Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
"The Freedom of the Stars"
Covert Scientific Vessel of the Iron Dingoes
The “Freedom of the Stars” – Explorer-Class Jumpship
Mass : 50,000 tons
Length : 205 m
Sail Diameter : 740 m
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 Coms Officer, 4 Small Craft Pilots, 4 Scientists).
Base Crew : 6 – 1p, 1e, 4se (Bridge – 1p/1se : Engine – 1e/1se)
DropShip Capacity : -
Small Craft Complement : 4
Drive System : Irian L-Class : (Act – Prototype EXP-Class)
Introduced : 2703
Hull Laid Down : 2776 (Refit – 2779)
Structural Integrity : 1 (4)
KF Drive Integrity : 3 : (4) : (22,625 tons)
Energy Collector Sail Integrity : 3 : (32.5 tons)
Station-Keeping Thrust : 0.1 Gs (Safe Thrust 3/ Max 5)
Fuel : Tons/Burn-Day : 9.77 : (3000 tons)
Docking Hard Points : -
Small Craft Cubicles : 4
Small Craft Bay Doors : 2
Grav Decks : 1 (80m Diameter) : (250 tons)
Bridge : (125 tons)
Heat Sinks : 492 + 79
Escape Pods : 3
Life Boats : -
Cargo : 247 tons
Bay 1 : Cargo (1 Door) : 247 tons
Bay 2 : 4 Small Craft (2 Doors) : 600 tons
Bay 3 : 4 Science Labs (2 Doors) :
Bay 4 : AR-10-Class Missile Bay (1 Door) : 250 tons
Bay 5 : Cargo (2 Doors) : 3000 tons
Weapons Factor : None (452.5 max)
Armor Factor (8 points per ton) : 216 : 27 tons
Command Section :
Nose : 7 : -
Right Side : 3 : -
Left Side : 3 : -
Cargo Section :
Right Side : 3 : -
Left Side : 3 : -
Engine Section :
Right Side : 3 : -
Left Side : 3 : -
Station-Keeping Drive : 3 : -
Note : 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 purpose of the vessel is as a covert science vessel. It’s exact mission is unknown, but it was obviously refit to provide a small science crew covert access to locations wherever the Star League needed it to travel. The ship has been equipped with four separate small research labs dedicated to Computers/Cryptography, Astronomy/Orbital Physics, Biology/Chemistry, and Nuclear Physics. Each could support an individual science squad in their efforts to conduct a single experiment or project.
In Iron Dingoes hands, the unit has plans to crew the ship with scientists of civilian and military origins. Many of the unit’s secret LosTech studies are going to be based from this vessel, including that of * “The Iron Dingoes Skunkwerks” program.
Whatever its original purpose, The Freedom of the Stars has the ability to be a floating, mobile research platform for a capable force. The vessel has been assigned four individual shuttles, two KR-61 long-range shuttles, and two ST-46 short-range shuttles though provision exists to equip the ship with actual AeroFighters in need. Additionally, a small 5-ton passenger module has been installed in the primary cargo bay, allowing a full platoon of marines to eventually be boarded for protection of the Iron Dingoes various scientific and intelligence personnel.
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”.