"With clean lines, and a new, sleek and aerodynamic superstructure, an old Soviet-era helicopter carrier becomes the XTS Firehawk -- futuristic headquarters for System 4ce. Featuring technologies that can't be found anywhere else on the planet, the Firehawk will be the vanguard of your organization's research into astronautics, oceanography, marine biology, climatology, or high-energy physics. We can support almost any kind of frontier scientific endeavor -- from the depths of the sea to the farthest reaches of outer space. Call now for details and to arrange for a science support specialist to meet with your expert team." -- From a System 4ce Science Services brochure
"The ultimate adventure! With a Russian crew, super human owners, and VIPs from around the world, not a single day aboard the XTS Firehawk is ever boring. Tan on the observation deck while spacecraft land on the ship's stern (back)*. Swim in clear, blue waters while deep-sea submersibles deploy from the bottom of the ship*. Share dinner with heroes capable of amazing feats of strength, will, and bravery**. Or just relax to the soothing melodies played by the Kondor Moonlight Orchestra." -- From a System 4ce Adventure Vacations brochure
Following an incident in 1994, in which System Four’s then headquarters atop the Drake Building came under helicopter attack, the group began exploring options for moving their base of operations away from densely populated areas. The following year, it acquired the Antisubmarine Cruiser 'Moskva', then inoperable and slated for scrapping, from the Russian government at a cost of about $4,000,000. Much of the old ship’s machinery was gutted at the Nikolayev yard in Ukraine before the hull was towed to the Philadelphia Navy Yard for intensive refit. Members of the by-then-renamed System 4ce participated extensively in the overhaul, in order to expedite performance, install systems employing exotic technology, and maintain security over the process. In March 1996 the vessel was rechristened XTS (for "Experimental Technology Ship") Firehawk.
In May 1996, on its maiden voyage in Delaware Bay, a malfunction of an experimental force field system based on Cestus' suit technology trapped the Firehawk in a stasis bubble until July 4, 2001. It has operated as the headquarters of System 4ce thereafter, even through an extensive upgrade at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 2003-2004.
Firehawk’s main computer is the former computer core of the Adventurer III Warp Shuttle, which was installed essentially intact. While this computer is relatively small by Federation standards (compared to that of, say, USS Enterprise), its processing power is still vastly in excess of what is required to run the Firehawk’s systems, given that it is no longer being burdened with interstellar navigation and controlling warp field geometries. Reactor operations and HYPE travel at high speeds are its most taxing routine responsibilities, but it has sufficient additional capacity to function as the ship’s library and research computer.
An additional distributed processing computer system, known as the Damage Control and Security Intranet (DCSI, or “Dixie”), is connected to, but independent of, the main computer. DCSI, as its name implies, is responsible for damage control and security functions, and while less technologically advanced than the main computer, its decentralized structure enhances its survivability and permits redundancies that complicate efforts to "hack" it.
The Firehawk’s reactor assembly consists of two main components from the Adventurer III: The matter/antimatter intermix chamber (or “warp core,” in spite of no longer supporting a warp drive) and a conversion system by which electric power is generated directly from high-energy plasma produced by the reactor.
Since the Firehawk’s energy requirements are vastly less than that of the Adventurer III shuttle, the reactor has been configured to operate at a maximum power output of approximately 1.21 GW -- a fraction of a percent of its intended capacity. This has numerous ancillary benefits:
- The useful life of the limited antimatter fuel supply is greatly prolonged.
- Waste heat and the equipment and facilities needed to disperse it are drastically reduced.
- The need for elaborate field-based radiation shielding and other advanced support systems is greatly reduced, in turn reducing the reactor’s overall maintenance requirements.
- However unlikely the event, the destructive potential of a catastrophic core breach is greatly reduced. Maximum yield of the reactor in its current operating configuration is estimated to be .6 KT, compared to several MT as installed in the Adventurer III.
Should circumstances require power output beyond the reactor’s current capability, it could be modified to permit such yields. This might be achieved in an emergency in a matter of minutes, though heat and radiation output would be dangerous to the ship and its crew without an extensive enhancement of the relevant systems.
Antimatter fuel for the reactor is contained in Federation standard storage “bottles” which are attached to the reactor assembly as needed. Matter, in the form of deuterium, is stored in what was formerly the ship’s bunker fuel tankage. Equipment to extract deuterium from seawater is available in the Firehawk’s lab section, but is not maintained as a permanent system as current stocks substantially exceed available antimatter supplies.
The reactor’s waste heat radiator system occupies the former smokestacks and uptakes of the ship, and is cooled by forced air and seawater as needed. Water is pumped to the top of the smokestack, and allowed to flow down internally in a system similar to that used in many commercial nuclear power plants. This water is never radioactively or chemically contaminated, but is generally recycled to limit “thermal pollution” unless the reactor is running at high power. As this situation generally implies high-speed movement, thermal consequences tend to be limited in any event.
The reactor cooling system additionally provides heat for the ship’s HVAC system as needed, and supplies both hot water and an ample supply of sea salt for crew use.
Two gravitic pump-jet azimuth thruster pods replace the twin screws of the Moskva, and a third is located near the bow. They have 360° traverse, permitting Firehawk to turn within its own length at low speed.
These units are of an original design, utilizing components cannibalized from the Adventurer III’s contragravity, artificial gravity, and inertial stabilizer systems. They use gravitic force to draw in water at their intakes, which is pressurized as it flows through a tapered chamber and is expelled to provide thrust. The lack of moving parts within the thruster pod makes for a robust propulsion system requiring little maintenance, and the compact size (2m x 5m) and modularity of the pods simplifies whatever repairs are required (a set of three ready replacements is carried on board).
A HYdrodynamic Performance Enhancement (“HYPE”) system coordinates several subsystems through the Firehawk’s main computer (q.v.) to dramatically improve the ship’s speed and stability.
HYPE’s subsystems are all of original design, and utilize components cannibalized from the Adventurer III’s sensor, navigational deflector, contragravity, artificial gravity, and inertial stabilizer systems. Dedicated sensors are used to create and continuously update a model of environmental conditions around the Firehawk. Gravitic stabilizers dampen unnecessary pitch, and eliminate essentially all roll. Contragravity systems vary the draft of the ship in response to conditions, while deflector-based systems keep the ship hydrodynamically “clean”.
In addition to greatly alleviating seasickness and permitting safe routine operations in the heaviest sea conditions, HYPE permits Firehawk to attain hydroplane-level speeds (150 k.p.h.+) in comparative safety.
Sensors and Scanners
Helicopter Hangar Facilities
PsiPlane Hangar Facilities
Launch Storage Facilities
Ion pulse projectors
The Firehawk contains one main arms locker for use by shipboard security, as well as a secondary locker just aft of the Bridge. These are typically outfitted as follows:
30 Daewoo USAS-12 shotguns (selective fire) w/ 120 20rnd drum magazines
12 gauge shotgun ammunition
- 3,000 rounds bismuth 0 buckshot
- 600 rounds selenium 0 buckshot
- 1,200 rounds tungsten QB8 shot
- 1,200 rounds M1012 nonlethal point target (rubber) slug
- 1,200 rounds M1013 nonlethal area target (rubber) shot
- 600 rounds immobilizing adhesive ("glop")
- 600 rounds rock salt
- 600 rounds ecumenically blessed silver 0 buckshot
100 M-84 flashbang stun grenades
20 Mk3A2 concussion offensive grenades
50 ABC-M7A2 CS teargas grenades
20 AN-M14 TH3 thermate charges]
40 AN-M8 HC white smoke grenades
20 M18 colored smoke grenades (red)
20 M18 colored smoke grenades (yellow)
20 M18 colored smoke grenades (green)
20 M18 colored smoke grenades (violet)
10 MBB/CAI Armbrust recoilless anti-tank weapons (modified with gold-lined shaped charge)
5 Daewoo USAS-12 shotguns (selective fire) w/ 20 20rnd drum magazines
12 gauge shotgun ammunition
- 200 rounds bismuth 0 buckshot
- 100 rounds selenium 0 buckshot
- 100 rounds tungsten QB8 shot
- 100 rounds ecumenically blessed silver 0 buckshot
5 M-84 flashbang stun grenades
5 ABC-M7A2 CS teargas grenades
5 AN-M14 TH3 thermate charges
5 AN-M8 HC white smoke grenades
1 MBB/CAI Armbrust recoilless anti-tank weapon (modified with gold-lined shaped charge)
Captain Marko Alexandrovich Ramius