Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
* "Black Ice"
Hidden Star League Munitions Depot.
“Black Ice” – Monitor-Class Station
Tonnage : 1,000,000 tons standard.
Type : Space Station (Asteroid)
Length : 34.4 kilometers
Width : 11.2 kilometers
Crew : 416 : 64 Officers (4p+4e+12se), 319 enlisted/non-rated, 21 gunners. 12 Pilots. 90 marines. 250 Second-Class Passengers.
Skeleton Crew : Bridge 1p+2se; Engine 1e+1e/se+2se
Cargo Complement : 159,000 tons.
Bay 1 : Small Craft (12) – 1 Door
Bay 2 : Cargo (150,000 tons) – 1 Door
Bay 3 : DropShip Bay (24,000 tons capacity) – 1 Door
Bay 4 : DropShip Bay (24,000 tons capacity) – 1 Door
Bay 5 : DropShip Bay (24,000 tons capacity) – 1 Door
Bay 6 : Open Space Bay (9000 tons) – 1 Door
Docking Collars : 5
Grav Decks : One (1200m diameter).
Life Boats : 35
Escape Pods : 35
Armament : One (1) Naval PPC, 18 Particle Cannons, 12 Large Lasers, 60 Medium Lasers, 72 Small Lasers.
Ammunition : None.
Drive System : None
Heat Sinks : 1000 + 0
Thrust : -
Overthrust : -
Structural Integrity : 1
Fuel : 10,000 tons : 25,000 Thrust-Points (0.977 tons per Burn-Day)
First Introduced : __
Hull Laid Down : __
Frequency of Sighting : Unique
Armor Factor : 32,000 (2000 tons)
Nose – 5400 (240 Aero) : 1 NPPC, 3 PPCs, 2 LLs, 10 MLs, 12 SLs.
FL/FR – 5400 (240 Aero) : 3 PPCs, 2 LLs, 10 MLs, 12 SLs.
AL/AR – 5400 (240 Aero) : 3 PPCs, 2 LLs, 10 MLs, 12 SLs.
Aft – 5400 (240 Aero) : 3 PPCs, 2 LLs, 10 MLs, 12 SLs.
Notes : 12,795,342,470 C-Bills. Has three pressurized repair bays that can accommodate vessels weighing up to 24,000 tons. Can detect any craft within 50,000 kilometers.
“Stealthiness in space was a bit like playing hide-and-seek while naked in a briar patch: it could be done, but it was a thorny business that depended upon the fact that nobody would believe you were crazy enough to actually try to pull it off.”
Black Ice does not technically exist. It has been scrubbed from all system records, and is not listed in any astronomical charts of the system.
“Black Ice” is an S-Type, or Silicaceous Asteroid, with a rocky composition, located in its own orbit 0.17 AU beyond the orbit of Terramatrix at closest approach. Officially listed in the Iron Dingoes system database as “TM 433”, it is approximately 34.4×11.2×11.2 kilometres in dimension, and is considered the second-largest asteroid in near-Terramatrix space, after the 33km-diameter C-Type asteroid “TM 1036”.
Surface gravity depends on the distance from a spot on the surface to the center of a body’s mass. Black Ice’s surface gravity varies greatly because it is not a sphere but an elongated peanut-shaped object. The daytime temperature on Black Ice can reach about 100 °C (373 K) at perihelion. Nighttime measurements fall near −150 °C (123 K). It’s density is 2.67 g/cm3, about the same as the density of Terramatrix’s crust. It originally rotated once every 5.27 hours, but was spun-up to provide internal gravity, and now spins at eight minutes per rotation, providing 0.3 Gs of gravity, with the sides in the “down” positions.
The facility is exceedingly well-armored, especially if you factor the planetoid hull itself into the equation; outside of a sustained bombardment by particle weapons, only nuclear munitions could crack its hull. . Armed with a spinal-mounted Naval PPC cannon, it also has an all-around protection from casual intruders with a handful of forty (40) batteries of lasers (ten in each quadrant), all intended to defend against smaller AeroFighters. While the NPPCs remain, the smaller lasers have long since been stripped.
The power plant is a 1000-ton Empress 9 fusion reactor, equipped with a massive 10,000-ton fuel reserve that could supply the station with fuel for 30 months. A fuel purification plant is integral to the power plant, though additional fuel is intended to be resupplied via fuel shuttle. The station’s fuel supplies are broken into five separate 2000-ton tanks, each capable of supplying a ship docked at one of its collars with liquid hydrogen. Separate cargo bays are also located near each docking collar, into which specific goods can be located as requested by the ship for resupply, each capable of holding 10,000 tons. This process allows DropShips to employ their own loaders and loading protocols with minimal interference by station personnel.
A central spine holds the Naval PPC, but just above it lies the tunnel to the internal docking bays, where twelve (12) small craft bays and three large internal DropShip Bays are located. An additional 9000-ton bay is located above the small craft docks, originally designated for additional AeroFighter bays and launch tubes, but was never developed, and today it operates as a large open cargo storage facility, and is generally ignored. Five docking collars are located around the internal docking bay tunnel, each a spiderweb mesh of steel and carbon columns, activated and lit-up when in use, to steer away other vessels.
Black Ice normally carries a crew of over 400, most of which are technical and logistics personnel for the station’s repair bays and extensive cargo facilities. It can additionally house 250 visiting personnel, often to give space ships a little downtime. Housing is comfortable, and the station boasts some of the roomiest quarters available. It is also equipped with a massive gravity deck, nearly 1200m in diameter, housing the entire station’s personnel, along with numerous mess facilities, lounges, recreation rooms, and support services. Additionally, the facility is spun-up to 0.3 gravity, allowing great latitude in station operations.
The final arrow in the station’s quiver, is its sensor and communications systems. Although it runs on passive most of the time, it has the ability to identify jump-points and hard IR signatures, such as incoming DropShips at a range of nearly 50,000 kms, giving it plenty of opportunity to prepare for unidentified vessels. It also has a substantial communications and computer system, capable of reaching anywhere in the system.
The object known as Black Ice was converted into a munitions depot by the Star League’s Engineering Corps, following the fall of the System – Dumassas to its military forces in May 11th, 2587. As the system had been a regional capital in the Taurian Concordat, the system was deemed important enough to host the hidden facility, and the asteroid’s existence was removed from all records. For centuries, it remained a private naval resupply station for Star League’s special forces, and was eventually mostly stripped and abandoned during the Kerensky Exodus.
In truth, a rogue element of the Star League’s military sympathetic with the fallen Rim World’s Republic took control of the facility during the initial movement to strip various Periphery supply caches in preparation for the Exodus. This force, known officially as the “689th Quartermasters Corp" began carefully diverting and stockpiling supplies for a rebuilding of a new interstellar government, choosing tools and equipment deemed essential for such a government, such as computer systems, rare industrial minerals and basic weapons systems to arm themselves against future aggressors. Large stores of vital equipment, such as BattleMechs, repair parts and other goods were also stock-piled, but were removed to a so-called “Phoenix Base” located somewhere outside known space, along with the bulk of its personnel, to await the coming “Jihad” against an increasingly barbaric Inner Sphere.
Black Ice was deemed a good place to store naval munitions and a large store of HAVOK Tactical Nuclear Warheads were added late in the process. While the bulk of its munitions were shipped out-system, select munitions were kept and other goods added from other nearby stockpiles. Among the contents of its cargo were naval missiles and naval AC rounds, but these have long since been stripped out for Phoenix Base.
On January 13th, 3026, the facility and its skeleton crew were seized by marines and special forces operating under the Iron Dingoes banner. What few remaining supplies, including nearly two-hundred HAVOK Tactical Nuclear Warheads, were taken into Dingoes stockpiles, the facility was locked-down and eventually mothballed.
It presently drifts silent and abandoned along its orbit, slowly moving in towards a close rendezvous with Terramatrix some decades in the future.