Voici la deuxième partie de ma méga-vignette consacrée à l'univers de RIFTSPACE par Irvin Jackson.
Located on the border of the Empire of Many Suns, the Terran Protectorate and the Imperial Freehold, the Sarasweti Jumpgate is controlled by the insect-like Fahreen and their organized criminal syndicate from the nearby Sarasweti Station. They exact significant tariffs for imports into the Empire of Many Suns, and work hard to make sure the station is secure. Still, the station is rather lawless, if fairly peaceful, and has a large and thriving black market. Most legal travelers forgo the station and just use the gate to come and go, trying to avoid contact with the underworld elements at the station.
Emma Project Bhima
Emma is the living embodiment of the old saying "monsters are not born, someone makes them." Emma does not seem to care about anyone except herself, and believes her psychic powers are a mandate to bully and cause others to suffer for her amusement. Like a cat with a mouse, she prefers to toy with her prey, watching them beg, letting them think they can escape only to take them down and crush their spirits before she crushes their bodies. She has taken to the habit of looking her victims in the eyes as they die and letting them drown in psychic emanations of hopelessness, loss, humiliation and violation as they die. Making someone feel those types of emotions in their last moments as she feeds off of their lifeforce is the kind of thing Emma does for kicks. Project Bhima scientists were originally prepared to reject her as a child due to an abusive and traumatic childhood, but some thought it would make her the perfect killer and instead took those memories and fanned the flames of all the negative emotions they invoked. Some part of Emma hates what she is and who she is, which makes her lash out all the more. In a way, she is her own greatest victim.
Max Project Bhima
Unlike most of the psychic vampires created by Project Bhima, Max tends to prefer brute force over stealth. He enjoys the direct approach and relies on heavy weapons and firepower, using his psychic abilities to defend himself and weaken and disorient his opponents to make them easier prey. He trusts no one but the other members of Project Bhima.
Selena Project Bhima
Selena Lars is a genetically enhanced psionic assassin from the mysterious Project Bhima. She is a psychic predator, feeding off the last burst of fear from her kills. She is also extremely pro-human and xenophobic, and prefers to feed off of aliens. Taken as a child into the project due to her latent abilities, the other youths of Project Bhima are all she knows and all she cares about. Her powers have led her to see her and her "brothers and sisters" as a new species of evolved humans, and she is slowly developing disdain for non-psychics.
Leera the Cybershaman
Leera is the former apprentice of the Arnuban cybershaman Stoh'Klee, and if you believe many rumors, they were much more. But Stoh'Klee rejected her as a student after several years of apprenticeship, saying she was too ambitious and too willing to resort to violence and terror to achieve her goals. Leera has vowed that she will see Stoh'Klee dead and claim all of his secrets. She has become his most deadly rival, possibly because the two of them know each other so well.
Stohklee the Cybershaman
Stoh'Klee is one of the most powerful cybershamans in the arnuban race. Arnuban cybershamans use nanotechnology and cybernetics to imitate magical effects and can amass tremendous power, wealth and reputations. Stoh'Klee is one of the most well-known, even among other races, and feared. However, he has been (mostly) a benevolent adventurer in his youth and in his old age has become a powerbroker. But his efforts to get the Arnuban to see the universe from a broader perspective than their own have often failed, much to his frustration. Stoh'Klee has paid the ultimate price for his magic. The constant infusion of nanobots and heavy use of cybernetics has given him an uncurable form of bone marrow cancer, and he is hurriedly trying to tie up all the loose ends of his life and pass on crucial knowledge to others before the cancer either kills him or makes him weak enough to be easy prey for his numerous political enemies.
The City of Sargas Echo
"It is said that the Great Chieftan Sarga searched for many months for a cavern he considered large enough to be a home for his people after the Great Kage Rampage. Every time he would find a possible cavern suitable for a Sigmari city he would stand on the edge and shout, and if he heard his echo, the cave was too small. Finally he found a mammoth cavern on the southern coast and shouted himself hoarse, but the size of the place, as well as the waves and water from the ocean lapping into the lower levels, drowned out his echo. It is said that if the city ever gets overcrowded or builds out too much, you will be able to hear the deafening roar of Sarga's echo...thus the city's name."
Sarga's Echo is one of the largest and most active space ports on Sigmar, importing alien technologies from other worlds, and exporting the remarkable building materials and prefabricated habitats manufactured by the Sigmari. Sigmari buildings are extremely durable because they were made using construction techniques meant for a planet with twice earth's gravity and by a species who prefers to build their cities suspended from the roofs of seaside caverns that dot the Sigmar coast lines.
Generally dismissed as mythical creatures, like fairies and leprechauns from Earth, the Ulataki are a small, diminutive species that shows up frequently in stories by the Sigmari and the Nix, both species that have expertise in what humans refer to as metaphysics. The Ulataki are elusive, rarely seen, and virtually nothing is known about them except that they supposedly live in underground caves or tunnels and have the ability to manipulate earth and plants. There are a number of tales of lost travelers on lush forest planets being helped by mysterious beings who fit their descriptions. They are allegedly impervious to probes by empaths and other psychics and tend to avoid conflict whenever possible, prefering to disappear back into their habitats. No one has ever photographed, captured an Ulataki, nor has a body, fossil or dwelling ever been catalogued by any survey group or scientific study, meaning most people believe they are just fantasy. The study of the Ulataki is the cornerstone for an emergent field of research known as Cryptoxenology; the search for proof of legendary and unlikely alien beings. Research into the Jotun, Starsharks and similar aliens who's existence is unproven fall into this category.
Grim Reaper Incorporated
One of the most notorious mercenary bands in known space, the only thing that keeps Grim Reaper Inc. classified as a merc group instead of a pirate group is that somebody actually pays them to wreak the carnage they love to unleash. Demolitions, search and destroy, assassinations, strongarm jobs, commerce raiding...if it would leave a bad taste in your mouth to get paid to do it, Grim Reaper does it. Their membership is secret, and no one is sure exactly how you join. Mostly a human organization, it contains quite a few Xintrin and Mogg'theran as well. It's unclear how many there are, but they likely are somewhere between company and regiment strength, with the best experts agreeing that there are probably about two companies worth of ground combatantas, as well as a fighter wing, and the crews of their ships. The band is probably most well known for its bounty hunting jobs and commerce raiding (when one group pays privateers to attack enemy shipping).
Inside the Quiver
As a safeguard against their offensive forces being destroyed on the ground, the Terran Protectorate built deep space storage and launch facilities for their long-range strategic bombers whose locations are only known to their commanding officers and high command. Similar to how the old U.S. placed teams in missile silos for extended periods of time, the crews of these bomber squadrons have little knowledge of what's going on in the outside galaxy, and are in a constant state of readiness. They only have a vague idea of where their station is located, and are under a communications blackout for a six-month tour. Each of these launch facilities holds a squadron of bombers. Because the bombers themselves are known as Javelins, their berths have become known as Quivers.
Xerxes Task Force
The Xerxes Task Force, named after the flagship, the TSS Xerxes battle cruiser, is the first-strike fleet racing to begin the liberation of the planet Volo, where Terran Protectorate special forces have linked with resistance fighters to drive the enemy occupiers off the planet.
Sigmari Battle Ray Transport
The famous Battle Ray is a multipurpose armored transport used by the Sigmari, a large minotaur-like race from the former Empire of Many Suns. Once, the Sigmari were enslaved by the Mogg'Theran species and used as shock troops and ground combatants. At an average height of 10 feet, and bearing from a high gravity world, the Sigmari tore through the enemies of the Mogg'Theran while singing famous battle chants. Surprisingly, once they were freed from their masters, the Sigmari turned completely away from aggressive warfare and are in the midst of a spiritual and artistic revival. The so-called Battle Ray is a perfect expression of the artistic, thoughtful side of a race that's been only known as warriors until recently by the rest of the galaxy. Every part on every Battle Ray is hand-made. There are no assembly lines, no massive production factories. However, the Sigmari are able to produce almost as many as any ship made in a robot factory. While the name Battle Ray suggests they are warships, in fact they are used for a variety of purposes. They are primarly armored troop and cargo ships, but they also are armed and armored enough to work as patrol ships and light escort corvettes. The only mass-produced parts are the FTL drives, which are made by the Xintrin and secured to the bottom of the Battle Ray's wings. Since the drives were not made by Sigmari artisans, they must be blessed and annointed with special oils to spirituallyunite them with the rest of the star ship. The name Battle Ray or Ray-Class was given to the ships by humans and just stuck. That's because the Sigmari language is not one for brevity. In Sigmari, the name of the ship is "Elegant Interstellar Vehicle That Can Carry Many Beings And Cargo And Can Also Defend Sigmari Skies" which, needless to say, doesn't go over well in sales catalogs. The ships are sold to outsiders, but are only popular among races comparable in size to the Sigmari, such as the Arnuban and Rhtharians.
The jumpgate over Sigmar lets through a convoy of tradeships.
The Kage Hunt
The ancient Ritual of the Kage Hunt is still alive and well among the alien Sigmari after thousands of years. Despite the Sigmari's powerful builds and stafaring civilization, they are not the apex predator on their planet. That role is filled by a massive, dragon-like creature known as the Kage, which inhabits the southern continent of Sigmar. The beast is so fearsome that the purpose of the hunt is not to kill it, but is instead just to knock one tooth from its head, which is then turned into a war club. Most Sigmari never attempt to earn a Kage Club of their own, most who make the attempt fail, and about half of those that fail do so at the cost of their lives. Those who succeed are considered warriors of great reknown and cunning, and earn much respect and clout in Sigmari society.
Mirsa is a close combat specialist who has been swayed over to become an agent of chaos. There is no political or manipulative finesse in this woman. Her skills all lie in dealing death and terror. She has a speed and grace that may be unparalleled, but with an overconfidence to match. She is also rumored to be an amazing fighter pilot. Mirsa, like most agents, is merciless and will not hesitate to do what others would consider unthinkable to achieve her goals. From her outfit and combat style, it is believed that she was once a member of an all-female bounty-hunting group known as the Erinyes Sisterhood.
Saro Agent of Chaos
Saro is a Mogg'theran agent of chaos for the Jotun. He is a powerful psychic and master tactician, always thinking three steps ahead and his machinations are never easy to predict.
Agent of Chaos
Working in secret and only revealing themselves when they are ready to instill fear through the most direct means, agents of chaos stalk the galaxy, infiltrating all races and penetrating to the highest levels of interglactic governments. Powerful, cunning and secretive, their goal is to keep society off balance and to keep the various species of the galaxy at each other's throats...until their masters, the Jotun, awaken to overwhelm an unready galaxy.
The Wasteland Outrider
Bander Reed is a professional outrider on the war-stricken planet Volo. He transports people and goods, legal or not, from one underground city to another across the desolate surface above, which is still reeling from a nuclear winter caused by the fall of a massive space station during the last war. He knows how to deal with raiders, dust storms, radioactive fallout and mutations....better yet, he knows how to avoid them. His Rambler, Lucy, is an armored A.P.C. meant for hostile environments, like airless moons or planets with poisonous atmospheres. The gun turret on top is designed for hostile environments of a different nature.
The Cobalt Blade
The Cobalt Blade is the private ship of the governor of Volo. It is an experimental long-range gunship that was part of an effort by the struggling planet to develop a ship building industry that catered to multiple races. The Cobalt Blade is fast and well-armored, and carries enough armament to classify as a heavy pinnace or light corvette. There were less than a dozen of these vessels built before Volo became Occupied Territory. Several were destroyed during the invasion, but most were sold off planet.
Vice Admiral Lauren Kaifu
Vice Admiral Kaifu is the acting commanding officer of the Cooper Sector Liberation Fleet, following the Battle of Zhao Long. She is still uncomfortable with her battlefield promotion from Commodore, but determined to hold the remains of the fleet together and press the advantage after the Protectorate victory. She commands the fleet from her carrier, the Emancipation.
Governor Baynard Cumberland
Baynard Cumberland is the Sector Governor of Cooper Sector. It is his job to ensure that the planets within the sector, each a semi-independent power unto itself, get along with each other. Once the invasion and the war began, it was his job to coordinate between the planets and the Terran Protectorate armed forces. There have been two enemy assassination attempts on his life so far, one of which resulted in the death of his wife. He now goes nowhere without an Ares-Draconis bodyguard by his side.
Henzog is extremely rare for an assassin. He is an assassin that wants to bring attention to himself. A demolitions and heavy weapons expert, Henzog is hired by employers who want EVERYONE to know that the target was assassinated. No victim of Henzog is able to have an open casket funeral. They are either riddled with holes or blown to pieces. Henzog cares nothing about collateral damage and innocents in the line of fire, which often works to his advantage, as his prey soon find themselves without friends (or bodyguards) if it becomes known he is on their trail. When he's on the hunt, he's crafty, cunning, and an adherent to the "shock and awe" philosophy. You usually don't know he's there until things start to explode...things you'd rather didn't explode.
The Novaslayers are an ancient fraternal order based on mutually self-serving interests. The Novaslayers believe that all true emotions and motivations are selfish and that altruism and charity are dishonest representations of self-gratification. They believe that groups will work together cohesively only if it is in their best interest, and that those who cannot provide for themselves should be culled by the universe. No one knows who founded the Novaslayers, but they are made up of like-minded beings from across known space. Novaslayers recruit only beings who have shown extraordinary abilities and a penchant for being self-serving. They have an ongoing feud with an altruistic order known as the Starfarers, who believe that people attain enlightenment and strength from helping others and strengthening all sentient beings, who can then work together and achieve even greater good. The name Novaslayers is a corruption of their actual name, Nor Vaslyn, by human frontier settlers who first encountered them.
Believed to have once been a human pirating cartel, this spacefaring group of savages appears to have almost gone feral after spending several years in hiding from the authorities across the Terminus line in the forbidden space of the Orion Expanse. Whatever happened to them out there not only imbued them with psychic abilities, but it turned them into psychotic marauders who prefer to attack places that have recently been hit by catastrophic events and prey on the weakened survivors.
Voice of the Vorhasi
For centuries, people have reported that their contacts to the enigmatic species known as the Vorhasi have been through someone known as the Voice of the Vorhasi. A female of an unknown species, it is unclear whether the Voice is one individual or a whole species in service to the Vorhasi. What is clear is that this being or beings is NOT a Vorhasi, but somehow has been chosen to speak on their behalf. Those few beings who have actually encountered the Vorhasi say they are almost incomprehensible in their intellect, and that their minds and ways of thinking are extremely alien. It seems that the Voice has been chosen to act like a translator between the vast alien intelligences of her/their masters and other more mortal species. In recent years, the Voice of the Vorhasi has made more frequent appearances, warning that the Vorhasi are preparing to ascend to the next state of existence, which will have ramifications across known space. Some believe that when they ascend they will leave many of their technological marvels behind in Vorhasi-controlled space, and that there will be a race by other species to claim their powerful knowledge for their own.
Ariel the Celestial Sniper
Ariel is half-Nix and half human (the only two races known to be able to interbreed, hinting at some common link in the past). She is confident, a bit brash, and considers herself the best sniper in the known universe. The gun she carries has an effective range of 5 miles and uses multiple types of ammunition. Ariel is a member of a secretive fraternal organization made up of members of different alien species known as the Starfarers. They have existed for tens of thousands of years, inviting individuals of extraordinary talent and power to join. They believe in selflessness and sacrificing for the greater good, and stand as a guardian force against threats which threaten all of known space.
Heisenburg Glacier Facility
Heisenburg Glacier Research and Development Facility
Location: Polar Region, Planet Venelia.
Owners: Prehuman Extraterrestrial Research Institute (PHERI)
Worker Compliment: 748
Last Radio Contact: Three weeks
A Venelia Ice Ranger is reminded that sometimes you really don't want to know what's behind door number three....
Honors Hammer Refit
The Honor's Hammer is a refitted Orniraptor MK II. It has been turned into a gunship with an emphasis on ballistic weaponry. All of the original weaponry has been removed and replaced with a pair of gauss cannons, two missile launchers in the nose fed from internal magazines, a pair of hidden tri-beam blasters stolen from an Arkhon scout ship and a rear rail gun turret. It also has a light tri-beam blaster built into the main cargo door for defensive and anti-personnel use when planetside. In addition to the standard negative mass drive, the Honor's Hammer has a secondary space fold system, also stolen from the Arkhon ship, which is only used under extreme circumstances. The ship also has an advanced ECM suite and can temporarily mimic another ship's electromagnetic signature. All these modifications have greatly increased maintenance needs and significantly reduced the ship's cargo-carrying capacity.
The Queen of Niflheim
Queen Sefa, Keeper of the Oath, Warden of the Depths and CEO of the Nifacillian Interstellar Trade Corporation, is one of the most powerful humans in known space. One would hardly guess she was 150 years old to look at her, but constant exposure to Nifacillian, which some liken to a miracle drug, has greatly enhanced her lifespan. In many ways she, and the Niflheim Sovereignty, over which she presides, are an anachronism. It is the only known human monarchy, one of the few human worlds to be truly neutral and yet harbors some of the most advanced medical technology in local space. Queen Sefa, always with a royal bodyguard at hand, is as much a contradiction as her planet. She is said to be a powerful psychic, speaks regularly of metaphysics and things of a mystical nature, is the high priestess in a near-fanatical planetary religion which outsiders are hard-pressed to comprehend, and yet is said to hold a doctorate in cybernetic technology and personally designed the neural interface cybernetic mesh she wears, which gives her access to all information on matters of planetary importance.
The Niflheim Sovereignty
The planet Niflheim is located between the Terran Protectorate and the former Empire of Many Suns in a buffer zone known as Donovan's Jump. It is an ice world covered by water ice slush and seas. However, the water is teeming with life due to its highly active core, which releases energy from numerous vents. Most of the cities are built inside of massive lava tubes through the ice formed by dormant volcanos. It was settled about 220 years ago by an independent human expedition, however, it had been scouted 50 years before by the Mogg'theran from the Empire of Many Suns. This led to a claim dispute that went unresolved for 20 years, until the Empire fell after the destruction of the Mogg'theran homeworld. To everyone's surprise, Niflheim refused to join the Terran Protectorate, and instead declared itself the Niflheim Sovereignty, ruled by, of all things, a human monarch. Queen Vika Airngriepper the First. Niflheim is an incredibly important world, because it is the only source of Nifacillian, a powerful antibiotic and antiviral agent that works across species. The substance not only fights both bacterial and viral infections, but it links into the body's immune system and supercharges it for a limited time. Not only does this defeat many infectious diseases, but it also significantly increases disease resistance and lifespan. For example, Queen Vika lived to the age of 185, and her daughter, Queen Sefa, is 150, but looks to be in her 40s. No attempts to artificially replicate or grow Nifacillian in other locations have succeeded. The people of Niflheim, which includes both humans and Mogg'theran, are almost fanatically religious about the defense of their planet. However, while isolationist, they appear to be most determined to keep something IN. While tight-lipped about the situation on their world to outsiders, what has leaked is that the original colonists found some kind of structure under the ice, a prison of some sort, and the claim is that something still lives and is contained there, and the people of Niflheim seem to believe that this thing can break pieces of itself off and "corrupt" other creatures, particularly those with psychic abilities. Fighting and containing this "corruption" appears to be the life's goal of every Niflheim citizen, and has become a religious crusade complete with an entire church structure and a never-ending Inquisition, led by Inquisitors who answer only to the church and Queen. Most outsiders believe that this is simply some sort of mythology cooked up to control the masses, however, a few months ago, a Nifacillian smuggler made it all the way to the Donovan's Jump Transfer Station before the Niflheim Inquisitors caught up with him in the docking bay. Witnesses claim that, when confronted, some sort of dark "miasma" left his body and confronted the Inquisitors in an inhuman voice before they destroyed him and took his ship, and it's multi-billion credit cargo, and drove it into the nearby star. The Niflheim Royal Guard and Niflheim Inquisition are some of the most formidable ground troops in known space, due to their incredible health and vitality, and their unbreaking fanaticism. An Imperial Consortion "expedition" once tested the planet's defenses by blockading it and trying to claim one of its cities (and mining facilities) as its own. Consortium soldiers reported that the guard simply would not break, and one regimental commander was killed by a group of children who tore him apart with their bare hands while screaming allegiance to their queen. The Consortium pulled out so fast that it left a quarter of its forces behind to be tried and executed as "heretics." Niflheim still will not sell Nifacillian to the Consortium, which has resorted to indirect smuggling to get the substance.
Streets of Zhao Long
Due to its growing importance as the last free major human planet in Cooper Sector, Zhao Long has changed almost overnight from a somewhat back corner, moderately successful colony world to one of the most important planets in the Terran Protectorate. On top of making sure it doesn't fall to alien invasion, Zhao Long leaders are also trying to put their best face on for the rest of the galaxy. The once seedier corners of the planet's major cities have been cleaned out by the ever-present Yoarashi Samurai Security Corps, but it's still easy to see the urban decay that once was before the planet came to the notice of the rest of the galaxy. Whether the streets stay clean, or whether Zhao Long remains in human hands, has yet to be determined.
A Line in space
In the face of an unrelenting onslaught into Protectorate space, the Terran Protectorate decided to make its stand at Zhao Long, gathering all its resources in Cooper Sector there and forcing the enemy either to engage them on their terms or risk leaving a consolidated armed force on its flanks if it ignored them. The result was the massive fleet over Zhao Long; the last free major world in the sector. If Zhao Long and Cooper Sector fell there'd be little between the invaders and the billions and billions of humans in the core worlds.
Ice Ranger of Venelia
"Recruits! You've all been raised with the belief that the strongest swords are forged in fire. That's a lie. In the next six months, we're going to do it with ice..."
It is said that the only things colder than the wind-blasted glaciers of Venelia are the men and women who train to fight on them. The Venelia Ice Rangers are one of the most well-regarded militias in known space, and for good reason. The planet Venelia, where they are trained and where many of them are born, only has a habitable band of about 30 degrees surrounding the equator. The rest of the planet is deemed too cold to be truly habitable. The Ice Rangers train at the poles. They are the ultimate survivalists and the hardest, coldest of soldiers. Each man is capable of living for up to a month in weather so frigid that there are nights where the nitrogen in the air turns to liquid. And in combat their motto is "Sweep in like a gale. Strike like an avalanche." While at least 6 regiments worth have been donated to serve off-world with the Terran Protectorate Colonial Marines, in truth only the Ice Rangers know how many of them there are. Some say there are only a few thousand, but some speculate there are as many as one million. Their armor is unmarked, their voices disguised with modulators and their faces are covered in reflective white helmets so it is almost impossible to know if you've seen or talked to the same soldier before, and they won't tell you. It is presumed that their helmets have internal HUDs that help them identify one another and their rank.
Scarab Assault Transports
These frigate-sized troop ships are employed as both troopships for planetary invasion and as commerce raiders, filled with troopers experienced with boarding and seizing enemy ships. Each is capable of carrying a full company of infantry. They are produced en masse, and an invasion force will likely contain hundreds to thousands of these ships depending on the target. Far too many human colonies saw these ships blot out the stars in the first days of the war.
The Sidhe Devil is a modified VTE-200 light transport belonging to Parvati Li. The only external change is the addition of a high-powered communications antennae, but internally she's significantly boosted the speed and made it much more of a pleasure craft than on stock. It is a borderline yacht which the former sensate uses as a sort of one-woman mobile bordello. (...) Oh, for those who don't get it, Sidhe (the Gaelic name for elves and fey folk) is pronounced "she", so the ship's name is pronounced "she devil".
Parvati Li is a clan Yoarashi sensate (pleasure-giver) who lost her license under mysterious circumstances. Without the backing of the sensate guild she is on her own and works the fringes of human space, where few people care to ask for paperwork before receiving her services.
A cyborg named Jane
Jane is a cybernetic human hybrid found in a regeneration cocoon. She appears to have been made by an ancient race of unknown origin and her cybernetics and conditioning are specifically geared toward ship theft. She has two modes: in one mode, her cybernetic bioprocessing units follow preprogrammed responses during which she is highly skilled but inflexible and unimaginative. In her biological mode she is much less skilled and unsure of herself, but is far more creative and able to better adapt to the unexpected, plus when her human brain is engaged she can learn and grow in both skill and social interaction.
Gilly's Wheel is a "shadowport" or "black port" that caters to mercenaries and smugglers in the far reaches of Cooper's Sector. The Garuda's Claw and the Eyrie are there getting much needed repairs after a harrowing battle with an enemy task force.
Hedlee Mining Station
The Hedlee Mining Facility is a family-run mining and processing station in the Hedlee-Stockman mining belt, which is rich in radioactive elements and heavy metals. The relatively small operation survives by selling to up-and-coming nearby colonies hungry for fissile materials, which are used to create anti-matter, without having to pay the massive shipping costs from the faraway core worlds.
The Eyrie is the carrier for the mercenary group, Hawkin's Harriers. It carries a wing of R-80 medium star fighters and several shuttles. Before joining forces with Col' Hawkin's men, then known as Hawkin's Boys, it was the command ship of the pirate-hunting fighter squadron known as Hera's Harriers. Having been in service for the last 50 years, she's seen a lot of action. Like most carriers, she has minimal ship-to-ship combat capabilities. Her long-range weapons are slow-firing batteries and torpedo launchers which are designed to be stand-off weapons to keep enemy ships from rushing in, or as bombardment weapons to soften planetary or space station defenses for her fighters.
Not what he signed up for
1st Lieutenant Dave Spinelli is a Privateer's Liaison for the Terran Protectorate. He has been assigned to the mercenary group known as Hawkin's Harriers to ensure that they carry out operations against the enemy in accordance with their privateering contract. He knew mercs looking for pay would see action, but he expected them to be doing hits on "soft" enemy targets, like commerce raiding enemy supply fleets for low risk and high pay. Instead, he has found himself on the front lines in the thick of what is quickly becoming the largest, most intense conflict in recorded human history; one that could spell the end of the human race...
La suite dimanche prochain.