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Snake Eagle

From : Kestrel.

To : Jaques.

Hello, Jaques. When I arrived in Colonia you told me that I was free to relay to you any information I could find about strange, exotic or unique ships. The recent hostile takeover of Lakon by Core Dynamics put the company (and especially its administration) in such a state of disarray that my Bubble contacts have been able to dig up some very spicy information lately. Does the name Snake Eagle ring a bell?

Alright, let's go for a bit of a history lesson. In 3303 the Thargoids were hammering the Pleiades settlements so badly that the Alliance launched a public procurement process to build a new combat ship capable of countering Thargoid vessels. The result of that process is well-known, it's the Lakon Type 10. But few people know that the T10 once had a serious competitor.

In early 3303 a group of engineers from Lakon and Falcon Delacy tried to propose an alternative to the Type 10 : a ship with enough firepower and defenses to stand its own against thargoids, yet without the cumbersome design of the T10 (which, as you know, is basically just a militarized T9). This idea relied on unearthing an older Delacy design and coupling it to a Lakon frame. They gave it the codename Snake Eagle (The "Eagle" being Lakon and the "Snake" being Delacy).

Long story short, the Snake Eagle lost to the T10 so hard that everyone forgot about it. It basically fell victim  to a crossfire of corporate lobbying (militarized T9s were very heavily pushed by Lakon executives), technical conservatism (the Snake Eagle was properly revolutionary - more on that later), cost concerns (the Snake Eagle was estimated to be almost twice the price of a T10) and Alliance politics (a Lakon-Delacy alliance would have paved the way for a politically unnaceptable merger of the two manufacturers). Officially the Snake Eagle doesn't exist beyond concept art.

Of course this isn't entirely accurate, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this letter. The first thing my contacts found in Lakon archives are the exact specs of the Snake Eagle and wow - that thing is a beast. It seems to be built around a custom chassis that is somewhat reminiscent of a Federal Assault Ship and is roughly the size of a Krait Mark 2 but twice the weight. It sports two Mamba-derived engines powered by a twin fusion core - as far as I know this configuration is completely unique. Both the armor and shields are extremely sturdy, much more than what you would expect for such a ship (it goes without saying that it basically doesn't have a cargo bay) but the most striking feature is the hardpoint placement. The Snake Eagle features a single, massive spinal mount underneath the ship that can draw power from the two fusion cores at once. With enough pips to weapons, you can pierce several meters of heavy armor. 

Now you might notice that this ship build isn't exactly mundane. In fact I can't think of a single ship that is assembled like this. The Snake Eagle isn't a dogfighter nor even an interceptor. Everything from the powerful engines and heavy armor to the spinal mount hint at its true role : the Snake Eagle is a capital ship killer. It is not meant to combat other small ships, albeit it's certainly deadly as a fast interceptor. It's designed to go toe to toe with a battleship or a fleet carrier. This is properly revolutionary. There are no small ships in existence that are designed to fit such a niche in combat.

Now the truly interesting part : before the project was canned, the haphazard Lakon-Delacy alliance built four Snake Eagle prototypes nicknamed SE1 to SE4. SE1 was just a static demonstrator and is now rotting somewhere on Reorte. SE2 was space-capable but had no frameshift drive nor weapon mounts. It was destroyed in a crash shortly before the project was cancelled. SE3 was just like SE2 but with a frameshift drive, as far as as I know this one just disappeared, probably sold to a private individual. SE4 was the real deal. Fully combat-capable prototype with the spinal mount, basically the last step before mass production. When the deal collapsed, Snake Eagle Prototype 4 just...disappeared. Apparently it was stolen (yes, stolen) by pirates, then sold to an anarchist commune, which was then prosecuted by the Federation and fled to Colonia with all its assets.

Conclusion : there is a non-negligible chance that a fully operational prototype of the Snake Eagle is present in Colonia.

I think that is worth a free bottle of whiskey, isn't it?


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