Shuttles……..

I just can’t catch a break here folks, I really can’t……haha  This close to being done with things and another issue has popped up.

This time, it has to deal with the issue of shuttlecraft.  In laying out my explanation for what happened to the fugitive intel analyst Christina Brady, I was trying to decide how to explain her escape (i.e. what kind of craft she escaped in). I briefly thought about the Aladdin or Colin Powell long range shuttles (here and here respectively), but they look too much like the more recognizable Danube to me.  So, I went back to shuttles.  Most of the more widely-known designs weren’t big enough I thought, to support someone who would be living on the lam for an extended period.  Then I  thought about the Gagarin/Greer class cutter (here) which seems amenable to landing on a planet, but which seems impractical for one person to operate.  So I settled on a little known TMP era design.

I first spotted the new, proposed successor to the old TOS Class F/Type III shuttle in “Mr. Scott’s Guide To The Enterprise”.  Shane Johnson never gave it a name, but described the design as one that aimed to free up hangar deck space thanks to use of the fleet’s new standardized docking port system.  Paired with a warp sled, this is what we saw bring Spock back to the Enterprise in ST I.  Memory Beta designates it as the SW7 class (link) and in Vol. 3 of his Star Fleet Reference Manuals, Eric “Jackill” Kristiansen came up with an interesting set of add-on modules just as he did for the Work Bee (link).

With that minor issue settled, I did come across some other interesting designs during my search including……..

Zodiac – a TOS era shuttle/sled pairing (link)

Voyager – the most interesting TOS small craft I’ve come across aside from the D-17, this comes from modeler John Payne (site here).  This would be the perfect heavy/long-range compliment to the Class F/Type III and as evidenced by the one profile view I’ve been able to find, it opens up a range of possibilities/uses.  (link – unfortunately, can’t find any orthos 😦 )

 

There’s also been a huge update of new stuff over at the Starship Schematic Database (check it out).  I’m at work here and can’t really go through all of them, but I’m sure there are at least a few decent stand-outs.

More to come soon.

 

 

Jolan Tru

 

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Loose Ends

Hey all, know two posts in such short order like this is highly unusual, but I discovered I made a rather big oversight and rectifying it carries with it, implications bigger than the retconning I alluded too in my previous post.

 

What am I talking about?  Well back at the beginning of Part III, I started off shedding some light on the ‘Cammel IV revelations’.  A plot device originating in Ships of the Star Fleet (as far I can tell….), information apparently came to light, revealing highly unethical activities by Starfleet against the Kzin in the years leading up to the Kzinti Incursion.  Highly inflammatory from a political standpoint, the major repercussion involved the immediate halt to all development work on the Akyazi class Perimeter Action Ship.  I stated as much in my summation paragraph, but elected to go a step further.  I made Cammel IV the location of a base/outpost (didn’t go into any detail) where a civilian intelligence analyst named Christina Brady collected this incredibly sensitive information (along with who knows what else) and later leaked it to the Federation News Service (FNS).

While inventing a ‘Snowden-esque’ character and having her leak sensitive information might seem slightly controversial and a bit cliched, I figured it would be a good way to explain the subsequent outrage from the Federation Council.  The thing is, after I mention her going rogue, I didn’t mention her again……..

 

While writing out my whole theory on the Khitomer Conspiracy (that I explained in my previous post), I randomly remembered this and began thinking about how I could put that whole issue to rest.  Then, after doing a slight bit of digging, I found that no one seems to know how the data from Project Genesis was leaked (wasn’t mentioned in any novel, at least according to Memory Beta), nor is there really a satisfactory explanation of how the Romulans/Tal’Shiar got their hooks into Admiral Cartwright and planted their conspiratorial seeds.

If what I’ve written so far makes sense to you, then I’d wager you have an idea of what kind of plot is taking shape in my head and where I’m going with this…….

 

Brady, after leaking the initial trove of data regarding Starfleet ops against the Kzin, obviously has to flee and go rogue.  Eventually, she is either contacted or captured by the Tal’Shiar.  For this whole grandiose scenario of mine to work, we’ll have to assume that she escaped with the complete ‘master file’ on the Genesis Project *(for funding/resource allocation on such a scale and for such a sensitive purpose, I’m assuming Dr. Marcus provided the Federation/Starfleet brass with more than just the video we saw toward the beginning of ST II).

The Romulans view the data and find it scientifically sound.  Most importantly, they realize it was developed with and for the most peaceful of intentions.  However, given the state of cold war between the Federation and the Klingons and the various tactical developments that have taken place on both sides, the Romulans realize the Klingons probably wouldn’t view Genesis in the same manner.  So, the Tal’Shiar has Brady sell some of her data to a small time smuggler, who just happens to be working with the Klingon operative Valkris.  In a calculated gamble, the Tal’Shiar theorize that after the Klingons learn of Genesis, they will launch a pre-emptive strike to either capture it, or destroy it before it can be used against them.  Such a strike would presumably be on a scale large enough to precipitate a full-scale conflict.  Thus, the Romulans would realize their goal of seeing at least one of their major rivals eliminated in a most bloody fashion.

This obviously doesn’t work because there is no due diligence involved whatsoever.  The smuggler the Tal’Shiar has her sell the data too is working with an operative (Valkris) who is involved with a Klingon (Commander Kruge) who is a renegade himself. Naturally, following the events of ST III, they have to wait for the Federation and Klingons to quit trading diplomatic barbs back and forth and for the political firestorm to cool considerably.

I figure that it is during this time that the Kriosian dissidents began to seriously get organized and it isn’t until sometime between 2287-89 that they emerge as the paramilitary/terrorist force known as ‘the Thorn’.

The Romulans aim to not make the same mistake again and are much more deliberate and calculated in their moves. Their ultimate goal is to see the end of both the Klingons and the Federation.  They’re not stupid and know they couldn’t hope to defeat Starfleet directly, especially since their tactical and technological capabilities have advanced well beyond their own.  In a conflict against the Klingons, the Romulans are certain Starfleet will at the very least put an end to their reign as a major naval power, if not eliminate them outright.  With the Federation, the Romulans are counting on one of two things, either a) the majority of its Starfleet being lost, thus letting the Imperial Navy operate with almost certain impunity or b)  being able to acquire or capture Federation technology that will even the odds or possibly give them an edge.

Back to that rogue intelligence analyst though…….

 

With this next attempt to ignite a conflict, Brady will naturally be used much more sparingly.  The plan is to attack the obvious weak points on both sides – bring the Klingon industrial base to a grinding halt and co-opt sympathetic Starfleet personnel into going along with a plan that will start a war (the assassination of the Federation & Klingon heads of state).  This brings us to the Khitomer Conspiracy and events which have been described already.

 

Significant questions that remain/blanks to fill in are as follows……

  • What motivated Christina Brady to initially leak info to the FNS in 2274?
    • Info on her background (education, experience, possible Starfleet service?)
    • Starfleet InfoSec (in light of Operation: Vanguard, how/why could a civilian access, let alone download sensitive material?)
  • How did she escape and evade detection
    • Did she commander a shuttlecraft or starship? (what class/type, how capable)
    • Did she have help?
    • Did she settle in one place/on one planet, or did she move around?
  • Initial Contact with the Romulans (Tal’Shiar)
    • When, where
    • How (under what circumstances)
  • After Genesis (events of ST III)
    • Repercussions for lack of D.D. ??

 

I’m not even sure whether all of this will make it in, let alone how to present it.  Right now I’m explaining my take on the Khitomer Conspiracy in the context of an interrogation of Admiral Cartwright.  To keep from running off onto too long of a tangent, one idea I’m kicking around could see Cartwright give her up, then have a starship (possibly the Merrimac – one I’ve used extensively already) chase her down and capture/kill her.  With her dead and Cartwright dying shortly afterward under mysterious circumstances, the ‘loose ends’ would seem to be tied up……..

…….or would they??

 

I might need to think up a vehicle by which I can divert some of these tangents and keep things on course here.  I’m not sure though.  Got some freelance work coming up later this week and that will be sapping up a lot of time/energy/effort.

 

Q’apla!

 

Retconning……..

Hey all – don’t like giving away too many details, but because I’m going to be doing some retconning with regards to the events of ST VI, I feel like I should just to make everything clear.

 

Praxis, while overmined to the hilt, wasn’t destroyed by that and a lack of safety precautions.  An overload in one of its “quantum reactors” is what did it *(read this).  Now, I’m taking that idea and merging it with another one – that of Romulan Ambassador Nanclus actually being an agent of the Tal’Shiar *(read this).

As I have it, the whole entire incident was conceived and engineered by the Tal’Shiar, who used Kriosian terrorists (from ‘The Thorn’) to infiltrate Praxis and either sabotage or plant bombs on the reactors (in the process of ironing that out).  Knowing of Chang’s conservative/traditionalist leanings, “Nanclus” knew he would be amenable to the conspiracy without question, so instead, he contacted Admiral Cartwright and disseminated the details to him.  Cartwright then passed the details along to Chang, Col. West and Lt. Valeris and helped “Nanclus” infiltrate the Federation Diplomatic Corps under the guise of being the Romulan Ambassador to the UFP.  All these details would come out after his arrest, but presumably before his death in 2298 *(read this)

Why involve the Romulans though?  Well, for one thing, it fits an historical trend.  Going back to the days of TOS, they never confronted enemies directly, instead preferring the ways of stealth & subversion as well as playing enemies off one another.  For another, it supports their later aggression in the Foxtrot sector *(read this) and at Narendra III *(read this) to varying degrees.  Finally, it highlights the shift away from the open warfare of the 23rd Century and towards shadowy/asymmetric/limited/hybrid aggression that we would see throughout much of the 24th Century.

 

(This also makes me wonder what kind of direction FASA would’ve taken had Gene Roddenberry/Paramount not squashed their efforts back in the early days of TNG………)

 

After the events of ST VI comes the final Constitution class varient – Potempkin.  One of the big things I hope to accomplish with that is straighten out my own confusion regarding advanced nacelle types (Potempkin – LN-70…….Midway CV – LN-80…Carolina BB – LN-90).  I’m still having trouble coming up with 1-2 more events to take the class into the Lost Era though.  Indeed, where Asfar Qatala and/or the Orion Syndicate are concerned, it’s hard to come up with a plot point irregardless of what class I’m writing on.

What I might just do instead, to preserve the class’ peaceful legacy, is use the death of Christopher Pike (which is pegged somewhere prior to 2320…….I’d say somewhere in the 2314-2318 range) and possibly by extension, the redevelopment of Talos IV *(read here) as a smooth ‘swan song’ to close things out.  Then, mention a few bits about future weapons/tech testing and talk about the class in the context of its Renaissance and Ambassador class successors and that’ll be it.  The period from 2335 (removal of all examples from front line service, assigned to Reserves) to 2345 (official retirement) will be covered in a future “Reserve Forces Command” publication, if I can think up some good plot points that is.

 

After writing all of this here, I realize I got my whole combined TMP era compilation to think about, but I’ve also started to give some thought to cleaning/tightening up my Lost Era stuff, which in turn would hopefully help clean up/streamline everything after that (which I alluded to in my previous post).  All in all, there’s plenty still to do/explore.

 

Jolan Tru

 

Good morning (or evening) all.  Nothing substantive to report yet……..am starting to broach the whole Khitomer Conspiracy topic, but doing it right makes it a bit complicated, not sure how long that will take if RL keeps up the way it has been.

Have an interesting article from one of my defense-related blogs.  It doesn’t have a military/political bent to it, but am sure someone will find it fascinating…… 😉

This Isn’t The Death Star Laser You’re Looking For 

 

Also, another Trek art/design blog to take a look at would be the Evil Starship Factory.  Currently, the author has a pretty slick looking TOS era Miranda in the works (complete with the ‘terraced’ hull and roll bar).  I went looking the other day for some view of the Constellation class, as I had mentioned that in my writing and came upon an excellent model he made (use the search box in the upper right to find it).

 

More to come soon hopefully.

 

Live Long and Prosper