The USS Apollo is the newest vessel in the UFoP: StarBase 118 fleet, and the fleet’s only Achilles-class ship. With her launch, the fleet brings its number of total playable ships and installations up to eight. Jay, the writer behind Captain Andrus Jaxx, the Apollo‘s commanding officer, was kind enough to answer some questions about the launch of the ship, and what makes it so unique.
How did you choose the Achilles-class Apollo, and what can you tell us about her?
When looking over the different classes I was faced with many choices. My first thought was to take the USS Challenger-A out of drydock. I started my career on that ship, and for me it would have been a full circle thing. We already had a Sovereign-class ship in the fleet, the USS Discovery-C, so I elected to go for a little more diversity. The character of Jaxx is given a strong background in tactical areas, as well as psychology. As a tactician, I wanted a ship that played to his strengths. While Jaxx has become a pretty decent diplomat, he knew that there were times you had no choice but to fight. The Achilles-class ship tipped the hand in the crews favor just a bit.
With StarFleet focusing more on their core of exploration, the Apollo was the first in a redesign of the Achilles class to adapt it for deep space exploration. It received a few more decks, as well as upgraded science sections. It was designed to have adequate diplomatic facilities to ensure success in first contact missions.
The Apollo will depart from Utopia Planitia on a one year mission to the Typhon Sector. She is scheduled to report back to Deep Space 5 at the conclusion of that year, for debriefing and reassignment. I plan on rotating the area of operation around each year.
What will your first mission be?
Jaxx and four other officers were recalled to Utopia Planitia for reassignment. I have been B-plotting the background for our intitial mission. Jaxx is given command of the Apollo because of his background. Over the past few weeks StarFleet had lost contact with 3 ships on patrol in the Typhon Sector. No sign of the ships or debris have been located. Their whereabouts are a mystery. Their first task will be to solve the puzzle.
How will the Apollo‘s split from StarBase 118 Ops be handled?
IC and OOC it is rough to split sometimes. You get used to writing with a lot of people and you now are faced with the realization that you will no longer get any of their sims coming across your inbox. I have had the honor of writing with some very talented and creative writers on Ops. I do find comfort in knowing they have solid characters and at anytime I can check out their group page to follow what is going on. IC, Jaxx is taking things in stride. The night before his reassignment he became a father. Lieutenant Tressa had given birth to their twins, in the early morning hours. It is a lot for him to process right now, but he is working on it. He knows there is a lot he has to focus on, in addition to parenthood. One day at a time is his philosophy right now. He is very confident the station is in good hands, and more focused on what lies ahead. He realizes they are just a subspace message away. The crew was currently on shore leave on a vacation world not different than Risa. All of the orders were transmitted together, and Jaxx and 4 others would set out the next morning when the arrived at the station. At which point, Jaxx will hand command over to Commander Nicholotti. We figure a nice quick runabout cruise will get us to Mars rather zippy, where we can meet up with new officers, and other transfers from around the fleet and launch the ship.
The split will leave Ops fully staffed. The Apollo will actually be launched with a combination of transfers and Academy graduates. With the success of the Avandar launching, we decided to give it another go, but on a smaller scale. There were a handful coming from Ops, and we just received a couple from the Academy. There are cadets coming through the system very rapidly, and we will quickly reach launching capacity.
Tell me more about the birth of Jaxx and Tressa’s twins, and how Ops’s new CO Kali Nicholotti fits in.
The Tressa, Jaxx, and Kali story is a sad one. Jaxx and Kali have like a brother and sister relationship. On her first away mission she put herself in between Jaxx and a Hirogen hunting blade. She got a prosthetic heart for the deed, and Jaxx never forgot about it. They are as close as close could be. Tressa as also bonded with Kali, considering the woman her best friend. She is the godmother of the twins, so it is very hard on Tressa to lose that person to talk to. Oddly enough, it is the same thing Jaxx will miss. Kali has been a voice of reason for a couple of years, it is hard to move on after that.