MEET THE FAWKERS
BRENT (Flaxen, Vedin Berek)
Brent is a senior at the University of Utah, studying communication. He grew up watching Trek and has now introduced his wife to the wonders of Roddenberry's visionary works. Brent has been simming for twelve years, and has played a number of different characters in that time. He enjoys web design and pen-and-paper RPGs. Brent is just about as boring as someone can be, but still manages to enjoy himself.
JEAN (Mersiel Bambatte, Soo Abattan)
Jean is 34 and currently living near Jacksonville, Oregon, USA, with his long-time girlfriend. He grew up in New York, Ontario, Washington State and California, and studied Environmental Science at the University of Washington in the late '90s. For several years he worked in organic farming in New York, Missouri, and Arkansas. These days he works at an insurance accounting firm.
He has been role-playing since he was about thirteen. He has been a vegetarian for fifteen years. He likes to garden, watch pretentious arthouse movies on Netflix and read about current events, contemporary art, and investigative journalism. He has written for five Star Trek sims since 2001 and also several other RPGs.
LIZ (Mathenwy Eidelwel, NPCs)
I'm 32 and have lived in the Seattle area for about eleven years. I was born in Montana and grew up there and in some very boring towns in Washington State (which is a dumb, corny place to live, except for Seattle). I went to college at Mills College, near Oakland, but I only ever used my degree for crap like this. I work as a vet tech and office manager now. I ran a D&D campaign for seven years, and it was OK, but I eventually got tired of all the rules and the revolving door players, so I took a break to join Voltaire. I didn't really know anything about Star Trek before that, and I still don't.
I smoke and drink and fight and I have tattoos so don't mess with me. I go to Mutant Fest, and I went to Burning Man twice. I help with a karaoke night at a bakery/cafe in North Seattle and volunteer at the city P-Patch project. I have a lot of weird friends who do art and music and fashion and are cooler than me, but I'm not good at those things myself so I just help organize events and parties and things. I'm not very good at anything, I guess, including writing compelling blurbs about myself. I will kill you.
FRANCINE (Ysil Keren)
Francine is 27, lives in Texas and works at a co-op and sometimes at a thrift store where she sells her own jewelry. In her spare time she throws big art parties and takes care of the family of squirrels that lives in a hole under an eave of the big house she rents with her four friends Kyle, Loa, Ian and Heather. The house is falling apart because of all of the big art parties. She is into techno, trance, other kinds of dance music. Francine is not the best prose writer, she is more of a poetry fan.
In terms of RPGs she has been part of a tabletop group for about three years mostly Call of Cthulu and Beyond The Supernatural. Her first internet sim was a Star Wars sim that has about forty players and she could not keep track of all of the characters so she stopped.
DAN (Erns Olmquist, Aibe Ecbe)
Dan is a real estate appraiser and prehistoric resident of St. Paul Minnesota. He has been married for something less than thirty years, has two children and one grandchild. He has been a Trek fan since before there was such a thing as multiple USS Enterprises (thankfully only by a few years). He has been writing on the Internet since 1996 but is still learning to do it properly. His last simming home was USS Apache on A Call To Duty. Erns Olmquist is not the first doctor he has written by a long shot. He found SS Fawkes through a Trekspace BBS advertisement. When he is not writing or teaching his granddaughter how to read he likes to throw barbecues and convince the world that he does not need to go on a diet.
DORA (Drusilla Creon)
Dora is 26, she used to go to university but then it turned out that was a bad, pointless idea. Now she works in hospitality and the characters are far more colorful and less pretentious. Living in a weird, sometimes green, sometimes catches-on-fire part of Australia is uncomfortable, but it's not like she knows any better. We've all got our crosses. She writes, she sings, mostly now she stays out of people's way, but the love for the fiction is there.
CLANCY (Sherlock, Lucreavus Gali)
Clancy is an Arts/Screenwriting student who has been puttering about for 25 years now with few signs of slowing. He answers people’s emergency calls for a living and if you have any friends in Australia who hate themselves enough to go out with him, that could be fun. Having been a part of OF since ’06, this is definitely his favorite place so far. He wants to write movies/tv.
THE SS FAWKES PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE
What about the SS Fawkes appealed to you most before applying?
Jean: Knew some of the others. Dan: Everything was integrated. The story was about the crew and it had a direction. Most of the time I am looking for a group that can write better than me, this one was writing about something. Liz: It was a blank canvas. I didn't know about John's work on it at the time, although that did become very helpful. I thought it would be cool to make something that existed in the Trek universe but didn't obey the usual sim orthodoxies. Francine: I like the Star Trek shows especially the original but the sims are usually so much capitalist samizdat, heroes defending the establishment, boring. This one is more like Ocean's Eleven. Brent: I loved that it was different in almost every way from all the other sims in the fleet. Dora: No more ranks, no more positions, just people being people in the Star Trek verse. Seemed like a fun story, too. Clancy: I was a part of the SS Walkabout, which seems to have been the prototype of this sort of thing and which eventually collapsed. It seemed like a good idea, but something I wasn’t quite ready for several years ago. Now that I’m not sixteen, I have a much better grasp of how all this works, and it’s much better now.
Which of your character's traits do you envy most, and why?
Jean: [Bambatte] has an affinity for machines. My father always had that, and it was the one thing about my father that I envied as well. Dan: Sometimes I think it would be easier to have fewer emotional attachments and be able to go wherever the wind took me. But I would not want Erns's problems. I have seen alcoholism up close and there is nothing romantic about it. Liz: I have a raggedy-ass smoker's voice. That sucks. I wanted to write a character with a prettier one. Francine: I don't admire Ysil that much, I think she is still on the way to becoming a good person. Brent: His complete lack of hair. I hate shaving...and the process of going bald. Dora: Being capable, cold, and able to murder people at will. I could use those skills, though I realize I probably shouldn't. Clancy: Well, not that much, other than looking like Nick Simmons. Dat tongue. I wish I had any sort of mechanical aptitude or skill with numbers. It’s like reading the sun to me.
If you were to be trapped in a shuttle for 24 hours with any one other person, who would you pick to be with and why?
Jean: Peter Dinklage. He is awesome and also he is small and so uses up less air. Dan: Cheech and Chong. How would we pass the time? Liz: My friends, because they're always hanging around anyway and if I didn't know if I was going to die or not, I would want them to be around to die with me. Not very nice, but fuck 'em. Francine: The Muppets. Brent: Almost anyone, just not Richard Simmons. A 14 hour plane trip with him was more than enough. Far more than enough. Dora: Tom Waits. I'd just give him a phone book to read and record it on my phone. Then, set for life. Clancy: Hunter S Thompson. He knew how to live, in any situation.
Using the slingshot maneuver to go back in time, 'when' would you go and why?
Jean: I would probably go back to 1974 and stop my parents from ever meeting each other. Not just because they were totally unsuited to each other but because I would like to know whether the paradox would really destroy the universe or not. Dan: I would like to have seen the United States before it was settled by Europeans, especially the area where I live in Minnesota. Liz: Ireland in the seventh century. Francine: I would go back to just after the Revolutionary War (USA). I would like to know what it was really like. So many politicians talk about the Founding Fathers and all of it, it would be interesting to know what people really thought about all of those men and their political ideas especially about secularism. Brent: The year Apple/Microsoft/whatever went public. I would buy a ton of stocks to be passed to me upon my return to modern times. Then I would sell them all and I could learn to do all the things I really want to do. Dora: The America of the Sixties. Woodstock! Counter-culture! Come on! Clancy: BC ~5000. I’d love to see how we functioned as a species before any of us knew what was going on.
What would be your soundtrack on your first faster than light space flight?
Jean: Perry Como's Greatest Hits. Dan: Steppenwolf's second or third album. Liz: David Bowie, man! He's the best. You could use him for anything. Or maybe Aphex Twin's second ambient works comp if I was nervous or something. Francine: Amon Tobin's Supermodified or the last Warpaint record. Brent: Bye, Bye Beautiful by Nightwish. Dora: Ladies and Gentleman We're Floating in Space by Spiritualized. It covers everything to do with space travel, from the great human achievement, to the slowly suffocating to death. Options are important. Clancy: The soundtrack from 2001: A Space Odyssey. That perfect mix of classical austerity and inexplicable horror.
What is your greatest fear?
Jean: Getting possessed by demons. I was raised Catholic. I'm not Catholic now, but that stuff still scares the shit out of me for some reason. Dan: I would fear a real outbreak of a deadly disease in the world like a flu or that ilk. The West Nile Virus in the Southwest is very nerve-wracking to me. Liz: Global warming. It seems like it's really starting to kick in, and nobody is going to do a goddamned thing until it's too late. Francine: I would hate to live in a place where you would have to feel inferior about being a woman, like Egypt or Yemen, and treated like you're a criminal just for wearing a t-shirt. I would go completely insane living like that. Brent: Losing my family because of a decision I make. Dora: The Deepest Ocean. Not because of Cthulhu or anything, but it's a consideration. Angler Fish, ugh. Clancy: Anything with more than four legs. My brain just will not deal. King Kong was hell.
Who is your hero in real life?
Jean: Raoul Wallenberg. Dan: My granddaughter Veronica. She approaches life with openness and acceptance. Liz: The ones nobody ever hears about. Francine: Henry Rollins. I wrote a letter to him when I was fifteen about how depressed and lonely I was, and he wrote me back. In pen. Brent: My father. Sounds trite, I know, but he's an inspirational figure. If you knew him you'd understand. Dora: Stephanie Meyer. She's living proof that no matter how much talent you don't have, you can be a millionaire. With people who strategically photograph you so you don't look fat. Clancy: Once again, Hunter S Thompson. He knew what he was doing.
Who is your favorite fictional character?
Jean: Tom Waits. Dan: Spock. I think in later years writers made the mistake of creating Vulcans who had very little personality except for being "logical". If you watch those original episodes, you see that Spock had a great sense of humor and great compassion for others. He wasn't a computer at all, he simply had a more level headed response to trouble. Liz: Lee Miller, the photojournalist. Francine: I love Julian Bashir. Brent: Tough one. Probably Bren Cameron from Foreigner by CJ Cherryh or Kvothe from Patrick Rothfuss's books. Dora: House. He's sexy. And wise. And wounded. C'mon. Clancy: Hannibal Lecter. There’s something amazing in the way Thomas Harris writes him where you can feel everything he describes, the way he savors every moment of his existence, and does wonderful/terrible things just because he can. Sure, he’s just Dracula in a modern setting, but go to hell, logic.
What is your most marked characteristic or habit?
Jean: Apparently I'm good at making people mad. Dan: I tell the same stories over and over. I never remember which ones I've told to which people. It drives my family insane.. Liz: I have a habit of taking care of people. I'm usually the most organized person in my group of friends. There's always some sad loser sleeping on my couch. Francine: Every time I go out I forget and leave something behind, most often my license, keys, phone, or bank card. Constant panic to find what I need. Brent: I won't use a new route to get somewhere if it isn't the one I first tried, even if it's faster. Dora: I play with my hair. Awake, and in my sleep. I also swear too much. Also I smoke a lot. Clancy: I’m a rambler. Also I often wear eccentric clothing.
What is your favorite journey?
Jean: I like driving up the coast of California between Santa Barbara and Mendocino. Sometimes it looks like Hawaii, and sometimes like Japan, and San Francisco is beautiful. Dan: I love going to the local conventions. It makes me feel great to see multiple generations of people who feel just as I do about the same silly things.. Liz: Driving along the Snake River in eastern Washington where it meets Idaho, especially in the winter. It just doesn't look like anything else, except maybe Rohan. Francine: I went on the Appalachian Trail once for two weeks and it was amazing. I would like to try and walk the whole thing from Georgia all the way up to Maine, but they say it takes four months for most people and you can go insane. Brent: I love it when I'm on a long car trip and I just get in a groove. I once drove for 18 hours without stopping for more than gasoline and restroom breaks. It was awesome. Dora: More than a feeling. Clancy: Driving up to the country at night. Stars, old trees, scary what-the-shit was that things in the distance.
What makes you mad?
Jean: Practically everything. Dan: People who dodge their taxes or campaign or do anything and then complain about how the government doesn't do enough. It takes more than just voting every four years folks. Democracy is a contact sport. Liz: Having to buy a whole CD on iTunes, or buying a CD and finding out that the only good song on it is that one and now you just blew eighteen bucks or whatever. Francine: Stupidity and old pictures of myself with bad hair. Brent: Refusal to believe in anything. I'm not really talking religion here, just belief in general. Dora: People that won't accept that you know more than they do about the place you work at. Clancy: Modern music. I haven’t listened to the radio in like, two years.
What do you love most?
Jean: Sarah Sze's installation art and -- this makes no sense -- looking at maps. Dan: Going with my wife to the movies every Friday night. It's our ritual and most of the movies that play here are terrible but we never get tired of it. Liz: Animals, because they don't know what's going on, but they still try to be happy. I love my niece Violet a lot, too. Francine: My friends. They are my real family, and keep me going! Brent: Really, too many things to mention. Obviously family is high on that list though. Dora: To say would be unseemly. I'm still under the delusion you might all respect and befriend me one day. Clancy: The world, in all its madness and splendor.
When and where were you happiest?
Jean: Probably during college. Early twenties. Dan: When my daughter was born. I should say when both my kids were born but I was such a nervous wreck the first time around. The second time I was much better prepared. Liz: I like big Halloween parties and pride parades and Rocky Horror midnight showings and things like that. I like it when people try to be different. Who doesn't get bored with themselves? Francine: I went to the Painted Desert in February, it was amazing. Brent: Watching my wife smile at me, and really almost every day with her. Oh, and watching Muppet Treasure Island. It's a tie really. Dora: The last time I sang in front of an audience. I had a throat infection and everything else wrong with me, but somehow they enjoyed it. Clancy: When I was knocking on people’s doors trying to get them to change their electricity company. I don’t know why, I hated the job, but everyone I worked with made me feel so wonderful. It was like being in Community, or some other TV show where everyone’s friends in spite of reality and logic.
Which talent would you like to have?
Jean: I once knew this guy who could find money lying on the street without fail, just by riding around on his bicycle. We're talking fives, twenties, anything. He'd spent it all on drugs. Idiot. Dan: I'm mostly focused on re-growing lost hair. Liz: I would make money from this crap. Francine: I wish I was a morning person like everyone else seems to be. Brent: I would love to be a craftsman. I've always envied awesome hand-carved woodwork. Dora: I feel like business skills would be good. Knowing how to exploit your fellow man has served a few people pretty well. I'd like my own island. Clancy: Music. I’ve tried it more than once and failed.
If you were reincarnated, who or what would you be?
Jean: Something calm and peaceful, like a variety of slime living under a rock on the bottom of an ocean trench. Dan: Napoleon or Cleopatra. Liz: That giant space baby from 2001, because, like, what the hell is that thing? Does it destroy the Earth or something? Francine: Not sure about this one. Brent: Probably a rabbit. Don't ask why. Dora: Eva Green. No point in hiding it. Clancy: Probably a tapeworm. Until recently, most of my karma was bad.
What is your favorite possession?
Jean: Probably my mp3 player, which is just sad. Dan: My glasses. I would not survive ten minutes without those. Liz: I don't know if this counts, but I like my pets, and I like my knowledge of my city and the people who live here. I like feeling like I belong where I am. Francine: A wooden antelope carving from Kenya that I've had since fourth grade. It reminds me of a story from Ovid's Metamorphoses that is very important to me. Brent: My good boots or my Dickie's jacket. Both have lasted me years and are among the most comfortable things I could imagine wearing. Dora: My bedside table. It's old as shit and handmade by Indian men who've been dead for decades. It's pretty rad. Clancy: My compass that belonged to my great-great-something or rather who came to Australia with the first fleet. It’s old. Or my poncho.
What do you regard as the lowest state of misery?
Jean: Dementia or low-functioning autism. Dan: Just being half-blind is pretty awful. I would say being lower on the food chain and living in the wild would be tough. Liz: Having a stalker, or being a stalker. Like, Sally Struthers probably had a stalker once. That's horrible. Francine: Living in Texas. Guess where I live. Brent: Being alone. Or stuck in a confines space with Richard Simmons. I'm sure I mentioned that earlier. Dora: I tried watching "Big Bang Theory" once. That came close. Clancy: I took way too much acid a few weeks ago and thought I might be insane forever afterwards. That sucked.
What qualities do you most like to see in others?
Jean: Imagination, I guess. Dan: Good aim and a sense of humor. Liz: Self-control in men and self-respect in women. Francine: Courtesy. Brent: Sincere care for others. Dora: Acceptance, friendliness, charisma. That-thing-where-I-don't-have-to-do-all-the-talkingness. Clancy: As long as you are interesting and don’t smell awful, you’re okay in my book.
Who are your favorite writers?
Jean: Twain, Camus, Lanier, Allende. Favorite scifi writer, CJ Cherryh. Dan: Sociology writers such as Marshall McLuhan, Neil Postman and Guy Debord. In comics I like Grant Morrison, Mike Mignola and Mark Oakley. Liz: I like Pamela Kaufman, Diane Duane and Robin McKinley. I like Neil Gaiman and Andi Watson and the Hernandez Brothers. I like Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, George Moore and Christopher Hitchens. RIP Gore Vidal, too. Francine: Monty Python. Brent: CJ Cherryh, Neil Gaiman, Terry Brooks, and quickly rising on my list of favorites is Patrick Rothfuss. Dora: Vonnegut, Hawking, Whedon, Clancy: George R.R. Martin, Hunter S Thompson, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Si Spurrier, Vince Gilligan.
How would you like to die?
Jean: Temporal paradox might be worth it. Dan: Frozen while doing "The Egyptian" on Mt. Everest, as on that episode of Family Guy. Liz: Firing squad. Francine: I wouldn't like to die. Brent: I haven't given it much thought. However it is, I want it to be painless. Dora: Standing over the corpses of One Direction and Simon Cowell. Clancy: At the end of the universe.
What is your most/least favorite thing about Star Trek?
Jean: I hate it when they split a character into two characters to explore "man's dualistic nature."' Especially that one Voyager episode where some aliens physically separated Torres's human side from her Klingon side and they argued with each other for thirty minutes. Then, at the end of it, the EMH doctor figures out some way to put her back together using, I don't know, 'barofartic radiation' or the like. I really, really hate that kind of shit. Dan: I didn't mind the new movie but those Holodeck episodes do get tiresome. Why not discover what it's like to live at a microscopic level, or fly through the clouds of Jupiter? Instead they go play Sherlock Holmes. You can do anything and you just reenact bad Victorian mystery stories? Really? The best thing is the aliens. Liz: I like the old ones, because they're corny and you don't have to feel like a nerd for watching them, or at least not as much. The first ones could have been written by Hugh Hefner or something. What the hell was going on? Francine: Most favorite, the Ferengi. Least favorite, continuity errors and contradictions. Brent: My favorite thing about Trek is the creativity that often surrounds it. Oh, and the Borg. Least favorite things are the Trek cliches. Dora: DS9. You put that crew in the situations of any other series and they've have done a better job. Quark and Jadzia would've got them out of the Delta Quadrant in two weeks. Plus they're interesting. I hate when a series has boring characters. Harry Kim, Tom Paris, everyone on Enterprise except T'Pol; ugh. The original series gets credit for being the original series. Clancy: Patrick Stewart talking was always great. Enterprise was a whole lot of suck, though. Then they cancelled it as it started getting good.
What sorts of character types have you never portrayed before?
Dan: I've never played a character who was much like myself. I've never played an American that I can remember. Liz: I've never played a really kick-ass person, like a karate master or like that. I think they're more fun to write than to read. You get tired of people who are really sure of themselves, at least in real life. Francine: I have never played a Klingon or a Cardassian, wouldn't even know how to approach that. Brent: I haven't ever really played a MD or a PsyD, and I don't know that I'd like to. Dora: I've never been an Ops officer. It's the one department that I just don't understand. Clancy: Not many. I’ve played something of everything in my time. Except marines. What the hell are Marines doing in Star Trek?
What sorts of character types would you most like to portray in the future?
Dan: I thought it might be interesting to do a Star Trek sim that is more politics or diplomacy-based, where the characters are ambassadors or spies. There is so much potential there but I've never seen it done. Liz: I would like to be better at writing male characters, and also realistic villains. Not just cardboard Dracula-type villains, but ones that talk and think like real people. Francine: A doctor. Brent: My preferences really run toward the diplomat. So yeah, that's most likely. Dora: Ferengi, or Klingons. Ferengi are great, and I feel like Klingons get a bad wrap. They can't all be dumb. Chang was bad ass. Clancy: I’ve been playing them for a while now, but I like Vulcans. When you look at what Vulcan society must be like, it seems like an awful elitist meritocracy, with a lot of feudal elements and completely illogical aspects. They’re dicks, but they’re pretty good at stuff. And if they’re not perfect, they’ve probably got a lot to work through.