So by now some of you have read the CS-405 spin-off trilogy that falls between St. Legier and Winterhome in the Jessica Keller series. Those are also referred to as the Kosnett Trilogy, because Command Centurion Phil Kosnett is the central axis around which everything rotates.
I originally got the name of the character from Star Fleet Battles, which I played a whole bunch of from the early 80’s to the mid 90’s. (Moved out of Los Angeles and lost my group. Never picked it up again after that for other reasons.) The Captains Logs for SFB each contained a short story, the scenario behind the story, and then a bunch of other scenarios you could run in addition.
For a game called Star Fleet Battles, not everything was combat. You could also do science missions, exploration, etc. This was before role playing games got sophisticated, and other companies had the RPG license for the original Star Trek Universe (and mind you, this game dates to the original series and the animated series.)
But there was a character in one of the stories named Phil Kosnett. He was a thinly-veiled version of a notable and famous Star Fleet Captain, without crossing any licensing lines. When I was building out Jessica’s new fleet for The Red Admiral, I grabbed Phil Kosnett on the fly. But I also added some backstory, because he was in a Corvette/Scout, the least armed vessel around, so he had to fly smart as well as dangerous. And become one hell of a successful pirate, as you’ve seen.
When it came time to break off CS-405 for their own adventure, I had a LOT of details about Command Centurion Phil Kosnett. But very few people knew the reference, because you have to have played the game at the time, which dates you pretty solidly to a particular age and demographic.
But I have challenged a few people to let me know if they recognized the name, because anybody who did would also recognize a lot of the technology I used in Jessica’s universe, just because I could. (Again, all the serial numbers filed off so I can can’t get sued, but if you knew, you saw it.)
Fast forward to over the weekend.
I got an email. And had to go total fangirl.
The person identified themselves as Phil Kosnett (as did the email and other info), and explained how he was connected to the gang back at Task Force Games (later Amarillo Design Bureau) and how Steve Cole used the name of a friend of his later as a bad-ass Star Fleet Captain, and later Admiral. Over time, the character has taken on a life beyond the original gentleman.
But this really was him, as you’ll see at the bottom of his own bio.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the man who went on to be Admiral Phil Kosnett in the Star Fleet Universe. When you get a chance to read Petron in December (and there will be a contest earlier), you will also get to meet Fleet Centurion Phil Kosnett, as well as wonder at the future I have laid out for when he becomes First Centurion Kosnett. (And yes, now I kinda have to go ahead and write those stories one of these days.)
But right now, I’d like to sqeeeeee all over the fact that the original Phil Kosnett is the US Ambassador to Kosovo.
How freaking cool is that?
To me, it’s even better because Command Centurion Kosnett is known as “The Professor” and I had no idea how accurate that was for the man he was originally drawn from.
And what a small universe we live in.
Just had to share, because that’s just all sorts of awesome.