Monday, November 25, 2013

TG: The SAS Constitution

Been a bit quiet here lately, hasn't it? Oh, the life of a game developer. I do have a couple big blog entries planned, just need to sit down and write them. I'll be taking a look at the new Clan Raukaan supplement for Warhammer 40K, of course (gotta share my thoughts on all things Iron Hands related), as well as sharing a sort-of essay about characters in stories, based on a recent revelation I had.

But I'll get to those later. For now, I thought I'd share something I hammered out a little while ago, a bit of extra background for my universe.

I have a bunch of these smaller articles I've written, just adding more details to the universe as they come to me or as needed, but they don't necessarily have a place in a wider narrative at the moment (though they certainly might be referenced in a future story). I guess maybe these are almost the literary equivalent of a sketchbook.

This one is about a spaceship, the SAS Constitution. It's a lovely ship with a long and storied history, though I only note a few of its more famous encounters here. Over the two-thousand year history of the Solar Alliance, there were eight vessels to bear the name, and most stayed in service for centuries. The SAS Bastille from my novel is a Constitution-class vessel, modeled after the last vessel to bear the name.

SAS Constitution

The SAS Constitution was the name for a series of vessels that served the Solar Alliance Navy during most of its existence. Ships bearing the name Constitution frequently developed near-legendary reputations for their distinguished and lengthy service. Many of the ships named Constitution remained in service for periods far longer than most other ships of their respective classes. The Constitution also participated in many of the most pivotal battles of the Solar Alliance’s history, frequently serving as the flagship of one of the Navy fleets.

The first SAS Constitution began its construction in 2195. The name was chosen for both the USS Constitution, an older wooden sailing ship which had survived the Pre-Unity wars of the 21st century, and the CNS Constitution, a battle-carrier type ship of the United Coalition of Nations that was instrumental in pioneering the first generations of naval vessels capable of anti-gravity flight.

With its construction completed in 2199, the SAS Constitution, registry SCVT-01, was launched as the first official flagship of the Solar Alliance Navy, commanding the 1st Fleet, and was the prototype vessel for the new Constitution-class space carrier vessel. Over the next century, a dozen Constitution-class carriers would be built. However, only the SAS Constitution would survive to its decommissioning over a hundred and fifty years later. Perhaps the most notable engagement fought by this vessel would be the climactic battle at the conclusion of the War of the Red Hand in 2332 that saw the final defeat of the rebel forces and the full restoration of the Solar Alliance’s power.

As the Solar Alliance expanded beyond the Sol system, subsequent iterations of the SAS Constitution were at the forefront of both exploration and ensuring the safety of the worlds of humanity. It was the Constitution which helped spearhead the attack that would ultimately break the Valhallan Hegemony in 2910, the SAS Constitution which first discovered and charted the Van Graff Rift and its bizarre anomalies within, and the SAS Constitution that helped save millions of lives during the evacuation of Deneb IV.

In 4006, after completing its maiden voyage, it was the latest iteration of the SAS Constitution, the eighth ship of the Solar Alliance to bear the name, which was the command vessel of a scouting fleet sent to investigate a strange and powerful surge of unknown energy from the otherwise uncharted UX-643 system. Upon arriving in system, the fleet took up position around a massive anomaly hundreds of miles in diameter, and began to conduct a standard scientific analysis. Before long, strange alien ships began to emerge from the anomaly, and attacked the fleet. The Constitution was one of the only vessels to survive and escape the attack, and this battle marked the beginning of the Judgment War.

Two hundred and ninety-seven years later, the same SAS Constitution, having undergone several refits to keep it in service, as the Solar Alliance could not afford to outright replace it, was part of the massive fleet sent into the alternate reality of the Great Enemy in an attempt to destroy their homeworld. Though several thousand ships broke through the portal to attack the Great Enemy homeworld, barely a dozen returned, the SAS Constitution among them. It had suffered massive damage throughout the fighting, however, and almost didn’t succeed in returning.

Following its return, the Constitution was ordered to return to Earth for repairs or a possible decommissioning, depending on what the Solar Alliance military command decided upon. However, soon after, a massive fleet of Great Enemy ships was sighted heading into the Sol system, and all contact with Earth was lost. The ultimate fate of the last ship to bear the name Constitution remains a mystery.

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