Which of course outraged him, because everybody knows the sneak attack was a Russian invention
Praetor, I just wanted to let you know that I sat down to read all of this the other day and I've enjoyed it immensely. You've done a very good job of portraying everything in a very believable manner and, at the same time, you've explained a lot of the quirks of Starfleet's development over the years. I look forward to more.
By the way, while I was reading through these I did find something that I questioned somewhat. In chapter six you describe the results of Excelsior's shakedown and list a number of problems, only to then say that Starfleet was extremely pleased with the results. I don't think there's anything wrong whatsoever with what you said about Excelsior, I just feel like perhaps a sentence or two could be spent on the positive aspects in order to downplay the negative. As of right now it seems a bit jarring. Here's the specific section:
All of Excelsior’s systems performed to full Level Four Review satisfaction this time, surprising and relieving both Starfleet Command and the staff at San Francisco Yards. However, Excelsior became notorious for several unforeseen quirks that would become characteristic of this next phase of her life. First, she retained the awkward sublight maneuverability even at full impulse which had plagued her earlier trials. Her test captain commented that Excelsior “showed her size.” Additionally, at warp she seemed to be too powerful for her own good, continuing to threaten to tear herself apart under full power of her engines at speeds of warp nine (MCU) and above, developing a serious vibration problem evocative of those experienced by the old Constitution class. Nonetheless, Starfleet authorized the Excelsior for active duty as NCC-2000. Starfleet was so pleased with Excelsior’s shakedown results that it resumed construction on the two new Excelsiors that were already underway, and ordered the next three to follow contingent on the first three's performance. The Transwarp Development Project had proven a failure, yes, but the Excelsior Class Project was now a monumental success whose historic legacy was just beginning. She was ready for her first mission. Now all she needed was a crew.
Sorry to bring up something from a few chapters back, I certainly hope it doesn't conflict with the present development! I just felt like I should bring up my concern while I had the chance.