BLOG

20th Anniversary Message & Almanac

It’s finally here: The 20th anniversary of the founding of this great club. Who knew back on July 4, 2001 that this group, launched with humble beginnings on Angelfire and YahooGroups, would not only still be around today, but standing among the titans of simming?

Independence Fleet has seen good times, bad times, and everything in between. Throughout it all, we’ve endured to create some of the best Star Trek role playing the Internet has ever witnessed. With that in mind, we have an important message from a very special guest:

In honor of this historic and momentous occasion, we hereby publish the Independence Fleet 20th Anniversary Almanac. It’s 20 pages of history, games, perspectives from the fleet, and more:

Whether you’ve been a member for one day or all 20 years, this legacy belongs to you! On behalf of the entire IDF Admiralty, we hope you thoroughly enjoy today’s message, almanac, and everything this fleet offers.

Let’s continue to tell our story…

EDIT (July 14, 2021): Anniversary Almanac Answers

2021 Hall of Fame Inductees

It is my great privilege to formally induct the newest members of the Independence Fleet Hall of Fame. For those who attended our 20th Anniversary Webcast yesterday, you got a sneak peak at the class of 2021. Induction into our Hall of Fame is the highest honor within this fleet. The criteria, requirements, and process can be found in the Hall of Fame Charter (pdf).

The following individuals are hereby inducted into the Independence Fleet Hall of Fame:

Inducted by Election:

Admiral Joseph “Stealth” Carroll

of the USS Washington

One of the most colorful characters in fleet history, Joseph “Stealth” Carroll has done it all. He joined the USS Washington during the fleet’s first month, then rose through the ranks and earned his first command on the USS Liberty, winning a posting title in his first month. He also served in numerous Admiralty roles up through 2020, most notably Fleet Inspector General. A contributor at every level, Carroll’s loyalty is unmatched.

Captain Wesley Chase

of the USS Avalon

A longtime Captain during IDF’s late renaissance period, Wesley Chase led many original adventures on his two commands, the USS Avalon and USS Archimedes, including during a three month stint as Commanding Officer of both. He knew how to push the boundaries while staying true to the best ideals of both Trek and simming. Chase tallied two posting titles and 2.33 Genesis awards.

Vice Admiral Caroline Marion

no sim selection

A member of the Admiralty through much of IDF’s history, from the late early years up through 2020, Caroline Marion is best known as the genius behind the fleet logos developed circa 2004-06. Building on earlier fleet emblems, the graphics received rave reviews from players and were highly influential on subsequent club artwork. Indeed, the theme and feel from Marion’s work remains today.

Fleet Admiral James D. West

of the USS Sunfire

One of the club’s three founders and instrumental throughout its history, James D. West has left an incalculable mark. He coined the Independence Fleet name, created the first bell & wings logo, and served as the first, third & sixth fleet Commanding Officer. He additionally created four sims and returned in 2020 when the fleet was teetering on collapse. Without West’s many contributions, we wouldn’t be celebrating today.

Fleet Admiral AJ Wheeler

no sim selection

The third and final individual to achieve the Fleet Admiral rank, AJ Wheeler was also the longest serving fleet Commanding Officer, a position held for more than nine years. While the fleet saw many ups and downs during Wheeler’s tenure, it was noted for its extreme growth and many contributions to the greater simming universe, including hosting and sponsoring major community events.

Inducted by the Veterans Committee:

Commander George Ruiken

of the USS Sunfire

A champion simmer from IDF’s late early period, George Ruiken was a go-to player who know how to push the plot forward and make it entertaining for all. He quickly rose through the ranks to Commander, and is still in the top 20 all-time with 6 total awards, including 2 MVPs and 2 Funniest Posts. Ruiken’s posts were always imaginative and provided many opportunities for others to get involved.


Congratulations to all six of our 2021 inductees! Well done, and thank you for providing an example for us still role playing to follow. You will forever be remembered for your extraordinary contributions to Independence Fleet. There are now 33 total members of this most exclusive club.

In a stunning coincidence, the three sims represented this year are the USS Sunfire (x2), USS Avalon, and USS Washington–identical to our original fleet line-up on July 4th, 2001.

Speaking of that, stay tuned for more news regarding our 20th anniversary today…

Awards… For Monthly Awards!

Wow, what a 20th Anniversary Webcast! It was so awesome that I think we have a new tradition here in this fleet. Our very own Admiral Ken Gillis hosted the event, where he introduced the Hall of Fame class of 2021 and awarded prizes to three people from among our monthly award winners. If you missed it, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see the Hall of Fame inductees. However, I can give a quick recap of the prize drawing.

First, here are the prizes:

Next, the names of the monthly award winners were added to the big wheel. Players received a spot on the wheel for each award they won dating back to March 2020 (award fractions were rounded up):

The three winners were…

Captain Aurther Winters of the USS Chuck Norris

Lieutenant J’goss Yass G’odoss, also of the USS Chuck Norris

and Chief Petty Officer Remal Kajun of the USS Sunfire

Congratulations to all three! And thank you again to Ken for hosting and putting this on. Bravo!

Please stay tuned for more anniversary news tomorrow…

EDIT: Due to our current embargo on shipping goods to Canada, Aurther Winters will instead be getting a Tim Hortons gift card as a consolation. Also, Remal Kajun has offered to donate his prize. As such, we drew two more winners: Lieutenant Dean House of the USS Sunfire & Lt. Cmdr. T’Ponga Shemara of the USS Montana. Enjoy the prizes!

Monthly Awards: June 2021

I believe this is the earliest we’ve ever gotten the monthly awards out. Enjoy, but don’t expect it to ever happen again!

Best Post (Single Author)

Lieutenant Chester “Duo” Maxwell
Chief Security Officer
USS Sunfire

For “Old Wounds Pt.1”

An emotional and provocative post with great use of language to convey inner turmoil.

Best Post (Joint Post)

Capt. Rhenora Kaylen & Cmdr. Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen & Lt. Cmdr. Sandra “Phantom” Risa & Lt. Dean House & Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell & Lt. Chester “Duo” Maxwell & Lt. Thriss Kla’ren & Lt. Aurora Vali & Lt. JG Avarak
CO / XO / CFCO / CTO / CSS / CRO / CEO / CC / CSO
USS Sunfire

For “Into the Wormhole”

An exciting pass through the Bajoran wormhole. Nice use of the entire bridge crew: This is what writing Trek is supposed to look like!


Funniest Post

Ensign James Phoenix
Tactical Officer
USS Washington

For “Shattered Past”

Not your typical Funniest Post winner, but it gets the job done very well.


Genesis

Captain Rhenora Kaylen & Captain Sandy “Ghost” Shannon
Commanding Officer / Commanding Officer
USS Sunfire / USS Liberty

For “Genesis — Joint Mission” / “Genesis — Joint Mission”

An instant classic in IDF history, the Sunfire/Liberty crew swap begins.


MVP

Commander Jackson Andrews
Executive Officer
USS Albion

A prototypical XO, Andrews led his ship in posting and showed great leadership by nimbly playing off of the leads from other characters while simultaneously creating openings for others.


Most Posts

Lt. Chester “Duo” Maxwell
Chief Security Officer
USS Sunfire

For writing 13 posts.


Most Improved

Lt. Chester “Duo” Maxwell
Chief Security Officer
USS Sunfire

Returning to simming after a lengthy break, Maxwell rejoined the Sunfire and was a powerhouse all month. Initiating posts, working well with the existing crew, and being a general pleasure to role play with.


Rookie of the Month

Lieutenant JG Avarak
Chief Science Officer
USS Sunfire

Despite joining after the joint mission began, Avarak jumped straight into the fray, initiating several posts and participating in the ship-wide joints posts. A great first month!


Recruitment

No award this month. Get recruiting!


Another great month for our ships and the entire fleet. In other news, our 20th anniversary is just three days away! Also don’t forget to attend our special webcast on July 3rd. See you there!

20th Anniversary Webcast

On July 4th, 2021, Independence Fleet celebrates its 20th anniversary, having been founded on July 4th, 2001. In honor of this event, we will be holding a webcast in the fleet watch party voice channel of the fleet’s Discord server at 12:00 PM ET (-4) / 5:00 PM BST (+1) on July 3rd (in order to allow members to enjoy the holiday with their families).

We will honor our past by announcing the new members to be inducted into the IDF Hall of Fame, and there will also be prizes! Make sure to mark your calendars to tune in to our Discord server on July 3rd!

Admiral Ken Gillis
Chief of Technology
Independence Fleet

Monthly Awards: May 2021

I hope everyone enjoyed SciWorld yesterday. It was an instant classic! Thank you to all who played a part in putting it on, including Aurther Winters, who was just awarded the Ongoing Worlds Community Honor for his efforts as Chair. Congratulations!

And now, on with the May monthly awards:

Best Post (Single Author)

Lt. Cmdr. Grexx
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Albion

For “Stop blowing holes in my ship!”

A great character introduction, and the character’s introduction to his new ship… along with its problems.

Best Post (Joint Post)

Lt. Cmdr. Estella Stratton & Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson
Chief Counselor / Executive Officer
USS Washington

For “Quiet Time”

A fantastic character development piece between the two Washington crewmembers. Well done!


Funniest Post

Capt. Shran dh’Klar & Lt. Deanna Celes & Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson & Cmdr. Samantha Howard & Lt. Cmdr. Estella Stratton & Ens. Connor Carrick 
CO / OO / XO / CMO / CC / CSO
USS Washington

For “Dealing with Duplicates”

A classic ensemble post that reads like a great sitcom episode! Hilarious!


Genesis

None this month.


MVP

Lt. Cmdr. Grexx
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Albion

The Chief Engineer joined the Albion after many years away from simming. He immediately integrated himself into the story, drove the plot forward, and worked well with the crew. It’s as if he never left!


Most Posts

Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell
Computer Systems Specialist
USS Liberty

For writing 12 posts.


Most Improved

Ensign James Phoenix
Tactical Officer
USS Washington

Ensign Phoenix dove into the current mission and showed an eager willingness to advance the story, both for his own character and the greater storyline.


Rookie of the Month

None this month.


Recruitment

None this month.


Keep up the great work, everyone, but let’s make sure we have winners in all categories for June!

SciWorld 2021

Join us this Saturday, June 12th, at 11:30 AM EDT (-4) / 4:30 pm BST (+1) for the 2021 SciWorld Online Convention. Chair Aurther Winters, Fleet XO Ken Gillis, and many others have put in a lot of hours to make this an extra special event this year. After the 11:30 opening ceremony, we have seven hours of provocative discussions, interactive trivia games, and live role playing planned.

Since we’re this year’s host, you get a sneak peak at the official opening ceremony video:

This will be the 19th SciWorld, and the third hosted by IDF. The first SciWorld was held all the way back in 1999. And just to see how far we’ve come over the years, here’s the opening video from the first modern SciWorld, which we hosted in 2011:

See you this Saturday at SciWorld XIX!

USS Sunfire & USS Liberty Sim Swap

We know this is crazy, but basically the crews are trading ships: USS Sunfire CO Captain Sandy “Ghost” Shannon & crew and USS Liberty CO Captain Rhenora Kaylen & crew are permanently swapping ships.

Wait, what?

Over the last week, each crewmember added their character to the other sim. Then today, the two Captains published joint genesis posts on each sim: Here’s the Sunfire’s & here’s the Liberty’s. Crewmembers are free to participate on both sims for the remainder of the missions, which will be wrapped up before the end of the month. At that time, legacy Liberty members will have their characters deactivated as they continue on the Sunfire, and legacy Sunfire members will have their characters deactivated as they continue on the Liberty.

Why do this?

Both sims have tremendous histories here at IDF. In fact, IDF was born out of the original Sunfire, and it was one of our three launch sims back in July 2001. Shortly thereafter, the Liberty was our first expansion sim on August 1, 2001. The current registry numbers hark back to those early days. When we relaunched both sims last year, circumstances led to the Liberty crew largely consisting of players from the last incarnation of the Sunfire. They’re simply going home now. And fortunately, the crew of the Sunfire are good enough sports to play along.

How will these joint missions turn out?

I have no idea, but they’re sure to be wild as we’ve never attempted anything like this before!

With that said, as of today, Captain Rhenora Kaylen is now the Commanding Officer of the USS Sunfire, and Captain Sandy “Ghost” Shannon is now the Commanding Officer of the USS Liberty. Congratulations, Captains! May you continue to lead your sims to new heights!

May News Updates

All, here are three command news items to keep everyone up to date:

  • An audit of our blog revealed that we never announced both of these October 1, 2020 changes of command in this forum: Captain Akeno Misaki of the USS Wayfarer and Captain T’Brei Sheridan of the USS Sunfire.
  • Captain Sandy “Ghost” Shannon assumed command of the USS Sunfire on May 1, 2021. A special thanks to Captain Sheridan for leading the Sunfire for seven months.
  • Captain John Wells will assume command of the USS Eminence on June 1, 2021. A special thanks to Captain Polto for leading the Eminence over the last 11 months.

Congratulations, Captains!

The Captain’s Chair: Emmalyn Marcus

Welcome to the Captain’s Chair, Captain Marcus. Please input your details into the data pad before we begin...

Name: Emmalyn Marcus

Rank: Captain

Position: Commanding Officer

Fleet Sim: USS Montana

Thank you, Captain. So let’s get started with your favorite Captain. Whose chair are you sitting in today?

Obviously James T. Kirk’s. I think that Kirk is the very embodiment of human nature.  He is compassionate towards others, something few humans have mastered.  Second, he’s reckless, but again that’s a human thing.

Very interesting. Does that make The Original Series your favourite or is there another?

Yes, that it is my all-time favorite.  However, I also love Star Trek Discovery as well. 

Do you have a favourite episode?

As of right now it’s Miri, s1e8, believe.

How about the movies, which is the best one?

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.  

And the worst?

Generations… Kirk falling off a rock, come on!

How’s your Captain’s chair by the way? Comfortable?

It’s great.  Very Comfy.

Good, good. How about the ship? Are we on the Montana or would you prefer another? You can have anything you like, we have a huge imaginary budget.

I enjoy it, lol.  Honestly I like the style of the ships from the 60’s. 

Absolutely! When did you start simming?

A little over a year ago. 

And what was your first sim?

USS Chuck Norris

What keeps you interested?

Complex plots.

What about real life? What else do you enjoy doing?

Being lazy, writing, video games. Oh, and being lazy.

I take it you’re a Montana fan given the ship we’re on. What else are you into besides that and Star Trek?

I love Sci-Fi. I also love U.S. history, specifically WW II. 

And at the Movies?

Back to the Future, Tron, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, anything with Tim Allen, James Bond movies, and the Mission Impossible series. 

Time for the quick fire round now before go to warp. Are you ready?

Always.

Favorite book? The Giver

Favorite video game? Super Mario Bros. 3

Favorite musician or band? David Bowie

Favorite superhero? Doctor Strange 

If you could have any super power, what would it be? Duh Magic.

Favorite sport? Basketball 

Favorite team? Utah Jazz

Favorite food? Sushi

Coke or Pepsi? Coke

Lennon or McCartney? Lennon

Star Trek or Star Wars? Trek, obviously.

Jordan or Lebron? Jordan

Excellent! Thank you for sitting in the Captain’s Chair. It’s been a pleasure to get to know a little more about you today. Emmalyn Marcus (aka John Wyatt of the USS Chuck Norris & Spivick of the USS Albion), everyone!