U.S.S. Achilles NCC 11771
Named for the famous Saladin class NCC 551 commanded by Michael ‘Achilles’ Stirling (as realised by Clint Eastwood). The Achilles has been undergoing studies with Phantom class Aojha to see just how stealthy the Apollo class is. Based from Starbase 56, the Achilles under Commander Tay Fe’eker has been recently operating to crack down on Orion Pirate activity in the driftward region of Federation space.
Stop-and-search operations have resulted in the impounding of several illegal freighters and the arrest by Federation Security of a handful of Orion Syndicate members. Ever seeking to improve the advantages of the Apollo class, Starfleet has assigned the Achilles to perform a number of stalking and attack exercises with the Aojha to see just how close they can get before detection.
Based very much on the exercises by the World’s navies of submarines vs. Frigates and their helicopters. The Achilles is there to show Starfleet would constantly be striving to improve the design, never content to rest on their laurels.
Achilles carries on the legend forged by her predecessor, NCC-551. The Saladin class version kept the peace from the 2260s to the 2290s, being superceded by the Akula and Apollo class. This earlier version had encounters with the Klingons, Romulans and Tholians, including actions in the Taurus Reach. Lieutenant Commander Stirling took over command during one encounter and an epic coming together took place.
The Achilles took on a D-6 Klingon cruiser in a mismatch that should have resulted in the destruction of the Achilles, but the skill of Stirling and his crew saw them use the agility of the destroyer and careful targetting saw them cripple the Klingon ship. The Klingons later denied the incident ever took place. Stirling soon earned a promotion to Commander, but declined the transfer as Executive Officer to the Yorktown, instead he remained in command of the Achilles.
'Achilles' Stirling soon earned his legendary status whilst operating as part of the 29th destroyer wing out of Starbase 24. Encounters with Bird of Prey, frigates and cruisers soon showed the D-6 encounter was not a one-off. Many of his missions were classified when Starfleet Intelligence requested his services, along with an elite contingent of Federation Starfleet Marines.
Images by my good friend Andrew Brown. Copyright © All Rights Reserved.