FNN Edition 42
Edition 42 - Stardate 22311.01 - November 2023
Please note: this “Spook-tacular” edition of the November FNN is being released a day early, on Halloween!
- 1 FedSpace News
- 1.1 Headlines
- 1.2 Creative Corner
- 1.3 Spooky Star Trek Episodes
- 1.4 20 Questions with Robin Mayfair
- 1.5 Science News
With Admin Adaran 225 taking a step back from posting, Commander Sothrick has taken charge of the USS Geronimo.
Chief Engineer Keir 77 has been promoted to First Officer, and other promotions have occurred on the Geronimo, as well.
Engineer Kali Thorn has been promoted from Ensign to Lieutenant Junior Grade, and Chief Medical Officer Lois Lim has been promoted from Lieutenant to Lt Commander.
With their next mission about to get underway, keep an eye on this ship for some dynamic writing!
Halloween Short Story: “Hibernation”
Written by T. Black
The old DY-100 craft slowly drifts along its course. The sole inhabitant sleeps soundly in the hibernation pod.
You know how this goes, you tell yourself, as you board the ancient vessel by today's standards. Scans show minimal power. One life sign aboard. It's your duty to investigate despite you being the only person out here, assigned to the relay station.
You reported the contact. Well, you made a log. These old DY-100's were sent out after the last war to act as lifeboats for people and treasures, hoping to escape and return when things had calmed down. Many were lost.
It's dark inside. You check your oxygen supply. You have a few hours. The relay is under computer control. You turn on your helmet lights. A white metal corridor stretches away from you.
In your ears, you hear your own breathing, your heart and thud of your boots. They're reassuring. The HUD in your visor relays the tricorder readings.
The life sign is ahead of you. The power is minimal. You check each door as you pass. They open with ease. Cargo containers. Manifests pinned to each of them. Recorded on sheets of paper.
You continue along the corridor. You find what looks like a medical bay. It looks untouched. There are jars of things in cabinets on the walls. They are frozen solid.
Moving on, the life sign is getting closer. These ships had hibernation pods, you remember from your history classes.
The door to the hibernation chamber opens, and you see them. They are banging on the plexiglass that separates you from them. You cannot hear what they are saying, but you shout back to them to try to keep calm. You'll get them out. You're here to help.
Looking about, you try to find the controls to open the chamber. To let them out. It's a simple procedure, but there's no air for them to breathe. You decide to head back to the relay to try to use your transporter to beam them off.
You wave your arms about as much as you can to try to explain this, then turn to exit back to the corridor.
But the door opens onto another room filled with hibernation chambers. There is a single occupant in one of the pods. They are long dead. Skeletal remains probably a couple of hundred years old.
You turn back to the first hibernation chamber, but it is the corridor running the length of the ship.
Confusion? An alarm sounds in your helmet. [Thirty Minutes of Oxygen remaining]
You turn and start back along the corridor to where you entered. You open the door and you see the hibernation chamber. The door to the pod open.
You turn again. You go to take a step, you see a figure in a space suit.
You begin banging on the plexiglass that separates you from them. You cannot hear what they are saying, but you shout back to them and try to keep calm.
Spooky Star Trek Episodes
In this “Original Series” episode, the Enterprise crew travel to a distant planet only to find Earthly witches, black cats, and a haunted castle. The Away team (consisting of Sulu, Scott, and a token redshirt) has missed their check-in time, and the only hint of what has happened comes from the redshirt: he tells Kirk that they are cursed, and then he dies.
Written by the same author who wrote the “Psycho” novel, Robert Bloch has Captain Kirk beam down to the planet himself in search of his friends, accompanied by Spock and McCoy. They encounter MacBeth-type witches, who warn the Captain to leave. Pushing forward, the rescue party find a gothic castle, and entering the domicile causes their lifesigns to disappear from the Enterprise’s sensors.
They find their missing crewmembers, but also find a wizard: Korob tries to bribe them with food and with riches in order to get the Starfleet Officers to leave the planet. Another being enters, calling herself Sylvia. Sylvia shows that she has great power, enough to kill the redshirt, or overheat the Enterprise, should Kirk not follow her direction. As Sylvia takes control of the Starfleet Officer’s mind, Kirk decides that she -and her cohort Korob- must be stopped.
The Captain used the woman’s infatuation with him to his advantage, and found out about a device they called the “transmuter,” which was the true source of their powers. Realizing his female companion has descended into mania, Korob apologizes to Kirk, and helps him and his men escape, though he dies in the process. After a struggle with Sylvia, the Captain destroys the transmuter, returning the two powerful beings to their original forms: tiny, weak, and helpless.
“Frame of Mind”
This “Next Generation” episode opens with First Officer Commander Riker rehearsing for a play. It’s a dark script, written by their Chief Medical Officer, and features a man held against his will in an insane asylum. But outside of rehearsals, Crusher’s play begins to haunt Riker, as his obsession with getting his lines right starts to make him question what he sees around him.
Trying to focus on his duties, the First Officer discusses their upcoming mission to Tilonus IV with the Captain. Amongst a fractured and failing government, the Enterprise and Riker’s mission is to find the Starfleet scientists that had been studying the planet, and who are now in hiding due to the upheaval. During the mission briefing, Security Chief Worf briefs Riker on his undercover persona, which only seems to add to Riker’s general uneasiness brought on by thoughts of the CMO’s play.
Finally, Riker and others perform the play for the audience of the Enterprise, but when he stands from his bow, he finds himself in a different location. An alien now repeats the last line of the play: “I can see we have a lot of work to do.” Much like the play, the alien tells Commander Riker that he is delusional, and is currently being held in an insane asylum. However, the name of the hospital rings a bell: the Tilonus Institute for Mental Disorders.
While imprisoned, Riker meets the colorful characters of the mental hospital, including a sympathetic patient, and a mean-spirited caretaker. The First Officer, still disoriented, fights to hold onto his sanity inside the hospital that is so much like Chief Crusher’s play. His mind flashes back and forth between this place and the opening night of the play on the Enterprise, and when he informs Dr. Crusher, she cannot find anything wrong with him. When the crew of the Enterprise does attempt to rescue the First Officer, his mind has been broken, and he resists.
It is revealed that Commander Riker’s mission went sideways, and he was kidnapped and was indeed being held hostage against his will in a mental hospital.
The USS Voyager finds itself once again the battleground between Chief Engineer B'Elanna Torres and former Borg, Seven of Nine. While the Chief attempts to fix power drains, Seven is using that power to aid in her own projects. To calm herself, the Engineer meets her boyfriend for a tryst, but admits that she feels they are being watched. Elsewhere, Captain Janeway is also trying to relax, but complains of a days-old headache, before being called to the Bridge. Later, First Officer Chakotay is seen suffering too: his body is experiencing severe tremors and sudden hair loss. Rushing to Sickbay, his appearance is significantly aged. The EMH deduces that his DNA has been hyper-stimulated, cannot find the cause as to why or how.
Elsewhere on the ship, others are also experiencing various pains: their cook/morale officer is in excruciating pain, and in Sickbay, it is revealed that his DNA has been altered, as well. Now a completely different species, it becomes clear as other crew members limp into Sickbay that there are outside forces messing with the Voyager crew’s DNA. As Acting Chief Medical Officer and Chief Engineer work together, they discover unique marks on crewmembers’ DNA, much like tags. As the two attempt to find the source of the tags, the unknown villain begins to delete the Doctor’s program, to which Torres rushes to save him.
It is clear that there is someone -or someones- on the ship, deliberately causing these genetic alterations, and harming the crew. The Doctor and former Borg, Seven of Nine, are able to work together and use her still-embedded ocular implant to reveal the invisible culprits, as well as their grotesque devices that are actively experimenting on the crew. Unable to avoid the aliens, Seven cannot inform the Captain, and so instead works with the Doctor to stop the aliens. Seven is able to reveal one alien, who is immediately hauled away to the Brig. Arguing her case to Captain Janeway, the alien tells her that their medical experiments benefit their people, to which Janeway argues they are viciously exploiting another species for their own benefit.
The aliens don’t care that they’re harming the Voyager crew, and now that they know they exist, the Starfleet crew call an emergency meeting to try and brainstorm how to get them to leave. Unable to find any quick solution, Janeway directs the ship into a pulsar star, finally getting the attention of the aliens. Perturbed at the Captain’s dedication against them, the aliens decide to leave.
20 Questions with Robin Mayfair
1. Real first name?
2. What brought you to FedSpace?
A search for Star Trek roleplaying. I'd been hunting for Star Trek Online RP groups and had found nothing.
3. Tell me a little about the process of developing your character.
I'd watched the DS9 episode "Doctor Bashir, I Presume" and thought that it was ridiculous that Augments weren't allowed in Starfleet. The Federation is supposed to be an enlightened society with equal treatment under the law, but it has 2nd class citizens. So I decided to make an Augment who threatened to sue because of discrimination. As for Robin's personality, I wanted to play someone genuinely nice... not cynical, not world-weary or sarcastic. The character just sort of came together from those two elements.
4. Has your character developed differently than what you had planned?
I always imagined Robin as a "lower decks" kind of character (and she was created before the show), a nurse rather than a doctor who might someday make Head Nurse at most. I never saw her as a CMO on a major starship, but decided I liked the idea that she's growing from the diffident young Middie she started out as to someone who is much more confident, and not ashamed of her abilities.
5. What do you see as some goals for the future of your character?
Command training. Robin is still not someone I ever see sitting in the big chair, or even becoming 1st Officer, but her going to Lt. Commander and learning to be a leader is my plan. And also exploring further what it means to be genetically engineered in a society that doesn't trust her kind.
6. So far, what is your favorite part about being a member of FedSpace?
The quality of the roleplaying. Players here are really willing to dive deep into their characters and help others explore theirs.
7. If you were President for a day, what would you change?
Not much, honestly. Wouldn't mind seeing another sitewide event, but maybe something that doesn't involve big bangin' starship battles. Methinks Star Fleet could use a breather from massive calamities.
8. If you could choose, what Trek species would you be?
Ooh, tough choice. A “Q.”
9. If you could name your own ship, what would you name it and why?
The USS Lincoln. I have so much admiration for him.
10. What do you spend your time outside of FedSpace doing?
Besides work, I play Dungeons and Dragons with a bunch of local friends. I also play board games, and play tabletop games like Warhammer 40K. I paint miniatures for D&D and 40K for myself and my friends. And I play retro video games, console and arcade.
11. What is your favorite Star Trek series?
Deep Space 9. I loved the character growth, and Sisko is my favorite captain. Honestly Picard Season 3 is right up there with it.
12. What’s your favorite non-Trek series?
Babylon 5, for similar reasons. An absolutely groundbreaking series that I still rewatch.
13. If you watched the movies, which one was your favorite?
Star Trek 6. A great Cold War story and solid performances from the entire cast. I do like Wrath of Khan, too, but I'm much more likely to watch #6.
14. Do you have a favorite line or phrase from either a show or movie?
"With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably." -Jean-Luc Picard, "The Drumhead."
15. Do you have a favorite character from the shows?
Odo, especially when he was interacting with Quark. And Ezri Dax. I wish she'd gotten more time on the show. Nicole de Boer really nailed the confused character who has unlimited potential if she'd just let herself realize it. There's a lot of Ezri in Robin.
16. What piece of Star Trek Technology would you most like to see today?
I was going to say the replicator, but honestly the transporter would be even cooler. I think I'll beam over to Tokyo for lunch, then stop off at Paris to visit the Louvre before I go home and sleep in my own bed.
17. What was it about Star Trek that made you fall in love with the show?
The optimism and faith in humanity it had. The idea that we could be better as a species than we are.
18. What FedSpace player or character would you most like to meet in real life?
Tyra Crawford, though I'd probably be intimidated by her.
19. What do you see in your FedSpace future, for yourself or for your character?
Eventually another character once I think Robin has been explored as much as she can be, which won't be for a long time. Until then I'm happy playing the weird purple-haired Augment nurse who somehow found herself in charge of the medical department of one of the fleet's most advanced ships.
20. If there was one thing you would want everyone to know about you, what would that be?
Not much. I'm usually a pretty private person and just have a small circle of close friends and family.
Thank you so much to David for answering our 20 Questions!
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This Edition’s Questions
No one responded to the questions last time! Please let us know if the link doesn’t work, and we will work immediately to fix the issue.
1. How long was the USS Voyager in the Delta Quadrant?
2. In “The Original Series” original pilot, what does Captain Pike say “USS” stands for?
300,000-year-old skull found in China unlike any early human seen before.
This finding potentially points to a new branch in the human family tree. The unearthed lower jaw was found in Hualongdong region of eastern China in 2015, along with 15 other specimens.
Published in an article on July 31st, the study states that the lower jaw is “unexpected,” not fitting into any existing taxonomic groups.
Sci-fi inspired tractor beams could solve Earth’s major space junk problem.
Calling it an “electrostatic tractor,” scientists are working on removing space debris from Earth’s orbit.
Allegedly drifting “harmless” for “eternity,” the idea makes one think of Star Trek’s V’Ger, and wonder what harm we could unknowingly cause.
In time for Halloween, the European Space Agency shared satellite images of Kawah Ijen Lake in East Java, Indonesia.
This volcanic lake spews blue flames due to its composition of sulfuric acid and other minerals.
NASA’s managed to bring back a promising asteroid sample, but there’s a problem: they can’t open the box!
Two measly screws are keeping scientists and researchers from opening the box without harming the contents inside.
The 4.5 billion-year-old asteroid bit is locked away, bringing the seven-year-mission to a frustrating near-close.
It’s no secret that Canada has been battling massive wildfires recently.
Now, the CSA is moving to help, preparing to launch a dedicated public fire-monitoring satellite.
Planned for 2029, Canada aims to find a better way to help firefighters on the ground during fire season.
International Space Station
Mouse embryos have been grown on the International Space Station (and developed normally).
Japanese researchers say this is the first-ever study that shows mammals may be able to thrive and reproduce in space.
Sent in late 2021, frozen mouse embryos were grown over the course of four days, were sent back to Earth, and were found that the micro-gravity did not affect the development of the embryos.