Captain’s Corner – Addison MacKenzie, USS Artemis-A
Each month, we interview a captain or first officer of the fleet to gain more insight on what it takes to command a ship and learn more about how each of these staff members found their way into these roles, and what’s been happening under their command
This month, we’re interviewing the Commanding Officer of the starship USS Artemis, Captain Addison MacKenzie, a Human female.
DeVeau: In your last interview (just over a year ago!), you gave us a little information about yourself and what music means to you. How did you decide to be a conductor, and would you mind sharing about the non profits you’re involved in?
MacKenzie: Well, I’ll say that I decided I wanted to become a conductor back in middle school, so it was quite early, but reflecting on it, I think this profession really appealed to me because I love teaching and I love making music… There’s something really attractive to me about wanting to help elevate the talents of other people (which I suppose also translates to leadership in our community here as well).
I work for several music organizations, all non-profits, all in various regions of the country, and all with different purposes/constituents, but I can safely say that the one thing they all share is the idea that being able to make music is for everyone regardless of your age, social status, etc.
You’ve been on the road to command for a while. Would you mind sharing why you chose a Luna Class ship and why the name ‘Artemis’?
Actually, the Artemis was actually the USS Doyle-A first. When you get to the point of the process where you do your command practical, you select a ship from a list of inactive ships in the fleet. I always loved the Luna class and I wish it had more screen time in ST canon, so when I saw that we had several to choose from, I settled on the Doyle: it had a compelling backstory and a pretty well-developed wiki profile.
I don’t remember why, but there was actually something complicated about reusing the name Doyle, so we had to come up with something else. Artemis is the goddess of the hunt, but the reason for choosing the name actually has an IC backstory tied to the Veritas that involved the destruction of the USS Artemis (an NPC Odyssey-class ship) that helped save us all. Seemed like a fitting tribute!
When you first became CO, you were a Commander. Congratulations on reaching the rank of Captain! Would you mind sharing about the difference between the ranks and what that means in the context of our community?
…while that’s certainly true to some extent, the rank of Commander is the first staff rank for which you are tested and vetted in an in-depth way by members of the 118 community at large. You’re expected to contribute time and service not just to your ship, but to the organization as well.
The process for promotion to the rank of Captain really goes beyond determining whether or not you’re capable of simming and leading a ship as a GM. You’re really evaluated in lots of different ways, and the process concludes with an interview with the Executive Council, where its members can ask you questions about pretty much anything they see fit. The process is designed to really get you to think about the community as a whole and its longevity, and how your voice as a leader contributes to that process.
What made you decide to go for the Captain’s chair?
Part of it was that I had always had an interest in providing a space to elevate the talented people I get to write with, and part of it was necessity. When Commodore Nicholotti stepped down from the Excalibur, there were basically two options: either I take command and move the crew to a new ship, or we split everyone up and distribute them across the fleet.
What plans do you have for the Artemis and her crew over the next year?
We’ve got a brand new ship that only just starting to explore, and while our campaign region (the Borderlands) has served as our home since we launched the Resolution in 2020, it’s virtually unexplored on-screen canon, so the options are really endless! I’m fortunate to have several members on the ship’s staff who love cooking up mission ideas, and we have a lot of good ones lined up.
What advice would you give to those who are looking toward Captaincy in their future?
It’s a process and it’s a process for a reason. There is a lot of trust placed by the governing bodies of this community onto the captains of our ships, and for that reason, we purposefully go through a lot of training and a thorough vetting process. If you think command might be in the cards for you at some point, talk with your ship’s staff and they’ll be happy to tell you more about the process and the kinds of things we look for in potential command candidates.
Thanks for your time, Captain MacKenzie!
You can read more about Captain Addison MacKenzie on the wiki.