[BB16] Trattorian Dirac-class Dreadnought
Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 3:12 am
The Dirac-class dreadnought TNF Dirac Delta after a successful weapons firing test in neutral space. The system's star collapsed into a black hole after the Dirac's main cannon catalyzed its supernova.
President Kuroki leaned against a metal railing, looking upward through the massive glass rim-wall of the toroidal space station. Unlike the luxury models that hovered over the homeworld, this one dispensed with the grassy meadows and marble houses for utilitarian steel floors and warehouses. As a result, the metal tips on her heels made a conspicuous click every time she took a step, to her annoyance.
Space stretched out in front of her, blocked to her right by the perpetually darkened orb that was the planet Soledad. Blinking, pulsating particle accelerator rings scarred the surface of Trattoria’s scientific hub, and for a moment Dr. Kuroki thought she could discern the planet’s thin artificial ring that was the Orbital Soledad Fermion Collider Ordinarily a project like this would have been carried out in the orbital dockyards of Mirai in the 23rd District, but the amount of technical expertise and special materials needed necessitated its being brought closer to home.
Looking to her left, she saw it. A few construction scaffolds still surrounded it, albeit now detached. On the far side of Soledad and thus obscured from the system’s two suns, the monstrous husk floated in the black stillness. Nonetheless, its massive white surfaces reflected at least some ambient light, exuding a weak glow from its sleek and curved form. Some additional illumination came from the unholy gravitational lensing on the surface of the glob contained within the ship’s gyroscopic rings, scenes of a place or thing that never belonged in our BrikVerse.
The initial appropriations for the project were signed off years ago. Dr. Kuroki knew she would be lying if she knew when it ended up on her desk - it was probably packaged in some omnibus spending bill. The project proposals were drawn up even before she took office, back when Trattoria devoted huge expenditures to modernizing its navy and competing with the superpowers of the galaxy. Those days ended, and with them, the interest in a third-generation dreadnought. She remembered visiting the construction site once, seeing the pathetic scaffolding and jagged husk of a dreadnought that then seemed to be paused forever.
But then somebody took a second look at the Dirac-class, after all these years. The theory and technology that supported Project ℝ^m advanced and became used in various experiments and in containing or destroying Black Box anomalies. Creating and destroying universes went from being a godly feat to a daily startup routine at the SFSC. Thus the core concept of the project became feasible.
Trattoria also started to become disturbingly isolationist and xenophobic. The Venetians were sending over mafiosos, the Bavarians were secretly plotting to destroy science with magic, RARCom was planning to steal all of Trattoria’s technology - she had heard it all. In President Kuroki’s view, Trattorians so vigorously defended their sacred and beloved value of meritocracy that it was starting to no longer resemble itself. There was much talk about Trattoria being the best nation in the galaxy - there always was, but nowadays there was a renewed backing furor that lent seriousness to the claims. Dr. Kuroki couldn’t help but wonder if it was tied somehow to the same upheaval led by Mr. Trump in Trattoria’s trade neighbor, the United Systems Alliance.
The Trattorian Legislature was never big on military spending, or giving a shit about it in general, really. Trattoria lived by the coin, not the sword, after all. But now the Trattorians demanded an insurance policy, one with finer granularity than a neutrina bomb. They wanted more than just protection of the homeland, they wanted an instrument of power to enforce Trattorian interests abroad, across the galaxy. And so the Joint Chiefs of Staff took another look at the Dirac-class.
Given enough time, the ship now sitting in front of her could demolish an entire star nation, or at least a good chunk of it. Personally, Dr. Kuroki thought the project a massive and useless waste of resources. And if it turned out not to be useless, then it would turn out to be an unfortunate pity upon the galaxy and collective minifig-kind. She had once been a weapons engineer in the Engineering Department, working on projects similar to the Dirac. But her years as President changed her views, from her travels throughout the galaxy and her birds-eye view of Trattoria. The galaxy and its many nations were full of their own unique beauty, and nobody deserved the power to destroy so much of it.
“President Kuroki, the crew of the Dirac is expecting you for the ship’s christening. Your shuttle is prepped and ready to go,” a gold bodyguard droid announced, walking towards her.
President Kuroki sighed. She disagreed - but there wasn’t anything she could do. She had declared minimal interference as her platform, and the office of the president had few powers to begin with. Siri had left a bad taste in everyone’s mouths anyway. She knew she wasn’t in charge - she wasn’t a scientist anymore, after all.
The Dirac-class is Trattoria's third-generation dreadnought, also classified as a star juggernaut like its second-generation predecessor, the Lagrange.
The main focus of the Dirac-class was integrating advancements from Project ℝ^m into a practical military application. As a result, the Dirac is equipped with the largest and most powerful gun in the galaxy, a spinal cannon running along its whole length powered by the alternative universe contained in its gyro rings. Otherwise, the Dirac is lightly armed, having 26 dreadnought-class turrets, three Quantum-Tunnel Cannons (represented by the three vertical particle accelerator rings going through the sides, see the Heisenberg MKII for further description), and the fighters in its two hangar bays. Thus there is an expectation that the Dirac is either accompanied by heavy escort or far from enemy lines. Given all this, it is likely that the old and reliable Athenia-class first-gen dreadnought will continue serving in a field operations dreadnought role, with the Dirac serving mainly a specialty purpose and replacing the Lagrange.
Virgin Defense was largely responsible for the construction and lobbying for the Dirac during the years of development hell, with the experimental teknology and expertise coming from the Trattorian Physics and Engineering Departments, and design consulting from a team of Appel engineers. Due to the latter's contributions, the Dirac looks significantly more pleasing than its other Trattorian dreadnought predecessors, with function being sacrificed for form at several points in the design process (like the relative lack of armament).
To be more accurate, the gyro rings contain an inter-universal Einstein-Rosen bridge (a spherical "hole" in the BrikVerse that leads to a 4 dimensional tunnel) to an alternate universe with a different set of physics laws, created by OSFC collider experiments under Project ℝ^m. This allows the Dirac to channel limitless energy into an ultra-destructive beam focused through its long tines. The Dirac can also siphon off energy from the other universe to power other functions. The containment and stabilization field for the spherical opening also doubles as a nigh impenetrable shield for the Dirac. The consequences for a containment failure are unknown, but likely disastrous.
As a side note, the crew of the Dirac requires a full complement of theoretical physicists, engineers, and at least one staff member from the Inter-Universal Affairs Office (IUAO) of the Black Box Bureau.
The beam from the Dirac's main weapon is one of the brightest minifig-made events in the galaxy. It easily catalyzes supernovae when aimed at stars, and when aimed at planets it will actually turn it into small dwarf star and then collapse the resulting star. When aimed carefully, the main beam will actually punch through spacetime itself and create a wormhole, continuing through the other side. There is no restriction on how far away the other terminus is, even across intergalactic distances. Thus, given extremely precise aiming, data, and calculations, the Dirac-class's main weapon has effectively unlimited range in a very true sense of the word. A side benefit is that other ships can access the wormhole as well, allowing small fleets of small ships without intergalactic-capable drives to traverse such distances (the Dirac itself is too big to fit through, so it uses standard FTL for moving around). This capability, coupled with the Heisenberg's intergalactic drive, has been considered in various contingency plans regarding extra-galactic threats like RARCom, M-Throne, and the Immortals.
The Dirac-class was not intended as a weapon of war - it was intended as a tool of genocide. When an instrument less blunt than a neutrina bomb is needed, the Dirac can be deployed to decrement an offending empire's star system count and, if transgressions continue for long enough, totally wipe out entire star nations. The Dirac-class represents the epitome of technological arrogance and is a symbol of Trattorian might to the galaxy.
Although the Dirac-class would be prohibitively expensive for lesser star nations and still represents an unpleasant expenditure even for Trattoria, the Armed Forces Department plans to order several more to modernize the Trattorian fleet.
Inevitable size comparison:
The Dirac is significantly larger than the original Athenia and the previously longest Trattorian dread, the Lagrange. A Midgetman frigate is included for scale. It is almost as long as Sahaquiel (!!) and is probably the longest dreadnought in the galaxy right now. It easily beats out the Praetorian Inexorable and the Deadnocide Caretaker. The only real contender is the Deadnocide Gatekeeper, since I don't have the LXF to compare directly. At around ~450 studs, we're around halfway there to 1000 now.
Also yes, I acknowledge that the design is a total ripoff of the Mass Effect mass relay. But it's so pretty...
EDIT: Now with render!