Happy New Year all! As a bit of a present, I wanted to give you another update here and this is one I think you’ll like.
I finished Part II of my big Constitution class History and shortened it just a tad, running from 2265 to 2272 instead of 2273. Writing the Kzinti Incursion wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, was able to gloss over it for the most part. As it goes though, I separated it out into three parts. The first part borrows heavily from what Richard Mandel wrote in Vol. 11 of his FSC, describing the initial invasion. With the second part, I branched out and let my own ideas take control, giving the focus predominantly to the Starfleet Marines and their efforts to liberate Denobula II, Sigma Draconis VI and Tellar. The final part revolves around the pivotal battle at Tau Ceti, the Federation’s victory and the end to the conflict. Like I said, I glossed over things to a large degree, so don’t expect this part to resemble a military history work. *(I have a separate piece on the SFMC itself that at some point will cover history and equipment)
What drove me to make part two revolve around the SFMC and the liberation of those three planets were a trio of small craft designs I came back to. Not only did Eric “Jackill” Kristiansen design the Wasp, Hornet and Yellowjacket fighters as well as a plethora of starships, he also designed a number of small craft including shuttles and a number of variants of the ubiquitous ‘Work Bee’ from TMP. Initially, they didn’t appeal t0 me for what I’m guessing are aesthetic reasons. Now that I’m basically starting back at square one and rewriting history as I see it, I’ve reconsidered these designs and found that they fit well with what I’ve written.
Where the Work Bee is concerned, it makes the most sense if you think of it as a rough analogue to the Helicopter of today. He expanded upon the single seat version most of us are familiar with, with a two-seat version (‘Dual Bee’). From there he came up with a number of innovative add-on/bolt-on attachments or ‘packs’ that could approximate the capabilities of a shuttlecraft or fighter depending on specific requirements. For my purposes, I wrote in the Assault Bee and Killer Bee.
The smallest variant, this includes warp nacelles with integrated phaser emitters (on the tips) in a single, integrated ‘sled’ like attachment. (Think of the UH-1 Huey or AH-1 Cobra)
This includes larger nacelles, a separate weapons pod (integrating both phaser emitters and photon missile tubes) and sensors all mounted on a larger hull module. (Think of the AH-64 Apache or KA-52 Alligator)
Overall, these assault craft are smaller and seemingly less complex than their mission-dedicated brethren, thus making them easier to construct and deploy in large numbers – perfect compliments to a remote base/outpost/station or starships with limited hangar space.
The shuttles he came up with though, I’m still on the fence about. Small craft design has never seemed to garner much attention, let alone in the TOS or TMP eras. His ‘Aladdin class‘ heavy/long range shuttle seems to have roots in the Danube class despite a reworked cockpit module and nacelles. However his two assault shuttles, Imp and Ogre, are more fitting for the era. Ogre is the larger of the two and the inspiration for the ‘Type IV/A’ I mentioned, featuring dual phaser emitters and dual photon missile tubes and able to embark up to 18 fully equipped marines.
I didn’t want to detract from my main focus, so they haven’t gotten much mention so far. Whether or not they pop up again and/or I write histories around them is still up in the air right now. I’d recommend paying him a visit though at his site here, or on his Facebook page here.
Getting back to the Kzinti Incursion, as I’ve mentioned before, there’s not much written stuff out there – Mandel’s brief overview being the most complete synopsis I’ve found. One of the major after effects (mentioned in Ships of the Star Fleet) are the Cammel IV Revelations. I haven’t expanded upon that either, but basically it brings to light a series of covert operations by Starfleet going back a few years and on the surface, these covert ops seem to incite the later incursion. In earlier volumes of the FSC, Mandel expands upon this a bit and I intend to as well in Part III (2273-86), though again, not in too much detail.
Don’t wish for a better 2015, make it so!