The origins of the United Systems of the Federation started on a planet in the Sol System called Earth. The native species of the planet, known as Humans, had fought their third “World War,” but used highly destructive devices called nuclear warheads or the slang term “nukes.” The multiple detonations of these warheads across the planet had not only killed a third of their entire population, but also resulted in the nuclear fallout generating thick clouds over the entire planet causing temperatures to drop rapidly. As the planet began to plunge into its second recorded “Ice Age,” Humans had quickly built domes over existing cities and began construction of underground cities as well. This was not enough to allow everyone on the planet to take shelter from the pending sub-zero temperatures, and those that could not find shelter froze to death three months later after the war. A few brave parties had begun construction of small space habitats to get away from the planet, initially in the design of small rings that rotated to produce gravity. These individuals created a new calendar to commemorate the start of a new age of space habitation known as the Galactic Era. Those still on the planet did not take too kindly to those in space creating a new calendar for the “elite” who were able to escape into space and refused to accept the new calendar until many years later.
While those who lived on the planet were forced to establish laws limiting the population growth due to limited space and resources available, those in the space colonies continued to grow, building more colonies as needed. While the space colonies were originally in orbit over the earth, later larger colonies were built in points of stable gravity involving the moon’s orbit called Lagrange points. The first set of large colonies were at the Lagrange point between the Earth and moon, using metals mined and constructed from the moon due to ease of mining and proximity to the moon. A second set of colonies were constructed in 22 GE at the Lagrange point ahead of the moon’s orbit. Once those colonies were constructed, all but one of the colonies in Earth’s orbit were moved to the Lagrange point trailing the moon’s orbit. The remaining colony in Earth’s orbit was meant as a go-between should any of the Earth’s population made it into space. This did not happen however for many years.
The United Earth Colonies, the new government established to govern the colonies, began to flourish and prosper better than their terrestrial counterparts. Around 23 GE, a plan was proposed to provide genetic alterations to Human DNA to allow for better adaptability to living in the harsh conditions of space. The research fielded its first child 2 years later who showed greater resiliency and intelligence than the average Human. Code-naming them “Enhanced” more than 10 percent of Human babies born in the following year were Enhanced with the percentage increasing over the years. The Enhanced were able to use their high intellect to help solve solutions to existing problems, including producing colonies through automated methods and ways to either bring Humanity from the planet into space or to quickly end the Second Ice Age. The first colonies build by their method were of a different design and housed Enhanced Humans only, located at the Lagrange point on the opposite side of the moon from Earth. Once of age, all the Enhanced moved to their colonies to be with their own. Many in the UEC viewed the colonies like a “think tank” where the most brilliant minds come up with solutions to their problems.
However, this way of thinking was not the case when those from Earth eventually made it to the colonies using an orbital elevator the Enhanced had designed. Viewing the Enhanced as abominations, their way of thinking began to spread throughout the colonies over the next 5 years, with only the colonies trailing the moon being unaffected by the amount of support for the Enhanced project. However, this movement had decreased the number of Enhanced born by natural Humans to only 5 percent and those are only coming from colonies trailing the moon. By this time, the oldest Enhanced began to give birth to their own children, a second generation of Enhanced, in their own colonies. Seeing a potential of hostilities between the colonies, the Enhanced initially tried through diplomacy in the UEC Senate in 47 GE to defuse the situation and show the benefits the Enhanced have to offer Humanity. However, the representative for the Enhanced was shot during his speech by a member of the “Naturalist” group, the fanatical group from Earth that opposed genetic manipulation. This act enraged the Enhanced and they began to create weapons of war to use against most of the colonies (except for the colonies trailing the moon who still supported the Enhanced). At the same time, those colonies who opposed the Enhanced began to develop their own combat craft to destroy the Enhanced colonies. The two sides ended up in open warfare at the Enhanced colonies’ defensive line with the Enhanced automated combat units winning over the Naturalists’ forces.
The conflict lasted over a year as the Naturalists were losing due to the Enhanced abilities to not only use automated forces but cyber hacking of the Naturalists computer systems resulting in ship-wide disruptions and loss of combat capabilities. It was only after the Naturalists resorted to isolating key ship systems that the tide began to turn in their favor of pushing the Enhanced front lines back due to their numbers and adaptability over AI units. The war came to an end when the Enhanced defensive lines were breached, forcing the Enhanced to use a weapon that brought both fleets to a halt: an electromagnetic pulse bomb. Both forces were hit, frying their electronics, bringing their war to a standstill while recovery teams were deployed to recover the crews of the disabled ships, namely the Naturalist fleet.
Realizing the situation was getting out of hand, the colonists located at the Lagrange point trailing the moon who had been neutral at this point offered to serve as mediators for any possible negotiations. While the Enhanced were willing to negotiate as they have respect for those same colonists that supported them, the Naturalists were not inclined to negotiate. However, the loss of life from the war had caused the party to lose their influence in the UEC Senate, and they were removed after being identified by more peaceful members of the Senate. Two months later, laws were passed that made it illegal for Enhanced Humans to be discriminated against and any violent action will be met with severe punishment.
Over the next six months after the war ended, peace had returned to Humans in the colonies and on Earth, but this peace would not last long. On the morning of June 10, 49 GE, Humans were visited by aliens for the first time in Human history. The aliens called themselves the Liekans, a race of bipedal wolf-like beings who had an air of nobility about them. They had come to the Sol System to establish a base for which to deploy their forces against their enemies, the amphibious Dexigalians, who they have been at war with for a few years. Neither race was aware of the Humans who lived in the Sol System, though. Instead, the Liekans chose to befriend Humanity and offered some a few technological advances such as artificial gravity and sublight engines that were easily mountable on current ships. However, they did not give Humanity their faster-than-light engine, the Fold Drive. Humanity believed at the time that this was because the Liekans and Dexigalians were fighting outside the Sol System and the Liekans were trying to protect Humanity from getting too involved. That and no Human ship could survive using such a drive considering how Human ships were made and built.
Not long after, Humanity got involved in the Liekans’ war when Dexigalian forces soon invaded the Sol System in the following month of July. Human forces fought alongside Liekan forces against an outnumbered and unprepared Dexigalian fleet. After a few months and battles across the Sol System, the two alien forces both left the Sol System to fight in nearby star systems. By the start of the following year, there have been no signs of either race returning to the Sol System.
During that time it was discovered that while the Liekans had given Humanity enhanced sublight engines and inertia dampeners before the war came to the Sol System, it was discovered that the Liekans had embedded a backdoor code into the technology provided that could effectively disable Human ships. The system was reworked from the ground up without the backdoor, but this raised several questions at the time about whether this backdoor was accidental or intentional.
Afterwards and unbeknownst to the Liekans, a Human salvage team managed to retrieve a working Fold Drive from both a destroyed Liekan ship and a Dexigalian ship in October of Galactic Era 49. The addition of a Fold Drive to a new ship of Human design to utilizes those systems would not a problem from an engineering standpoint. The problem came with powering the drive due to the amount of energy needed to activate and maintain energy to the Fold Drive. There was also concerns raised about ship defenses should enemy vessels come into mid to close-range combat based on the combat experiences of ship commanding officers. Liekan and Dexigalian ships had shield systems but none were salvageable from their wreckage as their shield systems would be fried long before the target vessel was destroyed. Without a resolution to either the energy problem for the Fold Drive problem or ship defensive systems outside of point defense cannons, any initial designs that were created remained on the drawing board.
Then, in late January of 50 GE, a technological breakthrough had occurred. A drive system was developed that could power both the Fold Drive and used that same energy to empower the armor on ships to the same level of strength as a shield system. This drive was called the Phase-Induction Transition Graviton Engine Drive, or PITGED for short. The drive generated graviton particles that both powered the Fold Drive and were infused in the armor, the latter being later called nano-laminate armor. This armor was capable of deflecting energy-based weapons that impact the hull, which meant that the weapons of both the Liekan and Dexigalian ships use would be worthless against Human ships. However, while the new drive was powerful, it would not be able to provide enough power to use as an effective weapon. Therefore, Humanity chose to keep with artillery and missile weapons which were still effective even against the shields the two alien races use. Weapons such as those are also what can affect the nano-laminate armor, but the armor can take several hits before the rounds can break through depending on the thickness of the armor.
The first ten ships that rolled out of assembly with the new technology were known as the Tanken-Class Destroyers. Equipped with this new “revolutionary” technology, these ships made their first journey out of the Sol System to the nearest star systems of Proxima Centauri and Alpha Centauri with five ships going to each system. When the ships that went to Alpha Centauri arrived at their destination, they found in orbit over the third planet which was a habitable world a three-way battle in space between the forces of the Liekans, the Dexigalians, and the Centauri who were later identified as resembling a feline/Human hybrid from old Japanese animation shows. The Centauri were losing the fight as their forces were completely outmatched in both numbers and technology against both the Dexigalians but also the Liekans. The Humans who were present were now seeing the Liekans who they thought were an honorable race were just as ruthless as their Dexigalian enemies against anyone but themselves. Seeing that the Liekans were attacking without remorse against an inferior force, it raised a lot of questions as to why the Liekans did not pull the same move with Humanity. It soon became apparent to the fleet commander that the answer lies in the “backdoor code” that was discovered in the technology the Liekans had given Humanity soon made sense along with the lack of providing Humanity with anything more than a speed boost short of a faster-than-light drive. By not providing Humanity with advance weapons and defenses, Humans would still be effective in repelling the Dexigalians but that trust would make it easy for the Liekans to conquer Humanity. All the Liekans had to do was “flip a switch” and every Human ship would be disabled, making invasion and conquest easy for the Liekans. Unfortunately for the Liekans, they were not aware that Humans had found their trap with the backdoor code and closed it.
While the Human forces that were present at Alpha Centauri were outnumbered, the fleet commander after realizing the elaborate ruse the Liekans had done chose to initiate a surprise attack on both the Liekan and Dexigalian forces, a move that forced the stunned alien invaders to withdraw and regroup as the Human ships were not recognizable to either force. Upon the news of the battle reaching the UEC and what the Liekans had planned for Humanity, it was decided that both alien nations were hostile and to mass produce the Tanken destroyers with other designs to follow soon. The Centauri after diplomatic talks were initiated with the UEC volunteered to join the Humans in a coalition against the Liekans and Dexigalians. Despite their superior numbers, the Liekan and Dexigalian forces were pushed back due to the defensive capabilities of the Human ships and inability to use the backdoor code. They were forced to withdraw from surrounding star systems including the Vega System, the home system of the bipedal lizard race known as the Zaurions who later joined the coalition. The campaign against the Liekan and Dexigalian forces continued for two years as more systems were liberated from their oppressors. The war ended when the King of the Monarchy of Lieka and the Emperor of the Dexigalian Empire announced their surrender and call for an armistice after their forces were pushed back almost three hundred Light-years from the Sol System. The coalition agreed to the armistice and wanted to see about maintaining diplomatic relations, but soon afterward the Liekan and Dexigalian nations went into self-isolation and had not been heard from since.
In a grand ceremony, the races that were liberated thanks to the coalition that was started by Humans agreed to form a new nation in the interests of mutual defense and protection of their worlds. This new nation came to be known as the United Systems of the Federation. Thanks to this new nation and the sharing of some advance science among some of the races, Earth’s Second Ice Age also ended allowing those who were on the planet to join those among the stars and colonize other systems.
The year is now 72 GE, 20 years since the First Interstellar War had ended, and those years have been filled with peace, exploration, and the discovery of other races and at least one other interstellar nation. This is the year that the peace was about to end.
For less than 20 years, battlecruisers have served in the Federation Navy as the center of every large fleet and are generally assigned to locations that are highly important whether civilian or military. The importance of these ships as both the flagship of an admiral/flag officer and as a mobile multiple artillery weapons platform has made the assignment aboard such vessels a matter of honor and prestige. Given command of such a vessel is often seen as the culmination of an officer’s long service career to the Federation Navy.
The current battlecruiser is the Danbira-Class Battlecruiser (“broadsword” in the old Japanese dialect). Coming in at 910 meters long, it is the largest post-First Interstellar War vessel in the Federation fleet and possessing the greatest amount of firepower. The forward and midsections of the vessel hold the ammunition for the ship’s weapons and allow for additional weapons to be mounted to the hull such as destroyer and cruiser-grade turrets. The base of the engine pylons has been widened and reinforced to allow the mounting of a twin PITGED system on each side of the cruiser. 2 additional PITGED systems (single type) are mounted dorsally and ventrally on the Danbira’s aft midsection along with a single thrust nozzle each between the hull and the PITGED. These units give the vessel the gravitons needed for thrust through the eight engine nozzles due to the vessel’s mass. Among the Danbira’s impressive arsenal are 4 quad missile launchers mounted above and below on each side of the base of the engine pylons. Because of the Danbira’s engine arrangement, these launchers are the only offensive weapons capable of firing towards the rear of the vessel as no turrets are mounted facing aft. These launchers generally house missiles used for medium- to long-range engagements and the Danbira will have up to 384 missiles on board for those launchers. The missiles’ flight range is up to 100 kilometers. Against destroyers, the Danbira comes equipped with 12 triple-barrel 1460-millimeter artillery cannons. 4 are mounted on the central axis dorsally and ventrally behind the bow, 2 are mounted each on both the port and starboard bow sections, and 2 on the port and starboard midsections. These turrets are more sophisticated than the projectile turrets used by the United Earth Colonies prior to the war, able to fire larger rounds at a greater rate of fire with high precision. Each 1460mm turret can be preloaded with up to 24 rounds before needing to reload and they can be reloaded up to 24 times before the ship runs out of ammo. Generally, Danbira commanding officers will limit the number of turrets firing at targets in an engagement to stretch their ammo supply before being forced to retreat or rely on their other weapons systems, and this pertains to all the Danbira’s artillery turrets. Against cruisers and larger targets, the Danbira is equipped with 20 twin 1850-millimeter artillery cannons mounted 3 above and below in the center of the ship, 1 each on the port and starboard bow sections, and 6 mounted on the port and starboard midsection: 2 above, 2 below, and 2 on the sides. These turrets fire larger rounds than the 1460mm turrets and were designed to engage larger more heavily armored opponents. They move slower than the smaller turrets, so they can only be used against smaller targets at long-range. Each 1850mm turret can be preloaded with up to 20 rounds before needing to reload and they can be reloaded up to 24 times before the ship runs out of ammo. For close-range engagement, the Danbira is equipped with 4 sets of 16-tube light missile launchers with 2 mounted on each side on the vessel’s forward and midsections. The missiles are short-range able to hit a target 45 kilometers away. They are capable of firing 5 missiles per tube before being depleted. For point defense against missiles and possibly small craft, the Danbira is equipped with 92 twin 275-millimeter autocannons mounted in key areas on the hull. These guns can continue to fire nonstop for up to 12 minutes before their ammo supply is depleted. However, they only fire once the tracking systems identify viable targets and will usually fire in spurts rather than nonstop to stretch the ammo supply as well. The small craft bay (discussed below), ammo storage bay, and supplies are in the forward section of the ship. Engineering, the Combat-and-Control Center, graviton engines, the Fold Drive, and auxiliary systems are found in the center of engine section towards the aft. Crew compliment is 420 with two-thirds of the accommodations and amenities are in the rear of the vessel and the remaining third between the midsection and the engine/CAC section along with the escape pods for both areas. This low number in crew based on its size is thanks to automation handled in several areas of the vessel.
As mentioned earlier, the Danbira has 6 PITGED systems. 4 of the units are paired together as twin PITGED units mounted on the side pylons. The 2 remaining units are mounted dorsally and ventrally on the Danbira’s aft midsection. These are the main sublight drive units of the ship and are based on the current engine design introduced 20 years ago by the Columna Lumen Development Center and later handled by Gallonigher Industries. The regular drives are the Mark II versions while the twin PITGED drives are based on the Mark II versions which allow the ship to generate gravitons for thrust by manipulating space-time around the vessel. These gravitons are ejected through the 8 main thrust engine nozzles located in the “wings” and pylons as the ship’s main propulsion. They also provide the artificial gravity on board, power the ship’s Fold Drive, and energize the nano-laminate armor. Located in the ship’s mid-section is the Fold Drive system, the ship’s main faster-than-light (FTL) drive. While originally salvaged from the wrecks of Liekan and Dexigalian ships, the Federation-built Fold Drive is more optimized to be powered by the vessel’s PITGED drives providing continuous power unlike their Liekan and Dexigalian counterparts that must stop for a time to recharge. The subspace manifold coils are located under armor plating on each side of the PITGED units to optimize the subspace field used to protect the ship during transit. The speed of the drive is 1 Light-year every 6 minutes, allowing ships to travel between star systems within minutes or hours. However, a Danbira will rarely leave the star system and fleet it is assigned to due to its role and will usually use the Fold Drive to reach other locations either within the same star system or near the system in a hurry.
A small craft bay is mounted in the front of the vessel located between the forward cannons. Originally meant for shuttles to load and unload supplies and personnel, the bay has been remodeled to also house a small number of Kunai fighters. Up to 16 craft can be stored on the Tanken but the bay is neither pressurized nor under gravity. This means pilots and crew will always have to wear space suits and flight suits while in the bay.
The Danbira is rarely ever found alone without a fleet of destroyers and cruisers escorting it. The usual size of the fleet escorting the vessel consists of 8 Naifu-Class Cruisers and 32 Tanken-Class Destroyers. The only exceptions to these numbers are the 1st through 5th Fleets of the Federation Navy. These fleets consist of 3 Danbira-Class Battlecruisers, 24 Naifu-Class Cruisers, and 96 Tanken-Class Destroyers. The minimum rank to command the Danbira is Rear Admiral. However, for any Danbira found in the 1st through 5th fleets, the rank to command the entire fleet is Vice Admiral or higher with the other 2 battlecruisers commanded by Rear Admirals. As previously mentioned, being given command one of these ships is considered by many who pursue a career in ship command as the pinnacle of their career short of reaching the rank of Admiral, though those that reach the rank of Admiral are generally relegated to space stations that serve as a local headquarters for fleets within a sector or at the Federation Navy’s main headquarters in the Draco System.
The Combat-and-Control Center pictured below is located deep in the heart of the ship between the engine wings and is well-protected from exterior attacks. It is a three-level room with the center being the lowest known as the Command Pit. The Commanding and Executive Officers sit in the command pit and monitor the events unfolding around the ship both internally and externally from the three-dimensional holographic display system mounted on both the floor and from the ceiling. Most important stations dedication to the usual operations of the ship are located on the second level known as the Operation Level. Subsystems and those that assist in the main operations of the ship are located on the top level called the Oversight Level. Each level is only 1 meter higher or lower than the rest. An observation room for VIP's both civilian and military is also found on the third level behind a one-way glass, though this glass can be made two-way at the discretion of the observers. A damage control screen is located opposite of the observation room to display damaged areas of the ship for those in the Command Pit to monitor.