by Max Barry

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by The Holiday Lords of Cinder of Kalaron. . 12 reads.

Arca-class (Covert Command Vessel)

Service history

In service

2401 - present

Used by

Kalaronian Command Authority

Production history


Nyx Hadronics




Kalaronian Command Authority

Unit cost


Number built



See below


Projectile Mass

13.5 kg


10 meters


88.9 mm

Muzzle velocity


Rate of fire

12 rounds per minute (practical)


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


The Arca is a relatively old design in the Kalaronian Authority's Covert Applications Group, used for the launching, coordination and retrieval of Intelligence members and Covert Raid Units. Though often described as a "Pocket Cruiser" by those who see the third Nacelle, the reality is that it contains a significant number of the ship's compliment of Defensive Spatial/Atmospheric Drones and Shuttlecraft. Aside from this, a specialized container at the front can be swapped for a number of warloads, from the relatively simple electronic warfare package to additional storage space for DS/A Drones, to the relatively exotic weaponry prepared for the CAG. An additional duel shock to those who see the system is the massive amount of power generated by the vessel, and the relatively quiet nature of it's Warp Propulsion. Even for Covert Application Group ships, the Arca uses remarkably small amounts of Radiant energy to forcibly warp their space to the target destination. Whereas many ships generate a highly visible flash of light, the Arca only generates a brief spike in the amount of Ultra-Violet range, roughly equal to an extremely blue-shifted star. Adding to this, the Arca deploys a wide range of tactics to distort or confuse targets, including the usage of a sacrificial "Radiant drone" to distract targets and methods of harvesting or magnifying naturally or near-naturally produced radiant energy. Smaller Ships often dock on the Third Nacelle to take advantage of this stealth when authorized.

Additionally, the Arca isn't defenseless against the hostilities of other ships. When forced into a confrontation, the Arca carries significantly larger missiles that, while designed for land-bombardment, are more than capable of being repurposed for Ship-To-Ship combat. The principle example of this is in the Lightning-Break AOMS. This Anti-Orbital Missile System features separate "Sub-Rider" warheads that use the main-body for coverage from attacking platforms, alongside additional technology, so that the attacking platform reaches the target with a significant amount of preserved force. These missiles, coupled with the three EMAG-2 systems installed around the ship and front of the Third Nacelle, form the basis of all the weaponry on the Arca. Phazite cannot be installed in a weaponry array due to the presence of sensitive banded Phazite around critical subsystems. Many of the Arca-Class remain as converted ships of the earlier Naval Arcibo-Class of Carriers and have had those capabilities "unlocked" by the crew. Thanks to the relatively small size of the ship's Naval Intelligence equipment as part of the Special Command Fleet, large segments of otherwise useful space was left unused in the semi-pressurized Landing-Receiver hall. It wasn't long until the Crews had started to modify the Docking Doors back into functionality, with a protected landing-bay station attendant. Before the adoption of the tactic by the Special Command, vessels modified by the crew to fit Fighters were unofficially designated Arcibo-F types to honour the Military vessels that had preceded them. Those that have been "unlocked" retain a fragment of their earlier days as they benefit from working Carrier-Tracks, which drag damaged and working fighters alike through the ship. This system keeps working fighters at the front while those inoperable fighters are brought down to wait until they can be pushed to the waiting chamber by a Zero-G push.


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.


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 adoption.


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.

  • Stalwart-Shin-311: Designed to use Icosane, the Stalwart-Shin represents the absolute latest in low-impact engines. While the Stal-Shjn is certainly less than conspicuous.

  • Distributed Reactor Subsystem: A redundant method of generating power when the core Quantum Singularity is disabled and the engine's reactor cores are disabled, the Distributed Reactor Subsystem prevents a total disruption of power between areas that still have mechanical and electrical interlocks. This system allows the ship to limp when critically damaged, and has the added ability of allowing a temporary surge in the power of it's Phaser system and ECG-140 weaponry. Heavy coolant veins are present on the inside of the ship's hull with super-chilled liquid nitrogen to handle thermal surges from the power draw and heat generation in the electrical substations.

  • Sarissa Missile System: A comparatively heavy missile compared to the earlier MRM-495, the Sarissa has a mass of 936Kg and transports a potential warhead of 120Kg. This warhead chamber is customized for maximum customization and provides the Bellerophon with most of it's scientific sensors during legitimate exploration. As with the MRM-495, the kinetic warhead is the most common of all the launched models. However, a much wider range of warheads are available for the Sarissa, leaving it with practically no restriction in what it can be launched, provided they fit the 71.4Cm chamber diameter.

  • Veidae Energy Containment System: Utilizing a tuned version of the Harvestman-derived exotic material, the Veidae is able to drain energy from incoming photon-based weaponry by converting some of it to a stored form inside of Phazite Crystals carried in a capacitor form inside of the ship. Although not all of the energy is drained, and the process isn't totally efficient and generates large amounts of heat inside of the circuity. This system is rigged to automatically disconnect as the crystals reach near 80% of their total charge. This prevents explosions from simple impacts, while still allowing them to be jettisoned later.

  • (6X) ECG-140: The weaponry for the ECG-140 is visually reminiscent of the larger Tharsis system fitted to the Cryton Class, however, the ECG-140 utilizes a magnetic coil system for projectile propulsion, relying on the relatively thick walls of Beryllium Niobium Nitride to generate magnetic fields strong enough to fling the nearly one ton projectile out at just under two kilometres a second. The Galaxite-VCS sheath wrapped around the coil significantly increases the maximum yield strength of the barrel and thus it's ultimate usable force.

  • (2X) Phazer: The Phazer Subsystems on the Bellerophon follow the standard design in the fleet. Located deep within the ship, the lasers use an internal reflecting structure mounted inside the super-structure of the ship to guide it to an Emitter Array on either the "top" or "bottom" of the vessel. These Emitter Arrays use an external stock of Phazite inside of a shielded container to minimize the chance of unplanned detonations and allow the ship to advance closer to the target without risking their loss. However, despite the significant amount of firepower this provides the Vessel, recent experience with the Veidae subsystem has suggested that their effect could be lessened -or outright stopped- with a large enough or advanced form of Phazite. Although the laser is still effective as a weapon, this mitigation system prevents "Laser Pricks" from being effective towards ending a battle themselves until the Vessel closes to extremely short range.

  • 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 XYN 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 relatively slender Crew Pods.


    • Ship Diameter: 102 meters

    • Overall length: 255 meters

    • Vessel Height: 65 meters

    • Vessel Thrust (Total): 135Mn

    • 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: 13.4Kt