Saturday, 30 September 2017

KLINGONS—PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

There appeared to be four distinct phenotypes of Klingons
From the year 2154, Klingons who came in contact with the Federation had external features resembling Humans and wore their hair in a more conservative fashion than seen later (and previously). These appeared to have two skin tones: some who were pale with neatly groomed hair and others much darker (a greenish-brown), with thick, bifurcated eyebrows. The two never appeared together. The differences in the two phenotypes may explain, in part, Dr. McCoy's immediate lack of knowledge of Klingon anatomy when he tried to save Chancellor Gorkon in 2293. These Klingons lacked ridges on their heads. 23rd century Klingons descended from victims of the Augment Virus (discussed later).

The second phenotype was tall and thin in build, with both a single crested ridge extending over their partially bald heads and an occipital bun on the rear of their skulls (some refer to these Klingons as either specially bred "Battle-Class" Klingons, or derisively as "Duck's ass" Klingons, based on their haircuts).

The third Klingon phenotype was represented by General Chang. This Klingon was only slightly ridged in the center of the forehead, lacking the "normal" side ridges. They were largely hairless except for a small wisp at the back of the skull and (in males) a small goatee. These Klingons were seen in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

The fourth, and most common phenotype seen, are the triple-ridged or "Worf"-type. These Klingons have individualized or clan-based ridge patterns, ranging from the slight "webbed" ridge pattern of Colonel Worf to the craggy triple ridges of the Emperor Kahless (clone).

Saturday, 23 September 2017

The Doctor Who Experience, Cardiff (March 2017)

With the BBC's Doctor Who Experience set to close at the end of May of this year, I was determined to go sooner rather than later. After a little negotiation, I was given permission to wear my Fourth Generation Doctor Who scarf but NOT the whole outfit. Fortunately, I was also able to sneak on my Doctor Who jacket by teaming it up with a pair of matching trousers. There was no way I'd get away with the hat, though, so I didn't even bother to try.
We had chosen the Bank Holiday Monday after the New Year and it proved ideal. Traffic was very light on the roads which meant we arrived in plenty of time for our scheduled visit and were able to dock Shuttle Koenig and amble to the venue at our leisure, passing such monuments as the Merchant Seafarers War Memorial and The Water Tower aka The Torchwood Tower. The weather was bitter cold so I was doubly thankful for the scarf. It was so cuddly and warm!
Once inside, the visit began with an interactive adventure with the Twelfth Doctor, inside and outside of his TARDIS. This is the only area where they ask you not to take photographs so that there aren't any spoilers for others. These are normally the sort of requests I ignore but in this instance I obliged as they made it quite clear we could take photos anywhere else. In other words,
they weren't just trying to make sure you bought their guidebook. They truly did not want it spoilt for others, so I shan't spoil it for you either because it was actually very good.
Once through the adventure stage, you enter the museum stage. It's not the largest exhibition I've ever seen but doesn't disappoint. It is well presented on two floors with a number of TARDIS sets and dozens of aliens and costumes available to view. The really nice thing is that things are not locked inside glass cases. You are asked not to touch, but you can get up close to see how things are constructed. (Did you know that David Tennant's coat is suedette?)
I had a great time in Cardiff and it really did finish off what has been a great break for me. Christmas isn't usually a fun time for me, but this year has been great.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Promotions & Rank

As a couple of people have asked me about this, promotions and rank within STARFLEET are more about personal achievement than seniority. Indeed, seniority is by post rather than rank (which is why a department head could have a lower rank than other people in his her department.
Promotion is gained by participation so by posting comments, adding articles, submitting things to the Centaurian and things like that, it all goes towards your next promotion.
Having said that, there are two STARFLEET Academy exams that also carry promotion. This is because they deal with how SFI operates. They are both very useful exams: they are OTS and OCC.

OTS: OFFICER TRAINING SCHOOL

Officer Training School (OTS) will allow the student to learn about the real-world of STARFLEET and prepare the individual to become a commissioned officer. It is a prerequisite for anyone becoming a Chapter Commanding Officer (CO) or Executive Officer (XO), as well as for anyone wanting to complete Officer Command College (OCC).
Completion of this course will earn you the rank of Ensign on Space Station Centaur.

OCC: OFFICER COMMAND COLLEGE

Officer Command College (OCC) will expand the student's knowledge of STARFLEET as an organization, as well as strengthen their knowledge of being a commissioned officer. It is a prerequisite for anyone becoming a Chapter Commanding Officer (CO) or Executive Officer (XO), as well as for anyone wanting to complete Flag Officer School (FOS). Officer Training School (OTS) is a prerequisite for Officer Command College.
Completion of this course will earn you the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade on Space Station Centaur.

Thank you.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Tribble George



Aww, bless! George is sending me selfies from his little trip to Starfleet Command. Note the Starfleet uniform that was made especially for him. He's now working to get a pip on his collar!

Saturday, 9 September 2017

What is the Universe?

The European Space Agency has a super website for young people. It's also great for simple explanations about the complicated stuff for us biggies too!

 
The Universe is everything we can touch, feel, sense, measure or detect. It includes living things, planets, stars, galaxies, dust clouds, light, and even time. Before the birth of the Universe, time, space and matter did not exist.

The Universe contains billions of galaxies, each containing millions or billions of stars. The space between the stars and galaxies is largely empty. However, even places far from stars and planets contain scattered particles of dust or a few hydrogen atoms per cubic centimeter. Space is also filled with radiation (e.g. light and heat), magnetic fields and high energy particles (e.g. cosmic rays).

The Universe is incredibly huge. It would take a modern jet fighter more than a million years to reach the nearest star to the Sun. Travelling at the speed of light (300,000 km per second), it would take 100,000 years to cross our Milky Way galaxy alone.

No one knows the exact size of the Universe, because we cannot see the edge – if there is one. All we do know is that the visible Universe is at least 93 billion light years across. (A light year is the distance light travels in one year – about 9 trillion km.)

The Universe has not always been the same size. Scientists believe it began in a Big Bang, which took place nearly 14 billion years ago. Since then, the Universe has been expanding outward at very high speed. So the area of space we now see is billions of times bigger than it was when the Universe was very young. The galaxies are also moving further apart as the space between them expands.

https://www.esa.int/esaKIDSen/SEMX4EBE8JG_OurUniverse_0.html

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Are we mad? We have Tribbles?

Yes, we are just a little bit crazy and yes, we do have tribbles. Tribbles make wonderful pets (when neutered), are very affectionate and also incredibly clean. I have a tribble myself, George Tribble, and I've never had to clear up after him.
Curious about this, I asked our Ship's Counsellor, ENS Erika Stroem, who is also a Xenobiologist. Erika explained, "They eat it as it is full of nutrition. It also helps in reproduction, which is why there are so many of them and why it is hard to get rid of them. They can follow this procedure over fifty times before they need other foods to replenish the nutrients."
When asked if they had tongues, Erika explained further.
"No, they have a little slit that sucks food (or poop) up—they are like little vacuums, and then another little slit on the other side that blows the poop out. But if the poop is not eaten quickly enough it will turn into another Tribble, this manifestation is known as narcissus metamorphoses."
Erika also has a tribble named Bill.
"We've had Bill for quite a few years, but we'd only had him for a couple of days when I saw him trying to eat his own poop. Thinking that it was totally disgusting, I quickly scooped it up and put it in the bin. That night, I then heard noises coming from the bin and I must admit, it scared the living daylights out of me, but when I finally got the courage to look, we had Ben Two! That's when I started to look into it a bit further visiting the tribble farm, which is near to where I was studying at the time."
Stingray (who was with us during the conversation) wondered if any waste produced by a tribble could be excreted via the sweat glands as sweat.
"No," explained Erika. "If you see what my two eat at times, there is no way on Earth it could be broken down into just sweat. Even Tarantulas, who liquidise their prey and then suck the life out of them, still excrete a liquid type of poop."
Erika certainly knows her xenobiology!

Monday, 4 September 2017

WELCOME TO SPACE STATION CENTAUR: Stardate 2017.08.14

Rather like Commander Riker, I have been encouraged to start or take on the command of a chapter a number of times, but I have always declined. 'Always a Riker; never a Picard,' I would say, and I was quite adamant about that. Indeed, if you had asked me 1st August, I would have said the same thing.
However, on 2nd August, I was chatting with fellow members of STARFLEET International, musing
upon the ways of this world. I'll admit that some of us where feeling a little downhearted about some things (the negativity towards Discovery, for example) and, as is the way with these things, we ran through all the 'what if's' that one generally does in such situations. The conversation twisted and turned and somehow we ended up talking about a new chapter. I really can't quite remember how we got there, and then someone said, "Why don't we?"
Even though this was all being done through Facebook DMs, I felt all heads turn towards me, and in that moment, I just knew it was the right thing to do.
I was very fortunate at the beginning of my STARFLEET career to have been under the command of CAPT Daniel Adams of the USS Stargazer (or Ark Royal as it was then). Dan let me explore some of the many facets of running a chapter and I learned much from him.
In April of last year, I was privileged to help launch the USS Merlin with COMM Richard Sams. Again, this was a superb experience for me and it taught me a great deal too. So I suppose launching my own chapter was a natural progression.
However, this is not something I could have done alone. I had a group of wonderful people supporting me and helping me to make some important decisions, like the name of our vessel and vessel type. Even when we hit a little glitch, everybody stepped forward to help get it resolved. As a result, by the time we launched on 14th August—just TWELVE days later, we had handbook, website and crew structure all in place! It was phenomenal and so I just have one thing to say to my crew.
Thank you. You are fantastic and I will do my best to serve you well.


CAPT Anni Potts 
Commanding Officer 
SPACE STATION CENTAUR

Sunday, 3 September 2017

OUT OF THE ASHES: Reunion

by Erika Stroem


This year, with the news, I was really sad.
The announcement they made was extremely bad.
They said there’d be “NO FCD" next year,
And so down my cheek did trickle a tear.

“What would I do”? I really don’t know.
I’d be at a loss with nowhere to go.
I’d not see my friends I’d made on the way.
My heart was hurting, I have to say.

But then came the news I was waiting to hear.
Everyone must have heard me cheer.
A reunion planned … a get together!
We’d still be seeing one another.

The time will be spent having lots of fun,
(Although, I will miss Rainbow Sun)
But as we will have … NO thoughts spared
It’ll be a time of bliss, with memories shared.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

OUT OF THE ASHES 2.0: (April 2017)

PO1 Holly Bowler

Friday, Stardate 201703-31

It was a sunny morning on Stardate 201703-31 and the Telfordians were expecting my arrival at 19:00 for the First Contact Day festivities hosted on their world. Starfleet planned for large numbers of Federation representatives to attend, and they would be joined by a diversity of aliens from many worlds, all gathering together in the great Intergalactic Centre, a futuristic and expansive venue located on the bustling central planet in the Shropshirian system. Shuttle Chiro was already positioned in orbit above the planet over the lushest part of the continent, a region referred to as ‘Ironbridge’ by the locals, but it’s so lovely I just call it ‘home’. I awoke early to a loud beeping as the scanners had picked up a Klingon vessel on approach. (Yes, even the Klingons were invited too.) While I waited for the USS Limburg to arrive to collect the storage containers transported from the Merlin’s cargo hold, I passed the time by ordering and beaming up some much-needed supplies from the nearby Planet Tesco. I then lounged a bit in half meditation, humming away to a tune Q taught me years ago and trying to imagine how the day would play out when I realised time was getting on. I was pulled out of my stupor quite suddenly by the sound of a hail. It was the voice of the USS Limburg sounding a little flustered … ah well, better late than never! It had been too long. Hugs abounded, kind words of reunion spoken and the ship-to-ship transport was a quick task, but before ‘The Baron’ set off he asked me if I would volunteer for an urgent away mission.
“Today?” I said.
“Ye-e-e-es” said he with a glimmer in his eyes and an almost pleading gesture as he leaned toward me.
“I have reports to catch up on but I can put them aside. What exactly is this mission, Captain … I mean, um … oh great Baron?”
It was in that single most unexpected moment that my heart did a somersault and hit my uvula when I discovered the full import of this assignment. It so happened that a certain high-ranking former President, Bruce Boxleitner, whom I have always greatly admired, and his lovely wife, Verena, a renowned Terran diplomat, were hoping to visit the Ironbridge region, required an ambassadorial escort, and I was perfectly positioned due to my familiarity with the area.
Oh happy day! I thought to myself and danced a mental jig.
After swift goodbyes, the Baron beamed down to the planet to start preparing for the big event, which was to last three days. I quickly contacted my husband, Josh, who is both tactful and skilled at social engagement, and is familiar with both outworld activity and former President Boxleitner’s history with commanding a deep space station. He was thrilled to say the least and immediately transported to the shuttle from the planet’s surface so we could quickly iron out our plans.
Shortly afterward, we collected these two most distinguished guests, tired from their extended space travel but as gracious and friendly as they come. As Bruce is a fan of history, we visited historic sites in the region and enjoyed tea and scones at a traditional Victorian tearoom the Telfordians had set up in preparation for the event. Sipping lemon and ginger tea we talked about such things as the passing of old and dear friends, childhood memories of headless chickens, Bruce’s Irish and German ancestries, how to tell a newt from a salamander and the mining history of the area. We exchanged ‘how we met’ stories, shared fears, pet peeves and triumphs as well as laughter in good measure. The experience was more reminiscent of a double date than of any official assignment. Before we left Ironbridge to return our new friends and prepare for the official opening ceremony we bumped into a small motley crew of acquaintances on an early celebratory tour of the local drinking establishments, one of whom was an eccentric EMH, the others, a hippy lieutenant and a young man who referred to himself as ‘Math Boy’. The locals were quietly curious but their whispers and raised eyebrows showed they knew something was up, but as no laws were being broken we were all seemingly left to our own devices. After a jolly greeting, a joke or two and few moments of generally being very silly we parted ways, shuttled the Boxleitners to their accommodation and breathed a sigh of contentment.
The opening ceremony that evening was attended by a wide array of lifeforms, the vast majority humanoid. General Martok and Captain Kargh of the Klingon Empire and Lieutenant Nog of Ferenginar were just a few of the special guests in attendance. In addition to the good number of Telfordians were visitors from Earth, Vulcan, Andoria, Q'onoS, Minbar, Gallifrey, Chulak and numerous other worlds as well as a contingent of boisterous and lei-strewn holidaymakers from Risa who sat opposite a party of Thermians who appeared to be suffering form perma-grin and were documenting every moment of the experience. The ocean of familiar faces of Starfleet colleagues, friends and friends-to-be, the looks of surprise and wonder on the faces of first timers, and the welcoming hugs shared generously and freely amongst all races, colours and creeds reminded me why I volunteered for this mission and why I contributed extra off-hours in preparing the Telfordians for the sheer joy and merriment that would be loosed on this place. They wouldn’t know what hit ‘em.
While reacquainting Josh with my fellow SO on the USS Merlin, Commander Tony Burr, I felt the softest hand take hold of mine and gently whisk me away, only to look up and find that the hand belonged to none other than our Ambassadorial Liaison Officer, LT Wil Ross! Wil took me to the foyer where I was thanked for my work with the Telfordians and given a high security pass. I promised to uphold the tenets of the event to the utmost, including having the time of my life! Shortly thereafter the brief ceremony began with guest introductions involving lively banter, a smidgen of slapstick and affectionate insults and witticisms shared amongst the guests and audience, which is a common symbolic and cultural peculiarity of all First Contact Day events and is expected. The ceremony was decorated with moments of pause and thankfulness as well as dark humour and rabblerousing, and with the ushering in of the festival to a sea of applause, it was time for the feasting to begin.
Upon my arrival in the banqueting hall, the tables were full to heaving of a hungry and colourful throng, the likes of which is rarely seen in any one place in the universe. I (and my stomach) groaned as I glanced toward the food line, my most sincere thought in that moment was that the queue was as long as Martok’s tale of his battle with the Cardassians! Blood and ashes! My thought must have invoked his name because who did I find when I about-faced but the owner of the one good eye staring back at me, glaring. ‘Tera’ngan Soj lujab’a’?’ he growled. I grabbed Martok by the shoulders and headbutted him as gently as I could while still preserving the full effect, and continued on through the tables, shouting for him to follow as my attention had been drawn to I another, much shorter queue on the opposite side. The other special guests, ravenous, were suddenly in his shadow and began helping themselves. I pointed at one partly covered pot, ensuring Martok saw that serpent worms were on the menu so he could relax. I took a helping of roast targh and spooned on some other dishes, including Captain Janeway’s famous cannelloni and found a seat with some crew from the USS Iceni and a threesome of Belgian governors. Conversations were as rich and hearty as the dinner, and the consciousness of time began to wane and become suspended, that was until the spell was broken once someone called and ushered us to queue once again for group photography sessions, tokens to take away and savour later the sweet memories. In the shot, I was positioned between Martok and Boxleitner, but luckily managed to escape with only a single bite from the Klingon General...a minor flesh wound. As the morrow would come at us at warp speed, it was an early evening for me although I know others chatted away into the night, too excited to sleep.

Saturday, Stardate 201704-01

Saturday, Stardate 201704-01, began with a bang and I was dressed and ready in science blue, phasers set to stun, for whatever experiences the day presented. Upon entry to the Intergalactic Centre we were greeted by the loveliest team of volunteers, mostly Terrans, but there were a Bajoran and Trill noted amongst them. This team are known throughout the galaxy for their tireless effort to make FCD the interstellar event that it is while still managing to offer a smile, and share a hug and kind word with everyone. We stepped into the first talk surprisingly led by Nog and Martok, which led us through the trials and tribble-ations of Klingon-Ferengi communication and negotiations. I sat in the front row next to a handsome imposing fellow from Chulak…I think he said his name was Teal'c. Despite a couple of snide exchanges between the hosts that seemed a much watered-down version of the bile-fueled vitriol that often results when individuals of these two species are left in the same room, Martok and Nog unexpectedly managed to find common ground, share stories and even more surprisingly discuss such ‘neutral zone’ issues like Klingon blogging and improvised dancing.
We managed to steal away for a quick break before the next talk, which would be led by a very distinguished photonic doctor who sometimes goes by the name of Bob, other times it’s Joe. I was already intrigued with photonic Bob having met him in Ironbridge the previous day, so I was really looking forward to more time in his presence. Out in the hallway I went to greet my friend Jane, only for her to turn around and attempt to assimilate me! It seemed she had become full-on Borg overnight! My reaction was a combination of joy at reuniting with my friend followed by the subsequent shock at seeing her sudden transformation and feeling the assimilation tubes pierce my neck that resulted in some seriously mixed feelings. Someone took my photo at that very moment, which caused a ruckus on the Merlin later, before I explained the situation to the crew. Luckily, I was pulled away from danger in time. After a brief chat with the ‘new’ Jane it was clear that she was okay with this new state of being and as long as she remembered to use sun-cream and didn’t try to assimilate me again, well who am I to judge?
Upon return to the main hall I took my seat once again and found myself regaled by the grandiose and clever stories and tales recounted by the great Doctor Bob, the swishest EMH in the delta quadrant. He shared deep secrets such as how he managed to maintain any sense of dignity when working with the stunningly attractive Seven of Nine, known throughout the cosmos for her beauty. Bob had his audience in stitches when he described how he lost all sense of dignity when he met Meg Ryan for the first time while wearing a thong. Bob really engaged with the audience, particularly the Telfordians who had never met a photonic being, and impressed everyone with his vocals as he joined with my friend Laura in singing ‘You are My Sunshine’.
Upon exiting the hall Josh and I grabbed some Denobulan tea and plate of hasperat and made our way to the agreed location to meet up for an Avalon Shift Meeting with others from the USS Merlin and those who were just simply interested in what we were doing. The latter including The Baron himself, master programmer Matthew Holt and one very smiley and slightly deranged Commander Data who completely out of character insisted on showing our XO Captain Anni Potts what was under his uniform and insisted I have a conversation with his talking tricorder. Counsellor Strohm brought her lovely granddaughter and was on hand with hugs for everyone, deftly attending to Data’s delusional state as Chief Counsellor. Even our own Aaron David Merlin joined in later entirely full of beans and with an impressive haul of supplies to show off.
After the meeting drew to a close we noticed that a great diverse gathering of species had erupted on the upper deck and so I took the opportunity to mingle…after all, how often do you get to see a mugato sidle up to Vedek Winn Adami of Bajor or the Borg queen and her drones striking a pose with some Andorian beauties, Klingon warriors and even Vorlon Ambassador Kosh. Captains Janeway, Sisko and Picard were present as were members of various Stargate teams and beings from distant realms unfamiliar to me. Taking advantage of the undeniable profit in such an unprecedented event, the Ferengi proprietor, Quark, rapidly ducked behind the bar and began taking orders. He certainly has the lobes! Gold pressed latinum and raktichinos were both flowing quite nicely. Nevertheless, it was soon time for former President Boxleitner’s talk, which was one of the highlights of the day, so there was an abrupt dispersal as everyone made their way to the hall.
Bruce was his usual understated yet commanding and handsome self, and easily won the hearts of all the attendees. He answered many questions about his experiences of commanding the Babylon 5 space station in a distant star system called ‘Aqua Tech’, and he spoke fondly of his former colleagues there, many of whom are now somewhere else distant and among the stars. He talked about his current projects and also his secret desire to take part in historical re-enactments on a far-off world occupied by continents he referred to as Westeros, Essos, and Sothoryos; I still need to check the computer database as I’m unfamiliar with such a place.
Although Josh and I had intended to be at Claudia Christian’s talk and live auction we found ourselves wandering and discovered various unoccupied vessels dry docked in bay 16 along with a variety of ships including the industrial ship Celestra, the Battlestar Galactica and a large freighter, but no Cylons were about thankfully. We ran into Captain Bergin of the USS Iceni to whom I reported my findings and also took part in the tombola his crew was running for charity. There were displays of museum pieces to view …old uniforms, historical weapons, ancient artefacts…some interesting items. We were admiring a pair of old data crystals in excellent condition when we heard the strangest sound, a sort of an echoing scraping noise. We followed the noise and met a man who referred to himself as ‘the Doctor’, but this was not the aforementioned EMH. Even more perplexingly, he was in Starfleet uniform. He said he was a time traveller and invited us onto his tiny ship, which was enormous on the inside compared to the out; we spent some time studying the ship’s engineering and design as well as chatting about FCD before politely taking our leave. The rest of the afternoon was highlighted by close and friendlier encounters with a Borg named Thor, Bob the EMH, General Martok and Kargh. We missed another talk and various photoshoots, but it had been a good day and it was time to prepare for the evening’s festivities.
Saturday night was full-on party night with proceeds going to the charity ‘Mind’ and the theme for the Kyber Crystal party was Icons! As everyone would be dressing up as iconic characters, I decided to dress as an ole’ swashbuckler I once ran into by the name of Jayne Cobb…a man who made a bit of a legend for himself throughout the ‘verse’. The attendees all looked amazing and the costumes were so well thought out. There was Princess Leia and her Jedi contingent of course as well as famous characters such as Laurel and Hardy, Janeway’s Arachnia, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and Marilyn Monroe and so many more. Kargh gave a moving and emotional talk about mental health and then the dancing started and continued into the night fuelled by large quantities of Romulan ale, bloodwine and Samarian sunsets. One of the highlights of the evening was dancing with the EMH, Bob, who had better moves than most of us organics on the dance floor. It was a good evening but I’m not the young cadet I once was and sleep was beckoning.

Sunday, Stardate 201704-02


Sunday was a bit of a later start for us than usual and was full of photoshoots and time for being social. Out of Starfleet uniform, I chose to adorn myself in a beautiful green Minbari-style dress and met up first with Bruce for an early photo. I apparently made a good choice because I was approached by a multitude of humanoids (even in the loo!) to share a photographic experience. This seemed to go on for quite a while, but it was a most enjoyable morning. Josh and I tucked ourselves away for a good while behind a table with Verena and Bruce and chatted about riding elephants, holiday destinations, politics, their next port of call and many other topics. It felt nice to find ourselves once again relaxed and in the company of these two.
It was time for lunch and so when we ran into our good dear friend, Niki, an Orion slave girl, and her husband Dave, we joined them for a lovely meal at a local restaurant called the Novella Lounge. The majority of local Telfordians here must have avoided the First Contact Day festivities as their sidelong glances suggested that they had not seen the likes of our species before. We gave them our best smiles and then it was back to the main hall for more talks with the special guests, the first with Bob the EMH, Kargh, Martok and Nog. It was an interesting discussion about morality and ethics, interspersed with stories about broken noses, bull semen and Bruce Lee, finished off by a rousing rendition of The Warrior’s Anthem and an emotional speech by Nog on PTSD and making an impact in this world…’ripples in a pond’.
Bruce and Claudia joined each other onstage once again to talk about working together on Babylon 5, the range of aliens that visited the space station, and the many trials and tribulations of running B5. They shared memories of the war with the Earth alliance, stories of one of their larger-than-life Narn colleagues, Ambassador G’kar, as well as discussed comedy and covered other topics such as Claudia’s book, ‘Wolf’s Empire’. Both were surprised to find one of the uniforms from their past being worn by an attendee from Germany. The talk was followed up by a charity auction and the closing ceremony.
Sunday evening was a time for the special guests, the FCD team and others to unwind and share a meal. Before we arrived at the venue, Josh assisted The Baron in delivering some new cargo to the shuttle. On one of the boxes was printed ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon’, but as the scanners did not detect anything out of the ordinary we let it go. The night was quite emotional for everyone involved. There was gambling, dancing, speeches, a special cake, a lot of lively banter. The EMH was still as energetic as ever, making the rounds from table to table, Nog was flirting with his lady love, and I found Bruce half dozing on a chair by the bar like the regular in one of those old cowboy flicks. All of us were sad to see FCD come to a close, but it had been an amazing experience and further cemented the feelings of camaraderie and sense of family FCD brings with it. Preparing to beam back to the shuttle, I caught a glimpse of my friends in their joy as a moment in time I’ll never forget. I’m holding on to that memory and to all of the memories of connections made at FCD very close to my heart.