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Old November 7 2009, 07:56 PM   #1
Lazarus
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Looking for some opinions on an outline via PM

Hi all, been a while since I've written anything but I've recently been plotting out a story in my head, a reworked 'pilot episode' if you will of a concept called Chasing the Twilight that I posted here some time ago.

I've written a loose outline for the story, only a 2500 words, and would very much appreciate it if anyone would let me send them a copy via PM and offer me some feedback.

Thanks in advance!

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Old November 7 2009, 08:35 PM   #2
kes7
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Re: Looking for some opinions on an outline via PM

Send it to me, I'll take a look.
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Old November 8 2009, 07:33 PM   #3
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Re: Looking for some opinions on an outline via PM

I'll also take a look.
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Old November 9 2009, 03:58 PM   #4
Lazarus
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Re: Looking for some opinions on an outline via PM

Thanks guys, I think I'll just post the incomplete outline up here to make it easier for everyone and hopefully generate some more interest.



* * *



USS DISCOVERY is a constitution-class ship launched in 2293. As of 2362 she is in her sixty-ninth year of service to the Federation, and has just completed a three-month period of maintenance and upgrades at the Utopia Planetia fleet yards. The Discovery is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2366.

CAPTAIN LISA TENNANT is the Discovery's eleventh and final commander, having previously served as the ship's first officer under Bill Sheppard before he accepted a promotion and transfer to Starfleet Intelligence on Earth.




2362

The New Orleans-class USS Houston, commanded by Captain Paul Kelland, is on patrol near the Romulan Neutral Zone. The ship is not normally assigned this duty, but is replacing the USS Discovery while the old Constitution-class vessel is at Utopia Planetia undergoing maintenance. The Houston has been patrolling for almost two months without incident, until her communications officer intercepts a general distress call from a nearby civilian freighter warning of a spacecraft with cloaking capability that has recently attacked them. The freighter managed to drive off the attacker, and has inflicted damage to the attacker's cloaking device. An hour later, the Houston detects a cloaked vessel closing on them, attempting to cross the Neutral Zone, and Captain Kelland moves to intercept. The cloaked ship is leaking engine plasma making them easy to track, and the Houston opens fire with phasers in order to take the crew into custody. The vessel belongs to a race known as the York, a civilisation that was until recently under Romulan rule. The ensuing battle spills over into the Neutral Zone, where the damaged York ship is suddenly met by three of its fellows. The Houston has blundered straight into a trap.

A weapon is detonated at almost point-blank range near the Houston , creating a massive explosion that collapses the Starfleet ship's defensive shields and knocks most of her systems offline. Anarchy reigns as the York vessels move toward the crippled Hudson, snaring her with their tractor beams and informing Captain Kelland that any further aggressive action will result in the destruction of his ship and deaths of his crew. With a number of his crew already dead and dozens injured, some critically, Kelland is essentially powerless, but begins transmitting a general distress call before it is jammed by the surrounding York ships. Realising that the Houston will soon be boarded, he orders his operations officer to begin erasing sensitive information from the ship's computer and locking it down using a fractal encryption code. The operations officer quietly informs the captain that given time the York will break through any encryption and restore large amounts of the erased data, but Kelland says that it will at least buy time. To prevent the Houston ever being used as part of the York fleet, the chief engineer causes an overload in the reactor that causes the automatic safety systems to eject the core, and it explodes nearby causing damage to two of the York ships. The York have recently invaded Abalone, a former Federation world located within the Neutral Zone where both Romulan and Starfleet ships are forbidden to enter. It is here that the Houston is towed and the crew taken prisoner.

Another Starfleet ship patrolling the border intercepts the Houston's short-lived distress signal, and immediately changes course to take up position as close to Abalone as they're able without violating the Neutral Zone. Captain Sandra Cussak of the Truman relays the distress signal to Starfleet Command, wondering why the hell a veteran like Paul Kelland would've entered the Neutral Zone.

Elsewhere in the Federation, Captain Lisa Tennant is aboard a shuttle approaching Utopia Planetia fleetyard alongside Commander Rhodes, who has only that morning been rejected as first officer of the new USS Enterprise by Jean-Luc Picard. As the shuttle weaves its way amongst the rows of Starfleet vessels, Tennant realises that the shipyard is significantly busier than normal, and apprehensively concludes that some sort of large-scale mobilisation of Starfleet forces is underway. Stationkeeping at the edge of the yard is the USS Discovery, a seventy year old constitution-class vessel and the oldest Starfleet ship currently on active duty. While the ship fills Captain Tennant with pride, having served aboard for some years as first officer before being promoted to captain, the old Discovery fills Commander Rhodes with nothing but despair. A signal from the Discovery informs Tennant that Admiral Bill Sheppard, the ships' former captain, is on board and waiting for her.

In the observation lounge Sheppard is drinking whiskey with Doctor Arthur Fry, the Discovery's chief surgeon. The two men have been friends for many years, since Sheppard was given command of the Discovery fifteen years earlier. Sheppard accepting a transfer to a position in Starfleet Intelligence hasn't changed that. The doctor soon departs and leaves the two command officers to their meeting.

Sheppard explains that the York, a former subject of the Romulan Empire, has recently undergone a leadership coup that has left the military in charge. Under this new leadership, the York have landed troops on a moon of Abalone, a planet in the Neutral Zone that once belonged to the Federation and claimed it as their own. The invaders present the Federation with a major problem. Simply sending a fleet of ships into the Neutral Zone to drive the invaders off Abalone is impossible, since that sort of action would almost certainly trigger a war with Romulus. But likewise the Federation can not merely stand by and watch the York seize a planet in the Neutral Zone with no consequences. The York intrusion has caused a massive rift between Starfleet and the Federation Council, who are reluctant to provoke the dormant Romulan Empire by engaging in a military conflict on its doorstep, and are instead arguing that the York should be permitted to take Abalone. Many in Starfleet are taking the view that if the Federation stands by and lets the York overrun a solar system on the edge of their territory with no impediment, what stops them similarly invading other worlds throughout the Neutral Zone, or possibly even ones in Federation space? Starfleet says the eyes of both the Federation's allies and adversaries will be watching what they do or do not do in response, and if the Federation is seen to allow the invasion it will appear to everyone as a toothless old cat, and it could be a matter of months before its enemies begin encroaching on its territory.

Sheppard tells her that a week earlier, the USS Houston was seized by York vessels and taken to Abalone. Starfleet Command is horrified at the thought of one of their latest designs being studied and copied by the York, who will use the Houston to make massive advances in their own outdated, Romulan-derived technology. The York could even turn the Houston over to the Romulans to get themselves back into the Empire's good graces.

But the Federation Council will not allow a fleet to be sent to Abalone, but Starfleet Command has decided to increase patrols along the border and quietly redeploy ships to the general area in case events force a military response. Admiral Sheppard tells Tennant that the Discovery will return to its usual assignment patrolling the Neutral Zone border, where she will rejoin her fellows helping monitor Romulan fleet movements and track cloaked ships, a task at which the Discovery's crew had become exceptionally proficient. In a few days when the ships at Utopia Planetia had finished refitting and taking on stores they will join the Discovery at the border and await further developments. As the meeting concludes the Discovery takes aboard a large amount of weapons and supplies to restock the starships Roosevelt and Truman, two constellation-class sister ships who form part of the Discovery's patrol fleet.

As Commander Rhodes struggles to become accustomed to life aboard the Discovery, the ship speeds toward the Neutral Zone, but as she approaches the border her team of dedicated sensor operators detect what they believe to be a cloaked vessel trailing them. The senior staff gathers on the bridge and Rhodes witnesses first hand how the crew is able to track these stray readings that are so weak as to be almost non-existent. Tennant tells him that it is probably a Romulan spacecraft on a routine reconnaissance mission, and is is aghast to learn that unknown to most Federation citizens Romulan craft regularly cross the border. In the years since she was assigned to the Neutral Zone the Discovery and her fellows have become extremely effective in tracking these shadows and warning them off, but do to so requires a great deal of both skill and patience. Rhodes asks why the Federation allows the Romulans to do such a thing under their noses, and Tennant tells him that it is the price they must pay for peace.

After a few days of patrolling the courses of the Discovery and Truman intersect, and the two ships patrol alongside one another for a few hours to transfer supplies. A signal from Admiral Sheppard at Starfleet Headquarters informs them that the York have begun landing ground troops on Abalone itself. The Truman's captain Sandra Cussak comes aboard the Discovery for dinner with Captain Tennant, and the two friends discuss the steadily worsening situation on Abalone and the fact that their ships could soon see combat. Tennant confides in her friend her reservations about remaining in Starfleet and desire to start a family. They also discuss the enigma that is Steffan Rhodes.

The next morning the Truman and Discovery arrive at the rendezvous point with the task force she'd witnessed at Utopia Planetia a week earlier, led by the mighty USS Churchill, an ambassador class ship under the charismatic Admiral Douglas West. West is a MacArthur-like figure known throughout Starfleet, who informs everyone that he is eagerly waiting the 'inevitable' order to go to Abalone and 'kick those York bastards clean out of the Neutral Zone'. West signals his ships with orders to bring shift patterns into line across the task force, and institutes a punishing program of battle drills in preparation for his planned invasion. In addition the admiral begins staging surprise inspections, and materialises aboard the Discovery at 0300 hours with his customary entourage. Tennant is awake and dressed within minutes, accompanying West as he tours the ship and charms her by complementing the 'classic' design of the constitution-class vessel.

The next night he boards the Truman without warning, and within the hour all communication from the ship ceases and the Truman isolates itself away from the fleet.

On the Discovery Tennant worries that something has gone very badly wrong, but hails from all vessels are ignored by the Truman. The Churchill, West's flagship is finally contacted by the Truman over a secured channel, and the Churchill in turn broadcasts a message to the task force that no one should approach or attempt to contact the Truman. As an hour passes Tennant instructs Lieutenant Doyle to begin hailing the ship on a specific frequency, one that only vessels searching for cloaked spacecraft would monitor. Rhodes objects, but Tennant succeeds in reaching Captain Cusak. Cusak is extremely anxious, and explains that while touring the Truman Admiral West died in what the ship's chief surgeon identified as poisoning. Since then the admiral's staff have taken over control of the bridge and confined the entire crew to quarters. Someone on the Truman's crew killed the admiral, and whoever that person is has been aboard since the ship's last port of call over four months earlier.

Finally Starfleet Command announces that Douglas West died aboard the Truman but offers no specifics, and orders the Truman to return to Earth with the Greyville as escort. The task force, now two vessels short, awaits instructions.

The Federation negotiators eventually reach an agreement with the York government that the Houston's crew will be released, but the York flatly refuse to surrender the starship itself. Though Starfleet vigorously protests at one of their vessels being left to be studied and copied by the York, and possibly the Romulan Empire itself, the civilian Federation Council decides that a lone ship is a minor loss. The York agree to allow one Starfleet vessel to enter orbit around Abalone to collect the prisoners, but specifies that it will be escorted by two York warships and follow a course chosen by them, one that will keep it on the opposite side of the planet to the Houston to prevent Starfleet firing weapons to destroy their prize. Starfleet Commands decides that the Discovery will go to Abalone, but Admiral Sheppard also contacts Tennant and advises her that, whatever the Federation Council's opinion may be, Starfleet Intelligence wants the Houston scuttled to prevent it falling into Romulan hands, and wants her to do something about it.

The Discovery enters orbit around Abalone, careful to hold position as instructed on the opposite side of the planet from where the Houston is being held. The transporter rooms begin beaming the imprisoned Starfleet crew aboard, and when Captain Kelland materialises Tennant introduces herself and asks for his assistance in destroying the Houston . In the second transporter room Commander Rhodes' suit is undergoing final checks, but Kelland insists on accompanying him on the mission . Tennant refuses, but Kelland convinces her that his actions caused the Houston to be captured, and wants to at least partially salvage some honour by preventing the York cannibalising her. As planned, Kelland and Rhodes are beamed to a point directly above Abalone's northern pole, where the combination of their small size and magnetic fields will shield them from the York sensors. Kelland proceeds to contact the Houston via a subspace transmitter, and activates his ship's transporter to complete the journey. They materialise aboard, and quickly proceed to the lower decks where the antimatter pods are stored to place the bomb they've has brought from the Discovery. Kelland sets it in place with a twenty minute delay. In the Houston's transporter room Kelland sets the controls to beam them both back to the pole, instructing Rhodes to stand on the transporter pad. At that moment three York guards burst into the room, holding their rifles on both Starfleet men. Kelland's hand drops onto the controls, and Rhodes watches helplessly as the York shoot the captain as he dematerialises.

On the Discovery everyone is anxiously waiting for Kelland and Rhodes to rematerialise at the pole, and with the Houston's entire crew aboard the York are demanding that they leave orbit immediately. Stalling for time Tennant advises the York that the Discovery is experiencing engine difficulties that should be rectified shortly, aware that they must leave orbit soon or risk being trapped by the York when the Houston explodes. With less than five minutes before the bomb detonates, sensors detect a single person materialise at the pole and the Discovery beams him aboard. Rhodes tells Tennant that Kelland is dead, and to break orbit immediately.

*This is where it all goes a bit fuzzy. I could do with something at the end to tie it all together. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!!
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Old November 9 2009, 05:25 PM   #5
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Re: Looking for some opinions on an outline via PM

My first thought is that you might want to change the name of the aliens to something a little more alien.

As for the story itself, I see no faults with it, although I would say that the Admiral West plot seems like filler unless you're planning to have a Romulan or York aboard as a spy.

The ending actually works as it is, with the Discovery leaving orbit and watching the Houston explode in the rear viewer. If you make the story a two-parter, you could have Kelland survive the shooting and become a POW which Starfleet later discovers. The discovery is once again sent in and Rhodes is made the point man on the mission since he feels a responsibility for leaving a man behind.
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Old November 9 2009, 05:41 PM   #6
Lazarus
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Re: Looking for some opinions on an outline via PM

BrotherBenny wrote: View Post
My first thought is that you might want to change the name of the aliens to something a little more alien.

As for the story itself, I see no faults with it, although I would say that the Admiral West plot seems like filler unless you're planning to have a Romulan or York aboard as a spy.

The ending actually works as it is, with the Discovery leaving orbit and watching the Houston explode in the rear viewer. If you make the story a two-parter, you could have Kelland survive the shooting and become a POW which Starfleet later discovers. The discovery is once again sent in and Rhodes is made the point man on the mission since he feels a responsibility for leaving a man behind.
Thanks for the feedback!

Yeah Kes7 said the same thing about the aliens, that can be easily changed if people feel it doesn't fit. I did have an idea that is was more of a Starfleet codeword or the closest sounding appoximation of their race's name as they'd pronounce it themselves. But I think I'll change it.

The idea is that West was assasinated by a Starfleet officer working for someone else yes.

Dunno about the ending just feel that it needs SOMETHING MORE but I'm unsure what!
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Old November 9 2009, 11:09 PM   #7
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Re: Looking for some opinions on an outline via PM

As I said about the ending, just leave it hanging so you can write another story.
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