Folks, this month we caught up with one of the highest ranking players in the Sixth Fleet Community, Vice Admiral Nathalie Chapman, current CO of the USS Axanar.

FNN: Nathalie, you have been with the fleet for a long time, why not tell our readers a little about yourself and your history (briefly) in Tango and Sixth Fleet.

NC: I started in Tango Fleet in October 1999, on the USS Avalon. In 2001 I created the USS Liberty that I brought into TF in 2003. That lasted one year. Things were changing... After the Liberty shut down, I joined the USS Swiftsure that had a similar history, in 2005. Within a year, I was the CO. It was 2006 and Sixth Fleet was forming. My first move was to have us join! The Swiftsure RPG changed names a few times (Poseidon, Avalon and now Axanar...) but we kept full continuity in our storylines.

I also played on the USS Arizona, Saturn, Protostar, Hyperion, Oberon, Deridous IV, New Deridous. I held several fleet roles back and forth, mostly Personnel Admin and Command School Dean; I was CinC in 2011-2012 and now Academy Commandant. I am part of the foreigner lot that took to simming in English and never looked back. I have had a blast meeting some of my oldest simming pals in person.

FNN: So, there are rumours that you have ditched the Avalon for a brand new simulation. Come on, spill the beans, tell us more about this exciting new prospect and how you see things move forward.

NC: The biggest change is adopting the Quantum Slipstream Drive. We are, more and more, playing off the shearing tensions created by the destruction of Romulus. Attempts from within and without to destabilize the peace in the Alpha and Beta quadrants mean a covert war has started like multiple small fires. Against this background, the ongoing deployment of the QSD makes full sense. It means that a particular ship or a special task force can be pulled out of thin space in a very short time, to be assigned exactly where a fire needs put out... then go home tend to colonists and local crises!

The adoption of the Quantum Slipstream Drive gives the sim the best of both worlds, as we get to preserve Farlong and our role in it, while expanding widely on our mission range. Our return to a Sovereign class will allow us to develop further some strong storylines we started, where our good USS Avalon was becoming limited by its mission type. Eventually we may take some drastic creative options but one thing at a time... First we need to finish stealing our own ship to go on a rogue mission! And we only got aboard last week...

FNN: One of your many talents is organising others, so how have you found the transition between fleet to community of writers and what impact has this had on your simulation and writing?

NC: I have talents? Ha! Thank you so much.

I was once CINC. I worked with the system as it was, we all did. Ironically I helped put down what I had spent a year fixing myself... I want to thank again our firestarters. I do regret that it hurt some feelings but I hold some hope time will mend this. This collective brainwave really expressed our deep need as GMs to return to a place where we have full license to guide our sims. We are challenging ourselves once more, not only as GMs but as a simming organization. The future is an undiscovered country. Some of us had been at this for years so it feels mighty good.

Our sims are beginning to take somewhat independent creative options; I am looking into some but it is an ongoing reflexion. I have led mine for 7 years and people like it as it is, we are successful. I’m not breaking anything in a hurry. I believe my strength is timing. I have a few things in store to rejuvenate us when we start feeling old. It is simply priceless to me to know that I have all those possibilities at my fingertips, by the only grace of a great crew and set of friends who have honoured me with their following.

FNN: Nathalie, it has been a real pleasure to talk with you this month, thank you for your time. Folks, you can see Nathalie and her crew at the new website http://axanar.hyperjump.org/, why not drop in and see if you are interested and want to be part of the fun.

One final question for you Nathalie, before you go, who is your favourite Captain: Archer, Kirk, Picard, Sisko or Janeway and why?

NC: Are you kidding me? Janeway of course! Seriously I love them all. But as a female Trek fan and GM, I finally had a female CO to identify with; one who was strong and vibrant as Kate Mulgrew is. It was and remains a blast to watch Voyager. She was challenged continuously for 7 years. No other Trek got this far from base for so long. Thank you Nigel, and FNN readers!

FNN: Thanks again, Nathalie, it’s been a blast.