Invincible (Individual Tharkad-class WarShip)

Invincible
Vessel Profile
Type WarShip
Class Tharkad


The last surviving Tharkad-class WarShip, the LCS Invincible became famous for its role in the 2853 battles for Hesperus II, its disappearance after the battle, and the devastation unleashed by its new masters upon Tharkad at the opening of the Blakist Jihad.

Succession Wars era[edit]

Combat losses, both in material and crew, whittled away at the number of functional Tharkads until finally only one remained, the LCS Invincible. When the First Succession War ended in 2821, it gained unique status as the last major WarShip of the Lyran Commonwealth.[1] At some point prior to 2853 the decrepit vessel was converted into an orbiting museum because the cost to repair it was deemed unfeasible.[2]

When House Kurita launched a massive assault against Hesperus II in 2853, resulting in that world being blockaded and under siege from the Combine invasion force, repeated LCAF attempts to reinforce the defenders ended in expensive failure. Triumvirate member Henry DeCalidore suggested an alternative tactic: restore the Invincible to active service and use her to break the stalemate.

While the WarShip herself was functional, crewing her proved be problematic as the spacers experienced in handling such vessels were now graying retirees and few in number. Such veterans as could serve were recalled to duty, and spent several weeks in September and October training with younger crew members drawn from naval academies and active vessels. By mid-October this disparate crew was deemed combat ready and began the voyage to Hesperus II.[3]

Reaching the Hesperus system on 25 October, the Invincible initially scattered the startled Combine vessels before it, destroying the DCS Wyrm and DCS Yedo. Harassed by the four remaining Combine WarShips and their DropShips and fighters, the Invincible drove at flank speed for the planet, drawing the Combine fleet away from the Lyran relief force which was able to begin landing troops just as the last Lyran defenses crumbled.[3]

Still exchanging fire with the Combine fleet, the Invincible pounded the Kuritan ground forces about to drive into the factory complex. This orbital bombardment would be the last for the next 197 years (until Clan Smoke Jaguar infamously destroyed the city of Edo on Turtle Bay from orbit in 3050, and Clan Jade Falcon destroyed Remus City on Romulus around the same time in a less well known action). Between the Lyran WarShip's orbital bombardment and the revitalized defenders, the Combine attackers were mauled. Over the next three weeks the Invincible destroyed the last four WarShips remaining in the Combine's navy before Miyogi Kurita ordered his remaining forces to withdraw.[3]

However, the triumphant victory at Hesperus was marred by tragedy afterwards: the Invincible and her entire crew vanished in a mis-jump on the return voyage to Tharkad. Her name was among the ships added to the Commonwealth's List of Honored Missing, read out by the Archon on both Veteran's Day and the anniversary of the Commonwealth's founding.[4] The ship would also be heavily referenced in MechWarrior-poet Jamison Henry's legendary ballad Invincible Dreams, recounting the events surrounding the sixth, seventh and eighth battles for Hesperus II, inspiring no less than four holovid films and two live plays by the FedCom Civil War era. [5]

Jihad[edit]

Lost for over two centuries, few if any guessed the true fate of the Invincible.[6][7] Her eventual reappearance proved to be a harbinger of devastation for the Lyran Alliance.

In November of 3067 the member states of the second Star League gathered on the Lyran capital of Tharkad for the Fourth Star League Conference. On 5 December the LCS Invincible reappeared in the Tharkad system, escorted by several other Blakist WarShips. The Word of Blake had found the derelict and returned it to operational capacity. The refurbished WarShip was intended as a gift or 'olive branch' to the Lyran Alliance, as a token of gratitude for voting the Word into full Star League membership.[8]

When the conference unexpectedly resulted in the dissolution of the Star League, the confused and disappointed Word of Blake force attempted use military threats to make the Star League members reconsider. The Invincible burned at full thrust from its position towards the Lyran capital. Lyran traffic controllers, in a much-replayed but misunderstood recording, expressed shock at her appearance in Tharkad's orbit; while ostensibly showing that the Invincible had popped out of nowhere after two centuries to take Tharkad by surprise, in fact the Lyrans were well aware of her presence in the system and were only taken off guard by the giant ship recklessly cutting through busy orbital traffic without warning.[9] [10] As the situation quickly spun out of control the Invincible ended up bombarding Tharkad from orbit. Tharkad City's very large but decrepit nuclear reactor was hit by a stray shot and exploded, sowing radioactive fallout and chaos across the capital - and inaccurate but damaging claims that the Word of Blake had used a nuclear warhead against a Successor State capital.[6][7] The Invincible stayed in orbit around Tharkad to defend the Blakist ground forces.[11]

In January 3072, Archon Adam Steiner launched an assault that liberated Tharkad.[12] During that battle, the Invincible faced off against the LAS Yggdrasil. The Invincible was boarded and taken by Lyran forces, returning her to Lyran ownership for the first time in over two hundred years.[13][14]

The Invincible then took part in the liberation of Terra in 3078[15] under the command of Fleet Admiral Johanna Gaines; Devlin Stone issued a broadcast to all of the coalition vessels from the Invincible on the 17th of August that launched the attack on Terra.[16]

Surviving the battle for Terra, under the command of Admiral Nathalie Cara, the Invincible arrived back at Tharkad on 28 May 3078, but suffered extensive damage to her Jump Core during the jump that left her stranded in that system without an extensive refit.[17]

By late 3079 the Invincible remained a commissioned ship, but the sheer age and extensive damage she had suffered meant that without a complete overhaul, made impossible due to lack of suitable shipyards, she was fit for use only as a training ship. In fact David Lear would suggest to Devlin Stone that the Lyran realm might be better served by reverting her back to being a museum ship again, replacing one of her flight bays with a gift shop, than trying to refit her.[18]

References[edit]

  1. House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), PDF p. 53
  2. BattleCorps scenario Tactics of Desperation I
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Second Succession War, p. 73
  4. House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 65 "What, Me Worry?"
  5. Handbook: House Steiner, p. 118 "Society and Culture - Education - Major Universities - Rewland College of Fine Arts on Tharkad"
  6. 6.0 6.1 Jihad Hot Spots: 3070, p. 143 = Blake Ascending, p. 303
  7. 7.0 7.1 Technical Readout: 3075, p. 288
  8. Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 12
  9. Blake Ascending, p. 41, "Death from above"
  10. Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 12, "Deadly Gifts"
  11. Jihad Turning Points: Tharkad, pp. 8-9, "Taking a Bullet"
  12. Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 21, "Timeline of the Jihad"
  13. Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, pp. 70-71, "Reflections of Hell"
  14. Jihad Turning Points: Tharkad, pp. 10-11, "Homecoming"
  15. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 95, "Classified: Eyes Only - Top Secret"
  16. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 100, "It Is Time"
  17. Field Report: LAAF, pp. 3-4 "Alliance Overview - Where the Heart is"
  18. Field Report: LAAF, p. 6 "Infrastructural Integrity - Off the Edge of the Map"

Bibliography[edit]