UNSEC Space Lore: A Tour of a Nemesis-Class Destroyer

Hey guys, Max here reminding you that Starforge—the book which you’re about to get a little bit of lore from—is now available for pre-order and can be found at this link! The finale to the UNSEC Space Trilogy releases November 29th, bringing the series to a breathtaking conclusion that should not be missed!

Got it? Good! Now on with the lore!

Well now, this is certainly an unexpected surprise.

Oh don’t look at me like that. Of course it wasn’t a surprise. Nothing happens on this station that I’m not aware of. It is, after all, me.

No, the surprise is that West and Rodriguez agreed to this tour in the first place. That’s human nature for you, I suppose. You can know someone quite well and they’ll still surprise you.

Anyway, step this way. Mind the lip of the hatch there—more people trip on it than you know. This part of the station wasn’t originally built for comfort, but … you’re not here to talk about that, are you? And no, I won’t be answering any questions about myself or the All today, nor the current situation with Earth. If you came to ask about those topics, you can wait in the lounge while the rest of your fellows get the tour. Are we understood? Good.

Now, if you’ll follow me this way, we can board the Nemesis and get this tour underway. Now, who has questions?

No, we won’t be taking a shuttle. Though the Nemesis does have a hanger, we’ll be boarding from the station itself. Why? Because you’ll be able to get better pictures of it from the observation deck than you would have gotten from a dropship. That, and to show off the Nemesis‘ design—not everyone is going to board such a ship through a dropship. Speaking of the observation deck … here we are … and there she is.

The Nemesis. A first of her kind destroyer built right here in orbit around Pisces. Two-hundred and eleven-point-five meters from end to end. Sixty-five-point-nine meters in height, and thirty-nine-point-five meters across at her widest point. Tonnage is classified. Get a good look—I chose this particular observation deck precisely because you’d be able to take the best pictures. Once you’ve gotten your fill, I’ll escort you aboard.

Yes, that design is purposeful past aesthetic purposes. The elongated shape means that when the vessel’s primary armaments are facing an opposing vessel the foe is given the slimmest possible profile in return. See the angling there? It’s designed to aid the armor in deflection of oncoming munitions. Ideally in a combat scenario the crew will keep the “point” of the vessel aimed at their target, like a dagger aimed at a heart, minimizing their own profile while still being able to strike effectively. Naturally, if their foe can reach another position, they’ll find the armor on the Nemesis more than adequate.

Sorry, but that’s classified.

The bridge? Located there, just ahead of the last third of the vessel.

I can answer that because you’re about to get a tour, and the basic deck plans are on the dataweb. Any fool with a calculator could determine where the bridge is in relation to the exterior of the vessel. Anyway, yes, the design is similar in placement to Navy subs and UNSEC military vessels. You there?

The forward “blade” is comprised largely of armor and munitions, correct. If you look closely at the front of the ship, there, you can see the three vertically-stacked railguns that make up the primary armament. They’re spinally mounted, and run much the length of the blade. How much is classified. As is that. But I can tell you that they’re quite adequate in their performance.

No. I can’t tell you that either. Nor that. Nor that.

I can tell you that test crew have nicknamed her “the little battlecruiser.” That should be enough to tell you how she fares. I’d personally put her up against an UNSEC cruiser and expect her to come out ahead in a straight engagement.

That I can answer. In addition to the railguns, the Nemesis carries several heavy laser emplacements, as well as numerous missile and gun batteries. Defensive envelopes are maintained by a number of point-defense-system batteries as well as hard-light projection systems. Specifics—those you’re allowed to know—can be found in our official press release datapackage, which you already have.

Once you’re done with pictures, you can come this way, and we’ll board the ship itself.

I’m sorry, I will not be answering questions about shortages at this time.

You agreed not to broach that topic before being admitted to this station. Security will escort you to the hangar, where you will spend the rest of your colleges’ tour waiting aboard the return shuttle.

No, I’m not very tolerant of ambush journalism, especially when it’s in violation to a prior agreement. Miss Alequez broke that agreement, and will now suffer the consequence of her actions. Anyone else? Good. This way.

Forty-one. Full-time crew. Yes, that is a substantially small number for a fully operational crew, but there are two primary details to consider. The first is that UNSEC ships require such vast crews due to anti-automation laws preventing much of the work aboard or on their vessels from being done by machines. The same is—or rather was—true of Pisces, until just recently. The second detail, equally as vital, is that each crewmember aboard a ship must be trained and is a potential point of failure if that training is insufficient. Pisces needs defensive measures yesterday. Since we’re no longer beholden to Earth’s laws, the Nemesis can make extensive use of automation in its design, construction, and function, and does to great effect. This in turn reduces the logistical cost of procuring a large crew to serve aboard her.

Those rumors are true. It is capable of functioning without a crew to a limited extent. The mission to Livingstone was in fact the first test of the system. It’s inefficient compared to function when crewed, and limited, but it is capable of it.

It’s inefficient because the AI shard—whose voice you’ll hear in a moment welcoming you aboard—is a dumb AI. It’s designed to function in a manner similar to an executive officer, but it is not a true AI, nor sapient.

Correct. It can function and maintain orders, as well as efficiently maintain the ship for a crew, but left on its own it is merely a dumb AI.

I think the answer to that question would be self-evident. Would you want to be confined to an existence as a war machine? There may be questions about such for the future, but I feel that crosses far too many ethical lines without guidance at the moment.

I’m still here because I have full access to the systems. I built the Nemesis, if you recall. She is owned by me.

When there is a government for her to be remanded into the care of, then we can talk about that. For now, Nemesis is mine.

You’re veering close to off-limits territory, but I’ll answer that your interests are my own. Earth wants me dead as much as it wants everyone else in this system back under their control. Now, on with the tour.

That is an excellent question. The answer is that the crew does need to be able to access all areas of the ship. There are automated maintenance bots aboard, and they have their own accessways through the vessel, but by design there exists crossover between the two so that engineers aboard Nemesis can do any job that a robot can, provided they have the right tools and the need arises.

In my experience, once combat is engaged, any eventuality has a possibility of occurring. If you’d like a real-life example of that, I’d suggest researching the name of Abraham Wald for pairing with your story.

Crew are given full facilities and amenities. This includes quarters—for enlisted and officers—galley, entertainment, and a small gym, in addition to other onboard amenities.

Dental and other medical. Armory.

No, there is not a marine contingent aboard. One could be berthed, but it would be cramped, and they’d be sleeping in the hangar.

There are guest quarters. They’re not luxurious.

Yes, actually, that is possible, if you’re willing to submit to some reasonable requirements of security. There will be plenty of training exercises in the coming months, and I think such a perspective could be invaluable.

Because marines don’t get guest quarters. Any marine could tell you as much.

That is an interesting question. All I’ll say is that the measurements of the hanger are publicly available, as are the dimensions of drone fighters in use on Pisces. Form your own conclusion.

This is the galley and public entertainment area.

Both, actually. Yes, due to space constraints. Officers can use their briefing room as a secondary galley or entertainment area should they wish.

No, there is no on-board cook at this time.

I think that’s a wonderful idea, and I look forward to exploring that once more pressing matters are taken care of. Once you’re done with pictures, I’ll escort you to the bridge.

The crew is currently training or on leave.

Outside of the fact that I am the station? You would entry denied by the shard AI. We do have clearances and other security procedures.

For starters, I’d turn off the gravitics. Followed by the oxygen. Even if you had tools and a knowledge of what to sabotage, you’d find a fully armed security detachment at your location long before you’d manage to do any damage. Believe me, I have several people that are quite good at that looking for security flaws.

Currently? Three months, assuming proper planning and expeditious use of fuel. Combat and other conditions can, of course, shorten that range considerably, though I won’t say by how much. Power is provided by a primary fusion reactor, specifics classified. In the future models may be made with larger operational ranges, but as of right now, our primary concern is operation inside Pisces’ stellar sphere.

Yes, it’s a standard bridge layout. It’s an intelligent design, and I saw no reason to change it. Now, do you have any other questions?

I’m sorry, but no. No pictures, or access to, ship-board weapons.

Crew quarters are similar to what you’d find on a navy sub on Pisces. A little more spacious, but not by much.

There is. The engineering department has a limited on-board fabrication capacity. If they don’t have a spare, they may be able to make one. You’ll actually be able to see it if you’ll follow me toward the rear of the ship.

No, there’s nothing subtle about the name. Nor the name of the new Vesta-class cruiser.

Not at this time, no. I’m sure you understand.

Yes. Quarters for the engineers. They’re never far from their work.

Those are observation stations. The feeds can be piped to any appropriate datapad or phone as needed. Offline for clear security reasons.

Better safe than sorry. Now, if you’ve taken the pictures you need, we’ll return to the station, as this concludes your tour. You may contact me with additional questions, however please understand that I may not reply based on the nature of your inquiry.

And with that, this little experiment is over! I was looking for fun ways to present some of the background information of the setting, and well … a second-person tour dropping some details about a destroyer certainly seemed like a unique approach! Remember, Starforge releases November 29th!

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