Before the USS Boadicea sets out into the Gavarian Frontier on a mission of exploration, FNS reporter ARIANNA REI sat down for an exclusive interview with CAPTAIN AOIFE COARD, her commanding officer. Arianna is a veteran reporter with FNS who writes on topics of the frontier, sensitive to the challenges facing the Federation’s border colonies, and Captain Coard is a former science officer who has commanded the USS Boadicea since 2382.
Arianna Rei: Thank you, Captain Coard, for taking the time to speak with us today. Our readers have heard a lot about the Gavarian Exploration Agreement – and how I think it’s the Federation yet again taking a swim in crocodile infested waters – but before we get to how you’re going to avoid getting your leg bitten off, maybe you could share a bit about yourself and your long tenure aboard the aged Boadicea?
Captain Coard: I’m not the best at talking about myself, but I’ll certainly try! The Boadicea has been part of…hmm, I think every major war the Federation has taken part in after Wolf 359. Obviously, I’ve not served aboard her that whole time, but I’ve been there for about the past seven years. Say what you want about the older classes, they have a certain feel to them that you just don’t get with the steely coldness of classes like the Sovereign or Steamrunner. Anyway, before our current assignment, the crew and I largely were doing Bajor sector milk-runs. You know, ferrying VIPs and supplies to various locales. Nothing exciting. This…promises to be a little more interesting.
Arianna Rei: What is it about you officers-of-the-line and your fascination with wars as a measure of success? What about humanitarian missions? Or missions that created alliances of trade and culture? Does the Boadicea have a storied past of these?
Captain Coard: I’m certainly not an officer of the line, as you call it. In fact I’m a xenobiologist by trade. I’ve spent numerous years undertaking scientific exploration and discovery. I have the heart of an explorer. But let’s not ignore the elephant in the room. The New Orleans Class was designed as a flying torpedo tube. While I’ve personally undergone many peaceful missions that fostered understanding and coalition, that was never to be the fate of this ship. Not until now at least. She is after all, named after an ancient Terran warrior Queen.
Arianna Rei: Not exactly comforting for our readers, Captain Coard, that we’re sending a flying torpedo tube into the Gavarian Corridor given that the Gavarian Exploration Agreement was all about limiting military operations. I assume you see the optics here? Are you at all concerned about the signals this sends the Cardassians and the Romulans?
Captain Coard: Why wouldn’t that be comforting? I have to imagine some of your readers have family and friends in Starfleet or other civilian interests in the Corridor. You don’t think they deserve to be protected? I’m not saying I’m going there to provoke a war, bear in mind. I’ve been ordered out there to explore the Gavarian Frontier lying beyond the Corridor. Flying down the Corridor is just the cost of doing business. And why would I be worried about the signals this sends to the Romulan and Cardassian Empires? They were apprised of the mission by Starfleet Command and, to my understanding, raised no objections to my crew’s presence there. There is an Armistice in place, after all.
Arianna Rei: I suspect the borderlands would prefer if we sent a ship that didn’t scream ‘war!’ quite so much. It isn’t San Francisco that gets razed during Starfleet’s wars. It’s the homes of these frontier colonists. But we can agree to disagree there. Let’s talk a bit about your mission. What’re you expecting to find out there beyond Quillian and Aquorat?
Captain Coard: That’s the thing about an unexplored frontier. We have absolutely no idea. The Cardassians never bothered to explore it in any meaningful way, and the Romulans only went out as far as Aquorat, as far as we know. So there’s a decent amount of unknown. I can tell you what I’d love to find. I’d love to find an archaeological dig that shows civilizations lived out there for longer than anyone expected, nestled so close to two Empires. I’d love to find new civilizations we can set up friendly trade with. I’d love to find some kind of incredible stellar phenomenon. What do I expect to find? I expect to find something truly wonderful.
Arianna Rei: And your crew, what are their sentiments about the Boadicea’s new mission? I understand many of them, including your Executive Officer, Commander Farrell, have served together with you for quite some time.
Captain Coard: I’m not an empath. I couldn’t tell you what each of them are feeling about the mission, but I can tell you that none of them have raised any concerns. You’re right, we have served together for quite some time. We’ve become a very tight-knit group of professionals doing what we love. I’m sure some of them have their trepidations, I have some of my own. I would expect nothing less. But we cannot let the fear of the unknown stop us from exploration and making new friends. If you’ll permit me a bit of poetry, there’s a motto on our plaque that I think fits the theme of the mission rather well. ‘Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light. I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.’
For more information on the USS Boadicea and her travels, visit https://uss-boadicea.bravofleet.games