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Broadside

Yeah, I guess technically the person who decided to mount a full-sized five meter glaser blister package on an Avenger frame would have been a rocket scientist, but itís still a pretty stupid idea if you ask me.  The glaser is in a fixed broadside mount, with hardly fifteen degrees of firing arc in the mirror.   You have to turn the ship to aim it. And the bulbous mass makes the fighter basically impossible to fly in any decent atmosphere.

Oh, in theory itís simple enough.  The Avenger can come in quiet and flank the enemy to as close as a hundred thousand klicks with little chance of detection.  Then you can flash the bastards with gigajoules of gamma rays and dodge and run. A solid hit could take out a Scout, cripple a Destroyer or thoroughly annoy a Kraken.  But a glancing blow or a miss and you just made yourself a big bright target.

To the rescue we got more theory from the rocket scientists: the ejectable radiator canisters absorb most of the waste heat from the laser blast, and when they pop out and you kick your ship the hell out of Dodge, the enemy should home in on the rad can and miss you entirely.  In theory.

So that makes you an eight shot wonder instead of a one shot suicide blaster.  Well, technically you could get off a ninth shot - if you were pretty sure they were done firing back, but thatís a potentially life shortening decision.  And then again, itís also possible their targeting computers would wise up after blasting away the first few cans and they'd fry you the next time you shoot.

And another thing, remember, these are the same scientists came up with the wonders of hyper-string pseudo gravity drive: the grav pods project a field that acts like a gravity well in front of you.  Like a real grav well, no matter how fast you accelerate, it feels like freefall to you.  Wonderful.  Fantastic.  It lets us do things that a crewed reaction drive vehicle could never manage - if you fly an HSPG ship in a straight line.

And thatís the rub.  The pods are rigid.  If you want to turn the ship, you have to spin it on its gyros.  And with the center of mass on an Avenger nearly back by the pods, a snap turn puts a lot of negative gees on the crew sitting way up there in the front.

And thatís not the worst of it.  Spin too fast with the HSPG field running and it overlaps itself and makes shear tides that rip through the ship.  Make a fast enough ninety degree turn and you could get double the gees of the field Ė so up around twenty-five tidal gees at full military power - thrashing through your body.  Sure, itís just for a second or less, and sure, the hull can handle it, but itís no fun having your brains slap against the inside of your skull.

And if you snap past ninety degrees within the length of the field radius, the whole thing collapses on itself and burns out the pods, and then youíre just tumbling along with Newton.  And that makes you a target even an abacus could hit.

But what the hell. Weíre all volunteers.

- Lieutenant Commander Rodrigo Montoya Vasquez, Confederation Space Navy
 

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