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The Helios Files

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#1
Coolhand

Coolhand

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Note: Been meaning to do something like this for ages. Seeing as im gonna be reusing some material from the old game for a tabletop im running i figure its as good as an excuse as any. I'll follow up with more as i write it (primarily a timeline). If anything i put in this thread doesnt line up with established canon (game or official) i'll correct it if someone actually reads this to point it out.

 

Cerberus System

174Az53.jpg

Discovered in the early 2020’s by the Megaroad 21 (Helios Fleet) long distance colonisation fleet the system was named Cerberus for the three prominent asteroid belts affectionately dubbed “the three heads of Cerberus”. It is often mistakenly called the Helios system by many due to its primary colony world of Helios (the Helios system is in actuality Groombridge 1816, the system that Eden colony is located in).

 

Star: K class Main Sequence Star 0.9 solar radii

Planets: 4

Asteroid Belts: 3

 

Thalia (Cerberus 1)

 

The innermost planet of the Cerberus system is named for one of Helios daughters. This small planet is located close to the systems star and as such is little more than barren rock. Since surviving on Thalia is extremely difficult there is no human habitation. It has insignificant mineral wealth.

 

 

Helios (Cerberus 2)

 

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Size: 1.23 Earth

Surface Water: Minimal

Gravity: 1.03 earth

Climate: Arid

Length of Day: 28 hours

Length of Year: 284 Helian days

Population (2051): 23 million (81% human, 19% Zentraedi)

                    (2057): 58 million (67% human, 31% Zentraedi/Meltrandi, 2% other)

 

The second planet in the system. Helios is located within the goldilocks zone of the Cerberus star and as such is the location of the Megaroad 21 colony. Named Helios after the nickname for the Megaroad 21 fleet it is an atypical world to choose as a colony location.

Helios would best be described as a desert world, vast amounts of the planet’s surface are occupied by searing deserts. Much of the water is either locked in polar ice or found in subterranean reservoirs with only a small percentage found as surface lakes or seas. Each of Helios’ three major cities is located close to water from one of these sources.

 

Helios is possessed of staggering mineral resources, this was the primary factor behind its selection as a colony world. Combined with the mineral rich asteroid belts Helios is well situated as an industrial center and export hub.

 

Helios has 3 major cities, around which have grown suburbs and rural communities. Helios rough climate means it has a relatively low population.

 

A terraforming project is underway to make Helios more liveable however progress is slow.

 

 

Founder’s Landing

 

The first city of Helios and the location of the Megaroad 21. More than 50% of Helios population is located in this city and its surrounds.

 

Situated in one of the more fertile areas of Helios residents enjoy near temperate conditions and a 4 season cycle. Seen as Helios breadbasket a large portion of the colonies food is produced in the lands surrounding Founders Landing.

 

 

Opal City

 

The second city on Helios. Originally just an outpost Opal City grew once prospectors located densely packed ore veins and an underground sea at the location. In addition a large Opal deposit was found, giving the city it’s name.

 

In a short space of time Opal City became the primary industrial producer on Helios, its ready supply of raw material lead to large refinery and factory facilities being built.

 

Opal City is the home of the Helios Aerospace Defence Force and its training facilities. This sometimes leads people to call Opal City “Jet Town”.

 

 

Gabrirov

 

The newest city on Helios. Founded by former Russians this city has only recently been declared as such. Gabrirov enjoys good farming land and has access to vast granite quarries.

 

Scientists have recently taken great interest in the unique flora and fauna of the area.

 

Aglaea (Cerberus 3)

 

A large Jovian type world with a striking green colour. Named for another of Helios’ daughters.

 

Euphrosyne (Cerberus 4)

 

Also named for one of Helios’ daughters. Another Jovian world, larger than Aglaea. Of an orange hue with violent storms.

 



#2
Coolhand

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Helios Timeline

 

  • 2023
  • Megaroad 21 makes planetfall on Cerberus 2
  • Helios Colony founded
  • Founder’s Reach christened as Helios’ first city

 

  • 2025
  • Opal City founded
  • Foundation of Helios Aerospace Defence Forces (HADF)
  • HADF headquartered in newly founded Opal City

 

  • 2029
  • Dwer Koolhan is born in Opal City to parents Neil and Serena
  • Helios Terraforming Project commences.

 

  • 2032
  • Azrael Koolhan is born in Opal City to parents Neil and Serena

 

  • 2046
  • Gabrirov declared as Helios third city

 

  • 2048
  • Maria Koolhan in born in Opal City to parents Neil and Serena
  • Zentraedi attack on Helios Colony in event later titled “Z Day”
  • HADF suffers heavy losses in both pilots and warships.
  • Neil Koolhan dies
  • Azrael Koolhan MIA
  • Lt Dwer Koolhan successfully leads an assault on Zentraedi “Khore” Fleet flagship, a Thuerval Salan cruiser.
  • Many Zentraedi defect during the course of the battle, unhappy with Commander Khore.
  • HADF victory
  • Theurval Salan “Ghrekis” captured by HADF and renamed “HDMS Gherkin”
  • Zentraedi defectors welcomed to live on the colony. Efforts to integrate are tumultuous but successful.

 

  • 2049
  • With its military crippled Helios calls for aid from the UN.
  • UN sends relief fleet and a garrison.
  • HADF integrates into the UN Spacy, existing personnel are given UN Spacy training. Some officers are offered for re-assignment, including Dwer Koolhan.
  • Helios Colony integrates into the UN fully.

 

  • 2050
  • Development of the YF-140H Advanced Vampire begins
  • “Scarlet Griffon” terrorist group lead by Azrael Koolhan steals 12 VF-1X Valkyrie Plus and the modified Oberth Cruiser “Liberty”.
  • Scarlet Griffons flee Cerberus system and defect to the Colonial Liberation Army (CLA).

 

  • 2051
  • NUSA occupies Helios, desiring its raw materials and production facilities.
  • Helios begins full scale war production.
  • Many Helians join the NUSA effort

 

  • 2052
  • Battle of Eden occurs. HADF assets are committed to the battle.
  • Many HADF forces defect to the UNG side during the battle.

 

 

  • 2053
  • UNG vs NUSA war ends.
  • Dwer and Azrael Koolhan both return to Helios.
  • Dwer Koolhan becomes a military flight instructor.
  • Azrael Koolhan enters politics.
  • Increasing corporate control of Helios government.
  • Helios Colony declares full independence from both UNG and NUSA and forms the “Rocksalt Alliance” with two other nearby colony systems.
  • Development of Helios Design Works/General Galaxy VFz-140H Strigoi is completed using NUSA technology left behind after the wars end.
  • VFz-140H Strigoi enters in service as mainline Variable Fighter, it's status as a homegrown design allowing it to beat out contenders such as the VF-171 Nightmare Plus

 

  • Strigoi modernises the VF-14 Vampire airframe taking inspiration from captured Varauta fighters and using new technologies. Boasts performance approaching that of the VF-19 or -22 and is able to beat the -22 in outright speed. Improved atmospheric flight over standard VF-14 with active stealth technology and close to doubled firepower.

 

  • 2054-2057
  • Helios establishes itself as a mercantile power in the sector able to provide high quality metals and minerals.
  • HADF reinstated and brought back to full strength.
  • Relations with NUN are strained.
  • Helios becomes home to PMC operations in the sector with an organisation called “Falcon’s Nest” serving as a hub for mercenary contracts.
  • Helios Terraforming Project makes headway.

 

  • 2057 (late)
  • Dwer Koolhan leaves Helios to join Cameron Core Solutions (CCS).


#3
Coolhand

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((I feel i should mention this is pure fanfiction, i just wanted to see an updated VF-14))

 

Helios Design Works/General Galaxy VFz-140H Strigoi

 

Technical Data

 

Equipment Type: main advanced variable heavy fighter/attack craft

 

Unofficial Codename: Vampire Plus”

 

Operators: Helios Aerospace Defense Force

 

Manufacturer: Helios Design Works/General Galaxy

 

Introduction: 2052

 

Operational Deployment: 2053

 

Accommodation: single pilot in pressurised canopy with armoured cover for Battroid mode.

 

Dimensions:

  • Battroid Mode: height: 17.08 meters
  • Fighter Mode: wingspan (full): 22.05 meters, length: 19.98 meters

Mass: empty: 13 metric tons

 

Structure: SWAG energy conversion armour, armour strengthened in Battroid mode.

 

Power Plant: 2x Shinkassu-Daimler FF-2777H thermonuclear reaction engines,     2x three-dimensional vectored exhaust nozzles, many x P&W HMM-6B high maneuverability vernier thrusters.

 

Propulsion:

  • Space: max 91010kg x2 (892.5kN x2)
  • Atmosphere: max 54,606kg x2 (535.5kN x2) thrust limited to 60% in atmosphere due to cooling efficiency

Thrust-to-Weight Ratio: 14 (8.4 in atmosphere when limited to 60% thrust)

 

Performance:

  • max cruise speed at 10,000m Mach 5.2+
  • max cruise speed at 30,000+m Mach 22+ (7.4+ km/s)
  • max rate of climb at S/L 60,400 meters/minute
  • G-limit:  +36.0 / -22.5

Design Features: 3-mode variable transformation, Vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), armoured canopy cover, three-dimensional thrust vectoring, Variable Geometry Sweep Wing (differs from VF-14), capable of unassisted orbital velocity over an Earth-class planet, active stealth system (of similar grade to VF-19 Excalibur),  strengthened armour in battroid mode, high maneuverability in space, improved atmosphere performance over VF-14.

 

Armament

Guns

  • 2x Erikon AAB-7 fixed anti-aircraft beam guns (mounted on nose in fighter/gerwalk modes, head turret ‘horns’ in Battroid.)
  • 2x Mauler BC-28X medium-bore heavy beam guns (mounted forward in port and starboard nacelles in Fighter mode, left and right shoulders in Gerwalk/Battroid)
  • 2x Mauler REB-22 converging energy beam cannon (mounted forward facing in rear dorsal port and starboard nacelles, left and right forearm in Battroid mode.)
  • 2x GV-1H Internal 35mm Compact Bull-pup Gunpod (stored in left and right leg compartments with forward facing firing ports in fighter mode, hand-held in gerwalk/battroid mode) - 200 rounds each  

 

 

Bombs & Missiles

  • 2x Internal Op-arms MMLS-04 Multi-function Missile Launch System able to load a variety of missiles - able to mount 24 Micro Missiles each (for a total of 48), 8 Medium-size missiles each (for a total of 16) or a single Large size warhead each (total of 2).

Other

  • 1x fighter-scale pin-point barrier system (system located on tailing edge of fuselage in fighter mode, chest area in battroid mode - system needs 60% of power output thus cannot be used in fighter mode)

 

 

Comparative Analysis

VF-14 Vampire

The VFz-140H Strigoi attempts to bring forward the design philosophies of the VF-14 Vampire into a modern AVF. Durability, Speed, Ammo Efficiency and Firepower are the core tenants of the design and it achieves all three. It comprehensively outperforms the older Vampire (as to be expected).

Strigoi is much more costly than the Vampire, relatively speaking but retains the Vampires ease of maintenance and tough airframe. Strigoi should see fewer losses to enemy fire as a result, thus keeping replacement costs down.

*Analysts Note: It may be worth exploring a cut-down version of the VFz-140H as a cost saving measure for true mass production and export.

 

 

VF-171

The Advanced Vampire project was undertaken as a way to distance Helios from reliance on UN hardware. As such Helios did not buy any Nightmare Plus, desiring a visual separation as well as a home-grown fighter.

The VFz-140H exceeds the VF-171 in the areas of speed, zero-g maneuverability and fixed firepower. Both craft are almost equal in durability with the VF-171 taking the edge. The VF-171 has a larger and more flexible missile armament due to its under-wing hard-point systems. The VF-171 has greater stealth capability.

Both are upgrades on older airframes but we believe the VFz-140H to have greater ability to be upgraded further than the VF-171.

The VF-171 has superior cost-performance to the VFz-140H at the cost of top-end performance.

 

AVF’s - VF-19F and VF-22S

The VFz-140H Strigoi was designed to compete with both the VF-19 Excalibur series and the VF-22S Sturmvogel II. It is broadly comparable to both fighters both in performance and expense.

-140H is larger than both craft and more heavily armed. It is much heavier and more durable than both craft. Transformation on the -140H is slower due to the older airframe design.

The VF-19 has greater speed in all environments, the -140H’s mass offsets its more powerful engines allowing the Excalibur dominance in this area. In atmosphere the   -19 is dominant in maneuverability although the -140H is not helpless. In space the Strigoi has the maneuverability edge due to its many vernier thrusters. The -140H is easier to control for less skilled pilots than the -19.

Against the VF-22 Sturmvogel II the VFZ-140H compares favourably, outperforming it in speed and acceleration. Strigoi is once again more maneuverable in space but is less capable in atmosphere but by a lesser margin than with the Excalibur. VF-22’s advanced stealth systems and Battroid agility are far above that of the VFz-140H.

 

Final

The VFz-140H Strigoi is an extremely capable heavy fighter able to bring superior firepower and heavy armour to a battle, advantages it should leverage against equivalent or superior craft. Its large airframe leaves room for future upgrades. It is rugged and durable, able to function optimally within the harsh climate of Helios and its weight gives it a stability against sandstorms.

Helios’ need for a powerful fighter force is adequately met by the Strigoi, its durability meaning the relatively few (but skilled) pilots of the HADF will come home. Its high cost is easily mitigated by the mineral wealth of Helios itself.

 

 

Description and History

 

In the year 2050 the colony planet of Helios was reeling from an attack by rogue Zentraedi forces. With the HADF crippled and having to rely upon the UN for military defence the Helios Government ordered development to start on the Advanced Vampire Project, the aim of which was to modernise their newly acquired fleet of VF-14 Vampires.

 

Originally the project simply aimed to increase the general performance and avionics of the VF-14, however the project was put on hold in 2051 when NUSA forces occupied Helios, desiring its mineral wealth and production power for their fledgling war against the UNG. Three prototype YF-140H were built before the occupation.

 

Late in 2052 the NUSA withdrew from Helios and development re-started, this time with the aid of the infrastructure and AVF development knowledge left behind by the NUSA. Development goals shifted from a simple modernisation of the VF-14 to an ambitious remodel, aiming to bring the VF-14 airframe up to the level of an AVF such as the VF-19 or -22.

 

Using data from captured Protodevlin/Varauta Fz-109 Elgerzorene fighters and advanced NUSA technologies from the FA/V-1 Phoenix a radical overhaul of the Vampire took place not dissimilar to the VF-171 Nightmare Plus. This lead many to dub the new project the “Vampire Plus” project. The initial prototype was flown by HADF Captain Dwer Koolhan, who had experience in both AVFs and the older Vampire.

 

Working rapidly the design was completed in 2053 and the VFz-140H Strigoi (named for the Romanian vampire myth) was adopted as the mainline Variable Fighter of the HADF, steadily replacing many older generation fighters as production increased. The Fz in its designation code is a nod to the Elgerzorene from which much of the design inspiration was taken.

 

Outwardly the Strigoi is similar to the older Vampire and Elgerzorene models given they share the same airframe and transformation systems. The Strigoi is bulkier than the standard Vampire, more closely resembling the Elgerzorene with enlarged shoulders for the new heavy beam guns, arm blisters to accommodate the new forearm guns and redesigned (larger) legs to fit the oversized and incredibly powerful engines that give the Strigoi its fearsome performance. The wings are completely redesigned from the original models, replaced with a variable sweep geometry wing, granting improved atmospheric handling when fully extended without sacrificing the supersonic performance of the craft.

 

By 2057 the VFz-140H is in full production with many Helian squadrons flying the craft.






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