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Immhotep's Guide to the Gateworld Virtual fleets
The Gateworld virtual fleets have been a significant part of my life for the last 4 years. They started as a way of exploring new uses for existing ship designs within the OSDT, in which they have taken on a life of their own and have become the largest, and in my opinion some of the best, most detailed Stargate fan fiction stories ever. The Gateworld fleet's have given a home to many new and creative ideas for the stargate universe, from ships, characters, storylines and enemies, and to the continuation of ideas and themes from the original show (such as the quest to become the Fifth Race, or the long standing mystery of the ancients). These few threads have created a universe as rich and as complex as the show that it is based upon.
While it has sometimes been hard and tiring to work on the fleets I am very proud of everything the threads have created, as a tribute to the threads that have got me over a third of my posts, i dedicate my 10,000th post (and then some) to this, the official guide to the Gateworld Virtual fleets, for those who remember, for my 5k I did a similar guide to ship design, that was a long time ago now, but this guide will follow a similar format and I hope it will serve as a good tool for future and current participants in the Fleets.
The Big Question
When confronted with a new member wishing to join this great project the most important question i can answer is the simple and basic one, of what the fleets actually are. The shame for me is that the fleets are such a complex project that defining them to a single format or role is difficult. However i shall attempt to define the fleets, the Gateworld Virtual Fleets are ship design fan fiction, at their outset the fleets were created to give a universe and to give depth to the creation process of original ship designs for the stargate universe beyond and separate from the constantly changing nature of the shows and their evolving storylines. The fleets are a malleable, user generated, user created and developed universe based on stargate which uses ships designed by members of the fleets and gateworld to tell the stories of the expansion and evolution of a future Tauri race and its interaction with the local group of galaxies and their inhabitants.
This is a short debrief on the fleets, with the reality being significantly more complex, the elements that are in the fleet have been developed over (now) a number of years, and through multiple threads, and evolutions with the races characters, wars, planets and organisations developing along with the fleet. To each fleet a new generation of contributors has brung new elements and ideas to the table. The first fleet was was a reaction to the poor combat of the wraith which saw us develop the wraith, the Pegasus galaxy and the Tauri in to a full scale and effective war machine to do battle in the future, in a war which was realistic and grander than the shows. In the second fleet, with the conquest and pacification of Pegasus under our belts the fleet developed in to a fight for power, about the Tauri's development and rise from a small power, to a superpower in a war with the aschen and the Adnihlo, for control of our home galaxy and the title of fifth race of the great alliance. This fleet was perhaps the most important of all the fleets for it has set the scene for the Tauri of the third fleets.
The third fleets are a workout for this new superpower and its role within the universe, up against past mistakes and future universal evils, it has begun to tell the story of us finding a place in the universe through the turmoil's of war and the struggle for peace within our own race. The fleets are an amazing project, giving life to a universe of limitless potential and the backdrop for great creative talent to be exercised, the fleets have developed a significant depth of original and brilliant material that I believe could rival any of the greatest Sci-Fi mythologies. The fleets are a fan fiction project that uses the best of stargate and expands its scope to a larger, more complex and more challenging universe, full of problems and potential that is open to large amounts of modification and development, as the history and development of the three current fleets have shown. The Gateworld Virtual fleets are no longer contained to the single three fleets, these three are a core base in the concept of virtual fleets, but the concept itself has been adopted by at least three other Virtual fleets, all of which have taken the fleet concept and added their own spins and storylines to the fray. It is my hope that the fleet concept will endure and continue to provide a base for the creative energy of new fans and writers for a long time to come, as they have provided me and many others with such a great platform for the past two years.
Relation to Cannon
The Gate world Virtual fleets are outside of Cannon, they are alternate universe, alternate timeline fan fiction, this is both on purpose and by necessity. The specific cannon events which are deliberately removed from fleet cannon are varied but major ones include the Ark of truth and continuum storylines, The unending events and significant parts of Atlantis season 3, 4 and 5 and SGU. The fleets were created almost 4 years ago, with the events in the shows unknown and therefore unaccounted for, unending caused significant problems in our own history, with the Asgard being central characters in all fleets and with earth's technology not developing at such a rapid pace. Therefore when unending aired, the fleets moved away from Cannon in a more defined and significant way. Future developments in the shows cannon and its relationship to fleet cannon are discussed as and when episodes that clash with our own mythology are aired. While significant parts of the fleets are entirely original, other parts take direct reference from the shows, and some parts of the show are left out, while the fleets fill in blanks with original material from the shown own gaps in the timeline, for example with our exploration of new ancient cultures from all periods of the ancient story, see the Halen, Vasilinok and Navos for examples of filling in the gaps.
The fleets and the shows are independant, while existing in the context of a similar universe the fleets being set many decades in to the future mean current events in terms of the show, would indirectly impact our future storylines. The separation of show and fleet means that our timeline, stories and challenges can be played out without direct overruling by storylines and events portrayed in the shows. This is not to say that we don't follow the shows, but that our storylines do not need to fit with the shows and are not constrained by the scope of television, which was the reason, or one of them for the fleets existence in the first place.