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USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D. Picture courtesy of The Light Works.




The newly built Infirmary of SS Alexandria in Second Life Grid.




UFS News Network United Federation Starfleet Inc.






CMDR Ishan Broek


The Delta Communicator is a volunteer effort by the members of United Federation Starfleet, Inc. It is produced and made available free of charge online to anyone and everyone. Original content copyright 2008 by United Federation Starfleet, Inc. United Federation Starfleet, Inc is in no way affiliated with CBS / Paramount Pictures, Viacom Inc,. Star Trek in all its various forms is a trademark of CBS/Paramount Pictures / Viacom. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective holders. No copyright infringement is intended within this publication. United Federation Starfleet, Inc. believes everything in this publication falls within the fair use clause of Trademarks and Copyrights, and pledges its full cooperation with CBS / Paramount Pictures / Viacom to protect its trademarks.

CONTRIBUTORS Mike Calhoun Ishan Broek Hidalgo Dorchester Kevin Fremont Summoner Castaignede Poison Toocool David7 Bravin MilesPrower Dagger Rosine Heinkel Andy Drazen Mac Gaelyth Kinney Randt Jamie Czavicevic Kermie Mistwallow Zania Turner Sofrosta Fleury Miranda Frequency

It’s undeniable that Star Trek is ageing right now. I mean, it’s been a quarter-century since TNG came on the air, and well over a decade since we saw the zenith of Trekdom (which I’d put between the third season of TNG through 1996′s First Contact). Since the late 90s, we’ve endured the mediocrity of Voyager, the failure of Nemesis, the muddled mess of Enterprise, and a successful movie that more or less did everything it could to separate itself from the rest of the pack. Even though the release of Star Trek into Darkness is on the horizon - and don’t get me wrong, I’m super excited for it — this question keeps popping up in my mind: Will Star Trek ever come back? There are two layers to the question. The first is asking if Star Trek will ever launch another TV series, and if so, what would it be and where. The second is asking if Trek as a whole will ever be as popular as it once was. I think the two are tangled together. May 13, 2005. That was when the most recent episode of a Star Trek series aired — Enterprise’s “These Are the Voyages.” Beyond that, we’ve been seven-plus years without a new series, a feat that you’d have to go back to the 80s to replicate. It’s not hard to understand why this happened, either. Neither Voyager nor Enterprise were ratings blockbusters, and both suffered from recycled stories, cardboard characters, a lack of fresh blood in the writing/producing arena, and continuity errors. While Enterprise’s fourth season saw an increase in quality and vision, it was too little, too late. The TV franchise limped to a halt and stayed there. Not exactly the best way to go out. Now, of course Star Trek is still very much a “thing.” There are comics, books, STO, conventions, and whatnot. J.J. Abrams’ reboot was well-received and did at least try to connect to the old show while opening the path for a new way of looking at the franchise. Yet through all this, we’ve heard very little about any potential new series. On one hand, I’m all for this respite. Star Trek really did need to go fallow, get away from the routine, and wait until a more modern and fresh idea came forth. On the other hand, I’m concerned. Almost eight years is a long time not to really hear anything about a series. Star Trek is a cash cow for Paramount and CBS, yet they’ve not made a peep. In general, studios aren’t exactly lining up to do science fiction shows these days, especially not on spaceships and the like. However, there’s hope. If one digs enough, one will see that there is movement. There is interest. There is hope.

Bryan Fuller of the first two X-Men movies is quite interested in such a project, and has talked with Abrams about it. However, he says that any forward momentum on this would probably need to wait until after the next Trek movie comes out. Writer/producer Roberto Orci told that there are “almost real” talks going on about a new series, which may be live action or animated: “The relevant parties haven’t sat down in a room together, but they have sent messages through intermediaries. So after [the 2013 Star Trek sequel] comes out or as its ramping up and after the powers that be determine whether or not Star Trek is back or not – one movie doesn’t make a trend. Two movies starts to indicate that there is a trend and it’s viable. It will become more real as the year goes on.” While these two news pieces are the most recent, if you cast your attention back to 2011, you’ll see that other folks like David Foster were making noise about their ideas for a new Trek as well. So maybe the wheels are in motion, or maybe the deal-makers will decide that Trek needs more time to sit before reviving. It’s hard to say at this point, for sure. But if Trek does come back, it needs to be done right. It really needs to cast off the outdated constraints that were pulling the old series down and hold fast to the elements that made Trek so compelling to begin with. 2009’s Star Trek movie showed that audiences are very receptive to a faster-paced, slicker-looking Trek, although some Trek fans thought it was blasphemy. However a future Trek series turns out, it really will need to be different than what’s come before in order to be successful. You simply can’t warm up the leftovers of 90s TV designs now that we’ve lived through Firefly, Farscape, Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica, and the like. It’s got to be bolder, more accessible to audiences, and more open to modern storytelling devices and character depth. Star Trek really needs deeper characters who don’t just fill a role with a one-sentence description, but have flaws, conflicts, and pursuits all their own. They would do well to learn from the successes of shows such as Spartacus and The Walking Dead in so much as how to add more realism to the characters.


For this year’s final edition of the Delta Communicator we again got together with Commander-in-Chief Mike Calhoun for a few glasses of spring wine and a bit of a natter... DC: Mike, we must stop meeting like this, people will talk! So, as another year draws to a close what has made you smile over the past 12 months? Where is UFS getting it right? Sadly to say, I can't really think about anything that has put a smile on my face the past year regarding a UFS related matter. No matter how you look at things, UFS is having a hard time. Yes, Role Play related I suppose that we are doing fine...but group related is a very different matter. When I look objectively at UFS as a whole, I see a lot of things where improvement is needed, however...I also feel that the members have simply given up on things so its very hard for those few active people to improve on things while they need to direct all their efforts in simply keeping things running DC: I have to agree. We’ve been through bad times before though and come out the other side often in better shape. Do you feel confident that we will do this again, or are you reserving judgement? I am pretty sure we will come out stronger and better but it will require a complete overhaul of the whole system. The reboot would have been further ahead if everyone simply would have accepted how it was, and is going to be, without crying havoc over something they don't understand. No matter how one wants to look at it, I want to make UFS BIGGER, BETTER and more SUCCESSFUL......and for that, one needs to dare to take risks......yes, UFS started out as a pure Role Play group within SL.....and that was fine in 2006...however....ongoing trends have

shown us that SL RP groups are vulnerable to infighting, drama and other childish behavior caused by its members, not to mention economic situations....another important part is the fact that since 2006....UFS has NOT grown in membership.....we continue to gain as many members as we lose......let me ask you Ishan, how many original members are left? and THAT is my reasoning as to why a pure SL RP group is not built to last...... So yes, I am confident that we will rise again, but I’m not going to let it depend on members who will leave within a couple of months no matter what direction UFS is going... DC: Original members...not many, and active original members, even less so I take your point. The sim is empty, activity is at what must be an all-time low, Joint Chiefs seem to be in hiding, Academy is inactive, new members are nowhere to be seen. So what’s the plan? How do we turn the tide and reinvigorate? We have the plan...its called the UFS Reboot and was started almost a year ago....we also have already put many aspects of this reboot in place plan, good or bad can ever work without the support of the management team.....How do we turn the tide...this is not really hard to do but requires some guts to actually do it.... First we need to understand that ROLE PLAY is just one of the many, many aspects available to any chapter in UFS.....we have so many members that always said they joined UFS for the Role Play

aspect of it...and that’s great...but stay with that aspect and don’t try to get involved with management, unless you are willing to accept and work for UFS members that are not here for Role Play. Mixing Role Play with group management only creates a clusterfuck and many hurt feelings. Another point is that Role Play in Second Life is again one of our many aspects that make up UFS, we also have Role Play in 3rd Rock Grid, Avination, INWORLDZ, UFS Grid...but it simply doesn’t seem to count for neither our members nor management because no matter how much they claim the opposite...they are ALWAYS and ONLY IN SECOND LIFE and for NO JOINT CHIEF nor BRANCH COMMANDER their job entails to actually LOG into Second Life...Logging into Second Life is not management of our organization nor its members.... I know that many members feel as if I hate Second Life but nothing is farther from the truth, as with many older UFS members, I have outgrown the aspect of Second Life and I really don’t need it to explore my Star Trek Fandom.....I am not a Role Player by far so I enjoy my fandom in other ways. Yes, I understand that UFS started in Second Life and that our roots are there, but Im sure NOT going to let UFS die because of Second Life..... So, what’s the plan you ask? very simple....a structure that basically takes the leadership out Second Life.....we already have tried to do so with the Academy as to where the SL Academy Campus Dean is the highest authority within Second Life, no matter if any of the Academy Staff logs into SL or not....the same will happen with the UFS Marine Corps....and sadly for those who cannot understand this, they always have the option to serve within the realms of Second Life and be replaced by someone who can see the bigger picture.....don’t get me wrong, I still like to log into Second Life, 3rd Rock or UFS Grid Commander-in-Chief, I do not have the time to devote to that...because we have 21 other Sectors within UFS that also require my attention..... The Academy structure is as follows: Campus Director (SL, 3rd Rock, UFS Grid) is the highest authority within each Grid and is in charge of any and ALL aspects of the academy within said grid and reports to either the Academy Commandant or Vice Commandant

The UFS Marine Corps Structure is a bit different Each Sector is headed by a Marine Command OIC, for example the 1st Marine Command OIC who is responsable for all marines within Sector 001 (Metaverses) all marines within Second Life, 3rd Rock, UFS Grid etc.... Each Grid has detachements who are aboard ships and stations and each grid is represented by a Regiment...... So for example, the Marine Detachement board the USS Taylorholic Durant is the 501 Marine Detachement, 1st Regiment, 1st Marine Command...but the REAL key is to let the people in command do their jobs....Fleet Level Command need to understand that the day to day operations is done by other people and that they are NOT needed to put their noses in there anymore......once the manuals and procedures are written down then the people in the lower echelons know what to do The simple solution is to start over with new people who understand that there is more to UFS then just Second Life DC: So are you saying we can expect to see changes in personnel in key positions? Definitely, UFS has been stagnated far too long and its time to bring our group back where it belongs....Everyone loves to look back at how it used to be in UFS, I’m sure you also remember those days.....many times I was then compared to a dictator....but at least back then things got done and we were always was since I began to “delegate” tasks that it went downhill. DC: So will this entail a change of organisational structure at the top or just a change in personnel? I do think that our structural organization is not only true to starfleet but also streamlined and very effective, If and only if the people actually do the jobs they selected to do.....Obviously for that we need job descriptions for all Non RP positions and a manual for each JC office so everyone knows exactly what is expected from them and there is no more confusion DC: On to more positive things...can you give us an update as to the status of the Database and the websites? Well, our new website is, in my opinion, fully

functional....except maybe some content such as our history (everyone knows I’m not much of a writer).....we have added a calendar and latest events section so everyone can really see how active we really are....and everything can be shared on the many social networks, so that also will increase our visibility. As for the database, we have begun beta testing with the USS Puma, so I hope we can start using it starting January 2013, obviously that all depends if the Mayan Calendar was doesn't really matter DC: There has been a flurry of positiveness lately... at least on the forums. The commissioning of the Banshee, the return of the Talisman and the beginnings of a clear roadmap for the rejuvenation of the Academy, which for me has to be a top priority. However having a great plan is one thing but having a committed team of able volunteers is another....What does UFS need to do to get people actively involved again? I have to agree.....there has been a renewed interest in UFS as well as a boost in activities around the Fleet.....The academy again has a new direction and will have to go full force within the next few days To get people actively involved again we just need the people to stand up and do it....we have the rewards programs, and as always being active means you get promoted.....Maybe its just me but I feel that with the new promotion system people think they will simply get promoted by their Commanding Officer no matter if they are active or I do want to burst that bubble real quick......being active only on your chapter will only get you promoted to a certain rank and I am pretty sure that no one wants to remain Commander forever D.heck, even Riker moved on eventually. We are also working on a renewed awards system that will hand out awards on a yearly basis to people who are active within UFS and not just their chapter cause for that they have their chapter awards... and we also have created new personalized awards certificates and frames (I put an example up on our facebook page), which I think look pretty awesome So what we need most now are people who are willing to teach classes as that is the start to everything. And to close, I want to thank everyone who has stepped up the last couple of weeks to keep things running. Last but not least, I want to wish all our members’ happy holidays and I will see you all in 60.

Being Star Trek fans, we all know the way William … Shatner. Used to talk. On Star Trek. Few of you will have … wished to make poetry that sounds. Like. That. On your iPhones. But now … you. Can. My God, Bones. My God! Smartphone users were greeted in late October with a new application for download, which is the first of it’s kind. Shatoetry, which was recently released for the iPhone and coming soon to Android and other formats, is revolutionary in what it can do. While most other sound-type apps restrict you to playing pre-recorded statements, this one allows you to control what actor William Shatner says. There are a variety of pre-recorded words plus a promise of updates with many more words to come. But, with Shatoetry, you can arrange the words in any order you choose! You can add strength to certain words by tapping on it, which will increase the tonal emphasis on those words. And, when you’ve arranged the poem, phrase, or any other sentence in the order that you want, you can “Shat That” and hear William Shatner say the words you just arranged! The app has a pretty simple and unobtrusive interface, with the words that you can select from near the bottom of the screen. The upper portion of the app, which has an image of Shatner himself, is in essence your playground. It is where you can arrange the words, in any order you choose, and it is those words that will be said by Shatner when you’re ready. You can also choose to share your Shatoetry with others on Facebook and Twitter, and create a sense of awe as your friends and family wonder how well you know William Shatner himself to get him to say the phrase you just Shatted! All in all, it’s a very fun and entertaining application that’s simple to use, and has the promise of becoming bigger and better with future updates!

It is always difficult to go back through and remember all of the activities that happened throughout the year. I find that as things happen and continue moving forward, it’s like those things were always commonplace. I guess the biggest change was the move for UFS Headquarters to UFS Grid and my husband’s offer to buy the area on Pinastri. The colony has been home to me for 4 years now, and 3 years for my husband. Several changes have taken place, including the changes to the UFS Academy building and Club Latinum. We want to give special recognition to Cyril Barthelmess for is great builds. There are many plans still in the works for the colony that are being coordinated by Cordova, Morath Landfall, CO of Alexandria Station, Thallanor Rasmuson, CO of Tranquility Station, Cyril Barthelmess, Zania Turner, and Davido Herbit. Watch for announcements in Second Life for upcoming changes. For UFS as a whole, the manuals have been written and revised throughout the year. Some changes have been a smooth transition while others have been a bit more complicated. Overall, however, the group is moving forward. It’s true that some changes were less popular than others, and additional changes were made to accommodate. The group is still recovering from some disappointments early in the year, but I truly see the group getting stronger and growing. Change is hard, but inevitable, and the changes we’ve seen this year were made to ensure a stronger future. We’re glad you all are a part of that so you and future members will get to enjoy UFS for years to come. VADM Rosine Heinkel Commander Starfleet

When Andrew Probert joined the staff of Star Trek: The Next Generation one of his dreams came true: he had the chance to completely redesign the legendary USS Enterprise. Andrew Probert always wanted to redesign the Enterprise. He'd gotten his hands on it once, when he was working on the Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Then, he'd updated the ship, working with some modifications that had already been made up by Matt Jefferies and Joe Jennings, and he didn't have the chance to create a new version. After his job interview with the TNG producers, he felt there was a good chance he might finally get to design his own version of the famous vessel. He couldn't wait to hear whether he'd got the job or not, and started drawing as soon as he got home. He remembers that he that he wanted to make the ship look more advanced and to give it a sense of movement. Probert says, "I was so pumped up that I started right in, sketching my little heart out. Knowing that the new series was to be at least a hundred years hence (which later got changed to 85 years), I felt that it would be faster and probably sleeker if there was any influence from hyperlight dynamics. At least it should be more elegant, I felt.

The saucer had, since its inception, been the main section, so I made it larger in proportion to the secondary or engineering hull. I previous designs the warp nacelles were always to the rear but above the saucer rim, which visually seemed to give them equal importance, and physically placed them above the ship's centre of mass. Both of these seemed to be negative point, which I hoped to remedy by lowering them to a position between the two hull sections. This would place them closer to the ship's centre of mass. Also, the struts holding the saucer and warp engines were slanted in opposite directions; the saucer is going forward, engines going back. That wasn't bad but it created a slight visual conflict, so I slanted them all forward to unify their direction and give the overall design a feeling of aggressive forward movement, like a lunging cat. The view from the front of the old ship produced a variety of shapes. I took my design theme from the saucer and started sketching every component as a compressed oval." The producers were concerned with the main bridge, Probert always believe the it is important to have the interiors match the exteriors, so he brought in one of the sketches he felt was working and pinned it up on the wall so he could analyze it as he worked on the ship's nerve centre. David Gerrold [writer and producer] walked in and said, 'Hey, is that the new ship?' Of course, I told him I didn't know if it was or not, because I hadn't shown it to anybody. He pulled it off the wall and continued on to his meeting with Gene and the other producers. He held the drawing up and said, 'What do you think of this?' and they all liked it. He came back and slapped it on my table and said, 'Yep, that's the new ship.' I was flabbergasted. I'd never heard of a design going through that quickly, and it was very close to what I ended up producing." The overall design may not have changed much, but there was one very important thing Probert didn't know about the new Enterprise - the producers actually wanted it to separate into two sections. Unfortunately, his new design really lent itself to this. The situation was complicated because Probert misinterpreted their original brief. "The way they described it was that the Enterprise would have a battle section that would separate from the ship. I thought, 'Now you tell me!' I'm thinking, 'Hmm, a battle section that would leave the ship.' I thought maybe it was like an auxiliary craft or something that separated to go off and fight battles. What I came up with was a shape like the letter D. If you lay that down on top of the saucer with the round part toward the front and then extend the serifs, those would be two warp engines. This thing would be nestled into the top of the saucer and it would separate to go fight the battles. When I showed this to them they said, 'No, no. What'll happen is the saucer separates and the engineering hull then becomes the battle section.' So I have this dorsal sculpted into the saucer and now I have to separate that and still make it look good both ways, which was an extraordinary challenge. I started playing with it and I found if I left part of the saucer on the dorsal then it could be a very broad mounting point for the saucer as well as hopefully making the engineering hull look a little better."

Probert knew there was a precedent for the idea of a saucer separation; in "The Apple," Kirk tells Scotty that, if he has to, he should break out of orbit with the main section. In fact, Probert always assumed that the original Enterprise had landing gear. "Popular opinion indicated that the two triangular points on the underside of the saucer are actually two landing legs; the third one would be in the dorsal cavity, so the saucer would have tricycle landing gear for planet landing. Carrying that into Star Trek: The Motion Picture Enterprise, I designed four landing pads on the underside of the saucer. When I did the D, I started to do that and was distracted away from it and that poor ship eventually paid the price!" Once the separation sequence had been sorted out, Probert wasn't asked to make any more drastic modifications to his design. However, he says that Gene was concerned by the length of the warp nacelles. "My drawing had very short nacelles because I wanted to indicate that stardrive technology had become more powerful. It's like television today; they can make them to fit inside a watch. That's sort of what I based my thinking on: the face that you could have warp drive in a new, smaller container. Gene wasn't comfortable with that because he was so used to those huge warp engines from the original series that this seemed underpowered to him, so he said, 'Make the engines a little bit longer.' I made them as little longer as I could because if you look at that side view you'll see that there's an echoing of shapes. I'm going from the saucer dorsal curving forward into the saucer and then I was going from the pylons curving forward into the nacelles. They are at the same angle. My whole intent was to unify all of those shapes; I wanted to give it a forward lunge for the saucer and a forward lunge for the engines, but Gene still wanted the engines to extend out the back as well." Gene's only other change was to put the bridge back on the top of the saucer, as it had been in the original Star Trek. Probert already put a window here, and adding the bridge simply created a small bump. As Probert explains, he'd already made his own change to the underside of the saucer. "In the original show the dome on the bottom of the ship was a sensor array. What I did was move the sensor array to more of a surrounding detail, leaving the dome on the bottom free. That's where I put the captain's yacht, which is a private vessel for dignitaries and captains of ships to use as personal shuttles. That was never used in the show. At one point there was a script where Picard was returning to the ship and the dialogue was, 'The captain's shuttle is on the way back. Crew members, man your stations.' Then the captain comes aboard. We never ever have a visual, so I suggested mentioning the yacht, but they decided against it." Nevertheless, the captain's yacht became an established feature on modern Starfleet ships. We finally got to see one in action in Star Trek: Insurrection; the USS Voyager has a similar vessel, and Rick Sternbach has put them on the Starfleet ships he's designed, up to and including the USS Equinox.


Probert (right) discussing the design with Greg Jein

There are a few other details that Probert built into his Enterprise that have puzzled people. In particular, he says, a lot of people have asked him about the vertical windows in saucer section; specifically, they wanted to know how big they are. "They would scale out to about three and a half feet across and their length would vary according to what deck they were on. The way that I came up with that originally was that, if you think of a porthole on an ocean liner, it's usually set at an average height of around five feet, so any normal-sized person could look out of it. I started with that, but such a radical angle my thinking was, 'Where do put a porthole so everybody, short or tall, could look out?' The solution I came up with was to have a vertical porthole so people of any size could use it." Other elements of Probert's Enterprise were finalized only when the model was built. For example, he says, the surface texture came out of several trips to ILM's model shop. "We were finishing up details on the Enterprise so there were periodic flights up to ILM. Bob Justman asked me to put in a lot up there and reviewed the finishes on the existing models, and when Bob saw the Excelsior he liked it because it had indications of this plating. That idea started in Star Trek: The Motion Picture; my art director Richard Taylor thought a subtle plating pattern would add to the realism of the ship, and they carried that through. I figured out that the plating on the Excelsior scaled out to as eight inches across, so when I did the Enterprise I had fairly large panels using the pattern from the Enterprise-A. But one of the producers had them break that up to make the ship look bigger." One thing has probably caused more debate than else: the Enterprise's colour. The model is very definitely blue, but on screen the ship is gray. Probert explains that there is a very good reason for this. "The fans were very concern that we were replacing the original series. In order to soften some of the anxiety I wanted the two ships to be coloured basically the same. Well, because of the low degree of technology compared to today, when the original Enterprise (which was actually a warm pearl gray) was filmed it picked up a lot of the blue spill [light used in the visual effects process] and therefore became bluish. What I did was indicate that the panelling of the D be painting in two shades of blue. One is a duck egg blue, and the other is kind of a sky blue, which is the base colour the hobby kits are moulded in. By mixing the two blues together I was hoping cinematically that there would be a close tiein with the colour of the original ship." However, the blue was neutralized when the ship was filmed, leaving it the familiar gray.

During the article in this issue we will be recapping on the past years Roleplays and what we expect to see in the future. But first we have to again look at what roleplay is in UFS. The general consensus regarding RP is acting out the life of a Starfleet Officer, boldly going where no-one has gone before, working as a "federation" to better our lives and to safeguard the galaxy. But somewhere along the lines we are failing as a group in regards to this. Individual chapters are doing fantastic with their ship/station story arcs, but when it comes to Fleet-Wide RP's the interest is not there. After a question on the forums as to what people want from these it seems they want an hour or two's worth of roleplay......can’t you just get that with your chapter? The point of Fleetwide missions are to Unify UFS under one story, to work as a team over time and develop our characters even more. Of course the fleetwides are not mandatory, yet the sense of family has been lost over the time and I think we really need to get that back. My Office is always open for suggestions and comments should you have anything to bring to the table. Now onto a recap. The past year we have seen a major battle with the EDC, this brought UFS together as a group, fighting for our corner of the Galaxy and working as a group to achieve a goal. this is what the RP's are all about. The past month or so Lt Cmdr Madadh Magic has started the next Fleet wide mission which is still looking for input from the individual chapters...I hope you will all get involved in this and help progress it forward. All the Ships and Stations of UFS in the metaverses have been doing a great job in creating a story for their areas and I would like to thank everyone involved in creating and playing out these missions. In order for us to move forward with Roleplays we are going to be looking at having a representative in each Sector to relay information. We will be working with branch Heads to relay information regarding Species, Planets and areas for Away Missions. The fleet wide Missions will continue, Communications will be more open and we will move forward in Roleplay within UFs if you are willing to assist. As 2388 approaches the vast area of the quadrants will be explored, new species will be encountered, new planets discovered, few red shirts eliminated.........too far? The situation in the Hobus System will be explored in much detail....let’s see how we can incorporate that into the UFS Story. Working together has got to be the number one priority as we move into the new year, without teamwork we will become stagnant, and without you we will cease to be. In Closing, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all happy holidays as they apporach and see you in the New Year. Commodore Kermie Mistwallow Chief of UF Starfleet Operations Be Strong, Be Proud, Be Starfleet

The weekend of Oct 19-21 was a dream come true for me and many other Star Trek fans, with the arrival of Destination Star Trek London and all five Captains together at last. So have you ever heard of the 'Many worlds theory'? Well there's no doubt that going to a fan convention is entering a different world - a parallel dimension, if you will. When you make that a Trek convention it's doubly so. No other meeting place of fans and celebrities can compare to a Star Trek gathering for sheer levels of devotion to a show and its cast. Now, how do you make a convention even more spectacular and fans even more whipped up into a kind of zealous frenzy? Here's how: get all the actors that have played the series Captains together, with a host of crew and cast from all the series, and 'beam' them down to Docklands in London; before sprinkling with a dash of fandom - a heaving mass of which most have never had the chance to see their idols in the flesh! It's been ten years since the Star Trek franchise machine rolled over the pond to the UK. And so, to celebrate, the organisers planned to break the record with the most number of Star Trek fans wearing uniforms all together in one place. They did it with around 1083 people dressed in an array of costumes. They also broke the record for the most attendees to a convention, some 18,500, officially making it the largest Star Trek convention in the world. There’s a lot to be covered from the talks but there was far more to the weekend than some stalls with plastic phasers, Enterprise earrings and overpriced posters. This was a once in a lifetime Star Trek event certainly any aficionado would not want to miss. But also, it was an important piece of media history to be part of. Just after half past seven on the evening of Friday 19th October, history was made at the Star Trek Destination London event at the capital's ExCel centre; when Captains Archer (Scott Bakula),hat

they held the audience in the palms of their highranking hands.

Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), Sisko (Avery Brooks), Picard (Patrick Stewart) and James T. Kirk (William Shatner) appeared together on a European stage for the first time. This momentous event, which had occurred just once before, at the Wizard World Comic Con in Philadelphia, USA in June, not only lived up to the expectations of fans who had dreamed of this moment for years, but exceeded them by a good lightyear. The chemistry between the quintet of Captains was more potent than a cocktail at Quark's, but host John Barrowman (Doctor Who, Torchwood), a man with enough charm and charisma to fill the Gamma Quadrant all by himself, skilfully brought out the very best of them in the forty minutes that they held the audience in the palms of their high-ranking hands. Scott Bakula, Enterprise's Captain Jonathan Archer, appeared to still be slightly in awe of the weird and wonderful world of Trek fandom even now, though clearly loving it, and playfully referenced his sci-fi history prior to .....

Witnessing these five icons of Star Trek interacting on the same stage, it was obvious that they all have very different personalities, itself the perfect embodiment of the Trek philosophy of diversity, and that the Captains portrayed by each of them were essentially an extension of these personalities. Asked by John Barrowman whether they would ever consider working with each other in a film bringing the five Captains together, they agreed that they would, at which point Patrick Stewart revealed that Brent Spiner (Data) and John Logan (writer, Star Trek: Nemesis) had at one point been working on a script that did just that. Addressing a shout from the audience that “we're all behind you”, Scott Bakula quipped “I don't know if I want to work with Spiner,” to rapturous applause.

making the Quantum Leap to Enterprise, as well as revealing that he overcame any potential nerves at having to follow the other four Captains by convincing himself that, if you think about it, he was actually the first Captain. Kate Mulgrew more than held her own with the men by declaring that when she first signed up, Patrick Stewart had told her that, much as it had with himself, the next seven years would provide her with a body of work that would be the one she was most proud of, and that he had been right. She also revealed that she was very proud of making history as being the first female lead in a Star Trek series, and that since Voyager she had seen an increase in the number of women in science. Avery Brooks proved that while Benjamin Sisko may have been perceived as the most serious of the five Captains, in real life he is a funny, droll and captivating raconteur; his measured, powerful drawl so mesmerising that when he spoke the whole room was engaged. Asked whether, unlike Patrick Stewart - who had been completely unprepared for it - he had expected a huge turnout at his first convention, he had the audience in hysterics when he simply said no, pausing for effect before humbly explaining that he knew that the fans had come because of the bigger picture, because of Trek, and not specifically for him. Patrick Stewart was commanding, captivating and funny on stage. Never afraid to ridicule himself, he revealed that his worst moment on Trek was right at the very start when he had thrown a tantrum on set after Denise Crosby had told him to lighten up and have some fun. Apparently, Stewart had bellowed at his fellow actors that they weren't there to have fun, they were there to work! Oh, and that his best moment had been the subsequent six and a half years when he learned from the rest of the cast that he could in fact be both hard-working and have fun as well. Proving this, he led the five Captains in a rendition of "Happy Birthday" after a cheeky request from a fan. William Shatner, of course, needs no introduction, but to see him on stage along with the four keepers of his legacy - and the laughter and banter between them - you'd have thought that they did this every week over a glass of Romulan Ale. Proving that his comic timing is still razor-sharp, when asked by a girl in the audience whether he would come to Croatia with her, he replied, without missing a beat, that he would probably go anywhere with her, but that he was needed on stage right at this moment. He then waited to drop the other shoe until another audience member asked the Captains what they would have liked to have been if they hadn't become actors - Shatner's reply of 'I'd have loved to have been Croatian' brought the house down. Shatner also proved that he could laugh at himself by saying that the best thing about having become a Captain was that he felt like it was a position of authority, a position in which people would listen to him, and the worst was discovering that actually they weren't.

Quizzed by a member of the audience about their most embarrassing fan moments, Shatner deadpanned “I find every fan and their adulation embarrassing”, before recounting the time a lady offered her left breast for a signature. Stewart's most embarrassing moment was being asked by a young boy to marry his mother, while Kate Mulgrew was approached by a couple of women who wanted her to marry them. When she told them that she wasn't a real Captain they didn't seem to care, and so “being a good Irish Catholic girl” she married them! Brooks recounted the tale of his hair having been so badly cut on the first day of filming that the rest of the crew thought he had a terminal disease, but Bakula claimed not to have anything. At this, John Barrowman asked, incredulously, “No embarrassing fan moments? No proposals? No signing of butt cheeks?” When Bakula replied, forlornly, “No,” Barrowman declared “Let me change that!” and proceeded to run over to the former Captain Archer, dropping his trousers so Bakula could duly oblige! That moment alone was worth the price of the ticket! Just under an hour after walking on stage for the second and what could well be the last time that the five Captains are together under one roof, particularly in light of Scott Bakula's revelation during his individual talk the following day that he considered it highly unlikely that it would ever happen again because of the logistics of synchronising all of their schedules, the quintet of legends took their bows and were gone, leaving an ecstatic audience, well, ecstatic...knowing that they were part of a very select few of the millions of Star Trek fans around the world who would ever witness a gathering like this. Live Long and Prosper!

by Una McCormack Massmarket Paperback – 334 pages Pocketbooks – September 2012 Oh boyD the Typhon Pact is at it again as Una McCormack moves the Typhon Pact storyline ahead with her new novel “Brinkmanship”. The story, centering around the supposed-militarization of bases on the borders that the Tzenkethi-leaning Venette Convention shares with various Khitomer Accord powers, begins mired in tension, and keeps that underlying sense alive and well until the final chapter. Synopsis: The Venette Convention has always remained independent, but it is about to become the flashpoint for a tense military standoff between the two power blocs now dominating interstellar space—the United Federation of Planets and the recently formed Typhon Pact. The Venetan government turns to the Typhon Pact’s Tzenkethi Coalition for protection in the new order, and has agreed to allow three of their supply bases for Tzenkethi use. But these bases—if militarized—would put Tzenkethi weapons unacceptably close to Federation, Cardassian, and Ferengi space. While Captain Ezri Dax and the crew of the U.S.S. Aventine are sent to investigate exactly what is happening at one of the Venette bases, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the U.S.S. Enterprise are assigned to a diplomatic mission sent to the Venette homeworld in order to broker a mutually acceptable resolution. But the Cardassian delegates don’t seem particularly keen on using diplomacy to resolve the situation, which soon spirals out of control toward all-out war. Review: Captain Picard and Dr. Crusher join talks with the Venetans along with the Cardassians and Ferengi to discuss relations now that the Typhon Pact threatens to infringe on Federation space. Meanwhile, Captain Dax and her crew investigate the Venetan starbases close to the border where there are rumors of a threat to the Federation. While the focus jumps from ship to ship, as well as following a Cardassian spy, it’s never hard to follow. Though, to be honest, I was confused who the Tzenkethi were. But I have only read a couple of the previous Typhon Pact novels. Brinkmanship is a well-paced, complex story with plenty of twists and surprises along the way. My favorite storyline was actually the Cardassian spy and her adventure. Politics, conspiracy, espionage, and a unique alien culture made this latest Star Trek instalment a gripping fascinating read.

Review courtesy of

One of my favourite displays on the Science deck at Tranquility Station at 001, is Gijsjan’s orrery – a large, moving, spinning demonstration of the Pinastri system as it orbits around the colony’s local star. I’ve seen my share of people sitting on the planets as they dash around their respective orbits – and indeed, I’ve sat on one of the planets in the past (sorry Cyril, I know, it probably causes lag!) – but as well as being fun to sit on, it’s also a great way to show how our system works. As an astronomer, I’m interested in showing how we relate to the universe around us. Obviously, there are countless worlds out there orbiting around countless stars, and each system is its own tiny little pocket in a much larger whole; and all of us are part of one galaxy that is one of billions in our universe. In my life with Starfleet, I enjoy sharing this and teaching others about the universe around them. To this end, I put together a ‘solar system on a string’, making use of the measurements of my home system, the Sol Sector, to demonstrate the size of our solar system, and our place in the universe. To do this, I used the following items: • • •

6 metres rope Toy Planets (you can substitute ping-pong balls, or Styrofoam balls if you’re feeling crafty and want to paint the planet surfaces!) String (to tie the planets to the rope)

Starting with the Sun at one end of the string, I placed the planets by scaling down their distances from the Sun to ten millionths of their respective measurements. So, for example, the first planet I placed was Mercury, which is 57 million kilometres away from the Sun – this became 5.7 centimetres down my rope. At 10.7 cm, Venus was next, reflecting its distance of 107 million kilometres from the Sun. Following that is my home planet, Earth, which is 150 million kilometres – or 15 centimetres, in our example – from the Sun. (This measurement – 150 million kilometres – is recognised as an ‘astronomical unit’, commonly abbreviated to ‘AU’. It is used to help us measure distances in space.)


57 million Km 5.7 cm

107 million Km 10.7 cm

150 million Km 15 cm

229 million Km 22.9 cm

From the given distances, you can see that the rope line will get quite large, and this shows rather well how large the Sol Sector is, as well. At one end, closer to the sun, you notice that the rockier planets are all clumped together, whereas the further out you go, the more likely the planets are to be further apart – they’re also much much larger. (Pluto is the exception to this – and it was on these grounds that it was demoted back in 2006 to the status of dwarf planet. This was owing to IAU’s ruling that planets must, “clear their neighbourhood”: that is, they must pick up the dust and bits of rock in its orbit in a process called ‘accretion’, in which a body grows larger by attracting matter through gravitational pull. Pluto doesn’t do this, which is why it failed on that point.) Both on the rope and in life, my own home planet is actually one tiny marble in the grand scheme of things. But it’s worth being aware that even the solar system is a small part of a much larger galaxy, and indeed, a far bigger universe. I leave you with the challenge of where I would end up if I extended my solar system on a string, while in my home city of Glasgow, to show the scaled distance of the next nearest star: Proxima Centauri, in the Alpha Centauri System, 4.24 light years away. Answer on a notecard to receive kudos! Signing off,


777 million Km 77.7 cm

1430 million Km 143 cm

2870 million Km 287 cm

4500 million Km 450 cm

In this issue’s ‘Chapter Watch’ we welcome back an old friend in the name of the USS Shogun, and take the opportunity to talk to its newest CO Mac Gaelyth. DC: Mac, many will know you for the work you do with Strategic Ops, but for the newer members and those less familiar, can you tell us a little about your Starfleet career to date and how you have wound up where you are? I started out June last year. I was originally looking for somewhere to have a break from my primary rp group of the time, which I'd been Gamesmastering for around about a year by then, to 'change it up a little', and decided on seeing if there wasn't any 'Trek RP around in Second Life. The UFS was the first group I found on a Second Life search, and came on down, signed up, and haven't looked back Back in the academy I was seen as the overachiever. My first SIM Class they put me in the big chair and immediately got given a recommendation to the SS Tranquility back when it was under the Command of Commander Kinney Randt, as part of the ops team. I graduated and came straight to Tranquility, and was under Ops Chief Tess Tison's wing, before she retired the following month, after the Commander had me installed as the Assistant Ops Chief, and then Acting Ops Chief, until Captain Randt was offered command of the USS Veracruz. We transferred on over and our first mission happened on my 27th birthday - 121012 - Which reminds me to say a VERY Happy 1st Anniversary to the 'Cruzers, and to Thallanor Rasmusen's crew aboard the Tranquility - Got my half-pip, and confirmation to Chief of Operations. I'd always been a touch of a workaholic, so I'd looked for more things 'to do' to try and help out in the UFS where I can; so I applied out for the Fleet Strategist job under Commodore Mistwallow in Strat Ops January this year, and got to work almost immediately in trying to sort out the NPC Fleets as they were prior to the Task Force organisation, assigning them IC Tasks, locations, and even classes in the case of a few of them that were just 'names'. I think I twitch a little when I see a 'red link' in the Wiki (broken link that results in a red word). During the Reboot and the reorganisation of the Sectors, Taskforces, and So on, I got to drafting up a reorganisation of Strategic operations to work with the reinstated Mission Command group - that's the group where everyone can toss around ideas for large scale RP - and got myself hoisted up to the Director job during the El' Dorain Combine Campaign during the summer, which was an interesting experience trying to help with. Hopefully soon every sector would have a Strategic Operations Officer, Fleet Strategist etc., etc - that way there's direct organisation for NPC and other RP resource distribution, which each CO in a Sector knows, and can contact. The latter part is obvious: Commanding the Shogun. I chose her for the reason of Legacy. The Shogun had a remarkable run in the UFS under Ulrich Bechir, something which I hope to emulate rather than 'beat' or 'do better than'. I thought she would be an excellent choice of vessel, as I'm trying to continue that legacy of progression through RP, communication, and coordination with not just UFS Chapters, but other groups outside the UFS, like the Ambrosia Coalition, Botany Bay, the Companions Guild... So that all the Sci-Fi groups have common ground and, more importantly, fun rping and hanging out with each other outside of that. We had our first mission on Sunday 1600 hrs SLT, and I'd like to think it was a success. Hopefully next week will be better. DC: As you mentioned, the Shogun left UFS with a rich RP legacy, and it’s great to see the ship active again. From a backstory point of view, how have you reconciled the reappearance of the Shogun after it went ‘missing’? We've left it more or less open ended with an 'air of mystery' type of thing. For those who are unaware, the story of its disappearance with a Task Force designed to head off the Hirogen disappeared in some sort of an anomaly, which transported them to one region of time, space, and reality. We - that being the crew of the USS Veracruz - discovered a rather empty USS Shogun floating around as more or less of a ghost ship, with only one member found: as well as some curious anomalies with the ship's personal history. Ship was pretty much shut down, and unusual security protocols engaged to, I presume, prevent capture, like sealing the engine room upon core activation and locking out some of the control functions... things like that.

One of the few things we did find out 'for certain' is that the Shogun came back through a similar rift as she went through when they had the scrap with the Hirogen. Everything else is, 'canonically' a mystery, intentionally so. I realize a lot of people will draw a lot of lines of similarity towards the science-fiction horror movie 'Event Horizon', and right now that's kind of the intention, that the events of the Shogun remain a mystery to the people at large. Whether or not Command know truly what happened is, well, a matter of 'Public Opinion', and as the disappearance of the Shogun matches the disappearance of a number of other ships - Aviator-A, Solstice, Sheppard etc - it itself could be a 'story seed' to any curious person who thinks looking into it could be, well, to quote a well known Scientist of 'trek fame: "Fascinating". But publicly... the matter of Shogun's disappearance hasn't been totally closed. 'It's back, don't worry about it'... or should we worry about it? DC: Love a mystery me...guess we need to keep an eye on what you guys get up to. UFS is awash with chapters in SL. What do you and the Shogun want to be able to offer new members that they can’t get elsewhere? Nothing that any other Chapter can provide. And if we did get something that other Chapter's can't do, I'd happily offer it to them if they wanted or needed it. DC: Bearing in mind your fleet level roles as strategist and now Vice Chief of Starfleet Operations (Congratulations on that by the way) do you feel or hope that the Shogun will take a lead role in fleet-wide roleplay’s? As for a lead role... it sort of depends on the scenario and the situation. If it is a large scale rp where the Shogun would have the resources and knowledge of the situation, then it would make sense that she, as a ship, would lead the way. However in the larger scale rp’s that are 'penned' by other Commanding Officers, Branch Heads, and members of Mission Command, then the overall lead would be going to that leading officer, and provide advice and assistance; a 'Fleet Executive' role, for want of a better term. That way the overall Flotilla/Taskforce/Fleet decision come under that particular Commanding Officer after consulting with the Commodore and myself - if they need said consultation, as we'd defer to the local knowledge and experience of the officers on scene - and the Shogun would assist by fulfilling the role assigned by the Mission Commander, and deal with the 'administration', allowing the Mission Commander to focus on the 'bigger picture'. Course the hope is others will step up and take the lead - sort of like Picard in the Battle for Earth in First Contact, providing direction with his experience with the borg - the idea, however, of Fleetwides is that we act as a United Fleet. Doesn't necessarily need to be a Commander in the larger scale missions, but we will be needing someone to coordinate and communicate, so that's how I see the Shogun in the larger scheme of things. The Fleet's 'Uhura' if you will. DC: This year was a celebration of the 25th anniversary of TNG. What is your favourite TNG episode and why? Ugh, that's a bloody toughie. (laughs) I've never been one for 'favourite' episodes, but I always thought the 'Best of Both Worlds' arc, including 'Family' was a fantastic bit of storytelling, and it does give these upright, polished paragons of Starfleet a more... human look and feel, even with Worf when visited by his Adoptive Parents. It reminds people that even under the uniform, away from the higher technology, aspirations of the noble, and stoicism of the perpetually brave, they're still people, with all the same frailties and flaws we all strive to rise above. As a Gamesmaster and RP storyteller, it's a great example of how to balance a character's personality.

The Talosians are an extraordinarily powerful race. Their mental abilities are so dangerous that the Federation has banned contact with their planet, on pain of death. The Talosians are physically diminutive in size, standing on average no more than five feet in height, and appear frail. Their defining physical characteristics are their enlarged cranial area and complete lack of hair. The Talosain brain is approximately three times the size of the average human’s. The Talosians are able to communicate telepathically with one another and outsiders, though they are able to speak if necessary or desired. When communicating telepathically, the veins on the side of their heads appear to pulse. They exhibit no apparent outward sexual differentiation and all dress in identical floorlength shrouds made of an iridescent flexible metallic material. Ruined World

environment was so limited, they focussed on developing their mental powers and became dangerously dependent on their ability to create illusions and to experience the thoughts of others. These illusions became more important to them than reality itself. The Talosians gave up travel, building and creating...they even forgot how to repair the machinery left behind by their ancestors.

The leader of the Talosians is known as the Keeper or Magistrate, and its status is symbolised by a stylised necklace.

Those Talosians who survived were incapable of reclaiming their planet’s surface. Instead, they planned to breed a race of slaves to accomplish this for them.

Talosians are the dominant humanoid lifeform on teh planet Talos IV, located in the Talos Star Group. This star group is a solar system similar to Earth’s, comprises of eleven planets, and prior to the year 2254, had never been explored.

Those Talosians who survived were incapable of reclaiming their planet’s surface. Instead, they planned to breed a race of slaves to accomplish this for them. First Contact

Talos IV is a class-M planet with an oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere, heavy with inert elements, whose gravity is 0.9% that of Earth. It was once the home of a thriving technologically advanced civilization. However, thousands of centuries ago a terrible nuclear war killed nearly all the planets inhabitants and rendered the planet almost completely uninhabitable.

The first official Federation contact with the Talosians occurred in teh year 2254. The USS Enterprise NCC1701 under the command of Captain Christopher Pike, received a distress call from the SS Colombia, a Federation science vessel that made a forced landing on Talos IV some 18 years earlier.

A few Talosians survived, clinging to underground caverns. Because their physical

Pike and a landing party from the Enterprise were freeted by what appeared to be Dr. Haskins and his



fellow crew members. Pike did not realise that the scientists were actually killed when the Colombia crashed and that the Talosians were using their mental abilities to create illusions. They also met Vina, a beautiful young woman who was the only true survivor from the Colombia. The Talosians cared for her and attempted to heal her wounds. Having no idea what a human looked like, they succeeded in restoring her to health but left her severely disfigured. However, the Talosians are not without compassion, and used their power to generate illusions that allowed her to appear beautiful. Pike was captured by the Talosians, who made him a specimen in their zoo. They had collected various species from around the galaxy over the years, and the descendants of these creatures were also held in captivity with Pike. Through the use of thought transmissions, the Talosians are able to probe the minds of their captives. Creatures with

excellent memory capacity are highly prized by the Talosians because they allow them to examine the memories of their subjects and vicariously relive their experiences. The subject’s thoughts are made more ‘interesting’ by the Talosians, who project illusions into their minds. Vina was provided for Pike for two reasons: firstly so that they may mate and produce the next generation of human subjects, and secondly, to encourage Pike to fantasise and relive past events for the benefit of his captors. Pike eventually discovered that primal emotions such as hatred blocked the Talosians’ ability to penetrate his mind. The Talosians were wise enough to acknowledge that human attitudes to freedom and captivity made Pike and Vina unsuitable parents for a race of slaves. Following Pike’s release by the Talosians, Starfleet issued General Order 7, which forbids contact with Talos IV because of the immense and addictive power of the Talosians’ illusions.

Once again I welcome you to a short article about the UFS Academy. It has been a couple eventful weeks for the Academy even though it might have appeared as if we were stagnating and dying. Trust me....we were not. We have been working hard behind the curtain to get stuff back on track and to find a way to reduce paperwork within the Academy and to streamline it in the process. One of the changes is that we will no longer be having School Directors under the College Deans. We feel that those positions did not really serve any purpose but to fill a position which was unneeded. From now on the Deans will be solely in charge of their colleges and their classes. I have posted a global post about those changes on the Forum and would like to encourage everyone to have a quick look at it. We are also looking to restarting the Sim-Training Division and for that we need YOU! We need seasoned UFS Veterans who are willing and able to teach our new cadets in the art of simulator classes. But not only the Sim-Training Div is looking for staff. We are also in need of Deans, Curriculum Development Staff and foremost INSTRUCTORS. We need instructors for every grid within UFS as well as the email classes we offer. Next to that we are looking for a Campus Director for the UFS Grid AND 3rdRock grid. The duties of a Campus Director are pretty much those of a Academy Director but they report directly to the UFSA Commandant. The campus director is solely in charge of their gridacademy and need to find staff to teach their classes. We also need willing people to update our current classes and create completely new classes. In cooperation with Brigadier General MilesPrower Dager we are currently creating a College which will basically focus on actual StarTrek knowledge from all the different series. It will basically be teaching the pertinent information taken from the series and the additional material provided by the movies and extras on the discs. If you are interested in working in any of those positions please do not hesitate to contact Ramius Easterwood, Commandant UFSA to get involved. If you have further questions you are more then welcome to contact myself as well. In service, Commodore Hidalgo Dorchester UFSA Superintendent UFS Joint Chief

On November 20, 2012 United Federation Starfleet struck a significant landmark since its reboot, in so much as it commissioned its first chapter. UF Starfleet members gathered in Second Life grid to recognize and celebrate this momentous occasion and congratulate the crew for their success. The commissioning ceremony was held in SS Tranquility’s auditorium which was set up with the aid of Commodore Turner, Commander Nakajima, and Lieutenant NikonD40. I would personally like to thank them for their efforts in making this occasion not only a success but very memorable as well. Specifically NikonD40 for helping with the custom designs and Lan for helping to set up, run the music, and record pictures and logs for this article and posterity. What follows are some pictures from the event and the full transcript of the ceremony. TRANSCRIPT Greetings and welcome to this important occasion. First I would like to thank Commodore Turner, Commander Nakajima, and Lieutenant NikonD40 for their help in setting up this event tonight. We gather here tonight to congratulate the officers and crew of the USS Banshee and bear witness to the fruit of their labors. Tonight we commission the Banshee as a fully active ship of the line in UF Starfleet. For the last nine months this ship and crew have come together to accomplish this great feat but instead of telling you about it myself I will let them do it. First the Commanding Officer of UF Starfleet’s newest Chapter, Jamie Czavicevic... Jamie Czavicevic clears her throat and takes a sip of water Good Evening and Thank you for coming tonight to share in this proud moment with myself and my crew. I've wanted to captain a starship as long as I can remember. It was one of the first questions I asked at the academy was what do I need to do to become a Ship's captain. I got my first taste of command aboard the USS Godard under Captain Randt My mentor...then later as the Beta Shift CO on USS Veracruz. When Commander Magic asked me to be her XO aboard a new ship I was very excited, and the day we left space dock for the first time was

excellent, I knew our ship would be one of the finest in the fleet. After I took command of Banshee every effort I have made has been building up to this day. Building up a fine crew and completing the tests and requirements of the shakedown cruise... and we have done it. We are here to commission our ship. USS Banshee is more than just a ship... more than her hull plating, circuitry or equipment. A ship is a living organism. Her crew are her vital organs... and if we do not function as a team the ship is sick. When we function as a crew in harmony with each other, the ship is strong and healthy. That is what he have here... A Strong and healthy ship... crewed by able bodied men and women. One of the finest crews I have ever had the honor of serving with. Today is our day. Today we set out on our path to follow those who came before us on the mission... "to seek out new life... and new civilizations.... and to boldly go... where no one has gone before." Thank you, and I now turn the floor back over to Brig Dagger Thank you Commander, next we have the ships Executive Officer, Millenia Infinity , Commander Infinity. Hello everyone, I only want to say a few simple words towards the commissioning of this ship. I have been in this organization for quite awhile, I've been at the bottom of the ladder, at the top of the ladder and everywhere in between. I can say in my honest opinion and from the bottom of my heart that the Banshee, her crew, and her Captain by far are among the best and brightest I've had the pleasure of working with. I am very much looking forward to many more years aboard the Banshee. Thank you all for attending, I'll hand the podium back to the Brigadier

Continued over.....

Thank you Commander. Next we have the Banshee’s Chief Science Officer Lieutenant Miranda Frequency, Lieutenant. Greetings everyone. I don't get to talk in front of large audience very often. Miranda Frequency coughs. Sorry. Anyway, I was asked to say a few words, and I made a promise to my Commanding Officer. I'll keep it. Don't worry; I won't talk about it. So... A year ago, almost to day, I walked out of the academy as an ensign. At the time, I knew enough to know I knew very little. But that was not extremely clear. The boundaries of what I knew I knew were foggy. I went to the USS Veracruz, mostly because I wanted to be with my... close friend. Jamie Czavicevic who has always been kind to me, ever since I met her, and she almost became an adopted sister. That is the way I feel. Anyway, On Veracruz, I met a lot of very nice people from the science department that showed me all I needed to know, and had not learnt from the academy.... Scottbrit... Garethya Mongrain... After several months of studying real life with you, I got an offer I was not expecting at all. I had just gotten my Lieutenant Junior Grade at the time, through sweat and hard work. I've always knew that eventually, I'd end-up being a department head because that is what my career told me to do. But not so soon. But... As Jamie Czavicevic got a First Officer posting on the Banshee, she also asked me to consider taking the Chief of Science position. At the time... I was doubtful. I was a junior officer, and I knew I did not know much. It was a little clearer, but not that much. As a junior officer, I took the position, and tried to do the job the best I could. There was no rush of Science officer on Banshee. But... lacking experience, I had to do it my way. Banshee is an Akira-class starship. A battleship. This ship as seen her shares of battles. As much as they sell it as an exploration ship, it is mostly a big aircraft carrier with a lot of soldiers on it. Now, before you hear me wrong, this is not to say that we don't do any sciences... just that science is not a priority. Our installations are small... our department is small. We are only 20 persons on board, myself included. Because this ship is not built for science, the instruments at our disposals are not state-of-the-arts. On this ship, we compensate this equipment limitation by working in teams and using our imaginations. When we work together, nothing is impossible for our small team of scientist. But even further then that... All the crewmembers work together as a team. I've heard people talk about their ship... that their sensors are the best, and that is why people should join them because of these. Well... On Banshee, we don't have any fancy equipment. The ship in itself is pretty standard, no fancy equipments. It is my belief that what makes the Banshee extraordinary does not lie within its technology, but within the people that works within it. We are a team.And today, although I know I don't know a lot of things, I also know that, together, this fine crew, we can face anything. Everything is possible for us. And it is an honor for me to work with every single one of them, every day. Thank you Lieutenant. Next we have the Banshee’s Sponsoring Commanding Officer, Captain Kinney Randt....Captain.

Just about a year ago, my chief of security, one Lt Cmdr Jamie Czavicevic, came into my ready room. I knew something was up, because she was being quiet, and not the usual force of nature we all know her to be. What I then found out was that Jamie had been offered a position as the XO of a new ship coming out of dock; the USS Banshee. She said her first loyalty was to me and the USS Veracruz, and wanted my opinion before giving her answer. We discussed her goals, and her desire to one day have a ship of her own. We looked at the Veracruz command team, and I told her how before I became CO of Tranquility, that I was the XO under Cmdr Chad Hoorenbeek. I told her if she did want a command of her own one day, that this was an excellent step in that direction, and I could never do anything to hold her back. I gave Jamie not only my blessing, but my full support, knowing that she already had the skills and motivation to take on the job. We also had a frank discussion about the fact that she needed to be ready to take over the chapter should anything happen to the current CO. Without being ready, a sudden change could cause the chapter to break apart. The former CO of the Banshee did in fact have to depart unexpectedly, and I'm proud to say Jamie didn't miss a beat. The USS Banshee sailed on to further adventures with pride and distinguishment, with Captain Jamie Czavicevic at the helm. Now for the past year, myself and the USS Veracruz served as a sponsor chapter for Jamie and the USS Banshee, and I have to say it has been one of the easiest assignments I've ever had. With the skills Jamie already had in place, from her own experiences (and maybe one or two things learned while serving aboard both SS Tranquility and USS Veracruz) I think there was only one time that whole year where Jamie came to me for advice. One question in 12 months, everything else, she was ready for. That tells you how ready she was for this job., and for the center seat. I'm proud to have served with Captain Czavicevic, and I am proud of all that she has done in the past year as well. She has set the bar high for other new chapters to follow, and nothing pleases me more than to be here to witness the official commissioning of the USS Banshee into the UFS family....Congratulations, Captain! Thank you Captain.

Now we are on to the reason we are all here. Tonight we recognize the outstanding officers and crew of the USS Banshee for achieving the goal of meeting all the requirements set forth by United Federation Starfleet to become a commissioned chapter. They are the first to achieve this but not the first to try. Let their example inspire off of you with the same goal as the Banshee look to their ideas and see if they can be used to help you achieve them. I know of what I am going to say will make some of your roll your eyes but it is important to keep these things both in your mind and in your heart. UF Starfleet lives and dies by its members, the individual members make up a chapter and the chapters are our life’s blood. Today we congratulate the Banshee and wish them continuing success in UF Starfleet. I will now read off the official orders. Attention on Deck! Commander Jamie Czavicevic...Effective this

stardate 121120, your vessel has completed its Shakedown and is now recognized as fully operational. By my order, USS Banshee, NCC 90712 is hereby commissioned into UF Starfleet as a Commissioned Chapter with all the rights and privileges thereto. You are ordered to follow Starfleet’s directive to “To explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before” all while upholding the ideals and standard of the United Federation Starfleet. Commander Czavicevic, do you understand your orders and accept full command and responsibility of the USS Banshee? I do sir In my power as UF Starfleet Chief of Staff I hereby promote you to the rank of Captain with all the rights and privileges thereto. Congratulations Captain, clear skies and calm seas and full speed ahead!

By Captain Kinney Randt

It’s been just over a year since the USS Veracruz pulled out of drydock, and all I can say is “Wow, what a year it has been.” It feels like it was only yesterday that we took off from Tranquility, and yet at the same time, it also feels like the Veracruz has been my home forever. Admitted, part of this feeling may come from the fact that with the assistance of my husband, Moonprince Rhode, the Veracruz has been a part of the academy holorp deck almost since we graduated the academy ourselves, so the name has been around me for some time. Most of my senior officers have been with me since our days on Tranquility, and our first mission together to test this new allegiance class ship was a true challenge. A group of orion prates had been hounding us at Tranquility, and right before our launch, they hijacked the USS Proto from drydock. Although the USS Proto outgunned us, we had some assistance from Lady Byrna and some of her, well, I guess acquaintances is the best way to say it. Oh, and as a note to any other ship captains reading this, if Lady Byrna shows up on your bridge, that would be a good time to confirm your shield generators and phaser arrays are all up to 100%, because it’s about to get interesting.

After that, things calmed down for at least a little while, with the missions becoming more routine. We were even able to set up a duck blind on Menlo Prime, where we discovered a fascinating society similar to old medieval earth. Of course, this is Starfleet, and as a result, the next routine mission didn’t quite stay that way. We had recovered a stolen runabout, and found two dead Starfleet officers aboard, along with a small crystalline globe that was emanating with some unknown energy. When I got close to it, I was hit by what could only be called a transfer of consciousness, and I found myself trapped in the globe, observing someone, by the name of Rogar, controlling my body. He attempted to use both my authority and the power of the Veracruz for his personal power grab, but my crew are well trained, and it didn’t take them long to discover while he looked and sounded like me, there was more then met the eye. Once I was me again, we set out to return the orb to the dimension from which it had came from. Before we accomplished that, an ally of Rogar’s arrived with a starship of his own. The combination of the orb energies mixed with the phaser power exchanged as we defeated that ship, opened up a temporal rift, and much to the entire crew’s surprise, the Constitution class USS Exeter came through. Once the dust settle and the rift closed, most of the crew were very excited at the chance to go aboard the Exeter. But as the owner of an actual class F shuttle retired from service, I was ecstatic about the opportunity, and spent most of the next 40 days aboard the Exeter as we travelled back to Pinastri to drop it off. Ironically, the Exeter was only the first starship for the Veracruz to discover. As we all know, just over 6 months ago we lost the USS Shogun, USS Aviator, A, USS Sheppard and several other ships. Moonprince was aboard the USS Shogun, had been working on getting them back since the day they vanished. As best we can tell, he created some type of warp bubble, and the end result was a duplication of the Shogun being created, and since he created the warp bubble, he came with it. The rest of the crew remained with the other copy of the Shogun in that second dimension. Now the Exeter is still being studied, and the shogun has now been returned to service, under command of my former chief of operations, Lt Cmdr Mac Gaelyth. Now here we are a year later, with some new officers, but with just as many who are still with us since Tranquility. I count these people as my family, and I consider myself lucky to have such a dedicated and loyal team working with me. I may be in command of the Veracruz, but it is all of them who truly bring the ship to life, and for that, I say thank you all.

USS VERACRUZ, NCC-200808 Allegiance Class Sector 001 – Second Life

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS has learned from Paramount Pictures that an 9 minute extended version of "Star Trek Into Darkness" will be shown before the IMAX 3D screenings of "The Hobbit", which opens on December 14th. This special screening will not be released online --- to see it, one must go to the IMAX 3D theaters. It is also being reported that the first full trailer, not a short teaser trailer, will appear before non-IMAX showings of "The Hobbit" when it opens December 14th. The trailer will not be a rehash of the 9-minute IMAX footage, but will contain different images from throughout the film. Dolby Laboratories, Inc. and Paramount Pictures, a division of Viacom Inc., have announced at ShowEast 2012 that Star Trek into Darkness will be released in Dolby®Atmos™ to deliver a more natural and realistic soundtrack that moves sound around and above audiences, transporting them into the outer regions of the universe. “We are in the incredible and lucky position to have access to the latest technology, the best possible tools, and the most talented artists in the business,” said Abrams, the producer and director of Star Trek into Darkness. “We are therefore thrilled to announce that we will be employing the amazingly immersive Dolby Atmos audio system to bring the Star Trek into Darkness soundtrack to life.” IDW COMIC RELEASES 2013 IDW have released the first details and cover images for their February Star Trek comics. Included will be the 2nd month for the exciting new "Countdown to Darkness" prequel series to the Star Trek: Into Darkness movie. Plus a new issue for the ongoing Star Trek comics set in the new movie universe and a collection of Brannon Braga’s "Hive" comics.

COLLECTIBLES Hollywood Collectibles have revealed the next in their range of Star Trek statues; a 1:6 scale Captain Picard, in his command chair. There will be 600 copies made, and he's due out in the second quarter of 2013. Meanwhile Diamond Select Toys have announced a the first Star Trek sculpture from them in some time; with the reveal of their "Femme Fatales" Seven of Nine PVC Statue. Seven is also due out in the summer.

FIRST STAR TREK VISUAL DICTIONARY DETAILS One of the most exciting of the numerous Star Trek nonfiction books coming out soon is the first ever Star Trek book in Dorling Kindersley's lavishly illustrated Visual Dictionary series. Now details are now starting to emerge about the Star Trek: The Visual Dictionary, including a first look at the draft cover

STAR TREK RENEGADES Renegades is a brand new independent Trek film, being developed by the same team that created Star Trek: Of Gods and Men. This time they have gone to the crowd-funding site KickStarter to finance the project and have achieved their initial $200,000 target meaning that production will go ahead The latest Trek vet actor to join the cast of Renegades is J.G. Hertzler, best known for playing the Klingon Martok on Deep Space Nine. Hertzler will be playing Borrada, the main antagonist in Renegades. Other Trek vets in addition to Russ and Koenig who hav signed on include Gary Graham (ENT: Soval), Garrett Wang (VOY: Ens. Kim), Robert Picardo (VOY: The Doctor), Ethan Phillips (VOY: Neelix), Manu Intiraymi (VOY: Icheb), and Richard Herd (VOY: Adm. Paris). ENTERPRISE: HELP CHOOSE BLU-RAY BOX ART CBS has already issued the the entire original Star Trek series on Blu-ray and next month they will release the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but many fans have wondered when the most recent series was getting the Blu-ray treatment. Unlike TOS and TNG, Enterprise (which ran for four seasons between 2001 and 2005) was shot and broadcast in HD, so it didn’t need to be remastered. The first hint that Star Trek: Enterprise was headed to Blu-ray came from writer/producer Mike Sussman who in October sent out a tweet saying he recorded an interview for the special feature. CBS has yet to issue an official press release announcing Enterprise on Blu-ray and so far they are not providing any more details on the upcoming sets but from Sussman’s tweet we should expect them to contain new interviews. The three options are:

This “TNG 25� lithograph, licensed by CBS Consumer Products, is available for purchase from for $25 plus shipping.

Branch Commander, FCapt. Kevin Fremont As we head into a new year, Science continues to be at the forefront of Exploration, Discovery and Examination of new Worlds, Species, Geology and Technical as well as Social sciences for UFS. We are pushing the boundarys of our experiences within the Delta Quadrant as UFS expands to other areas (Sectors, Grids). The Science Branch is currently made up of 6 Divisions with 4 Departments in each, to cover every possible Field of Knowledge. Every Scientist has an opportunity to specialize in the Field of their choice. We are happy and proud of the people in our Branch and the accomplishments they contribute from Nabuleone Rhode to Gijsjan Broek and Dana Offcourse, Lenneir DeCuir, Summoner Castaignede as well as our Chief Science Officers aboard Ships and Stations and all Officers and Crewmen. Too many to list, they are all fine members of the Branch. It is like a Family within the Family of UFS as has been said by many of our members because many of us are friends as well as Comrades as we work and play in our respective endeavors. This closeness will carry on into the future as we continue to explore our place here in the Delta Quadrant.

Life Sciences Whether you are interested in ecology, botany, epigenesis, zoology, ethnology or for instance genetic engineering, we are all Galactic Biologists. We study the structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, and classification of all life in its ecosystem and on different planets in the Galaxy.

Life Scientists like Biologists and Ecologists have the same role in Galactic Science. We are highly concerned about the effect of space travel on habitats and indigenous species in their own surroundings. We study the flora and fauna and how species live together in their ecosystems. Galactic Life Scientists focus on working together with local Biologists who obviously know most about the environment. But we bring into the research our knowledge about dangers and harm of space travel. Combining this knowledge can help finding right landing places, preventing contamination, or help to restore natural habitats after a disaster took place. Many times we make 'red lists' of endangered species. Also we can study new animals and plants for their possible medical benefits. We can develop new forms of life for use by colonists or study the chemistry of new lifeforms for benefits for all sentient species. We often discover new lifeforms and it would be great if you found one, so join us. Lt. Commander Sofrosta Fleury, DH of Life Sciences

USS Banshee NCC-90712 My name is Miranda Frequency, and I'm the CSO of the Banshee. I'm a scientist, specializing in Oceanology. I was out of the academy a year ago, as a young ensign. It’s hard to believe I have made so much progress in less than a year. USS Banshee's science department is small. This is mostly a battleship, but when the soldiers are in trouble, they want to know why and then they turn to us. The 20 people of this science team (NPC + PC) are used to working together. Our equipments are not the best of the fleet, they are just “average”. It is our personnel that make up the difference: our minds travel the extra distance our instrumentation can't. I have a motto that I use for my science team: “Each has a purpose, each has knowledge, each is unique, but put together, nothing is impossible for our team”. It is our team that managed to make the difference so many times, in our past missions. Like for the initial planetary survey of T'Aquarium, done with little time and resources, and with a government that did not want our methodology to intrude in their ways. Or artefacts analysis recovered from a distant planet. Whatever is needed, we usually get a knock on our door to provide the answers, and we usually provide them. We are proud of what we do, but we are not perfect either, and we make mistakes; such as when Nanites that we were analyzing started assimilating one of our scientist, who in turn started assimilating the ship. I'm nothing without my team, and they all have my highest respect. LT. Miranda Frequency CSO,on behalf of the Science team of the USS Banshee.

Greetings UF Starfleet. Since my last article I have had the opportunity to get settled into the job. I am happy to report we have a New Director of Advanced Starship Design in Commander Lan Nakajima and a New Head of UF Starfleet Personnel in Lieutenant JG Jean Hema. Both have shown extensive dedication to their posts and I am sure will serve UF Starfleet well. I have crafted a ASDB Manual to help answer questions about what the office does and other FAQs, I hope to have it out in short order. I am reviewing the policies and procedures to help get them in orders and eliminate stuff we don’t need. The forums have seen some updates recently, and will see more in the future. As time progresses more and more updates will be released all for the betterment of our members. I am still looking for Directors of Fleet and Shakedown Operations so anyone interested please contact me. And as always my door is always open to anyone with questions, comments or ideas feel free to drop me a message.

In Service Brigadier General, MilesPrower Dagger

Away Mission Orlando is an annual convention that features sci-fi celebrities from various genres, with the majority being Star Trek centered. This year’s event, which took place from October 5-7, was no different and featured Avery Brooks among many others. Robert Duncan McNeill, better known to Trek fans as Tom Paris from Voyager, was one of the guests appearing during the weekend. A regular Twitter user, Duncan McNeill took to the social media service to start sharing pictures from the event with the hash tag of #awaymissionorlando. One of the pictures he shared was a CIA badge for Sarah Walker from Chuck, a show that he directed until the series ended earlier this year. When I started seeing the Tweets, and knowing two other celebrities who were in attendance, I used the same hash tag to ask him where the picture was of himself and one of the guests. I was floored when, only a few minutes later, he responded to my tweet with the photo I had asked for!

Yes, that is Dwight Schultz, better known to Star Trek fans as Reginald Barclay! And if you look in the background, original Battlestar Galactica fans will recognize Dirk Benedict!

For Robert to respond to a fan’s Tweet with a request like this, and also for Dwight to be gracious enough to accommodate him and agree to the photo really speaks volumes in terms of the type of person both of these celebrities are. What makes this Twitter experience that much more amusing is that a member of Dwight Schultz’ fansite forums, who goes by the user name of KaizokuShujo, was in attendance and spotted the picture was it was being taken. After returning from the convention, and seeing that I shared my Tweet with the photo, they wrote, “Actually, he was working on tweeting the pic from his phone right when I asked him if I could take a picture of him. It took him a while to get was pretty funny then, but even funnier that it's because of you that it happened. xDD AND..............I used that as a photo op. I was standing nearby when they did that, and I totally shot it, too, and got a better shot, despite all my camera woes!” Here is the photo they managed to take:

If nothing else, this experience goes to show that some celebrities who are active on Twitter do read the Tweets from their fans and followers, and will respond!

Starfleet Astraios - United Federation Starfleet in the Gamma Quadrant (an online Chapter operating on 3rd Rock Grid) celebrates its second anniversary in January. Our next NPC ship should be named the 'USS Tenacity" because that's the only way we've been able to survive. We've doggedly kept going forward despite the many challenges. It all began on stardate 110111, when I, a freshly graduated Operations officer, tagged along with then Sector Commander Benjamin Hermans on the long trip to another 'quadrant'. Having braved the expansion from Alpha Q to Delta Q, Starfleet was now attempting an outreach to the Gamma Quadrant, and appointed a few brave souls to make the journey. It was very tough to leave Pinastri (UFS in Second Life). Wouldn't I miss the friends I'd made at Academy, in SIM classes, on Alexandria Station - my first assignment - a world I had come to know? I had no idea what to expect except a lot of hard work! A team of Starfleet Engineers, lead by Fleet Captain Osky Oldrich, travelled with us and by the middle of January they had begun the difficult task of assembling our state-of-the-art Hellenic spacestation as well as building our excellent Academy and Welcome Centre. In February, our first curious cadet signed on and took their required classes amidst the confusion. By March of that year Hermans had returned to the Delta Quadrant, I was appointed Astraios Sector Commander, and our first class of cadets had graduated! But, while we celebrated every tiny success, we still had huge hurdles to overcome. Some of our technology, brought from Pinastri, didn't work effectively on Astraios Prime. The nearby Takaar Nebula, and the planet itself, seem to dampen certain energy fields, thereby affecting weapons, replication, communication, and transportation. The only thing that worked properly was US, haha... those who had come from Pinastri noticed how different they looked under the Astraios sun, and that took some getting used to, believe me! ('You're so vain, I bet you think this song is about you'... ha!)

Our Chief Engineer, in cooperation with the Astraios Civilian Authority, has worked hard to overcome some of these issues. Commander Karl Quar is our longest serving Engineering Officer, transferring from Pinastri on stardate 110228, and since serving with great distinction at Astraios. Davido Herbit came willingly from Pinastri too, heading up our Security Branch, then bringing our Academy up-to-date, then acting as Executive Officer before 'retiring' to a Diplomatic position. Starfleet officers like Admiral Mike Calhoun, Commodore Darrein Reiner, Cadet Training Officer Teresa Firelight and then Chief of Operations Valerious Swansong visited, assisting on missions, and offering encouragement. In that first year we graduated terrific officers the likes of Alia Soulstar (Medical), Astro Balut (Engineering), Aldo Alchemi (Science), Dolfke Barbosa (Security), Genny7 Markus (Medical), David7 Bravin (Science). Our sense of community and fast friendship held us together through thick and thin. Of course, in addition to technological glitches, there were some teensy administrative growing pains! Gah! Routines that worked smoothly at Pinastri were affected by all manner of things on Astraios. Due to our technological problems with phasers, prompters, rezzers and replicators, some Academy class materials would simply not make sense at Astraios. Plus, establishing a clear chain of command when Branch Commanders and Joint Chiefs were so far away and long range comms intermittent at best also seemed a little rocky at first. But somehow we found our feet. We began further outreach to the civilian population, offering medical assistance, social activities, and support. Most importantly, SS Astraios commenced operations on 110211, and the security of the Sector was in the capable hands of United Federation Starfleet! (Mind you, there was a feedback cascade from the fusion reactor that caused a temporal rift, sending us 600 years in the past for what seemed like ages just a minor problem, I assure you.) So now here we are. The little Colony that many thought would never survive has its second anniversary on short-range scans. Our numbers are small. We still struggle with some technological issues that folks on Pinastri don't have to deal with. But we give our classes, graduate our cadets, perform our missions, and support each other as best we can. We'll be celebrating our Second Anniversary on Saturday 130112 and Sunday 130113. If you are able to travel to the Gamma Quadrant that weekend, we hope you'll come and join us for this 'unexpected' party! P.S. Ummm... I hope I'm there for the ceremony and celebration. Cause right now, I'm on this old creaking cargo vessel headed for the slave market on Treman, where I am to be sold with other captives by the dastardly space pirates who have been operating in and around the Astraios Sector. I know my crew is trying to rescue me. They've been through all sorts of adventures and have ended up on a Klingon Bird of Prey called the 'Maj', masquerading as pirates in the hopes they could infiltrate the syndicate and figure out where I am without dying in the process. Well I guess that's what they mean by going boldly!

BY COMMODORE ZANIA TURNER Over the years, there has been a lot of changes when it comes to United Federation Starfleet. People come and go, but also the atmosphere of our organization has changed as we have evolved from what we once were, to where we are now. And as we continue to grow and expand, that air about us will still continue to change with it. I’ve talked extensively in the past about volunteerism. I am a strong advocate for it, since much of what we do behind the scenes of UFS relies on the dedication of those who want to help us reach that vision of a strong and successful organization. Sometimes, the jobs that we have as Joint Chiefs just encompasses so much that we have to rely on that help from others if we want to make everything work the way it needs to. But, what has me troubled is a very disturbing trend. Many members often complain that they wish for the “glory days” of the UFS to return again . . . where the sims were filled with activity, both in terms of events and roleplaying, and everyone who graced our virtual regions were made to feel welcome. Honestly, it’s something that I want to see happen as well! Everyone should feel like they belong, from the moment they first step foot within the region and beyond. Everyone should be able to have something to do to have fun, to relax, and just hang out with others if you’re not participating in a roleplay at the time. But, when push comes to shove, it’s often those same people who do the yearning for the “glory days” that don’t step up when the opportunity presents itself. They don’t want to take the time – even if it’s just an hour or two out of their schedules – to help recapture some of those so-called “glory days” and make sure that others can experience it for themselves. They want everyone else to do it for them. Some may choose to volunteer just for the sake of calling themselves by a certain volunteer title (even if it’s not a billeted position), yet they don’t bother lifting a finger to do anything to help out. That, unfortunately, is just as bad as those who complain about wanting the “glory days” of UFS again, but not stepping up to the plate. Unfortunately, it then falls upon certain people to take up even more time from their already busy lives – taking time away from their family, or even to where they are pressed for time to make it to work on time in their real lives – when they should be able to achieve a balance between the two with the proper support and help. And then there are those who also want the “glory days” back again, but when the events do take place, the never bother to show up. Those people then complain when certain things that are scheduled don’t take place . . . yet it is often attendance at certain events that often results in a decision whether or not that particular event should continue to be held or not. By saying that you want these events, and don’t show up, and then complain about it not being held, it shows a tremendous lack of respect for UFS in general, and especially for those who have dedicated time from their lives to try and make sure that there are opportunities for you to have fun and enjoy the company of other Trek fans. Some, unfortunately, will even end up complaining about and ragging on what does take place in such a way to where it discourages others from attending. It is these very problems that contributed to the reason why Andy Drazen (trekkieben2007 Resident) left United Federation Starfleet. While not the only reasons, these factors did play a role in his decision to leave. Honestly, it shows a tremendous lack of respect for all of the hard work and dedication he put in to try and get events going again successfully – time and effort that he put in, and took away from his obligations outside of the virtual world. And, as a result of how he was treated, we lost one of the best people with an incredible enthusiasm to oversee events in quite some time. It makes me very disappointed in the membership of United Federation Starfleet . . . disappointed, but I have not given up hope. I still believe that, if people can step up to the plate, things can and will turn around and we can recapture the “glory days” of UFS that everyone craves for. Andy’s leaving us has hit us hard, so I am now in search of a new replacement for the Head of Events Management. You don’t have to have any hosting experience, or be the best event host to take on this position, but you do have to be a great organizer and recruiter in order to get the volunteers who can help to make our events happen in the various grids and beyond. I know that everyone wants a higher rank, but did you know that if you do volunteer beyond your chapter, and help UFS as a whole, you can eventually be granted the rank of Captain or above? But that rank can only be afforded to you by volunteering your time and helping out behind the scenes of our organization. If you want a great position where you can make a difference when it comes to helping to shape the future of events within UFS, and also provide a tremendous service for all of our members, this is the opportunity that you’ve been waiting for . . . so e-mail me at and don’t let this chance pass you by! I also look forward to working with the Honor Guard, which has been moved under my office, and helping them grow beyond a portion of our group that only handles pomp and circumstance, into a vital and contributing portion of our organization. The Honor Guard represents the best of what UFS has to offer, and should be able to contribute in such a way to where they can serve not only as role models to our members, but also as the face of professionalism to visitors to our region. I also want to take this time to thank Ishan Broek for another beautifully designed and packed edition of the Delta Communicator! I can’t wait until the next one, and I hope that all of you are looking forward to it as well!

Until next time... see you around the galaxy!

Star Trek: Voyager’s ex-Maquis rebel Seska was, among other things, resourceful. The ensign could do just about anything from helping fix a warp core to stealing the ingredients to make her former lover Chakotay’s favourite soup. Who’d have suspected that she was also a Cardassian spy who had been surgically altered to look Bajoran. After chastising Captain Janeway for the “incomprehensible decision” that marooned them in the Delta Quadrant, Seska jumped ship and allied herself with the Kazon-Nistrim. She subsequently returned with the Kazon to cause more trouble for the Voyager crew. No one ever quite knew what Seska would get up to next, not even the person playing her, Martha Hackett. “Initially, the producers weren’t quite sure what they wanted to do with her,” explains the actress. “They hadn’t made up their minds if Seska was going to be a spy. There wasn’t even a hint of that, nor had they figured out whether or not she and Chakotay [Robert Beltran] had been lovers or that she was a Cardassian. So when I first started I was Seska the Bajoran Maquis member and they sort of worked everything else up in soap opera fashion. Then, of course, the pregnancy came along, which further complicated matters. “The writers used what I thought were some clever plot machinations to develop Seska. When a character is wellwritten and has a lot of layers or depth it makes it far more interesting to play and fun as well. I got to take Seska in so many different directions. I even made her a little bit crazy,” she laughs. ”She was sort of a stalker where Chakotay was concerned. Those types of quirks are what made my job easy. It’s not like Seska was crying in every episode she was in and wrenching her heart out. Those are the things that are hard to do. I didn’t have to sell my soul to play Seska. It was neat to be someone crafty and who’s obsessed with control, as we all are to a certain degree in real life. We live day-to-day in frustration about not having control over one thing or another but Seska did something about it. She didn’t exactly have control either but she did her best to get it. You’ve at least got to give her credit for trying.” The actress had plenty of Star Trek experience under her belt prior to being cast on Voyager. She read for the role of Jadzia

“Seska was someone fans loved to hate...” Dax on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and, although she lost out on that part, she wound up being cast as a Tarellian in the Star Trek: The Next Generation series finale All Good Things. The actress went on to play Romulan Sub Commander T’Rul in the Deep Space Nine third-season opener The Search, Parts One and Two. She made her debut as Seska in the first-season Voyager episode Parallax. In it, Seska supports friend and former Maquis member B’Elanna Torres’s (Roxann Dawson) as she vies for the post of ship’s chief engineer. Back then, Voyager was the new kid on the block and, as such, had much to prove to the network executives. “Considering the success of both The Next Generation and DS9, this new series had big boots to step into,” notes Hackett. “I remember when I did Parallax they put me on the bridge in a medical uniform. A mistake like that had never been made before. It became an issue, and the next episode I did it was like, ‘You wore the wrong costume the last time.’ So all those kinks were being ironed out. I wouldn’t say things were tense but everybody was still sort of feeling their way around. In that regard I’d have to say that at first it was a slightly less jovial set than, let’s say, DS9, but it didn’t take long for things to turn in the other direction and the Voyager set became a more relaxed place to work.” It is at the end of the first-season story State of Flux that Seska reveals her true colours and joins forces with the KazonNistrom. She wastes no time in wrapping their chauvinistic leader First Maje Culluh (Anthony DeLongis) around her finger. “There’s no denying that Seska wore the pants in that relationship,” jokes the actress. “She wanted it to appear as if Culluh was in change when, in fact, she was, being the smarter of the two. I think Seska was far more attracted to Chakotay because he was an intellectual challenge.” When it came to expressing her feelings for Chakotay, Seska certainly went about it in an unconventional way. In the secondseason story Maneuvers she even goes so far as to take some of his DNA and impregnate herself. “They made Seska twisted and unstable enough, as is obvious in Maneuvers, that she really believed Chakotay was still carrying a torch for her like she was for him,” says Hackett. “She felt that her appeal would win him over as it did before. Deep down I feel Seska truly wanted Chakotay to love her. Unfortunately, her bizarre actions only pushed him further away. “Seska’s darker sides came from a certain emotional instability,” she adds. “At least that’s how I played her, although I don’t know if it came across that way on the screen. Yes, she had an evil side to her but she was also really smart, and sometimes very intelligent people can be unstable. So there was a method to her madness. Also, I don’t think the character was totally heartless. Seska was open to B’Elanna and Chakotay even though she may have harmed them.” Using her newborn baby as bait, Seska lures Chakotay and his fellow crewmates into a trap in the second-season cliffhanger Basics, Part I. The Kazon commandeer Voyager and leave

Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and her crew to die on a barren world. Fortunately for them, Seska’s plan backfires in Basics, Part II and the wily Cardassian ends up dead. Her demise came as a surprise to the show’s fans as well as Hackett

a point with Seven of Nine [Jeri Ryan], but she eventually went all the way over to their side. However, Seska was an opportunist, so it would’ve been more of a ‘I’ll rub your back if you’ll rub mine’ kind of arrangement.

“Within a 24-hour period I received one set of [script] pages where the baby died and Seska lived, and then another set where the baby lived and Seska died,” recalls the actress. “I couldn’t believe it. I thought, ‘This must be a mistake. Maybe they’ll change their minds,’ but they didn’t. However, you know what, that’s show business. I’ll admit I was disappointed. I think the character’s death was wimpy. If Seska had to go then someone should’ve done away with her, preferably Janeway or Culluh. She shouldn’t have died as a result of Voyager being blasted, especially as she was standing so near to her baby, who would have been killed, too. I’m not a writer, though, so I can’t second-guess their decisions nor those of the show’s producers.”

Given the enthusiasm in her voice it is obvious Hackett enjoyed her time as Voyager’s wolf in the fold. “Seska was capable of causing problems on her own or by manipulating others, so I could appreciate the character’s independence and initiative,” says Hackett. “I also felt she made a worthy female nemesis for Janeway. Seska was someone fans loved to hate, and when you’re playing a villain you can’t ask for much more than that.”

In Science Fiction you can’t keep a good villain down, especially one as deliciously treacherous as Seska. Hackett reprised her role in two later episodes, Worst Case Scenario and Shattered. “It was fun to come back,” she says. “I loved Worst Case Scenario and the idea that Seska left behind a computer virus to wreck havoc aboard Voyager. As for Shattered, I thought the concept of all the various timelines was neat, too. The interesting thing is that the story ended with Seska alive in a Jefferies tube, so whatever became of her?” muses the actress. “We’ll never know.” What would Hackett have liked to have seen done with Seska had she lived? “This is totally fantastical and hypothetical,” says the actress, “but I think it would have been interesting for her to become useful to Voyager in some capacity and have them never quite be sure if they could trust her. That was done to

Edited from an original Interview by Steve Eramo of

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