“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” – Veritas motto
I recently sat down with the crew of the USS Veritas, NCC-95035, in order to better understand one of the more unique vessels that compose our great fleet. The Veritas is not your typical vessel for a variety of reasons. For one, its location in the Shoals is quite unique: Tetryon emissions extending throughout the area make for some intriguing challenges from the very beginning!
“(Y)ou cannot go higher than warp 5 in certain areas, and can by no means use slipstream drive or get communications out swiftly – subspace and letters are crackled or delayed at best” – Deliera, who plays LtCmdr. Sky Blake, the Ranger aboard the Veritas
These kinds of restrictions, not applicable to any other post in the fleet, has some intriguing side effects, which, according to Deliera, was precisely the goal. By cutting down contact with the outside universe, and the bigger picture as a whole, the crew is able to concentrate on the smaller, yet equally meaningful parts of the region they inhabit, which fosters further creativity.
“I think one of the most unique aspects of simming on Veritas is the region that we play in. The rules we’ve set up here intentionally constrain what we can do, which makes the space feel bigger. Writing in the Shoals has a distinct flavor, and the unique sociopolitical situation of this isolated, tumultuous region leaves us with lots of room to explore difficult topics while still maintaining a connection to the Federation and Starfleet.” – Cameron, who plays Evan Delano, the Veritas’ second officer and Operations manager
There’s no doubt that the situation is tumultuous. Wherever the Veritas turns, potential threats loom in the darkness. Whether they be from extravagant antagonists, or dangerous alien species like the Tholians, Veritas is surrounded by perils.
“We have just concluded an extravagant mission known as Kallo Ver & The Hunt for the Romulan Treasure Fleet – told by Kallo Ver, a long-running “antagonist” for the Veritas whom is surprisingly good at sending people on wild goose chases and is perhaps not the most reliable story teller” – Deliera
That said, there’s much more to the Shoals than simply a “here there be monsters” aesthetic. Missions can and do vary greatly.
“I’d have to say T’Katt’s exploring a derelict Romulan warbird with the other’s on his first Starfleet mission was my favorite moment” – Cory, the writer for Counselor T’Katt Dugoras
Since arriving at the fleet and graduating the Academy, T’Katt has participated in one mission thus far, along with a shore leave. The revelation that Romulans were indeed in the Shoals before the Federation was a surprise to the crew, and points to fascinating missions in the future.
The more personal aspect of the Veritas, and the stories that individual characters experience, are as diverse as the crew itself. Shore leave is the perfect time for these plots to shine through, and as the the Veritas enters its next debaucherous liberty period, I asked about some of the non-mission related adventures the crew would be undertaking on their own time. Whether they’re participating in a search for answers in regards to artifacts taken aboard during the last mission, such as in the case of Dugoras, or performing varied acts of medical research, such as in the case of Chythar Skyfire, the ship’s doctor, it seems that the crew generally takes full advantage of shore leave, and uses their time to display their intriguing characters to the fullest.
The leadership style of Captain Roshanara Rahman is at least partly to credit, according to Lael Rosek, the ship’s Engineering officer.
“Rich has more of a hands-off mentality than most captains I’ve worked with. Not to say he isn’t involved in the plot both IC and OOC, but he lets his crew drive the plot. He gives us room to throw in our own plot twists and I admit together we come up with some pretty interesting ones” – Rosek
Of course, while the missions and personal plot arcs are interesting, relationships fuel everything. One of the best ways to tell a ship’s spirit, style, and overall quality is by the depth and meaningfulness of the interactions officers have with one another.
“Rich and I are working to develop a friendship of sorts between Lael and Rahman. I’m surprised to find that they have a lot in common. In fact, Lael has a great deal of respect for Rahman, even to the point of seeing her as a maternal figure” – Rosek
Others share a more romantic connection, as seen with Even Delano and First Officer Mei’konda.
“Evan’s most important relationship is (big surprise) with Mei’konda, his husband. Evan credits his relationship with Mei’konda for getting him through the Academy, and sees the Caitian as a constant source of inspiration” – Cameron
Still others are finding their way.
“T’Katt hasn’t developed relationships with the crew yet, having only really met a few of them in person once either during a wedding, during counseling, or during the mission” – Cory
With Cory being the newest member, this status is hardly surprising, but the fact that Lael Rosek was his Academy instructor made the transition more smooth.
A ship is only as good as its crew, and so I asked what the personnel felt was the most important component of simming.
“Making the plot move forward is the probably the most important. Second to that, then tags so that people have stuff to do. If you see someone’s struggling, toss a sim with tags at them. It may give them a nudge in the right direction” – Zephyr, who plays Dr. Chythar Skyfire
Lael Rosek feels similarly.
“I need to feel connected to those I’m writing with. Collaboration requires a certain understanding of the writer and the character to build those trusting relationships and to really tell the best story” – Rosek
What with the limitations on the ship and crew posed by the Shoals, such teamwork would seem quite necessary to making the situation work successfully. But success seems to be a consistent companion of the Veritas, and since their inception in 2015, they have become one of the more recognized vessels in the 118 pantheon. Here’s to their continued voyages!