If you’ll recall from the previous installment, 5 low-yield “Class 9” warheads (projectiles) were fired at the Miasan cruiser in an effort to merely disable its engines. However, instead of merely becoming disabled, the cruiser exploded, much to the bewilderment of the crew.
Ah, exploding consoles on the bridge. A feature of almost every science fiction show. It adds some action and thrill to what would otherwise be a very dull environment on a ship’s bridge, but the consoles on board the Vice Admiral’s ship don’t always spark and fizzle. The initial hits from the three Miasan cruisers weren’t able to do much to the ship, but the Miasan dreadnought’s weapons are far more powerful. Normally, measures exist to counteract energy surges on a ship caused by weapon hits, but if a ship is unprepared, those measures may not be so effective. While fighting the three initial Miasan cruisers, most shield power was diverted to fore shields, which meant that the rear shields were relatively vulnerable.
Launching every single flight wing seems like a drastic tactic so early on in a combat situation. But as we’ll see, there is a reason for this. The Vice Admiral’s greatest advantage in this scenario is that Flight Wings can act independently of the escort carrier for an extended period of time, and can help keep other targets occupied, letting the main ship focus on its primary objective.
The ship’s Long-Range Sensors (LRS) are somehow being jammed by the enemy ships, which is why they’re only able to see small shadows on Short-Range Sensors (SRS) of approaching ships that are within SRS detection range. The Miasans are attempting to exploit this by sneaking in Mining Vessels past the blockade – the reason for which will be explained soon.
Not being able to fire on civilian ships doesn’t mean that illegally-operated ships can’t be subjected to arrest or boarding by investigators, and so on. Intergalactic law is complicated, and needs a little more time in order to be explained.
When a shield is “holding”, it means that there is at least 0 Net Gain in the energy level of a shield generator. In other words, the rate at which the power to the shield generator is being replenished is either equal to or greater than the rate at which the power to the shield generator is being drained, whether by weapons fire, a power drain-link, a virus, or something else entirely.
F/SI is referring to the Fluctuation/Stability Index of a single or a particular set of shield generators. It is measured on a scale of 0 (no fluctuation, maximum stability) to 10 (least stability, severe fluctuation). The F/SI, which is a ratio calculated every second, is equal to 10 * ( T – To )/(T), where T = total time elapsed (1 sec), and To = time elapsed during which the oscillation was within optimal levels. The 10 is known as the Kovetnir multiplier, first suggested by renowned Tirean engineer Sum Kovetnir. Basically, instead of using a number ratio from 0 to 1, where 0.002 was good and 0.870 was bad, multiplying by 10 gives a larger range of values, where .02 is good, and 8.7 isn’t very good at all. (Shields will be discussed in more detail in a later installment). Normally, the magnetic field propagated oscillates at a specific frequency or range of frequencies. A collision with an energy discharge, projectile, or something else will cause a fluctuation in the shield’s harmonics. This must immediately be addressed by a set of stabilizers which help bring the oscillation back into balance. However, if a ship is running low on shield power levels, or if multiple weapons are targeting a specific area of a shield facing with almost no pause, the stabilizers will have too little power and too little time to re-balance the oscillators. This will cause a hole in the shield facing that an enemy ship can exploit. Certain species use weapons that emit energy waves whose frequency can be modulated to take advantage of more primitive shields. Conversely, certain species have developed shield technology that can continuously and automatically re-modulate shield oscillation frequency in order to counteract what would be a tactical Achilles’ heel
A Flight Wing, in this context, is a squadron of smaller craft, typically launched from a carrier-type ship such as this one, which has facilities such as a flight deck, launch bay, hangar and docking systems to allow for the storage, maintenance, repair, and deployment of said craft.
P.O. stands for Primary Objective
In this context, a Class 9 warhead is the designation used by the Asteans and their allies to refer to a rapid-fire, small projectile with a modest yield. Such projectiles are not meant to deliver major blows, but rather to disable specific parts or systems of a ship, and are only effective if the targeted ship has little or no shield power with which to deflect the projectile. Yes, having said that, it is really odd that the Miasan cruiser blew up into bits even though only five Class 9 projectiles were fired – more on that mystery in the next episode!
Fore, Aft, Port, Starboard, Dorsal, and Ventral refer to the front, back, left, right, top, and underside of a vessel, respectively. A combination of these, such as “starboard bow, refers to a direction that is to the front and right of a ship. (Think of North-East on a compass)
Miasan ships generally use beams that rely on a regulated beam of energized electro-plasma. Furthermore, the Miasans combine this beam with a ‘gliding’ system that imbibes the beam with (or ‘glides’) some antiprotons. This, in combination with the temperature and density of the electro-plasma, gives the beams a distinctive yellow-orange color.
While Astean ships can come with a wide range of armaments, the cannons featured in this installment rely on a device that emits a powerful periodic burst of energy known as a pulsewave. A superheated, ionized gas is magnetically charged and formed into a cannon bolt in a prefire chamber. Then, another similar magnetic charge is stimulated to repel the superheated bolt away in the opposite direction. This means that the cannons do not have a very impressive range, as the fired bolts will dissipate into space after a certain point in time. Their effectiveness in combat depends on the firing range and the velocity and rate at which they are fired. New advances in technology means that multiple bolts can be fired before a cannon needs to temporarily deactivate in order to cool the prefire chamber. The particular collection of gases and added particles that the Asteans typically use gives their weapons the distinctive sky-blue color seen here.