TCS Iason

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TCS Iason
Tch-iason.png
Primary User Terran Confederation
Captains Jedora Andropolos

Jedora Andropolos

Booster Pod Fuel {{{booster fuel}}}
Service 2613 to 2638




The TCS Iason was an Odysseus-class naval exploratory vessel. She was commissioned on 2613.078 as a long-range exploratory vessel and would go on to serve as a fleet transport and a combination exploratory/research vessel. The Iason was responsible for the first official contact with the Empire of Kilrah, an incident which cost the lives of her crew.

First Contact

In 2629, the Iason was serving as a patrol ship as part of the Confederation’s expanded exploration and colonization of the Vega Sector under the command of Commander Jedora Andropolos. On 2629.105 (alternatively 3/15/2629 and March 16, 2629), the Iason encountered the KIS K’rath’kan. After several minutes, Captain Andropolos transmitted the international wide-band, non-verbal greeting designed by the Committee for Interaction with Alien Intelligences to the unidentified ship. Andropolos opts to keep Iason motionless through the encounter and her guns offline for the Terran Confederation Navy-recommended twenty minutes. Aboard the destroyer, Leader Brath’kar nar Caxki misinterprets the signal as an attempt to neutralize his shields with wide-band radiation. Brath’kar waits three-eighths of a Kilrathi hour before ordering his crew to open fire with full lasers. The Iason is destroyed and all hands are lost. The entire encounter lasts twenty two minutes. The incident marks the official first contact between the Terran Confederation and the Empire of Kilrah. Confederation deep-space tracking computers identify an unexplored planet, later identified as Kilrah, as a possible point of origin for the K’rath’kan.

Return

In 2633, the Iason was refitted as a fleet support transport. In 2637 she was again refitted as an exploratory/research vessel. The modified Iason was a 17,000 ton explorer with an enhanced sensor array, ultra-long-range communications system (voice and data) and self-sustaining life support systems rated for a 1.2 voyage at full complement. She carried a jump drive, hopper drive and long-range fusion impulse drive as well as laboratory facilities for astronomy, xenology, planetology and gravitics research. Iason was armed with two twin long-range pulse cannons and a torpedo tube, with twelve N44 torpedoes mounting conventional explosive warheads. Her hull was protected with class 5 heavy-carbon armor and a 4.7 terajoule xenon-charged phase shield generator. She carried one long-range Pelican-class shuttle refitted for research, one Tern-class shuttle, two towed P-64 Ferret-class scout fighters]] with enhanced sensor arrays and nineteen lifeboats. As she set off on her final cruise, she carried a crew of 19 officers and 71 crew plus a research staff of 3 officers, 19 crew and 5 civilians. She had an 8,000 cubic meter cargo capacity, which consisted of provisions, research equipment and an unknown number of research samples.

Final Mission

On 2638.009, Iason departed Port of Hellespont under the command of Jedora Andropolos for a nine-month Exploratory Services mapping/research mission in the outer Vega Sector. She put in at Tartarus System on 2638.065 for minor repairs, remaining in continuous communications with headquarters for the duration. On 2638.221 she hopped to V343 to investigate the composition of gas giants in the outer system. Early scans indicated complex radioactives in the outer atmosphere of the ninth plannet, prompting Captain Andropolos to order a ten day layover for analysis after which she would hop back to the Tyr System jump point.

On 2638.229.0450, automatic scanners on the Iason recorded three unknown objects moving at a high rate of speed on a non orbital trajectory 97,000 kilometers away. Scans and images taken during the encounter would later identify them Kilrathi merchantmen, B'ru'k-class light freighters. On 2638.229.0512 the freighters altered course to intercept Iason. By this time scans had confirmed that the objects were pressurized, manufactured and self propelled craft. Captain Andropolos was informed of the approaching ships and ordered full shields and that the crew go to readiness standby level 2. On 2638.229.0527, the freighters entered visual range and Captain Andropolos ordered continuous wide-band scanning and a real-time telemetry stream to headquarters.

The Iason began monitoring radio traffic in an unknown language and initiated hailing procedures according to Terran Confederation first contact protocols. The radio signals were fragmentary, but later analysis indicated they were a discussion of the Iason's nature and offensive capability. On 2638.229.0610, Andropolos transmitted a notice to headquarters and the Confederation of first contact with sentient, non-human spacefarers. He also reports on the radio traffic and the hailing attempt.

On 2638.229.0715, the Iason scrambled both Ferrets. Captain F. Izmuti was ordered to fly a pattern of concentric flybys of the freighters while Commander James Taggart was ordered to conduct long- and medium-range scans of the area. On 2638.229.0745, Captain Izmuti's fighter passed within two kilometers of the freighters, one of which opened fire on her. The Ferret's right wing array, including cameras and stabilizers, was damaged, prompting orders for her to return to the Iason. Taggart's fighter remained in space through the destruction of the Iason.

Captain Andropolos decided to "wait out" the situation, avoiding further action beyond automatic hails on all frequencies. He informed headquarters of this decision in a second message sent at 2638.229.0800. For just under an hour, the Kilrathi ships went to radio silence. On 2628.229.0857, the Kilrathi broke their silence and transmitted a video signal, which the Iason noted as being largely within the infrared spectrum. Captain Andropolos immediately ordered a two-way channel, but the Kilrathi showed only a blank wall. It was later suspected that the Kilrathi wished to see the humans without revealing themselves.

On 2638.229.0942, the Iason intercepted a final Kilrathi radio transmission. It would later be translated as the order to open fire. All three freighters opened fire simultaneously, prompting Captain Andropolos to order the Iason to return fire and retreat at maximum speed. The Kilrathi pursued, keeping pace with the explorer.

Iason's real-time telemetry stream continued until 2638.229.0947, likely breaking up due to electromagnetic interference from the battle. The specifics of the battle are unknown, but later analysis suggested that Iason's shields would have held until 2638.229.1000 or shortly after and that her hull integrity would have lasted fifteen seconds further. Most crew would have been killed at that time in a radiation flash from the drives exploding or from depressurization.

After the explosion of the drives, the freighters dispatched boarding parties to the Iason, which stripped her of bodies and equipment. It is unknown whether any crew survived in the lifeboats or full-environment suits, but if they had it was suspected that they would have been killed by the Kilrathi rather than taken prisoner.

Recovery

On 2638.230.0130, Vega Sector Headquarters certified the Iason as a lost or missing ship.

At around 2638.234.1900, a B'ru'k jumped in to the Hyperion System jump point towing gutted hull of the Iason, which is slightly larger than it by volume. The freighter proceeded at full speed to the orbit of Hyperion 4, where it deposted the hull at 2638.234.2307 as a challenge or warning. The freighter is identified only by long-range scanners at the jump point. It does not come within visual range and it is never determined whether it was one of the three involved in the attack. He immediately returns to the jump point at full speed and leaves the system on around 2638.235.0200.

Ships are dispatched from Hyperion 2 to investigate the yet to be identified object. On 2638.236.0512 it is formally identified as the hulk of the Iason. On 2638.236.1500, the TCS Kurosawa arrived carrying Port Admiral Miru. Miru ordered that a ten kilometer quarantine zone be established around the derelict. Navy sensor teams spent sixteen hours conducting long- and medium-range scans. The scans revealed that there are no bodies aboard and that the ship had been stripped virtually to the bare hull. On 2638.237.0700 Miru ordered the scanning stopped, that the hull be tractored into a descending spiral orbit into Hyperion's star and that it be destroyed by torpedo fire to avoid the risk of biological or other contamination or Kilrathi booby traps. Ballistic projections indicate that any surviving debris will fall into the star on 2638.244.

On 2638.229.0450, automatic scanners on the Iason recorded three unknown objects moving at a high rate of speed on a non orbital trajectory 97,000 kilometers away. Scans and images taken during the encounter would later identify them Kilrathi merchantmen, B'ru'k-class light freighters. On 2638.229.0512 the freighters altered course to intercept Iason. By this time scans had confirmed that the objects were pressurized, manufactured and self propelled craft. Captain Andropolos was informed of the approaching ships and ordered full shields and that the crew go to readiness standby level 2. On 2638.229.0527, the freighters entered visual range and Captain Andropolos ordered continuous wide-band scanning and a real-time telemetry stream to headquarters.

The Iason began monitoring radio traffic in an unknown language and initiated hailing procedures according to Terran Confederation first contact protocols. The radio signals were fragmentary, but later analysis indicated they were a discussion of the Iason's nature and offensive capability. On 2638.229.0610, Andropolos transmitted a notice to headquarters and the Confederation of first contact with sentient, non-human spacefarers. He also reports on the radio traffic and the hailing attempt.

On 2638.229.0715, the Iason scrambled both Ferrets. Captain F. Izmuti was ordered to fly a pattern of concentric flybys of the freighters while Commander James Taggart was ordered to conduct long- and medium-range scans of the area. On 2638.229.0745, Captain Izmuti's fighter passed within two kilometers of the freighters, one of which opened fire on her. The Ferret's right wing array, including cameras and stabilizers, was damaged, prompting orders for her to return to the Iason. Taggart's fighter remained in space through the destruction of the Iason.

Captain Andropolos decided to "wait out" the situation, avoiding further action beyond automatic hails on all frequencies. He informed headquarters of this decision in a second message sent at 2638.229.0800. For just under an hour, the Kilrathi ships went to radio silence. On 2628.229.0857, the Kilrathi broke their silence and transmitted a video signal, which the Iason noted as being largely within the infrared spectrum. Captain Andropolos immediately ordered a two-way channel, but the Kilrathi showed only a blank wall. It was later suspected that the Kilrathi wished to see the humans without revealing themselves.

On 2638.229.0942, the Iason intercepted a final Kilrathi radio transmission. It would later be translated as the order to open fire. All three freighters opened fire simultaneously, prompting Captain Andropolos to order the Iason to return fire and retreat at maximum speed. The Kilrathi pursued, keeping pace with the explorer.

Iason's real-time telemetry stream continued until 2638.229.0947, likely breaking up due to electromagnetic interference from the battle. The specifics of the battle are unknown, but later analysis suggested that Iason's shields would have held until 2638.229.1000 or shortly after and that her hull integrity would have lasted fifteen seconds further. Most crew would have been killed at that time in a radiation flash from the drives exploding or from depressurization.

After the explosion of the drives, the freighters dispatched boarding parties to the Iason, which stripped her of bodies and equipment. It is unknown whether any crew survived in the lifeboats or full-environment suits, but if they had it was suspected that they would have been killed by the Kilrathi rather than taken prisoner.

Investigation

The Navy's Inspector General's Office conducted an investigation into the loss of the Iason. The resulting Inquiry Into the Loss of the Odysseus-Class Naval Exploratory Vessel CS Iason Reg E-1456 was published on 2639.152. The inquiry concluded that the Iason was lost due to attack by superior hostile force and that the actions of her crew were in accordance with the Navy's policies and traditions. The report was referred to Terran Confederation Command for consideration for posthumous honors.