2398 : 21 years after the Dominion War, 19 years since Shinzon and 11 years since the destruction of of Romulus’ solar system. The galaxy is a different place and four uprated Ournal class Spacedocks are being constructed in orbit around Earth – Spacedock Birmingham being one of them, and the first to reach completion and commissioning.
The new Ournals are able to house Odyssey & Sovereign class starships as well as the Ambassador & Galaxy class vessels that the class was originally upgraded to deal with (Ournal Mark II such as the Spacedock based Starbase 74). As part of the uprate to Ournal Mark III they now have a second docking area above the main one for smaller vessels around the size of Intrepid or Constellation classes… and the up until recently top secret “Constitution X”, now designated as the James Watt sub-class.
This new upper zone includes rapid swop out systems for the modular James Watt sub-class along with precise rapid launch systems to respond to mission specific requirements. The heavily shielded outer rim of the “mushroom” contains a promenade and access to leisure facilities.
Spacedock Birmingham will have a complement of eight James Watt sub-class vessels, with four under construction in the adjacent fleet yard dry docks.
The project became the Constitution X when it was determined that the outline, the very silhouette of an earlier refit Constitution class was still regarded as not only a symbol of Starfleet but a symbol of hope due to it’s association with the V’Ger incident, Khitomer Accords and various other missions of the era as well as rescue and swift response missions during the Dominion War.
Once decided the spaceframe was targetted to be as similar as possible in external layout to such a famous design, while incorporating the hyper-modular system designs and cutting edge technology from tomorrows starships – capable of great humanitarian feats, but also a wolf in sheep’s clothing, capable of complete modular swop out and launch in under an hour from a correctly equipped Spacedock such as Spacedock Birmingham.
Home dock of 8 vessels, all of the new James Watt subclass of the Constitution class starship (aka Constitution X):
- NX-101700 U.S.S. James Watt
- NCC-101701 U.S.S. Geekology
- NCC-101702 U.S.S.Optimus Prime
- NCC-101703 U.S.S. Matthew Boulton
- NCC-101704 U.S.S. J.R.R. Tolkien
- NCC-101705 U.S.S. George Cadbury
- NCC-101706 U.S.S. Terry Pratchett
- NCC-101707 U.S.S. Julie Walters
Spacedock Birmingham is an uprated Ournal Spacedock (Mark III) in geosynchronous orbit above the city of Birmingham. Spacedock Birmingham offers a meeting of minds and safe harbour for visiting personnel from local ships and Starfleet as a whole.
It is 20 years since Shinzon of Remus took control of the Romulan senate and was promptly removed. Peace with the Romulan Empire was made by Captain Riker of the U.S.S. Titan in the years that follows, but unfortunately a supernova in 2387 destroyed Romulus and in the following 12 years since that disaster there have been major shift in the political landscape of the galaxy.
The Romulan people have become part of the Federation along with Cardassia, and after more internal unrest, the Klingons have also come in from the cold.
As a result the Federation spans a great deal of both the Alpha and Beta quadrants and Starfleet is a much more diverse organisation, four times that of the size it was in 2364, in order to patrol the much larger Federation, support it's citizens and still explore further.
Starfleet is now an organisation made up of four command branches to enable efficient chains of command and effective administration. Each of these command branches has it's own symbol and Starfleet as a whole has encouraged the return of both individual ship symbols and the return of division symbols for command, science, medical, operations and intelligence.
The Federation is big and powerful and misunderstood by many in the rest of the galaxy who have, to their perception, seen the fall of the Klingon, Romulan and Cardassian empires to this behemoth that even managed to neutralise the Dominion. Border skirmishes with the Orions, the Breen and the Gorn have become more frequent and every day brings new first contact opportunities.
Spacedock Birmingham is a Mark III Ournal class Spacedock. Though she can house ships as large as the Galaxy, Sovereign and even Odyssey classes her dry dock facilities and those around her making up the Birmingham fleet yards are building the latest regeneration of the Constitution class starship that proved once again, during the Dominion War, that it was an extremely capable and flexible spaceframe design
Two generations on from the Wyvern subclass that the "Connies" took on during the war, the new James Watt subclass (development code name “Constitution X”) offers a well known space frame, a legendary silhouette, known across the galaxy and a modular approach to make it the most flexible series of ships in the fleet.
An initial 8 vessels are being constructed for deployment as Spacedock and Ambassadorial support, with further orders expected potentially to support Earth's other 3 main Spacedocks and beyond.
Spacedock Birmingham is a division command post hence the new symbol which melds the original USS Enterprise and USS Defiant Constitution class services patches. Spacedock Birmingham is the construction centre for the new generation of those starships – balancing exploration and defence capabilities. These vessels offer a more flexible mission adaptable platform to the deep space exploration specific “city” ships coming down the line. The move from the Galaxy class to the theoretical “Universe” class vessels continues as starship development continues.
With culturally diverse crews and an ever expanding frontier, new challenges are always around the corner.