Oreo Pattern Hull
Oreo Pattern Hulls are a special kind of Braced Cluster Hull known for interconnected and sandwiched layers of hulls. They can be made efficiently if done so in bulk and confer slightly easier manufacturing practices and strengthening characteristics.
It is named after a type of cookie well known in the Second Imperium, which originated on pre-spaceflight Terra and spread during the Interstellar Wars alongside other elements of Terran culture. The 146th Fleet is known to make use of hulls of this design.
Oreo Worlds: A number of worlds in Oreo Subsector (Subsector A of Massilia Sector) survived the Long Night period and emerged with large populations and relatively secure economies. The Oreo Worlds were controlled by Halls, a hereditary and entrenched social elite that nonetheless acted for the benefit of the masses. During the growth of the Sylean Federation in Core Sector the Oreo Worlds had begun to build the foundations of a small interstellar polity, including locally built commercial vessels and a number of powerful warships tasked with protecting them. When they were contacted by Sylean Federation Scouts diplomatic relations and trade agreements were established, despite some early tensions.
The Oreo Settlement
When the Sylean Federation became the Third Imperium, the Oreo Worlds were offered full membership but were reluctant to accept. They were won over by a display of Imperial firepower and by a treaty known as the "Oreo Settlement". This offered a generous economic and trade package, a great deal of local military autonomy, and a personal declaration from Emperor Cleon that elevated the Halls to the formal Imperial Nobility of the region and granted them certain inalienable rights. The warships protecting the Oreo Worlds were folded into the Imperial Navy, being formally designated as the 146th Fleet.
The Civil War
Oreo Subsector prospered during the first years of Imperial rule, but as the Empire expanded and new frontiers and new crises occupied its attention the region settled into a comfortable backwater existence. As the old Oreo Worlds ships became obsolete they were replaced with standard Imperial designs with little protest or resistance. During the Civil War of the early 7th century ships of the 146th Fleet were stripped away to support the various factions squabbling over the Iridium Throne. The internecine conflicts caused the collapse of many external markets and trade slowed dramatically, and the economy of Oreo Subsector suffered badly as a result.
In an effort to boost the flagging economy, the local Nobility invoked the "Oreo Settlement", Cleon I's agreement with the Halls of the former Oreo Worlds. They were able to demand that the 146th Fleet be brought back to strength using locally designed and (where possible) locally manufactured vessels, but drawing on Navy funding. The Imperial Moot, distracted by the recent internal crisis and keen to restore Imperial strength, readily agreed.
In practical terms, local industry could never produce entire starships. Following discussions with Naval staff it was decided that hull sections would be manufactured in Oreo shipyards and then fitted out with drives, weapons and other equipment at more advanced facilities elsewhere in the Sector. Classes of ships were designed that utilized unarmored, relatively low tech and locally manufactured hull sections. These "hybrid tech" vessels passed their trials admirably and many went on to see distinguished service. The scheme secured local jobs at local shipyards and massively stimulated the Subsector's economy, more than balancing the draw on the Imperial treasury. The arrangement was successful enough to be taken up by many other Subsectors within the Domain and in the present day, almost five centuries later, many classes of advanced warships still utilize "Oreo-Pattern" unarmored lower tech hulls.
The 14th Duke
For centuries "Oreo-Pattern" vessels have been common within the Domain of Sylea: the term alone generated enough pride within Oreo Subsector to diminish calls from diehard traditionalists concerning the strict terms of the Oreo Settlement. The situation changed with the advent of the 14th Duke of Oreo Subsector (born 992, incumbent 1059-1083), who was influential within the Imperial court and also something of a self-taught expert in naval architecture. He was a direct descendant of the aristocratic Halls dynasties, the pre-Imperial rulers of the region, and he took his heritage very seriously. He is remembered as having been arrogant, headstrong, and of eccentric personal habits.
Upon assuming his fiefdom the elderly and increasingly erratic Duke invoked the millennia-old "Oreo Settlement", demanding that all vessels currently serving with his "personal Fleet" be replaced with locally constructed ships. The privilege had been granted by Cleon I himself and the Duke insisted that it must be honored. While the navy balked at the utter impracticality of the scheme and fought to prevent its instigation, the Duke was able to bring his considerable political and Noble influence to bear and pushed his agenda forward.
The deadlock was finally resolved by the Archduke of the Domain, who decreed that while standard Imperial designs would continue to be used for the 146th Fleet, any new design of vessel that the Fleet would utilize would include an Alfred class Gunboat, a combat smallcraft built around a Particle Accelerator and personally designed by the Duke: this proved to be enough to mollify him. Despite naval misgivings due to its unconventional nature, the Alfred proved to be a capable vessel. Its inclusion within many current designs of Imperial warship originating in the Domain of Sylea is not considered to be a handicap.
The Oreo Settlement is still in force and continues to be an issue of political debate. All vessels that are to be assigned to serve with the 146th Fleet must be officially approved by the current Subsector Duke and his staff.
Selected Craft Using Braced Cluster Hulls
|13 Representative Oreo Pattern Hull configuration ships|
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