|Canon any why I depart from it|
The "USS Valkyrie universe" is almost identical to the canon established by the Star Trek TV shows and movies up until late 2371 (DS9 season 3).
After that, the Chaos War changes everything. There is no Federation-Klingon war in 2372, no Dominion-War, and the events of "Generations" don't take place in this timeline.
There are two main reasons why I have chosen to set up the background for my stories like this:
(1) The adventures of the Valkyrie are a direct continuation of what has happened during a roleplaying game I participated in (the adventures of the USS Galahad) and the continuation of said game as I had planned it before the game died for want of player interest (the adventures of the USS Eclipse). The Chaos War was what I had in mind as the finale of that game and it provided a perfect springboard for my imagination, once I started writing.
(2) While at least part of the Valkyrie stories could have been set in the aftermath of the Dominion War, I wanted to have both Romulans and Cardassians available as major antagonists and some of the ideas I had in mind called for a possible confrontation between Starfleet and Klingon forces that would have been difficult to pull off with Martok and Worf being the most influential figures in Klingon politics.
Now what the heck is this "Chaos War" he is blabbering about you may ask yourself. Well, just read on and you will find out. (While there are a few more changes to the canon timeline, they are of a kind that I would like to reveal in the course of my stories, not spell out here.)
|History of the Chaos War|
The Nova-class science ship USS Eclipse under Commander Tarin Veal returns to Earth after two years of duty on the coreward borders of the Federation near the Romulan Neutral Zone, to undergo routine upgrades and maintenance.
Around the core-worlds of the Federation inexplicable subspace phenomena start to occur. A lag in subspace transmission times is the first sign of trouble, but soon starships run into the same problems, experiencing a drop-off in warp speeds and in some places ships are completely unable to attain superluminal speed. While the phenomenon seems to be focused on the region between Earth and Andoria it is soon found to be spreading to neighboring sectors.
Admiral Paul de Vries assignes the Eclipse to study the changes that are taking place in subspace.
Hampered by unexplained halucinations plaguing some of them the crew of the Eclipse still manages to determine the reasons for the subspace phenomena that are spreading throughout the Federation - the barriers between our universe and a parallel universe are breaking down. Why this happens remains a mystery for the moment.
At the same time the Eclipse returns to Earth to report her findings the first visitor from one of the other dimensions appears. A spherical ship with a diameter of over one mile suddenly ‘drops’ into the Andor system and attacks without warning. It takes a combined task-force of over 30 Starfleet and Andorian ships to destroy the invader. Only six ships of the task-force survive the encounter with minor damage, 17 are utterly destroyed.
When the Eclipse arrives in Earth orbit the source of the halucinations that the crew has encountered becomes apparent. A humanoid calling himself Loki manifests on the bridge of the Eclipse and warns the crew that “your last days are coming”. Before he disappears he remarks that “Seeing you all burn will provide me with only small amusement, but a little fun is better than none.”
As more and more of the spherical ships appear in Federation space Starfleet recalls many of it’s ships from exploration and patrol missions to bolster the defenses of the core worlds. While many of the invading ships are smaller then the first sphere that appeared in the Andor system, all of them attack without warning and they all take a tremendous toll on Starfleet ships engaging them. The identity of the enemy is still unknown.
Admiral de Vries assignes the Eclipse to the forces patroling the Sol system, but contrary to his orders the crew continues researching the mysterious occurences centered on the parallel universes and the deadly invaders.
Over the course of February subspace disturbances get more and more severe and soon ships traveling around the heart of the Federation are restricted to speeds of warp 5, often lower.
The Eclipse’s helmsmen, Betazoid Rishana Hagen, starts to have prophetic dreams and visions that lead the crew of the Eclipse to the discovery of a network of subspace tunnels linking three parallel dimensions. One of the tunnels ends in the Sol system, but when the Eclipse starts to study the network they are confronted by Starfleet ships under direct command of Admiral de Vries, ordering them to cease their investigation or be destroyed. Commander Veal orders the Eclipse to enter the subspace tunnel in defiance of Admiral de Vries.
Inside the subspace network Rishana Hagen navigates the ship to an exit point while in a trance-like state. When the ship exits the tunnel they find themselves in a universe ruled by gigantic humanoids calling themselves the Aesir. In ancient times the Aesir established a network of cross-dimensional conduits and frequently visited our dimension, giving rise to the ancient nordic myths.
The Eclipse visits the temporal nexus point the Aesir call the “Well of Urd” and take part in the council of the Aesir and their allies, the Vanir. Rishana Hagen discovers that she is a distant relative of one of the three immortal keepers of the well, the Norn Skuld.
When the crew of the Eclipse learns that Loki was once one of the Aesir banished to another dimension for his crimes, and that he will turn their own dimension into a staging ground for his campaign against the Aesir, they return to Earth to warn the Federation.
The Akira-class cruiser USS Galahad encounters one of the spherical ships on a routine patrol. While the Galahad manages to fight off the invader the death toll is high. Among the dead are the Galahad’s CO Captain McSorley and Tactical Officer Hitoshi Nomura.
When the crew of the Eclipse returns to Earth Admiral de Vries tries to have them arrested for mutiny, but it soon becomes apparent that Loki is controlling the Admiral. Before he kills Admiral de Vries Loki possesses the Eclipse’s Operations Manager, the Andorian Thurev Dra.
As the Federation withdraws more and more of it’s ships from the borders to fight off Loki’s invading forces the Cardassians and Romulans decide to take the opportunity to invade the Federation. While the Cardassians make small surgical forrays into Federation territory, afraid of extending their forces too much, the Romulans invade in full force. The Klingons come to the aid of the Federation, but once the Romulans are beaten back the Klingons refuse to leave the systems they occupied during the invasion, calling their presence a “peacekeeping mission”. The Federation and Starfleet see this as just another invasion but can do little about it.
The crew of the Eclipse works franticly on finding a way to re-establish the subspace barriers that separate the different dimensions.
The Bajoran wormhole seals shut. It is theorized that the changes to local subspace have caused this, but it remains a theory. Bajor is overrun by Cardassian forces and DS9 is destroyed. The few remaining crewmembers of the station flee in the Defiant and eventually join the Maquis, fighting Cardassians wherever they can.
Using Thurev Dra as his puppet Loki tries to disable Starfleet defenses in the Sol system and his forces invade, their ultimate goal to gain control of the dimensional nexus point near Earth, from where they want to stage their attack on the Aesir dimension.
The crew of the Eclipse realizes what has happened to Lieutenant Dra and Commander Veal and Lt. O'Shea, the Eclipse's chief engineer, confront the Andorian. In the end Captain Veal and Moira O'Shea are forced to shoot the Andorian before Loki can disable all of Earth’s defenses.
The invasion is beaten back, but the death toll on Earth is staggering. Nearly one billion people are killed and Starfleet loses more than 80 ships. Starfleet losses now amount to almost 500 ships, many of them lost with all hands. By the end of the war that number will have climbed to over 700.
The Aesir Thor appears on Earth and contacts Commander Veal and the Eclipse crew. He tells them that no Aesir will come to their aid as they are too busy fortifying their own worlds against Loki’s forces. He and his wife Sif alone will fight at the side of the Federation.
Thor fights against Loki’s multi-segmented battleship Starfleet has dubbed “The Serpent”. While he manages to destroy the Serpent, Thor soon dies of his wounds. Before she self-destructs Thor’s battleship his wife hands the crew of the Eclipse the plans for the Aesir's ultimate weapon – Mjollnir.
Starfleet fights a loosing battle all around the core-worlds. Besides Earth, Andor and Tellar are hit the hardest. Cardassian incursions into Federation territory continue, while the Romulans aren’t making a move, for now deterred by Klingon forces.
The crew of the Eclipse is able to unravel the workings of Mjollnir as everyone who has visited the Well of Urd seems to have gained an intuitive understanding of Aesir technology. Starfleet and the Federation Council debate how to use this technology, which seems to be a “one shot” weapon only.
Commander Veal theorizes that the one thing that allows Loki to breach the dimensional barriers is the subspace network of the Aesir itself. Without it no connection between the different dimensions would exist and the barriers seperating the three universes would be re-established.
Again Commander Veal orders the Eclipse to head into the dimensional nexus, as Loki’s forces gather for their final assault on the Sol system and from their the Aesir dimension.
More and more of the spherical ships enter the Sol system and head for the dimensional nexus, ignoring Starfleet forces confronting them where they can, but ruthlessly destroying any ship that blocks their path.
The Eclipse is confronted by the Aesir who think that humans should neither possess the secrets of Mjollnir nor use it in any way. While Commander Veal tries to argue with the Aesir leader Odin the point becomes moot when Loki’s forces start entering the Aesir dimension from the Sol system.
As the Aesir fight a loosing battle against Loki and his followers the Eclipse heads towards the Well of Urd. While the Eclipse tries to fight off both Aesir and Loki’s forces Lieutenant Hagen confronts Skuld. She manages to convince the Norn that everyone should be allowed to make their own destiny.
While all around them Surtur - the leader of Loki’s forces - destroys world after world, Skuld drops the defenses of the Well of Urd and the Eclipse fires Mjollnir at the dimensional nexus, forever sealing the barriers between the three dimensions.
All around the Federation flaming spheres just disappeared as if they had never been and yet billions of dead attested to the existance of the unstoppable invaders.
In another dimension the sons of Odin focused their last strength on a tiny speck of light and sent it home.
“Farewell and may your world be reborn just as ours will be” echoed through everyones head aboard the Eclipse.