Design and Launch
Following the battle of Wolf 359 in the year 2367, Starfleet accelerated production of new ships and technologies, including the Patton Class Starship, whose design was overseen by Captain Chas Hammer of Starfleet Engineering. As construction began on several Patton Class ships, Captain Hammer successfully lobbied to be given command of one - the USS Vindicator, so named because he hoped to avenge the loss of his previous command, the USS Python, at Wolf 359.
While on a shakedown cruise, the USS Vindicator received a distress call from itself. Responding, the Vindicator found two other Vindicators - one crashed on the surface of the planet, it's crew dead, and a second adrift in orbit, with its crew marooned on the planet below. The Vindicator on the shakedown cruise offered assistance, beaming up the marooned crew and restoring the marooned ship to working condition. The shakedown Vindicator discovered that the marooned ship and crew were from two years in the future and had been attacked by a heavily armed Cardassian ship equipped with a phase cloak, and the combined energy from the battle and phase cloak had ruptured the spacetime continuum.
Without warning, the Cardassian ship appeared and attacked. Repair crew from the shakedown Vindicator on board the future Vindicator immediately beamed back to the shakedown Vindicator, but the energy of transport caused a duplicate version of the shakedown Vindicator to appear. All three Vindicators battled the Cardassian ship, destroying it. As the battle progressed, the future Vindicator slowly phased back to its own spacetime. The duplicate Vindicator was heavily damaged and slowly phased back into the past, where it crashed onto the planet with all hands. The Vindicator on the shakedown cruise remained in its own time, with the crew given strict orders not to speak of the incident.
After the official commissioning of the Vindicator in 2372, the ship was assigned to patrol the Federation-Cardassian border in the vicinity of the Badlands. Only weeks into the patrol, the Vindicator was attacked by Klingon renegades. While the shields were down, Captain Hammer was beamed on board the Klingon ships, which warped away. Luckily, the crew of the Vindicator was able to track down the captain, rescue him, and bring the Klingons to justice. In an unrelated attack a few months later, the Vindicator was forced to seek cover in an asteroid field. The USS Endeavor responded, driving off the attackers. These early attacks revealed underlying kinks with the new ship and its systems, which were resolved when the ship returned to starbase. Captain Hammer was also promoted to the rank of Admiral, and given authority over Federation operations in the region.
Following a timetravel adventure where the crew foiled a group of terrorists attempting to disrupt the timeline in the year 1997, the Vindicator returned to the Badlands. Secretly working with a group of Maquis, the Vindicator discovered the Romulans were building a ship with a phase cloak. The senior staff of the Vindicator, working undercover, infiltrated the Romulan base and sabotaged construction of the ship.
Work with the Maquis also enabled the Vindicator to uncover the Cardassians experimenting with miniature wormholes. A team from the Vindicator was dispatched to investigate, but in doing so the team accidentally stumbled through a wormhole and was transported to a mysterious planet.
On the bridge, Admiral Hammer tried to determine what was going on. Suddenly, a pebble flew across the bridge. A knife and arm appeared out of thin air.
Meanwhile, on the mysterious planet, the team had found a wormhole that appeared to lead back to the Vindicator. To test it out, Commander Vorahk threw a pebble into the wormhole. He than took his knife and stuck it into the wormhole, followed by his arm. Satisfied the wormhole was stable, the team went through, arriving safely back on the Vindicator.
Several months later, a series of wormholes mysteriously opened up on the Vindicator, causing people from Earth's history - especially ancient Greece, Rome, and the American Civil War - to suddenly appear on the ship. It has never been determined if these wormholes were related to the Cardassian experiments.
On several occasions, the Vindicator was accompanied by the USS Monitor, a Class Starship as it patrolled the border. On one occasion, the Monitor was captured by the Jeh'madar. The Vindicator was able to disable the Monitor and retake the ship. On another occasion, the crews of the Vindicator and Monitor successfully battled a virus outbreak.
Upon the outbreak of the Dominion war in late 2373, the Federation was pushed back on all fronts. In one battle, the Vindicator was forced to ditch into an ocean of orange goo on a distant world. The Federation was able to retrieve the ship. Following this, the Vindicator was dispatched to seek Tholian aid, but these efforts were rebuffed and the Vindicator became briefly entangled in a Tholian web. Returning from this failed effort, the Vindicator was diverted to prevent cultural contamination on a primitive world. On a previous mission, a shuttle craft from the USS Orion had crashed on a world with technology equivalent to the middle ages. The Orion believed it had retrieved all parts of the shuttle craft, but a follow up Federation survey found modern technology had made its way into the population. While working to contain the cultural contamination, the crew of the Vindicator discovered that the Romulans had been using the planet as a secret base. Through a series of covert operations and classified ship to ship battles, the Vindicator was able to disrupt Romulan operations on the planet.
While traveling through a nebula, the Vindicator came under attack by creatures living in the nebula, who attempted to eat the ship. The Vindicator was able to get the creatures off of the ship and escape.
The Vindicator was also dispatched to arrest a Federation Admiral accused of massacring Cardassians. While many among the crew were sympathetic with the admiral, the crew carried out its duty.
By late 2374, the Dominion had captured Betazed. Dominion raids pushed deep into the heart of the Federation. In one such raid, the Vindicator was attacked by a Cardassian ship equipped with a phase cloak, fulfilling the events first experienced two years earlier during the Vindicator's shakedown cruise. In another raid, the USS Vindicator was heavily damaged, and a fellow Patton Class ship, the USS Messina, was destroyed. The USS Endeavor escaped with light damage.
While the Vindicator was at starbase undergoing repairs, the senior staff of the Vindicator was dispatched on a covert operation. The crew managed to infiltrate Cardassian space, reaching a planet deep in the Cardassian industrial heartland. There the crew teamed up with a Romulan covert team. Orders were to trigger a radiation leak at one of the power plants, effectively cutting power and contaminating large swaths of land. A radiation leak could also be passed off as a accident. The Romulans, however, began to destroy buildings, threatening to blow the cover of the operation. The crew of the Vindicator was forced to sabotage an anti-matter device, which exploded and destroyed half a city - but which also looked like an accident and eliminated all evidence of the Romulan destruction.
After being repaired at starbase, the Vindicator picked up low-level power signals on a Federation starbase that had been decommissioned 50 years ago. An away team found the Dominion had been using the station to keep two Founders in stasis in their liquid form on the station. The Vindicator retrieved the Founders, transporting them to sickbay. Soon after, the Vindicator was attacked by Jeh'madar ships, which the Vindicator was able to fight off - but during the battle power was lost in sickbay. The Founders thawed. A security team sent to sickbay was ambushed, and one of the Founders took the form of its leader. However, the virus implanted in the Founders by Section 31 had already taken hold. The Founder briefly lost cohesion and was exposed. The Vindicator crew promptly killed the Founder. The second Founder was found dead in sickbay from the virus.
In early 2375, a Dominion attack destroyed the Third Fleet of the Federation. The Vindicator was put in command of a hastily organized Ninth Fleet to plug the hole in the Federation lines and stop the Dominion from reaching the ship yards and supply center at Muon 4. Ninth Fleet smashed the Dominion flank, drew the Jeh'madar out and destroyed them, and broke up an ensuing Dominion counter attack. As a result of these actions, the Vindicator became a household name.
Following the battle, a covert Dominion team made it on board the Vindicator, stealing vital components. The Vindicator was able to track down the team and recover the components.
A few weeks later, the Vindicator was dispatched by Starfleet to secure the support of the Nausicans in the Federation's final assault against Cardassia. Admiral Hammer was able to secure the support of one clan. When news of this spread, other clans showed up to to put a stop to it. Confronting 50 ships, the Vindicator was badly outnumbered. The Vindicator flew through the mass of Nausican ships, which turned to chase after the Vindicator. The Vindicator set a course straight for the Dominion line, with the Nausican's in pursuit. Arriving at the scene of battle, the Nausican's decided it would be more fun to attack the Dominion then just one Federation ship, so they threw them selves into the battle, slaughtering numerous Dominion ships.
The Battle of Cardassia brought an end to the Dominion War. The war had left the Cardassian Union smashed, the Dominion in shambles, and the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans weakened. The first priority of the allies was to establish law and order in Cardassian space.
The Vindicator was assigned to aid peacekeeping and relief operations on Cardassia Prime. While the Cardassian population had risen up against the Dominion at the end of the war, elements resisted the Federation presence, ambushing security teams, attacking towns, and shooting down shuttle craft. The crew of the Vindicator was able to break apart a major resistance network. Following the signing of the Treaty of Bajor, which re-established a peaceful, sovereign Cardassian Union, the Vindicator was reassigned to the Gamma Quadrant to assert Federation interests in the power vacuum that followed the withdrawal of the Founders as a political entity. The Vindicator uncovered a massive smuggling operation by a rogue Ferengi businessman intent on establishing a personal fiefdom within the Gamma Quadrant. The crew was able to break up the network, but the Ferengi was never identified by name and escaped back to the Alpha Quadrant.
New Role and Mirror Universe
Upon completing its mission in the Gamma Quadrant, the Vindicator returned to the Alpha Quadrant, undergoing an extensive six month refit at Spacedock 19. Following this, command of the ship was transferred from Admiral Chas Hammer to Captain Carrie Jase and the ship was launched with largely a new crew and senior command. Starfleet itself was changing, launching new ships to replace those lost during the Dominion War. The Vindicator was reassigned from deep space patrol to supporting front line operations and took on board several companies of Starfleet Marines.
While on mission, the Vindicator encountered an unknown energy surge and arrived in the Mirror Universe, but was eventually able to free itself and return home.
After returning from the Mirror Universe, the Vindicator completed several more marine missions before being decommissioned and mothballed. However, it was reactivated by Admiral Chas Hammer, now at Starfleet Command, for a mission he and a handpicked skeleton crew were to lead, investigating the disappearance of several ships in the Rán system. Upon entering the system, the Vindicator was attacked by unmanned sentinels, apparently left over from a distant war. The Vindicator was able to disable several sentinels and discover the command and control source of the others - which were later deactivated by Starfleet - but the Vindicator was heavily damaged, crashing into the giant ocean world of Rán 5. The crew evacuated with no loss of life, but the Vindicator sunk and was crushed in the depths of the planet's ocean.
The Vindi started as an AOL based chat sim in the Trek Online sim club and ran from September 1996 to March 2000. It met on Thursday nights at either 8pm or 10pm eastern. It was commanded by Chas Hammer, and was the flagship of TOL from 1998 (after retirement of the USS Orion) to the end of Chas' Presidency in January 2000. For a complete history of the ship as a chat sim in TOL, please see Chapter 36 of My Simming Memoirs.
During this time, the Vindicator employed a captain & sim master approach. One person would play the captain, and another crew member would be the sim master. While Chas Hammer was the captain, a few times a year he undertook missions where he would be called away or captured, allowing other people to serve as the commanding officer. The sim master position rotated among crew members who wanted the job. Posts among the crew members rotated, although sometimes an exceptional individual would be designated as the doctor, chief engineer, helmsman, etc.
The Vindicator made frequent use of multi week to multi month storyarcs that had the crew traveling in time, to alternate universes, or engaged in secret actions along the Cardassian border. Towards the end of DS9, the Vindicator engaged in a long term Dominion War storyarc that took it into the final battles and assault on Cardassia. Despite following the larger arc of the Dominion War, Chas made it a point to have the crew look for non violent approaches to getting out of sticky situations whenever possible.
The sims were well attended, and despite the focus on being professional (that is, starting and ending on time, being true to Trek, not getting too silly or too battle like, etc), the crew worked in a lot of gags. Chas' quarters were frequently blown up and the ship crashed into things of all kinds. Jelly beans abounded, whistling Dixie caused Chas to disappear into another dimension, and holodeck misadventures were common.
When Chas attempted to retire in 2000, he closed the sim and did not restart it when he returned to the Presidency a few months later. However, in 2002, he gave permission to Carrie Jase to restart a refitted version of the Vindicator as a message board sim in Trek Online. This version of the Vindicator survived the collapse of Trek Online in 2004 and moved to the Star Trek: United Forces sim club, where it continued until August 2006.
Under Carrie's command in TOL, the Vindicator ended up in the mirror universe, and underwent a number of changes. After returning to normal space, the Vindicator, in the Star Trek: United Forces sim club, became a Star Fleet Marine ship that, while it engaged in some battles, spent most of its simming focused on character development and crew interaction.
In the fall of 2006, the chat based, original version of the Vindicator was revived for use by former members of the crew, joined by some new faces, who gathered and simmed to mark anniversaries in TOL history, at SciWorld, and during other random times of the year when enough of them felt like it. This tradition came to an end in 2012.
The 2008 story line where the ship crashed in the Rán system marked the official end of the Vindicator's history. All sims that took place after that time are viewed as back filling or occurring at some point in time during the ships previous history.
Following TOL tradition - where sims changed class and era with no explanation - all versions of the ship are considered to be part of TOL cannon.
Notable Crew Members
Chas Hammer, Commanding Officer and President of Trek Online
Robin Knight Mace, Helmsman and later President of Trek Online
Kris 'Scott' Perry, Lieutenant and later President of Trek Online
M. L. Moses, long time First Officer and later Vice President of Trek Online
Kyrin Troy, Ships Counselor and later captain of the USS Endeavor
Josh Riker, Chief Engineer and later captain of the USS Endeavor
Jack Oden, Lt. Commander and later captain of the USS Wrightstown
Karg Whitefeather, Lt. Commander and later captain of Darkforce Station
Carrie Jase, Chief Engineer and later captain of the Vindi
Jacey Alexander, long time First Officer and editor of the TOL Times newsletter
Lynna Qultuq, Chief Engineer and later editor of the TOL Times and First Lady of TOL
Gnoof, Handyman, troublemaker and later first officer of the ISS Vorta
Lara, long time Chief Medical Officer
Locke Katayev, long time Chief Engineer
Mamuni Tenetku, long time jack of all trades