by Max Barry

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The Holiday Lords of Cinder of Kalaron

“Born from flame, hardened by the abyss.”

Category: Inoffensive Centrist Democracy
Civil Rights:
Very Good
Economy:
Frightening
Political Freedoms:
Few

Regional Influence: Handshaker

Location: The Phoenix Concordat

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1

Typhon System Control Vessel



Service history

In service

2401 - present

Used by

Kalaronian Command Authority


Production history

Designer

Nyx Hadronics

Designed

2302-2401

Manufacturer

Kalaronian Command Authority

Unit cost

US$15,000,000

Number built

Classified

Variants

See below

Specifications

Projectile Mass

13.5 kg

Length

10 meters


Calibre

88.9 mm

Muzzle velocity

2.3Km/S

Rate of fire

12 rounds per minute (practical)

Sensors

OPTEX-313 Radar FCS synced to a THALRO
cooled thermal optical system. Secondary sensors
operate through the data transfer
network on the Ship.

Description



Developed expressly for the use of the Command Authority's Expeditionary Fleet, the Typhon is one of the most straightforward warships built by their orbital shipyards. The Typhon was designed to engage in direct Fleet-To-Fleet actions against hostile forces and as such was fitted with reinforced plating, redundant engines embedded in an maneuvering roll-cage around the armored central hull, a simplistic -if rugged- Drone Control Network, and an abundance of over-engineered weaponry. These vessels dwarf their Bellerophon cousins, and are still twice as massive as the Bellerophon's System Control Ship derivative. This same mass prevents them from achieving the high speeds enjoyed by their Lighter Escorts using conventional Warp Drive techniques however.

As a dedicated System Control Vessel, the Typhon carries a wide range of armaments. Although each variant is subtly different, all retain the central eight Rail-Cannons, sixteen Burst Phazite Arrays and dozens of Perimeter Defense Turrets that marked the original design. The Rail-Cannons -XM330 Electromagnetic Launchers- fire off several meter "lance" projectiles made from a Vanadium Chromium Steel alloy, while the Phazite Arrays are fed by five separate Ytterbium:Silica Fiber Lasers embedded in Hull Modules. Propulsion is provided by six I-450 Solid Nuclear Thermal Engines and two Reciprocal Fold Drives. Finally, the Four Engine Nacelles are tipped with Staged Particle Generation Weaponry that can each generate a "forward flow" of Quasi-Degenerate Matter as a weapon against close combatants, and can be used to defend it from directed energy weapons that lack a dedicated Pulse Mode by creating a "screen" of opaque Quark Plasma. As Burst Phazite Arrays require a Pulse-Cycle to avoid dangerous overloads, they are naturally suited towards "punching through" this cloud. Kinetic projectiles however must either be of a unitary ultra-high temperature construction or heavily thermally shielded to survive penetration through the matter-cloud.

History


As stated above, the history of the Arca begins with the Arcibo Class of Light Carriers designed for the Command Authority. Smaller than the dedicated Fleet Carriers they often operated apart from, these vessels were optimized for the usage of a moderately sized compliment of Corax Gundrones to compliment their innate armour and armament. Although much of the armament was stripped from the superstructure afterwards to account for the needed sensor arrays when they were shifted to the use of the Clandestine Defensive Fleet. Their design was instigated by the covert actions of the Kohm Presidium in 2384, during a rash of attacks on the colonies that made up the Kalaronian border. While Analysts were able to identify several pieces of technology in use by Kohm Forces, the chance that another Force had imported the weaponry made it too risky to publicly accuse them of the attacks, though the Clandestine Defense Fleet was known to have leaked details about it to the greater galactic community.
Although the attacks stopped when the Command Authority took up the practice of stationing a small picket force at more points along the border, it was notably harder to expand meaningfully when the Military was pre-occupied with defending the Colonial Holdings. It would take ten years before development was done on the kind of ship that would help to ameliorate the issue. As the time couldn't be taken to design a novel hullform for the purpose, the earlier Aricbo was modified for the purpose because of it's ample internal volume, relative speed and plethora of sensor mounting hardpoints that had been designed for Drone-To-Fleet data-links. The new mission for the Vessel included the covert surveillance of large amounts of territory, and the general reconnaissance and deterrence of enemy attacks. A classified priority was deemed the discovery of any hidden Forward Raiding Stations operated by the Kohm Presidium -and later, the Ferritic Union- and deployment of Bellerophon Fast Battleships to flashpoint Sectors. The chance to test the Vessel's development came relatively quickly, as a planned expansion towards the Galactic Core was in operation and drawing a number of raiding parties towards both the older settlements near the border of the Presidium and the new colonies on the Coreward Boundary.
The first operation was undertaken by a trio of ships operating under the Callsign "Peacekeeper". With their Squadron forward deployed to chart a Nebula, it was a fairly simple matter for the Rear-Ship, operated by Captain Valstrom, to receive the broad-band distress call of the first ships to be attacked on the Raiders ingress to the System of Kholar. With the single Alpha-Variant in the Squadron operated by Commander Tyton, while Captain D'erevosh and Captain Valstrom were both entrusted with Beta-Variant vessels. Valstrom dispatched Drones into the Nebula to draw Tyton and D'erevosh back. Coming into a formation that allowed Tyton to use the Alpha's systems to dampen the photon emissions of the other Vessels, they warped into the system with their Primary Engines disabled. After confirming the presence of multiple Ferritic Union freighters that had been hiding multiple gun-platforms along their hull, Peacekeeper Squadron deployed an emergency resonant call for aid. Although two Bellerophon Battleships had already picked up the earlier general distress calls of the Kholar system vessels, it was the Resonant Call that illustrated the full severity of the situation and convinced them to push their engines to a full-bore "Sprint". While they were delayed, however, both Beta-Variants began to advance towards the heart of the system with cover provided by the hidden Alpha at the edge of the system. With disruptive missile launches that blanketed the surrounding area with powerful electromagnetic interference from the Visitrix, both the Valiance and the Forthright deployed a number of Gun-drones and sent them on a retrograde intercept to distract the Ferritic Union's fleet. The events that followed have been classified, but it is known that a number of civilian transports were able to successfully evacuate before the Ferritic Union detonated a low-yield nuclear device in orbit and retreated. Though "Peacekeeper" had suffered a total loss of function in one vessel, and severe injuries in another, the Alpha had successfully recorded the entire combat engagement and proven the efficacy of what would become an increasingly important ship on the frontlines of a coming war.

Variants


Technically, the rest of the ship remains a classified mystery. Three Sub-classes make up the "Standard Arca" design scheme, and several units have received extensive modifications from these baselines for specific mission-critical equipment or weaponry. Of these Sub-Classes, the most extensive modifications are centered on the Third Nacelle, which is often expanded or re-wired for specific purposes, discounting more subtle modifications to the Main Computer's programming. Due to the secrecy of the program, and the Clandestine Fleet's abject refusal to make their vessel-count a widely known figure, the actual numbers of each sub-class shifts with different publications and estimates. However, their lack of presence among the various Command Authority Star-Docks suggests either that their numbers are very low, flown very nearly apart to the point of uselessness over refitting or that the Clandestine Fleet has their own well-stocked Repair Stations as well.

Modification Alpha, for instance, replaces the standard Tertiary Weapon Mount on the front of the Nacelle with additional equipment for signal processing and retrieval, and features several improvements in it's ability to remain stealthy like an additional heat-sink and the placement of radar absorbent material on the Hull. While expensive, the Alpha Subclass has prevented the outbreak of hostilities several times in the past thanks to the sensitive information it collects. However, these improvements have reduced it's System-Speed by a non-insignificant amount due to the added mass and relatively weak engines. Due to the sensitive nature of their missions, this subclass is one of the very few Command Vessels to qualify as unarmed. While they retain the Sword Break missile system fitted to all Arca variants, their warhead chambers have been replaced with a mixture of Counter-Measures too complex to remove. Instead of the missiles putting out heavy flak or solid projectiles, they instead let out flashes of radiation across the spectrum for both broad-band and pin-point jamming of sensors. The Phazite-Magazine around the missile's midsection, meanwhile, is selectively activated by a physically shielded light-source. The shield for a specific section drops when the targeting sensors of the missile registers that a Laser Protection Shutter has opened on the enemy vessel, allowing for it to selectively blind infrared sensors and potentially even mission-kill systems that rely too heavily on their laser optics. However, the Phazite-Magazine is only effective for a single "shot" per surface, after which it's rendered inert.

The Beta Variant of the Arca ironically could be described instead as a retrofit towards the original specifications of the Arcibo class. With expanded hangers and communication's equipment, the Beta Variant represents the most common "Assault Carrier" in the Clandestine Fleet. Though the Assault Carrier's drones aren't particularly robust in comparison to many of the Vessels established by the Command Authority, they do remain comparatively well-armoured when compared to a typical drone. Equipped with a forward-facing and detaching Phazite chamber, these drones attempt direct-intercepts while the Warhead-Chamber weakens the armour that it'll impact thereafter. A number of larger drone-frames built around their gun-systems are also included for direct-attack formations.
Distinctively, the Beta Variant also features a powerful Battle Coordination Management Network that ties into the sensor systems of the drone. When combined with the Beta's own sensor array, this provides a much farther range for delicate scanning operations. Accompanying these sensors are a layer of additional Point Defense Weaponry.

The Gamma Variant meanwhile has the absolute least publicly available data. Designed under the guise of being a Long Range Haul modification for long duration covert transportation, the actual purpose of the third Nacelle remains infamously classified to this day. Some have speculated that it contains a specialized "holding chamber" for particles and components too unstable for normal transportation. Others have questioned the possibility of the entire Long Range Haul classification being disinformation itself, with the Third Nacelle instead containing a specialized Integrated Weapon. Although the exact type of weapon remains unknown, the much more powerful engines suggest something extremely dense lies at it's core if true. Conspiracy Theorists are often maligned for connecting these ships with examples of anomalous "elongation" noticed in some debris along the Interstellar Border of Kalaron and the Ferritic Union. However, even the Leading Scientists in the Command Authority would admit that such a weapon is possible. By "squeezing" a stabilized Quantum Black Hole created from Radiant Energy, the Gravity can be focused from into a "beam"-like projectile. However, this requires ultra-pure exotic materials to coat a Gravitic Mirror to protect the Firing Chamber and allow the focusing effect.

Designed during the war as an ad-hoc modification of the Gamma Variant, the Epsilon consists of a fusion of several systems pioneered across both the Clandestine and the Overt Fleets. With a Staged Particle Generation Weapon from the Faeht Heavy Cruiser, the Gravitational Distortion Cannon from the above Gamma class, and a custom Space-Warp Drive built to instead "shunt" the vessel into higher dimensions. While successful in small numbers, the inherent dangers of even a successful breach into a Worm-Hole stream through that method and the requisite of such diverse components make it unlikely to see wide-spread adoption.

Equipment



While the heart of a ship has always bee it's super-structure, the equipment makes up the vital organs that ensure it's function. Without every system operating in unison, the vessel can hardly be expected to operate at a fraction of it's true effectiveness. An assorted number of equipment, both classified and not, are listed bellow.

  • (6x) Matterhorn-511: Installed as a hexad, the four outside engines utilize a tungsten-doped Icosane hydrocarbon as the propellant and thermal coolant. While still requiring a relatively high amount of incident heat to liquefy it, the tungsten doping allows for it to be remarkably effective at absorbing the heat and radiation generated by the core. The Inner-Engines utilize a pure Icosane propellent meanwhile for higher thermal efficiency.

  • (4x) Staged Particle Generation System: Designed as a radical means of generating super-dense "Qlasma" cloud with cohesion akin to a liquid. Opaque to electromagnetic sensors and super-heated to the point of light generation, the SPGS is capable of acting akin to a "shield" when confronted with a continuous wave laser. However, Pulse-Burst Lasers are capable of generating a penetrating wave to drill through through the cloud, as the Typhon's BPA system has been calibrated for. When directed as a weapon rather than a shield, the system is capable of directly sublimating the hull of enemy ships. Attempts to ward off damage with Phazite quickly reaches explosive temperatures and energy densities. Partially as a result of this comutal destructive effect the Typhon has been unable to retrofit Phazite-Based absorption shielding. Each "Stream-Cannon" can only fire a handful of "Shots" however. Distressingly, ships equipped with these systems have undergone some number of disappearances while collaborating with the Covert Fleet.

  • (5x) Thule Vertical Launch System: Each Thule VLS is composed of twenty five missile cells containing Sarissa class missiles. Though each warhead is interchangable, the majority of warheads have proven to be either nuclear or kinetic in nature. With targeting sensors capable of transmitting data back to the Fleet through associated missile data-links, the Thule System acts as a means of "seeing" around the Quark Field generated by the SPGW.

  • (16x)Perdition Burst Phazite Array: Undeniably the most useful weapon system on the Typhon, the BPA consists of a typical Phazite Array with a bulked up coolant system. This system includes several advanced temperature calculators with automatic interlocks. These safeties allow the system to survive the rapid heating brought on by the high-intensity pulses of light into the Crystal Tube Array. Five thirteen-megawatt fibre lasers provide the initial incident-light for the Phazite's decay process, with redundant mirror-piping to the various turreted emitters. Durable Vanadium Chromium Tungsten shutters are capable of dropping to isolate the vulnerable components in the Perdition. The three Reactors of the Typhon provide distributed resilience to the powergrid, each laser has a smaller redundancy as well.

  • (8x) XM330 Electromagnetic Launchers: The XM330EML uses the same Galaxite Frame as those mounted on the lighter Bellerophon, this system fires twenty kilogram Vanadium Chromium Steel projectiles at 4Km/s using energy siphoned from the secondary power generation system attached to the Phazite arrays.

  • (2x) Reciprocal Warp Star-Drive: The RWSD is the primary means of Super-Luminal Travel that the Typhon has the equipment for. This Stellar Drives is functionally similar to those used by other Expeditionary Fleet ships. However a secondary capability of the system includes the capacity to "fold" the dimensions of one side of the ship over the other -provided the generators have symmetry- to increase the amount of material that needs to be "shunted" into higher dimensions when used with the Gamma-Variant Arca's projected singularity. Only with the use of a Reciprocal Warp Star Drive can this "artificial wormhole" be traversed without the mass of the vessel collapsing it. However, achieving the needed depth in the higher dimensions requires the use of a Quasi-Degenerate Matter Projector, more commonly referred to as a Staged Particle Generation Weapon.

  • Armour: The Armour of the vessel is among the heaviest and most effective patterns produced by the Command Authority. With the incredible thrust generated by the two Matter Engines, it was possible for the use of more atomically heavy materials to be added to the liner-system as a counter-measure for the radiation pulse generated by nuclear weaponry. However, the composition depth and exact layering of each "tile" of armour is kept under heavy classification protocols to help prevent the development of weaponry meant solely to pierce it. A combination of Aramid Fiber, Boron Nitride, Depleted Uranium, Silica Aerogel and Spacing-Armour protect the thickly armored crew-pods.

    Specifications


    • Ship Diameter: 260 meters

    • Overall length: 255 meters

    • Vessel Height: 65 meters

    • Vessel Thrust (Total): 240Mn

    • Practical rate-of-fire: 120 rounds/min

    • Power Generation: 400MW

    • Crew Compliment: 95 Crewman + 40 Marine Boarding Teams

    • Primary sights: OPTEX-313 Radar FCS synced to a THALRO cooled thermal optical system. Secondary sensors operate through the data transfer network on the Ship.

    • Vessel Mass: 24Kt

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