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Old March 26 2009, 10:17 PM   #46
CuttingEdge100
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

You know...

I don't recall it ever mentioned that the Excelsior was meant to achieve infinite speed... From what it seemed in the movie, it appears as if it was just to be a very very very fast warp...
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Old March 26 2009, 11:34 PM   #47
kitsune
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Crap, I had a bunch more corrections for you, but then my browser imploded. And I'm using Firefox too. :/
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Old March 26 2009, 11:37 PM   #48
Cid Highwind
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

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.
begin immediately... begin immediately...? I think it might sound better with the first "immediately" removed.

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.
The speeds and distances here seem to be a little off. The distance between Sol and AC is "just" 4.3 light years, so the second ship should not be "light years behind". Perhaps reword this as:

"... Lexington, which had been following Excelsior a few light hours behind on a parallel course to monitor her test flight, ..."

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.
As has been said, tow ships arriving an hour later, and the journey back to earth lasting two hours, seems awfully fast. These ships would probably need some preparation (no need for urgency, Excelsior and crew seem to be "dead in the water", but alright), and might be restricted to low warp speeds. Perhaps make that some days or even a week each? This would also have the nice side effect of being even more embarrassing for Styles!
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Old March 26 2009, 11:50 PM   #49
kitsune
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Praetor wrote: View Post
Thanks, kitsune, in particular for that in-depth edit.
^_^

Praetor wrote: View Post
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.
This is awkward to read.

Praetor wrote: View Post
The public reaction to Excelsior was far better than Starfleet could have ever dreamed.
...was even more enthusiastic than the project's sponsors had hoped for

Praetor wrote: View Post
The public was once again enthusiastic about
The public's imagination was once again captivated by...

Praetor wrote: View Post
The Excelsior Group was soon awarded the Archer Medal of Excellence in Warp Design.
1) aren't medals usually given to individuals, not groups?
2) why not the Cochrane Award for Innovation in Warp Technology?
3) isn't this award a bit premature?

Praetor wrote: View Post
The entire ship was alerted.
...alerted to prepare for transwarp speed

Praetor wrote: View Post
had been removed from the main transwarp computer drive
I know Mr. Scott used the term transwarp computer drive, but it always sounded awkward to me (after all, it's not like a hard drive). How about transwarp drive computer instead? I think that captures the intent better without deviating too much.


Praetor wrote: View Post
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.
If the core was ejected at warp, wouldn't it fall out of warp before the ship did (less inertia?), thus putting significant distance between the two before it exploded? (shrug)

Praetor wrote: View Post
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.
Change her to the ship's unless Styles is a cross-dresser.

I like proofreading.
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Old March 26 2009, 11:55 PM   #50
kitsune
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Cid Highwind wrote: View Post
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.
The speeds and distances here seem to be a little off. The distance between Sol and AC is "just" 4.3 light years, so the second ship should not be "light years behind". Perhaps reword this as:

"... Lexington, which had been following Excelsior a few light hours behind on a parallel course to monitor her test flight, ..."
How about, ...which had been following the Excelsior from a safe distance to observe the test flight...
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Old March 27 2009, 12:42 AM   #51
Plecostomus
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

kitsune wrote: View Post
I like proofreading.
Yes, it crushes the soul.
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Old March 27 2009, 02:54 AM   #52
Praetor
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Plecostomus wrote: View Post
kitsune wrote: View Post
I like proofreading.
Yes, it crushes the soul.
I really do appreciate it everyone, soul-crushing or not.

And as CuttingEdge100 points out there's nothing really to suggest that they were aiming for infinite velocity - it's just my way to try to have it 'fail' in ultimate goal (by not realizing they can't power it enough, or that the ship can't take the strain) without failing in actual warp technology and thereby lead into the 'TNG style' warp drive. Also, I've always thought that the bad episode that is 'Threshold' ignores the nice idea of having it be a jump drive beyond the literal 'everywhere at once' notion. Just trying to tie together a bunch of lose threads. I think it works, at least.

Okay, this hopefully addresses most of the issues. Now for round three of chapter five:
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 possessed great knowledge of procedure and facts, and was an admittedly competent officer, but he was not very good at the creative thinking Kirk and was renowned for and thus had yet to make Admiral. However, what Styles sometimes lacked in ability he could make up for in eloquence. Members of 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 even more enthusiastic than the project's sponsors had hoped for. The public's imagination was once again captivated by 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 members of the Excelsior Group were soon nominated for 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 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 to prepare for transwarp speed. 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 drive computer. 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. As the Excelsior began to fall to subluminal speeds, the core quickly and exploded in a brilliant, dramatic display of matter/antimatter annihilation, the shockwaves gently rocking the ship. 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 the Excelsior from a safe distance to observe the test flight, arrived on the scene to offer aid. Excelsior had to wait over twelve hours for two tow-ships to arrive to tractor her back to Spacedock.

Captain Styles sat disheartened in his chair on the bridge throughout the entire 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 the ship's 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 27 2009, 05:38 AM   #53
kitsune
Captain
 
Location: USS Lollipop
Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Praetor wrote: View Post
The public's imagination was once again captivated by Starfleet and exploration, and had good reason to be proud of Starfleet’s latest accomplishment.
Hmmm. Imagination is the subject of the first half of the sentence, but the public is the subject of the second half of the sentence. Awkward.

Praetor wrote: View Post
five more Excelsior class ships
insert a hyphen before class

Praetor wrote: View Post
second Excelsior class ship
here also

Praetor wrote: View Post
forty-year old Enterprise
insert another hyphen before old

Praetor wrote: View Post
the core quickly and exploded
Eh? Extraneous and?

Praetor wrote: View Post
What had began
What had begun

I think I've picked all the nits I can now, honest
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Old March 27 2009, 08:38 PM   #54
Plecostomus
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Damn it you scared him away again!
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Old March 27 2009, 09:49 PM   #55
SicOne
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Location: Omaha, NE
Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Plecostomus, "awesometisity" is not a word, Mr. President.

Try "awesomeability" instead...

Yes, there is no higher feeling than editing someone else's copy.

Praetor, I have some heavy reading in this thread to catch up on, then I'll start in...

No, seriously, what I have seen thus far just skimming through looks pretty good.
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Old March 27 2009, 10:32 PM   #56
Praetor
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Location: The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

SicOne wrote: View Post
Praetor, I have some heavy reading in this thread to catch up on, then I'll start in...

No, seriously, what I have seen thus far just skimming through looks pretty good.
Thanks! And everyone's crits are welcome, otherwise I wouldn't post.

Plecostomus wrote: View Post
Damn it you scared him away again!
Actually, I just don't feel well today.

Anyway, hopefully this will be the last iteration of chapter five and we can move on to six:
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 possessed great knowledge of procedure and facts, and was an admittedly competent officer, but he was not very good at the creative thinking Kirk and was renowned for and thus had yet to make Admiral. However, what Styles sometimes lacked in ability he could make up for in eloquence. Members of 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 even more enthusiastic than the project's sponsors had hoped for. The public was once again captivated by Starfleet and exploration, and they 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 members of the Excelsior Group were soon nominated for 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 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 to prepare for transwarp speed. 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 drive computer. 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. As the Excelsior began to fall to subluminal speeds, the core fell behind andexploded in a brilliant, dramatic display of matter/antimatter annihilation, the shockwaves gently rocking the ship. 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 the Excelsior from a safe distance to observe the test flight, arrived on the scene to offer aid. Excelsior had to wait over twelve hours for two tow-ships to arrive to tractor her back to Spacedock.

Captain Styles sat disheartened in his chair on the bridge throughout the entire 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 the ship's 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 begun 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 28 2009, 07:19 PM   #57
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

MOAR! *poke poke poke prod stab poke*
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Old March 28 2009, 08:10 PM   #58
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

I was waiting for kitsune.



I promise I'll post the next chapter later on today.
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Old March 28 2009, 09:20 PM   #59
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

I keep neglecting to mention that if anyone has any 'canon' nits with any of this to fire away on those too.

Ah, what the hell. Make the people happy. Here we go.

Chapter Six - Failure and Success

By the beginning of 2287, Excelsior had been fitted with three separate pairs of transwarp nacelles and two different transwarp cores. None of them managed to propel the ship into infinite velocity. Starfleet engineers began to believe that the problem laid in the dilithium used in the transwarp core, which began to disintegrate at higher warp frequencies. On each test run, the ship had reached speeds in excess of warp nine on the new warp scale, nearly tearing herself apart on several occasions. ( Indeed, this was another separate problem – engineers began to doubt whether the ship would actually be able to maintain infinite velocity, if it was actually ever achieved, without destroying itself.) The engine core repeatedly began to overload and was shut down, repeatedly throwing the ship out of warp and requiring days of repairs. Each time the transwarp core could not be powered high enough to propel the ship beyond the transwarp barrier. Fortunately, there were no more core breaches. However, infinite velocity still remained beyond reach even through dozens of more flights. Captain Styles was completely embarrassed, and Doctor Wesley was at wits’ end. Both quietly admitted the same fear: Starfleet had engineered a disaster. Finally Starfleet had enough.

To their embarrassment, Starfleet Command was forced to officially announce the failure of the Transwarp Development Project. The press had a field day. As quickly as they had sang the praises of the glorious new wonder ship, they had also torn apart its failures, suggesting incompetence at Starfleet was to blame for the project’s failure. The Federation Council was incensed both at the public response and at the waste of resources that had been poured into the project. It was clear that someone was going to take the fall for the project’s lack of success. Excelsior’s crew was reassigned. Though he was ultimately faultless, Captain Styles’s career was broken, and though he would continue service for the next two decades, he would never be offered command of a starship again. Doctor Tokogawa's career suffered little damage from the fiasco, as he had engineered many great successes before Excelsior, and would continue to do so for many years. The remainder of Doctor Wesley's career would be a quiet one. His lasting legacy would be the ultimate adaptation of his modified warp scale throughout the Federation. The name 'Eugene's Limit' would come to be the standard description for his unbreakable inifinite velocity barrier.

The Excelsior herself was another issue entirely. Starfleet had halted the construction of the next two Excelsior class ships, the first of which was well into the framing stage, and the second only into initial parts production, and Excelsior sat powered down in dock as the authorities at Starfleet Command debated what was to be done with her. Over the six months of limbo, Starfleet allowed some of her fittings to be stripped for use on other starships under construction or refit. Excelsior lay at Pier Three a broken, hollow vessel, the blackened echo of what might have been and a reminder of what was not. Even in defeat, Excelsior quickly became the principal source of dispute again. Many in Starfleet wanted to dismantle Excelsior, recycle her remaining components, and try to forget about this embarrassing chapter of their history while pursuing a new, more conventional replacement for the Constitution class. However, another part of Starfleet Command, saw this plan as wasteful and still wanted to make the Excelsior class a reality. They pointed out that while Excelsior had failed to achieve infinite velocity, the speeds she had achieved were nonetheless impressive. This movement managed to convince Admiral Cartwright to save Excelsior. The Excelsior had been granted a second chance.

Therefore, by the end of 2287, Excelsior was again crawling with work crews beginning the task of refitting her with a standard warp drive and completing her fitting out. The work to build a new warp drive large enough to accommodate such a big ship and then install it into an already completed ship was staggering. Though publicly Starfleet wholly supported the effort, in private the brass was still uneasy and skeptical of the design’s viability, and planned to scrap the refit if any problems arose. Fortunately for Excelsior, they didn’t. Remaining equipment designed specifically for the transwarp drive was stripped and a new warp core and nacelles were constructed, again under the supervision of Dr. Tokogawa. Construction of a 'conventional' warp drive on this scale was almost unprecedented. Fortunately, the engineers who had worked to create transwarp had learned many things from their failed efforts and made revolutionary discoveries which went into the production of the warp drives of Excelsior and all subsequent vessels. Excelsior also received a new, state of the art bridge module, complete with her original dedication plaque.

In early January 2289, Excelsior was again launched from Dry Dock Seven, this time under power of standard warp propulsion and with far greater caution and apprehension. Under the guidance of her new flight test crew, Excelsior began the second systems review and shakedown of her lifetime. All of Excelsior’s systems performed to full Level Four Review satisfaction this time, surprising and relieving both Starfleet Command and the staff at San Francisco Yards. However, Excelsior became notorious for several unforeseen quirks that would become characteristic of this next phase of her life. First, she retained the awkward sublight maneuverability even at full impulse that had plagued her earlier trials. Her test captain commented that Excelsior “showed her size.” Additionally, at warp she seemed to be too powerful for her own good, continuing to threaten to tear herself apart under full power of her engines at speeds of warp nine (MCU) and above, developing a serious vibration problem evocative of those experienced by the old Constitution class. Nonetheless, Starfleet authorized the Excelsior for active duty as NCC-2000. Starfleet was so pleased with Excelsior’s shakedown results that it resumed construction on the two new Excelsiors that were already underway, and ordered the next three to follow tentative on the first three's performance. The Transwarp Development Project had proven a failure, yes, but the Excelsior Class Project was now a monumental success whose historic legacy was just beginning. She was ready for her first mission. Now all she needed was a crew.

Although the appointment of most of her senior staff was a rather quick matter, especially careful thought was put into the selection of Excelsior's new commanding officer. Excelsior was going to be at the forefront of executing Starfleet policy, so her Captain not only needed to be a skilled leader, but also a skilled diplomat. A number of prominent Starfleet Captains and Commanders shied away from the assignment for fear it would break their careers as it had Styles's. Starfleet soon found their perfect candidate in the form of Commander Hikaru Sulu. A veteran of Starfleet, Sulu had been one of the forerunners considered for command of Excelsior prior to the largely political appointment of Styles. Sulu was currently in service as helmsman aboard the Enterprise-A, and had long followed the Excelsior and Transwarp Development Projects with enthusiasm. When offered command of Excelsior, Sulu eagerly accepted and was granted a promotion to Captain. He also requested Lieutenant Commander Janice Rand, a friend and former Enterprise colleague, be transferred to Excelsior. She joined the bridge crew as communications officer. The Enterprise returned Sulu to Earth in early 2290, also seeing Excelsior off as she departed for her first mission. Time would tell whether Excelsior would ultimately prove worth the work and faith put in her.
Edit: 4000th post, I'm a Rear Admiral now.
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Old March 28 2009, 09:28 PM   #60
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Praetor wrote: View Post
I was waiting for kitsune.



I promise I'll post the next chapter later on today.
I promised not to find any more nits in that chapter ^_^
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