January 2002

INDEPENDENCE FLEET NEWSLETTER

JANUARY 2002

Hello to one and all! I hope that everyone had a safe and happy holiday season this year; I sure did. It was nice to be able to go home for a few weeks just to relax and be with family and friends. However, now it’s time to get back to business. I trust that you all are back into the swing of things now; whether that be work, school, or both. I’m back at school and hitting the books again. Well anyway, it's time again for our monthly newsletter... enjoy!

Incase you don't know, this is VAdm Star. RAdm Seldon will continue putting together the newsletter in February. There are no changes in responsibilities with ID Fleet command, I'm just relieving him of this duty for a month for no particular reason. Some things may be a little different, but as a whole it should be mostly the same.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

- News and Happenings
- December Posting Awards
- 2001 Posting Info
- Ace Decade
- Mission Feature
- Interview with RAdm Seldon
- Book & Movie of the Month
- Closing

NEWS AND HAPPENINGS

- Captain Ace Decade, CO of the USS Liberty has been promoted to Commodore. He joins the Admiralty as the first Commodore in ID Fleet. Comm. Decade’s story is included below in the newsletter. Congratulations to Commodore Decade!

- Captain Myst of the USS Griffin would like to offer her thanks to Commodore Decade for his help in making the Griffin’s post archive open to the public. Captain Myst welcomes everyone to read the missions of the USS Griffin. A link to the archive can be found at the Griffin’s website.

- Since the last newsletter, the USS Patriot NCC-26782 (DSE), USS Destiny NCC-443 (SOD), and USS Chesapeake NCC-18907 (DRF) were launched. They are commanded by Captain Thomas Dupont, Captain Jeremy Ross, and Captain Shawn Edwards, respectively. All three ships are off to great starts.

- There is buzz around the fleet about starting an Academy for new players who wish to learn a little bit about Star Trek and simming before actually joining a ship. Send your suggestions and opinions on this to Admiral West and Rear-Admiral Seldon.

- All CO’s are required to post a content rating (G, PG, PG-13, or R) for their ship on their website. All players need to be mindful of their ship’s rating.

- All CO’s are also to put a link to their ship’s post archive on their website. Their crewmembers will not be eligible to win the “Best Post” or “Funniest Post” awards without this link.

- Captain Sutak has begun a monthly newsletter for the USS Avalon. The Avalon becomes the 3rd ship to introduce a newsletter, following the Liberty and the Washington. Lieutenant Heliel N’Yel is the editor for the new newsletter.

- The USS Liberty and USS Sunfire have embarked on a historic joint mission. This is the first inter-division joint mission in ID Fleet history, bridging Deep Space Exploration and the Special Operations Division.

- A piece of news from real life: Larry Moon (Lt. Lancaster of the USS Chesapeake) was married to Kerry Schlowinski on January 12th in a traditional Scottish ceremony. Several crewmembers of the USS Chesapeake were in attendance. Pictures from the wedding will be on the Chesapeake’s website soon.

- Also, I challenged my traffic ticket in court and won my case. I was charged with “failing to stop at a duly erected flashing red light.” Our justice system in action.

DECEMBER POSTING AWARDS

- Best Post: Lieutenant David M. Kovich, CTO of the USS George W. Bush for Post #27. Lt. Kovich was a rookie in December, but he didn’t post like one. From the beginning, Kovich produced excellent posts. They included many characters, had tension, and were paced extremely well – #27 is just one example of his superior work. New players should take a look at it.

- Funniest Post: Lieutenant Dick Phelps, CIO of the USS George W. Bush for Post #11. Dick Phelps wins his second “Funniest Post” award from ID Fleet. The first time he won the award was as a crewmember of the Avalon, back in October. He now brings his humorous talent aboard the George W. Bush. Dick is well known for his comedic posts.

- Most Posts: Lieutenant Zachari Vrona, SS of the USS Sunfire with 22 posts. Lt. Vrona was ID Fleet’s most prolific poster during the month of December. His 22 posts are short only of Cmdr. Tavik’s marks of 24 (August) and 23.75 (July). Vrona’s activity sparked the Sunfire to its best posting total ever, 80 posts, finishing 3rd in the fleet for December.

- Most Valuable Player: Lieutenant Commander Hank Logan, CS of the USS Washington. Cmdr. Logan sent 20 posts for the Washington in December, helping her finish 2nd in ID Fleet with 106 posts. All of his posts are well written and include new and fresh ideas. Logan’s work has been excellent ever since he joined the Washington.

- Rookie of the Month: Ensign Steve McCloud, CEO of the USS Patriot. Ens. McCloud didn’t start his simming experience until December 21st – when the Patriot launched. Despite only having 11 days, McCloud still wrote 7 posts and helped propel the Patriot to finish the month with a very respectable 52 posts. McCloud was a great asset to the Patriot in her first month.

- Most Improved: Lieutenant Commander Talin Southbranche, CAO of the USS Liberty. Lt. Cmdr. Southbranche posted 12 times during December and also had the privilege and honor of starting a mission for the Liberty. Southbranche stepped up his game from a not very active player to a valuable crewman of the USS Liberty.

- Recruitment: Lieutenant Mezoti Kestra, CTO of the USS Liberty. Lt. Kestra was a rookie in December, but that didn’t stop her from recruiting for her ship. She rigorously searched for and found new people to join her ship. Despite being new, Kestra was still able to get 2 new people to join the Liberty. She will continue to use her recruiting ability on the Liberty for a long time.

2001 POSTING INFO

Now that 2001 is over, I thought it might be interesting to look at some of the stats and numbers from ID Fleet over our first six months in action. I am the Fleet Historian, so you should have expected something like this.

- Individual Awards Won By Each Ship:

USS Liberty: 10
USS Washington: 8
USS Avalon: 7
USS Sunfire: 6
USS George W. Bush: 2
USS Goldeneye: 1
USS Griffin: 1
USS Patriot: 1

The Avalon saw its fleet record streak of 5 consecutive months (July-November) with a fleet-wide award come to a halt in December when she failed to win one for the first time in ID Fleet History. The Liberty matched the Avalon’s mark of 5 (August-current) in December and her streak is still alive.

- Ship Posting Titles:

July: USS Avalon, 108 posts
August: USS Liberty, 173 posts
September: USS Liberty, 98 posts
October: USS Washington, 112 posts
November: USS Washington, 81 posts
December: USS Liberty, 116 posts

- Top 10:

1. USS Liberty, August, 173 posts
2. USS Washington, August, 130 posts
3. USS Liberty, December, 116 posts
4. USS Washington, October, 112 posts
5. USS Avalon, July, 108 posts
6. USS Washington, December, 106 posts
7. USS Liberty, September, 98 posts
8. USS Avalon, October, 97 posts
9. USS Washington, November, 81 posts
10. USS Sunfire, December, 80 posts

ACE DECADE

With Mr. Decade’s big promotion and all, I thought it appropriate for us to learn a little bit about him and his history with Star Trek role play by email. I asked Comm. Decade to write a short biography about his travels in the world of simming. Here is his story, unedited:

It all began in February of 2000. I received an e-mail from Jay Robertson of the USS Sunfire to join his role play by email ship. I didn't even know what simming was or how it worked. I figured if it had something to do with Star Trek, then it must be cool. I was the ships Small Craft Pilot and was given the rank of Ensign.

A few weeks later the sim began. It was in the fleet known as Utopia. At the beginning were so many posts, I didn't know where to jump in. I waited a few weeks for a good spot to introduce Ace Decade. The time came when, Commodore Robertson was in trouble. I had Ace save him.

Not a good idea. It didn't go well with a few on the ship, and my first post was scratched. After receiving this news, I nearly left. I didn't understand why it was scratched. But, Robbie talked me into staying. He said I had potential as a writer and wanted me to stay to develop my writing. So I stayed and my career on the Sunfire went on.

A few months past and I was really getting the hang of simming. I would read what others would write and try to play off them. I learned a lot from the members on the Sunfire and owe them a lot of thank yous. However, every good ship has their problems. It was getting to the point of no return. We would send angry e-mails through the group list yelling and cursing at one another. Then, to top it all off, in June 2000 Commodore Robertson resigns.

To me, that was a tragedy. But he didn't really have the time to command a ship. Needless to say, James West took over and it was a turn for the better. Nearly half of the original crew quit due to the arguments and tension on the ship.

The new Sunfire took off really quick. I was promoted to Lieutenant and was the new Chief Engineering Officer. I was having fun. I helped West recruit new players to take over the old ones.

Unfortunately, one individual seamed to stomp on my nerves. Chief Science Officer and now the 2nd officer of the newly re-launched Sunfire, Robert Seldon. It is no secret. Seldon and I never ever for a split second saw eye to eye. It was always; My ideas are better than you, Your post was totally out of whack and didn't go with the story, your ideas are stupid and not good for the sim, etc. It went on and on 'till the point we started sending very inappropriate things in posts about one another.

Afterwards, I wasn't as involved as I was in the past. In fact, I quit posting and still argued with Seldon on various things. I was dissapearing from the scene. new people were coming in and erasing my name. Ashla Bogan, Thomas Dupont, Krol, and Dick Phelps to name a few. People more dedicated to the sim than I was. I was one of the last originals left. Alongside James West, Charles Star, Robert Seldon, Sutak and Wil Parks.

During this posting drought I had, I was given the privilege to Captain my own ship. The USS Liberty. Excited as I was, I forgot about the Sunfire. I was to busy recruiting my own crew and getting back my long time friend, Sutak. I also talked Wil parks, who is also my best friend online to join the Liberty. In order to have Parks reunite with Ace and Sutak, he had to change his character on the Sunfire. Ron Bennings was born and Wil parks transferred to the Liberty as my Executive Officer.

Shortly after, Captain West took the Sunfire away from Utopia Fleet and went AWOL. It was becoming clear that Utopia Fleet was crumbling and I new I had to do something about it. Before that happened, West contacted me on September 11, 2000 at around 3.00 A.M. in the morning, informing me of my termination on the Sunfire after a letter I sent to Seldon through the groups lists. At the bottom of the letter, I signed it Captain Decade and that didn't set good with West. To be honest, it was more than informing. He lashed out on me and told me I wasn't the same player as I use to be when Robertson was in command. He told me never to talk to him again and to not even reply to his e-mail because it will be automatically deleted. At the same time he fired Sutak for the same things.

The fact that I was fired didn't phase me, but I was furious at West for his e-mail and verbal language. With that behind me, I concentrated on the Liberty. Things took off slow but everyone was having fun and getting along. With Parks as my XO and Sutak as my Second Officer, things were going great. Until, an individual I served with on the Sunfire, who was know an XO of a ship called the USS Majesty Captained by another former Sunfire member, Allistar MacGregor. Jeffrey Tolwyn, had e-mailed Utopia Fleet Admiral Annika McKenzie because I had more than one character on my own ship. When I first launched I let Tolwyn on board the Liberty because I thought he was my friend. Little did I know he was a JAG Officer waiting to bust me. He e-mailed my crew saying I was a bad Captain and I broke fleet regulations. Which was true. But before McKenzie heard my part of the story she suspended me and made Wil Parks take over the Liberty.

This did not set well with me, and I don't know how Tolwyn became a JAG Officer since he was a good part of the destruction of the first Sunfire.

When McKenzie suspended me, I became fed up with Utopia Fleet and in October 2000 took the Liberty and went AWOL. I thought and still think, that McKenzie was a poor Admiral and the split in UF shows. My crew was more than happy and the Liberty went on.

In December 2000, the Liberty's gas, ran out. Due to no posting I decided to close the Liberty down. I gave up on simming and decided to focus on school.

Months past and I was talking online one night to my former Captain, Jay Robertson. I was looking to getting back into the simming world, but I didn't know of any fleets. He told me to go to the FSF Fleet web site and sign up on the USS Collegial. He said it was a decent ship and that he enjoyed serving on it. Excited, I contacted Sutak and told him about it. We both agreed to join and in April of 2001, we both became members of the Collegial. However, we were both giving the rank of Ensign. This did not suite us as we both knew we were much better than that. But the policy on that ship, which the Captain failed to mention to us, stated that everyone starts out as an Ensign no matter what.

Well, we lived with it and tried to make the best of it. However, a certain XO seemed to make us reminisce the glory days of the Sunfire. Drake was his first name, and I can't remember his last, and I really don't care. Sutak and I wrote a joint post for the ship. It was my first post on the Collegial and my last. Drake shot down the post because in it, we had Drake getting hit in the head by a spy. He claimed that this made his character look like a sissy and deleted it. And the good ol' Captain didn't do a damn thing about it. Shortly after, Sutak quit and two weeks after that, I was let go.

Two months later in June 2001, I contacted Charles Star. I was talking to him and seeing how he was doing when he informed me about the new fleet that West, Seldon and himself were starting up. Independence Fleet.

He asked me if I would join his new ship, the USS Avalon. I said sure, I figured it would be a decent ship and I would have no problems this time.

On July 4, 2001, the USS Avalon launched along with the rest of ID Fleet. It was a good crew with a lot of new faces and a few familiar ones. I met interesting people and got to become pretty good friends with them. Tavik, Damien Hawkins, Jon Butlier, Matthew Seresin, etc. I even reunited with Sutak as he joined a few weeks after.

In the opening month, the Avalon set a record of 108 posts in a months time. I was also the very first, brand spanking new, Most Valuable Player in ID Fleet. That was something I wanted to accomplish as I knew my writing abilities were growing stronger and stronger by the day. I was also nominated for the Recruitment award which fell short to the loss of Commander Ashla Bogan of the USS Sunfire.

Just when I thought things couldn't get any better, Vice-Admiral and Commanding Officer of the Avalon, Charles Star requested that I be promoted to Captain and given my own ship, the resurrection of the USS Liberty. Star even let me hand pick the members I wanted to bring with me. This included; Sutak, Tavik, Matthew Seresin, Damien Hawkins, Jon Butlier and the current XO of the Avalon, Gorath.

On August 1, 2001, the Liberty launched, setting a record 15 posts on the opening day. Old faces joined up when I recruited; Rynn Bannister, Talin Southbranche, Allistar MacGregor and my long time friend Wil Parks. All former simmers of the original USS Sunfire.

The Liberty broke the record for most postous ship, which was set by the Avalon the month before. We dished out 173 posts, a record that still stands!

In November, we had our first joint mission with Captain Sutak's USS Avalon. It was a lot of fun and an old face showed up as a special guest. Commodore Jay Robertson made an appearance in the mission and helped out on posting. This was a treat for me and the rest of the crew who was on the Sunfire during his time of Commanding.

When 2001 ended, the Liberty had won 3 most postous ship awards and eight different fleet awards individually. More than any ship in ID Fleet. 2002 is now here and the Liberty has just began the fleets first ever, inter-division joint mission with the USS Sunfire, my first ship. I am currently getting along with Admiral West and Seldon for that matter. The joint mission is going really well and the Sunfire crew are superb.

I have now had my biggest promotion in my career, just recently being promoted to Commodore. I am looking forward to serving on the Liberty for a very long time and continue to make it one of the best ships in ID Fleet.

Special Thanks Goes To: Admiral James West for pulling my head out of my ass when it needed to be done. Vice-Admiral Charles Star for being a great Captain and a friend on the Avalon. Rear-Admiral Robert Seldon for sending all those lovely e-mails about me during the Sunfire mission and for turning out to be a great friend in ID Fleet. Commodore and ex-commanding officer of the Sunfire Jay Robertson for staying in touch and becoming a father figure to Ace and encouraging me to do my best. My two best buds, Sutak and Wil Parks for always being there. You guys are the best. Gorath for being a helluvan Executive Officer. Tavik for all those great posts and becoming one of my friends online. My best girlfriend, Usagi Setsuna, your the greatest babe. I am glad we are friends not only in the sim, but in the outside world. And thanks to all those simmers in those late night chats that put up with my arrogant ass. You guys rule! And last but not least, God. Oh yeah, the man up stairs. Without him I couldn't have this great computer, these excellent hands for typing and these good looks. God bless everyone! Thank you.

Thanks Commodore Decade!

MISSION FEATURE

The following was submitted by Captain Sutak, CO of the USS Avalon.

On stardate 45092.4, Lt. Commander Geordi LaForge and Ensign Ro Laren of the Federation Starship Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) where accidentally cloaked by a new Romulan cloaking device which dematerializes the object that is cloaking, making it permeable. Both LaForge and Ro where believed dead, because ships sensors could not register them while they were cloaked.

Now nearly a decade later the USS Avalon is sending one of their own in a deep cover covert mission. The objective is to see if the Romulans are still trying to work with this technology. If so the crew of Avalon is to bring it back to federation space or destroy it. Commander Rynn Bannister, the Avalon's XO, is going undercover as she is the closest to a Romulan on board.

Now it's a race against the clock to find the cloaking devise and return to rendezvous with the Avalon. If she fails this mission the future of the federation will be questionable.

It looks like the Avalon is off to another exciting adventure...

INTERVIEW WITH RADM SELDON

This past week, we were able to sit down with RAdm Seldon to ask him a few questions...

Interviewer: Good evening, RAdm. Seldon and thank you for joining us.

RAdm Seldon: Why, thank you. Its a pleasure to speak with you.

Interviewer: Your ship, the USS Washington just finished with another strong showing for the month of December, placing second in ID Fleet, with 106 posts. What do you see as the reason for the W's successes?

RAdm Seldon: Any CO will tell you that it comes down to the ship's crew. The people on the W really enjoy SIMing and have created some fantastic and interesting missions. The more you put into it the more you'll get out in terms of enjoyment and the numbers reflect that. We've also had members who have recruited new people to replace those who have been transferred. We've always had a good number of crew serving on the Washington.

Interviewer: That sounds pretty good to me. I also understand that yourself and Lt. Johnson are the only crewmembers remaining since the W's launch this past summer.

RAdm Seldon: That's right. Big Johnson and myself are the only characters who have been here since July 4th. We transferred crewmen to both the Potomac and the Chesapeake to start them off. And, of course, there has been the normal attrition of people having to resign for time reasons. That's part of why recruitment is so important, it allows for stronger ships (which are more fun to serve on) and allows for fleet growth to. Its also been very interesting to see just about the whole crew of the ship turn over since then for me.

Interviewer: What have you and your crew done to keep new people coming in?

RAdm Seldon: Well, my crew has done very well just by inviting people that they know who like Star Trek to come join up. And I've sent out e-mails to people I've found through Yahoo! who look like they have interests in Star Trek or in Role Playing. A lot of those people are really excited to have an opportunity to join a group like this and decide to sign on.

Interviewer: The Washington is the most prolific ship in the fleet, you guys must be doing something right over there. How is the month of January treating you?

RAdm Seldon: We're doing very well. To date, we've averaged 4.25 posts per day. If kept up through the month that'd be 132 posts -- a new ship record. Of course, quantity doesn't matter if you don't have quality. And we've done very well with that too.

Interviewer: You're right about that, quality is the important thing. Speaking of which, what do you stress to new players about posting?

RAdm Seldon: Try to include several other characters in your posts -- not just your own. Always try to move the plot forward, be relevant to the story. Try to be original, don't take the path of least resistance and just post the most obvious solution to a problem. But don't be afraid to solve problems or to create new ones. But try not to let the mission get to cluttered. It sounds intimidating to do all that but I also tell them to not worry about making "mistakes" -- you only get better with practice.

Interviewer: That truly is sound advice for the ages. The Defense Response just launched its 3rd ship, the USS Chesapeake earlier this month. How is that going?

RAdm Seldon: Capt. Edwards is doing a great job. He's been able to recruit a few new characters and if they keep posting at the pace they're going now they'll end up with about 67 posts. I SIMed with several of the Chessie's crewmembers on the Washington, they've got some really sharp people over there.

Interviewer: That's good to hear. Can you tell me a little bit about any of them?

RAdm Seldon: Yeah, Edwards, Carroll, and Hagan are the most prolific of them. Together they won several posting awards on the Washington and two fleet awards. Actually, all three of them are from the Houston area and know each other in real life, along with a few other members of the fleet. But they always put up a good volume of posts and each had different, distinct styles of doing things.

Interviewer: That is very interesting. What is the theme behind the names of the DRF ships?

RAdm Seldon: Well, so far there is the Washington (named for both the president and the American capital). It is situated on the Potomac River which empties into the Chesapeake Bay. The next ship in the Defense Response Force will be the USS Annapolis, to be named for the capital of Maryland. So, they're all named for either cities or bodies of water in and around Maryland.

Interviewer: That's quite fascinating. Why this theme?

RAdm Seldon: I am from Maryland myself so I've decided to name the ships after things I'm familiar with -- and which are great in their own rights.

Interviewer: Admiral Seldon, where do you see ID Fleet going over the next 6 months, or even the next 12 months?

RAdm Seldon: Well, I obviously see new ships being added to the fleet. But I'd also be interested in seeing a Starbase SIM started and an Academy. Both would provide totally new story settings for missions. Of course, in about 6 months, July 4th to be exact, the fleet will turn 1 year old. I'd be interested in having some cumulative awards given out then, for things like best CO, best Ship, and the like. And I've talked with a few people about possibly doing a homepage competition between all the ships. It'd be a lot of fun and would provide great motivation for everyone to update and work on their sites. And I'd also, in the short run, like to see more people using our fleet forum to discuss new ideas like these -- and of course absolutely anything else worth discussing. In any event, I see a lot of potential in IDFleet and I know that we're really moving up in the highly populated world of online Star Trek Role Playing Fleets.

Interviewer: That does sound like where we want to be going. ID Fleet has grown into one of the premier Star Trek role play by email fleets on the net in only 6 months. To what to attribute this quick success?

RAdm Seldon: I think that our captains are the backbone of the fleet. For the most part, they've managed to build up strong ships with lots of members engaged in interesting missions. The admiralty has created a solid infrastructure in which each of those ships has a lot of leeway to set up most things how they like. But the admiralty is always there to hold anyone not performing up to par accountable. That accountability and the friendly competition between ships gives everyone motivation to excel. And I also think that the newsletter and fleet forum, the only two entities common to all ships besides the fleet website, really help to cement things together. That's what has helped us to grow from 15 members back in June 2001 to nearly 110 members now -- that's individuals, not characters.

Interviewer: It really is a great system. ID Fleet has accomplished a lot in a relatively short period of time. Do you have any last bits of wisdom for your readers before we sign off?

RAdm Seldon: Well, I think that there are things to be learned whenever you're interacting with a large group of people. Be sure to keep your eyes open for lessons you can learn here to apply to real life.

Interviewer: Those are words of wisdom to take heed to. Thanks for your time, Admiral Seldon and good luck to you and your crew.

RAdm Seldon: You're welcome. I appreciate this opportunity.

BOOK & MOVIE OF THE MONTH

This is a new section to the newsletter. Each month the editor will select a book and movie for you to read and watch for enjoyment. It is not related to Star Trek or simming. The book may be fictional or nonfictional; the movie maybe be a comedy, drama, or even a documentary. Without any further ado, here is our first book and movie of the month:

- Book of the Month: The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, liked his simple and uneventful life. He lived a life of peace and comfort in his hobbit hole. However, the wizard Gandalf arrives at Bilbo’s door with a band of dwarves. Bilbo is then reluctantly dragged into their adventure, fighting against the many evils of middle earth. At the end of his quest, Bilbo must defeat the great dragon, Smaug, all by himself.

- Movie of the Month: Sneakers (1992). Computer expert Martin Bishop (Robert Redford) leads a team of renegades who are regularly hired by banks to test security systems. His band consists of an ex-CIA employee (Sidney Poitier), a technical wizard (Dan Aykroyd), a brilliant young hacker (River Phoenix), and a blind man with perfect pitch (David Strathairn). Bishop is blackmailed by government agents into doing a job for them: retrieving a black box – it seems easy enough. However, Bishop is then set up by an old friend (Ben Kingsley). With the help of his ex-girlfriend (Mary McDonnell), Bishop and his team embark on a dangerous adventure to set everything right.

CLOSING

I guess that’s the end of our newsletter for January 2002, I hope you found it both informative and entertaining. RAdm. Seldon will take over as editor of the newsletter next month. Until next time...

Vice-Admiral Charles Star
Independence Fleet Historian
Director of Deep Space Exploration
Commanding Officer, USS George W. Bush NCC-2004


BACK