Aotrs204A Dark Fear A
Aotrs204A Dark Fear A
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Aotrs204A Dark Fear A

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The Dark Fear Destroyer had a troubled design history. Planned since the conception stage of the modern 10th generation fleet in 2319, the Dark Fear was plagued with technical issues and problems from the very start. This earliest version was a typical ship-of-the-line warship, akin to the Frostbeam, but on a larger scale. The first prototype woefully underperformed and the process began, moving through no less than five prototypes and subsequent re-designs before the original Dark Fear was scrapped entirely. 

The name Dark Fear and its attendant the ship category (destroyer) was appended to numerous other prototypes as the need for new ship designs changed. The Dark Fear’s numerous alternate designs attempted to forge it into something to meet the current requirements, but it never seemed to work right, and was out-paced by other designs. The Dark Fear name was appended to a missile ship (scrapped), a point-defence vessel (out-performed by the Spiritwrack), a standard warship (inferior to the existing Shadowfang and Overwhelmer) and at least one abortive try that failed to even get off the drawing board as a long-range recon/carrier. It was long-rumoured the name itself was cursed (despite Dark Fear previously having a long, storied history as a vessel in the Aotrs starfleet right back to the 1st generation). It had even been investigated, but no evidence of an actual curse could be found.

Finally, in 2340, work began on a new heavy destroyer version of the Dark Fear, using the solid and proven base of the Shadowfang MkII and Overwhelmer, between which it fitted in scale. But even this too was had issues – the primary armament (and thus function) was in hot debate between whether it should be a coldbeam vessel, a railgun warship or a missile ship. Eventually, the unfinished prototype – unarmed save for the point-defence turrets – was taken out for a test flight. A series of apparently unrelated happenstances followed; three highly improbable mechanical failures occurred (in systems identical to those used by other 10th generation ships for twenty years with only a single instance in one case of failure), an encounter with a spacial anomoly and finally an attack by a pirate band. But the Lichemaster had hand-picked the test-flight crew personally, from a variety of disparate sources. This new crew came together in the crisis, and defeated each and every problem them were beset with. (It can be speculated that this was the Lichemaster’s intention, given his foresight abilities.) The Dark Fear prototype returned triumphantly to the spacedock, damaged but victorious, having won its first space battle without even being completed. From that point forward, whatever misfortune had dogged the Dark Fear seemed to melt away.

The Dark Fear finally entered service in 2345, the name-ship being crewed by the same crew that had taken it out for its maiden voyage. The armament problem was solved in the end – not least to a discovery made as part of that shake-down cruise – by simply having four configurations of the Dark Fear to meet all the roles. The configurations are not modular (though that was considered), though refitting one to another would be possible as part of a general refit (except for the Dark Fear C configuration, where the changes are more extensive).

The Dark Fear A is armed with six fixed-mount coldbeam cannons, of the same type as the Shadowfang MkII and intended to function in the same role. The coldbeams are mounted in three pairs; port and starboard double mount like the Shadowfangs and one dorsal double mount. Each of the configurations replaces these weapons. 

With the great manoeuvrability provided by the engines and shielding equivalent to some less advanced battleships twice its size, the Dark Fear A’s lack of anti-capital-ship weapons in the other arcs is not an easy one to take advantage of.