I have to say I like Abnett's first three novels the best. That said, let's begin!
- Two Faustus-class Interceptors, described as being 100 paces long, 'serrated cathedral spires with spalyed flying buttresses".) They have mind impulse links but may not have inerrtial dampers (or if they do, they're not very efficient) given that they also have heart rate monitors. Given some statements in later novels where suspensors or other AG-like devicees are used in the suit, the latter seems likely.
Also at 100 paces long (or 150 meters), those "fighters" are probably small capital ships in their own right. This seems to resurrect the idea of "sublight" parasites like from Space Fleet, where larger ships (like Battleships) carried smaller destroyers as well as fighters.
By contrast, we know that Starhawk and fury class fighters are probably around 40-60 meters or so (Eisenhorn's guncutter was 80 meters long at 450 tons. Starhawks are 300 tons and Furies are 200 tons. And a Thunderhawk gunship, at least as per forgeworld stats, is around 120 tons and ~20 meters long.) Of course, lightning fighters and marauders are much less massive and smaller, but they are primarily atmospheric fighters (some of which can be modified for space-fighting capability.)
It woudl be interesting to know if they have any larger "fighters" than 150 meters, though. (possible.)
These small warships serve as scouts and patrol vessels for a fleet. Also of interest is apparently that astropaths have some connection to a ship's sensors (or at least the data acquired.) This may suggest Sensors are more than just purely electromagnetic (as other examples indicate.)The Astropath's brain was constantly surveying and procesing the vast wave of astronomical data which the ship's sensors pumped into it, and psychically probing the warp beyond. Small patrol ships like this, with their astropathic cargo, were the early warning arm of the fleet.
certain kinds of metals seem to cause problems with astropaths.There had been worse. They'd gone through a nickel-rich asteroid field the previous week and the psyker had gone into spasms.
- astropathic signals evidently require a fairly precise positioning to acquire and receive under these circumstances. Note, however, that this may be only a requirement for certain kinds of messages. AStropathic communication seems to have some similarities to radio and whatnot (indeed, the Astropath communication network seems to be vaguely internet-ish/telephone-ish in many ways - Eisenhorn's mail account in his novels) - which means that you could possibly broadcast in many ways, some more easily receivable (and detectable) than others.In this caes, we might consider this a "tight beam" transmission, which explains why precise positioning is needed.
- Psyker activity seems to be followed by drops in temperature. The first time of many such occurences in Abnett novels.
- Faustus-class interceptors are armed with forward-firing plasma cannon and autocannon. Note that while it says "autocannon" here, the weapon seems to behave more like a bolter.
- The targets here (and one of the other interceptors) are a thousand kilometres away. Enhanced optics mangify the cockpit canopy's systems. Upper limit on weapons range (at least potential.)
- again location seems to be important in receiving or relaying astorpathic messages. AT least in this particular method of communication.
- Again, the pilot is described as "being crushed into the cracked, ancient leather of his command chair.", implying that inertial dampers either dont exist or that if they do exist, they only dampen a percentage of the effects of acceleration (say like 90%, leaving the crew to feel the other 10%).
Given the likely fact that 40K capital ships accelerate in the hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of gees range (at the very minimum tens or hundreds of gees, andd that by old soureces mainly and for civilian ships), the fighters (which should have comparable if not better accel) are invariably going to *need* some form of acceleration compensation. and we know they exist (tanks, ,grav chutes, and jump packs use them for crying out loud.)
This tends to suggest that the enemy ships weren't quite beyond visual range, but they weren't distinct enough to be noticable except as dark indistinct blobs against the background, suggesting a weapons range for the autocannon of tens or hundreds of kilometers.In the tail turret, the gunner servitor traversed the twin auto-cannons, hunting for a target. He didn't see the attackers, but he saw their absence: the flickering darkness against the stars.
The turret guns screamed into life, blitzing out a scarlet-tinged, boiling stream of hypervelocity fire.
The ammo is "hypervelocity", implying multi km/s velocities at least (more like tens of km/s at least, given the possible range.)
- By now the enemy has obtained "multiple target lock"
The "autocannons" mentioned before again seem to behave like bolters (unless its the autocannons in the turrets and the heavy bolters weren't included in the armament.) A housand rounds a second is an insane rate of fire, however.The chin turret spat a thousand heavy bolter rounds a second.
1000 rounds a second is an insane rate of fire for a weapon, even a rotary weapon, by modern standards (as I remember.)
- "toxic and corrosive" warheads seem like an odd weapon to use against enemy, unless they where chaos ships. "Atomising" the observer (another crew member) would tend to suggest high MJ/low GJ level (vaporized or incinerated). Of course, they're merely projectiles and not energy weapons, so they don't rely solely on energy to do damage. (And the ship itself absorbed some of the damage before it atomized the crew member.. and it passed straight through him..)A second later, a rain of toxic and corrosive warheads, each a sliver of metal like a dirty needle, raked the Faustus end to end. They detonated the astropath's head and explosively atomised the observer out thorugh the punctured hull.
The "fireball" (vaporization) of the interceptor (I assume at least) was eighty kilometers in diameter. The enemy, it seems, never approached more than forty kilometers to the interceptor.The corona of the blast (the interceptor's destruction) rippled out for eighty kilometres until it vanished in the nebula's haze