The Story of the Battle Cruiser

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Rajput
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Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2003 9:44 pm

The Story of the Battle Cruiser

Post by Rajput » Tue Jun 17, 2003 10:05 pm

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION

Ok. First off,
I'm not a very good writer.
I know some of the stuff I'm writing below does not gel with SM continuity. I left the anomalies in as I could not think of any other way to write the story. Also, I have painted the Salvene and Thevians as Villians in this story. Please don't get mad and pod me.
Also, I'm not sure whether this is the right place to post this. If it's not, again, please don't get mad and pod me.
I'm publishing this in Six bit sized chunks for easy reading.
The total size of the tale is 3701 words.

This story covers the time when the Battle Cruiser lost it's IG and got it's new (current) form. This was around three years back. (Yes, I was around then. If you don't know me it's because I'm not a very good player :oops: and not noticable - unless you're in the habit of checking the pods in Fed Space on a regular basis)

Do feel free to add your comments. I hope you enjoy the tale.

Oh yeah! and, um, All people and events in this story are fiction. Any resemblance to people or events - real or imagined - is a mistake and probably reflects the lack of imagination of the author. :)

Regards
Rajput
Last edited by Rajput on Wed Jun 18, 2003 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

Rajput
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2003 9:44 pm

The Story of the Battle Cruiser

Post by Rajput » Tue Jun 17, 2003 10:06 pm

(Ranger Rajput reporting from Sears Street, Xofwodahs, RepeaR Galaxy - more commonly known on Earth as the Ik-Thorne Galaxy)

PROLOGUE

Dr. Yrot Kcuhcmar, sits in his airy one-hundredth and forty seventh floor office, on Sears Tower - Galactic Headquarters of the famous Multi Galaxtial Corporation contemplating the dark skies outside. Lightning flashes outside the huge Flexiglass windows, lighting up the dim room for a brief instant. Seeing him silhouetted against the momentary brightness made him seem bigger than his seven foot frame.
His seven compatriots sitting behind him are not intimidated. Most are as big, if not bigger than their CEO. Why, old Mr. Ogidnew (he was old even by Ik'Thorne standards) is a good two feet taller and a yard wider, his grizzled face wrinkled even more as he sniffed the Salvene wine, specially imported for the occasion. He saw Kcuhcmar's eye's on him. Ik'Thorne faces rarely show any emotion but this one, Ogidnew mused, seemed to show respect.
"Yrot," he thought to himself, his own eyes twinkling at the younger man. "Your experiences with Humans is rubbing off on you."
He looked at the bottle in front of him, year 3018 MP. Appropriate.
"A good year," he said aloud.
"A good year indeed," Kcuhcmar responded.
The others around the table nodded sagely and their eye's went back to the small two foot tall model of the ship in front of them.
It wasn't much to look at, an ugly crescent with a small conical protrusion at the center of the concave surface. It had a slight bulge under the center - representing the weapons bay. Flaps over the length of the crescent represented the drone launchers. It wasn't much to look at.
It wasn't even the best or most powerful ship in the universe.
Even a Destroyer could blow it out of the sky with two well placed two shots.
It could never hope to even detect a Blockade Runner, let alone a Thief, even if the ship pinched it's backside.
It could barely outrun a Devastator.
A Carapace could shoot past it - making it look like - well, a Ik'Thorne Planet Builder beside a WQ Human Narc Smuggler.
It was a weak ship, an insult of the name - "Cruiser".
But yet it remained. The production orders soared, now more than ever with the discovery of the Seventh Race. It could be seen all over the galaxy, terrorizing traders. Patrolling the territories of the so called alliances. Scouting uncharted regions of space.
All this was going through the minds of the gathered people as they raised their glasses in unison.
"To the Battle Cruiser," Kcuhcmar toasted.
"To the Battle Cruiser," came the response as they tossed down their drinks.
"A good year," Ogidnew thought to himself. "The year we recreated the Battle Cruiser."

Rajput
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2003 9:44 pm

The Story of the Battle Cruiser

Post by Rajput » Tue Jun 17, 2003 10:10 pm

CHAPTER I - DEATH OF THE OLD

He remembered the day well, a hot summer day - sitting across the table from Selkcip Odracova - that oily Salvene had crawled into the room, Ogidnew had realized that there was something wrong when he looked into his eyes.
"How much will it cost?" he had asked bluntly.
Odracova hissed as he adjusted his translator.
"You don't underssstand," he replied. "The contract is null and void."
"We did not sell it to them," Ogidnew had said in a normal tone - which was the Ik'Thorne equivalent of blazing fury.
"Battle Cruiserss were detected in Human sspace," Odracova hissed back.
"The contract wasss ssspecific. We would provide - Ssnopaew - ass long ass the Humanss did not get them. Now they have them. How?"
"Not from us" Ogidnew replied.
"No?" asked the Salvene. "What is this?" He reached into his jacket suddenly and withdrew a booklet which he threw in front of Ogidnew.
"Read that, those are the specifications for a new Celestial Classs Sship. It's called the Combatant. It has Ilussion Generatorsss - our Ssnopaew. These Humans have them."
"The Humans could not have developed Illusion Generators from the Battle Cruiser," Ogidnew tried to explain, using all his patience. "The technology cannot be reverse engineered."
Odracova rose, ignoring him. "The technology iss with them. This contract iss null and void. We will ssee you in court."

Rajput
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Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2003 9:44 pm

The Story of the Battle Cruiser

Post by Rajput » Tue Jun 17, 2003 10:12 pm

CHAPTER II - THE SALVENE ARE STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

Ogidnew knew, of course, that the problem went deeper than that. The Battle Cruiser, at that point was one of the most profitable ships in the universe - cheap to build, because of the use of the most advanced production techniques.
(Very old production techniques, actually, Ogidnew was forced to admit. It was in use with the Humans for millennia. It was called the Assembly Line and no one knew who had invented it. It was generally assumed that it had been invented roughly at the same time the Humans had discovered fire. It had seemed that the Human's short lifespan had made them very efficient builders, and the small Ik'Thorne company had learnt to adapt their techniques for the production of the new ships.)
Ogidnew dismissed the aside; the Battle Cruiser had been cheap to build. It was one of the cheapest spaceships in it's class. It's Snopaew made it a dangerous hunter.
All this had a very dangerous side effect - it hurt the sales of the Salvene Government Spacecraft. Sales of the flagship Eater of Souls had been relatively unaffected, but the sales of the vastly overpriced Ravager and the smaller Predator had been hurt dramatically, since the time the cheap Battle Cruiser hade it's debut in the market.
The rumblings had begun almost immediately.
Independent producers making the Ravager and Predator had begun lobbying the Salvene Government, who held a 49% stake in the Battle Cruiser Corp. along with Sears Inc., a Multi Galaxtial Corporation not affiliated to any government who held another 49%. The balance was distributed among the employees.
The first shareholder meeting had been a near disaster, with the Salvene facing off against Sears. The Salvene wanted to raise the price of the Battle Cruiser. They threatened to increase the tariff on the Battle Cruiser in the Salvene Galaxy. Sears stood fast and retaliated with the 200 year Tax Break agreement signed by the Salvene Government at the inception in return for the 49% stake. The matter came to a vote, but the company's employees sided with Sears, forcing the Salvene to back down.
But the rift left bad blood between the two shareholders.
The Salvene tried a new tack in the next meeting. They threatened to withhold the license to the Illusion Generator - Snopaew, as they called it in their language. They would withhold the license to the Snopaew.
Once again, Sears struck back with another signed contract and once again the five million employees of Battle Cruiser Corp. backed them.
And thus, things had stood.
Powerful, shipbuilding lobbies put pressure on the Salvene Government. In 3010, the Salvene President was voted out of office. This issue was one of the major reasons.
Human Historians and Alskant Economists look back at that period, and they try to find the economic reasons behind the Battle Cruiser fiasco. Why was the Salvene Government so adamant on destroying the Battle Cruiser? Their 49% stake in the company was resulting in them earning three trillion Federation Credits a week nearly a quarter of their taxation revenue. This was far more than the revenues they lost from the lost sales on Ravagers and Predators. Why did they want to hurt the Battle Cruiser Corp.? the Alskant asked. The little company had, by now, risen into the Fortune 100 - the hundred biggest companies in the known universe.
But the Human's understood the motivations. Political lobbies. Xenophobia. The enemies of free trade. The Human Ambassador to the Salvene galaxy made a diplomatic gaffe when he sited the Battle Cruiser Corp. imbroglio as an example of the need for a unified Federation. "This would not happen if we had true free trade," he opined at a party during the initiation of the new Salvene President.
The proud short-tempered Salvene took that as an insult. An angry Salvene war-hero chopped off the Human's head.
Still, the political lobbies could not provide a compelling reason to make their Government give up three trillion credits a week. It was widely known that the Salvene Government was dragging it's feet in meeting the lobby's wishes.
Then came the scandal in year 3017, the new Salvene President Llib Notnilc was caught in bed with an Intern half his age.
The scandal rocked the Salvene Galaxy and Notnilc jokes were born.
Caught in a media glare, Notnilc decided he needed something to divert attention away from himself.
The opportunity presented itself when Celestial Inc., makers of the Celestial line of ships announced their latest product. Dubbed the Celestial Combatant and positioned as an alternative to the Salvene Predator and a poor man's Battle Cruiser. It's selling point - the Illusion Generator!
President Notnilc seized this as an opportunity to appease the strong and vocal Shipbuilding lobby at home. Using a clause in the contract for the licensing of the Illusion Generator, a clause which stipulated that the contract became null and void if the plans for the device ever fell into the hands of the Human race (whom the Salvene hated for various reasons.)
It didn't matter that Celestial Inc. was an independent Multi Galaxtial Corporation, unaffiliated to any race. It had a Human origin. It certainly did not matter that there was no direct proof that Celestial Inc. had developed the Illusion Generator from the Battle Cruiser.
As a young Dr. Kcuhcmar had pointed out, ever since the breakthroughs in Circular Wave Theory became common knowledge, it was just a matter of time before somebody would find a way to develop an Illusion Generator.
Notnilc was able to have the contract with Battle Cruiser Corp. cancelled in 3018 MP in the Federation Intergalactic Court.

Rajput
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Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2003 9:44 pm

The Story of the Battle Cruiser

Post by Rajput » Tue Jun 17, 2003 10:14 pm

CHAPTER III - REBUILDING FROM THE ASHES

The day the court gave it's ruling in favor of the Salvene Government was a black day for Battle Cruiser Corp. In about a week, two million of the company's five million employees were laid off.
Ogidnew, CEO at that time, tried to make the parting as painless as possible.
"I'm sure the company will bounce back," he said in his Planetwide broadcast. "It will merely be a matter of a few hundred years."
For some reason, this seemed to be little consolation for the Company's predominantly WQ Human employees.
However, the company slipped further into the red as the Federation Court further stipulated that all Battle Cruisers with Ship Vendors across the Universe had to be recalled within a month.
Driven to bankruptcy, and pursed by lenders, Battle Cruiser Corp. was facing the toughest time in it's short history. Luckily, Sears Inc. stepped in to bail them out. It bought out the Salvene Government’s stake in the company for a nominal one credit, also assuming the company’s liabilities in the process.
Questioned on the move, Sears Inc. CEO, Mark Lindenberg Ford commented sanguinely, “We have full faith in the inherent strengths of the company and in it’s ability to bounce back.”
This did not convince lenders who refused to have anything to do with the company.
The company’s only product, it was known, was the Battle Cruiser. And we all knew the only plus point of the ship – it’s Illusion Generator. Without the device, the ship was worthless. Who would want to buy a ship which could be blown away by a single shot of an Experienced WQ Human pilot?
And if it hit mines? Well people can talk all they want about ‘retracing you path’ but we know the true story, don’t we?
Around this time, Ogidnew stepped down as CEO to make way for young blood. In a surprise decision, the young Dr. Kcuhcmar, a former veteran of the Ik’Thorne – Thevian war and an able Scientist was appointed as the new CEO.
The new head of the company was brash and energetic. But he was ably guided by Ogidnew who was retained as a Director for his service to the company.
Kcuhcmar was a visionary. He foresaw the improvements in Escape Pod technology.
“I just saw a demonstration of the latest version on the Human planet,” he had said after his first trip to the Planet Earth. “The new Escape Pods will revolutionize trading. It would be nearly impossible to die in a ship.”
The new technology had been developed by a Human company named SONY. It had miniaturized Jump Drives to allow it to be fitted in a single hold of a ship and run on nothing more than cheap Helium Fusion Batteries. The amount of mass these Jump Drives could transport was limited but the range was nearly unlimited for small masses (based of course on Syehsreh’s modification to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity). These were quickly applied to Escape Pods and were beginning to spread all over the Universe.
Kcuhcmar hypothesized that these new Escape Pods would revolutionize space travel.
“You could program the Pod to immediately Warp you to your own Racial Headquarters. The program would trigger seconds before a disaster. No matter how much damage the ship suffered. You would be whisked away to safety.”
While many laughed at the youngster’s enthusiasm (a Pod that whisked you away to Headquarters indeed!!! When your ship blew up, you died. If you were lucky enough to get into your pod, and navigate your Pod out of the wreckage of your ship – chances are, the person who shot at you would shoot at the Pod as well. Space was not a place where you got a second chance.)
No, the old timers felt. The youngster was spending too much time with the Humans.
But Kcuhcmar was convinced he was right.
He also knew the implications of the new developments. The new Escape Pod would make the Battle Cruiser – that slow, weak death trap – now without even an IG – a lot safer to fly.
The Battle Cruiser was still a cheap ship. The innovations in Production Technology were their own, not Salvene.
The secret, Kcuhcmar realized, was in positioning. He would sell the Battle Cruiser as a cheap alternative to the Racial Hunters.
Sure it would never be as the same as a Carapace or a Border Cruiser. But if he could get a prospective buyer to look at the cost of those ships, compare it to the Battle Cruiser. If they considered it, at least once, based on the cost. Would his company not have a chance?

Rajput
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Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2003 9:44 pm

The Story of the Battle Cruiser

Post by Rajput » Tue Jun 17, 2003 10:15 pm

CHAPTER IV - THE BATTLE CRUISER TRIUMPHANT

The Battle Cruiser Corp. knew what it had to do. First on the order was to increase the ships defensive capabilities. The goal was to enable the ship to stand up to any racial hunter in a one-on-one fight.
It was deemed that five hard points gave the craft enough punch. This was boosted with 75 points for Combat Drones and a hundred (yes a Hundred) Mine Slots.
All the cargo holds had to be removed for this purpose.
Kcuhcmar and his design team spent hours agonizing over this decision.
Cargo holds were useful for Planet Building operations. The lack of these would put a severe crimp on this feature.
“Could we not reduce the Mine Slots to fifty?” someone asked.
But they all knew that the vulnerable little ship needed as much mine carrying capacity as possible. It had to reduce the number of trips to the dangerous Combat Accessory Locations as much as possible. The same logic was used to give the craft the ability to store 25 Scout Drones.
“We just improved it’s survivability using common sense rather than technology,” Kcuhcmar commented years later.
The final configuration boasted 500 plates of armor, 525 layers of shields and ample force carrying capacity. Negotiations with the WQ Human government for a newer higher speed main drive did not make much progress and the Thevians refused to talk to them due to the company’s Ik’Thorne background. As a result the Battle Cruiser remains one of the slowest hunters in business.
The ship was still formidable for it’s cost but people still looked at it with skeptical eyes.
“Can this thing really fly?”
This question was answered by a young Alskant Scout. For the safety of his family, his name shall not be undisclosed. He was not a great pilot. He was just your average joe, trying to make a living in a difficult world. By trade he was a Circuitry Merchant, lugging EFM Circuits from the Emarfniam factories in the Eastern Provinces to the Retupmoc Co.’s, Alskant headquarters.
He was a patriotic lad, a trifle young in his years. That was a time when the Alskant Galaxy was plagued by hundreds of independent Pirates who used to swoop in from far away. By far, the most dastardly amongst them was the Thevian Murder Guild who massacred the entire population of Retipuj in a single night. It pained the young lad to see his home galaxy brought to it’s knees by the rogues, it’s wealth stolen away steadily. He could see that the Alskant Government was helpless to control the rise in crime and there was only so much the Federation could do.
He decided to take matters into his own hands and for that he turned to the new model of the Battle Cruiser.
He did choose a terrible time to fly his craft into Alskant. That was just a few weeks after the star system SR-71 went nova, triggering a vast magnetic storm over the Eastern Provinces (where the broken shell of Retipuj lay). His ship rattled as he spread his scouts over the Nickel Asteroid belts where the pirates used to patrol, so much that he be began to doubt the structural integrity of the new ship.
He lay in wait for three days, checking his scouts regularly for signs of enemy activity.
He had chosen a wrong time to hunt, the pirates – rightly – had guessed that there would be few traders out in the storm and were absent.
At the end of three days, weary and running low on food, he began to consider a retreat to his home planet. Heading to the warp to Salzik, a small red light at the corner of his control panel began to blink frantically. That was the indicator that an enemy scout was detected in the sector.
A quick check revealed the source to be the Flagship of the Thevian Murder Guild.
Shaking off the cobwebs of sleep, he deployed his mines.
And waited.
The Pirate never knew what was waiting for him. He noticed the ping, the first in three days.
A quick cross reference with the Federation Signal Directory showed the signal to be the personal frequency of an Alskant pilot.
“A Newbie,” the pirate thought. “A rich fat Newbie, I guess.”
The Alskant waited in his ship, hoping he would be able to pull one back for his race. It seemed that he would have to wait forever. The pirate was not coming.
He was about to pull up his mines and close for the day when it happened.
A distortion in the Magnetic field appeared of his starboard bow and from the space dust, the dim shape of a Carapace began to form.
Even before his mines fired, the Alskant’s finger was on his trigger. Two Creonti “Wobgnol” (English translation – Big Daddy Torpedoes) wiped out what little of the pirate the mines left.
“Captain’s log: 17198,” the Alskant said dryly into his log. As he watched the broken hull of the Carapace. “Scratch one scumbag.”
He began to notice that the Federal Event Logger was beginning to note an unusual jump in activity in Thevian Murder Guild ships. He guessed they would be heading his way, attempting to avenge their leader.
He immediately plotted a course to the Alskant HQ and hurried on his way, pushing his ship as far as it would go. He was calm. Nothing to it. I’ll make it.
It seemed ages before he got the familiar scan of a federal beacon on the distance.
“Just another sector.”
But something was happening. His sensors were detecting a strange gravitational anomaly. A piercing siren went out in his cockpit and his ship lurched side ways, almost of it’s own volition.
“Mines!!”
A Death Cruiser began to decloak, directly ahead of him, guns blazing.
He locked on to the ship as the decompression began. In slow motion, he saw the Nuke on his screen. Getting bigger and bigger.
The first batch of Battle Cruisers did not have the new Escape Pods installed.

Rajput
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2003 9:44 pm

The Story of the Battle Cruiser

Post by Rajput » Tue Jun 17, 2003 10:17 pm

CHAPTER V - AN ICON OF OUR TIMES

Needless to say, the question of the usefulness of the Battle Cruiser has hung over the little craft throughout it’s history. Sure, it has become an integral part of many a fleet – both those of the Federal Races, and those of independent alliances. Many traders have earned their first kill in the Battle Cruiser. The Battle Cruiser is today a common sight in most galaxies, and when you see it you know what it is after – it has no holds!
In reply to derisive comments on the craft, Kcuhcmar has this to say, “Consider this. The Battle Cruiser is the highest selling neutral hunter in the Universe. In sheer volumes, it has three times the sales of the Federal Ultimatum and six times the sales of the Death Cruiser – it’s closest rivals. And this is even though the FU and DC have the backing and the vastly greater technical resources of the Federation or the Underground behind them. I look at the Battle Cruiser as a triumph of common sense over technological brilliance. It is a common sense craft. It will win no design awards. But you can bet it will win you wars.”
“I’ll tell you something else,” he said another time. “The Battle Cruiser is the common man’s warship. It is the craft independent traders and small alliances turn to when they fight the larger monopolies. It is a symbol of hope to all new and novice traders, venturing into the adventure that is open Space Trading. It is a living legend. Nay, an Icon of our times.”

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The Story of the Battle Cruiser

Post by BeJimmieboaws » Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:41 pm

But the enforcer would have none of it, he slaps the other opponent across the face as a final warning, sending him to the sand with a bloody nose, as he bellows for both slaves to behave and motions them to start the battle.

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