USS Arcturus

From Bravo Fleet

USS Arcturus is an Odyssey-class heavy explorer assigned to the Fourth Fleet under the command of Fleet Captain Michael Lancaster, serving as the flagship for Arcturus Squadron. Designed with higher density fuel storage tanks and hardened systems compared to her sister ships, Arcturus was intended to lead an extended mission in the Delta Quadrant for the Delta Exploration Initiative. Thanks to extenuating galactic events, however, she has spent most of her service life in the Alpha Quadrant, most recently leading exploratory efforts in the remote Olympia Sector out of Olympia Station.


Following the destruction of Utopia Planitia in 2385, Starfleet's shipbuilding priorities were thrown into disarray, as a substantial number of the Federation's large shipyards had been temporarily diverted to producing evacuation transports for the Romulan relocation effort, at the expense of larger explorers and dedicated science vessels. In the chaos that resulted from the destabilization and reorganization of the Romulan Star Empire just a few years later, Starfleet began prioritizing vessels that could be assigned to defensive duties and which would be used to maintain the integrity of the Federation's borders. In the mid-2390s, though, certain factions within Starfleet's higher echelons were successful in securing resources to plan a return to long-range exploratory missions, especially in the form the compact, and long-range Luna-class light explorers, which represented new standards in automation, efficiency, and independence. While these vessels were especially well-suited for solo missions in the Alpha and Beta quadrants that would eventually be followed up on by science vessels, the Delta Exploration Initiative pushed for expeditions that would be able to support multiple starships for an extended period in an environment without bases or supply depots.

As such, the Arcturus was ordered in 2394 as an experimental variant of the Odyssey-class explorer which would include greater system redundancy and industrial fabrication capabilities to allow it to serve as a long-range base of operations for an expedition to the Delta Quadrant. As a proof of concept, she would embark on a three-month trial mission through the Barzan Wormhole into the Delta Quadrant starting in early 2399 and accompanied by a task group from the Fourth Fleet's Task Force 38. Even before construction had started, Commodore Elizabeth Hayden was selected as her commanding officer and of the task group. While many construction sites were considered, the Starfleet Corps of Engineers settled on Epsilon Indi Station, to test the feasibility of building large explorers at Starfleet's smaller construction facilities, using modular assembly protocols with individual sections of the ship brought in from other small bases and then integrated at Epsilon Indi, with the eventual goal of reducing the reliance on large fleet yards such as Utopia Planitia.

Construction at Epsilon Indi Station

Captain Akintoye Okusanya was selected to oversee the design and construction phases for the Arcturus, with the first hull sections beginning construction in early 2395. Construction proceeded without significant issues, and in 2397 Captain Michael Lancaster, the Chief of Staff of the Delta Exploration Initiative, began to develop a crew roster and equipment manifest suitable for the Arcturus's stated three-month trial mission as well as the very real possibility that the ship and those accompanying her would find themselves stranded 70,000 light-years from home and need to make their way back via conventional means, should the wormhole's stability fail.

Lancaster was eventually assigned as Hayden's first officer, alongside Okusanya as Captain of Engineering, and a fourth captain to lead the ship's medical department: Captain Alenis Anjar, M.D., both because of the sheer size of the ship's crew and to ensure that there would be a deep bench of command talent to pull from, should one or more of the ship's senior officers be killed during the course of the mission. Commodore Hayden assumed command of the Arcturus in November 2398, two months prior to her launch, with the rest of the senior staff joining the ship right up until her departure from the yard.

Design and Layout

Though several other ships of the class had already been built, the construction process for Arcturus was lengthened to allow for most critical systems to be hardened to increase her survivability on long-distance missions.

Deck 12, the widest deck of the primary hull, is home to a broad gallery that runs the perimeter of the exterior, from one impulse engine all the way around to the other. On the interior side are art installations, planters, and quiet spaces for nutrition and relaxation. On the exterior side are lounges that have many windows looking out into space, which are connected directly to the gallery itself. Based on deck ten of the Galaxy-class, this space is designed to give the ship's crew open spaces that would help fight against the natural isolation and claustrophobia that comes from long-duration exploratory missions. On the bow, there are several small lounges that provide quiet views of space beyond the ship, which is located in front of the ship's main promenade, a three-deck open area that includes further biological installations, restaurants staffed by holographic beings, and more open space to help the crew cope with long missions away from starbases by providing a large, open space that mimics a city center.

The Plowman's Tap

Located on Deck 5 with large windows looking out over the primary hull, the Plowman's Tap is the largest lounge on the Arcturus and the favored recreational spot for many of the ship's senior officers as well as the ship's queer community, between which there is a substantial overlap. The name refers to the constellation containing the star Arcturus: Boötes, which means 'plowman' or 'ox-driver' in Greek. It was selected by the lounge manager assigned to the Arcturus during the final stages of her construction in 2398, Miss Nomer, who enjoyed the innuendo one can find in the name if one looks hard enough. She also liked the irony that stems from the Plowman's Tap having no actual beer taps.

This lounge is twice as large as the forward lounge found on a Galaxy-class ship, with seating for approximately sixty people at maximum capacity. The entry doors to the Plowman's Tap are larger than other doors on the ship and have circular windows, painted blue with gold details. These entrances are to the sides of the bar, which has twenty stools and a commanding view of the rest of the room. Drinks are provided from two replicators behind the bar, flanking a large painting of a bucolic farming scene that prominently features an ox pulling a plow being led by a shirtless man in half-fastened overalls, created by Miss Nomer herself. She's keen to remind patrons that if they don't like it, they know where the nearest airlock is.

Lights are kept lower in the Plowman's Tap than on the rest of the ship, which contributes to a relaxed atmosphere. It's common for crewmembers to gather here for a drink, either by themselves at the bar or in small groups at tables spread throughout the room on three tiers. The furniture other than the bar stools and the bar itself is, in fact, holographic, which allows it to be configured at will to a number of different configurations. On Friday nights, the room is re-arranged to include a stage flanked by cocktail tables for a cabaret-style show put on by Miss Nomer and other drag performers from the crew.

The wait staff is a mix of organic crewmembers (generally operations division yeomen in all-black uniforms which helps distinguish them from other personnel) and holographic waiters, depending on the time of day and the particular event. Miss Nomer is known to have the computer match the waitstaff's outfits to her own, whether she's performing or not.

Integrated Auxiliary Vessels

Aquarius-class Escort: USS Hokule'a

For the article, see USS Hokule'a.
The Hokule'a in flight.
The Hokule'a in flight.

Like all Odyssey-class starships, the Arcturus is equipped with a stern cradle to store and transport an Aquarius-class light escort. The Arcturus's support vessel is the USS Hokule'a (NCC-84000/1), which is the Hawai'ian name for the star Arcturus. This vessel is used for multiple mission profiles including defense of the mothership, scouting and survey missions, transport missions, and other tasks that are too complex for a simple runabout or shuttle to perform. The Hokule'a does not have its own crew and is manned by mothership personnel depending on the particular mission, but a skeleton crew is kept aboard at all times to keep it ready for launch at a moment's notice. When the Arcturus goes to yellow or red alert, a full standby crew is brought aboard to prepare for possible combat operations, under the command of one of the ship's officers of the watch. The Arcturus's Senior Officer of the Watch is the designated captain of the Hokule'a for these sorts of deployments.

Diplomatic Launch: Da Jiao

Similar in function to the captain's yachts found aboard other large starships, the Da Jiao (NCC-84000/15) is a large warp-capable craft intended for diplomatic transport duties and for hosting small conferences. This two-deck craft can maintain modest warp speeds and is suitable for system-to-system courier runs, though she is rarely used for this purpose in the Delta Quadrant. Its large size and significant unused internal volume make it ideal for hosting scientific equipment, even if this was not its intended purpose.

Service History

Since her launch in early 2399, the Arcturus has served as a front-line exploratory starship, though she has also engaged in significant tactical operations in both the Alpha and Delta quadrants as a result of circumstances rather than intentions.


Shakedown in the Alpha Quadrant

Departure from Epsilon Indi

The Arcturus was launched in early 2399 from Epsilon Indi Station. On the eve of the ship's departure to the Barzan system, the Waverider shuttle carrying the ship's first officer and a handful of other officers on their way to join the crew was hijacked by a Starfleet officer who had become disaffected with Starfleet's return towards pre-Mars shipbuilding levels, which he felt put the population of the Federation at the same risk of the thousands who lost their lives during the attack on Utopia Planitia fourteen years prior. Captain Lancaster and his associates were able to defeat his plot to destroy Epsilon Indi station, and the Arcturus continued on schedule to its mission.[1]

Alpha Quadrant War Games

Prior to departure from Guardian Station in the Alpha Quadrant, the Arcturus engaged in a war game scenario with a wing of destroyers from the Andorian Imperial Guard, at the behest of the Delta Exploration Initiative's leader, Vice Admiral Jonathan Knox. The Andorians were selected as their vessels and tactics were believed to approximate what the Kazon in the Delta Quadrant could have achieved with thirty years of growth since the last time Voyager was present; their largely forward-oriented weapons and high maneuverability would be a substantial threat to a large vessel like the Arcturus. Thanks to the actions of the crew of the Apollo, the Arcturus's battle group won the day, leaving the ship ready to depart with a crew in good spirits from a recent win.[2]

First Delta Quadrant Expedition

Delta Quadrant Katabasis

Proceeding at high warp on a month-long journey from the wormhole towards Ocampa, the Arcturus's first priorities in the Delta Quadrant were to demonstrate their ship's preparedness to operate independently from Starfleet and to document the current conditions in the Delta Quadrant along the 800 light-year corridor connecting the Barzan Wormhole and the area known as the Nacene Reach, to help decide future exploration and diplomatic priorities. During this journey, the Arcturus recovered the wreck of the USS Strickland, a science vessel that had been thrown into the reach due to a warp coil imbalance and which later participated in the stabilization of the Barzan Wormhole.

Ocampan Second Contact

Upon reaching the Ocampa system, the place where Voyager's journey home began, the Arcturus completed a detailed survey and inventory of the remains of the Caretaker's array, finding nearly all of the debris removed entirely from the site, followed by a detailed scan of the Ocampan homeworld. While initially believed to be uninhabited, the Ocampa were eventually revealed to be still living in their subterranean city, using tetryon reactors reverse-engineered from the array. This group of Ocampa believed that their survival was dependent on their isolation and they lived as if they were still being supported by the Caretaker, as his technology was now maintaining their way of life without his direct intervention. Contact was also made with splinter factions of the Ocampa, the two so-far known to exist being a militant isolationist faction that used commandeered and enhanced Kazon vessels to aggressively defend a small number of systems near Ocampa (and to respond to incursions on the Ocampan homeworld) and an exploratory faction who wanted to seek out connections with their neighbors. These ideologically-distinct factions were attributed to the societal development that occurred in the five Ocampan generations that had been born since Voyager left, as fewer Ocampa were willing to subscribe to orthodoxy following the Caretaker's death.

Return to the Wormhole

With second contact and diplomatic relations achieved between the Federation and Ocampa, the Arcturus left a communications relay in orbit connected to a network being deployed by engineering support ships in their group, which the Ocampa shielded with the same technology that allowed their city to remain hidden, and the Arcturus began her journey back towards the wormhole with data from other successful contacts from her task group to report back and to check the results of automated probes left in her wake. Along the way, the Arcturus rendezvoused with the Apollo, which had suffered engine damage during an encounter with the Kazon. With the much smaller ship attached to the Arcturus via magnetic clamps, Arcturus proceeded through the wormhole back to Barzan II.

The Breen Crisis & The Archanis Campaign

Attack on Guardian Station

When the Arcturus emerged, though, Guardian Station was under attack by the Breen. Moments after the Arcturus raised shields and prepared to engage, Admiral Knox's flagship purposefully rammed a Breen dreadnought, vaporizing both ships. The Sovereign-class USS Seleya was burning in space, and the Challenger-class USS Shahid had been destroyed completely. With an investigation underway and a sudden vacuum in leadership in the region, Commodore Hayden was promoted to Rear Admiral and ordered to maintain order with a newly-reformulated Task Force 9 along the Breen Border. While it had been permissible for her to command the ship directly as a commodore, her added responsibilities forced her to give up command as an admiral, and Captain Lancaster was promoted to the ship's commanding officer.

The Breen Crisis

Rear Admiral Hayden led from the front, using the Arcturus in several major strike operations against Breen bolt-holes in the coreward Alpha Quadrant, both in retaliation for the death of Admiral Knox and to secure against future Breen attacks in the region. The Arcturus, the Apollo, and six other ships were used to destroy a second Breen dreadnought, which had the desired impact of giving the Breen enough pause to allow Starfleet to reinforce the region, which continues to be volatile. After six weeks on these duties, the Arcturus was relieved by a more combat-oriented vessel.

The Archanis Campaign

Before the Arcturus could return to the Delta Quadrant, she played a brief role in the Archanis Campaign. While the ship itself was only involved in one battle at the end of the campaign, a Hazard Team of officers meant to join the ship before its next trip to the Delta Quadrant was deputized by Fourth Fleet Command to scouting duties. With Admiral Hayden remaining temporarily on Starbase 38 to plan their next expedition into deep space, the Arcturus rendezvoused with her team in the Archanis sector to retrieve several hundred Orion refugees, which she transported into Federation space before heading back to the Barzan Wormhole.[3]

Return to the Delta Quadrant

While Hayden was able to coordinate Starfleet's response to increasing Breen aggression and during the Archanis Campaign, once more tactically-suitable vessels were brought into the region, Starfleet refocused its attention to using the Arcturus for its intended purpose: long-range exploration, and so the Arcturus was re-deployed to the Delta Quadrant with a new mandate for a five-year mission with the possibility for indefinite renewal.

Thalruatania and the Tkon-Omega Crisis

The Arcturus made first contact with the Thalruatanians in August of 2399 in an area of space approximately sixty light-years spinward of the course Voyager took through the Nacene Reach. This civilization of four-legged humanoids was notable for being one of the few observed races to have successfully created an ecumenopolis, a city that covered the entire surface of their planet. Their culture was noted for being both communally oriented with little sense of individual needs or wants, while also being extremely materialistic: old structures were demolished when they outlived their usefulness and paved over to make way for newer, taller structures, which led to their fractured understanding of their own history.

Following this first contact, provisions were made for a follow-up mission to install a subspace relay station in orbit of the planet, which would allow the Thalruatanians to contact the Federation through the Barzan Wormhole. While on course for the next world in her exploratory course, however, the Arcturus detected a substantial quantity of Omega molecules on Thalruatania. Before they could return to the planet to implement the Omega Directive, a small amount of the substance had interacted with the fusion reactor at the base of one of the planet's massive arcologies, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths and moderate subspace distortions around the planet which made navigation and communication through subspace extremely difficult.[4]

Captain Lancaster and Rear Admiral Hayden made the decision to separate the ship, leaving Hayden and the bulk of the ship's complement on the warp-capable saucer far enough away from Thalruatania to allow Hayden to remain in contact with the other ships under her command nearby and to allow them a chance to escape, should Lancaster fail to destroy Omega. When the stardrive section returned to Thalruatania, Lancaster was forced to destroy a Kazon-Reloramar carrier harassing the planet's surface, as the Kazon thought that Omega was a secret weapon. Using the embarked support ship, the captain and a small team were successful in retrieving and neutralizing the remaining Omega from the planet, as the risk to life from using a graviton torpedo was too great. As Omega was being neutralized, however, the Kazon returned in force and Lancaster bluffed that Omega was indeed a weapon and that he would use it if he had to, forcing the Kazon to retreat with minimal casualties on their side.[5]

In possession of a probe from an unknown race but which had significant similarities with Tkon technology, the Arcturus was then tasked along with the rest of the Fourth Fleet with locating nearby Tkon beacons and reactivating them. After the probe was successfully translated, the ship traveled to Eta Torrensis IV, where it located and reactivated the beacon, stored deep within a long-forgotten museum of a dead race. During the course of this mission, the Arcturus engaged in a significant battle with the Kazon, during which a great many ships of the Kazon-Reloramar were destroyed, possibly altering the balance of power in the region. The Arcturus lost two runabouts and the Hokule'a suffered significant damage, with seventeen casualties in total.[6]

Omicron Torrensis IV

Following a tip from a Vulcan survey vessel, Arcturus diverted to the Omicron Torrensis system, where they detected a perfect M-class environment on the fourth planet. The system also had an unusual scattering field which seemed to occur naturally from bodies in the Oort cloud. Almost immediately, Arcturus saw that the planet was a perfect geological match for Ocampa IV, the homeworld of the Ocampans. Upon closer examination, they realized that the planet was actually an artificial construct and the scattering field was meant to conceal that it was, in fact, a Nacene installation. Captain Lancaster was abducted by the artificial intelligence controlling the facility, who explained that it was an experiment to see what it would take to terraform Ocampa IV since the Nacene were the ones who destroyed that planet's atmosphere in the first place. Though Lancaster was willing to withdraw from the system, the AI used the great power of the array concealed within the planet to return Arcturus to her point of origin: Epsilon Indi Station. The crossing was less traumatic than that for Voyager, but the ship still required a full evaluation before returning to service.[7]


Stormbreaker Campaign

En route to Starbase Bravo for debriefing, the Arcturus was diverted by Vice Admiral Aubrey Seagraves to the Sentinel Minor deep space telescope to modify it for deep space weather prediction during the Century Storm. Captain Lancaster and Commander Alesser were asked to continue to Starbase Four, leaving Captain Okusanya in command of Arcturus. Lancaster and Alesser's shuttle was forced out of warp and crashed landed on a water world, forcing the two to work together to survive, while Okusanya struggled in her new role. All of that said, both teams managed to get through the campaign successfully. Lancaster selected Alesser to become the ship's new first officer, thanks to their improved relationship following their unexpected survival excursion.[8]

Sundered Wings Campaign

As part of the major operation to help stabilize the remnants of the Romulan Star Empire, Arcturus assisted a refugee convoy resettle on Gamma Sagittarii III. During this mission, the refugee convoy was attacked by remnant imperial forces, resulting in the deaths of several refugees and the severe injury of Lieutenant Zaos Sarcaryn. A refugee demanded asylum in return for intelligence on the attackers. While Captain Lancaster was negotiating this request with Starfleet Command, Lieutenant Galan, also a Romulan, took matters into his own hands and assaulted the refugee to compel him to provide the evidence, which was chemically encoded in his blood stream.[9] With the intelligence recovered and the security of the convoy ensured, Arcturus successfully delivered the refugees to their destination. Ensign Galan was court-martialed and demoted to ensign, and Lieutenant Sarcaryn was rehabilitated through an experimental procedure performed by Dr. Anjar and Rear Admiral Knox-Stanton of Starfleet Medical.[10]

Blood Dilithium Campaign

Arcturus was dispatched to Omicron Uhurae III during the Blood Dilithium Campaign. There, they discovered that the planet's natural superconscious interacted with the Blood Dilithium to magnify its effects—something that the Devore had anticipated and engineered. The crew were able to mitigate the effects of this phenomenon and neutralize the situation.[11]


Aborted Mission to the Talvath Cluster

In early 2401, Rear Admiral Hayden was succeeded by Commodore Brett Logan as the commander of a now-expanded Arcturus Squadron. Arcturus was ordered to the Talvath Cluster.[12] Their early survey missions included the brown dwarf HD 92018. At the end of January 2401, Arcturus discovered a distress call from the long-thought-destroyed USS Icarus, a Daedalus-class transport from the Earth-Romulan War in the Aldari system. It was discovered in orbit of a colony that had descendants of both Human and Romulan ancestry. The Aldari were incensed when Arcturus sent an away team to the Icarus, as they considered it to be a sacred temple and used it to house their dead. They claimed that a prophecy had predicted their arrival, which the crew were able to determine was actually a ruse concocted by the Romulans. The Romulans had timed the distress call to lure Arcturus to the system and provoke a conflict that would send the Aldari into Romulan hands. During this mission Commodore Logan became increasingly less rational, culminating in a stand-off on the bridge of Arcturus when Captain Lancaster had to override the commodore to provide the locals with the revelation of Romulan interference. Logan attempted to have Lancaster relieved, but he was relieved himself under Starfleet Order 104, Section C.[13]

The Lost Fleet

Before the mission into the Talvath Cluster could begin in earnest, Arcturus was ordered to the Deneb Sector along with the bulk of the Fourth Fleet. There while preparing to defend Farpoint Station itself, Admiral Liam Dahlgren issued Arcturus with new orders: to track down a missing Federation science vessel, the Banting, which had itself been responding to a Ferengi distress call. Arcturus quickly discovered that the Banting had been tracking astrozoan life forms, Farpoint Cnidarians, which are beings of immense power. The Ferengi had a cargo of thought-makers aboard, which they hoped to use to control the cnidarians on behalf of the combined Breen-Dominion offensive, and had destroyed their own ship to escape in a support vessel. Arcturus located the thought makers only after the Ferengi had successfully brainwashed a cnidarian and were forced into a battle with the creature and a Breen-Dominion strike force. Arcturus destroyed several Breen ships, but the Dominion abducted the Ferengi and escaped. After this battle, Dahlgren promoted Captain Lancaster to fleet captain and gave him command of Arcturus Squadron.[14]

Namesake & Lineage

The ship's seal, with the Starfleet delta over Arcturus (also known as α Boo), the brightest star in the constellation Boötes, meaning 'plowman.'

Arcturus is the brightest star in the constellation Boötes, and the third brightest star in the night sky of Earth. The name Arcturus derives from the Latinization of the Greek word for bear ("ἄρκτος") compounded with the Greek word for guard (" οὖρος"), meaning Bear Guardian.[15] In Greek mythology, Hyginus describes the tale of a young hunter Arcas, who is about to kill his mother, Callisto, with an arrow, not knowing that she has been transfigured into a bear, but Zeus transforms them both into constellations, him Arctophylax (the proper Greek formulation of bear guardian, and the Greek name for the constellation Boötes) and her Ursa Major (the greater bear).[16] The constellation Boötes forms the crest of the starship's seal.

The three Federation starships to bear the name Arcturus.

On Earth, Arcturus was the name of five auxiliary vessels of the United States Navy in the 20th century, and the Arcturus-class attack cargo ship during the Second World War.[17] The Royal Swedish Navy had three ships of this name in the 20th and 21st centuries, and the United Kingdom's Royal Navy had one in the Second World War. This name was also the designation for a United States Coast Guard flying patrol boat, a variant type of the Lockheed CP-140 Aurora, and an uncrewed aerial vehicle.[18]

There have been two previous Federation starships to bear the name Arcturus:

  • USS Arcturus - NCC-1807 - Constitution II-class heavy cruiser
    • 2275-2325 (Decommissioned)
  • USS Arcturus - NCC-49801 - Ambassador-class heavy cruiser
    • 2341-2397 (Decommissioned)

Crew Structure

For the article, see Arcturus Full Roster.

A standard Odyssey-class heavy explorer had a crew of 1,500 and can regularly embark anywhere from several hundred to a few thousand mission specialists and visiting personnel engaged in research completely separate from the ship's primary mission, with a total life support capability of 20,000 when packed to the bulkheads with refugees or passengers. Arcturus has a larger operational crew of 2,500, with the bulk of the additional personnel assigned to the engineering and science departments. Her larger crew allows her to operate on a four-shift rotation and reduces crew fatigue on long missions. To make up for this, the number of visiting crew members rarely exceeds 750. At any given moment, Arcturus carries about 3,000 souls, including visiting research teams and a small number of civilians.

Because of her larger crew, Arcturus's organizational chart differs from most Starfleet vessels. The first officer holds the rank of captain and is known as the Staff Captain to quickly distinguish them verbally from the ship's actual commanding officer, a term borrowed from civilian cruise liners. The senior engineer also holds the rank of captain and uses the title Captain of Engineering to distinguish them from the ship's three "Chief Engineering Officers" who oversee the three sub-divisions within engineering. The Chief Medical Officer also bears the rank of captain, as the ship has two hospital-grade medical facilities aboard. While on other ships bridge department heads like the Chief Flight Control Officer, Chief Security Officer, and Chief Tactical Officer would be amongst the ship's most senior officers, on Arcturus they report to the Senior Officer of the Watch who serves as the command division head. Similarly, the Chief Communications Officer reports to the Chief Operations Officer, and the Chief Counselor reports to the Chief Medical Officer. The division heads, namely the Senior Officer of the Watch, Captain of Engineering, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Operations Officer, Chief Science Officer, and Strategic Operations Officer are the six officers between the department and section heads and the Staff Captain.

Commanding Officers

Executive Officers

  • January 2399—March 2399: Captain Michael Lancaster
  • March 2399—December 2399: Captain Iro Rakan
  • January 2400—Present: Captain Larus Alesser

Other Information