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Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old March 25 2009, 02:05 AM   #31
BolianAuthor
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

In the scene directly after the Excelsior emerges from the Praxis shockwave, you can hear one of the female crewmembers at the aft stations utter the words "12.5 rigiknots", as the crew begins to settle back down... put the scene up, and crank up the volume, and you'll hear it. It's quick, but it's there.
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Old March 25 2009, 03:11 AM   #32
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Oh, I know what you mean now. I always thought that was a couple of background lines blurring together.
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Old March 25 2009, 07:15 AM   #33
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Doesn't that line refer to the intensity of the blastwave? Much like our present day Richter scale? I didn't think it was referring to speed.
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Old March 25 2009, 07:23 AM   #34
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

IDK... I always assumed the officer was referring to the ship regaining a stable cruising speed, after emerging from the wake, settling back into normal speed.
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Old March 25 2009, 07:29 PM   #35
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

LCARS-24,

Where did you get 718 meters from?
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Old March 25 2009, 08:54 PM   #36
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

In order to have them appear more advanced, you could say that they added new modules to existing dry dock 7 instead of constructing a whole new one just because a ship is a bit longer than usual.
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Old March 25 2009, 11:36 PM   #37
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

The reason I had them building Drydock Seven from scratch was the assumption on my part that they didn't have one big enough to slap an Excelsior together in. I was thinking that this probably replaced an older Drydock Seven. I'll mull over the enlargement notion while I prepare to post the next chapter.

Any other thoughts so far?
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Old March 26 2009, 03:51 PM   #38
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

You could replace the term "subspace" with a real word in the paragraph about the initial intermix issues during flight testing. Subspace is too generic and stinks of lazy handwavium.


By 2285, Excelsior was mostly finished, slightly ahead of schedule. She was launched on thruster power for her initial space-worthiness testing with an ASDB flight test crew. Initial test results were complete, and all ship systems passed Level Four review tests on the Earth-Jupiter run, except for transwarp drive. The transwarp intermix chamber was brought to full power, but there were unusual electromagnetic and thermal fluctuations being detected in the magnetic constriction assemblies. These fluctuations had not appeared during ground testing on Mars, they seemed to be unique to this particular iteration of chamber design. Morrow, Tokogawa, and Wesley were privately unnerved by this, but publicly remained optimistic, and hoped that given more time the ship’s initial transwarp difficulties would be ironed out. Prior test ship flights with the transwarp engine design had proved no more successful, but still the ambitious individuals largely responsible for the project's momentum pushed onward. Excelsior returned to dry dock for final fitting out, including thermocoat painting and striping, to be followed by her commissioning ceremony.
"Subspace" and "Particle Of The Day" ruined technobabble during Voyager's run. I try to avoid using it in my babbles during RPG sessions and when I work as an "engineering consultant" on fan-works like these.

Of course it's just a suggestion... I'm liking the direction you are taking this so far.
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Old March 26 2009, 04:45 PM   #39
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Plecostomus wrote: View Post
You could replace the term "subspace" with a real word in the paragraph about the initial intermix issues during flight testing. Subspace is too generic and stinks of lazy handwavium.

"Subspace" and "Particle Of The Day" ruined technobabble during Voyager's run. I try to avoid using it in my babbles during RPG sessions and when I work as an "engineering consultant" on fan-works like these.

Of course it's just a suggestion... I'm liking the direction you are taking this so far.
You're right of course. I have changed accordingly. Thanks for keeping me from being lazy, and thanks for the appreciation.

The next chapter:
Chapter Five - Shakedown

The dawn of 2286 marked a transitional period for everyone at the ASDB. On Stardate 8205.5, the Excelsior was commissioned during an elaborate public ceremony held aboard Dry Dock Seven. After a bottle of 2245 vintage Dom Perignon was shattered against the ship’s bow, Admiral Morrow hosted a reception in the ship’s recreation deck. There he spoke of the work that had gone into the ship and the potential she exhibited and for the first time, he introduced the public to Excelsior’s captain-to-be, James B. Styles.

Captain Styles was a veteran of Starfleet, known among his colleagues for his pompous attitude. He graduated in the same class as Admiral James T. Kirk, and had always had something of a private rivalry with him. Styles could have been an Admiral himself by that time, but although he possessed great knowledge of procedure and facts, and was an admittedly competent officer, he was not very good at the creative thinking Kirk and was renowned for. However, what Styles sometimes lacked in ability he could make up for in eloquence. The press loved him, and responded well to his naming as Captain of the Great Experiment. Styles gave the assembled masses a personal tour of the Excelsior’s advanced facilities, much to the delight of reporters and Starfleet personnel alike, and delivered a long-winded set of speeches in response to questions about Excelsior and the ship’s soon-to-be role in history.

The public reaction to Excelsior was far better than Starfleet could have ever dreamed. The public was once again enthusiastic about Starfleet and exploration, and had good reason to be proud of Starfleet’s latest accomplishment. The members of the press at the Federation News Service were elated by the ship’s design, and marveled at the potential of her wondrous new transwarp drive. The Excelsior Group was soon awarded the Archer Medal of Excellence in Warp Design. Admiral Morrow and the rest of Starfleet were thoroughly pleased. Excelsior traveled to Spacedock to begin her final flight tests, and soon after, her transwarp trials. The future had begun, and there would be no stopping it.

Meanwhile, the brass at Starfleet made several important and sure-to-be controversial decisions. First, Admiral Morrow quietly slipped into his paperwork for the month an order to decommission the aging Enterprise. She had recently suffered extreme battle damage at the hands of the twentieth century augment Khan Noonien Singh. As Enterprise limped home, no one aboard suspected that her final fate had already been sealed. Morrow and the rest of his allies at Starfleet Command hoped that the hoopla over Excelsior would overshadow any public protest about what they considered finally unavoidable for the forty-year-old ship. Morrow also added to his paperwork a construction order for five more Excelsior class ships to begin immediately after the completion of Excelsior’s shakedown, two to begin immediately. He was determined that the second Excelsior class ship would be named Enterprise, NCC-2001.

Soon the battle-scarred Enterprise joined Excelsior in Spacedock. Many people found it a stark and shocking display; one historically conscious FNS reporter compared it to an old, worn Terran B-17 aircraft (Enterprise) sitting next to a sparkling new B-29 (Excelsior) on an airfield during Earth’s World War II. Admiral Morrow soon informed the Enterprise crew of their ship’s fate, and ordered Chief Engineer Scott to report to Excelsior as Captain of Engineering. Morrow hoped that the project’s most vocal skeptic might somehow produce results. Scott went kicking and screaming. For nearly a week, Enterprise sat silent and abandoned next to her replacement, as if consigned to her fate as old news. Then, suddenly one late night, Enterprise began to wearily slip from her berth. A general yellow alert was issued to all Spacedock posts and to Excelsior herself. Someone was stealing the Enterprise.

Admiral Morrow informed Captain Styles that Admiral Kirk was stealing the Enterprise on an illegal mission to return to the newly formed Genesis Planet to somehow resurrect Captain Spock. Excelsior was ordered to pursue. All systems were successfully started and powered up. Captain Styles was confident that Excelsior could easily overtake and recapture the forty-year old Enterprise; Excelsior’s engines had been fully prepared for the next day’s speed tests. Styles had earlier boasted that he was looking forward to breaking a few of Enterprise’s speed records, but now it seemed he was going to have the chance to beat Enterprise herself. As Enterprise passed through the Spacedock doors, Styles contacted his old rival Kirk to try to dissuade him from his plans, even as Excelsior’s transwarp core came to full power. Kirk was apparently unmoved as the Enterprise gained distance from Spacedock. After one final warning from Styles, Enterprise jumped to warp. Finally, Styles had the moment he had both wanted and dreaded. Excelsior’s helmsman confirmed full transwarp power was available, and Styles gave the order to engage transwarp drive.

The entire ship was alerted. Everyone activated their inertial restraints and braced for the jump to transwarp. The transwarp core revved, the engines nacelles pulsed, but… nothing. Excelsior sputtered to a stop mere kilometers from Spacedock. Circuits fused and sparked, and on the bridge the computer offered Captain Styles a cheerful message: “Good Morning, Captain.” Excelsior’s engineers had to manually shut down the transwarp computer system to prevent the circuits from fusing. Styles and his senior staff were aghast. The transwarp drive hadn’t even engaged. No one understood what had happened until someone realized that Captain Scott wasn’t aboard. Styles quickly concluded that Scott had helped steal the Enterprise, and sabotaged Excelsior to prevent pursuit.

Excelsior was towed back into Spacedock by tow shuttles for repairs. Her engineers searched Excelsior’s propulsion systems for hours before discovering that several important computer components had been removed from the main transwarp computer drive. Without these components, the transwarp nacelles had never had never received the order to activate. It is worth noting that the engineers over-emphasized the importance of Captain Scott had done. In fact, the ship was not fitted with proper auxiliary controls to supplement such an occurrence, but the engineers chose to overlook this fact for the moment. The fused computer systems were repaired and reprogrammed over the next weeks, also installing proper backup circuits. Immediately afterward, Excelsior returned to her postponed transwarp trials. Excelsior began her full systems trials in the Sol System. The Excelsior was doing very well, but many were privately disappointed by what they considered average results compared to what was hyped in the press. The ship’s transwarp drive had still failed to pass Level Four Review, although the transwarp drive was being continually reconfigured and reprogrammed as other systems were tested. Captain Styles assured Admiral Morrow that the ship was merely settling down, and that they should have some shocking results soon.

Stardate 8381.3, somewhere between the Sol and Alpha Centauri systems. The Excelsior was thrown out of transwap with a terrible jolt. Something had gone seriously wrong. Fiery plasma streamed from the transwarp nacelle field grilles and pylon purge vents. In engineering, klaxons provided an unwelcome reminder of the impending disaster. Excelsior had reached speeds in excess of warp 14 (warp 8.5 on the recalibrated Modified Cochrane Unit Scale) but the transwarp core had developed a coolant leak. Engineers scrambled to try to fix the problem as the ship continued to accelerate, but the problem only became worse. Captain Styles finally had to order the crew to eject the transwarp core. The core exploded in a brilliant, dramatic display of matter/antimatter annihilation, rocking the wounded Excelsior with recoil. No critical damage was sustained from the explosion, but the damage that had already occurred to the transwarp drive was serious enough. Moments later, the Constitution-class U.S.S. Lexington, which had been following a few light years behind the Excelsior monitoring her test flight, arrived on the scene to offer aid. Within the half-hour, two tow ships arrived to tractor the Excelsior back to Spacedock.

Captain Styles sat disheartened in his chair on the bridge throughout the entire two hour journey back to Earth, maintaining total silence except for the occasional order. This had been the third and most catastrophic failed test of the transwarp drive in the month following her redeployment. Each time, Excelsior had failed to pass the ninth warp threshold jump without an incident. The first two times the power surge and subsequent overload had been contained, but this time was far worse. The Excelsior had not suffered serious hull damage, but would have to return to Dry Dock for months of refit to her power systems and the installation of a new transwarp core. Styles was beginning to get worried. He feared that Mr. Scott had done them a favor when he had sabotaged the ship’s engines months prior.

Captain Styles wasn’t the only one beginning to feel the strain of Excelsior’s problems. After Excelsior returned to dock, Admiral Morrow faced serious questions from the Federation Council and Starfleet Command. What had began as a bigger and better replacement for the Constitution class had turned into this “revolutionary” new project, largely under Morrow’s influence as a career-maker, and both authorities were ready for some results. Morrow had used the Excelsior to make his career in the Admiralty, and now it seemed it was going to break it. Soon, a distressed Admiral Morrow announced his decision to step down from his position as Chief in Command, and indeed retire from Starfleet. The strain of the failed project, as well as the political fallout of the now-mounting Genesis Crisis, had taken its toll, and Morrow was beginning to show age. Morrow’s return to civilian life allowed him to find a sense of self-fulfillment at his family’s ancestral home in Maine. Admiral Donald Lance Cartwright was appointed the new Chief in Command. One of Starfleet's directives to Cartwright was to make sure the Excelsior wasn't a failure, one way or the other. Cartwright was quite traditional in his views, but saw potential in the Excelsior though lacking Morrow's enthusiasm for the transwarp program. Cartwright had long been a proponent for the increased militarization of Starfleet. The Admiral saw the Excelsior as a potential battleship.

The Excelsior sat idle in Spacedock in late 2286 as the Whalesong Crisis occurred. Once again, Earth was threatened by a massive foreign Threat vehicle, and once again all conventional defenses proved ineffective. The Excelsior project, however, had been given the green light partially in response to the similar V’Ger threat over a decade earlier, but had proven useless partly thanks to her transwarp drive. Patience was beginning to run out in San Francisco. Instead of instantly abandoning her, with the hope of saving face in a project that had become a source of dread and embarrassment to many, Starfleet authorized the design team to use their refit to begin making major refinements in Excelsior’s propulsion systems.

Meanwhile, the decision was made to provide James Kirk and his crew a new Enterprise to replace the loss of the previous ship and honor them for saving Earth during the Whalesong Crisis. Though the original intention was to have the second Excelsior become the new Enterprise, Excelsior's problems had delayed her sisters' construction, and Starfleet's (and the public's) doubts about the class prodded them to rethink their decision. At the same time, an historic moment was occurring as the last production Constitution class ship sat in her dry dock nearly finished, years after the others had been built. Built from reclaimed 'leftovers' after the end of the Constitution refit cycle, she was meant to be a testbed for implementing new technology developed for the Excelsior project to refits for the Constitution class. By executive order, this ship was redesignated U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701-A, and became the unofficial flagship of the Federation, performing exploratory duties as well as various high-level diplomatic and political missions, and setting the precedent for later Starships Enterprise to be declared the official flagship. (As an interesting historic sidenote, due to the presence of the U.S.S. Yorktown in Spacedock at the same time, some came to believe that this was the ship renamed.) Meanwhile, the entire Excelsior line was still facing serious doubts. The second Excelsior's name was changed to Ingram, and major changes were made to her design to incorporate proven technologies and try to give the class a second chance in the event that the transwarp project failed.
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Old March 26 2009, 05:27 PM   #40
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Now, the pending refit.... Are the issues with the core or the nacelles or both?

One fan-version of the "failure" that I worked on had the problem confined to the nacelles, what took so long refit wise was the construction standard warp nacelles in that size, essentially the delay was retooling the assembly line to make "standard" warp coils instead of "transwarp" coils. The revolutionary "warp-core" design stayed the same, and allowed the refit Excelsior with it's "Extra Beefy Standard Warp Drive" to actually set some of the promised speed and endurance records that Transwarp failed to achieve.

That's just one possible idea... another idea had them using "transwarp coils" reverse engineered from Borg technology and while it worked as promised, it attracted the attention of a Borg Sphere which was intercepted in the Tomed system by a joint Federation/Romulan taskforce. The Federation was forced to abandon that particular mode of Transwarp because it seemed to attract boogymen.

Seriously though, amazing work so far. Can't wait for the next installment.
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Old March 26 2009, 07:29 PM   #41
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Plecostomus wrote: View Post
Now, the pending refit.... Are the issues with the core or the nacelles or both?

One fan-version of the "failure" that I worked on had the problem confined to the nacelles, what took so long refit wise was the construction standard warp nacelles in that size, essentially the delay was retooling the assembly line to make "standard" warp coils instead of "transwarp" coils. The revolutionary "warp-core" design stayed the same, and allowed the refit Excelsior with it's "Extra Beefy Standard Warp Drive" to actually set some of the promised speed and endurance records that Transwarp failed to achieve.
In a nutshell, both. The idea (so far) is that the engines are basically too powerful for the ship - while they do reach incredible speeds, the idea of a 'jump' drive as initially envisioned proved impossible mostly because the high-level warp fields that the ship was reaching started to 'melt' the structural integrity. So, Starfleet has to redesign a new, conventional warp core (using what they learned to build the first transwarp one as their guide) as well as the gargantuan warp coils you describe, that isn't technically as powerful as the first one, but also not prone to the same 'overpowering' problems.

Thus, we have the prototypical almost-there model of the TNG warp setup. In my reckonings (and a future chapter), the Ambassador ends up being the 'real' modern engine design and that's why the adaptation of the recalibrated warp scale coincides roughly with its construction and launch.

So basically the transwarp project technically fails to create a 'jump drive' but ends up successfully creating a newer, faster, better warp drive.

That's just one possible idea... another idea had them using "transwarp coils" reverse engineered from Borg technology and while it worked as promised, it attracted the attention of a Borg Sphere which was intercepted in the Tomed system by a joint Federation/Romulan taskforce. The Federation was forced to abandon that particular mode of Transwarp because it seemed to attract boogymen.
That... that's supposed to be classified.

Seriously though, amazing work so far. Can't wait for the next installment.
Thank you! I shall probably post the next later on today after giving everyone interested a chance to respond to this rather long chapter. Once all the history stuff is outta the way, we can get to the actual nuts and bolts.
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Old March 26 2009, 07:40 PM   #42
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Praetor wrote: View Post
the engines nacelles pulsed
engines should be engine or engines'.

Praetor wrote: View Post
the transwarp nacelles had never had never
remove superfluous had never.

Praetor wrote: View Post
of Captain Scott had done
of what Captain Scott had done.

Praetor wrote: View Post
the ship was not fitted with proper auxiliary controls to supplement such an occurrence,
the ship was not equipped with redundant components to mitigate such a failure

Praetor wrote: View Post
also installing proper backup circuits.
and redundant components were also installed

Praetor wrote: View Post
disappointed by what they considered average results
mediocre results

Praetor wrote: View Post
compared to what was hyped in the press
compared to what had been hyped in the media (or by the press)

Praetor wrote: View Post
had still failed to pass Level Four Review
still had not passed a Level Four Design Review

Praetor wrote: View Post
although the transwarp drive was being continually reconfigured and reprogrammed
despite being continually reconfigured and reprogrammed

Praetor wrote: View Post
ship was merely settling down
ship was still being 'broken in'

Praetor wrote: View Post
The Excelsior was thrown out of transwap with a terrible jolt. Something had gone seriously wrong.
A critical systems failure resulted in the Excelsior violently falling out of transwarp.

Praetor wrote: View Post
Engineers scrambled to try to fix the problem as the ship continued to accelerate
I'm confused here, the ship fell out of transwarp but is still accelerating?

Praetor wrote: View Post
rocking the wounded Excelsior with recoil
Recoil is motion resulting from firing a projectile, but the core exploded after being ejected, so I suggest re-wording this.

Praetor wrote: View Post
but the damage that had already occurred to the transwarp drive was serious enough.
Since the warp core was lost, I assume the serious damage remaining was to the transwarp coils in the nacelles.

Praetor wrote: View Post
Within the half-hour, two tow ships arrived
That seems awfully quick.

Praetor wrote: View Post
two hour journey
two-hour journey

Praetor wrote: View Post
in the month following her redeployment
in the month following the ship's redeployment

Praetor wrote: View Post
The Excelsior had not suffered serious hull damage
I think this statement may be redundant.

Praetor wrote: View Post
refit to her power systems and the installation of a new transwarp core
Aren't the power systems and transwarp core the same thing? Or do you mean refit/repairs to her power transfer conduits or transwarp coils?

Praetor wrote: View Post
Cartwright was to make sure the Excelsior
Cartwright was to ensure the Excelsior

Praetor wrote: View Post
Cartwright was quite traditional in his views
I'm not sure what that means in this context

Praetor wrote: View Post
The Admiral saw the Excelsior as a potential battleship.
That seems quite odd. The Excelsior is equipped as a heavy cruiser or exploration ship. Changing the purpose of something this late in the game would make it fall far short of its potential.

Last edited by kitsune; March 26 2009 at 07:54 PM.
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Old March 26 2009, 07:49 PM   #43
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Praetor, I am standing by to offer heavy-duty technobabble or ideas if you need them, I'm on MSN and of course can be reached by PM.

However, do not blame me if my explanations cause you to understand less than you did at the beginning, I cannot be responsible for catastrophic brain failure induced by my technical awesometisity. .

Last edited by Plecostomus; March 26 2009 at 08:02 PM.
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Old March 26 2009, 08:43 PM   #44
Praetor
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Well, you all are certainly keeping me on my toes.

It's amazing how many times you can read something and not recognize errors and things that just flat don't make sense. Thanks, kitsune, in particular for that in-depth edit.

Let's try this again:
Chapter Five - Shakedown

The dawn of 2286 marked a transitional period for everyone at the ASDB. On Stardate 8205.5, the Excelsior was commissioned during an elaborate public ceremony held aboard Dry Dock Seven. After a bottle of 2245 vintage Dom Perignon was shattered against the ship’s bow, Admiral Morrow hosted a reception in the ship’s recreation deck. There he spoke of the work that had gone into the ship and the potential she exhibited and for the first time, he introduced the public to Excelsior’s captain-to-be, James B. Styles.

Captain Styles was a veteran of Starfleet, known among his colleagues for his pompous attitude. He graduated in the same class as Admiral James T. Kirk, and had always had something of a private rivalry with him. Styles could have been an Admiral himself by that time, but although he possessed great knowledge of procedure and facts, and was an admittedly competent officer, he was not very good at the creative thinking Kirk and was renowned for. However, what Styles sometimes lacked in ability he could make up for in eloquence. The press loved him, and responded well to his naming as Captain of the Great Experiment. Styles gave the assembled masses a personal tour of the Excelsior’s advanced facilities, much to the delight of reporters and Starfleet personnel alike, and delivered a long-winded set of speeches in response to questions about Excelsior and the ship’s soon-to-be role in history.

The public reaction to Excelsior was far better than Starfleet could have ever dreamed. The public was once again enthusiastic about Starfleet and exploration, and had good reason to be proud of Starfleet’s latest accomplishment. The members of the press at the Federation News Service were elated by the ship’s design, and marveled at the potential of her wondrous new transwarp drive. The Excelsior Group was soon awarded the Archer Medal of Excellence in Warp Design. Admiral Morrow and the rest of Starfleet were thoroughly pleased. Excelsior traveled to Spacedock to begin her final flight tests, and soon after, her transwarp trials. The future had begun, and there would be no stopping it.

Meanwhile, the brass at Starfleet made several important and sure-to-be controversial decisions. First, Admiral Morrow quietly slipped into his paperwork for the month an order to decommission the aging Enterprise. She had recently suffered extreme battle damage at the hands of the twentieth century augment Khan Noonien Singh. As Enterprise limped home, no one aboard suspected that her final fate had already been sealed. Morrow and the rest of his allies at Starfleet Command hoped that the hoopla over Excelsior would overshadow any public protest about what they considered finally unavoidable for the forty-year-old ship. Morrow also added to his paperwork a construction order for five more Excelsior class ships to begin immediately after the completion of Excelsior’s shakedown, two to begin immediately. He was determined that the second Excelsior class ship would be named Enterprise, NCC-2001.

Soon the battle-scarred Enterprise joined Excelsior in Spacedock. Many people found it a stark and shocking display; one historically conscious FNS reporter compared it to an old, worn Terran B-17 aircraft (Enterprise) sitting next to a sparkling new B-29 (Excelsior) on an airfield during Earth’s World War II. Admiral Morrow soon informed the Enterprise crew of their ship’s fate, and ordered Chief Engineer Scott to report to Excelsior as Captain of Engineering. Morrow hoped that the project’s most vocal skeptic might somehow produce results. Scott went kicking and screaming. For nearly a week, Enterprise sat silent and abandoned next to her replacement, as if consigned to her fate as old news. Then, suddenly one late night, Enterprise began to wearily slip from her berth. A general yellow alert was issued to all Spacedock posts and to Excelsior herself. Someone was stealing the Enterprise.

Admiral Morrow informed Captain Styles that Admiral Kirk was stealing the Enterprise on an illegal mission to return to the newly formed Genesis Planet to somehow resurrect Captain Spock. Excelsior was ordered to pursue. All systems were successfully started and powered up. Captain Styles was confident that Excelsior could easily overtake and recapture the forty-year old Enterprise; Excelsior’s engines had been fully prepared for the next day’s speed tests. Styles had earlier boasted that he was looking forward to breaking a few of Enterprise’s speed records, but now it seemed he was going to have the chance to beat Enterprise herself. As Enterprise passed through the Spacedock doors, Styles contacted his old rival Kirk to try to dissuade him from his plans, even as Excelsior’s transwarp core came to full power. Kirk was apparently unmoved as the Enterprise gained distance from Spacedock. After one final warning from Styles, Enterprise jumped to warp. Finally, Styles had the moment he had both wanted and dreaded. Excelsior’s helmsman confirmed full transwarp power was available, and Styles gave the order to engage transwarp drive.

The entire ship was alerted. Everyone activated their inertial restraints and braced for the jump to transwarp. The transwarp core revved, the engine nacelles pulsed, but… nothing. Excelsior sputtered to a stop mere kilometers from Spacedock. Circuits fused and sparked, and on the bridge the computer offered Captain Styles a cheerful message: “Good Morning, Captain.” Excelsior’s engineers had to manually shut down the transwarp computer system to prevent the circuits from fusing. Styles and his senior staff were aghast. The transwarp drive hadn’t even engaged. No one understood what had happened until someone realized that Captain Scott wasn’t aboard. Styles quickly concluded that Scott had helped steal the Enterprise, and sabotaged Excelsior to prevent pursuit.

Excelsior was towed back into Spacedock by tow shuttles for repairs. Her engineers searched Excelsior’s propulsion systems for hours before discovering that several important computer components had been removed from the main transwarp computer drive. Without these components, the transwarp nacelles had never received the order to activate. It is worth noting that the engineers over-emphasized the importance of what Captain Scott had done. In fact, the ship was not equipped with redundant components to mitigate such a failure, but the engineers chose to overlook this fact for the moment. The fused computer systems were repaired and reprogrammed over the next weeks, and redundant circuits were added. Immediately afterward, Excelsior returned to her postponed transwarp trials. Excelsior began her full systems trials in the Sol System. The Excelsior was doing very well, but many were privately disappointed by what they considered mediocre results compared to what was hyped in the media. The ship’s transwarp drive still had not passed a Level Four Review, despite being continually reconfigured and reprogrammed as other systems were tested. Captain Styles assured Admiral Morrow that the ship was still 'breaking in,' and that they should have some shocking results soon.

Stardate 8381.3, somewhere between the Sol and Alpha Centauri systems. A critical systems failure had caused the Excelsior to fall violently out of transwarp with a terrible jolt. Something had gone seriously wrong. Fiery plasma streamed from the transwarp nacelle field grilles and pylon purge vents. In engineering, klaxons provided an unwelcome reminder of the impending disaster. Excelsior had reached speeds in excess of warp 14 (warp 8.5 on the recalibrated Modified Cochrane Unit Scale) but the transwarp core had developed a coolant leak. Engineers had scrambled to try to fix the problem as the ship continued to accelerate, but the problem only became worse. Captain Styles finally had to order the crew to eject the transwarp core while still at warp. The core exploded in a brilliant, dramatic display of matter/antimatter annihilation, the shockwaves rocking the Excelsior as she fell to subluminal speeds. No critical damage was sustained from the explosion, but the damage that had already occurred to the transwarp coils and related subsystems was serious by itself. Moments later, the Constitution-class U.S.S. Lexington, which had been following a few light years behind the Excelsior monitoring her test flight, arrived on the scene to offer aid. In just over an hour, two tow ships arrived to tractor the Excelsior back to Spacedock.

Captain Styles sat disheartened in his chair on the bridge throughout the entire two-hour journey back to Earth, maintaining total silence except for the occasional order. This had been the third and most catastrophic failed test of the transwarp drive in the month following her redeployment. Each time, Excelsior had failed to pass the ninth warp threshold jump without an incident. The first two times the power surge and subsequent overload had been contained, but this time was far worse. The Excelsior would have to return to Dry Dock for months of repair and refit to her power transfer conduits and transwarp coils and the installation of a new transwarp core. Styles was beginning to get worried. He feared that Mr. Scott had done them a favor when he had sabotaged the ship’s engines months prior.

Captain Styles wasn’t the only one beginning to feel the strain of Excelsior’s problems. After Excelsior returned to dock, Admiral Morrow faced serious questions from the Federation Council and Starfleet Command. What had began as a bigger and better replacement for the Constitution class had turned into this “revolutionary” new project, largely under Morrow’s influence as a career-maker, and both authorities were ready for some results. Morrow had used the Excelsior to make his career in the Admiralty, and now it seemed it was going to break it. Soon, a distressed Admiral Morrow announced his decision to step down from his position as Chief in Command, and indeed retire from Starfleet. The strain of the failed project, as well as the political fallout of the now-mounting Genesis Crisis, had taken its toll, and Morrow was beginning to show age. Morrow’s return to civilian life allowed him to find a sense of self-fulfillment at his family’s ancestral home in Maine. Admiral Donald Lance Cartwright was appointed the new Chief in Command. One of Starfleet's directives to Cartwright was to make sure the Excelsior wasn't a failure, one way or the other. Though lacking Morrow's enthusiasm for the transwarp program, he saw potential in the Excelsior. Cartwright had long been a proponent for the increased militarization of Starfleet and recognized the tremendous range, firepower and military potential of Excelsior.

The Excelsior sat idle in Spacedock in late 2286 as the Whalesong Crisis occurred. Once again, Earth was threatened by a massive foreign Threat vehicle, and once again all conventional defenses proved ineffective. The Excelsior project, however, had been given the green light partially in response to the similar V’Ger threat over a decade earlier, but had proven useless partly thanks to her transwarp drive. Patience was beginning to run out in San Francisco. Instead of instantly abandoning her, with the hope of saving face in a project that had become a source of dread and embarrassment to many, Starfleet authorized the design team to use their refit to begin making major refinements in Excelsior’s propulsion systems.

Meanwhile, the decision was made to provide James Kirk and his crew a new Enterprise to replace the loss of the previous ship and honor them for saving Earth during the Whalesong Crisis. Though the original intention was to have the second Excelsior become the new Enterprise, Excelsior's problems had delayed her sisters' construction, and Starfleet's (and the public's) doubts about the class prodded them to rethink their decision. At the same time, an historic moment was occurring as the last production Constitution class ship sat in her dry dock nearly finished, years after the others had been built. Built from reclaimed 'leftovers' after the end of the Constitution refit cycle, she was meant to be a testbed for implementing new technology developed for the Excelsior project to refits for the Constitution class. By executive order, this ship was redesignated U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701-A, and became the unofficial flagship of the Federation, performing exploratory duties as well as various high-level diplomatic and political missions, and setting the precedent for later Starships Enterprise to be declared the official flagship. (As an interesting historic sidenote, due to the presence of the U.S.S. Yorktown in Spacedock at the same time, some came to believe that this was the ship renamed.) Meanwhile, the entire Excelsior line was still facing serious doubts. The second Excelsior's name was changed to Ingram, and major changes were made to her design to incorporate proven technologies and try to give the class a second chance in the event that the transwarp project failed.
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Old March 26 2009, 09:25 PM   #45
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Later investigation found that a fragment of the shattered wine-bottle had lodged itself in a space-time synchronicity sensor causing severe system failures. Once this was corrected Transwarp delivered the goods and became the fleetwide standard for FTL drive.

Years later something simmilar happened to the crew of Voyager, a misplaced champagne cork caused a prototype Quantum Slipstream Drive to nearly destroy the USS Voyager. After this incident christening of new systems and ships with glass bottles full of alcohol was forbidden by Starfleet General Order 271494-J.
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