March 2002


- Opening
- Ace Decade's Resignation
- USS Liberty Facts
- Awards
- Most Post Award Clarification
- Award Eligibility
- DSE Expansion
- Writing Out Characters
- Book/Movie of the Month
- News Stories
- Closing


Welcome to the 7th monthly fleet newsletter. I'm not certain, but this might be the longest newsletter to date. It certainly has a lot of great content! If you enjoy reading the news half as much as I enjoy writing it, I've done my job!

... Seldon


* * *

ID Fleet,

Yes I have resigned. Star, Seldon and myself have decided to part ways b/c we can't get along. IDF Fleet will go it's way, and I will go mine, along with my ship.

The fleet has lost a good man. Ace Decade is the best simmer IDF has ever laid eyes on, and I think I have proven that.

In closing, I just want to say the Liberty has made her mark. As one of the best ships in it's history. We have done it all, and will continue elsewhere.

I will demote myself to Captain, and continue to run the Liberty. I wish all of you the best. I am really sorry Commander Webb, but I can't stay here anymore. I wish your base the best of luck and I still wish to keep in touch. Maybe, I can still help you with your base.

Thanks for all the memories, but now on to more important ship!

Goodnight....for good.

Captain Ace Decade
Commanding Officer
USS Liberty NCC-4003

* * *

Ace Decade's message has been reproduced here verbatim.


The USS Liberty, NCC-4003 was IDFleet's first expansion ship, sending her first post on August 1st, 2001.

The Liberty saw 749 posts while a member of Independence Fleet, making her the second most postous ship in IDF history. Between Aug-Feb the former SAT flagship averaged an awesome 98.1 posts per month, behind only the Washington (at 102.8 ppm) and only by a small margin.

In her 7 months of service under Decade, the Liberty won 12 posting awards, more than any other ship, and was four times most postous ship (a distinction that no other vessel earned more than twice). She also participated in two joint missions, the first with the Avalon and the second with the former fleet flagship, the USS Sunfire.

For his contribution to the fleet, Ace was promoted first to Commodore in January of this year and then to Rear Admiral earlier this month. Decade, the first person ever interviewed for the Fleet Newsletter, was serving as Director of the Special Assignments Task force at his resignation.

On behalf of all IDFleet, we wish Ace Decade and the USS Liberty a continuation of their phenomenal success!


- Best Post

The best post award goes to Tavik, the new first officer aboard the USS Liberty. A long time advocate of quality, Tavik's Post #692 depicts a great stand-off between some terrorists who have taken hostagest and the resolute crew of the Liberty, marking a great climax to the situation.

- Funniest Post

The Washington's chief engineer, Lewis Concorde, became only the 4th person in fleet history to win the funniest post award with his #746. The USS Chesapeake, which left IDFleet and re-named itself the USS Goliad, was written into the Washington's storyline. With his post, Concorde writes them out.

- Most Postous

The Fleet's most postous February member is the Patriot's Steve McCloud. McCloud posted an awesome 19 times during February and really helped to move the Patriot's mission along during the month.

- Rookie of the Month

February's best new fleet member was the Liberty's Lt. Allison Hayashi. She posted a very solid 9 times. Capt. Decade says that "her writing style is excellent and she manages to move the story further while developing her character more." The Liberty also benefited from their new medical officer's work to involve other characters in her posts.

- Most Improved

"We only had 47 posts, but 15 of them belonged to Asuka," said Adm Star of his ship's most improved nominee. The ship's chief engineer had only posted 6 times in January. For Feb, he improved quality along with quantity. "His posts were all well written and contributed well to the story, always moving the plot along... he knows how to make the story interesting and how to add tention and excitement," said Star, who also nominated Asuka for MVP and said "I think he's a shoe-in for the Most Improved."

- Recruitment

Jean McGivern won the first ever award for the USS Defiance for his recruitment work during February. He managed to bring 3 new players to the new ship, helping greatly with the most important task facing a new ship: getting members. McGivern's effort will really help the fleet grow stronger!


The MVP award for February goes to Steve McCloud, newly promoted to Captain of the Excalibur, from the USS Partiot.

"Mac, as called aboard the patriot," begins Dupont, "has provided outstanding service, with most posts, posting content, leadership, and his ongoign assistance with various projects aboard the patriot."

Even Cmdr. Tavik, who was nominated for a 5th time for MVP -- a fleet record -- didn't contribute more to his ship than McCloud did.

* * *

Congratulations to all award earners! You make this fleet what it is!


Damien Hawkins of the Liberty, who was initially believed to have sent 22 posts in Feb, was found to have fallen short of the most posts award for February against McCloud, who had 19 posts on the Partiot.

Hawkins' comment that "I can't brek [sic] the 29 post record [in February] :( But I'll break it next time!" lead the admiralty to beleive that Hawkins, who was only on the Liberty for a total of 7 days in Februrary was sending short (sometimes only 169 words) posts one right after the another (sometimes one 17 minutes after the other and sometimes three in a row) simply to win the award.

The admiralty maintians that under the old system of couting posts, an active member, like Hawkins, could easily have been accused of participating only to win an award. To eliminate such accusations from being possible while still allowing members to post as frequently as their CO allows the fleet adopted the 1/24 rule for counting posts for purposes of determining the most postous member.

The 1/24 rule states that for the purposes of the fleet's most postous member and most postous ship:

"The same member of a ship cannot post twice in a row and have both count as posts towards their posting total unless the 2nd post follows the 1st post by more than 24 hours."

This rule does not effect how often members can post, only how their posts are counted towards the awards.

"I think this is a good method for counting posts," said VAdm Seldon. "It will remove any unhealthy speculation about the motives of the most posts winner. We're doing this for fun. If you're here just to win an award, you're doing this for the wrong reason."

The Liberty's CO said "I feel that [Star and Seldon] are trying to stop theLiberty." [sic] He went on to say that winning awards "is the one thing we are not concerened with." "its a pointless rule," he said, "why does everyone care so much?"


The departing Liberty is not eligible for any March fleet awards. In an early draft of his goodbye message, Decade expressed satisfaction of the Liberty's record. "We ripped the fleet to shreds and will do so somewhere else."

When asked, for the record, if the fleet awards really mattered Decade answered, "No not really. I think it is somethign extra for the fleet. Soemthign fun." [sic] Before knowing of the Liberty's inability to win awards this month he stated his plan to "claim 'Most Postous' ship for the fourth time and move on." Eventually, he reluctantly admitted that the Fleet awards were "a good idea."


Two crewmembers from the USS Patriot have taken up commands of their own in the Deep Space Exploration Division, helping the fleet to grow rapidly.

Capt. Jeremiah Griffith, who has "always been 100% in favor of NATO expansion," launched the USS Avalon, NCC-3002-A, early this morning. The Avalon-A was named in honor of the first starship Avalon, which was also a Sovereign class vessel and the original flagship of the DSE.

The USS Excalibur, expected to launch on April 1st, is under the command of Capt. Steve McCloud, who can't be beamed up by Scotty because he's dead. The Excalibur is named after the legendary sword of Britain's King Arthur and is a Galaxy class vessel.

Captain Dupont of the USS Patriot reports that his ship is excited and proud to have produced the fleet's two newest captains. IDFleet looks forward to seeing both ships grow and excel!

The USS Pioneer, NCC-81277, which is commanded by Capt. Josie O'Neal, who likes green M&Ms, launched earlier this month and also serves in the DSE.


Ideally, everyone in the SIM participates and posts, moving the story forward. But, what happens when someone quits? Not just when they resign, but when they quit, stop posting, and are completely unavailable to explain why. Practices vary by ship.

On the Washington, characters that resign are always written out of the story -- honorably if they were a good crewmember. But, when they don't resign, don't post after several weeks, and cannot be reached for an explanation they are killed off -- in stupid ways.

Ens. Apache Griffin, who _never_ posted, became the first character in IDFleet to be killed off in the Washington's Post #69 when she was eaten by wild pigs on an away mission.

Orome Tarrant, the W's security officer, became the next crewmember to die when he had his arms ripped off during a mirror universe mission. Actually, this didn't kill him, Tarrant made it back to the ship and had mechanical limbs installed by the ship's then-engineer, Big Johnson. The robot appendages subsequently went berserk and crushed Tarrant's head.

Crewmembers who stop posting and fail to resign from the USS George W. Bush also make their exits in comical ways. In Post #159, two unproductive characters are sent on a secret infiltration mission to Gigantimous where they die after attempting to "kick butt".

Ens. Storm ends up getting blasted to bits by Gigantiman law enforcement before falling into a garbage compactor which finishes him off. Ens. Cabot is shot in the genitals by an alien weapon which causes a bizzare mutation to occur. To arrest its spread and save Cabot, Gigantiman doctors tending to him perform a castration. Unfortunately, this fails and the mutation keeps spreading, his other organs are all removed as well. Cabot dies when his life support system fails.

Not all crewmembers _die_ though. The following excerpt from Post #164 demonstrates the humorous way in which Jake Vin leaves the GWB SIM -- alive.

* * *

{USS GWB, Captain's Ready Room}

Star: ::talking to Vin:: "I think you'll really like this new assignment, Vin."

Vin: "Yeah, it sounds awesome!"

Star: "Well, let me go ahead and fill you in... You will be manning Deep Space Station Y2WPCI2000."

Vin: "No way!"

Star: "Way! It has a cew compliment of one, which you will make up. It is the size of a compact car and it floats in the asteroid belt of the Vaaracruz System on the outer reaches of our space. Your job will be to count the comets that pass by. This tour of duty will last 8 years. You will be eligible for a one-week vacation period after the first four years."

Vin: ::realizes how gay of any assignment this is and how bad it's gonna suck:: "Oh."

Star: "I think you'll do really well there. So, good luck!"

* * *

The Washington's CO, VAdm Seldon, defends the practice of making the characters of people who quit look stupid. "If they would simply tell their fellow crewmembers that they're leaving the SIM we write them out honorably." He explains that "People enjoy a little comedy now-and-then. This is a great way to have some fun and be creative."

[Ed. Note: No characters were harmed in the production of this article.]


Interviewer: Thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule to sit down and talk with us today, McCloud.

McCloud: Sure thing.

Interviewer: Your new ship, the USS Excalibur is scheduled to launch around April 1st, isn't it? What sorts of preparation go into starting up a brand new SIM?

McCloud: Well, there's the Ship page. Setting up the Group account. And of course getting crewmen.

Interviewer: What sorts of methods do you use for recruiting for your ship?

McCloud: Word of mouth, mostly. Friends and co-workers. E-mail from groups to groups with an interest in Star Trek.

Interviewer: What types of missions do you, personally, find to be the most fulfilling?

McCloud: I really like exploration. Trying to stay true to the motto: "To boldly go where no one has gone before".

Interviewer: What do you think it takes to have a successful ship? And, for that matter, how would you define success?

McCloud: I think it's important for the crew to have fun with the mission. And I think that is the meaning of success in this case.

Interviewer: Do you have a favorite captain from Star Trek? Anyone you'd like your character to emulate the most?

McCloud: My favorite is Capt. Picard. I am trying to make my character have the best of all the Captains.

Interviewer: Where does your character name, Steve McCloud, come from?

McCloud: I took a page from the highlander series for my character. He is older than anyone thinks. But not really immortal.

Interviewer: What other sorts of interests and hobbies do you have outside of Star Trek and role-playing?

McCloud: I play softball, and for the last 6 years I managed and played for an adult baseball team. I work on computers, and do some web work on the side.

Interviewer: Ace Decade, captain of the Liberty, announced today that he and his ship will be leaving IDFleet. What sort of reaction have you had to this news?

McCloud: I have read about some things that he accused of doing. The evidence is a bit overwhelming against him. I must say that if he can't follow the rule action should be taken.

Interviewer: Where would you like to see the fleet in 3-6 months?

McCloud: With some team work I think the fleet can grow beyond the past problems and became a force in RPG. But in 3-6 months I think we can grow to at least 15-20 ships. But it will take all of us pitching in to help out.

Interviewer: What sorts of things would you like to see done to create the level of excellence needed to encourage such rapid growth?

McCloud: Well for one thing, calling 1-800-abcdefg, would help. lol just kidding. I think we need to help members more. teach them how to post better and more interesting things. There was talk of an academy at one time. I'd like to see that.

McCloud: But the main thing is to have fun.

Interviewer: What do you think individual fleet members can do to achieve a more positive atmosphere?

McCloud: That's a tough one. But I think we can all help each other out in a more positive way. By not getting down on someone for misspelling or bad posting. Tell them "hey, that wasn't bad, but maybe next time you should try it this way or that." Your not hurting their feelings and helping them become better at posting at the same time.

Interviewer: Well, that is all the time we have allotted for this interview. We will let you get back to your busy workload.

McCloud: Ok anytime. I'm excited about the ship and it's launch. I hope we can do the Fleet proud.

* * *

Steve McCloud is the CO of the USS Excalibur, launching on or about April 1st. He also plays Lt (jg) Daniel Finnigan, Chief Engineer on the Patriot, whom he intends to continue SIMing with. He was the Fleet MVP for February.


- With the dissolution of the Special Assignments Task force following the departure of the Liberty, the SAT Command Center will operate within the Defense Response Force. VAdm Seldon looks forward to helping the fleet's only star base grow into a great SIM!

- Due to lack of interest, the Fleet Forum is taken down. The USS Washington decided to create their own message board for ship use.

- The DRF's Director, Robert Seldon, was promoted on March 9th to Vice Admiral. His previous rank was Rear Admiral.


-- "The Losers" by David Eddings (298 pages)

"Raphael Taylor was a golden boy -- blond, handsome, charming, a gifted athlete and a serious student. Damon Flood was a scoundrel -- a smooth, smiling, cynical devil, as devious and corrupt as Raphael was open and innocent. The day Raphael met Damon was the day he began his mysterious fall from grace. And the golden boy fell very fast and very low."

So begins the jacket description of "The Losers," a powerful book about good and evil, the nature of friendship, and the way society treats it's outcasts.

All of the novel's characters, from Raph Taylor and Jacob Damon Flood to the one-eyed Indian, are deeply written and give up more secrets upon a second reading. The tragedies that befall the main character all have a strong impact on the reader and the book's conclusion should be highly satisfying to anyone who picks up "The Losers."

The book has several levels of meaning. On one, it is a scathing indictment of the welfare and social service systems set up by the state. On another, it is an allegory. "Jake Flood is the Devil," says Eddings. You'll need to decide for yourself where God is in the allegory, that answer from the author would be a spoiler for this excellent book.

- Though it was written in the 1970's, David Eddings, who is much better known for his numerous, best-selling fantasy novels, didn't publish "The Losers" until 1992. All of the book's chapter headings are written in Latin.


-- "Patton" (1970, PG, 170 minutes)

The movie "Patton" follows the WWII military career of Gen. George S. Patton (George C. Scott), the only allied field commander of the war that the Germans truly feared. Throughout all of his campaigns, which span North Africa, Sicily, Belgium, and France, Patton's army never retreated and never surrendered even one foot of territory.

The outcome of the war is know to everyone, but the fascinating life of George Patton (the portrayal of which earned George C. Scott an academy award) is not. Patton, who fought against Pancho Villa under Gen. Pershing prior to the first world war, believed that he was the re-incarnation of numerous great warriors from the past.

Throughout the movie Patton, who used profanity to an extent only vaguely hinted at in the PG-rated movie, is unable to control his public remarks. He is his own worst enemy, getting himself transfered and releived of command due to his inflamatory statements that nearly de-stabalize the delicate American-British-Soviet alliance. This helps add a lot of tension to the antagonism of the Germans.

The battle scenes in the movie, despite being over 30 years old, still look very sharp -- no miniatures were used in the film. The action is very fast paced; the use of over 70 filming locations (an average of 1 location every 4 minutes during the movie) ensures that things never drag or slow down. But the film still seems very to-the-point and not choppy at all. "Patton" is one of the greatest war movies of all time, it's one you can't afford to miss!

- "Patton" is ranked, as of this writing, 133rd on the Internet Movie Database ( list of the top 250 movies of all time.


Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Please direct them all to I'd love to hear what ideas you have for the newsletter or the fleet!

VAdm Robert Seldon (Jacob)
CO: USS Washington, NCC-11988

Chief of Fleet Operations
Dir: Defense Response Force