> STARFLEET's SANTA CLAUS > SUMMIT BIDS DUE > NEW R4 STAFF > VOLUME 23 – ISSUE 1
INSIDE THIS ISSUE We are on the Web at
4th Brigade News ATR: CA Academy of Science Star Trek Excalibur
OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF STARFLEET'S REGION FOUR!
TABLE OF CONTENTS 3
THE CENTER SEAT
BETWEEN THE BYLINES
WHAT WOULD SANTA DO?
ATR: Into Space
COMMISSIONING OF THE LOMA PRIETA
THE FUNNY PAGE
SPRING 2012 EDITION: VOLUME 23, ISSUE 1 PUBLISHER
EDITOR IN CHIEF
Joshua L. Andrews
Subspace Communicator is a Publication of Region 4 of STARFLEET, The International Star Trek Fan Association, Inc. COVER: USS PEACEKEEPER, PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY JON LANE, USS ANGELES
Send submissions via e-mail to: email@example.com Region 4 and STARFLEET holds no claims to anything owned by Paramount or CBS Studios, Inc. STAR TREK and all related Marks, Logos and Any content from Star Trek including still images and character names is the property of Paramount Pictures Corporation and/or CBS Studios, Inc. and no infringement is intended. STARFLEET The International Star Trek Fan Association, Inc. operates as a non-profit fan club and is committed to promoting Star Trek. The contents of this publication are Copyright ÂŠ 2012 Region 4 of STARLEET, The International Star Trek Fan Association, Inc. and/or the original authors. All rights reserved. This Publication is intended only for the use of our members. No portion of this document may be copied or republished in any way or form without the written consent of the author or the Office of Chief of Communications of Region 4, STARFLEET. STAR TREK was created by Gene Roddenberry
Autumn Issue Winter Issue
Due to family obligations, my recent health issues and starting a new job this month, I have decided to withdraw from the Region 4 Regional Coordinator election. By doing this, Jerry Tien will become the new Region 4 Regional Coordinator on March 1, 2012.
I want to thank the entire region for their support over the years. I also want to thank my staff, Jennifer Cole, my Vice-Regional Coordinator, webmaster Jonathan Connor and newsletter editor, Joshua Andrews. Oh don’t worry, I’m not going away. I just won’t be Regional Coordinator. I will be the Awards Director for Region 4 and I will still be Commanding Officer of the USS PeaceKeeper.
Please give Jerry and his staff all the assistance they need to continue having Region 4 to be the great region it is. Oh, and don’t forget that Awards are due by April 15th. Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. See ya in the final frontier… Hailing frequencies closed.
PROMOTIONS Zach Perkins
Regional Coordinator, Region 4, STARFLEET
Greetings to Region 4. This is a very hard article to write. It is my last newsletter article as Region 4 Regional Coordinator.
Vice Admiral Chrissy Killian
FROM THE CENTER SEAT
(USS LOMA PRIETA) CAPTAIN
(USS LOMA PRIETA) COMMANDER
Tom Hessler (USS LOMA PRIETA) LT COMMANDER
Tria Connel (USS LOMA PRIETA) LIEUTENANT JG
WHERE EVERY LIFEFORM
(USS SANDSTORM) COMMANDER
(USS SANDSTORM) CREWMAN
Thomas Sweeting (USS SANDSTORM) CREWMAN
.org KNOWS YOUR NICK!
BETWEEN THE BYLINES
GOT PICS? Send them to SC, email@example.com Send them Today!
Regional Newsletter Editor, Region 4, STARFLEET
Captain Joshua L. Andrews
THE PIGGY BANK
Greetings Region 4! This is it! The 2012 Spring Edition of the Subspace Communicator! I am sure by now you have all heard about the R4 RC Election. There were 3 nominees in myself, Chrissy Killian and Jerry Tien. Shortly after the election phase began, I withdrew from the race. About 2 weeks after the phase began Chrissy Killian withdrew. As such, this left only one nominee... Jerry Tien. Under regulations, this resulted in Jerry Tien becoming our next Regional Coordinator. The Tien Administration begins on March 1st 2012.
Articles, artwork, stories and other submissions make this the great publication that it is. Let us keep the Subspace Communicator this great by sending in those great things. Keep them Coming! Submissions are now due by the 15th of February, May, August and November. Well that's all from Me. Cya in 90!
~ INCOMING STAFF ~ With the new RC comes some New Staff. Here is the new Staff. Welcome them!
Start Balance: $ 289.55 2010 Awards: -$141.63 Webhosting: -$119.40
Regional Coordinator SrVRC – Comms VRC – Operations
Jerry Tien firstname.lastname@example.org Joshua Andrews email@example.com David Nottage III firstname.lastname@example.org
COMMUNICATIONS DIVISION Newsletter Editor: Social Media Director: Webmaster:
Joshua Andrews - email@example.com Zach Perkins - firstname.lastname@example.org Michael D. Garcia - email@example.com
New Total: $28.52
Shakedown Ops: Awards Director: Member Services: Recruitment Officer:
David Nottage III - firstname.lastname@example.org Chrissy Killian - email@example.com Jennifer Cole - firstname.lastname@example.org Anna Treece - email@example.com
I do wish to thank Dan Toth, who submitted my name into consideration, as well as the Awards Committee for choosing me. I consider this an honor and am extremely proud to accept this award. Thank you very much. My only concern is that whenever someone purchases a trophy, plaque or award, that they should make sure the business in question has a firm grasp upon English grammar and spelling.
CHAPLAIN LIAISON, REGION FOUR
The Chaplain Services as a whole has been continuing to grow and increase its outreach in STARFLEET. In Region 4 it has been no different. As Chaplains we are here for the support of our fellow members, weather that support come through times of trials or celebration. It was in that spirit of service that my wife (ENS Maria Griswold) and I traveled this past weekend, the second weekend of February to Region 2, more specifically to Central Florida where my wife was born and raised. While we were there we were warmly greeted by Chap. (BDR) Bryan Jones STARFLEET Deputy Chief Chaplain, Chap. (CDR) Anne Zecca Assistant Deputy Chaplain, and Chap. (CPT) Philip Bower Region 2 Chaplain Liaison. During our time there we were privileged to pay honor to Loved Ones of STARFLEET member’s family who were laid to rest at the Florida National Cemetery. We were told by the family members of these fallen heros how honored and blessed they were that we took the time to pay our respects to their families, when really the blessings were on us to be able to go out and honor not only these service men and women, but their families as well. This is only one of many examples of how the Chaplain Services is here for you in STARFLEET and that no distance is too great or mission too small. It is through our continued growth that days just like this one become more and more possible. Yours Faithfully, Chaplain (LTJG) Stephen Griswold Region 4 Chaplain Liaison
Lieutenant Junior Grade Stephen Griswold
On receipt of the knowledge that I had been named 2010 Captain of the Year (It’s not a typo, folks) I was at first, stunned, than surprised and grateful, that’s when I realized that no one else had been nominated. (That was a joke, folks, it’s O-kay to laugh.)
COMMANDING OFFICER, ISS PEGASUS NCC-9755
Captain Alvin Rupp III
CO of The Year!
For information on the chaplain services, how to become a Chaplain, or if you are already a Chaplain and have not yet registered please see the fallowing websites. STARFLEET Chaplain Services website http://starfleetchaplainservices.webs.com/
Region 4 Chaplain Corps website -
What Would Santa Do? A BOOK ABOUT FLEET ADMIRAL SAL LIZARD Mark your calendars, Fleeters! Next Christmas, you’ll be able to walk into your local bookstore and buy a book written by former Commander, STARFLEET Sal Lizard and his Chief of Communications Jon Lane. But don’t look for it in the science fiction aisle. Y’see, this is a book about Sal Lizard’s other claim to fame, and it’s called What Would Santa Do?
Crew Member, USS ANGELES
Rear Admiral Jon Lane
Members who’ve been n STARFLEET for more than a year might remember that our previous Commander bears a striking resemblance to Santa Claus. Some Fleeters are even aware that Sal plays Santa Claus for about two months every Christmas season, and that he’s been doing so for over 20 years! But few members have actually heard Sal’s stories of his Santa encounters. Back at IC 2009 in North Carolina, I was one of those members who knew nothing about Sal’s “other life” in the red and white suit. But as the weekend progressed, I heard a few of Sal’s stories…and then a few more…and a few more after that. I found I couldn’t get enough of these wonderful tales of how children (and adults, too) reacted and interacted with Sal, both in and out of costume. These stories made me laugh, cheer, and a couple even made me cry. By the time I’d heard over a dozen or so of these anecdotes, I said, “Sal,
you’ve got to write a book! Your stories are amazing!” Sal said that he’d thought about it and even started trying to write some down a few times. But he’s not a very disciplined writer, and he tends to be really busy most of the time…so his book sat on the back burner and never really got anywhere. ”Well,” I said, “Would you mind if I wrote it? You could tell me your stories over the phone, then I’d record the calls and write down what you say.” Sal was agreeable to the idea (after all, why not?) And I figured it’d be hardly any work at all. Boy was I wrong! Nothing is ever as easy as you think it’s going to be… I quickly discovered that I couldn’t just transcribe Sal’s conversations verbatim. After showing a few early chapters to friends and relatives, I got a disappointing reaction from nearly everyone. “What went wrong?” I wondered. Well, it turns out that stories you tell over a few drinks at the bar or even over the phone don’t necessarily translate well to the printed page. Readers want more details―descriptions of people and places, dialog, and thoughts and feelings from the protagonist. My first attempt at simple transcribing would up with a very bland and boring reading experience. So I went back to square
one, tossing out everything I’d written and starting over completely. I reinterviewed Sal, and this time, I really drilled down and pressed for as many details as I could get. And I truly have to commend Sal on his amazing memory for details. If you ultimately buy ad read this book, you’ll likely marvel at the depth of Sal’s recollections…even for events that happened decades earlier. The process took us nearly two years, and I’ve got about 50 hours of recorded phone conversations that I sorted through and replayed countless times, trying to gets these stories organized and sorted. Granted, we took a few breaks during that time―especially when the holiday months hit from October through December and Sal became hard to reach. But those interludes allowed me to catch up and write several chapters at a time, and then come back later to press Sal for more details that I hadn’t realized we’d missed during the initial conversations.
Finally, in May of this year, we finished. The manuscript had 34 chapters and just under 90,000 words. But now what? Of course, thanks to Kindle and other e-book readers, authors can selfpublish with almost no start up costs and sell their book digitally for a few dollars. Unfortunately, epublishing is not a path to guaranteed success and unbridled wealth. Goig that route, one has to massively market the book and get the word out to reviewers and potential buyers…and even then, if you’re lucky, you’ll make maybe a few thousand dollars. Not bad, of course, but the real money happens if you can find a print publisher to get your manuscript into bookstores. But to get a publisher, you first need to find a literary agent (not always, but the path to publication without an agent is exponentially more difficult). Finding an agent is usually challenging, since you don’t just go out and hire one…at least, not a good
one. Getting professional literary representation is like applying to a college or university. They have to accept you first―in this case, based on your writing and book idea(s). And the better the agency, the harder the “admission” process becomes. So Sal and I hunkered down and prepared for a long agent search. It can take an author months or even years to find a willing agent. Fortunately, I have a friend who knows a literary agent in New York City. This guy specializes in biographies (mostly sports and political figures; we would be his first Santa Claus biography), and he’s represented a number of authors who’ve gone on to publish bestsellers. Indeed, as I looked through this guy’s website and discovered that he actually employs a half dozen other agents who work for him, and as I looked at his extensive list of authors and published books, I began to feel pretty intimidated. Here we were, Sal and I, first time authors writing the memoirs of a professional Santa Claus. I feared we might be aiming too high by trying to impress such an accomplished literary agent, and I quietly prepared myself for our first rejection. After a brief e-mail introduction by my friend, I gave the agent a little background on both Sal and myself, and I sent this fellow the full manuscript just a few days before the 4th of July weekend. And I waited. (Sal waited, too. But he has traveling from
Indianapolis to Kentucky with lots to do, so he had more to distract him from pacing back and forth while waiting to hear back. Me, I paced a LOT!) We didn’t have long to wait, though. On July 5th, the agent called me to say he’d finished the manuscript over the weekend, and he liked what he’d read. He wanted to represent us! I literally felt my pulse start racing. This was huge! He asked me to rush through a number of minor changes and additions to the manuscript, trim a couple of early chapters, and get him a new PDF version ASAP so he could send it out to publishers the following week. I worked fast, and on Monday, he sent the manuscript to ten different publishers. Two were interested enough to make us offers within the week… both identical bids. I asked the agent, “So what do we do now, flip a coin?” He said no. He’d already asked them both to increase their offers. I kinda panicked over that, fearing they’d both be insulted, walk away, and leave us with nothing. But our agent assured us that this was how deals got done in this business and not to worry. Turns out he was absolutely right. By that afternoon, one of the publishers had doubled their offer! The other wouldn’t go any higher. Both publishers were equally qualified at marketing successful books, so we happily went with the higher offer, the agent got a tidy 15%, and Sal and I are
splitting the rest of the advance and royalties fiftyfifty. It still blows my mind to think about how quickly this all happened once the manuscript was finished. It took only three weeks! I’ve been told by other people in the publishing industry that such a fast sell is almost unheard of… especially for first-time, unknown authors. But a feel-good book about a professional Santa Claus is a sure Christmas seller in bookstores, and it really does read well. The stories make you laugh, and a few choke you up. Even my dad cried at a couple of points when he read it…and my dad doesn’t cry. In late September, after finalizing and signing the contract, Sal and I started working with the editor at the publishing company to tweak and perfect the manuscript. After all, they know what will sell in bookstores better than Sal and I do. And so far, the editorial process has been relatively painless and even kinda fun. I’d feared having an evil ogre editor chopping out entire chapters to reduce the word count or slashing my favorite parts without listening to why I thought they should be kept. Instead, however, she’s been a pleasure to work with, and she’s had
some wonderful ideas. Granted, we’ve still trimmed a bit. Gone are most of the references to Sal’s non-Christmas activities like his computer consulting business and, unfortunately, any mention of STARFLEET the fan club. Apparently, according to the editor, customers buying Christmas books about Santa Claus aren’t necessarily Star Trek fans. They expect to read a book about Christmas encounters, not about building websites and running sci-fi fan clubs. But Sal and I understand the reality of the situation, and we’re actually quire relieved by how much of the original manuscript is being kept with minimal or even no changes whatsoever. And that’s our big news, my friends. The book will be titled What Would Santa Do? and it should be hitting bookstores and Amazon.com sometime in October of 2012…just in time for next year’s holiday season. I’m told that, in the late spring, early reader copies will be sent out by the publishers to key reviewers in the industry… and with luck, folks will like what they see. Please keep your fingers crossed, and we’ll be sure to give you any updates as soon as there’s any more big news.
Sal Lizard is a former Fleet Admiral of STARFLEET. Jon Lane is a former Chief of Communications for STARFLEET. SUBSPACE COMMUNICATOR
ATR: “Into Space” California Academy of Science's “Into Space” Nightlife Event!
Chief Engineer, USS LOMA PRIETA NCC-72704
Lieutenant Commander Tom Hesser
Chief Engineer’s Log: Having successfully traveled back into the early 21st century, we arrived at the California Academy of Sciences, and the crew of the USS Loma Prieta split into teams to examine various aspects of this historic building which. By the mid 22nd century, this bastion of scientific wonder was relocated to make way for the construction of Starfleet Headquarters and Starfleet Academy. Leading the Engineering team, and accompanied by Ensign Cindy Bee, we proceeded to examine future engineering technology as it applied to space travel during the early 21st century. Our attention was drawn to the NASA table containing the Kepler project. The Kepler project, or just “Kepler”, is NASA’s first attempt to find class M planets outside our own solar system. At this point in Earth history, the only manned space exploration has been to the Earth’s moon. Using a specially designed, very sensitive, wide-field telescope called a photometer, Kepler seeks to detect planets that can support life, by detecting light from nearby stars that is periodically blocked by orbiting planetoids. Kepler was launched into orbit around the Earth’s sun (Sol) on March 6, 2009 and functions as a very precise light meter. Data from at least three transits of a planetoid must be collected in order to ensure that it is
indeed a planet orbiting the given star. Transits occur when the orbit of a planet is along our line of sight to a star. These transits can last from a few hours to about half a day and happen once per orbit. Once enough data has been collected, scientists can determine both the planet’s size and its orbit from the transits. The planet’s size determines if you could have a life-sustaining atmosphere. Knowing the orbit and type of a star, scientists can determine if the planet is in the “HZ” of that star. The HZ refers to the “habitable zone” and is the range of distance from a star where liquid water can exist on a planet’s surface. With the current understanding of carbonbased life, water is required for the chance for life to develop on a planet outside our solar system, at least life similar to our own. Of course, finding such a planet does not guarantee that it will support life, but this is the first step that NASA has taken to determine this without resorting to further manned missions within the galaxy. Kepler is pointed at a rich star field in the Cygnus and Lyra regions of our galaxy, the Milky Way, and continuously monitors more than 100,000 stars to look for planets. In the early 21st century, the world was still using a system called the Internet to communicate and store information. By current Starfleet standards, the
(Continues on Page 11)
(Continued From Page 10) system was laughably inadequate. Using this medium, information regarding the project could be found at the internet address of http://kepler.nasa.gov. It is amusing to note that Starfleet crews have visited thousands of class M planets in its history, and one has to wonder if the Kepler project had detected any of those beforehand. Upon completing our research, myself and Ensign Cindy Bee concluded our
reports and went in search of synth ale, however it hasnâ€™t been invented yet so we had to drink a regional version of beer instead. I have to say, programmers for the replicators and manufacturers of synth ale should really come back in time and get some samples of beer so that they can more closely duplicate the flavors. If only the Academy had been dispensing whiskey, now that wouldâ€™ve been a wonderful history lesson.
Commissioning of the Loma Prieta
COMMANDING OFFICER, USS LOMA PRIETA NCC-26848
Captain Zach Perkins
Captain’s Blog … Stardate 2012.0213 Commissioning of the USS Loma Prieta On December 27th, 2011, it was with great pride that I received orders from Starfleet’s Chief of Operations to assume full command of the USS Loma Prieta. Under her new registry designation of NCC26848, we brought the Loma Prieta to full readiness as a mainstay vessel of the Fourth Fleet. It had only been six months prior, with a skeleton crew of officers and crewmen, that we took the aging Ambassador class cruiser out of dry-dock and began the painstaking process of upgrading, recruiting, and taking her through what I believe to have been one of the most exciting and accomplished shakedown cruises that the fleet has ever seen. On January 28th of 2012, all of our hard work came to fruition when we hosted a truly epic celebration in Starfleet Academy’s Presidio district, and opened our doors to a flood of new crew members visiting dignitaries, and Starfleet flag officers. Everything on the menu that day was remarkable. From CMDR Jon Sung’s stash of Romulan Ale, to the case of Klingon Blood Wine that I bartered for from a shady Ferengi merchant. From LTJG Nicole Lippmann’s expert bartending skills, to LCDR Tom Hesser’s home-made Hassperat and ENS Tria Connel’s tea sandwiches. And last but not at all least; LT Samantha Dolgoff’s Gagh, Sisko-style Cajun Gumbo, and her special
BBQ Targ recipe; the entire menu was truly of galactic proportions. The events throughout the day were also not to be missed. I’d like to thank LTJG Ben Roodman for seeing to our ‘Zero-G Combat Training’ facilities (ie: the bounce house); LCDR Hesser for handling the arduous process of setting up our ARTEMIS consoles for the ‘Kobyashi Maru Beatdown’ tactical exercise; Chief Petty Officer Cody Bratt for his highly skilled photography and portrait taking skills; ENS Andy Smith for funding our USS Loma Prieta branded shot glasses; Yeoman Cindy Bee for being the best cheerleader (and the worst tactical officer) a crew could ever ask for; LT Samantha Dolgoff for being the best chef and secret girlfriend (SHHH! Don’t tell Starfleet or they’ll reassign us!) a Captain could have; and most of all I’d like to thank
our illustrious First Officer, Cmdr Jon Sung for hosting the entire thing, and for tolerating the giant mess we made. I would also like to thank Admiral David Nottage, CO of the USS Golden Gate (Region 4, San Francisco), for officiating our ceremony; Captain Joshua Andrews, CO of the USS Sandstorm (Region 4, Las Vegas) and Vice Admiral Jerry Tien, CO of the USS Eagle (Region 4, Fremont) for gracing us with their
esteemed presence; and Captain Erik Roberts, XO of the USS Paegan (Region 2, Florida) who has since transferred to the USS Loma Prieta as our new Chief of Security! I’d also like to thank all of the new friends and crew-mates who attend our party. Many of you have already registered for Starfleet and joined us as commissioned officers, and we’re looking forwarded to adding even more of you at our next meeting!
FOURTH FLEET COMMAND Shakedown Ops Director Now Accepting Applications firstname.lastname@example.org
Send to the RC & SFI OPS; email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice Regional Coordinator RADM Jennifer Cole email@example.com
Regional Awards Director Now Accepting Applications firstname.lastname@example.org
Shakedown MSRs: Send to the RC and SFI ShOC; email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Newsletter Editor CAPT Joshua Andrews email@example.com
Webmaster CAPT Jonathan Connor firstname.lastname@example.org
THE FOURTH FLEET USS ANGELES NCC-71840 Los Angeles, CA CAPT Dave Mason email@example.com www.ussangeles.org
USS GANYMEDE NCC-80107 Reno, NV CAPT Teri Lotta firstname.lastname@example.org www.uss-ganymede.net
USS AUGUSTA ADA NCC-55011 San Francisco, CA CMDR Heather G. Stern email@example.com No Website
USS GOLDEN GATE NCC-2562 San Francisco, CA ADM David G. Nottage III firstname.lastname@example.org www.ussgoldengate.org
CASCADE STATION NCC-SS009 Redding, CA ADM Ed Nowlin email@example.com No Website
USS GYGAX NX-26848 San Jose, CA CMDR Michael D. Garcia firstname.lastname@example.org www.ussgygax.com
USS CENTURION NCC-74801 San Bernardino, CA LTC Roy Henderson, SFMC email@example.com No Website
USS KARME NCC-80117 Phoenix, AZ CAPT Jonathan Connor firstname.lastname@example.org No Website
USS SANDSTORM NCC-72704 Las Vegas, NV CAPT Joshua Andrews email@example.com www.uss-sandstorm.org
USS DRAGONS CUB NCC-81003 Bakersfield, CA CAPT Dee Horn firstname.lastname@example.org No Website
USS LOMA PRIETA NX-26848 San Francisco, CA CMDR Zach Perkins email@example.com http://usslomaprieta.org
USS WESSEX NCC-74207 Temecula, CA CAPT David Jamison firstname.lastname@example.org www.usswessex.org
USS EAGLE NCC-1719 Fremont, CA VADM Jerry Tien email@example.com No Website
USS NORTHERN LIGHTS NCC-27001 San Jose, CA FCAPT Tracy Newby firstname.lastname@example.org No Website
ISS William O. Darby NCC-12474 Grand Terrace, CA LGEN James W. Monroe email@example.com No Website
USS ONIZUKA NCC-71815 Chico, CA CAPT Alvin Rupp III firstname.lastname@example.org www.ussonizuka.com
USS PEACEKEEPER NCC-73200 Kingsburg, CA VADM Chrissy Killian email@example.com www.usspeacekeeper.org
ISS PEGASUS NCC-9755 Las Vegas, NV COMM Brian Schreur firstname.lastname@example.org No Website
NOW ACCEPTING YOUR PHOTOS! Send in your Divisional, Chapter, Regional and Fleet Photos to be viewed on the CADET REVIEW! Send Photos and any descriptors to Newsletter@region4.org SUBSPACE COMMUNICATOR
THE REGION YOUR MOMMA WARNED YOU ABOUT!
Regional Coordinator VADM Chrissy Killian email@example.com
Since this is a memoir of my childhood, I will be writing in the first person for this feature. COMMANDING OFFICER, USS GYGAX NX-63545
Commander Michael Garcia
It All Began with BEGIN My older sister had just gotten married earlier that year and her husband and my new brother-in-law handed me a five and a half inch floppy disk with a single word on it: BEGIN. I had no idea what he just handed me, but he told me that I would love it. It was a game and he and his buddies in the Air Force played when they were offduty and it had made the rounds. One night before he was due to come down and visit my parents and I with my sister, he went out and bought a blank diskette and brought it in
to have it copied over. I did what any twelve-year-old with a computer and new computer game did: I hightailed it to my computer and slapped that disk in there so fast that the computer barely had time to boot before I realized something... I don't own an IBMcompatible PC. I was trying to run this a Commodore 64. He neglected to mention it, and well... I was so excited by the prospect of a new game that I didn't bother to ask. Crestfallen, I offered to return the disk to him, but he held up his hand with a smile on his lips and told me that eventually, I'd find a computer to play it on. I
put it away. Later that year, I attended a sleepover at a friend's house. And he owned a Tandy PC, which was exactly what I was looking for. I brought over that disk and with my friend sitting next to me, we ran it and the green-colored screen at ten at night lit up with the start-up screen of a game called "STAR FLEET I: THE WAR BEGINS!" I'm greeted by an ANSI animation of two ships fighting each other and then the victor warps off into space. This is 1988, folks. This was the height of graphics back then. I was immediately enamored by the prospect of what this game offered and with was I recall was a dumb smile on my face, I hit the ANY key to continue to a screen that asked me to sign in with my name.
his father stepped in on us mid-morning and was deeply upset by the manner in which we spent our nights; sitting in front of a green screen in a darkened office transfixed by a game that only had the barest of graphics to it. Though, his concern was about how we didn't sleep that Saturday night (now Sunday morning). To add to my friend's woes, his father grounded him from using the computer for a month over the complete lack of judgment. To our defense, the office had a window that was covered by a rather thick material and we didn't know it was daylight out until his dad opened the door. Yes, we played so much, we didn't even stop to use the bathroom. That was my introduction
Surf on over to QM.SFI.ORG to see our supply of STARFLEET branded items, from glasses to padfolios to flash drives and much more!
POLOS HATS SHIRTS CUPS Questions? Don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
After doing so, I was now a member of the United Galactic Alliance Star Fleet as a Cadet Ensign. Be still my beating heart. We stayed up taking turns, and at one point, we start giving each other orders like we were commanding a starship, standing over our helmsman as he entered in the commands we passed. We didn't sleep past the dawn, and
to Star Trek gaming. After that, that floppy disk hung out in the inside flap of my history binder everywhere I went, on the off-chance I might happen upon a PC that I could access long enough to get a few missions in. I was caught with it in the computer lab. I was caught with it in the school's administration office. I was caught with it in the library, after I
disabled the startup program so I could play it. Until I actually had a PC in my house years later, I would play that game wherever I could get away with playing it during that month. Once that month was over, my friend and I would scurry over to his place before his dad returned from work and he was severely upset that I managed to make it to Commander before he did. The Away Team There was a bit of a row before I realized that I would make it up to him by playing his conn officer for the whole hour we had before I had to go home. That seemed to help. By the time I left, he made full lieutenant.
That was my introduction to level pacts, years before I would enjoy level pacts with friends on games such as City of Heroes. The emotional fallout of which is that when you level without your friend around, they feel left out and left behind. I was twelve. I didn't know. Doctor Trevor Sorenson, the creator and author of Star Fleet I, originally wrote his own version of another Trek game called BEGIN. It was not a commercial release: in fact it was circulated around computer labs across the US in universities and colleges for use on mainframe computers. When he played it, he
R2D2 - Trashcan
realized he could suggest a lot of features that he felt were missing. He couldn't contact the original authors, so he decided to code a game from scratch using some the game basic structure. This game was built in BASIC on a desktop computer with a whopping four kilobytes of RAM. He had set out to copy the Star Trek universe when he first built the game. It was coded with Starfleet, the United Federation of Planets, and you were supposed to be able to command the Enterprise herself. However, Intersel (the original publisher) did not secure the rights to the Star Trek universe from Paramount. Distraught but not undaunted, Doctor Sorenson went through his game and renamed everything. He removed the Klingons and Romulans for the Krellans and the insectoid Zaldron. Enterprise was removed from the list of available ships one could command, and Starfleet became Star Fleet. Once he had completed the names and a friend helped him design the backstory to completely disown its Trek origins, Intersel released the game commercially for the first time in 1987.
and daunting level of complexity that most players felt was unnecessary. As a result, the sequel was the last game of the series until recently, when Doctor Sorenson took to the Internet and released Star Fleet Deluxe, which is a graphical version of the original game with sounds and animation. In the 80s, Trek games were commerciallylicensed to the media conglomerate Simon & Schuster, who also held the literature license under their Pocket Books label. Trek text adventures such as The Promethean Prophecy and The Kobayashi Alternative were making the rounds. In fact, a year before I laid my hands on Star Fleet I, S&S had published The Rebel Universe, the third and last in their text-story trilogy of games (for the record, I never played these until well after, while in college). Back in the present, I still hold fond memories of playing this game, and I'm glad that I was able to find one that runs in DOSBox under Windows. If you'd like a copy of the game for your own enjoyment, head over to http://www.symbioticsoftware.net/starfleet
The game was popular enough to spawn a sequel, Star Fleet II: Krellan Commander. In the sequel, you take on the role of the "enemy" and command your ship into UGA territory against Star Fleet ships. Unfortunately, the execution was vastly different from the first game and introduce a new
and download both games to your Windows PC, now. At the very least, you'll be indulging in a bit of history, and maybe find a bit of the same enjoyment that served to spark my own passion for Star Trek gaming.
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