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Adowa Point

Type: Zanzibar-derived military station.
Location: Null Point, Serene Sea (850 lightyears from Earth).
Population: Unknown.
Dimensions: 4 kilometres long, 2 kilometres wide.
Age: Unknown.
Environment: Industrial.
Allegiance: Algorab Expeditionary Corps.

Dear Azches,

I am happy to report that the construction of the Adowa Citadel is complete. It has been quite the achievement if I am allowed to boast a little. Just as a reminder, the station's mainframe comes from a discarded Zanzibar core that we bought from a Smyrnian commune via our contacts at the Meta-Queen's court. I could have selected a stronger and less old shape but I wanted to avoid attracting attention. No one would mind a random mining cooperative buying an old frame for scrap, right? Rest assured though, the Zanzibar I selected had other qualities than discretion. Though the external superstructures were in very bad shape, the internals were all intact. The former owner was a mining commune operating near a neutron star: you will find the outer armour exceptionally sturdy, even without the additional ablative layer I took the liberty of adding. After buying the frame I purchased two Farseer Transporters and towed the station to a remote system in the Smyrnian Bubble where I transformed it into the deep space citadel you desired. Then I brought the station all the way to the Serene Sea with the help of an Algorab unit. The navigation units of my two Farseers have been erased and replaced with forged records. As for the workers who took part in the retrofitting process, at no point did they know that 1) they were working for Algorab and 2) they were working on a single, coherent project. I would not go as far as saying that the entire operation went undetected (you can't really hide a project of that magnitude) but I have left enough traps and dead-ends behind me for secrecy to hold at least for a while.

The station has been towed and stabilized at Null Point, as you requested. It is four kilometres long and two kilometres wide. The closest star system is a stellar black hole, three lightyears away. For human sensors, the detection radius of the station is less than two light-seconds. You might want to multiply this by five to ten for Sequence-made sensors, but that still leaves a good safety margin. The station is equipped with a Cathedral-class geometry drive for tactical jumps if need be, though I would advise against using it outside of emergencies. I have replaced the ageing fission reactor with a Saïmour-made fusion reactor. Though the station can work in idle mode, the reactor can be set to a military power setting (much like on a Firefly Interceptor) to increase the efficiency of onboard weapon systems. You have about one hundred years of fuel stored in the citadel. Given what we know of Sequence-made weaponry I have arranged the internal layout to decrease the odds of penetrating damage: if a relativistic beam was to hit the station, it would have few chances, if any, of neutralizing more than one critical system. Your own mainframe will be remarkably well-protected too, embedded in a proprietary Sahaak-made military cocoon.

The station has teeth as well. Aside from a standard all-aspect laser grid, the citadel boasts some serious firepower. I was originally planning on adding ten long-range laser arrays but if the worst was to come, engaging in beam weapon duels with Sequence ships would be foolish. I have instead added about a hundred FTL missile hardpoints, as well as eight hangar bays for disposable drone platforms. Algorab ships can of course dock at the station, with a main hangar bay that can fit up to four Inyanga-sized vessels in adequate if cramped, conditions.

Now, on to the main course. The station's sensors cost me a lot to acquire and set up (I had to invent an entire scientific organisation for this, a con fifteen years in the making!) but you will find them most adequate. They are fine-tuned to detect engine burns from Sequence fleets at distances up to 10 lightyears but the gravitational lensing effects provided by the local black holes multiply this range by a factor of three to four. The station is ideally located to spot Sequence incursions decades before they reach our settlements in the Serene Sea...and to spy on Sequence worlds and megastructures in the area. Bubbles suggested that I call the sensor array "Eagle Eye", but I think it's a silly name - though I assume their suggestion was ironic, as usual. Don't look in the abyss for too long, however. Who knows what they hide in that darkness.

Oh, one last thing. The life support systems of the stations are limited on purpose (they would only need to assist a ship in case of emergency) but I did manage to install the personal life support pod you asked for. If I may - what is the purpose of this module? It draws about ten times more power than a regular one-person life support system and I assume it's not for you, right? Are you planning on having human company on that station? If so...well, they're fairly robust people, that's all I can say.

NB: Yes, I saw your notice about interior design and no, I did not find "vaguely flamboyant gothic stuff", do your own silly shopping yourself.

NB 2: Oh, I just realized why you've named it "Adowa" and I must say, given our relationship with the Sequence this is either incredibly apt or incredibly inappropriate.

Yours truly,

Simanda.

Illustration courtesy of Lilly Harper, who writes most excellent sci-fi prose on the Beacons in the Dark blog. 

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