April 2003

April 2003 IDF Newsletter

- John Cage
- Earl Jones
- News, Announcements, and Requests
- Awards
- "Super Space Command 3000"
- Mission Write-ups
- USS George W. Bush
- Fleet Organization
- Interview w/ Adm. Star
- Resignation Announcement


The creator of one of Independence Fleet's upstanding characters has passed away. John Cage's father contacted several members of the fleet with the news that John had been killed in a car accident. This occurred in early March as John was driving home from work.

In his e-mail, Mr. Cage wrote that "[as] we were going through his stuff, we found boxes upon boxes of posts that he had written. He genuinely loved this thing that he did [that is, simming]."

In IDF, John played the characters of T'Maekh tr'Lennex, who served on both the USS Sunfire and on Star Base 10; Jonathan Webb, who served on Star Base 31; and Ralph Stembridge, who served on the USS Griffin. He also was active in simming outside of Independence Fleet.

Zach, who plays Comm. Vrona and a friend of John's, has created a memorial for John with help from Jennifer, who plays Cmdr. Concord. Vrona also announced plans to induct the character of Lennex into the SB10 Hall of Fame. The memorial can be found here:


The memorial, when complete, will have information on all of John's characters as well as his real life persona, along with things written by those that knew him best. It is a far better tribute than could be written by this newsletter's editor and is recommended for anyone who knew or is curious about John.


Earl Jones, who plays Capt. K'lar of the USS Conqueror, suffered a gunshot wound in late March while protecting the Cincinnati apartment complex where he lives. Most of the residents of the complex are elderly or disabled and previously suffered a high crime rate. Earl, a former Army soldier, organized a group of concerned citizens (all former members of the military with combat experience) to patrol the area and provide security for the vulnerable residents.

During the gunfight which ensued, the criminals responsible for initiating the conflict were successfully stopped and are unlikely to repeat the offense.

Earl's wound, which was sustained to his left shoulder, was not terribly serious, as gunshot wounds go, and he is making a good recovery. He underwent two surgeries in connection with the wound. The Conqueror's Captain was only away from his simming duties for several days while he was hospitalized and Jennifer, who plays Cmdr. Concord of Deep Space 15, took over some of Earl's CO obligations while he was away.

From all accounts, Earl and the group he has organized are making a big difference in the community. They job they have volunteer for is very dangerous and the term hero could accurately be applied to those men without hyperbole.

The news of Earl's wound was announced on 1 April and was initially taken as an April Fools Day joke.


- Independence Fleet would like to recognize our High School and College graduates again. Fleet Command asks that anyone who will be graduating this spring e-mail VAdm Seldon (Seldon11988@yahoo.com) with (1) your real name (first name is fine) along with your character name and ship, (2) type of school (college, high school, other) you are graduating from and school name, if you wish to include it, (3) class rank and/or any honors or awards you are graduating with, if you wish to include this, and (4) your future plans, even if ?undecided.? This information will be included in the May fleet newsletter to honor all graduates.

- Efforts to update IDF's website continue and Commander-in-Chief Star has placed VAdm. Seldon in charge of this effort. Two members have been asked to put together sample pages for fleet leadership to examine. If you would like to offer assistance, please

- Correction: Independence Fleet's newest sim, Deep Space 15, was incorrectly referred to as 'Starbase 15' in the March Newsletter. The mistake was purely on the part of the newsletter editor. Our apologies for the mistake and any confusion or inconvenience it has caused.


- Most Posts: Lt. Cmdr. Kiara Rodale (Communications), USS Conqueror -- 61 Posts

- Best Story Post: Lt. Scott McCoy (Asst. Engineer), USS Excalibur -- Post #2144 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/uss-excalibur/message/2623

- Best Character Post: Cmdr. Entera Danae (Executive Officer), USS Minerva -- Post #596 http://www.topica.com/lists/minerva36181/read/message.html?mid=806003635&sort=d&start=827

- Funniest Post: Lt. Cmdr. Trazmara Dmik (Chief Medical Officer), USS Conqueror -- Post #674 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/USSConquerorIDF/message/974

- Rookie of the Month: Ens. Kolrun Baum (Chief Science Officer), USS Minerva

- Most Improved: Lt. (jg) Fiona Starling (Chief of Security), USS Horatio Nelson

- Most Valuable Player: Lt. Cmdr. Mira Rodale (Executive Officer), Deep Space 15

- Recruitment: NONE

- Outstanding Simmer: Lt. Cmdr. Paula Fredericks, M.D. (Chief Medical Officer), USS Excalibur


Early this month it was announced that a Federal Appeals Court Judge, Lance Stiffler, had ruled that, due to copyright law, IDF could no longer be a ?Star Trek? sim. Fortunately, the announcement stated, a new setting had been devised for our fleet: ?Super Space Command 3000? (or, SSC3K, to those in the know). Of course, the announcement was just an April Fools Day joke (complete with _really_ goofy graphics on the website) but many people completely bought it. Here are just a few comical (but anonymous!) reactions that fleet leadership got:

* * *

I just read the announcement, and I'm sure that you've been getting email all day about this, but here's my question, are we still going to keep going, and just have it hidden behind a screen, i.e. super space command. That new web design is ridiculously funny, anyway, just curious.

* * *

CrewMember: i didn't think the April Fools joke was funny did you CO: Not at all CrewMember: what is the matter with them CO: Not a clue

* * *

It's very well done, except that there's no Federal Circuit Judge named Lance Stiffler, and a real reporter would have identified which circuit he was a judge for. ;)

* * *

I will be a good boy and do nothing, but rest assured, the second this becomes common knowledge in the world community, I intend on speaking the the highest possible powers I can about this, which in my case happens to include the current Texas Governor Rick Perry, Attorney General of Texas Greg Abbott, and even Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson.

* * *

I hope that everyone enjoyed the prank. If you were fooled, don't worry, you weren't the only one.


- Submitted by Capt. Julie Absecon, USS George W. Bush:

The George W. Bush ventured out to Rydia, out of curiosity on a local superstition of a 'Starfall Relic,' some type of utopia bringing starship/aliens. Upon their arrival in system they are greeted warmly, and are a little uncomfortable with all the rituals involved in assuring good luck. Everything seems to be going well until the Bush intercepts a mysterious transmission, which then thickens the mystery even more. A fleet of cloaked Been ships arrived at Rydia, supposedly the "Starfall Relic." After defending against the ships, the Bush was ordered to leave. However, the order didn't come from Delia herself, but from a changeling in disguise, who captured Delia and plans to take over the system. The Bush is now drawn between two sides and is attempting an attack on the invaders.

- Submitted by RAdm. Steven McCloud, USS Excalibur:

While on route to Starbase 234, the Excalibur picks up a distress signal. Faint and in a language unknown to them, they change course to investigate. Once they reach the area of the source of the signal, they incounter a wormhole. It opens and what looks like a communications satelite comes thru. It drifts towards the Excalibur and when it gets close to the ship, a red ball of light emerges. This light enters the ship, scans the members of the bridge crew and settles in front of Commander Tolbin. It enters her and later abandens her for Ens. Airika Calhoun. McCloud finds out that his two crewmen have been taken over by a race called the Aura, that the communications satelite is infact a computer prison and that it contains thousands of Aurans. Now McCloud and company are faced with finding the opening of the wormhole to return these people to where they came from and find out how they came to be there in the first place.

- Submitted by Capt. Audra Murchadh, USS Sunfire and Cmdr. Victoria Concord, Deep Space 15 (DS15/Sunfire Joint Mission: "Fate or Choice?"):

For the last few weeks the Sunfire had been running all over responding to prank distress calls, all of them the same message and signed by the same person. Because of their distracting, and potentially dangerous nature, the Sunfire has been assigned to find out who's responsible and stop them. There being currently no leads, the Sunfire was ordered to DS-15, to use the outpost as a staging area for search operations in this remote sector of space.

DS15 is seemingly returning to normal - it's staff and civilians finally coming out from the hold of the aliens from it's last mission - when the Sunfire arrives. The CO is the last to be revived of the affected crew, and immediately calls the CEO to deck 39, one of the base's heavily shielded and classified decks. There they find what the CO most fears: the station's most dangerous "non-existent" experiment is rapidly destabilizing due to lack of care during the last week while the CO had been in sickbay and the staff had been trying to find and stop the aliens.

Before either officer can do anything, the device experiences a sudden and massive expulsion of energy. At the same moment, a ship appears from out of nowhere. Scans reveal the ship is twisted and broken, completely devoid of power and even it's engine, and without any life signs. Many it's former crew have somehow been fused into parts of the ship itself, others seem to simply and cleanly be missing parts of themselves, still others are preserved perfectly, yet still dead for unknown reasons. Further inspection reveals the ship's identity: NCC 3001-B USS Sunfire. The same as the ship currently docked, and alive and well.

As the DS15 crew begins piecing the disaster together, the Sunfire crew becomes increasingly distrustful of the lack of information being shared and the clearly evident cover-up that is beginning. One bold move to defend themselves from what appears to be sabotage on the part of the DS15 crew ends up causing the exact event trying to be prevented by both crews...

But! Just when all seems to be lost, including the future of the station, the Sunfire's CEO manages to not be thrown back in time with the ship, instead ending up on DS15 through some technological wizardry of that crew. Once he revives, and the Sunfire's engine core is recovered, which also stayed in the present time, he quickly discovers a way to save the station. Putting the drive back in the ruined version of ship that is still in the station's custody, should reverse the interaction that is threatening to rip the station apart just as the ship was.

Not only does that solution work, but strangely enough the Sunfire begins to reform! And with it, it's crew begins to be brought back to life!

- Submitted by Lt. Cmdr. Rager, Starbase 10 ("The Five Ws"):

After getting all the cadets shipped back to the Academy, Starbase 10 finds a few days of recovery are in order. Thankfully the surprise waits until things are all settled to show up. But sure enough, one morning two ships of unknown design emerge from a strange funnel-type vortex thing. It's clear the first is running from the second. However, the language the two ships use is also unknown and the universal translator can't seem to translate it.

One shot from the pursuing ship sends the first into a spin that would cause it to impact the station. Seconds before the collision occurs, the station manages to stop the ship with tractor beams. As the pursuing ship back off to be outside the station's weapons range and waits for a reply communication, the first ship makes a desperate attempt at communication with the station through the telepathic and empathic people on the station, but it doesn't quite work and they all end up being affected in strange ways.

The station's crew is beginning to react as best they can, but everything's all questions at the moment. Who? How? Why? From where? With what intention?


Capt. Jasson Asuka has resigned as captain of the USS George W. Bush, a position he has held since Charles Star left in December 2002 to pursue fleet leadership full-time. He cited "lack of time and recently a lack of interest" in his announcement. Members of the George W. Bush along with Asuka's fellow COs expressed sorrow is seeing him go. He departs with everyone's best wishes.

RAdm. McCloud efficiently moved to appoint a replacement for Asuka. The DSE Director decided to promote the GWB's executive officer, Cmdr. Julie Absecon, to the command ranks. Asuka had recommended her for the position in his resignation announcement.

Jasson Asuka expressed an interest in returning to simming in the future, if his real life activities permit him to do so.

Adm. Star would like Captains to give a notice of one month before resigning, when possible.


In the spirit of clarifying the present command structure of the fleet, Adm. Star has put together the following e-mail (initially sent to the CO mailing list, reprinted here with permission).

* * * * *

Hello All!

This email is just to clarify a few things about the command structure in IDF. It's kinda hard to put this into words, so I "drew" out a diagram for it and then made a "chart" showing the superior officers to each position. The diagram and chart both show the same thing, but take a look at both of them to get a clearer understanding of our command structure. A key to the position abbreviations is before the diagram and chart. Everything is exactly like it was, but we've added the positions of Chief of Operations (West) and Chief of Development (Seldon). If you have any questions, email me back.

Adm. Star



CinC Commander in Chief
CoO Chief of Operations
CoD Chief of Development
DoSOD Director of SOD
DoDSE Director of DSE
DoDRF Director of DRF
DDoSOD Deputy Director of SOD
DDoDSE Deputy Director of DSE
DDoDRF Deputy Director of DRF
CO Commanding Officer (any ship)
XO Executive Officer (any ship)
Crew Crew (any ship)


| | |
CoO | CoD
| | |
| | |
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
------ ------ ------
| | |
| | |
---- ---- ----
| | | | | |
| XO | XO | XO
| | | | | |
---- ---- ----
| | |
Crew Crew Crew


Position (Superior Officers)

CinC (none)
CoO (CinC)
CoD (CinC)
DoSOD (CinC, CoO, CoD)
DoDSE (CinC, CoO, CoD)
DoDRF (CinC, CoO, CoD)
DDoSOD (CinC, CoO, CoD, DoSOD)
DDoDSE (CinC, CoO, CoD, DoDSE)
DDoDRF (CinC, CoO, CoD, DoDRF)
SOD XO (CinC, CoO, CoD, DoSOD, DDoSOD, his/her CO)
DSE XO (CinC, CoO, CoD, DoDSE, DDoDSE, his/her CO)
DRF XO (CinC, CoO, CoD, DoDRF, DDoDRF, his/her CO)
SOD Crew (CinC, CoO, CoD, DoSOD, DDoSOD, his/her CO and XO)
DSE Crew (CinC, CoO, CoD, DoDSE, DDoDSE, his/her CO and XO)
DRF Crew (CinC, CoO, CoD, DoDRF, DDoDRF, his/her CO and XO)



After our interviewer consented to download a 34,267 KB file containing information on professional wrestling, Adm. Star agreed to an interview.

* * *

Interviewer: Today we are joined by IDF Commander-in-Chief Charles Star. Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to speak with us today, Admiral.

Adm. Star: Thank you. At last Admiral Star has returned to the newsletter!

Interviewer: Lol. Yes, how many times have you been interviewed so far? You do hold the record, I believe.

Adm. Star: Yes, I am now the 4-time, 4-time, 4-time, 4-time interviewee for the newsletter!

Interviewer: Congratulations on the accomplishment. Some members may have questions on the recently clarified command structure of the fleet. Could you explain it for us?

Adm. Star: I'd be happy to, brother!

Interviewer: Well, please do. Explain things, that is.

Adm. Star: I'm the top dog around here because I am the Game and I am that [expletive deleted] good!

Interviewer: Has the fleet always been constituted in this manner?

Adm. Star: Can I be serious for a minute?

Interviewer: Please.

Adm. Star: No, the fleet has not always been constituted in this manner. However, it has been this way since November 2002 when Admiral Seldon first retired. Oh, it's true, it's true.

Interviewer: Had you made requests for VAdm Seldon to return to the fleet?

Adm. Star: Yes, I did. And he accepted the position of Chief of Development. His primary duty is, of course, to further develop and expland the fleet. And that's the bottom line.

Interviewer: When did you draw up the plans for the fleet's present command structure?

Adm. Star: I didn't "draw them up." It just kinda happened when Seldon resigned. I was the last of IDF's founders and was left with no one else in a fleet command position. It was then that I promted McCloud and Dragonetti, and later Vrona, to their current positions. I have enjoyed working with them ever since. But I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.

Interviewer: Do you believe having one person in ultimate responsibility for the fleet is superior to having a group administer the fleet?

Adm. Star: Yes. It's about intensity, intelligence, and integrity. It has proved to be much more efficient and less controversial. Everyone knows their role and works towards the betterment of IDF. We all want to see the fleet succeed and we know what our individual responsibilities are.

Interviewer: Do you see any drawbacks to this form of organization?

Adm. Star: No. Big Poppa Star is your hook up and the current IDF Commander in Chief!

Interviewer: In your comment about the new organization having "intensity, intelligence, and integrity" do you mean to imply that the triumvirate (that is, government by three people, West, Star, and Seldon) lacked any or all of these qualities?

Adm. Star: I would say that the leadership of the first 7 months of IDF's history had more problems. It was very difficult for us to reach agreements sometimes and in several cases caused us to be rather ineffective. But now IDF is Star!

Interviewer: VAdm. Seldon, who has recently taken up the job of Academy Commandant, has just announced that he will be stepping down as Chief of Development in the coming few weeks. Will this modify your fleet organization at all?

Adm. Star: Yes, it's unfortunate that he's going to walk out on his duties again -- this time after specifically requesting that position and only being back for three months. So I have to ask... What's up with that?!? I do hope he'll reconsider though. His creative force and effort in that post will be missed.

Adm. Star: Yes, it's unfortunate that he's going to walk out on his duties again -- this time after (1) specifically requesting that position; and (2) only being back for three months. So I have to ask... What's up with that?!? I do hope he'll reconsider though. His creative force and effort in that post will be missed.

Interviewer: Well, this appears to be all the time allotted for our interview. Thanks again for speaking with us for a record fourth time, Commander in Chief.

Adm. Star: No problem. Thanks for inviting me. And it wouldn't be an interview if I didn't say it... IDF is Star!!!

Interviewer: You yourself have said it.

Adm. Star: Whooooo!

Website Editor's note: Admiral Star's behavior in the above interview is a take off of WWF. Hopefully this clarification will change the negitive impression the interview gives.


Dear members of Independence Fleet,

As I announce my upcoming resignation of the "Chief of Development" post, it seems fitting to offer an explanation of my action to the fleet which has been the object of my service for so many months. I hope that this short message will make clear my decision, the reasons for it, and, if you will allow it, I wish to take this opportunity to articulate a few additional words on my view of Independence Fleet and her destiny.

Firstly, my promised clarification: I am not wholly leaving the Fleet, only declining official service within the formal fleet-level regime. I intend, for now, to proceed with launching the academy and with attempting to craft it into a useful institution for interested simmers. Additionally, no longer being within the bureaucracy of the fleet apparatus, I will have more time to pursue other projects worthy of the Fleet, in my estimation (I believe that the impetus for many of the Fleet's innovations have come from those holding no official position and there are many with no official position who work as diligently and faithfully as those of high rank). My resignation of the Chief of Development post will become effective on or about 4 May, depending on when a replacement is found.

Having offered this clarification, I will address the reasons for my decision, to satisfy any curiosity which my choice may provoke. As with most decisions, whether they are large or, like this one, small, the reasons for this choice are several:

To begin, the constraints of time which I initially cited in my November 2002 retirement announcement are largely still effectual. I have not been able to contribute at the level which I feel the fleet deserves and which I presume Commander in Chief Star expected of me as he invited me to return to the fleet. His request for me to return was predicated, I must think, upon expectations of a high level of output that I am not able to give under present motivations.

Secondly, my resignation of the post will allow for new leaders in the Fleet to advance further and make greater contributions to the Fleet. Unfortunately, this did not occur when I left active service last November but I am hopeful that significant opportunities will be given to some of the highly talented and excellent people who already exist in the Fleet.

I am not sad for having taken this opportunity to provide some last service to Independence Fleet. I think that this brief period has seen many good things begun and I am glad for my small chance to participate in them. The forever talked about academy is launching in two weeks; the long-needed website renovation is well begun; and a useful and invigorating fleet re-alignment is being considers and will likely be enacted. These are good things for the Fleet and I hope that they are all carried into execution with little delay.

Some may charge me with abandoning my responsibilities. The compliment in that sentiment (that no one else is able to do the job as well) I will neither refute nor encourage on this occasion. However, any who would accuse me of creating a talent vacuum (and thus hurting the Fleet) by resigning should not turn their annoyance to me for leaving but should instead focus on anything which prevents the development and advancement of the talent that the Fleet has. Additionally, I do not claim any unique gift or any unnatural ability that cannot be replaced by another.

Finally, I have an observation and a humble suggestion for the fleet. The observation would be that the same debates keep occurring in the fleet. Are multies good or bad and what should be done about them? What is expected of captains? Is posting quality or quantity more important? What are the tasks of the fleet? What type of leadership structure is best? Et cetera, et cetera. These discussions are important and many profound things have come out of them. But these things are quickly forgotten and a new group of captains is left to discuss the same things anew. The suggestion would be for people to more fully develop their ideas on such things and, through discourse with others, develop them into proposals that are useful to the fleet. This will heighten the debate, involve more people in fleet decisions, and will preserve work that's already been done so the same issues are not debated anew with every dawn.

In closing, I believe and hope that I have had a positive impact upon the Fleet, so far as it matters, and that the members of the Fleet will continue to develop the institution to fit their needs and wholesome desires.

VAdm. Robert J. Seldon
Commandant of IDF Academy