Here's a small update. I've started work on the bridge abd a few other spots on the top....also, I messed up the thrusters. I was tweaking the colors and changed everything to the same color so their much more difficult to see now. I didn't get a chance to change it though while I was working on it today, so I'll do it next time.
I should have mentioned this before, but this is a rather large image, so if you have a slow connection it might take some time.
Here is the first draft for the write up I mentioned earlier. Like the drawing, it's a work in progress.
Following the death of Captain Harkness, in early 2372, the Venture was assigned as the command ship for Starfleets new rapid reaction task force within the Bajoran Sector. While Starfleet couldn't yet redeploy an entire fleet towards the Bajoran sector and away from near by Cardassia, Starfleet Command was able to pool local assignments under the command of Admiral Hastur to ensure that a mobile reaction force was near by if and when the station found itself in need of assistance.
The task force was first put to the test during the Klingon assault in 2372. The Venture
led twelve ships in the aid of DS9's defense and helped in securing the stations survival against increasing Klingon hostilities. The Venture
would continue to provide support to DS9 and Bajor throughout the Klingon conflict, until hostilities were eventually resolved and a united Federation-Klingon defense of DS9 was established. Frayed edges certainly continued to exist between those on each side who had only weeks earlier been at war, but as a testament to the commitment of each side, the Venture and the Klingon were able to find common ground in a new threat; the Dominion.
Following the Dominion annexation of Cardassian, the Venture would continue to provide support for DS9, now operating as task Force command ship directly from DS9 and the Bajoran Star System.
The Venture would go on to participate in many of the key battles of the Dominion war, including Operation Return, the Battle of Chin'toka, and the Final Battle of Cardassia.
Surviving the War Intact:
It goes without saying that the Breen involvement in the war, particularly the devastating second Battle of Chin'toka, could not have been foreseen by anyone. It was by mere luck that the Venture survived.
Three weeks prior to the Breen led assault, the Venture had suffered a hull breach in her starboard dorsal forward quarter when a Cardassian picket ship attempted to cross the lines and land supplies on AR-558. The resupply attempt was thwarted, but at the cost of some fifty lives aboard the Venture and damage to the ship which forced her to return to Starbase 375 to undergo repairs.
Three weeks later, the combined Breen, Cardassian, and Dominion led advance crossed into Chin'toka and retook the system. Rumor has it, the yelling match between Hastur and Ross over the order to keep the Venture out of the battle could be heard over a light year away.
When the Breen unveiled their new weapon and proceeded to decimate the fleet sent to halt the Dominion advance, the crew of the venture could only sit and watch as many of those they had fought beside for so long perished light years away.
The Venture was pressed into service ahead of schedule, leading the task force sent to recover the surviving crews of the decimated Starfleet/Klingon fleet. Those who had been spared, brought with them the horror stories of the loss of each ship. Many believe the dominion had hoped their tales of loss would weaken the Federation will to fight. That was not the effect felt by those aboard the Venture.
Following the conclusion of the war, the Venture returned to Mars for the first time since the completion of her initial shake down cruise, to undergo major repairs. It was at this time that many of the crew began to move on. Admiral Hastur was reassigned to a new fleet command position as the Venture began her long over due down time.
Unlike her explorer brothers and sisters, the Venture had always been geared towards combat operations. Her life after the war would be no different. Following her stint at the Utopia Planitia yards, the Venture would come under the command of Captain T'Shacne and once again be assigned to the Bajoran system to aid in the defense of DS9 and Bajor. The war created thousands of profiteers, those with fast ships using the supply of abundant weapons to take advantage of war torn veterans.
For more than five years, the Venture patroled the Bajoran sector, the outskirts of the badlands, and helped to provide protection for relief convoys heading towards Cardassia Prime.
The Venture would return again to earth in late 2380, to undergo the fleet wide Galaxy Class refit and upgrade program. On June 3, 2380 the Venture entered drydock 104 to undergo the Mk. V Galaxy RE-UP program. Unlike the earlier refit programs which had seen various refits and upgrades to most of the galaxy class ships in the original run of six hulls, including the refit Enterprise-D just prior to her destruction, or the later upgrades to the Venture herself, the new MK V refits would see a the Venture undergo a vast overall of nearly all systems.
The MK V program was designated as a primary combat upgrade, for those ships like the Venture that are more combat and command oriented. The MK IV upgrade, is designated as an defensive and explorations upgrade, for those ships with more wide scale mission profiles.
The MK V program would see the instillation of a new warp core, upgraded impulse engines, faster computer cores with a full bio-neural gel pack circuitry, and increased shielding technologies.
Many of the Venture's large recreational and family oriented spaces, which had already been abandoned or undergone makeshift refits as needed, would see their complete removal to make room for increased weapons systems, instillation of staggered secondary command processors and backup fusion generators, as well as new quantum torpedo holding stations.
Under the MK V program, the Venture would also be the first Galaxy Class ship to receive a new coat of the class IV ablative armor. The Class IV armor was reserved for Starfleets font line combat ships, such as the Defiant and Prometheus class vessels. Defense planners had argued over giving some Sovereign class ships Class IV armor, however the already heavy upgrades undergoing throughout the Sovereign class roster, were already deemed too costly and as a compromise, only a small percentage of Galaxy Class ships would receive the class IV armor. (as fate would have it, at least one Sovereign class ship did end up receiving class IV armor, the USS Enterprise-E, following the Shinzon incident near Romulus. The clear and present danger presented by this new Romulan threat was more than enough evidence to convince any lingering doubts that the Sovereign and the Galaxy class should both receive class IV armor.)
Further upgrades within the MK V program include, new more efficient warp coils that significantly reduce the effects subspace damage during prolonged warp field use, while allowing for longer duration high warp speeds. A new upgraded secondary navigational deflector was installed, while the primary deflector was upgraded as well.
Some contemplated the possibility of permanently joining the Venture's two hull components. The original justification for saucer separation capabilities were to allow the galaxy class to protect the civilian members of its crew aboard the saucer, while the star drive section pushed on into dangerous situations. With the removal of civilians from the Venture completely, and the entire ship now acting as one combined, fighting unit, it was argued that saucer separation was no longer needed. In this configuration, the additional concealed phaser arrays and torpedo launcher would be removed, and the battle bridge would be converted into an auxiliary control point, should the main bridge become compromised.
This reignited the debate that had long been carried on in regards to upgrading the galaxy class. Fleet planners were forced to consider, just how much of a warship they wanted the new upgraded galaxy class ships to be. There were no mistakes being made, everyone knew these ships would not be peacefully expanding the federations boarders. As they had in the Dominion war, the new galaxy class MK V, would be anchoring task forces and fleet engagements, when not acting on its own recognizance to deal with situations that could not be handled with diplomacy.
In the end, a compromise was reached. Starfleet would create five custom MK. VB variants to serve as fleet defense ships, each utilizing the latest tech available to reach as high a level of combat functionality as possible. The standard MK. V would retain its saucer separation capabilities, while the MK. VB would become a single hulled starship, dedicated to combat operations.
The Venture would be the first ship in the new MK. VB lineup.