The Zodiac-class Star Fortress is a massive, long-term base of operations for ongoing Star Army activities. Its huge, bustling facilities serve as a hub for all sorts of fleet maintenance, from ship upgrades to research of new weaponry.
Unlike the Iori-class Star Fortress, most of Zodiac's facilities are external; ships under construction or repair remain outside of the station, connected by umbilical and gangways. For this reason, the Iori remains preferred for shipbuilding. It is often referred to as airport-like because of this and the moving walkways found in its spacious, diverse interior. Despite major differences in the two types of Star Fortress, they have roughly the same diameter (thirteen kilometers).
Originally, the Zodiac was unique to the Ketsurui Nebula; the first one was built there as a secret research and training location by the Star Army Research Administration for the purpose of weapon, starship, and power armor research.
In the role-play, the YSS Sakura has visited it at least twice. The YSS Miharu was built there. Also, the NH-29, Ke-M2 "Mindy" Series of Power Armor, and other notable KFY and KZ products have originated there. The station is a stronghold for the Nekovalkyrja, who make up almost all of the population there. Humans are met with suspicion and sometimes even racism.
Scorpio was the former home of Black Spiral, a highly secretive sub-organization of SAINT (Star Army Intelligence), until Black Spiral became a splinter cell in early YE 28. Black Spiral ships would continue to occasionally visit until YE 29.
A second Zodiac-class Star Fortress, Gemini, was constructed near Hanako's World. It serves as the headquarters of the First Expeditionary Fleet. The YSS Sakura docked there briefly before heading out in search of the mysterious “Dark Ones.” It occupies a key position, providing overwatch to Sakura's Gap, the main opening between the SMN/YSE space barrier.
Since then, more fortresses of this class have been built they include:
Speed (FTL): Category 2. See: Star Army of Yamatai Starship Speeds
Range: Effectively unlimited, although food quality and quantity may be limited when it must support itself.
Lifespan: Estimated 500 years or more
Refit Cycle: About once a year, the station undergoes upgrades while still in service, usually one arm at a time.
See Damage Rating (Version 2) for an explanation of the damage system.
Part of this section is divided into two subsections, one for the station's hexagonal core, and another for the station's arms.
Standard passageways throughout the station are wide, well-lit corridors with slightly angled white plastic walls that are wider near the ceiling. The floors are usually covered in a thin gray carpet. Black emergency indicator strips that run lengthwise will blink red in the event of a battle alert. Central corridors can be exceptionally wide and if they are long, a moving walkway may run in each direction along the centerline to hasten travel. All corridors are equipped with emergency blast shutter systems to section off dangers such as enemies, fires, and hull breaches.
Each Zodiac features a Star Fortress Command Center customized to its unique needs.
Each arm contains two concourse levels (upper and lower) with 20 docking stations on each side of each and one dock at the end (usually for the largest ships) for a total of 42 docking stations per arm and 252 per star fortress. Docking stations are evenly spaced at 250m intervals.
Immediately beneath the concourse levels, these decks contain a system of conveyor belts and robotic arms that process materials going to and from ships, making loading a fast and efficient process. The cargo movement levels span 4 decks and have eight tracks (two per side on on two levels, each going opposite directions) which carry flatbed cars onto which cargo is loaded.
Concourse levels, one upper and one lower, make up the main transportation centers of the station. Their centers contain moving walkways and a carpeted hallway 24 meters across. The walkways are lined with various shops, offices, and restaurants that are run by permanent military residents, typically starship engineers, intelligence officers, and power armor pilots whose jobs are not taking up much time for whatever reason. Shops generally connect to living quarters located above them, where their owners live (and sometimes, work). Running behind the shops is the Zodiac Light Rail System, a fast mass-transit system accessible by stations located every kilometer along the arm's length. The ZLRS trains run though the station's main body and can be used to ride to other concourses. The concourse levels are almost always full of activity; at any given point, dozens of Nekovalkyrja girls will be going about their business.
Each suite is a two room arrangement; it contains a workroom/living room combination at the entrance, with a door leading to a bathroom to the side and a passage beyond leading to the bedroom.
The station boasts a number of exceptional power armor training facilities. These areas usually contain a small reception and waiting area, a large simulator room, a restroom, and a classroom.
These centers, located near the docking stations, are where the fabrication and pre-assembly of various starship components take place. In addition to extensive workshops and synthesis units, the production areas feature large bays that open out into space. Generally the areas are filled with stacks of starship framing beams, armored hull sections, and various components. The starship production centers usually take up six decks, with the middle level containing the assembly bay. The lower levels contain the fabrication for frames and hulls, while the upper levels are used for storage of interior parts such as paneling and carpeting.
The Zodiac has an exceptionally powerful shield system, designed to protect against anti-fleet area weapons as well as minimizing damage done by direct single-target main cannons. Focusing power on defense takes away from the Zodiac's ability to move (and vice versa). The Zodiac's shields protect any ships docked to it or within 2km of its surface. On a scale of 1 to 10, the Zodiac's shields rank as a 10.
The Zodiac can effectively disrupt FTL travel from up to 10 light-years away.
Uses Standard Life Support Systems capable of supporting up to 5 million people.
Range of 10 LY. Instant. DR 5 (Anti-Starship).
4 at the end of each arm. Equivalent to Plumeria's main cannon.
The latest and greatest Star Army Weapons Pods.