by Max Barry

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by The Despotic Dictatorship of Despoticania. . 516 reads.

Despoticanian Space Fleet

Since the early 1920's, Despoticania has been taking steps to conquer the final frontier. The first Despoticanian in space was Anne Marilith in 1929, piloting the single-stage spacecraft Hope. While she reached orbit, she was killed during re-entry when the spacecraft was struck by sprite lightning and exploded. The Church of Transcendental Hatred took this as a sign of the gods' attempts to keep Despoticanians grounded on the earth and donated 1.5 billion Despollars (at the time, an enormous sum of money comparable to over 60 billion modern-day Despollars) to the Despoticanian Space Agency (DSA). The first successful space mission was launched the next year, when Susan Zorateroth-Greigh in the spacecraft Defiance of the Heavens orbited the planet three times before landing successfully.

Since then, Despoticania has launched hundreds of successful space missions. The construction of the first Despoticanian space station was undertaken between 1948 and 1950, and the first Moon landing occurred in 1953. Since the late 1990's, Despoticania has built a small fleet of spacecraft used for both exploration and military actions. The entire Space Fleet operates under DSA and is currently commanded by Space Admiral Gregory G. Nemes.

Interplanetary ships

Despot class carrier

At 970 meters long, the Despot class is by far the largest ship in the Space Fleet. These ships are meant to carry smaller combat and exploration vessels over interplanetary distances. They have sophisticated ion engines that can provide small but constant thrust for extended periods of time, allowing them to reach Outer Solar System in less than a year. The Despot class ships have minimal defensive armament of a few automated laser turrets, but can divert the power of their fusion reactors to a massive spinal railgun to fire at distant targets. However, their preferred method of attack and defense are their Screamer class gunboats.

Ships in class: 3

Defiance class warship

A relatively small but heavily armed interplanetary ship, the Defiance class is meant to operate primarily in the Inner Solar System; while their engines are fairly powerful, they can't carry enough fuel to reach the Outer Solar System in any practical timeframe. Their primary armament consists of guided missiles and laser turrets, though they can also deploy a small number of AI-controlled gun platforms to give them additional firepower.

Ships in class: 7

Niven class asteroid miner

A mobile refinery designed to attach itself on mineral-rich asteroids and deploy a large number robots to mine for useful resources.

Ships in class: 11

Short range ships

Screamer class gunboat

A relatively small, automated combat craft armed with lasers, missiles and a powerful long-range railgun. These craft are carried by the Despot class carriers and also defend the three major Despoticanian space stations. They have an operational range of approximately three light seconds and thus must be carried over interplanetary distances by larger ships.

Ships in class: 180

Toriel class spaceplane

A shuttlecraft meant to carry passengers from surface to orbit and back. The Despot class carriers also carry a pair during missions to planets with atmosphere.

Ships in class: 16

Invader class lander

A ship designed to land on and take off from planets with no atmosphere.

Ships in class: 10

Space stations and orbital weapons

Hal class space station

A multipurpose space station housing both civilian and military facilities. They orbit the planet at an altitude of approximately 450 kilometers and generate a 0.4 g artificial gravity through rotation. The diameter of their primary habitation torus is 385 meters.

Number in orbit: 3

DIC01 class ion cannon satellite

An orbital directed energy weapon powered by sunlight, the ion cannon satellite can strike both ground and space based targets without fear of running out of ammunition, although they require a period of recharging after each firing. Their direct effectiveness against ground targets is somewhat decreased by the atmosphere, although the EMP more than makes up for it.

Number in orbit: 2

DKB02 class kinetic bombardment satellite

A satellite containing a magazine of tungsten rods and a directional thrust system, meant for kinetic bombardment of ground targets.

Number in orbit: 28

DDL08 class defensive laser satellite

These small satellites are armed with high-energy lasers designed to shoot down both hostile spacecraft and intercontinental missiles in flight. Despoticania has built them in very large numbers in orbital factories located in the three Hal class space stations.

Number in orbit: 387