls them along. A memorable example is glimpsing the back of Darth Vader’s unmasked head. Letting the audience see the whole thing can release that tension. 6. Humor: If you want to release a bit of tension, a quick joke or a play on words is a great way to do it. 7. Time: Just like in real life, a clock ticking toward a deadline builds tension. In Apollo 13, the astronauts have to lower the cabin’s CO2 level within a short, known time frame, or they’ll die. That’s a great use of time and danger to raise the tension felt by the audience. 8. Delay: If we can see an inevitable, dramatic event coming from a long way off, and it gets slowly closer and closer, it builds anticipation of what will eventually happen. If there’s a near miss, it has an even bigger effect. The film Titanic uses this effect well. The audience knows from the start that the ship will sink (spoiler alert!), which leaves them anxiously awaiting the event. 9. The Unexpected: Bumping into something the characters didn’t expect can jumpstart the audience’s curiosity. This can be figurative, but it can sometimes be literal. Every time Indiana Jones and his companions suddenly discover the victim of a booby trap, we realize that they could be next. 10. Language: Your sentence structure and word choice affect your readers’ reaction to the story. As the climax approaches, try using shorter, simpler sentences. Readers will feel like the action is speeding up and a dramatic turning point is just ahead.

** January Plot Summary for the USS Vigilant **
Posted: Saturday, 22 February 2014

After down time granted for reacclimation to duties in the wake of the Ravensville incident, the crew of the USS Vigilant, NCC-75515 received notification that the ship would be inspected by the Stratigo of Zakdorn, Bokzadema Bokzadeshti. Knowing the Zakdorn’s penchant for gaining a tactical upper hand, Fleet Captain Diego Herrera ordered the crew to prepare for the inspection at short notice… but the Stratigo never came. At least not until 3am the next morning. Her efforts to catch the crew snoozing were inconvenient at worst but the revelation of the real reason for her visit came as the heaviest blow. During the Vigilant’s construction, she had placed a bug in escape pod 1A which had been phased to avoid detection. After playing scenes from the previous year that had taken place on the bridge and in the ready room as proof, Bokzadeshti left, claiming that the Vigilant crew were not as observant as they thought and that things on Zakdorn IV had not been quelled one year earlier. An irate Fleet Captain Herrera ordered the ship to be combed for bugs and surveillance equipment but this only resulted in the rediscovery of the virus that had been stalking Lieutenant Dueld taJoot since his arrival. After landing the ship, efforts to purge the virus have resulted in the auto-destruct sequence arming. Meanwhile, in the capital, the away team awaits another meeting with the Stratigo to find out more about her allegations that a dark power lurks within the Federation.

-----------------------------------
Commander Raj Blueheart
Commanding Officer
USS Atlantis, NCC-74682
Newsletter Editor

Mar 4, 2014

This Week on 118Wiki - Non-Canon Encyclopedia - Music

  • Will Maurer

Who’s playing at the Salty Dawg on Thursday? And have you heard about the concert coming up at the Vexan Theatre? Music is a part of nearly every culture in the galaxy, and if you’ve discovered a new band, singer, or theater recently, it belongs in the wiki's The Non-Canon Encyclopedia.

This guide and template make it quick and easy. Any creature created by and for use in with Starbase 118 is fair game, whether it was introduced by you or someone else in a sim. Of course, you can always add your latest creation to the encyclopedia. When you're done, brag a bit on the forums!

Here are a few already in the encyclopedia:


Spotlight on: Warp Drive and the Ithassa Five

If you associate Warp Drive with the technology that makes interstellar distances a puddle-jump away, it’s time to crawl out from under the rock you’re living under! Everyone knows that Warp Drive is the stage name of J.J. Feneth, the lead singer of Warp Drive and the Ithassa Five. If you’re looking for some of those historic blues or some jazz to move your spirit, this is a great band to start with. They can be heard live throughout the Alpha Quadrant. If you’re still on the fence about their next concert, consider this: the band gives a fifth of its earnings to the Varani Music Academy in Jalanda City, Bajor.

----
Lt. Commander Ben Livingston
First Officer
USS Excalibur-A

Mar 8, 2014

Weekly Newsletter 2391.10

  • Raj Blueheart

Happy weekend, fleetmates!

FLEET EVENTS

Fleet Chat

  • Our next chat is scheduled for TOMORROW, Sunday, 9 March 2014 at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern (US) / 6pm GMT (UK) / 4am Monday UTC+11 (AUS). Always check your time zone for accuracy/DST if applicable! http://bit.ly/fVGEmH
  • Our fleet chats are a space for all the members of the Starbase 118 group to meet each other, learn about fleet events, and talk about Star Trek. Chats are always held on the second Sunday of every month, but you can head into the chat room at any time to see who else is there.

Top Sims Contest

  • The first run-off round for the year closes TOMORROW, Sunday, 9 March 2014! Vote here, vote now! http://goo.gl/Kvv4TJ
  • Nominations for Round 9 also end TOMORROW, Sunday, 9 March 2014! Read the rules to submit a nomination: http://goo.gl/FS1w5e
  • The list of past winners can be viewed here: http://goo.gl/V5Xw0i

Featured Bio Contest

  • Congratulations to March 2014 Featured Bio winner, Captain Quinn Reynolds! http://goo.gl/hBXZhv Congratulations also to Lt Alexander Richards, whose bio is the Star Pick of the month! http://goo.gl/oMHLpa
  • Nominations for Round 5 end 1 April 2014. Read the rules and submit your nominations here: http://goo.gl/xw6ELE

Writing Challenge

  • The March & April Writing Challenge is now officially open, with the most unique theme yet: Rabbits! Read the rules here: http://goo.gl/MXKapb to submit an entry by 25 April 2014.
  • In the meantime, congratulations to Sal Taybrim, winner of the first image-inspired Challenge with his story “Conspiracy Theories” (http://goo.gl/iCmYwe ). Congratulations also to runners-up Ceilidh Riverview, with “New Beginnings” (http://goo.gl/UYJDGE )and Kieran Waddell, with “Back-up Plan” (http://goo.gl/uzzwxz )
  • Get your PDF version of the full compilation of the January & February Writing Challenge, with all the entrants' stories and judges' comments here: http://goo.gl/KPVe5B

The Fleet Calendar

  • Ever lose track and wonder what is going on in the fleet? You can now find out by taking a look at our very own Calendar! http://goo.gl/AoZOW7 Make sure to select Fleet Events!

This Week on 118 Wiki – The Non-Canon Encyclopedia

Poll of the Week


PUBLICITY Get your FREE promotional flyer and post it in your community to help find new members! US: http://sb118.net/15Rg8D9 UK: http://sb118.net/16VBJyZ


COMMUNITY NEWS

  • Community News team is working hard to bring us something new to read every day and keep us informed about happenings in the Fleet. If you like what they are doing, show them appreciation by leaving comments on the articles.

(newest at the top, oldest at the bottom)
1. February Plot Summary for the USS Excalibur: http://goo.gl/xdu8Rh

2. Donation Thanks to Two Members: http://goo.gl/pjkVhg

3. February Plot Summary for the USS Atlantis: http://goo.gl/xNrtQL

4. Top Sims Contest Update: http://goo.gl/8h8xVo

5. March Featured Bio Winner: http://goo.gl/VRDDzz

6. This Week on 118 Wiki – The Non-Canon Encyclopedia: Music: http://goo.gl/hA6bVp

7. February Plot Summary for the USS Darwin: http://goo.gl/8b3VIL

8. New Academy Graduate: http://goo.gl/womdjF

9. Executive Council Passes Bylaw 8: http://goo.gl/pT8bFu

10. Donation Thanks to Jalana Laxyn: http://goo.gl/vSyhRo

11. March Fleetwide OOC Chat: http://goo.gl/2d83k1

12. Andromeda In The Sky: http://goo.gl/mS29Tk


FULL TEXT ARTICLES

** February Plot Summary for the USS Excalibur **
Posted: Saturday, 8 March 2014

The morning following the live test, the crew of the USS Excalibur-A, NCC-41903, prepared for a mission of pure exploration. With the directive to test the slipstream drive and explore beyond charted space, excitement traveled quickly. Some chose to join the occasion on the bridge, while others buried themselves in work. Whatever they were doing, it didn’t last long. Not long after the drive was engaged, the ship was ripped from the slipstream and thrown through ‘normal’ space. Soon, everyone began experiencing mental illusions and hallucinations around them. Ranging from seeing passed loved ones to fears brought to life, the stability of everyone was questioned. While the medical staff and science officers worked on a solution, a distress call came in. A ship nearby was being swallowed by some unknown force. With seconds to act, the Captain orders the occupant transported aboard allowing everyone to learn a little about the area of space they’ve stumbled into. Not far from their position in space was a station made of biotechnical material. The occupant that had been saved seemed leery of the crew, yet was diplomatic enough until she was returned to her station upon an ultimatum issued by the station’s commander. Since her return, nothing had been received from the station, even in return to a request to come aboard in peace. There was an eerie silence between the two, broken only when a massive energy wave sweeps through the sector hitting both station and ship like an invisible brick wall.

** Donation Thanks to Two Members **
Posted: Thursday, 6 March 2014

This week, we had two members donate: Sundassa Faranster of the USS Apollo, and Nugra of the Duronis II Embassy. Donations like these help keep our website ad free and ensure that we’ll fulfill our yearly fundraising goals! Can you donate $10, $25, or $50 today to help sustain our community? http://goo.gl/eCKtQ3

** February Plot Summary for the USS Atlantis **
Posted: Thursday, 6 March 2014

Following decommissioning, the crew of the USS Discovery and Starbase 118 Ops are reshuffled and reassigned to the USS Atlantis, recommissioned after nine years in the inactive fleetyard, under the command of first-time CO, Commander Raj Blueheart. The crew gets together on Deep Space 26, an abandoned Chon outpost taken over by Starfleet to establish a Federation presence in the Par’tha Expanse, the region of space Atlantis is tasked to oversee. The Expanse, being largely uncharted, makes it an ideal sector for the Atlantis to explore and conduct scientific research, its primary objectives. As the crew members begin to get to know each other, they receive their very first mission: to provide transport to Ambassador Haerin, representative of the Grenushi Imperial government on Uzoka 5, to the Krayav Republic on Uzoka 4. The Ambassador is to deliver a gift to the Krayav following a successful peace dialogue between the two governments. But there those amongst the crew who feel the mysterious gift may be something more, and that the Ambassador is hiding a terrible secret from them. With the Ambassador on board, the Atlantis begins its journey to the far side of the Expanse, having to pass the fringes of the enigmatic and unpredictable Jenatris Cloud along its way. Will it be an uneventful maiden mission for the new crew? What will they encounter along their journey across the Expanse? And what of the Ambassador and his curious gift? All will be revealed as the Atlantis’ first mission unfolds!

** Top Sims Contest Update **
Posted: Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The Top Sims Contest is now accepting nominations for Round 9 of 2014. Every day, your crew mates write the kinds of sims that make our community one of the greatest groups of our kind. Making sure they get the recognition they deserve is easy, and only takes a minute: 1. Visit the Top Sims Contest forum: http://goo.gl/W92PW6 2. Check the calendar to see which round we’re on: http://goo.gl/Z1DD4H 3. Start a new topic and paste the sim into the text field. Nominating a sim is as easy as enjoying it, so don’t hold back. Each sim will go to our judges panel to determine which one goes to the next run-off round. One of the sims you read today could be the Top Sim of 2014, but only if you take the time to nominate it. And while you’re out there, be sure to vote in the First Runoff Round of 2014. Voting closes March 9th, so make your voice heard.

** March Featured Bio Winner **
Posted: Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Captain Quinn Reynolds is chief intelligence officer aboard the USS Garuda. Her long, rich history in the fleet has seen her serve on a myriad number of ships including occupying the centre chairs of both the USS Eagle and the USS Drake. A tormented Martian genius, she has been involved in a number of classified, high risk missions that led to her posting to the Menthar Corridor, an area near to Breen, Tholian and Cardassian space. Tolerant, flexible, yet socially awkward, Reynolds often spends off duty time working on a thesis or academic project, or playing the piano. She appreciates the relationship between music and mathematics and finds the logical nature of technology reassuring. In some respects, that makes life aboard a starship ideal, although she is also a gardening enthusiast and keeps a sizable garden at her home in the Columbia Hills settlement on Mars. This month, our star pick bio belongs to Lieutenant Alexander Richards, so congratulations to him!! Captain Reynolds’s bio (http://goo.gl/Ma0Z2A ) will be displayed on the wiki’s front page (http://goo.gl/5YJ9Z0 )for the month of January. As always, you can find out more about the contest at its wiki page (http://goo.gl/ItWYBY ) or in its forum (http://goo.gl/YfV9iC ). Round 5 is now open, so be sure to drop by and submit your own nominations!

** This Week on 118 Wiki – The Non-Canon Encyclopedia: Music **
Posted: Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Who’s playing at the Salty Dawg on Thursday? And have you heard about the concert coming up at the Vexan Theatre? Music is a part of nearly every culture in the galaxy, and if you’ve discovered a new band, singer, or theater recently, it belongs in the wiki's Non-Canon Encyclopedia: http://goo.gl/mI31xI

This guide (http://goo.gl/uhN7OZ ) and template (http://goo.gl/Llrua6 ) make it quick and easy. Any music-related event created by and for use in with Starbase 118 is fair game, whether it was introduced by you or someone else in a sim. Of course, you can always add your latest creation to the encyclopedia. When you're done, brag a bit on the forums (http://goo.gl/wfhP5d ) Here are a few already in the encyclopedia:


Spotlight on: Warp Drive and the Ithassa Five

If you associate Warp Drive with the technology that makes interstellar distances a puddle-jump away, it’s time to crawl out from under the rock you’re living under! Everyone knows that Warp Drive is the stage name of J.J. Feneth, the lead singer of Warp Drive and the Ithassa Five. If you’re looking for some of those historic blues or some jazz to move your spirit, this is a great band to start with. They can be heard live throughout the Alpha Quadrant. If you’re still on the fence about their next concert, consider this: the band gives a fifth of its earnings to the Varani Music Academy in Jalanda City, Bajor.

** February Plot Summary for the USS Darwin **
Posted: Tuesday, 4 March 2014

With the planet of Talvath armed with the tools they needed to begin their restoration, the crew of the USS Darwin, NCC 99312-A headed to Deep Space 6 for some much needed rest and relaxation. Wasting zero time of their first shore leave together they began forging strong social and professional relationships right up until the Commander signalled an official end to shore leave. As the Darwin prepared to leave, Commander Reinard presented the crew with service ribbons and promotions for the excellent work on the last mission. As the crew dispersed, Captain Hallum briefed Commander Reinard about the suspected contents of the just departed Freighter Tenacity. Armed with the knowledge that this Freighter was believed to be carrying weapons illegally the Darwin set out from Deep Space 6 at high warp. Working diligently the crew of the Darwin successfully followed the path left by Tenacity despite the freighters attempts to shake them. Shrugging off the dated weaponry on the Tenacity, the crew disabled and brought the Freighter into the Containment sphere to hold, pending their investigation. As away teams beamed over to the contained Freighter the task of trawling through the the contents of the Freighter became a quick priority. Back on the Darwin, Commander Reinard and his team began to ask questions of the two Laudean officers, accused by Deep Space 6 of transporting weapons illegally. Their claims to innocence were soon to be tested as the away team begins to uncover the true nature of their cargo.

** New Academy Graduate **
Posted: Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Please welcome our newest Academy graduate to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Larren Cye! http://goo.gl/T3chxg

** Executive Council Passes Bylaw 8 **
Posted: Monday, 3 March 2014

A new bylaw has been added, which deals with the decommissioning of ships. You can find it on the Bylaws page (http://goo.gl/bUQ2Qo ) of the website, under Bylaw 8. While decommissioning of a vessel is still in the hands of the Executive Council (EC), this bylaw has been introduced to remove some of the ambiguity around the process and create firmer guidelines for when a ship might be in consideration to be decommissioned. The EC has carefully considered the circumstances in which a ship is headed into what we call “the death spiral,” which is characterized by a decreasing sim count month-by-month, and come up with various metric which would trigger a decommissioning. The goal is to ensure that captains are not only more aware of their monthly metrics, but that there is a procedure by which the EC will be prompted to warn a captain that a decommissioning could be imminent, so that circumstance can be avoided. As always, we’re looking for ways to clarify our policies and make them clearer and more transparent. If you have any suggestions about other ways we can improve the community, be sure to talk to your captain!

** Donation Thanks to Jalana Laxyn **
Posted: Sunday, 2 March 2014

Many thanks to Jalana Laxyn of the USS Apollo, who donated recently. Donations like this help keep our website ad free and ensure that we’ll fulfill our yearly fundraising goals! Can you donate $10, $25, or $50 today to help sustain our community? http://goo.gl/eCKtQ3

** March Fleetwide OOC Chat **
Posted: Sunday, 2 March 2014

Mark your calendars for the next fleetwide chat, coming up on Sunday, March 9th at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern (US) / 6pm GMT (UK) / 5am Monday UTC+11 (AUS). Always check your time zone for accuracy/DST if applicable! To participate, simply head to our online chat room, at: http://goo.gl/X7e7Mt — if you have problems connecting, use the instructions listed below the chat box. Our fleetwide chats are a space for all the members of the StarBase 118 group to get together and talk in real time about everything that’s happening within the group. Come by and see what goings-on are happening off your ship and talk more about Writing Improvement Month! Chats are always held on the second Sunday of every month, but you can head into the chat room at any time to see who else is there.

** Andromeda In The Sky **
Posted: Saturday, 1 March 2014

The ‘Milky Way’, home to our own solar system in which Earth resides, is enormous. How big is it? If you’re talking about diameter, why that would be right around 100,000 light years. Yeah, that’s big – and Star Trek has focused on the fictional exploration of this massive galaxy. To get a sense of how expansive the Milky Way is, Voyager’s return from its position in the Delta quadrant was estimated as seventy years en route. In our own canon, there are various parts of the Milky Way being explored as we write our own stories in this fascinating Universe. The Milky Way is not, however, the only galaxy in the Universe.

Scientists aren’t sure how many galaxies there truly are. While we can see a great many of them, we can only see a tiny portion of the Universe even with the Hubble taking pictures from out in space. Some galaxies are closer than others, but one in particular stands out – or it would if it were just a little brighter. Andromeda can be seen with the naked eye when conditions are right, but it’s a rather dim resident. Recently, however, a man by the name of Tom Buckley-Houston inserted an image of Andromeda into a picture of the moon on the horizon in an attempt to show how it would appear if it were brighter. The result is a thing of beauty, but what about the accuracy? According to Phil Plait, astronomer and columnist for http://www.slate.com/ ‘s ‘Bad Astronomy’ blog states ‘that looks about right to me!’ (http://goo.gl/sRKMLB ). Wouldn’t it be awesome if Andromeda really was that bright in the sky?

-----------------------------------
Commander Raj Blueheart
Commanding Officer
USS Atlantis, NCC-74682
Newsletter Editor

Mar 12, 2014

This Week on 118 Wiki - The Non-Canon Encyclopedia - Technology

  • Will Maurer

Beam me up! Technology, in all its forms, is pervasive in our universe, and it builds on itself. Our scientists, engineers, and StarFleet officers continually make life better and accomplish mission objectives. We’re not the only ones, either – alien races and adversaries are always upping the ante! Whether you invented it, encountered it, or liked what a shipmate came up with, it belongs in the wiki's The Non-Canon Encyclopedia.

This guide and template make it quick and easy. Any technology created by and for use with Starbase 118 is fair game, whether it was introduced by you or someone else in a sim. Of course, you can always add your latest creation to the encyclopedia. When you're done, brag a bit on the forums!


Spotlight on: RoLFs

In some ways the epitome of technology, RoLFs (that is, Robotic Life Forms) are designed and manufactured specifically to perform the difficult, mundane, or labor-intensive functions that make life difficult. RoLFs come with different skill-sets, known as degrees. While First-degree RoLFs are skilled in matters of mathematics and medicine, Fifth-degree RoLFs are useful only as menial labor, used commonly in mining operations or other hazardous areas.

RoLFs originate in the Par’tha expanse. Two major manufacturers and numerous minor ones design and build the devices, taking part in a lucrative industry, the products of which permeate life in the region – even if they are often tucked in out-of-the-way, unseen places. Exactly what the RoLFs think of the situation – or if they do – is not yet completely explored …


----
Lt. Commander Ben Livingston
First Officer
USS Excalibur-A

Mar 15, 2014

Weekly Newsletter 2391.11

  • Raj Blueheart

Happy weekend, fleetmates!

FLEET EVENTS

Top Sims Contest

Featured Bio Contest

  • Congratulations to March 2014 Featured Bio winner, Captain Quinn Reynolds! http://goo.gl/hBXZhv Congratulations also to Lt Alexander Richards, whose bio is the Star Pick of the month! http://goo.gl/oMHLpa
  • Nominations for Round 5 end 1 April 2014. Read the rules and submit your nominations here: http://goo.gl/xw6ELE

Fleet Chat

  • Our next chat is scheduled for Sunday, 13 April 2014 at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern (US) / 6pm GMT (UK) / 4am Monday UTC+11 (AUS). Always check your time zone for accuracy/DST if applicable! http://bit.ly/fVGEmH
  • Our fleet chats are a space for all the members of the Starbase 118 group to meet each other, learn about fleet events, and talk about Star Trek. Chats are always held on the second Sunday of every month, but you can head into the chat room at any time to see who else is there.

Writing Challenge

  • The March & April Writing Challenge is now officially open, with the most unique theme yet: Rabbits! Read the rules here: http://goo.gl/MXKapb to submit an entry by 25 April 2014.
  • In the meantime, congratulations to Sal Taybrim, winner of the first image-inspired Challenge with his story “Conspiracy Theories” (http://goo.gl/iCmYwe ). Congratulations also to runners-up Ceilidh Riverview, with “New Beginnings” (http://goo.gl/UYJDGE )and Kieran Waddell, with “Back-up Plan” (http://goo.gl/uzzwxz )
  • Get your PDF version of the full compilation of the January & February Writing Challenge, with all the entrants' stories and judges' comments here: http://goo.gl/KPVe5B

The Fleet Calendar

  • Ever lose track and wonder what is going on in the fleet? You can now find out by taking a look at our very own Calendar! http://goo.gl/AoZOW7 Make sure to select Fleet Events!

This Week on 118 Wiki – The Non-Canon Encyclopedia

Poll of the Week


PUBLICITY Get your FREE promotional flyer and post it in your community to help find new members! US: http://sb118.net/15Rg8D9 UK: http://sb118.net/16VBJyZ


COMMUNITY NEWS

  • Community News team is working hard to bring us something new to read every day and keep us informed about happenings in the Fleet. If you like what they are doing, show them appreciation by leaving comments on the articles.

(newest at the top, oldest at the bottom)
1. Poll of the Week: Lost: http://goo.gl/0lOYKM

2. A Diamond is an Astronaut’s Best Friend: http://goo.gl/Kk9PyW

3. This Week on 118 Wiki – The Non-Canon Encyclopedia: Technology: http://goo.gl/M93qop

4. February Plot Summary for the Duronis II Embassy: http://goo.gl/7hO3X3

5. Forums Roundup: March 2014: http://goo.gl/xOg1Vm

6. 10 Years of 118Wiki: http://goo.gl/JE1gDw

7. February Plot Summary for the USS Vigilant: http://goo.gl/wB4ORl

8. Promotions for February 2014: http://goo.gl/I2QzPI


FULL TEXT ARTICLES

** Poll of the Week: Lost **
Posted: Friday, 14 March 2014

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this tropic port
Aboard this tiny ship.
You were a mighty sailing person,
The Captain brave and sure.
Five passengers set sail that day
For a three hour tour, a three hour tour.
The weather started getting rough,
The tiny ship was tossed,
If not for the courage of the fearless crew
The minnow would be lost, the minnow would be lost.
The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle
With you
A Starfleet Captain too,
The millionaire and his wife,
The movie star
The professor and Mary Ann,
Here on some deserted isle.
So. Who do you think would be the Captain that would give you the best chance to have you all rescued in short order, and why? Head on down to the polls and let us know: http://goo.gl/usTJxQ

** A Diamond is an Astronaut’s Best Friend **
Posted: Thursday, 13 March 2014

Ah, jewels. They come in all colours, shapes, and sizes. My particular favourite is one that’s considered on semi precious – the ever lovely, ever purple Amethyst. It probably doesn’t hurt that it’s my birthstone. Most people are familiar with that, but also stones that tend to be more desirable. Rubies, sapphires, emeralds, they are all beautiful and considered precious. When one thinks of expensive jewels and precious stones, however, usually it’s the diamond that comes first to mind.

Diamonds have been treasured by various peoples for various reasons for centuries. In ancient India, they were used as religious icons. They’ve been used as engraving tools for thousands of years. They became particularly popular during the 19th century, mainly due to an increased supply, and became even more so in the 20th century thanks to a DeBeers’ campaign which coined the phrase ‘A diamond is forever’. While not the only event to spur this lust for the sparkling rocks, this advertising played a large part in the modern popularity of diamonds. Today, over 78% of engagement rings contain at least one diamond. Despite claims to the contrary, diamonds aren’t really that rare. They might have been difficult to access at one point, but modern tools and discoveries of various pockets of diamonds have increased the world’s supply. Advertisers like to tout the rarity of such gems, but Earth actually abounds with these shiny stones. Funny thing is, it looks like space may also have a rather large supply! 55 Cancri orbits a star not far from our own. While only about twice the size of Earth, it’s far too hot to support life. However, that heat combined with its makeup, which is mainly of carbon, make it the perfect environment to create diamonds! It’s estimated that about a third of the planet consists of this most sought after jewel. Move over Hope Diamond! You’ve lost your crown. Read about 55 Cancri here: http://goo.gl/Inhoxq

** This Week on 118 Wiki – The Non-Canon Encyclopedia: Technology **
Posted: Thursday, 13 March 2014

Beam me up! Technology, in all its forms, is pervasive in our universe, and it builds on itself. Our scientists, engineers, and StarFleet officers continually make life better and accomplish mission objectives. We’re not the only ones, either – alien races and adversaries are always upping the ante! Whether you invented it, encountered it, or liked what a shipmate came up with, it belongs in the wiki's Non-Canon Encyclopedia: http://goo.gl/mI31xI

This guide (http://goo.gl/uhN7OZ ) and template (http://goo.gl/Llrua6 ) make it quick and easy. Any music-related event created by and for use in with Starbase 118 is fair game, whether it was introduced by you or someone else in a sim. Of course, you can always add your latest creation to the encyclopedia. When you're done, brag a bit on the forums (http://goo.gl/wfhP5d ) Spotlight on: RoLFs

In some ways the epitome of technology, RoLFs (that is, Robotic Life Forms) (http://goo.gl/M93qop ) are designed and manufactured specifically to perform the difficult, mundane, or labor-intensive functions that make life difficult. RoLFs come with different skill-sets, known as degrees. While First-degree RoLFs are skilled in matters of mathematics and medicine, Fifth-degree RoLFs are useful only as menial labor, used commonly in mining operations or other hazardous areas.

RoLFs originate in the Par’tha expanse. Two major manufacturers and numerous minor ones design and build the devices, taking part in a lucrative industry, the products of which permeate life in the region – even if they are often tucked in out-of-the-way, unseen places. Exactly what the RoLFs think of the situation – or if they do – is not yet completely explored …

** February Plot Summary for the Duronis II Embassy **
Posted: Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The crew of the USS Thunder NCC 70605-A, fresh from returning from DS9, was now enjoying their remaining shore leave on Duronis.Some, like Ambassador Della Vetri and Lieutenant Commander T’Lea, got used to their new digs at the Embassy. The crew received the most joyous news when Fleet Captain Toni Turner went into labor, and gave birth to a baby girl, who she named Breeanna Turner-Tallis, or Bree for short. Shore leave had to end sometime, and Starfleet got the USS Thunder crew in action. Most of the senior staff, with the exception of Commander Alucard Vess and Captain Turner, now on maternity leave, were tasked with assisting a Laudean archaeological expedition in the Quentisi Mountain Range. Gathering their teams together, they set off for the site… Meanwhile, back at the Embassy, a visitor…a Romulan ambassador, requested a meeting with Ambassador Vetri and the remaining senior staff. His purpose…to gain the release of the Romulan assassin T’Ana, and return her to the new Romulan Republic. All was not smooth, as the ambassador was attacked shortly after his shuttle arrived, but it did not deter him. Several remaining crew members were en route to try to identify the perpetrator…the believed second assassin…before he/she could strike again…..

** Forums Roundup: March 2014 **
Posted: Tuesday, 11 March 2014

With this year’s Writing Improvement Month behind us, it might seem like the activities are dying down, but they really aren’t! No matter what time of year, there is always something happening around the Starbase 118 forums. Here are just a few of the things you can get into with your fleetmates in March. We’re always looking for ways to make our events better for everyone involved. As such, we’d love to hear from you you with your thoughts on this year’s Writing Improvement Month. Be sure to share any ideas you might have for next year and we’ll see if they can be incorporated: http://goo.gl/AkuZ6R Looking for other places to write and share your creativity? We’ve got a few areas where you can write IC on the forums just to have some fun. Even better, you can interact with people from other ships while you’re having fun. http://goo.gl/1cXIRc There are always a number of groups and teams that could use your help around the fleet. From large projects to small ones that would only take you a few minutes, there really is a way for everyone to help no matter how much time you have to offer. Take a look at the list of available teams that need you today and contact the facilitators or your CO for more information: http://goo.gl/OmWUby There are some new ships on the block! Head over to their forums and welcome them to the fleet or learn more about their vessels: http://goo.gl/5ZR7Xr There’s a new Trek related question on the forums every single week. Head over to the Poll of the Week thread and join in the conversation or suggest a question for the future: http://goo.gl/yJIph2 And of course, there’s tons more. Be sure to check in from time to time so that you don’t miss a thing. See you around the fleet!

** 10 Years of 118Wiki **
Posted: Monday, 10 March 2014

Our 118Wiki (http://goo.gl/lq6DDy ) marks its 10th anniversary of launching today! You can take a look at the first layout of the page at this link: http://goo.gl/tqhHiK Step through the history of the main page by clicking the “Newer revision” link at the top of the page and see how things have changed over the last 10 years. In 10 years, there have been nearly 306,000 views of our main page on the wiki, and we currently have over 7,100 pages. Recent improvements to the wiki include hundreds of revamped pages with more graphical elements, templates that make it easier to create and upkeep pages, auto-building rosters, and much more. Many thanks to LtCmdr. Roshanara Rahman, our resident wiki coding expert, who has been tirelessly working on these improvements. There’s another big anniversary coming up on June 15th: Our community’s 20th anniversary of launching!

** February Plot Summary for the USS Vigilant **
Posted: Monday, 10 March 2014

The Vigilant crew was still mired in problems and split into two groups. An Away Team joined FltCapt. Diego Herrera to meet with the Zakdorn Stratigo, Bokzadema Bokzadeshti in Prak Zel. Lt Cmdr. A’ern Zerxes, First Officer, remained on the ship as team works to stop a virus-triggered auto-destruct. Herrera’s team faced accusations from Bokzadeshti that Federation policies were favoring founding races such as Terrans and Vulcans to the detriment of other worlds. Herrera sent a team led by LtCmdr. Eerie to investigate suspected conspiratorial activity at the Sulliban embassy. Shortly after they left, the chamber that held Herrera, Bokzadeshti, and other crew suddenly began filling with toxic gas! They managed to access environmental systems to reverse the gas flow but remained trapped and detected armed Sulliban nearby! Meanwhile, Dr. Velana and LtCmdr. Alleran Tan worked on the evacuation of both Vigilant crew and civilians at Zakdorn IV’s Gelesev Shipyards. Lt. Dueld taJoot and his engineers eventually found a way to access the virus’ source and shut it down. The ship was completely powered down and temporarily emptied. Shortly after, Zerxes received communication from Herrera informing them of the problems at the capitol. Zerxes’ and Eerie’s teams encountered Sulliban assault teams in the streets. The teams chased off the Sulliban and reconnected with Herrera’s group. Lt. Richard Matthews was able to retrieve data from a chip found on the Sulliban. It revealed communication between the Sulliban and the Vulcan homeworld, adding significant weight to the Stratigo’s earlier conspiracy theory.

** Promotions for February 2014**
Posted: Sunday, 9 March 2014

The staff of UFOP: StarBase 118 would like to take a moment and recognize the officers promoted in the month of February. Please be sure to congratulate these folks when you see them in the corridors of your vessel! Darwin • James to Lieutenant Commander • Jack Corbin to Lieutenant JG Excalibur • Sal Taybrim to Lieutenant JG

-----------------------------------
Commander Raj Blueheart
Commanding Officer
USS Atlantis, NCC-74682
Newsletter Editor

Mar 22, 2014

Weekly Newsletter 2391.12

  • Raj Blueheart

Happy weekend, fleetmates!

FLEET EVENTS

Top Sims Contest

Featured Bio Contest

  • Congratulations to March 2014 Featured Bio winner, Captain Quinn Reynolds! http://goo.gl/hBXZhv Congratulations also to Lt Alexander Richards, whose bio is the Star Pick of the month! http://goo.gl/oMHLpa
  • Nominations for Round 5 end 1 April 2014. Read the rules and submit your nominations here: http://goo.gl/xw6ELE

Fleet Chat

  • Our next chat is scheduled for Sunday, 13 April 2014 at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern (US) / 6pm GMT (UK) / 4am Monday UTC+11 (AUS). Always check your time zone for accuracy/DST if applicable! http://bit.ly/fVGEmH
  • Our fleet chats are a space for all the members of the Starbase 118 group to meet each other, learn about fleet events, and talk about Star Trek. Chats are always held on the second Sunday of every month, but you can head into the chat room at any time to see who else is there.

Writing Challenge

  • The March & April Writing Challenge is now officially open, with the most unique theme yet: Rabbits! Read the rules here: http://goo.gl/MXKapb to submit an entry by 25 April 2014.
  • In the meantime, congratulations to Sal Taybrim, winner of the first image-inspired Challenge with his story “Conspiracy Theories” (http://goo.gl/iCmYwe ). Congratulations also to runners-up Ceilidh Riverview, with “New Beginnings” (http://goo.gl/UYJDGE )and Kieran Waddell, with “Back-up Plan” (http://goo.gl/uzzwxz )
  • Get your PDF version of the full compilation of the January & February Writing Challenge, with all the entrants' stories and judges' comments here: http://goo.gl/KPVe5B

The Fleet Calendar

  • Ever lose track and wonder what is going on in the fleet? You can now find out by taking a look at our very own Calendar! http://goo.gl/AoZOW7 Make sure to select Fleet Events!

Poll of the Week


PUBLICITY Get your FREE promotional flyer and post it in your community to help find new members! US: http://sb118.net/15Rg8D9 UK: http://sb118.net/16VBJyZ


COMMUNITY NEWS

  • Community News team is working hard to bring us something new to read every day and keep us informed about happenings in the Fleet. If you like what they are doing, show them appreciation by leaving comments on the articles.

(newest at the top, oldest at the bottom)
1. The Lower Decks: Leo Handley-Page: http://goo.gl/mk0635

2. Poll of the Week: The Best of the Best: http://goo.gl/cDBHJD

3. February Plot Summary for the USS Tiger: http://goo.gl/cAChMP

4. New Academy Graduates: http://goo.gl/9hPe3S

5. Featured Bio Contest Reminder: http://goo.gl/2al7IV

6. What Makes A Planet?: http://goo.gl/0l0jb8

7. February Plot Summary for the USS Garuda: http://goo.gl/oqiX4f

8. February 2014 Post Totals: http://goo.gl/MI4Rzd

9. A Moment with Commander Reinard: http://goo.gl/qVXNBm


FULL TEXT ARTICLES

** The Lower Decks: Leo Handley-Page **
Posted: Saturday, 22 March 2014

As the title graphic fades and the lights come up to show a stoic Vulcan sitting in a chair looking at the recorders. Beyond his chair the familiar small table sporting two coffee mugs and the chair of his guest.::

Sopek: Greetings to you my friends. It is time again for The Lower Decks. My guest today is the Chief Tactical & Security Officer on the USS Garuda, LtCmdr Leo Handley-Page. Good evening Commander.

Handley-Page: Good evening, old boy. Glad to be here.

Sopek: So, you’ve recently shifted to the Garuda. How can you compare it to the other ships you’ve served on?

Handley-Page: It’s certainly the biggest ship I have ever had the pleasure to serve on. We’re just heading out on our first mission. I have served with one or two of the crew before, but it’s good to meet new faces as well as familiar ones.

Sopek: I understand you have held a few positions within the ranks of the crew.

Handley-Page: I was privileged to have been First Officer when my previous ship, the USS Vigilant, was launched in 2389. I then became Strategic Operations Officer, Byzallian Liaison and Major of Marines before my recent transfer.

Sopek: What did you, in your position as the Strategic Operations Officer do?

Handley-Page: That is a good question. Basically, the role combines areas of Tactical, Security and a bit of Operations too. With such a good Chief Tactical & Security Officer on the Vigilant already in the imposing form of LtCmdr Eerie, I had taken the SOO dept in a more off-ship context, working with other departments to ensure the safety of the ship from hostile threats.

Sopek: You also led the Marine contingent on the Vigilant. What can you tell us about the Marines in your squad. What set them apart?

Handley-Page: I really enjoyed leading the marines, and I miss it very much. Being head of the marines fitted perfectly with my role of SOO. I also liked to think I was the bridge between the marines, and the ship’s security teams. My team of marines was second to none. They were fierce, determined, skilled and very brave. They were also all ladies, which is unusual but most welcome in our modern starship. Each and every one of them would be a credit to any ship in the Fleet. Knowing they have things under control allows me to take some time off, now and again.

Sopek: What about your pastimes?

Handley-Page: Well, I have quite a few. I enjoy playing with all kinds of gadgetry and mechanical curiosities. I have a large stash of them in my quarters. I am also quite fond of fencing, Parrises squares, investigating mysteries and listening to Byzallian music – mostly solid state surge and chemical metal.

Sopek: You’ve served a variety of ships and had your fair share of missions. Could you share some of your most memorable?

Handley-Page: Well, my career has been long and varied – ups and downs aplenty. I do recall some crazy antics. One mission that I recall as being especially epic was on the USS Vigilant earlier this year, during Fleet Captain Herrera’s absence on Duronis. The crew, under Acting CO Greir Reinard, flew to the underwater city of the Asavii people, and helped them evacuate their crumbling biodome and make a new life among the stars. We had to deal with giant building-eating eels and treachorous locals, especially the firebrand religious zealot of the tribe – Ozryn Bram. He was eventually defeated by his own plans when the eels he was trying to control turned on him and his temple.

Sopek: A truly fascinating mission. Being first officer and then a leader of the Marine contingent, do you aspire to command?

Handley-Page: Yes, I would dearly love to command a ship of my own one day.. but the course of one’s career takes many twists and turns, not all of them planned. Who knows.. maybe one day.. but for now I am content to do my duty and serve with the Fleet.

Sopek: ::With a slight nod.:: Did have you find that being Byzallian Liaison in the Zeta Gelis region and the Menthar Corridor affected your balance of duties?

Handley-Page: It had been relatively easy, and in some cases very useful. During a recent mission at Deep Space Six, a group of Zalkonian terrorists tried to seize the station, and our quantum slipstream drive for good measure. The gun battles to retake the station were furious, and were balanced on a knife edge. Fortunately the station had a platoon of Byzallian troops stationed there, and I was able to point them in the right direction of the battle. As for juggling it with my other duties, it fitted in nicely with being head of the marine contingent. Both Byzallians and Marines were experienced in the art of warfare, so the two roles went hand in hand. I am hoping one day that the USS Garuda may visit Byzatium. I can then give my colleagues a guided tour of the planet, assuming the war there had died down a bit.

Sopek: Is it hard being raised in such a manner?

Handley-Page: Yes, very hard indeed. I actually spent the first ten years of my life with my Mum and adoptive Dad in great comfort on Earth. However, my biological father – Mons Vor – took me, against my will, to live with him on Byzatium. From age eleven onwards, I was thrust into the dark world of intrigue and courtly battles as my father tried to unseat the government. He failed, and I escaped after seven years with him. I have never returned. I guess I was luckier than most. My father’s high rank meant that I faced very little of the everyday hardships of Byzallian life – but Mons Vor wrath was even worse at times than a continent full of *Crazies* (what we called the mutants wandering the wastelands there).

Sopek: And you chose then to enlist in the academy?

Handley-Page: Yes, I needed some place to not only hide, but to use the skills my father had instilled in me. If I just took any job on a private ship I’d probably have been hunted down and captured. Star Fleet academy was probably the safest to be at that time. I thoroughly enjoyed it and focused my energies into the areas of science and engineering. It was only after my unexpected career interlude that my focus moved more towards tactical and marines.

Sopek: Which interlude led you to that path?

Handley-Page: I was trapped in amongst a colony full of Romulan rioters. My only means of escaping was letting my phaser overload, which sadly took some of my attackers with me. I got sent for a court martial, but was exonerated. Since then I realised that I actually had more skills in fighting than in science and gadgets, so I opted to swap.

Sopek: Can you tell us more about that?

Handley-Page: We were transported down to build an encampment to help the Romulan colonists on Bilire VI in the wake of the Hobus disaster. There was a plague sweeping through the colony, and some of the locals blamed the Star Fleet officers for introducing it. Some hotheads started a riot and attacked our encampment. We were heavily outnumbered and outgunned. I drew some of them away into the jungle, but was cornered in a clearing. My action in exploding the phaser was not my preferred option, but desperate times… anyway, I am still here and battling on.

Sopek: Very efficiently from your record Commander.

Handley-Page: One tries.

Sopek: Your mother and adopted father, did you have occasion reunite with them since your return?

Handley-Page: Yes, yes I do, probably not as often as I’d like.. but at least once a year, and more often on sub-space comms. Having been parted from them for nearly eight during my teens, it made me appreciate the time I do spend with them now. After escaping Byzatium and getting back to Earth (and Star Fleet), I spent a few months with them… reluctant to even leave the family home in Oxford.

Sopek: You’ve had an opportunity to get much out of your career and have seen so many places and people. Does the exploration aspect interest you?

Handley-Page: Yes, what drew me to Star Fleet was the opportunity to explore new worlds, and push the frontiers of the known galaxy. That’s what it is all about.

Sopek: Do you ever find yourself regretting choices made?

Handley-Page: Constantly…

Sopek: Unfortunately Commander that answer also marks the end of our time together here on The Lower Decks it’s been a pleasure talking with you and I hope you have many more years of success before you.

Handley-Page: Thank you so much for this opportunity. It has been a pleasure. Leo the Writer: I joined Starbase118 in November 2010, or should that be Stardate 2387.10? Either way, it was probably the best decision I have ever made.. seriously. Anyway, I guess you’re wondering what makes my SIM world tick? Writing has always been a passion of mine and my first taste of formal prose came when I started writing articles for my student union newspaper. Later in life I branched out into technical writing as a profession, but science-fiction and alternative history stories have always been my first true love (writing-wise anyway).

** Poll of the Week: The Best of the Best **
Posted: Friday, 21 March 2014

Since the sixties, we’ve had Star Trek thrown at us in so many ways that it is hard to fathom that a television pilot, filmed in half black and white and half color, called The Cage, would have gone on to such heights. To this day, I am curious how the first Captain of the Enterprise, Jeffrey Hunter, the actor who portrayed the original Captain Christopher Pike, would have dealt with that after giving up his role to take on movie projects.

Unfortunately, we will never know as the man passed away at the young age of 42 in 1969. But Jeffrey Hunter was just the first of a long line of actors and actresses that wore the famous delta insignia on thir left breast through the years. And that insignia has become synonymous with Star Trek, no matter what era it is portrayed in. It is the one symbol that can be found in each and every incarnation of Star Trek save for “Enterprise”.

So where am I going with this, you may ask? Well it’s just a long winded way to introduce this week’s Poll of the Week question. Of all the Star Trek you have watched, which was your favorite and why? So head on down to the polls and vote for your favorite form of Star Trek that you have ever seen: http://goo.gl/6znpAv

** February Plot Summary for the USS Tiger **
Posted: Thursday, 20 March 2014

After the surprise attack on DS 17, the senior staff of the USS TIGER-A began to assess the situation and find the identity of the attacker. Assembled on the Command Bridge of DS 17, Queen Eratis appeared with a message surrounded in mystery as survival of her Kingdom was at stake. Shortly after departing, a ship of unknown design and origin was detected not far from Eratis. Captain Riley ordered Commander West to take a search party and investigate. The crew assembled on the USS Triumphant as an emergency meeting was called to analysis the new information. When the away team returned, Commander West was not among them. Strange incidents among those returning suggested the presence of Changelings hiding among the crew.

** New Academy Graduates **
Posted: Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Dial and Mark Stone: http://goo.gl/bbjQPT HoS’elth and Cassidy Flynn: http://goo.gl/VTKdsm Alana Larson and Nienne Kenoi: http://goo.gl/5Wpm4n

** Featured Bio Contest Reminder **
Posted: Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Please remember to nominate a character bio for the latest round of the Featured Bio Contest (http://goo.gl/rVH2We ) before it closes on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. The rules have been simplified so it’s even easier than ever before to nominate a bio to the competition. Just check these three simple points: • Nominated articles must be of a player character played by a CURRENT and ACTIVE member. • Nominated articles must be either a PRIMARY or SECONDARY player character. PNPCs are ineligible. • All information in the article must be CURRENT as of the submission date. We’re looking for the highest quality bios in the fleet to not only help provide an example for our members on how to structure their bio, but also to show off how much our members put into the creation of realistic and emotional characters. Head to the Featured Bio Contest forum to nominate a bio today: http://goo.gl/tOdCvx

** What Makes A Planet? **
Posted: Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto has been touted as the ninth planet in our solar system, though its always been an tenuous title. From the beginning, doubts about whether or not it should be considered a major planet have been in discussion by**astronomers. That status seemed even more in jeopardy with the discovery of Charon, Pluto’s largest moon that could almost be considered a planet in its own right, along with other icy objects *near the kuiper belt *that seemed to share similar characteristics to Pluto*. *Some of those objects are even more massive than the tiny planet. It wasn’t until 2006, however, that it’s grasp on the title of ‘major planet’ was lost.

The International Astronomical Union (or IAU) officially sat down in 2006 to discuss what characteristics defined a body so that it could be categorized as a ‘planet’. Before that, there was no specific definition for a ‘planet’. So what is a planet? According to the IAU, a planet is a heavenly object that orbits the sun and is round thanks to its personal force of gravity. That’s not all – a planet also has to ‘dominate’ its own neighborhood. One of the sticking points seems to be the size of Pluto in relation to its moon. Most planets dwarf their moons, but Pluto is only about twice the size of its largest moon. Another definition is that planets keep their neighborhood clean by ‘sweeping up’ debris that enters their orbit. Pluto’s neighborhood has some work to do when it comes to that.

This definition is still under scrutiny by many astronomers by those who don’t agree. A proposal that would have sethe bar lower and allowed Pluto to retain its status – but also would have meant reclassifying dozens of other bodies that should be called ‘planets’ under its definition. Despite protests, however, the IAU stands behind its decision to reclassify what was once our smallest planet. Mike Brown, Professor of Planetary Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology states that by keeping the definition so narrow, “Finding a new planet will really mean something.” You can learn more about the decision to officially definite a planet here: http://goo.gl/KHxPp2

** February Plot Summary for the USS Garuda **
Posted: Monday, 17 March 2014

Captain Egan Manno and Commander Ross led an away team down to Rho Aurigae IV to attempt to contact the silent Kubarey, the race that had invited a first contact. Once there, they discovered some sort of cultural event and unknowingly interrupted it. To determine their worthiness to stay, the group was allowed to undergo the Kubarey’s trials of honor, beauty, courage, and wisdom, though this was not warmly received by all members of the away team and Commander Ross was unceremoniously removed from the group, leaving Egan Manno, Counselor Jolara, Lt. Shryker, and Science Officer DeVeau to undergo the trials with the Kubarey’s speaker, Ananja.

Meanwhile, the crew of the Garuda made further overtures to the Kubarey vessel in orbit and unwittingly provoked their wrath, which led to the Garuda’s disabling and boarding as members of its crew began to disappear. CEO and acting CO Roshanara Rahman led a group to the shuttlebay to try and access the power of one or more craft there, while chief of security and acting XO Leo Handley-Page marshaled the Starfleet resistance.

** February 2014 Post Totals **
Posted: Sunday, 16 March 2014

As part of the ongoing overview of the fleet as a whole, here are the monthly figures for total posts for each ship. This summary will give you an idea of how active the ship is on a month-by-month basis. It’s been a difficult February – as the big freeze hit the US, posting numbers have also frozen, leaving us a little short of the bar we set in January. February is traditionally slow in comparison to other months so we’ll be looking to up our game again as we head into March, full of the joys of Spring! Our next chart gives the number of sims for each ship over the course of February. The Atlantis came out of the blocks to establish itself among the fastest paced ships in the fleet and the Gemini got off to a solid start. All remaining ships were down on their January totals (own up – you were out playing in the snow, weren’t you!)

** A Moment with Commander Reinard **
Posted: Saturday, 15 March 2014

After rounding up a bushel of awards at the 2013 ceremony Commander Greir Reinard is also commanding a brand new vessel in the fleet, the Horizon class USS Darwin-A. Lets see what we can learn from the following interview conducted by Newsies Reporter, and Darwin crewmember, Jansen Orrey.

Jansen: First off Congratulations on the Awards.

Greir: Thanks very much!

Jansen: So what made you choose the Horizon class as your ship?

Greir: I wanted to use a class of ship that wasn’t currently being used in the fleet. I’ve never been massively into combat oriented missions; I prefer science, exploration and poking my nose in where it doesn’t belong. The Horizon class appealed to me because it has a very distinct look and the spherical containment section is quite different to almost all other classes of ship. I thought we could have a lot of fun with it and that it would add something distinctive and unique to the fleet.

Jansen: How does it feel to be the winner of the Top Sim contest for 2013?

Greir: It’s feels pretty great! It’s the second time I’ve won the top sim competition and I couldn’t be more proud. The sim was part of one of Greir’s major plot arcs for the year, Ed and I really enjoyed writing it. There was some pretty difficult and tense moments in there and we wanted to get it just right. I’m just really pleased that so many other people in the fleet read it and enjoyed it – that’s the best reward of all as far as I’m concerned.

Jansen: Let’s talk about Grier for a moment. What makes Grier so unique of a character to write for?

Greir: One of the most unique features about him is his fielding ability, which allows him to sense all manner of energy. It’s a sense no other species has and I’ve had a lot of fun exploring it. He’s great because he has a lot of personality. Before I started writing for him I did a lot of research about the Laudeans and their home planet Til’Ahn/Duronis II. Because I had a strong backstory for him and had an opportunity shortly after starting writing for him to do some great character development with him I was able to create a much richer character than I’d ever done previously. He has certain characteristics which work in his favor in some circumstances but which can hold him back in others.

Jansen: Grier has also had a meteoric rise to this current stop on his career path based on your own hard work. Can you talk a bit about what you most enjoy about working Out Of Character within the fleet?

Greir: What I like about doing OOC work is that it’s my opportunity to give something back. I’ve had a lot more fun playing this game than many MMORPG’s which I’ve subscribed to. I’ve met a lot of really great people and made a lot of friends. I want the group to continue being as successful and I want everyone else to have as much fun here as I do – so I roll up my sleeves and help! Not only that, but helping with different groups and projects lets me meet even more people from around the fleet that I maybe don’t get to write with regularly.

Jansen: Part of that was evidence by your Rising Star award. Much of which shows your fellow members faith and trust in you as a leader. How does it feel to receive that award?

Greir: I couldn’t be happier really. It’s a real honour to receive that award.

Jansen: You also received, The Order of the Valiant Heart, The Strange Medallion, and The Locutus Award. What drives you as a writer?

Greir: I’m always looking for ways to improve as a writer. I think that there’s always more to learn whether you’ve been writing for weeks or years. Other than that it’s the characters. I really enjoy writing for my different characters, particularly Greir and I usually have some idea or concept I want to explore with them. I also love getting to know the other characters in the fleet and seeing how they’re similar or different to mine, finding out how they interact with others and deal with events eyc.

Jansen: Can you give us some outlook into the future? Both for Greir and yourself within the fleet?

Greir: I want to carry on giving it my best really. As for Greir, I have plenty of ideas and plans for him in the works. no spoilers though. You’ll have to read along to find out what’s in store for him.

Jansen: And tell us a little about your experience within our group so far.

Grier: It’s been a very positive experience. I’ve really enjoyed all the adventures and developing my writing ability. I love that i’ve got to the point where I feel able to pass on what I’ve learned in the last two years to others. I’ve developed leadership ability too but by far the best thing about this groups is the people. I’ve met so many great people and made many friends, so I couldn’t be happier.

Jansen: Thank you very much taking the time to talk with me today.

Grier: No problem. It’s great to talk to you too.

-----------------------------------
Commander Raj Blueheart
Commanding Officer
USS Atlantis, NCC-74682
Newsletter Editor

Mar 26, 2014

This Week on 118Wiki - Non-Canon Encyclopedia - Cities

  • Will Maurer

The Big Apple. The Eternal City. Since people first collected in them, cities have been the hubs of civilization. They are places of learning, places of commerce, and places of culture. People of 21st century Earth didn’t speak in terms of planets, they spoke of cities. Not that much has changed in the 400 years since. Cities remain at the center of the action even for the Federation. Whether you’ve recently discovered a city or visited an old favorite, it belongs in the wiki's The Non-Canon Encyclopedia.

This guide and template make it quick and easy. Any city created by and for use in with Starbase 118 is fair game, whether it was introduced by you or someone else in a sim. Of course, you can always add your latest creation to the encyclopedia. When you're done, brag a bit on the forums!

Here are a few already in the encyclopedia:


Spotlight on: Lastelle Island

The center of the Par'tha Expanse can be taken as a geographic location, but what everyone means is Lastelle Island. The seat of politics, finance, and high society, Lastelle Island has everything a person could want. Even a modest home here demands incredible wealth; more than that, it requires political connections, too.

The reward is a beautiful view. The complexity of Lastelle’s ancient buildings is astounding, Great structures of carven stone are topped by magnificent domes. Canals line the island, and while they began as a means of transportation, much of that task now falls to the monorails speeding about on about the island on elevated platforms.

If you come for a visit, the Historic District is the palce to start, where you can see not only the Par'tha Exchange and Jintha Center, but take in the sight of the Par'tha Imperial Hotel and – even better – the Grand Royale.

----

Lt. Commander Ben Livingston
First Officer
USS Excalibur-A


Mar 29, 2014

Weekly Newsletter 2391.13

  • Raj Blueheart

Happy weekend, fleetmates!

FLEET EVENTS

Featured Bio Contest

  • Nominations for Round 5 end 1 April 2014. Read the rules and submit your nominations here: http://goo.gl/xw6ELE
  • Congratulations to March 2014 Featured Bio winner, Captain Quinn Reynolds! http://goo.gl/hBXZhv Congratulations also to Lt Alexander Richards, whose bio is the Star Pick of the month! http://goo.gl/oMHLpa

Top Sims Contest

Fleet Chat

  • Our next chat is scheduled for Sunday, 13 April 2014 at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern (US) / 6pm GMT (UK) / 4am Monday UTC+11 (AUS). Always check your time zone for accuracy/DST if applicable! http://bit.ly/fVGEmH
  • Our fleet chats are a space for all the members of the Starbase 118 group to meet each other, learn about fleet events, and talk about Star Trek. Chats are always held on the second Sunday of every month, but you can head into the chat room at any time to see who else is there.

Writing Challenge

  • The March & April Writing Challenge is now officially open, with the most unique theme yet: Rabbits! Read the rules here: http://goo.gl/MXKapb to submit an entry by 25 April 2014.
  • In the meantime, congratulations to Sal Taybrim, winner of the first image-inspired Challenge with his story “Conspiracy Theories” (http://goo.gl/iCmYwe ). Congratulations also to runners-up Ceilidh Riverview, with “New Beginnings” (http://goo.gl/UYJDGE )and Kieran Waddell, with “Back-up Plan” (http://goo.gl/uzzwxz )
  • Get your PDF version of the full compilation of the January & February Writing Challenge, with all the entrants' stories and judges' comments here: http://goo.gl/KPVe5B

The Fleet Calendar

  • Ever lose track and wonder what is going on in the fleet? You can now find out by taking a look at our very own Calendar! http://goo.gl/AoZOW7 Make sure to select Fleet Events!

This Week on 118 Wiki – The Non-Canon Encyclopedia

Poll of the Week


PUBLICITY Get your FREE promotional flyer and post it in your community to help find new members! US: http://sb118.net/15Rg8D9 UK: http://sb118.net/16VBJyZ


COMMUNITY NEWS

  • Community News team is working hard to bring us something new to read every day and keep us informed about happenings in the Fleet. If you like what they are doing, show them appreciation by leaving comments on the articles.

(newest at the top, oldest at the bottom)
1. February Plot Summary for the USS Gemini: http://goo.gl/7jZ5uB

2. Poll of the Week: True Alien: http://goo.gl/FhVZT1

3. This Week on 118 Wiki – The Non-Canon Encyclopedia: Cities: http://goo.gl/CvdTsR

4. Take It One Sim At A Time: http://goo.gl/eKf85U

5. Space News Roundup – March 2014: http://goo.gl/hFu8wV

6. A Closer Look: The USS Gemini: http://goo.gl/hzfXwv

7. February Plot Summary for the USS Apollo: http://goo.gl/NJ3hzF

8. Atlantis Rising: http://goo.gl/gD6KCN


FULL TEXT ARTICLES

** February Plot Summary for the USS Gemini **
Posted: Saturday, 29 March 2014

Less than 24 hours after the launch of the USS Gemini, NCC 805464 Commander Liam frost is contacted by Admiral Alex Raymond of Starfleet Strategic Operations. The USS Hermes, a Nova class vessel has been reported missing in the Borderlands, the Gemini’s Area of Operation. No sign of the Hermes has yet been found. To make matters worse, A Klingon Commander named Koval claims to have found the Hermes in Klingon territory and destroyed her. Long range scans of the Area have failed to confirm or refute Koval’s claim. The mission of the Hermes was ostensibly to patrol the area along the Klingon border for any unusual activity. Bu Lieutenant Commander Oliver Weston has revealed a darker layer to the mission of the missing ship. According to Starfleet Intelligence, the Hermes was equipped with an experimental long range sensor array, meant to allow ships to scan even deeper into Klingon territory without said scans being detected. If they were found out it would certainly provide grounds for the Klingons to capture the Hermes. The Gemini, without time to perform a proper shakedown, has engaged it’s QSD and is now on the way to the Celendi Nebula to begin the search for the Hermes, hopefully intact.

** Poll of the Week: True Alien **
Posted: Friday, 28 March 2014

Once in awhile, and yes, I know it’s hard to imagine, but I do find myself running out of ideas for fresh and exciting Polls of the Week each week. In that case, I tend to visit this section (http://goo.gl/VHAqCg ) of the forum for inspiration. That being said, this section (http://goo.gl/VHAqCg ) has been pretty quiet as of late, and we here on the Poll of the Week team would like that to change. Should any one of you have any poll ideas or suggestions for future polls, feel free to post it. This week we’ll be dealing with one such suggestion posted by Lieutenant Johanna MacLaren (http://goo.gl/vmVsBy ) last week. Star Trek, like many sci fi series’, have had it’s fair share of aliens crossing paths with humans over the years. Like most science fiction to grace television and movie scrreens throughout the years, most of these aliens uncannily resemble humans for the most part save for one or two different features. In some cases, exactly like a human. But once in aawhile, we come across a truely alien looking creature in Star Trek. This week your job is to decide on your favorite non-humanoid species in Star Trek and hopefully tell us why it’s your favorite, or even add any that are not listed, if you wish. So head on down to the polls (http://goo.gl/Wqi0vS ) and let us know how weird you really like your aliens to be.

** This Week on 118 Wiki – The Non-Canon Encyclopedia: Cities **
Posted: Thursday, 27 March 2014

The Big Apple. The Eternal City. Since people first collected in them, cities have been the hubs of civilization. They are places of learning, places of commerce, and places of culture. People of 21st century Earth didn’t speak in terms of planets, they spoke of cities. Not that much has changed in the 400 years since. Cities remain at the center of the action even for the Federation. Whether you’ve recently discovered a city or visited an old favorite, it belongs in the wiki's Non-Canon Encyclopedia: http://goo.gl/mI31xI

This guide (http://goo.gl/uhN7OZ ) and template (http://goo.gl/Llrua6 ) make it quick and easy. Any music-related event created by and for use in with Starbase 118 is fair game, whether it was introduced by you or someone else in a sim. Of course, you can always add your latest creation to the encyclopedia. When you're done, brag a bit on the forums (http://goo.gl/wfhP5d ) Here are a few already in the encyclopedia: Adilee: http://goo.gl/hTCRAR Kinba City: http://goo.gl/IpybdX Majesty City (“The Jewel of Renaar”): http://goo.gl/XJRF4B Mith: http://goo.gl/38BWgO Ohmallera: http://goo.gl/UoQriN Sinosa: http://goo.gl/kclQga

Spotlight on: Lastelle Island

The center of the Par’tha Expanse (http://goo.gl/awW6lB ) can be taken as a geographic location, but what everyone means is Lastelle Island (http://goo.gl/CKLkXt ). The seat of politics, finance, and high society, Lastelle Island has everything a person could want. Even a modest home here demands incredible wealth; more than that, it requires political connections, too. The reward is a beautiful view. The complexity of Lastelle’s ancient buildings is astounding, Great structures of carven stone are topped by magnificent domes. Canals line the island, and while they began as a means of transportation, much of that task now falls to the monorails speeding about on about the island on elevated platforms. If you come for a visit, the Historic District is the palce to start, where you can see not only the Par’tha Exchange (http://goo.gl/EjcRP9 ) and Jintha Center (http://goo.gl/UatYTH ), but take in the sight of the Par’tha Imperial Hotel (http://goo.gl/QcA2tm ) and – even better – the Grand Royale (http://goo.gl/lTzIcj ).

** Take It One Sim At A Time **
Posted: Thursday, 27 March 2014

You’ve been working or have been at school all day or even a combination of the two. You have responsibilities out the yin-yang. You’re stressed and unable to think clearly enough to form any independent creative thought. I can’t get a sim out today, you say to yourself, even though it has already been forty-eight hours since your last and others are waiting on you. You want to produce something brilliant and bring the unexpected to the table yet stay within the boundaries of the mission and remain true to character but, let’s face it, your brain is fried.

This happens to all of us at some time or another. I know for myself, I have often said that I was “simming as the walking dead,” as a way to laugh my way through it. But, I know that this can be incredibly frustrating especially when you want to do well. Here are some simple yet effective ways to work through this. 1) Relax. You will find that creativity comes more easily with patience and time. Don’t stress about bringing out the “big guns” for the next sim. Sometimes just having your character present, reacting to the events unfolding around them is more powerful than saving the ship. There is beauty to simplicity. 2) Find a good room to sit in or find a space outdoors and enjoy the weather. Play music if it helps. Create an environment that fuels your imagination. 3) Keep an open mind and find inspiration in unlikely places. 4) Pull from your personal experiences to make any moment or emotion real. 5) Start by building the basic “outline” of your sim and revisit it a little later to “flesh it out.” Rest and repeat as needed. Approaching your writing after giving your brain a little rest can sometimes bring new and exciting things you hadn’t considered before. 6) Planning out things is great but sometimes, “plan to not plan.” What does that mean? Don’t fret if you don’t have a plan! You might think your character may act a certain way but, until you are able to play out that moment, you may find that your character naturally gravitates another way. Go with it. Spontaneity is sometimes genius. 7) Too out of it to think? Get up and move! Walk around your house or take a stroll outdoors. Change your environment. Take a break. 8) Too out of it to proofread? Missing a word? Spell-check is great sometimes but it doesn’t catch everything. Edit your document backwards to find errors that your brain may have missed. I know that these items may not solve some things we may face on a day-to-day basis as we write our sims, but it can make things a little easier when approaching that one sim. Take it easy and take it one sim at a time.

** Space News Roundup – March 2014 **
Posted: Wednesday, 26 March 2014

March 2014 has seen some incredible stories when it comes to the final frontier. Ranging from a truly universal scale down to things a little closer to home. We’ve compiled a list of interesting space science news that should pique your interest! Researchers detect evidence of “cosmic inflation,” helping prove the theory of the Big Bang On March 17th, the BICEP2 collaboration announced their findings proving the idea of cosmic inflation, as well as the first images of gravitational waves that confirm a connection between quantum mechanics and general relativity. Read more about this incredible discovery here: http://goo.gl/dbtR7a “Waves” detected on Saturn’s moon Titan Scientists have detected the first liquid waves on a celestial body other than Earth. Images taken by the Cassini probe in Saturn orbit show evidence of these waves due to how light reflects off of the lakes and seas of liquid hydrocarbons on the surface of the moon. The BBC discusses this intriguing phenomenon with planetary scientist Jason Barnes here: http://goo.gl/gfks5q NASA’s Kepler Mission detects 715 new planets! Just another day at the office for NASA’s planet hunters. Researchers on the Kepler project using a new technique called “verification by multiplication” have verified over 715 new planets fairly similar in size to Earth orbiting 305 different stars. Read more here: http://goo.gl/QV4lLm See what NASA’s JPL Deep Space Network is listening to in real time This is a cool little toy from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory: “Real-time data is updated every 5 seconds and will allow you to examine how quickly the data is being received, how long a signal takes to and from each spacecraft and the current state of the entire network.” At the time of this article, DSS 43 in Canberra, Australia is talking with Voyager 2 at a range of 15.65 billion kilometers! Check it out here: http://goo.gl/q5Nb44 Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space, turns 80 Finally, we’d like to pay tribute to the man who will forever be known with human spaceflight. Yuri Gagarin, the first human to go into space and orbit the Earth, would have turned 80 on March 9th. Read more about Gagarin and his legacy here: http://goo.gl/B9EYUj We’ll keep track of interesting space news and have more for you next month. Thanks for reading!

** A Closer Look: The USS Gemini **
Posted: Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The beginning of the year has seen several new ships launch into the fleet, ready to explore the unknown and search for new life and new civilizations. One of them is brand new: The Dakota Class USS Gemini under the command of Commander Liam Frost. Let’s take a closer look… From the ships’ wiki page (http://goo.gl/ferol1 ): The Dakota is the evolution of the Cheyenne class, but upgraded to reflect nearly three decades of technological development. Weapons, defensive systems, engines and sensor suites have all been upgraded to serve effectively in a variety of roles. The Dakota class is designed to provide Starfleet with a multi-mission capable platform. Described as the workhorse of the modern fleet, it is capable of carrying out diplomatic and exploration missions with a minimum of support. While not as powerful as a combat vessel such as the Sovereign or Achilles classes, it is capable of providing effective support in the defense of Federation interests, and is capable of defending itself from potential threats that can sometimes come from exploring the unknown. Commander Frost was nice enough to answer a few questions I had about the Gemini. When asked why he chose the Dakota Class for his first command: “I chose the Dakota class because it was the best fit for the different criteria that I had. First off, I wanted a true multi-mission platform. Something that could explore, or take on a diplomatic role, but could still defend herself in a fight if need be. Second, with a crew of about 375, it was the right size. I also wanted something unique that wasn’t already a part of the active fleet. I didn’t want to feel like I was just copying someone else’s work. And, of course, the part of my brain that’s still an 8-year-old wanted something that looks cool.” Captains often pick the name of their ship regarding a special meaning. I asked him if this was the case with the Gemini: “The name was something special from an In-Character perspective. Liam was born on Luna, so I’ve always believed that the NASA programs (along with Mercury and Apollo) would be important to anyone who cared about the history of their home. To Liam, the Gemini is as important to his history as Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar are to the British, or the Mayflower to the Americans.” Gemini is operating in a region of space known as “The Borderlands,” neutral area along the Klingon Border with the Federation. Little is known about it and the Gemini will be on the forefront to represent Starfleet and the Federation. “[The Gemini] has the range to be an effective explorer, and state-of-the-art scientific equipment befitting a brand new exploration platform. But she’s no slouch in a fight either. She’s not a warship by any stretch, but if someone comes looking for a fight, the Gemini can hold her own. And with the nature of her Area of Operations, that’s not a matter of if, but when,” says Commander Frost. Fun Fact about the Gemini: According to Frost, “Her Registry number, NCC-80564 corresponds to the launch date of Gemini 1 (April 5th, 1964).” I want to thank Commander Frost for taking the time to discuss his new ship with the News Team. You can follow the exploits of this new ship on their In Character Google Group (http://goo.gl/lteHw6 ), and see some behind the scenes stuff on the Gemini’s Forums: http://goo.gl/HlRFTy Be on the lookout for more Ship Close-ups coming soon!

** February Plot Summary for the USS Apollo **
Posted: Monday, 24 March 2014

Upon arriving in the Boreia System, on the far edges of the Beta Quadrant, the crew of the USS Apollo, NCC-71669 found what they were looking for. It appeared to be a pre-warp species that had developed the Omega molecule. With two inhabited worlds at war, it was a race to find something that could be used as a weapon to end the decades long conflict. Just like other species before them, they were unable to harness the power of Omega. After successfully neutralizing what was left, the crew discovered a massive boronite deposit in the system. Concerned, it could be used again, they began finding a way to eliminate the boronite from the system. While working the problem, the Apollo detected something they wished they hadn’t. Two Borg vessels were inbound, no doubt looking for Omega. Knowing that they would harvest the boronite and assimilate anyone with knowledge, the Apollo crew continued working on eliminating the boronite before setting a course to intercept the Borg vessels. Knowing reinforcements were far out, and only few vessels were capable of reaching their position, the crew began searching for a place to offload non-essential crew as they prepared to take the ship to her limits by taking on the Borg before they could reach the system.

** Atlantis Rising **
Posted: Sunday, 23 March 2014

Atlantis has been spoken of for centuries as a place of knowledge and understanding. In the UFOP we have been lucky enough to have several ships embody those principles, one of which is the namesake for this mythological island nation. Like the Atlantis of legend which vanished from the world, the our Atlantis too sank below the waves of time. However in true form of our persistence and belief in the exploration of the unknown, and unlike it’s mythological predecessor, the USS Atlantis is rising back above the waves of time and soaring into space once more. Here is a short moment with its new commander Raj Blueheart.

Jansen Orrey: The Atlantis has been inactive for nine years, what made you decide that it was the ship you wanted to launch? Raj Blueheart: Precisely for that reason, Jansen. Nine years is a long time. It’s almost half the time SB118 has been around. With such a rich historical background, I thought launching such a ship would not only reignite the Fleet’s interest in its own history, but also remind us, as members of SB118, our own evolution through the years. It was time to not only relaunch a ship from the past, but also to relaunch those wonderful memories that make up the Atlantis. You know, some of the officers that first started their careers on board the Atlantis are still actively with us today. And one of them is part of my crew! Think of the amazing stories he’d be able to share with the rest of the crew and fleet. And even if most of the former crew isn’t around today, I’m sure there will be a ghost or two lurking in the plasma manifolds. Jansen Orrey: Was it a difficult choice between relaunching a decommissioned/Inactive ship or designing one of your own? Raj Blueheart: Not really. Designing a ship, though it allows one to exercise one’s creativity, I feel also gives me the opportunity to design a so-called “perfect” ship, so to speak. I mean, why wouldn’t I want to design a flawless ship? But I guess that is just not me. I’d rather have a ship that is flawed but tested, old yet reliable. I guess it’s the same way with relationships? You understand and tolerate one another, and accept your partner for who they are. It leads to a stronger bond between the two, and that’s what I was looking for when I had to make a choice. The future close bond between Captain and ship, and not only the close bond between Captain and crew. Jansen Orrey: Can you clue us into the plans you have for her a little bit? Raj Blueheart: Well, we just departed Deep Space 26 and in addition to our shakedown cruise, we’re transporting an ambassador to a very crucial peace talk on the far side of the Par’tha Expanse. It’s a largely unexplored territory of space despite all those years she spent patrolling the area. So you never know what we might run into along our journey through the Expanse. Then there’s the Jenatris Cloud, a mysterious nebula with strange semi-organic particles that at one time had a devastating hallucinatory effect on the original crew of the Atlantis when they attempted to study it. Well, being a science and exploratory vessel, will it surprise you if I said that the Cloud would be top on our list of things to study in this region of space? We Atlanteans just can’t stay away from the mysterious and unknown! Jansen Orrey: The Par’tha Expanse is not only a relatively young region but a slightly unstable one given the economic and political differences between the Expanse Sector and the Freeworlds Region, how do you see the Atlantis navigating those tense moments? Raj Blueheart: We’re right smack in the middle of an unstable geopolitical region. While we’re aware of the high tariffs imposed upon cargo ships entering and leaving the Freeworlds Region, at the moment we are adopting a neutral stance on the matter. At least until we receive new orders telling us otherwise, from HQ. Of course, in the interim, if we so happen to be in the right place at the right time – in other words, war between those governments – we wouldn’t hesitate to arbitrate on behalf of SF. Jansen Orrey: As a scientific and exploratory vessel can you foresee the Federation learning more about the Chon Empire who inhabited the region? Raj Blueheart: I’d make that a priority for this year. An ongoing mission, if you will. We will definitely continue the work initiated by Dr Rathmin in gathering and archiving data on the Chon civilization, beginning with our base in the Expanse, Deep Space 26. Being an abandoned Chon outpost, I think it’s the best place to start researching them, before tracing their steps throughout the Expanse. I think that whatever the remnant civilization, there’s always a valuable lesson to be gleaned from it for the benefit of the present generation and governments. Military strategies, economic development, et cetera, are all valuable information no matter the outcome of that former civilization. Also, who can resist the romance and adventure of learning about a mysterious empire that flourished 13,000 years ago? As you can see Atlantis has risen and is firmly on its way to continue our understanding and knowledge of the universe around us.

-----------------------------------
Commander Raj Blueheart
Commanding Officer
USS Atlantis, NCC-74682
Newsletter Editor