Ghost Cruiser “HAFS Theodora” (Human Alliance Boadicea class):


Captain Robbins hated this area of space but passing through this sector would cut several days off his voyage. There were strange anomalies all throughout the region. Several were believed to be dimensional rifts and stories tell of ships having been lost in the strange Rifts, never to be seen again. As a result, he kept an extremely careful watch while passing through.


The ship was currently in the vicinity of one of the largest of the Rifts. It was about a dozen light minutes in diameter. Several studies of the Rift had been carried out over the years. One problem was that the Rift also create a huge gravity distortion which blocked faster than light drives for several light hours. It would take several days to transit the area. Because it was on the border of Kreeghor space, it was an area he was required to patrol.


The Theodora was an older ship but it was his first command and he kept her in excellent condition. The ship had won the Battle “Excellent” award even when up against Kurganov class cruisers which were far newer than his ship. Even though one of the last of the Boadicea class to be completed, she was considered virtually obsolete and would likely be retired with a few years. The captain loved this ship and he though it was sad that the ship would be gone in a few years.


Suddenly, his tactical officer reported a contact. A pair of contacts just appeared on the gravity sensors. The distortion meant that sensor range sucked. A few moments later more data came in. It was definitely a pair of Kreeghor drive signatures. Even worse was the fact that they were not the drive signatures of small ships but instead the drive signature made it look like each of the ships were about twice the size of his vessel. That would make them Defiler class heavy cruisers. Even though overmatched, he brought his ship to general quarters and raised his shields.


Much newer than his ship, each one carried four capitol missile batteries along with three times as many fighters as his ship. The scan indicated that the shields were at full power and neutrino output of the anti-matter reactors indicated that the ship was at full power, indicating most likely that all of the weapon systems were active. Even so, he had communication try to raise them. There was no response as the two ships continued to close on his ship. While not on a direct course, they would get within a couple of hundred thousand kilometers of each other. Not within energy weapon range but easy missile range.


As he watched, the two Kreeghor cruisers turned their bows towards his ship. They were not quite within missile range but would be within moments. They might wait just a bit before opening fire to close up the range but he expected that eighty capital scale missiles would be coming his way soon enough. The Theodora’s only chance would be to make a run for it. As he watched his own scanners, his tactical officer reported that the ships launched their own fighters.


Looking at various possibilities, he could change course and go towards one of the dimensional anomalies. If he could stay just outside of the horizon of the phenomenon, it could be used as a partial shield against the incoming missiles. He ordered his helmsman to change course towards it. The woman gave him a strange look but followed his orders.


It was no surprise when just a few minutes later, the two ships opened fire and a volley of capitol missiles. Captain Robbins ordered the Theodora to open fire herself with capitol missiles and the ship also to begin deploying long range defense missiles as well. He had decided not to deploy fighters because if he could escape outside of this area, the fighters would be lost when the Theodora went to faster than light speed. No one had developed a fighter which mounted FTL contra-grav drives.


The Kreeghor ships were under no such restriction and they deployed in front of the heavy cruisers. The volleys of capitol missiles crossed each others courses while in front. Moments later, the long range defense missiles began intercepting the Kreeghor missiles. Huge anti-matter explosions showed the annihilation of two thirds of the missiles. Still, twenty eight missiles cut through the first line of defense. What was worse in many respects is the fact that the Theodora carried only fusion warhead missiles, not on war patrol.


The return fire had just reached the fighter screen protecting the Kreeghor ships. Instead of trying to use brute force to penetrate the defenses of the two heavy cruisers, the first volley of missiles carried four jamming warheads. The fighters shot down the jamming missiles but the remainder of the volley managed to pass through the fighters.


As the twenty-eight remaining cruise missiles headed through the inner defenses, the Theodora managed to kill all but six of the missiles. Five of those locked onto decoys and only a single warhead struck the Theodora’s shields. The cruiser shuddered as the anti matter exploded against the shields and they dropped by around sixty percent. Still, they held and the Theodora kept her course. Captain Robbins ordered “Bring us closer to the anomaly. Bring use within fifty kilometers of the Rift. Maybe it will confuse their fire control.” The Human Alliance cruiser was currently only eight thousand kilometers from the Rift already. He was already nervous at this distance and the distance would be virtual suicide.


All twenty-eight surviving missiles from the Theodora were targeted on a single Kreeghor cruiser. The two ships were far enough apart that they could not provide mutual defense from their close in batteries. Five of the capitol missiles managed to get through the mini-missile batteries and only two of the missiles were decoyed by the Kreeghor vessel’s defenses. Three fusion warheads hit the shields of the shields and knocked them flat although the cruiser only took minor damage.


The Kreeghor had taken a page out of the Theodora tactics and their next missile volley contained sixteen jamming warheads, twice as many as the Human Alliance Cruiser had. The Theodora managed to kill all sixteen but that left over sixty incoming. The remainder of the heavy defense missiles streaked by, unable to lock onto targets.


The Theodora tried a new tactic as well. The volley contained sixteen jamming missiles this time. Eight activated as they closed on the fighters. They were destroyed but the eight remaining jamming missiles remained quiet.


Thirty-Five capital missiles made it through the inner defenses and even though almost two thirds were decoyed, that still left eleven missiles slammed into the shields. The Theodora had rolled just moments before to present an intact shield but that was simply too much to survive. The first two anti-matter missiles dropped the heavy cruiser’s shield and the other nine slammed into the hull. The ship survived but a massive hole was blown in the hull and about one quarter of the crew was killed in a moment. That she survived at all was a testament to the engineers who designed and built her. She would even be able to continue to fight.


What was worse that the damage which she took was that the Theodora lost control for just a moment. Not long but just enough time. The Theodora found itself falling towards the massive rift. As a result, it never saw how its own missiles faired against the enemy cruiser.




Like on Rifts Earth, there are many stories of ghost ships in the Three Galaxies. Starships in the case of them. Most are just stories but some are real, energized by magical energies beyond comprehension. One of these is the cruiser, the HAFS Theodora is one of the best known. She was lost on the border between Kreeghor and Human Alliance space in an area of extremely high Rift activities.


In appearance, the cruiser shows massive damage. Those who have seen the ship generally agree. There is a huge hole in the side of the ship. Wires and cables hang out the huge hole and can be seen sparking. Air and ice can be also seen coming from the ship. The markings on the ship are clear though and the ship is definitely the HAFS Theodora. There is some video images of the ship but many are extremely distorted for unknown reasons. Sensor data is often extremely confused as well. Only sensor systems which are partially magical in nature such as the techno-wizard systems of the United Worlds Warlock appear to be immune.


A number of attempts to make contact with the ship over the years but no one has ever gotten a response. Both psychic and practitioners of the mystic arts have tried to communicate with the vessel. The impression of huge numbers of voices can be felt but none seem to have made any real sense. There are many mysteries with the vessel including motivations. In has been seen in each of the Three Galaxies, sometimes far distances which a Boadicea class could cover in a short time. Most of the time the ship is seen within a few dozen light years of cosmic rifts, leading many researchers to believe that the ship somehow uses them to travel to different areas of the Three Galaxies.


While motivation of this ghost ship are for the most part a mystery, it seems to act heroically in most cases. There are incidents when Consortium, Human Alliance, and Wolfen ship have found themselves in trouble and were helped by the Theodora. As well, there are stories where both merchant ships and liners have found themselves under the guns of pirates and were rescued by the Theodora. The ship appears much less friendly towards ships of the Trans-Galactic Empire. It has engaged their ships at least a dozen times since it first returned. It will not attack on sight but the Kreeghor Emperor has issued orders to attack the ship on sight. Also, if it sees a battle between ships of Imperial design fighting against another forces, it tends to side with the non-Imperial ships. In some cases, it may chose the wrong side as a result. An example of this is when a Free Worlds Council Berserker was hunting down a pirate vessel which was a Human Alliance hull. The Theodora sided with the pirates by mistake.


Even though the ship appears to be badly damaged, it is as tough as it ever was before whatever took out the ship and might even be tougher. It has been in battles again some pretty tough customers over the years and has taken massive damage in some of them. It also appears to repair damage when it was hit badly. Some even believe that even if the ship is completely destroyed, it will reform once again. There are reports of Kreeghor ships having completely destroying the cruiser and it returning to fight again.


One might expect that most of the weapons to no longer be operational and certainly it should have run out of missiles long years ago. That is not the case with the weapons being as powerful as ever and even having a disrupting effect on what they hit which effects the crew. This only seems to happen if the weapon passes through the shields but it seems to inflict double damage against shields. As well, the ship seems to never run out of missiles, both anti-ship missiles and long range and point defense missiles. Unlike conventional missiles, these missiles are more like energy states than solid objects. In many ways the long range defensive missiles and the anti-ship missiles act more like bottled demon missiles than anything like conventional missiles and can continue to attack over and over again. One item different than bottle demon missiles is that these missiles fade away after a few minutes or attacking.


As far as known, no one has ever boarded the ship so it is unknown what conditions are like onboard. If the ship is empty or crewed by ghosts. It is rare but a few times, ghost fighters have been launched from the ship. They are Osprey class fighters which carry markings of fighters of the Human Alliance when the ship was lost and it is known that the ship was carrying a full compliment of fighters when it was lost. The same records indicate that the ship did not carry any power armors onboard although carried a full marine compliment aboard.


Ghost Ship design uses modified starship speeds and weapon ranges. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World for more details.


Model Type: CL-06

Vehicle Type: Ghost Cruiser

Crew: Approximately 350 (Haunting Entities)

Troops: Approximately 60 (Haunting Entities). Also carries 12 fighters (Piloted by Haunting Entities as well)

Horror Factor: 18


Vehicle, Robots, and Power Armors:

Fighter Compliment:

12

Ghost SF-6 Osprey Medium Star Fighters


M.D.C. By Location:

Main 28 cm “Balefire” Particle Beam Batteries (2):

1,500 each

Secondary 12 cm “Balefire” Heavy Laser Cannons (4):

800 each

Point Defense “Balefire” Rail Gun Turrets (6):

225 each

Double Barrel “Balefire” Defense Laser Turrets (8):

225 each

“Wraith” Cruise Missile Batteries (2):

1,000 each

“Wraith” Long Range Missile Batteries (4):

600 each

Mini-Missile Launchers (6):

150 each

Outer Hull (40 ft/ 12.2 m Area):

200

Inner Hull (40 ft/ 12.2 m Area):

120

[1] Bridge:

8,000

[1] Auxiliary Bridge:

8,000

Hanger Bay:

7,500

[2] Main Engines (2):

10,000 each

[3] Main Body:

40,000

[4] Variable Force Field:

4,000 a side (24,000 Total)


Notes:

[1] In reality this is how much damage needs to be done for a weapon to hit the bridge through the ship’s armor. This ship also has an auxiliary bridge. Even if both bridges are taken out, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but ship is -3 to dodge and all weapon systems will be at local control.

[2] Destroying the main engines means that the ship’s faster than light systems are destroyed and maximum sublight speed is reduced by half.

[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the cruiser out of commission until the ship regenerates at least 20% of the M.D.C. The ship itself will be appear to be an unsalvageable floating wreck.

[4] Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (1,200 M.D.C.) per melee round. Magic, fire, lightning, and cold all inflict one-half damage to the force field.

Note: The ship will regenerate at 20% of the hit locations M.D.C. per day, meaning all damage will be restored within 5 days of being damaged. Even if a hit location is completely destroyed, it will slowly regenerate until completely restored. If a section is destroyed, it will not be operational until 20% of the M.D.C. is restored.


Speed:

Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.

Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 60 percent of the speed of light. Star Ship can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.65 percent of light per melee.

Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is 300 mph (480 kph), can enter an atmosphere and can leave but is not designed for atmospheric flight.

Stardrive: Uses a Gravitonic Drive system that allows the ship to reach a maximum of 2.5 light years per hour.

Note: Has a magic which allows the ship to travel between Rifts all over the Three Galaxies. Can enter one and reappear in any other virtually anywhere in the Three Galaxies. This ability is limited to once per day.

Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited, the engines appear to need no refueling and seem to run on magical energy. ship’s crew does not require provisions. Even missiles seem to be created through magical energies.


Statistical Data:

Length: 580 feet (176.8 meters).

Height: 145 feet (44.2 meters).

Width: 240 feet (73.2 meters).

Weight/Mass: 112,000 tons (101,600 metric tons)

Power System: Magic, systems seem to work as if run by magic. Originally was powered by a Fusion Power Plant with a 10 year life span but would have run out of power long ago.

Cargo: Theoretically, Cargo holds are scattered about the ship that allows for carrying up to 4,000 tons (3,630 metric tons) of cargo in addition to standard compliment of supplies and ammunition. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. ship’s officers have more space for personal items. Most of the ship’s spaces are take up by extra ammunition, armor, troops, weapons, engine, and other equipment. Of course, the entities crewing the vessel have no need for supplies.

Market Cost: Not for Sale, due to the haunted nature of the ship it is doubtful anyone would want the ship and the ship is completely independent.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Two (2) Main 28 cm “Balefire” Particle Beam Batteries: In the front of the ship are two 28 cm particle beam cannons. Weapon has standard minuses to hit fighters and small targets. These can be fired forward and can be angled up to 120 degrees aft (can only fire one cannon at a target at that angle but can spin to be able to bring both batteries to bear) and can fire at a 30 degree angle up or down. Instead of firing particle beams, the cannons fire magical “Balefire.” The magic has an effect similar to the spell of “Havoc” and disrupts the crew when it hits. The weapon also inflicts double damage against force fields.

    Maximum Effective Range: 70,000 miles (112,650 km) in space and 70 miles (112.7 km) in an atmosphere.

    Mega Damage: 1D4x1000 M.D.C. each (Both can be linked for 2D4x1000 M.D.C. for both) Weapons inflict double damage against non-magical force fields. Havoc effects are inflicts 1D6 Direct to hit points per melee (Inflicts double M.D.C. to Supernatural Creatures) to the crew and the target also needs to save vs. magic or are -3 to initiative, strike, parry, and dodge. (Has no sense of direction or time.) Secondary effect goes direct through power armor and vehicles (including other starships).

    Rate of Fire: Maximum of three (3) times per melee per particle beam.

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  2. Four (4) 12 cm “Balefire” Heavy Laser Cannons: Laser cannons are used against frigates and as against heavily reinforced targets. Two are located on either side of ship. Weapon has standard minuses to hit fighters and small targets. The barrels can be can be rotated 180 degrees in all directions. Only two cannons can be fired as one volley. Instead of firing laser beams, the cannons fire magical “Balefire.” The magic has an effect similar to the spell of “Havoc” and disrupts the crew when it hits. The weapon also inflicts double damage against force fields.

    Maximum Effective Range: 16 miles (25.8 km) through atmosphere and 16,000 miles (25,800 km) in space.

    Mega Damage: 2D6x100 M.D.C. each or 4D6x100 for two. Weapons inflict double damage against non-magical force fields. Havoc effects are inflicts 1D6 Direct to hit points per melee (Inflicts double M.D.C. to Supernatural Creatures) to the crew and the target also needs to save vs. magic or are -3 to initiative, strike, parry, and dodge. (Has no sense of direction or time.) Secondary effect goes direct through power armor and vehicles (including other starships).

    Rate of Fire: Maximum of two (2) times per melee each laser cannon.

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  3. Six (6) “Balefire” Point Defense Rail Guns: While the rail guns inflict the same range and inflict the same damage as the did before they were changed, they fire beams of magical energy instead of standard rounds. The also appear to be a burst of rounds instead of a beam. Each “Balefire” Rail Gun is in a turret that can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire. Unlike the main battery and secondary battery, the weapons do not inflict the secondary havoc effects but do inflict double damage against none magical force fields.

    Maximum Effective Range: 16 miles (26 km) through atmosphere and 800 miles (1,290 km) in space.

    Mega-Damage: Magical Energy burst inflicts 3D6x10 M.D. Weapons inflict double damage against non-magical force fields.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually four per melee round for ghosts)

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  4. Eight (8) “Balefire” Point Defense 2 cm Lasers in Double Mounts: Instead of firing laser beams, these weapons appear to fire magical “Balefire” energies. They retain the same range and approximate damage as the lasers. While they don’t inflict the havoc effect of the heavy batteries, the weapons do inflict double damage against non-magical force fields. Original purpose was as an anti-Starfighter and missile weapon. Each “Balefire” laser turret can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire.

    Maximum Effective Range: 2.5 miles (4 km) miles through atmosphere and 250 miles (402.3 km) in space.

    Mega-Damage: 2D6x10 M.D. Weapons inflict double damage against non-magical force fields.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually four per melee round for ghosts)

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  5. Two (2) “Wraith” Cruise Missile Batteries: The ship retains the ability to launch cruise missiles although the nature of the missiles have changed. The missiles accelerate at the same rate as conventional cruise missiles (Missile has a top speed of Mach 25 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 10% of light per turn.) Missiles are brilliant and have +7 to strike and +6 to dodge. They also have three attacks per melee round. Unlike a normal missile, the wraith missile does not explode and keeps striking at its target over and over although it does have to turn around and might take quite a will to do so. If the target is destroyed or vanishes, the missile disappears. They also will fade four minutes after being launched. These wraith missiles have 100 M.D.C. each. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time.

    Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited! Once fired, the wraith missile will fly and pursue the designated target until its target or the missile is destroyed (or the target vanished from sight, jumps away, or gets away by another means.) It will also fade after four minutes of flight time.

    Mega-Damage & Properties: 6D6x100 of magical energy every time the missile strikes (per missile which hits.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), eight (8), sixteen (16), or twenty-four (24) per battery, per melee round, for a maximum of 48 missiles per melee. Launchers are reloaded on the same melee and can be fired again on the next.

    Payload: 48 total, 24 cruise missiles per battery. Ship has 8 reload of missiles (384 cruise missiles reloads total) - Regenerates missiles at the rate of two missiles per launcher per minute.

  6. Four (4) “Wraith” Long Range Missile Batteries: The ship retains the ability to launch long range missiles although the nature of the missiles have changed. The missiles accelerate at the same rate as conventional long range missiles (Missile has a top speed of Mach 20 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 8% of light per turn.) Missiles are brilliant and have +7 to strike and +6 to dodge. They also have three attacks per melee round. Unlike a normal missile, the wraith missile does not explode and keeps striking at its target over and over. If the target is destroyed or vanishes, the missile disappears. They also will fade two minutes after being launched. These wraith missiles have 50 M.D.C. each. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time.

    Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited! Once fired, the wraith missile will fly and pursue the designated target until its target or the missile is destroyed (or the target vanished from sight, jumps away, or gets away by another means.) It will also fade after two minutes of flight time.

    Mega-Damage & Properties: 2D6x100 of magical energy every time the missile strikes (per missile which hits.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), eight (8), sixteen (16), or twenty-four (24) per battery, per melee attack.

    Payload: 960 total, 240 long range missiles per battery - Regenerates missiles at the rate of two missiles per launcher per minute.

  7. Six (6) “Wraith” Mini-Missile Launchers: Like the cruise missile batteries and long range missile batteries, these launchers fire magical missiles. Unlike those launchers, the missiles do not have virtually unlimited range and fade as soon as they reach their target or when normal range is reached. The missiles are considered super smart and have +4 to strike and +5 to dodge. They also have two attacks per melee round. Each mini-missile has 10 M.D.C. Missile has a top speed of Mach 10 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 2% of light per turn (slightly faster than any starship except if it is exceeding it maximum safe acceleration.) Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time.

    Maximum Effective Range: Missile range is 2 miles (3.2 km) in an atmosphere and 100 miles (161 km) in space.

    Mega-Damage: 2D6x10 of magical energy every time the missile strikes (per missile which hits.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of four (4) or eight (8) mini-missiles.

    Payload: 128 per launcher for a total of 768 mini-missiles. Regenerates missiles at the rate of eight missiles per launcher per minute.

Special Abilities as a Haunted Vehicle:

Quirks:



[ Brodkil TM, Bushido Industries TM, CAF TM, Catyr TM, CCW TM, Consortium of Civilized Worlds TM, Free Worlds Council TM, Gene Splicers TM, K-Hex TM, Kittani TM, Kreeghor TM, Machine People TM, M.D.C. TM, Mega-Damage TM, M’Kri Hardware TM, Monro TM, Mutants in Orbit TM, Naruni Enterprises TM, Noro TM, Paradise Federation TM, Phase World TM, Rifter TM, SAMAS TM, S.D.C. TM, Seljuks TM, Splugorth TM, Trans-Galactic Empire TM, Tri-Galactic Military Service TM, United Worlds Warlock TM, U.W.W. TM, Wolfen TM, and Zembahk TM are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

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


Image drawn and copyrighted by "MK01". .

More "MK01" artwork at DeviantArt


Special Credit to Talis D. Merrill (taalismn@pop.tiac.net) for many of the concepts and enchantments / powers for Ghost / Haunted vehicles.


Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2010 & 2013, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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