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Q3: A Long Time Ago In a Union Far, Far Away, Shiny?

Greetings to the Two-Two! If the mashed up title wasn’t too confusing of a hint, this is a report for all of the mini-divisions of the 22nd Fleet in this year’s third quarter. Buckle up because it’s been a wild ride! Or, you know, put on a goofy hat and dance around. All bets are off in 2020!

Firefly

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The Firefly Division began with three active sims and they continue apace which is no mean feat in today’s world. Each sim has been regularly represented in various award nominations, a credit to their writers and to the brilliant franchise given to us by the inimitable Joss Whedon. While we never did get a second season, these sims are spiritual successors to the one and only partial season that forever changed the face of sci-fi.

Fortune’s Echo is a Firefly-class transport who just got ambushed by a criminal enterprise and nearly destroyed. After making repairs, licking their wounds, burying their dead, and replenishing the ranks, the Fortune’s Echo is on its way to the edge of the Verse in search of safer skies and better payout.

The Geronimo is another Firefly-class transport currently employed by a mysterious Benefactor who is also amassing other contractors and mercenaries to his secret agenda. Will the intrepid crew of the Geronimo keep their heads?

Greenleaf Skyplex is an orbital city over the planet of Greenleaf which offers adventure, intrigue, and profit to those brave or savvy enough to dock their ship or set up shop. A controversial Alliance minister recently arrived on the skyplex, strutting with his Purple Belly guard units. No one is sure why he showed up, but it’s starting to stir up old wounds from the war.

Orville

Everybody’s favorite irreverent animation creative genius, Seth MacFarlane, astounded audiences a few years ago when he concocted a sci-fi setting that, low-brow humor aside, was very well done. From production to ethos, many have heralded the Orville universe as “more Trek than Star Trek.” Following suit with the same irreverent fare, the 22nd Fleet’s small but determined Orville Division (consisting of one active sim and one sim which fell from active to provisional) keeps plowing away with tongue-in-cheek chicanery disguised as hard science-fiction.

The USS Portland is currently in orbit about a planet called Aorkon 5 investigating a cry for help from the pilot of a merchant vessel stranded on the surface. Seems something has affected the rest of the Marchana’s crew and turned them feral. Slightly cannibalistic even. It’s pretty icky by all accounts. Beware ye who enter!

The Unmentionables, on the other hand, is nearing the end of its inaugural investigation into the missing persons aboard Station 314 and has become super icky. It turns out that at least one victim was ground up in a hopper inside a casino resort bathroom. The perpetrator, an unidentified Gelatin, managed to escape.

Star Wars

And now we come to the darling of the 22nd Fleet. The new Star Wars Division began with two provisional sims when created several months ago. After several intrepid GMs threw their hats into the rang and bravely experimented with various concepts and frameworks, the end of Q3 brought us 3 active sims and 2 provisional within the division. These GMs have truly pioneered the genre for the 22nd Fleet.

Ghosts of the Empire is the fleet’s preeminent Imperial Star Wars sim. Deep in the Unknown Regions, the Star Destroyer Retribution continues to patrol the Juris sector after fleeing the prying eyes of the New Republic in the sanctioned Imperial area of the Core worlds. Ghost Battalion, a Special Forces Stormtrooper unit, have been enjoying some rest after several weeks of long term assignments. Training stops, however, when the Retribution crew is presented with their biggest challenge to date; they must evaluate the veracity of intelligence that claims Luke Skywalker is on a planet near the nebula, looking for more secrets of the Jedi…

Nightfall picks up at the end of the Clone Wars and follows a handful of Jedi through Order 66 and a larger collection of Force users, bounty hunters, and scoundrels through the birth of the Galactic Empire. The group of strangers are assembled together through the will of the Force (and the help of a few gifted with Foresight) at Port Nowhere as a new enemy threatens to seize the power vacuum left by the fallen Republic.

Remnants of the Fallen takes place in an alternate universe set several years after Order 66. When a survivor of the Purge was caught using The Force after saving a civilian from being hit from a speeder, Rebel Alliance intelligence brings word to The Enclave that trouble is brewing. Intercepted transmissions reveal Inquisitors have been dispatched to find and locate the Jedi. For six years, The Enclave has focused on healing their physical and emotional trauma from Order 66. Now, it seems, they have no choice but to rise to the occasion, at great personal risk. Can they save this Jedi? Or is this a trap?

Rogue Wings is the reincarnation of the sim formerly known as Rogue Squadron. The sim has been undergoing rebuilding efforts over the last quarter, and as of last mention will transition from pre-Sequel Trilogy to pre-Original Trilogy. Be on the lookout for awesome things from the Rebel Alliance’s premiere fighter squadron!

Shades of Grey is a sim of morally ambiguous folk just trying to make their way in space between New Republic and Galactic Remnant territories. It has all come crashing down for the denizens of Grey Wing when the company they had built crushed under the boot of the New Republic after a series of bad decisions which left the Greys the biggest thorn in the New Republic’s side. Unfortunately for everyone involved it quickly becomes apparent that there is a Hutt in the background pull all of the strings and forcing Grey Wing to dance to their tune.

The Final Word

All in all, the experimental small divisions have proven to be a success. Even with a few hiccups and bumps in the road, the 22nd Fleet shows slow but sustainable growth, to which I must congratulate one and all! In review of all quarterly reports which were submitted to me, it is my recommendation that no new department heads ought to be appointed by the council for the next term. To prematurely appoint someone to head up a division that is not ready to stand on its own and meet the fleet requirements for such is a disservice to the individual and only sets them up for failure, to say nothing of instability within the division in shifting leadership. The GMs of the fleet need stability in leadership and anybody willing to take up the reins ought to do so with the assurance that they won’t have the ground fall out from under them due to positional requirements such as active sims.

On a personal note, I would like to take this time to officially announce that Q4 will be my final period as a fleet officer in the foreseeable future and that I will not be participating in the upcoming elections as a nominee. I wish to thank everyone who invested their support in my vision and leadership, including my faithful deputy AlphaJuliet who has been as indispensable as my own hand. Thank you, friend, for rising to the call. To all others, if I do not have another occasion to formally address the fleet, allow me to end this with a sincere and fond farewell and gratitude for all the good times. To whomever the Council appoints for 2021, I wish you good luck (I’ll leave it under the mat next to the spare key). It’s a tough job, not for the faint of heart, thin-skinned, or self-serving. Sacrifice of yourself, though, and you won’t regret a thing.

As always, anyone who is interested in pitching a sim concept for any of the above divisions and joining the ranks of these fine GMs, please don’t hesitate to apply here.

Keep flying and stay shiny. Hail Avis and hug the donkey. May the Force be with you.