Combined United States and European Space Defense Forces
(Also Known as Ceres Space Defense Forces)


Index:


Introduction:


Prior to the coming of the "Rifts" or "Flash" as the people in orbit call it, the United States Government was working on vastly increased military forces in space. This was a result of both the increased tension between the nations on Earth, and the terrorist attacks that had plagued some of the early space construction projects. These forces were controlled by the Air Force and the organization of the space forces were under the command of the General of the Air Force. The United States space forces had just completed the construction of what was planned to be the first ship of a new class of space carriers although the ship class was called a Cruiser. Several other countries were also working on large capital ships but none except one, the European Destroyer De Ruyter, were nearing completion. The De Ruyter still had, while technically completed, last minute fitting to be carried out. Thus, it had yet to be commissioned.


The competition between the American Space Forces and the European Space Forces ended when the flash occurred. The Washington and the De Ruyter tried to communicate with any group, either in space or on the planet but got no response from anyone with the exception of each other. Later analysis has shown that this was due to the high state of confusion and that they were the only organized groups during the panic. The Captain of the Washington and the Administrator on the De Ruyter quickly met and decided to leave the general area because the damage caused by the rifts had already destroyed the new station that Japan had been constructing. The two leaders decided to travel to the Asteroid Ceres. They had their fleets get all the supply equipment and head there. After several years, bases were completed. Unlike most of the other parts of the space community, they have actually been able to work together and ten years after joining together, they unified under the title "Combined Space Defense Forces" also sometimes called "Ceres Space Defense Forces". For the most part, the two groups have formed a melting pot (something Americans are very good at) and there is little strife in the population.


Since then, the combined forces have been relatively quiet and have not attempted to communicate with the space stations and have watched and listened. The only contact has been to prevent the rest of the orbital community from exploring the corner of the asteroid belt controlled by them. First they try to drive others away. This has resulted in rumors among the space stations of a starship the size of a space station itself (The Washington). If the unwanted groups fail to be driven away, they then attempt to capture the other ship. If captured, they assign the prisoners to various jobs (often labor intensive) with humans without mutations being permitted to join the population after ten years if they choose. The human mutants and mutant animals are prevented from reproducing but are not abused and have fair medical treatments. If they are unable to capture the ship, they will simply destroy the intruder. Even when visiting the Jupiter Fuel Refinery they take great precautions not to be found out by any of the Orbital groups that also might be there to collect fuel. This is made easy by the fact that the Fuel Refinery itself is quite willing to aid the Cereids in hiding from the other Orbitals. It has always had extensive and friendly contact with the Cereids, from the very moment it became self-aware. The Refinery is smart enough to realize that had the other Orbital groups found out that it was intelligent, they would not have helped it to understand itself and the outside universe better, like the Cereids did. Rather, they might very well have destroyed it…


There are two goals motivating the forces. The first is protecting their families in the colony that they have formed on Ceres. Due to the virtually constant unrest from the other stations, this takes up most of the time of Combined Space Defense Forces. The second is the restoring of the nations that they originally came from. The only information they have is the reports (rumors really) of some captured people from the space stations. Suffice to say that the Containment of Earth by the other Stations does not sit well with the CSDF…….


Population:


The populations of both have blended to a large extent. The United States Space Forces had a far number of people of African descent and a small amount of Oriental and Early American descent as well. As a result, the population does have a fair amount of dark in color individuals and a small percentage have Oriental and Native American facial features.


Unlike the orbital stations and the moon and other locations, the population of the United States Space Forces and European Space Defense Forces were brought up to space relatively late and as a result there is only a low percentage of mutants in the population. Mutants are distrusted by the population but psionic individuals are relatively acceptable. This has also caused them to be prejudiced against the rest of the orbital community and they consider most of the others to be sub human.


Social Structure:


As both the American and European populations were from military groups, the population is organized more along military lines than along civilian lines. The laws and regulations are taken from military rules and regulations of the various militaries. While restrictive, this has allowed the population to survive many emergencies that they might not have survived in a less regulated culture.


The hundreds of years of contact between the multiple cultures have created a strong blending of cultures with the American culture being the most predominant because in shear number of people, the United States Space Forces had the most people from essentially the same culture. As a result as the groups became closer together, the culture became more American style than European style, although a lot of the culture is still European as well. The group adopted the English language simply because more people spoke it than any other language. The Americans spoke it, the British spoke it, and a fair number of people from the other countries at least knew it. A fair number of people still understand some of the other pre-rifts languages, and most pre-rifts languages are still taught at school as extra courses.


Originally, the European Space Defense Forces were formed from most of the countries of Europe. One of the few countries that did not involve itself in the European Space Defense Forces was the country of Switzerland who wished to remain neutral.


Education:


The Government expects its people to be well educated and education is compulsory for the entire population. As a result, the population has 100% literacy in English at 98% and all have the skill of basic math and computer operation both with a +20% bonus. About 35% of the population of each side also can speak and have literacy of one of the other pre-rifts languages (German, French, Dutch, Italian, etc) with a bonus of +15%.


Psychology:


The colonists have never had it easy, and as a result they are, in general, a perfect example of the old saying: ‘All work and no play makes him a dull boy’. The Cereids take duty very seriously, and will not rest until a job is done perfectly. This is in part a result of being cut of from the rest of the human race (partially deliberate) and having no one to rely on but themselves. Everything they did, every mistake, every catastrophe that the population has gone through (and there have been a few) To the other orbitals the Cereids will appear stuffy and dull, overly concerned to get it right, and quite disdainful of them. To the Cereids the other orbitals will appear to be fools, fighting petty squabbles and deliberately cutting themselves off from their homeworld for a life of hardship. The only ones that they will have some good feelings about would be Military people, the only ones who also understand Duty as they do. Still, the Cereids have little good feelings for them too. Anyone who would willingly cut themselves off from Earth must be a fool, and woe upon those fools who will stand in the way when the Cereids finally decide to return to Earth……


Government:


Executive:


In many ways, the Government and the Military are the same body and the leader of the Government is chosen from the senior generals. Because most of the people, while military, came from democratic governments, it was decided that some democracy should enter into the government. The leader of the Government was originally chosen by a special board but is now elected. All of the population that have served in the Military or are serving are eligible to vote with the exception of those that have been convicted in a court marshal. To prevent any general in the leadership position from getting too much power, the position can be held for a maximum of eight years. There is an election every two years. The leader is known as General in Chief and he has an advisory board of four civilians and four members of the military. These are chosen by a board of senior generals for the military advisors and by a board of senior civilians for the civilian side. In most cases, they simply advise the General in Chief but they can override his decisions with a vote of six or more against. This is only done in dire situations.


Justice:


The court system and military justice are the same body. Like most forms of military justice, the court system is much tougher than civilian courts are. All judges are military members but the jury is chosen based on the person accused. If the person accused is a member of the military, the jury will be made up of military members but if the person is civilian, the jury is made up of civilians. Unlike most civilian courts, only a majority of jurors need to find against the defendant to be found guilty. The laws are based on the United States Code of Military Justice with most of the morality statutes removed. Military members that have performed minor infractions are normally dealt with by that person’s commanding officer because frivolous cases can result in the person bringing up that case being fined by the court.


Military Organization:


Background: The United States Space Force was formed out of the United States Air Force, which guarded its position jealously and even created a force of shipboard troops from Air Force: First Force instead of from the marines. As a result of the rejections of the other forces, the forces adopted none of the terms from the navy like would be expected. The European Space Defense Forces was a far more mixed group, having a mixture of their various services. The core of the European Shipboard Marines was formed by the British SAS and they considered themselves to be the very best of the best.


Ceres Space Defense Forces:


Through time, the two militaries were merged, forming a combined military force. The general structure of the military is more American than European and uses the same ranks as the United States Air Force. All members of the population are expected to serve for two years in the military (religious reasons cannot exempt you from military service) and form a reserve although the vast majority of the military is formed by people who wish to serve for twenty years or more. All accept for a very tiny minority, people are glad to serve in the military and it is almost considered to be what marks a person as an adult. People who wish to stay in the military are then enlisted for four more years and exceptional Crewmembers will become officers.


Shipboard Crews: : Contrary to what the United States Air Force originally intended, the crews are more Navy like than Air Force like. This is because unlike the Air Force, the crews are trained in multiple shipboard jobs and are extensively cross-trained. This is because in case of emergencies, they are expected to be able to perform a vast number of jobs. For O.C.C., use New Navy Sailor O.C.C. (not including Sea Titan) and replace swimming with Zero G movement and combat. Replace all ocean piloting skills with space ship piloting skills.


Assault Troops: : While the Americans formed the backbone of these troops as well, the strong nature of the SAS formed the backbone and spirit of the troops and as a result, they became more like the British SAS than the Air Force: First Force. It might have been different if the American Troops had forces from Navy Seals or Marine Force Recon but one of the results was that many of the terms and slang that were adopted were from the SAS. While they officially use the same ranks as starship crews, the members among themselves use the SAS ranks. As a matter of fact, the identifying mark on the uniform of the assault troops is the Winged Dagger of the SAS.For O.C.C., use New Navy Marine O.C.C. (not including Sea Titan) and replace swimming with Zero G movement and combat. Replace all ocean-piloting skills with space ship piloting skills. The assault troops have a special arm that is called the Special Operations Unit (S.O.U.). Their training is more intense than the normal troop training. This force comprises only 20% of the force but are as well trained as the pre-rifts S.A.S., U.S. Navy Seals, and other Special Forces units. These specially trained personnel still use the New Navy O.C.C. with the revisions for assault troops as above but their additional training gives them some extra bonuses:


Reserves and Short Term Personnel: All people who make up the population of Ceres are expected to serve for two years starting at age sixteen. As a result, most of the population has background military skills. Only about 25% of the forces are composed of short term personnel at any given time. These are the military background skills taught to all personnel


Military Ranks:

OfficersEnlisted
O-10GeneralE-9Staff/ Command Sergeant Major
O-9Lieutenant GeneralE-8Master Sergeant / First Sergeant
O-8Major GeneralE-7Sergeant First Class
O-7Brigadier GeneralE-6Staff Sergeant
O-6ColonelE-5Sergeant
O-5Lieutenant ColonelE-4Corporal / Specialist
O-4MajorE-3Airman First Class
O-3CaptainE-2Airman Second Class
O-2First LieutenantE-1Airman
O-1Second Lieutenant


Ceres:


The asteroid belt lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, and consists of millions of fragments of rock, metals, and water ice. Yet despite this the asteroid belt is not as teeming with rocks as most people think. After all, the rocks in the belt are spread out in an enormous orbit around the sun, making it quite safe for ships to pass through the region. King of the asteroid belt is without a doubt the huge ball of rock known as Ceres. With a diameter ranging between 932 and 960 km it is quite literary the size of the state of Texas.


Here the combined forces of the USSF and ESDF and the fleet of ships they commandeered after the flash made their home. Their call was also heard by a mining expedition, which was out to prospect asteroids for rare materials such as Iridium, and Uranium. Hearing of the reason why all their calls to Earth had gone unnoticed, the mining expedition decided to join up with the USSF/ESDF forces, and the fleet they had commandeered. Their help and expertise would prove to be invaluable. .


When they came to Ceres there was nothing there, apart from a small deserted research station that dated from the middle of the century. In order to make a home of Ceres a lot of work had to be done. Life support and energy were no problem, as the space forces had fusion reactors with decades of life in them, and materials to feed and replenish the life support systems of their craft and to repair the ships were all around them. No, the real challenge lay in making a habitat in Ceres, which would provide the colonists with gravity, for without gravity the colonists bones would weaken and become brittle, and birth defects and mutations would be the norm for newborn babies (as the orbital colonies in Earth orbit without rotational gravity would find out soon enough). Even modern medicine could not entirely prevent this from happening. And medicines were in much shorter supply than most other materials. A ambitious, some said foolish, plan was conceived: using some of the nuclear warheads that the military had, two enormous caverns would be blasted, deep in the insides of Ceres. Each cavern would be 6 miles long, and a mile wide, and would house a rotating cylinder not unlike Freedom station in sheer size! The cylinders would be counter-rotating, and spun up at the same time, so as to minimize any disturbance in the (natural) rotation of Ceres.


The work was begun, and with the help of the mining expedition the men and women of the combined Space Forces turned into miners overnight. Two tunnels were drilled deep into Ceres, some 20 miles apart. With the help of the main weapons of the warships the work went fairly quickly, and at the end of the tunnels, now some 60 miles deep, more tunnels radiated out, at the end of which nuclear blasting charges were laid. Care was taken to make sure that the blast patterns would not fracture Ceres itself. After blasting on the main caverns was completed the Space forces had used up more than two thirds of their nukes, and the rubble still had to be cleared out. Seven months later (eleven months into the project) the caverns were finally empty, and it became clear that the operation was a success.


They had blasted two 5.5 mile long and 1 mile wide caverns in the heart of Ceres. The caverns were enlarged to their final size by more conventional blasting and cutting, removing the last of the radioactive rock, and smoothing out the walls of the caves, all at once.


Meanwhile, the rest of the new colonists had not been sitting idle either. They had erected huge foil mirrors and had been smelting Nickel-Iron asteroids in the focal points, using nothing more than solar radiation. This way enormous amounts of nickel-Iron had been refined and shaped into sections for the cylinders. Also several of the ships that they had come with had been stripped and the materials were used for shelters on the surface, and the drives and reactors for drilling, and powering the new colony. Even if they wanted to go back, from this point on, there was no turning back any more.


Five years after they had arrived the cylinders were complete and airtight. All of the necessary linear accelerators had been mounted, and finally the cylinders were slowly spun up to speed in a process that took nearly a week. No instabilities were noted, and the first humans moved into their new homes. Finally they had artificial gravity on a large enough scale. In the ceremony following the spinning up of the cylinders, one was named New York, and the other Brussels (Appropriately, members and descendants from the USSF have traditionally chosen to make their home in New York, while members and descendants from the ESDF usually choose to live in Brussels).


Nowadays each of the cylinders has a large amount of plant life on its inner surface, as a matter of fact, nearly every kind of plant that the colonists brought with them is found in the large park like areas. The inhabited parts of the cylinders mostly take the shape of small cities with two to three story high buildings, although in recent years a few four and five story buildings have appeared in the cylinder of New York. These cities are centered around the caps of the cylinders, with the parks in the middle of the cylinders. The names of the cities are Brussels North and South, and New York North and South, North referring to the cities that lie at the cap closest to the surface of Ceres, and South referring to the cities closest to the center of Ceres. The New York cylinder houses approximately 120,000 persons at this time, and the Brussels cylinder houses some 85,000 persons. Apart from special services such as ambulances and delivery trucks (only certain hours of the day) all traffic in the cylinders consists of pedestrians and cyclists, no motor vehicles are allowed. A special monorail service provides transport from end cap to end cap, should one be in a hurry.


Many of the ships they had come with have been stripped, and much of the material was used to furnish the insides of the cylinder cities. Even so, they did not have enough material available to them, so more tunnels were drilled away from the main shafts, and at the end of the tunnels, 40 miles under the surface of Ceres, a smaller cavern (a rough cube with sides of a mile) for a industrial complex was blasted into the rock, using the same methods used for the main caverns. (the complex has grown severely since then, requiring the blasting of another cavern, and it is still growing, with numerous smaller caverns attached).


Nowadays the complex furnishes nearly everything the colonists need. It also is used for producing spare parts for the space forces warships and the materials to produce new Star Talon Fighters and Hercules assault shuttles. A small factory for power armors, which produces the Space SAMAS, the Space Predator, and the Glitter boy is also located in the complex. In the near future the industrial complex will even begin to make parts for larger spaceships.


Transport between the cylinders and the rest of the cavern system is provided by a extensive tube way system which is used for both freight and people transport. The tube way system can be shut down by authorized personnel from several points, and incorporates several special defensive junctions. Also there are several airlocks incorporated in the system, so that most of the tube way system is actually "filled" with a vacuum.


Technology:


A result from having little interaction with the rest of the orbitals is that most of the technology used by the Cereids is no longer compatible, and far more standardized, than that of the other orbitals. A great amount of parts interchangeability exists for all technology created by the Cereids, which greatly eases both manufacture and repairs. However, to the other orbitals the technology of the Cereids would appear understandable, but somehow 'different', with strange units of measure used (actually the SI, or Metric, system, as opposed to the "old" system of measurement), and no real compatibility with their systems without extensive recalibration. In terms of quality and durability, the technology made by the Cereids is equal to the best the TRIAX Corporation in the NGR on Earth makes, and only slightly inferior to the technology of the CAN Republic.


Spaceport:


Close to the industrial complex and the main caverns but much closer to the surface lies the spaceport / dock of Ceres. Its main entrance is through a large natural fissure in the crust of Ceres. Here the colonies spaceships are berthed, and new production of fighters, shuttles and other craft is undertaken. The fissure is approximately 3 miles wide, 8 miles long and 5 miles deep, with the entrances to the spaceport cut into its walls about 3 miles deep.


At current the spaceport is barely large enough to house both the De Ruyter and the Washington together (although one is usually on patrol at any time). However, the work is nearly complete on enlarging one of the natural caverns close to the spaceport. In about one more year it will be completed, and the capacity of the Ceres spaceport will tripled when it is taken into use. Plans are to use the old part of the spaceport for all construction purposes, and berthing the warships in the new part.


As a matter of fact, the colonists will finally have the room to begin building their Standard Frigates, a design that has been lying around for several decades now. Should this production begin, it will mean a substantial increase in the military might of the Ceres colony. Of course the colony will also gain the opportunity to build other large ships for more peaceful purposes. Plans for modular cargo ships and fuel tankers are also on the drawing boards.


In the opposite direction from the main shafts a set of smaller caverns was also cut, this one closer to the main caverns. They house many of the hydroponics gardens, which use offshoots from the plants in the hydroponics gardens of the Washington and the De Ruyter. This too lies about 40 miles deep under the crust of Ceres. A full 100 miles away from the cavern system, there are two caverns which house the reactors that feed the colony its power. The two caverns are diametrically opposite to each other (200 miles apart, colony in the middle) and each set of reactors is capable of supplying the power needs of the entire colony. The original exits to the two main shafts have been closed with rubble from the Asteroid belt that was melted into solid plugs several miles thick using solar mirrors. This to prevent any enemy gaining a easy way into the main caverns. Nowadays the entrance to the colony is through the spaceport only (actually there are several concealed airlocks scattered on the surface, but these have been camouflaged to a great extend, and are proof against nearly anything but a nuclear blast).


Mining and Fuel:


None of this would have been possible without a large amount of raw materials of course. As a matter of fact, the colonists have a large fleet of prospector ships flittering around the asteroid belt, searching for asteroids that contain valuable ores and other raw materials such as nitrogen compounds (absolutely essential for the hydroponics gardens). Once such a prospector finds a suitable asteroid, it is marked, and its speed, heading, and trajectory are then relayed to Ceres, where a mining expedition is dispatched to mine the asteroid.


None of the expertise that the members of the original mining expedition brought with them has been lost, it has only been added to. By now the Ceres colonists are the most accomplished asteroid miners in the entire solar system. The only materials that elude them so far are large deposits of the raw materials necessary for the manufacture of laser cores. Only small amounts of these ores have been found, and this is one of the reasons that the colonists no longer use lasers for heavy weapons, but only for suit mounted weapons, hand held units and (by far the largest post) for industrial use.


Of note should also be that in their quest for materials the Cereids have been on a sort of solar scavenger hunt: Especially when the colony was just getting started and they did not yet have an extensive industrial base they visited every abandoned station and satellite that they could find, and stripped them utterly bare of anything even remotely useful, in some cases going so far as to completely demolish the base or station in their search for usable materials.
This has led to the situation where later teams of scavengers from other stations came to look for usable materials, secure in the knowledge that they were the first orbitals to come this way, and only found an empty shell of a base instead of a treasure trove of lost technology and materials! This has caused much puzzlement among the other orbitals, and has on occasion led to angry accusations among the various stations


One of the few things that the Cereids never had a shortage of has always been fuel. Throughout the entire history of the Ceres colony they have always obtained the fuel for their fusion engines from the Jupiter Fuel Refinery, even when this place had been virtually forgotten by the rest of the Orbitals.


Defenses: As far as defenses go, Ceres is arguably the most fortified place in the entire solar system. The entrance to the space port alone is protected by a weapons array which rivals that of the Washington cruiser! Scattered equal distantly over (better said Under) the surface of Ceres are eight defense stations, each of which houses an incredibly powerful array of weapons. With the help of these stations the colonists have absolute control over the space surrounding Ceres: not only houses each station large plasma cannons, railguns, and huge missile launchers, each station also houses a massive Mass Driver, capable of launching big payloads over large distances at tremendous speeds. To compliment this array there are missile launchers placed on nearby asteroids, and there are constant patrols of Star Talon fighters and Hercules assault shuttles. Needless to say, one of the defense stations is located close to the main base, keeping it well under a protective umbrella.


Model: Ceres Asteroid Base
Crew: +/- 215.000 personnel currently, can house up to 400.000 before a new cylinder complex has to be built
Vehicles:
Permanently stationed:

600SF-70 Star Talon Fighters
80Hercules combat shuttles
35Fuel Shuttles
Additional:
1George Washington class Cruiser & compliment
1De Ruyter class Destroyer & compliment


M.D.C. By Location:

[1] Main Caves (2):3,000,000 each
[2] New York / Brussels200,000 each
[1] Hydroponic Gardens2,500,000
[1] Industrial Complex2,500,000


Notes:
[1] In reality this is how much damage needs to be done for a weapon to penetrate the asteroid to hit the main caves, hydroponic gardens, and industrial complex. Unlike most platforms, the weapon strikes have to penetrate the asteroid fully to be able to injure crews at these locations.
[2] In order to damage the cities, a weapon must either be detonated in the Main Caves or penetrate the asteroid to the section (three million M.D.C.)


Statistical data:
Diameter: 932 - 960 km (581 - 599 miles)
Power Supply: four giant fusion reactors (100 year duration)


DEFENSES:
Starport defenses:
The starport has it own defense systems that while lighter than the stations main weaponry, they are quite powerful and are capable of destroying most starships in the orbital community


Weaponry:

6Heavy Ion pulse Cannons (See Washington class cruiser fordetails)
12Rail Gun turrets (See Washington class Cruiser for details)
6Ion Pulse CIWS (See Washington class Cruiser for details)
6Long Range Missile Launchers (See Washington class Cruiser for details)


Defense Stations (8):
Dispersed evenly across the surface of Ceres are eight defense stations. Each station is completely self sufficient as far as energy supply and life support are concerned. Most of the stations equipment is located in underground bunkers, with only the weapon turrets and mounts visible on the surface. The weaponry for each station is arranged in a circular manner around a huge mass driver. This weapon alone is capable of destroying large starships within a minute. The remaining arrays of weapons are nothing to laugh about either.
The stations are highly automated, meaning that each complex can be run by as little as 250 men. Located deep in each facility is a Ferris wheel in which all station members must exercise for one hour each day. Close to each facility is a well-hidden hangar, in which four Hercules combat shuttles are berthed. These are used for supply runs and to evacuate the stations crew, should this be necessary.


M.D.C. by location:

Heavy Mass Driver:6,000
Plasma Cannon Turrets(6):1,500
Rail Gun Turrets (12):400
Ion pulse CIWS (6):200 each
Long Range Missile Batteries(6)600 each
[1] Control Center:10,000
[2] Hangar Bay:3,000
[3] Sensor Array (3):2,000 each


Notes:
[1] Destroying the control center means that primary life support for the base is destroyed, and that all weapons are at local control (-2 to hit).
[2] The Hangar is well camouflaged and hidden: - 70% to detect, in a dedicated search. Otherwise, undetectable.
[3] Destroying a sensor array gives NO penalties, as each array is just as powerful, the systems are multiple-redundant! When all sensor arrays are destroyed the weapons must rely on their own targeting sensors(-2 to hit, 30% penalty to detect)


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Heavy mass driver (1): These enormous weapons are mounted vertically into the crust of Ceres, in a fixed position. Only the last 300 meters of the 1 mile long mass driver track can be swung around. The Mass Driver accelerates the payload it fires through pulsing a series of high-powered electro magnets in sequence. The Mass driver can fire three kinds of ordnance: the first is a single solid slug of Nickel Iron weighing several tons. After it has been fired the slug moves at about 60 km/second. This ordnance is the most devastating, but also the shortest ranged. It also has large penalties versus small targets. The second kind of ordnance is a container filled with shards of a high tensile M.D.C. material. This moves at 200 km/second after firing. In a predetermined point in its flight the container breaks open and releases the shards into space like a huge shot charge. This does more damage to large ships than fighters, but has a much larger hit probability versus all targets, because a large volume of space is covered with each shot. (Each canister fills a cone of space 80 km (50 miles) long and 16 km (10 miles) wide at a widest point with shards). The last kind is a cluster of 28 long range missiles, which split up close to the target and act as a single volley. Each Mass Driver has a 120-degree arc of fire in all directions, cannot fire perpendicular to ground.
    Maximum Effective Range: Solid slugs: 180 km (112 miles). Shot canister: 600 Km (374 miles) Missiles: 16 times range in an atmosphere, starting speed is 100 km/second ((Go to revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Solid slug: 4D6x100 M.D.C., Shot canister: 2D4x100 vs. large targets(ships) and 4D6x10 vs. small targets (shuttles, fighters). Missile cluster: varies with warhead (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Solid Slug: once per melee. Shot charge twice per melee, Missile Cluster: twice per melee.
    Payload: Solid slugs: 150. Shot charge: 300. Missile cluster: 100 (2,800 missiles)
    Penalties: Solid slug has - 4 to hit versus small targets. Shot charge has +1 to hit versus small targets and +3 to hit versus large targets. Missile cluster has no penalties/bonus.
  2. Plasma Cannons(6): Each of these weapons is equal to the guns on the De Ruyter, but is placed in a large turret so each can rotate 360 degrees around and a 100-degree arc of fire. The turrets are placed around the muzzle of the mass driver, and give excellent cover. Weapons have standard penalties for heavy starship weapons.
    Maximum Effective Range: 70 miles (112 km) in space.
    Mega Damage: 1D6x100.
    Rate of Fire: two bursts per cannon per melee.
  3. Rail Gun Turrets (12): Placed between the Plasma cannon turrets are twelve Rail Gun turrets. These are equal to the turrets on the Washington cruiser and the standard frigates. Each rail gun turret can rotate 360 degrees and has a 180-degree arc of fire. These weapons are used against full size starships, against fighters, and an anti-missile point defense. The rail guns normally fire discarding sabot round that increases the damage per round.
    Maximum Effective Range: 16 miles (25.6 km) in space.
    Mega-Damage: Normal Ammo: 3D4x10 for a 40 round burst. Discarding Sabot Rounds: 3D6x10 for a 40 round burst.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to gunners hand to hand (Usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: 120,000 round (300 bursts) per rail gun turret
  4. Ion pulse CIWS (6): These weapons are similar to the ones used on the standard frigates. The gun consists of a pulse cannon similar to that found on the Star Talon, but with a modified magnetic lens system. The lens system "flickers", breaking up the Ion burst into smaller pulses which are slightly dispersed for a better chance to hit. Each system is automated and fires ion pulses at missiles and attacking fighters. The targeting system can be overridden and be used to target larger targets. The system uses radar to track incoming targets (Has +4 to strike missile and +2 to strike aircraft).
    Maximum Effective Range: 6 miles (9.6 km) in space and 4,000 ft (1,220 m) if fired into an atmosphere.
    Mega-Damage: 1D4x10
    Rate of Fire: Each turret has six (6) attacks per melee round
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited
  5. Long Range Missile Batteries (6): These launchers are both used to launch anti-ship strikes and to launch against starfighters. Missiles are assumed to accelerate at two times normal mach speed in Gs greater than the star ships speed when used in space. Missiles can be launched at non moving targets beyond the powered range of the missiles to hit targets without the chance of the launching ship being hit by missiles itself. Each of these launchers can be targeted and fired at multiple targets. The missiles normally used are Smart Missiles. Mega-Damage: varies with missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile type, long range missiles (Powered range is x 8 in space - Go to revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or sixteen (16) missiles per launcher (96 max per volley with all launchers).
    Payload: 1920 Total with 320 each launcher. An additional 1920 missiles are in storage.


Other systems:
All systems standard on the Washington class cruiser, including a magnetic shield, the radar etc.


Asteroid Missile Launchers:


Located on several asteroids surrounding and keeping the same orbit as Ceres, the CSDF has placed hundreds of remotely Controlled missile launchers. Each launcher is actually a throwaway unit consisting of four launch tubes, each of which holds a single long range missile, and has a radio/laser comm link with the Ceres HQ. These clusters can be liked together, up to twenty-five at a time. All data regarding target heading, and so on, are relayed to the clusters via the (Highly) secured commlink. Even the firing order is given this way.


The clusters themselves are in fact made up of pieces of Nickel Iron, with four holes drilled into them, with room for a comm unit. Very cheap, they can be made to look like asteroids, or part of the asteroid they are placed on. The Nickel-Iron composition of the launchers, and the fact that most of the Asteroids they are placed on have the same composition, acts as a highly effective camouflage. Each cluster fires all of its four disposable tubes as a single volley, and linked clusters can be fired together. Therefore a linked cluster of 10 packs can fire volleys of 4, 8, 12 etc. up to 40, missiles. At any onetime there are some twelve hundred missile clusters out there, accounting for some 4800 missiles, most of which are smart. If Ceres HQ deems it necessary, all of these missiles could be fired in one single stupendous volley. (of course, not all of the missiles will be in a position to fire at the target, but that is why computers keep track of their location)


M.D.C. by location:

[1] Main Body:80
[2] Communication Link:10


Notes:
[1] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body means that the launcher is useless, and can no longer fire the LRM`s. Note that the LRM`s themselves are not destroyed, and can be retrieved. Note that the launchers are well camouflaged and hidden. A searcher has a 50% penalty to detect, and is -2 to strike.
[2] Destroying the comm system means that the cluster can no longer receive target data and firing orders. It can be fired manually though, through a direct link (physical) to a targeting computer from a power armor, a fighter, whatever. Note that the Comm link is a small target and difficult to hit: Even with a called shot the attacker is -4 to hit.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Long Range Missiles (4): Each cluster carries four long range missiles.
    Mega-Damage: varies with missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Maximum Effective Range: varies with missile type, long range missiles (Powered range is x 8 in space - Go to revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: all in a volley of four
    Payload: Four



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[ Beyond the Supernatural®, Heroes Unlimited®, Nightbane®, Ninjas & Superspies®, Palladium Fantasy®, and Rifts® are registered trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]


Proofread by Ki-Tarn Zilkia (Kitarn@netscape.net).


Writeup by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa) and Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 1998, 1999, & 2000, Mischa & Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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