Star Trek: Federation Star Defense, written and photographed by Travers "Swiftbow" and Rioux "Brogen" Jordan, is a webcomic following the exploits of Federation Star Defense, a division of Starfleet. Set in an alternate Star Trek universe (related to the Kelvin timeline), it takes place in the Next Generation era, starting at the equivalent of season 3 of TNG.
Commodore Jeffrey Bannister, whose heart is in the right place, even if his brain doesn't always keep up, encourages the formation of the new division to deal with new threats in the Federation. A resistant Admiralty goes along to get him (and other Starfleet misfits) out of their way.
But threats do come, in the form of the dangerous, yet pre-warp species, the Tajarans and their unstoppable Slow Dimension. Will these Federation cast-offs be able to save their ship and the peaceful planet Wogglenather? And what other threats may come?
Tropes in Star Trek: Federation Star Defense:
- Abandon Ship: The crew of the Shadowburn is forced to flee when the Tajaran fleet cripples their ship and begins harvesting their technology. Much of the first episode deals with their difficult escape.
- Action Prologue: Part of Episode 1 involves flashbacks to the Tajaran's previous attempt to conquer Wogglenather, which several of the main characters were involved in, too.
- Alien Animals: The Wogglenathers are apparently sapient dog people with an otherwise normal, if pre-warp, civilization. They even walk on all fours, but operate cars and build large structures.
- Aliens Never Invented the Wheel: The Tajarans have shields and weapons that can challenge Federation ships, but they never invented warp. Their best attempt to do so instead resulted in the Slow Dimension, which has the opposite effect, and they use it as a weapon.
- Alien Non-Interference Clause: Dale Zurkett is court-martialed out of Starfleet for violating the Prime Directive. (He intervened to save the Wogglenathers from the Tajarans and brought the Federation into a brief war.) He is reinstated at the start of the story, partly to prevent him making trouble for some politicians by telling his side of the story.
- Alternate Universe: This story does not take place in the main Star Trek timeline, though many things are the same. But TNG command characters (including Picard) wearing gold instead of red ( http://startrek.swiftbow.com/38.html ) is a dead giveaway that things are a little different.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: The Tajarans come in orange and green varieties, which is part of their caste system. They are, apparently though, able to change their skin color given certain circumstances.
- The Battlestar: The Intrepid is much tougher than most Starfleet ships, as it was designed to take and deal out punishment. Andre Peters, who designed it, incorporated many technologies Starfleet felt were either outdated, dead-ends, or too warlike. Eventually, the ship becomes a carrier as well.
- Big Badass Battle Sequence: A recent installment ( http://startrek.swiftbow.com/95.html ) involved the Intrepid and its fighter craft battling the Tajaran fleet in an all-out assault.
- "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Dale threatens to go public with his version of events during the Battle of Wogglenather, prompting the Admiralty to give him what he wants instead.
- Cool Starship: The Intrepid is somewhat blocky (it is made of Lego), but most of the rooms depicted in the comic are actually IN the ship. It's about 3 feet long and a foot and a half wide.
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: It's Star Trek, so warp drive is the most common. The pre-warp Tajarans, though, are stuck in a 20 year relativistic trip between their planet and their closest neighbor, who they decided to conquer.
- Gung Holier Than Thou: Science Officer Burns, who insists that Starfleet regulations be followed to the letter, no matter what the actual situation. Also seems to be a bit of a xenophobe, if his reaction to dealing with the Ferengi trader on his termsnote is any indication.
- Humanoid Aliens: The Tajarans are roughly person-shaped, but they are evolved from slugs. Their ships are kept muddy and moist (and are apparently partly organic). They also consider salt to be a deadly chemical weapon, and are surprised that the rest of the galaxy doesn't share this opinion.
- Hyperspeed Ambush: The Intrepid's star fighters use a form of the "Picard Maneuver" that they call "warp skip" in order to evade enemy fire while attacking.
- Named After Their Planet: The Tajarans are from Tajara, the Wogglenathers are from Wogglenather. (And the Earthlings are from Earth, though they are more generally called humans.)
- Planet Looters: The Tajarans are after the large dilithium deposits on Wogglenather.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Most of the crew were previously thrown out of Starfleet or placed into terrible positions because they didn't fit the "mold" of the ideal 24th century Federation citizen.
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens: The Tajarans (at least those the reader has observed) see themselves as a master race. They wish to conquer Wogglenather for its resources, hate Earthlings for stopping them before, and often don't even regard other species as sapient at all. (They refer to Gorn as beasts.)
- Space Is Noisy: Largely averted. The big SFX shots in space are (mostly) done without sound effects.
- Space Fighter: The Falcons - a Federation project abandoned for being "too warlike". The Intrepid encounters a Ferengi trader with four of them in his hold. Andre is ecstatic over encountering them, as he couldn't even get the Federation to admit the prototypes existed.
- Space Marine: Both depicted Starfleet ships carry a complement of space marines, who prove to be as tough as should be expected.
- Standard Alien Spaceship: The Tajarans' flagship is called a "Flying Slug" and somewhat resembles one, with a long neck and "antenna" at the end of two pylongs. The ship may be partly alive, but this hasn't been delved into as yet. The Tajaran cruiser vessels are all the same type of ship, used as large escorts/fighters.
- Super Prototype: The Intrepid and the Falcon fighters. Both offense-oriented craft of a type that canon Starfleet wouldn't create until the Defiant.
- Technobabble: Thus far, the Tajarans have used more technobabble than the Federation crew. Weird.
- The Main Characters Do Everything: Averted. While the main characters do a lot, we often see the lower decks crew struggling with problems, officers from other rotations, and new characters introduced to handle new jobs (like flying star fighters).