Location: The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!
Great writeup so far of my favorite ship class. Just one small comment. Chapter one, paragraph one, sentence five.
"her comparably shining safety record"
Doesn't ring true for me. It sounds like something an OSHA representative would say at the union meeting. The red shirts on board would probably laugh at the statement as well.
Maybe change it so something like:
"her knack for survival"
"her penchant for beating the odds"
Just a suggestion. thanks.
Well, it was meant as somewhat ironic, but I see what you mean. I shall choose the latter. Thanks.
I don't know if this has been asked yet, but are you going to mention the speed measure of "rigiknots", as was stated in TUC? I know a lot of people didn't like that term, but I thought it was a nice touch and nod to nautical heritage.
Where in TUC was that mentioned? I never caught it. I tried a Google search and couldn't find it. If you can explain, I'll try to work it in.
Cid Highwind wrote:
That might be a better alternative.
'Cubic light years'... Hm. I'll think on that between now and my next post.
How does this compromise work for everyone?
The Constitution was a proven design, as all but two of the original 2240s production line were still in service, and during their careers had increased the volume of known space by thousands of cubic light years, adding detailed maps of hundreds of sectors to Federation star charts.
One single sector (again assuming a side length of 20 light years) would already contain 8000 cubic light years, so the two numbers you gave don't exactly match. Replace "thousands" with "millions", and I think you're good to go.
Other than that, keep the chapters coming!
Done and done. Thanks!
Here's the next chapter. It may be a bit more controversial than the previous chapters, or at least may generate more responses/suggestions.
Chapter Four - Construction
In 2275, construction orders for NX-2000 were issued, and given the name Excelsior by Morrow both after the transwarp group’s name and after a Constitution-class ship of the same name that had been lost. Estimates suggested that testing and construction would take around a decade. Meanwhile, for his involvement in making transwarp and the Excelsior project a reality, now-Fleet Admiral Morrow was appointed Starfleet CinC. Using the Excelsior project as leverage, Morrow appeared to have maneuvered himself into the perfect position to ascend as his former mentor's replacement.
Later that year, Excelsior’s first keel plate was laid at a special ceremony on Earth at Construction Building Five in San Francisco. A smiling Admiral Morrow made the first gamma-weld on the piece of tritanium that would later hold the ship’s ventral phaser arrays. In Earth orbit, a massive new dry dock facility in excess of 500 meters long was being built for the assembly of Excelsior’s components. Morrow and his Starfleet colleagues were thoroughly pleased with the positive PR that was coming from the new Excelsior’s construction. The Federation News Service left messages almost daily at the respective offices of Morrow and Tokogawa asking about the Excelsior project. Both remained coy as to the exact nature of the project.
Construction proceeded at a feverish pace. By 2277, the hull spaceframe had begun to take shape in the recently completed Dry Dock Seven facility. Morrow and Tokogawa reportedly mused together at the “Lucky Seven” designation the new dry dock was given. Several design flaws in late simulations meanwhile led to complete redesign of several key systems. As these refinements to the ship’s about-to-be-installed systems were made, the public and the Federation News Service grew more and more curious, which was exactly what Morrow wanted.
In 2278, the refit Enterprise was about to return from her second five-year mission under James T. Kirk. Commander Montgomery Scott’s aid was solicited for Excelsior. Dr. Tokogawa sought to have him added to the design and construction that was underway. Dr. Wesley was very hesitant of seeking Scott’s counsel, but Tokogawa overruled him. Mr. Scott was invited to examine the Transwarp Development Team’s work and offer recommendations, in the hope that he would want to join the project. By all accounts, Scott earnestly reviewed their work, though his recommendations were less than encouraging. Having seen firsthand the effects of interphase-level subspace distortion aboard Enterprise firsthand, Scott was skeptical of what he termed the team’s “trying to break the laws of physics.” Scott had long been a champion of conventional warp technology, and was convinced that only through its advancement was superior FTL travel possible. From his own official report, regarding his opinion of the Transwarp Development Project:
“It is my professional opinion that the Transwarp Development Project currently underway is doomed to failure. At this time we do not possess… sufficient understanding of subspace field interaction to fully comprehend what effects this level of warp field produced on a vessel, its occupants, and indeed the fabric of space itself… Flirting with catastrophe of this calibre is quite simply a portrait of arrogance…”
Scott had thus succinctly and dramatically declined a position on the team and presented dire warnings backed by years of experience. Dr. Wesley was both furious and disheartened. He was sure Scott was shortsighted in his views, but also knew that Scott’s opinion represented the opinion of many Starfleet engineers and admirals. He feared that this was a dark omen for his transwarp engine. Scott continued aboard Enterprise, remaining with her after the ship returned from her five year mission and entered service as a training ship attached to Starfleet Academy. His opinions were gone, but not forgotten.
In late 2279, Morrow finally issued an explanation of the Excelsior project to the public. He announced that U.S.S. Excelsior was the first of a bold new line of starships that would fulfill the needs of an ever-changing universe, and serve as a revolutionary new platform for exploration and defense. He also cryptically mentioned the ship’s new transwarp drive, which he stated would represent a quantum leap beyond existing faster than light propulsion. The public was very intrigued by Morrow's compliments. Some were very excited by the possibilities this new transwarp drive could present, while others were cautious to embrace this new ship. For their parts, the Klingons and Romulans instantly launched secret intelligence campaigns dedicated to unlocking the secrets of the Federation’s new supership. Both their efforts would prove surprisingly unsuccessful.
In early 2284, James T. Kirk returned from a premature retirement from Starfleet, possibly with the intention of commanding another mission of exploration, probably aboard the Enterprise. Admiral Morrow was very conscious of Enterprise’s potential to overshadow Excelsior, and lobbied to make sure Enterprise remain a training ship. As the foremost member of the Constitution class, Enterprise could, in a prominent position, pose the most serious threat to the success of the new class; as a trainer, she could quietly and gradually slip from the limelight into mothballs without the public outcry of being broken up.
By 2285, Excelsior was mostly finished, slightly ahead of schedule. She was launched on thruster power for her initial space-worthiness testing with an ASDB flight test crew. Initial test results were complete, and all ship systems passed Level Four review tests on the Earth-Jupiter run, except for transwarp drive. The transwarp intermix chamber was brought to full power, but there were unusual subspace fluctuations being detected in the magnetic constriction assemblies. Morrow, Tokogawa, and Wesley were privately unnerved by this, but publicly remained optimistic, and hoped that given more time the ship’s initial transwarp difficulties would be ironed out. Prior test ship flights with the transwarp engine design had proved no more successful, but still the ambitious individuals largely responsible for the project's momentum pushed onward. Excelsior returned to dry dock for final fitting out, including thermocoat painting and striping, to be followed by her commissioning ceremony.
"If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross; but it's not for the timid." - Q