Atlantis has been spoken of for centuries as a place of knowledge and understanding. In the UFOP we have been lucky enough to have several ships embody those principles, one of which is the namesake for this mythological island nation. Like the Atlantis of legend which vanished from the world, the our Atlantis too sank below the waves of time. However in true form of our persistence and belief in the exploration of the unknown, and unlike it’s mythological predecessor, the USS Atlantis is rising back above the waves of time and soaring into space once more. Here is a short moment with it’s new commander Raj Blueheart.
Jansen Orrey: The Atlantis has been inactive for nine years, what made you decide that it was the ship you wanted to launch?
Raj Blueheart: Precisely for that reason, Jansen. Nine years is a long time. It’s almost half the time SB118 has been around. With such a rich historical background, I thought launching such a ship would not only reignite the Fleet’s interest in its own history, but also remind us, as members of SB118, our own evolution through the years. It was time to not only relaunch a ship from the past, but also to relaunch those wonderful memories that make up the Atlantis. You know, some of the officers that first started their careers on board the Atlantis are still actively with us today. And one of them is part of my crew! Think of the amazing stories he’d be able to share with the rest of the crew and fleet. And even if most of the former crew isn’t around today, I’m sure there will be a ghost or two lurking in the plasma manifolds.
Jansen Orrey: Was it a difficult choice between relaunching a decommissioned/Inactive ship or designing one of your own?
Raj Blueheart: Not really. Designing a ship, though it allows one to exercise one’s creativity, I feel also gives me the opportunity to design a so-called “perfect” ship, so to speak. I mean, why wouldn’t I want to design a flawless ship? But I guess that is just not me. I’d rather have a ship that is flawed but tested, old yet reliable. I guess it’s the same way with relationships? You understand and tolerate one another, and accept your partner for who they are. It leads to a stronger bond between the two, and that’s what I was looking for when I had to make a choice. The future close bond between Captain and ship, and not only the close bond between Captain and crew.
Jansen Orrey: Can you clue us into the plans you have for her a little bit?
Raj Blueheart: Well, we just departed Deep Space 26 and in addition to our shakedown cruise, we’re transporting an ambassador to a very crucial peace talk on the far side of the Par’tha Expanse. It’s a largely unexplored territory of space despite all those years she spent patrolling the area. So you never know what we might run into along our journey through the Expanse. Then there’s the Jenatris Cloud, a mysterious nebula with strange semi-organic particles that at one time had a devastating hallucinatory effect on the original crew of the Atlantis when they attempted to study it. Well, being a science and exploratory vessel, will it surprise you if I said that the Cloud would be top on our list of things to study in this region of space? We Atlanteans just can’t stay away from the mysterious and unknown!
Jansen Orrey: The Par’tha Expanse is not only a relatively young region but a slightly unstable one given the economic and political differences between the Expanse Sector and the Freeworlds Region, how do you see the Atlantis navigating those tense moments?
Raj Blueheart: We’re right smack in the middle of an unstable geopolitical region. While we’re aware of the high tariffs imposed upon cargo ships entering and leaving the Freeworlds Region, at the moment we are adopting a neutral stance on the matter. At least until we receive new orders telling us otherwise, from HQ. Of course, in the interim, if we so happen to be in the right place at the right time – in other words, war between those governments – we wouldn’t hesitate to arbitrate on behalf of SF.
Jansen Orrey: As a scientific and exploratory vessel can you foresee the Federation learning more about the Chon Empire who inhabited the region?
Raj Blueheart: I’d make that a priority for this year. An ongoing mission, if you will. We will definitely continue the work initiated by Dr Rathmin in gathering and archiving data on the Chon civilization, beginning with our base in the Expanse, Deep Space 26. Being an abandoned Chon outpost, I think it’s the best place to start researching them, before tracing their steps throughout the Expanse. I think that whatever the remnant civilization, there’s always a valuable lesson to be gleaned from it for the benefit of the present generation and governments. Military strategies, economic development, et cetera, are all valuable information no matter the outcome of that former civilization. Also, who can resist the romance and adventure of learning about a mysterious empire that flourished 13,000 years ago?
As you can see Atlantis has risen and is firmly on it’s way to continue our understanding and knowledge of the universe around us.