20Q: LCdr Alex Ankar

This month we get to learn more about Alex, the player behind Lieutenant Commander Alex Ankar, First Officer aboard the USS Sheridan, DD-4086.

Age, Sex, Location?
20, Male, Liverpool, UK

When did you first join FedSpace?
That would be in October 2008. Spent about 2 weeks in the Academy and was assigned to the USS Darwin in early November.

What brought you to FedSpace?
My brother was always disappearing off to our local library computers to play this ‘Star Trek game’ when I was quite young. I seem to remember asking him quite a few questions about it and some years later finally decided to join myself based off his descriptions of the site – I wasn’t disappointed!

Tell me a little about the process of developing your character.
Ankar was designed to be a minnow from the beginning. I’d created a character that had been disowned by his parents and had only musical talent to provide some kind of comfort during his late teen years. When Ankar joined Starfleet I wanted him to be rife with self-doubt and constant worry, but eventually grow into a born leader who had no idea what he was capable of. The guy always had an air of “Who? Me? Really?” about him which I was enjoying until he became a First Officer – then I realised that it was time for him to grow up a little. I decided that Ankar should realise how far he’s come at last and use that newfound confidence to be the friendly, wise-cracking First Officer – a character I know some of the more stern and regulation-orientated officers will butt heads with. The pressure of his responsibility has finally hit home and he’s changed in more ways than I probably even realise – I was reading some very old personal logs not so long ago and was very pleased to see how the character had changed. There’s a few loose ends to tie up though, I intend to run a backstory set when Ankar was a teenager and I need to get him back in contact with his once lover – Candice Baker.

Do you think it is easier or more difficult to play someone based on yourself?

I suppose Ankar is a little bit like me in terms of his attitude and his temperament so that can make it easy to gauge situations emotionally. The hard one is dialogue – I try and create a ‘voice’ for my character as I type his words that creates a distance between myself and my character so that it’s not simply what I would say or how I would say it. Sometimes that works, sometimes not, so the difficulty depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

So far, what is your favourite part about being a member of FedSpace?
The organisation and definitive chain of command is what really makes FedSpace stand out and feel like a proper arm of the Federation – both in and out of game. It’s very satisfying when everyone knows their responsibilities and gets stuck in.

If you were president for a day, what would you change?
To be honest, I’d have less ships with larger crews so that the problem of empty departments comes about less often, but other than that very little!

What makes a good Ship/Station?
Enthusiasm. Good writing will come with time, as will the inevitable bonds of friendship between the crew – but they must first all be enthusiastic about the game and their role within it. This feeling is so infectious that it has a domino effect across the whole crew and can only lead to good things.

What do you spend your time outside of FedSpace doing?
Much like my character, I’m a musician by trade. I write music for video games and films – I keep meaning to write a theme for FedSpace…

What is your favourite Star Trek series?
Tricky one this…I grew up watching TNG with my dad, but once I started watching DS9 I never went back as much. I love the cast and plot lines of DS9, they always have a real sense of urgency and the characters are always so dynamic. I always see DS9 as the most ‘serious’ series.

Do you have a favourite line or phrase from either a show or movie?
Anything involving Garak and Bashir. CRIPPLING LEVELS OF SUBTEXT.

If you watched the movies, which one was your favorite?
I love The Undiscovered Country (VI) – it’s brilliant watching Kirk and McCoy sink into a whole new world of darkness and then manage to crawl their way back to real justice Star Trek style. It’s funny, it’s exciting, the music is brilliant – it’s got it all!

What piece of Star Trek Technology would you most like to see today?
Now who wouldn’t want their own holodeck? Dressing up like the Enterprise crew and disappearing off for an adventure! Kid’s parties will never be the same again…

What was it about Star Trek that made you fall in love with the show?
What a question! The characters are so rich in story and I found myself genuinely caring for each and every one of them – sharing their jokes and feeling excitement in the heat of the moment. The Federation itself, along with its enemies, is such a well thought out organisation that it’s hard not to want to be a part of it. I’m definitely not the first person to make the distinction that every episode is like a mini-movie, but this sentiment is more than justified given the scope and the amount of work that was put in week after week.

If you could name your own ship, what would you name it and why?
I always wanted to call a ship ‘Scimitar’, but then ST:Nemesis came along and tarnished that name for me a little. ‘Hurricane’ will have to do for now.

What FedSpace character would you most like to meet in real life?
It would be difficult not to have an interesting conversation with my Academy Instructor – Lt Kris Jarota.

If you could list one pet-peeve about your fellow players, what would it be?
Why does everyone have to make their characters so attractive? I think I’m going to make an ugly NPC that constantly tries it on with everyone (of all genders and races) just to screw with the system. Oh and there’s no excuse not to let people know you’re going to be away, even if it’s a few days. Players who disappear without saying anything get on my nerves from time to time.

Do you feel there is any disconnect between you and other players based on geographical location?
I guess there are cultural differences, but otherwise I find that everyone gets on regardless of where they come from – unless there’s something being lost in translation from non native English speakers.

What is in your FedSpace future, for yourself and for your character?
Well, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be in the centre chair at some point, but that will come with time I guess. As for the nearer future, I’m going to delve a little more into some of Ankar’s past. I’m going to post his command training certification and some stuff from when he was living with his parents to add a little more history.

If there was one thing you would want everyone to know about you, what would that be?
I don’t really know… but if you’re that interested in getting to know me, feel free to add me on msn or Skype!

Thank you to Alex for answering my questions! Would you like to be featured in 20 Questions? Please email our editor-in-chief!

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