The Star Army
Main Article: Star Army of Yamatai
Main Article: Star Army of Yamatai
A small, fast, and popular design, the Sakura Gunship has been made famous by the exploits of its namesake ship, the YSS Sakura. It was made obsolete by its larger descendant, the Plumeria-class (2D) Medium Gunship, in YE 29 but many Sakura gunships remained in service until late YE 32 when the Star Army of Yamatai dismantled the last of the class and rebuilt them into Plumeria models.
After the atrocious losses the Sfrarabla Mishhuvurthyar Xhrafuklurp (SMX) and Star Army of Yamatai sustained during the Xyainbor and Mwigflukbajik (SC-4) offensives, fleet warfare as the universe knew it came to a close. In only a couple days, trillions of Nekovalkyrja and Mishhuvurthyar had been obliterated, so many that each side's entire populations (civilian included) were more than halved. Neither side wanted to ever again put so many ships in one place or one fleet. Remaining SMX forces then began a counter-invasion of the Yamatai Star Empire, using much smaller fleets to spread out their presence all around.
The S3 development project began under Acting Mistress Taisho Kessaku Irim very late in YE 27, intended to be ready in YE 28 and to use Ketsurui Fleet Yards' YE 28 parts lineup. The Sakura was a pet project of Taisho Kessaku Irim, and she piloted the prototype S3 (known affectionately known as “The Swan”) during its test flights.
As the Nekovalkyrja Re-Integration Plan (Proposal #58) had recently passed through the Species Management Plan (Proposal #62), Sakura class-ships were supposed to be the last Ketsurui Fleet Yards ships designed for Nekovalkyrja instead of for Yamataians (this later changed as the NH-29 came into service). As with the Nozomi, the First Expeditionary Fleet made five test ships of this class: NG-X1-360 Sakura, NG-X1-361 Azalea, NG-X1-362 Oniyuri, NG-X1-363 Chrysanthemum, and NG-X1-364 YSS Lily. All five ships served with distinction during the Battle of Hoshi no Iori. The Lily, unfortunately, was among the millions of ships lost in battle, which was later known as the last epic space battle.
With a strong family background of battleships and gunships, the Sakura S3 is the third class of gunship to come out of Ketsurui Fleet Yards. Developed jointly between Ketsurui Fleet Yards and the Star Army Research Administration, the Sakura S3 is intended for a wide variety of mission profiles, including the long-range escort of the colony fleets that center around the Destiny-class Colony Ships built by NovaCorp. In order to effectively carry out missions in front of the colony ship's path, the Sakura has been outfitted with the fastest superluminal drives yet produced. The Sakura is intended to run with a minimal crew as long as twenty years away from home without external support and also carries a very impressive (and very destructive) platform of the most sophisticated and powerful offensive and defensive systems available. Like the respected Irim-class Heavy Gunship, the S3 carries the “S” designation in it nomenclature because it is, in essence, a pocket battleship, bristling with the latest weaponry and built with a massive and powerful main cannon.
The Sakura is not designed for carrying civilian passengers, and has no spare accommodations for guests or diplomats, and should not be used to conduct any long-term diplomatic missions.
Although the Sakura class was clearly designed for Nekovalkyrja, the YSS Sakura (NG-X1-360) was captained by Taisa Rufus Sydney, a Nepleslian who, despite Democratic Imperium of Nepleslia's declaration of independence from the Yamatai Star Empire, chose to remain in the Star Army as the Sakura's captain. Taisa Ketsurui Hanako, former servant to former empress Taisho Ketsurui Yui, later joined the crew the YSS Sakura following its return to Planet Yamatai after Battle of Hoshi no Iori, and would eventually become its captain.
Twenty-five Sakura gunships, broken into five squadrons, were a key element in the invasion of Refidh System and the subsequent chase of the Mishhuvurthyar through the Great Southern Nebula, to the Lor system. The YSS Nadeshiko, under command of Taisa Rufus Sydney, assisted the YSS Sakura when it was damaged by an Sfrarabla Mishhuvurthyar Xhrafuklurp (SMX) Xianthrafruglu Gunship. Sakura later headed into deep Mishhuvurthyar space to investigate the “Dark Ones” responsible for manipulating the Mishhuvurthyar.
Other notable Sakura-class ships include the YSS Valiant (NG-S2-02), which had been launched under Taisa Arild Bard, former captain of the mutinied YSS Destiny colony ship, with orders to explore the systems captured by the Star Army of Yamatai during the Mwigflukbajik Offensive. Deviating into Fifth Expeditionary Fleet territory, it made first contact with Ahmar. It later retreated when Mishhuvurthyar reinforcements entered the system, leaving most of its crew on the surface.
The Sakura is an exceptionally fast vessel (category 4).
See Damage Rating (Version 3) for an explanation of the damage system.
All rooms in the Sakura-class gunship have phones. See: Sakura Phone Directory
Located below the Mindy bay, to the aft of the medical bay, the ship's central armory contains most of the weapons for the crew. The armory is a Zesuaium-armored, cooled, static-free vault that spans 2 decks. Personnel weapons are kept on deck 3; power armor weapons and ammunition are kept below on deck 4. There are two elevators, one on each side of the armory; the aft one goes to the shuttle bay floor (deck 2). The forward one goes to the power armor bay floor (deck 2). There is no nodal system available in the armory. The armory is a restricted area, and can only be accessed by those with permission from the ship's captain.
The Sakura class was the first starship to use the Standard Medium Starship Bridge (Sakura type).
The captain's suite is a luxurious cabin located on deck two, forward of the bridge. Inside, the thick, soft, red carpeting matches that of the lounge. The room is lit more dimly than the rest of the ship using lamps placed throughout the interior and studio lighting rather than the normal ceiling lights. There is a very comfortable bed, a wooden dresser and bookshelf (with straps across the books to keep them from going anywhere if gravity failed) and a cozy reclining chair. A large walk-in closet is in the back of the room (going towards the front of the ship), along with a small bathroom (with toilet and a shower) that was added in the 1B upgrade of the ship. The captain's suite's doorway is primarily accessible from the maintenance passageway that runs around the starboard side of the main bridge and up to the command bridge (note: three escape pods are in this passageway) and is one of the ship's more secluded areas.
The Sakura's cargo hold isn't particularly large; it spans only one deck. Its floor contains a number of rolling conveyer systems for fast loading and unloading of palletized cargo. Most of the Sakura's storage area is used for repair supplies and non-perishable foodstuffs. Crew members should note that the cargo bay is not a personal storage (or sparring) area; its limited capacity is reserved for mission-essential materiel and tends to be crowded.
This room, located directly below the bridge, contains the core of the MEGAMI Integrated Electronics System. It is normally inaccessible except to the ship's captain and certified technicians, protected by armored walls and closed blast shutters. The interior is lined with various access panels, control panels, and displays. Other items inside include a coffin-like bed for the ship's avatar and a generator system which powers the mainframe.
Nine small rooms surround the lounge, used for the main crew; each is accessible via a narrow door which slides sideways to open. A single, twin-size bed is each room's most prominent feature, and is the only piece of furniture besides the small white desk and chair between it and the wall (on the door side). Opposite of the door and on the other side of the bed, the wall is made up of various storage compartments for clothing and personal items. The rooms are intended for one or two crew members each (sharing the bed). They do not have their own bathrooms. Power armor pilots and sprites have their own open bunk room located on Deck 3, aft of the armory.
The Sakura’s lounge is an extremely comfortable, circular space centrally located between the crew cabins, thickly carpeted in a shaggy red on the floor, walls, and ceiling, with the design of the Star Army’s logo built into the floor, along with a bunch of bolted-down furniture like soft leather couches and coffee tables running around the edges of the room. Lamps on some of the tables and in a circle around the ceiling provide soft, white lighting, focusing on the open area in the middle with the Mindy logo in the carpet. A staircase leads up to the wardroom, and a small nook located off to the side contains a coffeemaker, icemaker, microwave, mini-fridge, and a small drink bar; note that the lounge is not a dining area. The mini-fridge is used for drinks and small snacks only. Crew baths, showers, toilets, and laundry room are also attached to the lounge.
The lounge is home of the traditional Dare Lottery Party.
Taking up decks 4 and 5 on the front end of the ship's main body, Engineering is located below the computer room and the Power Systems room (an upper level of engineering that contains massive capacitors and converters, primarily). Engineering is crowded with loud, tightly-packed machinery and systems. A catwalk runs around the room on Deck 4 in place of a floor. The Aether power generator here is the most prominent feature, set into the center of the room. The hyperspace unit, near the doorway to the main passageway, is another one of the larger systems found inside. There are a number of maintenance conduits that can be entered from engineering. Engineering also contains a Damage Control Station, near the entrance.
Storage and assembly for the weapons pods is on either side of engineering, and can be accessed from there. The pods are stacked in diagonal tunnels that run from deck five all the way up to the hull’s launchers on deck 2 (on either side of the Taisa’s suite). There are four tubes total (two per side).
Various small tunnels run throughout the ship, ribbed with support framing and lined with pipes and wiring. These allow access to some of the ship's more remote areas. They are not big enough to fit a Mindy Power Armor and area usually quite loud inside, due to the vast amounts of electrical systems present in the Sakura gunship. The complex nature of the starship means technicians will have to visit these conduits every so often to keep the ship in top working order, especially after intense battles.
A four-sided room with a low ceiling (not tall enough to stand in), located beneath the captain's cabins. It sits roughly in the center of the Power Systems section on deck 3. There is a small sliding doorway on each side: two lead to the floor hatches on Deck 2 (in the passageway around the bridge), one rear door to the Power Systems Room (which normally remains locked), and one towards the front of the ship where the gun continues. Near that door on the left side is a large warning notice cautioning about the dangers of vaporization. A round gray manual shutoff switch with a hand-sized rubberized grip bar across is on the other side, with a small panel that reads DISABLED in green or ENABLED in red. Below, a notice declares, “By order of the Star Army, this access tunnel must be visually inspected to ensure there are no crewmembers present before the main cannon system is re-enabled. Failure to do so could result in death. Never turn this switch if the main cannon is not fully assembled.”
The Sakura-class is the first ship to use the Sakura-type Medical Laboratory.
Immediately inside and to the right when entering the the medical bay, there is a small platform elevator (1.5 square meters) that can raise up to the power armor bay to carry patients. An armored shutter blocks the floor opening/medbay ceiling when he elevator is not in use.
The Sakura was the first ship to use Standard Star Army Zero-Gravity Passageways. These passageways run through the decks of the ship vertically as well as horizontally, and are approximately 2 meters in diameter. Eating or drinking in the passageways is forbidden.
The maintenance passageway that encircles the bridge (leading to the captain's suite) also contains two nooks (one on each side) with three escape pods each and is directly accessible by doors on both sides of the bridge. The wall panels along this passageway contain environmental suits and other supplies.
Located on deck 2, this is a fairly Standard Star Army Power Armor Bay with long doors on both sides. There is an emergency elevator in the forward part of the Mindy bay that goes directly to the medical bay, which is on the deck below. This keeps the hurt people from having to go through the 0-G passages. Recent upgrades also included a set of segmented armored covers for the doors, which rise from the edge of the floor to deploy just inside the openings. A common practice is to leave one side open to space, and the other closed.
The power armor bay has a changing room, toilet room, and a decontamination room with showers adjacent to and forward of it, between the bay and the bridge area.
The shuttle bay is a small hangar near the rearmost part of the ship's upper main body, located on Deck 2. It holds three tightly-packed KFY shuttlecraft, two facing to the ship's aft and one between them facing forward. There is barely any walking room in the shuttle bay when the shuttles are inside it. The rear of this room consists of a large curved double doorway that opens to space. The power armor bay is similar in appearance to the Power Armor Bay and is separated from the Power Armor Bay by a partition with a door and blast shutter.
Shuttles: Ke-T4 "Fox" Combat Aeroshuttle (3)
The Sakura's wardroom is a pretty big place for a ship meant for such a small crew complement. It contains round booth tables in the corners and rectangular tables in the middle section (which contain cast iron grills for teppanyaki cooking). A Standard Star Army Galley and scullery are adjacent to it. The amenities Ketsurui Fleet Yards had been kind enough to build into it include marble floors, leather seats, and a ceiling made up of paintings of famous Star Army officers in scenes of their most glorious moments. An elaborate staircase runs down to the lounge.
The key substance that makes up the .5-meter-thick hull of the ship is Yamataium. The frame of the ship is Zesuaium, while armor plates are made of Xiulurium-coated Zesuaium and Yamataium. Please note that the Sakura S3 has no windows. All interior passageways and rooms are surrounded by Yarvex sheeting.
Located at the end of the “wings” of the starship, these attachment systems include full umbilicals and airlock systems. Mission-variable weapons or sensor systems (or shuttles) can be attached to the mounting ports, or the ports can be used for docking with another Sakura Gunship or with a Type 24, Type 26, or Type 28 lift shaft airlock. The sealing systems are self-adjustable so that the Sakura Gunship can interface with nearly any type of circular airlock hatch under a certain size.
The ship's exterior is equipped with two large rapid-launch bays, which are force-field-contained openings in the hull. The bays make it possible for power armors to leap out into space and into combat at their convenience. The ship contains standby units and extensive facilities for repair, maintenance, and construction of the power armor.
The Sakura S3 has an excellent Combined Field System that can protect against up to 4.5 YottaWatts worth of damage (4.5 x 1024 [4.5 septillion] joules a second ) per each 1 square meter area in either kinetic or energy form, or a bit more than the matter-energy conversion rate of the Sun (3.83 x 1024 Watts). This is usually enough to hide within a star or withstand many main cannon blasts from enemy vessels.
The Sakura uses the MEGAMI Integrated Electronics System package.
The Sakura contains all Star Army Standard Starship Emergency Systems.
On the Sakura, blast shutters are located:
At strategic locations throughout the ship, damage control stations are kept ready to serve repair crews. These stations contain power cables, portable aether generators (2), hull patch kits, toolkits, welding and cutting equipment, and Environmental Suits. The stations are kept locked behind sliding panels, which can be unlocked by the captain.
On the Sakura, damage control stations are located:
See: Soul Savior Pod
The ship has a very thorough recycling system, tied into a Hemosynthetic Conduit System, which breaks down anything classified into “waste” into its atomic components. The air recycling system (which is segmented and highly monitored for security reasons) can support up to 500 NH-22C Yamataian or NH-29 personnel up to twenty years. Water can be recycled for twenty years as well. Sakura is also equipped with Hemosynthetic Conduit Systems and Psionic Signal Controllers.
The MCS allows the ship to collect loose molecules as it travels through space, which can be used to provide fuel or converted into higher elements for use in the Hemosynthetic Conduit System. The MCS units can be shielded in combat with cover plates.
Trillions of tiny femtomachines are distributed in the air aboard the ship, allowing anywhere to become a control panel with a simple swirl of a person's finger. The ship can use the system to sense what is happening throughout the interior, thus giving it more information to use for environmental control, security, and communication. Using the nodal system, the ship's computer may manifest herself anywhere on the ship in physical or holographic form.
Like the original, it fires an incredibly intense scalar interference pulse that causes a tear in the fabric of space-time. When this occurs, all energy potentials in the target area are released into real space simultaneously, causing catastrophic destruction. First tested on the newer Sakura-class Gunship YSS Snowdrop, the W2900 is based on the W2800 cannon the original Sakura shipped with. While the W2800 was highly effective, often it was much too powerful to be useful (or politically viable). The W2900 is a much more versatile weapon, aimed at winning smaller ship-to-ship battles with fast, powerful discharges at single targets in addition to having the option of using the previous weapon's method: a wide cone of destruction. Visually, the W2900 is all but identical to its predecessor: It consists of a center firing node, a large upper assembly (which resembles a dagger blade), and a smaller lower assembly. The cannon is also referred to as “the main gun” or the “Type 29.”
Note: Systems that make up this weapon were built in a modular fashion so that the sections composing the ship's main gun could be easily switched with other modules (weapon systems, additional crew space, sensor arrays) at a later time, if desired. Exchanging the main gun's systems in this fashion requires about 6 hours.
These cannons function as deadly antimatter railguns, firing massive 2000kg compressed positron shells at near-light speeds. Each railgun fires a subspace pulse (to provide shield penetration effects) which is used to provide short-term encasement to a packet of compressed positrons (which are suspended with electromagnetic fields until leaving the cannon). The positrons annihilate electrons they come in contact with, thus destabilizing and destroying molecules, and creating a surge of energy through the target. Extremely Heavy damage against any starship. Smaller starships or starships without high-end armor will likely be completely obliterated.
Anti-matter weapons should not be used in atmospheres.