I'm also interested in playing. Building on Delmoth's initiative, I'll answer the original recruitment questions.
1. Why do you want to play in this campaign?
Back when I was a kid, my dad bought several eps of TOS on VHS - City at the Edge of Forever, Bread and Circuses, and Journey to Babel are ones I recall him showing me. That was enough to whet my appetite, so when TNG started up in the late 80s, I was the prime target for the continuing mission of the Enterprise-D and her crew. Over the years, I've picked up several Trek rules sets, and none of them really captured the feel of Trek - something that STA finally achieved. I've run a few adventures in the system already, but I would love to be able to play!
2. Are you willing to buy the rules or do you already have them?
I...may have purchased all the books that Modiphius has released thus far. I can neither confirm nor deny this fact.
3. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a player?
I have a good grip on mechanics, and can usually translate what I want to do into flavorful writing. I see tabletop RPGs as a collaborative experience, and while I try to bring my own flair to the game, I also try to find ways to build relationships between my characters and the other PCs - a rising tide lifts all ships, after all.
As for weaknesses, my job can sometimes interfere with my posting schedule, and I have had to go quiet on the boards without prior notice. That's thankfully been rare over the last year (knock on wood!), but it's worth mentioning. I do try to let people be aware of planned silences as well.
4. What is your favorite episode of Star Trek and why?
The Naked Now is a cinematic tour de force and I shall hear no ill spoken of it.
I lie. That ep is garbage, if only for coming way too early in the series.
It's hard to choose your favorite child, and in TNG's seven seasons, there's a lot of good episodes to go with. For today, I'll go with Darmok. The Tamarians are set up to be an inscrutible species, as the universal translator cannot translate their idiomatic language beyond the metaphors they speak in. As a result, we understand the words but not the message behind them, a problem echoed by Captain Picard. We see the two men isolated on an alien world, and Picard is forced to rely on his imperfect understanding of the alien metaphors to survive on the planet. It's a wonderful meditation on the elusiveness of language, how communication works, and how learning language informs your knowledge of a culture. It's really the excuse plot of The Big Goodbye, but far more interesting. The moment when Picard understands how to interpret the language, when Dathon looks up to the heavens and exclaims in triumph "Sokath! His eyes uncovered!" - that's the exuberance of a successful teacher. I'll watch this any time the show comes on.
Oh, and that dead sexy captain's jacket isn't a bad catch either.
5. What would the prefered era of play?
As Delmoth mentioned, this is of less importance, so here's my ranking of the shows.
1. DS9. I didn't care for the show at first, not quite understanding how a show about space exploration could be interesting at a starbase, but after I went back and watched it, the show is quite probably the best series of the lot. Sure, their first season or so is slow, but seriously, what Trek series isn't? It darkens the optimism that Trek is known for, but ultimately that optimism is what rises above the evils that Sisko and the crew have to fight. Also, it had to compete against Babylon 5, and I think that lack of monopoly on space opera made the writers work harder to distinguish themselves.
2. TNG. I have to put my beloved Next Gen here, mostly because there's a lack of a ongoing story, and about a season and a half of execrable drek at the front half of the seven. Once you get out of Season 2, you're in for a good ride, but man, what a slog.
3. TOS. It's fun, but for every Mirror, Mirror or Amok Time, you have a Spock's Brain or Assignment: Earth. It's also weird to go back and watch these episodes with our understanding of how the Federation works and not see things we recognize - like a Prime Directive!
4. TAS. Everyone forgets this gem! There's a few good episodes, and they gave us the Caitians, so they get a pass in my book.
5. VOY. Bleh. So many of these episodes are forgettable, and the ones you can't, you wish you could.
6. ENT/STD/ORV. Haven't really watched any of these, so I can't form an opinion.
6. Writing sample
Let me place my character introduction for the character I played in a Curse of the Crimson Throne game here on these boards. It's long, but hell, if you've read the rest of this novel I've written on these boards, why not keep going?
"Oi! You! Are you Gartaman Raelk?"
The gruff voice came from a dirty dwarf wearing furs and rags. He leaned upon a gnarled stick, and fixed the fisherman with a level eye. "Are you hard of hearing? Do I need to speak up?"
"No," the fisherman said, wrinkling his nose. It was a testament to the dwarf's powerful odor that it would make a fisherman turn up his nose. "I heard you the first time. I'm Gartaman. What do you want? I've no coin to give you for whatever hard luck story you're about to spin."
"That ain't it, friend," the dwarf replied, either ignoring or missing the insult. "I'm doing honest work, conducting interviews with the witnesses on the death of Maxis Opertung, the shopkeep on Yardarm Lane for the prosecution. You did witness the killing, yes?"
Gartaman nodded slowly. "Aye, I did. Foul business, that. The other guy just up and slit his throat."
"One step at a time, friend, one step at a time. Now, you gave a statement to the guards about the murderer. Can we go over that?"
"Don't the guards have it? Can't the city just examine that?"
"Aye, they can, and they have, but they've got questions about it. And that's why I'm here, to clear up those questions. If you like, we can do this at the offices? Of course, that'd take a lot of your day, and you look like a man who can't afford a day off. So, shall we do it here, or should we do it there?"
"Fine, ask your questions and go, dwarf."
"Name's Ortik, if you please. Anyway, let's start with the basics. You say you saw the attack happen. Tell me what happened."
"I was in the shop, Opertung's Delicacies, doing a bit of shopping. The wife needed some candles and whatnot. I was browsing the stacks when in walked a man. Opertung asked the man to leave, and he wouldn't. Begged him to give him some food. Opertung tried to forcibly eject the man from his store, but the other man pulled a knife. There was a struggle. Opertung lost."
"I see," Ortik said, writing Gartman's words down on a scrap of paper. "So, you witnessed the whole thing from inside the store."
"That's what I said. I also said that in my report."
"You're sure? Because I've been to Opertung's shop. The shelves are only waist high. The other man would have seen you."
Gartaman fidgeted. "No, he didn't. I ducked when the scuffle started. He didn't see me."
"Oh, I see. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. OK, so he killed Opertung, and left the shop. You ducked down to avoid being seen, and he left the store. And then you did...what?"
"Just left? You didn't even check on Opertung to see if he was living?"
"No!", Gartaman said, his voice quavering. "I panicked. I've never been around a murder, so I got scared and left."
"Fair enough. I believe you. So, you called for a guard then, right?"
"Except you didn't."
Gartaman was silent for a moment. "What do you mean?", he asked warily.
"Well, you didn't. It took the better part of the day for the guards to arrive on the scene. I know things take time to be investigated in the city, but the guards still put the death of a tax paying citizen rather high on the list.
"And that doesn't even begin to cover the other lies you've told me. For instance, that ridiculous comment about ducking behind shelves. Fine, he wouldn't have seen you on the way out. But there's no way he couldn't have seen you when he entered. You had no way of knowing what was going to happen, so he would have seen you, and would have either accosted you or killed you.
"But don't worry, friend," Ortik finished, a mirthless smile on his face, patting the fisherman on the arm. "I still believe you."
"Yes. I believe you've never been around a murder."
Sweat beaded on Gartaman's brow, despite the cool air blowing off the pier. "Please...don't do this."
"I have to. The man you accused? He's a good friend of mine. Father figure, you might say. Took me in to his commune, showed me the secrets of the streets. Old Man Hartelby. That's what we know him as. Now, you can either tell me who told you to lie about the Old Man, or I can convince you to talk."
"I...I can't! They'll kill me if I do!"
"We can protect you. The commune protects its own as best we can. You tell me what you know, and we'll get you, your wife and kids all into safety."
"No, you don't understand. Nowhere is safe from him."
Ortik sighed. "Fine. Suit yourself."
Ortik struck the man, and wrestled him to the ground. The man had years of hauling in fish from the sea, but Ortik was a dwarf, his muscles chiseled from the earth itself. There was no contest.
"Let me go!", the fisherman cried.
"Not until you tell me what I want to know. Speak, or I get my friends to help." The dwarf leaned in close to whisper into Gartaman's ear. "I told you, the Old Man taught me the secret of the streets. Tell me who did this, or I'll show you why they call me Ortik Gutterrat." As he spoke, a rat scurried towards the fray, chittering at the wrestling pair. "No, I've got this one, Wormy. Go get your friends though. This one might need some nibbling before he talks."
"NO! Alright! I'll talk! Gaedren Lamm! That's the man you want!"
Ortik released his grip on the fisherman, who remained prone on the pier, sobbing with fear. "Lamm. That name is not familiar to me."
"It should be. He's a crime lord, runs all sorts of terrible things. Sells shiver to expecting mothers. Orders urchins to steal for him. He'd sell his own mother into slavery if there was coin to it, and if he already hasn't, I'd be surprised."
"Charming man. I'll have to meet him some day. For now, though, on your feet." Ortik reached down to help the man up. "You've got a date with the guards. You've got a man's life to save."
"I don't think so, squat!", a gruff voice said as a forceful blow struck him from behind, sending the dwarf reeling. Three men fell upon him, striking him with vicious blows, as a fourth advanced upon Gartaman. The three restrained Ortik, and forced his head towards the fourth man.
"Watch close, gutter trash," said the fourth as he pulled a short sword and thrust the blade into Gartaman's stomach. The fisherman cried out and his eyes rolled up into his head. The blade was removed. Then reinserted. Again and again. Ortik wasn't sure which stab wound actually killed Gartaman, but in the end, it didn't really matter.
"Now, onto you, squat," said the fourth. "I should kill you myself, but I think you need to be taught a lesson. Gaedren Lamm owns these streets, and there's nothing you or any of your filthy masses can do about it. Your time is up. Enjoy your last days."
Then the beatings resumed, and Ortik fell unconscious.
He wasn't sure how long had passed when he awoke, but he knew that everything hurt. One eye was swollen shut, and they may have actually cracked a rib in their strikes. A rat was perched on his stomach, looking at him with dim curiousity. He scowled and swatted the rat away.
"Get off me," he grumbled. "That rat might know where I've been taken. Wish I could actually speak with them." He rose and winced in pain, making his way further into the city. There was a widow with children that he hoped he could save before Lamm found them. He couldn't save Gartaman, but he could at least save his family.
"Them today," he thought. "Then Lamm. Lamm's fall will save the Old Man. Save us all." Ortik hobbled into the darkness, popping a berry into his mouth to alleviate the worst of his injuries.