- The USS Liberty
- Interview with Adm Star
- Anniversary Quiz Answers and Winners
- The History of Independence Fleet
226 years ago today, the United States of America declared its independence from Great Britain. 365 days ago, nearly to this instant, Independence Fleet became a reality. The newsletter normally comes out on the 15th of each month (don't worry, there'll be the normal issue 11 days hence with all the news and awards that are normally included) but it seems appropriate to have a special edition today, on the first anniversary of this organization.
I have great pride and great joy to be connected with IndFleet, especially today of all days. Of course, no newsletter (at least, none that I could conceive) could match this occasion. However, I believe that we've been able to put together something appropriate for the occasion. There's only one item of news -- but it's very good news -- and all the rest is dedicated to the fleet.
Please enjoy the newsletter!
VAdm Robert Seldon
Chief of IndFleet Operations
Dir: Defense Response Force
CO: USS Washington, NCC-11988
RETURN OF THE USS LIBERTY
Capt. Ace Decade, whose favorite color is blue, and the USS Liberty will be re-joining Independence Fleet effective August 1st. That will be the one year anniversary of the ship's launch in IndFleet.
During the ship's first run in the fleet the Liberty won 4 posting titles (a feat only equaled by the Washington) and her crewmembers earned 12 posting awards. The ship saw 749 posts in the fleet up until her March 14th departure from IDF over disagreements between then-RAdm Decade and the rest of the fleet admiralty. The Liberty, which holds, with 173 posts, the second most postous month on fleet record, saw a decline in posting after leaving the fleet. However, under Capt. Decade the ship has turned around and is now expected to see its 1,000th post shortly before re-joining.
The USS Liberty, formerly a galaxy class ship will join IndFleet as a New Orleans class vessel with a new registry number as well, NCC-91101 -- a tribute to the September 11th attacks (her old registry number was NCC-4003). The Liberty will once again serve in the Deep Space Exploration Division.
The Admiralty welcomes the USS Liberty back to the fleet.
INTERVIEW: ADM STAR
Interviewer: Today, for the first annual Fleet Anniversary Special Edition Newsletter, we are once again joined by Admiral Star, fleet Commander in Chief. Thanks for agreeing to share a few words and thoughts with us on this occasion, admiral.
Adm Star: Thank you, I'm glad to be here.
Interviewer: Golly, one year. Of course, you've been SIMing for over twice that long. In your experience, is this type of duration typical for Star Trek PBEM fleets?
Adm Star: No, it isn't. I think there's two different kinds of fleets. There are those that have staying power and those that don't. I can think of only a few fleets that have been around for a few years, like Bravo Fleet or Tango Fleet, for example. I could then name a dozen or so that lasted only a few months, as I'm sure you could too. I think we've created that staying power in our first full year. IDF is stronger now than it's ever been before and we're going to continue on that.
Interviewer: If questioned on the matter, to what would you point that could demonstrate the fleet's strength?
Adm Star: For one, the fleet seems much more like a family now than it ever has before. Also, our ships are much stronger than ever before. Posting quality is at an all time high -- you can go check that one out for yourself. In addition to that, according to our preliminary calculations for June, the average ship had 84 posts last month. That's considerably better than our previous best of 79 posts per ship (which was with only 5 ships). This time we did it with 9. So three things, our friendships with one another and our increase in posting quality and quantity.
Interviewer: It's just been announced publicly that the USS Liberty is returning to IndFleet. What else can you tell us about this development, in light of the situation in which the ship left the fleet?
Adm Star: I don't want to speak for Mr. Decade, but from my conversations with him, I think he's resolved the issues that used to be there. He recognized that IDF is the best place for his ship to excel. I'm exciting about having both Ace Decade and the Liberty return.
Interviewer: There are also reports that both the DSE and the DRF will be launching new ships within the next month or so. Is there any other news on these accounts that you can tell us yet?
Adm Star: The DSE will be launching its first ever starbase sim. It's currently scheduled to launch in late July. I can't really say anymore about that. The DRF is also planning to launch a new ship in late July, though no details have been released yet.
Interviewer: Everyone is always curious for news of the fleet. For the first time, we've asked for fleet members to submit different questions for you to answer. Our first comes from Lt. (jg) Adam Biro of the USS Washington who asks "In what way has the IDF affected your life most, Adm Star, and what positive change do you think it has made on the world (the IDF Sim)?"
Adm Star: I think that I have been able to further develop my leadership style and abilities. I've also improved a lot as a writer. As far as helping the fleet, I've got an excellent Chief of Operations in Vice-Admiral Seldon, seven other great captains, and numerous more in the fleet who have assumed leadership positions. I think that it's been all of us working together as a team that has made the fleet what it is.
Interviewer: Lt. Commander Jason Wolf of the USS Horatio Nelson asks "What is your most memorable experience with IDFleet?"
Adm Star: Wow, that's a tough one. There's a lot of them. We've been through quite a lot in our first year, but I would have to say that my most memorable experience was the launching of IDF. Neither myself, West, or Seldon had experience in fleet leadership. I had only served as an interim CO for a few weeks and Seldon had never commanded a ship before. We didn't have a road map to follow. We then came up with a plan together and followed it. First and foremost was to encourage good posting. We've been doing that ever since.
Interviewer: Wow. And that story, of the fleet's founding, is actually expounded on in this issue of the Fleet Newsletter, isn't that right?
Adm Star: Yes, that's correct. Seldon and I have put together a narrative of the fleet's history, which will be included in this newsletter.
Interviewer: I'm sure that we all look forward to reading that new history that you've put together! And, from the USS Goliad, Lt. Cmdr. Hagan wants to know "do you sometimes forgot that your not acctualy a adrimal? [sic]"
Adm Star: No, I haven't had that problem... yet. lol.
Interviewer: Lt. Cmdr. Gage on the Washington / Lt. Sackett on the Horation Nelson is curious about what you "consider to be the greatest strengths of each ship in the fleet?"
Adm Star: Hmm, that's an interesting one. I'll start with the Washington, since she's the oldest ship. With that ship, you have to ask, 'what isn't a strength?' The Washington's crew is very close, they post a ton, and their posts are well written. On the George W. Bush and the Patriot, they know how to have fun with their simming. Also, both ships lately have been pumping out quite a bit of posts. The Pioneer and the Avalon both have a lot of camaraderie on their ships. The Excalibur has developed into one of the premier ships in the fleet. Their stories are very well developed and they led the fleet in posting for June. The Horatio Nelson is still carving it's place into IDF's history. They have some excellent writers, so it won't be long before they make their mark. And then the Goliad and the Minerva. They've been through it all. They were in IDF, left, and then came back. So I guess for them, I would have to say endurance.
Interviewer: We have time, I'm told, for once last question. Dick Phelps of your ship, the USS George W. Bush, wants to know "is it true that Independence Fleet is going to be bought-out by Bravo Fleet and turned into a subsidiary task force of that larger conglomerate?"
Adm Star: Dick, I can assure you that that will not happen. Independence Fleet will always be its own fleet. We all have a hand in what we've built and we're not going to give it up. With all of us working together, there's no telling what we could be discussing this time next year in terms of fleet development.
Interviewer: Well, that is comforting to know. Let me be the first to wish you a happy first year anniversary for our fleet, Admiral -- and many more to come!
Adm Star: Thank you and thanks to everyone who had a part in our first year. Great job everyone!
INDEPENDENCE FLEET ANNIVERSARY QUIZ
Here, at last, are the answers to the fleet questions which we asked last week. Good work to all who submitted responses.
Q: Who is the only CO in IndFleet history to lead two
different ships to a posting title?
A: Charles Star. As a Vice-Admiral, he lead the USS Avalon, NCC-3002, (DSE) to the fleet's first posting title in July, 2001 and as Admiral, he lead the USS George W. Bush, NCC-2004, (DSE) to May's title.
Q: Of the four individuals who have held a position in
the fleet's admiralty, which two did _not_ previously
serve as an executive officer?
A: RAdm/VAdm Robert Seldon and Comm/RAdm Ace Decade did not serve as XOs. Both James West and Charles Star served as XO aboard the Sunfire (under Jay "Robbie" Robertson and James West, respectively).
Q: What ships have exceeded 100 posts in a month and
_not_ won the posting title?
A: Two ships have done so. The USS Washington, NCC-11988, (DRF) has done so 5 times: Aug '01 with 130 posts, Dec '01 with 106 posts, Jan '02 with 154 posts, Feb '02 with 112 posts, and May '02 with 110 posts. The USS Excalibur, NCC-2997, (DSE) did so in Apr '02 with 106 posts.
Q: What is the lowest posting total that has ever won
IndFleet's posting title?
A: The USS Washington, NCC-11988, (DRF) won Nov 2001's posting title with 81 posts. The only other ship to win the title without breaking 100 was the USS Liberty, NCC-4003, (DSE) in Sept 2001 with 98 posts.
Q: What is the only IndFleet ship to have had three
A: The USS Patriot, NCC-26782, (DSE). She launched 21 Dec 2001 under Capt. Thomas Dupont who resigned at the end of March 2002. Capt. Dick Sprague temporarily commanded the Patriot through April before Capt. Dragonetti assumed the captaincy on 1 May 2002.
Q: What was the fleet's first expansion ship?
A: The USS Liberty, NCC-4003, (DSE) which launched with Capt. Ace Decade in command on 1 August 2001. She served in IDF until 14 March 2002.
Q: In what month were the Rookie of the Month and Most
Improved awards first given out?
A: October 2001. Then-Ensign James "Rook" Mirtoh of the Washington won the first RotM award and Lt. J.G. Rebecca R. Dax of the USS Avalon, NCC-3002, won the first MI prize.
Q: In what month did IndFleet's website,
www.angelfire.com/trek/independencefleet, receive it's
A: April of 2002.
Q: Which IndFleet ships were named for actual persons?
A: The USS Washington, NCC-11988, (DRF); the USS George W. Bush, NCC-2004, (DSE); and the USS Horatio Nelson, NCC-19958, (DRF). (There may be some confusion over whether the USS Washington is named for George Washington or the city of Washington, D.C. The ship's website clears this up on its main page: "The [USS Washington] is named after the great 18th century American general and statesman.")
Q: Who is the only person holding the rank of
Commander to be a CO in IndFleet?
A: Cmdr. Jonathan Webb commanded the Starbase 31 SIM from it's launch on 2 Feb 2002 until it's departure from the fleet on 4 April 2002.
Q: What are the lowest and the highest registry
numbers given to any IndFleet ships?
A: The USS Destiny (SOD), which served from 26 Dec '01 through 23 Jan '02, had the lowest registry number, NCC-443. The USS Goldeneye (also SOD), which served from 18 Sept '01 through 23 Jan '02, had the highest, NCC-84653.
Q: What was the first ship to publish a ship
A: The USS Liberty, NCC-4003, (DSE). Then-captain Decade published his ship's first newsletter on 2 Oct '01. The USS Washington, NCC-11988, (DRF) was the second ship to come out with a newsletter, the Washingtonian, on 4 Nov '01.
Q: What is the highest one month posting total for a
ship in fleet history?
A: 176 posts, obtained by the USS Avalon, NCC-3002, (DSE) in Jan -02. The prior record, and record total for a first month ship, is 173, held by the USS Liberty, NCC-4003, (DSE) for Aug '01.
Q: The Special Operations Division (SOD) was briefly
re-named under Ace Decade's leadership. What was the
A: The Special Operations Division was re-named the Special Assignments Task Force (SAT) during the time Ace Decade directed it which was for most of Feb '02 through the middle of March '02. The Liberty, NCC-4003, (SAT) was briefly the flagship of the re-made squadron that went defunct upon Ace's resignation and departure from the fleet which occured just over a month after his promotion to the directorship.
Q: Which IndFleet members have won the most individual
A: Three fleet members have won 5 awards each. Tavik of the Liberty was the first to reach five awards. He won Most Post three times (July '01, Aug '01, and Sept '01) and also won MVP (Sept '01) and Best Post (Feb '02). Reggie "Big" Johnson of the Washington was the second fleet member to win five awards. He has won Funniest Post four times (July '01, Aug '01, Nov '01, and Mar '02) and also Most Improved (Mar '02). The final winner of five fleet awards (to date) and the only one to win them in five different categories is James "Rook" Mirtoh of the Washington: Rookie of the Month (Oct '01), MVP (Jan '02), Most Posts (Mar '02), Best Post (Apr '02), and Recruitment (Apr '02).
Q: Who is the only fleet member to have won the Best
Post award more than once?
A: David M. Kovich of the USS George W. Bush. He earned the award as a lieutenant in Dec '01 for his Post #27 and as a Lt. Commander in Mar '02 for his Post #161.
Q: Which other fleets have ships that were created in
IndFleet served in (often temporarily)?
A: There are two. UtopiaFleet/Neo-UtopiaFleet/NovaFleet (only one name of which was needed) in which the USS Goliad (formerly the USS Chesapeake) served and the USS Camelot (formerly the USS Avalon, NCC-3002) is still serving. The second is Celestial Fleet, in which the USS Liberty is currently serving for the remainder of this month. (The USS Sunfire set up a competing "Independence Fleet"; but, as no other ships ever joined, it is not credible as a fleet which, by definition, is at least two ships).
Q: Before (and slightly after) becoming Commander in
Chief of Independence Fleet, what fleet-level position
did then-VAdm Charles Star hold?
A: Fleet Historian. Director of Deep Space Exploration is a division-level position, which Star still holds.
Q: What is the greatest number of ships that have ever
served in IndFleet at one time?
A: Eleven, achieved briefly in Jan '02 before the initial fleet splittings.
3rd Place: Goes to Lt. Cmdr. Zachari J. Vrona of the USS Pioneer. He correctly answered 12 questions and wins, for his efforts, a set of parentheses: ( )
2nd Place: Goes to Lindsay who plays Lt. JG Lima Jarvas on the Patriot and Lt. Nara Jade Treniek on the Avalon NCC-3002-A. She correctly answered 16 questions and, for her efforts, wins a pair of asterisks: * *
1st Place: Goes to Ens. Zingela of the USS Washington. He correctly answered 19 questions and, for his efforts (he re-read each archived newsletter) receives a tilde: ~
Congratulations to our three finalists and to everyone who submitted responses!
THE HISTORY OF INDEPENDENCE FLEET
Here is the central portion of this anniversary newsletter, a fully updated and expanded history of IndFleet. This is, by no means, an exhaustive history, nor one which purports to even begin to cover the many aspects of our fleet's year long story. However, this is, to date, the best edition known to exist and, therefore, it is fitting and proper to be proudly advertised.
* * *
-- The Founding of Independence Fleet
Independence Fleet has a long and glorious history which, strictly defined, began on July 4th, 2001. On that significant date, IndFleet was launched by Admiral James D. West, Vice-Admiral Charles Star, and Rear-Admiral Robert Seldon. Each admiral commanded one ship and also directed a single division (each of which was to grow to include several ships). West's ship was the USS Sunfire NCC-3001-A and his division was the Special Operations Division (SOD); Star's ship was the USS Avalon NCC-3002 and he directed the Deep Space Exploration (DSE) division; and Seldon's ship was the USS Washington NCC-11988 which was the flagship of his division, the Defense Response Force (DRF).
-- The Beginning of the Story: The USS Sunfire, Robertson Era
The history of IndFleet, however, can be better understood by knowing of some of the events which preceded its creation. The fleet's history can be traced back to February of 2000 and to the USS Sunfire, NCC-3935, a ship about to be launched by Utopia Fleet, one of the premier Star Trek RPBE (Role Play By E-mail) fleets at that time. UF, whose structure was never as well defined as IndFleet's would come to be, placed the new ship, which would become so key to this fleet's history, under the command of Commodore Jay "Robbie" Robertson.
Though "Robbie" (as many of his crew would come to call him) was charged with coordinating all of Utopia Fleet's recruitment efforts, he made his XO, Cmdr. James D. West, responsible for staffing the new vessel. This turned out to be a fortuitous decision and one of the best calls "Robbie" would make. West was able to quickly recruit Charles Star (who was made Lt. Commander and CMO) who, in turn, brought Robert Seldon (who started as a lieutenant and as Chief Science Officer) to the ship. Thus were the three crewmembers who were, arguably, the most important to the Sunfire (minus a two-week hiatus for Seldon, they were the only three to be on the ship for its entire run) in place.
Several others among of the rest of the Robertson crew would prove to be important in the story of Independence Fleet as well and so earn inclusion here. Ensign Ace Decade, who started as Small Craft Pilot and whose considerable exploits will be brought up later in this narrative, joined a few posts into the Sunfire's first mission. As with Star and Seldon, this was Decade's first experience with Star Trek RPBE. Lieutenant Sutak (again, whose later contributions to the fleet will be made clear shortly) joined the Sunfire as Chief Security Officer sometime a little later.
Condensing several months of very good posting for the purposes of this history, suffice it to say that the original Sunfire enjoyed several fun-filled and action-packed missions during her first few months in service. During one of those missions, the ship was actually destroyed in an event whose facts are still somewhat disagreed upon. Utopia Fleet then gave Comm. Robertson a new ship, the USS Sunfire, NCC-3935-A, and the adventure continued. However, these times did not last long.
During April of 2000, strife hit the crew of the Sunfire. Disagreements arose and many crewmembers began to publicly argue with one another. The ship became increasingly factionalized and there was more fighting than posting. All was not well and Robertson did not know what to do or how to handle the situation. The crew managed along until the disagreements became unbearably bitter and intense. Events climaxed in June of 2000, when Commodore Robertson resigned without fanfare or even a public announcement. Much of the crew then quit as well. Those several who remained then destroyed the second Sunfire in the storyline in a time accident to bring that tragic chapter to a conclusion.
-- The Impetus of the Fleet: The USS Sunfire, West Era
At this unfortunate turn of events, Utopia Fleet turned over command of the Sunfire to West, who had previously been promoted to captain while still that ship's XO. A new USS Sunfire, the third of her name and bearing the registry number NCC-3001, was launched as a special forces vessel. Star, who had previously been promoted to commander, was given the position of XO of the new ship. Seldon, now holding the rank of lieutenant commander, kept his job as CSO and also became 2nd Officer. Ace Decade worked his way up to lieutenant during this time and stayed with the new Sunfire under West.
Soon after the 3rd Sunfire was launched, the ship left the decaying Utopia Fleet and became an independent vessel. Shortly thereafter, Utopia Fleet disbanded and is still defunct to this very day. The Sunfire NCC-3001 had several fairly uneventful missions under West. During that time, both Ace Decade and Sutak were fired for disagreements with West and several other crewmembers. Their loss was compensated for by many new crewmembers who were attracted to the ship. Most notable of these new recruits were Conn Officer Ashla Bogan and Chief Engineer Krol. The Sunfire sailed on unperturbed.
During the spring of 2001, West, Star, and Seldon independently became convinced that the Sunfire could form a strong foundation for a Star Trek RPBE fleet. They found each other mutually excited about the possibility and, after much discussion and debate, they outlined a few details for the new SIMing organization. The fleet would start out with three ships, one commanded by each of them. West, Star, and Seldon would make up the admiralty of this new fleet and be jointly responsible for fleet decision and individually responsible for the direction of a division within the fleet for future growth. West would be the Commander in Chief and it was later decided that Star would be the Fleet Historian and Seldon the Fleet Secretary. Their other plans in place, they finally decided upon a name that West proposed, Independence Fleet, and the dream was nearly a reality. This brings the account back to the date of July 4th, 2001.
-- IndFleet Growth and Early History
The idea of a fleet had quickly caught on among all the rest of the Sunfire's crew and IndFleet launched amidst much excitement on July 4th, 2001 after much hard work by the first triumvirate. The three admirals were proud to see their new fleet become an immediate success. It had paid off and it was all worth it.
After less than a month in service, Star and the DSE added the fleet's first expansion ship, the USS Liberty, NCC-4003. She was commanded by the aforementioned Ace Decade, who had previously left the Sunfire with his reputation at low ebb. Star had invited Decade, against the advice of both West and Seldon, to join the Avalon and Ace (as he's often called by his friends) proved himself to be an extremely capable officer, winning the fleet's first MVP award. The Liberty went on to have a hugely successful August. At the end of that month, Seldon and the DRF launched the fleet's 5th ship, the USS Potomac, NCC-23512. She was commanded by Captain Krol, just formerly the Washington's executive officer and another veteran of the Sunfire whose name was introduced above in this narrative. In September, West and the SOD launched the fleet's 6th ship, the USS Goldeneye, NCC-84653. She was commanded by Captain Emery L. Ashley, also known as Ashla Bogan.
At the end of November, VAdm Star announced that he'd be stepping down as the CO of the Avalon, NCC-3002, to launch and command a new ship, the USS George W. Bush, NCC-2004, (DSE). Capt. Sutak, formerly of the USS Liberty (and before that of the West Era Sunfire), was promoted to the captaincy of the DSE's flagship. (The importance of this item will become clear as the story progresses).
IndFleet reached its height under the triumvirate of West, Star, and Seldon in January 2002. The fleet had grown to 11 ships (four in the SOD, four in the DSE, and three in the DRF), its greatest extent to this day. January also saw the greatest number of website hits (1,837) and the most posts (758) of any month to date. The fleet had seen 2,863 posts through its first seven months in action (July 2001-January 2002). People in the fleet were enjoying the monthly newsletter, the competition for awards, and many other programs the fleet had to offer. Though all seemed excellent, it was unknown at this point the trouble which stirred just beneath the surface of the fleet.
-- The Period of Great Fleet Strife
The first problem of the fleet, which, to Star and Seldon, was increasingly obvious as January of 2001 progressed, was West's leadership style. Breaking with the spirit in which the three had founded the fleet, West declared that he alone, as Commander in Chief, had the right to make fleet-wide decisions and to set fleet policy. West's style, which was described as "bullyish" by many and the decisions he made were causing dissension within the fleet. West's position was further undermined by the great weakness in the Special Operations Division which he directed. The SOD ships seemed to always be the least productive and several people on those ships had conflicts and issues with West. Star and Seldon were considering all of these facts and attempting to create a solution when a less ignorable crisis hit the fleet.
On February 4th 2002, Captain Shawn Edwards of the USS Chesapeake, NCC-18907, (DRF), and Captain Sutak, the new CO of the USS Avalon, NCC-3002, (DSE), announced that they were leaving ID Fleet to form a new fleet, to be named Utopia Fleet in memory of the long-defunct fleet from which the Sunfire first sprung (though it was quickly dubbed "Neo-Utopia Fleet" by the members of IDF and that name was shortly thereafter adopted even by the organization's own members). Upon learning of the secession, Star and Seldon immediately went to West to try and work out some of the problems which had taken IndFleet to that point. West was completely uncooperative throughout several e-mails and multiple conversations. During the final discussion in which the two lower admiral attempted to keep the fleet unified, West fired Star and Seldon, both of whom he accused of "mutiny," "conspiracy," and general "treachery." The remainder of Independence Fleet was now destined to be further split, between those going with West and those who chose to go with Star and Seldon.
To minimize the damage to the fleet, both sides made a deal. Each of the fleet's 9 remaining ships could go with whichever side it wanted. If the group Star was leading got the most ships, they would keep the Independence Fleet name and history. If West's group got the most ships, they would keep all the fleet properties (including those items mentioned above along with the fleet website, admiralty e-mail account, and forum). In the end, it was only the Sunfire that went with West, much to the former CinC's surprise. Of the nine ships, four went with Star (for a total of five ships in IndFleet, including the George W. Bush), two elected to become independent ships, and two immediately went defunct.
In that clumsy, haphazard manner the crisis, the largest the fleet has ever faced, came to a close, though certainly not to the full satisfaction of any involved.
-- The Second Triumvirate
At this juncture, Star was promoted to Admiral (dropping the "Vice" from his rank) and took over as Commander in Chief in place of the departed West. Commodore Ace Decade was given Directorship over a re-made Special Operations Division which was christened the Special Assignment Taskforce (SAT). Very shortly later, Seldon, still director of the Defense Response Force (DRF), was promoted to Vice-Admiral and Decade was made Rear-Admiral. This period in fleet leadership quickly came to be known as the Second Triumvirate.
Independence Fleet began to very quickly grow once again. Star Base 31 (SAT) was launched as previously scheduled on February 9th; The Defiance, NCC-72480, (DRF) launched on February 24th; and the USS Pioneer launched on March 1st. Once again, on the surface, all was calm.
However, the period of the second triumvirate did not last long. A little over a month after the fleet split, a difference of opinion arose within the new admiralty with RAdm Decade on the one side unable to reach a consensus with Adm Star and VAdm Seldon on the other. The exact nature of the disagreement has not been publicly disclosed but reports are that it mainly concerned RAdm Decade's ship, the USS Liberty, NCC-4003, (SAT). After a period of being unable to reconcile the dispute, Ace Decade withdrew the Liberty from the fleet on March 14th (2002) and demoted himself to Captain of that now-independent ship.
At this, the Special Assignment Taskforce was dissolved (its only other SIM, Star Base 31, was now transferred to the Defense Response Force) and, now with only a two member admiralty, a period in the fleet which could be called the Duocracy was ushered in, Star and Seldon not having a ready candidate to promote to the admiralty.
-- Under the Duocracy
This second splitting in the fleet, as it was of a much smaller scale, was much less traumatic than the first and things progressed nearly uninterrupted. On the very day that the Liberty withdrew from the fleet, the USS Avalon, NCC-3002-A, (DSE), named for the previous Avalon, NCC-3002, (DSE) which left to form Nova Fleet, entered service in IDF and just five days after that, the USS Excalibur, NCC-2997, (DSE) launched.
Even with just two people in fleet-wide leadership posts, the period under the Duocracy has been one of the most consistent in terms of performance and growth. During this time: awards and newsletters have continued to come out like clockwork; seven new ships have been launched in IDF and only two have left service; and average posting per ship has risen from 56 in March to 84 in June (which was the first month in IDF's history in which no ship saw fewer than 40 posts). Admiral Star and Vice-Admiral Seldon continue to operate the fleet with their two divisions. It has been an era free from major disturbance, an epoch of quiet prosperity.
-- Fleet Restoration
The above might be an adequate place to conclude the history thus far, but it may be appropriate to expound on it just slightly farther as two of those ships launched under the watch of the two duocrats were actually re-launches. During April 2000, both Captain Krol of the Minerva (formerly the USS Potomac, NCC-23512, in the DRF) as well as Captain Edwards of the USS Goliad (formerly the USS Chesapeake, NCC-18907, in the DRF) requested to bring their ships back to the fleet in which they were created. Star and Seldon were very glad to welcome them back into the fold and on May 1st, the USS Minerva and the USS Goliad rejoined the fleet.
If that were not pleasant enough news for IndFleet, Ace Decade submitted a request in mid June for the Liberty, one of the most successful ships in all the annals of IDF, to rejoin the fleet. The new Liberty is set to launch on the one year anniversary of the ship's first creation, August 1st.
This news brings the fleet once more back to that ever-important date of July 4th, this time, the fleet's first one year anniversary. And that, good readers, does conclude this portion of the fleets history. But, like all history, there is much, much more that has yet to be lived and yet to be written.
The fleet's story goes on. I think it likely that there will be a second anniversary next year. But that, and the nature of the celebrations to be had, depends upon all of us. Lets be sure that we can be proud of Independence Fleet now and far, far into the future.
VAdm Robert Seldon
CO: USS Washington, NCC-11988
Dir: Defense Response Force
Chief of IndFleet Operations