Monthly Archives: September 2013

Ships of the Fleet – Myth Class Heavy Cruisers

Batch Two Myth Class

Batch Two Cruiser

Background

By end of the 2040’s the last of the Contact Era cruisers had been reduced to reserve and Battle Fleet’s position as the only significant human space fleet was confirmed. At the same time that both the fleet’s cruiser and battleship construction programs were acknowledged as being in trouble. While the River Class cruisers suffered from some widely acknowledged flaws, mainly in terms of their combat capabilities,  it had always been accepted that the design, construction and use of class would be a learning experience. Their follow ons, the Continental Class, were to be first true multi-role vessels, capable of undertaking combat and exploration roles to support the first wave of human expansion beyond Earth’s solar system. Unfortunately as the first ships the class came into service, it was clear that the Continentals were coming up short in most capacities.

Myth class

Myth class B1

Batch One Ship

The problem with the Continentals could be blames first and foremost at the door of an overambitious specification. Humanity had only obtained jump drive technology 15 years before and while progress had been startling, at the same there was no avoiding the fact that the Continentals were at best an expensive jack-of-all-trades. Some critics were already claiming that Battle Fleet risked becoming a fleet of samples.

The resignation of the entire Nicholls design board cleared the way for a new start. Helmed by Admiral Yu Mingyong the first step was to drop the concept of a ‘Universal Cruiser’, Battle Fleet’s first priority was as a military formation and as such Myths as they were to come to be known would be dedicated warships.

Design

The Myths in many respects followed the pattern first established with the Rivers, with four turrets paired on the ventral and dorsal surfaces in a superfiring arrangement giving a total broadside of eight Mk VIII plasma cannons. There were however two major changes. The first was a reduction in both mass and physical dimensions – nearly a quarter less than the Continentals. With a smaller hull to protect, it was possible to increase the thickness of armour over the critical spaces, while the new McDonald Douglas KH77 engines gave a power to mass ratio twelve percent better than that of the Rivers and fifteen than that of the Continentals. Naturally certain compromises had to be made, crew habitability was reduced as were stores, all of which resulted in a lower radius of of operation.

Myth class 3.2

Batch Three ship

The second change and the one that attracted the most attention upon the first public image releases were the two sponson mounted railguns. These were the first such weapons mounts to be used since the Contact War era Storm class and there were suggestions in some quarters that another pair of plasma cannons might have been more useful. But there fitting was the result of new tactical priorities. Railguns were now part of Battle Fleet’s emerging philosophy. With the Aèllr viewed as the main opponent, it was taken as a given that the fleet was always likely to be facing superior number of vessels that were at least technologically equal. Although the effective range of an individual railgun is short, the projectile can not be stopped by any practical scale of armour and concept of bracketing a target with fire from several ships was already being serious considered. Batches Two and Three of the class had their centrifuges extended to improve crew facilities, improvement in engine technology allowed Batch Three to receive additional spaced armour alongside the engineering spaces.

The three batches side by side

The three batches side by side

Service

Beginning in 2040 the first of the Myths entered service and it became clear that the class met the objectives set for it. Annual fleet wargames of 2046 showed that the Myths clearly outmatched their predecessors, with one Myth proving to be as combat effective as 1.4 Continentals. Forming the bulk of the fleet’s battle line, the Myths have been primarily serving around Earth and the colonies on Landfall and Dryad.

Horus in orbit over Dryad

Horus in orbit over Dryad

To date only one ship of the class has seen action. In 2052 the Horus – a Batch One ship – was ambushed by two D class Tample cruisers while patrolling the outer planets of the Dryad system. Despite being caught by surprise at short range, Horus’s armour was able to absorb repeated hits. While her counter fire crippled one enemy cruiser and the other was destroyed outright by a direct hit from one of Horus’s railguns. After the battle Horus was able to remain on station for another month before withdrawing to Earth for repairs. This action was the last direct clash between Tample and Battle Fleet warships.

Construction of the Myth class has now been completed and they are expected to serve in the fleet until at least the 2080s.

Batch One Ships

Anubis
Osiris
Isis
Bast
Hathor
Sobek
Amun
Thoth
Horus

Batch Two Ships

Odin
Thor
Freyja
Valkyrie
Loki
Váli
Búri
Meili
Fenrir
Balder
Hermóðr
Tyr
Gungnir
Vanir

Batch Three Ships

Zeus
Cerberus
Ares
Apollo
Hades
Hermes
Athene
Ajax
Bellerophon
Theseus
Heracles
Odyssey

 

Writer’s notes: The Myth Class is a design I’ve had in my head for a long time so actually coming up with the design was really more about the fine detail than the broad brush strokes. In my writing though, the poor old Myths only seem take the role of Redshirt, so here’s a spoiler for book three – I’m going to put at least one reoccurring character onto a Myth. Until next time folks.

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Filed under Ship design, Ships of the Fleet, starship, Uncategorized

Short Story – Gorilla in the City

For the past few months I’ve been going to a writers group and I have decided to start putting up the results. This one is referring to somethings that are going on in Ireland at the moment.

 

Gorilla in the City

 
Officially it is now autumn. Back when I was a kid and people were still arguing whether global warming was a real thing, that actually used to mean something. The summer holidays were over, the schools had started back and each day, nightfall came a little sooner. Now the months we used to call autumn are really the summer, by which I mean a heat you can actually enjoy. What was the summer, most people now call The Hot. For six months the whole countryside just burns up and you’d be hard pressed to understand how this island was ever called the Emerald Isle.

 
The wife didn’t want to move to Big Smoke, didn’t want it so strongly she became the ex-wife. But I was tired, tired of breaking my back trying to plant and get in crops on either side of The Hot and failing at least one year in three. Thought I’d find opportunities, found politics instead.

 
Saw the party members in their big cars where everyone else walked. Saw their big houses with watered lawns when other struggled to find enough to drink and I wondered how did it go so wrong? How did we hand so much to so few for so little? Some say it started with the abolition of the Seanad. Others that when The Hot began people panicked and looked to those who claimed to have easy answers. Me I think it was an almost inevitable consequence of a culture that saw crooks and chancers as heroes instead of a cancer.

 
Well we’re going to change that. Or least I hope we are; maybe I’m too old and cynical to be a real rebel. It’s going to be bloody work; there are good girls and lads who are going to die because they don’t know they’re on the wrong side or even that there are sides. I’m going help to bring fire and blood to the streets but for a few more days, I’m going to enjoy autumn in the city.

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Filed under Ireland, Short Stories, Writing, Writing Group

Confession

Hello, my name is Edmond and I have a confession:

I haven’t watched Game of Thrones.

I know! I’m sorry, I really meant to but I have a lot on, a Philips DVD that went on the blink over a year ago  and a really bad memory. I know it’s no excuse but look, I have a box set, I can change!

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Filed under Random Rants