Those vessels, under the aegis of the Expedition, that fled the Destruction of Terra at the hands of the Vilani Imperium in 2147AD, carrying with them the last remnants of Terran culture and independence, and ultimately settled the Distant Fringe.
Description / Specifications
The Last Armada existed from 2147AD to 2255AD. Its constituent vessels were constructed between 2115AD and 2147AD, at both Terran Confederation shipyards and covert facilities lying within systems to rimward of the Confederation. A great deal of information, including astrographic charts and data that detailed its progress spinward-rimward from Terra, was lost with "Cutting the Ties". Much of what is known of the Last Armada is drawn from the Zelig Journal, a document that survived this purge.
The composition of the Last Armada is not known for certain, though every ship appears to have been built as a long-range vessel (a vessel with adequate onboard fuel for multiple jumps). The majority were transports carrying vast amounts of materials, equipment, tools, and supplies.
- Personnel Transport (12,000 Tons, 129 Crew, 400 Passengers)
- Heavy Transport (50,000 Tons, 247 Crew)
- Frontier Tanker (99,000 Tons, 566 Crew)
Other vessels of the Last Armada included:
- Armored Cruiser (38,000 Tons, 304 Crew)
- Fast Escort (1,200 Tons, 27 Crew)
- Fleet Tender (99,000 Tons, 465 Crew)
- Scout (200 Tons, 6 Crew)
Support Craft included:
Every major vessel also carried GenPods – Artificial Gestation Units. Huge numbers were taken, along with vast banks of carefully preserved embryos to grow within them. These biological repositories contained humans as well as many species of animals (such as horses) and were instrumental in establishing and rapidly increasing the human population of the Distant Fringe.
History & Background / Dossier
The Last Armada was prepared in utter secrecy in the systems lying to rimward of Terra. It launched equally covertly when it received word of the Vilani nuclear bombardment of Terra. It is believed that the Armada started with around 75,000 refugees and crew aboard. Their epic flight to rimward lasted for more than a century and took a terrible toll on the ships, their crews, and the refugees that they carried. They were at the very limit of their endurance when they finally reached the Distant Fringe.
The total surviving settlers and crew who reached the Distant Fringe numbered 55,000, though the vast majority of these individuals spent the whole journey in cold sleep. Much of what is known of the Last Armada comes from the Zelig Journal, a document that survives from the time.
The commanding officer was Admiral Patience Laurent, named in the Zelig Journal.
The Cripple Fleet
The Cripple Fleet is a collective name given to those vessels of the Last Armada that didn’t make it all the way to the Demon Cluster, instead breaking down en route, misjumping, or otherwise falling behind. Historians argue that there are very probably human-settled worlds within the Where The Stars End region, most likely within its rimward parts, populated by descendants of the Cripple Fleet. These are referred to as Lost Settlements: one reputed example is a supposedly fictional state called the Lords of the High Realm.
The Dissident Fleet
The Dissident Fleet is the name given to a faction of the Last Armada that didn’t want to stop in the Demon Cluster, instead choosing to press onward to spinward, following the edge of the Great Void. It is reputed to have recovered Slaver technology and established the fabled realm of Lon Beon. Historians argue that there are very probably human-settled worlds within the Infinitys Shore region, most likely within its rimward parts, populated by descendants of the Dissident Fleet.
References & Contributors / Sources
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- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master Scout Emeritus Adie Alegoric Stewart of the IISS
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science