William Eastwood (also known as Carl Jackson, Clayton Mock, Andrew Harrison, Adrian Shephard, Ashley W. Jackson, Ferrell Smith, Rockwell Edwards II, and Douglas L. Meyer) is a Star Trek simmer. He is best known for his time in Independence Fleet, but he has also been a member of several other clubs.
William Eastwood first entered simming in 1995 under the name Carl Jackson in a game called the USS Lydia Sutherland as part of a creative writing exercise assignment in his English class. Known by many different names in the simming community, Eastwood would later become recognized by his first character in Independence Fleet, William C. Eastwood.
Within the simming community, Eastwood is considered a very strong writer, excelling in dialogue, functional descriptions, the simultaneous development of multiple characters, and progressive plot development--being particularly skilled at expounding upon everyday details. Due to his talents in these areas and because of increasing self-doubt in her own aptitude, Ashla Bogan frequently writes joint-posts with Eastwood, and rarely produces posts that she has written alone. Eastwood is considered a power-poster, capable of writing superior posts, with an average length of two to three pages each, in thirty minutes or less, and is often relied upon to jump-start stagnating story arcs when others have lost interest.
Of Eastwood's writing capabilities, Captain Ace Decade has stated that:
"Many people regard Eastwood as one of the best writers in simming history. His experience alone outmatches any other simmer to date and is regarded as one of the great leaders as well [sic]. Eastwood is a natural, when he writes you believe it [sic]. No wonder people believe Eastwood is one of the greatest simmers of all time [sic]."
As a game master, Eastwood has always performed very well, applying potent abilities to maintain a healthy pace, cultivate motivation in others, and use judiciousness when dealing with issues and those who would otherwise cause strife within the group. Many game masters have and continue to seek Eastwood for advice, and he is also viewed as a manner of simming 'mercenary' among PBEM games. Extremely proficient as an uncompromising leader, other game masters who have lost control of their games, have often employed Eastwood to do what they are uncomfortable doing themselves. This has actually resulted in Eastwood replacing members as Executive Officers, or later becoming the Commanding Officer of a sim at the request of the game master.
Eastwood's first sim, the Lydia Sutherland, was an old pen-and-paper game, which used postal-mail to distribute posts, and was a process that would result in protracted waiting periods, as each post had to be mailed to the game master, who would then mail xeroxed copies to each member. Discovering that he enjoyed the creative writing process, after finishing his English assignment, Eastwood would continue playing on the Lydia Sutherland through a transition from postal-mail to the internet, and the convenience of faster-than-post-office mail. This move from pen-and-paper to email would become the end of Eastwood's participation on the Lydia Sutherland, however, as the sim reportedly suffered from low-interest and slow post turn-over. Having plenty of free time in college, Eastwood soon join other play-by-email games out of a desire to continue playing, and sought out sims with a faster posting pace.
In late 2001, Eastwood joined the USS Challenger as a Tactical Officer by the name of Lieutenant Clayton Mock. It was through the suggestion of the ship's Executive Officer that Eastwood met follow simmer, Ashla Bogan, who was attempting to make her second return to the game, and had been advised to contact Eastwood in order to receive a summary of the current plot. The two simmers immediately became friends, and eventually, their characters were married within the story, which foreshadowed what would become a real life relationship between the two. At some point during 2002, the USS Challenger began to suffer from lack of interest and activity, and the simmers became bored with their characters. Desiring to continue writing with Eastwood, and also possibly pursue more in-character relationships with him, Ashla Bogan convinced him to join her in Independence Fleet, and he applied to the USS Liberty under the command of Captain Ace Decade.
Carl Jackson was Eastwood's first foray into role-playing games. The character was a member of the USS Lydia Sutherland, a play by mail game founded in the early 1990s. The character of Carl Jackson started as a "redshirt" security Ensign, as was common to all new players in the game. One could survive being a redshirt* by writing regularly, and forwarding or developing interesting plot twists. Carl Jackson never left the Security Department, satisfied to be a redshirt that "survived" the away missions. The only way this could be accomplished was through very creative writing and careful plot development. Eventually these action packed "posts" to the group earned him the nickname "Action Jackson" a play of a Carl Weathers movie of the same name. The nickname was bestowed upon him by the group leader after a particular post where Jackson had to survive a battle with cannibals and man-eating plants. As part of the ongoing joke in the game, "redshirts" were the only expendable players to such plot devices - so Jackson was the only real character in danger of gruesome death in that arc.
Carl "Action" Jackson was eventually promoted to Commander and given a desk job at Starfleet Headquarters, where he was to help train "redshirts" in the art of living through more than one away mission. This was an in game "thank you" from the Game Master for Eastwood's many years of dedicated playing/writing and outgoing sense of humor in playing a redshirt. At that time Eastwood was leaving the group due to developments in his real life, and because he felt he had accomplished what many said couldn't be done. He survived five years as a "redshirt." His last post (by e-mail at this point) was of Jackson falling asleep in his chair after battling a giant ape that had escaped the Starfleet Zoo.
Eastwood remembers Carl Jackson as one of his most favorite characters, not because of an intricate background, but because he enjoyed writing him in an environment that had no posting numbers pressure, or "command staff." Carl Jackson to Eastwood is what a role playing character should be - fun, and enjoyable to write for.
In the 1990s mail game that Carl Jackson was created for, characters did not have avatars (as there were no websites to display them for the story). The only real descriptions given were sent out with the player rosters every post forwarded by mail. Jackson was described as "young and eager. Dark hair and eyes, tanned skin. Tall and relatively thin. Always smiling." The rest was always inferred or constructed in posts. As part of the story arcs, Jackson started working out in the ship's gym to get stronger so he could survive longer. By the time of his retirement he was rather strong and muscular.
- All new players to the game were made "redshirts" for their first three posts, as the game master had found many players would not stay with the game for that amount of time. Instead of making the new player a more "important" position, they were introduced as redshirts who would later transfer or promote to open positions in the ship's crew. If a player "flaked out" and did not stay, their redshirt was usually killed off in any number of ways with no harm to the game structure. To Eastwood's knowledge, this was unique to the play by mail game Lydia Sutherland, as he has never seen it in any PBEM sim.
Ensign Clayton Mock, later Lieutenant Junior Grade was a tactical officer on the USS Challenger, a play by e-mail game in Soul Trek, and online RPG group. This was an interim "adjustment" character used by Eastwood to get back into the swing of e-mail games. The character did not exist long enough to get a real backstory, avatar or personality. It was with this character that Eastwood first met Ashla Bogan.
William C. EastwoodEdit
William Clinton Eastwood is probably the defining character for the writer known as "Eastwood." The Eastwood character was created for the original USS Liberty (NCC-4003) group that was in and out of Independence Fleet during the years 2003-2005. "Eastwood" was approached by Ashla Bogan in June of 2002 to join the USS Liberty and write with her there. Being busy working, "Eastwood" allegedly did not put much thought into the character's name, combing the names of "Clint Eastwood" and US President "William J. Clinton" from the TV shows he was watching while coming up with a character concept. This awkward beginning eventually developed into the complex and detailed character seen today.
Eastwood's initial appearance on the Liberty was during a transitional phase in character development and concept for the writer. For several posts, Eastwood's personality fluctuated, from almost an overplayed "genteel" type to a ruthless killer. This was largely due to the incomplete and undeveloped nature of the character's start, and eventually stabilized into the character seen today. Generally, Eastwood has been described as honest, hardworking and having a sense of fair play. William Eastwood is down to earth and pleasant to talk to, and has been described by other players as a "natural leader."
On the Liberty, Eastwood originally played the assistant operations officer under the supervision of Wil Parks. Parks was a personal friend of the Captain, Ace Decade. Eastwood became entangled in a pseudo-conflict with Decade over Ashla Bogan (in story ONLY), whom was involved with Decade at that time. Through the Black Dragon story arc, Bogan went AWOL and Eastwood was tasked with tracking her down with the assistance of the Starfleet Marines Military Police. This arc featured a growing, but fantastically unstable relationship between the two. Generally that entire plot development can arguably be described as rushed and poorly implemented. The best aspects to come from it in Eastwood's opinion were the foundations of "awkwardness" that formed between Decade and Eastwood, so well written that many outsiders generally wondered if the players of Eastwood and Decade really hated each other.
William Eastwood remained on the Liberty through several command changes. Eventually, with Ace Decade gone, and his annoyance in Independence Fleet's constant power struggles, Eastwood left the Liberty game in IDF to pursue other writing interests and "take a break" from any real involved presence in IDF.
USS Discovery (PBEM game transitional)
The character William Eastwood featured here was a slightly "polished" continuation of the original in the Liberty game. This Eastwood too was a former Starfleet Marine turned Starfleet Officer whom worked his way up the ranks to eventually be promoted to Captain, and given command of a new, experimental light cruiser, the USS Discovery. This Eastwood was the prototype for the current revision, as was portrayed as an intensely ethical man, who was uncompromising in matters of integrity and honor. William Eastwood was also religious (something that the writer wanted to add, as it was not common in Star Trek or other simming games). Captain Eastwood lead a mixture of different characters, including Ashla Bogan and William Frost through a variety of adventures in the far reaches of space. As the Game Master this time, Eastwood more tightly controlled story arcs, and used the character more as a facilitator for story and character development in others, which lead to a great deal of "CD" posts with many other players. Notable to this incarnation of William Eastwood were cameos with Ace Decade, which allowed a revisit of older story arcs from the Liberty.
USS Discovery (Collaborative Writing Group - Current Incarnation)
By 2006, Eastwood was beginning the planning steps of a USS Discovery "reboot" with a different writing style and more original setting. Because of real life commitments, Eastwood found he did not have the time nor the desire to participate in traditional simming games as he had before. These stories could advance quickly, and deviate from their original intent quickly, which made them frustrating to track on a limited amount of time. They also generally lacked the "depth" that he had come to enjoy in creative writing. Hence the reboot would feature more closely planned and controlled stories. This was eventually developed into a full on collaborative fiction project, as Eastwood found many of his old online friends were very interested in the same type of project as an alternative to simming. This project took years to develop with occasional experimenting and constant character development, until that project resumed regular submissions in 2010.
The current William Eastwood is living in the year 2387. The universe he exists in deviates from Star Trek canon on a few levels, being largely cosmetic. William Eastwood is a former Starfleet Marine, whom served for one term of enlistment as a non-commissioned officer in the infantry. This slims down his Marine experiences considerably from previous incarnations that had him also serving as a military policeman, or pilot. After his term of service in the Marines, Eastwood was able to gain entrance to Starfleet Academy, where he earned his commission upon graduation. Eastwood served in the Seventh Fleet during the Dominion War, and then later aboard ships assigned to rescue and peacekeeping duties in the former Cardassian Empire. Eastwood worked his way "up the ladder" on various ships until he was transferred to Mars to assist in the development of starships under construction, which included USS Discovery. Eventually he was promoted and given command of the USS Discovery in February 2387, where he has been leading the ship through her trials.
This William Eastwood varies from the others in several considerable ways. Most stem from the fact he never met, nor became involved with Ashla Bogan. Because of this, there was no Decade/Eastwood rivalry. This version of Eastwood is similar to the others personality-wise, being duty driven and ethical. Those aspects of the character personality were largely unchanged, being reworked to fit the modified character history and life-story. This was done for story purposes, and out of creative respect for Ace Decade, whom had retired by that point. Eastwood did not want to use the creations of others without their input or direct participation in the writing group. This was also the reason for many of the character replacements on the USS Discovery.
In the nearly ten years that William Eastwood has existed as a character, there have been may edits and revisions to his personality and history. Because of the sheer amount of time and effort expended, the writer has developed an almost "complete" person, complete with the finest of details in a life history and personality. As a model, the writer read several autobiographies, and then asked the fundamental question "how would I make myself into a character?" The detailed and meticulous "product" that emerged separates this character from many in other stories and sims. Consequently through experimentation with other writers and genres, William Eastwood has been found to be very "cross compatible" as his basic existence as a person has been established, with a background that can be modified to fit a given story. The writer "Eastwood" considers him to be his best-developed character, and the easiest to sympathize with as he has no real "baggage" he carries with him. Described by another as a great "Joe Everyman," for his appeal to the average person he is portrayed to be, Eastwood is a representation of nearly a decade of development and refinement.
Andrew Harrison was a fleshed out NPC from a previous sim, likely the USS Lydia Sutherland that was quickly rushed into service for the USS Sunfire-B that was being launched by Admiral James West in Independence Fleet. The character remained there through the transition of command to Captain Audra Murchadh, and the departure of the Sunfire from Independence Fleet. Once the Sunfire-B was returned to Independence Fleet, custody of Admiral West, the Harrison character continued onto the short-lived sim USS Dawnstar until it was closed down.
The Harrison character varied greatly in personality and background. Eventually a somewhat stable personality formed, where Harrison was bold and rash officer who was not afraid to speak his opinion. Andrew Harrison was from New South Wales, Australia. His highest achieved rank was Commander. His avatar was Eric Bana.
This character was never "detailed out" by Eastwood for a variety of reasons. At that time, Eastwood's simming interests were elsewhere, and his presence on the Sunfire was only intended to be a token one to support Audra Murchadh there in posting. After the character lingered for so long did Eastwood put a modicum of effort into creating a background and stable personality. Generally, Eastwood does not see Harrison as a very worth-while or good character.
Adrian Shephard was another hastily thought up character, whom had his name lifted from "Half Life: Opposing Force" a game Eastwood was playing when he was asked to make a character for a friend's game. Because of the short notice and lack of creativity on Eastwood's part, as well as a healthy dose of dark humor, the character from the game was used as a basis. The character Adrian Shephard was a former marine infantryman whom ended up in Starfleet as part of an exchange program on board the USS Callisto. Shephard continued serving on the Callisto until his command in various roles that included tactical and intelligence. Shephard replaced Admiral Sarah Hansen as the commanding officer until the dissolution of Nova Fleet, and the USS Callisto was ended as a game.
Shephard was fated to end up much as Andrew Harrison was. It was only though the amount on involvement that Eastwood ended up taking in the Callisto game that saved the character from that fate. Called in as the game's XO/Assistant Game Master, Eastwood was tasked by Admiral Hansen with restoring some control to the plotlines, character behaviors and OOC mayhem that had permeated the game. Eastwood was very successful at this, and made several friends in the process. Consequently, the character of Shephard was polished to be more consistent and believable. Adrian Shephard was a slightly rough around the edges man, but wholly honest and caring about his crewmates. He was prone to using some foul language and showing a temper. He always argued that he was a marine first, and everything else second. Because of his decent amount of tactical knowledge, the Callisto was often used as a task force leader, and sent into harms way more often than not.
When the USS Callisto game was disbanded, and some of her players joined the USS Discovery collaborative fiction, Adrian Shephard appears several times in back story as a friend and mentor of former Callisto crew, and as a former Marine comrade of William Eastwood. In the current storyline, Adrian Shephard has yet to appear, but is slated to in an upcoming story arc.
Adrian Shephard's avatar has always been Edward Burns.
Ashley W. JacksonEdit
Ashley "Ash" Jackson was another quickly created character for Independence Fleet. Directly influenced by "Ash Williams" from the Evil Dead series, Jackson shared many of that movie character's annoying traits, including a propensity for being beat to a pulp, and using one-liners at awkward times. Eastwood created Jackson to help the USS Liberty in Independence Fleet regain some posting, and to motivate the crew. At that time, Fleet Admiral Jeremiah Griffith had Jackson placed as the Executive Officer under the command of Joseph Carroll. Jackson remained on the Liberty until it slowed to a point there were no more posts. In an arrangement with Fleet Admiral Griffith, Jackson replaced Carroll (whom was moved into Admiralty) as the final Liberty captain tasked with overseeing her decommissioning both in and out of game. Those members on the Liberty whom still posted on occasion were moved to other games, and the Liberty was deactivated. Ashley Jackson at that point ceased to exist as a character. His eventual fate was never written, but in the spirit of the Evil Dead franchise, he was probably sucked into some portal someplace.
Ashley Jackson was represented by Bruce Campbell (surprise) as an avatar. Eastwood views Jackson as an amusing, but poorly planned and executed character. His name was taken from Evil Dead and the Carl Jackson character years before. Because of the nature of the situation with the Liberty at the time, Eastwood did not go into great depth detailing the character out as he has for others. Like the Liberty of that time period, Eastwood sees the Jackson character as best left faded into obscurity.
Rockwell Edwards IIEdit
Rockwell Edwards II exists in two "universes."
Petty Officer First Class Rockwell Edwards II is an active character in Star Trek: Avalon, in Independence Fleet. He serves as a Master-at-Arms, usually on a night shift supervising junior ratings. Rock Edwards was the character replacement for Ferrell Smith. Eastwood had decided that he was growing bored with the usual run of commissioned officer characters, and decided to play an NCO along with Ethan Neufeld to see how well non-commissioned characters could "survive" in a sim environment which traditionally has been dedicated to characters trying to gain rank quickly and "command" other players. As the Avalon has transitioned to a collaborative writing group, this experiment was ultimately unnecessary.
In story, Rockwell Edwards is a second generation Starfleet enlisted crewman. He is friendly, outgoing and pleasant to talk to. He generally does the "talking" while his partner Ethan Neufeld does the "watching." The two play off an old cliche of "buddy-cops" often found in movies. His Avatar is Scott Caan.
Lieutenant JG Rockwell Edwards II is a character in the USS Discovery stories. Also a second generation "Starfleet man," Edwards is part of Starfleet Special Warfare, and the Assistant Officer in Charge of SFSWG1, Team 7, 1 Platoon "Iron Wolves" under the command of Lieutenant William Frost. This Rockwell Edwards is also outgoing, confident and dedicated, although not as experienced. He speaks with a Texan accent, and always seems to have the well being of the platoon at heart. He is technically competent at his job. This Rockwell Edwards is also represented by Scott Caan as an avatar. As with all Special Warfare in the USS Discovery stories, he has a very small role, dependent on the story arc at the time.
Douglas L. MeyerEdit
Commander Douglas Luther Meyer was a character on Starbase 10, in Independence Fleet. Meyers was created by Eastwood to assist in bolstering posting numbers there, and to facilitate several of the "Special Operations" themed plot lines that were popular on Starbase 10. Commander Meyer served as an intelligence and special operations officer, and was unremarkable in almost all senses of the word. Like many hastily thought up characters, his background was weak or non-existent in many areas, and he suffered from "hero syndrome" typical to simming in IDF during that era. Douglas Meyer was not a well liked character by Eastwood, and was retired with little fanfare or concern.
The avatar of Douglas Meyer was Neal McDonough.
In story, Commander Meyer was leader of the 320th Special Operations Group - the "Golden Eagles." He was transferred to Starbase 10 with a small part of that group to aid Captain Shanti Harold and her staff in covert intelligence and counter-espionage operations along the Romulan Neutral Zone. He participated in several small operations, and was routinely ferried around by the USS Peterborough, an NPC ship attached to Starbase 10. When Starbase 10 was reorganized and eventually deactivated, the character was "transferred" presumably back to his Special Operations unit. Douglas Meyer was known to be rather cold and indifferent to everyone around him, making him unliked by the more social members around him.
Occasionally, "Douglas L. Meyer" appears as an NPC mention in the USS Discovery stories as a member of Starfleet Security/Intelligence. He has never appeared in any real solid form, other than a passing name in character conversations.