(covers information from several alternate timelines)
|Owner:||United Federation of Planets|
"...one ship could have stopped this war before it started."
The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-C) was a Federation Ambassador-class heavy cruiser that was in service with Starfleet in the mid-24th century. This was the fourth Federation starship to be commissioned to bear the name Enterprise. In 2344, the Enterprise-C was under the command of Captain Rachel Garrett.
Final mission at Narendra III
- Main article: Battle of Narendra III
In 2344, the Enterprise responded to a distress call from the Klingon outpost on Narendra III, which was under attack by the Romulan Star Empire. When the Enterprise arrived at the outpost, she was engaged by four Romulan warbirds.
Few details are known about the actual battle. What is known, however, is that the Enterprise was destroyed with the presumed loss of all hands. Starfleet would not commission another Enterprise until nearly two decades later in 2363.
In the aftermath of the battle, the Klingons were deeply impressed by the act of self-sacrifice by a Starfleet crew to protect a Klingon outpost, and the Enterprise-C's ultimate legacy was reinforcing the relations between the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets, leading to a close alliance of peace. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise")
Creation of an alternate history
During the battle, a temporal rift was created due to the highly-energetic weapons discharges, and the severely damaged Enterprise drifted through, emerging in the year 2366. There, it discovered that the outpost at Narendra III had been completely destroyed, and a state of war existed between the Klingon Empire and the Federation. The Enterprise encountered her successor, the Galaxy-class USS Enterprise-D. The Enterprise-C had suffered severe damage to her warp nacelles and external hull, with 125 crew members surviving, and the Enterprise-D assisted in repairs. Both crews eventually realized that the current timeline was a result of the Enterprise-C's absence from the battle, and determined that the Enterprise-C needed to return to their own time through the rift.
Lieutenant Natasha Yar, the Enterprise-D's tactical officer, learned from Guinan that, if the Enterprise-C was successful, in the new timeline that would be created she would die a meaningless death. Not comfortable with that idea, Yar requested and was granted a transfer to the Enterprise-C.
Both ships soon came under attack from the Klingons, and Captain Garrett was subsequently killed. The last surviving senior officer of the Enterprise-C, Lt. Richard Castillo, assumed command of the ship and, under the protection of the Enterprise-D, took her back into the rift to return to 2344 and the battle of Narendra III. This had the effect of realigning the timeline and ensuring future peace between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise")
Later historical references
Sculptures of the Enterprise-C later adorned the walls of the observation lounges on both the USS Enterprise-D until 2368 and the USS Enterprise-E launched in 2372. (Star Trek: The Next Generation; Star Trek: First Contact; Star Trek Nemesis)
Commander William T. Riker's questions on Professor Berlinghoff Rasmussen's questionnaire dealt mostly with previous Starfleet ships, including innovations of the Enterprise-C. (TNG: "A Matter of Time")
In the Star Trek Online mission "Temporal Ambassador", it is revealed that the Enterprise-D's battle with the Klingons in "Yesterday's Enterprise" caused the Enterprise-C to emerge from the temporal rift in 2409 rather than 2344. The alternate timeline remains in place, and the Federation has fallen to the Klingon Empire. However, the Klingon Empire, including the former Federation, and the Romulan Star Empire have been conquered by the Dominion. The Tholian Assembly holds the Enterprise-C at a base in the Azure Nebula, and the player joins forces with Richard Castillo and Tasha Yar to take the Enterprise-C back through another temporal rift to once more restore the timeline.
Also in Star Trek Online, a plaque commemorating the Enterprise-C can be seen inside certain fleet starbases. According to the plaque, she was launched in 2332, the date given in the Lost Era novel Well of Souls.