The Portland Pulse
October 16, 2391
This issue of the Portland Pulse is brought to you by special guest writer Mysterio, a USS Portland and Star Trek fan from beyond the furthest edges of time and space who likes cats, Klingon opera, long period comets, ELO, wicker basket making and the color of lead iodine percipitates.
USS Portland in orbit of Gamia III
by Clark Kent
The USS Portland, having arrived at a long lost splinter colony of Bajor has discovered treachery and an act of unprovoked violence as their welcome to the Jungle home of the colonists. While on board the ship a secret holographic program has been deployed in an effort to heal a prominent member of the crew through a creative a non-disclosed treatment methodology.
The Federations diplomatic representative was disgraced by her complete lack of understanding of local traditions and was replaced in diplomatic efforts by a sixteen year old girl. A brave decision that we hope to get an official comment on whenever the Portland’s soon to be replacement CO arrives.
Efforts to investigate the attack are currently underway
Chief Morale Officer’s Report
Acting Ensign Ko-ko
The Captain of the Portland, who has spent the better part of the last month trying to foist me on other PCs, would like you all to know the following:
We had 28 posts last month due to the great creativity of this fantastic crew and some creative accounting practices by the CO. Normally I would offer kudos and a hope for improvement but we are already kicking Septembers backside in October I think and so cheers for that. Parrots can’t count much above the number five so I estimate we are on pace for eleventy-four posts at our current rate.
Let’s keep it up and show those other ships how it’s done!
Better Know a Background Character
Interview with Crewman Andrev Thosk
We take a change of pace from getting to know players to get to know some of the less heralded personalities aboard the USS Portland, the ever suffering NPC crewpeoples of Starfleet simming.
Q: So how does it feel to be second tier character mostly relegated to background exposition?
AT: I beg your pardon. I will have you know that there are a great many of us here that frankly keep this ship from damn well exploding on a daily basis. There are threats out there that can only be met by strict planning and methodical commitment to established safety procedures. There are close to seventy thousand buttons, switches, display elements and panel options on this ship alone. Imagine what would happen if the self-destruct button were to accidentally superimpose itself on the Tuesday lunch menu. Just entering the Gamina system required plenty of minor adjustments to things like warp manifolds and flux capacitor levels, not to mention course corrections to avoid catastrophic menaces like long period comets.
Q: I really do like long period comets, don’t you find them just fascinating?
AT: You wouldn’t find them so fascinating slamming through the bulkhead right into your morning sonic shower. And you have navigation crewman what’s her name, the one with the long nose, to thank for that not happening. Big important Doctor Silverton was way too busy running around administering treatments to bother with that.
Q: So what has been your most recent contribution to the safety of the USS Portland?
AT: I, well,.. I mean I could say that,... Look, it’s not about who does the flashy saving the ship type things all the time. I am mainly an administrator, as such I often run analysis and statistical examinations from and efficiency related point of view, which contribute to some very critical reports that will no doubt improve general efficiency in some areas by several percentage points at some point in the indeterminate future as soon as the stuffy Captain bothers reading one of them.
Q: Speaking of the Captain she recently allowed a rather risqué holographic program featuring her likeness be used to help cure a werewolf like Vulcan plague, what were your thoughts on those events?
AT: This is one of my pet peeves about space exploration, why do we have to beam down and risk exposing the ship to weird alien plagues in the first place. If I had my way, and I did outline this plan in a document I sent to Federation Planning and Admiral Westlake no less than five times, we would find a nice empty spot in space away from exotic anomalies and just call the local star systems on the communicators. That’s what subspace communicators are for. I’m sure we could have a lovely chat with all of the strange new civilizations from properly safe distances. Also I don’t get invited to the kind of parties that have those types of holograms.
Q: What kind of parties do you get invited to?
AT: I get invited to plenty of parties. Lots of them really, of all kinds and types. Why just last June I was, well not last June the one before that, but it was the party of the year really. I was told it was a costume shindig and had to stand there wearing a large Tarkallian Flarg outfit while everyone else was in beachwear, but it did lend a sense of levity to the affair. You know. At my expense, again.
Q: Do you have any plans for Jason in the future?
AT: What are you talking about?
Q: Sorry, that was left over from last month’s edition, I forgot to edit it out properly. So which of the main characters would you say are your favorites?
AT: Frankly they are all self-centered joint-post hogging bastards and I can’t stand the lot of them. Is it too much trouble to occasionally say, ‘what do you think, mister Thosk?’ Give one of us a moment to shine, nope they just yammer on and on about themselves mostly. Half the time they aren’t even advancing the plot they are just chattering away. Some of the schoolkids get more post time than myself or navigation crewman whats-her-name or any of the others and it’s a bit insulting.
I do like that new one; Jita Kejal, she doesn’t seem as snooty as the rest of them.
Q: So in reading your biofile I noticed that you don’t have one yet, what’s going on there?
AT: Just another clear slap in the face to background characters everywhere. Actually I would rather not be beaming down to alien worlds and frankly think that putting one’s self in the line of fire is just not wise from a career perspective. I’m in this for the long haul, I hope to be sitting behind a desk in the world of Starfleet simming for a long time to come. Let the PCs have their precious attention grabbing biographical summaries and dangerous, tragedy-centric background descriptions. Most of them will be dead shortly anyway, like what’s his name.
Q: Lieutenant Tobin?
AT: That’s the one, trust me I am in no hurry to meet a dark menace lurking around a corner somewhere. That’s why after my duty shift I generally report to my cabin and stay there. Im not going to be the colorful splattering of blood on a corridor wall that announces something is afoot, no thank you.
Q: As a background character do you have time to make friends with the other npc’s, do you have any fun stories of what goes on while the main characters have all beamed off the ship?
AT: Well, some of the others do. It turns out that the others generally feel that Im not flashy enough to spend time with, or not interesting enough to talk to, or not likeable or some other nonsense. Also Tyrlai Zade gets kicked off of a lot of ships and I generally get shipped with her for some reason.
Q: Last question – so when should we expect your next contribution to the plotline?
AT: Well currently I’m down on the planet with the Captain and the others but I’m not sure they have any plans for me at this time. The schoolkids had a cupcake scene and frankly that used up the background character allotment for now.
Q: Those kids sure are a neat idea don’t you think so?
AT: Oh, shut up!
Well good luck with that and here’s to many more adventures on the USS Portland!
Quotes of the Month
"I don't think that is necessary. Have you been on board very long? I don't recall seeing you before."
"No, so I'd be a little creeped-out if you had."
Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Rouse and Ensign Jita Kejal
"Lt Beauvoir is needing my help with a medical condition.”
- Lt. (JG) Brad Silverton
"If you take care of Jason's biological needs, I'll take care of Meru."
- Lt. (JG) Arvel Darze
"Ah, Ms. Rouse, are you coming with us?"
"Of course I am. Do you have any idea how long its been since I went shopping? Shopping and Marines don't really go together,..”
- Cmdr. Alenis Meru and Maj. Judith Rouse
"Novia Yenn, reporting for alien monkey identification and cataloging, Captain miss."
"My, that's a lot of equipment you have there, Ms. Yenn. What do you plan to do with all that?"
“I’ve got PADDs and a tricorder and a holocamera for cataloguing the alien monkeys. And I also brought some bino-... binoc-... zoom goggles, so I can see them from far away without waking them up. Some monkeys get very angry when you wake them up.”
Cmdr. Alenis Meru and Novia Yenn
-Lt Tyrlai Zade
" "Looks like everything is remaining stable at the moment. When I initiate the Captain,… What are we going to tell her?"
"That's a good question.“
-Lt. Parker Hudson and Lt(jg) Brad Silverton