Monday, March 2, 2009

Freedom Eagle

Here is a sketch of a starship in my upcoming novel "The Outer Rim" with a excerpt straight out of one of the chapters explaining the ship. Just a little taste of what to come. As you can see, I'm not a very good artist! :-)


As his boots clicked across the ultra smooth hanger floor he walked up to a very smooth, very black and very sinister looking craft. This was not your normal Xanthanian style craft. It didn’t mirror the surroundings. As a matter of fact, it didn’t mirror any thing. Though its skin seemed metallic in nature, light seemed to be absorbed by its unnaturally black skin. A shiver went up Fram’s spine as he stared into it. He found it hard to take his eyes off of it, as if the ship itself was latching onto his soul and dragging him inward.

“Welcome Colonel.”
Fram spun around suddenly startled back into reality and with a feeling of relief to have been torn from the eerie draw of the strange ship. Standing before him was a very tall, very thin and very pale intelligence officer. It was apparent to Fram that this man had spend way too much time below ground as his skinned looked as if it had not felt daylight in years.
“I see you have found your way to your new ship. What do you think?”
“Uh, well, I’m not sure what to think yet,” Fram said haltingly. “It is definitely dark and foreboding isn’t it.”
“If you're referring to the ship's skin, yes it is. It’s a new technology designed to allow the ship to blend into the blackness of space without notice. The skin has the ability to cloak instantaneously when ever the ship is scanned. You could leave this ship in orbit, say around a planetary moon, and it would remain undetected for an indefinite amount of time. Her detection and avoidance software would automatically maneuver the ship out of harms way. It is the ultimate in stealth technology.”
“Well, that’s all nice and dandy,” stated Fram dryly, “but what about defense and assault posture? I need something that can take a hit and return fire with a vengeance. I also need a ship that can get me out of a situation quickly when needed.”
“Relax, Colonel. This ship has all that,” the intelligence office stated with a raised eye brow. “This ship has the most advance jump technology available. It can open a sub space entry point on demand for immediate sub space departure. It also has the most advance sub space navigation software know outside of Zerlik technology and also has sub space tracking ability. As far as firepower goes, well let’s just say it packs more of a punch that any ship in her class. Her shield technology has overlay capability enabling it to regenerate effortless and automatically over areas of the ship which begin to breach. In other words, if you take a direct hit in a certain area and that part of the shield begins to drop, other parts of the shields move to compensate without input from you or your crew. It’s automatic. It also has the largest pulse cannon that a ship of her size can accommodate. And with her compliment of self tracking missiles, plasma mines and ion cannons, she is a force to be reckoned with!”
“Well, that is very impressive. There must be a catch somewhere though. Every ship has its weakness, am I right?” stated Fram inquisitively.
“How very perceptive of you, Colonel. Well, yes, there are a few drawbacks. First being with her jump engines. Yes, you can immediately open a jump point and travel though subspace to any given coordinate without having to follow standard subspace navigation beacons. However you are limited to how many times you can jump concurrently. You see, her new jump engines develop an extreme amount of heat during jump generation and these engines must cool before they can jump again. If they are not allowed to cool, core breach could happen and you, your crew and anybody within a couple thousand meters would cease to exist. So when you come out of sub space, you must allow the engines to cool to acceptable limits prior to the next jump. The main pulse cannon is also a concern. The amount of energy required to fire the weapon is extremely large. In other words, your shield will drop for few seconds after it fires leaving you vulnerable to return fire. Also its rate of fire is limited to one shot every 15 minutes or so, so choose your targets wisely Colonel.”
“Once every 15 minutes! That’s a light year when you’re in combat. I wish it had a cycling rate a little faster than that and I don’t like the idea of shields dropping or flickering in the heat of the battle. We may have multiple targets that we have to engage at any one time.”
“Like I said, choose your targets wisely. You have plenty of firepower with the ion cannons and missiles to keep multiple targets at bay. It’s the best we can give you, Colonel. And trust me; it is light years ahead of anything you have flown in your career. You just have to trust the technology more, that’s all.”
“Yeah, that’s what scares me. It's not your butt up there getting shot at now is it!” Fram stated sarcastically. "Tell me a little about the range, some of my jumps will most likely be extended depending on where I need to get to and how fast I need to get there."
"Well, like any other standard plasma driven jump engines, you will need to refuel. However these engines are very economical in terms of burn rate. Most fuel is used in opening a jump point and re-entry. So, the less jumps, the better the range. Another item to keep in mind is the extreme turbulence created upon re-entry from sub-space. Scanners will be fuzzy until you clear the wake, a normal occurrence in sub-space travel. The good news is that the target acquisition computer is fully automatic, meaning it will acquire and lock on to multiple targets immediately. The only thing that your fire control officer will have to do is to select which to fire on first. All missile components are fire and forget allowing you to consistently maneuver the vessel during an engagement without worry of having to track a missile all the way to the target. Your ion cannons also lock and track their target and they give you a 360 degree spread capable of covering your position should you need to perform a fall back maneuver. I must say that this craft is top of the line in armament. You will be impressed," stated the intel officer non-challantly.
"Great. I guess all of these systems have been tested thoroughly and run through space trial and acquisition scenarios?"
"Um……….sort of. All tests have been completed here in the hanger using the best in simulation hardware and software."
"What?!" exclaimed Fram, "Are you telling me I'm going to be the test subject, that none of these have been used in real world situations, its all been done electronically?"
"I assure you we have the best simulations available and we have sent every system through every conceivable situation."
"It's not the logical situations that I am worried about; it’s the illogical ones that keep me awake at night. It is those kinds of situations which get you killed. I have to say it will take a few fire fights before I will be completely confident in the craft. How about med stations and forced entry protection?"
"She's fully stocked in the most advanced medical equipment including long term stasis boxes for those patients who require more extensive and critical care that can be provided onboard. Once the patient is stabilized, they can be placed in the stasis box for the ride home where they will be kept in a biomedical cryo state. It really is a very impressive piece of medical hardware."
"I hope I never have to use it, just good to know it's there if it is."
"There is also a complete bio-mechanical repair lab for any cyborge work that may need to be completed to include flesh foam reproducer and installer. No need having any of your cyborge crew running around with their foam flesh hanging off after a fire fight. It can be quite distracting, you know!" the intel officer said with a smirk.
Fram gave the thin man a half chuckle. "Ok, you were saying about the force entry protection?" wanting to keep the dialogue moving.
"Of course the entire aircraft skin uses the best detection software available, you couldn't breathe on it without the craft sensing it and displaying it on the command console. Should the perpetrators make entry, there is an EMP protection system which could be set off to knock out their electronic equipment to include any armament which uses tracking and acquisition software. The bridge console is armored and protected against EMP. However anything in your crew quarters will be fried. Engineering is completely armored and protected against EMP as well as any outside hacker trying to take control of your plasma drives. All armament and maneuvering systems are isolated from the main electrical system on the craft so if someone decides to sabotage your power grid or send a surge through an umbilical cord at a station, it won't harm those systems."
"Well, I believe you boys have outdone yourselves this time," Fram stated with a little hint of sarcasm. "Let's go on in, take a tour of interior systems."

1 comment:

Angel C. said...

I think you did awesome on this starship! :) I've read this excert several times before and you really have a nack for writing. Keep it up!