Mission Specialist Simming Guide
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There are a number of positions within the UFOP group, which either do not exist on the Star Trek television shows or are rarely seen. One such position is that of Mission Specialist. For those who find themselves assigned to this role comes the important question: "What does a Mission Specialist do and how am I supposed to SIM this?"
Unlike most other positions, the Mission Specialist cannot simply watch a show and see a main character playing that role. I have found this is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand there is very little support or framework to the role that can leave the SIMmer feeling somewhat lost; on the other hand it allows the SIMmer to be somewhat creative in their role.
The main duty of the Mission Specialist, as the name suggests, is to make him or herself an expert in the current mission. A combination of a science officer and a tactical officer, the Mission Specialist researches the mission, briefs senior staff and helps come up with strategy to implement the mission. On occasion, an officer will be sent to a Starship as a Mission Specialist because they are already an expert in a field that is relevant to the ship's mission to augment the crew and provide their expertise.
Pre-mission the Mission Specialist should definitely be on research mode, attempting to locate any and all information that may be pertinent and taking only the information that is relevant to the CO and XO. In essence, the Mission Specialist acts as an information buffer for the Captain who can not be expected to commit all the data to memory while at the same time commanding a Starship
During the mission the Mission Specialist will continue with their research and will continue to advise the command staff.
Officially, the Mission Specialist is a member of the command staff, which means that aside from wearing a red uniform they are a bridge officer and depending on their rank can fulfil of the jobs on the bridge. This includes manning duty stations, taking part in away missions and even being in command of the bridge. The diversity of the jobs a Mission Specialist can undertake stems from the position's rather vague job description.
The out-side mission duties of the Mission Specialist are somewhat limited. As a senior bridge officer, they can be involved in welcoming and orientating new crewmembers in character. It is important to remember that the Mission Specialist is often the first step in the command ladder for many officers, this being the case the Mission Specialist should be starting to act in a manner befitting a command officer.
As a semi-autonomous member of the command staff, the Mission Specialist often has no department head and reports directly to the XO (although individual ships may vary this working arrangement). Working alone or in conjunction with other members of the senior staff. It is important for the Mission Specialist to avoid "stepping on the toes" of their colleagues, including or consulting the Chief Science and Tactical officers is a way to do this.
Anything and everything is a potential resource for a ship's Mission Specialist. In character, they will undoubtedly spend a lot of their time getting information from the ship's computer and the Starfleet database. Cross-referencing with the databases of other species and non-starfleet sources is a possible way to get to the more obscure data.
Out of character, there are any number of resources available to the Mission Specialist to make their SIMs more authentic and correct. The plethora of Star Trek sites on the Internet will provide a great deal of information on the Star Trek universe, all of the information provided by the Mission Specialist must have some basis in this universe, or at the very least be consistent with it.
In order to make the SIMs more authentic, the SIMmer may wish to include some real life science, some science terminology or at the very least familiarise themselves with any relevant real life science. For this, the SIMmer should locate relevant sources online, in books or in any other resource at their disposal. It is impossible to suggest specific websites to assist in this but the Mission Specialist should definitely learn how to use a search engine to locate real life source. This will make the difference between a good SIM and an excellent SIM.
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