Location: The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!
Okay, now for chapter eleven. It's short, and the last before we move to the technical text.
Chapter Eleven - Legacy
After the end of the Dominion War, Starfleet turned to the task of evaluating its fleet. They were left with a great number of damaged ships in varying states of operation. Many, including numerous Excelsiors, were damaged beyond repair. These were decommissioned and sent to surplus depots or disassembled, along with many of the ships that had been re-commissioned exclusively to fight in the war. Ultimately, almost two hundred Excelsiors remained in service, most of them newer ships from the class's final production run. With Starfleet returning to peacetime operations, most were redeployed for patrol duties along Federation borders. Some were also sent on relief missions into Cardassian space, delivering much needed humanitarian aid to the suffering Cardassian people. Starfleet began producing new ships to fill the Excelsior's niche in its operations, and made plans to retire the entire class by the end of the first quarter of the 25th century.
In 2386, the Excelsior class celebrated its centennial. More members of the class had been retired in the interim since the end of the Dominion War; in all, some three hundred Excelsior class ships remained in service, as ships of other classes gradually assumed their mission roles. The U.S.S. Excelsior underwent preparations for ceremonial retirement to the fleet museum. The Excelsior would not only be a museum piece, but a historic tribute and memorial to the 470 ships of the class that had gallantly served in Starfleet over the past century. On 1 August, 2386, the Excelsior, flying in honor formation with several other ships, was flown into her berth at the Copernicus Shipyards museum complex on Luna. Thousands of viewers gathered to bear witness to the event. Many former Excelsior crew members came with their families to offer their respect for the ship. As the Starfleet Academy marching band played the Starfleet Anthem (more popularly known by its name "Where No Man Has Gone Before") Excelsior took her place in her pressurized berth alongside such other historic vessels. Admiral Demora Sulu, daughter of late Excelsior Captain and Federation President Hikaru Sulu, and former commander of the Enterprise-B, delivered a powerful keynote speech that brought thunderous applause from the audience. The Federation News Service was there to record the mixed emotions of joy and sadness felt by the scores in attendance. A holo-recording of the event, including Admiral Sulu's speech, is now a part of the Excelsior exhibit. After the assembly, those in attendance were invited to tour the ship as her first visitors as a memorial. The ship had been restored (at least cosmetically) to its 2290 state, although many modern systems were retained inobtrusively. Admiral Sulu was accompanied by FNS reporters, who recorded her visit to the bridge. There, she paused at the Captain's chair, holding back tears. The exhibit has since already been visited by over twenty thousand people in the subsequent months. Recently, Starfleet commissioned a new Sovereign-class starship U.S.S. Excelsior, both in commemoration of that particular ship's Starfleet service and in honor of all the Excelsior class ships that have served the Federation.
Much has been said about the U.S.S. Excelsior and her sisters over the previous century. At first, the Excelsior's stature as the 'Great Experiment' was shattered by the failure of her transwarp drive. However, even in defeat was the Excelsior victorious, as shown in the illustrious and successful service careers of not only Excelsior, but the 470 other ships of the class that were built, most of which are since long gone. The Excelsior rose in a time of uncertainty and change in the political climate of the known galaxy, to become one of the most successful classes in Starfleet history, and one of the most ubiquitous symbols of Federation principles. Excelsiors gave hope to literally the thousands of worlds they visited, and offered fierce opposition for those who tried to silence the call of freedom throughout space. As the 24th century draws to a close, the remaining Excelsiors still in service will be retired, committed to the history books, but their legend and the spirit of the men and women who served on them, boldly going where no one has gone before, will live on.
"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
Last edited by Praetor; April 21 2009 at 08:13 PM.