“I go where the sound of thunder is.” –Alfred M. Gray
As most of you are aware by now, with the completion of Captain Toni Turner’s captaincy practical, the crew of the USS Ronin is moving from their current home to the Embassy building on Til’ahn (classed as Duronis II in the Federation), home of the Laudeans.
I was lucky enough to speak to Toni Turner regarding her decision to make this change. I asked her who suggested the move to the Embassy building and Toni replied,
“The candidate for captaincy is allowed to submit a proposal for the command they would like. I proposed the Embassy with the support ship being changed from the USS Resolution to an entirely new ship, the USS Thunder.”
Continuing on this thread, I asked how long have she been pondering this move. She wrote,
“This is a question that needs some clarification, because I didn’t ponder this exact move all at one time. When I started siming with UFOP: Starbase 118, I served at the Embassy for six months. I loved siming the best of two worlds – on land and in space – but due to some extenuating circumstances, I left the Embassy as a Lieutenant JG, but I’ve always wanted to go back as it’s Commanding Officer, so it is fair to say I started pondering that part of the move when the Embassy was decommissioned several years ago.”
So the move is obviously something Turner has considered for some time. When asked how long she had been pondering this move Toni replied,
“The USS Thunder came into play the first time I laid eyes on the Cheyenne Class starship, approximately two years ago. She is predominately a ship for diplomatic, exploration, and scientific missions, and fit the bill for the type of space missions conducive to an Embassy. Putting the two together, seemed as natural as breathing, so I did.”
The shift is a big one- from one of the Federation’s premier starships in the area to a ground-based embassy. I was curious if Toni thought this represented a dramatic shift in the types of sims written by the crew. She said,
“Being based at an Embassy, we will have the rare opportunity to study the Laudeans, the species that inhabits Duronis II, on a day to day basis, helping them, when we can, with issues they encounter, like setting up a viable government; enhancing trade; helping to find cures for ailments that are species specific; basically guiding them towards becoming a productive member of the Federation. The most dramatic change is, we will be siming post-destruction of Romulus and Remus.”
Given that the Laudeans allied themselves to the Romulans in the past, the end of Romulus and Remus provides an interesting setting for the crew. I was, however, curious about the new support ship- the USS Thunder. Captain Turner had the following to say,
“The USS Thunder is classified as a Destroyer mainly used defensively with a compliment of 20 officers and 925 crewmen. It has enough room for 200 visiting dignitaries. Her classification makes her more equipped for space exploration than the Nova-classed Resolution that was formally attached to the Embassy. Like any other ship in the Fleet, she has the capability to defend herself when faced with situations that call for it in the course of exploration.”
The crew’s previous post was an Akira Class ship, the USS Ronin. The Ronin was famous for its skilled and dedicated air group- I asked her if the Thunder would have a similar element.
“The Thunder will not have fighters,” she wrote, “unless they become necessary down the line. The mainstay of the ship is runabouts, shuttlepods, and personnel shuttlecraft both for personnel and cargo.”
Clarifying, she said, “At the Embassy, the Tactical Wing consists of Peregrine and Valkyrie Class Heavy Fighters, Class Light Escort Fighters, Runabouts, and one Hopper. All of these were put in place by the previous staff.”
That certainly presents the Embassy crew with a great deal of flexibility! And, I might add, a substantial amount of firepower. When asked if the crew was expecting any trouble, Turner said,
“In Starfleet, I have learned, to always expect trouble. It will be no different at the Embassy, but the trouble may take on a different face.”
Curious now about the role the Captain herself would play, I asked Toni how much of her Starfleet heritage she would keep compared to how much more of an Ambassador she might become. She wrote,
“Toni will be called “Captain.” To cover the duel roles for a Captain required at the Embassy, the title of “Ambassador” has already been given to one of my Personal NPC’s. That way I can be in two places at once when we have a mission taking us off planet.”
An interesting and effective way of dealing with things- it turns out, with enough planning, you CAN be in two places at once! Speaking of the Captain, I congratulated her on passing her practical and asked for any thoughts on this matter. She said,
“First of all, thank you, for the congratulations.”
“Oh yes, I have plenty of thoughts about my captaincy ranging from what it took to get to this point to finally learning what I needed to know about commanding a ship. But the one thing that stands out in my mind, is my crew. I challenge myself everyday to live up to a quote by former First Lady Rosalyn Carter (a Georgia girl too) that I wear on my banner. “A good leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go… but ought to be.”
An interesting and thought-provoking comment- a bit of insight into Toni’s command style, perhaps?
But the Captain’s not the only person affected by this change. Curious, I asked for her thoughts on what her crew might say about the change. She replied,
“So far, everyone has indicated that they support the change in venue, and are looking forward to the move. I have one crew member that supports it wholly in OOC, but IC is playing it in the opposite direction. It’s provided us with a dilemma that has proved very interesting and fun to write.”
Seems that Toni’s crew are just as on-board as she is. Is there anything else she’d like to add? Of course!
“I only want to thank my peers for the recent honor they bestowed on me – the James T. Kirk Cross – during the Awards Ceremony. It was one of the nicest honors given to me for my efforts. I was thoroughly taken off guard. As my trustworthy sidekick and First Officer Lt. Commmander Tallis Rhul would say, “It was Bang Tidy!” ::grins::
We’re looking forward to a great deal more fun, interesting and diverse missions from the Embassy crew, and everyone at UFOP: StarBase 118 wish Toni the best with her new promotion and her new command!