001 · IDEALS (Pilot)
A battle-damaged Enterprise conducts a shuttlecraft rescue of the Rosenberg, a colony ship adrift in contested space. On Earth, a tidier narrative of the unsanctioned mission has been spun to the public.
The newly-named starship prototype, ‘Enterprise’, recovers from a detour to complete it’s secret mission:
The rescue of the Rosenberg.
Reeling from sabotage, high-jacking, and confrontation with Romulans, the Enterprise finds the Rosenberg in just enough time, as the colony ship of mostly children is about to run out of air. An exhausted Dr. April commends his crew, but lacking transporters, transferring their guests to the Enterprise will have to happen by shuttlecraft: A timely operation in hostile and contested space. April consults Colt on Earth, and it turns out that the media has already announced the rescue’s success. “I’ve just been handed an *urgent* and inspiring news story. The Rosenberg has been rescued…”
April heads for the lower decks to greet his incoming passengers, first stopping to visit a holdover of from the detour: T’Cael, an ousted Romulan ‘Field Primus’ seeking asylum. Though Romulans are responsible for the ships condition, April can’t pin his problems on this Romulan. He tells T’Cael about the mission’s media campaign. T’Cael points out that wider intrigue may be afoot: with these news stories serving as propaganda, and cover for the mission. Either way, T’Cael reiterates that at least the rescue is/was/will be successful. The mind will make your day, according to your imagination. T’Cael encourages April to be hopeful and promises henceforth that he will be a man of patience and peace.
What’s the big deal with this mission anyway? Well, the dozens of children; but more likely: Zaragoli, the Rosenberg’s famous pilot/celebrity, musician, and politician. What’s she doing here, April wonders. Colt guesses that she does what she wants. Was Zaragoli able to cast her vote at the Babel peace conference? April will get a chance to ask in person. The first of the Rosenberg children arrive and April finds out that the Rosenberg took on saboteurs, too. Zaragoli thinks they may be Klingon, altered to look human. But they’ll be dealt with when the time comes. The Enterprise bridge informs April that a Klingon Battlecruiser is on its way.
A half-hour countdown. Time to speed things up. The Aqua Shuttle is unstowed and April drafts Zaragoli to pilot the sole remaining shuttlecraft.
Oh but there’s Mudd. Lt. Drake’s runabout races to ferry the Rosenberg passengers, transporting the scoundrel to the Enterprise. The rescue is nearing completion. But the Klingons are here. Captain Krenn & the Mirror. If it were any other Klingon, it’d be trouble: April knows Krenn as a peacemaker. Krenn lets April know that the Federation dissolved the peace treaty while he’s been away. And to be wary: there are many conspirators across the Federation and Klingon Empire pushing for war. Krenn relays the coordinates of a federation diplomat, safely removed from Klingon territory. He also offers a hand in the rescue. Please stand by.
Three more Klingon ships are headed for the Enterprise. There may not be enough time left to finish the rescue, but Zaragoli tells April use the shuttle ride to rest. She’s got this. April discovers that conversation heals. Back on the Enterprise, T’Cael meditates. Mudd is reunited with his daughter in the triage area and the two plot their con. Drake makes it back with his last load of passengers, as do April and Zaragoli, however, The aqua shuttle has been commandeered by the impostor Klingons, who fly towards the Mirror, broadcasting a prize beacon. They taunt both the Enterprise and the silent Krenn.
The impostor Klingons are not tolerated long, when an enraged Krenn destroys the shuttle, after transporting the humans to safety. April and Zaragoli witness the beam-in, as Mudd and daughter use the confusion to steal a shuttle. Running out of time, the Mudd’s are left behind. Orders also arrive. The owners of the Rosenberg would like it destroyed. Hmm. April offers that job to the Klingons, with Zaragoli’s blessing. Oh, btw Mr. Mudd… more Klingons are on the way. Best advice? Head for Federation space and turn yourself in. We can’t stick around. April sends Krenn his thanks and the Enterprise warps away, as the Mirror sits ready to finish the Rosenberg.
Now out of trouble, Zaragoli, Colt and April parse the media coverage of their rescue. Entirely fluff. Kirk and Drake are sent with their T’Cael to pick up the ambassador Krenn dropped off. Before leaving, April promises to fix every mix up. Colt lets April know there will be interviews and press conferences. All in due time. Let’s go home. April returns to the bridge, and the champion of the day was open minds and positive thought, April opines to his bridgemates. This venture is about more than the technology that puts them in these fantastic situations; his starship program is about achieving “the dream.”
002 · IMPERATIVES
The Enterprise and the Rosenberg refugees wait under guard at a quiet space station orbiting a mysterious, reflective planet. April & Colt are compelled to go along with a cover-narrative of the mission .
On the fringes our solar system, a coverup of the Enterprise’s mission:
Doctor April isn’t having it.
The Enterprise arrives at the outer reaches of our heliosphere, and divert towards a dark, planetary debris cloud far from the inner planets. Within the cloud is a small red star, with a peculiar planet in orbit. In orbit of the planet, a space station. Colt watches their arrival from the station. The Enterprise approachs the station to find the Enterprises sister ship, the Constitution in drydock. Her numbers are being painted over. They get a cold welcome. The station has jammed the comms, and only Doctor April is allowed to depart.
April is forced to wait in a shuttlepod awhile before the airlock opens to his pal Morrow, with Colt, and behind them, a squad of marines. Any help there? April asks. The med staff was on another travel pod, Colt replies. Morrow, April and Colt press through the rest of the marines, on to an empty concourse. The place is clean. And creepy. Maybe it’s just early. The planet looms. April catches some inspiring words from the president on a monitor. A stop for coffee and April and Morrow depart to discuss ‘safety procedures’. Colt gets a call from her boss. She talks about what she read on the way over–the planet. An officer, Esteban, lurks and steps in to mocks her. “This is not planet X.”
April and Morrow talk Starfleet intel. The federation is in a tough spot. The jobless are agitating. The rationale is that science, and Starfleet, need reinvention. Reinvention being best driven by war. Yes. War is great for science. April is here to get the sciency script. The elder morrow concurs over subspace. April isn’t happy about it. It seems like others are angry, too. It must be the station. Or the planet. Colt is accosted, again for her curiosity by the station crew on the promenade. Her heels pester with every fallacy. They harangue her for her out of date uniform and threaten her if she takes pictures. Otto intervenes. They get along, and muse on the crazy. Otto takes Colt to Morrow’s office.
April is finally found by the Station Master’s Lackey, ‘smoking and joking’. The Commodore is waiting. April is happy to oblige his wait. Morrow is happy that Colt and Otto ‘magically found each other’. ‘Give her the tour. *snicker* Otto shows his office, and solar models. Solaristics. It’s a pretty boring job. Mostly dwarf gas measurements. Otto also photographs the planet—the impetus of Starfleet protocol, “the Prime Directive planet.” Try not to look directly at it. He gives her the slideshow. Pictures aren’t technically allowed, but he offers Colt a data chip of planet images, and a to-go bag of tasty leaves. It’s time to meet back up with Doctor April.
Colt sits in a waiting room with the lackey, while April is strong-armed by Commodore Cartwright. Starfleet really does want April to read an actual script—to cover up certain problematic aspects of the Rosenberg rescue mission. April won’t budge. What’s the harm? Cartwright says ‘we’ll retcon the whole damn thing if we have to. Admiral Brownell intercedes. He busts into the waiting room and aims for the office; one-on-one, he engages the lackey. He wins, and enters. Cartwright points out the orders. Brownell tries to make a point and he’s beamed away. April must go back on the Constitution.
April has had enough, and he breaks out with Colt in-tow. A collision on the way out shakes him up. They rejoin Morrow and Otto and share the bad news. April has to sit front-and-center at a press conference to spin a flimsy Rosenberg story. They recollect how bad the last press conference went for April. Colt and April bid farewell and enter the travelpod Empire Vista. It’s a long ride home, docked to the Constitution, and the two get a truncated tour of the solar system. The president is happy with April’s achievement. The travel pod sits awhile, docked. After an eternity, the airlock opens to press and flashbulbs.
April endures a press conference, under orders to divert the public’s focus towards the new Starfleet uniform and logo. Released from custody, Colt allies with skeptics of the mission to share the truth about the Rosenberg.
*1701 eschews the ensemble format to focus on the leads and guest stars.
Don’t get used to the bridge crew. They’re friends of April who tagged along or were impressed into service for this unauthorized mission. Perhaps some of them return when the Enterprise is commissioned and officially launched (following completion, repairs, and additional shakedown missions); However, this doesn’t happen in the first dozen stories. If you like April’s supporting team, I can promise that I haven’t killed anyone off. There are no redshirts at this point in history.
Most of the roles I’ve written have somebody specific in mind to play them. Each episode is a purposeful ‘star vehicle’. The A-Lister’s herein shouldn’t be considered to be ‘the crew’. Yes, the casting wish-list is both peculiar and intentional. It is not that I have attachments to the particular guest actors–they bear an intertextual relevance to the story, and were ‘chosen’, among the tens of thousands of IMDB profiles and film & television performances I’ve witnessed. However, all is subject to change.
As written, 1701 places itself within Star Trek‘s Memory-Beta continuity, in the ‘prime’ timeline, circa 2243, before the ‘official’ launch of the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701. The spine of the story and it’s supporting characters are from the Diane Carey novel Final Frontier. The Klingon Captain Krenn is from The Final Reflection, by John M. Ford. The character’s personalities in 1701 differ slightly, of course.
The IDEALS teaser was thought about every night for a year before I started writing. I finished the first draft in the summer of 2012. It required learning the craft and an enormous amount of research. Each teleplay is the sum of a thousand piece puzzle. They have been re-written forwards and backwards many times over and still get polish after feedback. They’re probably not ‘professional’ / ‘shooting scripts’, but I’d like to have them as good as they can be. The most current versions are from 10/5/15.
Brian Eno – LUX1 – YouTube