Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
"The Freedom of the Stars"
Covert Ops Vessel of the Iron Dingoes
The “Freedom of the Stars” – Explorer-Class Jumpship
Type : Touring Craft
Introduced : 2703 (Hull Laid-Down 2776)
Mass : 50,000 tons
Length : 205 m
Sail Diameter : 740 m
Fuel : 3000 tons
Tons/Burn-Day : 9.77
Safe Thrust : 3
Maximum Thrust : 5
Sail Integrity : 3
KF Drive Integrity : 4 (Irian L-Class EXP)
Heat Sinks : 571
Structural Integrity : 4
Armor : Inner Sphere Standard (86 tons)
Fore : 18
Front-Sides : 15
Aft-Sides : 15
Aft : 15
Bay 1 : Cargo (247 tons) : 1 Door
Bay 2 : 4 Small Craft : 2 Doors
Bay 3 : 2 Science Labs : 1 Door
Bay 4 : 2 Marine Barracks (One Platoon each) : 1 Door
Bay 5 : AR-10-Class Missile Bay : 1 Door
Bay 6 : Cargo (3000 tons) : 2 Doors
DropShip Capacity : None
Grav Decks : 1 (80 m diameter)
Escape Pods : 3
Life Boats : 0
Crew : 9 : 1 Officer, 8 Enlisted, 4 Small Craft Pilots, 5 1st-Class Passengers, 5 2nd-Class Passengers.
Act – 29 : (3 Officers, 16 Enlisted, 1 Gunner, 1 Comms Officer, 4 Small Craft Pilots, 4 Scientists).
Base Crew : 6 – 1p, 1e, 4se (Bridge – 1p/1se : Engine – 1e/1se)
Ammunition : 12 Barracuda missiles (360 tons).
Nose (10 Heat)
AR-10 (12 Barracuda Missiles) : 4:4:4:4 : Capital Missile
Notes : Five (5) 1st-Class and five (5) 2nd-Class Passengers. The modifications to this vessel make its value in excess of 1.5 Billion Cs, under current technology and military standards.
Overview : Though most consider the Scout-Class JumpShip as the smallest in use today, such claims overlook the tiny Explorer-Class JumpShip, a civilian JumpShip that has enjoyed a long – if uncelebrated – history in every Successor State. Massing a mere 50,000 tons and reliant on small craft for in-system flights, the Explorer was introduced at the peak of the Star League era, primarily as a touring craft to ferry VIPs or the wealthy elite when DropShips weren’t required.
Capabilities : The Explorer was actually designed along utilitarian lines rather than for luxury travel, catering to the practical as well as the affluent. Built as small as possible to minimize costs and unarmed so as not to threaten local traffic and minimizing its danger, this JumpShip relies on a quartet of shuttlecraft for in-system transit, saving the tonnage of a docking collar for cargo space and first-class staterooms. An 80m grav deck allows shipboard personnnel and passengers alike the comforts of home, and can adjust its rotation to that of a local planet, allowing greater acclimation to alien worlds. The vessel also features a large number of fully automated systems that can allow a skeleton crew to operate it during long voyages. Indeed, Irian Technologies has done just this over the years, sometimes dispatching Explorers with a mere four (4) crew aboard during the lean years.
Deployment : In its heyday, there wasn’t a major corporation or important dignitary that didn’t have access to one of these reliable vessels. The passage of time and the ravages of the Succession Wars, however, winnowed these vessels to a mere few handfuls. Today, Irian Technologies maintains the largest concentration of the remaining Explorers, a minor surprise, considering that their Clipperton yards once produced this humble spacecraft. Irian chose to convert their remaining yard to Scout production early in the Succession Wars, sealing its fate.
Variants : A single variant has emerged, during the closing years of the Star League, mounting an HPG. This exuberant cost associated with this equipment, was only incurred by large corporations, the ultra-rich, and in many cases, government diplomats.
The Freedom of the Stars was a late production model, that was originally purchased by the Star League Diplomatic Corps, and travelled among the Rimward Periphery States. During the later years of the League, prior to the Reunification Wars, the vessel was employed to engage in various unknown tasks in the Periphery, and disappeared entirely during the final war with the Taurian Concordat.
In mid-3020, the vessel appeared in the hands of the Iron Dingoes. The vessel had previously undergone some radical modifications from its initial construction, converting the vessel into a “Q-Ship”. Given a prototype Compact K-F Drive core, the vessel still has all the outward appearances of being a normal Explorer-Class JumpShip.
Space freed with the addition of the compact core, granted it large fuel reserves, increased crew quarters, and a large secondary cargo bay for 3000 tons of materiel and supplies. The addition of an AR-10 Class Missile Launcher with a 10-round rack, serves more than one purpose, doing double duty as a package delivery system for its science labs, as well as a last-minute defensive weapon against dangerous targets.
Ultimately, the original purpose of the vessel was as a covert science vessel. It’s exact mission was unknown, but it was obviously refit to provide a small science crew covert access to locations wherever the Star League needed it to travel. It’s four small craft bays have been retained, and are each equipped to house AeroFighters.
In Iron Dingoes hands, the Freedom of the Stars has been converted for use as a Covert Ops ship. The vessel has been equipped with two separate small research labs, one dedicated to Computers/Cryptography, and a second which has been equipped as a Weapons/Nuclear Physics Lab. The other two labs were converted over to house a platoon of marines each. Additionally, a small 5-ton passenger module has been installed in the primary cargo bay, which has been equipped as a Biology/Chemistry lab, allowing the technical staff aboard her to run important medical experiments in need. A handful of high-security projects are still conducted from this ship, primarily the unit’s study of its various BattleArmor technologies.
The final item of interest regarding The Freedom of the Stars, is its late-model inclusion of a mobile HPG. Although this equipment represents an opportunity to act as a scout vessel, it a knowledgeable communications officer in the form of Tech Jeyne Tull, who is capable of using the technology. Since its use and maintenance is a close-kept secret among Comstar personnel, the truth about this system being active remains a secret among ship personnel and the Command Council. Presently, the unit uses it to monitor system communications, and identify jump signatures.
The vessel is currently under the command of Space Master Eric Severin a decorated Davion Naval officer. He is assisted by Senior Engineer Chuck Brighton in engineering, a veteran and skilled JumpShip engineer. The clandestine nature of this vessel, and its ability to provide scientific and military intelligence to the unit make it likely to have numerous more special passengers and officers. In addition to Tech Jeyne Tull manning the communications systems, they have placed Engineer Tia Sprang in the Gunner’s position for the ship’s AR-10 and control over its “Coffins”.
In early 3023, most of the scientific staff were pulled from the vessel, and transferred to new quarters in “The Factory”. The remaining space was converted over to house a dedicated marines platoon, as well as act as the official home for * “The Werewolves”, and several intelligence personnel. Its four small craft bays contain select assets assigned to these forces for their own purposes.
One (1) Freefall Drop APC
- Marine Security Group - “StarGuards”
8th (Foot) Marines Platoon “The Hush Puppies”
4 Squads Laser Infantry Marines (2 Vet, 2 Reg)
- Special Operations Unit - “The Werewolves”
Dame Modesty Scrope “Viper” (Veteran) – Lead trooper and martial arts specialist.
Tech Ginney McRiven “Trigger” (Regular) – Demolitions and engineering specialist.
Trooper “Wiley” Xavier (Veteran) – Heavy weapons and driving specialist.
Trooper Victoria “Tori” Wu (Regular) – Insertion specialist and unit medic.
Trooper Alexandra Fornesca (Veteran) – Civilian contact and languages specialist.
Trooper Chyler Silva (Reg) – Computers and electronics specialist.
Lt JG Marguerite Phillano (Regular) – AeroSpace Pilot and knife specialist.
Five (5) General Technician Squads (Vet, 3 Reg, Grn)
One (1) Paramedic Squad (Reg)
- Forward Operations Unit - “The Loup Garou”
Lieutenant JG Rita Rose Vrataski “Full Metal Bitch” (Regular) – Lead Trooper.
Four (4) Battle Armor Infantry (3 Reg, Grn)
Senior Tech Shamus Harper “Ironhide” (Regular) – Lead Tech
Four (4) General Technician Squads (4 Reg)
One (1) Paramedic Squad (Reg)