I normally write BattleTech fiction, or my own unique stories, solely for myself and those folks who follow along on Spacebattles or Our BattleTech. But I have always had a hankering to write a piece of fiction for Star Trek
. On February 1 of this year, I sat down and began to write. That's right. I started writing this 33 days ago. And I have more than 60,000 words finished, in Verdana 10 font on Microsoft Word. The story has written itself more than anything.
On Spacebattles, we have gone through 1,250 replies and seventy pages of posts over three threads; and I really must thank them for their advice and support. The story itself isn't finished, but I have so far managed at least one, sometimes two or three, snippets of a chapter a day. Right now, we are up to Chapter 18 and got a bit further yet to go.
I welcome any and all comments, suggestions, advice, critiques, or criticisms that you good folks might be willing to offer. This is my first attempt to write a Star Trek story. I might get some canon facts wrong; I certainly do not know all there is to know about Star Trek technology and equipment. But I think I can craft a good story that fits into the established universe. And I hope that you all come along for the ride.
is a Korolev
-class starship, a heavy cruiser slightly larger and more robust than an Excelsior
. At the time of the story, she has been commissioned in Star Fleet service for nearly four decades and is one of several ship classes (including the Ambassador
-class) that preceded the introduction of the Galaxy
- and Nebula
-class is mentioned in canon, but very little is known about it. During my many internet spelunking expeditions, I came across a website known as the Advanced Starship Design Bureau. This is where I first saw what the Korolev
-class might look like; and it gave me the inspiration for this story.
Here is what the USS Republic
(NCC-51497) looks like, gentlemen. Based upon the work of the good men and women at ASDB.
These schematics were NOT
created by me; they are the work of Jason and Kris (among others) from the ASDB (Advanced Starship Design Bureau).
Their work (and other peoples work) can be found here ( http://www.trekships.org/index.htm
) so take the time to browse through the site and enjoy the sights (no pun intended).
And here are three size comparison charts with both canon and ASDB ships (side, front, and top):
Ok. I had an idea for the story and now I knew what Republic
looked like, and how big she was. But that is literally all that I know about the class. So, in the finest tradition of authors everywhere, I made up the stats on the Korolev
s. I decided that they were intended to replace the Excelsior
-class vessels as modern workhorses and appeared on the scene after the introduction of the Ambassador
Based on the drawings, I determined that she mounts nine Type IX phaser array strips (two dorsal on the saucer, three ventral on the saucer, one ventral on the engineering section, one dorsal on the engineering section, and two port/starboard on the warp nacelle pylons). She is also equipped with five photon torpedo launchers, four mounted forward (two banks of two) and one aft, with a total loadout of 200 torpedoes and probes. The Korolev
s torpedoes launchers are unable to fit the latest generation of quantum torpedoes and are restricted to conventional photon torpedoes. The launchers are restricted to a single torpedo per tube and each tube is fed from a five-torpedo ready magazine. Each tube requires four seconds to reload (from the ready magazines), giving the class a sustained fire rate of one torpedo a second from its four forward launchers. Once the ready magazines are emptied, the ship requires 30-seconds to reload from its storage magazines.
Her original shields were on par with the Ambassador
- and Excelsior
-class ships, but after Wolf 359 she was refitted with newer generators bringing her defenses up to the same standard as a Galaxy
-class also featured two separate impulse engines, mounted on the saucer section just inboard of each warp nacelle. A distinct improvement over earlier impulse drive systems mounted on the Ambassador
- and Excelsior
-class ships, these provided the Korolevs with the capability to 0.9c at full power, although she normally cruises at 0.25c to minimize fuel consumption and to avoid relativistic effects. Maneuverability was also improved over the older ships.
The LF-23 warp engines on the Korolev
-class were modified versions of the LF-17s fitted to the Ambassador
s. Many in Star Fleet (at the time that the design was debuted) considered the new vessels to be far overpowered for their size and mission. Indeed, although the new cruisers were barely more than a third as massive as the Ambassador
s, their matter-antimatter warp cores were able to generate 69.7% of the larger explorers total power output. The engineers who designed the Korolev
s knew exactly what they were doing, however. The sheer mass and volume of the Ambassador
s meant that those ships could only be towed by another Ambassador
; not even the current generation of fleet tugs in Star Fleet inventory was able to retrieve a badly damaged Ambassador at warp.
But the Korolev
s, using those overpowered warp nacelles and a new generation of more powerful tractor beam generators (the most powerful fitted to any Star Fleet vessel prior to the introduction of the Galaxy
class), was designed to be able to extend her warp field and take an Ambassador
in tow at speeds of up to Warp 6 for up to eighty-four hours.
Originally rated for a cruise speed of Warp 6 (a speed that the cruiser can maintain indefinitely), trials and field tests of the prototypes revealed that these new ships were able to sustain a much higher speed for far longer than existing ships: Warp 7 for as long as twenty days, Warp 8 for up to a week, and Warp 9 for more than 48 hours. Maximum rated speed was an impressive (for the time) Warp 9.5 and the Korolev
’s once again proved that endurance they had in spades, with the ability to sustain that speed for two hours.
Unfortunately, the overpowered, overbuilt engines proved to be inefficient and costly to maintain, requiring 128% more man-hours than the warp drives of the Excelsior
-class. Furthermore, it was soon discovered that the stress and strain placed on the warp coils gave them an effective service life half that of either the Ambassador
s or Excelsior
s. This explains, in part, why the Korolev
s did not fully replace the older Excelsior
s in Star Fleet inventory. Although there have been several refits proposed that would replace the LF-23s aboard these ships with newer and more efficient warp drives, the difficulty of refitting these ships engines and power plant has scuttled those proposals every time.
s featured a greatly reduced crew in comparison with the Excelsior
s, relying more on automated systems and computer-assisted diagnostics. The ship requires a complement of 382 officers and crew, with space for an additional 118 passengers or mission specialists. The crew live on 18 seperate habitable decks. Under emergency conditions, a Korolev
s life support system can handle up to 1,000 total personnel for a minimum period of two months (under extreme conditions, nearly 2,000 refugees can be packed aboard ship, but the life support, food replicators, and waste recycling systems would be strained to say the least).
The vessel embarks a dozen shuttle craft (mainly Type 6) in four seperate bays, plus a warp capable Captain's Gig in a ventral hull dock located beneath Shuttle Bays 3 and 4. Scientific research labs are considered adequete for most missions, but the latter Galaxy
- and Nebula
-class ships proved far more capable in that role. The ships were equipped with the best sensor arrays available at the time and that aspect of the class has been constantly updated.
Six transporter rooms (four standard and two emergency) are standard, along with two cargo transporters. Refits have provided with Korolev
-class with two holodecks, plus a holographic shooting range for Security personnel. Three tractor beam generators are fitted, one forward along the ventral hull beneath the deflector dish, and two astern (dorsal and ventral).
s were designed for long duration patrols and exploration, and each carries sufficent supplies and fuel for a five-year mission. There are also four cargo holds, with roughly 50% more available internal volume for emergency supplies and parts than an Excelsior
Several of these ships are present in Galaxy Exploration Command, although the lion's share are part of the so-called Blue Fleet, the Andorian contingent of Star Fleet command. The vessels of the Blue Fleet are extensively used to protect and defend Federation member systems and colonies and are only seldom used for general exploration. Although being replaced by Akira
-class vessels in the Blue Fleet, the toughness, strategic speed, and research capacities of the Korolev
-class have resulted in more and more of these vessels being dispatched as research vessels in situations where the new Nova
-class is considered in jeopardy.
-class is certain to remain a signifcant member of Star Fleet for decades yet to come.
Anyway, that is my take on the Republic
. If you have any suggestions, ideas, advice, or comments, I would love to hear them. And thank you all, once again. I hope that you enjoy this humble work.