Allyn Gibson wrote:
And there were certainly plans on her part to continue the series. She had discussed them at the time, and they were a unique approach for a Star Trek series.
Starfleet assigned another ship to patrol the Belle Terre sector, and that ship carried orders for Nick Keller to return to Earth for reassignment. Keller instead resigns from Starfleet to operate as a privateer in the sector using the Challenger (which he could do, since it was the planet's ship, not Starfleet's ship). The tension in the series would have come from the conflict between Keller and Starfleet.
Thinking in terms of Carey's interests and politics, Keller and his ship would have been the equivalent of the colonial/early Republic militia, while the Starfleet ship would have been the equivalent of the US Army fort overseen by a representative of the far distant government back in Washington.
Of course, none of those plans ever came to fruition.
If that was the plan I have a problem with it as in the last New Earth book the only reason Keller might get a call back to Earth might have something to do with the whole lying about his former captain being exposed to a substance that caused mental degeneration and becuase of that and his reluctance to relieve the man even when he seemed to show signs of going nuts becuase of it almost got everyone killed and his previous ship trashed beyond repair.
So the idea that he gets to do that and then decides to leave Starfleet becuase they want to reassign him (which is better than what I would which would have been to court martial his ass) makes it seem like he's trying to weasel his way out of facing the consequences of his actions, not to mention that fact that keeping the Challenger which sounds is kind of shady since a decent chunk of it is made from the remains of a trashed Starfleet starship kind of makes the guy look like a major asshole.
Not to mention the fact that by hiding it he kept the captain guy from getting treatment which could have prevented the degeneration becuase he lied.