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Held to Ransolm

March 19, 2017

Good afternoon to our Fleet News service readers. I am Ruby Redferne reporting to you from the USS Excalibur. I’ve come on board to have a chat to one of the ship’s crew.  Now I know that your thinking it must be the Captain. But I am sorry to say readers that he is unavailable at this time. Shame I know but maybe next time.

Now I have my camera man Dave with me and were going to take some lovely pictures for you as we walk along. The person we are going to interview is expecting us and is at this moment on the Bridge of this wonderful ship. I only wish you could be here to see it F.N.S readers. It really is quite something. Let me tell you a little bit about it.

The USS Excalibur (NCC-77900) is the namesake of her class. Designed for deep space exploration, her maiden deployment found her attacked by the Borg. With most of the crew assimilated and the survivors abandoning ship, the Excalibur was adrift and thought lost forever. Fortunately, she was able to be recovered and was taken back to the Utopia Planitia Shipyards where she underwent an extensive four-year retrofit. Now under the command of Captain Anthony Richardson, the Excalibur has recently departed Utopia Planitia to begin its mission of exploration and peacekeeping in the Beta Quadrant.

At 40 decks and over a thousand people on board, it’s like a mini city in space F.N.S readers.

Now here we are in the turbo lift and heading for the Bridge. It’s the heart of the ship were all the action happens and the Captain gives his orders. You can barely hear a whisper of the door as it opens in front of us and believe me  I have had to kick a few doors down in my time to get them open. But we must press on and find our young Ensign.

Some one has joined us in the turbo lift F.N.S readers, another member of the crew by the looks of their uniform.  Let’s have a chat with him.

“Hello pleased to meet you, names Ruby Redferne, F.N.S reporter for Task Force 93 and you are?”

“Greetings, I am Talan, Boatswain of this vessel. I was informed of your arrival and assigned to ensure you are able to complete your assignment while onboard. How may I assist you?”

“Well that’s very kind of you Boatswain Talan.” Isn’t it F.N.S readers. “Very kind. Were looking for Ensign Tyler Ransolm. I believe he’s on the Bridge. Do you know him by any chance Boatswain Talan?
Yes, ma’am. You’ll find Ensign Ransolm over at his station under the console likely buried in PADDs and conduit relays. He was making some modifications to his work area last I saw.

The doors to the Bridge have opened readers and what a site that meets my eyes. I wish you were here to see it.  I am now stepping over the thresh hold and the Bridge, normally a hive of activity, is eerily quiet readers, you can hear a pin drop. They tell me that the Excalibur is currently on a shakedown cruise and the crew have been working furiously to work out any bugs in their systems and we all know about those don’t we F.N.S readers.The ship is at ‘all stop’ as the skeleton crew manning the Bridge are adjusting sensors in preparation for a weapons test and lateral sensor array calibration. Focused on their individual tasks are a few crewman and a handful of junior and senior officers. At Science Station 1 is the subject of my interview F.N.S readers; Ensign Tyler Ransolm.

Now let me get my bearings, science station 1 should be over here some where. I wonder this is him, I’ll just ask.

“Excuse me are you Ensign Tyler Ransolm?”

Muffled reply F.N.S readers obviously that’s not him and he’s pointing somewhere to our left.”Thank you who ever you are.”

Always pay’s to be polite readers remember that. Now here we are could this be the chap were looking for. “Hellooooooe. Ensign Tyler Ransolm I presume?”

But of course F.N.S readers you know that I am not really talking to Ensign Tyler Ransolm and neither are we on the Bridge of the USS Excalibur. We are in fact meeting his creator Anthony Bulygo.

“Hello Anthony, Ruby Redferne F.N.S reporter for TF93. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“Hello Ruby, glad to meet you. Thanks for taking the time to visit with me in my neck of the galaxy.”

“May I call you Ant, or Tony, Tone or Anth. Our readers often like a nickname you know, it makes them feel closer to the writer.”

“ You can call me Ant for short. A few of my co-workers have called me that over the years.”

“Thank you Ant. Now our readers out there in the terrific Task Force 93 area are dying to know all about you. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and where your from?

“Abosulutely. I’m 36 and live in Central California. I’m a father of six, ranging from 8 months to 13 years old. I recently remarried and started the next chapter in my life with my new wife. I work full time and spend most of my down time engaging in one of my many nerdy activities and hobbies.”

“There are many ‘Trekkies’ out there in real life who come from all different backgrounds. What is it you do in real life Ant?

“I work in healthcare. I’m the Training and Audit/Compliance Supervisor for the in-house Security department at a teaching hospital in California.”

“Sounds like a lot of hard of hard work and responsibility Ant. So tell us how you got into this fantastic world of Star Trek and how long you have been simming for?

“I honestly can’t recall how I fell into simming. I feel like I stumbled across it and decided to give it a try and ended up getting hooked. I started back in 2013 and played for a couple years and took a break while I went through a divorce. Now I’m back and playing as much as I can.”

“I know what you mean Ant. Once a Trekkie always a Trekkie. Can we ask what character you play on the USS Excalibur and if you have any other characters on the ship or else where?”

“My main character aboard the Excalibur is Ensign Tyler Ransolm. I also have a couple NPCs to include Chief Talan, an El-Aurian former Borg drone, and Crumm Widdy, a Bolian restauranteur.”

“What fantastic character names you have Ant. I have met a few Crumm Widdy’s in my time and I feel I know him already. Do your characters come to you out of the ether Ant or do you research them first?

“I typically have a whole slough of character ideas floating around in my head. Some are original, while others are often amalgamations of several different characters from various genres. Crumm, for example, is equal parts Guinan, Quark, and Neelix with a bit of myself thrown in there for good measure.”

“Our readers in Task Force 93 would like to know a little bit about Tyler Ransom. Is he human and based on anyone you know? Are you similar to him in anyway?”

“Ty Ransolm is human. He’s not based on anyone in particular, but I’d say he represents the explorative and matter-of-fact aspects of my personality. Talan is spun out of my anti-social tendencies and has an awkward and difficult time relating to other characters. Crumm is inspired by my jovial side which only my closest friends and family get to see.”

“Ant do you have any ambititions for Ty Ransolm, Ant?”

Ty is happy to have found himself back in Starfleet. He’s not as ambitious as he was in his youth and seeks to ensure missions are successful and new and exciting discoveries are made.”

“What’s it like Ant to be part of a team of writers?”

“Team writing can be very hit or miss. I’ve been very fortunate aboard the Excalibur to be grouped with some strong writers. Our joint posts are always fun and the amount of accumulated Trek knowledge is impressive. I can start a joint post on the fly and my writing partner(s) jump write in and start crafting a story that’s engaging and interesting.”

“It’s a bit like having a second family isn’t it? Talking of families, do any of your family know you write on a Star Trek simm?”

“My sister laughs a bit, calling me ‘nerd’, but she does it in good fun. She likes the photo manipulation aspect and made Ty’s character photo as it gets her to practice her photoshop skills. My wife sees it as another one of my hobbies and doesn’t give it too much thought. She thinks it’s ‘cute’ and leaves it at that. Everyone is pretty much in the dark. I’m mostly a secret simmer.”

“Our readers would be interested to know if you write any other stories Ant other than Star Trek?”

“I used to write a lot of horror short stories, along with some Star Wars fan fiction and comic book scripts. With little kids in the house, it’s hard to find much time to write these days, so I’ve put most of those projects on the back burner. It’s just another reason why I enjoy simming; I get to write at my own pace and can allow others to help move the story along when I’m not able to hop on the computer and get contribute.”

My friend and I used to run a nuTrek simm together back in 2014, with me as the CO and her as the XO. We put a lot of time and energy into our website and simm design. I was the creative director and she was the technical guru. It worked well and we were off to a strong start, but she had a lot of health issues right around the same time I went through my divorce and our plucky little simm died off. Now, I’m going through the Bravo Fleet’s CO Academy. I’ve completed all the courses and am awaiting some final feedback and hopefully a passing grade. I’d like to have a simm of my own, perhaps finding a strong XO again with strong technical skills. I like the format of the Bravo Fleet and hope to create a successful simm.

“Thats great to hear Ant. Myself and our readers in Star Fleet wish you the very best in Bravo Fleet’s C.O Academy. Will you let us know how you get on?”

“Absolutely. When the time comes I hope to see some of your readers signing on for some new adventures.”

“That’s the end of our interview Ant. I have enjoyed our chat and I hope you have too. Our F.N.S readers will be thrilled to read all about you. Thank you on behalf of the F.N.S.

“Thank you, it was a blast!”

“Now if you could do me just one little favour Ant. I seem to have got myself lost. Could you write my way back to the Shuttle Bay so Dave and I can catch our shuttle and make our way back to the station.

“I’ll save you a trip and have our OPS team beam you directly there.”

This is Ruby Redferne reporting for the F.N.S in Task Force 93 signing off.