Lucid Retribution (Ship)
Note: Apologies for posting this a second time, but the forum can't even find the topic that held the original submission, so I'm guessing it's vanished.
Intent: To provide a private starship for use by Tirdarius, commissioned by his orders for personal use while with the Sith Empire. The vessel absconded with him when he departed from the Empire's ranks.
Development Thread: None
Manufacturer: Sienar Fleet Systems
Crafted on the instructions of the Sith Lord Tirdarius during his time as a member of the Dark Council, the Lucid Retribution was built to be a home away from home, able to accomodate him during those times when he needed to travel between worlds without using the fleet vessels belonging to the Empire. Privately commissioned with Sienar Fleet Systems, it was crafted in combination with Tirdarius' own ideas and those of SFS' own engineers, creating a ship designed to be utterly suitable to him in nature.
The vessel is about the size of a small freighter, designed to convey Tirdarius in suitable comfort while not being ridiculously ostentatious, while yet remaining autonomous and not requiring the services of a larger mothership. Armed with direction-locked ion cannons, two fore and one aft, they are made to be fired by the ship's sole pilot, and though they lack the mobility of traditional starship weapons, they are sufficient to defend the vessel under most circumstances. Only used to disable an attacking vessel, these cannot be used to destroy a vessel except via consequence of damaged/destroyed electronic systems. The shields, military grade, are sufficient for a ship of such size, but are unable to withstand sustained fire from any weapons heavier than those carried aboard the Retribution. Tirdarius also had a fourth cannon installed in the form of a rotating turret, enabling him to track smaller vessels and fire upon them as needed, as protection against starfighters and other fast-moving ships that the direction-locked weapons would be unable to target.
Being used as his personal vessel, the Retribution contains a small training area designed for exercise and combat training as well as a small workshop used for the modification and upkeep of his lightsaber. His personal quarters are designed to be small, containing a refresher unit and a small cot-like bed that can just about accommodate him comfortably. Adjoining this is also a small kitchenette where food can be prepared, and a study area where Tirdarius keeps his paperwork and the data terminal he uses to access the Holonet and documents when away from a planetary system.
The ship does, however, have sufficient space for up to 4 passengers, smaller cabins thus assigned for their own use, although they must share the kitchenette, and each of the rooms is connected to a small gathering room that also possesses it's own centralised holoprojector. The remainder of the ship is devoted to space for the onboard sublight and hyperdrive engines, as well as a small cargo bay designed to carry sufficient supplies to last several months at a time.
Role: Personal Transport
Power Core Generator/Reactor: Hypermatter Reactor
Hyperdrive Rating: Class 2 (Primary), Class 9 (Back-up)
Minimum Crew: 1
Optimal Crew: 1-2
Armaments: 4 ion cannons, 2 fore, 1 aft, 1 turret
- Integrated Neural Interface (see below)
- Sensor Array
- Navigational Array
- Escape Pod x1
- Holonet Interface
- Deflector Shield
Passenger Capacity: 4 total
Cargo Capacity: 60 tons
Consumables: 6 months
Sublight Speed and Maneuverability: Class 5.5
Secondary Technology: Integrated Neural Interface
An idea created during the days of the First Galactic Empire, the Neural Interface was crafted as a means for a pilot to control their ship directly via thought - the pilot would simply think about turning the ship, and the vessel would then do as was required. However, this particular technology was deemed too dangerous to use, given that the massive amount of sensory input caused significant damage to the test pilots trained to use it, driving them insane or killing them. The technology was thus scrapped, and all information pertaining to it's use was buried.
With the arrival of the Yuuzhan Vong into the Galaxy, a glimpse of the technology was once again observed - not via development by any civilised power, but rather by the use of Cognition Hoods in Yuuzhan Vong vessels, direct living interfaces which could both communicate with the pilot but also follow their commands. Understanding that this was now possible, the technology was revived by the Sith Empire followed the Four-Hundred Year Darkness and put into experimental production, albeit with far more limited capability.
Initial test designs focused on fully replicating the cognition hood, thus being a hood studded with neural electrodes designed to monitor a pilot's brainwave activity and translate this into pre-sequenced commands using a complex set of algorithms. This however had two consequences: the neural interface would respond to commands, but slower than a pilot might be able to issue instructions to the ship via normal control methods, and also caused migraines for the test pilots as a shadow of past sensory input issues rose again.
With this noted, the initial prototype was scrapped and redesigned to reduce input: instead of using a hood, the pilot would rely on standard sensor data relayed to them on sensor screens as a normal pilot might. This reduced the complex level of feedback that the pilot might receive from the ship, and thus ensured that they would not be overwhelmed by sensory data. The neural interface itself was also redesigned: this time, the interface was turned into a one-one system, thus ensuring that information could be transmitted to the link, but not back along it, so that the pilot would not be overwhelmed by it.
The interface was developed to function by contact with specially-designed panels: when touched, these would light up to indicate that the interface was functional with the user, and would thereafter interact with the pilot using a sensor-based technology not unlike a medical Electroencephaloscanner, detecting brain activity and matching it to pre-programmed scans that would inform the ship what was required of it. This approach to the technology proved much more successful than previous versions, though was inherently expensive, and abandoned as a wide-scale production technology as a result. It was, however, left available for those in the Sith hierarchy capable of affording it, and was thus installed on the Lucid Retribution at Tirdarius' express request. This did, however, require him to spend several long sessions over a period of a few weeks undergoing intensive brain scans in order to provide a baseline command set to allow the technology to be operated.
Aboard ship, the Neural Interface is mainly operated from the bridge, with a panel set into either side of the pilot's chair, each of which can control the ship in it's entirety. All standard controls were removed from the cockpit, and the observation ports that would allow the pilot to see into space were also remodelled as sensor screens, able to relay visual images or technical data to serve as the Sith Lord's eyes and ears while piloting, enabling him to see damage inflicted, the state of the ship's technologies, sensor data pertaining to proximity, as well as being connected to the navicomputer.
The Neural Interface has one distinct primary weakness: if it should be damaged via weapons fire (or fried using an Ion Cannon) with a direct hit to it's primary interfacing centres, the ship will utterly power down and be unable to move under it's own power - the entire transport will be completely disabled until it can be repaired. For this reason, Tirdarius keeps a back-up system among his cargo components, though this takes a minimum of four hours to be installed, with the original system rerouted to function on the back-up.