Before the NX.
There was the XCV.
Zephram Cochrane, the famous inventor of the warp drive that led to human first contact with the Vulcan race, has been developing the first starship humanity will use to travel the stars. Although he has achieved Warp 2 only a few years after his initial Phoenix test flight, Cochrane believes he can do better, go faster, perhaps even surpass their Vulcan allies in just a few years time.
Mounting pressure from the United Earth Space Probe agency, anxious to begin colonizing other worlds, causes Cochrane to install untested modifications to a ship carrying a friend on a mission of peace. The ship is lost with all hands. In response Zephram pushes the envelope of his influence and technology to it’s limits to create a new type of warp drive capable of covering vast distances in a matter of minutes.
Cochrane, known for being a cowboy, shirks off the advice of Vulcan counselors and human bureaucrats that feel humanity is progressing far too fast. Pushing his team well past their own fears and limits, Cochrane debuts his new interstellar vessel and warp drive system: The X.C.V. or The eXperimental Coaxial Vehicle.
Crewing the vehicle are the friends and loved ones of Cochrane and his team as Zephram has grown too old to fly such a mission himself. With the Vulcans and bureaucrats in tow the XCV sets off on it’s first Coaxial warp test.
After accelerating past the Vulcan’s own maximum of Warp 6 the X.C.V. enters coaxial warp and disappears into the galaxy, but, in an instant, the ship goes missing causing panic to break out.