This section provides more information about the Terran Space Fleet, its ships, uniforms, equipment and other material as described in the Galaxii Series of novels:
This section is broken down into the following sections:
- What is the Terran Space Fleet?
- Space Fleet Arms of Service
- Space Fleet Shipboard Ranks
- Space Fleet Uniforms
- The Academy
- Academy Levels
- Graduate Honors System
- Space Fleet Policies & Procedures
- Space Fleet Classification Systems
- Space Fleet Ships
- Types of Ship
- Classes of Ship
- Example Listing of Space Fleet Vessels According to Type and Class
- Listing of Selected Ship Names
- Ship Internal Layout: General
- Space Fleet Starbases & Outposts
- Space Fleet Tech
- Technical Terms
What is the Terran Space Fleet?
The Terran Space Fleet is the multi-skilled and multi-disciplined military service which serves the combined purposes of defense and exploration on behalf of the Terran Empire.
The Space Fleet was established from its predecessor, the Earth Defense Fleet (EDF), which encompassed all of Earth’s military forces before, during and immediately after the Gimp War – and successfully fought off the invading Ruminarii. After the Gimp War, when Earth and its colonies reorganized as the Terran Empire, the EDF reorganized as well, and became the Terran Space Fleet.
The Terran Space Fleet is divided into two main forces: the Main Fleet and the Pioneer Fleet.
The Main Fleet is the part of the Fleet which specialized in defense of the realm, mounting responses to hostilities and so on. The Main Fleet has the bigger ships, up to and including destroyers, cruisers like the I.S.S. Antares, battleships and dreadnoughts.
The Pioneer Fleet specializes in exploration and reconnaissance and uses a large number of smaller vessels – such as battlespringers and some destroyers.
Both arms of the Space Fleet make internal use of other arms of the Service, such as the Star Marines – the ground forces of the Imperial military machine – and Air Support, which includes the Fighter Wing and Logistic Air-supply, Medtech etc.
Space Fleet Arms of Service
- Ship & Base Staff
- Astrotech (navigation, charting, helm, pilot, sensors, etc.)
- Battletech (weapons operation)
- Comtech (communications operation)
- Entech (maintenance, running & repair)
- Labtech (broad spectrum sciences)
- Logtech (supply & provisioning)
- Medtech (medics, nursing, space medicine)
- Star Marines
- Mobile Infantry
- Armored (tanks, armored vehicles)
- Security Marines
- Military Police
- Air Support
- Fighter-Bomber Wing (small combat craft)
- Transport (supply, personnel transport, shuttle pilots etc.)
- Intelligence (Int) (Scout, recon, infiltration, black ops etc.)
- Counter-intelligence (C.I.)
- Navy (Oceanic services)
Space Fleet Shipboard Ranks:
- Admiral of the Space Fleet (“Admiral”)
- Admiral (“Admiral”)
- Vice Admiral (“Admiral”)
- Rear Admiral (“Admiral”)
- Commodore (“Commodore”) (first Flag Rank – CO of a Starbase or other function at Core Command)
- Captain (“Captain”)
- Commander (Exo) (“Commander”)
- Lt.Commander (“Lt. Commander”) – highest level of subject specialization on a ship’s crew – after this, Command level becomes the specialization.
- Lieutenant (“Lt”)
- Ensign (“Ensign”/2nd Lt)
NCO’s* (non-coms) –
- Warrant (“Warrant”)
- Chief (“Chief”)
- Specialist 3 (“Sergeant”)
- Specialist 2 (“Corporal”)
- Specialist 1 (“PFC”/”Lance-Corporal”)
- Crewman (“Pte”)
* ALL members of Space Fleet crew must be graduates of Space Fleet Academy, whether after year 3 as an NCO, or year 6 as an officer.
Space Fleet Uniforms:
Ship’s Crew Uniforms:
Ship’s crew wear the standard SF pattern fatigues, consisting of hard-wearing trousers and a tunic jacket which are designed for comfort and flexibility. The ship’s crew uniform is outwardly of a consistent pattern or cut, with different arms of service generally denoted by different uniform colors. Rank insignia is typically displayed on the shoulders of the tunic.
Ship’s crew uniforms differ in terms of color between Main Fleet and Pioneer Fleet. For Main Fleet ship’s crew, regular personnel wear red uniforms. Security marines wear dark gray. In the Pioneer Fleet, regular personnel wear light gray uniforms, while the security marines wear light gray pants with purple tunics (this has resulted in them being referred to as “purple shirts”.)
Space Fleet members begin their careers long before boarding their first starship or starbase as a member of their crew – they must first study, train and graduate from the Academy. Every member of the Space Fleet is a rigorously trained graduate professional with a lifelong career in mind.
Before anyone can become a member of the Space Fleet however, they first have to complete at least three years training at the Space Fleet Academy (3 years for NCO’s, 6 for Officers). Candidates need to meet certain requirements, such as having completed schooling on Earth or on a colony world or installation which meets the requirements of the Academy – and additionally, to pass a set of academic and practical evaluations geared towards aptitude, skills and interests.
Most entrants into the academy start out between the ages of 17 and 19, usually straight out of high school, although some do enroll in their early twenties. The Academy welcomes cadet candidate applications from all over the Commonwealth of the Empire.
All Space Fleet staff have a small marker inserted into the base of their skulls on joining the Academy, called an ‘Allenby marker’. “Allenby” is a play on the acronym L.N.B. which stood for Leave No-one Behind. These help ship and portable sensors to discriminate between SF personnel and non SF individuals.
Since safety is a vital part of Space Fleet operations, it is deemed even more so, to have this device installed on cadets, to avoid accidents and loss, and so cadets receive their markers upon enrollment.
- Chancellor (of Space Fleet Academy)
- Vice-Chancellor (of SFA)
- Deans (of various departments)
- Administrators (uniformed staff who perform auxiliary functions at the Academy)
- Instructors (according to Space Fleet rank/title)
- Guest lecturers
- Initiate (“Greenback”) – a newbie, youngest age 17, newly enrolled cadet – for the first month at the Academy you will be an initiate. Initiates choose what field of service and which subjects they would like to take and major in.
- Cadet (“Cadet”) – a cadet (year 1) learns the basics of equipment, space travel, sciences, weapons, strategy, security, medical and first aid, and safety protocols etc for Space Fleet foundations, etc.
- Cadet Trainee (“Trainee”) – a cadet (year 2) who has chosen a major out of one of the specialist fields of Space Fleet Academy’s many services to pursue until graduation.
- Cadet Specialist (“Specialist”) – a cadet (year 3) who because of their field choice, scores and skill level and chooses to graduate after year 3 will do so at the age of 19 as an NCO, either as a crewman, Specialist 1 (PFC), 2 (Cpl), or 3 (Sgt).
- Cadet Officer (“CO”) – a cadet who continues on to year 4 because of their ambition, field choice, scores and skill level (Only the consistently highest scores will make cadets eligible to continue on to year 4 officer training) will graduate as an officer, either as an Ensign, or as a Lieutenant, depending on their grades and demonstrated ability.
Graduate Honors System:
The youngest age of any officer graduate tends to be 22 years of age, and for NCO’s, 19.
Officer graduates have an honors system whereby their final performance is graded.
- Graduate Par Excellence (“Grad Par Ex”) – graduated with honors, top 2% of the class.
- Graduate Lux (“Grad Lux”) – graduated with honors, above 90% final score through whole 6 year curriculum.
- Graduate (“Grad”) – graduated with pass mark, below 90%, above 80% final score through whole 6 year curriculum.
Space Fleet Policies & Procedures:
Space Fleet Classification Systems:
- Potential Threat Classification System (*developed over the years by the Space Fleet to gauge the weapons capability or threat potential of vessels it encountered.)
- A class* – the ship’s armament is superior to a standard warship of the line.
- B class* – the ship’s armament is roughly equivalent to a standard warship of the line.
- C class – the ship’s armament is inferior to a standard warship of the line (warship has a distinct advantage over it).
- D class – unarmed, such as a loderunner, cruise liner, etc.
(*A, B and C classes are classified as “Warclass” ships.)
- Standard Order 117 – on away missions, team members often wear viro-suits, which are sealed off from the outside completely. Standard order 117 assumes a risk of exposure to a hazard outside the protection of the environment suit, be it radiation, temperature, chemical, biological, or unknown, and expressly forbids the team members from opening their suits, breaking the air-seal, for example by removing their helmets.
Space Fleet Ships:
The Terran Space Fleet’s starships all bear names of noteworthy figures from Terran history, prefixed by “I.S.S.”, which stands for Imperial Star Ship – although in the language of the time, ‘star ship’ is presented as one word, i.e. ‘starship’.
Types of Ship
There are different types and classes of starships as explained below:
- Heavy Cruiser (‘Dromon’)
- Light Cruiser
- Attack Destroyer
Dreadnoughts (and Super-Dreadnoughts):
Dreadnoughts are the largest class of independent, autonomous Space Fleet vessels equipped for deep space interstellar travel. Dreadnoughts also carry several squadrons of fighters, shuttles, trooplanders, and other support vehicles, in greater scale than do Battleships, perhaps by fifty percent or more. Dreadnoughts are also typically armed with a massively potent and destructive energy weapon called a ‘plasma canon’, which is at least twice as potent as the similar main weapon carried by a battleship. Like the aircraft carriers of the mid-twentieth century, which were the keystone of military domination of the planet Earth, Dreadnoughts have become the main ace-in-the-hole battle-piece of the Terran Space Fleet. Very large (and also very expensive to make and staff), Dreadnoughts are therefore also few and far-between. The Terran Space Fleet only has about three in service, each of which forms a Main Fleet Battlegroup (M.F.B.) with its escort of Battleships, Battlecruisers, Cruisers, Destroyers and Battlespringers. Crew capacity varies between 700 and 1000, including three platoons of Security Marines (60) and room to carry and house 1 battalion (1000) Star Marines when needed.
Battleships of the Terran Space Fleet carry at least two squadrons of fighters, several shuttles, trooplanders, and other support vehicles. Battleships come with a massively potent and destructive energy weapon called a ‘plasma canon’, which is of a smaller scale and effect as the main weapon of a Dreadnought, as well as numerous other standard Fleet weapons such as slam-torpedoes, blasters and other energy weapons. Crew capacity varies between 500 and 700, including two platoons of Security Marines (40) and room to carry and house 1 company (100) Star Marines when needed.
Battlecruisers carry one squadron of fighters, at least two shuttles, one trooplander and fewer support vehicles than does a battleship. Battlecruisers carry the same standard Fleet weapons as do all the smaller ships – slam-torpedoes, ion lasers, blasters, etc – but just a lot more of them. Battlecruisers, Battleships and Dreadnoughts tend to not be seen much, except when a full scale war breaks out. They tend to be kept at secret locations, or on lengthy patrols of the Terran Empire. Crew capacity varies between 300 and 500, including two platoons of Security Marines (40).
Cruisers carry typically two standard shuttles, and are typically the biggest regular Main Fleet ships seen around the Empire. Adaptable and flexible, they are large, fast, roomy and well armed. Cruisers tend to be used for a wide variety of roles and purposes. Their crew capacity tends to vary between 200 and 300, and usually includes a platoon of Security Marines (20). What differentiates a cruiser from light to medium? Well, that depends on the kind of shielding, range, heavy weapons or whatever upgrades are made to a particular ship. A cruiser might start out as a heavy cruiser, or it might be light cruiser, and it could be upgraded later and become a heavy cruiser. Heavy cruisers are also sometimes referred to as ‘dromons’.
Destroyers are usually the smallest autonomous deep space vessels used by the Space Fleet, and typically carry one standard shuttle. Destroyers – especially attack destroyers, are adaptable and flexible, fast, and well armed for their size. Destroyers are used for a wide variety of more outwardly military roles and purposes (mine laying, maintenance & collection, bombardment, orbital support etc). Their crew capacity tends to vary between 150 and 250, and usually includes a platoon of Security Marines (20).
Battlespringers are the smallest class of independent, autonomous Space Fleet vessels equipped for deep space interstellar travel. The Main Fleet doesn’t have many of these types, and they are used far more by the Pioneer Fleet on account of their smaller size and crew requirements than Destroyers, while carrying roughly the same armament and holding the same speed capability and response time. Their crew capacity tends to vary between 150 and 200, and usually includes a platoon of Security Marines (20).
Battlespringers started out as an early class of small, lightly armed warp-capable warships large enough to defend themselves effectively, carry all necessary equipment to be virtually independent, and be yet small enough to operate on a crew smaller than two hundred. In terms of strength and versatility, a battlespringer is a warship somewhere between a destroyer and a light cruiser, using half the crew, and being also nearly half the size.
Battlespringers first came into use soon after the end of the Gimp War – the Ningan class battlespringers were the first Terran warships to be equipped with adapted/reverse-engineered faster-than-light drives copied from captured Ruminarii examples. The first Terran starship to go beyond the Home System was I.S.S. Darraine, a Ningan class battlespringer, commanded by Captain Lisa Barnes.
Classes of Ship
Different types of ships are built at different times, according to different designs to meet various needs, and so these are referred to as ‘classes’. All ships built according to that specific design belong to that class of ship.
For example, the I.S.S. Mordrake is a Benatar class cruiser, as is the I.S.S. Antares – and as many other individual ships which are built according to that particular design. These ships are both light cruisers (type) of the Benatar class (class). Although at first glance there are obvious differences between both ships, they are still built according to the same design, which has been refined slightly during the run of production. To extend this example, the I.S.S. Munray is also a light cruiser, but of the Stingray class – a different class to the other two examples, and thus built to a different design with different specifications.
Example Listing of Space Fleet Vessels According to Type and Class:
A cruiser (Benatar Class) alongside a Battleship (Macedonian Class) for scale comparison:
Listing of Selected Ship Names:
This is a list of selected Space Fleet ships that appear in or are mentioned in various Galaxii novels:
- Alexander, I.S.S. – Battleship, Macedonian Class. Imperial Terran Space Fleet. Registration: MF-8102. Crew: 800. [“Dead Beckoning”]
- Antares, I.S.S. – Imperial Terran Star Ship. Light cruiser, Benatar class. Registration: AC-427. Crew: 250. Sometimes affectionately called ‘the Antarse‘ by its crew. Captain Mykl d’Angelo commanding. [“Blachart”]
- Darraine, I.S.S. – Battlespringer, Ningan Class. Earth Defense Fleet. Registration: A-101. Crew: 85. The first Terran starship to go beyond the Home System – which occurred soon after the end of the Gimp War, the Darraine was a Ningan class battlespringer, Captain Lisa Barnes commanding. [“Beyond”]
- Holbrook, I.S.S. – a Pioneer Fleet patrol ship that goes missing, Corsairs suspected as the cause. [“Blachart”]
- Indomitable, I.S.S. – Attack Destroyer, Piranha Class. Imperial Terran Space Fleet. Registration: MF-4782. Crew: 250. A starship lost to the Corsairs following the Battle of Turtle Island, captured by Sona Kilroy and used to rebuild the Corsair fleet. Destroyed in the Second Battle of Turtle Island (at Endicor). Indomitable was 33 years old at the time of her capture and destruction, she saw good service, most recently under Captain James Matfield, killed by the Corsair Sona Kilroy.[“Dead Beckoning”]
- Liberty, I.S.S. – A starship in the Terran Space Fleet. Mykl d’Angelo was first officer (executive) as Commander prior to resigning from the Fleet, some time before being reinstated again as a Commander in advisory cpacity aboard the I.S.S. Antares. Some of the Liberty’s crew were involved in a hostage situation on Ahginos – five crew members were killed, apparently tortured to death. [“Blachart”]
- Mercury, I.S.S. – Battlespringer, Ningan Class. Terran Pioneer Fleet. Registration: P-476. Crew: 90. [This ship and crew features strongly in the Panic! Horror In Space Series.]
- Montague, I.S.S. – a Terran starship involved in delivering weaponry to the embattled Libratic state on the failed colony Marcellus, which is stuck in the middle of a devastating civil war. [“Where Darkness Softly Treads”]
- Mordrake, I.S.S. – Light Cruiser, Benatar Class. Imperial Terran Space Fleet. Registration: MF-6567. Crew: 226. Captain Joseph Lofflin commanding. [“Demonspawn”]
- Titan, I.S.S. – Battlespringer, Ningan Class. Terran Pioneer Fleet. Registration: H-115. Crew: 87, Captain Dayne Ortez commanding. [“The Devils in The Sky”]
Ship Internal Layout: General
The Bridge Complex:
The Bridge is the control center of the ship; the Bridge is normally situated somewhere in front or on top of a Terran starship.
Everything on the ship can normally be controlled from the systems and control consoles on the Bridge.
At the front of the Bridge is the viewscreen, which rather makes the Bridge look like a private cinema, with a curved big screen TV on the wall. The viewscreen is used to show live video images of what is ahead or behind of the ship, video feeds of communications sessions, and also navigational, tactical and strategic overlays.
There are six posts on the bridge for crewmen, and they are:
Closest to the viewscreen, right at the front of the bridge, there is a control desk with two control positions, called the Forward Control Desk (FCD) – this is where the Helm and Weapons controls are. Helm is on the port side, and Weapons on the starboard. The Helmsman (an Astrotech) pilots the ship and charts courses via the nav-computer. The Weapons Operator (or Battletech) operates the weapons, shields or tractor beam as or when required.
Helm station (1) includes:
- navigational control,
- some engine control,
- thruster & attitude control,
- docking clamps & airlock tube controls,
- some sensor functions,
- navigational shield control.
Weapons station (2) includes:
- weapons selection & control,
- target tracking & locking,
- some sensor functions,
- defensive shielding control,
- tractor beam control.
Immediately behind the forward control desk, the deck rises a step in order to give the personnel behind the FCD a better view over or past the crewmen at the FCD. This is the Rear Control Platform (RCP).
Along both port and starboard sides of the Bridge, there are control arrays, with one station to each side.
On the starboard side, the Sensor Operator (or Astrotech) manages the ship’s sensor array. Although this system runs automatically, it sometimes needs to be directed at something – say for example, an astor or a planet, or a derelict ship – in order to focus on scanning it for whatever the operator requests, again for example, life-signs, energy readouts, gravity, mass, heat, atmosphere, etc.
On the port side, the Comtech Operator manages the ship’s communications internally and externally. Comtech is also responsible for directing damage control teams, receiving and sending routine messages.
Right at the center of the RCP, is another set of stations right beside each other – these are the control positions of the Exo and Captain of the ship. The Captain occupies the starboard side seat, and the Exo the port side seat. Both officers have duplicate control consoles in front of them, from where they can monitor, access and execute duplicate functions of all the other Bridge crewmen.
The Exo and the Captain share the responsibilities of managing the ship. The Captain is always the one in charge, and is always the one accountable and responsible; the Exo’s function is to support the Captain and to also relieve the Captain of routine matters where necessary.
Behind the RCP is the Foyer, which is a junction leading to the rest of the ship. Typically there are two or three, sometimes one, elevator (depending on the size and type of the ship) to take crew to other levels directly. There’s also a corridor exit that leads to the rest of the deck the Bridge is on. To one side, usually the port side, there is a doorway leading to an alcove which in turn leads to the Conference Room and the Captain’s Office. Opposite the Alcove, there is a Washroom for Bridge crew on duty, which would save time should someone on duty need a bathroom break, rather than having to hike all the way to the next nearest bathroom.
Because the Bridge of a ship is the nerve-center that runs everything, it makes sense that the Captain of a military ship should at all times be as close to the Bridge as possible, or at least, able to reach the Bridge as quickly as possible in case of an emergency.
For that reason, the designers and ship architects of the Terran Space Fleet have striven to make this possible, by locating the Captain’s cabin behind the Bridge itself. The Captain’s Flat as it is called, has two entrances – one private entrance which opens into a private corridor that adjoins the rest of the corridor network of the ship; the other leads to the Captains office. From the Captain’s office, there is another entrance which leads into a small alcove. The Conference Room is situated between the Captain’s office and the bridge and is entered from the Alcove, which also leads to the Foyer at the back of the Bridge.
Space Fleet Starbases & Outposts
- Astor-base 347 – a deep space and secret base constructed inside a hollowed out asteroid, located in the Quillian Sector at the edge of the Omegan Quadrant. The main purpose of Astor-base 347 is to conduct deep-space intelligence gathering, predictably to keep an eye on Corsair activities in the area. [“Dead Beckoning”]
- Farside Station – a.k.a. O.D.S.4 (Orbital Docking Station 4), a docking and observation platform in Pluto orbit, Home System. [“Beyond”]
- Spacedock 7 – an orbital refitting center in the Home System, carrying out refits on imperial starships as part of the Phoneix Refitting Program. [“Blachart”]
- Starbase 14 – orbiting Porter’s World, Starbase 14 has a slight domestic terrorism problem, since the head office of the mining corporations is on the station – and that’s often where the trouble occurred. [“A Really Bad Day In The Life Of Lance Corporal Thomas O’Blivion”]
- Starbase 27 – a Space Fleet outpost often visited by the I.S.S. Mercury and run by the unforgettable Commodore Peters. [“Panic! Horror In Space”]
- Starbase 91 – a deep space trade station in the Bernardus system, on the edge of the Omegan Quadrant, acting as a nexus point for colonial trade. Starbase 91 is in a solar orbit relatively close to Tremaine. Tremaine and Andronicus are Earth’s two oldest extrasolar colonies. The Starbase is attacked and almost destroyed in an attack by Corsair raiders shortly before the Battle of Turtle Island signaled the demise of the Corsair threat. [“Blachart”]
Space Fleet Tech:
These are terms commonly referred to in Galaxii stories, which are specifically associated with the Imperial Terran Space Fleet.
- Battlespringer – a common type of small, versatile Space Fleet warship.
- Beyond, to go – a term referring to the act of leaving the Home System, typically with a faster-than-light, warp-capable starship.
- Blaster – an energy weapon that discharges a form of energy, be it in phased laser or plasma energy form. Also sometimes referred to as a ‘plasma-rifle’ or ‘phazor’. The standard-issue side-arm for Space Fleet is the Sanjan J-10, which fires plasma energy bolts which has an ‘electrical’ effect on the target. At the lowest setting they could inflict third degree burns at a range of 70 meters. At the highest, they could incinerate, cut or vaporize. The instantaneous high energy transfer effect is similar to a small localized explosion. Endurance is between 1500 and 2000 shots, depending on charge, setting and the type of energy cell used.
- C-10 Plastic Explosive – A case of C-10 plastic explosive is about the size of a large brief case. The content is light and has no detectable scent, so it’s perfect for smuggling. It can be shaped or molded to suit the task, and this also lends itself to the task of stealthy assassination. Thus it can be molded to look like an ornament, a brick, a teacup. An electric charge delivered by means of the detonator is enough to set it off.
- Comlink – a mobile communications device not unlike a mobile or smart phone used for communications between crew and their ships when on external missions. These can be used for texting, video or audio calls.
- Comtech – a term to describe all specialized communications personnel aboard a starship, space dock or other Space Fleet facility.
- Control Central – a communications term describing the control center for space traffic in an area – a synonym for Air Traffic Controller.
- Corbex 92 – the make and model of Starmarine body armor pads.
- Dromon – a name sometimes applied to a heavy cruiser.
- Durastress – a highly resilient industrial alloy processed by merging high-impact plastics, steel and other compounds using an industrial transmatter which merges materials on the molecular level. Durastress is very strong and durable, and used in most things which require these characteristics. It is a common element used in the construction of space vessels, buildings, weapons, and common appliances. In some applications, it can be made transparent.
- Earth Defense Fleet (E.D.F.) – the immediate predecessor of the Terran Space Fleet, formed at the onset of Ruminarii hostilities that led to the Gimp War. The E.D.F. lasted until approximately ten years after the end of the Gimp War, when it was reorganized into the Terran Space Fleet.
- Entech – a term to describe all specialized engineering personnel aboard a starship, space dock or other Space Fleet facility.
- Gravity net – the graviton emitter network on a starship, which creates artificial gravity. Unlike people generally expect, the gravity net is not fitted to the deck plating itself, but above it, usually in the ceiling above the deck, since the effect of a graviton generator is to repel objects away from it.
- Hydrium cells – the emergency batteries on a starship use condensed hydrium as a storage medium.
- Jump-platform – the staging platform of a transmatter unit.
- Loderunner – a name for a freighter or freight carrying starship.
- Medtech – a term to describe all specialized medical personnel aboard a starship, space dock or other Space Fleet facility, including medics, nurses, doctors, medical specialists and surgeons.
- Nav-sensors – a contraction of ‘navigational sensors’.
- LNB Markers – LNB is an acronym for “Leave No-one Behind”. Commonly called “Allenby Markers”, they are digital tracer units implanted into all Space Fleet personnel so that they may be identified by ship and personnel sensors, making them easier to lock on to for transmatter transportation and also to locate them if they become trapped or lost – or to find and retrieve their bodies if they die.
- Orbital Docking Station (O.D.S) – a form of orbital docking platform or space station, dating from a time prior to Terran interstellar travel being commonplace. Ships that could not make planetfall could dock with the O.D.S., and if necessary, their crews would travel to the planet surface using shuttles. The newer spacedock is not specifically an orbital docking station, because it is typically far larger than an O.D.S. and has more diverse internal activities – although sometimes these terms are interchanged.
- Phoenix Refitting Program, The – Many older ships in the imperial space fleet reaching retirement age at the time of ‘Blachart’ (title 1) were being refitted with more modern equipment to extend their useful lives.
- Pioneer Fleet, the – a distinct formation within the Terran Space Fleet. The Terran Space Fleet is divided into two main forces: the Main Fleet – the part of the Fleet which specialized in defense of the realm, mounting responses to hostilities and so on. The Main Fleet had the bigger ships, up to and including destroyers, cruisers like the Antares, battleships and dreadnoughts. The Pioneer Fleet specialized in exploration and reconnaissance and used a large number of smaller vessels – such as battlespringers and destroyers. Both made internal use of other arms of the Service, such as the Star Marines – the ground forces of the Imperial military machine – and Air Support, which included the Fighter Wing and Logistic Air-supply.
- Planetfall – a term to describe arriving on the surface of a planet – ie, a starship would make planetfall (land on) Tarsus, ‘when do we make planetfall on Mars?’
- Portacam – a portable surveillance device disguised to look like stylish or popular sunglasses, able to record video and audio, still photos, and to beam live feed to a receiver. More advanced and more stealthy versions come in contact lens forms.
- Portascan – a portable scanning device used to detect life-readings, energy anomalies, minerals, etc.
- Powerpak/powerpax – the power supply of a portable appliance or weapon.
- Scan inhibitor – a device which generates a pulse or field intended to disrupt or block a sensor beam.
- Security Marine – a compliment of specialized Star Marines detached to a starship or other Space Fleet facility’s crew for added defense in case of boarding or for deployment at the Captain’s discretion in the event of conflict with hostile entities in space. They also act as ‘military police’ onboard ship.
- Skorpiad – a single seat sub-light Terran aerospace fighter designed to fly and fight in atmosphere and in space equally well. The mark 1 version originated during the Gimp War and went on to serve with distinction in various carrier and space-based roles for more than three decades before being superseded by the upgraded mark 2 version, which is still in service at the time of ‘Blachart’, and likely to continue for some time to come. Skorpiad fighters typically fulfill a fighter-bomber-interceptor role, and come standard fitted with 4x software-aim-able forward-firing 20 gigawatt blasters capable of rapid continuous-fire.
- Slam-torpedo – essentially what we would call a ‘missile’ in the 21st century understanding. A device which can deliver a variety of diverse payloads, including high explosive, nuclear, anti-matter or ‘cluster’ weapons at sub-light speeds. Propelled by high-yield focused EM-drive units and generally fired from a starship, slam-torpedoes are unique to Space Fleet, although stolen units are sometimes hot-wired to be used by third parties such as Corsairs. Newer imperial warships use transmatter duplicators to mass-produce these when needed, to eliminate the need for a starship to carry large quantities of torpedoes, or run the risk of exhausting the compliment of units onboard.
- Spacedock – an orbital docking platform or space station, where starships that cannot make planetfall can dock, and if necessary, their crews can travel to the planet surface using transmatters or shuttles. A spacedock is not specifically an orbital docking station, because it is typically far larger than an O.D.S. and has more diverse internal activities – although sometimes these terms are interchanged. The ODS terminology is older, and dates from a time prior to Terran interstellar travel being commonplace.
- Stardrive – the warp drive reactor aboard a starship. Also referred to as a ‘hyperdrive’.
- Star Marine – a branch of Space Fleet that deals with planetary (surface), ship-to-ship combat. Trained as space infantry, these soldiers serve as a kind of standing army, a mobile ground force trained and equipped with space suits, body armor, tactics and strategy previously only given to small groups of elite soldiers.
- Starship – a space vessel equipped with a faster-than-light drive.
- Starshuttle – a shuttle with faster-than-light capability.
- Sweeplaser – a high-powered rapid-firing plasma rifle, equivalent in role to a platoon machine gun. A sweeplaser is carried by an individual, slung over one shoulder, and has a tactical display and two dual-purpose grips, one to change settings, and the other to fire. Both can be used to aim the device. Its use is widespread in the Star Marines, and sweeplasers have an intimidating reputation.
- Transmatter – a teleportation device which dematerializes solid objects, transmits them to a specific location, and then rematerializes them. The term suggests the transmission of matter, hence ‘transmatter’.
- Transmuter coil – a set of coils that process the energy from a reflex furnace or fusion reactor, making it usable to a stardrive.
- Viewscreen – the main viewer on the bridge of a starship, used as an aid in navigation, communication and presentation.
- Viro-suit – essentially a space suit, but much more than that, thin, comfortable, and easy to move around in, viro suits protect the wearer from toxins, temperature or pressure extremes, and include a variety of onboard systems including fluid and oxygen recycling apparatus, communications, lighting, HUD, and most importantly, pockets to put stuff in.
All Material, Copyright Christina Engela © 2005 – present