No Regrets Page 2

No Regrets, an STF History

Page Two


Things Change -- And Things Stay the Same

At this point, we were joined by others. Matt McClanahan joined me in UFP as a Ambassador. Kathy Venit also. Adrian Kowalewski and Kate McCarthy joined ST. Taiga Takahashi also. There were others, but over the expanse of two years, the memory fades.

Dateline: December 1991. Mike and Dave Platt began to feel rather stale at their ranks of Commodore and Admiral, respectively. It was at this time that they found out that they lived within local calling distance to Franco Torres. This month began one of my most trying times in the history of ST.

David and Michael Platt wanted to expand ST beyond its boundaries this month. Their first move led us to a serious near-conflict with the MMC (Mickey Mouse Club). Mike planted a "Starbase" in the MMC subs in order to "keep an eye on things." I was able to talk the MMCers down from a war, but I had to convince them that the Platts did not act on the behalf of ST with their actions. The next phase of their plan was to place a Starbase within the Empire in order to violate the Non-Treaty Treaty and force a conflict. Captain Larimda ME averted this particular crisis with his connections to TTE. (At this point, he was offered, and turned down, his very first promotion.)

The next phase of their plan was to expand our club in another BB. The Arts Club (1), they decided, would be an excellent place to plant a branch of ST. One of our members, Chris Killian, was already very active in the Arts. When the Platts arrived to advertise, she encouraged people to ignore them. She and I agreed that ST was simply not yet ready to expand to another BB. And the people of the Arts Club were simply not ready for us. Eventually, she succeeded in keeping the Platts out. But I had no idea at what price.

At this point, I was not even really concerned with the Platts. They were little more than a nuisance... Something I could deal with. Until they demonstrated just how far their spear of influence punctured the heart of ST. Admiral Christine Killian, a long time friend and ally of peace, was targeted by Mike Platt as an example. An example of what would happen to anyone who went against the plans that the Platts held for STF. She was court-martialed. Why? Because Mike called up Franco and made up charges against her. Charges of conspiracy and of treason. The Platts manipulated Franco into drumming her out of ST. Then, I could stand no more.

I spoke out publicly about how dangerous the Platts were becoming. About how absolute power would absolutely corrupt. But what happens? I'm chastised as a "loon" and a foe of the good of ST. There were some -- Adrian, McCarthy, Monroy, and Andrew Brownell -- who defended me. It was their defense that saved my career in STF.

Mike and Dave Platt convinced Franco to disband the UFP. Because Joe's appearances were becoming sporadic at best, they reasoned that we had no place in ST. Franco agreed. He changed the shape of ST forever. He created three new ranks: Flag Admiral, Fleet Admiral, and Senior Admiral (2). He named himself FgA. The Platts, Monroy, Kowalewski, and Brownell were all made FA's. McCarthy and Mills were SA's. Franco expected me to simply walk away. But, the people I mentioned above, because I had won their respect, requested that I be placed on the FA Council. I was.

Now, finally, I had the power to back up my threats. Whenever the Platts made a move, I countered it. I rallied support for my ideas and achieved some respect from Torres. Things were status quo for the next couple months.

Things Start to Look Up

At around this time, Larimda ME began a unique social tradition in STF. (Actually, STF is replete with Social Traditions... I'll get to a few of them.) He began to publish to "CNN of STF," or SNN. It was a Saturday Night Live-esque column that high-lighted various fleet happenings. His political satire was wonderful. He made sure that we didn't take ourselves too seriously.

During the intervening months, members like Julie and Grace Larsen, and Mike Bourdaa joined the club. Mike rose quickly and made it to the FA Council in no time. Not like the Platts did, though; Through hard work and a nice personality. Mike Bourdaa was a nice guy and a good leader.

March 1992. Toward the end of the month, Polly Corman (leader of THE CLUB) announced that *P would soon be lifting restrictions on the notes posted on the BBs!

Before 4/92, no Role-Playing Games were allowed on *P.
We were so excited! We finally would be able to truly run our club the way it should be run. Plans were made... Each FA was to be given a Department and fleet to run.

Black April

Black April. Our mettle was tested uniformly this month. The floodgates were opened and all hell broke loose. There were ship subjects being mixed with government subjects being mixed with Trek Talk subjects. It was at this time that Adrian Kowalewski, the head of the newly formed Personnel Dept would propose something that would define us as a club. We split ST into the club that we know today as STF. The new name came into play because "STF" was to be the prefix used to discuss and gov't business, "STF:" would contain ships, and "ST" would be for anyone to just talk Trek. We have had variations on the system emplaced 4/92 for the past year and a half.

But back to hell. David Platt was given the new Internal Affairs office. His fleet was to be the MPF (Military Police Force). It would be the "law enforcement" body of STF. Mike Platt was named as Secretary of Defense. His Defense fleets were the largest of all. Senior Admiral Jeremy Ormins -- the only SA to receive a fleet -- was granted the Great White Fleet (GWF). As Head of STF Intelligence, I was offered to command a fleet also... I didn't really want to, so I handed command of my fleet over to SA Scott Mills, my assistant. (3)

Most people joined the Platts fleets/departments. Why? Because they "put down" Intelligence and other depts. They promoted their own fleets through a decisively planned series of propaganda. Indeed, the MPF became nothing more than a place for members of the Platt faction to plot my demise. They continually harassed my friends -- SAs Curtis Splan and Scott Mills, and Captain Teri Gastinuea.

Luckily, FA Kowalewski and SA McCarthy had departed our main branch and formed the new Colony in the Arts Club. (After Torres, Kowalewski, and I decided that it was time to attempt expansion... It still stands to this day as our Third Fleet! (4)) They were mostly spared the trials and tribulations back in Command.

Internal Dissent

Fleet advertisements were everywhere. Same with Depts. It created a great "stink" throughout STF. Corruption was rampant. Finally, I got Franco Torres' phone number and called him. We talked long and hard about the events in STF and about what I thought of the Platts. We decided together that both the fleets and depts should be disbanded forever. They were. (Well, until the could be used for the betterment of the club.)

At this time, Chris Mays tried to begin the first STF break-away club. The NUFP. It was to work in tandem with STF, like the UFP did with ST. Torres didn't like it and had me plant a member of STF Intelligence in their ranks. Her name was Jennifer Helms. The information that she revealed to me about NUFP operations was enough to collapse Mays' organization forever. I was ready to act, but not before the GWF, in violation of Torres' order to disband, decided that they would attack NUFP. I knew Chris very well. Even though I disagreed with him on NUFP, I did not want to see his organization so blatantly attacked. I ordered SA Ormins to break up his fleet or suffer dire consequences. He did, but under great protest. A day later, he resigned STF to form the Imperial Klingon Empire -- IKE.

This in the part where we lost 40% of the membership. Just like that, people left STF in droves. Everyone was fed up completely with the tireless bickering and infighting between the Platts and literally, everyone. They lost all of their support. Their grip on Torres faltered. But it took a bold plan that I formulated to shake loose their grip on STF forever.

FAs Mike Bourdaa, Jose Monroy, Taiga Takahashi and myself were going to either leave STF forever or change it radically. We met privately, to discuss how to either topple Torres or found a new club. We called ourselves The Underground... and indeed, we created a private way to communicate that is today used by many clubs throughout Prodigy. Yes, we took the first stroll in the Garden... (5)

My mission was two-fold. I was to threaten Torres with our resignations... And get rid of the Platts forever. I called Franco and told him that either he court-martial the Platts and drum them out of the service, or we would mutiny. I explained how he was being manipulated... How the Platts had thrown out Adm. Killian for no reason. He listened.

But, even though we had won Torres over, Mike Bourdaa and I went on to found a utopian club... A club that still stands to this day. STC is truly the son of STF. (6) Its founding members were those who were tired of the problems STF experienced. I'm pleased to say that I'm one of the founders... Mike Bourdaa left STF completely to run STC. But I could not so easily turn my back on STF. Especially since we had a court-martial to hold.


No Regrets

[Foreword|Page One|Page Two|Page Three|Page Four|SNN Center]

Footnotes

  1. The Arts Club, now "Arts Bulletin Board," is a Prodigy bulletin board dedicated to the Arts. [Back]
  2. Flag Admiral, Fleet Admiral, Senior Admiral: STF only uses Fleet Admiral now (in addition to Vice-Fleet Admiral and plain ol' Admiral itself). At various times people have been very confused because of this. Small clubs love to invent new Admiral ranks to please their members. [Back]
  3. The Great White Fleet became Fleet Two; nobody remembers what became of the other fleets. [Back]
  4. This was written in 1994; STF's Third Fleet was disbanded in 1995 after being recalled from the Arts BB, reassigned to the Star Trek BB, and then recalled again from there to STF's "main" area on the Games BB. [Back]
  5. The "Garden" that Jim is referring to is the Underwater Garden, a means of secretly communicating with others in Prodigy. Here's how it worked: One member would get a second Prodigy ID and make the ID and Password known to all whom he wanted "in." That group would then communicate by sending Email to defunct addresses and reading the "returned to sender" mail. This practice was free because at the time Prodigy was untimed, unlimited; when Prodigy began charging by the hour, the process was made unfeasible. [Back]
  6. STC (Star Trek Club) has survived over the years, currently in the Star Trek BB, but is even worse-off memberwise than STF. In recent months a merger between the two clubs has been proposed, but no action has been taken. Mike Bourdaa, by the way, is the current VP of STC but has also returned to STF in the last year. [Back]

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Text © 1994 Jim Midyette
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