Phobos (Individual Trojan-class DropShip)

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This article is about the refitted freighter DropShip. For the Union-class DropShip, see Phobos (Individual Union-class DropShip).


Phobos
Vessel Profile
Type DropShip
Class Trojan
Previous classes Danais

The Phobos was a Trojan-class DropShip best known for its association with the famous Gray Death Legion. It should not be confused with the Union-class vessel bearing the same name that apparently entered service with the Gray Death Legion around 3026-3027.

History[edit]

Phobos was the "Number Two"[1] DropShip (with its sister ship Deimos being "DropShip One"[2]) of Renfred Tor's free trader JumpShip Invidious. Originally an unarmed[3] freighter, implicitly a Danais-class vessel,[4] the Phobos had been modified to Trojan-class specifications[5][6] by 3025.

Carrying the newly formed Gray Death Legion to its first mission, the Phobos attempted to run the blockade of Verthandi on 25 October 3025 posing as the Union-class DropShip Li Tao,[7] after having been repainted with a Draconis Combine crest and false (painted) shadows of a Union's typical weapons.[8] The ruse failed and the Phobos came under fire from aerospace fighters and the DropShip Xao during the breakthrough, eventually managing a rough landing on the shore of the Azure Sea Basin on Verthandi some 200 kilometers from their intended landing zone. It was subsequently rigged to float and moved 500 kilometers across the Azure Sea using an improvised steam drive to hide in a fjord before enemy troops could destroy or salvage the hulk.

At the conclusion of the Verthandi campaign the Phobos was patched up for spaceflight again[9] despite the severe damage it had sustained.

The JumpShip Invidious and its two DropShips ("merchanters converted to troop transports", apparently referring to the Deimos and the Phobos) had become an integral part of the Gray Death Legion's Transport Division by the time of the Sirius campaign in 3027,[10] but at the same time the Gray Death Legion already employed another DropShip named Phobos that is consistently described as a Union-class vessel[11] and at one point was observed to fire autocannons,[12] weapons the original Phobos never had installed but which are standard on a real Union. Only the Union-class vessel is subsequently mentioned with the Gray Death Legion.[13] The ultimate fate of the original Phobos is unknown.

Notes[edit]

  • The Phobos was first metioned by name in the 1987 novel Mercenary's Star, although it may possibly have been the unnamed DropShip from the previous novel, Decision at Thunder Rift. It was described as a modified 3200 ton spheroid freighter DropShip that could be mistaken for a slightly bigger and substantially better armed Union-class DropShip (which it pretended to be). The exact class was not stated. A scenario published in Gray Death Legion (scenario pack), published 1986 and apparently written concurrently with the novels by the same author, recreates the attempt to run the blockade of Verthandi and provides game stats for the Phobos under AeroTech rules including its weapons layout, again without stating its class. The 2008 sourcebook Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents finally introduced the Danais/Trojan-class DropShip, using the Phobos' stats from the scenario as a template for the Trojan class and explicitly mentioning the Phobos in the writeup.
  • The Invidious and both of its DropShips were boarded by pirates from the Oberon Confederation while recharging enroute to Trellwan in 3024, who installed weapons on both DropShips.[14] Although not explicitly spelled out, it seems likely that the Phobos was converted into a Trojan in this incident.

References[edit]

(Page references for the novels refer to the PDF editions and may differ from print editions.)

  1. Mercenary's Star, p. 17
  2. Mercenary's Star, p. 238
  3. Mercenary's Star, p. 31
  4. because the Danais is the base merchant vessel class from which the Trojan derives
  5. Gray Death Legion, p. 27
  6. the Trojan-class writeup in Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents (p. 153) not only uses the configuration of the Phobos during their blockade running attempt as a template for the Trojan class, but also specifically mentions the Phobos as an example for such vessels posing as Unions
  7. Mercenary's Star, pp. 45-64; Gray Death Legion, p. 27
  8. Mercenary's Star, pp. 31, 50-51
  9. Mercenary's Star, p. 342
  10. The Price of Glory, pp. 17, 18
  11. The Price of Glory, pp. 29, 60, 78
  12. The Price of Glory, p. 89
  13. Mercenary's Handbook 3055, p. 57; The Dying Time, p. 73; Field Manual: Mercenaries,p. 56, describes the Gray Death Legion to possess altogether five Union class DropShips and a number of aerodyne DropShips, but no nother spheroid designs, without giving names.
  14. Decision at Thunder Rift, p. 115 - Lori Kalmar recalls personally installing weapons on both of the Invidious' DropShips, not just the one Renfred Tor came with

Bibliography[edit]