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Simming Basics: E-mail

An e-mail sim, also known as a Play-By-E-Mail (PBEM) Sim, is a simulation where participants write stories and plots about their certain character. Star Trek e-mail sims let you be a Starfleet officer on a ship and write about actions or thoughts that he or she takes during the plot.

When you join the FSF and request an e-mail sim position, you are assigned to a ship where the Commanding Officer (CO) then in turn assigns you into a certain department.

To contribute to a sim, a simmer (you) write either Duty posts, Personal posts, or Log posts about their certain character and what he or she does on the ship. When one is ready to send a post to contribute to the sim, usually what happens is that he or she sends it to a e-mail courier address such as Yahoogroups or AOLGroups and in turn, that courier e-mails your post to the other members of the sim.

What is a post?

As mentioned, a post is created when a simmer writes about his or her character and what he or she is during on the ship. There are three basic types of posts. A Duty Post, a Personal Post, and a Log Post.

A duty post is written when a simmer wants to describe how his or her character fulfilled an assignment given to them. This usually uses more Starfleet lingo and use of your knowledge of Starfleet. For example, one could write a post about him or her repairing a warp coil or arresting a Ferengi stealing from the ship store.

A personal Post is written the same way as a Duty Post. However, it is written when a simmer wants to express his or her character in personal issues not relating to his or her work. Usually this deals with emotional, spiritual, or personal problems. A topic of a personal post, for example, can be a wedding one's character attends or a letter one's character receives informing them of a loved one's death.

A log post is written differently from a Personal Post or a Duty Post. A Log post is in the form of a Log (such as the Captain's log on Star Trek) This way, the simmer can express their character's reactions, thoughts, and feelings without the use of Dialogue or characterization as a Duty Post or Personal post would have you do. A Log post can reflect on both or either of a character's duties onboard a ship or a character's personal life.

How to make a Post:

Most ships have a uniform format of creating posts. When creating posts, one must use acceptable grammatical applications (a.k.a. Use periods, commas, paragraphing) and acceptable spelling (As in we know what you're talking about...)

Another thing all posts must have is a certain way of creating them. Most ships require that you post narratively either in the first person (with the character as the narrator and using the Pronouns "I" and "We" for the main character) or third Person (an outside narrator narrating the story and using the pronouns "he" or "she" or "They" for the main character).

Here is an example of how Not to write a post:

Macgregor: ::Rings the doorbell to the Ready Room with a PADD in his hand which has a list of malfunctions in the gel pack systems.::

Captain: ::Sips his coffee:: Come!

Macgregor: ::Enters the Ready Room:: Good morning captain. How are you?

Captain: Horrible, This coffee of mine is ice cold.

Macgregor: Consider it a coffee coolatta courtesy of the fritzed-out Gel Packs. ::Hands him the PADD::

This is a better way to do it, using narrative third person:

Ensign Macgregor rang the door bell to the Ready Room. He briefly skimmed again the PADD he was holding which described in detail a list of the malfunctions in the gel pack system.

"Come!" The captain said from behind the door.

Macgregor entered. "Good morning, Captain," he said. "How are you today?"

The captain sighed. "Terrible. This coffee is as cold as ice!" He pointed to his mug.

"Consider it a coffee coolatta courtesy of the fritzed out gel packs." He handed the Captain the PADD.

Notice the differences in the way dialogue and actions were expressed in the wrong way to do posts and the right way.

Log Posts are done similar to Duty and Personal Posts, but have a different format. One of the most used formats is using first person to express ideas, as of a diary entry. A full example of a Log post can be seen at the bottom.

Creating Your Character:

A Starfleet crew is created up of different species from different backgrounds. Another thing that makes your posts interesting is how your character is made up. There are a lot of things that make your character unique. One thing is your species.

The Alpha Quadrant is made up of hundreds of different major and minor species, all characteristically distinguishable from humans. Many species have above average powers than humans have. For instance, Betazoids have telepathic and empathic powers, Vulcans have above average strength and are very smart and logical, Ferengi have impeccable hearing. Also, each species has a different set of cultures that could make a good topic for your post. For example, Klingons have a bashido-like sense of Honor and Vulcans must go through a mating cycle -- Pon Far -- once every seven years. To get a list of possible species for your character to be, please click here: "http://www.sb254.com/fsf/guides/traits.htm" Species Traits

Another thing that makes your character unique and interesting is the background information about him or her. Secrets of Skeletons that she or he has had in the past. For example, your character could have fought for Bajor during the Cardassian Occupation, your character was assimilated by the borg and then severed from the collective, or your parents died in a transporter accident when you were six. There things make your character interesting. (Especially counselors, who would jump at a chance to shrink your character :) )

Writing yourself into a story plot:

Writing yourself into a ship is sometimes hard to do if the Ship is in the middle of a storyline. Usually, the bets way to get on a ship is via a shuttle or another NPC (Non-character Player) ship. Now once one's character is on the ship, what does he or she to do? If your department head or the Commanding officer don't create a post first to give One's character something to do, jump right in! Fix a Warp conduit, do an astrometric scan, unpack your things or visit the Officer's mess.

Joint Posting:

Joint Posting is when two simmers contact each other and create a post together which involves the interaction between their two characters. This interaction could be a number of things, from duty-related work to a date to shoreleave mischief.

The Best way to create a joint Post is by each person taking a turn one after the other writing something one's own character does. It is a good idea to write your parts with full grammatical and spelling just as your were writing for any other post.

Here is an example of what part of a JP (Joint Post) might look like through IMs.

DR Sader: [09:43 PM]  Dr. Sader busied himself in his CMO office as he waited for the next victim to arrive for their physical. He reviewed the crew manifest as he waited.
FSF Jon [09:54 PM]: Rick Farrel waltzed into Sickbay. Dr. Sader had called him and he wondered what for. Perhaps just for a quick repair job on the EMH, Rick thought. He saw the Doctor in his Office. "Hey, Doc. You Wanted to see me?" he asked.
DrSader [09:55 PM]: Dr. Sader looked up from his PADD. "Yes, Rick," he said as he slowly got up from his chair and walked toward him. "It's time for your physical ag-"
FSF Jon [09:57 PM]: Rick interrupted with Panic. "Oh not again, Doc. You know how I hate physicals!"
DrSader [11:38 PM]: "It's only once a year, Ensign. Now If you please, come with me." He walked to a bio bed and began setting up some equipment."
FSF Jon [11:41 PM]: Rick picked out a latinum coin from his pocket. "Okay, Doc, Heads or Tails. If you loose...I get excused from this physical! Now heads or tails?"  
DrSader [11:42 PM]: Before Dr. Sader could protest, Rick flung the coin in the air. "Tails," he said quietly
FSF Jon [11:42 PM]: Rick caught the coin and looked at it. "Uhh...Two out of three, doc?"
DrSader [11:43 PM]: "Have a seat, Ensign." Dr. Sader ordered. Without putting up much more of a fight, Rick sat down

Some guidelines and restrictions about Posting:

When one posts a log, there are some rules that people must follow. For a full list of restrictions, see the FSF site. But here are a few:

1. You are not allowed to kill or seriously injure any other simmer's character without the simmer's direct permission.

2. Explicit, Sexual material that would not be considered appropriate for minors is forbidden. Also, cursing and other foul language is limited. (If they have never done it in a Star Trek TV show....don't do it)

Examples of The Four different kinds of Logs:

Through this lesson, you have learned four different types of posting: Personal Posting, Duty Posting, Log Posting and Joint Posting. Below are examples of them.

Duty Post:

"The Holographic Blues"
Lt. Commander Thomas Soren
Chief Engineer
USS Titan

ON:

As he walked into Engineering, Tom sneezed explosively. This, of course, caught the officers by the door entirely by surprise. But what truly scared them was when they realized that their superior, a hologram, had sneezed. Hoping not to end up with more duties, they merely smiled nicely at him and blessed him.

"Must have something to do with those modifications I did the other day." Muttered Soren, walking into his office and locking the door behind him. "Computer, list new messages."

With a simple beep, the main computer got to work. A few seconds later, it chirped happily. "There are 2 new messages for you. Would you like me to read them for you?" It asked, the new AI protocols giving it a phantom hopeful tone.

"Negative, computer. Please tell me who they are from." Replied Tom, walking over to the replicator and ordering a mug of raktajino coffee.

With a seemingly hurt tone, the computer did as it was ordered. "The first is from Dr. Lewis Zimmerman of Jupiter Station. The second is from LtC Ek'noor."

With another explosive sneeze, Tom muttered. It seemed time to do some work on his reality protocols. "Computer, read the message from Mr. Ek'noor." He ordered, sitting down in his private chair.

To: Department Heads
From: Commander Ek'noor
Re: Things to do

Hello all, this is your favorite blue bug. Here are some duties that
need attending to as soon as possible.

Helm:
- Study new maneuvers for close range fighting in case we encounter
hostile forces.
- Use the holodeck to practice said maneuvers

Tactical:
- Do inventories on phasers, rifles, and other weapons.
- Check torpedoes inventory and see if they are all in working order.
- Run main phaser batteries test
- Train new Security officers and practice drills

Engineering:
- Try to ready all systems to 100% or maximum capacity.
- Train emergency engineering teams in case we go into battle.
- Simulate emergency scenarios in Engineering to keep everyone alert
and focused.

Science:
- Since we have limited capacity science labs and facilities, use
whatever resources you need to update them to mission standards.
Contact Engineering for upgrade and facility requisitions
- Use whatever sensors available to map out as much new space ahead
of us as possible. Report anything unusual to the Captain or myself.

Medical:
- As above, use whatever resources you need to upgrade sickbay.
Contact Engineering for assistance.
- Run Emergency Triage scenarios and Medical Emergency drills

Counselor:
- Contact the Captain and I with ways moral could be boosted.

Intel:
- Work with Security Department on drills and information gathering
scenarios.
- Use your contacts to provide any additional information on the new
sectors of space ahead.

Thanks!
From. Commander Ek'noor

Tom growled, knowing he'd just had the ship's weight in workload dropped down on his head. But, figuring it was better to suffer fools than become one, he sat up straight in his chair.
"Computer, clear schedule from now up until 2300 tomorrow. Then initiate the standard training protocols, following guidelines from Starfleet Academy and refresher courses."

There was a beep, following by a longer moment of work, then the computer chirped. "Schedule complete. Displaying." With that, the screen showed a glimpse of hell to the hologram. Then again, this was his crew of hand-picked engineers. They could cut the mustard and have enough for seconds.

"Computer, relay new schedule to all engineering heads, along with a copy to the CO and X...AAHHCHOO!!" Holographic spittle covered the screen, making it difficult to see exactly what was on it.

"Please restate last request." Ordered the computer, the AI protocols not paying attention to the fact that their user did something that was not in the databases.

"Relay new schedule to all engineering heads, along with a copy to the CO and XO. And also, contact Sickbay." Stuffily ordered Tom, before using a nearby cloth to blow his nose. "Inform them that they may shortly have a new patient."

Personal Post:

Ensign Le Clair's quarters

The Falcon moved through a warped space where everything looked
distorted. Looking out of her window, Lysenn thought of the past few
days. Nice work, nice people, but no new friends or love interests. It
wasn't something she was used to, being the kind of person who got on
well with whoever she met.

The problem was, everyone on board wondered what was happening on
Cardassia Prime, no one actually knew whether they would come back at
all, so it wasn't the right time to make friends.

Lysenn sighed and put her guitar on the bed next to her, making it
stand upright and holding it as she would hold a friend's shoulders.

"At least, you're always with me, old friend..." she whispered. "Let's sing a little something together."

As soon as the young engineer's hands touched the strings, the magical wind of music gave the dimly lit room a friendlier look.
In the vastness of space, somewhere on a Nebula-class ship, a soft
female voice rose:

"Saw the world
Saw my life as it disappeared
My teenage dream so far from my eyes
Old friends live
Old friends die passing in a blink
Sparkles falling out from the sky ..."

======/= Lysenn Le Clair
Engineer, USS Falcon

Log Post:

Captain Alexander Ceryan
Commanding Officer
USS Fortitude

On:

Captain's Log: Stardate 081125

The USS Fortitude is stuck in some kind of...nebulae. I'm not sure that a nebulae is the right word for it since our scanners are being deflected off whatever it is made out of. I have ordered Our Chief Science Officer, Commander Gordon Price, to take a shuttle and be a human "probe" since we were expected to pick new ones up from Starbase: Adelphi.

I can't make heads or tails of it. It seems that if you try to move your ship, you don't move at all. The impulse engines are at full throttle, yet we are not moving.

The crew is getting tense. It's a week until Christmas and they want to get home for Holiday furlough. I just hope that I can get us out of here.

I have never been a Scientific man, for I got my rank being a security officer. And I have spent 19 hours, four uniforms and 20 pitcher of coffee trying to rack my brain for a solution.

Maybe Gordon has found an answer. I'll check with him.


Joint Post:

Linda Finally got to Sickbay...she took over and Jon went out to help the rescue teams. The Deck Ek was on had a hull breach and everyone needed to evacuate. Ek could barely move so Jon went out help him out.

Jon forced open the door to Ek's quarters. Sparks were flying everywhere. Thick plumes of smoke rose from somewhere. Ek could see with his antenna the infrared image of a human male. "I'm over here!"

Jon went over to him. "Good evening, sir. I was in the neighborhood and though I might check up on you." Jon lifted Ek over his shoulder. He stumbled a bit, but got his balance.

"Thanks Jon. And cut the sir crap. Just call me Ek, after all, my friends do."

"I'm flattered you find me a friend, EK." He went out the door and
remembered that the Turbos weren't working. "Um...Ek we'll have to go through the Jeffries tube to Sickbay

"I be straight with u Jon. I can read minds and sense things. Is something wrong with Dachala?"

"Sorry, sir," Jon stated, "...can't tell you. But I can say it is very
serious." Jon opened a Jeffries tube. "I hope you're up to this." He climbed in.

"I'm open for anything. Is she going to die?"

"Everyone's going to die someday, Ek" Jon and Ek finished going
horizontal and now had to go down two decks to get to Sickbay.

"Look I outrank you. Please for goodness sake she is my wife!" Ek
composed himself. "I'm sorry Jon, you have a duty for doctor patient
confidentiality."

"That's all right. Ek. I got the same thing from your wife about your
medical condition" Just then, a bulkhead from inside the Jeffries tube burst and steam was coming out of the hole it left. "Watch out for that!" Jon yelled

Ek tumbled a few feet back. He could see Jon on the other side. Quickly he opened a panel and shut off the flow. "Are you OK Jon?"

Jon accidentally bumped his head on the ladder. He rubbed it and said,
"Just dandy." He continued down

The ship rocked again and Jon lost his grip. He fell on Ek and both of
them fell one deck down to sickbay.

Thud. Jon moaned a little and then came to his senses. "Oh my God. Ek!
Are you okay? Can you hear me? What's the capital of Andor?"

Ek sat up. "The capital is Tharev, everyone knows that." He bumped his head and was rubbing it.

Jon gave out a big sigh, "I thought I killed you! Can you get up?" Jon
got up and dusted of his already incredibly dirty uniform

"I'll manage. Linda fused most of my exoskeleton with a super strong
metal, so it looks like I'm OK. Aside from this pounding headache."

Jon laughed a little. "Well, I can take care of that in Sickbay." He
kicked open the tube door and he got out. He grabbed EK by arm and helped him out. "You know, I haven't really met anyone around this ship worth while making a move on. I had my eye on Ensign Truance, what do you think about her?" They both started down the hall into Sickbay.

"I don't, I married now."

"Not for you, for me." EK and Jon entered Sickbay and Jon grabbed a
clean PADD for Ek. "We can go into the exam room." They began walking into an isolated room.

"She's OK. I haven't really talked to her much."

"Isn't she on your staff? Hop on the bed please." Jon began scanning Ek with a tricorder.

"No, she is in Engineering."

"Oh...my mistake. Hmm...you've strained your injuries too much. I'll have to admit you." Jon loaded a needle and Injected Ek with it.

"Admit me?"

"To sickbay. Looks like you're here for at least a day, pal. Now juts lie back while I do a few more tests."

Ek stood up and backed up. "No more tests, no more time here in sickbay. I'll be fine. I can't be useless to the crew at this time."

"Darnit Jon you don't know how hard this is for me!"

"Think how hard it will be for dachala when I tell her that you're
dead. Now just relax."

Just then a male nurse came in carrying a young female ensign. Jon rushed to the two and asked for the bullet. "Ensign Hatchet," he reported, "A bulkhead burst over her and the metal impaled her in the cardio area. She's unresponsive." He put her on a biobed and began putting her on a monitor.

"Dr. I'm the only nurse available right now." Jon looked up at him. He knew he couldn't save this girl without more help. He looked around the room, frantically looking for another nurse. No one was around. Then he had an idea.

"Ek get over here."

"What can I do to help?"

The monitor beside the bed gave out the tone the represented V-fib. The male nurse called it out loud and rushed to get the paddles.  "She's got attention Pneumo. Start by giving CPR."

"You want me to give her CPR? Will that help?

"JUST DO IT!" he yelled at him. He grabbed a hypospray and took 7 cc's
of pulmozine. He sprayed her.

Ek started to administer the CPR technique. Three breaths, count to 10, and he compressed her chest. He continued the process until a breath came from her.

Ek placed the stimulator at the base of her neck and activated it. "Her signs are stable for now."

"Okay...lets get this bulkhead out. Surgical tongs." The nurse handed him the tongs and Jon tried to take out the bulkhead. "Damn. If I take it out, it will slice the aorta. Looks like we'll have to compress it by clamping it. We only have one shot at this. Ek, nurse get over here and watch what I'm doing."

Ek moved closer to watch.

"You two are going to have to take this device like so. Reach into the
cavity and clamp it just like that. While you're doing that...I'll take out the bulkhead. Ready?"

Ek nodded. "Lets do this."

"Okay..clamp the aorta."

Ek reached in with the tongs and clamped it. He didn't like the sight of her blood every where but it had to be done.

Ek released his clamp, "What do we do now doc?"

"I suture her up and put her in recovery. Since you've saved this girl's life, I think I can let you go. But let the nurse give you 20 cc's calcium andorianite. But then I want you to go to Dachala. As of now, I'm releasing you to her. Understood?"

"Perfectly. See you around Doc." Then Ek turned and left with a smile on his face.

Jon looked at the nurse. "Poor Ek. He doesn't know what's coming."

Lt. Wad EK Noor
CSEC

Lt. jg Jon Sader
Medical Advisor
USS Falcon