My Favorite Trek: Jackson Andrews

Let me welcome our newest guest on My Favorite Trek…

Character: Jackson Andrews

Rank: Commander

Sim: USS Albion

Position: Executive Officer

Other Characters: Ensign James Phoenix (USS Washington), Lieutenant Thriss Kla’ren (USS Sunfire), Lieutenant Raelyn Mckenzie (USS Wayfarer), Lieutenant JG Travis Ryson (USS Montana) & Ensign Jack Keegan (USS Chuck Norris)

Favorite Star Trek episode? This is a hard one, but I’d have to go with The Best of Both Worlds Parts One and Two.

Why? This is something I genuinely enjoy about many shows and Trek, but I really liked how it showed different possibilities of what could have happened. For example, the promotion of different officers, Picard’s possible fate, etc. I also like how it slightly segues into future TNG episodes.

Favorite Star Trek series? If the last question wasn’t clear, Star Trek: The Next Generation is by far one of my favorites. But I also enjoy most of the other shows that take place in the 24th century. Most notably: Star Trek DS9 and Voyager.

Why? I like how it shows how far the Trek Universe had advanced since The Original Series. It also vastly explored what Starfleet expanded to. Who wouldn’t like to explore the universe on a big Galaxy Class ship?

Favorite Star Trek film? Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home

Why? Multiple reasons, actually. It felt more laid-back than many other Trek films. It was cool seeing a legendary cast go back in time to the 80s, which was the present day when the film was released. Plus, Kirk and Spock’s “Colorful Metaphors” were enjoyable to watch too.

Favorite Star Trek Captain? Honestly, it’s a hard decision. But if I could give an answer at this moment in time, I’d have to say Janeway. Even if she broke the Prime Directive a few different times, she had to make tough calls for her crew. Not only that but she is a fellow coffee drinker. However, I am salty that she never promoted Harry Kim.

What year did you start simming? I started simming in 2020. I know that it’s far from as long as many of the others have been simming. However, before I was doing simming, I roleplayed constantly on various video games, and other forms of entertainment. I had been looking for a way to roleplay Trek when I came across the world of simming.

What sim was it? My first sim was one of IDF’s finest, the USS Washington.

What keeps you simming today? Today, what keeps me simming is the strive to know what happens next in the story, whether it’s small or large. So essentially, it’s the story that keeps me going.

Favorite non-simming hobby? I have many different hobbies outside of simming, especially, watching various shows, including Trek. However, I have a big passion for cars. I genuinely love the automotive world.

Favorite non-Trek series? Right now, it’s probably the new Magnum P.I series.

Favorite non-Trek film? This is a hard one, because I actually have two: Unstoppable and Need for Speed.

Favorite book (fiction or non)? I don’t necessarily have a favorite right now, but I have been reading the Star Trek novel, The Dark Veil. I also enjoy reading the Harry Potter Series.

Favorite video game? Honestly, while I have the games I constantly return to, like the Forza Games, I played and finished Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order. It is by far one of the best story games I have played so far. That’s not to say that it will change. But hey, I’m a sucker for story games.

Favorite musician or band? Linkin Park is by far my favorite, but I also like Greenday, Foo Fighters, and pretty much anything that is rock, or alt rock.

Favorite superhero? Probably Spider-Man at the moment, because I can relate to him the most.

If you could have any super power, what would it be? Teleportation

Favorite sport? Anything to do with motorsports, mostly with cars.

Favorite team? McLaren F1

Favorite food? Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Coke or Pepsi?  Pepsi

Lennon or McCartney? Lennon

Jordan or LeBron? Jordon

Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Trek

Rank the Trek TV shows from best to worst. DSN, TNG, VOY, ENT, PIC, DSC, TOS

Rank the Trek movies from best to worst. TVH, FC, TWOK, I, G, N, ST (2009), ID, TUC, B, TFF, TMP, TSFS

Was this too many questions? No.

Commander Jackson Andrews, and all his other characters, everyone!

Monthly Awards: August 2021

Help me congratulate our award winners from last month:

Best Post (Single Author)

Commander Jonathan Grayson
Executive Officer
USS Washington

For “Not So Sweet a Goodbye”

Good, emotional writing. Well done!

Best Post (Joint Post)

Lieutenant Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell & Lieutenant Sarah Wilson
Computer Systems Specialist / Medical Officer
USS Sunfire

For “Doctor Doctor – Give me the News”

Solid writing here, and a great reminder that those that go through war carry the scars of it. Excellent!


Funniest Post

Lieutenant JG Shoniara T’ghann Dex
Assistant Chief Medical Officer
USS Washington

For “A walk in the night”

Love this! Well written prose from the perspective of a cat. Super awesome!


Genesis

Lt. Niles McCulloch & Ensign Trevor Andrews & Capt. Emmalyn Marcus & Lt. Cmdr. T’Ponga Shemara & Lt. Sykon Son of Sran. Son of Kanok & Lt. Angelus De’luvia & Lt. JG Travis Ryson
ACEO / EO / CO / CEO / XO / CNO / CSO
USS Montana

For “A First Assignment”

Great, well rounded genesis post. Hits all the right notes.


MVP

Lieutenant Angelus De’luvia
Chief Navigation Officer
USS Montana

Lt. De’luvia is the consummate team player who is not afraid to voice concerns or alternative ideas. He’s a great asset to both story and crew.


Most Posts

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

For writing 13 posts.


Most Improved

Commander Finchley Kerr
Chief Strategic Operations Officer
USS Sunfire

The newest member of the Sunfire crew, he weaved his way into the current mission with both joint and solo posts, coming up with some great ideas along the way.


Rookie of the Month

Lieutenant JG Shoniara T’ghann Dex
Assistant Chief Medical Officer
USS Washington

The Washington’s new Medical Officer hit the ground running with some amazing solo work and group posting–the future is bright!


Recruitment

None this month.


Keep the excellent posts coming!

Monthly Awards: July 2021

Last month may have been the earliest we’ve ever gotten the monthly awards out. This month, well, may be the latest. My apologies!

Speaking of last month, I want to offer my sincere thanks to Admirals Charles Star and Ken Gillis for all the hard work they put into our epic 20th anniversary. They hosted two really excellent events: the Science Fiction Trivia Day & Special Webcast, both which had real prizes… unlike these awards!

We also released two incredible products, a 20-page anniversary almanac & a congratulatory video message from Jonathan Frakes. What other fleet does that for its members?? That’s right, none! If you haven’t checked them out yet, do yourself a favor and do so now.

As we embark this month on our second 20 years, I think back to my earliest days in IDF. I wasn’t there for the fleet’s launch, but I joined soon after in October 2001 on the USS Washington. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” I had no idea back then what I was getting myself into, but golly has it been fun! Enough on me, time for the awards:

Best Post (Single Author)

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

For “Except for Monday”

Nice recap of events and a good bit of character development to boot!

Best Post (Joint Post)

Capt. Shran dh’Klar & Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson & Cmdr. Samantha Howard & Ens. James Phoenix
CO / XO / CMO / TO
USS Washington

For “Boom Town”

Lots of action, lots of emotion, and some all around great Trek. Very good integration between contributions makes this seem like seamless writing as opposed to lots of different people tacking on to each other’s posts.


Funniest Post

Lt. Dean House & Capt. Rhenora Kaylen & Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell & Lt. JG Avarak
CTO / CO / CSS / CSO
USS Sunfire

For “Weapons Go Boom! Pt 2”

Tactical map that looks like it was drawn by a three year old? Awesome.


Genesis

None this month.


MVP

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

Another great month for the Sunfire, in no small part the work of Lt. Durnell, who took an idea and wrapped it into a myriad of stories that encompass every other member of the crew. The result: extremely well written collaborative stories.


Most Posts

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

For writing 31 posts.


Most Improved

Lieutenant Aurora Vali
Chief Counselor
USS Sunfire

A great month for Lt. Vali. She doubled her posts from the previous month and added some absolutely stellar additions to some joint posts.


Rookie of the Month

Master Chief Petty Officer Alake Van Der Luan
Master-at-Arms
USS Eminence

The Eminence’s new Master at Arms introduced himself to the rest of the crew and set himself up well for his upcoming first full month on the ship.


Recruitment

None this month.


… and the Adventure continues…

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…

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!

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!

One Year Ago…

One year ago today, we launched IDF’s new website and URL. Or was it yesterday? I’m not really sure! Regardless, what a ride it’s been.

On behalf of the Admiralty, thank you to everyone who has been a part of the journey and for making our 10 Star Trek sims as great as they are today. If you’re not currently a member of any of them, feel free to give one a try by clicking their link in the “Join!” column of the table below.

FormatTypeEraClassJoin!
ScriptOpenTNG/DSN/VOYGalaxyAlbion
BothOpenTNG/DSN/VOYDefiantChuck Norris
ProseTraditionalStar Trek: PicardSaberEminence
BothTraditionalPost-Dominion WarLunaGanymede
ProseTraditionalPost-Dominion WarSovereignLiberty
ProseTraditionalTOS MoviesMirandaMontana
BothOpenPost-Dominion WarAkiraSunfire
ProseOpenPost-Dominion WarSovereignWashington
BothTraditionalPost-Dominion WarIntrepidWayfarer
ProseTraditionalPost-Dominion WarN/AStarbase 80

Prose = typical language of a novel or short story
Script = role playing syntax similar to a movie script (see this Ongoing Worlds article)
Both = uses Prose & Script formats

Traditional = players only write for their own characters (this is how most role plays work)
Open = all players write for all characters (see this Ongoing Worlds article)

We’ll see you onboard!

Monthly Awards: January 2021

I hope your new year is off to a good start! And if it’s not, I trust simming with us here in IDF is giving you a good creative outlet.

If you remember from last month’s announcement, we are now presenting two Best Post awards, one for a single author post and one for a joint author post.

Without further ado, here are your January award winners:

Best Post (Single Author)

Chief Petty Officer Remal Kajun
Counselor
USS Liberty

For “Stumped”

Fine piece of writing here! Quiet and introspective, a solid juxtaposition to the excitement of life aboard a starship.

Best Post (Joint Post)

Capt. Rhenora Kaylen & Crewman Ronson Mitchell & Cmdr. Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen & Lt. Dean House & Lt. Aurora Vali
CO / Yeoman / XO / ASTO / CC
USS Liberty

For “Survival of the Fittest Pt 3”

Fantastic writing with an interesting setting!


Funniest Post

 CPO Sapphire & Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell
Master at Arms / Computer Systems Specialist
USS Liberty

For “Green With Envy, Red in the Face, Blue All Over”

Lots of good jokes in here, along with a mighty fine piece of role playing.


Genesis

Capt. Rhenora Kaylen & Cmdr. Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen
CO / XO
USS Liberty

For “The Jungle”

Great opening with a cliffhanger of an ending. Well done!


MVP

Cmdr. Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen
Executive Officer
USS Liberty

What an exceptional month of role playing! He not only led the fleet in posting, but also crafted a fabulous idea for the Liberty’s new mission and encouraged some new players as they got their footing.


Most Posts

Cmdr. Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen
Executive Officer
USS Liberty

For writing 30 posts.


Most Improved

Lt. Michael Stonebridge
Chief Intelligence Officer
USS Washington

His posting consistently pulled the crew in and kept the story moving and fresh. He also worked behind the scenes on several collaborations.


Rookie of the Month

Lt. Dean House
Assistant Security/Tactical Officer
USS Liberty

Lt. House jumped into the Liberty’s plot with gusto, with an impressive 12 posts in only two weeks. He also helped organize the Liberty’s discord and became a main character in the current series of posts.


Recruitment

Lt. Cmdr. Emmalyn Marcus
Executive Officer
USS Montana

The XO recruited one new player and continues to give the Montana a good presence elsewhere on the web.


Congratulations to all of our winners! Congratulations is also due to our very own Charles Star and former Director of Art Sadie Stanton as they won the prestigious Simming Prize due to their work producing The Simming Endeavor game show back on 2019. Well done to all!

Monthly Awards: November 2020

This may be the earliest we’ve gotten the awards out this year. Congratulations to all of the winners!

Best Post

Cmdr. Samantha Howard & Lt.jg. Carolyn Fredrickson & Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson
CMO / EO / XO
USS Washington

For “Ground Zero”


Funniest Post

 Lt. Cmdr. Balen Pibb
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For “My Stick”


Genesis

Captain Aurther Winters
Commanding Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For “Not Where I Belong”


MVP

Lt. Anna Thesia
Chief Medical Officer
USS Liberty

Although brand new to the Liberty, Dr. Thesia threw herself into the current mission and established a fantastic report with the crew. She has posted both solo and joint posts and is very active on Discord.


Most Posts

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

For writing 18 posts.


Most Improved

Lt. Cmdr. Balen Pibb
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Chuck Norris

After having communication issues with others, Pibb came back into the fray with increasing post quantity and quality.


Rookie of the Month

Lt. Anna Thesia
Chief Medical Officer
USS Liberty

Dr. Thesia came onboard the Liberty with a bang, throwing herself into the mix with an amazing 8 posts within her first 10 days. She is an amazingly talented writer who motivates and encourages others to participate.


Recruitment

Lt. J’goss Yass G’odoss
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Chuck Norris

He recruited two new crewmembers to the ship in November, and continues to put the good name of the Chuck Norris out there on the Interwebs.


Congratulations to everyone again and have a great holiday season.