The Sergenious is the very first shipkiller class to ever be constructed in all of Earthfleet history. It was a revolutionary starship of its time, faster, more agile and better armed than many ships 20x or more its size. The ship's main superstructure and flight profile has a very SR71 feel to it, and because of this there is considerable argument within Earthfleet over which ship inspired the other as there were a number of scientists from Earthfleet and the Brayburn Society that secretly were involved in the SR71 project on Earth around the same time, as both ships were in development at roughly the same time, thus bringing about the long standing argument of who actually came first.
The idea behind the creation of the Sergenious was to build a ship that could go toe to toe with most battlecruisers of its era and win single-handedly without outside help. For larger ships, such as battleships and dreadnoughts, the Sergenious class would be required to join together in a multi-ship formation of similar vessels and combine their strengths to defeat whatever battleship or dreadnoughts they were forced to face. The Sergenious class went through two primary iterations in its service lifetime. The original version was very stocky, boxy and bulky, its core design hearkening back to the more spartan and utilitarian designs of the Gayik'Von, from which Earthfleet and the Brayburn Society got most of its earlier technology and starship designs, both of which drew heavily on Gayik'Von designs.
However, what is known as the "Gen2", or "Generation Two" refit, was a complete refit and rebuild of the Sergenious class from the ground up, save only for its spaceframe, providing it with newer, better armor, shields, weapons, defenses, engines (both FTL and sublight), sensors, core systems and more. It also led to the ship taking on a more streamlined appearance, replacing the older, blockier, utilitarian design the ship had begun with, replacing prominent features, such as turrets, engine modules and more with a much more streamline, sleeker profile. Even the FTL drives and Coaxial Power Core were replaced with upgraded units making her faster and more agile than her Gen1 iteration. The Sergenious class then served out the rest of its life, anywhere from twenty to fifty years, before finally being replaced by the Raven and Wolfpack shipkiller classes. Over time, Earthfleet also built two more shipkiller classes that were contemporary with the Sergenious class, each one of which tried to improve on the success of the Sergenious. These were the Samurai and the Pegasus classes. However, both of them failed to do so as their larger size and heavier construction caused them to lose some of the advantages that made the Sergenious class so great.
Eventually the Samurai class found a niche of its own, acting as the bigger, heavier companion to the lighter, swifter Sergenious class, whereas the Pegasus class, which was considerably bigger than either the Samurai or the Sergenious, ended in failure due to the ship's size and weight creating considerable problems that were never overcome. As a result, the Pegasus class was eventually scrapped early in its career, whereas the Sergenious and Samurai classes continued to serve for many years afterwards, until they too were eventually replaced. The namesake ship of this class is also unique in fleet history in the fact that it's the only Sergenious class vessel to ever undergo a Gen3, or Generation 3 upgrade. This unique upgrade and refit was performed almost exclusively by Eric Rogers after the retirement of Mike Clayton from his position as Grand Admiral.
What made this possible was that, shortly after the Sergenious completed its Gen 2 upgrades, she was given to, and became the flagship of, then Admiral Clayton, and remained with him as his personal starship all the way up through the rest of his career. After he retired, given the age of the ship at the time, and its importance to him, it was decommissioned and then given to Mike as a retirement gift, becoming his own private starship as he began his new life as a freshly minted civilian. It was during this time that Eric, who had been his chief engineer for the Sergenious ever since the ship's Gen2 refit, stripped the vessel down to its spaceframe and rebuilt it entirely from the ground up as nearly a brand new ship, outfitting her with a much newer Linear Hyperdrive, newer shields, fluidic armor and many other improvements. Also, all of her previous Gen2 raised turrets and gunnery systems were replaced with newer flush mounted gun systems that provided the ship with more firepower and an even better arc of fire when in the thick of battle, creating a much tighter zone of defense around the ship. The ship's body design became even sleeker and more streamline than before. The bridge was also rebuilt and the crew requirements to operate it dropped from nine to four, although the fourth station was rarely ever manned, except in special circumstances.
The four new stations that came out of the rebuild were: helm, command and tactical, auxiliary/operations, and engineering. Due to the ship's newly installed self maintenance systems, additional engineering and tactical crew were no longer needed. The Sergenious was also the first class to use a fully integrated Artificial Intelligence system complete with avatar, which was later adopted by all other ships in the fleet. The ship's AI system is designed to assist the crew with a wide variety of tasks, including many that they are otherwise unable to perform, or require assistance in completing. The Sergenious (the original ship, not the class) is unique among all other shipkillers in that it's original AI was replaced by a curious, and inquisitive Benoi scientist by the name of Sarah, who played the roll of ship's AI for many decades in order to get close to and study the crew of the Sergenious up close. But most especially Mike Clayton, as he caught her interest the most. However, in the end, that decision inadvertently led to her falling in love with him. :)
By the time all production on this class ceased, there were many hundreds of Sergenious class starships in service, all of which served the fleet proudly, almost all of which most survived long enough to see retirement.
The inside of the Sergenious, in general, is very cramped due to all that's packed into it. However, despite this, important considerations were made for the crew, allowing them ample room to stretch their legs on long missions, some of which could last up to five years, although six month deployments were more typical. The bridge sits at the very front of the ship, under which sits the forward computer node to give the crew access to as much computing power as possible while in operation. Behind them in the forward neck area is the primary living quarters, including crew bunking, kitchen, holo room, living/rec room, medical facilities and more. This is all located on deck one, as decks two and three (the ship only has 3 accessible decks) in the forward third of the ship are taken up with weapons, computers, offensive and defensive systems, and other necessary equipment for daily ship operation.
The remaining two things of the ship, on all three decks, is taken up by the ship's main systems, computer core, Coaxial engines and generator, shield systems, sensor pack and more. The only exception to this is a sizable storage bay located on the back end of the ordinance bay on the third deck that takes up about a quarter of the length of the ship and stores all of the crew's supplies, food, spare parts, and other things needed for long term missions. The cargo bay is only accessible from inside the ship, so restocking it is typically done in port, or ship to ship, using Portal Transporters to move material in and out of the bay. Larger items stored in the bay are also moved around as needed within the ship using the same technology. Access between decks is done by access ladders, although a dumb waiter is provided to the crew for moving smaller items to and from the cargo bay to avoid their having to use the portal transporters to achieve that.
Weapons and Munitions
Weapons builds and loadouts varied across the Sergenious class, partially determined by their mission, and partially by their commanders. The typical armament of a Sergenious class includes all of the following:
- Two perpetually deployed ball turrets, one topside, and one on the belly. This was done so that the ship could defend itself, even if the armor failed, preventing the deployment of all other weapons systems.
- Multiple 6-barrel rapid firing coaxial turret guns, four on top, and four on the bottom. These normally remain in the stored position in their own pod bay that sits directly beneath the fluidic armor that protects the ship. These are deployed primarily in a defensive antiaircraft application, but can be used offensively too if needed, and are only deployed if needed.
- Multiple twin barrel heavy defense turrets. These are used primarily as an offensive weapon, but can be applied in a defensive application if needed.
- Two twin barrel "Starburst" wide area defense cannons. These sit over the forward weapons bay and provide forward area defense for the bridge and weapons bay.
- Twelve forward facing single barrel heavy cannons, four of which are located directly under the bridge, along with four under each wing, providing a powerful spread of heavy forward firepower. These are fixed emplacements and do not turn or rotate. They are normally in a stowed position unless the ship is in combat and then they are deployed and control of them is given to the pilot/helmsman.
- A set of four forward launch tubes for torpedoes or other standardized munitions. This is fed directly from the disposable ordinance bay.
- Disposable ordinance bay. This is located under the ship, occupies the entirety of decks two and three, and begins just behind the bridge, and extends back for nearly one third of the length of the ship. This bay is ultra-versatile and can contain both combat munitions, as well as a multitude of non-combat science/research equipment, drop shuttles, probes and more. This bay contains anything that is either deployable or expendable. The primary armament stored in the ordinance bay is generally any one of numerous different anti-ship sublight torpedoes, although other weapons and non-weapons systems, such as Protomatter Torpedos, screamers, long range sensor drones, and whiskers are often stored there as well. This bay can be opened up by pealing back the fluidic armor that covers its doors in order to launch or deploy non-standard equipment or ordinance, or it can deploy more standard ordinance, such as torpedoes, through the attached forward launch tubes.
While this is a normal "stock" configuration for a Sergenious class starship, it's not unheard of for individual captains to custom modify their ship to suit their personal preferences and mission needs. This includes the selection of combat and non-combat munitions and additional items, such as whiskers, that they bring with them.
The Sergenious class, along with all other shipkiller varieties, come with three basic engine types. They are:
These three work together to provide the combined propultion power of the ship. The top flight speed for the shipkillers, and all Earthfleet ships using either Coaxial or Linear Hyperdrives, is 75% light speed using sublight drives, and 100k AUM using Coaxial drive. Greater FTL and sublight speeds can be achieved by the Sergenious class using a secret propulsion boosting trick, discovered during the events of Destiny's Mission, that allows the ship to temporarily increase its sublight and FTL engine outputs by as much as 20%. However, this can only be done for a short period of time so as not to risk damaging or overloading the engines as a result. This is boosting trick is also only applicable to the Gen1 and Gen2 Sergenious, as well as the listed maximum FTL speed of 100k AUM.
The Gen3 Sergenious has a considerably higher maximum flight speed due to its use of Linear Hyperdrive, vs the use of Coaxial drive, as was standard in earlier generations. But, since the Gen3 version of the Sergenious has never been required to test the upper limits of its Linear Hyperdrive engines, nobody is quite sure of its maximum potential speed. Even so, rates in excess of 2.5x's that of its Gen1 and Gen2 counterparts have been recorded. However, those speeds have barely surpassed 40% of its maximum nacelle operating capacity. Therefore, speeds in excess of 600k-700k AUM are theoretically possible. Sustained cruise speed for the Gen1 and Gen2 Sergenious average around 80k AUM. The Gen3 has an average cruise speed of around 300k-400k AUM in most situations, but can go considerably higher if need be. Known top end speed for the Gen3 is unknown at this time. Speeds of 16k AUS are believed possible, but have never been attempted.
Other than the above stated munitions and weapons, the Sergenious also sports a number of primary defensive systems, including a 15 tier Multi-Layer Shielding, Reactive Shielding, cloaking and fluidic armor. The ship also employs what is known as holographic cloaking which is different than standard cloaking, as it hides the ship in plain sight, rather than behind a field of energy that makes the ship invisible.
The Sergenious class is unique among shipkillers in that it enjoys a sub-variant known colloquially as the "Scout Class". It is a modified version of the Sergenious class specifically outfitted for the purpose of scouting and recon. The Earthfleet starship LongBow is one of these "Scout Class" variants. The advantages of this specially modified Sergenious class starship was that it is faster, more maneuverable, employs better stealth and cloaking, and has far better sensors. The disadvantage of this, however, is that the ship can't fight as well as a standard Sergenious class shipkiller can. This is because its disposable ordinance bay is half as large, and it has a third less guns. The primary reason for this change is because extra room was needed aboard the ship for the long list of new or upgraded equipment that was added. As such, some sacrifices had to be made to make room for these improvements. So, while the scout class can't fight as well as a standard, combat class Sergenious, it is still invaluable to the fleet in many ways. The Sergenious is also unique among shipkillers in the fact that it is the only shipkiller class to develop and deploy a sub-variant of its class designed specifically for scouting, as later shipkiller classes, those that eventually replaced the Sergenious class, were able to effortlessly filled both of these roles without needing specialized upgrades to do so.
The Generation 3, or "Gen3" version of the Sergenious is unique from the previous two generations in the fact that it is 1) of limited deployment, and 2) unique only to the Sergenious itself, and not the entire class. The Sergenious class itself went through one major refit, going from the original, somewhat boxy, genesis design of the class, where many of the original utilitarian, and somewhat borrowed design, to one that was more unique to Earthfleet than the original. The original Sergenious design, although uniquely Earthfleet, still borrowed heavily from Gayik'Von designs, as did many ships of that era, and the over a century of design and construction prior to that. The Generation 2 (aka, Gen2) design took on a more streamlined design over the first, and shed the more traditional utilitarian Gayik'Von designs for a more traditionally human form, while maintaining the original SR-71 like form factor of the original space frame.
What sets the Gen3 refit apart, aside from what has already been mentioned, is that it didn't maintain its original coaxial drive centric systems. Instead, the Gen3 borrowed heavily from the newer quantum energy powered Raven and Wolfpack class shipkillers that eventually replaced the Sergenious and Samurai class shipkillers, which were their predecessors. It was also an unauthorized design, although tolerated by the fleet, as it was never originally supposed to happen, or exist. However, because it'd come about through the hard work of Eric Rogers, who called in a TON of favors, and did a LOT of back room slight of hand, and made it happen, literally stripping the ship down to its space frame and building it completely fresh from the bottom up, using technology borrowed from the Raven and Wolfpack class, to create a 3rd generation of the Sergenious class, which would go on to serve another 50+ years until it was eventually forced to retire due to its age, and the fact that Eric was no longer able to be her chief engineer.
Even so, the Gen3 Sergenious, despite being in civilian service to retired Grand Admiral Mike Clayton still made a name for itself in the over 50 years that it was in operation. When the Gen3 was eventually retired, at the end of Eric's ability to maintain it (mostly due to his age, and the degree to which Earthfleet and Society technology had far surpassed the ship's original Gen3 upgrades), she was graciously given over to the Society Starship Museum where she then sat on display for many, many years next to the Destiny, and many other famous ships of Earthfleet history.