SPECIAL SEPT. 11TH TRIBUTE BY ROBERT SELDON
I hope that I’m not the only person who thinks of our fleet as a sort of online community. Why not? We all share at least two common interests: Star Trek and writing/role playing.
The atrocity has brought America together. It has brought the world together. And, I think, it has helped bring us a little closer too.
I saw that within a few hours of the event that VAdm Star had posted a message of support and solidarity on our fleet’s main site. I know that the prayers of many of our members were, like Star said, with the victims, rescuers, and our nation during those days (and hopefully still are).
On the Washington there were many expressions of grief and of support that I witnessed (and to which I added my own). On the suggestion of crewman Edwards we avoided posting on Sept. 12th. I don’t think that any ships saw posts those few days right after the attack but it felt good to me – as if I were contributing something, somehow – to make it official.
Our shipmates, in addition to playing Star Fleet officers in an online role play, are real people with thoughts and feelings. Hopefully, we feel comfortable enough with them to talk about events other than Star Trek and roleplaying. I know that I’m enjoying the friendship and interaction with my shipmates even outside of our story.
Well, I hope that you’ll get more out of your Independence Fleet membership than just good stories. I’d like to leave the following few lines blank to remember those who lost their lives on Sept. 11th, 2001.
God bless America.
AUGUST AWARD ANNOUNCEMENTS
The month of August was a good one for the USS Washington and the USS Liberty. Those ships had the two highest post totals in the fleet, 130 and 173 respectively, and received all but one of the fleet awards between them.
The Washington’s Big Johnson continued his trend of writing hilarious posts and won the Funniest Post distinction for his #137.
Tavik, who transferred from the Avalon to the Liberty, also continued his own trend by winning a second consecutive Most Posts award. His 24 posts in the month beat out his record from the previous month by 0.25 posts.
A current Avalon crewmember, Rebecca Dax, won the award which caused the most discussion in the admiralty’s closed meetings: Best Post. But in the end the good pacing and thoughtfully story advancement in her post #137 earned Dax the award.
Gorath of the Liberty received the recruitment award for the month. His contributions in getting new members to join up really propelled the USS Liberty forward over the past month. Capt. Decade was very excited about the new talent that had come on board due to Gorath’s hard work.
Arguably the fleet’s highest award, Most Valuable Poster, goes to the USS Washington’s executive officer, Cmdr. Yarg Nolram. When asked what it took to become MVP Nolram replied, “What does it take? Time to read and re read the previous posts, get into the story and really try to visualize the action and interaction going on in the story..... oh...and a spell checker." In addition to his frequent and well thought out posts Nolram has proved himself to be indispensable to the Washington through his other contributions. As XO has has offered excellent advice to Seldon on such things as the storyline and promotions. Cmdr. Nolram also assisted with a lot of the content on the Washington’s website. For this he is the Fleet’s August MVP.
Congratulations to all winners! And by this time all captains should have come up with their nominees for September. With two new ships, the USS Griffin and the USS Goldeneye, in the competition things should be even more exciting. Find out next issue who will prevail among them! And also look out for a new award category for October: Rookie of the Month.
IDFLEET’S FIRST EVER JOINT SIM
RAdm Seldon and Capt. Krol have announced their plans to begin IDFleet’s first joint SIM during this month.
The Washington-Potomac joint SIM will draw on the talents of both crews which will work as one on the same mission. This has yet to be tried by any ship in the fleet. However, back before the formation of Independence Fleet the Sunfire (then under Capt. West) was set to have a joint SIM with another UtopiaFleet ship. Problems experience by the other captain, Jake Times, made it impossible for the Sunfire to take part in such a mission at that point.
Neither Seldon nor Krol has any experience with joint SIMing and there will be many technical and logistical problems to be overcome. The hardest are how to allow access to both mailing lists for both crews and how to number the posts. According to Seldon “the problems weren’t obvious at first but we saw them quickly once we really thought about how to execute the joint SIM. Krol and I have been talking a lot via AIM on setting this thing up and we’re going to make it work.”
Despite the challenge the Washington’s CO is confident and excited about the mission. “I think that the Washington-Potomac SIM is going to break some new ground for the fleet and be the model for all future joint missions,” he told the Newsletter.
The two ships may be ideally suited to participate in the fleet’s first joint SIM. The Potomac was formed initially with several of the Washington’s crewmembers who will have no trouble posting along side the familiar crew of the Washington. Also, Seldon and Krol, his former XO on the Washington, have been working closely together on some new recruiting initiatives along with their plans for the SIM.
Check back next month for a report and some more information on the Fleet’s first ever joint SIM!
VADM CHARLES STAR TO LAUNCH THE USS GEORGE W. BUSH
The early inclusion of the USS George W. Bush on the fleet’s site has caused a lot of speculation. Members of the admiralty have been asked the obvious questions: Who will command her? When does she launch? Both are now answered.
The George W. Bush will be launching Nov. 1st, 2001 under the command of VAdm Charles Star. Star will be replaced by Capt. Sutak as the USS Avalon’s commanding officer. The new CO has the complete confidence of Star who told us “I think Sutak will make an excellent Captain and he has a good crew to work with.”
The George W. Bush will be the Deep Space division’s 3rd ship and is the fleet’s fifth expansion vessel.
For more information on this story and VAdm Star’s other exploits please read the exclusive interview he shared with us below.
INTERVIEW WITH VADM CHARLES STAR
VAdm Charles Star is the Director of the Fleet’s Deep Space Exploration Division and currently serves as the USS Avalon’s commanding Officer.
Interviewer: Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to sit down with us, VAdm Star. I know you're very busy.
VAdm Star: No problem at all.
Interviewer: How are things going on your ship, the USS Avalon, at present?
VAdm Star: Things are going quite well actually. We had a very slow August and September, but they have picked up well. We have 7 new crewmembers and I am very excited about Avalon's future.
Interviewer: So, you will be stepping down shortly as the Avalon's commanding officer to launch a new ship?
VAdm Star: Yes, it is true. I will be taking command of the USS George W. Bush, NCC-2004 on November 1st. Sutak will take over as CO of the Avalon then.
Interviewer: Will the crew of the George W. Bush be formed from current ships, through recruiting, or a combination of both?
VAdm Star: I'll only take 2 or 3 from the Avalon, I'm going to do some recruiting to fill the rest of the ship. I already have about 5 or 6 who want to join. So things are looking up.
Interviewer: So, why are you starting up a new ship personally and not spinning it off to a competant officer, like Sutak?
VAdm Star: That's a good question. I enjoy starting new ships and seeing them grow. I just wanted to leave the Avalon in good shape before I left. I think Sutak will make an excellent Captain and he has a good crew to work with.
Interviewer: Has anyone expressed negative feelings about having a ship in the fleet named after the current U.S. president? And does the registry number, NCC-2004, have any subtle connotations?
VAdm Star: I have received nothing but praise about the name of our new ship. And there are absolutely no historical connectsions with the registration number being "2004".
Interviewer: As a member of the admiralty, where do you see IDFleet going and growing from here?
VAdm Star: I see us growing into one of the permier Star Trek Role Play by Email fleets on the internet. We have strong leadership, excellent captains, and are growing faster than any fleet I know of.
VAdm Star: In addition to that, from what I know about other fleets and sims, our missions seem to be much more enjoyable as well.
Interviewer: Is it true that several other fleets have contacted Adm. West about merging or acquiring Independence Fleet?
VAdm Star: Yes, that is true. We have been contacted several times with those requests. I have been contacted about it directly twice. West, Seldon, and myself are all in agreement that it is not in our best interest to merge with or join another fleet. We are doing well, very well in fact. Other fleets know this and want ride the wave with us, but we won't compromise what we have for other struggling fleets. It wouldn't be fair for the members of ID Fleet who are enjoying their sims.
Interviewer: What do you see as the key to fleet growth?
VAdm Star: Strong leadership, excellent captains, and word of mouth from our many members.
Interviewer: What has your favorite mission, so far, been on the USS Avalon?
VAdm Star: The one we are on now is the one that I find to be the most enjoyable. It started with the crew going on shore leave, and then some mysterious things began to happen.
Interviewer: Oh? Like what?
VAdm Star: Well, I don't want to reveal too much here. However, if you do want to read the posts, the missions starts on post #141. Our message database is open to everyone at www.topica.com. Our Group name is "Avalon3002".
Interviewer: Are there any cliches that you would caution posters to avoid? Any plot ideas which have been re-hashed too many times and are stale?
VAdm Star: The one thing I can say about this is to be original and don't take the easy way out of situations. If there is a problem or conflict, you don't have to solve it right then. Let it build and even add more too it. That's what makes this fun.
Interviewer: That truly is sage advice for the ages. Thanks for you time, VAdm. Star.
VAdm Star: Thank you.
QUESTION OF THE MONTH
Last month’s question was “What changes and/or additions would you like to see to IDFleet?”
Many answers were received and all were read with care. This one, from Thomas DuPont of the Avalon (who also maintains a second character on the Liberty) stood out though:
“I think an academy is what this fleet needs most, at the current rate of growth we should centralize all are new recruit to give them a good idea on how we post and work. That would take [care] of the fact that some rookies wait a long time for posting, afraid of doing a mistake. With the academy it will be gone because they already know how it work and will be already trained. It can help the fleet to, if we have all the new people centralized in only on spot then we can send them on different ships.”
The suggestion has been forwarded on to the fleet admiralty who are always interested in new ideas and suggestions. (In fact, they are always open to getting input into things, even if the current question of the month doesn’t concern such things. Feel free to e-mail them with any ideas.)
This months question is: “What would be a good name for our fleet’s monthly newsletter?”
Please send all answers to RAdm Robert Seldon at email@example.com
Well, I think that this newsletter, though a bit delayed, has more content than last month. I hope that this is both entertaining and informative.
Hopefully, next month we'll have some more reports from the other captains in the fleet and there will be more news about your fellow ships to read. There will also be a few new columns to look forward to. Including "Krol's Cool Klingon Corner," which will include interesting information and points of view on the Klingon culture in Star Trek.
And please continue to send me ideas and suggestions for improving the newsletter (which should have a name next month).