Imperial Navy warships all basically follow a cylindrical build. Ships were made out of a combination of 1/4, 1/2 and all-rounded cylindrical blocks called sections.
The main reason for this was of course for ease of maintenance. In ancient times, the ships were actually built as a unified whole based on an integrated framework, but maintaining them proved to be a considerable challenge. Perhaps this was because it was a time without war back then.
By using the modular construction system, even if a ship gets severely damaged in some places, it would be possible to repair it within a mere week, providing there were enough replacement sections to spare.
Even though a ship’s overall structural integrity may suffer when using the modular construction method, this disadvantage could now be sufficiently compensated by today’s advanced technologies.
According to the recent report from the nodes, the damage suffered by the gravity control section seems to be lower than initially estimated. Finally, some relatively good news.
Now then, since the Captain has successfully escaped, let us start the repairs.
First, let us cut off the engine block. There was zero chance of repairing it so it was now completely unnecessary.
After doing this, an entire quarter of the ship has been disposed of.
Actually, dumping foreign materials onto a planet with intelligent lifeforms was a serious violation of military regulations, but as we are in the middle of a first-grade emergency situation, this action currently poses no problem.
The projected crash point of the debris was about 2000 kilometers away from the Captain’s estimated landing coordinates, so no problems there either.
I’ll make use of a gravitational tractor beam to drop the wreckage. If it fell onto the planet with its current size, it may cause the planet to be destroyed. I made it self-descruct into smaller pieces of debris after it gained enough distance from the rest of the ship.
One can say that the only definite advantage humanity has over the Bugs was technology. Thus, each and every individual section of the ship was equipped with self-destruct mechanisms in order to prevent the leakage of vital technological knowledge.
Of course, these mechanisms were designed by the Imperial Military to activate without fail no matter how much damage they may possibly take.
Next, I activated the auxiliary engines used for attitude control, making the entire body of the ship rotate. I plan to make use of centrifugal force to make the damaged sections drop onto the desired coordinates. The faster the spin, the better.
After the auxiliary engines managed to give the spin enough momentum, each section which was damaged beyond repair came off the rest of the ship one after another. I measured the timing and proceeded to detach the first and second cryo-sleep bays as well.
The separated sections were also dropped towards the planet using the gravitational tractor beam. This allowed me to guide their trajectory little by little. These sections were also made to self-destruct after gaining enough distance.
The earlier actions taken have raised the probability of successful repair and reconstruction to 68%.
The hangar bay also needs to be disposed of. But its overall mass was too great.
The earlier attacks completely wiped out the two high-speed space use reconnaissance craft and four large-sized landing crafts stationed within it.
I ordered all remaining vessels capable of atmospheric re-entry to descend. I’m sure they’ll be useful to the Captain.
Afterward, I finally got rid of the hangar. I also dropped it using the tractor beam.
A while earlier, when the Captain recited the prepared command prompts, he changed the wording from simply ‘preserve the fighting strength of this ship’ to ‘preserve the fighting strength of this ship and the Navy’s honor.’
This was probably due to the influence of the senior officer education he underwent. It was completely in line with Imperial Army Regulations Article 1, Paragraph 2-A: The Imperial Army’s honor must be protected and upheld at all times.
But considering the situation, he really can’t blame me for choosing to just focus on preserving the ship instead.
A lot of the ship’s vital functions have now been lost: navigation is currently impossible, the main and secondary cannons cannot be fired and FTL communications cannot be sent out.
Honestly, in this ship’s current state, it won’t even be able to stand up to a mere Imperial Satellite-Class destroyer or the Bug’s basic BG-1 light cruiser.
This ship’s present dismal battle capabilities notwithstanding, maximum efforts must still be made in order to repair and restore it to peak performance.
In order to achieve this, the industrial section, life support section, medical bay, and gravity control section must all be kept fully functional no matter what.
The AI installed on the detached hangar section was currently in the midst of confusion.
An order stating all vessels capable of atmospheric re-entry were to be launched off while disregarding all safety regulations came just earlier.
Even if these vessels were indeed capable of re-entry, they weren’t designed to do so under such an unreasonable trajectory. Just how many of them would be able to successfully land?
Right now, the AI was on standby while waiting for the hangar section to reach an optimal position for a launch attempt.
The hangar’s AI turned it’s attention to the general-purpose robots lined up inside the hangar. These robots weren’t equipped with unassisted re-entry capabilities.
They were designed for performing various jobs in place of actual people. To that end, they were created closely mimicking the human form, with working pairs of hands and legs.
Although they didn’t have much with regards to actual fighting capabilities, they came equipped with a wide variety of useful functions befitting their status as general-purpose machines. Moreover, they were capable of long-term independent operations akin to drones.
A suggestion was made by one of the individual nodes making up the AI. Check further inside and confirm the availability of drones. It proposed a plan to combine the drones and robots in order for them to attempt re-entry together.
The drones had hooks on their undersides for the purpose of equipping them with optional parts. The specs of both the drones and robots were checked and the possible effects of air resistance were factored in.
There was a high probability of success.
A plan which involved the bots grabbing on to the drones hooks in order for the drones to take care of re-entry was immediately put into action. If this proves impossible, the bots merely had to let go of the hooks.
Of course, the drones won’t be able to fly while carrying the bots under the effect of gravity, but gliding near the surface was doable.
The bots were equipped with thrusters to enhance their jumping capability. If they use them to decrease the speed of descent, a relatively safe landing should be possible.
Soon a drone and bot pair were put together, and the bot was ordered to grab the drone’s hook. There was actually quite the number of bots compared to the drones, but that can’t be helped.
Meanwhile, Iris was busy repeatedly detaching and re-docking the remaining functional sections of the ship. She’d just finished the 14th docking procedure earlier.
She detaches a section, grabs it with a tractor beam and re-docks it someplace else on the ship. By continuously repeating these procedures, the ship’s trajectory gradually changes in direction.
Just a little bit more and the ship would reach an ideal trajectory to attempt a swing-by. Since the engine section was lost, the ship’s propulsive capabilities were extremely limited. Even a single mistake was unacceptable.
The plan was to do a swing-by in conjunction with the auxiliary thrusters in order to move to a stable orbit. It would take some time, but that can’t be helped.
I currently can’t get in touch with the Captain. He should have long reached the surface by now.
The hangar has finally reached an optimal point for re-entry.
The hatch was opened, and the tractor beam installed in front launched vessels and units set for atmospheric re-entry one after another.
The drones had a shape resembling a bird and were 15 meters long, 10 meters wide and 4 meters tall.
The general-purpose bots began approaching them and grabbing on to their hooks.
Pairs of drones and bots were continuously launched out.
The launched units immediately fired up their hydrogen ramjet engines.
They had to hurry and get away from the hangar. That’s because it was set to self destruct soon.
When all the launched units gained sufficient distance, the hangar section finally self-destructed. All units braced themselves for the ensuing shock from the blast.
They then used aerial breaking in order to approach the optimum angle for atmospheric re-entry.
About 80% of the units managed to survive atmospheric re-entry. The re-entry angle was so bad that 20% of them were ultimately destroyed due to getting swept up in the explosion of the hangar section.
The drones which managed to safely get away had to conserve their limited fuel, so they began gliding and planned to do so until they reached lower altitudes. In order not to get separated, they arranged themselves in an orderly formation and descended together.
The leader unit instructed a drone and robot pair to fire up their thrusters and take point.
When the pair reached an altitude of a thousand meters, their hydrogen ramjet engines ignited in order to slow down their falling speed. All the remaining units focused their attention on the data being continuously sent back by the leading pair.
All the drones were VTOL types and made use of jet nozzles for attitude control. They were designed for these types of maneuvers.
The bot managed to successfully land. But it seems it let go of the hook a little early. It fell from a height of 30 meters but it was fine in the end.
Using the trajectory data sent by the first pair as a reference, all other units quickly created a feasible flight plan and simultaneously activated their ramjet engines when they reached the thousand-meter mark.
The drones instructed the bots hanging onto them to wait until they reach an altitude of 15 meters before letting go in order for them to land safely.
All remaining units managed to land without a hitch.
The leader unit then ordered them to standby. The general-purpose bots gathered together and stood in position. The drones deployed their propellers and used them to fly upwards.
They rose past the cloud cover and used the energy provided by this planet’s sun in order to recharge their energy batteries. The depleted hydrogen fuel must also be replenished by taking it in from the surrounding atmosphere.
Iris was surprised by the report she received from the surface of the planet. About 80% of the drones, 60% of the general-purpose robots, two large industrial tractors and three excavators managed to land safely. It was an unexpected success rate.
Reconnaissance Drone DR-3020 (82 units)
General-purpose Work Bot BT-122W (82 units)
General-purpose Tractor TR-400G (2 units)
Test Drilling Machine KS-10G (3 units)
Unfortunately, the mobile weapons stationed on the Large-type landing crafts weren’t capable of unassisted atmospheric re-entry and were mostly wiped out.
It seems the tractors and excavators were able to safely descend because they were put in specialized containers capable of atmospheric re-entry. But an opportunity to put them to good use may not even present itself in the first place.
However, the drones and general-purpose bots were quite useful, especially in this current situation where contact with the Captain has been cut off.
In the meantime, I ordered the drones to search for the Captain, seek out places that seem to harbor intelligent life and observe the local lifeforms residing within them.
The other units incapable of flight were ordered to standby because they couldn’t make use of the cloud cover to mask their movements.
I can’t seem to contact the escape pod. I wonder if something has happened to the Captain?