Ship Closeup – USS Narendra

Ship Closeup – USS Narendra

“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” The Narendra’s official motto pays homage to her legacy, but her Klingon allies granted the ship an unofficial motto: DabuQlu’DI’ yISuv. (When threatened, fight.)
The USS Narendra is an Ambassador-class starship and  was first launched under the command of Fleet Captain Sal Taybrim. She received her first major refit in 2371, which greatly expanded her shield and structural integrity, as well as upgrading her weapon systems to current standards. This was done anticipating the tensions with the Dominion.  
The Ambassador-class was developed at the San Francisco Fleet Yards. The U.S.S. Enterprise-C was the most famous Ambassador class starship ever commissioned by Starfleet. It was destroyed in battle in 2344 while protecting the Klingon colony on Narendra III from a Romulan attack, and all hands were presumed to be killed in action. This valorous sacrifice bought the Federation several decades of peace with the Klingon Empire.
Today we are joined by the crew of the USS Narendra to tell us more about this storied vessel. The crew range from different kinds of multicultural backgrounds such as Betazoid, Rekarian, Human, El-Aurian, Bajoran, Elaysian, Denobulan, Vulcan,  and Barzans.
GALVEN: Thank you for accepting to take some time out of your day and letting me interview you.  Fleet Captain Sal Taybrim, can you please start by giving us a short overview on the USS Narendra and how it fits into our fleet?
TAYBRIM: The Narendra is an unapologetic callback to the classic series and next generation.  In many ways it’s our unique version of the Enterprise C, with a matching ship class and a name that references the critical battle of Yesterday’s Enterprise where the Enterprise C was destroyed.  It is also the first active Ambassador class starship in the StarBase 118 fleet!  When I created the Narendra I wanted to bring this amazing classic starship to life in our canon and set the Ambassador class into the lore of StarBase 118. 
The USS Narendra comes from one of those classic starships that never really get old and the lore over them only gets stronger with time. Captain Taybrim and Lt. Commander Nijil, the commanding officers of the vessel, what makes the Narendra and the starbase so special in your own opinions?
TAYBRIM: When creating a support ship for a massive, powerful Trojan Class II Starbase I felt it was dramatically appropriate to have a ship that complimented rather than overshadowed StarBase 118.  One thing that I feel is so special about the Narendra is that it’s a modestly powered starship with clear strengths and weaknesses.  It is extremely maneuverable at impulse but less powerful at warp.  It has a multitude of targeting and firing options with its weapons but the weapons are less powerful than the newer cruisers.  I tell the new crew that the Narendra is like a fencer: nimble and accurate, but not overpowering.  This makes for tense and dramatic space combats that we need to win by strategy and clever maneuvers rather than just unloading weapons.
NIJIL: The Starbase and her support ship are very much yin and yang. While one is mostly stationary and full of life that’s equal to a planet, the other is mobile, sleek, without wasted space. Both are fantastic and both see their fair share of battle and combat. 
TAYBRIM: This is true, for a Starbase we do get into a lot of starship combats!  My favorite scene of all time in Star Trek is the Battle of the Mutara Nebula, and I love the feeling of a dark and scary battle in space where each opponent needs to out-think the other.  Having a modestly powered starship really assists the dramatic possibilities of using the starship both in combat and in other tense situations such as stealth or fancy flying.
Commander Nijil’s writer has a plethora of different characters from a different variety of species and duty posts. Which duty post is your favorite while serving under the USS Narendra and for why is that?
NIJIL: I would have to say, engineering has always been an all time favorite. From the technobabble all the way to the strange, sticky situation one can get into crawling about the Jeffries tubes throughout the ship. 
Now onto the department heads! What drew you to sim your respective duty posts and how do you bring it to life in terms of on board the USS Narendra and the Starbase?
KASUN: Ishani being a Security officer was more of a hurried rush to find a different duty post because my original choice, counseling, had become full in between my application and finishing up the cadet training. I wanted to keep her background because I had become attached to it, so I quickly came up with a couple of options for the open duty posts for Ops‘ staff to pick  from and Security won. 
I don’t have any real connection  to security and law enforcement in real life (unless you count a stint of working as a bouncer in a bar), so I do have to put in some time researching things so that how things are set up in game is within a framework of ‘familiar to real life’ and makes sense given that we’re playing in a game set in an alternate history’s far future. One such project was restructuring the Security department on the Starbase to resemble more of a civilian law enforcement rather than the more military police or private security force it was played as on the ships and in the shows. We did this to more clearly separate the duty post from Tactical, because while they should be very separate duties and skill sets they had unfortunately been treated the same duty post previously.
BAILEY: First what drew me to write for medical was simply my love for it. I find learning about different medical conditions or injuries fascinating. Not only in how it may affect a character but also in how to treat them. Alien biology and physiology is unique too, adding lots that we can explore.  Stemming from this fascination, not only will I keep writing for medical, but too would I join Starfleet as a medical officer if given the chance. In terms of bringing to life the medical department on both the USS Narendra and Starbase 118 I find that it’s all in making them seem real. Less about futuristic technology but more, I find, about modifying what already exists. 
In order to do this I like to expand the different departments within medical as to make it not seem like one large place where every doctor knows everything. Lastly not only do I develop the large details but the small ones as well; descriptions of biology, physiology or more detail about a medical procedure or condition.  
DEVEAU: When I first joined SB118, I had to make a choice about what department I wanted to sim in – and then pick a second choice.  I believe Science was my first – mainly because I felt like I could wrap my head around it a bit more. Although I’m not a scientist in real life, I’ve always enjoyed the field, particularly botany and zoology, which is what Alora specializes in.  
As for bringing it to life, I’m not sure I do a good job of that or not.  When on shore leave, I do try to write her at work, at least in bits and pieces.  I’ll have her filing reports about unnamed experiments, or talk about how an experiment got awry meant that she got rather sticky and had to get clean.  One thing I do like to do is have PCs and NPCs in the department come see her and talk about their particular interests in the field and what they might want to pursue.  For instance, one NPC of another simmer was interested in insects and arachnids, but IC didn’t have much direction – so Alora tried to give her some focus.  
With another, a PC, she’s trying to encourage him to put together a recurring demonstration to help foster communication about cybernetics – to help discourage fear, encourage understanding, but also to encourage the character himself. So I tried to have Alora get her to focus on something so they could go from there.  My hope is I can do this with any character, either PC or NPC, and hopefully find something that can be used either as a plot point or just good character development.  
MAXWELL: Trivia! Max as a character was originally intended to be a Marine, but as Ops had no tactical officers at the time I joined, that was where he ended up.
Since then, as the character has developed, I can’t ever picture him as a Marine. Regarding the duty post itself, I try to mix the mundane preparations with the more interesting goings on to give the role more depth than simply stating that everything is set to go. I usually try to squeeze in some of Max’s trademark cheeky humor along the way.
MEEKS: I have been a public servant all of my adult life, in both the military and law enforcement. My first duty post was in security, which was a no-brainer for me. My first mentor, Miles Unum, was a Marine and shortly after I joined I switched from security to the Marines. I was drawn to it because there is no canon in Star Trek for that duty post, so it is very open to interpretation and opens so many doors to write however I want.
I envision the Starfleet Marine Corps as a naturally evolved version of a mixture of the United States Marine Corps and the Royal Marines. This year, the USMC celebrated their 245th birthday, being founded on November 10, 1775. If this were to carry forward into the Starbase 118 universe, that would make the institution 622 years old. I would imagine the changes in the way the Marines operate would have evolved over the years to make them a more professional organization than they are today. While the core values would have survived (Honor, Courage, Commitment), I believe the Corps would have included humility, compassion, and servitude as well. 
Ops is a very remote installation on the very edge of some of the most contested areas of space, and the Marines have to be ready to be a fighting force at any time. Concurrently, the Marines of the 292nd Tactical Marine Regiment have to be able to exercise and employ every one of those values mentioned before in order to ensure every contact they make upholds the values of the SFMC as well as the values of Starfleet and the Federation. The SFMC isn’t just a bunch of knuckle-draggers, but a professional fighting force capable of meeting every challenge head on while protecting the rights of every individual in the process.
Lieutenant JG Taelon of the science department has a very vivid imagination and drive for his work in the science department. Over the sixty and counting decks aboard the starbase and USS Narendra  that make up the division, which area is he most passionate about and why?
TAELON: I enjoy playing the science-focused nerd archetype, and coming up with alien inventions and odd solutions to things is a lot of fun! Whether it’s combat armor, new guns, a game, or any sort of tech, it’s been very satisfying to try to approach those things both from an ‘alien’ perspective and just a nerdy one. 
Helm Officer, Ensign Talas Beck and Com/Ops Officer, Lieutenant Prudence Blackwell have worked well in defining their departments aboard the USS Narendra. What makes the Narendra so special that keeps you writing and developing more? 
TALAS: The Narendra, in the limited time I’ve written about it, for the characters feels like a home away from home, as the writing time is split over both the Starbase and the Narendra it’s like a treat to go to the ship. Walking onto the bridge of the Narendra and receiving a warm welcome from the Captain was my first sim out of the academy, the warmth and support from the Captain and the rest of the crew has continued on, it’s a pleasure to write for.
BLACKWELL: What makes the Narendra special is the crew itself and just the overall sense of community. Everyone is very encouraging and warm, and welcoming. When people are having a rough time, everyone is understanding. When people are ready to come back, everyone is rooting for that person to put together the sim that is the most fun possible for them. It always feels like a group that sticks together, and wants to encourage people to be themselves, have a good time. 
And last, but certainly not least, the USS Narendra just got a returning member who is in the counseling department! Ensign Ashley Yael, what have you seen so far with the crew, base, and ship that’ll help your department expand more?
YAEL:  The crew of the Narendra hosts a diverse array of personalities and interesting characters, including the PNPC’s.  These various psychologies come together and allow for copious opportunities to delve into the writers characters, and to further their character development.  That’s where the counseling department really shines, when it allows the writers to stretch the boundaries of who they are, to explore valuable side plots that further their characters motivations, or helps them succeed during difficult missions.  
Being on the Starbase also allows for interesting cultural exploration that might not be possible in a space-faring vessels environment.  The opportunity for IC drama is endless!
Thank you so much for your insights on the USS Narendra!
You can read more about the USS Narendra on the wiki.

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