It is the 25th century... ...and peace has reigned across the galaxy for more than fifty years, thanks to the Alpha Quadrant Cooperative Initiative, and in turn, the Initiative's accords with the other dominant powers of the Beta, Gamma and Delta Quadrants. In this era of relative galactic tranquility, a scientist at the famed Daistrom Science Institute makes a startling proposal: She reasons that it is time for the United Federation of Planets to expand the overall range of its explorations to the wider universe. The proposal is accepted, and after ten years the instruments for carrying it out are created: the Federation Starships Urd, Verthandi and Skuld. Each is a mammoth construct, manned by two thousand sentients and supported by enough crew to man three Defiant-class combatants, a hundred defense fighters and a detachment of a thousand security troops. The ships will also be the home of the crews' families, plus hundreds of scientists, researchers and potential colonists. Their mission: leave the galaxy in the general direction of what is theorized to be the center of the cosmos, using their ships to observe the space between galaxies in hopes of determining once and for all the exact nature of the universe. They will galaxy hop along the way, seeking out new life and new life-forms in each star cluster they enter. This journey is intended to be one-way. They will maintain contact with their galaxy for as long as technology and the continuum allow, but they will not return. It will be up to the occupants of these ships to make new lives either on board, or on other worlds they might encounter along the way. Premise: The series would focus on the travels of the Starship Verthandi and its leaders and just-plain-folk. With thousands of people aboard and an entire universe to explore, it ought to last decades on television if written well. Technical Crap: We shall use astronomical theory and good old fashioned sci-fi-ness to carry Verthandi forward. She will begin her mission by flying to the center of this galaxy along a predetermined course, then use a combination of high-warp and the gravity well of the black hole located there (there is one! honest injun! Astronomers say so!) to slingshot it out of this galaxy and (hopefully) toward the nearest similar one through intergalactic space. Since even such a dramatic increase in velocity will result in a trip requiring hundreds of years, Verthandi will be equipped for hypersleep for all its occupants and the ability to navigate itself and make automatic observations. The ship will be slowed in the next galaxy by using the central black hole to aerobrake, after which the occupants will be awakened and local observations can begin. Once they have explored as much as they can along their route, they will head for the next black hole and head for the next galaxy. I shall return with the proposed characters in the fullness of time. In the meantime, discuss, kvetch, or whatever. Up to you.