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S.S. Hades' Gate

on Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:31 pm


    A small cruiser exited warp with a flash as it slowed to sublight, powerful impulse engines rumbling as it slowed to a stop, having reached it’s destination.  
    “Sir, there is a massive ship here, just as the old spacer said. Looks like he wasn’t crazy after all, sir.” The cruiser’s captain sat in thought in his imposing, dark, high-backed command chair.
    “Onscreen.” The captain commanded. What appeared on the bridge’s main viewer filled the screen at this close range. The vessel was truly massive, with a semi-cylindrical hull, one-point-two kilometers long, bristling with disruptor cannons, several enormous rail-gun turrets, two gargantuan, side mounted, nacelles, each more than twice the size of a heavy cruiser, incredibly thick armor plating on both hull and extremities, and three main impulse engines, each larger than a medium cruiser.
    The captain leaned forward slightly in his seat.    
    “Status of the vessel? Lifesigns? Power readings?” He quired.
    “It’s just adrift, sir. No weapons active, no shields, no sensors, no lifesigns, no power output at all, not even life-support or gravity plating. I’m reading minimal internal damage, although she appears to be structurally sound, no external damage, and most of the escape pods have been jettisoned. She appears to be off-line and abandoned, sir.” But the dread commander had not lived this long by being careless.
    “Scan for booby-traps, and for other ships in the system, possibly cloaked. And scan for any recent warp activity in the area.” The sensor officer’s fingers flew across his controls as he obeyed his commander’s orders.
    “Well? What did you find?” Asked the captain, growing impatient.
    “Nothing, sir. No signs of a trap. No signs of recent activity within sensor range. And no readings consistent with a cloaked vessel, sir.”        
The captain clasped his hands together in silent approval, a slight eerie smile playing across his lips.   
    “Prepare my environmental suit. I wish to inspect my new acquisition.”



Fifteen minutes later.



    The captain, now in his heavy EV suit, materialized in a sparkling yellow whirlwind as his ship’s transporter finished reconstructing his body in a corridor of the nameless vessel. His feet began to rise above the deck as the lack-of gravity instantly took effect on him.
    Blast it. I should’ve come over with magnetics on. And with that he cursed himself and switched his magnetic boots on, slowly bringing him back down to the floor with a thud as the heavy boots clamped onto the deck.
    It was only now that he stopped to look around. The corridor was dark, save for his EV suit’s helmet light. Then something floating several meters down the hall caught his peripheral vision. The movement startled him and he whipped his disruptor carbine towards the offending object. It was a person, or was once. Now it was only a pale lifeless body, with a disruptor hole blown straight through its forehead.
    Looks almost human, save for that bulbous nose. He took out his tricorder and made a quick scan, keeping his carbine at the ready.
    This fellow’s been dead for quite some time. The cold must’ve preserved him. He isn’t any species on record; nothing unusual though.
    After scanning for where he wanted to go next, the captain slowly walked on, not at all bothered by the floating dead man that his slow, methodical, thudding steps brought him closer and closer to. It wasn’t the first death he’d seen, and it wouldn’t be the last. As he reached the body, he shoved it out of his way and continued.
    Another fifty meters will get me to the bridge. What’s this? An open door? Most of the others are sealed. He paused to have a quick look inside, slightly curious. It appeared to be an officers’ mess-hall, likely for the top crew. Written in blood-red letters on the wall, his universal translator slowly deciphered two sentences,  “Bringer of Blood” and “Dealer of Death.
    “How fitting.” He said aloud, perceiving more bodies floating about the room, many of them with glaring wounds.
    But I’m not here to look at graffiti. He turned back toward his objective. Step by lumbering step, magnetically sealing each boot to the deck as he set it down at the end of every stride, he made his way to the bridge. Now he was blocked only by a heavy blast-door.
    Hopefully it’s not too tightly shut, there’s not a chance I can cut through that thing with my carbine. I really don’t want to have to beam out and the back over, I could’ve just beamed straight to the bridge, but I wanted to get a feel for my surroundings first. He tried prying it apart with his bare hands, and with no power holding it closed, it easily gave-way to his strength.
    The bridge was in worse condition than he had expected. Bodies, most of them with large sections vaporized or charred, floated about the room. The floor, consoles, and far bulkhead had large blood stains on them. Disruptor marks were burned into the bulkheads. And the door to the ready-room had a meter-and-a-half wide hole in it, likely from an explosive detonation.
    The captain, seeing that several consoles that he had hoped to gain valuable information from had been blasted beyond any hope of quick repair, thudded cumbersomely past the carnage towards the ready-room.
    As he came to the destroyed door, he gently pushed the two halves apart, allowing access to his bulky suit. Inside, several more bodies floated, and the walls were just as charred as those on the bridge, only in a straight line from the door. Whoever had defended this room appeared to have been vaporized in his command chair, which had a hole burned through the back of it, with blood splattered on the wall behind the chair. But the captain hadn’t come to see dead bodies and blast marks. He had come for the commanding officer’s personal computer console; which sat, apparently undamaged, on the desk in front on the chair, but off to the side, out of direct line-of-sight to the door.
    That explains how it survived the fight. Nobody could hit it. Now to see if it still works. Let’s hope I can decode it. The environment-suited figure strode over to the desk and sat down in the chair which was secured to the deck plating, keeping his mag-boots on the floor as he sat. He leaned in over the screen, hoping that it could actually be as easy as this.
    First he inserted a portable power-pack into the computer, then a heat-generator. At first the it whined and moaned, then it slowly sputtered to life as the heat warmed it out of its cold, deathly slumber. The screen displayed what his suit’s HUD translated as “Enter Access Code.” He obliged by connected a small device to the computer. Numbers and symbols flew across the screen so quickly that even his state-of-the-art universal translator couldn't keep up as the ingenious little device cracked the code in a matter of seconds.
    Good. Now let’s have a look at where you came from. The screen now displayed a “Welcome, Captain” message, and a list of options. He quickly selected “Captain’s Log, Major Events” and then chose “Entry 1.” His translator, becoming more and more used to this unknown tongue, unlocked the secrets of the strange script seconds before his eyes reached each line.
    “Chrono-reading 574.623.8 Captain Unthrulp commanding.
    I am accustomed to military vessels, but since my retirement, I am pleased to find better pay and less danger here in the employment of Artayk Arms, a holding of Terack Tech. The Oronner, like all Sequitur class Corporate Light Dreadnoughts, although I don’t see what’s light about them, is an extremely powerful ship, outgunning even many heavy military vessels, and I trust that I will not encounter any real difficulty providing security for the Gunthrupii IV manufacturing facility. Although I am used to working with a more disciplined, military crew, I have every confidence that they will meet and exceed my every expecta-” The captain was not interested in the dead crew of this ship. He wanted concrete facts about the ship itself.
    Like what you’re doing all the way out here, anyway? He selected the next log.
    “Chrono-reading 575.182.2. Captain Unthrulp commanding.
    Several raiders attacked the system today, strange, they never had a chance. I don’t know what they hoped to gain. We were able to quickly apprehend two of the three ships with our tractor beam, and, unfortunately, the other was destroyed rather than disabled when we over-calculated the amount of firepower needed to disable its weapon-systems. The crews of the other two ships repeatedly refused to surrender, and, rather than risk the lives of my men with boarding operations, I determined it best to simply beam the attackers to the Oronner’s security holding area, disarmed in transport. All of them were taken without a small-arms shot being fired. I have filed a complete report on the matter, and it is likely that the crew will receive a commendation for their actions today. On a side-note, the media is reporting another case of the Gensetti virus in the nearby Jynthii system. This trouble me greatly. End log entry.”   
    Not what I need. Maybe the next entry will be of more help? He clicked “next” and continued reading.
    “Chrono-reading 576.873.9 Captain Unthrulp commanding.
    Things are quickly deteriorating as the Gensetti virus spreads across our space. They told us that it wouldn’t, they were wrong. All I can do is hope that it has not infected anyone on my ship, and hold a strict quarantine. The virus spreads very quickly, but it incubates for over two cycles. By the time symptoms, mainly irrational and uncontrollable rage, delusions, varying degrees of insanity, and sometimes paranoia, become evident, it is already too late, both for the one showing the symptoms, and for everyone who has been in contact with them for any of the long incubation period. If the extreme violence associated with the disease does not lead to the death of the infected, the virus will kill them in a matter of weeks, sometimes a few months at most, after the incubation period has ended. End log entry.”
    The captain continued reading, growing more and more curious as to how this vessel came to be adrift beyond deep space.
    “Chrono-reading 576.984.6 Captain Unthrulp commanding.
    Civil war, if you can call it ‘civil,’ has begun. Three factions seek control of our space. The government, with whom our civilian security ship has been drafted into service in the Third Fleet, with my military career now being continued as her captain, who seek to restore order, the rebels, who seek ‘accountability’ for the, they claim, the Government’s engineering of the Gensetti virus, and the infected, who seek nothing at all, save for the deaths of every non-infected being they come into contact with. I am truly disheartened by this day. May there somehow be a peaceful resolution, and may a cure be found.
    We have been ordered to rendezvous with the fleet at Derasat VII, and await further orders. End log entry.”               
    The captain, more than a little impatient to find out what this ship was doing here, selected the next entry.
    “Chrono-reading 577.119.5 Captain Unthrulp commanding.
    “Today, before we could reach the fleet, we were attacked, and we single-handedly won a glorious victory against the Infected, or so Command told us. Twenty Infected controlled ships, ranging from escorts, to a few light cruisers, to freighters, to yachts with disruptors welded to their hulls, ambushed us a parsec before we reached Derasat VII. Even if their captains had been in their right minds, they were no match for us and we easily destroyed them. Such a waste of life. End entry.”     
    The captain drummed his heavily gloved fingers on the desk as he read on, eager to find the answer he sought.
    “Chrono-reading 577.554.3 Captain Unthrulp commanding.
    This is the last straw. Today, we went into battle against a group of rebel ships, to retrieve information that they had stolen. I personally lead the boarding party to their main ship, with the primary goal of regaining the intel. We stormed through the rebel ship’s corridors, killing the farmers and factory workers who opposed us with all too much ease. We reached their computer core, and were able to retrieve the intel that Command wanted. We had strict orders not to view the data, only the file name, that we had just killed to gain, but I wanted to know what was worth all this, so I chose to read it anyway. The rebels had discovered incriminating information that proved that our ‘beloved’ government actually engineered, and released, the Gensetti virus. I am enraged beyond words. There is no logical reason for this.
    After we beamed back to the ship, Command ordered us to return the information and destroy the rebel ship, killing all rebels still onboard. I declined to do either. Although they lacked the ships needed to take the intel from us by force, it only took a single photon torpedo to end the one-hundred-sixty-three lives on the disabled rebel ship. We immediately departed the system, heading for the home-world to present the evidence before the High Court, and hopefully end the war. End ent- Computer, I wish to edit the previous entry; add the following. I don’t care if they execute me for doing the right thing, I didn’t sign on for this. End Entry.”
    The captain tried to rub his head with his dominant hand, only to be reminded that he was wearing an EV-suit.            
   “This isn’t what I’m looking for, and useful as it might be at a later time, I need to secure this ship, quickly.” The captain mumbled to himself. Then he selected the next log, already too enthralled by the unfolding plot to stop reading now.
    “Chrono-reading 577.897.8 First Officer Valdrex commanding.
    Today, upon learning of the captain’s betrayal of our Beloved Leader, I enlisted the assistance of some of my brothers and sisters whose eyes have been opened. We waited until we were all on the bridge, then I requested to enter the captain’s precious ready-room and see his royal foolship. He let me enter, and then I dragged his sorry carcass, by the throat, onto the bridge. His eyes have not been opened. We had been waiting for the proper time to end the lives of those whose eyes have not been opened on this ship, but there had not been enough of us, until this outrage; we could wait no longer, few as we may be. Now, before the few whose eyes were not open on the bridge, I plunged my knife into the belly of the captain, for his eyes would never be opened if they had not been opened during all the time he was with us. He died. Slowly, painfully, as he should. The others whose eyes had not been opened resisted. We gunned them down like so many Fleyd-Worms. Then we took control of the ship, locking out all others from the bridge. We will not return to the homeworld, no, we will  join our friends whose eyes have been opened. We are still at warp and- what was that? Intruders! Prepare for battle! How did they disable the shield! Pause entry!”
    The newcomer raised his eyebrows under his faceplate, new truly intrigued, but not surprised, by the course of events he was reading about. He was slowly developing several theories that explained how this dreadnought came to be abandoned in deep space.  
    “Chrono-reading 578.020.3 Third Officer Tryx commanding.
    Wear to begin? I’m Tryx Vilswun, chief engineer of the Oronner. Around a dozen Infected personnel came together under the leadership of First Officer Valdrex, who was also Infected it seems, and killed the captain. Second Officer Wylwyn lead a successful assault to retake the bridge, but along with many other non-Infected crew, was killed in the effort. So far as we know, all of the Infected conspirators were killed in the action.
    I find myself now the chief ranking officer on the Oronner. And I don’t know what to do. I’m nothing more than a simple engineer, and have never been in the military. I have discussed the matter with representatives from across the ship, and we feel that we cannot return, either to the homeworld, or to the Third Fleet, after the actions of Captain Unthrulp. We fear that we would be branded as traitors and killed, if not sent right back into battle, doomed to continue killing our brothers and sisters, or die at their hands, or die of the Virus. We want no further part in this war. We only want to live in peace; but we feel that that is not an option for us now in our own space.    
    Although many of us sympathize with the rebels, the majority of us simply want to be left alone, and to take no further part in this cursed war.
    We decided by majority vote of all the highest ranking officers on this ship who are still alive, that we should seek a new home, beyond the reach of our government, which is clearly corrupt, or insane, or both. All of those who do not wish to join us may take the majority of the ship’s small craft and do with them as they please, joining any side they like, or none at all. Hundreds of crew members have already expressed a desire to leave the ship, and we will not try to prevent them from doing so.
    Those of us who remain on the Oronner, admittedly out of fear, at least on my own part, intend to head into uncharted space and find a world that we can colonize,. We can’t join other living beings as we don’t know what species are susceptible to becoming Infected. So we will have to live, alone and isolated, at least until the incubation period has passed several times over with no new cases.   
    We don’t know what to do about the Virus, as it is clearly onboard,  but perhaps if we confine all non essential personnel to quarters, and keep the biofilters at their maximum settings, maybe, just maybe, those of us who haven’t become Infected yet will survive, and can spread out enough on whatever world we colonize to live out the rest of their lives, or more preferably, at least to some, make it long enough to be sure they’re Virus free, and then send out a distress beacon and live among aliens for the rest of their lives. End entry.”
    The captain could see that he was coming to the end now, both by his intuition, and because the screen told him how many log entries were left.
    “Chrono-reading 579.993.8 Fifth Officer Pexilj here.
    It’s all coming apart! The Infection has just spread and spread! It’s raging across the ship! Tryx went mad yesterday and smashed in the skull of Doctor Zel with a hyperspanner before security could restrain her. All our medical staff is either dead or Infected!
    We’re lost out here in deep space without anyone to help us. And we desperately need help. We’ve tried sending out a distress signal, but no one has answered!
    Quarantining everyone to their quarters didn’t work. At least half the ship’s Infected now! Crew members who used to be friends are killing each other in the corridors, and even though I and a few other Virus-free crew members have barricaded ourselves on the bridge, we can still hear the disruptor fire, and the screams.
     There’s no one out here to rescue us, no one to even care what’s going to happen to us. We are all going to die out here, and no one will ever even know! No one will ever know….
    I’m sorry, I just can’t do this anymore. I can’t! I’m done! Zyn, take over.”
    “Chrono-reading 581.359.2 Eighth Officer Zyn Commanding.
    “I think Pexilj has gone into shock or something. He just keeps muttering about how we’re all going to die. He’s right of course. We’re out of options.
    We burned out our warp engines today, trying to reach help. This is hopeless.
    I’m giving the order to abandon ship. Maybe, just maybe, someone has heard our distress signal. Those of us who aren’t Infected yet have a better chance in escape pods than they do on this deathtrap. Not that there are many of us left; as best we can tell, at least two thirds of the ship are Infected now. The screams have stopped, now it’s just shouting. End entry.”
    “Chrono-reading 581.5-something Fifth Officer Pexilj here.
    They’re coming for me! Everyone has left me! The whole sane crew left me! They wanted me to get in an escape pod too, but I wouldn’t let them take me! I won’t die out in a tiny escape pod!
    Now the Infected are coming for me! They’ve breached the bridge doors! They want to take the ship, but I won’t let them! I won’t let them!
    Computer, shut down the main power core! Deactivate everything! Back-up power and batteries too! I won’t become one of them! Shut it all down! Even life-support! I won’t become one of them! And wipe the computer core! They can’t have this ship! I won’t be one of them! Authorization code Beta-three-three-seven-nine-four-Pexilj-Echo-two. Just save what’s on this computer, so that someday, somebody can care.
    They’re here! The door!
    AHHHHHHhhhhhhh.”   
         
    So that explains what you’re doing all the way out here. The dark captain’s lips again formed an unpleasant smile under his EV-suit’s visor. He tapped his communicator.
    “Begin sending over repair teams in EV suits, use full plague-level bio-containment protocols. I expect an update on the condition of this ship by the end of this shift.

    No, don’t beam me back over, I’m going to take a look at this ship’s engineering section myself.”


Last edited by Dino27 on Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:43 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Captain (PCG)
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Re: S.S. Hades' Gate

on Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:31 pm
Eight hours later.



    The captain and his senior officers sat around the conference table on his cruiser, which somehow seemed a lot smaller now.

    “Medical, report. What’s the status of that virus?” The Captain leaned in, hoping that this ship wouldn’t be the cause of his death. His chief medical officer spoke up immediately.

    “Sir, I can’t find any traces of a virus, or any other life for that matter, on that ship. Not even in the bodies. They clearly had something at one time, but whatever it was, it’s dead now. I can’t explain it, but my best guess is, it’s been so blasted cold on that ship for so long, that everything died out. I think we’re completely safe, and can forgo the EV suits after we get life-support back online, and I do a few more tests of course, just to be safe.” The officer said, taking a sip of his spiked coffee.

    The captain gave a silent sigh of relief, then turned to his chief engineer.

    “What about it? How bad is she? How long will it take to get this monster in working order again? The engineer had her feet propped up on the table, leaning, arms folded behind her head, against the bulkhead.

    “Honestly, some of her systems are a mess. Her warp engines are completely fried, and I’m not even sure how they even worked before the parts all melted in a plasma fire; I can’t make heads or tails of it now. I’ll have to install or manufacturer new internals. At least her nacelles offer plenty of space. That’ll take a couple weeks.

    The next, and probably largest problem are her computer systems. They’re totally shot. That kill code did a good number on her core. I could try to piece it back together again, just to learn what was on it, but it could take years. It would be a lot simpler to just fit her out with a whole new core, consoles, the works. That’s going to take the most time to do. And of course, she’s going to need all new programming too, so we’ll need to bring in someone who really knows what they’re doing there. I can only guess that all that will take a month, maybe two.

    Other than that, most of her major systems are in pretty good shape. Warp core, impulse engines, shield generators, navigational deflector, batteries, weapons. Her EPS conduits need some work in a few places though. And she needs new escape pods. She’s a little different than anything I’ve seen before, but nothing I can’t handle. Especially her shielding system, it looks like instead of generating four shield facings, this ship just pumped all her shield power into one omi-directional shield system. Really tough to take down, but once you lose one facing, you lose them all, and it takes forever to get shields back online. I could try to rework that if you like of course.

    Then of course we’ll probably find more problems once we get her running again, but I don’t see anything that would prevent her from running once we get past installing new internals for her nacelles, new computer systems, new programming, and a patch-job on her EPS relays. There’s a difference between getting a ship running and getting her running nice and pretty. So, I’m guessing about three months, give or take, to get her battle-ready again.”

    The captain nodded. He’d been hoping to get this ship running sooner than three months, but he supposed this would have to do.

    “What’s all this going to cost? What supplies do you need? The engineer let out a long breath, thinking.

    “Well, here’s a preliminary supply list,” she said, slipping her captain a PADD “As to what all this will cost, at least seven-hundred-fifty bricks of gold pressed latinum; or thirty-million in standard units. It could easily be twice that, maybe a lot more. And then there’s the cost of just running and manning this thing. She’s a big, ravenously hungry beast, keeping her fed in fuel alone is going to cost a fortune, never-mind repairs and paying a crew.”

    The captain rubbed his hands across his brow, realizing what he was getting himself into.

    This is insane. I’m going to have to sink my life-savings into this ship just to get it running, not to mention take out a sizable loan on top of that. But once I get this ship running again, I will be absolutely unstoppable.      


  

Seven months later.


                

    Deyl Empire Task-Force Fifty-Seven Commander Connor Barlow sat on the bridge of his mighty Dawnless Day class sloop, the Daedalus, closely followed by a Shadowbreaker class destroyer, two Deathwish class light cruisers, three Last Stand class frigates, two Ingratitude class escorts, and two Sorrow Song corvettes. He was tasked with hunting pirates; and he had been very successful over the past two months. He sat in quiet retrospect, thinking of the eleven pirate ships he had managed to capture or destroy so far on this assignment; and the one he had not, could not, capture, and the reason he was out here, the Hades’ Gate. A ghost ship, some called her. A pirate dreadnought of incredible size and power. She had come out of nowhere three months ago, with no one having a clue where she was built.

    How does a monster like that just go unnoticed? How does no one have any idea what unholy shipyard she came out of?

    But although it seemed no one had ever seen a ship like her, much less heard of the Hades’ Gate, everyone knew and feared her name now.

    They say she just comes out of the inky blackness of space. One second, she isn’t there, and the next second, there’s this klick-long monster-ship staring you down. Sometimes she waits in ambush, they say. Often letting smaller pirate vessels chase her unsuspecting prey into her waiting jaws. Other times, they say she descends towards a colony, or a space station, like some giant predator.

    Every government out here has sent their best ships to try and stop her, their biggest battlecruisers and even small fleets. Most of them never find so much as a trace of her, the few that do are found as blasted out husks a cycle later. And what do they expect me to do against a ship like that?

    They say her captain’s a genius of some kind; and he must be if he can make a ship that big just disappear before any real force can be gathered to oppose her.

    We don’t even know how many tens of millions in credits he and this beast of a ship have stolen, or even how many thousands of people are dead because of her.

    All we know for sure is that when the Hades’ Gate arrives, a bloodbath begins, straight out of the place she’s named for, and she leaves before anyone can find her.     

    Just then he was ripped from his thoughts by an officer.

    “Commander, the colony at Agarious II is under attack! They say that their distress signal is being jammed somehow, but that they have modified their advanced deep space observatory array to ask for help.

    They say that a very large, unknown warship appeared on their mid-range sensors, and demanded that they surrender. They refused, and the ship began firing. They say that their shields cannot take much more of this, sir. Should I lay in a course?”

    The Commander paused before answering, a little shakily.

    “Yes, take us there, maximum warp! Divert power to the engines.”

                    

               

Twenty minutes later.



    The Deyl Task-Force dropped out of warp, only to see what Commander Barlow had feared; a massive, dark warship, even larger than rumors had told, orbited above the colony world, raining down a Herculean amount of fire on the now defenseless colony, the settlement’s shielding system buckling under the tremendous strain.

    The Commander struggled to maintain control of his fear as he ordered a tactical readout of the vessel.

    “She’s one-point-two kilometers long sir, six-hundred meters in beam, and nearly four-hundred meters tall, counting her communications systems, three-hundred sixty without.

    She appears to be very heavily shielded, has a quadruple duranium/tetraburnium/monotanium/diburnium/polyduranium alloy hull, with a minimum of at least three meters of heavy monotanium hull armor, with up to five meters of the same material throughout much of the main hull, as well as thirty millimeters of Ablative armor plating. Even her nacelles appear to be heavily armored.

    She is armed with one-hundred-six charged flak point-defense rail-guns, thirty-two dual-medium rapid fire turreted disruptor cannons, forty-six photon torpedo launchers, four super-heavy dual rail-cannon turrets, eight super-heavy assault torpedo tubes, four super-heavy pulse disruptor cannons, and two super-heavy fixed rail-cannons.

    She seems to be quite slow and unmaneuverable at sublight, has an unknown warp speed, and has a large hanger. She has not acknowledged our presence.”

    There was silence on the bridge for a full minute before a Lieutenant spoke.

    “Orders sir? The ship has not yet hailed or attempted to engage us, and the colony’s shielding has failed. The pirate ship has ceased fire and is launching landing craft/”

    Commander Barlow quietly weighed his options for a moment before replying.

    “Prepare to engage. Full power to forward shields, charge disruptors, arm photon torpedoes. Take us in, attack pattern Omicron Seven.”


    The Deyl ships quickly split up, with the sloop leading one of the light cruisers, a frigate, an escort, and a corvette to flank the massive ship from starboard, while the destroyer lead the other ships to attack from the rear, once they skirted around the dreadnought.

    An ominous, audio only message burst through all of the Deyl ships’ communications systems as they approached.

    “This is the Hades’ Gate. Surrender or withdraw immediately, or you will die.

    Commander Barlow wanted nothing more than to retreat, but he knew that the lives of the colonists depended upon his assistance.

    “Continue as ordered. Target their shielding systems.”

    Then the message played again, louder this time. And then again. Barlow slammed his fist down onto his chair’s armrest console.

    “Cut out that noise!” He barked.

    “I’m trying, sir.” An Ensign nervously replied, a little too loudly.

    The fast Deyl pirate hunting ships were almost within torpedo range when one of the Hades’ Gate’s heavy dual rail-cannon turrets turned to face the oncoming destroyer that lead the rear assault that was not yet behind the massive ship. Both of the turret’s cannons fired, sending solid duranium slugs hurtling towards their target at incredible speed. The destroyer never had a chance. With just two hits from the immense rail-cannons, with each coring clean through the ship, the destroyer was crippled beyond repair, and erupted moments later in a fiery ball as her warp-core breached, taking all hands with her.

    The light cruiser, two frigates, escort, and corvette that remained in the second assault formation all swerved in an attempt to evade the dreadnought’s viscous main guns. All of the Deyl warships from both teams opened fire with everything they had. It was all for nothing. The Hades’ Gate’s shielding was barely dented by the combined firepower of all the attacking ships.     

    Then the dark ship opened up on the remaining second Deyl team’s ships with her row upon row of disruptor cannons, quickly overwhelming the much smaller ships’ shields. Soon both one of the frigates and the corvette were defenseless, with the other frigate, escort and light cruiser’s shields barely online.

    The unshielded frigate turned to flee the pirate ship, but another dual super-heavy rail-cannon turret had already swiveled to face it. This time the pirate ship didn’t even bother to fire with both of the turret’s barrels, knowing that one was more than enough to doom the unshielded frigate, which was utterly destroyed as the massive slug ripped through its hull like it was nothing.

    Meanwhile, the Deyl ships from the first assault team continued to fire everything they had on the dreadnought as they maintained their headlong charge. All of their fire bounced off of the Hades’ Gate’s shields harmlessly as if their ships’ phasers and torpedoes were mere handheld mining lasers.

    The much smaller attacking ship’s were not so resilient. The Hades’ Gate unleashed all eight of its starboard super-heavy assault torpedo tubes on the first assault force. The Deyl ships managed to shoot down four of the torpedoes before they reached their targets, but two slammed home into the sloop, another into the light cruiser’s engineering section, and the last into the escort. The escort was destroyed instantly, the light cruiser was crippled, and the sloop took such heavy damage that it was at risk of losing structural integrity.

    

On the bridge of the Daedalus sloop.


    Commander Connor Barlow was alive, but badly shaken.

    “Status report of my ship?”

    He didn’t need to hear the ensign's reply to know that things were bad. Several consoles had exploded, multiple crew members were dead, and many others were wounded. Sirens screamed at him from every console that still worked.

    “Deck’s five, six, seven, nine, ten, eleven, and twelve are reporting extremely heavy damage. At least moderate damage reported on all decks. Casualty reports are coming in now, sir.

    Our shields are offline, warp is gone, impulse engines are barely working, phasers are offline, and this ship’s hull is only in one piece by a miracle, our structural integrity field shouldn’t even be working at all, but somehow it still is, sir.

    Medical teams are on their way to the bridge now, but they may not be able to get here quickly.”

    Commander Connor ran his hands over his face in frustration as he made a desperate mental search for options.

    “Status of our other ships?” He asked, afraid to hear the answer.

    “Our attack team has lost our Ingratitude escort sir, and our Deathwish light cruiser is out of the fight. Both our corvette and frigate are still operational, but have sustained significant damage sir.

   Wait, I’m sorry, sir, we just lost the corvette to three direct photon torpedo hits.

    Our other assault group is in similar condition, sir. They’ve lost their destroyer, and one of their frigates, their corvette is retreating with heavy damage and no shielding, sir.

    Their cruiser, escort, and their remaining frigate are still firing all weapons, but the pirate ship’s shields are at eighty-eight percent, only nine percent less than when we arrived.

    All second team ships have sustained considerable damage, with only the escort still being shielded at all.”

    The commander sunk his head into his hands in despair. The hunters were now the hunted.

    “Order all forces to retreat immediately.” He ordered with quiet resolve.

    The comms officer shook her head sadly.

    “I’m sorry, Commander, but our communications systems are offline. Our remaining ships are still attacking.”

    Connor Barlow let out a long deep breath.   

    “Then may the Day-Watchers help them.

    Try to get us out of here. Get warp back online. And we’ll need the structural integrity field working.”


Back in space.


    The light cruiser from the second assault group turned its impulse engines to blazing full power and attempted to ram the massive pirate ship; her crew abandoning their dying ship in escape pods. With her shields offline, the Deyl cruiser was ripped apart piecemeal by the Hades’ Gate’s disruptor cannons as she plunged towards her target. Even those devastating guns were not enough to stop the much smaller ship from slamming with tremendous force into the shields of the pirate dreadnought.

    The cruiser tore itself apart as it collided with the brilliant red luminescent shields of the pirate ship. But even this final act of defiance was insufficient to get through the massive warship’s shields, much less so much as scratch her extremely thick hull.

    The Deyl escort from the second group rocketed towards the rear of the pirate ship, impulse engines straining to get her out of the firing arc of the Hades’ Gate’s main weapons.

    She finally reached her destination, zigzagging all the way in a desperate attempt to avoid being hit. Her captain had thought that the rear of the dreadnought was relatively unarmed and therefore vulnerable, he was mistaken.

   The Hades’ Gate’s eight aft torpedo launchers lit up as they fired thirty-two photon torpedoes. The tiny escort was doomed as tens of torpedoes crashed into her weakened shields, decimating the little security vessel.

    The remaining group two frigate attempted to fall back, but was destroyed by the pirate vessel’s disruptor cannons.

    The only Deyl ship still in the fight, the frigate from the first team, saw that to remain in the dreadnought’s broadside, even to retreat, was suicide. So she attempted to first pull in front of the massive ship, and then run. Although she reached the fore of the seemingly invincible pirate ship, she was never to fall back in retreat, as she was caught in one of the Hades’ Gate’s tractor beams. Held, helplessly, she was pulled into the line of fire of one of the dreadnought’s super-heavy pulse disruptor cannons, where she met her fate as immensely powerful shot after immensely powerful shot tore through the Deyl frigate.          

             

On the bridge of the Daedalus sloop.


    Commander Barlow tapped his chair’s internal comm to connect him to engineering.

    “How are repairs proceeding, Chief Ellis? Is there any chance of our warping out of here in one piece?”

    He could hear the sound of overworked machinery as his officer answered his query.

    “I’ve got the structural integrity field in good enough shape to gain a little distance between us and the pirates, but we won’t be going to warp for three hours minimum.”

    The Commander silenced his end of the comm for a moment while he gave the order to his helmsmen to get them out of there.

    “Understood, Chief. You have two hours.” He was about to cut the comm when he heard weapons fire and a scream of pain from the other end of the comm.

    “What’s going on down there, Chief ?” He said, already dreading the only logical explanation he could think of.

    A Lieutenant at the bridge’s only working tactical console spoke up.

    “Sir, the dreadnaught has lowered her shields and I am detecting transporter signals in engineering!”

    Just then the sloop shook as she lost power to her impulse engines. The Commander forcefully tapped his internal comm button again, and called for engineering. Several seconds passed before Chief Ellis replied.

    “Sir, we’ve been boarded! They have shielded hardsuits! We’re losing enginee-” But the Chief was silenced by a disruptor blast to the chest.

    Before Commander Barlow could formulate another plan, the bridge’s turbolift doors blew apart, the bridge lost power, and the last thing Connor Barlow saw was a dozen hardsuit clad figures storming the bridge, slaying all in their path.


    The Hades’ Gate had spilled yet more blood and it was far from the last; her reign of terror had begun in full force. Within a year, she would be known as the single most feared pirate vessel in the recorded history of two Quadrants. And her captain would be considered quite possibly the most dangerous pirate of the century, at least during his lifetime.

    Small local government police, and even military forces would often refuse to engage the Hades’ Gate, as they possessed very few ships that had any real chance of standing toe to toe with this Leviathan of a dreadnought, and by the time anyone could assemble a force large enough to pose any real threat to her, she would slip away, seemingly out of existence; but not out of the nightmares of every fringe-dwelling denizen sane or sober enough to possess the emotion of fear.

    And just when one might think that they were safe, they might realize that they were about to be swallowed whole by this beast of a ship.


Last edited by Dino27 on Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: S.S. Hades' Gate

on Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:31 pm
Name: S.S. Hades’ Gate, originally christened the Oronner

Classification/Type: Sequitur class Light Corporate Dreadnought  

Launched: unknown, circa mid to late 2,500’s

Dimensions:

    Mass: 23,600,000 metric tons

    Length: 1,200 meters

    Beam: 600 meters with nacelles, 240 meters main hull only

    Height: 360 meters, ~400 meters with communications arrays

    Decks: 90

Crew:

    1,450 standard original crew complement  

    550-950 pirate crew

    400 simple repair and maintenance holographic crew

    250 minimum short-term sustainable crew complement

    35,000 person evacuation limit

Speed:

    Impulse:

         15 c cruise

         28 c max

    Warp:

         warp 6.764 normal cruise

         warp 7.542 maximum cruise

         warp 8.623 emergency cruise (for 36 hours)

         warp 8.835 maximum emergency cruise (for 12 hours)

         warp 9.303 maximum attainable emergency speed (for 2 hours at extreme risk)

Sublight maneuverability rating: extremely low

Defensive systems:

    Shields: single-layered, manual-frequency-control, non-regenerative, extremely high military capacity system with 12 primary, and 12 secondary emitters. Shields combine into one facing, meaning that shields are 4 times as resilient, but take 4 times as long to recharge, and when one “facing” goes, the ship is entirely without shields.

    Hull: quadruple duranium/tetraburnium/monotanium/diburnium/polyduranium alloy hull, with heavy duty duranium structural supports

    Hull plating: minimum of at least 3 meters of heavy monotanium hull armor, with up to 5 meters of the same material throughout much of the main hull. Potentially even more in critical areas.

     Armor: 30 mm Ablative armor plating

    Structural Integrity Field: high level field

Offensive Systems:

    Beam:

         32 dual-medium rapid fire turreted disruptor cannons (16 port, 16 starboard)

         4 super-heavy pulse disruptor cannons (fore)

    Solid projectile:   

         30 charged flak point-defense rail-gun turrets (8 fore, 6 aft, 8 port, 8 starboard)

         10 dual charged flak point-defense rail-gun turret batteries (5 port, 5 starboard)

         12 quad charged flak point defense rail-gun turret batteries (6 port, 6 starboard)

         4 dual charged flak point-defense rail-gun turrets (2 port, 2 starboard, 106 total charged flak point-defense rail-guns with near complete coverage)

         4 super-heavy dual rail-cannon turrets (2 ventral, 2 dorsal)  

         2 super-heavy fixed rail-cannons (fore)

    Torpedo:

         46 photon torpedo launchers (14 fore, 8 aft, 12 port, 12 starboard)

         8 super-heavy assault torpedo tubes (4 port, 4 starboard)

Primary power plant: 2 large, very high output, high reliability, very low efficiency warp cores

Secondary power plant: 4 small, low output, moderate reliability, moderate efficiently warp cores   

Impulse engines: 4 super-heavy primary drives, 10 heavy secondary drives, 16 light tertiary drives

Hanger(s): 1 large bay
Embarked craft: 50 assorted fighters, 20 bombers, 4 scout craft, 10 runabouts, 12 heavy shuttles, 16 medium shuttles, 18 light shuttles, 20 personal shuttle 24 shuttlepods, 26 workbees, 14 landing craft, 22 boarding craft, 14 assorted tanks, 30 half-track trucks, 96 assorted hardsuits

















































 






























WARNING LXF contains 18,015 pieces, download at your own risk.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ffdfv53rjba7hf9/Pirate%20Dreadnaught%20Hades%27%20Gate.lxf?dl=0
Yes I realize that I spelled "Dreadnought" as "Dreadnaught" in the LXF. I'm tired, deal with it. Razz (JK)


Last edited by Dino27 on Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:54 am; edited 3 times in total

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Re: S.S. Hades' Gate

on Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:35 pm
Behind the scenes:

    The Sequitur started out as a rough idea by Ariklego for the most terrifying pirate ship anyone had ever seen. I volunteered to take on the challenge of building this monster, and with plenty of pestering, convinced Arik to come up with a fairly detailed basis for what he wanted to see. I have attempted to build a ship that is faithful to his vision.


    At 18,015 pieces, the model itself is, by piece-count, the largest MOC I have ever uploaded, and I am very pleased with it. She has SO many pieces because I used a SNOT design, with layer upon layer of SNOT, and LOTS of little pieces filling in EVERYTHING. If she had been built in a more traditional plates and bricks design, she would likely be 1/3rd her current piece-count, which is STILL quite large. (The largest Lego set yet released is the Taj Mahal, with 5,922 pieces. With the same length as the Hades’ Gate UCS Imperial Star Destroyer coming it at “only” 3104)

    The model itself, if it were made with real pieces, would be 37.795 inches long, or 3.15 feet, or .96 meters. It would likely weigh around 50 pounds/22 kg. The entire design, save for the nacelle/pylon/main hull connections, and the antennas, should be EXTREMELY durable, as EVERYTHING is connected to EVERYTHING else, thanks to the extreme SNOTing.


    It is intended to be an extremely powerful front-line heavy hitter, and is designed with this in mind. She was built to both give AND TAKE an insanely large punch, and as such, weapons and armor make for the majority of “details” on this model. I am aware that there are massive sections with no detailing at all, but that is technically the idea as she is supposed to essentially be a reactor, surrounded by monstrous chunks of armor, with big guns on top.


    I chose a different color-scheme than was decided on by popular vote, as I felt that the chosen light grey was boring, and did NOT make the ship scary enough. Thus, with the permission of most of those who voted, I changed to a titanium metallic theme, which I feel better shows this ship for what it is, a big hungry space monster that you should be scared silly of.


    While I really like the entire ship, I must admit that the mouth nose art is my personal favorite touch, as it gives a bit of a rebellious, less orderly feel to her, in my opinion at least; she IS a pirate ship afterall. I honestly really doubted that I could pull the mouth off, although I originally said that I wanted to do so. When I found that I could, I decided to save it as a surprise, and showed no further preview pics.


    In the intro, I repeatedly describe her as “massive” although we have ships in the PCG-verse (and I am not speaking of Borg, Voth, or Dominion designs, which do indeed exist, as do even larger “normal sized” ships in other sci-fi’s, such as Star Wars, which did provide quite a bit of inspiration for this design as I wanted it to be less “Trek,” but to still be right at home in a Trek-ish-verse. No, I am referring to the supercruisers, such as the Patriarch, Empress, and Saint George) which are about 2 times the LENGTH of this ship. However, these are the works of a superpower. These supercruisers are not in the hands of second, or even third class governments, much less a band of pirates who work for no one but themselves. Also, this ship, so far, probably hasn’t had a head-on battle with another truly massive ship. Sure she’s probably met a PCG border patrol ship or two, or ten, but those are not going to be mega-ships. She’s the biggest thing in the space she stalks. If you look at Star Trek Voyager, you’ll often see Voyager encounter small, local government ships, but these ships are SELDOM (That I have noticed) more than twice the size of the 343-ish meter Intrepid class. This would make a 1,200 meter vessel absolutely MASSIVE compared to your average 400-850 meter backwater main-line warship.

    So although the Hades’ Gate is quite small compared to a 3,000 meter in every direction Borg cube, she is RELATIVELY very sizable compared to 95% of the ships she is going to meet out in the middle of fringe space.



    A few notes on usage: FEED THIS BEAST! She’s always hungry! If you can’t keep several hundreds of crew manning her at all times, enough fuel to run a freighter company, and enough ammo to fight a war with on her at all times, plus a LOT of credits to KEEP her running, she’ll complain in very noticeable ways, like no longer working.

    Also, AMBUSH PREDATOR; she is one. She might be able to run down your average freighter at warp or at sublight, but don’t expect her to play tag with any remotely fast ships at FTL, or sublight speeds and EVER win.

    Again AMBUSH PREDATOR! Anyone who sees an infamous 1,200 meter mega-warship with a giant mouth painted on the front coming towards them is going to run away. Use planets’ magnetic fields, nebulae, and other tricks to sit in wait, HIDDEN, for your prey. Also, use your smaller ships to chase your game into range of the masked giant. Or you could just attack a stationary target like a starbase or colony. Heck, you could even hold an entire PLANET hostage with this thing. Be creative. Razz       


    I sincerely hope you love your ship, because if you don’t, you’re not getting another free pirate mega-ship from me. Razz



Credit to Ariklego for the concept, and general design specifications. I also thank him for all of his help throughout.

Credit  to Johnnyred for a construction technique used to round off the ventral/dorsal hull. Also, thanks to him for reviewing an in-the-works version of the intro.

Credit to Star-Hunter for the BEAUTIFUL GIMPed photo. Thanks S-H! 

Thanks to everyone for your patience, I hope you think it worth the wait. Smile    


Last edited by Dino27 on Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:55 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: S.S. Hades' Gate

on Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:11 am
There is not enough capslock in the history of this world and several others, nor are there enough "like" buttons in those same worlds with which I could accurately describe how much I love this ship.

Also. Soundtrack. Very nice touch.

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Re: S.S. Hades' Gate

on Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:14 am
The more I see of this thing, the more I like it- it's come to the point where it's epicness is actually causing my internet to lag. Razz The only possible criticism I can raise against this thing is that the nacelle pylons are a little... dunno, oddly-shaped, I guess. Feels like they should come in another layout or something...

Either way, fantastic ship! It's not exactly what I had in mind as the pirate flagship, but the whole "ambush predator" thing, using smaller ships to herd freighters into it's waiting shark jaws, suits my character pretty well (and will prove terrifyingly effective against those foolish enough to challenge it. Razz I really love the depressed dishes at the fore, the turrets, the elevated bridge structure, the broadside layout...

just...

YES.

I WANT ONE.

...wait, I already have one. *victory dance*




Seriously, though, this was well worth the wait. Fantastic job!

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Re: S.S. Hades' Gate

on Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:34 am
Wow. Where is this area of space? It sounds like they really need the PCG.
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Re: S.S. Hades' Gate

on Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:12 pm
@Jace Thank you very much! And yes, I listened to that soundtrack for the better part of the time spent writing the intro... until I couldn't stand to hear it for the 100th time. Razz I felt that it really fit the ship.

@S-H Why thank you very, very much! Both for your kind words, and for the beautiful picture, it really captures the soul of this ship IMO. I immediately set it to be the first picture of the ship after the specs. That really takes things up a notch! Thank you.

@Tetra Thank you! I'm glad you like her!        Not... changing... anything... the lag.... Razz  I can see how they DO feel a bit different from the rest of the ship, but I had to attach the nacelles somehow. Razz 
     Yes, it didn't turn out quite like whatever it was that I had in mind... but it wanted to be what it is, so I let it be just that. Razz 
     She was originally a heavy hitter, front-line warship. But... that was back when there were captains crazy enough, and with big enough ships, to challenge her. Now all that slow power can either be an asset, or a tremendous weakness, depending on how it's used, and I think you'll play it for all it's worth. 

@Talmid Yes, yes they really could use the PCG. This area is out in extreme deep space. Back when she was the Oronner, she likely had MUCH better FTL systems, so it's likely that she traveled a LOOOOONG way before ending up in a still pretty long way from mapped space.
      I also purposefully made it so that this government could not come up, or come up, as is desired by anyone at a later date. I don't think they will, but it's still an open option. Between the vast distance, and the virus, they're probably not going to be a part of this roleplay. Just the grave ship they left behind... and who knows? Maybe this ship hasn't claimed all the lives it is going to yet... in ways other than combat. Only time will tell.

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Re: S.S. Hades' Gate

on Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:59 pm
Question, where's the company that manufactures sequiter class ships again? I want one.....NAO!

Love the SNOT, loooove the sunken shield emmitters, loooooove how it's super thick compared to it's length, loooooooooove the mouth, great weapons, amazing intro (and song choice), superperb detailing, and I want one really badly! (good naccle desgin/placement too btw, dont' listen to tet. Razz )

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Re: S.S. Hades' Gate

on Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:15 pm
Wow...


Dino, this is amazing. You've captured it absolutely perfectly, and then added lots of amazing elements that fit perfectly and I'd never have even considered adding in.

And how on EARTH did you big this monster so fast?!?! ...Admittedly, I didn't have the slightest realization what kind of a behemoth ship I was asking you to build. The fact that you got it done so fast, somehow crammed in a total 18,000+ bricks in, and did such an amazing job absolutely astounds me, let alone that you got it done at all.


As to the ship itself, it's spectacular. Seriously, as far as what I envisioned it as being, you hit the nail on the head. Actually, it's even better than that. Razz

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Re: S.S. Hades' Gate

on Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:31 pm
Okay, just saying, for when someone finally defeats this monster, I am herby filing an official claim of dibs (form OF 689-23C ) stating that I get all rights to the ship, it's hull, it's weapons and tech, or whatever pieces are left over, since I can't just go buy my own from it's original manufacturers. Razz

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Re: S.S. Hades' Gate

on Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:27 pm
My feelings exactly:
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Re: S.S. Hades' Gate

on Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:46 pm
@S-H 
Thank you! 

Care to try implementing a different teeth design? Razz I couldn't think of another, and was surprised that I was able to include it at all. Honestly, maybe the teeth aren't painted on, but are pieces of metal welded on for a 3D mouth? 

As to the solid construction, I have not yet learned to build with hollow sections, all of my ships are solid. But if I ever build anything around even near this size again, I may very well have to learn to leave inner sections open. My excuse is that I wasn't quite sure what I was going for (and with my custom designs I never am,) and built as I went. But I think that I need to learn to plan a little more when building this big... (not so much how the ship will look, but the pieces that will make it.) 

At any rate, thank you for your kind words, and the pic! Very Happy 

The nacelles are actually exactly what Arik requested, massive, very heavy, armored things. So thanks goes to him for the idea. I probably wouldn't have implemented nacelles at all if he hadn't requested them, and I have to say, I think the ship is better with them.  




@AA
Thank you very much! 

Somewhere in extreme deep space, far beyond human charted territory. Perhaps in the Gamma or Delta Quadrant? It's somewhat of a mystery- intentionally.



 
@Arik
Thank you very much! I have succeeded then. Smile 

I believe it's been about two months since I started the project. And you didn't realize that a klick plus long ship is really big? Razz But I DID volunteer to build it. Razz And I did know from that start that it was a DREADNOUGHT I'd be building, although I don't think I quite realized what I was getting myself into. Razz Or maybe I did and wanted a crazy challenge just for the fun of it. Razz

I'm glad you like it! I can finally kick back my heels and rest peacefully, knowing that I now longer have to worry about whether or not the most dangerous pirates in the quadrant will have a suitably nasty ship. Razz 




@AA
Well, although I envision this as the only ship of its kind you and I will ever see... it's up to Arik if we end up seeing more like her. Razz She IS a class of ship after-all, and there are more like her... out there somewhere.... 


  

@AquaRaider 
Thank you very much! She is already evoking awe and fear... perfect.. her finest weapon has been successfully tested. Twisted Evil

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