On December 5th, newly promoted Captain Tallis Rhul and the former crew of the USS Ronin launched aboard the USS Mercury, StarBase 118’s first Oracle-class vessel. Captain Tallis was kind enough to provide the news service with answers to a few questions regarding the launch and his captaincy.
What preexisting ship class is the Oracle most like?
I’d say that the closest thing to the Oracle would be the Nova class (like the USS Equinox). However, the Oracle class is much bigger, and I took inspiration from the Intrepid and Nebula classes when thinking about fleshing out the way the ship was designed. You could also compare it to the Luna class (USS Avandar, USS Titan), although the main focus of the design for the Oracle class is the enhanced sensor system. That’s what makes it ideal for scientific missions.
Will all of the Oracle’s missions be science-specific?
No, not all of them. That’s what the ship is ultimately built for, but part of what will make the ship a great place to be for the crew is the location of space that they’ll be posted to, which is called the Menthar corridor. It’s the region of space that lies between Cardassian, Breen and Tholian territory, and their presence there will be as a direct result of negotiation between the Cardassian Detapa Consul and the Federation Council. However, the alliance with the Cardassians is likely to be a little unstable as their government has a habit of changing at a moment’s notice. That, coupled with the nearby threat from the Breen and Tholians, means that we’ll also have an opportunity to run intelligence-based and diplomatic-based missions, and really spend some time fleshing out the region.
Why did you choose a science vessel for your first command as a captain?
I’ve been assigned to a couple of scientific missions before, aboard the Ronin and the Challenger, but I’m as suited to the location of the posting as the ship itself. As my career has progressed, I’ve displayed a propensity for being patient and being a good judge of character. I’m determined enough to make the assignment work and try to build on the Federation’s agreement with Cardassia, and I have faith that my crew will be able to deliver should Starfleet Intelligence send orders through.
Can you tell a bit about your career?