A Terran Trade Authority writeup
The last months of the War with Proxima were an exceptionally dark period of interstellar history. Round after round of bitter fighting tore through all ranks, both in orbit of Proxima 1 and on the surface as Alphan and Terran units closed on enemy cities. The advantage was clearly with the Allies despite huge initial losses, nevertheless the tenacity with which the Proximans defended their homeworld gave pause to many commanders in plotting tactics. The concluding months of the War were also notable for the enemy's fielding of unfinished, untested or unproven starship designs in the hope of turning back Allied forces.
It appears development work on such craft halted approximately halfway through the War in preference to enhancing existing designs, nonetheless many of these craft exhibited significantly enhanced capabilities. Though underdeveloped, these could have posed a significant threat to the Allies had they been fielded sooner and in greater numbers.
The K10 Remora was one of these. Shaped like a flattened bullet with multitudinous bulges, and a peculiar nose-mounted shroud that earned it the nickname 'Hood' among Allied pilots, these ships were a great surprise to those commanders whose squadrons first encountered them. New approaches were briefly needed to combat these powerful, manoeuvrable ships and were it not for their limited numbers they could have slowed the advance on Proxima considerably.
Much of the information about the Remora was gleaned from study of salvaged wreckage. Most records of starship development on Proxima were destroyed - either deliberately by their keepers or as a result of Allied bombing - which made it difficult for postwar investigators to establish more than a sketch of its history. It appears the K10 was intended to fill the gap between the K4 Interceptor and the large capital ships of the Proximan Navy, which presently had no corvette-sized ships fielded at all. This frequently left it lacking in tight tactical situations, certainly against the backdrop of those few engagements in which Remoras participated.
Data recovered from the shattered remains of development facilities indicate that the K10 was originally intended as a field refueller for K4 and K13 warships. Both of the latter were strong forces in slowing the Allied advance but were limited by the range permitted by their fuel capacities. The K4 had a strong supply network as it was, but a more mobile platform would have reduced time resupplying, much more so for the K13 whose extremely high performance sapped its reserves very quickly.
It appears that the Remora was modified from such a supply platform into a combat ship. Several of the weapon systems and electronic components are mounted in positions obviously not originally intended for such fitments; what were presumably internal storage tanks now accommodate both enhanced tracking modules and powerful drive systems for both warp and conventional operation.
Although the Remora appeared with several different loadouts the most common bristled with antennae and particle accelerators, the latter mounted on extremely fast-tracking and accurate turrets. Early engagements saw whole squadrons of fighter escorts escorts fall to these weapons, unable to penetrate their screen of fire nor easily keep pace with the ship. The K10's manoeuvring system, consisting of forty separate vectored-thrust liquid hydrogen engines mounted around the hull coupled to an extremely precise navigation and defensive system, effectively kept it clear of the majority of fire from fighters and the larger ships they were protecting.
The K10 fared poorly in atmospheric engagements, but was a frightening sight when encountered in space by crews not expecting such potent adversaries so late in the War. Several of our capital ships were left disabled and drifting after falling prey to formations of K10s that had destroyed their escorts, seemingly with little effort. In addition to the anti-fighter configuration, a 'strike' loadout was available to include nuclear rocket launchers and mines, which were effective against heavy targets after their escort defenses had been cleared or penetrated.
The 'hood' of the K10 was found to be the emitter for a crude electronic warfare system, which scrambled the sensors of Allied ships so they either produced non-existent targets or garbled, unreadable outputs. This, coupled with the ship's high manoeuvrability, made the K10 very difficult to hit. Interestingly enough the ship's electronic systems bore several similarities to those later found in the remains of the transmitter ships responsible for the destruction of Marshall Keyes' fleet off Laguna 9. It was previously believed the two civilisations had never come into contact but this view is now being re-examined.
Although the K10 had no immediately-apparent vulnerability, it was soon discovered in the hail of particle accelerator fire that announced its arrival, certainly given the mindset of Proximan pilots by that point. After a sustained attack on a formation of K10s by several dozen Hornets and Fatboys, it became evident that the ship's power reserves could only sustain this barrage of fire for a short time before needing to recharge. While this was happening the ship was reduced to its projectile weapons and less than half of its manoeuvring thrusters, making it unable to hit fast targets or easily avoid counter-attack.
Although no Remoras were ever destroyed without Allied losses, it was found that they could be 'persuaded' to employ their turret weapons against unpiloted drones while fighters waited aboard carriers. Once the K10s had depleted their reserves, fighters could be used during the brief recharge window to destroy or disable the ships and shoot down any missiles they launched against capital ships, which significantly reduced our losses. This strategy did not always work once Proximan pilots learned to be more cautious with their attacks; K10s often still managed to cause significant damage to capital ships, warding off their defences long enough to warp out again.
It was only their relatively small numbers that ended the K10's participation in engagements. This was fortunate for our crews, many of whom would likely not have returned alive from Proxima otherwise.
Reverse engineering of systems salvaged from K10 wrecks has provided several advances in propulsion systems, and research is ongoing into the tracking technology which is unparalleled in our own Navy. Only two complete, intact examples of K10s remain, one disabled during an engagement and the other found drifting around Proxima 4, absent a pilot. Neither are currently in flying condition, but one has been largely restored and is on display at the Terran War Museum.
- Nationality: Proxima Centauri
- Classification: Medium-range gunship
- Main Drive: unspecified warp system
- Auxiliary Drive: Liquid hydrogen vectored thrust units (50 of)
- Personnel: 3 crew
- Armament: 17 turret-mounted particle accelerators/nuclear rockets/mines (depending on variant)
- Armour: 24cm flexible polymeric plates