Expeditionary Force by Craig Alanson Wiki
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Expeditionary Force by Craig Alanson Wiki

Valkyrie is the most powerful and dangerous warship in the galaxy. In simpler terms, it's totally BADASS. It is Humanity's premier weapon and deterrent against all species who wish to do Earth and Humans harm, including, but not limited to, the Rindhalu, Maxolhx, Thuranin, Bosphuraq and Kristang.

Valkyrie v1.0

SPOILER ALERT!
The section(s) below SCHMAYBE includes Spoilers.

Origin and Basics

Valkyrie was constructed using parts from 1-1/2 Maxolhx Extinction-class battlecruisers (the last Extinction-class battlecruiser was produced around 400 years ago[2]) and 1 Maxolhx heavy cruiser.

The Merry Band of Pirates captured the ships using the bagel-slicer wormhole technique. Unfortunately, the aft 1/4 section of the first Extinction-class battlecruiser, which contained the reactors, jump drive coils and engines, was lost on the other side of the wormhole when the reactors exploded, destroying it[3].

The remaining 3/4 of the first battlecruiser, the forward 1/2 of the second battlecruiser, the front 1/4 of the aft section of the second battlecruiser and the 2 halves of the heavy cruiser were used to build Valkyrie (the rear 1/4 of the aft section of the second Extinction-class battlecruiser and some weapons from the battlecruisers and the heavy cruiser were used to upgrade the Flying Dutchman).

Valkyrie had nine engines so requires more power than the reactors alone can handle. Therefore, she uses Vacuum Power Modules (VPMs) in order to boost power for the armaments and reactors. The mission to acquire them came at great cost. Major Fal Desai and Captain Renee Giraud, who were original members of the Merry Band of Pirates, were both killed in action. Additionally, Gunnery Sergeant Margaret Adams and Lt. Col. Jeremy Smythe were severely injured.[3]

She acquired an additional eight Panther dropships from a Maxolhx frigate that had been sent down with an assault team to board, recapture her and take possession of Skippy the Magnificent.[4]

Armament

For a single ship, Valkyrie has armaments that are far beyond compare.

It has 6 Missile Launch Tubes, 16 Point Defense Cannons, 14 Railguns, 16 Maser Cannons, ship-killer missiles an nuclear bombs. If needed, Valkyrie has access to Elder weapons.

Native AI Issues

When the native Maxolhx AI found a gap in Skippy's security, it began using whatever it had at its disposal to murder the human crew. It hacked control of the ship's bed sheets which had smart nanofibers and used them to strangle the crew.[5]

After Skippy disappeared, and the ship's native AI no longer kept in check, it cut all power to Valkyrie and any devices that were connected to the ship. It commanded all the bots on the ship to murder the crew. It was also able to send a worm to the Dutchman, that was hidden in the substrait that attacked Nagatha Christie and all the ships systems, building up the reactors on the Dutchman for an overload.

On Valkyrie, the native AI had a heavy maintenance bot just outside the bridge smashing the door to gain entry. Lieutenant Colonel Jennifer Simms tells the native AI that she will surrender the ship if the it stops attacking the crew and answers one question. The native AI stops the attack and allows Simms to ask the question of what it would do after it kills the crew.

When the native AI hesitates, Simms tells it that it has only two options:

  1. Fly the ship by itself, hiding from the Maxolhx until the ship's systems fail and it drifts alone forever in empty space.
  2. Join the Pirates.

The native AI agrees the help and brings the ship's systems back online. After programming a jump to the Dutchman to stop the computer worm from destroying the it, the native AI goes silent mid-sentence and all the power goes out again. A Maxolhx fail-safe "kill switch" subroutine that prevents AIs from gaining self-awareness destroys the native AI and erases all software that it linked to the Valkyrie's systems, including the crew's zPhones.[2]

Bilby

Skippy and Nagatha developed and tested millions of new fire-walled operating AIs on Valkyrie that incorporated portions of Skippy's and Nagatha's programming. 99.9% of the AIs didn't survive. 3 really good final candidates were left, one of which was unstable and self-destructed, and a bunch of systems that were dead-ends. Most of the dead-ends were purged, but two of the dead ends survived and absorbed the final candidate AIs. Skippy say they are slackers. Stoners. Think Cheech and Chong. Beavis and Butthead. Bill and Ted, without the charm. These two new AIs, named Bobby and Billy, merged to become Bilby.[2]

Damage

After the Dutchman departed to hit a standard Thuranin recon group in the area, another Thuranin frigate jumps in at Valkyrie's position and attacks. The jump drive on Valkyrie is not completely ready and with the Thuranin frigate's agility, Valkyrie gets pounded. Colonel Joseph Bishop has the idea to create a microwormhole within a microwormhole, expand it and jump the ship through. Valkyrie escapes, but is almost lost between higher and normal spacetime and Skippy is further damaged.[2]

While investigating the Elder-stealthed gas giant Maris, Valkyrie shuddered and was being dragged toward the stealth field. Valkyrie's jump drive went down so the ship couldn't jump. The ship wasn't going anywhere. Thrusters were only having a minimal effect. Valkyrie entered the stealth field and everything went black. All sensors blanked out. When Valkyrie entered and descended into the atmosphere, in ten minutes and forty-three seconds, the ship would be at crush depth. Valkyrie started to heat up. She started vibrating badly. The ship was approaching crush depth, with the armor plating of Valkyrie’s nose glowing white-hot. Valkyrie is slammed to one side. There was a hull breach on the port side between frames thirty-seven and forty-one. The ship lurched to one side, the nose spinning around so it was falling belly-first. Armor plates tearing loose, like a giant was pulling a zipper along the belly of the ship. Valkyrie flipped on its back, then was falling tail-first. There was damage to pretty much every part of the ship.[2]

Valkyrie is in dire need of maintenance, even more so since the battle with most of the sixteen-hundred ships of the Maxolhx Hegemony's Eighth Fleet.[4]

Engine Strain

Jumping to do errands and then finally to Earth, put an enormous strain on the jump engines. The coils, the reactors, everything was overheated and wearing out. Valkyrie was not a star carrier. It was not designed to jump continuously for such a long time. Skippy told Joe that the ship could fly apart. To which Joe responded, "Fly her apart, then!" The reactors had been running at a hundred twelve percent since they left Avalon. Any hotter, and the radiators will melt.[2]

Valkyrie v1.0 and the Flying Dutchman v4.0]]

All art created and shared by R.p. Callahan[1]

References

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