Date: 17 Sep 2011 18:23 Title: Chapter 1
One of the things that immediately got my attention about this AU is that you have a more racially-diverse crew reminiscent of TAS than what we saw onscreen. That's something I like seeing in TOS-era stories, personally.
Not only that--we have a chance to see Pike in his prime, as a leader. Out of curiosity, do you see the TOS Pike, or the Trek XI Pike? (I hope you'll forgive me for seeing the Trek XI one. ;-) ).
I like how, with the "only ship in range," trope, you specify that a specific class of ship is needed, presumably due to its ability to transport cargo and people on a large scale than other vessels of its time. That helps to make it seem more like a plot necessity than a plot device.
However...one thing I'm not so sure you really need to do...I think you would be better to remove the "Space: The Final Frontier" stuff. It works onscreen, but in writing it looks like an unnecessary intrusion and breaks up the flow of your story. (If you wanted to break up the flow in a bit more of a "constructive" manner, that would build up tension, I think a chapter break might have been in order.)
You do well with showing the contradiction of a character like Kodos: he thinks he's brave, but the truth is he's a coward.
I like the fact that Pike wants to eventually have a happy ship. That said, I think his pride may get in his way; refusing to notify Command of what's going on simply because his ship was on its maiden voyage is the kind of decision that could bite him in the butt if he's not careful. That pride may also have blinded him to thinking of the possibility of installing that new equipment, since he was so fixated on how to defend himself against command. While I think he made a great move commending Scotty, it seems like he's operating against his senior staff and the admiralty, and that mindset might not help him.
As for the temporal incursion...this reminds me of the kind of thing we saw from Annorax in VOY, and what we should have seen more of in ENT's Temporal Cold War. I'll be very interested to see what the cause is...