Hey all – sorry about the delay between updates, have been on a bit of a PC gaming binge here. In my last update I mentioned something about getting sucked in to Star Trek Online. Played that for a few weeks and found it fascinating to a degree. I got through the bulk of the campaign, even threw down some money to buy an Odyssey class ship, but after a bit, the whole cycle of replaying old missions, gaining dilithium/zen and continually refitting/upgrading my ship & character got boring (am not much of a PvP guy myself).
So, a few weeks back I got bored and decided to buy GTA V out of curiosity just to see how it would run. To my surprise, with the new, sharper graphics, larger map and other improvements/additions, it ran buttery smooth. Then I read somewhere that it was optimized by the same team that worked on Max Payne 3 (another one of my favorites that runs just as well) and was like “Go figure…..”. Am sure though that I’ll replace my GTX 285 SC (from eVGA) down the road at some point.
Anyhow, where my actual project is concerned, I finally finished out Part III (2273-86) today. As previously mentioned, I patterned the destruction of the Hood (mentioned in Ships of the Star Fleet with only a vague description) after WWII’s Battle of the Denmark Strait, though it’s only ended up being about a paragraph in length. Some things to note…….
-The commander of the Hood is Commodore Lyle Craig (Memory Beta)
-The K’Teremny class Q’rish is attended by the F-5 (refit) Qu’Hegh (see this previous post)
–Q’rish is destroyed 3 months later by the new Excelsior class Yorktown.
In general, I played up the extreme maneuverability/agility of the K’Teremny class, but didn’t give a “hit-by-hit” description of the battle, opting to do a somewhat broader ‘synopsis’ instead. One might take issue with this and argue that the last major battle of the era deserves an in-depth examination, but in Part III, there have already been so many battles, I didn’t want to skew the narrative too far towards combat.
Like I mentioned, the general idea of the battle between the Hood (along with Ajax and Moltke) and Q’rish comes from Ships of the Star Fleet – am making no claims of creation or ownership over that at all, just merely expanding upon it and adding my own details.
Part IV (2287-2335) is the swan song and I’ve only just begun thinking about it here. Despite the introduction of a handful of new ship classes (that I have yet to settle on), the ascendancy of Gorkon to the chancellorship tempers the traditional Klingon antagonism and gives Starfleet some breathing room.
I think it will be here where the roots of Starfleet’s consolidation and transformation into a multi-mission force will take root. Major shipbuilding trends that I’ve been kicking around (to frame the early part of Part IV) include the shift away from Dreadnoughts and other specialty classes towards singular/unified solutions (this is where old ideas/concepts like the Reserve Forces Command and Exeter class CB will play a part) as well as Starfleet’s efforts to field a true BB (the Arizona class).
Uprating all the existing Constitution II, Tikopai and Enterprise II class CH’s to Potempkin class specs will keep them relevant and keep them from being too quickly overshadowed by Excelsior and then the Renaissance class CA (which will appear around the turn of the century.
Unfortunately, I can think of no major exploratory adventures for the class to take part in, aside from an expedition to the Badlands *(which I wrote as being discovered by the Loknar class USS Yorkshire in 2263). The only other event of note would be the recovery of the Republic (see Memory Beta), otherwise aside from this, you have the events of ST VI and then a gradual decline. At one time, I thought the Tholian War had taken place earlier, just after the turn of the century…….but it, like the hazy conflict between the Federation and Cardassians took place in the 2350’s/60’s.
There are two sources of conflict that are more asymmetric from which I could possibly derive some ideas – terrorism (from the Kriosian group known as ‘The Thorn’ – see link) and organized crime/drug trafficking (from Asfar Qatala – possibly setting up a gang war with the Orion Syndicate?). Either way, I see little chance of keeping Constitution’s reputation strictly peaceful in its twilight years.
As to any appearance of the class after 2335 (the arbitrary retirement date I chose), well, TNG (“Best of Both Worlds”) is pretty dicey, though to be fair, nothing I’ve read on Wolf 359 gives a definitive yes or no answer (see this link). DS9 on the other hand is a bit more ambiguous. Memory Alpha (link here) lists 4 appearances, but these most likely refer to the class as it was in TOS, either by a brief glimpse of a model or scenes from “Trials and Tribulations”. The famous (or infamous) ‘Frankenstein Fleet’ from the DS9 Technical Manual (see this link) does include a Constitution class variant, though it is never seen on screen and it is this point that’s given rise in some quarters to the idea that one or more ships (in their normal configuration) could have participated in the war.
When it comes to the issue of a vessel’s overall lifespan, Federation Spaceflight Chronology author Richard Mandel put forth the general idea of a 75 years for a starship like Constitution, launched in the 2220’s and undergoing major refits/upgrades every 10-25 years or so. This makes sense on the surface, given that ST VI is the last time we see the class on screen. However, what’s not taken into account is the fact that in the transition from the TOS to TMP eras, the Enterprise and her sister ships are almost totally rebuilt (canon evidence supports this as seen here).
So with very little left that’s purely ‘original’, one could take that 75 year clock and reset it once a Constitution class ship emerged from its linear-warp uprating (like I intend to do). Theoretically then, if the Enterprise hadn’t been decommissioned at the end of ST VI, it could’ve continued on in service until anywhere between 2346-48. My retirement date of 2335 would leave a good 10 years or so for the ships to continue on in a reserve capacity. Ultimately, after ‘resetting the clock’ there are two routes I can go from here……..either A) scrap the ships and let their legacy live on or B) create a ‘boneyard’ (akin to the one the USAF operates at Davis-Monthan AFB) to store old hulls after they have left the reserves. Fleshing out this idea should help further develop my ‘Reserve Forces Command’ concept.
So then, there’s a lot of thinking and writing to be done, but the final chapter of Constitution‘s history promises to be an exciting one. Thanks for sticking with me folks.