December 2001

OPENING

Well, last month's fleet newsletter was late but carried the promise that this month's would be on time. And, well, it is!

This issue has a lot of good stuff in it. Of course, the award winners; news on fleet expansion and our new member ships; and our interviewer was finally able to sit down with Adm West to get some comments and news from the top!

NOVEMBER POSTING AWARDS

The USS Washington was the fleet's most postous ship in November, capturing that title for the second month in a row with their 81 posts. No doubt, the W would like to add a third consecutive month to their string of being at the top of the IDFleet posting tables, but will they be able to hold on through the cold month of December?

There's no question though about the identity of the fleet's November MVP, its the Liberty's Cmdr. Gorath! Capt. Decade, in nominating his XO for the award, says that "Gorath has stepped up his writing tremendously. He posts more frequently and his post have excellent quality. He moves the mission forward and tries to include others when he posts." Decade adds that "some of [Gorath's] posts do[n't] even include his character, but others."

Cmdr. Gorath also won the month's recruitment award for his efforts in getting new members for the Liberty. As anyone who has done it knows, contacting new people about joining the fleet is hard work and doesn't always yeild success. But, due to Gorath's hard work the Liberty added Ens. Adam Carr to their roster this past month. The newsletter staff welcomes Carr to the fleet and salutes Gorath for his hard work!

Besides the Liberty, the only other ship to win two posting awards for November was the USS Sunfire. Lt. Rachel Rager won the Most Posts award, having sent 17 posts during the month, three more than the next runner up. And the Sunfire's Medical Officer, Lt. Cassie Knight, took the flagship's other award, earning the Most Improved Player distinction for November.

Thomas Dupont, soon to be the captain of the USS Patriot, kept alive a strong Avalon tradition, that of winning at least 1 posting award every month. His Post #288 started off the Avalon-Liberty joint mission.

In his mission-starting post, Dupont starts off by showing a school student in history class some time in the future learning about the battle of Varranta and the New Frontier Project before jumping back to the "present" to kick off the action on the Avalon and Liberty which were involved in those historic events. Capt. Sutak is correct in calling it "a unique view [and] posting technique." But, will the Avalon win a posting award to keep the streak alive next month?

Lt. (jg) Rinali Travin of the USS Griffin won her ship's first posting award in November by earning the Rookie of the Month award. Capt. Ashley explains that "[Travin]'s been active since the get-go. She frequently goes out (usually to startrek.com) and looks for information on the ST universe when she doesn't know something or to put stuff in her posts to add realism. Every one of her posts forward the story that's going on at the time. And she's not afraid to take the story in a new direction or solve a current dilemma."

The Griffin's captain elaborates further on the hard earned award, saying that "not only has [Travin] never simmed by e-mail before, she isn't a Star Trek fanatic like most of us, she's only seen TNG some, which makes her a real rookie. I asked her to join the Griffin because I know she is an excellent writer, and I thought she could adapt well. She hasn't proven me wrong." Congratulations to Lt. Travin and to the Griffin for the first of many awards!

The final award, funniest post, goes to Lt. Reggie "Big" Johnson of the USS Washington. This is the third time that Big Johnson has won the funniest post award, doing so each time he's been nominated so far. For November, he won the Funniest Post award for his Post #395.

In that post, Big Johnson is late to meet the rest of the W's crew on the holodeck for a fun Pirate simulation. He dodges and out-runs station security to get to the holodeck just as his fellow shipmates are about to get underway. Big waves his pirate sword in the air and gives a robust "Hardy har, thar maties! This is Long Johnson Silver har!" only to learn that the crew had decided to play a capture the flag game instead of Pirates of the Carribean.

In his nomination announcement, RAdm Seldon points out that "Of course, Long John Silver was the name of the pirate in the famous novel 'Treasure Island' so Big's claim [of being 'Long Johnson Silver'] is quite humorous if you get the literary reference."

Congratulations to all fleet award winners! With three new ships launching in December the award competitions will be even more fierce next month!

THE LAUNCH OF THE USS GEORGE W. BUSH, NCC-2004

Speaking of funny posts and new ships, the USS George. W. Bush kicked off in the early morning hours of Dec. 1st. The ship launched the next day in this, the 7th post by the ship's CO, VAdm Star:

* * *

ON:

{USS George W. Bush, Bridge}

Dick: "Sir, we are cleared to leave Space Dock."

Star: "Very well, Dick. Ahead one-quarter impulse power."

Hammer: ::turns to the Admiral:: "Regulations specify thrusters only while in space dock."

Star: "I wrote the damn thing, I said impulse power!"

Hammer: "Yes, sir." ::reluctantly turns back:: "One quarter impulse power." ::the ship lurches forward::

Star: ::looks around, smiles at different people::

Suddenly the ship speeds forward and then just as suddenly jolts about as a loud crash is heard.

Star: "What was that?"

Hammer: "Sir, the impulse control hasn't been properly aligned. I can't control it. We hit the side!"

Gay: "Oh shit!"

The USS George W. Bush continued to scrape along the side of Space Dock as it reached for the doors. Sparks were flying everywhere as pieces were falling off of the ship and space dock.

Trent: ::rushes in:: "Sir! Impulse engines weren't supposed to be aligned until we were _outside_ of the space dock."

Star: "Oh."

Sulpar: ::enters right behind Trent:: "My God, Jim, what the hell's happening here?"

Hammer: ::struggling with the controls:: "We're almost out!"

The ship comes off of the wall and seems to accelerate as it reaches the door.

Star: "Good, we're off the wall and heading to the doors and they're open. We'll make it."

The ship suddenly veers to the left!

Hammer: "Oh no!"

{Science Lab 3}

Kovich: ::feeling the shaking of the ship:: "I'm beginning to wonder about this ship."

Centauri: "Me too."

{Bridge}

Star: "Get us back, get us back!"

Hammer: "I'm trying, sir!"

The USS GWB then smashes through the walls right next to the doors and goes right through, they are out of space dock.

Star: "We made it." ::the lights go out:: "Emergency power!"

Sulpar: ::at his station now:: "Captain, we have systems failing all over the ship! Life-support is out on decks 5-17! Hull is at 57%!"

The GWB floats along in space, severely damaged.

Star: "Didn't we forget something."

Dick: "Yeah, the cristening. That's always bad luck."

Star: "Good thinking, Dick. Signal Space Dock to launch the bottle at us now."

Dick: "Acknowledged."

A bottle of Bud Light is launched towards the GWB.

{Science Lab 3}

Centauri: "Are you ready for a cold one?"

Kovich: "Yeah..."

Suddenly the Bud light smashes through the window and pressure is lost.

Kovich: "Ahhhh!"

Centauri: "Nooo!" ::both he and Kovich make it to the door and seal the room closed::

Kovich: "Man that was close."

{Bridge}

A short time later...

Hammer: "Impulse engines aligned, sir."

Star: "Good. Estimated repair time?"

Gay: "6 weeks, sir."

West: ::appears on screen:: =/\=I'm not amused, Chuck, this is coming out of your pay.=/\=

OFF:

Well, the ship is launched! We'll start the first mission tomorrow night. Until then, keep with the character development posts.

Just to let you know, it won't always be a big joke like this. I like to keep it pretty serious during the missions, but it's good to have a little extra fun with it like this now and then...

Vice-Admiral Charles Star
Commanding Officer
USS George W. Bush, NCC-2004

* * *

Fortunately, for the crew of the GWB, that post turned out to be a bad dream of VAdm Star who thereafter swore off drinking Altarian Pectin Juice before bedtime. The _real_ launch of the USS George W. Bush went off smoothly and as planned, in Post #12.

SUNFIRE-LIBERTY JOINT MISSION

Shortly after the successful completion of their first joint mission with the USS Avalon, Capt. Decade announces that the USS Liberty has plans for an upcoming joing mission with the flagship USS Sunfire. Ace issued this statement concerning the upcoming venture:

"The USS Liberty and Sunfire are going to embark on a joint mission coming in January somewhere. There is no launch date yet, but the mission has been planned out. I will reveal more about the mission later on. I find this very exciting because the Sunfire was my very first ship to serve on. There is no doubt that this will be a great mission and fun for everyone. It will be interesting to see how Admiral West and Captain Decade co-exist (the characters), in this mission. As the last time the saw each other....things didn't go so well. This will be the first inter-division joint mission in ID Fleet, and I am glad that the Liberty and Sunfire are apart of it."

We'll be looking for a progress report and a mission summary some time in February from the Sunfire and Liberty!

USS CHESAPEAKE, NCC-18907

The Defense Response Force under RAdm Seldon, currently just two ships strong, will shortly be adding its 3rd vessel. The Washington and Potomac will be joined by the Galaxy Class USS Chesapeake, NCC-18907 sometime later this month.

She will be commanded by Capt. Shawn Edwards. Edwards joined the crew of the USS Washington in July and sent his first post #94 on August 5th. Since then he has contributed 57 posts to that ship, accounting for 1 out of every 8.9 posts on the W, IDFleet's most postous vessel. He has won 2 fleet awards, gotten 3 other Award Nominations, and received 7 additional honorable mentions for awards.

On the Washington, Edwards last held the post of Chief Engineer but has also served as Head Operations Officer; Assistant Engineer; and Back-Up, Assistant Secondary Morale Officer, 3rd Class.

When prompted for comment on Shawn Edwards assuming command of the USS Chesapeake, VAdm Star issued the following statement:

"Yeah, Shane Elbert is going to be a great captain. He'll lead his new ship, the USS Hudson, to many good things. I pride myself in knowing all of the ID Fleet captains and keeping up with what happens in their lives. I have to say that Shane Elbert is one of my favorites."

RAdm Seldon much more accurately expressed his opinion that "Edwards is going to make a _great_ captain. He's really got the skills needed to pull together a world class team of SIMers. And he has an excellent core group assembled, headed up by his XO, Joseph Carroll, to get the ship off to a strong start. Capt. Edwards has my full support."

The USS Chesapeake is a Galaxy Class starship and the admiralty named her after the Chesapeake Bay which is shared by Maryland and Virginia on America's Atlantic coast. The bay's two most important tributaries are the Potomac and Susquehannah Rivers.

When she launches, Capt. Edwards and Cmdr. Carroll will also be joined by Strategic Operations / 2nd Officer Sorcha "Quick Draw" Hagan; Conn Officer Miranda Renee "Randi" O'leary; and Chief Science Officer Lancaster, each of whom is a Washington veteran.

USS DESTINY, NCC-443 AND USS PATRIOT, NCC-26782

The Chesapeake's as-yet unscheduled launch will likely follow the kick-offs of the other two expansion ships that'll be added this month. The Special Operation's Division is adding the USS Destiny, NCC-443 on Dec. 26th, right after Christmas, and the Deep Space Exploratory Division is adding the USS Patriot, NCC-26782, under Capt. Thomas Dupont, on the 21st of this month.

The USS Destiny's XO, Cmdr Josie O'Neal, had this to say of her ship's upcoming launch:

"... I am sure that the crew of the USS Destiny will be up to the challenge out doing the USS Sunfire any day when it comes to postings on any mission that the ship is on currently. So look out Admiral James D. West. The USS Destiny is coming after you full force and will pass you right on by!"

Capt. Jeremy Ross of the Destiny was unavailable at the time of this publication to offer further comment.

INTERVIEW WITH ADM WEST

After months of trying to pin him down, the IDFleet Newsletter interviewer finally caught up with the big cheese himself, the Fleet's Commander in Chief, Adm West. Take a look at what Adm West has to say about the origins of Independence Fleet, the organizations future, and why it took so flippin long to catch up with him for a question and answer session.

* * *

Interviewer: Today Adm. West, the Commander in Chief of Independence Fleet, has agreed to sit down with us for an exclusive interview. Thank you for joining us, Adm. West. We know you're time is very important.

Adm West: No problem, I'm glad to be here.

Interviewer: Well, the fleet started with 3 ships not even 6 months ago and now the fleet is getting to add its 10th and 11th ships. What do you credit this great growth to?

Adm West: The hard work of very good fleet personnel who are willing to take the time to tell other people about the fleet and get them to join up.

Interviewer: How did you get the idea for the fleet? And what sort of work did you do to bring your vision about?

Adm West: When the Sunfire was an independent sim I was in search of a well run and organized fleet to join. When I didn't find what I was looking for, that I thought would be good for the Sunfire, I decided to create Independence Fleet. As far as making it a reality was just some hard work and a good amount of time from myself and Admirals Star and Seldon to organize the format of the fleet, recruit some personnel, and get the website ready to go.

Interviewer: Well, the fleet surely has come far very quickly. What do you think makes a good CO, as they are the backbone of the fleet?

Adm West: COs are people who must be responsible and able to organize things very well and deal with the time constraints that being a CO poses. Creating good missions and posting a lot are also good traits. They have to be active. If a CO is one of those people who get online only once a week they probably don't need to be a CO in the first place. They have to be here a lot...especially when their crew needs them.

Interviewer: Can you talk a little about the Apply for Command form that the fleet has just added to the site?

Adm West: I have mixed feelings on that subject. At the moment the members of the Admiralty are debating whether it is definitely a good idea for the fleet.

Interviewer: What are the advantages and drawbacks that the admiralty sees?

Adm West: The Apply for Command form is there for those who are interested in becoming a CO to inform the Admiralty of their interest. However, filling it out does not mean that a person will definitely become a CO. The Admiralty will usually contact a certain person if they want them to be a CO. This kind of poses the question, "Why is it there in the first place if the Admiralty are the ones that come to the individual, and not the other way around?"

Interviewer: Well, the admiralty have to run ships and keep up with other matters. How much time do you spend on fleet stuff each weeks would you say?

Adm West: I am only able to come online once a day usually. I am the one member of the Admiralty who is always here on what I like to call "Gamma Shift, because I am only online late at night and the early morning hours. I usually get here at about 12 midnight, and sign off at about 4 AM. So, 4 hours a night for 7 days a week adds up to about 28 hours a week. I work 40 hours a week, sometimes more, so I'd say that I spend a pretty good percentage of my life on here...but I like it.

Interviewer: Wow, that's a lot of SIMing. Where do you see the fleet moving in the next 6 months? Any new programs, promotions, along with growth?

Adm West: Within the next 6 months I would like to have at least 5 more vessels in the fleet. Also, I hope to increase the personnel pool to about 250 people. There aren't any solid plans yet on any new divisions or programs, although I would like to add an Academy Sim possibly and perhaps another division. With those two new programs, there will have to be two new members of the Admiralty to head them up. So, there is going to be major expansion, and I don't see it ending anytime soon.

Interviewer: It sounds like there's a lot to look forward to in coming months and years for IDFleet. We appreciate your insight into this, Adm West.

Adm West: No problem, my office door is always open...that is, if you can stay awake long enough...;-)

Interviewer: Thank you very much for your time.

* * *

The only member of the admiralty who hasn't been interviewed so far, Robert Seldon, will be interviewed to have his comments published in next month's issue. Be sure to read the next newsletter to see what he has to say!

MISSION FEATURE

This is a new section we're adding. Each month, a selected CO will be asked to tell the fleet a little about their ship's current mission. This month, we managed to get in contact with the USS Goldeneye's captain, Emery Ashley, for news from that ship.

* * *

The USS Goldeneye, a new ship, with the newest in technologies, has become the next Starfleet experiment. Carrying a uniquely mixed crew still trying to learn to work together, the ship is the first Starfleet vessel to also house a permanant platoon of Starfleet Marines. But are the "navy" and Marines of Starfleet ready for such combination? Clashing authority and command tempers would say no, however, Starfleet is determined to mix the potentially volatile teams ...

Fresh from space dock, the heavily armed Prometheus class, special forces vessel, is sent to host a diplomatic conference between the Klingons and Romulans. It appears a dull, and perhaps even a demeaning task for such an impressive battle cruiser, but the crew would soon discover that their brute tactical strength could serve as quite the opposite of diplomatically useless.

However, stuck in the initial lull of their mission, tempers flare between the unwilling Starfleet departments, first openly expressed in fight between a "navy" and Marine, turned riot. Discipline is biased though, leaving the few offending Marines to rot in the brig and the "navy" officers to roam free after only hours of detention. The Captain's disrespect for the Marines is clear, and Lieutenant Rodgers moves to counter it, only to be brushed off ...

Unexpectedly, Cardassian warships arrive under the command of Guhl Rumeck, posing as allies and attempting to bring the conference members under suspicion as spies. Acting only in the line of protecting the integrity of her ship's security, Captain Ashley takes due note of Rumeck's assertions, and orders an inspection of the assembly. However, before investigations can begin, a covert Romulan attempting to leave a bomb in the Goldeneye's main deflector control, unwittingly sets the bomb off early, temporarily knocking out the ship's shields. The Cardassians immediately jump to action, initiating their true plans, and transport several Cardassian and Jem'Hadar boarding parties before the shields can be restored. Ashley in habit and unspoken prejudice is quick to order security to action, but in an effort to prove to the Captain that his platoon is not just another ship ornament, Lieutenant Colonel Mike Rodgers belays her call, and sends in his troops, who are quick and efficient in eliminating the threat.

Now the Goldeneye is posed (in multi-vector assault mode) to protect and stand their ground, but can the crew unify in purpose, before their own faults tear them apart and leave them for naught against the Cardassians ...?

* * *

Look for another ship to be featured next month!

NEWS QUICKIES

- The USS George W. Bush was launched on Dec. 1st under the command of VAdm Star. She operates in the Deep Space Exploratory Division.

- Three new expansion ships created, the USS Destiny, NCC-443 (Special Operations Division); the USS Patriot, NCC-26782 (Deep Space Exploration); and the USS Chesapeake, NCC-18907 (Defense Response Force) are announced.

- IDFleet Regulation 1-C has been updated to limit the total number of character that a fleet member can have to two.

- Both the USS Sunfire, the fleet flagship, and the USS Avalon, the DSE flagship, have adopted posting policies allowing the use of either the Expanded or the Script style of posting at any time by members.

- The USS Washington became the first ship in the fleet to have half a thousand posts since IDFleet's launch on July 4th, Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Carroll had the honor of sending the 500th post on Dec. 14th.

CLOSING

Well, I hope that you liked this issue of our newsletter. Exciting things are happening right now in the fleet, the growth is incredible! And its thanks to the hard work of members like _you_ that this is possible. Keep on postin'!

Next month, look for VAdm Star to edit the newsletter. In the meantime, keep sending us your suggestions for both the newsletter and the fleet!

... RAdm Robert Seldon (Jacob)

CO: USS Washington, NCC-11988
Dir: Defense Response Force


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