Ghost Escort Cruiser “Mystère” (Chevalier class)::


Ever since she had retired early from Consortium Navy service, Leigh Kalyan had served in the Golden Stars mercenary company. While a relatively small company with less than a dozen ships, the company was quite well regarded. The company had just completed a major campaign defending a star system from an aggressive neighbor and had received a considerable bonus from the contract.


She had been asked to take her crew to the Norsk salvage yard and seeing if she could salvage repair parts for the companies damaged ships. As well, if the price was right, she might be able to pick up some new vessels although usually the ships were half stripped already and not worth salvaging. Still, it was something worth examining.


Often she felt something sad about the ships, almost like visiting a graveyard. While most of the ships were merchant ships being scrapped, it was the warships she felt the most for. Many had histories than had been forgotten by almost everybody with many of the old crews long retired. On many of the warships, crews had died in battle. Leigh felt a kinship with the old ships as if the ships had their own personalities and were living things themselves. Once she had been told by a Consortium Military psychologist that she had a sensitivity to psychic energies but she had never developed any abilities.


Situation on an airless moon, the Norsk salvage yard was huge with thousands of ships laid on in various states, some almost completely cannibalized while others almost intact. There was big business in salvage and while not a large yard, the Norsk salvage yard made huge profits buying ships for almost nothing and selling the parts. One advantage of an airless moon was that there was no real cleanup requirements. The ships would not pollute a biosphere. Even so, there was something ghastly about the hundreds of kilometers of ships strewn around. When completely stripped, the ship’s hulls would be broken up for scrap.


Leigh’s salvage shuttle slowly flew along the rows of ships. When she saw a likely candidate for the repair parts she needed, she made a note. It was less expensive for her own team to salvage the parts than have the yard do it for her. The next shift, she would set crews to go after the various items on her list. One of the Everest cruisers had lost one of its main energy batteries and it was unable to be repaired. As a result, finding a replacment was a priority.


At almost the end of the salvage yard, there was an old Human Alliance Escort cruiser. It was a Chevalier class and the ship appeared to be in surprisingly good condition. Really, the ship was too old to be worth refitting but something still pulled to her from the old ship. These ships, except for a handful used as minesweepers, had long been retired from active duty. Still, they had been excellent escort vessels armed with a pair of long range missile batteries. Compared to newer ships however, they were slow and repairs were becoming more and more difficult as they got older.


As she looked at the ship, she saw that ship’s running lights were on. That did not make sense, all of the ship’s in the yard were cold metal with no power. She turned to consult the data base the yard had on the ships and there was very little record of the ship. It appeared to have been in the yard for quite some time, several years in fact, but whenever yard workers went to the ship to being breaking it apart, they got spooked. Eventually, the yard owners had given up and just parked the ship to the outer edge of the yard. As a result, there had been no salvage done to the cruiser. When she turned back to the ships though, the running lights were off and there was no residual energy from the ship.


Leigh motioned for the shuttle pilot to land the craft next to it. As she got closer to it, she could see that it did show signs of damage from over the years. It had been a warship after all and had likely been in dozens of battles. The repairs looked to not be up to the standards one might expect from a major military such the Consortium or Human Alliance which indicated the ship had probably served with mercenary companies for decades if not centuries.


Even before the shuttle had landed, Leigh donned her hard suit. It gave much better protection than the standard Consortium Jumpsuit and had extended life support just in case. Stepping out on the regolith next to the main hatch, she walked across to the ship’s main hatch. While one could not hear sound without any atmosphere, she could still hear the crunching of her feet going up her suit.


There was a manual release control for the main hatch. The hatch was closed so that no dust could get into the ship. Without any power, the hatch would need to be opened manually. Still, she reached out to press the door control. She had done it many times, just habit. She jumped back half a step in surprise as the hatch opened. Never had happened to her before but maybe there was some residual power. Still, there were interlocks to prevent such a think for happening. Many the previous owners had overridden them. The rest of her crew, which had gathered around her looked just as puzzled at the hatch opening. They expected that they might have needed to help her open the hatch.


Inside the ship was dark but still somehow inviting. After getting over her surprise, Leigh considered if she should head for the bridge of for engineering. After a moment, she decided to head for the bridge while she would send a couple of personnel towards engineering. She stepped inside followed by the rest of her crew, six in total. As the last member stepped inside, the hatch closed. Another thing really strange.


As she walked, the lights flickers on and then back off. This was strange and she saw that her crew was being crept out but for some reason it did not bother her. In her mind, there was nothing sinister about this ship. Maybe through her own lead, but her crew slowly got over the strange feeling of the ship. The lights continued to flicker however, spending more and more time one. After a few minutes, they came on completely, illuminating the corridors. The interior of the ship was not in great shape maintenance wise but not in horrible shape.


Leigh already did not want to scrap the ship but instead wanted to restore and repair the old escort cruiser. She was actually up for command and she might just be able to get command of the ship if they were able to purchase and rebuilt the old escort cruiser.


As she reached the bridge, one of her crew contacted her, “Commander, I am reading a standard atmosphere. All gasses are in normal range, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide.” Her own hard suit showed the same reading. It should be impossible because when she had entered the ship, it had been full vacuum. It did not surprise however when she pressed the button for the main hatch to open and it did.


The bridge however did. Not just the lights were on but it appeared that all of the displays were active as well. There was a mix, both older systems from when the ship was built centuries ago to displays which were within the last few decades. She touched the main helm control and it came alive as she touched it.


It was just then that she was contacted by the crew in engineering. They told her that the fusion bottle was powered up and the ship was providing standby power. The problem though was that there was no hydrogen to feed the fusion reactor yet it was still producing power. Both the in system drive and faster than light drive showed operational status as well.


Leah took a moment to look at the weapon station. According to it, the main battery was fully operational and ready to fire. Even the rail guns looked loaded and ready to fire. The only thing missing was that ship had no long range or mini-missiles in the ship’s magazines.


Maybe the workers were had something when they had become spooked. Of course, did it really matter if the ship was haunted. If there was something aboard the ship, it did not feel malevolent to her. In fact, it still felt comforting to her although she could see some discomfort to the rest of the crew. Still, she was determined that she would save the old ship.


She opened her communication link through the shuttle to contact the shipyard to see how much that they would sell it for.




As events unfolded, Leigh was able to purchase the ship for a fraction of what it was valued at. In fact, it went for far less than the parts value of the ship and less than the yard had payed for it in the first place. The salvage yard had been desperate to get rid of the escort cruiser by then. She did have huge problems getting the ship off the surface of the moon. Only a few of her crew could adjust to the ship and it took her several weeks to get a crew for the ship.


During this time, the crew worked on restoring the ship. It was a huge amount of work. Looking around the ship, there always the repair part needed somewhere lying around. Often, Leigh’s crew had trouble with the old system. Often when that happened, a mysterious crew member would appear to suggest how to repair or restore the recalcitrant system.


When they finally managed to get the ship moving although with little more than a skeleton crew, there were multiple surprises. First, the acceleration curve of the escort cruiser was wrong, being around one third greater than it should be. When brought up, the shields had a strange energy around them and were far more powerful than they should be. In fact, the shields appear to operate quite close to modern standards for shields of similar size classes. Even though the ship’s crew was a skeleton crew, the ship seemed to run itself in large part.


In addition, the crew tried a gunnery exercise in an asteroid belt on the way out of the system. The energy beams simply were wrong. They fired a crackling beam of magical energy which Captain Kalyan eventually found out is called “Balefire.”It effects even targets that are imperious to normal energy weapon. The rail guns even fired the same strange “Balefire” energy instead of projectiles.


The seemed full of surprises and when she brought up the faster than light drives, the ship reached the standard speed of two and a half light years per hour but instead of being at full drive strength at that point, she was able to bring the ship up to a speed of four light years per hour.


When the ship reached the Golden Stars main base, there was much debate between the other captains about what to do about the ship. There were some who thought that she should not have purchased the ship but once they found out how little she payed for it, most were mollified. In addition, when they heard about the ship’s performance on its way, many were skeptical while others were impressed. In addition, there was discussion on who should be given captaincy of the escort cruiser. Still, they eventually decided that she was the best choice. A couple of destroyer captains indicated that they might want command but when others came aboard, they got feelings like the ship did not want them.


There was an attempt made to find out the background of the ship but there were as many mysteries as actual facts. It did serve in the Human Alliance navy under the name “Cygnet” centuries ago but the records of who the ship were sold to were lost. Its history after that point was also long lost. Because of this, the name “Mystère” was chosen for the vessel.


When there were attempts made to replace systems with more modern systems, they were found smashed the next day and the original system back in place. As a result, even the original sensors were retained. At least the computer software could be updated to some extent. The only major change with the ship was that it was fully loaded with modern missiles and modern fighters were embarked. Six Ross Aerospace “I.C.E. Hyena” Light Starfighter were embarked.


Of course, eventually the ship had to go to war. The company though took a contract that they should not have. Beam weapon heavy, the Golden Star’s fleet ended up falling into a trap with multiple cargo ships converted into missile batteries. All of them launched almost simultaneously and thousands of missiles streamed towards the ships while the company could not respond in kind. Point defense and decoys could defeat some of the incoming missiles but not much more than a fraction of them. Mystère did surprisingly well at knocking down missiles but nothing even close to enough. Captain Kalyan said good bye to her crew as she thought that they would all die in the incoming nuclear fire.


It was then that Mystère showed yet another fantastic ability. The ship became intangible and the missiles streaked through it and did no damage. Unfortunately, all of the other ships were wrecked by the missile volley with only a handful of crew surviving. After she disappeared off their sensors, the other force thought that the escort cruiser had been destroyed with all of the other ships. No rescue effort was even made by them and the survivors of the Golden Stars were left to die in space as their suits ran out of air. Luckily, they departed quickly and the Mystère was able to rescue many of the survivors from the wreckage although no senior officers survived.


There did not seem much interest in continuing the Golden Stars mercenary company among the survivors. Some retired while others drifted to other mercenary companies. A handful of those rescued decided to permanently joining the escort cruiser’s crew. Some of the crew of the Mystère however had enough with the close call and decided to retire. Captain Kalyan decided that the Mystère would go independent.


Since the end of the company, the ship will sometimes operate with other companies on a temporary basis but more often operates completely independently. Leigh continues to be extremely choosy about what contracts that she will take, only taking jobs that are on the “good guys” side. With the ability to become intangible, the ship can do some extremely interesting tricks including going intangible and actually flying through a planet in just moments and attacking from the other side of the planet. It never has been tried through a star and it is unknown if a star can be flown through


One addition she has made to the ship is that she has it carry eight pepper box capital missile launchers externally. These are the five cell type manufactured by Tri-Galactic Military Forces military industries and gives the ability to fire as a single volley up to forty capital missiles. These are controlled by computer systems that are mounted externally to the ship’s main computers.


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


Model Type: CL(E)-07 Chevalier class Escort Cruiser

Vehicle Type: Ghost Escort / Light Cruiser

Crew: 98 (8 officers and 90 enlisted [Ship seems to run itself])

Troops: 10 fighter pilots.

Horror Factor: 14

Vehicle, Robots, and Power Armors:

Fighter Compliment:

6

Ross Aerospace MSX-128-ICE “I.C.E. Hyena” Light Starfighter

Special:

8

TMS “Pepper Box" Cruise Missile Launching System (External)


M.D.C. By Location:

18 cm “Balefire” Particle Beam Batteries (2):

1,200 each

Point Defense “Balefire” Electromagnetic Rail Gun Turrets (4):

225 each

Double Barrel Point Defense “Balefire” Laser Turrets (4):

225 each

Long Range Missile Batteries (2):

600 each

Mini-Missile Launchers (4):

150 each

Outer Hull (40 ft/ 12.2 m Area):

200

Inner Hull (40 ft/ 12.2 m Area):

120

[1] Bridge:

6,000

Hanger Bay:

3,000

[2] Main Engines (2):

7,500 each

[3] Main Body:

24,000

[4] Variable Force Field:

2,000 a side (12,000 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 does not have an auxiliary bridge. Even if the bridge is destroyed, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but ship is -3 to dodge and all weapon systems will be at local control. Weapon hits near the bridge that do not penetrate the ships integrity can injure crew members on or near the bridge.

[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. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity. The ship itself will 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% (600 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 1.0 percent of light per melee.

Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is 420 mph (676 kph), can enter an atmosphere and can leave but is not designed for atmospheric flight. (Can travel at full sublight speed while intangible)

Stardrive: Uses a Gravitonic Drive system that allows the ship to reach a maximum of 4 light years per hour.

Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by either Drive system. Carries about four years worth of supplies on board.


Statistical Data:

Length: 478 feet (145.7 meters).

Height: 105 feet (32.0 meters).

Width: 185 feet (56.4 meters).

Weight/Mass:44,000 tons (40,000 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: Cargo holds are scattered about the ship that allows for carrying up to 2,000 tons (1,814.369 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 taken up by extra ammunition, armor, troops, weapons, engine, and other equipment.

Market Cost: Not for sale. Due to the haunted nature of the vessel, it it almost impossible to calculate the value of the ship. A standard costs around 500 to 800 million credits.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

Of Note: The ship usually mounts eight pepper box launchers each with five cruise missiles carried. These give the ability to fire up to forty cruise missiles as a single volley.

  1. Two (2) “Balefire” Main 18 cm Particle Beam Batteries: These 18 cm particle beams are mounted in the forward area of the ship. Batteries can be fired up to 120 degrees toward the rear on either side (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.

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

    Mega Damage: Magical Energy inflicts 3D6x100 M.D.C. each (6D6x100 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.

  3. Four (4) “Balefire” Electromagnetic 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.

  4. 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 4 or 5).

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  5. Four (4) “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.

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

    Mega-Damage: Magical Energy inflicts 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 4 or 5).

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  7. Two (2) Long Range Missile Batteries: Original weapon system which was not effected by the magical energy. Fires modern missiles. Missile has a top speed of Mach 20 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 8% of light per turn (faster than any starship.) Whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, launcher, and missile. When drive goes dead, missile will continue to travel in a straight line unless set to self destruct but has very low odds of hitting star ships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missile when dead at -25% to detect.) Long range missiles do not have minuses to hit small targets unlike cruise missiles and are all considered smart missiles. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time. Batteries have a lower number of actual launchers than the modern CAF long range missile batteries and each launcher is slightly larger in size.

  8. Maximum Effective Range: Long Range Missile range is 3,400 miles (5,470 km) in an atmosphere and 1,800,000 miles (2,897,000 km/9.7 light seconds) in space.

    Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World missile tables for details (Fusion warheads inflict 2D4x100 M.D.C. each.)

    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: 720 total, 360 long range missiles per battery.

  9. Four (4) Mini-Missile Launchers: Original weapon system which was not effected by the magical energy. Fires modern missiles. These are missile turrets used for point defense against enemy fighters and missiles. 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.

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

    Mega-Damage: Varies with mini-missile type (See revised Phase World missile tables for details.)

    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 512 mini-missiles. Cargo hold has an additional 2048 mini-missile. Reloading launchers from cargo hold takes 1D6 minutes.


Special Abilities / Quirks as a Haunted Vehicle: :



[ 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 "Orpheus7".

More "Orpheus7" 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 © 2013, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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