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The Adjudicator Chapter (Cover Art)

Chapter 52 - The Adjudicator[]

Taussen System
Federated Suns Space
Mid 3160

[Space Defense System...]

The ship that so thoroughly upset everyone's defensive plans dangled in the darkness of Taussen's night side.  She looked more like a fiction artist's imaginary space station; With two half-kilometer wide rotating gravity decks, a central, spindle-like hull, dotted and strung with sensor arrays, antennas for communication, and reinforced globular 'turrets' built up in staggered order around large, boxlike bays fastened to that central spindle.  The LCS Beagle is actually bigger than most battleships. Coming in at both longer and wider than the Lyran's Frederick Steiner class vessel whose planform clearly inspired the central hull (and whose engines, this time in a six-pack instead of a four-pack, were used in the construction as a cost-saving measure for a one-off vessel meant to serve as the command base and support infrastructure for an exploration fleet).

Scans revealed a battleship's weapons on the exploration vessel's hull. With an emphasis on point defenses and a limited, but potent offensive potential.

The primary turrets being triple-mount Naval Gauss weapons, backed by subcapital energy weapons in the secondary turrets, with a perpendicular-mount missile systems capable of firing white shark and larger missiles.

The fighter bays were racked along both sides, with the small craft bays racked along the forward hull, shielded by point-defense installations and massive, complex, sensor arrays.

Also equipped with two, somewhat too small (in proportion) dropship collars to round it off.

As a statement of gunboat diplomacy, the Lyrans could have done worse than a 2.5 million ton exploration ship.

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