Tough indeed but I dare to say not impossible, and though it turned busy in my real life just as I started this thread I look forward to pull this through, especially that on February 6th something popped up on YouTube (and I have absolutely nothing
to do with it!) which is the best kind of encouragement I could ever think of, but if I linked it here and now the BBS member going by the name of the Cardassian antagonist would probably pump up the volume of his scatological rants, which are neither appropriate, applicable or helpful.
Although we have now seen nice close ups of these plastic ships from the conference lounge of the Enterprise-D
and the intention is obvious, I hold the intentions of the original TOS & TNG producers (which I already mentioned anticipating Dukhat
's "move) and the amount of screentime featuring the conference lounge of the "D" in four seasons of TNG versus the few moments of the conference lounge of the "E" in FC and NEM against that. Add to this that we never saw those plastic models close enough onscreen
(I thought only that was the commonly agreed upon canon from which we should conclude our findings?) to actually read what the tags say.
In summary: for an average viewer of the episodes and films the theme of the sculpture wall in the conference lounge of the "D" is obvious (because of the aircraft carrier CVN-65) while the one of the "E" is ambiguous.
However, in the ongoing part of the treatise we will come across one interpretation that could rationalize the Probert "C" on one and
the Sternbach "C" on the other sculpture display! (Remember the "Neutral Zone" and how long the Federation and the Romulans had not spoken to one another...)
brought up an interesting re-interpretation of the events suggested by "Yesterday's Enterprise" (although Parts II and III of this treatise will not go his direction, they will offer an alternate point of view regarding events in the episode and their causes) while at the same time I was working on an analysis on what most likely actually happened at Narendra III.
Intermission – The mission objective of the Enterprise-C
The plot premise of “Yesterday’s Enterprise” revolves around the apparent necessity of the Enterprise-C
to distract the Romulan warbirds attacking (and eventually destroying) the Klingon outpost at Narendra III long enough to ensure the escape of some Klingon survivors to be able to later tell what actually happened.
- The Romulans probably made a stealth attack with the intention to destroy the outpost, first took out the outpost’s long range communications (which wouldn’t be without historic precedent) and next any potential eye-witnesses, hoping then to somehow frame the UFP (possible with the help of the Duras family)
- The Enterprise-C responded to the distress call (short range communications) from the Klingon outpost (during peace treaty negotiations between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingons). Starfleet, however, and apparently the Klingon High Command never learned what was going on (“other” Riker: “There's no record of the Romulans ever assaulting the Enterprise-C”)
- The Enterprise-C arrived and engaged the four warbirds, but was crippled by a “fierce volley of photon torpedoes” and then disappeared into the future. Apparently the “C” didn’t destroy one warbird (“other” Riker: “Captain Garrett says there were four Romulan warbirds. The Enterprise-C would be outmanned and outgunned.”)
- The Enterprise-C returned to the battle, patched up, recharged and with Tasha Yar’s tactical competence (but with just as much chances as a snowball in hell according to realistic expectations) – and must have distracted the warbirds long enough and thus enable one or some Klingon survivors to escape unnoticed by the Romulans and to tell what really happened: “Enterprise-C? She was lost at the Battle of Narendra III, defending a Klingon outpost from the Romulans.” (Picard in “Redemption, Part II”).
- The “C” and the Klingon outpost were destroyed by one or some of the Romulan warbirds. The survivors of the Enterprise-C were abducted to Romulus (“other” Picard: “The Narendra Three outpost was destroyed. It is regrettable that you did not succeed. A Federation starship rescuing a Klingon outpost might have averted twenty years of war.” Unlike Picard, the “other” Riker correctly grasps the situation: “That won't accomplish anything, sir. There's no way they can save Narendra III.”)
This is not explicitly what the episode suggests but the summary of bringing all the information we can get from the two episodes into a reasonable and coherent context, which answers questions instead of raising new ones (and hopefully
demonstrates that I’m not exploiting what seem to be plotholes to discredit these parts
of the episode on behalf of my theory).