Chas Hammer: Trek Online President and Simming League Founder
|Participated in||USS Orion|
Chas Hammer is a former avid simmer. Spending too much time online, he helped establish Trek Online in 1996 and the Simming League in 1997. Although both organizations predeceased Chas, he enjoyed himself - mostly - and was of mild use. Except for two brief gaps caused by a failed revolt and a failed retirement, he served as President of Trek Online until November 2001. Chas also occupied key positions within the Simming League, where - for a dozen years plus - he oversaw stupendous failures, such as the SimEnc wiki, and stumbled into success with the SciWorld Online Convention, Tournament of Simulations, and Simming Prizes.
A quiet, aloof man, Chas is difficult to get to know, and is famous for responding with one word answers such as "yes," "no," "ok," and "ack." Little is known about Chas in real life, although it has been speculated he is a disgruntled 60s radical who wanders the streets of Greenwich Village.
During elementary and junior high school, Chas organized his friends to play Star Trek. They built a starship bridge in an unused tool shed, made their own uniforms and equipment, and went on away missions in the woods. Although Chas likes to think he outgrew this, he did not, as evidenced by his long simming career.
In 1994, Chas discovered simming when he stumbled across the Spacefleet Online (SFOL) forum on America Online. He joined SFOL, but was turned off by the rules and egos, and quit after a few sims. In late 1995, Chas discovered a small, dynamic, chat simming community on Classic Prodigy filled with individuals who gathered at random. The free-for-all spirit reminded Chas of his after school adventures and he was hooked. By the spring of 1996, Chas had his own ship - the USS Orion - and a dozen dedicated followers who, when enough of them were online, gathered and simmed. In May 1996, Chas joined one of the few chat based sim clubs on Prodigy - the Star Trek Entertainment Clubs Online (STECO), and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a Vice President. When STECO collapsed in August 1996, Chas and a fellow STECO Vice President, Julie Ryse decided to, on a whim, start their own club - Trek Online (TOL).
After developing a guidebook and other resource material for Trek Online, Chas transformed his USS Orion sim into a weekly sim, with the first regular sim held on September 3, 1996. Julie followed, launching her own sim, the USS Sierra in December. While the Orion would remain active for two more years, the Sierra suffered from a lack of attendance and was soon disbanded.
At the same time as Trek Online was taking shape on Prodigy, Chas was recruited into a new club on AOL called the UFP/SF, headed by Chip Rollins. On August 31, 1996, Chip selected Chas to be his Vice President. In January 1997, Chip resigned as the President, leaving Chas in charge. Not wanting to run two clubs, Chas merged the UFP/SF (which had been renamed as the United Simulation Group in November 1996) into Trek Online. Following the merger, Trek Online prospered - growing to house a hundred members and a dozen sims by the end of 1997; although, as it worked to establish itself, TOL had to fend off internal and external troublemakers.
In January 1998, Chas called for elections and was reelected President by an overwhelming majority. During this time, a constitution was written and an Assembly of club members was elected, making Trek Online one of the first simming republics. Trek Online entered into a golden period, becoming a recognized leader of the Star Trek simming community on America Online, founding the Simming League, developing its own unique culture, and fielding several award-winning sims. Chas was reelected President in January 1999, but three years of intense simming had taken its toll. Chas began to burn out and, in September 1999, announced his intention to retire at the end of his term. In January 2000, Robin Knight Mace was elected President and Chas - completely exhausted - largely disappeared from Trek Online.
Chas' retirement was short-lived. Robin was unable to mange the club, and Trek Online entered into a sharp decline. Chas agreed to return. In May 2000, the Assembly voted to make Chas the senior Vice President with the knowledge that Robin would step down and Chas would become the President as soon as the vote was completed. Under Chas, the club rebounded. With presidential elections shifted to every six months, Chas was reelected in October 2000 and April 2001. Believing the club stable, and growing busy in real life, Chas, in August 2001, again announced his intention to retire. In November 2001, SO'koth Vidiot qul'tuq (Vid) was elected President.
Despite wishing to do otherwise, Chas again drifted away from Trek Online, returning only in November 2002, around the same time Penny Boopter was elected President. Believing that the club had declined, Chas publicly lamented what he viewed as understaffed sims, lazy plots, and outdated material in official publications. Wishing to avoid returning to the Presidency, Chas instead hoped to serve as an adviser and help where needed. However, he found himself blocked. Most of Chas' old allies had retired, Chas had failed to build relationships with the new generation of captains and administrators that had risen to prominence during 2001 and 2002, and his public criticisms of their efforts won him no friends. Chas was relegated to the sidelines, although in March 2003 he won permission to launch a new sim, New Horizons, which soon became the highest attended sim in Trek Online.
Days after Penny was reelected in April 2003, Vid decided to take control of the club, declaring that it had been a mistake for him to have left the Presidency. Chas termed it a mutiny, Vid quit the club, and Trek Online split in two - with Vid and his allied sim hosts forming a new club, Rogue Fleet. Chas continued on in Trek Online and tried to work with Penny, but was unable to make headway. Frustrated and bitter, Chas resigned from Trek Online in July 2003. The club struggled on for one more year, but in July 2004, Penny threw in the towel, turned the club over to Chas, and quit. Chas promptly shut down what remained of Trek Online.
Star Trek Sims
After graduating the academy, Chas was posted to the USS Lancelot, under the command of Vice Admiral NFO000. Chas enjoyed the Lancelot's methodical sims, and served as the helm, chief engineer, and for a stretch that was not as methodically explained, chief medical officer. In the spring of 1997, STS split into two clubs, but the Lancelot remained in STS. Chas continued to sim on the Lancelot during 1998 and 1999, and received several decorations for his service. By the end of 1999, Vice Admiral NFO had disappeared from simming, and the first officer, Jana Voi Windstar, became the commanding officer, with Chas frequently serving as the first officer or sim master. In December 2000, Windstar had burnt out and retired from command, but continued to sim on the Lancelot. With NFO's blessing, Chas was made the commanding officer.
By the time Chas took command, STS no longer existed as a club. Only the Lancelot and an e-mail sim, the USS Harvard, remained active. Chas recruited new simmers for the Lancelot, and contacted the captain of the Harvard, along with what was left of the senior leadership of STS, to try to bring life back to the club. As part of his efforts, Chas updated the club's guidebook in order to give his recruits accurate information. This met with the disapproval of NFO, who accused Chas of violating STS's copyrights by updating the guidebook without permission. Chas pleaded with Admiral Trekker - the founder of STS - to intervene, but to no avail. This left Chas and NFO locked in a stalemate; NFO refusing to allow Chas to update the information in the guidebook, and Chas refusing to distribute material that referenced activities, leaders, and procedures that no longer existed. Frustrated, Chas quit the Lancelot and STS in March 2001.
In March 1997, Chas was recruited into a movement of sim leaders from America Online's NAGF forum who demanded that AOL provide private club's based out of the NAGF the same resources as AOL's official Spacefleet Online (SFOL) club. During the movement's meetings - called the Sim Senate - Chas became a proponent for an alternate idea that private clubs instead take care of themselves by building a United Nations like organization for the simming community. After several debates, this approach was selected, and Chas was chosen by the Senate to draft a charter. The charter was ratified in June 1997, and the Simming League was born. However, the League was dominated by small, upstart clubs, and fizzled over the summer when its member clubs died or became too busy with their own struggles, making them unable to devote time to the League.
In January 1998, several clubs who had heard of the League - but did not know it had fizzled - asked Chas if the League could help resolve a dispute among them. Chas agreed to help, and after resolving the dispute he managed to enlist their support, along with the support of several other clubs, to relaunch the League. Chas was formally elected the President.
In 1999, the League launched several groundbreaking programs, including the SciWorld Online Convention and the Tournament of Simulations. However, the League ultimately carved out too many roles - event organizer, arbiter, community hub, political force, and dispenser of justice - which proved to be too much for Chas to balance. Efforts by Chas to enforce the Simming League's mandate to punish troublmakers within the simming community triggered political fights within the League, and resulted in Chas loosing reelection as Sim Senate President in March 2000 to Jon Shuni of the Federation Sim Fleet.
Chas, however, remained a staunch supporter of the need to establish a judicial system within the simming community and was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Simming League in the summer of 2000. In August 2001, a case was presented to the court accusing the Federation Sim Fleet of stifling criticism made against the club. The matter exposed deep rifts within the League concerning what constituted the proper role of the League. Chas resigned as the Chief Justice, and it appeared eminent that the League would fracture. Fortunately, Erik Nighthawk, who was President of the Sim Senate at the time, as well as his successor, Zappy, were able calm tensions and prodded Chas and Seth Cotis - who had served as the FSF's defense attorney before the Simming League Court of Sim Justice - to address the rifts by drafting a new constitution for the League. When the new constitution became effective on February 9, 2002, Zappy stepped aside as President, Seth became President, and Chas Vice President. During the September 2002 elections, Chas ran as Ken Gillis' running mate. After a disputed election and a controversial start to his Presidency, Gillis resigned on November 12, 2002, and Chas once again found himself as the President of the League. By this point in time, Chas had begun to sour on the political and judicial systems he created and long pioneered in the League. He pushed through programs to expand the membership of the League and refocus the Court to mediating disputes, instead of dispensing discipline. At the same time, though, Trek Online was splitting apart, and when Chas left Trek Online in mid 2003, he also left the League.
By early 2005, the Simming League was barley alive; its main events, the Tournament of Simulations and the SciWorld Online Convention had not been held since 2002, the Sim Senate sporadically met, and the Courts only discussed minute points of Simming League regulation. Chas and most of the former Presidents of the League gathered and came up with a plan to save the League. Chas advocated abolishing the League's judicial system and creating a two tiered approach with a Senate that handled political matters and a membership base that ran and utilized community services. Consensus could not be achieved on this plan. Instead, the judicial system was retained, but the political and administrative functions of the League were split, with the President and Senate retaining political responsibility, and a newly created Administrator position granted responsibility for managing event organization and IT operations. Chas was selected to serve as the Administrator. Under Chas, activities that had been dormant for years - such as SciWorld, the Tournament of Simulations, and the League's newsletter, resumed, and the SimEnc wiki was created.
In late 2006, the League once again became entangled in political and judicial disputes. In early 2007, the League voted to abolish its political and judicial aspects in favor of focusing solely on organizing events and serving as a community hub. Chas was granted responsibility for the League, and he and a small team managed the League for the next five years, running events, issuing awards, and maintaining the SimEnc wiki.
In 2012, Chas and his team decided to close the League.
Chas has had three major role-playing characters during his career: Chas Hammer, Charles Comet and Charles de Mars.
Chas Hammer is a former Starfleet Officer from St. John's, Newfoundland. Graduating from Starfleet Academy with degrees in celestial geography and naval engineering, he began his Starfleet career as a helmsman and rose to become the chief engineer of the USS Galaxy. Later, he served as the first officer and captain of the USS Python, which was destroyed at Wolf 359. Following the battle, Chas spent the next five years at Starfleet Engineering in San Francisco where he lead the development of the Patton Class Starship. He successfully lobbied to be given command of the USS Vindicator, a Patton Class ship, and was later promoted to admiral. His victories during the Dominion War made him a household name, and he commanded the initial occupation of a Cardassian continent before being sent into the Gamma Quadrant to assert Starfleet authority in the quadrant. However, the war and subsequent peacekeeping exhausted Chas. Following the completion of his first patrol in the Gamma Quadrant, Chas happy gave up starship command and took a desk job in San Francisco with Starfleet Command before retiring. He now spends his days in Cow Head, Newfoundland, where he fishes, sails, and builds boats by hand.
Charles Comet is a former Starfleet Officer from Cape May County, New Jersey. He spent his entire career on the USS Lancelot, serving in various capacities, including helmsman, chief engineer, and first officer, before being promoted to commanding officer. After retiring from Starfleet, he moved to Risa, where he supervises maintenance of the planet's weather control system.
Charles de Mars
Charles L'Enclume du Mois de Mars was a Starfleet Officer from Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, Quebec. Charles spent most of his childhood with his father, a Starfleet engineer, on starships and starbases. He became a distinguished shuttle pilot at an early age, and later attended Starfleet Academy and medical school. Serving as the chief medical officer on the USS DeSoto during the Cardassian Wars, he uncovered Cardassian use of biological weapons and was recruited by Starfleet Intelligence. After heading strike teams that destroyed Cardassian biological weapon factories, Charles was given command of Viper Flight, a runabout squadron and covert operations unit during the Maquis War, which attacked both the Maquis and Cardassians. He was later promoted to admiral and given command of the USS Orion, which patrolled the Cardassian border. The Orion went missing during the Dominion War, and is listed as destroyed with the loss of all hands.
- Host, USS Orion, 1996 - 1998
- Host, USS Vindicator, 1996 - 2001
- Host, Viper Flight, 1999
- Host, USS Lancelot, 2000 - 2001
- Host, New Horizons, 2003
- President, Trek Online, 1996 - 2001
- President, Simming League, 1997 - 2000, 2002 - 2003
- Administrator, Simming League, 2005 - 2012
- Administrator, SimEnc, 2005 - 2013