Brief description of ship: Ambassador Class Refit. A typical saucer, cylindrical secondary hull, and two nacelles Federation type ship. About a third smaller than the galaxy class. Larger graphic here.|
Campaign role for the ship: Living spaces and transportation for the characters of the Epiphany Trek "USS Kongo; Logs" setting.
Fleet role: GXC heavy cruiser, used for second line exploration, Federation defense, and show the flag missions.
Age: Launched June 3, 2332.
Built: San Francisco Fleet Yards, Earth orbit. The current configuration was recommissioned on January 4, 2368 at Utopia Planetia Yards Mars orbit.
Length: 1,813.5 feet
Distinguishing Marks: She is kept in Starfleet trim. Any marks on the ship are repaired in her next upgrade or inspection. She has a simple ghost grey paint scheme with the usual "aztecing". Her profile was drastically altered in her most major refit with angled pylons and a different style of nacelle. She also carries two torpedo turrets that are most noticeable and mark her as one of a few.
Equipment Quirks and Problems: Ane designed HE warp drive designed to sip at fuel, and squeeze the most from the resulting plasma. They require a sentient computer to keep them functioning properly. The number of stations that can properly maintain this equipment are limited. The crew of the Kongo are often the best experts available for their own ship. Proper maintenance and mean time to failure statistics for anything related to the warp drive are all in the prototype stage. That is the Kongo's crew are going to learn the hard way.
Equipment Advantages: Ane designed HE warp drive designed to sip at fuel and squeeze the most from the resulting plasma. This results in longer ranges at higher cruising speeds than all but the latest generation of Starfleet ships.
Sentient Computer; The Kongo is equipped with a Mk16-G3 Nanotech Crystalmind computer. This system is designed for sentient operation. It is currently manned by "Tathilan" an RI Ane personality "born" 2347. While a sentient computer is prone to the faults of any sentient being, they have superior reflexes to either manual control or non-sentient computers in controlling rapid and tricky situations, such as the knife-edged control necessary to make the HE warp system work. You also get a core computer system that cares for the crew and the ship in ways a dumb computer or even an AI could never manage.
Shuttles, number, any odd ones?: The Kongo carries 20 shuttles of various types and two Runabouts
Dedication Motto: A shining ship waits
Thunderbolts tamed to our will
The endless quest calls.
Ship's Crest: A rising sun behind a brown snow-capped volcano. This crest is worn in patch form on the upper right arm of all crew and officers. It is also used in ship signage, letterhead, coffee cups, and souvenir t-shirts. Ship's crests were readopted by Starfleet after a 83 year hiatus. This is done during the Cardassian war as a morale boosting move and retained after the war due to positive feedback. The Kongo's crest was chosen in a design contest run among art students in the Nara, Japan secondary school system. The winner chosen by the crew of the time under Captain Rutlage was Niki Hokado, age 16.
Home Port: Nara, Japan, Earth
Notable Previous Crew: Captain John Bush: First captain of the Kongo. A solid man, good for working the kinks out of a new ship. Commanded 2332 to 2341.
Lieutenant Anthony Quinn: The now retired Admiral retained a fond spot for the Kongo, even though he never served as her Captain.
Captain Avalai: First female Deltan Captain in Starfleet. As Admiral she was later instrumental in repealing the discriminating "oath of celibacy" required by Deltans in Starfleet. Rumor has it she actually seduced several high ranking Admirals to prove that sex with Deltans was not destructive on other species. Admiral Avalai, nor any of the supposedly seduced ever made comment on the rumors. 2341 to 2350
Captain Eliza Rutlage Captain Rutlage fought the Kongo through the teeth of the Cardassian war. The Kongo was a lucky ship in battle. 2350 to 2363
Captain James Timothy Kirk The current Captain of the Kongo. Captain Kirk oversaw her refit and was among the chief designers for that refit. 2367 to Present
Primary Weapons: 18 torpedo tubes that can fire either the photon or quantum torpedo. Sixteen of the tubes are mounted in dual turrets on the port and starboard edges of the main saucer. The last two tubes are in the dorsal pylon between the saucer and secondary hulls. The "octoclops" turrets have a full hemispheric travel allowing any position to be covered between the two. The "main bank of two tubes has a thirty degree forward arc of fire.
Secondary Weapons: collimator phaser banks 720 degree coverage.
Crew: up to 800. Currently 600 Starfleet and 100 Starfleet marines.
The USS Kong˘ is named for Mt. Kong˘, or Kong˘-zan, a mountain not far south of the old capital of Japan at Nara. The word "kong˘" was the Japanese pronuncation of the Chinese translation of vajra in Sanskrit. The vajra was originally the thunderbolt of the god Indra. Later in esoteric, Tantric, or "vajrayÔna" Buddhism, the vajra symbolized supernatual powers that could be obtained through esoteric rituals. In the sexual symbolism of Tantrism, the "vajra" was also associated with the male organ. On the other hand, "kong˘" could also mean a jewel or a diamond, or hard as a diamond. So, appropriately, "Kong˘" as the name of a ship could imply the great power of a thunderbolt or the hardness of a diamond.
The name Kong˘ has been held by the following ships.
- IJN Kong˘ 1913 - 1944 The Kong˘ was ordered by Japan as a battle cruiser. The Japanese had already been building their own battleships, but they wanted to study the latest British construction techniques before building sister ships to the Kong˘ in Japan -- the Hiei, Haruna, and Kirishima. The Kong˘ was to have 14 inch guns, larger and more conveniently arranged than in previous British battle cruisers, where a midships turret had been unable to fire directly fore or aft.
By the time of WWII the Kong˘ and her sisters were too old for the line of battle, but fast enough to escort the aircraft carriers, which they did with success.
The IJN Kong˘ met her end at the hands of the British submarine HMS Sealion II while returning to Japan to repair damage caused by American dive bombers. Among the pilots in the American attack was Lt. Ryan Clark LaSaille.
- USS Kongo: WS-164 Formerly the UES Kongo WS-164 United Earth Ship Kongo. A Sojouner class warp cruiser of the early 22nd century She was the first ship to "offically" enter Starfleet from Earth, and the First ship ever to sail under the UFP banner. NCC numbers where not Introduced until starfleet began to contract for ships to be built.
- USS Kongo NCC-180 A Daedalus class ship built after the Romulan War. It served for 50 years without incident in long term exploration.
- USS Kongo: NCC 1710. Constution II class ship that served during the 23rd century. She has been restored by her former captain Jerold Ryan LaSaille and stored at The El Nanth Spacedock, fleet dock A 137. The Kongo was launched on June 5, 2251,and served until 2307.
2320; Contracts for a new ship, designated NCC-10455 are laid down. As the name Kongo has been out of use for some time is it is decided that the new vessel will be the next USS Kongo. Disputes arise as to the exact role and class of the specified ship. The project gets kicked around until the USS Ambassador is built. Plans for NCC-10455 are, after five years, finalized as an Ambassador class cruiser.
2332; Under the Command of Captain John Bush the USS Kongo is launched from the San Francisco Dockyards amid the usual fanfare.
The Kongo finishes space trials and is commissioned. Part of her first crew is Lieutenant Anthony Quinn. She is his first new ship, he will remain fond of her. The Kongo is assigned to routine patrol and sees little serious action under her first Captain.
2341: Captain Avalai assumes command of the USS Kongo. Under Captain Avalai the crew of the Kongo diversifies until it earns the appellation of a "zoo ship". Members of the Kongo's crew take pride in the intended insult. There will be fighting.
The Kongo enters an era of discovery. Under Avalai she maps the polar outer rim sectors. She discovers numerous unknown class M planets and a number of cultures. Two first contacts are accomplished during her cruise in this area. She is twice awarded the Scientific Unit Achievement Award. There is one black mark when she is fired on by an unknown. The unknown remains unknown. Later this will be considered one of the opening shots in the Cardassian War.
2350: Captain Eliza Rutlage assumes command of the Kongo. The Kongo is thrown into the teeth of the Cardassian war. As a front line unit she sees heavy fighting. While she is damaged frequently, it is never serious, and the Kongo is quickly back in the fight. She is thrice awarded the Izor Unit Commodation for Valor, once the Red Cross Unit Citation, and the President's Unit Citation for Valor.
2363: The Kongo encounters a disabled hospital ship enroute to Earth. On board are 230 victims of a suspected Cardassian bio-weapon. The only known treatment is an experimental drug currently only available on Earth. The Kongo takes aboard all patients and runs for Earth at full speed. As she passes the oort cloud she suffers a critical failure of the port warp coils weakened as a result of earlier action. Syncronity reflex effects backlash and the starboard nacelle is likewise taken out of action along with the warp control systems. Engineering is evacuated and the warp core blown for safety's sake. Drifting the Kongo transfers all patients to a third ship that finishes the run. She makes Earth orbit two days later on impulse, her entire warp drive and warp control system blown out. The Kongo is awarded the Red Cross Unit Citation with Laurels.
Repairs are delayed as the fleet's newest classes of ship are taking up all the dock space. With the nacelles burned out she is decommissioned and warehoused at her final destination, Earth Spacedock. Her crew is spread out among the other ships.
Plans are made to refit the Kongo as soon as dockyard space is available. The plans are delayed repeatedly as more important projects and other priorities occupy the facilities at Spacedock.
2367: The Borg attack. In the aftermath of the loss of 40 ships at Wolf 359 Starfleet looks over her cripples to find what can be quickly salvaged. The Kongo's long record as a "hanger queen" is noted and she is assigned a freshly minted Captain, and given priority for repair. Due to the influence of Admiral Quinn, the new Captain's plans for a radical refit are approved and carried out. The Kongo is towed to Mars.
2368: Recommissioned on January 4, at Utopia Planetia Yards Mars orbit.
2369: The Kongo becomes the First Federation ship to travel above the polar limits of the Galaxy. She receives the Vulcan Scientific Legion of Honor in Astrophysics for the Deep Space Galactic Polar Survey.
2371: The Kongo discovers the Sixliss Exodus fleet.
The Kongo breaks the record for the speed run of Starbase 88 to Earth. Her new record is 12.2 days.
2373: The Kongo is responsible for the rescue of the Shelter of Xitalass and seeing that the crippled generation ship is not a danger to the other vessels of the flotilla. She is awarded the Red Cross Unit Citation
2375: The Kongo Engages Ekosian forces in that are supporting a piratical raid on a Federation liner. The Ekosian forces are backed by a Darl battleship. The Kongo defeats all ships, but takes heavy damage. No rescued persons are lost. She is awarded the Izor Unit Citation of Valor in Defense.
2377: The Kongo encounters the Acceptian Mothership Vigilant, and her striker force. After a shaky first contact diplomatic ties are formed.
During this time she rescues the USS Ulysses S Grant from its revilistic prison. She is again awarded the Red Cross Unit Citation.
2379 During the Home Fall celebrations the USS Kongo is called of to rescue the crew of the destroyed USS Berlin, and to stop the Acceptian attack on the Galmeer. As flagship of a diverse fleet she stops the attack and welcomes the new Federation member Galron in to the UFP. She is awarded the Izor Unit Citation of Valor in Defense
2380 Investigating a sudden black hole factory in the Hailee Nebula the Kongo encounters an USS Enterprise NCC-1701, and her Captain Kirk.
Unit Citations: Vulcan Scientific Legion of Honor in Astrophysics North Polar Sector Maping mission Captain Avalai 2343
Star of the Okulite Contact Captain Avalai 2344
Star of the Thursan Contact Captain Avalai 2345
Vulcan Scientific Legion of Honor in Astrobiology Discovery and study of the Deep Kraken extra-steller life from. Captain Avalai 2348
Izor Unit Commodation for Valor in Defense Rescue of the USS Ferburvinter Captain Eliza Rutlage 2350
Red Cross Unit Citation Relief of the Mildan Colony famine Captain Eliza Rutlage 2351
Izor Unit Commodation for Valor in Defense Defense of the Kol-Ni-Pa colony Captain Eliza Rutlage 2353
Izor Unit Commodation for Valor in Defense Rescue of the crew of the USS Vo'kal Captain Eliza Rutlage 2356
President's Unit Citation for Valor Batlle of the Seven Stars Captain Eliza Rutlage 2358
Red Cross Unit Citation, with Laurals Rescue of the USS Kildare, and patients Captain Eliza Rutlage 2363
Vulcan Scientific Legion of Honor in Astrophysics Deep Space Galactic Polar Survey Captain James Timothy Kirk 2370
Bonadventure Deep Space Ribbon Deep Space Galactic Polar Survey Captain James Timothy Kirk 2370
Star of the Sixliss Contact Captain James Timothy Kirk 2371
Red Cross Unit Citation Rescue of the Shelter of Xitalass Captain James Timothy Kirk 2373
Izor Unit Commodation for Valor in Defense Rescue of the crew and passengers of the SS Skylark Captain James Timothy Kirk 2375
Star of the Acceptian Contact Captain James Timothy Kirk 2377
Red Cross Unit Citation Rescue of the USS Ulysses S Grant Captain James Timothy Kirk 2377
Izor Unit Commodation for Valor in Defense Halting the Acceptian invasion of Galron (Fleet award) Fleet Captain James Timothy Kirk 2379
Command Staff CO Fleet Captain James Timothy Kirk, Earth Human Paladin complete with shining armor and white horse, well almost. A firm believer and advocate of the good guy code.
XO Commander Spacik, Nissus Vulcan He is a student of Tal-jarvok School, named for Jarvok, a student of Surak who disagreed with the principle of suppressing all motion. He has been know to smile, even laugh in public.
Formerly -- Commander Richard Stiles, Earth Human Quickly promoted and ill at ease during his brief tenure on the Kongo. He requested a posting back to sciences, and took a drop in grade to get it.
Formerly -- Commander Gwenith Ap Owen, Glanedydd (GLEEN-ith) Human An undersized dynamo. A woman that looks too small and frail for the job. She isn't. Trained as a Harper, the roving recorders and judges of the Welsh world of Glanedydd. She chose to take her training and observations to the wider world of deep space. Promoted in 2375 to Captaincy of the USS Hadrian.
OPS Lt. Commander Avery Solin, Human, homeworld unknown. Former soldier of fortune, now man of peace. 50ish with a misspent youth.
Formerly -- Lt. Commander Spacik
SEC Lt. Commander Miritath, Cait Cait The artist predator, gentle as a lamb unless he is trying to catch one.
CENG Lt. Commander Felialan, Glade Ane Two parts crusty engineer, one part nymph. She will flirt with anything male. She sometimes finds being the most knowledgeable engineer on the ship frustrating when you can't do the work yourself.
CMO Lt. Commander Robert Perry Hanson, Baraboo Human An apprentice McCoy wannabe. He has the distinction of being the only Starfleet officer to run away from the circus to join Starfleet. Hanson hides a difficult and demanding childhood behind the crusty Doctor exterior.
CSO Lt. Commander Regiban, Felicity Ane A pure extrovert Ane. Regiban wants to meet the entire universe, and talk to it. He has worked his way through every member of the crew and anyone else he has come in contact with. He lives to get your life story.
Ships Counsellor Lt. Commander Deateli, Earth Deltan Deateli is the daughter of career diplomats serving in the Deltan office of the Federation Council. So while Ambassadors and Councillors changed, they remained. Deateli grew up among the mixed races of the diplomatic schools. She comes across as less "jarring" to humans than the average Deltan.
Computer Officer Commander Tathilan, Ane RI Zen restraint, all things in moderation. Tathilan is the Captain's confidant and now wife. (Talk about being married to the ship...) The first RI to marry a biological and the first Ane/Human intermarriage.
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The Above is a work of fiction. All characters are fictional, any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental.
Copyright Garry Stahl: October 1997. All rights reserved, re-print only with permission.