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Old April 22 2009, 04:47 AM   #195
Praetor
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Location: The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

kitsune wrote: View Post
Praetor wrote: View Post
Okay, now for chapter eleven. It's short, and the last before we move to the technical text.
I just had a nap and dreampt that I met you in person.
Well I hope we went out and got a dream cheeseburger. (My treat.)

kitsune wrote: View Post
It seems odd to me for a class ship to not be the final use of its name.
Really? There is historical precedent - the Essex class aircraft carrier (this book about which served as part of my inspiration for starting all this) was retired years ago, but there is a newer U.S.S. Essex in service now.

Cid Highwind wrote: View Post
Praetor wrote: View Post
Ultimately, almost two hundred Excelsiors remained in service, [...]
in all, some three hundred Excelsior class ships remained in service
Numbers don't match - and given the new number of 470 overall, even 200 surviving to 2386 might be a little too much, don't you think?

In any case, now that the whole thing is told - Wow! Good job.
Good catch! Thanks! I've edited down to just over a hundred at the end. And double thanks.

Nimitz CO wrote: View Post
Praetor,
Great way to wrap it up before the technical stuff EXCELLENT WORK!!!!
Thank you!!!

Okay, the last two chapters once more before we start the tech stuff:
Chapter Ten - War

The Dominion War saw the last (and largest) deployment of Excelsiors in a wide-scale combat role. At the war's onset in 2373, over 300 Excelsiors were in still service, with over 150 more in varying states of operation sitting decommissioned in surplus yards. The Federation and Klingons were initially forced to go on the defensive, although they struck a major victory at the onset by destroying the Dominion shipyards of Torros III. Starfleet took surprisingly heavy casualties, and quickly discovered that it needed more ships than it had. To accomodate, numerous decommissioned ships were reconditioned and recommissioned, including the decommissioned Excelsiors and even including some Constitution class ships that had been mothballed for over forty years. Some 'jigsaw' builds were launched without even being given a proper name, although they were later given informal names by their crews. Excelsior class ships formed the backbone of the cruiser divisions of every fleet in every major battle of the war. Most were pulled from their regular assignments in Federation space, while some were redeployed along the Federation border opposite the front, to ensure other governments would not try to take advantage of the situation. In cases like the U.S.S. Farragut, the Excelsior-class predecessor replaced her Nebula-class successor after she was lost in action.

The Federation and Klingons achieved their first real victory in 2374 by retaking station Deep Space Nine at the mouth of the Bajoran worhmole. Still, they struggled to hold their own. The Dominion managed to occupy Betazed. Not since the Romulan War of two centuries prior had the fighting reached the doorstep of the Federation's founding worlds. The capture of Betazed put many of them in danger, including Earth, Vulcan, Tellar, and Andoria. The Federation was able to convince the Romulans to join their alliance, and with their added firepower began to put the Dominion on the defensive. Sadly, the Excelsior class ships that saw combat with the Dominion were greatly outclassed, and their attrition rate peaked at nearly 40%, averaging between 20% and 30%. Nonetheless, yard engineers kept patching the surviving ships back together and sending them back into the fray, where they served valiantly against their Dominion foes. Even the destroyed Excelsiors proved valuable, as the class's modularity continued to prove an asset; salvaged wrecks provided repair components for their sisters. Some were even combined and rebuilt into 'new' ships. Even the U.S.S. Excelsior herself was not safe from the fighting. Two of the oldest Excelsiors in service continued to beat the odds: the U.S.S. Repulse and the U.S.S. Shras were both part of the original production group from the 2290s and served with distinction on the front. Both ships escaped destruction in battle after battle as newer, more capable ships fell around them.

In 2375, the Breen Confederacy entered the war on the side of the Dominion, and launched a surprise attack on Starfleet Headquarters on Earth. When the Breen fleet reached the Sol System, they achieved almost complete surprise. Only the contingent of the Third Fleet permanently assigned to the sector stood between the Breen and Earth. Among the 45 ships that stood to face the Breen was the 90-year-old Excelsior. Although outnumbered more than two to one, the ships simply could not allow the Breen to reach Earth; the powerful warships in their fleet could devastate the planet and leave it virtually uninhabitable. The battle was fierce. Breen warships stalled the fleet while fighters penetrated the defensive perimeter and made their way to Earth. Earth defenses mounted a worthy opposition, and destroyed many of the fighters before they reached Earth, but some were able to enter the atmosphere and attack San Francisco. Fifteen Starfleet ships were destroyed, and Excelsior, under the command of a relatively inexperienced captain, assumed command of the fleet. By outflanking and dividing the enemy, Starfleet was able to destroy most of the Breen warships, and force the surviving ships to retreat. The remaining Starfleet ships returned to Earth to assist in emergency response efforts as reinforcements arrived to guard against a second attack wave.

The Breen's entry to the war marked another shift in fortune. After the Breen attack on Earth, the Dominion launched a devastating attack to re-take the Chin'toka system where the Breen first deployed energy dampening weapons capable of disabling allied ships. The entire fleet sent to counter the Dominion incursion in Chin'toka was destroyed, including fifty Excelsior class starships. Thus, the Dominion again had the allies on the defensive as scientists struggled to find a way to counteract the Breen weapons, leaving only the Klingons, whose ships could easily be modified to be immune to the Breen weapons, to hold the front. However, the acquisition of a Jem'Hadar vessel provided a means to devise a countermeasure to the energy dampening weapons. All Starfleet ships, including the surviving Excelsiors, had their entire shield systems reconfigured. By this time, approximately 300 Excelsior class ships still remained in operation.

Able to resist the Breen weapon, the allies were able to put the Dominion on the defensive again, forcing the Dominion to withdraw to Cardassian space. The Federation and her allies knew that this would buy the Dominion all the time they needed to rebuild their fleets unless the war ended then and there. At the cost of many lives, the allies penetrated Cardassian space and began the Battle of Cardassia. The tide of battle turned when the Cardassian fleet turned against the Dominion, and ultimately the Founders surrendered. The Treaty of Bajor ended the war, but much work would be needed to pick up the pieces.

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 dismantled, 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 being 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, a just over one 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. ormer commander of the Enterprise-B and daughter of late Excelsior captain and Federation President Hikaru Sulu, 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 unobtrusively. 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 469 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 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.
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Last edited by Praetor; April 22 2009 at 07:41 AM.
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