Gray Skull

Gray Skull
Vessel Profile
Previous names Stolthet
Type JumpShip
Class Invader

The Invader-class JumpShip Gray Skull served with the Gray Death Legion. It was apparently modified to carry a Lithium-Fusion Battery (see Notes).

The Gray Skull is first explicitly listed on the unit's roster in 3055[1] but according to the ship's history they were first hired ca. October 3051.

History[edit]

In the wake of the Clan Invasion, the Free Rasalhague Republic JumpShip Stolthet under captain Einar Rodland became freelancers (in what technically might be considered mutiny or desertion).[2] They were hired by the Gray Death Legion for evacuation from Sudeten in October 3051[3] and then offered an ongoing contract. The Stolthet was renamed Gray Skull while serving with the Legion, though ultimately, Captain Rodland considered the Legion only a stopover assignment, hoping to get a commission with a Successor State again eventually.[2]

On 1 April 3056 the Gray Skull sat at the nadir jump point of the Glengarry system, the Gray Death Legion's landhold. With its jump drive fully recharged it deployed the DropShip Antelope and was preparing to jump to Skye to bring the DropShip Io there, which was badly in need of repairs, when an invasion fleet of Skye separatists materialized nearby and sent the Leopard CV-class DropShip Merkur. Realizing that an attack was imminent, the Antelope sacrificed itself and tried to intercept the Merkur. It was destroyed by the Merkur and its aerospace fighter complement but this brief fight gave the Gray Skull the extra time they needed to transmit data to the planet, receive new orders, and jump out just as the fighters began strafing the JumpShip.[4]

The Gray Skull had no time to reprogram their navigational computers and had thus executed the pre-planned jump to Skye. Upon arrival they immediately calculated another jump to Mizar, draining the drive's Lithium-Fusion Battery and requiring almost a week to recharge before jumping to New Earth next,[5] where they arrived on 7 April[6] and sent the message via the planetary HPG that informed Grayson Carlyle and the Legion's second battalion of the ongoing attack. (The HPGs on Skye and Mizar had been deemed unsafe for the task.)

It is unclear if or when the Gray Skull parted ways with the Gray Death Legion again. It is not mentioned by name in any source after New Earth, but may or may not have been one of the Invader-class JumpShips that served with the Gray Death Legion until its demise.

Notes[edit]

  • The fact that the Gray Skull jumped to Skye, then immediately on to Mizar before having to recharge its drive indicates that the ship must have been equipped with a L-F battery. This is not a standard system on an Invader-class vessel, but such upgrades have been known to exist (c.f. the Ellyohippus or the Norseman). Such a refit typically lowers the number of docking hardpoints on a given JumpShip. Standard Invaders have three hardpoints; the Gray Skull had the Io docked and wanted to recover the Antelope as well,[7] confirming it to have at least two hardpoints.
  • The jumps made by the Gray Skull (from Glengarry to Skye to Mizar to New Earth) are noteworthy because they all seem to exceed the maximum jump range of thirty lightyears, indicating that the actual threshold is slightly higher. Mizar and New Earth are in fact some 45 lightyears apart; while recharging at Mizar for a week the Gray Skull must simultaneously have charged the drive core and the L-F battery and then jumped to New Earth in two consecutive jumps via an (unnamed) stopover system.

References[edit]

  1. Mercenary's Handbook: 3055, p. 57
  2. 2.0 2.1 Blood of Heroes, p. 62
  3. The final battle at Hammarr spaceport on Sudeten, where the Gray Death Legion boarded their DropShips under fire, is dated 3 October 3051 in Day of Heroes, p. 47, and it is noted that the Jade Falcon fighters hounded the retreating DropShips all the way to the jump point on p. 8
  4. Blood of Heroes pp. 62-65, 84-102, 105-115
  5. Blood of Heroes pp. 247-249
  6. The Gray Skull had jumped from Glengarry on 1 April. Although the brief chapter describing how the Gray Skull had traveled and sent off their message bears no date, both the preceding and the subsequent chapters in the novel are dated 7 April.
  7. Blood of Heroes, p. 86

Bibliography[edit]