August 2002

- July Awards
- Interview
- Poetry Section
- Writing Tip
- Movie of the Month
- Book of the Month


- Most Posts

The Excalibur’s Lt. Cmdr. Ingoldo was, once again, the fleet’s most postous member. He has twice before gotten this distinction (Apr ’02 with 21 posts and June ’02 with 32) and has set a new fleet posting record with 37 posts.

- Recruitment

Lt (jg) Artanis Derak of the USS Patriot did more last month to recruit new people to IDF than any other person. He instant messaged a number of individuals and told many of his friends about the fleet. He generated a lot of interest in the Patriot and has recruited a new member to the ship.

- Rookie of the Month

Ens. Chameleon Circuit, or “Cam,” the Washington’s new Asst. Engineer, was judged to be the best new rookie in the fleet during July. He joined the W on the 9th and posted 18 times during the month (the 5th highest total on the ship for July). With his very interesting character profile, Circuit had no trouble with his character being used by the crew, his robotic character was quickly integrated into the storyline. It is especially interesting to read about the interactions between Ens. Circuit, Asst. Engineer, and Chief Engineer Big Johnson.

- Most Improved

When Cherry Corday first joined the George W. Bush, she was more of a passive player. However, as time has gone by, she's improved a little each month and has now become a very important and integral part of the ship’s crew. Her posts are all very well written and she has a good handle for plot development. Here character has really developed her own personality in the story, yet we never know what to expect from her. Her post count increased from 5 to 10 from June to July.


In pure numbers, John Sunfeather, the fleet’s July MVP, posted 25 times and recruited 1 new member to the Washington. During the Washington-Nelson joint mission Sunfeather's character became a central pivot for the mission, he galvanized the storyline and gave it direction -- though without taking it over or making his character a superhero. Members of both crews came to recognize his excellent writing abilities and commented actively about his great performance. He was, in many ways, a huge part of the Washington’s July success.

The Admiralty would like to thank the following CO's for helping out with the awards voting for the past few months: Captain Felicity Dragonetti (May), Captain Steve McCloud (June), and Captain Ace Decade (July).

Capt. Taylor Dorian

Interviewer: Today we're joined by Capt. Taylor Dorian, the new CO of the USS Avalon. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us today, captain.

Capt. Dorian: My pleasure

Interviewer: You've only recently been promoted to the Avalon's captaincy. What have you found are the biggest differences between being XO and being CO of a ship in IndFleet?

Capt. Dorian: Well Commander , the differences are in my XO i was indirect contact with Captain , now My New XO keeps me up to date with all that goes on

Interviewer: What new responsibilities do you have that you didn't have before?

Capt. Dorian: Well I can make all the decsions instead or suggest them...LOL....I also can over ride decsions,that I feel are not benificial to my crew

Interviewer: Can you give us an example of where you've been able to do this since assuming command?

Capt. Dorian: Well sure,My SO can suggest that I not go on an away team mission I can assure Her ,that I am needed and will be on the away team...

Interviewer: Have there been any decisions that you've made outside of the storyline and how did you solicit advice for them?

Capt. Dorian: Yes I wanted some suggestions on our NEW MISSION ,so I asked My XO and SO what they thought,took their ideas into concideration ,then we have a new mission...

Interviewer: What elements do you think help make a good mission and how responsible is the CO for them?

Capt. Dorian: Well,need a great active plot,great crew paticipation,Cooperation and working together...A Family atmisfere...Thats what we are on the USS AVALON NCC 3002-B

Interviewer: What has been the most fun mission that you have SIMed through, so far?

Capt. Dorian: Well thats a difficut question Commander,but here goes.....I think it was the PSY corps mission...

Interviewer: Tell us a little about that mission and what made it memorable.

Capt. Dorian: Well, we were commishioned By SFC to be a part of an undercover Corps ,they were assasins...We were all Supposed Dead,we blew up Avalon a.... We neede to kill 5 assasins trying to kill an ambassador,we needed to protect him at all costs......We also had Psy telepathic abilities that enhanced us.....Wow it was different,but good...

Interviewer: If you had to pick just one thing about the mission that made it so exciting, what would it be?

Capt. Dorian: Well I think it was that we had to rely on each other for our servival,also the Mystery around the whole thing

Interviewer: What things does a CO need to do beyond what normal crewmembers must?

Capt. Dorian: I need to keep the Ship as balanced as possible,Make sure all happy and healthy....

Interviewer: Can you give us an example of some of the problems that you've been able to resolve?

Capt. Dorian: Well ok, Moral sometimes can be a factor on any SF ship,so I always speak with my crew about how we can stick together and we do just that...

Interviewer: What sorts of things came up in those conversations that you had?

Capt. Dorian: well , what can I as Captain do to help you be ready for this mission, are you ok with all that you have to do as your duties....I recieve what they speak about ..and try to resolve it as best as I can

Interviewer: How did the departure of Capt. Griffith effect the ship?

Capt. Dorian: Well it took a little while to adjust , But we did it together as a Family.....I needed to make the jump from XO to CO....It went well

Interviewer: What sort of adjustments were made immediately after his departure?

Capt. Dorian: Well I appointed a NEW XO and a SO.....So we could work more in collective unified unit.....

Interviewer: Has the culture of the ship changed with the shift in leadership?

Capt. Dorian: Yes I think so...In a more cultural manner....We are able to exspress our cultures in the way we didnt before...

Capt. Dorian: Example: In our prsent mission , we have disadents from Klingon,fereration,bajrian,so any crewman that are apart of these races On top of their Dress Uniforms have a sash that represents there culture.

Interviewer: Well, what about the culture of the ship, outside the storyline? Has the tone of the ship or the way different members relate to each other changed in anyway?

Capt. Dorian: Yes we relate now as a whole unit,where as before departments had mini plots in the Crew mission,now we have one plot and all are involved in this one storyline...

Interviewer: Do you think that too many, unrelated, sub-plots can be damaging to a mission?

Capt. Dorian: Yes,too confusing...crewman loose interest...Stop posting

Capt. Dorian: Also we do a lot of Socializing as a crew..

Interviewer: Like what?

Capt. Dorian: Well we have off duty poker games,holodec scenes....Parties to honor crewman.....We also have combined posts...Like I star and My SO finishes...

Interviewer: Well, it seems that this concludes the time alloted for our interview. Thanks again for sitting down with us to talk about your views.

Capt. Dorian: Well thank you .Commander "May the Living force Guide you"


-- “100 Posts” by Admiral Star

it's not what it once was anymore,
not so grand like it was before

back then it was a great milestone,
now it's almost nothing to own

it used to be that rushing or receiving
for 1000 yards was a big deal in football,
but not anymore

it used to be that hitting and belting
30 homeruns was a big deal in baseball,
but not anymore

now it's all just 100 posts
nothing less, nothing more


How to involve other characters in your posts.

First of all, why would I want to?

Always an important part of Simming, involving other characters in your posts serves several functions. The first and most important is that the more characters you involve, the more opportunities come available for other characters to post. As some of you have discovered, it's rather tough to think of someting to write if your character has been incognito for a week. It's hard to think about where to start! But if your character has been involved in many different things, then it's easy to jump back into it after having been out of the loop for awhile.

A second function it serves is sheer enjoyment. I know that I, for one, throughly enjoy seeing my character in other people's posts. It means that my character is important, and it's just plain makes me feel good.

That's all well and good, Russ, but how do I do it?

Among the Washington's crew, there are a myriad of personalities, professions and hobbies. It's hard to imagine not finding a crewman among the officers that wouldn't fit whatever idea you may have for an upcoming post. Just think about how many characters are involved at any one moment in a Star Trek Episode and you will have your opportunities to use other characters.

A lot of people, especially the newer guys, have a difficult time using other characters in their posts. Of course, the reason is obvious - they are afraid of getting something wrong about the character! This is always a possibility, but never will it be a real issue if you follow a few simple guidelines.

1. Never kill another character off.
2. Never make any permanant changes to a character.
3. Stay away from personality-altering statements that can't be explained away:
Right -- Rook: "You are a really great person, Dr Gage."
Wrong -- Rook: "I love you, Dr. Gage."
4. If you feel like you need to do something like in number 3 above, email the player and ask if it's ok. Some players are very open to changes in their characters.
5. Players that have their characters used in other people's posts should try to be flexible in what they allow. Having a rigid character that no one feels comfortable using in their posts will just diminish your fun and theirs.
6. Try and develop relationships with other characters (see Rook's relationship with Brit and Gage for examples). In both cases, I introduced aspects of each of the characters and waited to see if the player reciprocated. If not, I drop it and move on.

Ok, I think that about covers all I can offer on the subject. If you have seen the light and want to try using other characters in your posts regularly, a really, really great place to start is by reading each one of the crew’s biographies. This is where the player lays out his or her vision of their character. It is always important to take the character’s bio into consideration when using them (provided you aren’t basing their use solely on their profession in which case you don’t really need to read the bio. An example may be using Del's character at the helm, flying the ship).

I hope this little tip helps you in your future writing endeavors!


This column first appeared in the April issue of the Washingtonian.


-- "Tremors" (1990, PG-13, 96 minutes)

This month's featured movie, is the Sci Fi Monster flick, Tremors. Starring Fred Ward and Kevin Bacon. This early 90'sattempt at a serious Horror pic turned out to be one of the most entertaining, and funny, monster movie of it's time. The movie Co stars Michael Gross and Reba McIntyre, who add to the overall comedic tone of the movie.

Set in Perfection, Nevada, Ward and Kevin, portray Earl and Val. These two are the town handy men, and are in desperate need of a change of employment. The two deside to leave for bigger and better thinsg, but are delyed by strange rumblings and dissappearances of the towns folk. The handy men decide to warn the town, and have a conversation with Burt(Gross) and Heather(McIntyre) the two local gun nuts preparing for World War 3. After warnign the local doctor, who dissappears along with his wife, Val and Earl decide to ride up the mountains and get help. But unknown to them, there are monsters waiting for them out in the desert.

Tremors is a non-stop laugh riot. The special effects for the time are also impresive. The "Graboids" as they are called are about as real as puppetry and make up can get. Sickel and Ebert gave Tremors two thumbs up. And this is an opinion that is matched by many of the fans it holds.

The movie was so successful in the 90s, that Universal hoem studios released two sequels to the movie. Aftershocks starrign Ward, and Back to Perfection starring Gross. Both were released straight to video. The effects of Tremors can also be seen on the Sci Fi channel, which has shown the first two editions of the comedic trilogy. This move is a must see, so go by your local Blockbuster and rent it today!

Review written by Cmdr. Damien Hawkins

Hawkins is the Second Officer aboard the USS Liberty. The views expressed in this review do not necessarily reflect those of the Liberty, Independence Fleet, or any of its subsidiaries.


-- "The Worthing Saga" by Orson Scott Card (463 pages) "The Worthing Saga" by Orson Scott Card tells the story of Jason Worthing and his progeny through a small boy. Lared lives in a small farming town. His story opens on the first day of pain. True pain has always been unknown in the world. But now people suffer and die when there are accidents or they are careless. Soon after the day of pain, two people arrive in town and speak to Lared telepathically. Jessica lets Lared live Jason in his dreams so when he wakes, he can write Jason's story.

Eventually Jason becomes a starpilot and a lifeloop star. A revolution is set to be triggered by his assassination which is prevented. Abner sends him and the 300 conspirators to a remote star system to see what they can accomplish (like Kirk's role at the end of "Space Seed"). Before they land, a third of the passengers are killed and all but one memory module destroyed in an enemy attack. Jason must now build a new society with adult infants. Over many years he releases the "Ice People" and they grow and flourish. However, his real goal is to sire a race of superhumans with powers greater than his own. His family is contained within a 10 square km radius in the hopes they will interbreed enough to bring out these powers before they figure out how to leave the prison. In the mean time, Jason takes his Starship to the bottom of the ocean to wait until the day that his descendents have technologically progressed far enough to rescue him.

His descendents are nearly wiped out but eventually they too flourish. Their abilities far exceed Jason's. In addition to reading minds, they can also control the weather and hurt, kill or cure with a thought. After many generations they have become the caretakers of the universe. However, like the android threat in "I, Mudd", their care has stopped all progress. Jason, now a God legend, is finally rescued but is appalled at the state of the universe. When they see the error of their ways, his children send their planet into its Sun, thus beginning the Day of Pain. The only survivors are Jessica and Jason.

Orson Scott Card is an excellent writer and I have enjoyed his works many times. Although flawed, I found myself thinking often about the universe he created here which is a significant testament to any work of fiction. Card's universe is well thought out and progresses from age to age in a style reminiscent of Asimov's Foundation. The introduction of Laird is an interesting mechanism for tying together disparate short stories and works well. Laird's story is interesting in his own. However, the flashbacks are not strictly linear which sometimes makes this history difficult to follow. More significant, major events such as the destruction of the empire and the rise and fall of the caretakers are not given enough attention. A coherent story line that includes details on these and other significant events could have made this a 10. Another big detractor is the last two sections, 42% of the novel, which retells some stories of Capitol and Jason's heirs. Though told well, the climax is almost always known making us wonder why we need to read this again. Still, with all its faults, I enjoyed "The Worthing Saga" and its universe.

Review written by Capt. Dragonetti of the USS Patriot

She also plays Cmdr Be’Karlsa, XO of the USS Minerva. The views expressed in this review do not necessarily reflect those of the Patriot, Minerva, Independence Fleet, or any of its subsidiaries.


- Starbase 10, the newest IDF SIM, launched on August 10th and saw 30 posts in it’s first 4 days of operation. Cmdr. Zachari Vrona is in command with Lt. Cmdr. Lennox (who formerly played Cmdr. Webb of Starbase 31, the only other space station-based SIM in IDF history) as XO. SB10 operates in the DSE.

- The DRF announces a tentative launch date, Sept. 1st, for it’s newest vessel, the soon-to-be-launched USS Phobos.

- The USS Washington set a new 1 month posting record, 201 posts, in July. This exceeds the old record, 176, by nearly 8.8%. The new record is widely expected to be surpassed in August.


I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to this newsletter. Thanks to the great efforts of others, I had only a little to do in order to put together this issue of the newsletter.

As always, your ideas are appreciated. Please feel free to contact me about your ideas for the newsletter -- or the fleet, in general -- at

VAdm Robert Seldon
CO: USS Washington
Dir: Defense Response Force
Chief of Fleet Operations