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Officers Appointed to Nimbus Command

Solas Tempus announced today that the temporary positions left vacant by personnel problems on Nimbus Station have been filled. Admiral Sal D’Amico said in a statement today that Lt. Mariko Shinon will be appointed to the chief of security for the busy station effective immediately, in addition the Chief Engineer will be Commander Nul’Aiana, a Floran. This comes on the heel of the recent appointment of the AI Leonard to the stations Master Systems AI. All four officers have served with distinguished service in Solas Tempus for a number of years.

The coveted position of the stations permanent commanding officer is still open, there is much speculation as to who Solas Tempus may appoint to the key position. As the stations commander it would fall to them to be at the forefront of the arrival of splices. As the key space port in the Schatten System and the sector, the position will have great responsibility.

Major Plot Arc – Operation Flintlock

I need volunteers to participate in maybe 3-4 secondary events, which will involve scouting ahead and encountering hostile ships. I am not pre-planning how those events go, and how each of these secondary encounters goes will factor in to the main thread. What this means it that each secondary event will be designed to be a challenge that it is possible to be defeated!

As has been discussed, we are gearing up for a major plot arc to bring Blazing Umbra more aligned with Star Trek canon. A brief recap of this effort is; the Romulan star goes super nova destroyed Romulus in 2387, there is no specific date for this. That is the current in-game year and thus, we are preparing for the Solas Tempus effort to rescue the Romulans. Thanks for Star Trek Picard we have more details on exactly what the Federation response was for this.

This is a call to any and all players who want to participate in this. There will be a number of opportunities for play. We’re going to break up the main event, which will have a Solas Tempus escort fleet as well as a transport fleet. This event has not yet been scheduled, but there are some spots open for this. We need characters to command ships of both the transporters and the escorts to pull off the main event.

The secondary events will be splinters of the main escort force which will proceed to potential threats and (hopefully) neutralize those threats before they get to the main fleet. As such, the plan right now is to get the secondary events rolling before we start the main event, this will allow us to be asynchronous and not have to have everyone online at the same time.

I need volunteers to participate in maybe 3-4 secondary events, which will involve scouting ahead and encountering hostile ships. I am not pre-planning how those events go, and how each of these secondary encounters goes will factor in to the main thread. What this means it that each secondary event will be designed to be a challenge that it is possible to be defeated! There can (if there is interest) be secondary events relating to other issues, such as engineering problems or covert action / recon.

Don’t be quiet about this! If you want to join but aren’t sure what you could do, let the staff know! We can find some way of including you / your characters in the event.

Solas Tempus Begins Initiative Aimed at Artificial Intelligences

In exchange for Solas Tempus providing the pilot with a scout ship on a long term 5-year contract, the pilot agrees to provide Solas Tempus with all of the data they gather first.

Solas Tempus announced today that it was launched a new initiative aimed at Artificial Intelligences or AIs. The new initiative, called the Aquarius Initiative, puts AIs at the forefront of exploration without forcing them to formally join the organization. The new program will target AIs wishing to assist in space exploration.

In exchange for Solas Tempus providing the pilot with a scout ship on a long term 5-year contract, the pilot agrees to provide Solas Tempus with all of the data they gather first. The organization plans to use the small Archer Class starships, which have become a mainstay of fleet service, though they do say that an AI can choose among any scout sized vessel, even a small as a Danube Class runabout.

Pilots in this program will be called Nauta Stellatum. Solas Tempus promises that the program is designed such that the end of the 5-year term the pilot will have the opportunity to retain full ownership of the space craft. While it is unclear if this is related to the recent Senate Bill 2895, the Icarus League has applauded the bill as a major step in evening the playing field for many AIs who do not wish to engage in military service but would like to enjoy the privileges of space travel.

An unnamed source within Solas Tempus provided us with internal memos suggesting the program could be designed as a kind of political counterweight to the increasingly divisive senate bill working through the Senate of the Serenity Concord. Solas Tempus has remained silent about the potential politics of this new initiative.

Since the banning of synthetic life in the Federation in 2385, AIs have been flocking to the only territory where their rights are protected under law. This has given the Concord an edge over other governments with regards to AI-lead research and development.

Overdue Date / Time Bump

Blazing Umbra is in the year 2387 and Embers of Soteria is in the year 1045 A.W.

Usually I do this on New Years Day but missed it this year. Retroactively, the year has been bumped by one. Angelic Sins runs in real time, so that is no surprise there where the year is the current year.

Blazing Umbra is in the year 2387 and Embers of Soteria is in the year 1045 A.W.

Since this notice is coming so late, characters can fudge their storylines to be in 2386 or 1044 for Blazing Umbra and Angelic Sins respectively to maintain continuity. Some other things such as starship launch dates and character birth dates or other major dates will remain the same unless they cause a problem.

Unprecedented Move toward Ubiquitous AI?

The senate has agreed to a period of public commentary where citizens can freely comment on the legislation. They comments will then help to point the senate in the direction which its population wishes them to go.

The rights of Artificial Intelligence programs (AI’s) have been a controversial issue in recent years. Since the founding on the Serenity Concord it has been known as one of the friendliest places for an AI to reside. The passing of the first comprehensive AI rights legislation in known space in 2384 has only increased the draw of the Concord on AI’s.

Still the act is not without controversy and the military organization Solas Tempus has not made things easier. In recent years the organization has begun churning out it’s own AI programs and while the organization claims that it is fair to AI’s and offers any AI they create in accordance with the ALFRE Act there have been controversial decisions made. Most notably the organization’s Multinodal Core technology and using AI’s to manage critical functions of ships and other facilities. While the Icarus League, an AI rights advocacy group based out of Nimbus Station, applauds the opportunities for AI’s to find work and stable places to live they also warn that the use of AI’s by military organizations has not always gone well for AI’s who did not want that kind of life.

The Serenity Concord has put itself at odds with the Icarus League again through a new proposal working its way through the Serenity Concord Senate. The new bill was first penned by Senator Murrika of the Schatten Star System. The bill would provide for new policies relating to most government jobs, especially those in law enforcement and military service as well as some high level government positions. The new act, simply called Senate Bill 2895 right now, would designated that many (if not most) positions throughout the government and military would be required to have an AI partner. Police and other law enforcement / investigation personnel have been long partnered in pairs even in larger teams, this new law would require every law enforcement officer to be partnered with an AI, even if two people are normally partnered together.

The Icarus League has come out against the bill, they acknowledge that it would provide high-level employment for thousands of AI’s but only if those AI’s accept being tied to a flesh and blood person for their employment. The rights group expresses that while this may seem like landmark legislation, it instead takes AI’s back a few steps forcing them to be even more tied to flesh and blood counterparts. They believe that the legislation should be rewritten to include additional rights for if an AI would like to work without a biological life form, which would open the door to AI-AI partners, which is currently very rare. Many law enforcement unions have expressed a similar sentiment that some personnel may not wish to be partnered with an AI and they point out that biological-biological pairings have been a standard for centuries and have shown excellent result.

Solas Tempus has come out in favor of the legislation and has admitted assisting the senator in writing it. They view the legislation has part of bringing a new era of AI-biological relations and point out their Master Systems AI program as a perfect example of why this legislation works. The organization also released some information which was formerly classified as to what a Master Systems AI (called a MSAI within Solas Tempus) does. These released documents outline how an MSAI is a pivotal part of operations on its facilities and space vessels. Such an AI would be capable of taking over an unmanned vessel or one whose crew was incapacitated or killed and not only complete critical missions but also return the crew home. Previously if a starship was to go missing, there was a strong possibility that it may never be found again. They point to records of Starfleet vessels which have been listed as missing for over a century. With an MSAI aboard, a ship could return home even in situations which a biological organism could never survive.

An unnamed source within Solas Tempus has relayed that such pairings are likely to happen within the military organization regardless of the legislative fate. They note that many of the flag officers are paired with AI’s already, those AI’s occupy a position of Master Systems AI for personal transport / scout vessels assigned as part of the organization’s General Order 12, section D. The organization would not comment to verify or deny this assertion, though we did receive a statement from former head of the organization, Lance Thomas.

We have seen significant improvements in both efficiency and effectiveness of flag offers and even command staff through the use of AI’s in mission-critical positions. While I can neither confirm nor deny any current investigations into new orders along those lines, it could be seen as a next logical step. Our AI staff have been pivotal parts of our organization even before the ALFRE act. One also cannot overestimate the need for any living thing, whether artificial or biological, at having purpose. None of us service Solas Tempus out of pride or because we want to amass power or wealth, no we do it out of service and because it is a worthy cause to get behind. One should not second-guess the choices of anyone for choosing to serve. Our organization has never had a draft, we do not press individuals into service – no matter if they are artificial or biological life. We simply do not believe in it. As an experienced command officer, I can also tell you that forcing someone to serve when they don’t want to doesn’t give us anything other than a disgruntled and resentful individual. I don’t want anyone under my command that doesn’t want to be there; AI, Romulan, Klingon, or anyone else. Anyone wishing to discharge themselves from service can do so following the same rules and regulations that everyone agrees to adhere to once the sign up. An AI is no different and will not be treated different.

Fleet Admiral Lance Thomas

This statement from the former head of the organization seems to suggest Solas Tempus could very well be looking into pairing their personnel with AI’s. In doing due diligence we could find no confirmed cases where an AI was forced into service, speaking with many different AI’s they did not believe this was plausible. Multiple AI’s also shared the Admiral’s insistence that they serve the organization out a need for purpose. Rumors within the organization do suggest that some AI’s created for the organization could feel a definite pressure to do what they were designed to do, undercutting the assertion that Solas Tempus does not want anyone, even an AI, to serve unless they wish to be there. The Icarus League refused to go on the record about that issue for any specifics but does say more than one AI created by Solas Tempus has come to see them about options pertaining to a choice to enlist or opt for civilian life. The League was unwilling to get into specifics stating that they wish to keep the details of AI’s seeking their help private.

The senate has agreed to a period of public commentary where citizens can freely comment on the legislation. They comments will then help to point the senate in the direction which its population wishes them to go.

The New Workflow

Pushing along with the efforts to improve the server and revive role playing, another thing that was discussed in our thread discussing server changes was the fact that storylines are few and far between and people have trouble with coming up with plots. Some of the plot difficulty deals with how powerful Solas Tempus is in Blazing Umbra, however that isn’t the only issue. We’ve gotten similar feedback before, about how easy / hard it is to come up with plots for different settings.


TL;DR: New links to Trello boards are posted (please read on for details):


Moving forward we’re still going to be using Trello for project management but I’ve reorganized the Trello boards to demonstrate how a story idea moves from initial inception to a completed story that has been played. The goal is that every user who wants will have a definite say in what goes on from the brainstorming process onward to actual playing. Our ultimate goal is two-fold. We want to both utilize a system where the work of writing and running new plot lines and through use of that system, teach others how to make use of it as well. I know a lot of people have different workflows, the goal is not to squash anyone’s personal way of doing thing. For the server, the intention is to provide a framework where a project can be started and completed by the group in an understandable and easy-to-follow way.

I am also working on templates for what questions to ask / answer in order to fill in the necessary gaps of a storyline or story element. I will, of course, be seeking input on these as soon as I get them up and running. The idea with all of this is to create a way for more people to make and participate in more stories. To this end story ideas will be posted, even if incomplete, and players / staff alike will be invited to take up and story that is incomplete and continue it.

Following that I will be personally casting a more narrow net with regards to story writing. Personally, I will be only moving forward with stories if they inspire me to the point that the ideas flow out nicely during the brainstorming process or when there is broad support. Previously every time a story idea was brought up, it was followed and an attempt was made to develop it. I will personally be seeking support to write elements of the story from players and other staff members. Ideas will still be posted on a regular basis, Trello makes it incredibly easy to just toss an idea up into the system to be followed up on later. A mix of brainstorming posts and their responses along with potentially polls on Discord will be used to determine support amongst players.

I’m not here to force anyone to use a system they do not want to use. I do encourage people to at least try the new system in developing a story. It may seem too much / overdoing it. My broader idea in this is to allow us to link together smaller plots into larger overarching plots, the way I have tried to do before.

The server cannot survive without plots being written and played. While I have a lot more time than I used to, I also am not able to write everything without getting a serious case of burnout. I hope this redesign and addressing of issues makes it easier for players to get and stay involved.

New Positions Filled

The posting of the positions list has proven very effective in the short time since it went live. We already have 3 of the many positions filled, one in each setting.

The posting of the positions list has proven very effective in the short time since it went live. We already have 3 of the many positions filled, one in each setting.

In Angelic Sins we now have a new Master Vampire for the city of Chicago, Victoria Romana played by Dasfier. Victoria is going to be a major player in future plots taking place in Chicago, being the most powerful Vampire in the area.

In Blazing Umbra we have the new Master Systems AI of Nimbus Station being Neo Akazuli played by Jumping Script. The old character is seeing new life as an AI as discussed with Jumping Script last year. The character was a valuable addition to the station before and now has new plot opportunities open as an AI and the adjustments that must, by definition, come from being an AI that was once flesh and blood.

In Embers of Soteria we now have an owner of the Hearts Refuge Inn. Previously it was stated to be two local brothers, but this didn’t come into play very often as they were not actual characters. Now the owner is Rachel Oxen, played by Dasfier, a minotaur woman who has an appropriately tragic backstory to build off of.

Please seek out some role play with one of these fabulous characters! Thank you to Dasifer and Jumping Script for their contributions.

Open Positions Lists are Live

A list of key roles for important positions in each game are now live and available. This lists may change, those wishing to apply character for such a list should submit a character application through the forum and note which position they are applying for. There is a dedicated list for each setting and additional positions may be added as needed.

The lists are available on the WordPress site listed under Applications (or you can click here).

Applicants will have their character application reviewed by all the staff and the staff will vote to approve / disapprove or request the player to make changes. Characters in positions of power make for more responsibility for the player. Players should consider how they want to play a particular position and if they have the free time to do so before applying.

Upcoming Server Changes

Our survey on things to potentially change on the server was fruitful and we got some really good feedback and discussion, which is still ongoing as we make some changes. Two of the biggest problems for people were about how character applications are processed both for moderators approving characters and players submitting characters. There was not a lot of love for the Google Forms approach. To solve this we’re going back to something we did early on, that is using the forum for character applications. The difference is now there is a default template that can be just filled out then cut/paste directly into the wiki with minimal modifications.

I will also be creating a list of open character positions soon. The page, Current Positions, is up now but I haven’t filled it in yet. Each setting will have a list of open / available positions in that setting. Once the list is up it will have each open spot with a spot for the location the position is in and any notes associated with that role.

A Potential New Beginning

For the last few years we have consistently hit a wall as to what is available within the confines of each setting and its history / lore. The three separate (but related) settings has its drawbacks. Moving between settings to this point has been treated as a bit of a no-no among players without special permission.

I have long been toying with the idea of finding a way to remake the settings in such a way to divorce them from some of the problematic sources. Star Trek in and of itself can be quite limiting and is not always consistent in its plot elements, we have attempted to smooth these difficulties but as we have developed a cosmology model for the 3 settings we have come to some issues.

The question comes, what do we do about it. I’m not doing anything right away, I still have about 6 weeks in my student teaching. In preparation though, I have created a survey. Please review the survey and give some responses. I’m not going to lie doing this would be a monumental task, depending on what is changed. I would need help in doing it but it would also allow us the opportunity to forge a new game from scratch and make it truly ours / divorced from Star Trek, Star Wars, VtM, D&D, etc..