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Nycarian Nexus class Battleship

Above: the RNV Narcissis (left), Nexus class profile plans (center), and the Narcissis leaving Cape Town, South Africa. (right)

Ships of Class :
RNV Nexus (Prototype)
RNV Narcissis
RNV Nereus

Class:
Nycarian designations have no classification for this ship.
UEO vessel identification standards categorize the Nexus as a Battleship

R&D Cost:
Unknown.

Construction Costs:
Unknown. Level of technology makes it difficult to estimate.

Keel laid:
Nexus - 2034
Narcissis - 2037
Nereus - 2037

Launched:
Nexus - 2036
Narcissis - 2039
Nereus - 2039

Commissioned:
Nexus - Never commissioned. Prototype test bed was apparently lost during sea trials (See below for details)
Narcissis - 2040
Nereus - 2040

Current Homeport:
Cape Town, Nycarian South African Province.

Submerged Displacement:
Approximately 500,000 tonnes

Dimensions:
Length: 500 meters (1640 feet)
Beam: 210 meters (688 feet)
Wingspan: 210 meters (688 feet)
Height (Fins) 98 meters (321 feet)
Draft (Surfaced): 40 meters (131 feet)

Hull Composition:
5 inches of Refined Neutrium-A battleplate.
Underlying support frame work is not known, but believed to be heavy Titanium/Neutrium composite.

Weapons systems:
30 x 21-inch "Gemini" Torpedo tubes mounted fore, midships and aft.
Oculus "Nuclear Particle Accelerator Cannon" (Spinal mount)
Directed energy relays (See specifications below)

VLS:
None observed.

Torpedo armaments conjectural at best. Exact number stored within the ship's magazine is open to speculation.
All that is known of the torpedo armaments is that they are referred to as "Gemini" systems, and involve the use of Anulus-related warheads...

Defensive systems:
Point defense energy exchange relay (see specifications below)
Intercept torpedoes

Machinery:
Primary: Anulus neutrium fusion reactor
Secondary: Unknown (If any)

Propulsion:

Unknown. External examination of the hull and sensor returns have led to inconclusive speculation on the location of drive systems.

Primary Fuel:
Raw Neutrium-Gamma (An isotope of unrefined Neutrium)

Perishables: Presumed to be between 6 to 9 months.

Computer System:
Unknown.
Computer systems are believed to be a highly advanced neural network
at least on par with, or potentially exceeding present UEO systems.

Speed:
160 knots observed.

Crush Depth:
Greater than 30,000 feet.
(Presumably, the unusually heavy hull construction allows the vessel complete range of all potential depths)

Sensors
Internal: Hypersonar, Laser arrays, Magnetic Anomaly Detectors, Other unknown systems.

Maximum Effective Range: about 300 nautical miles

EVA Assets:
Observed to be supported by 'substantial' numbers of "Wraith" class subfighters.
Based on size; estimation is anywhere between 80 to 100 subcraft.
Is known to maintain several personnel transport minisubs serving as launches, shuttles and ferries.

Total; anywhere from 90 to 120 craft.

Crew Complement:
Highly automated systems have led to very restricted crew numbers.
As indicated by Nycarian Viceroy Narius Rhodes, the crew of a Nexus numbers less than 300; unprecedented for a vessel this size
(At least 100 of these personnel can be assumed to be pilots for the EVA corps; and this department alone can easily be assumed
to be higher due to deck crew allowances)

Command history:

(Nexus)

Unknown.

(Narcissis)

Fleet Viceroy Narius Rhodes - 2040 - Present

(Nereus)

Fleet Viceroy Julius Kassell - 2040 - Present


Above: the RNV Narcissis (left) operating in the North Atlantic, the Aquarius DSV taking a hit (center) from the Nexus during the battle of Pearl Harbor, and the RNV Nereus. (right)

UEO Naval Intelligence Report
N611-299-03A
Prepared by Commander E. Kain, UEO Office of Naval Intelligence - Department of Special Research
Special Advisory Report information: Captain M. Ainsley - 3rd Fleet, First Battle Division - UEO Navy.

CLASSIFIED EYES ONLY

To: Vice Admiral Jason Hargreaves, O.N.I Headquarters, San Angeles.
From: Commander Elizabeth Kain, Special liaison to Taskforce Athene. (Information restricted)
Report Begins: 02:54 Hours Local Time (GMT -8) June 21, 2041
Logged: 178-292-Kappa-288-A

 

It is difficult to comprehend the precise origins of the unique class of vessel known as the "Nexus"; constructed and operated by an alliance of African nations now rallied under a banner of a so-called "Nycarian Empire". While their intentions and goals remain unclear, every possible recourse and potential outcome of their emergence must be examined, studied and catalogued as - at the very least - a potential and very substantial question of strategic capability and disposition.

First encountered in January (2041), the vessel identified as a "Nexus" class warsub has exhibited warfighting capabilities well beyond what we presently understand. Substantial analysis of data gathered by Captain Mark Ainsley - the present commanding officer of the DSV Atlantis - indicates the warship is heavily armed and protected by materials which render most passive sensor systems ineffective - penetrating scans are not possible through the outer hull material, and only with diplomatic consultation with the vessel's Commander (See file N611-299-17B: Rhodes, Narius) was any information on the vessels capabilities understood at all. The Viceroy's willingness to share this information can likely be construed as both an act of good faith, and a demonstration of naval power. The information offered by the Viceroy is lent further credibility by observation of the Nexus in combat where it exhibited tactical abilities extending well beyond what the Viceroy had aluded to; certainly not the least of which is the Oculus weapon and its related sub-systems.

The Nexus is believed to represent the latest and best example of Nycarian naval technology. Identification of similar - albeit considerably smaller - Nycarian vessels such as the Neureon, Vulcrum and Wraith-class subfighter suggests that the development of the class was not a sudden acquisition, and demonstrates many years of research and development in to advanced weapons, armour and drive systems. The origins of this research are not entirely clear (See file: C-1621-Alpha) but may well be linked to events only briefly documented in Sierra Leone where - by Nycarian testimony - genetic experiments were conducted extensively on humans including augmentation of senses, physical strength and - most pertinently - the brain. We know that these experiments resulted in the creation of what is commonly referred to as the "Nycarian race", and that the many subjects of these experiments - while treated in a reprehensible and inhumane way - have since been left with unique mental abilities which far exceed those of a normal human. It would not be unsuitable in this way to refer to the Nycarians as "super" human - to borrow a popular phrase from the turn of the century. It was revealed to several UEO officers during May of this year that the design and development of the Nexus and its associated technologies were due in large part to Viceroy Narius Rhodes - the same man who presently commands one of these vessels. His apparently intimate knowledge of the ship's systems does support this claim.

On May 6th, during the defence of Pearl Harbor, visual identification of a Nexus not previously documented was made. Consultation with Imperial military officers at the time indicated that this vessel was the Nexus itself - the prototype of the class, and it had apparently fallen under the control of a group Nycarian radicals who opposed the present Bauer government. This encounter has thus far been the single greatest source of information on the capabilities and weaknesses of the class.
During the subsequent engagement, the Nexus was able to render the battlecruiser Reverence combat ineffective and then cripple the DSV Aquarius with no considerable or even apparent damage being received in turn. This exemplifies the extreme threat such a vessel would represent in an order of battle, and few UEO weapons commonly employed by fleet assetts were able to cause noticeable damage.

During this engagement, the weapon system known only as the "Oculus" was witnessed in use for the first time. This device, since categorized by the Advanced Submergence Development Bureau as a "Nuclear Particle Accelerator Cannon" is not well understood. The concept is simple enough to grasp; a thermo-nuclear reaction is started within the vessel's primary reactor core and is physically contained within a sphere of magnetic fields before being forced through a long, linear accelerator mounted on the ship's spine. The energy is then directed through a large energy lens (Note: this is speculation; the presence of a glass focusing lens as found in conventional laser weapons would appear to be unlikely due to the energies involved) and is focused in to a single beam emitted from the end of the accelerator. The resulting, directed-energy blast is the equivalent of a tactical nuclear weapon in yield; with some sensor analyses indicating a yield in excess of 50 kilotons. As could be imagined, no defence can exist against such an attack, and a direct hit would in all likelyhood be sufficient to completely destroy a capital ship. (Including a DSV.)
The DSV Aquarius survived such an attack during the battle, but there were several contributing factors to this encounter:

  • The blast was partially (perhaps entirely) obscured by a second vessel; another Nexus class vessel identified as the Narcissis.
  • Evasive action limited the extent of the damage; a direct hit was not achieved - the weapon instead glancing the DSV's port side.
  • Due to the nature of the Nexus herself as a prototype, and revelations that the vessel was never intended to contain an oculus, it has been suggested that the attack directed against the Aquarius did not match the potential yield which another vessel would be otherwise capable of.

Regardless of these extenuating circumstances, the damage caused to the Aquarius was considerable; the attack sufficient to render the DSV combat ineffective for several months pending repairs necessitating the use of dry dock facilities; heavy damage to the hull, internal decks and navigational superstructures (including canards and wings) demonstrated that no degree of protection or armour presently installed aboard UEO DSVs is sufficient against such an attack.


Above: A gun camera on one of the Atlantis DSV's WSPR satellites captured the moment at which Aquarius was hit by the oculus weapon.
Faintly visible center-frame is the port bow canard of the Aquarius, which was sheered off by the attack. The Nexus itself is clearly visible at the top of the frame.

(Author's note: Check out the top of this page for a high resolution, colour version of this image.)

 

A subsequent, well-documented counter attack launched by members of the UEO 107th and 115th Tactical Fighter Squadrons with support from Special Operations Group Seven, Team SIX, was able to destroy the Nexus with the use of unconventional tactics which are not easily repeatable during a standard order of battle. A Marine Force Recon unit from Team SIX - temporarily (and fortunately) embarked aboard the DSV Atlantis was able to launch a covert boarding action against the Nexus. Normally, an approach of such fashion would prove unsuccessful due to the Nexus class's point defence relays, but in this case, sensor recognition codes provided by Nycarian Viceroy Narius Rhodes enabled the Recon unit to close with and then board the vessel via an external airlock. (It was already assumed that standard laser-docking collars used to burn through hulls would have proven ineffective against the Neutrium hull plating of the Nexus warship)

During the boarding action, the marines were able to destroy key safety and failsafe systems which safeguarded the ship's reactor core; allowing a pair of high speed Subfighters from the previously mentioned squadrons to penetrate the defensive fire screen of the battleship and destroy the reactor core. The destruction of these key failsafe systems, combined with the build up of energy already within the Anulus core (the vessel was preparing to fire again) caused a catastrophic loss of containment which resulted in the destruction of the vessel from the inside-out. Both the boarding party and the subfighters were able to escape this explosion.

Understandably, such tactics which rely on so many elements of the operation to succeed can not be considered an acceptable counter to these unique vessels. This is further compounded by the fact that as a prototype, the Nexus itself was never outfitted with the same degree of protection and safety systems which her later sisterships were designed with; these include secondary containment units, a fully-armoured reactor sphere (as exemplified by the plates visible fore and aft of the Anulus), and a form of energy dispertion system which can prevent such an overload. (The later system was seen in use during a recent Macronesian assault against the Nycarian "Drakensberg" Defence Line. The same tactic was repeated, but proved ineffective against the vessel in question - a smaller Neureon class cruiser.)

Over the last month, the ASDB has studied data recorded through various observations of the latest Macronesian-Nycarian engagements. On each ocassion, the Macronesian forces were swiftly and decisively defeated with no losses to the involved Nycarian fleet(s). Analysis of these recordings show that even the heaviest of Particle Deceleration weapons ("Subduction") lack the necessary firepower to affect Neutrium hull plating; the material apparently so densely composed that the usual disassociation of electrons and molecular bonding is simply not strong enough to break down the metal; making it the first material known to date which is completely effective against this form of weapon.
Despite these one-sided figures, the Nycarian military has been slow to pick up a counter-offensive against Macronesia, and with a civil war presently dividing their attentions, it seems unlikely that such a counter-offensive will be conducted within the forseeable future.

Following the destruction of the Nexus, Naval Intelligence was able to recover several fragments of hull plating from what limited remains were left behind. Remarkably, while the ship's hull had been completely destroyed by the detonation of the reactor core, considerable numbers of the hexagonal plates used in its construction were almost completely intact. (It should noted however that these pieces were identified to be from the ship's fore and aft extremities. The midships section which housed the Anulus core appears to have been vaporized.)
The nature of the material known as "neutrium" itself is unlike any element, composite or material which the UEO has yet seen; and conjecture remains on whether neutrium is an extremely heavy transuranic element or an alloy. In either case; neutrium is not a naturally-occuring material and must be artificially manufactured. (Presumably by particle acceleration, cyclotron, fusion or other methods.) When manufactured, it is understood that neutrium is not a pure substance, the creation process leading to an unrefined ore which, while heavy, is quite soft due to imperfections in the materials and trace remnants of other materials used during the process. This form of neutrium is known as neutrium-gamma; an isotope which is readily used to fuel Anulus reactors and related weapon systems.
Refined neutrium is created through another process which is not at all understood, and produces a compact lattice-weave material which is incomprehensibly denser, heavier and stronger than even C-65 composites used by the UEO in DSV construction.

(Access to data on C-65 restricted. Level 9 security clearence required.)

Unrefined neutrium - as explained in limited detail by Viceroy Rhodes - has a dulled, grey texture and colour which is physically as soft as lead, and approximately ten times heavier. Its use in the Anulus reactor as both a fuel and a weapon core indicated that the isotope is also a weapons-grade material. On the other hand, refined neutrium-A gains a refractive (if dulled) gold colour, becomes many times stronger and heavier and is radioactively inert; making it suitable for warship plating and construction. But this is not its only use. Refined neutrium has been used in the construction of a great many things throughout the Nycarian Empire - including the primary material used in the construction of the Protean Citadel in South Africa; the Capitol. This has been cited and verified by Captain Mark Ainsley who visited the Nycarian capital in April (2041). As a further note, the Captain was able to briefly examine a Nexus class warship while it was surfaced in its berth in the Nycarian's Cape Town naval facility. (Two vessels; the Narcissis and the Nereus, were present) Reportedly, the hull of a Nexus is not painted, nor covered by any further material; bearing the same gold colour as the material it is created from.
Destructive tests of the fragments recovered from the Nexus's hull revealed that while exceptionally strong, it is not impervious to damage. (Admitedly, it took nearly 900 pounds of conventional explosive to destroy even a single section of the armour. The same result was achieved by continuous exposure (some 2 minutes, 12 seconds) from an SMR-70 particle laser such as those as employed aboard the Trident class SSN.) In both cases, the armour was only fractured - the hexagonal plates making up its structure were seperated at the seams, but were otherwise undamaged.
It has been observed in combat that standard 1000-pound Mark 92 ADCAP Plasma torpedoes have been unable to destroy neutrium armour with anything less than repeated strikes. The reason for this is believed to be the design and structure of the the Nexus class's underlying frame work. It is not known what material is used in this structure.

Of particular note is the Nexus's extensive point-defence system which covers virtually every extremity of the hull. How this is possible wasn't understood until examination of the neutrium plating was undertaken and revealed unusual conductive properties which made it an excellent conduit for light, energy and electrical passage. Any point on the hull which is covered by neutrium is capable of being charged with the same energy created within the anulus core. The charged plate is then able to discharge this build up of energy in a directed beam which works in the same manner as Oculus. (Albeit on a smaller, more tactical scale.) Given that the entire ship is plated in this material, it offers an unprecedented 360x360 degree coverage of every axis, approach and angle. To date, only two UEO pilots have been known to penetrate this defensive screen successfully through using fire manuevers aimed at dividing fire between them, whilst randomly altering course, speed and position. The success of this operation (Incidentally, the same operation leading to the destruction of the Nexus) is believed to be a simple case of blind luck. While the obvious skill of the pilots involved is not in any way questioned (both have extensive records of achievement) the question of whether or not such an act could be repeated with the same outcome is of significant doubt. Repeated previous attempts to break through this defensive screen proved fatal for 80% of all pilots who tried; the remaining 20% either ejecting or aborting their respective attack runs. Of course, this same defense system has been routinely demonstrated to be just as effective against incoming torpedo ordnance.

This same method of energy delivery is the keystone to the Nexus's extensive energy cannon arrays. While the defensive screen discussed relies on rapid, repeating salvos of comparatively low yield to put up a virtually impenetrable field of fire, the ship has been seen to be capable of increasing the yield and range of these attacks at the expense of reload cycle time to a point where they become viable anti-capital-class offensive weapons. They are comparable in striking power and range to a UEO SLR-84 long-range particle cannon. (There is, as previously discussed, a limit to how much energy a plate of neutrium-A can absorb before it exceeds its own structural tolerance, but hypothetically, when used in such a manner, these energy relays could put out a continuous stream of fire from one location on the hull for a considerable period, lending itself to raking, armour-piercing or extremely long range attacks)

It would be incorrect to assume that the Nexus class relies on energy weapons alone to achieve mission objectives. While the energy weapons in the Oculus and neutrium plating provide an undeniably decisive advantage in combat, the Nexus retains many conventional torpedo systems which define a modern war-going submersible. External sensor returns from a Nexus indicates that it has as many as thirty torpedo tubes arranged at various locations on the bow, midships and stern, offering an all-encompassing field of fire. These torpedo systems, referred to by Nycarian officers on many occasions as "Gemini" torpedo tubes are still considerably more advanced than present plasma armaments commonly employed by the UEO and Macronesia. Each warhead is equipped with a sophisticated array of sensor-decoys, making it difficult to track the weapons mid-flight. Further more, the warheads themselves appear to be based upon the same technology employed in Anulus reactor cores. Damage assessments and examination of the UEO Reverence CVBN-96 following its engagement with the Nexus at Pearl Harbor showed unusually heavy and anamalous damage in sections reportedly hit by Gemini warheads. Fragments of neutrium plating recovered aboard the Reverence, and the pattern of damage extending within the ship led engineers to conclude that each missile is likely tipped with a hard, neutrium-plated penetration cap designed to break through armour plating and hull materials to breach sections deep within the ship prior to detonation. The detonation of the warhead itself, while not nuclear in nature (as was initially believed) is nonetheless similar in physical reaction. Large sections of the Reverence's interior bulkheads and corridors were vaporized by the detonations of these weapons, and significant scorching, metal distortion and fatigue throughout the extremeties of the damaged sections indicates that a Gemini warhead posesses significant thermobaric properties, apparently of variable yield. More unusual still is the evidence of multiple detonations. Engineers studied the point of entry at one part of the hull at length; the hole created by the missile clearing several decks before finally detonating near the ship's hangar bays. What was odd about the hole (most notably where the ship's reactive plating had been breached) was that there was evidence to suggest that two objects had passed through it. The first - presumably the warhead and breaching cap itself - and the second drawing no apparent conclusion. (Some have theorised that the name "Gemini" is no small coincidence.)

What remains remarkable about the Nexus is that for all its unsurpassed capability as a warship - the vast majority of its systems are not incomprehensible to grasp. The two significant factors leading to its dominance on the battlefield are undoubtedly the Nycarian mastery of materiale development (Neutrium, for example) and the manipulation of fusion technology as seen in the Anulus reactor. Both of these developments appear to have given the Nycarians an unparalleled dominance in combat; each showing multiple and versatile uses and applications.



Above:
RNV Narcissis, sailing in company with Atlantis DSV-8100 in 2041.
This image was captured by one of the DSV's escorting subfighters.

In conclusion, while studies in to the capabilities of this unique warship continue, it is difficult to say that there are many weapons in conventional arsenals - either UEO or Macronesian - that are capable of matching it. Of course, the full extent of the technology which has created the Nexus is still unknown. Computer systems, drive systems and life support are all major factors that require consideration before any conclusive and thorough assessment of this warship can be conducted, and truly, with what limited knowledge we have of just a select few and key components discussed, it could well be a very long time before the UEO is even close to being capable of replicating it. Vicariously, and for however long it may be, careful observation of the emerging civil war within the Empire must be judiciously conducted and monitored. Should vessels of this class (or others even half their capability) fall in to the hands of agencies or organizations who do not represent the present, bi-partisan Imperial Government, the consequences could well be unprecedented...

 

Report Ends: 05:20 Hours Local Time (GMT -8) June 21, 2041

 

Copyright 2006-2009 James Ward. All reference pertaining to "seaQuest DSV" and "seaQuest 2032" are copyrights of Universal/Amblin enterainment and no claim is made to these titles. Atlantis DSV and all related themes are copyright of James Ward and associated writers.

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