“The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true.” – Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows
The USS Arrow was first launched on Stardate 239706 (June of 2020) under the command of then Commander, now Captain Randal Shayne. A saber class vessel, she saw extensive combat during the Dominion War, and her scarred surface still shows evidence of those horrific conflicts.
Today we are joined by Captain Shayne as well as Lieutenant JG Lase Ander, Lieutenant JG Regan Wilde, and Lt. Commander Quentin Collins to tell us more about this storied vessel.
DeVeau: Thank you for joining us. Can you please start by giving us a short overview on the USS Arrow and how it fits into our fleet?
Shayne: Thank you for having me! Or, I should say us. Many captains in the fleet could describe their ship as something of a black sheep- we’ve certainly got wacky talent aplenty. But Arrow, whether it was meant to or not, really does embody that role. From the moment Shayne and her original compliment boarded her, adrift and half-scavenged by marauding junk traders, she’s been a creaky but stalwart presence wherever she flies to. With seven decks and a distinct lack of amenities, she’s a relic from a bygone era, and as a small, ill-equipped vessel, she’s almost always outgunned and underpowered for the missions she’s faced with. Of course, that just means that the crew has more opportunity to be inventive and creative in solving the issues- and this crew has come through in force where that’s concerned.
The Arrow has a history that predates Shayne’s command, and was even a support vessel of Ops. What made you decide to choose this particular ship from among the many options available?
It was one of the hardest choices I made in the preparation for command. It wasn’t just that there were many options; there were so many good options. I could have a small Nova class, and run with the scientific possibilities. I could command an ancient Miranda class- the prospect of leading a ship that was created before my character (or I, for that matter) was born sounded truly momentous. Heck, I even considered recommissioning the first ship I was ever assigned to- the Gemini. In the end, however, I realized that the Arrow was the best option for one enduring reason; it would be the most balanced platform from which to sim almost any perspective and duty post. The small size and limited commodities made it a keen boat for forging IC and OOC connections, and as any captain will tell you, the soul of any ship is its crew. And besides, who doesn’t love a spunky underdog? I’ve never regretted the decision.
Compared to other vessels, the sabre class is quite small. What advantages and disadvantages does this type of vessel have compared to larger ones?
Lieutenant JG Lase Ander: Being on a smaller vessel adds a lot of constraints and as any writer will tell you, constraints are good for the creative process. A smaller ship can’t just rely on it’s weapons or speed to deal with enemy encounters so you need to be creative. When we faced off against a Sheliak vessel in a previous mission there was always the threat that they could just wipe us out. Trying to write the sims in a way this made sense but kept the tension led to some great story.One of the disadvantages is we don’t have the facilities of a larger ship. For one there is no holodeck so this means we can’t do missions where the holodeck malfunctions and traps the crew in there. Is it really Star Trek if you don’t have one of these missions?
(Captain’s note: Be careful what you wish for, Mr. Ander- you might just get it!)
What type of missions work best for a smaller ship, and could you share some highlights of a couple of recent ones?
Lieutenant JG Regan Wilde: A plucky ship needs a plucky crew, and we are it. Our missions never end up where you think they will. From a diplomatic conference ending in an all out attack of the ship, and recently a second contact ending in a race against time to neutralize an Omega Molecule, our crew jump in with both feet to create an exciting mission. It’s never dull around here!
What are some ways the crew had made the vessel its own? Are there any fun modifications or quirks that have been incorporated?
Lieutenant JG Regan Wilde: Aside from building our own holodeck from lightbulbs and duct tape? Well we have a gym, and our Crew Mess has ‘Sofia Mark 2’, a custom built leather pull out sofa honouring the demise of the original engineering one, and a fully stocked jukebox, courtesy of the Caldonians.
What are some ideas and goals for the ship in the future?
Lt. Commander Quentin Collins: Definitely trying to make the Alpha Isles a more rich play area for the crew and fleet overall.
We have a number of plots in motion that will introduce us to new installations in the area and plans in place to bring in more of the area’s native species like the Chalnoth and Caldonians into the narrative in a more substantial way. But beyond that we really want to focus on building out our crew’s dynamics and trying to make the ship our own. Even more so than it already is.
It’s funny, when you start out, you want to be assigned to a big cruiser, or some giant Galaxy-class thing, but when you serve on a small ship, you see that the real story potential doesn’t need some huge stage to play out on. As long as you’ve got your crew and your ship’s energy, the possibilities are just so far out.
Thank you so much for your insights on the USS Arrow, Captain Shayne, Lieutenant JG Lase Ander, Lieutenant JG Regan Wilde, and Lt. Commander Quentin Collins!
You can read more about USS Arrow on the wiki.