Monday, April 13, 2015

K is for Kinetics (Star Morph A to Z Challenge)

Not all spaceships in popular science fiction use only beam weapons to vaporize the bad guys.  There are many spacecraft, like those in Star Trek or Traveller, that use torpedoes or missiles of some kind.  This requires space for the storage, movement, and launching of same.  These types of weapons are all loosely grouped in the category of "Kinetics".

 1. Launcher:  This installation is basically a short-barreled mass driver - or long-barreled, depending on what kind of ordinance you have and how far from the outer hull this compartment is.  The Launchers are massive, bulky and maintenance intensive.

 2. Catwalks:  These are as wide as a standard corridor, and the simple metal grates allow visual inspection of the areas beneath.  Stairs on either end take the Catwalks up and over the launchers.  Because of the power magnetic interference caused by the launcher and the simple metal grate of the Catwalks, there are hand rails for safety instead of gravity anchors in the flooring.

3. Monitor Station:  Allows tracking of all ordinance and diagnostics of all equipment in the Kinetics compartment.  In a pinch, the missiles can be loaded and launched locally from these stations as well.

4. Magazine:  Sixteen missiles are stored in two bays below the catwalks.  The missiles are mounted on small cradles that ride on rails from the Magazine to the launchers.  The cradles are motorized but can be moved manually (or more realistically by robots) if necessary.

5. Launch Chamber:  This is where the missile sits prior to launch in the mass-driver.  This chamber is reinforced and can actually withstand the force of repeated rocket launches from the missiles in the event that the mass-drivers lose power.  This will, however, ruin the magnetic couplers and capacitors in the Launch Chamber, requiring that they be replaced before the mass-driver will function again.  In addition, the venting reactant gasses from a rocket launch will flood the entire compartment, making visibility difficult and breathing without special gear impossible.

The Kinetics compartment has a lot of hazards you don't normally see and can easily show players how much they take basics like gravity, breathable atmosphere, and the power of sight for granted.  For an added bonus, the powerful magnetic fields of the mass-drivers can interfere with the functioning of beam weapons, making conventional firearms or melee combat necessary.

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