- Name: Ace.
- Joined Starbase 118: February 2021
- Gender: Gender-fluid / Genderqueer / Nonbinary (they/them)
- Age: 26
- Occupation: Night shift support staff in a group home for adults with mental and/or physical disabilities.
- Location: America
- OOC Rank: Ensign
- Hobbies/interests: Writing, reading (especially books on the craft of writing and storytelling as a skill lately. But I love any genre as long as the story is fun, or the topic keeps me intrigued), Roleplaying, Star Trek, TTRPGs, Cats, Animals.
- Favorite Trek series/movie: I have three answers, each is my favorite for different reasons. Overall it's DS9. All of the characters have such fantastic chemistry, and I really love what it added to the Trek verse. I just love it. For the sake of general fondness, it's Enterprise because it connects me more to my dad, who loved Enterprise a lot and had so many good things to say about it, who passed at the end of 2020. Plus it's just a really entertaining series to watch. I can't say I disagree with his praises despite the flaws it had at times. But recently I started Lower Decks and it slaps a lot harder than I expected it to, its animation style is pleasant to look at, the character dynamics are hysterical and sweet, it allows for a lot more visual creativity than you can get from a live-action series, and it's always good to playfully rib your faves now and then. Keeps the flaws in perspective and does well in highlighting the good things. It made itself one of my favorites very quickly.
- Writer ID: J239802D12
How I came to SB118
Over the years since the age of about 16, I've been RPing/simming in various circles. Most of them were independent roleplay circles where the rules were slightly different for each person and many things were very one-on-one as opposed to a whole team the way 118 does. I haven't always played in the Star Trek circles. But I used to talk a lot about Star Trek with my dad. TNG and Enterprise were especially his favorites. And I gained a strong love of Enterprise through him. And then he passed away at the end of 2020. Though people in my household also had an interest in Star Trek it felt different. And I wanted something where I could feel similarly interested in it. Comfort during a really hard time. So near the beginning of 2021, I looked into Star Trek RP circles, and SB118 was the one that stood out the most. It had amazing wiki pages to read, I read what was going on in the google group stories. And decided I wanted to try and be part of it.
I will admit that for the first bit of it, I was still in a huge grieving stage, and I deal with a lot of mental health problems like ADHD, Anxiety, C-PTSD, depersonalization issues, and insane amounts of self-doubt and impostor syndrome. So I struggled to keep up with it, and I needed to take a short 3ish month LOA from I think July or August to November to really figure out if I could handle all of it. But I came back in mid-November 2021 and have been doing my best to keep up and do better since. I owe a lot of that to Nicholas (Captain Oddas Aria), and my mentor Patrick (XO Commander Kalia Qinn) for having so much faith in me even if I haven't had nearly so much faith in myself. I think I'd be struggling similarly to how I was in the summer without their continued support. I hope I do right by them as well as the crew and myself moving forward, and I can only hope that as I continue forward, that I can be that support to others who are struggling similarly. Seeing how gracefully they've handled my issues and me, has made me consider that I want to reach a point of being able to mentor and support others as a supporting officer the best that I can.
- Where were you first placed? What was it like starting to sim on your vessel?: My first, and current ship is The USS Juneau under Captain Oddas Aria. I came in at the end of a mission called Visitors in the Night, where the Juneau was investigating a black hole circling Quasar with a pair of long-dead vessels. Honestly coming in at the end of a mission was a little disorienting. The Captain and my Mentor were extremely accommodating as I moved forward, and even when I had to leave for a short amount of time. So the start of it all was disorienting and (having come from writing communities that put a lot more into one-on-one interactions) a bit overwhelming. But I think as things have moved forward, I'm learning how to find my flow and better work with more people. I hope to continue improving that skill as I go.
- What have been your greatest challenges in this group?: The overwhelm of coming from communities with one-on-one focus, only having done collaborative interactions with family and friends through TTRPGs and not new people as often before this point and my own mental health issues that have caused me a lot of grief. I'm working on those things.
- What have been your greatest achievements in this group?: Two things, the personal thing that I find an achievement is the ability to ask for help or thoughts more often than when I started. I struggled with that, but I'm finding that sometimes it's okay to need a little bit of extra help. The second thing would be the more IC thing. On the mission I came back right at the start of, I was put in an away team where all the original members either took an LOA for personal reasons, or they had really bad technical internet connection issues, right at the start that forced them away from the group until they could get that sorted out. Which put me in a situation where I was the only original team member present on the away team. My Mentor and Captain were very quick about answering questions I had, and they also were quick in making sure I had people to interact with. Having that situation come up so soon after returning from an LOA forced me to either A.) get anxious again and give up, or B.) Find some level of confidence and do what I could to keep it interesting with the rest of them. Somehow I managed to choose the latter. Through a situation that was otherwise an anxious one for me, I think I've found some confidence in my ability to write and to add to this group and feel like I belong here. That's a huge accomplishment to me right now. There is a gratitude that's so hard to express toward my Mentor and Captain Oddas for really making sure I didn't have to handle all of that on my own. I know that's part of their responsibilities as the command staff, but they really made me feel secure in a plot scenario that could have just ended with a retcon of some sort, or even just a pull-back on that team, and I have endless respect and love for both of them for allowing me to find some confidence and be part of something I really enjoyed instead. Even if they don't realize that's what they did for me just yet. I hope to find the nerve to express it to them at some point.
- What do you ultimately hope to accomplish?: I'm not sure that I'm cut out for being the commander of a ship yet. I don't have the storytelling capacity to run a mission with the grace that Juneau's Command Staff does with all the little things that might happen with other members like LOAs or time away. So I think for now I'd like to have my character be eligible for Chief Engineer on the ship as a first step. It's gonna take some work, I know, but I'd like to be able to earn that as an option. But as a personal step, I'd like to do all that I can to be an excellent supporting member on the Juneau and any ship I might be on in the future. I want to be able to help new players feel as secure and appreciated as I've felt with the command staff of the Juneau, and I want to help people find those moments where they can have their character or their writing style really shine and be awesome. I think I'd feel really good if I could just manage to do that much.
- Where do you see this group in five years?: I'm not sure yet, but I do hope that as a whole it really keeps up the efforts it puts into making its members feel valued. I think that's something that really makes this group feel so special to me. Because in independent communities, the value is often placed after you've proved yourself somehow. And the means to 'prove yourself' is different for every person. But this group I've never felt like I was anything less than valued. Even when I feel like I don't deserve it, I've never felt like the people here thought the same toward me as I do toward myself. I've always been appreciated and I think that's really important in a group.
- How do you think this group has contributed to Star Trek's Legacy? How has the group contributed to the internet community?: I think as far as how it has contributed to the legacy of Star Trek, given its distinct push on the idea of 'infinite diversity, in infinite combinations' it has done very well. The way it seems to me is that people do the best they can to involve people of racial diversity, spiritual diversity, gender and sexuality diversity, mental and physical disability diversity as well as they can. And it looks like the group continues to try and be something that anyone from any of those labels can find approachable and available to them. Which is very good. I think all of those things really do add a good thing to the legacy of what Star Trek is supposed to represent as a whole, as well as being a fun time and a place to make friends. I'm not sure how it's contributed to the internet community as I'm not fully entrenched in the Star Trek writing community elsewhere, but it seems to me that it's one of the best ones out there. It wouldn't have lasted over 25 years otherwise!