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Old January 29 2009, 08:26 AM   #1
Funngunner
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Star Trek: Their Finest Hour

I'm working on developing a new fan-fiction that chronicles the Birth of the Federation. Please, let me know your thoughts and concerns, while I finish polishing up the first episodes...


Before Kirk began his five-year journey... Before Picard boldly went were no one has gone before... Before the Birth of the Federation...


The year is 2151, and the launch of the first starship, ENTERPRISE, captivates a United Earth reaching out into the cosmos for the first time. Meanwhile, on Earth, the United Earth Space Forces prepare to defend Earth and her fledgling colonies against the unknown dangers of the final frontier.

They are the unsung heroes, largely forgotten to the Federation history books: the pilots, marines, and sailors that guided Earth through a war, not only with a new and sinster interstellar foe, but against those who threatened the brighter future that lay ahead for humanity.

It was, their finest hour...

A NEW FAN-FICTION SERIES, COMING SOON TO A TREKBBS NEAR YOU...

The outline: Every year, 5,000 applicants walk through the Phoenix Gates and into the United Earth Space Command Academy. Less than half graduate. In the year 2151, the Enterprise has just begun her first voyage of discovery into the heavens as part of the United Earth Space Probe Agency.

On Earth, a new class of cadets is assembled, including a cadet unit hand-picked by the new commandant. Called Red Squad, they are not the best, they are not the brightest, but they are the ones called upon when the mission must be accomplished, by any means necessary...

MAIN CHARACTERS:

COMMODORE ISORUKU NAGUMO:
The commandant of the Academy; this posting represents the end of a brilliant career that was marred by the loss of his command to a pirate attack. No longer concerned with the politics and privilages of rank, he alone can see the dangers that may await mankind in the vastness of space.

CADET JONATHAN JAMES CARMICHAEL:
Member of the class of 2155. His father was killed aboard the light cruiser USS Abukuma after unknown forces struck the convoy. He is sentenced to four years military service after a fatal drunk driving accident takes the lives of his closest friends. Reckless, brash and arrogant, yet gifted in combat situations, he is far from what the Academy looks for.

CADET SETH McCLUSKY: Member of the class of 2155. Born in poverty-stricken portion of Boston, McClusky learned to approach problems head-on, and pummel them to submission by his fists. For him, the Academy represents one last chance to save himself from a life of crime or starvation in the dark underbelly of a United Earth.

CADET SARA ANDREWS:
The daughter of a Space Command officer, she watched her own mother die in a training accident. Academically brilliant, but socially sheltered, she's prepared for the mental challenges of the Academy, but is she ready to handle being leaned on when the lives of others hang in the balance?
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Old February 11 2009, 09:09 AM   #2
CeJay
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Re: Star Trek: Their Finest Hour

Must have overlooked this when it was first posted.

I really dig Academy stories and we don't get much original fic set at the onset of the Federation so this could be a real interesting and original story.

I also like the idea of the origins of Red Squad and the fact that it started out as just a regular kind of unit. However one thing does strike me as odd. If they are not the best or brightest, how come they are called upon when missions are tough. Either they are an elite team or you leave the tough missions to somebody else, no?
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Old February 11 2009, 02:45 PM   #3
RobertScorpio
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Re: Star Trek: Their Finest Hour

Sounds like a fun read...can't wait...

Rob
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Old February 12 2009, 12:24 AM   #4
Funngunner
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Re: Star Trek: Their Finest Hour

Cejay,

You are right on that being a bit of a cognitive gulff about Red Squad. I'm still pounding that part out, but without giving away too much: they are definitely a regular unit, and far from elite. Perhaps the best description is that they have three factors:

1.) they just have bad (or good, depending on your point of view) luck, 2.) They are the admiral's pet project, and as a result, are often used to demonstrate that he is right, and 3.) The toughest assignments are the ones that require something not found in the traditional "squeaky-clean" academy cadet or starfleet officer.

For number three, think of Jim "The Only Cadet Who Ever Beat The No-Win Scenario" Kirk, or even Jean-Luc "I Got My Heart Broken By A Nausiccan" Picard. This one, I keep thinking of the old Diane Carey book "Best Destiny" it summed it up pretty well... "sometimes you have to have a bit of the dirt on you."
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Old February 13 2009, 04:20 AM   #5
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Re: Star Trek: Their Finest Hour

EPISODE ONE: "Pilot"


Prologue:

The Abukuma screamed.

Her hull crumpled, and metal shrieked in violent agony as volley after volley of incoming fire bracketed the warship. The antimatter-packed shells slammed against the light cruiser’s faltering shields in a seemingly endless wash of angry electric-blue explosions.

The ship staggered under the heavy blows. Precious oxygen, the penultimate life-blood of the ship and her 300-man crew, flowed from her savaged hull in crystalline fountains. The lights inside the ship flickered as circuits failed. Both the living, breathing crew, and the mechanical embodiment of the ship were slowly bleeding to death.

The flagship of Destroyer Squadron Seven, the Abukuma was never designed for fighting her current foe. She was classified as a light cruiser more because of someone’s idea of a joke in the Bureau of Ships then because of any degree of combat capability. Compared to others of her ilk, she was under-armed, under-protected, and under-powered. The sleek lines, slender hull and battery of five-centimeter antimatter cannons of Abukuma were more fitting of a destroyer than any cruiser-type warship.

Which made her perfectly suited for her current role leading a small pack of destroyers. Against similarly-armed ships, she was a formidable force to be reckoned with. However, the ships in the distance were far from the similarly-armed foes that the Abukuma, and the elements of Destroyer Squadron Seven were accustomed to facing.

Buried deep inside the ship’s hull, the darkened Combat Information Center was the heart and mind of the 800-feet long Abukuma. Blue lighting and the shimmer of tactical displays illuminated the compartment, casting eerie shadows on the fearful faces of the enlisted ratings that manned the consoles lining the bulkheads.

Captain Isoruku Nagumo, the cruiser’s commanding officer stood stared intently at the array of red diamonds and blue circles hovering in the center of the light cruiser's CIC. His face remained impassive as ran a hand through sweat-soaked jet black hair. The tactical plot had changed little over the twenty minutes he had been fixated on it.

Five of the blue circles were arrayed in a line near the center of the sphere, these were the ships of Destroyer Squadron Seven: Abukuma and her four ‘tin-can’ consorts. Further out, near the edge of the sphere lay another cluster of blue circles, the convoy, a gaggle of fat and slow transports and supply ships. Those ships and their precious cargoes would be desperately needed when they reached their destination. If they reached their destination..

They were also the target of the four red diamonds representing hostile ships on the tactical display. Each appeared nearly half the size of the cruiser, yet, given how quickly they had decimated the Perry, each were as powerful as the Abukuma, and more than a match for than the accompanying destroyers. All four were on a direct course for the supply ships.

In front of him, a blue circle indicating the destroyer Knox, one of the ships in his meager force, flickered and a series of icons appeared alongside it. It was the first of the blue circles to show such a behavior. Nagumo knew it would not be the last one.The flickering meant trouble for the Knox, and the growing series of icons only underscored the severity of the ship’s situation.

“Knox is reporting heavy damage, Cap’n.” The thick Texan drawl of his executive officer, Sebastian Carmichael, rose above the muffled din of the room as he read what might as well have a death sentence for their comrades aboard the stricken destroyer. “She’s reporting two engine rooms are down... Main battery inoperative... Heavy casualties...”

For an instant, a collective hush fell over the CIC, orders and targeting instructions stopped, and eyes turned toward the exchange between Nagumo and his executive officer. Carmichael had been his right arm for five long years now, and their friendship had grown over time, Carmichael even going so far as to make the jaded Captain his son’s godfather. Five years of death and destruction, happiness and sorrow, and a never-ending war.

Carmichael took a step closer to his friend, and becoming aware of the listening ears of the compartment, continued in a soft whisper. “Sir, the Knox is reporting that Commander O’Hare is dead, I’m sorry, I knew you two were close...” Nagumo nodded and cut off the rest of Carmichael's report with a wave.

The world shook as a salvo slammed into the Abukuma’s hull, shorting out already-taxed computer systems, sending datapads flying and crew members crashing to the deck. Small fires raged through out the compartment, set off from the debris of exploding terminals and short circuits.

The shrieking sound of metal grating on metal echoed through out the ship. Nagumo grasped on to the side the fire control terminal struggling to stay upright. Carmichael reached out a massive hand to steady his friend, throwing him a huge grin as the ship rocked again.

"They’re getting the range on us,” he said, still smiling in spite of the dire realization. “We must be close enough for them to discern our classification.” Smoke, mixed with the scent of incinerated circuitry filled Nagumo’s nostrils as he stood, straightened his midnight blue tunic, and nodded in agreement. He could taste the tangy copper of blood in his mouth.

“That’s a valid assumption,” he said with forced formality. “It may get very hot for us here in an instant. You may want to consider moving to the bridge, disperse the chain of command, that way, one of us will still be able to fight the ship in the event one of us gets...” His voice trailed off.

“Lieutenant Ostrowski’s Officer of the Deck up topside. She's handling things up there just fine,” Carmichael replied casually as the ship rocked again. For an instant, Nagumo’s dark brown eyes, tinged with concern, met those of his friend. Commander Carmichael shook his head. “It’s not going to matter where I am on the ship, Rukh,” he said quietly. “It’s not going to make one damn bit of difference and you know it. So, with all due respect, Cap’n, I'd rather stay where the action is.”

Nagumo gave a barely perceptible nod of his head, and turned his attention back to the tactical display. He would try to buy time for the transports to escape, and keep his ship, his crew, and his friends, alive for just a little while longer.

“Mister Kauffman,” he barked over the sound of the roaring ventilators and the din of the battle. “Send to all ships, close range and prepare for torpedo attack on the lead ship... Countermeasures: get those emitters back online somehow, we need to shake their targeting solution before they rip us apart.”


* * *


Any animal, when threatened with the end of its life reacts one of two ways. It either fights with all its teeth and claws to stay alive as long as possible, or it flees. For animals that are able to outrun their pursuers, escape represents the soundest option. This was the case for the Abukuma’s task force, each of the four remaining ships were capable of outrunning their adversaries and making good their escape from the pitched battle.

For the men and women aboard the ships of Destroyer Squadron Seven, however, only one order prevented them from turning tail and escaping the onrushing warships. Destroyer Squadron Seven’s orders were deceptively simple: “Protect the convoy at all costs.”

Less than a light-hour astern of their position lay the nineteen ships of convoy FG-13. Slow and ponderous at sub-light speeds, from the instant that the unidentified ships were detected on an intercept course, the cargo ships, colony ships and tankers were in a desperate race to spin up their tired warp drives and skip to the next system.

In a brutal calculus, the lives of the squadron were being traded for a mere ten minutes. That was the differential between when the strike force would reach the vulnerable supply ships and the time they needed to jump away from threats bearing down on them. When the Knox finally foundered under a withering barrage of plasma, exactly five minutes had elapsed since the battle had begun in earnest.


* * *


Black smudges and gaping holes marred what had been the gleaming silver hull of the Abukuma. The once tall and proud superstructure was now just a twisted mass of shattered metal. Her armor plating had been long since vaporized, and now every hit struck her hull, sending small tongues of flame lapping out into the heavens, and oxygen spurting out like the blood of a wounded animal. Sensing the kill, the battlecruisers closed in and harried their hapless prey.

Foreward of the shredded superstructure, one of the Abukuma’s main gun batteries still lashed out in vain defiance at the surrounding battlecruisers. Defiantly absorbing the last desperate gasps of the dying crew, the ships hung motionlessly near the now silent Abukuma, and hammered with impunity. The battle had ceased, and was no merely an execution.

Gasping for air from the withering life support system, and without the aid of the computers the four man crew slowly trained their gun by hand on the nearest battlecruiser, the Lion, parked just off the Abukuma’s crumpled port bow. Inside the turret, the gun captain stared through the obsolete telescopic scope, aiming at the midsection of the looming capital ship, and barked azimuth and bearing data to the other three members.He nodded and cast an ugly sneer as the twin rail guns hurled a salvo towards the enemy ship in open defiance of their fate.

A minor miscalculation, an error in the input of the data sent the anti-matter-laden rounds sailed wide of their target, missing the center of ship. The rounds arced past the transparasteel windows of the Lion’s bridge and sailed harmlessly into space. In her last gasp, the Abukuma failed to draw any vengeance.

Disgusted by the cruel twist of fate, the gun crew was scrambling to reload the guns one last time when the battlecruiser’s reply slammed into Abukuma. The first massive shell ripped into the burned-out remains of the light cruiser’s bridge. The second one slammed home, destroying the pesky remaining guns of the Abukuma’s. The blast cascaded through the turret, through the open hatches and down into the stores of additional anti-matter rounds sat.

The fireball ignited the rounds in the magazine, adding to the devastation. Hull plates bulged and blistered as bluish flames shot out from the cruiser’s side.The kinetic force of the explosion decapitated the Abukuma, and sent her bow drifting away.


* * *


Thick rancid smoke filled CIC, blocking out what little lights the emergency systems could provide, and searing Nagumo lungs as he picked himself up off the deck. Shards of broken glass bit into his hands as he rose to his feet and wiped soot from his eyes. His eyes stung as the smoke lingered in the compartment, as he noticed the absence of the whirring ventilators for the first time.

"Lieutenant Ostrowski, damage report,” he barked as he gingerly made his way though the devastated CIC. Near the auxilliary fire control panel, Nagumo could make out Commander Carmichael’s form, still crumpled on the deck were he fell. The captain knelt down beside his friend’s inert body, never looking away from the young lieutenant struggling to call up data on one of the few still operational systems. “I’m sorry my friend,” he whispered.

Ignoring the rivulet of crimson blood running from underneath the bandage wrapped around her head, Lieutenant Beth Ostrowski cursed at the faintly flickering computer readout, and pounded at the controls with her one still-working arm. Each time, the battered system brought up the same data with a mathematical coldness. The Abukuma was dying.

Nagumo studied the young woman’s facial expression and knew the outcome before she said. He had not even needed to bother asking, no one knew his ship better, or the heart-breaking sounds that the ship made as her hull buckled under countless volleys. Primary fire control, gone. Without the primary fire control room, the crews in Abukuma’s gun turrets, however many were still operating, would have to aim their cannons themselves. Damage Control was also gone, along with the ship’s countermeasures and main propulsion systems. Life support, the precious life blood of the Abukuma’s human complement was, like the ship, fading fast..

"Captain," Ostrowski said as she limped over, struggling over fallen support beams and dangling wires. “It’s over. It’s time for us to go.” Nagumo just stared silently at her. The flickering lights cast a martial look on the girl’s angular face. Her left arm, wrapped in a splint, and the blood soaked bandage on her head gave her the air of a figure from a military painting.

She’d been out of the academy for just six months, she was one of only three members of the crew to escape the conflagration that had consumed the Abukuma’s bridge. Of course, her luck had only prolonged the inevitable. ‘Quite the soldier, she would have had a good career as an officer,’ he thought seconds before his world exploded.


* * *


Captain Isoruku Nagumo, commanding officer of the light cruiser Abukuma, stood patiently. Above him, circling gaily, seagulls climbed and dove, calling out to their winged brethren. The sun was hot, but yet, not unbearably so. Inhaling deeply, he let the sea breeze fill his nostrils, the sound of the waves crashing upon the shore engulfed him.

Onjuku beach, nestled in Chiba province.

He was home.
At last.
And content.

Out in the frothing surf of the Pacific Ocean, waist deep in the blue-green sea, Akina and Jiro frolicked, their high-pitched shrieks of delight as the waves rushed by towards the shore drowned out even the calling of the gulls. They were laughing, jumping and waving anxiously for ‘Chichi’ to come join them in their play.

As he had promised.

Closer in, her eyes focused upon her young like a watchful mother bear, Kohana watched the children. Now and again, she admonished the children. “Don’t go out to far,” or “Jiro, come back towards me.”

She was resplendant. A beauty out of a Hiroshige painting. She was a specter of romantic set against the beautiful rising hills, a sentimental landscape. The setting sun cast shadows in odd angles and shapes and silhouetted Kohana in an exquisite outlines. As she always had, the beauty of her feminie form had a profound impact on Isorku.

“Isoruku,” she said, diverting her attention ever so briefly from the children towards her husband. “Come and join us. Please.”

She gazed upon the solitary man standing on the beach. He was not’t the same as when they had married. The ravages of time had not been pleasant with him. Long since gone was the youthful exuberance he had demonstrated during their courtship.

The lean chiseled edges of the fresh-faced academy graduate were replaced by jowls and sunken-in eyes. The meddlesome gleam in his eye was still there to be sure, but years of orders and rations had taken their toll upon him.

Isoruku knew this.

He knew she would leave him.

A week later, after returning from the beach, they had fought. Another combat deployment, the third in a row, and for her, another year as a ‘Navy widow.’ She left, with their young children. Beautiful Akina, nearing her first year of primary school, and the rambunctious Jiro. He was so much like his father.

And yet, here they were.
With him.

He could feel the warmth of the sun upon his face, the warm wetness of the ocean, the salt spray on the tip of his tongue. They were real, and this was so much more tangible than the dreams. The dreams he had every night. And then the screams came from across the vast blue of the ocean.

Eyes wide, struck mute in shock and terror, he watched as the ocean
bubbled and frothed. Jiro and Akina, caught too far out from shore by the sea’s nightmarish transformation, cried out in agony. The ocean rolled as it boiled hotter and hotter. The heat consumed the children. He stared, transfixed on the sight of Akina’s raven-black hair bursting into the flames as the waters consumed them.

He tried to run to them, to rescue them or to die with them, he knew not which, but his feet would not move. He stood mesmerized, frozen stiff as they disappeared beneath the searing surf. The heat of the ocean spread rapidly, turning the sand ablaze.

His wife, his little flower, stomped her feet in desperation as flames burst along the seams of her linen gown. She looked out at Nagumo, arms reaching out as she screamed. The terrible sound reverberated in his ears, and yet he could only idly watch as the inferno engulfed her as well. He felt the wall of flames that had engulfed all that he had wash over him, the searing heat stung his eyes, scorched his throat and scorched his skin. Despite the pain, the mind-numbing shriek of his nerve endings, he remained unable to move.

His last thought, as the flames consumed his body, was a solitary thought:

"It wasn’t supposed to end like this.”
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Old February 14 2009, 10:00 AM   #6
CeJay
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Re: Star Trek: Their Finest Hour

This read more like Battlestar Galactica than Star Trek. Which of course isn't a bad thing. The imagery you evoke is both vivid and powerful.

A fascinating if rather fatalistic beginning, I'm curious to see where you go from here now that pretty much everybody seems to be dead.

Good stuff.
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Old February 16 2009, 09:01 AM   #7
Funngunner
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Re: Star Trek: Their Finest Hour

Episode Two: "Burdens of Command"

TWO MONTHS LATER:


The skeletal framework of the new Starfleet Headquarters alternately bathed Captain Isoruku Nagumo in the warm light of the sun and the coldness of shadows as he limped down the pathway that crossed the parade ground. At the end of the parade grounds, a football field-sized patch of grass in a sea of concrete and metal stood the stark, monolithic administrative building housing the Commander-In-Chief, Space Forces and the thousands of administrative staff needed to run the bureaucracy of a space-faring navy.

Sometime in the near future, the rising skyscraper in the distance would become the home of a new organization, combining the militaristic United Earth Space Forces and the scientific Space Probe Agency, under the banner of what the politicians in Paris were calling Starfleet. The controversial idea of blending the two bodies had been the topic of frequent conversations in the wardroom aboard Abukuma. What was it that Sebastian called it, he asked himself, with a slight chuckle at the memories as he walked up steps leading to the Administrative building. The bastard hybrid of a pig and cow, fit for neither man not beast.

For a fleeting moment as the oversized glass doors slid open for him, Nagumo wished his old friend could be at his side again. Of course, Nagumo ruminated, if Sebastian were here, his head would also be in the guillotine.
“Perhaps you got the better end of the bargain,” Nagumo muttered to himself as he hobbled through the lobby.

His cane echoed eerily through the cavernous chamber as it clacked across the black floor. Underfoot, the marble floor, polished to a reflective finish, bore the massive etched seal of the Space Forces, a stylized projection of the world with a brace of arrows along each side. As he crossed the seal, he could hear the hushed whispers of passersby. He knew what they were saying, having been in their shoes before. When a ship is lost in peacetime, with most its crew, rumors and gossip become the currency of the realm.

“He lost his ship…”
“They provoked it…”
“Pirates caught them asleep.”

Other words also showed up, particularly when captains fail to adhere to the old traditions of going down with the ship.

“Cowardice.”
“Disgrace to the uniform.”
“Court-martial.”

Lieutenant Beth Ostrowski fidgeted nervously in her chair in the front row of the tribunal chambers. Around her, in the gallery, were the other seventeen survivors from the light cruiser Abukuma, as well as family members of both the living and the dead, and the ubiquitous press members covering the hearing.

Even with its large crowd, the room was quiet and still, unlike the courtrooms in the tri-vid dramas she often watched. The chamber looked austere, lacking the traditional courtroom style of dark cherry woods atop a rich red carpet. Of course, those were civilian courtrooms, not military tribunal chambers, and she theorized, with different rules came different decors.

Frustrated, she shook her head, trying to clear such an abstract thought from her mind. The motion made her head pound, a reoccurring event the last few months. The doctor had said the headaches, like the broken arm that lay immobilized in a sling, would likely subside over time. Until then, he gave her some prescription high-powered pain killers to take the edge of the pounding in her skull. But, as she felt her pockets with her one good hand, she realized she had left them in her quarters.

The opaque glass door to the chamber opened, allowing the click-clack sound of metal cane on marble to enter the silent room as Nagumo tottered in. Ostrowski gasped slightly at the sight of her old captain. His once ramrod straight posture, full of pride and confidence was gone. Instead, the captain hunched over from several fractured vertebra; his measured gait had changed too, the cane and leg injuries gave the once-proud man the appearance of a newborn fawn. Beth had once, in a moment of poetic inspiration, likened the captain’s face to a tranquil pond, calm and collected. “The perfect poker face,” was what Commander Carmichael I called it.

Now, Nagumo looked tired and haggard, his face reflecting new wrinkles and bags under his eyes. As Nagumo sat at the defendant’s table, Lieutenant Ostrowski realized for the first time, the full weight that the loss of his ship, his friends, and his crew placed on Captain Nagumo’s shoulders. The burden of command, she realized, meant that regardless of what the tribunal ruled, he would always carry the weight of Abukuma’s loss on his shoulders. The ghosts of the ship’s company would forever visit him during his sleep.

Nagumo sat just ahead of her, meters away, yet never acknowledge her presence as the three person arbiters entered from their adjoining anteroom. The three members of the tribunal were an imposing sight: two women and a man, all full admirals. The sleeve cuffs of their midnight-blue adorned with the large gold band of flag rank, and draped by a looped golden braid that fell from the shoulder. As they sat at the raised officiator’s table, the sunlight reflected the myriad of colors that shone from the clusters of ribbons and commendations that were pinned to their uniform tunics.

The precision of their uniforms and the sheer weight of their medals made for good theater, Ostrowski thought, as she and the audience stood at attention, exchanged salutes with the trio of admirals, and sat.

Clearing her throat, the middle Admiral, a graying older woman wearing the insignia of the Spaces Forces Medical Command, leaned in towards the microphone that sat before her. Her cold flinty eyes locked in Nagumo’s battered form as she methodically addressed the court with French accent.

“To all those in attendance, welcome,” she spoke in a methodical voice as she read the scripted lines off her data pad. “These proceedings represent the culmination of a two-month long investigation into the sinking of USS Abukuma, CL-41, commanded by Captain Isoruku Nagumo, on January 14, 2142.

"This verdict of the assembled tribunal will determine the responsibility of the aforementioned officer regarding the loss of the ship. The tribunal consists of Admiral Emilio Alvarez, Commander, Cruiser Squadron Two, Admiral Jeanne Fitzgerald, Commander, Section 31, Fleet Intelligence Command, and myself, Admiral Ludivine Dequenne, commander, Fleet Hospital-LeHarve.” Dequenne paused, taking a long drink of water, and leaned back towards the microphone.

“To all those assembled here, consider these proceedings underway.”
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Old February 16 2009, 09:56 PM   #8
CeJay
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Re: Star Trek: Their Finest Hour

Seems like the obituaries were a bit premature.

But Nagumo comes across like a man who was destined to go down with his ship. Being one of the very few survivors is sure going to be a weight on his back for the rest of his life. This is going to be even worse if this inquiry finds him negligent in any way.

I like this a lot so far. Well done.
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Old February 16 2009, 10:50 PM   #9
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Re: Star Trek: Their Finest Hour

It was a tough situation with some very heated action. A fish hook opening with the devastation and seemingly killing off of everyone. A court-martial seems inevitable but it appears he is paying for his mistakes anyway.

Only critique is that as a 'Birth of the Federation' story there's a lot of its structures - including physical buildings in place. Just how early in the story is this menat to be?

Regardless a good read with the promise of some hard characters and tough action.
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Old February 17 2009, 02:10 AM   #10
Funngunner
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Re: Star Trek: Their Finest Hour

Thanks guys! The positive feedback is much appreciated, and I'm working on trying to get the next chapter out as soon as possible!

MirandaFave: I'm sure my timeline is a bit wonky, it seems even the official canon is a bit fuzzy on this era. Let me know what things jump out as timeline errors to you, and I'll try to polish those up (or maybe explain them away.)
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Old February 17 2009, 02:19 AM   #11
Funngunner
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Re: Star Trek: Their Finest Hour

NEXT TIME ON STAR TREK: THEIR FINEST HOUR...

A ship lost...

A crew murdered...

A captain's career in ruin...

In the wake of the loss of Abukuma, Captain Isoruku Nagumo faces the toughest challenge of his career: Shouldering the responsibility for the loss of his command.

But the truth of the attack, and those responsible, could represent the most dangerous threat to humanity... And have dire repercussions for the future of the United Earth ...
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Old February 17 2009, 01:32 PM   #12
mirandafave
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Re: Star Trek: Their Finest Hour

Funngunner wrote: View Post
Thanks guys! The positive feedback is much appreciated, and I'm working on trying to get the next chapter out as soon as possible!

MirandaFave: I'm sure my timeline is a bit wonky, it seems even the official canon is a bit fuzzy on this era. Let me know what things jump out as timeline errors to you, and I'll try to polish those up (or maybe explain them away.)
Heck with it. Like you say the canon is contradictory and fuzzy so go for your own canon. It'll make heaps more sense that way!
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Old February 18 2009, 03:12 PM   #13
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Re: Star Trek: Their Finest Hour

This is good - very good! You write with powerful and engaging imagery. I was drawn into the story from the very first. I also like your "reboot" even though technically, we have little canon from this era. (God save us from Enterprise.)

Looking forward to your next installment!
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Old February 20 2009, 09:55 PM   #14
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Re: Star Trek: Their Finest Hour

This is good. The battle scenes had me on the edge of my seat. And they were consistent-one of my pet peeves regarding battle scenes is when something doesn't jibe.
Great start. Regarding the date-Memory Alpha can give you "canon" dates for the Romulan War....
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Old February 23 2009, 08:20 AM   #15
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Re: Star Trek: Their Finest Hour

January 14, 2142 | Standard Earth Date

… As soon as I get back, I promise we’ll get to that Giants game you want to get to. I hear they are looking good this season, although I still think Berlin is going to give them trouble. One of my officers says they have a pretty good quarterback. I’m hoping he can get us some tickets. How does the 50-yard line with your old man sound?

We’ll have to make sure it’s not a school night, or else your mother will have a fit about it. Which reminds me, how is school going? Are you still having problems with that girl Alisha? I hope she’s not giving you too much trouble in class. But, don’t worry, if she is, I’m sure in a few years you’ll understand why.

Well, I have to sign off now; it’s time for my turn at the wheel. Make sure you study hard, and remember not to be too much of a terror to your mom. I know it’s hard for you both right now. But I’ll be back home in just a week and we can all be a family again, just like you said you wanted for your birthday. And this time, I promise I won’t be going out anymore, this time I’ll be coming home for good so we can celebrate all the birthdays and Christmas we missed.

With a long and weary sigh Commander Sebastian Carmichael, executive officer of the United Earth cruiser Abukuma, rubbed his face with his hands and groped for the mug of lukewarm coffee on the desk. Taking a long gulp of the dark beverage, he stared at the words on the computer display and smiled. In his mind, he could imagine J. J.’s reaction as he read the letter when he woke up in a few days. His cherubic face would illuminate at the idea of going to the Giants’ game. I’m sure Melissa will be furious, he thought with a wry smile, he’ll be bouncing off the walls the rest of the day, and demanding he get to wear that old jersey to school.

With a pang of disappointment, he wondered if his twelve-year-old son would even read far enough into the letter to reach the final part, the section that announced to his family that Sebastian would never board that cold grey starship again. Never again would they have to deal with the 6-month separations and tearful good-byes at the shuttle station. For J.J. it meant never having to look at an empty chair during his youth football games, for Melissa it meant no longer climbing into a cold and empty bed as she had done for more than half their marriage. Sebastian smiled as he saved the letter and marked the data file to be sent with the morning dispatches. Satisfied that it was scheduled to be sent, he grabbed the uniform tunic draped along the back of his chair, and slipped it on as he stepped out into the passageway.

It was early morning, according to the ship’s chronometer, and even at this time of day, the long stark corridor that ran the length of the cruiser was far from empty. The corridor was lit in an eerie blue glow, an attempt to maintain some semblance of normal circadian rhythms amongst the 300 souls that inhabited the Abukuma. Bathed in the bluish illumination, the faces of the various crewmembers in the passageway made an interesting contrast, some of the crew coming off the mid-watch looked relaxed, discussing plans for the their downtime, while others, like Carmichael, headed to their stations for the morning watch. Most of them, like Carmichael, were still groggy from sleep he noted as he fastened his uniform tunic closed and, with as much a commanding presence as his weary body would allow, made his way toward the bridge.

The electronic sound of the ship’s bell: a pattern of two bells followed by a pause, sounded through the ship three times to mark the beginning of the morning watch echoed through the Abukuma as Commander Carmichael stepped through the oval hatch and onto the bridge of the cruiser. Unlike the dimly-lit passageways, the bridge was and into a sea of light and sound bathed in bright overhead lights and arrays of flashing computer displays and diagrams that made even the cold gray paint of her interior possess an almost ethereal glow. The bridge throbbed with the low throaty rumble of the ship’s engines and the constant chirping from the consoles arrayed along the perimeter of the circular nerve center of the ship.

Drawn by the scent of fresh coffee, a requirement for the morning watch team, Carmichael poured some of the hot caffeinated elixir in to a steel coffee cup and just watched as the watch changed over before making his way to the large glass plotting board near the center of the bridge. The young red-haired lieutenant in the command chair at the center of this maelstrom of sound and light stood and made her way to where Carmichael stood.

“Good morning, Lieutenant,” Sebastian said with a grin as he gingerly sipped from the coffee cup. “What have we got going on this fine Navy morning?” Swiping an errant lock of hair from her face, Beth Ostrowski handed him a data pad loaded with the deck log.

“Not much this morning,” she replied coolly. “It’s been quiet. We’re on course 310 mark 25, as per captain’s orders. Estimated time of arrival at Calder II is six days, four hours. Speed is quarter-light while the merchants recharge their warp cores.” Carmichael scrolled through the information on the data pad as Ostrowski filled him in on the night’s events.

“Wait,” he said, looking at the junior officer quizzically. “Orders were for us to be at half-light here. Why the reduction in speed?” Ostrowski gestured angrily at the plotting board. Just off the center of the display were nine blue circles, each indicating a separate merchant ship. Further back, and slowly lagging even more behind the convoy, was one last ship.

“The Holland Express,” she explained, irritation rising in her voice. “Her captain is reporting a slight variance in their port impulse engine… again.” If there was one thing Ostrowski could not tolerate it was being behind schedule, Carmichael observed. “I reduced speed so they could keep up, but apparently, the captain is petrified he’ll burn out his engines. Guess they’ll make him buy the replacement,” she scoffed. “Six ships lost in this sector over the last few months, and the Holland Express wants to be leisurely.” Carmichael nodded and made a mental note to contact the straggling merchant ship and find a sufficient way to motivate them to stay in formation.

“Anything on the threat board or am I looking at another boring watch,” he asked Ostrowski as he made his way to the command chair. She shook her head, sending the stray lock of hair back into her face. Suddenly, he remembered just how young the lieutenant actually was. Twenty-two years old, just months out of the academy and still wound up so tight that she couldn’t relax if she tried. Carmichael chuckled inwardly and stroked his salt-and-pepper goatee, and remembered those days, before he was married, before he was a father, back when galloping around the cosmos was still an adventure. She was a fine officer, and the captain thought highly of her, but Carmichael still hoped to poke and prod her into losing some of that damned uptightness from the academy.

“No sir,” she replied, snapping him back to the present. “Nothing on the sensors at all. We’ve got the rest of the destroyers spread out as pickets to extend our sensor range, but still nothing. It’s just us and the big black out there.” The use of such an informal phrase as ‘the big black’ surprised Carmichael, and forced him to re-evaluate his perception of the young officer. A smile crossed his lips.

“Alright then,” he said, his voice becoming formal again, as he settled into the command chair. “Lieutenant, I stand ready to relieve you. Why don’t you get below and get some sleep.”

Ostrowski snapped to attention and gave him a sharp salute. “Aye sir,” she said, her voice strained. “I stand relieved. The ship is yours, sir.”

Carmichael brushed the formality off with a casual wave of his hand as Ostrowski spun sharply on her heels and strode off the bridge. He waited until the hatch slid shut behind her before standing and walking in front of the large view screen, gazing out at the star-filled expanse before him. These, he thought sadly, were the moments he’d miss, where he could gaze at the unknown and feel it peering back at him. He sighed.

“Alright,” he said, addressing the bridge crew. “Let’s get to work. We’ve only got another eight hours before quitting time. Communications get whatever deck-monkey is in command of the Holland Express on the horn. Explain to them that they can either get their rickety-ass ship back in formation, or they can go through this area all by their lonesome.” The communications rating, a baby-faced petty officer nodded in confirmation.

“And who brought in that coffee today,” Carmichael asked, scanning the bridge crew. He looked down at the jet-black haired helmsman in front of him. “Was that you Ruiz? Because that is some good brew. You need to make the coffee more often.”
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