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USS Kerouac - NCC-61228 (original scratchbuild 19)


One of the most distinctive vessels in the Federation, Rigel-class frigates are a much-prized component in Starfleet's inventory. Unlike their stockier multimission cousins in the New Orleans-class, Rigel-class ships have a primary function of rapid response, their sleek yet efficient hulls and slightly overpowered engines allowing them to reach even the farthest hotpoint as quickly as possible.

Measuring 469 meters long, 262 meters wide, with a 63-meter draught, these vessels have the ability to respond to a crisis situation with the greatest of haste, then secure the area short- to medium-term until a larger more capable ship can be sent. Because of this trait, Rigels are often found on border patrols during peacetime. During wartime, their mission changes slightly. Still used to secure an area, the frigates are able to easily chase and overrun hostile forces, thereby assuring systemwide superiority.




It was in just such a role that USS Kerouac functioned during the Dominion War. Built in 2353 at the Merak II Starfleet Construction Yards and named after the 20th-century human poet, she was running from system to system since the start of the war. At the onset of hostilities, Dominion forces poured into the Janusian system. Kerouac was assigned to protect the pergium facilities on Janus VI, along with 2 of her sister ships, Izar and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. At first, the battle went well, with the trio easily trouncing the attack vessels using their superior speed. However, as the battle wore on, more and more Jem'Hadar vessels entered the system & the tide quickly turned. Kerouac was struck on the port nacelle by a Dominion torpedo & went spinning. As 2 more bugships advanced to attack, Stanton's captain put his own mortally wounded ship between the attackers and Kerouac. The bugships hit the Stanton, which then exploded. By then, Izar and Kerouac had both sustained heavy casualties, and they abandoned Janus VI, retreating to the Federation Defense Perimeter.

Almost 3 years later, Kerouac participated in Operation Gateway, the defense of Andor. During this battle, she destroyed 3 Jem'Hadar attack vessels & 2 Cardassian Galor-class cruisers. During the waning part of the battle, CPT Rayliss ordered pursuit of the retreating Cardassian forces. In an assault pattern that earned him the Star Cross, Rayliss would overshoot the Cardassians using Kerouac's speed, lie in wait for them, and then attack once they dropped out of warp. He did this all the way back to the Dominion staging area at Taelor V. However, once he got there, several Breen vessels were lying in wait for him. Realizing the hunter had now become the hunted, Rayliss broke off and made a mad dash back to Andor and the task force, once again using Kerouac's speed advantage. Unfortunately, the high-warp stresses placed on the engines caused a cascade failure in the plasma injectors and so Kerouac sat out the rest of the war.

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