BIG TIME WIP
Main Gun: No Main Rifle is Present
The Leonardo Da Vinci class of Carriers, numbering six in total, is normally assigned as leaders of battle groups more commonly referred to as “wolf-packs” of four frigates and two cruisers. Their main weapon is their large number of fighters and troopships, capable of striking ground and air targets as well as landing marines on enemy vessels and groundside. This tour will be aboard the class’s namesake, the TRSV Leonardo Da Vinci, a vessel commanded by Captain Robert Pickirk and his Executive Officer Michael Downer. Let us begin…
D1: The first deck, the Main Hanger, is an open corridor that runs about 786m along the beam of the vessel and opens onto space via barriers that allow the hanger to be oxygenated and pressurized while letting vessels pass through into space. Housing roughly one hundred and sixty FL24 Viper fighter/interceptors, a VSTOVL aircraft, and close to eighty UV43 Titan troopships, similar to a spacecraft version of a CH-47 Chinook capable of landing thirty marines groundside; the hanger is the main weapon of the Da Vinci. Accessible by a single entry point airlock used when docking, an elevator that connects to D15 where the Bridge level is located, and a ladder to the second deck, the Hanger is mostly isolated from the rest of the Da Vinci. At the rear there are living quarters for crews, pilots, and servicemen who work in the Hanger at all times and along the sides and at the very front there are “Ports” for vessels to leave and reenter the hanger.
Pickirk was well-known throughout the Terran Space Fleet for running a tight ship, and the class learned immediately that they were in for a real surprise compared to the relaxed Admirals aboard the Dreadnoughts. Standing at ease, he quickly barked out, his voice echoing in the twenty meter long entry corridor, “Attention!”
His Executive Officer, Staff Lieutenant Michael Downer, stepped forward, commanding respect like a Marine drill instructor. Striding up and down the line of cadets, he began to speak loudly, instructing them on the procedures of the Carrier, “Welcome aboard the Terran Republic’s Space Vehicle Leonardo Da Vinci! While aboard this vessel you will wear what is called a visitor suit,” he said directing them to a pile of folded jumpsuits in light green, “and not your cadet’s service dress uniform; if there are any problems with that shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. We will begin our tour of Da Vinci on deck one, the Hanger. It runs seven hundred and ninety meters along the spine and houses roughly two hundred forty vessels and is the main arm of the Carrier’s power… Oi! I said jumpsuits! NOW!”
The Cadets snapped too, stepping into their visitor uniforms, pulling them over their service dress and zipping them up, as the Staff Lieutenant turned, leading the group after the Captain who entered a massive room. The ceiling standing roughly eighty feet above them as wide as the ship itself, the hanger was alive with the buzzing of engines and the drills of Marines who used the space in between fighters and troopships to exercise, play basketball, football, and box. Raising their eyes to the massive room, they watch as a fighter simply rose from the ground, hovering for a moment before the pilot saluted his controller on the floor, a man wearing an orange jumpsuit, and kicking his engines into high and tearing through the air and out of the hanger at nearly ten times the speed of sound. A loud bang tore through the hanger as the fighter disappeared before the Executive Officer turned to face them, “This is the hanger! We use this to launch ground assaults of our four Marine Companies numbering roughly two hundred each as well as precision strikes from Viper interceptor fighters and store munitions and ground-forces’ supplies. We are the heart of a ground operation, and the hanger is the heart of our operation!”
Continuing on, the cadets struggled to keep up as the Staff Lieutenant and Captain entered a large elevator that each member of the class crammed into, barely fitting the whole group, before it shot up toward the Bridge Level.
D15: The Bridge level of the Carrier, like all other bridge levels, are isolated from the rest of the vessel by a single entry point. Housing the captain’s quarters, a crew quarters used by only the bridge’s crew, a CIC, a small infirmary, a mess hall for the bridge only, and an escape shuttle hall, the top deck is smaller than most others but is the active brain of the Carrier.
Exiting the lift, the group stepped into a well-lit hallway that was slightly rounded, making it feel as if they were standing on a platform inside a long tube. To their right, they saw a simple automatic door that was labeled: “Cpt. Pickirk” which they assumed was the Captain’s private quarters; being a large room with carpeted floors, a four-post bed, a study, and a library. Across from the elevator, they entered a large conference-like room. In the center sat a long mahogany table with chairs around it and a projector in the center that was actively projecting a holographic version of Earth with the vessel’s position highlighted in orbit amongst a large amount of satellites and other Terran Vessels. Clearing his throat, the Captain spoke for the first time since welcoming them, “This is the boardroom, wear Officers meet to discuss operational security, the operation at hand, and other niceties. It is from here that we can direct ground-forces’ movements.”
Being shooed out of the room, they reentered the hall where lights along the floorboards were beginning to dim to represent the setting of the sun in Geneva. Being lead along the hall, they climbed a short set of stairs that ran nearly vertically like a ladder, and stepped onto the Bridge itself. A long tube lined by computer consoles set into the floor separated by a walkway that ran the length of the bridge, it was silent save for the very dull humming of the computer’s screens. Taking seat, the Captain leaned against his private console area, a position that surrounded him on three sides and allowed him to: review the entire of the bridge’s computers with a flick of his finger, use his personal computer, view holographic maps, and anything might need. At the very front of the bridge, forty meters away, the helmsman sat at his own computer, surrounding him on three sides as well, and slowly began to maneuver the Da Vinci out of its orbital position and head toward Luna. Lifting a headset from his console, the Captain spoke to the helm, “Bring her to bearing 031 by 213 by 231… Once you’re past Luna, you have the Con.”
“This is the Bridge, the ‘brain’ of the Carrier,” the Staff Lieutenant began, “It is here that we control the vessel. These computers, armed by rotating shifts of forty men on twelve hour intervals, operate everything from flight-controls in the hanger, ground communications, navigations, life support systems, engine venting and safety, medical reports, and any tidbit of minor information that is redundantly boring to hear about but needed for this behemoth to operate smoothly. Now, as Captain Pickirk needs his privacy while we maneuver out of Terainian Space, you will follow me to the Combat Information Center, more commonly called the CIC.”
The Staff Lieutenant turned, sliding down the stairs and turning a corner, downing another flight in seconds before leading the class of cadets into a room less than half the size of the bridge directly above. Housing twelve computer consoles set into the floor with a central chair on a swivel in the center of the room, the entire CIC was bathed in blood-red battle light. Awkwardly, and almost eerily, silent, the room was full of men extremely focused on the screens in front of them. Taking a seat in the center chair, the Staff Lieutenant leaned back as if he was in his own throne, “This, ladies and gentlemen, is the CIC. I, as the Executive Officer, typically run the CIC during operations and my second junior officer, normally a Second or First Lieutenant, will have the con when I’m on my off-rotation. Here we control the major combat functions of the Da Vinci, from ground bombardment, strike missions, communication with fighters aloft, and organizing flight plans, we are the reaction-center of the brain.”