Taking frankenships to a franchise where no frankenship has gone before.
Taking frankenships to a franchise where no frankenship has gone before.
Image: Cryptic Studios/Perfect World

Star Trek Online is set in a future where, after a brief resurgence in conflict, the Federation and the Klingon Empire are once again in the path to peace. Co-operation doesn’t just come in accords and trade deals though, it also comes in ship design: like creating this Frankensteining of the best the Klingon Defense Force and Starfleet has to offer.

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Revealed by developer Cryptic Studios today as part of Star Trek Online’s upcoming 10-year-anniversary celebrations at the end of the month, players of the MMORPG will soon be able to get their hands on the Khitomer Alliance Battlecruiser. While there are plenty of ships in Star Trek Online that players of either the Federation or Klingon factions can use, it’s primarily because they’re ships inspired by third-parties from across Trek history—ships of Federation and Klingon design are primarily restricted to their respective factions. A Klingon Admiral can’t tool about in a Galaxy-Class, for example, while a Starfleet Officer can’t get their hands (and crew) on a K’Tinga.

The Alliance cruiser is the first starship in the game of its kind that players, regardless of faction, can use, reflective of its status in the game’s plotline as the first vessel of its kind designed by the Allied Cooperative Starship Development Board, an amalgam of Imperial and Federation engineers whose apparent first idea was “what if the D7 and the Enterprise-D had a baby?”

A closer look at the Khitomer Alliance Battlecruiser.
A closer look at the Khitomer Alliance Battlecruiser.
Image: Cryptic Studios/Perfect World
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At first, it’s a bizarre, bizarre look—like someone took the back half of a Klingon Bird-of-Prey and just slapped it onto Starfleet’s iconic saucer-based designs, painted it in one scheme, and called it a day. Despite being a marriage of two of the most distinct ship design schools in Star Trek, it’s somehow familiar yet also unlike anything we’ve seen before. There’s stark, brutalist lines evocative of the Klingons, right next to the smooth, rounded edges of post-TNG-era Starfleet. It’s a little ugly. It’s a lot of weird. But it’s also primarily alien to our brains. Just looking at it feels oddly wrong?

Maybe that’s the point though. We feel that it looks wrong because, despite the fact they’ve been off-and-on-again allies for centuries in Star Trek canon, the mere thought of a combined product of Klingon and Federation design like this is still peculiar though. Even if Star Trek Online’s take on the future of Trek canon is about to have some of the (admittedly already pretty loose) wind blown out of its sail by Picard presenting the “official” version of the turn-of-the-24th-century timeline, it’s cool to see, 10 years on, the game still has interesting ideas and stories to tell about this beloved franchise.

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Star Trek Online players on PC can get their hands on the Khitomer Alliance Battlecruiser by participating in the game’s anniversary event, starting from January 28. The ship will be made available at a later date for players on Xbox One and Playstation 4.

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James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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