- Name: Ace.
- Joined Starbase 118: February 2021
- Gender: Gender-fluid (They/them, She/her. Both are interchangable.)
- Age: 26
- Occupation: I work in a group home for people with disabilities.
- Location: America
- OOC Rank: Lieutenant
- Hobbies/interests: Writing, reading (especially books on the craft of writing and storytelling. But I'm not picky as long as the story is fun, or the topic intrigues me), Roleplaying, Star Trek, TTRPGs, Cats, Animals.
- Favorite Trek series/movie: DS9, Enterprise, and Lower Decks. Runner up: TNG because I love Data with my entire soul.
- Writer ID: J239802D12
How I came to SB118
For a very long time, I actually didn't like Star Trek. It was a stubborn reaction as a child that had no basis in actually disliking it beyond wanting something to be angry about. But my dad (and my twin sister) really liked Star Trek. My dad's favorites were TNG and Enterprise, my sister liked Voyager. But I didn't really allow myself to listen to them talk about any of those until 2009 when the first JJ. Abrams Star Trek movie came out and they convinced me to go with them to the theater to see it when I finally conceded that Star Trek was pretty cool. Didn't immediately fall into a full interest in it. But now I could listen to my dad talk about it, and occasionally watch some intermittent episodes of Voyager with my sister. Sometime in the midst of it, I got into RP in other fandoms and mediums. Not Star Trek yet, but that was the introduction to RP. With more than a few shifts in fandom and what characters I was writing in those places, my friends eventually started playing in the Star Trek universe which showed up where I could read it. And that's when I started considering getting into it for real. Over the years, I tried to watch various iterations of Trek, and kept getting distracted with other interests. But I was watching little bits over multiple years. I watched some of the movies. Sometimes restarting and trying again. But it wasn't until late 2020 that I went into a full deep dive into it. I binged it. And I started really getting into conversations about it with my dad. It was something I found a lot of enjoyment in talking to him about because he could go really in-depth into episodes he loved and thought were funny and thoughtful and it was a good time.
However, at the very end of 2020, my dad died unexpectedly. So I was grieving, I'd lost the person I felt most comfortable talking about it with. Because even though there were others around me who liked Star Trek, it didn't feel the same. At the same time, the place I'd been writing for a good number of years in a different fandom had already started to feel less fun, even before my dad's death. Many of the friends I used to be close with either stopped writing there or we just naturally drifted apart. The community I was part of became more selective and elitist. And I was feeling like I needed a change for a while, things were slowing down and I was stagnating in both writing and RPing and I missed it. My dad's death really had me needing that change. I gravitated toward my most recent interest, and the interest I felt most connected to my dad; Star Trek. I looked for Star Trek RP things in early 2021. There were a few I was considering. But I found Starbase118 to be the one that was most approachable. Its main page was really well designed, the wikis were fun to peruse. And based on really looking through it all, I realized it was an active community and decided to apply.
- 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 because I didn't have all the character context yet, and I was nervous about all the new people because I wasn't used to the setup yet. I struggled very much to keep up. The number of people was overwhelming and I was also grieving a really recent death and dealing with severe mental health problems and impostor syndrome. It had me needing an LOA for a few months. That wasn't the fault of anyone except myself. I took the time to focus more on myself and therapy because I needed that during that time for far more than all this. And even if I'd chosen not to come back, I would have continued with that. But in truth if not for the support and encouragement of my mentor and the Captain, I don't think I would have come back from my LOA.
- What have been your greatest challenges in this group?: The severity of the imposter syndrome in conjunction with all my other mental health issues. You never truly get used to the sheer awfulness of feeling like you won't add up. Comparison really is the thief of joy and it is an ongoing process full of ups and downs and therapy to stop myself from stealing my own joy away from myself.
- What have been your greatest achievements in this group?: During the mission right after my LOA, I was put in an away team where both of the other original team members (including the away team leader herself) suddenly took an LOA for one reason or another right at the start. I was the only original team member present on that away team. I really thought I was going to have to figure that out on my own somehow. But The Captain and My Mentor/XO were quick to get people to write with me (including themselves with PNPCs). They could have recalled that away team and effectively retconned that part of things. They could have waited more and made me deal with it alone longer. But they didn't. Effectively, I got to "lead" that away team and make a decision that made an opening for a meaningful character arc after the fact. And in the process, it allowed me to feel more confident with my place in this group. And I'm proud of myself for not giving up. Secondarily, I'm pretty proud of myself for how often I post appreciations on the forums for fellow crewmates. I really do feel like they deserve it.
- What do you ultimately hope to accomplish?: 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. As a personal step, I'd like to do all that I can to be an excellent supporting player 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.
If you're reading this, hi! You've reached the Unofficial Tips portion of this page. Because even if it's not super likely to be read, on the off chance you do, these are good things to know if you don't already do them yourself! Obviously, there are a number of rules, tips, and tricks all over the wiki about how best to write, and you obviously get tips from mentors and Captains. You should definitely be following those as well. But these are things I've realized how to put into words that I never really saw put into direct words this way because I think there's a level where it's assumed you already understand these things. But as someone with neuro-divergencies and troubles remembering when things aren't directly laid out, here are some direct things that are implied but not always stated!
- Don't be afraid to use the whole ship!: This is mostly for ships, as it's more likely to happen on them. Sometimes during missions, your character will be set on the ship for their part in the mission. This can at times feel boring, or stiff. I get you. It's not so much that the technical task you've been assigned on the ship is boring, but it's hard to feel like you're getting the space to have as much of an interesting or engaging role as the away teams. And yet I've seen dynamic and engaging bridge teams in other parts of the fleet. So questioned what it was about those scenes and those teams that made that group more interesting, and comparatively what made any ship team stiffer. My biggest answer is the crew's use of the ship! In dynamic flowing bridge teams, the crew is unafraid to realistically use the entire ship as their environment, while still making sure to communicate with the rest of the people on the team, and occasionally bring someone else with them in a scene to do that more directly. In stiffer teams, everyone stays in the same place. I've even done it before realizing this. Sometimes you will have to stay on the bridge because your role on the ship makes the most sense to be on the bridge. But sometimes there is also a lot of people on the bridge all having dialogue at once and it can get overwhelming or feel like there's nothing you can do there. I feel there's a sense of forgetting that you don't have to be in front of someone to be communicating actively and effectively with them, and in Trek episodes across the board, no one is ever exclusively in one place the entire mission. It's not about where you are, it's about how you're communicating it. Be sure not to isolate your character for too long in a scene, consider dragging another character along with you, and always attempt to communicate with the rest of the team even if your character is alone in proximity to them. It will make it all feel more dynamic and it will absolutely open up your imagination to the possibilities of an interesting ship team dynamic and make it much easier to feel confident in being placed in one. It will unintentionally prompt others to do the same and it will usually be awesome.
- Short time skips can be your friend: If something is dragging on in a scene, everyone's character has had some chances to submit input to the situation at hand, and now everything is feeling a little cyclical and slowing it down; unless otherwise stated, or it is a mission briefing scene that's not quite done yet, generally, it is okay to use a quick time skip to the start of the next set of scenes to start the juicier parts of a mission.