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Old February 22 2013, 07:40 PM   #258
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Re: COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS 5-page preview

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Okay, but even if we assume April's Enterprise was launched after the Kelvin's destruction, that would mean Starfleet decommissioned a starship that was only twenty years old. Despite what Admiral Morrow thought, that's pretty early to retire a starship.
Maybe the ship was too badly crippled in action to be repairable. Maybe a new administration came in and diverted Starfleet's resources to new classes of ship. Heck, the Enterprise-A was less than a decade old when it was decommissioned (unless you assume it was a much older ship that was simply renamed).

Yeah, this is before the 2233 timeline divide, but perhaps it's time we consider there was another Enterprise between NX-01 and hte 1701, even in the Prime Timeline, canon be damned.
But do we need to? It seems arbitrary to introduce such a major divergence without any solid reason for doing so.

And besides, nothing wrong with commanding the same ship for ten years.
Nobody said there was anything "wrong" with it -- just that he didn't specifically say that. He just said he'd been a captain for ten years, period.

If we assume his Enterprise was on a five year mission rotation, then April stayed in command for two five year missions, which both Pike and Kirk did in the Prime Timeline.
I have come to hate the kneejerk assumption that all starship missions are 5 years in duration. The fact is, we have evidence of only one 5-year mission for only one ship. There's no evidence whatsoever to suggest that any other ship had a mission of that scheduled duration at any other time. It just doesn't make sense to assume that a single example is evidence of a universal norm.

In fact, there was never any mention of a 5-year mission in TOS itself aside from the opening narration. The only canonical, in-story proof we have of it comes from TMP ("My five years out there") and VGR: "Q2" ("Kirk completed his historic five-year mission") -- and the fact that both characters need to call attention to the 5-year duration suggests, if anything, that it was unusual rather than routine.

Also, it doesn't make sense to assume that all starship tours of duty are exactly the same duration. There may be all sorts of different mission profiles of any number of durations. A mission could be five years, three years, six months, eight weeks, anything depending on the particular type of mission and ship we're dealing with.

What I've tried to establish in my TOS novels is that five years represents the maximum time a Constitution-class ship is expected to stay in service without a full overhaul or refit -- that it's not some lockstep mission profile for all starships regardless of need and circumstances, but just a recommended maximum for that class, with a margin of flexibility.
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