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Old April 2 2009, 12:51 AM   #73
Praetor
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Location: The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Tomalak wrote: View Post
The only trouble is Sulu's line at the end of Voyage Home: "I'm counting on Excelsior!" I imagine his reaction would have been different if he was already designated captain-in-waiting, but Kirk came along and stole his ship. It would have been a toys out of pram reaction of Takei-esque proportions.
Yeah... that's a good point. Perhaps I will leave it unaddressed?

Great read Praetor. It's a good narrative that fits together lots of bits of Trek lore, but is mercifully free of techno-jargon. I love the Morrow sub-plot, and the idea that he champions Excelsior, only for Kirk and Scotty to finish him off.
Why, thank you. I made a conscious decision to have a history part and a technical part, because there were specific things I wanted to address. The technical part isn't as far along, but is coming. And I'm glad you noticed the Morrow sub-plot. Something about him always made me hate that guy, and it just so happened that making him a jerk helped fit together a few seeming inconsistencies here and there.

So is the redressed TNG engine room on the Enterprise-A an example of the new faster warp drive developed from the Excelsior?
Correctamundo! In fact, that's part of why the Enterprise-A is specifically named to be a newer kitbash build to test Excelsior-derived tech (as I think most of the other refits in service at the time probably had the TMP-TSFS refit setup).

Well, let's commence with the next chapter shall we?
Chapter Seven - Beginnings

The Excelsior departed in mid-February of 2290 for Federation space near the Klingon Neutral Zone on a mission that would prove a surprising test of resolve for all involved. The Klingon Empire had been showing signs of instability in recent years, and Starfleet feared any civil war would draw in the Federation. Therefore, Starfleet, began a fleet-wide program "cataloging gaseous planetary anomalies in Beta Quadrant." While a bona fide scientific mission, the program was also a cover, an excuse for an increased presence of Federation starships in that region, including Excelsior and Enterprise. During her three-year "cataloging" mission, Excelsior participated in a number of side missions that remain classified to this day. Her presence in the region was instrumental, and helped prove the design's worth to the skeptics in Starfleet leadership.

In 2293, Excelsior ended her three-year deployment in Beta Quadrant. The crew finally breathed a collective sigh of relief as they were en route back to port. However, Excelsior was about to gain another entry in the history books. On Stardate 9521.6, Excelsior began to rock as she cruised at impulse. An energy wave was detected at port, and the ship was violently rocked by what was soon determined to be a subspace shock wave, emanating from the Klingon moon of Praxis. Captain Sulu sent a hail offering assistance. Excelsior soon after received a distress call from the moon, followed by a Klingon reply not to enter their space. The destruction of Praxis, the Klingons' key energy production facility, crippled the their economy, and the Klingon Chancellor Gorkon began to make peace overtures to the Federation, a proposal to effectively end seventy years of unremitting hostility which the Klingons could no longer afford. The Enterprise was sent to escort Chancellor Gorkon to a peace summit on Earth, but Chancellor Gorkon was assassinated and Captain Kirk and Doctor Leonard McCoy of Enterprise were arrested for the crime.

Captain Sulu proceeded to take his vessel on a daring (and illegal) rescue mission of his former colleagues. The incident was not recorded in the ship's log, but has since been made public record. Excelsior attempted to penetrate Klingon space through the Azure Nebula, but was soon discovered by patrols led by noted Klingon war hero Kang. The Excelsior was attacked and forced to withdraw to Federation space. Damage incurred to the ship during the incident would be blamed on an ion storm officially. Excelsior later joined Enterprise at a new peace conference at Camp Khitomer, along the Klingon border, and helped expose the conspiracy behind the assassination of Chancellor Gorkon, as well as preventing the assassination of the Federation President, at the hands of extremist forces within both the Federation and the Klingon Empire.

Some weeks later, after remaining on extended assignment near the Klingon border in the event of any further incidents, Excelsior returned to Earth to be refit for her next mission. The Enterprise-A, whose decommissioning had become inescapable, partly due to the systems integration issues that had been present from the ship's launch (blamed by most largely on the ship's leftover construction) and partly due to the retirement of several key members of her senior staff including her Captain, was already in dock. As Excelsior was alive with the measures of refit, Enterprise's final crew had emptied her to the tranquility of retirement.

Shortly before Excelsior's return to Earth, the new U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701-B was commissioned in a ceremony in Earth orbit, under the command of Captain John Harriman. Her helmsman was Ensign Demora Sulu, daughter of Excelsior Captain Hikaru Sulu. Enterprise had been designed to test several experimental variants of the Excelsior design, derived from the Excelsior's and Ingram's previous flight data, designed to make her a more successful deep space exploratory ship. The enhancements, while not unsuccessful, were not widely popular, and ultimately proved rare among Excelsior class ships, making up less than twenty percent of the entire line. Captain James Kirk, Captain Montgomery Scott, and Commander Pavel Chekov were all present for the commissioning of this, the third Excelsior class starship. Excelsior herself was scheduled to be on hand for the commissioning, but was delayed. On the Enterprise's first cruise, immediately following the ship's commissioning, Captain Kirk was lost while saving the ship and a number of El-Aurian refugees from a subspace ribbon anomaly. Earth, and indeed the entire Federation, observed a day of mourning for its fallen hero.

As the Enterprise returned from her disastrous maiden voyage, it joined the newly-arrived Excelsior in Spacedock. The startling image of the Excelsior, the wounded Enterprise-B, and the decommissioned Enterprise-A sitting together in dock is considered by many to be one of the most powerful in Starfleet history. On that somber note, Excelsior's refit began. Several months later, after the completion of her refit, and as the Enterprise-B completed repairs and final fitting out, Excelsior received orders to escort the Enterprise-A, under operation of a temporary flight crew, to the Fleet Museum, where the ship was to spend the rest of her life as a living memorial. The historical irony of the Excelsior as honor escort to the vessel that was feared to be a threat to her success, where the only real threat was arrogance, is lost on few. In this symbolic act, the Excelsior class finally became the successor to the Constitution class, and held the promise of a lengthy future.
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