November Command Update

It’s hard to believe that this is our first sim change of command since February, which I think is a real testament to the stability of our fleet. My, have we come a long way since our early days of the 2000s! Anyway, one official change to announce:

  • Captain Kaylia Strenvale relieved Captain Sandy “Ghost” Shannon as Commanding Officer of the USS Liberty on November 1st. A very special thank you to Captain Shannon for her outstanding leadership commanding the USS Liberty since June 2021. You might remember that she also commanded the USS Sunfire in May 2021 and was more than a good sport about the Sunfire-Liberty sim swap. Best of luck with your future simming, Captain Shannon; and welcome to the team, Captain Strenvale!

April Fools’ 2022: Imperial Defense Fleet

With a long a illustrious history in the simming community, Independence Fleet has been a bedrock for quality Star Trek role playing for over twenty years. Although IDF’s leadership works hard to ensure our members have several games to suit their role playing needs, we also know how to have fun, and what better day to enjoy our brand of humor than on April’s Fools’ Day. For those of you who have been part of IDF for a while, you know that April Fools’ Day jokes have become a pretty big tradition around here.  We’ve done World Wide Sims, the classic 1990s simming website, and Super Space Command 3000.  Actually, we’ve done Super Space Command 3000 three different times–no one said we were original!  For those of you new to IDF this year, your introduction was our, er, rebranding where we took on a new menacing moniker.

Additionally, what we included for our humorous 2022 was the spectacular trial and banishment of our fleet CO–this is simming after all!  And then added for good measure, a good ole’ useless administrative burden for sim COs, complete with threats of facing JAG.  All in good humor, but these whimsical jokes mirror the real-life history of dozens of simming fleets (sadly including even this one at times), fleet XO Ken Gillis overthrew fleet CO Charles Star and installed Joseph “Stealth” Carroll as his JAG Magistrate…  just in case you missed it! These were all great ‘Easter eggs’ for those of you who have been around the community and witnessed some of the ludicrous events that have unfolded in past years outside of IDF.

Here are some of actual statements Admiral Star received in response to the gag:

  • “Loving this year’s prank by the way! I was hoping Super Space Command 3000 would have made a come back.”
  • “Were you kicked out of Independence fleet?” 
  •  “Are you really in trouble?”
  • “Hahaha you got me.”
  • “Let me know if you need any help.”
  • “Apparently I was fooled by Ken on April fools day. He got me good!”
  • “What happened?”
  • “I just remembered what day it is. April 1st.”

And here are a few of the quotes from our Discord server:

  • “Qapla!”
  • “Wrong Empire, but you got the spirit!”
  • Long live the Empire…”
  • “I see we have a new Grand Admiral. I guess it was going to happen eventually.”
  • “JAG got more positions [open], or just the Director?
  • “I am always looking for Inquisitors.”
  • “Long Live the new IDF Empire!! I expect sims that post less than 300 posts a month will be immediately shut down and mothballed? Right?”
  • “You had me going for a while there.”
  • “I was around IDF in 2003 when Federal Appeals Court Judge, Lance Stiffler, had ruled that due to copyright law IDF could no longer be affiliated with ‘Star Trek’ and so had to change its name to Super Space Command 3000. I can’t believe that joke is almost 20 years old now!”

Thank you again to Ken Gillis for planning and organizing this year’s joke, and a special thanks to Charles Star and Joseph “Stealth” Carroll for playing along and being great sports. On behalf of the Imperial Defense Fleet, I hope everyone else enjoyed it! I can’t wait to see what tomfoolery that is in store for 2023 and remember: “Forget the ring! The ring is bupkis! I found it in a Cracker Jack box!

Ship Reports

Edit: This post was part of the 2022 April Fools’ Day gag.

The previous administration ran a pretty loose ship. Our ships aren’t posting enough, and that’s a problem!

Effective immediately, all Commanding Officers must turn in weekly reports, directly to the admiralty. Failure to do so will result in harsh disciplinary action from the JAG.

The Trial of Charles Star

Edit: This post was part of the 2022 April Fools’ Day gag.

Charges

The Defendant, Charles Star, is charged with the following crimes:

  • Mutiny and Sedition
  • Theft of a Starship
  • Disreputable Behavior
  • Verbal Abuse
  • Unauthorized Shuttle Parking in Disabled Shuttlebay
  • Harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Sabotage of a Starship
  • False Statements
  • Dematerialization of a Beagle
  • Hacking
  • Crude Behavior
  • Terrorism

Facts of the Case

Charles Star was removed from command at 11:59 PM EST, March 31st, 2022. Charges were brought by Grand Admiral Ken Gillis.

The Defendant was contacted by carrier pigeon to appear. Since the pigeon did not arrive, the assumption was made that the Defendant was waiving his right to a trial by a tribunal and confessing to all above crimes.

Ruling

Presiding over the case were Judge Advocate General Joseph Carroll, Commodore Meadows, and Admiral Satie.

By unanimous vote, the tribunal has declared Charles Star GUILTY of ALL CHARGES prescribed above.

Sentence

Charles Star is hereby stripped of all rank, awards, and honors, and shall further be BANISHED from Imperial Defense Fleet for ALL TIME.

Change in Leadership/Rebranding

Edit: This post was part of the 2022 April Fools’ Day gag.

Today is a momentous day in the history of IDF! We are evolving beyond the organization we created over 20 years ago, and making way into a more glorious future! As of today, IDF will no longer stand for Independence Fleet (poor acronym anyway, where’s the D? In the middle of the first word?). No, it will now stand for:

Imperial Defense Fleet

Imperial Defense Fleet will be boasting a command structure, effective immediately! First of all, Charles Star is no longer in command of IDF. Star is stripped of all rank and privileges of his station.

In his place, I have taken command, as Grand Admiral. I will bring a new era of glory to IDF.

Joining me is Admiral Joseph Carroll, who will be taking up his new position as Magistrate in our newly formed Judge Advocate General Corps.

More to come as the day progresses.

Long Live IDF! Long Live the Empire!

February Command Updates

Two changes of command to report:

  • Captain Emmalyn Marcus has resigned as Commanding Officer of the USS Montana and will be replaced by Captain Jackson Adams. We thank Captain Marcus for all of the hard work and great simming since April 2021.
  • As a result, Captain Adams’s other character, Captain John Wells, will be resigning as Commanding Officer of the USS Eminence and will be replaced by Captain Alex Shepard. We thank Captain Wells for all the hard work and great simming since June 2021.

Captain Adams and Captain Shepard will both assume command on February 1st. Congratulations and best of luck, Captains!

My Favorite Trek: Heather Meadows

Not only is this the latest edition of My Favorite Trek, but it’s also announcement time: Commodore Heather Meadows hereby joins us today as our new Director of Media. Her main responsibilities will be My Favorite Trek interviews and other blog & media content. She has a long and distinguished simming career, frequently filling roles similar to this, that goes back two decades now. Without any further ado, let’s meet Commodore Heather Meadows…

Name: Heather Meadows
Rank: Commodore
Sim: N/A
Position: Director of Media
Other Characters: Lieutenant Tosh Tarkin of the USS Eminence

Favorite Star Trek episode? It is incredibly difficult to narrow Star Trek down to one favorite episode. However, I will go with “Measure of a Man” from Star Trek: The Next Generation’s second season.
Why? The writer of this episode is Melinda Snodgrass, an accomplished science fiction author, but has a background in law. She earned her Juris Doctor from University of Mexico School of Law. Snodgrass’ knowledge of law applied to the science fiction setting of Gene Rodenberry’s 24th century brings about a thorough discussion of morality, ethics, and what constitutes sentient life.
Favorite Star Trek series? Alas, a continuation of a predicament that places a fan in a tug-of-war within a wonderful franchise. Star Trek: The Next Generation has the best cast, but my personal favorite is Star Trek: Voyager.
Why? When measuring each series and comparing/contrasting them, Star Trek: Voyager edges out the others for me on a personal level because the premise was good, the pilot was interesting, and the first season was solid. Where other series needed time to grow and develop (surpassing Voyager even), Voyager as a series did not need to go through the same growing pains.
Favorite Star Trek film? This would be Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home for me.
Why? This is probably one of the more divisive films because of the plot and humor. I, however, greatly enjoy both the plot and the infusion of humor throughout the movie. The 1980s was a quirky time and having Kirk and the crew travel back to this period of time in Earth’s history worked out well because the actors were contemporary during the time. This made for sharper writing than having them sent back to say the 1880s. Environmental conversation is also something that is very important to me, and that is essentially at the core of this film.
Favorite Star Trek Captain? Most people have the ongoing battle of Kirk or Picard, but mine is actually a struggle between Picard or Janeway. Any given day, it could go either way for me, but I will go with Captain Kathryn Janeway. She adjusted to the situation that she found herself in, and part of that adjustment meant being more than just the Captain – Janeway had to become softer and more integrated with her crew, especially because there’s a huge difference between a Galaxy class starship and an Intrepid class.

  • What year did you start simming? I started simming in 2002 which does indeed feel like a million years ago because things were different back then.
  • What sim was it? It was Dowding Station, a space station sim and it was not part of a fleet. I actually spent about eight or nine years, strictly on the independent scene before setting foot in a fleet.
  • What keeps you simming today? I actually don’t write (simming) as much these days, but I do keep involved with the simming community. I stay involved because I like being a mentor and helping new COs (Game Managers) find their confidence and get into their groove.
  • Favorite non-simming hobby? I actually am a bit Neelix myself. I enjoy cooking and baking (hate the cleaning) and experimenting with recipes.
  • Favorite non-Trek series? That would probably be Buffy the Vampire Slayer because it’s a relatively timeless piece that has embedded itself into pop culture, and it is a series that any writer, director, or producer could learn a lot from.
  • Favorite non-Trek film? North by Northwest because I love James Bond, and though this is not a ‘Bond Film’ it still has the feel of one, and it is a well written film. It certainly is rightfully a classic.
  • Favorite book (fiction or non)? I’m going to give a quick shoutout to Nightshade, a Star Trek novel by Laurell K. Hamilton because Star Trek books do not get enough attention. However, because I am a literary geek, Frankenstein by Marry Shelly is my favorite book.
  • Favorite video game? I really don’t do gamming aside from auto racing games and such. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the Uncharted series and Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order.
  • Favorite musician or band? The Cranberries (Yes, the band known for “Linger” and “Zombie”) as I loved the Singer (she passed away a few years ago) and the band had a lot of gems of songs that weren’t hits or singles.
  • Favorite superhero? Nightcrawler from the X-Men.
  • If you could have any super power, what would it be? I would take telepathy though it would literally be a headache. The ability to know what people are truly thinking is alluring as you’d get them in their truest form.
  • Favorite sport? I’m an auto racing and motorsports person. Be that Formula 1, IndyCar, or NASCAR.
  • Favorite team? Team Penske
  • Favorite food? Pretty much all of it though I am fond of Tacos, Pide, and Malai Kofta.
  • Coke or Pepsi? I reject your binary cola thinking and insert my own. Royal Crown (RC Cola). However, I am less of a ‘cola’ person and more of a: Moxie, Dr. Pepper, birch beer, root beer, sarsaparilla, and cream soda person.
  • Lennon or McCartney? Let’s just say I am not a Beatles person.
  • Jordan or LeBron? Basketball – Nope.
  • Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Trek because it was less action and more philosophical.

Rank the Trek TV shows from best to worst. VOY / TNG / DSN / ENT / TOS / PIC / DSC
Rank the Trek movies from best to worst. TVH / FC / TUC / TWOK / I / G / TSFS / N / TFF / ID / B / TMP / ST (2009)
Was this too many questions? Not at all. It was a nice opportunity for people to get dome insight into me from a Trek perspective. I welcome any questions they may have.

Let’s all give Commodore Meadows a warm welcome!

Hall of Fame Amendment IV

The fourth amendment to the Independence Fleet Hall of Fame here hereby approved after a vote of 10 ballots for, 0 against, and 2 abstentions. The main change is reducing the maximum number of annual inductions from the standard process from five to three, and from the Veterans Committee from three to two. It also clarifies that future amendments can’t be voted on during May, June, or July so as to not interfere with the election process. These changes were primary driven by feedback from the voters this past year.

I don’t anticipate this resulting in any major changes practically, but it should help us focus our efforts moving forward. Speaking of forward, I’m already looking toward inducting a new group of outstanding individuals next year on our 21st anniversary to join the current 33 inductees.

You can see more about the Hall of Fame here or read the updated HoF Charter here.

October News Updates

Three quick news items for everyone:

  • Rear Admiral Bolak has resigned his position as IDF’s Director of Media due to time constraints. His last official day will be October 31st. I would like to personally thank Bolak for all of his hard work and the many contributions he has made to the fleet, especially the My Favorite Trek and Captain’s Chair interviews.
  • This year’s Simming Fall Festival will happen on November 13th. It will be hosted by our friends over at 5th Fleet. As always, we look forward to supporting 5th Fleet and engaging with the rest of the simming community at FallFest.
  • As everyone knows, we celebrated our 20th Anniversary earlier this year. What you might not know is that several other fleets also marked significant anniversary milestones in 2021. You can read more about a few of them over on the Ongoing Worlds Blog. Speaking of milestones, yesterday was the 11-year anniversary of the launch of the award-winning USS Sunfire-D.

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!