Dartrok Star Fighter:


Introduction:


The Kreeghor had little real interest in this area of space but they had sold some old military equipment to various star systems. Along with equipment, technical support was supplied so that the purchaser’s military forces could use the equipment properly. Rodrelle Quillian was a Wolfen that held the rank of Dread Fang within the Trans-Galactic Empire military. This was the approximate equivalent of a Commander in the Consortium Navy. He served because there was little else honorable he could do. He had been assigned to train the fighter pilots in the Ulat Military. This had been before the Dartrok had begun threatening local planets. He had been “volunteered” by the Kreeghor Ambassador to act as commander for the fighter for defense of the system.


Already, several of the inhabited star systems near Ulat had been conquered by the Dartrok. Many informed individuals considered Ulat to be attack soon, if not next. The Kreeghor’s plans had been to inspire the leaders of Ulat to liberate some of the local systems from their leaders. The Trans-Galactic would heavily support the system and use that as a lever to take over completely at a later time. The plan was no longer tenable but it had been decided that they would at least attempt to protect this star system. Reinforcements were on route but if the system was already in the hands of the Dartrok, the Kreeghor forces were to avoid action.


The Dread Fang had come up with a tactic that he hoped would allow the Ulat space forces to hold the system until the Kreeghor reinforcements would arrive. The Ulat military had acquired a large amount of retired Kreeghor equipment over the last century. This presently included two old Defiler class cruisers, five equally old Berserker class attack ships, and a huge number of retired fighters. The Ulat had almost six hundred Flying Fang starfighters and they were key to the plan the Wolfen had developed. There was no evidence that the Dartrok used fighters and his plan was to overwhelm the Dartrok dreadnoughts with point blank missile strikes. Losses of fighters would likely be extremely heavy but if several of the Dreadnoughts were destroyed, hopefully the Dartrok would become more cautious. This might give the Kreeghor ships enough time to reinforce the system.


Over the last two hours, the Ulat military had been tracking ten battle cruiser size FTL signatures. It was almost impossibly remote that these ships were anything other than Dartrok Dreadnoughts. The ships being tracked would be leaving FTL space within a few minutes. Rodrelle Quillian was on the bridge of the Defiler which was acting as the flagship for the Ulat space forces. There had been a final meeting on the flagship with the other senior officers. The meeting was wrapping up but there was not real hurry. The plan was for the fighters not to attack the Dreadnoughts until the large ships had slowed down to enter planetary orbits. Most of the other fighters were parked on derelict barges that were acting as orbital platforms. The Dread Fangs fighter and a few lucky pilots were operating from the two heavy cruisers. Once the fighters on the Defilers launched, the cruisers and the light attack ships would position themselves so they would be hidden by the planet. They were to help if an opportunity presented itself in the engagement. The first dreadnought left FTL and the Wolfen officer grabbed his helmet and headed for the fighter waiting in the hanger.


Several hours later, the fighter pilots waited nervously but were still determined. Only a few more minutes were left before the attacks on the dreadnought would begin. In reality, their commander was just as nervous as the pilots under him but outwardly he did not show this. The Dartrok vessels had been slowing down steadily for orbital insertion. The initial attack was to concentrate on six of the dreadnoughts and hopefully destroy them. Whatever fighters survived the initial attack would then be tasked to engage the remaining Dartrok vessels. An alarm buzzer went off in the Dread Fangs cockpit and he immediately checked his sensory inputs. There was a huge number of small and hard to detect targets heading directly toward his fighters. There were hundreds of them. Because the targets had no gravitic signature and were small, they had not been detected until they were very close. He ran through a mental list of what the targets could be. They seemed to be too large to be missiles so they were most likely fighters. He had planned his tactic based on the Dartrok not having any fighters and he had to warn the pilots under him. He was just too late. As he opened the comm. channel, the Dartrok fighters opened fire and destroyed almost two hundred of his fighters with the first volley of fire. The Wolfen knew how this trap had been sprung. The Dreadnought had launched the fighters while decelerating and inertia had allowed the fighters to pull ahead of the capital ships. They had then just kept their drives and shields down so that they would be difficult to detect. These thoughts occupied the Dread Fangs final moments. Any further thoughts were stopped when his fighter, along with almost 200 more, was obliterated by the second volley of fire from the Dartrok fighters.


Background:


Little is actually known about the creatures known as the Dartroks. What is known is that the Dartroks are very powerful beings that have only recently appeared in the Three Galaxies. No examination of historic sources indicates them having ever been in the Three Galaxies before and even the Prometheans appear to have no useful information on them.


In general size, they are slightly larger than human stock although mass quite a bit more than human standard. Almost coal black, at first glance one might compare the creatures with man-o-war jellyfish with a huge number of prehensile tentacles. With a closer examination however, they are more like cephalopods. Interestingly, they appear to levitate in order to be able to travel. Most exobiologists think this is a psychic ability which the Dartrok possess.


Their craft are based on a pseudo organic material and are incredibly powerful, heavily armored, and quite capable of taking on most craft of the races of the Three Galaxies. Especially since the motivations of the Dartroks is completely unknown, their ships cause a lot of nervousness among most other races when these ships appear in their system.


These fighters might be considered one of the most powerful fighters in the Three Galaxies. There have been encounters where the simple appearance of the fighters will cause other fighters to disperse and run. Their star fighters have a vaguely similar shape to that of the dreadnought where the Dartrok starfighter looks like a bit like a manta-ray.


These fighters appear to be fearless and these craft seem to be at least semi-disposable. While they do act smart and do not sacrifice themselves for no reason, one of these fighters will not hesitate to put itself between an attacker and either a dreadnought or cruiser which this fighter is attempting to protect. Their have been examples where a fighter puts itself between a massive volley of missiles and a larger Dartrok vessel.


As with the Dreadnought, the fighters are not constructed in any traditional way and the equivalent of the ships systems are biologic in design are believed by many to actually be grown. These include computers, engines, weapons, and even the ship’s hull. The computer is a powerful neural intelligent and capable of operation independent of pilot or crew. The craft’s hull has the ability to repair damage and to adapt to attacks directed at it given enough time. The fighter’s systems are all based on electric and gravitic manipulation. The fighter’s propulsion is based on gravitic systems, the fighter’s shields are based on gravitics, and all of the ships weapon systems are based on one or the other as well. The faster than light propulsion system is very similar are very similar to those operated on most ships in the Three Galaxies but as stated previously are biological.


There are believed to be a handful of fighters with slighter greater acceleration than the Dartrok starfighter however it is faster than the Consortium Scorpion fighter which is the most common standard. Once an enemy fighter launches it missiles, the fighter will have no chance to rearm before the Dartrok craft is upon it. As far as atmospheric performance, these fighters are considered incredible. In addition, there are presently only a handful of fighter designs in the Three Galaxies of a similar size with faster than light drives. None of these have anything like the speed in faster than light space however.


Like the Dartrok Dreadnought, these fighters are designed to fight in close combat and have no missiles. While the fighter does not mount the gravity wake weapon which the dreadnought carries, destroying the fighter with missiles is easier planned than actually done. This is due to the fact that the electrical cannons can be set to fire to create a wide conical field to destroy missiles. The Consortium assault shuttle mounts a similar type weapon with other craft adapting the same weapon. In the case of the Dartrok fighter, the electrical cannons fire in front of the fighter. In addition to the electrical cannon, the fighter also has a gravity cannon to destroy targets that are impervious to energy.


Although it is unknown for sure, the present assumption is that the fighter is usually manned by a member of a slave race. It is also suspected that there is special programming in the fighter’s computer that prevents a minion from using the fighter against the Dartroks. It also likely takes over if the craft is required to do something considered suicidal.


This writeup of the Dartrok Starfighter uses modified Phase World starship rules. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World for more details.


Model:  Dartrok Star Fighter.

Class:    Medium Fighter.

Crew:   One (Believed to be a member of a slave race).


M.D.C. by Location:

 

Gravity Beams Cannon (1):

200 each.

 

Electrical Discharge Cannons (2):

150 each.

 

Pilots Cockpit:

300.

 

[1] Main Body:

1,000.

 

[2] Variable Force Field:

400 a side (2,400 total).


Notes:

[1] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the fighter out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck. Both the hull and the ship’s systems have the ability to repair themselves. These repairs are affected at the rate of 1D6x10 M.D.C. per minute. The ship can only repair up to half the M.D.C. of a system or the main body.

[2] Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (120 M.D.C.) per melee round.


Speed:

Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.

Sublight: Gravity drive allows the ship to travel up to 40 percent of the speed of light. The ship can accelerate/ decelerate at an incredible rate of 1.9 percent of light per melee.

Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is mach 15 (11,418.2 mph / 18,375.8 kph). Can enter atmosphere and leave the atmosphere of a planet easily.

Star Drive: The Starfighter has a gravitic drive system which allows the ship to reach a maximum of five light-years per hour.

Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by either drive system. Carries about three months worth of supplies on board and power system gives power for 20 years before the ship needs refueling.


Statistical Data

Height:                25 feet (7.6 meters).

Length:                40 feet (12.2 meters).

Width:                 60 feet (18.3 meters).

Weight / Mass:    13.5 tons (12.25 metric tons).

Power System:    Unknown.

Cargo: It is assumed that there is a small (3 x 3 x 3 ft / 1 x 1 x 1 m ) compartment located beneath and slightly forward of the pilot’s seat.

Cost: Unknown, any culture in the Three Galaxies would pay hundreds of millions (if not billions) of credits for an undamaged working model of this fighter.


Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) Gravity Beam Cannon: Mounted in front of the fighter. This weapon is incredibly powerful and can decimate most ships very quickly. The weapon uses controlled opposing gravimetric waves to create an energy beam weapon that shreds the target. This weapon is much smaller that the one mounted on the Dartrok dreadnought and does not have the ability to inflict as severe critical damage to ships it is used against. The weapon does full damage to targets with the spell impervious to energy and a cosmic knight will take 1/10 damage (10%) instead of the normal 1/100 damage (1%). Since the gravity weapon propagates itself at faster than light speeds, this weapon can actually be used against vehicles that are traveling at faster than the speed of light. The gravity cannon and electrical cannons may be combined.

    Maximum Effective Range: 1,200 miles (1,925 km) in space and 12 miles (19.3 km) in an atmosphere.

    Mega Damage: 4D6x10 per Gravity beam strike (1D6x100 when combined with Electrical Discharge Cannons in tight beam).

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot or computer (Usually 4 or 5).

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  2. Dual (2) Electrical Discharge Cannons: Mounted forward on the wings of the fighter. These weapon systems are in many ways similar to Phase World ion cannons. They are very effective against fighters but are not as effective against larger ships. The weapon has the ability to fire in a straight beam or in a wide cone that can be very effective against volleys of missiles. Any missiles within the cone will be destroyed if the missile’s M.D.C. is exceeded. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities. The Gravity Cannon and electrical cannons may be combined.

    Maximum Effective Range: 1,200 miles (1,925 km) in space and 12 miles (19.3 km) in an atmosphere.

    Mega Damage: Single Target: 3D6x10 per cannon (6D6x10 for both cannons and 1D6x100 when combined with the gravity beam cannon). Wide Beam: 6D6 to all targets within a 60 mile (96.6 km) diameter area (in an atmosphere 6 miles / 9.6 km).

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot or computer (Usually 4 or 5).

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

Special Equipment:


Combat Bonuses: these bonuses are only applied when the Dartrok Starfighter is piloted. This is seldom the case. When not piloted use the bonuses under sentient ship. For piloting, use the Phase World Starfighter combat (elite or basic) skill. these bonuses are in addition to those from the piloting skill.



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Image drawn and copyrighted by Talis D. Merrill (taalismn@pop.tiac.net).


Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 1998, 2000, 2006, & 2015, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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