Achilles (Individual WarShip)
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The Achilles was a corvette WarShip named for Maxwell Achilles Rowe, third son of Rim Worlds Republic founder Hector Rowe, and First Consul of the Republic after he forced his father out of power via a vote of no confidence in 2305. The Achilles was a part of the Rim Worlds Republic black water navy during the Star League Civil War and served as the RWS Achilles.
General Aleksandr Kerensky, Commanding-General of the Star League Defense Force, launched a campaign to liberate the Sol system under the name Operation LIBERATION on the 23rd of January 2777. Among the objectives of Operation LIBERATION was securing the communities known as the Belter communities, which lay predominantly in the regions known as the Jovian L4 and L5 Lagrange points, largely as communities and installations built into various asteroids of the Trojan Asteroid clusters. While the Belters were an isolationist community at the time, there was a long tradition of individuals from Belter communities serving in the various commercial merchant fleets that blossomed under the Star League as well as in the Star League Defense Force navy. The communities also maintained and operated small shipyards, a notable strategic asset; this, combined with his abhorrence of the idea of allowing a group free reign or autonomy, led Stefan Amaris to attempt to control the Belters through the use of political overseers, military governors and threats of force via WarShips or the Caspar drones that formed a large part of the Terran SDS network.
When SLDF WarShips participating in Operation LIBERATION moved into the Belter regions to remove Amaris' forces, the RWS Achilles was moored at the Mercator-Campion Shipyards in the Andromache asteroid within the L5 Trojan Point above Jupiter, undergoing a refit. Despite the refit being only partially complete, the Achilles left the shipyards, taking some damage in the crew's haste to avoid being captured. With the life support systems aboard the Achilles malfunctioning along with the maneuvering drive, the crew of the Achilles knew that they had no chance of making it to a safe pirate point from which to jump, and so the crew decided to seek cover deep in Jupiter's gravity well.
The various system failures aboard the Achilles ensured that the corvette didn't make it to Jupiter's upper atmosphere. Instead, the Achilles found itself stranded in the L1 Lagrange point between Jupiter and the moon Io. The L1 Lagrange point was constantly bombarded with radiation from the intense radiation fields around Jupiter, making it one of the most inhospitable regions of the solar system. Faced with little choice, the Achilles called for assistance, although the crew stopped short of a formal surrender.
SLDF ships moved to assist the Achilles, but with the self-inflicted damage suffered by the Achilles it was impossible for any of the SLDF ships to dock with her and move her crew off. None of the SLDF vessels had enough space suits shielded against hard radiation to effect suitable repairs on the Achilles, and personnel in conventional suits would swiftly succumb to the radiation. While some personnel could be moved off the Achilles by shuttle, there was no way to move enough people off the Achilles before she too succumbed to the local radiation.
Captain Nadine Durham of the SLS Margaret Rose came up with a viable plan to rescue the Achilles: a pair of BattleMechs jetted across to the Achilles, and in a dangerous ninety-minute operation, attached a tow line to the Achilles. That tow line was used by the SLS Margaret Rose and her sister ship SLS Tally Ho to tow the disabled Achilles up to a higher orbit before securing and arresting her crew.
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 2, p. 65, "Distant Thunder: The Belter Communities and Jupiter"
- The Periphery, 1st Edition, p. 13, "Birth of the Rim Worlds Republic"
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 2, p. 58, "The "Go" Order"