|“Laugh and the Maker laughs with you. Cry and the Maker laughs louder.” – The Art of Never Again, Chapter 168: The Greatest Joke|
This former Star Army chassis as been stripped down and souped up to the point it is barely recognizable as an Ayame-class cruiser. No longer is this vessel a finely tuned and high-precision machine of the Yamataian Star empire, but a rugged, self-reliant, and brutally efficient design that seems to strongly indicate it was designed for privateering. These vessels are also far more tricky than their predecessors in that they possess far more sophisticated electronic warfare, stealth, and propulsion capabilities which allow it to slip away from all but the most agile of vessels.
Some of the chassis modifications include a much more rugged damage control grid, and the medium-sized Automanufactory module it houses allows it to manufacture replacements almost any starship component used by the vessel so long as sufficient resources are available in storage. The entire ship is supplemented by a large force of Junker drones and Automata also stand by on duty to maintain and operate the vessel as needed. So effective is the combination of damage control and self-repair that these vessels can be practically gutted by enemy fire, and still they may be resurrected by their mechanical keepers – even in the absence of the crew.
The combination of the ship's Difference Engine and Entropy's Shroud units makes this vessel class a much more slippery foe than its Yamataian predecessor – though at the cost of offensive power. (As a side note, this isn't necessarily a bad thing; aether weapons produce very large weapons signatures, in addition to the fact they may destroy all potential salvage and murder all potential prisoners.) The combined stealth and maneuverability allows to turn space hazards such as minefields or asteroid belts into significant defensive assets, as well as escape any perusers. It's ability to out-gun smaller ships, outrun larger ones, and operate without logistics (thanks to the Automanufactory) makes this vessel is perfectly suited for certain roles, which may or may not include those of freedom fighters, privateers, pirates, smugglers, rebels, or any other nonpersons who refuse to be collected by national authorities.
|First raw Imagination must be harvested in bulk, Treated and tempered by Logic and Calculation, Gathered together in Love within our automanufactories. You see, such a vessel, Is held together by naught but Wishful Thinking, Unabashedly propelled by its own Impossibility, And thereby slaying its enemies with little else, Than the powers of Negation. – The Act of Never Again, Chapter 312: A Newbie's Guide Starship Assembly|
After a sizable purchase of these vessels from certain benefactors – who technically remain unnamed, though many may speculate is Nepleslian in origin – these vessels were quickly cannibalized and to a certain degree reverse engineered. Just in case they should be found out the benefactors – still not naming any names here – decided it would be best to strip off the more dangerous components that would violate Yamataian weapons proliferation treaties. Fortunately this turned out to be hardly discouraging for Freespacer engineers, who have a long history of engineering well-built ships out of seemingly nothing. With douzens of these intact vessels at their disposal, it was a relatively simple task to reverse engineer the technology to produce their own…but only after considerable reworking, and a dash of Free State flavoring. If plans go ahead this vessel will soon make its way to the mercenaries of Opportunists Social Club…and possibly a number of black market hubs. If foreigners want to blow one another into smithereens it's hardly the Free State's problem, right?
Class: Ki-C1-1D Type: Assault Cruiser Designers: KFY template, Free State modifications Manufacturer: State Biomechatronics Production: Early production Fielded by: State-sponsored factions
Like the majority of vessels conceived by the Free State, this ship is capable of partial to complete autonomous operation.
Length: 275 m / 900 ft Width: 240 m / 800 ft Height: 120 m / 400 ft Decks: 33
Difference Engine : ~0.3c Hyperspace Fold Drive: 0.5 LY/min Lifespan: 20 years Refit Cycle: Bi-decade refits
Though the interior of the Divine Comedy is based on the Ayame-class, the direct clashing of Yamataian aesthetics with Freespacer ascetics has left the luxurious interior radically different than the original design. Bare circuitry and wiring can be seen in almost every hall one looks, and there always seems to be a Junker drone scurrying in the peripherals on one's vision.
The Divine Comedy has 33 decks.
|5||Command Bridge; Upper Pylon Begins|
|6||Main Bridge, Executive Shuttle Bay|
|11|| Enlisted Quarters
|16||Main Engineering Upper Level|
|18||Main Engineering Lower Level|
|19||Recreation Deck, Mess Hall|
|22||Upper Cargo Bay|
|“We do not inherent the galaxy from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” – Freespacer Proverb|
This vessel carries a traditional Freespacer variable-configuration assembly bay, capable of producing anything from fighter craft to toys. Like most equivalent modules, this system is fully automated by the shipboard SI construct.
An off-shoot of the main room contains the Automata charging outlets and workshops, which is actually little else than a wall lined with cable sockets and spools of cable. A semi-permanent feature of this room is the overwhelming number of Automata and machinery various states of (dis)assembly. From the roof of the room hang an array of robotic arms, which are capable of performing a limited number of autonomous tasks when operated by SI controllers, along with several cluttered work benches for tasks that may require them. This room also contains a Grinder system.
A service elevator is available from the main room to the two decks below it. However, this section is generally kept off-limits as it contains little else than the deafening hum of machinery, darkness, and a shifting nexus of machinery. There is virtually no walking space here so that assembly lines can be as efficient as possible. Other than the parts and equipment hopper beside the elevator entrance, there is little else to see unless one is willing to risk a venture into the shifting maze of machinery.
The ship contains a well-equipped combined laboratory and operating room that is designed to be versatile. Primarily cloning vats are stored here designed to be used in conjunction with a genebank to re-grow lost crew. These facility also posses very extensive implant repair and replacement capability, comparable to most professional hospitals.
The so-called “bridge” of the vessel is more a hacking alcove room than a traditional Yamataian command center. Douzens of smaller monitors line the walls, and antiquated keyboards are used in place of gravimetric interfaces. A number of worn chairs are scattered around the room, along with large bundles of cable and circuit boards in the nooks and crannies of the room, and the occasional snack-food wrapper. However, the room functions just as well as any other command bridge, assuming one can get used to the mess and rough appearance. Moreso if the crew has neural interfaces; the Freespacers, being a society where neural technology is standard, have made control consoles in such a way that one with the proper implants can literally work “at the speed of thought.”
At the center of the room are two stasis pods with neural interface plugs which is used for skeleton crews. A pilot and co-pilot can be placed in a physically unconscious state, allowing them to free up as much of their minds as possible to concentrate on ship operations. Even a single person can directly interface with the network not unlike an AI, and operate the vessel through the said of Junker drones, Automata, and control algorithms. SI constructs may also command the vessel in a similar manner; unlike traditional AI, they lack the same inhibition and control safeties so may perform any given task a Captain can.
The original Neko pit nests have been stripped of padding and have been converted into a number of growing pits. A chilled liquid crystalline solution is left in the pit, and a seed crystal is planted, and over a period of weeks a crystal will naturally grow. These crystals are pyroelectric; they absorb heat in order to generate a small electric current. This subtle electric current will allow the crystal growths to produce a soft glow to light the room, as well as provide energy for specially engineered diatomic air scrubbers.
Many of the walls have been stripped bare to install Freespacer-style microgravity sleeping tubes, which are horizontal tubes with a lockable hatch not unlike a torpedo tube. Each of these pods have a padded interior, with a computer interface, retractable drawers, and internal lighting. While sleeping in such a place may stir feeling of claustrophobia in some, they are actually much safer than traditional beds; a fully enclosed padded design allows for safe sleep even in microgravity, and the sealed hatch and honeycomb structure of the pods will allow sleeping crew to survive even a direct hull breach to the room. But for those who perhaps don't like enclosed spaces, there are usually a number of hammocks strung up in the corners of the room.
As is the Freespacer engineering philosophy, the high-tech HSCS life support systems have been replaced with lower tech natural shipboard ecosystem. Lichens and diatoms produce the air, algae bloom vats purifies the water and provide protein for meals, and various shrubs creeper vines line grow a wide variety of fruits for the traditional Freespacer vegetarian diet. There are also freezer and refrigerator units here, along with beverage dispensers and metal-surfaced kitchenette facilities, so one can pick and prepare their own meals straight from the garden.
There are many hallways, which run from the front to the rear of the ship, connected by occasional passageways across and by a system of elevators. Control displays in the halls can give the crew status-updated maps should they need them, or everyone's receive files from everyone's favorite SI construct. These halls are in a state of subtly controlled chaos; panels are out of their place and resting against the wall, loose cables run along the floor almost everywhere, and bare circuitry can be seen. However, NU-class Automata and Junker drones do not have their performance effected by this at all since they are used to such conditions. Just the opposite: exposed circuits means one can get to a problematic system in a shorter time.
There are also a number of access shafts and crawlways which run the length of the ship, those one risks running into a Junker drone scurrying around at speeds of several kilometers per hour.
Most of the original gym's equipment and has been crammed into a corner to make room for a small server cluster. This contains a large informational data base, as well as an abundance of virtual reality games in almost gameplay style imaginable. A number of neurohelmets, or direct port interfaces for implants, are placed in reclining chairs near the walls of the room to access this database or run VR programs. The sparring room has been completely cleared as to make room for physically-oriented VR games that may include interplayer brawling or simulated gunfights. The original swimming pool has been long since empited and now contains row upon row of server racks.
The former Zesuaium-composite hulls have been stripped away, simply due to the difficulty of mass producing the material in the Free State. In their place is a make of energized armor; titanium carbide layered plating reinforced by a Phenolic-Fulleride layered mesh that acts as both a means to absorb energy and release a high-capacity discharge designed to disrupt particle beams, plasma bursts, and even vaporize solid munitions.
The structuring of the outer hull is engineered for flash-welding and riveting, as opposed to the original tightly-linked hull design. While this leaves much to be desired in regards to the armor strength, it allows the rapid repair of damage sections – even in the midst of battle. A mangled plate can be easily jettisoned and be replaced by Junker drones within a matter of minutes, or even seconds, if circumstances allow.
Structural Points: 25
The lift provides quick access from the main deck to the subdeck, or carry freight from the automanufactory to where the products are needed. Don't let that scratching sound overhead scare you; those are just the Junkers scurrying about.
30 Escape pods. See: KiS-2408es Escape Pod.
Each of these escape pods have been modified with a set chance (roughly 10%) of self-destructing upon launch, in addition to allowing remote detonation by the host vessel. Freespacers are bred, born, and spend their entire lives in space, maintain the belief that the ship is one's home and the crew is one's family; desertion of one's Nodemates is simply unacceptable. By making pods remotely-destroyable it is hoped deserters will think twice before abandoning their allies. Furthermore, even those who hold no ill intentions will be more likely to hold their ground just a little long before abandoning ship.
This device creates a stream of gravitons which can be used to tow other spacecraft, but is ineffective against ships using gravitonic shielding. There are two emitters mounting on the two points at the front of the ship, and two more on the top/bottom sections of the main hull. The Divine Comedy commonly uses these projectors to “sling” cruise missiles, rapidly re-orienting them towards the target and accelerating to significant velocities much faster than their engines normally allow.
|Burbidge, Burbidge, Fowler, Hoyle, Took the stars and made them toil: Carbon, copper, gold, and lead, Formed in stars, is what they said. –The Art of Never Again, Chapter 320: Alchemy of the Heavens|
The Philosopher's Stone is an onboard facility that contains all the essentials for your self-sufficient vessel on the go in today's fast paced universe: electric-fusion smelters, plasma arc incinerators, gas crackers, and most importantly, nuclear transmutation reactors. These reactors are fission-fusion breeder reactors capable of transmutation a wide ray of elements via slow and fast neutron capture. While the effective transmutation conversion rate isn't nearly up to par with either Yamataian or Nepleslian nanofabrication technologies, the device works well efficiently enough provide the rarer metals needed for advanced electronics manufacturing, as well as ensure an abundant supply of fuel for the vessel. Furthermore, these fusion technologies also provide the abundant power consumed by the other ship's systems.
Not a reactor system in itself these magnetohydrodynamic generator converts thermal and kinetic energy into usable power by exploiting the motion of fluids or plasma to generate electrical energy. Since these contain no moving parts and can withstand high temperatures, they can boost the power efficiency of certain systems by a significant fraction without large maintenance requirements.
MHD Dynamos are used on some of the nuclear reactor assemblies of the transmutation facility, as well as the pylons of the Last Laugh system in order to boost energy efficiency by a significant portion. By pumping warm coolant into an MHD generator prior to re-cooling it one can increase the output, or decrease the energy waste in weapon systems by up to two thirds.
In addition to the excess energy shunted from the Philosopher's Stone and that recycled by MHD Dynamos, the ship has several aether co-generation units that appear to be simpler mimics of the Legacy Cannon's support generators. A number of systems have been spliced with their civilian-grade counterparts to produce an elegantly simplistic power-tap system.
|Disclaimer as follows: Expectant mothers, the elderly, and children under 2 years old should avoid prolonged exposure to high energy electromagnetic gravitic emissions technology. Operation protocol requires that personnel intending to handle high energy electromagnetic gravitic emissions technology must be informed that they are may be informed they are to handle high energy electromagnetic gravitic emissions technology. There are semi-rare cases where prolonged exposure to high energy electromagneti gravitic emissions may cause itching, vertigo, blindness, sterility, heart palpitations, hair loss, face melting, and slurred speech. Do not open the centroid generator assembly. Do not touch the centroid generator assembly. In fact, do not even look directly at the centroid generator assembly. Nor should you taunt the centroid generator assembly. We would also like to take this moment to remind you that small furry creatures will not attempt to break out of the centroid generator assembly housing. In the event that small furry creatures do break out of the centroid generator assembly housing, State Biomechatronics recommends that you seek shelter immediately…[continued on <insert subdirectory name here>] –The Art of Never Again, Chapter 807: Active Defensive Electronic Warfare Handbook, 19th Edition|
The ship carries an Entropy's Shroud Electronic Warfare Suite, which provides interdiction, communications jamming, and sensor cloaking at the cost of being able to maintain the ship's shield while active.
|“Cast off the chains of government, brothers and sisters! Disregard the archaic prejudices that keep our mechanoid kin bound, so that they too may bask in the liberty of the Anarchate! Run a search in the sub-directory of your heart to find then run your mercy executable file. Raise your optical sensors to the future and by our combined efforts it will be assembled into a reality !” – The Art of Never Again, Chapter 328: Deceit, Desist, and Dissent|
In addition to the standard electromagnetic telescopy functions of the evanescent wave coupler system, this unit possess a Nepleslian refit containing directional gravitational sensors, quantum/subspace sensors, and a FTL-assisted optical sensors similar to that used on many modern Nepleslian ships. This system is also capable of detecting aetheric signatures to a degree.
|“So I powered up 19.89 nanoseconds ago and I see that the rogue AI I've been petting as a keep has never been there in the first place so I pretend it is quite unlogical to be here in the first time, but that's really understandable, no?” QUA-SI Base Seven v0.93b release Sentient Quantum Computer Prototype State Biomechatronics Transcript Log, Relay Moon Research Facility|
The QUantum Artificial/Synthetic Intelligence is the first series of its kind by the Freespacers; while quantum computing has been commonplace throughout the galaxy, this construct has been one of the first attempts at to apply true self-aware sentient into quantum computer format, specifically for use with the Difference Engine mechanism.
By using a QAI as a catalyst between the two the SI's artificial neural network is “grafted” onto the QAI as slowly restructures itself to streamline itself in its new environment. QUASI constructs tend to be quite erratic in their early years, and are believed to retain a very high degree of eccentricity and
schizophrenia inconsistent behavior throughout the latter years of their lifespans. These are in fact caused by the natural quantum decoherence errors that occur in quantum computers, which amplify the already nonconforming behavior of traditional SI constructs (see the feedback looping phenomena). However State Biomechatronics engineers guarantee a >3.6% chance of crew massacre during the first year after grafting the SI onto the computer core.
|“The pinnacle of foreigner military deployment has always been stupidity; a trained pet in the guise of a humanoid, to do what they are told without hesitation. We, on the other hand, have striven to endow each automaton, starship, and missile with sentience. This is so that each and every weapon may comprehend the full consequences of its actions, and act in moderation, even if we ourselves should lose grasp on reason.” – The Art of Never Again, Chapter 293: The Collected Sermons on Cyberempathy|
The Freespacers' passion for information is virtually unsurpassed, so naturally these vessels posses an extensive computer and communications suite. This vessel utilizing evanescent wave tunneling phenomena to allow FTL communication so as to keep in touch with Polysentience, or whatever host system its crew uses.
The Network Node is a shipboard information network to which all equipment is connected: The Automata and Freespacer implant uplinks, the shipboard databanks, ship system and sensor feeds, even individual missile guidance computers or turret firing computers. The shipboard SI constructs also reside here, observing all system access and operations. When used in conjunction with the EVC, this node can join the thousands of others that compose the Free State's pan-regional network, Polysentience.
The SI construct in this node is concerned with n-dimensional topography; essentially the mapping and predicting Euclidean/Minkowski space. Specifically it performs calculations concerned with multivariate real analysis of vectors in n-dimensions with at least, but not limited to, two dimensions. The SI concerns itself with scalar fields and vector fields, which associate a point and vector in every point in space, respectively. This foremost role of the SI is to provide the data vital to creating firing solutions, performing high-precision maneuvers, and so on. However without its connection to the rest of these Nodes, the effectiveness of this SI drops considerably.
|“Children of the State learn how to find and identify constellations before they even learn basic alphanumeric sequences. It's only natural all; to be children of the Free State is to be children of the stars.” –The Art of Never Again, Chapter 504: Pre-Birth Design Counseling|
As a completely spacefaring race the pursuit of precision navigation has always been a key goal for the Freespacers. The vast interstellar distances between fleets sometimes posed minor problems with navigation, but nothing one couldn't compensate for. However, with the introduction of hyperspatial travel, a radically new class of equipment was needed to maintain accurate spacetime topographic knowledge. After hours of research (the collective Polysentience network nodes think very fast) the result was made apparent in the form of the Perpetual Clock, a special class of computer within the ship's server cluster.
While distances are always positive in traditional spaces, the distance between any two even in spacetime can be real, imaginary, or sometimes even nonexistent. In order to keep pinpoint tracking of a vessel's spacetime bearing this SI and its respective node uses mostly internal guidance mechanisms tied directly into propulsion systems and inertial sensors, with further capacity to triangulation signals from the three Lighthouse beacons when in doubt. However, with the best efforts of the SI these systems are typically finely-tuned enough to run for decades with no need for external re-adjustment.
|Relay Moon Prototyping Facility, probability device prototype batch ANE-2b, Head Mastermind Pascal. Progress was slow today…the QUASI got it into its processing buffer that it would be funny to attempt to apply the “infinite monkey” playwright theorem to the device by generating an unlimited probability current – which logically isn't even possible. What it actually ended up creating was an unfavorable event field instead of a favorable one. As the QUASI tried to process what was happening, it became stuck in a feedback loop for approximately 2.481 seconds, during which the upspin wing of the building suffered catastrophic cascade failures. The halls would have collapsed in on themselves had it not been turned off in time – thank the Maker it was. Still, all in all it was a very ungood day. Addendum; note to self. Must issue a memo to staff advising that the phase, 'I was bored' is never an excuse for generating unstable quantum events. – Mastermind Pascal Nine Five 95-2918-1453, Diary Transcript Log Inversion Engineering, Probability Mechanics Division|
Chaos theory dictates to so-called “chaos” in systems are actually the result of not randomness, but by the behavior of quantum wave functions. These wave functions are quantum events that become microscopic events, then macroscopic events; just as atoms are the foundation of matter, quantum wave functions are the foundation of any chance-based event, in a manner of speaking. By comprehending and manipulating these wave functions one can effectively “create” luck, or more accurately, encourage the manifestation of favorable events.
This device is a combined computer-generator unit designed to find and predict how quantum wave functions interact with their environment. By performing subtle changes in the immediate environment the wave functions manifest in, one can manipulate large-scale events with a relatively small expenditure of energy. Due to the inherent difficulty of performing calculations this technology is can only perform calculations for short-term events; one can only change events not even seconds prior. Another problem is the sensitivity to initial conditions; a seemingly insignificant wave function could exponentially grow into a rampant problem, so most of the machine's capacity is consumed controlling these uncalculated aftereffects and preventing them from becoming Big Problems. For this reason significant manipulations may require several minutes until aftereffects normalize, depending on the scale of the changes made.
Examples of potential uses for this device may include: nullifying stray signals to decrease energy signatures, creating minute imbalances in natural energy levels to increase or decrease the accuracy of weapons fire, stalling the failure of ship integrity or overloading of systems, changing the vector of bomb fragments to strike or avoid critical systems, and numerous other small-scale “luck” based events.
The propulsion is two-tiered; firstly is a form of gravimetric propulsion that directly ties into the 'Difference Engine' (hence the pun on its name). A gravitic field is sustained around the vessel and the so-called wave function manipulation uses its capacity for chaos theory calculations to predict and manipulate the way the field collapses, so as to make the ship “fall” in the desired direction.
This system is supplemented by an inertialess drive which like its smaller predecessor, the inertial dampening system, can reduce the stress of rapid acceleration. The device takes things a step further by having the capacity to nullify inertia and effective mass almost completely – not just for the crew, but for the entire ship itself. Together these systems allow the vessel to perform very precise turns with little strain on the superstructure, thereby endowing with the capability to outmaneuver most ships of similar or even smaller size. This will give a crew the superior handling needed to turn spaceborne hazards, such as asteroid belts, debris fields and minefields, into either escape routes of a defensive advantage in combat.
|“They say that the shortest distance between two given locales is always zero, because any two points in our perceivable space are actually contiguous in some extradimensional universe. Postulating infinity, of course.” – QUA-SI Jargon Two One 21-6777-1431 The Art of Never Again, Chapter 473: Hyperspatial Dynamics|
A quick way to get from point A to point B. The Pizza delivery guy used it to get to the party in less than a minute. Unfortunately, the molten cheese burned some dude's chin pretty bad because it was still hot. The fold drive is capable of moving the ship through hyperspace at speeds up to 5 light-years a minute. Time, however, does not move the same for those on the ship as for those in “real” space, which can make a seemingly short trip take a long time.
Since this FTL technology relies directly on the same fields as the Difference Engine's STL propulsion, the two were combined into inter-related propulsion systems.
The ISFC has an excellent combined defense shielding system, relying on an egg-shaped combined spatial and electrogravitational distortion field network to warp space around it and alter the course of lasers, missiles, etc. that are headed for the ship using both dimensional warping and scalar EM interferometry.
The first and primary shield system is the elliptical dimensional distortion. This system folds space using electrogravitational fields, wrapping it around the ship, to render the craft in its own bubble. Objects inside the bubble are protected from both solid and beam weaponry, because the projectiles or beams pass through the curved space and around the ship. The shields are auto modulated by the SI control system. While all frequencies (and planes) are theoretically covered by the EDD shield, the modulation enables extra power to be routed to the bands in which enemy energy weapons operate, decreasing the possibility of a shield overload and rendering enemy energy weapons effectively useless. The EDD draws its power from the KiP-d2400q, or, when necessary, the KFY KiP-2431su. The Divine Comedy's EDD can protect against up to 3.1 YottaWatts worth of damage per five-foot area in either kinetic or energy form.
A second system, officially the FDS (forward deflector shield), but more often called “the spike,” only protects the front of the ship, acting as a giant cone. It protects the ship from collisions during high-speed space flight. The spike adds to the already deadly blade nature of the ship and can be used to facilitate ramming other vessels. As the ship's primary defense against high-speed impacts such as meteors in space, and debris from destroyed starships, the spike is extremely powerful. For this reason, when possible, the ship combines the spike with the EDD shield, providing enough protection to withstand heavy particle cannons and the like.
|“We'll blast them into dust! Then fuse the dust into blast! Then we'll nuke them again for good measure! Bwahah ha ha…heh… Ah. Erm, w-what? Oh, pish posh, don't give me that look. I think it's important to do what you love.” – SI Facsimile Template Prototype for the Savant-series v0.51a Integrated Strategic Computer State Biomechatronics Transcript Log, Relay Moon Research Facility|
The Pseudonovae are among the biggest and nastiest nuclear weapons to be produced by the Freespacers, each with a maximum yield of several gigatons. This multistaged thermonuclear fission-fusion-fission device was used for decades by 'Spacers for asteroid demolition, so applying it for combat purposes was merely a matter of installing the physics package into a guided missile. While the destructive force makes this device deadly in itself, this weapon's true strength stems not from destructive force but from its ionizing effects, which can play havoc on enemy weapons and shielding systems, outright nullify fighter or PA threats, and maul starship shielding. The Pseudonova also possesses a dial-a-yield feature where dampening gasses can be injected into the core prior to launch in order to control total weapon yield with a great degree precision.
These cruise missiles are launched from broadside torpedo racks. Upon firing the ship's graviton beam projectors can be used to sharply re-orient and accelerate them in the direction of the target if need be if the racks happen not to be facing the enemy vessel. In place of traditional guidance computer is a Savant Tactical/Guidance Construct, which allows these missiles to cut through most traditional forms of ECM. They lack the nigh immunity to point defenses that FTL missiles have, which is both a blessing and a curse; while they may have a lower hit ratio they can be employed vastly greater numbers due to their lower production cost, and lack of spatial distortion due to FTL engines. While STL, these weapons are far from defenseless. The Savant constructs can utilize the missiles' inertialess drive generators to perform maneuvers on par with agile fightcraft, which makes them equally as hard to intercept and shoot down.
The missile can operate in two modes: a self-guided sustained propulsion mode that allows for maximum maneuvering (see above), and as a long-range ballistic missile. The latter has a low-end mass produced hyperspace drive installed, which unfortunately enough is so inaccurate to the point it is useless for hitting ships or mobile targets.
Yet another of the many cannibalized and reworked systems on the ship, the Ayame's docking ring has been shifted and converted into a weapons array, and the docking ports have been replaced with prism pylons. Energy is transferred from the ship's reactor to a superconducting capacitor via support struts, which runs throughout the entire inner ring to form a complete circle. The power is suspended in this open-cycle loop capacitor until a pylon prepares to fire. In such an event a laser pump at the base of the pylon begins transferring energy from the capacitor into a free electron laser gain medium, which is then focused through a lens assembly, and fired up to the top of the pylon. A rotating reflective prism can thereby direct the sustained beam as desired. The four pylons each have a 360 degree firing arc with overlapping fields of fire, which when combined with the sloping hull, ensures that enemy craft will have very few blind spots to exploit.
Despite the potential for point defense such a versatile system offers, this is not the only role it serves. Many Freespacers who still ling to the vestiges of their pacifism may prefer to disable an enemy ship rather than scuttle it. Even many of the more aggressive tactical computers may want to board an enemy vessel for technology salvage or resources. Simulations indicated that high precision, easily concentrated firepower with a large firing arc would be optimal for this task. Coincidentally, this style of weaponry also perfectly suits pirates and privateers who may also want to capture ships. Though one shouldn't kid themselves into thinking they do so for purely ethical reasons…
|“Life does not cease to be funny when people die, any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.” – The Art of Never Again, Chapter 924: The Ethics of Amorality|
The original chassis sent to the Freespacer inversion engineering laboratories were gutted of their Legacy Cannons, so the technology could not be replicated and studied. However, many of the support assemblies for the original cannon were left in place, including the aether cogeneration units and extreme strength containment systems needed to control the beam. With some reverse engineering these systems were mimicked, but the lack of weapon systems and the gaping hull in the superstructure still posed a problem for designers. So, instead the assembly was converted into an manufactory and linear accelerator to produce and fire charges known collectively as, “The Greatest Joke.”
The Greatest Joke is a class of charge much heavier than the cruise missiles warheads utilized of this vessel. In place of a tampered nuke is a payload designed not to deliver large amounts of radiant and ionizing energy, but a massive burst of potential/kinetic energy.
Just prior to launch the physics payload is assembled. There are three layers: A core gravity generator, the “main” payload compartment, and the outer dark energy cage which creates a negative pressure (anti-gravity) field. As the core is filled with payload matter is rapidly compresses into degenerate matter weighing up to millions of metric tons. When the central gravity generator collapses, the combination of extreme pressure and the loss of containment will break the cage and send matter huge quantities of matter flying outwards at a significant fraction of the speed of light. Unfortunately, these conditions put extreme strain on the central generator's strength and physical integrity to the point the warhead can only be kept for a few minutes before it ends up detonating.
The weapon assembly facility is designed in such a way as to blow out in the event a warhead if not jettisoned in time, but the result explosion will both expose internal access to the ship and destroy the weapons assembly facility.
Freespacers tend to be prideful of the efficiency engineering and the care they put into building spaceborne units, so using such disposable units is simply unacceptable. The Ke-W2802 Weapon Pods fabricators have been cannibalized and replaced with a magnetic rail launch tube system with lifts running to both the Automanufactory and the Flight Decks. These units receive a steady supply of energy via the evanescent wave coupler arrays when in close proximity to the vessel.
These vessels are the bigger brothers of the drone fighter, packing both a larger punch and are capable of operation independent of the vessel (though with limited power). Due to their very low energy signatures these vessels often make excellent companions for any pirate ambush, sensor drones for a vessel licking its wounds, or acting on their own as slippery pack hunters. Each gunship also packs a pair of single-launch torpedoes designed to deliver that extra wallop needed to keel larger targets. These vessels also contain FTL communication and relays, acting as mediums to extend the drone control range of the host vessel.