“The candle of liberty has always been kept lit by a vigilant few.” -Russell Pearce
This is the motto of the newest Starship to be commissioned for StarBase 118: The USS Vigilant NCC-75515-A. A Hephaestus-class starship launched in April 2391, the Vigilant-A will patrol the Zeta Gelis Region along with the USS Darwin-A, keeping that candle burning to represent the interests of United Federation of Planets. Equipped with a quantum slipstream drive and capable of operating in Multi-Vector Mode, the latest incarnation of the Vigilant is tougher and better equipped to deal with the demands of maintaining a Starfleet presence in such a remote sector than her predecessor.
Fleet Captain Diego Herrera, the Commanding Officer of the Vigilant-A, was kind enough to chat with me about his new ship in this installment of “A Closer Look.”
Nathan Baker: Firstly, the Intrepid class Vigilant was knocked out of action by a cascade failure of the computer core, correct?
Diego Herrera: That’s correct – a sophisticated virus created by someone with extensive knowledge of the LCARS system found its way aboard. The crew had been able to contain it for some time but when they tried to purge it it caused irreparable damage to all of the system start-up protocols. That left the computer systems throughout the ship crippled and made it unsafe to power the Vigilant back up.
N.B.: What made you decide on a Hephaestus-class starship? Is the Vigilant-A geared more towards combat like it’s Prometheus-class cousins, or will it be more balanced to act as an explorer?
D.H: Being honest – I chose by looking at ship designs I liked and agonising over their pros and cons for a very long time. I like that the Hephaestus class is punchy. I like the shape of it. I like that it looks a little different to some classes of ship, with a wedge at the front that’s even more wedge-shaped than say, the Vesta, Sovereign, or Intrepid classes. It’s cool that it has 4 nacelles too, yet it still looks like it belongs to the Federation.
As far as combat orientation goes – it can handle itself in a fight, for sure. It’s more powerful than the Prometheus class, so it’s Multivector Mode is not to be trifled with; but you’ll notice there’s no ‘Assault’ in there. Why? Because the Vigilant-A’s three segments after separation each specialize in different things. The dorsal section is the most combat oriented. The central section contains the slipstream drive and all of the VIP hospitality, as well as main sickbay, so it can be used as a civilian support base, or evacuate the crew from the rest of the ship in a similar way to the Enterprise D’s saucer section separation. The ventral section contains all of the science labs and the main engineering department, which makes it more geared towards exploration. All three sections can work together for any type of mission, but when it separates, combat is not the only thing it does!
N.B.: Can you give me any other insight readers might want to know about the Vigilant-A that we can’t read about on the Wiki?
D.H.: This is always the kind of question that makes my mind go blank! Gossipy stuff… the bridge design is based on a cross between STO’s medical ships and advanced escorts. It’s also got corners, because it doesn’t use a traditional bridge module (the wiki will tell you there’s more than just the bridge on deck 1!). Other than that, it ought to all be on the wiki and if it isn’t then it will be as soon as I can upload it – planning a big overhaul over the next few months, but it will take time!
One thing that’s maybe worth mentioning is that we managed to successfully use the slipstream drive to get from Zakdorn IV to an unexplored planet recently – a lot of the fleet’s slipstream experiences have ended in calamity, including the original Vigilant’s, so I like to think we broke the streak!
The News Team would like to thank Fleet Captain Herrera for his time in helping give us a closer look at his new ship. We wish him and the rest of the Vigilant’s crew good luck a smooth sailing as they begin their new journeys. You can keep up with stories of the Vigilant-A at their Google Group: HERE.