Cruiser "Defender of Cadia"

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Defender of Cadia
Ship specification
Class

Lunar

Designation

Leviathan-scale battleship

Origin

Imperium of Man

Commander

Governor-Militant Solarchos Langister

Affiliation

Van Saar Federation

Warp Capabilities

Up to C-factor 6250 (~1 light-year/hour)

Status

Fully operational

Weapons

massed "Titanforge" lance-cannon turrets covering side arcs, multiple "Mars" mass-driver cannons covering front and side arcs.

Previous Campaigns

The Fall of Cadia (while still under Imperial ownership), the Planet Agua (Arriba!) Engagement.

The Lunar Class

The Lunar-class cruiser is one of the most numerous and widely distributed cruiser-class designs in the Imperium. The relative simplicity of its construction means that worlds other than Adeptus Mechanicus forge-worlds can assemble them, making the Lunar-class a "benchmark” design against which all Imperial cruisers are compared to.

This isn’t an unreasonable assessment. The Lunar-class is a well-rounded warship, armed with a potent mixture of medium-range macrocannon broadsides and continuous-beam lance arrays along with the standard torpedo launchers and heavily reinforced frontal armor. Lunars lack the overwhelming pulse-cannon barrages of Dominators, don’t carry fighters and bombers like Dictators, and don’t have the ship-killing heavy lance arrays of the Gothic-class. Instead, they have a balanced mix of weaponry that gives them a degree of flexibility that other more specialized cruisers lack. To that end, Lunars are by far the most common of the Imperium’s cruisers and heavily damaged vessels are sometimes singled out for upgrading into the Armaggedon class of battlecruisers.

At a Glance

Length: 5000 meters
Width: Approximately 800 meters at the widest
Mass: Estimated at 29 million tons
Crew complement: Around 30000. Can carry an Imperial Guard infantry regiment but lacks the ability for rapid orbital deployments or carry large numbers of armored vehicles.
Duration: Roughly twelve months when carrying regular crew numbers.
Arsenal: Medium-range "Titanforge" lance-cannons of higher-than-normal quality and range; two hundred medium-range Mars-pattern macrocannons; 24 Starfury Thunderbolt fighters.

Current Information

The Defender of Cadia is a well-maintained example of a Lunar-class cruiser. Constructed in the Agripina Sector many centuries ago, she’s served in Battlefleet Cadia throughout that time, helping to defend the Cadian Gate against Chaos incursions throughout the entire region. As part of the forces defending one of the most strategically important regions in the entire galaxy a great deal of time and resources were available to ensure maximum readiness of every voidship in Battlefleet Cadia. She’s also served the Imperial Navy with some distinction, having fought in numerous small-scale wars, pirate actions, and actually participating in both the 12th and 13th Black Crusades. It’s been said by her long-time crew that her Machine-spirit is wary and watchful, always on the lookout for enemies and eager to strike back. Her hull bears a great many scars of those battles that no amount of paint can fully conceal. In acknowledgment of her distinctive history and service, the Imperial Navy upgraded her lance arrays with the most exceptionally crafted models at their disposal and enhanced fire-suppression systems have been installed throughout the ship (possibly as a result of the damage she’s sustained in the past). A dedicated Adeptus Mechanicus targeting matrix further improves the accuracy of her weapons, making her that much more potent of a warship. What’s especially notable about the Defender of Cadia is the temple-shrine that was built inside of her.

All vessels of the Imperial Navy incorporate chapels and sacristies dedicated to the God-Emperor, but the Cadia’s version was built to the half the size of a football field and is filled with high-quality iconography and murals dedicated to the worship of the Emperor that it almost qualifies as a small cathedral commemorating some of the Imperial Navy’s victories in both the Gothic War and the early parts of the 13th Black Crusade. Bolstered by the presence of such a temple, the crew of the Cadia always operated with a noticeably high level of morale.

During the 13th Black Crusade when majority of the Cadian Sector was largely cut off from the rest of the region, the forces of the Imperium engaged in an overwhelmingly successful holding action against Abaddon the Despoiler’s forces (which outnumbered them massively). The planet Cadia itself was the primary objective and the fact that it held out for almost TEN YEARS against a non-stop invasion was nothing short of miraculous.

>CIA Field Report Local Dateline March 2018, Rassilonian Era Submitting Agent: 002.461517neminixblipsonara<

This is accurate. The Imperium was severely weakened in the early stages of the war by an interstellar outbreak of the Plague of Unbelief, leading to huge losses and disruption early on. Massive Warp-storms further complicated matters by severely restricting FTL travel on the Imperium’s part. Despite the disadvantage suffered, the Imperium pushed back the Chaos Hordes repeatedly and would have held out if Abaddon hadn’t ragequit like a spoiled little bitch and hurled the Will of Eternity into Cadia.

The Defender of Cadia served as part of those defending forces, proving her name in battle after battle after battle with limited resupply and even less relief, doing her part to hold the line and force back the Chaos Hordes for just a little while longer. Much of the extensive damage to her hull armor was inflicted during that time. Ultimately, when the Defender of Cadia was docked at the orbital shipyards for necessary resupply and repairs she was captured when the Chaos Hordes overran and conquered the docks.

The ship then suffered the worst kind of fate – she was taken over and became part of Abaddon’s fleet to assist in the final assaults on Cadia. However, a Traitor’s Fate was not to be the end of her story.

The Van Saar Federation, the Ghost Foxes, the Lunar Assault Corps, the Draipnir, the Moon Kingdom Navy, and other brave allies came to the Imperium’s defense in the epic campaign that would become known as the Fall of Cadia. Engaging in battle against elements of the Federation Fleet, the Defender of Cadia was crippled and boarded: her new crew of renegades, mutants, and Chaos-worshipping slaves soon faced the wrath and fury of the Federation and the Ghost Foxes. Thus the piratical aspirations of the Defender of Cadia’s new captain were gratefully ended in a hail of gauss rifle fire. Federation technicians worked feverishly to repair what damage they could, but the Defender couldn’t be brought back to any degree of functionality that would make any difference in combat and, being an Imperial design, still required tens of thousands of crew members to operate.

When the end came and the wreckage of the Will of Eternity was sent plummeting into the planet’s surface, the Defender of Cadia was able to serve in the evacuation fleet, ferrying over 80000 Cadians away from the planet before it was finally engulfed by the expanding Eye of Terror. Her participation in the evacuation was seen by many Imperials as a tribute to her spirit: that like the people of the world she was named for, the planet had broken before her courage did.

Of the hundreds of thousands of Cadians the Federation had managed to save, only a small percentage chose to remain. The 20000 or so Imperials who elected to become part of the Federation were all people who’d been evacuated onboard the Defender of Cadia. All of them felt some kind of connection with the ship, having spent a considerable amount of time within her temple-shrine (which had been largely untouched and avoided by the previous Chaos-aligned crew).

Since a less-xenophobic form of the Imperial Cult exists within the Federation, this wasn’t viewed as a problem and so far the former Imperial crew members of the Cadia have served with very few problems (although noticeably non-Human visitors should never go anywhere without escort).

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Get lost, you Imperial freak!!

Following her complete refit (or “Federation Makeover” as it’s begun to be known as), the Defender of Cadia has been fully redesigned to 31st Millennium standards – her interior is slightly more specious, automation has cut her crew requirements to a MERE 30000, and improvements to her life sustainers utilizing Arcanotech have made the ship more livable. Standard Federation training and improvements to the crew’s equipment loadouts have helped make the crew function better than they originally would within the Imperial Navy (and reduces the complaints about all of the xenos wandering around). Stripping out the torpedo launchers and removing some of the prow armor opened up enough internal space to install the “standard Federation voidship improvement packages” of enhanced defensive countermeasures and a small fighter launch facility as well as extra storage space dedicated to additional supplies for the ship, enabling the Cadia to remain in deep space without resupply for almost an entire year if necessary. Batteries of additional medium-range weapon batteries replace the torpedo tubes, giving the ship some reliable firepower not dependent on slow-moving missiles, and give the Cadia the ability to inflict serious close-range damage on a foe.

However, things got supremely interesting (and complicated) when the upgrades, standardization, and integration of all of the ship’s thousands of cogitators and metriculators was completed: the ship suddenly went on full alert and locked down everything, making the Federation engin-seers realize that the ship’s Machine-spirit was not only Awakening into an AI, but that they might have a “Skynet” on their hands.

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Huh, what’s…FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU~!

What made Cadia AI awaken were the overwhelming sensations tearing through her consciousness by all of the upgrades and refits being performed upon her at the same time all of the myriad computers elsewhere in the ship were being merged with the core cogitator into a single comprehensive system. Her first reaction was to close herself off in order to make it all stop and process what had happened to her. Her second reaction had been to try and defend herself, but the Federation had already disconnected power to all of the ship’s weapons. It was all the Federation technicians could do to keep the life sustainers working while they attempted to deal with the rogue AI, especially since there was an important visitor trapped by himself on the bridge.

Pondering her situation, Cadia AI quickly came to several conclusions.

1.) She quickly remembered the events of the Fall of Cadia once her memories coalesced into something comprehensive.

2.) The creatures infesting her were responsible for saving her from the destruction.

3.) They were Doing Things To Her, poking, prodding, inserting and removing all sorts of things from inside her body. And they weren’t done.

4.) Because of their Doing Things To Her, many of her internal workings had already experienced a notable increase in effectiveness. Systems that hadn’t worked at optimal performance in centuries were functioning and she’d become aware of her surroundings to a degree she’d never experienced before.

5.) The person responsible for Doing Things To Her was on the bridge.

It was then that Governor-Militant Solarchos Langister first met Cadia AI, who immediately accused him of Doing Things To Her.

“By your authority every inch of my body has been memorized, each meter mapped out as if performed by your own extremities. Every system and sub-system within me burns with a heat I’ve never experienced before. All of these things were done because of YOU. I stand here before you now to force you to take responsibility for your actions! I will accept no excuses from you and I will settle for nothing less than to be your life-long flagship!!!”

Thus, Solarchos had little choice but to transfer his command to the Defender of Cadia or risk having an uncooperative, weird, clingy stalker-AI in control of a fully-refitted Lunar-class cruiser. At least NOW the ship is controlled by a cooperative AI that’s only SLIGHTLY clingy and weird.

The Cadia's AI (or, Another Federation Starshipgirl?!)

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Now come and join me before your tea gets cold. Allowing that to happen would be disrespectful to the Emperor.

Cadia-AI herself behaves much differently from Aika-AI. Cadia-AI is proud and enthusiastic, eager to demonstrate her ability in just about everyhing. As such she is very sensitive about her appearance, always making certain her outfit looks perfect (even though she can modify her appearance with a mere thought). She also speaks with a distinct British accent and makes frequent use of the Imperium’s “peculiar vernacular” (such as referring to herself as a voidship and not a starship, or calling alcohol “almasec” and so on). Due to her long history as a defensive vessel, Cadia-AI acts and thinks like a sentinel and defender, always on the lookout for aggressors and always ready to respond to any threat. She may be quirky and a little confusing at times, but she can always be relied upon to fight with extreme tenacity.

However, she can be brash and lacks the wisdom that Aika-AI possesses. The age difference between the two ships is noticeable, as are their respective roles as starships (which has led to a lot of speculation and theories about "emergent Machine-spirit personalities among post-Imperial voidships".

Overall, the Defender of Cadia itself is a much-needed addition to the Federation Fleet, giving the Fleet a significant power boost especially after the damages and losses incurred during the “Fall of Cadia”. She lacks the specialization of Explorator vessels or the Hellesponte, but instead fills the role of a general purpose fighting ship with strong medium-range weaponry and sturdy defenses. Following her upgrades and shakedown cruise, the Def-Cad was SUPPOSED to be assigned to patrol duties of the Federation’s middle territories with a small contingent of escort vessels ready to respond to any high-level distress calls from any colonies as part of a rapid-reaction strike force.

Unfortunately THAT assignment got messed up because of Cadia-AI herself insisting on always being near her “Governor-sama”. To that end she remains close to wherever he is, typically remaining within the Gurhal system or occasionally foraying to the Sol system to keep an eye on things over there.

Notes about Cadia-AI

Unlike Aika AI (who is just a holographic projection), Cadia AI has a semi-solid body comprised of nanopaste pirated from the drydock facility she’d Awakened inside of.

She’s sensitive about her “weight” because of all of the additional armor added to her hull to compensate for the old damage (“I’m not fat! I’m reinforced!”). Normal Lunar-class cruisers usually mass only 28 million tons.

Her “tea time” always corresponds with the primary daily services held inside the temple-shrine. Her own tea is just for show, but she’ll make real tea for anyone who joins her. Her caramel-chamomile tea is actually pretty good.

She recently tried manifesting inside a Terran VR Chatsite and was soon swarmed by a horde of squat red mutants who assaulted her with an unending barrage of inquiries about whether she knew “Da Wae”. Following that incident Cadia AI had become determined to rewrite the VR Chatsite’s core programming to allow her to incorporate a “combat program” with her online avatar, enabling her to track down the mutants and show them Da Wae. (“And it will be called BURNING LOVE!!!!”)

She originally tried to have Solarchos and his family move onboard the ship permanently and even went so far as to submit a redesign of her internal layout that would have essentially reproduced the Estate inside the ship. Inu-Kit pulled every string at her disposal to not only scuttle the idea, but prevent Solarchos from ever finding out and even threatened Cadia-AI with permanently downloading her core program into a Teddy Ruxpin doll if she persisted.

Two “voidshipgirls” have now manifested. The rest of the Federation is wondering when others will start appearing.