A Beeping interrupted Captain Abels' sleep, the officer of the watch
calling for him. Sitting up, dusting off his rumbled and soiled shipsuit
which never came off in a combat zone he tapped the intercom switch.
"Captain here, what is it."
It was Lieutenant Wilde, the Data Officer, on watch; "Sir, just picked up a trigram from a ship about 90 spacials away, reads Romeo, Romeo, Romeo, checked the ships beacon and she's the MV County Cork, British packet out of Sol."
Since humanity spread out to the stars, the only reliable method of starships communicating over long distances was by sending trigrams, switching the stutterwarp on and off and so sending a variant of morse code. Most trigram messages in peacetime were flashes for a ship to stop engines so that tightbeam transmissions could be sent between them, but some codes, like SOS (Save Our Souls) and QQQ (Quarantine) were universal. The code RRR was even starker, "Raider, Raider, Raider".
"Okay, General Quarters, design a course to intercept, I'll be up presently."
The ships klaxon sounded out the GQ, and the crew off watch rushed to their battle stations, trying to beat the spin fold down that would occur in 5 minutes as the crew had the ship combat ready.
On the bridge, the sensors, scanner, sniffers and other detection
devices sifted through the masses of data from various sources, the Data
section trying to interpret it.
"Looks like it's an Epsilon sir. She's between us and the Cork, and has launched both her fighters towards her, and is trying to block us, no other drives detected yet, she's sitting there waiting for us to come on in, probably hoping the fighters will finish the Cork and be back in time for her fight with us. Range, 40 spacials, at present closing rates we'll be in missile range in about 45 minutes, if we light up the active for the attack, an hour otherwise."
She hit us first, we both launched almost down to the minute of each other, both lighting up our active suites, our missiles were faster, but we continued to advance, I was determined to get to the Cork and save her. The 2 Whiskey missiles both penetrated our defences, one hit, causing massive damage to the forward section. One missile launcher was down, turret 2 was destroyed and our active scan array shot. Fortunately it did not penetrate to the core of the ship, and the passive array now had track. One of our returning missiles was slashed down, the other hit, doing a considerable amount of damage, but the Epsilon was still moving. By the time our second salvoes were exchanged we were at close range, PD didn't have time to track, ours or theirs, which favoured us, our missiles had heavier warheads, and their PD was better. We exchanged turret fire, missiles and we even launched our submunitions. The Epsilon was gutted in the exchange, but we took some bad hits in return. As we limped away from it, the Kafer fighters returned, we shot both down with a single missile. The Cork was in a bad way, drive down, and we were little better.
- Memoirs of Captain H. Abel, USSF, Commander of Gold Crew, USS Challenger, War Patrol 77
Eagle class Light Missile Carriers
Design Date: 2283
First Example Laid Down: 2283
First Example Completed: 2285
Fleets in Service: America
Number in Service: 18 (Eagle, Odyssey, Kitty Hawk, Endeavour, Casper, Aquarius, Antares, Falcon, Spitfire, Orion, Challenger, Temptress, Atlantis, Constitution, Liberator, Gettysburg, Snake River, Phoenix)
The Eagle class is the current production USSF small combatant, designed in 2283 as a possible complement to the Kennedy Missile Carriers, the first of which was being built. In an era where America was keen to reassert herself on the world stage, a powerful Star Fleet was a valuable asset in international politics.
The Eagle is 50 meters long. the forward section is 20 meter long, and tapers from 6m in beam to 3m at the front. This section contains the bridge, TAC, sensor equipment and the missile launchers. Next is the spin section, two 15m long, 6m diameter spin capsules which retract fully containing the accommodations, medical centre and the communal facilities. Behind this is a 10m long, 3m wide access section, containing cargo space, and finally at the rear is the engineering section, 10m long and 12m in beam, containing the 30MW fusion plant, stutterwarp drives, life support equipment and other heavy machinery.
The naming convention for the Eagle are old American spacecraft, many of them dating from the 20th century. The nameship USS Eagle is named after the first lunar lander, USS Phoenix is named after the first US Starship, while USS Constitution is named after the first USSF warship.
Several of these ships were involved in the Kafer Invasion. The two most notable were USS Spitfire and USS Temptress, forming the 11th Division. These two vessels were assigned to the American Expeditionary Force at Aurore, along with the 2nd Division, originally the USS Thomas Jefferson and USS Jacob Sanchez, although reduced by Sanchezs destruction. The Temptress was severely damaged on the fighting at Hochbaden at the begining of the war, and was laid up in Aurore orbit until the blockade was broken, when she was repaired and brought back into service. The Spitfire was involved in tracking a Kafer warship back to their hidden base in the DM+18 2776 system, but was severely damaged when the Kafer turned on her, and limped back to base, and was also out of much of the war.
The 13th and 16th Divisions (USS Kitty Hawk and Casper, and Aquarius and Challenger respectively) were assigned as patrol vessels on the French Arm, carrying out several war patrols, attacking Kafer shipping and protecting Terran shipping. The 14th Division (Orion and Phoenix) was involved in Operation: Backdoor, and along with two German Frigates, DSKM Baden and Wurttemberg, were the military escort for the contact forces, and successfully engaged and drove off a Kafer Alpha class Battleship.
The 8th and 12th Divisions (Eagle and Odyssey, and Endeavour and Atlantis respectively) were at Beowulf, and were involved in the fighting there. Eagle and Atlantis were destroyed in the fighting.
Warp efficiency: 3.95 (standard load) (4.13 unloaded)
Power Plant: 30 MW Fusion
Range: 7.7 light years
Endurance: up to 5 weeks
Mass: 2,085 tons (standard load, 1,897 unloaded)
Cargo Capacity: 259 cubic meters
Crew: 36 (12 Bridge, 7 TAC, 8 Engineering, 8 Troops and 1 Medical); Passengers: none
Emergency Power: 168 hours
Total Life Support: 36 for 180 days
Cost: MLv88.245, excluding ordnance
Ship Status Sheet
Radiated Signature: 2(5)
Radial Reflected: 4
Lateral Reflected: 4
Target Computers: +2;
Radial Profile: -2
Lateral Profile: 0
Hull hits: 32
Power Plant Hits: 20
2 x1+1 lasers in single masked turrets with UTES (1238, 2345)
1x Big Clip Launcher (3 shots, 5x2 warhead)
8 SIM-14 missiles, 2 communicators
Sensors and Electronics:
Bridge: Captain, Navigator, Helm, 2x Communications, Computer
TAC: 3 Fire Control, Phased Active Operator, Spherical Passive Operator, 2 Remote Pilots
Damage Control: 4 (10 with spare bridge crew)