In the ink black expanses of space, there are those who would see fit to ruin the lives of the people trying to survive. The Klingon Empire is ripe for such activity in the power void created when Romulus was nearly destroyed by intense solar flares from its sun.
The USS Nicholson has been assigned to patrol in Klingon Space and enforce the peace there. She acts as a rapid response, SAR, and surveillance vessel to help ensure that no harm falls to the Federation's Allies. The Nicholson - of The Nick, as she's known to her crew - is a gesture of good faith to the Klingons, a reminder of their Alliance with the Federation, and a promise that that alliance will last for a long time to come.
She is their steward, she is their hope. She is their Vanguard.
Star Trek - Vanguard