By Aaron M. Pollyea, STA Contributing Writer
It was the little things in the first season of Star Trek: Picard that I found fascinating. The small details in the background, or short moments in a scene often make me consider how a piece of technology or a starship fits into the greater world that’s being built for us. The progression of mind-machine interfaces with the multitool and the transhumanist dream of downloading into a new artificial body, those are ideas that have been toyed with in Star Trek before, also with the inventions of Doctor Soong. How would this impact life in the Federation? Could people have flawless artificial bodies crafted for them if they suffer from a horrific accident? Thankfully some of this worked its way into the Player’s Guide and Gamemaster’s Guide as writing them coincided with Picard’s first season being aired in the United States.
While science, technology, and philosophy are things that I tend to write about quite a bit for Star Trek Adventures, an honor that I’m continually grateful for, I also am called upon to write up starships and statistics for them whenever a new ship is shown, or we learn a bit more about the class. Our one big hero ship for this season was La Sirena, a Kaplan F17 Class Speed Freighter. While this starship is on screen for much of the season in one way or another, we don’t learn much about specific capabilities outside of some production team posts on social media. We can take some clues from that and the idea of form following function.
The F17 was said to be originally designed in the late 23rd century, so determining about what its systems would be wasn’t difficult. As a civilian ‘Speed Freighter’ I felt that a high Engine system would be needed, and the ability for the vessel to withstand the stresses that high warp speeds would put on it, giving it a high Structure. Another consideration was including a Weapons system for the vessel as being known for speed means that many civilian captains would attempt to run blockades or traverse dangerous regions of space.
Before finally making La Sirena, one last piece of design work needed to be completed, statting out a new mission profile for a Civilian or Merchant Marine vessel. Focusing on navigation (Conn) and making sure the ship flies right (Engineering) were simple choices, but determining what talents might fit a wide range of vessels using this profile took a bit more time. I feel the ones I’ve listed make the most amount of sense.
Finally, our nimble siren of the space lanes can be produced. She may be old, but the series of captains that she’s had have made sure that she’s been brought back to Hatzeplats Kaplan shipyards for routine maintenance and refits. Not as many refits as an active service Starfleet vessel, but enough to keep her engines top of the line and her computers up to snuff for all those hologrammatic crew members. Perhaps a new talent also needs to be written for that…
Thanks for reading this article, and thank you for your interest and support of Star Trek Adventures! Keep frequencies open for news about additional STA products in the coming months. Live long and prosper!