Alternate Dimension: Fist of Kalmorov Picture

The aerodreadnought Fist of Kalmorov, even at a colossal 4,000 feet, she still requires extra lift from six rotors. Due to the heavier double gun turrets on her belly (the other "Fighting Sisters" only had single gun turrets) and a strengthened "triple keel" airframe, the Kalmorovian monster was perhaps the most bold and yet the most vulnerable of the warships. Many suspect each of the colossal warships purposely had a flaw built into them: Hammer of Lawrencia's light armament and unusual engine arrangement, Spear of Housan's high engine placement leading to lighter (less powerful) power plants, and Fist of Kalmorov's excessive weight. No such claims were ever proven, although the sisters are regarded as having been less than ideal designs. Regardless, each ship performed it's duties to the utmost, even if their creators never truly loved them or wanted them. Together, they formed a most formidable foe against the ungainly Federation bioships. Many Federation raiders eventually retreated if even two of the three aerodreadnoughts were present. (for insight into Federation and their airships, please consult the folder in my gallery)

One noted adventure of the Fist was her close quarters fight with the Federation flagship Desolator. While the fearsome bioship was equipped with fighter bays and missiles (something new even to the Federation), the actions of brave avians saved the day. Many avian storm troops were lost in that particular encounter, nearly all having boarded the Federation vessel to help disable it's systems. Cooperative gunnery crews were hesitant to fire into the bulk of the bioship for fear of killing their comrades, although the bow section received many a blow from the Fist of Kalmorov's main battery. If not for their sacrifice, the Desolator's targeting computers may have been able to lock on to the mammoth dirigible from much farther away. The avians had been flying out in advance of the Fist, the battle having been planned as a trap for the Federals. The price the birds payed in blood that day was not forgotten by either man or avian, nor was it entirely forgiven for some years.

Here, she is depicted on her final journey home, destined to be put away in her hangar for permanent retirement. While the Cooperative's battleships, battle cruisers, and various other surface fleet vessels will have a purpose now that the war is over, the great airship builders demanded the abhorrent versions of their peaceful vessels be locked away forever. Their presence over friendly ports along the way home, rather than bringing cheer and admiration, only managed to remind citizens of the dark ships of the Federation and the bombing raids they brought with them. Even though steam, rather than nuclear fission and synthetic tissues, powered the aerodreadnoughts, the sight of guns overhead was a bit too much for many to stomach with memories so vivid.

The "Fighting Sisters" of the Nightmare War are part of an alternate timeline in the history of the Great Lone Islands. In the true timeline, the builders of airships wishes of not involving their creations in war were respected by the island nations of the Cooperative, with the defense of the islands going to the great battleships and battle cruisers of the Navy instead. While the war took six years longer to finish in the true timeline, the society of the Lone Islands was not left with the troubling questions of having pressed their avian neighbors to serve as front-line ship boarders, nor the unpleasant realization that there was not too great a difference between the Federation's terrifying biotech airships and the steam driven titans that slugged it out with them. The peoples of the alternate Lone Islands suffered decades of doubt, a loss of confidence in their principles and ideals, and the alienation of the avian species due to the air-to-air combat of their Nightmare War. While the wounds and mistrust between all involved eventually healed, the very spirit of the Lone Islands had been shaken in a way that the true timeline's islands never had to confront.

As with the other two ships, inspirations were gleaned from Miyazaki's Castle in the Sky and Holst's "Mars Bringer of War". Some connection was made to the story of these ships and the Titans of Greek mythology, which I find most appropriate. In the true timeline of the Great Lone Islands and the Nightmare War, they could never have existed. Even in their own alternate timeline, they were seen as a necessary evil and later much regretted for it.

Continue Reading: The Creation