"The strongest tactical move is always the one in which you will reap the highest gain at the lowest cost. 'Going out with phasers firing' may seem heroic, but in the long run it is merely foolish. Retreat is often the best possible option." - Tuvok to Dalby (Voyager: "Learning Curve")
"All hands, brace for impact. Engage." With those famous words, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E ushered in a new era for the Federation. One in which the Romulans have open negotiations with the Federation after a tentative partnership during the development of the prototype USS Defiant. And yet, despite all that Starfleet and the Federation has been through, the ideals that were present at it's founding are still evident today.
The year is 2380. Five years since the end of the Dominion War, which devastated a large portion of Starfleet's Fleet, and barely almost a year since the Romulans opened negotiations. But there are still challenges to be faced, and as much as it looks like things are finally changing for the better there is always that chance that something unexpected may happen. Knowing this chance existed, in 2376 the Federation Council, based on the presentation of Starfleet Command, authorized the 'Redemption Project'. Redemption-class starships were designed to be heavier variants of the Sovereign-class starships. To start, Starfleet Corps of Engineers took the design of the Sovereign and expanded on it, adding on a host of new decks. A new warp drive was commissioned to be built by venerable earth-based General Electric. In addition, a whole new platform of equipment was to be designed for ship, with the hopes that she would become the most sophisticated ship of her kind.
In January of 2377, the first tritanium girder for the space frame was cut in a massive ceremony at Utopia Planitia Shipyards and construction was started on the USS Redemption NX-80135. Within a year the space frame, hulls, and interior were in place. All that remained was to install the new warp drive, and the ship's systems. Among the most intricate systems to install was the new 'enhanced' computer core. The Mark XI-ISM (Integrated Ship Management) Computer Core was hailed by Starfleet Research and Design as the "most advanced computer system in a century" and without a doubt the best addition to 'any' starship.
That viewpoint would be put to the test in the next few months as the computer core was installed, and then systematically linked to the rest of the ship's systems as they were installed. At last the final system was installed and linked. Finally the core was brought online. It happened so fast that Engineers monitoring the core systems had precious few seconds to act. As the core cycled through it's power-up sequence, something went awry and the computer proceeded to open all the airlocks on the ship. It was one of the worst losses Utopia Planitia and the Corps of Engineers had ever faced. All total, 28 souls were lost that day.
So it was back to the drawing board with the computer core. After several months, Starfleet R&D determined what had happened to cause the malfunction. However, they reported that to repair it they would have to rewrite the subroutines by hand. Eight months later, the Mark XII came off the line and was installed in the ship. When it came time to power up the system, there was no taking chances. Remote terminals were installed in the Core Monitoring room and the ship was evacuated. Once all hands were safely in the viewing room of Utopia, Engineers remotely activated the computer core. Through the transparent aluminum window, the interior lights could be seen activating as the ship came to life. The displays were showing each and every system powering up as they should be, save for the warp drive which was scheduled to arrive in the next day or two. Cheers erupted and champagne bottles were popped as the displays indicated all systems were up and the beacon lights started to flash.
Two days later, the new warp core arrived via the USS Titan and the Engineering team set to work installing and fueling the warp system. Once everything was in place and ready, the ship was undocked and left drydock amongst cheers of the skeleton crew aboard her. For the next few weeks, the crew would test each and every system in detail. Including the new warp drive system which, by General Electric's own confession, was a completely new design and allowed faster speeds that it's predecessors. Engineers put this to the test as well, allowing Starfleet to become the fasted organization in the Federation. After it's successful flight and operations testing, the USS Redemption returned to Utopia Planitia for the final phase of it's completion. Standard crew and officer quarters modules were installed, as well as an updated Sickbay module.
Finally, after three years in development and production, the ship was declared finished and in a christening ceremony was finally commissioned into service. On April 30, 2380 the USS Redemption NCC-80135 was the first ship of her class. All that was left to do is to select her crew.