Rapacious (Individual WarShip)
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The SLS Rapacious was a cruiser-class WarShip in service with the Star League Defense Force during the Reunification War. Serving as the SLS Rapacious, the Rapacious and a smaller SLDF WarShip, the destroyer SLS Alacrity, were active during Operation MAILED FIST, the Star League intervention in the Rim Worlds Republic civil war.
In January 2588 the Rapacious and the Alacrity were acting as the WarShip escort to the transport flotilla transporting the Sixteenth Mechanized Infantry Division for the invasion of the lightly-defended world of Newtown Square in the Republic's Apollo Province. The Sixteenth faced local militia forces on the ground and made swift progress towards securing the world until the SLDF forces came up against a reinforced bunker complex located within the Ard Ri Mountains. Protected by ample anti-air weapons and difficult to attack in a ground assault, the bunker was considered a difficult enough objective that the decision was made to use the Rapacious and Alacrity to bombard the site from orbit.
What the SLDF hadn't realised was that the Admiral in charge of the Republic's black water navy, Admiral Hakim Wbika, knew full well that his small naval fleet would be easy prey for the SLDF WarShip fleet active within the Republic and had deliberately gathered the bulk of his ships together and kept them operating in secret, waiting for an opportunity to strike back against Task Force MAILED FIST. When Wbika was made aware of the situation on Newtown Square by agents on the planet, he decided that Newtown Square represented that opportunity he'd been looking for; mustering the Republic fleet in secret, Wbika used the redeployment of the Alacrity and the Rapacious to launch a devastating attack on the SLDF transport JumpShips and DropShips gathered at the system's zenith jump point. The resulting battle lasted sixty minutes and saw nineteen JumpShips and twenty-two DropShips destroyed, along with two complete regiments of infantry from the Sixteenth who had been embarked on various DropShips. None of the Republican WarShips were destroyed, and Wbika broke off the engagement to give his ships a chance to recharge their jump engines and try and escape the system.
Alerted to what had happened, the Alacrity and the Rapacious conducted their orbital bombardment as quickly as possible and made for the zenith jump point as fast as they could, keeping up punishing levels of acceleration in a determined effort to exact vengeance on the Republican fleet. It soon became obvious that the heavier SLDF WarShips would catch up with the lighter RWA fleet before the Republican ships would've been able to jump, leading Wbika to take his ships into the Newtown Shoals, a cometary debris field located in the outer reaches of the Newtown Square system. Wbika couldn't plan for the greater skill of the SLDF WarShips or the determination of their crews to destroy the Republican ships, and as a result the majority of the Republican fleet was caught and engaged within the debris field; one corvette managed to escape, and two more corvettes were disabled and captured. The remaining two destroyers and three corvettes were destroyed in battle, with one of the survivors being Wbika himself. When Wbika was recovered in an escape pod by the Rapacious he only narrowly escaped being lynched by the vengeful crew, and elements within the SLDF subsequently petitioned for Wbika to be put on trial for war crimes; fortunately for Wbika, General Isaacson knew that to charge Wbika with war crimes would expose others within Task Force MAILED FIST to similar charges due to their actions on various Republic worlds.
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 135, "Newtown Shoals: Sharks Among Minnows (January 2588)