With the launch of the fleet's next starship just over a day away, we sat down with soon-to-be-Captain Lance Krol for chat about his time in Shadow Fleet and his future position on the USS Gettysburg.
A very big thank you to Lance for taking the time out to answer our questions. Like him, we're very excited about the launch of our next starship and it's a sure thing that she's in good hands.
Until February 1st...
How did you feel when you were told you would be running the next starship SIMM?
I was thrilled, of course! The idea of running a bigger Galaxy-class was exciting to me because I immediately recognized it as a chance to take on bigger responsibilities and contribute even more to Shadow Fleet as a whole. Plus, I'll be honest, when I was called to take on the command of the Churchill I was ill-prepared, although I like to think I did an okay job overall anyway. The Gettysburg is a chance to start afresh for me, and I'm really glad to take it!
Did you have any say in choosing the roster for the Gettysburg?
The roster, like those before it, was decided largely by the admiralty, but I had a few choices to make that I'm quite glad to have made - the first was Lieutenant Commander Price, who has been an exceptional help to me over the course of my command by doing all the work helping me with my work. I really owe most of my success in command to him, even though I did get there by myself. My second was Petty Officer Sukal, who has proven himself an exemplary crewmember and has, in my opinion, an incredibly bright future ahead of him. My third was Mr. Benjamin Bradley, who wanted to come along with me for reasons unknown! So, I gave him special mention because he's an exemplary poster, and I'm always ready to help out a fellow engineer!
What do you intend to do differently with the Gettysburg as opposed to the other ships in the fleet?
For a start, I've got this system that was worked out a while back. I give each department head a taste of command months in advance of their actual placement by requiring them to fill out a monthly report - much like the one I myself have to fill out for Admiral Kawolsky. This contains any concerns they have for their department and any honorable mentions of crewmembers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty without me noticing, as well as any promotions I may have missed. This is a quite unorthodox system but I like to think it will allow them to adapt to command without dealing with too much of the stress first.
As well as this, I'm planning to introduce optional posting training in specific departments for those who wish to take part, such as security training and engineering training. This will take place in the holodeck, and will involve a quick scenario which I'll expect everyone taking part to deal with in one post - the best post wins, and I'll keep a tally of wins in a pinned thread at the top of the holodeck once this feature is launched. These two measures will only really apply once the roster is more populated but I'm excited for getting them launched as soon as possible!
You've risen through the ranks pretty fast. How does it feel now that you're one of the most senior players in Shadow Fleet?
Well, gosh, I dunno. I've never considered myself 'senior', if you know what I mean, because I haven't really been here very long - most people won't remember me as a yellow-shirt, but it feels like it was last month, or maybe the month before that. My quick advancement feels like happy accident but I guess I must've been doing something right! If I'm honest, I feel slightly displaced - I want to be out there posting with you guys, but backstage the command position requires so much work, especially in the run-up to the Gettysburg launch, that I haven't been able to do so much posting as I'd like. I used to be able to win PotM any time I put my mind to it (some of you may remember Lance's 'I am your God' speech), but nowadays most of it's just paperwork and I get most of my job satisfaction from helping my crew work to its best. But I digress. Overall, I'm happy with my position but I guess I think I might have advanced too quickly.
Are you going to miss posting on the Churchill?
Of course. There's a great community on the Churchill and I've come to think of most, if not all, of you as my friends. As well as that, I've made most of my advancement on the Churchill, though I did have a brief opening stint on the Discovery all those years and light-years ago. I've come to think of it as sort of a home for Lance, who is a sad, displaced shell of a man when you come to the core of his character, and so transferring ship comes with all the emotional strain of moving out of your childhood home, for those who are familiar with the feeling.
Do you have any words of advice for the Churchill's new commanding officer, Commander Thompson?
Well, I'd tell you not to believe for a moment that what Alyssa calls a physical is anything like one, but you probably already know that having known her for longer than me. Just stay away from the iron maiden in the medbay and you'll be fine!
Finally, if you could pick just one word to sum up your time in Shadow Fleet, what would it be?