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Alenis Meru
Commanding Officer
Commanding Officer
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Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:33 am
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The Portland Pulse - June 8 2392

Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:07 am

The Portland Pulse
June 8, 2392

Starfleet on High Alert!
Clark Kent

Earlier this morning, Starfleet Command has announced that the alert status has been upgraded to DEFCON 3, following a distress call from the Nova Europa colony near the Cardassian border.

Little is known about the situation at this time. Our analysts have speculated that the most likely cause for such an action is either a resurgence of the Dominion, an incursion by Species 8472, or a Borg invasion. The USS Endeavour has been dispatched to the colony to provide immediate relief.

IRW Kholhr Launched
Paddy Glynn

The beleaguered Romulan Star Empire has announced the relaunch of the IRW Kholhr, a Valdore class warbird, which has just completed refits. With the destruction of most of the Romulan shipbuilding capacity in the Hobus supernova, the launch of the Kholhr is a major boon to the morale of the Romulans.

Preliminary intelligence reports suggest that the Kholhr’s first mission will be to the Hobus system to support salvage operations, under the command of the distinguished Subcommander S’Havaraha.

Chief Morale Officer’s Report
Acting Ensign Ko-ko

The USS Portland had a total of 28 posts during our May reporting period, which is a solid number. I’d just like to remind everyone to always keep an eye on the workshop and clean out any old posts by finishing them up and posting them. Also, that we still have two exciting side-stories going on, “I Feel the Need…” and “Incursion”

The story in mission four is really starting to get moving. I, for one, am excited to see what our characters’ future selves have up their sleeve in the cunning plan which they totally ripped off of The Search for Spock.

We’re likely going to be starting Mission Five soon. It is a joint mission with the USS Endeavour involving a Borg incursion, so we may start it before we are done Mission Four.

Finally, I’d like to give a warm welcome to our two newest players, Lieutenant (JG) Marcus Kallan and Lieutenant Arthur Couer-Reynolds. Everyone is encouraged to welcome them to the Portland by showering them with offers of JPs.

“Better know a player” – Alenis Meru

In this installment of the Better Know a Player series. Our illustrious CO answers questions as chosen by Tyrlai in a complex system of darts, picking them out of hats and finding them on the internets.

Q: Tell us a little about the player behind Alenis?

A: My name is Brian, I’m in my late twenties, and I work for one of the largest aerospace companies in the world. I don’t really do anything glamourous there, just move big heavy boxes in and out of a giant freezer. And do paperwork related to the boxes I move. I’m currently taking night classes, only a couple courses away from completing a double major in Economics and Labour Studies. Aside from Star Trek, I love board games, and have studied a lot of labour history.

Q: How did you get into Star Trek?

A: I think the first series I saw was, funnily enough, reruns of The Animated Series. Watching that with my sister was my first exposure to Trek, until I found the reruns of the original series. I was hooked pretty quickly, and ended up renting all of the original six movies (on VHS!) within the next couple weeks. Eventually, I found my way to DS9, Voyager, and TNG, and even watched the first couple seasons of Enterprise.

Q: What made you choose the Portland, surely there were thousands of better choices out there?

A: There weren’t. So I made one.

Q: Have you done any other simming, other ships, other genres?

A: I haven’t done anything in any other genres or universes. With simming, I was on a few ships in the mid-2000s, but eventually got too busy with my schoolwork and other activities that I had to give it up. I returned in 2012, and have been on about a half dozen ships since then. They’ve all been in Obsidian Fleet, with the exception of an independent simm which I tried to run in the summer of 2013, after an OF simm I was on fell apart.

Q: Favorite Star Trek Episode (or three) and why?

I think the DS9 episode “Duet” where Kira confronts a Cardassian war criminal (or is he a file clerk?) is one of the best. It has some particularly poignant commentary on what happens when one group of people oppress another, and shows how . Also, Harris Yulin was great as Marritza, and the scene at the end where he breaks down was very powerful.

“Far Beyond the Stars” was another great one, with how they showed the 1950s versions of the various DS9 characters, and worked in some commentary on racism. I think Star Trek is at its best when it’s tackling weighty social issues like that, and this episode was perhaps the most direct treatment that they gave racism in our society.

Finally, “The Trouble with Tribbles” is just plain classic.

Q: What is your favourite part about simming?

I think my favourite part is just how we build on each other and tell cool stories. Seeing what other people come up with and building off of each other is truly exciting, because you never really know where things are going or what other players might add. And taking all that and putting it together into a coherent story is just great!

Q: You have a background in roleplaying as well, has that been a help in running a sim game?

A: I think it has. I’ve GMed some tabletop RPGs, and in fact, I struggled as a GM for a while. I’d always be fighting with my players, and trying to keep people on track. It wasn’t fun for me, and I don’t think it was that great for my players either. However, I eventually fell into a group that was really into an indie RPG called Dungeon World. Dungeon World is one of my favourite roleplaying games, and regardless of what you play, I think all GMs should read their section on GMing. I learned a lot from that group and from running Dungeon World. Mainly, I learned how to always say “yes, and…” to player ideas, to incorporate and involve player backgrounds, and to let the players run wild instead of sticking to a fixed pre-scripted story (and to be open with your players when you need things to happen a certain way). I’ve tried to bring that experience to the Portland as well, and I think I’ve been mostly successful.

Q: How awesome is Tyrlai? Be specific and try to give examples.

A: Tyrlai is great! I think Tyrlai is a great character to play with because she’s always doing something creative, mischievous, awesome, or some combination of the three. It means that the Tyrlai character is always pushing the story forward, and rarely waiting around.

Q: We have subplots on Portland manage to take center stage and dominate the story. The creativity shown by players like Jason and Sera and everyone willingness to jump in and make those stories work must be something of a blessing when facing the story-running end of things?

A: It’s great! I really do believe in player empowerment, because I think when you have players who feel like they are able to take control of the story and do cool and interesting things, great things happen. Also because I’m lazy and can’t be bothered to do everything myself, it’s nice to see other people taking things and running with them so I don’t have to.

Q: Are there any stories or story elements that you would like to explore going forward? Things we glossed over in past episodes or possible future episodes.

A: Well, we still have Vike out there with his stolen cloaking device. I’ve been thinking of doing a mission where we try to stop him from selling it to the Breen, and maybe work in some stuff from Jason’s background regarding the loss of Coln Tela. I’d also like to do a return to the mirror universe at some point, as I think mirror universe episodes are always fun because they give the crew a chance to partake in some really cool world-building. Beyond that, I’d like to do something fresh – I think most of us are probably tired of weird Bajoran religious stuff by now!

Q: So you are dead at the moment, what made you go with that particular lifestyle choice?

I figured – hey, what’s Science Fiction without death, or without a thinly veiled ripoff of the resurrection of Jesus?

Q: Most of the original characters/players on this ship bonded over bullying and ridicule doled out on a ship that will not be named here (but is the Roman god of war if you were wondering.) How did that experience help form the structure of this ship?

A: I think it was sad how that ended up, but with all the players coming over, it meant that we built up a core relatively quickly. I also think that having built up a distaste for the sort of drama that sometimes happens in the world of simming has helped us avoid replicating those problems here on the Portland.

Q: You have embraced a few NPC’s are they other player characters you have played before or new creations for Portland?

A: They are mostly new creations. The exception would be Nikki, who was an NPC on another simm. I had initially created her as a hypochondriac patient to annoy my medical PC, but eventually she grew into her own. Playing a Barclayesque NPC is fun – it really frees you from some inhibitions and encourages you to have your character screw up and cause problems.

Q: I understand the Portland is named after a fierce Terran sea creature, have you ever seen one?

A: I think I had some in my sushi last week. That’s what Unagi is, right?

Quotes of the Month

So how is it exactly that you are Vulcan enough for Pon Farr yet human enough for sarcasm? Yes lieutenant. You are cleared to go."

"My father is a professor of Ancient British Literature, sarcasm was among the first things he taught me."

- Brad Silverton and Jason Beauvoir

"Jason, we have to talk about this. I know it, and you know it. And we both know you didn't come up here to fix the replicator."
- Holo-Meru

"Is this a fancy dress sport?"
- Tyrlai Zade on golf

"Really, Doctor Silverton? You would miss out on a chance at true love in favour of some seminar on Bolian therapy?"
- Maria Hill

"We have to go back. Back to the Portland."
- Vedek Alenis

"Oh, please don't remind me of that. The giving birth part I mean. Totally not looking forward to that."
- Ellen Washington

"Where should I begin? The conduct of your Chief Science Officer? The ethics of playing god with possibly sentient artificial intelligences? This repair order for a new EMH console due to phaser fire? Or the simple fact that your crew created the sort of smutty holo-program that one might expect to see in some sort of backwater Ferengi strip club, in the image of the captain no less?"
- Admiral Washington

"And Admiral Washington, congratulations on your little grandson to be!"
"My... grandson to be...? Ensign, I think you must be mistaken..."
"No, I'm pretty sure that it's going to be a boy. At least, that's what Maria told me, and she's Ellen's best friend."
"And who, pray tell, is the father?"
"Why, Commander Rouse, of course. Don't you think they make such a cute couple? And they're so--"

- Nikki Barclay and Admiral Washington

“I need to go for a walk… Elly… I love you.”
- Admiral Washington

"It seems that one of the senior officers had a bout of pon farr, the Vulcan seven year itch, and took a fancy to the captain. In their infinite wisdom, the senior staff decided that an appropriate way to deal with the situation was to use their EMH as a base with which to create a holographic duplicate of the captain. A few detailed scans and what I presume was a romantic tangle in the holodeck, and this is what we ended up with."
- Admiral Washington

"All members of the diplomatic corps are Ambassadors of the Federation when the need arises, Admiral. And occasionally nearby Bajoran children as well.”
- Admiral Rodriguez
Capt. Alenis Meru
Commanding Officer
USS Portland

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