Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
System - Rolling Thunder
Unknown Refueling System
Rolling Thunder – Refueling System
Rolling Thunder is considered a part of the Systems Constellation – “The Outrim Void”, located just trailing of the System – Pirate’s Haven Star Cluster. The system only had value as a rapid recharging jump-point for raiders jumping out of Haven, and as a hydrogen cracking station for its industrial efforts, though at present, its refinery has been destroyed.
Political Ruler : None. Outpost of the Haven government.
Star Type : Brown Dwarf (-) – (284 Hours)
Position in System : 0
Time to Jump Point : 7.98 hours (Access only possible via Jumpkey which brings ships near the site of the former refinery station). (350 AU).
Number of Satellites : None
Surface Gravity : None
Atmo Pressure : None
Avr Mean Temp : Vacuum
Surface Water : Water Ice, Trace.
Recharge Station : None
HPG Class Type : None
Highest Native Life : None
Socio-Industrial Level : -
Population : (3025) None.
The system’s location outside the Haven Cluster’s corona, allows a fleet to enact a single jump into any of the key systems spinward of Haven : System – Armington, System – Dumassas, System – Estuan, System – Hawktor and System – Ganulph. This makes the system valuable as a hidden “back door” into the so-called ’Outback" portions of the Federated Suns.
The planetoid base located in Rolling Thunder was a fuel-refining and storage facility. A salvaged Mammoth-Class merchant DropShip was stationed on the flat, rolling surface of the planetoid “Tether”, manned by a permanent garrison of eight (8) refining techs loyal to Haven’s navy. The grounded DropShip was surrounded by numerous collapsible fuel bladders, meant to store liquid hydrogen fuels cracked from the base equipment. The planetoid was mostly ice and dusty regolith, easily harvested and then converted by the makeshift fuel-cracking station.
The dropship itself, formerly known as “The Saratoga”, had its drives removed, along with associated spare parts. Most of its armor had been removed, and any resulting “useless” systems had been cannibalized for other ships in the navy’s fleet. Its core fusion power plant, however, remained intact, and the vessel’s cargo holds were filled with hydrogen purification, pumping and distribution equipment. The core of the cargo holds acted as a cargo transfer point for ships leaving or entering Haven space, and doubled as a garrison point for whatever Mechs the Haven government had assigned as a garrison of the facility. The main crew quarters remained untouched, providing the techs and garrison with living space, that was shielded from the system’s harsh radiation.
The facility on Rolling Thunder originally fell under the operations of the Haven Naval Force, with little actual crew beyond a handful of engineers and technicians assigned to its maintenance and monitoring systems. The site was often used as a temporary posting for small military forces under examination for possible recruitment into the organization. Protecting the site were also a cluster of three (3) turrets armed with LRM-10 and SRM-6 launchers to provide point-defenses.
Brown dwarfs fall in the middle ground between stars and gas giants. They are sufficiently massive to radiate significant heat, but are not massive enough for nuclear fission to develop. Even using advanced sensors, they remain difficult to detect. This one was found when a pirate jumpship from Haven mis-jumped, and later reported back the object’s vector.
The brown dwarf originated from the Haven cluster, where it was torn loose from its parent system by some rogue star deep in prehistory. It has spent the intervening millenia crossing the Maw, steadily approaching Davion-claimed space. The substellar object is moving out of line with the plane of the galaxy and presents no long-term hazard to any other systems coreward, the direction the proto-system is travelling. The ruins of the primary world are situated in deep orbit of the brown dwarf (350 AU), and several other minor bodies (asteroids and comets) orbit the system, though they are unoccupied and of little consequence.
The system’s location provided the Haven government with an opportunity to skip traditional defensive operations, and allowed them unfettered access across the Periphery for raids. Using a damaged Mammoth-Class DropShip as a start, a refining station was developed on the planetoid, to aid in raiding efforts, and provided with a very simple garrison force to protect against causal Inner Sphere intrusion. It’s secret location, however, remained it best defense.
In late-January/early-February of 3021, the facility was attacked, seized and stripped of valuable components from its refinery, and subsequently the planetoid it resided on was “untethered” by a catastrophic series of fuel and power plant explosions that tore it apart into dust and rubble.
Today, the system still acts as a jump-point to quietly recharge raiders coming out of the Pirate’s Haven Cluster, but has no other value to anyone, other than its rather unknown location, and near invisibility on most starcharts and outside stellar observation.