Image of the USS Enterprise-D in space

In Memory of our Founder

The SLA was founded in late 2000 after several hosts from another simming organization, the USF, felt that they were being held back by that group's politics and policies. They set out on their own with only three sims, a domain name, and an idea: the creation of a unique simming organization which gave hosts the ability to run their sims without oversight, focused on the needs of the sims and simmers instead of the political relations between members of its government, and promoted fun and exciting sims for anyone to participate in. The Starfleet Legacy Alliance was born.

If you talk to those founding members, you'll find that they credit one person with having the ideas and the drive to turn the SLA from an idea into a reality: Captain Christiaan Back, the commanding officer of the USS Potemkin — who also used the character name Seth Cotis.

In real life, Seth Cotis was known as Michael C. Back, a web developer from the Chicago area with a passion for simming and an often-comical infatuation with what he considered to be one of the finer things in life: beer. Michael Back, the SLA's "rock," passed away on July 19th, 2005 due to complications of diabetes. He had just celebrated his 35th birthday.

We call Seth the SLA's founder because he was the source of the motivation that launched a fledgling group into the harsh world of simming organizations and helped it thrive; he was the organization's leader, the hosts' confidant, and the simmers' friend. He could often be found on the SLA's Ten Forward Lounge, offering friendly commentary or perhaps a few words of conviction that made one rethink the issue at hand. He took the time to stay involved and be accessible to anyone within the SLA even as the group's other founding members were drawn away by real life and the changes time often brings. Seth was a constant in the SLA community.

As the Council Leader and Moderator Chair, Seth led the SLA Council — and by extension, the SLA itself — for nearly five years. During times of heated debate, he knew when to step in and mediate, and when to speak up strongly and keep things on track. He sponsored and wrote countless bills that defined the direction that the SLA would follow, and he authored the group's first charter, which formalized the SLA's guarantees of host freedoms and simmer rights. He maintained records of the Council's actions and always seemed able to remember the right details when a question about something from long in the past arose. He led well, and was strongly respected by nearly everyone who dealt with him. Like everyone, he had his quirks and flaws, but he made this group work and thrive, even during times when other organizations were faltering and dying.

Although he had many responsibilities, Seth always took the time to do what needed to be done, even if it wasn't required of him. For five years, SLA's many websites were designed, built, and maintained thanks to his tireless efforts. He offered help to hosts needing advice, advertised for sims and the group across the Internet, and forged friendships with other simming organizations. He took an active role in the Simming League, serving for a time as its president and as a chief justice in its court system. He freely offered the SLA's resources to other groups, including maintaining a section of its website to allow other organizations to advertise their sims and interact with SLA members. When he passed away, dozens of people from simming groups new and old sent words of support or paid their respects at a memorial sim of the USS Potemkin held in his honor.

Michael Back's passing was a tragedy to his family, to the SLA, and to the world. After receiving news of his death, members of the group contacted his family to see what we could do to help them through a difficult time, to get involved and pay our respects to the man whose tireless efforts created this group, and to tell his family how important he was to us. We were surprised to find out how little they knew about this, his passion and his legacy, and we told them how many hundreds of lives he had touched through his efforts. At his funeral, posts from the SLA's message boards were read aloud to share the words of people who he had brought together. We hope to continue to spread the word about how strongly he and his work affected so many people around the world.

A member of the SLA has ensured that these pages will be forever preserved in his memory:

We shall always remember him and his vision.