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The LDSS Nauvoo, later known as Behemoth and then Medina Station, was a generational ship constructed at Tycho Station. Cylindrical in shape, it measured just over two kilometers long and half a kilometer wide. Four Donnager-class battleships could fit in her belly and not touch the interior walls.
It was first intended to be populated by thousands of Mormons and travel beyond The Sol System to the Tau Ceti System. However, before its voyage, the ship was used by members of the Outer Planets Alliance (OPA) to attempt to avert the course of Eros during the Eros incident. The attempt failed, the ship was salvaged by Camina Drummer, and rechristened as the Behemoth. It later underwent refurbishment to transform it from a generational travel ship into a functional battleship that would be on par with those of the Martian Congressional Republic Navy (MCRN) and the United Nations Navy (UNN) while being the largest spaceship constructed by Humanity.
The CIC (Combat Information Centre) and Bridge are at center of the bow of the humongous ship, with the main Epstein Drives, and the associated parts of engineering at the stern, could almost have belonged to a standard craft. Only these were connected by a pair of kilometers-long shafts, one for a keel elevator to move people and another that gave access to the skin of the drum. The secondary car, stored on the exterior, could hold a dozen people. Everything else was built to spin. Ten levels of environmental engineering, crew quarters, temples, schools, wastewater treatment, machine shops, forges, and at the center, the vast interior.
The vessel is just above 2 kilometers long and half a kilometer wide (in the roleplaying game, it measures exactly 2,460 meters long, with a width of 950 meters and a depth of 910 meters). While generally crewed by approximately 4,000 people, the vessel routinely carries up to 7,000. It has space for eight medium-sized spacecraft in the docking area, as well as 370 Tycho Manufacturing Accelerator Tugs, which are permanently attached as reaction-control-system units following its recovery after the Eros Incident. The Nauvoo can additionally carry numerous probes, dozens of scout and passenger skiffs, and torpedo-loaded drones.
Following its conversion to the OPAS Behemoth, the Nauvoo was outfitted with many various weapon systems to serve in its role as flagship of the Belt. Despite this weapons complement, the vessel was often considered a glass cannon, as firing one of the railguns would have likely ripped the ship apart due to the structure not being designed for military action. During the crisis at the Sol Ring Gate, the act of firing a torpedo caused the ship's power grid to fail, further demonstrating the ineffectiveness of the vessel as a warship. Due to the lack of any internal mechanism to support reloading the torpedo tubes, the vessel employs automated drones to manually load new missiles into each torpedo tube. Its weaponry consists of:
- 6X Zakosetara-Series Heavy Railguns mounted on the bow.
- 6X External torpedo bays (each loading seven single-fire torpedo tubes).
- 170X Kess-Hashari Point-Defense Cannons (PDCs).
- Additionally, the ship's communications laser was designed for communications across interstellar distances. As a result, the laser was easily modified to serve as a Directed Energy Weapon system.
During the Eros incident, as the Nauvoo was being constructed at Tycho Station. Fred Johnson of the OPA(Outer Planets Alliance)used her communications array to contact the crew of the Tachi after they escaped from the Donnager, when it was attacked and destroyed by unknown stealth ships. When the Tachi, now renamed Rocinante, arrived at Tycho, the crew were amazed at the sheer scale of the Nauvoo.
When the protomolecule was unleashed on Eros by Protogen, Josephus Miller came up with an audacious plan to destroy the whole asteroid and station; by having the OPA commandeer the Nauvoo from the Mormons and crashing the massive vessel into Eros, knocking the asteroid and station out of its orbit and towards the Sun. The plan ultimately failed however, when the protomolecule at the last possible moment suddenly defied the laws of physics and moved the entire asteroid and station out of the Nauvoo's trajectory path.
After the Eros Incident, Tycho Station had to build the Chesapeake, a high speed vessel capable of catching up with the Nauvoo so they could retrieve it safely as it was speeding out of the Asteroid Belt.
After the OPA recovered the Nauvoo, they kept it from the Mormons. It was retrofitted as the Solar system's largest weapons platform battleship and christened OPAS Behemoth. The soft curve of its cylinder became studded with six capital-ship class turreted railguns and with the rough extrusions of torpedo tubes. It was manned by a crew of around a thousand people, mostly Belters, who were well-trained but undisciplined. It was simply classified as a Behemoth-class dreadnought - seeing as it was the only ship of its kind.
It was rushed into service when the OPA, the UN (United Nations), and the MCR (Martian Congressional Republic) agreed to a joint expedition convoy to the Ring which, having left Venus, was now just beyond Uranus' orbit. When the Rocinante was framed for destroying the UNN destroyer Seung-Un by Clarissa Mao, the Behemoth had no choice but to fire at the Rocinante to show that the OPA was not involved in the incident.
When the Rocinante escaped destruction by entering the Ring, the Behemoth was one of several ships that followed her into the Ring and entered the Slow Zone. When Martian Marines attacked James Holden and damaged the Ring Station, the station retaliated by lowering the speed limit in the Slow Zone, which severely damaged and captured-in-place all the ships in the Slow Zone including the Behemoth.
After this event, Captain Ashford was relieved of duty by his Executive Officer (X.O.) Michio Pa and Chief of Security "Bull" Baca due to the captain being mentally unstable and unable to handle the desperate situation. The Behemoth then offered to take on all the crews of the crippled convoy and start spinning her habitat drum to provide gravity and safe haven, as they were unsure of how long they would be trapped.
The situation came to a head when former Captain Ashford, who was growing increasingly unstable and desperate, used support from powerful individuals in the convoy, including Clarissa Mao and Hector Cortez, and from loyal members of the crew to take back control of the Behemoth. He intended destroy the Sol Ring with a super-charged laser from the Behemoth's Comm Array, in order to protect humanity. This psychotic plan was thwarted by an alliance of James Holden and the rest of the crew of the Rocinante, Chief Bull, Sam Rosenberg, Anna Volovodov, Monica Stuart, and some stranded Martian Marines.
After James Holden and the Investigator gained access to the Ring Station, it shut down its defenses and reactivated the ring system in the slow zone. The OPA retrofitted the Behemoth again and kept it permanently in the Slow Zone as a station instead of a ship. The Behemoth was transformed into the newly called 'Medina Station'.
The Mormon church, who had originally commissioned the vessel, have continually sued the OPA over their commandeering of the vessel, and as such they still claim ownership of Medina Station. Because of the delicate political situation, no court has been willing to make a ruling on the case.
In the meantime, Medina Station became the frontier station for all human activity through the Ring network.
The first charted planet outside of Sol, called Ilus by the OPA or New Terra by Earth, became a contested region due to a ship of refugee Belters illegally colonizing the planet. James Holden and the Rocinante are sent to Ilus/New Terra to mediate the escalating conflict between the Belter colonists and a corporate survey expedition. After a journey of several months to the Ring, the Rocinante arrives at Medina Station in order to resupply for the next leg of the journey to Ilus/New Terra and to be briefed on the situation by Fred Johnson, who was based at the station.
After the attack on Earth by the Belter group known as the Free Navy, Medina Station fell under Free Navy control. This occurred when Captain Christina Samuels of Medina switched sides to the leader of the Free Navy, Marco Inaros. When the breakout of the Conflict occurred, Captain Samuels halted all traffic through the Slow Zone and all communication with Medina and non-Free Navy elements. Colony worlds were also subject to this, except for the Laconia system since the allied Laconian Imperial Navy controlled it. To protect the station and the Laconia gate from incursions by naval forces from Earth and Mars, an array of massive railguns was installed around the Ring Station.
The battle of Medina station took place in the Slow Zone, with the Consolidated Fleet fighting against the Free Navy for control of the station. In the ensuing events, the Fleet diverted attention away from the Railgun emplacements and a small OPA force defeated a small force comprised of Winston Duarte's fleet. The battle ultimately ends with the Consolidated forces assuming control of the station.
The second Battle of Medina station was the final offensive in the Free Navy conflict. The remaining ships under the command of Marco Inaros proceeded to burn hard towards the Sol gate to quickly overwhelm the Coalition forces, who held Medina station tenuously. As the railguns surrounding the alien station in the slow zone had been rendered useless, there was no real opposition to the Free Navy ships. Naomi Nagata, after analyzing the data, realized that the ring gates had limits to the amount of matter and energy able to pass through them over a set period of time.
Using this revelation, Naomi overloaded the Sol Ring's capacity just as the Free Navy forces attempted to travel through the Ring gate, thereby causing the disappearance, and assumed destruction, of the entire fleet.
The Third Battle of Medina station was the opening engagement of the Laconia-Sol Conflict. What the Sol powers initially believed to be a diplomatic visit from the Laconia system, quickly changed when military representatives of the Laconian Empire broadcasted their plans to take the slow zone, and emerged from the Laconia gate with the Heart of the Tempest and the Gathering Storm. The ensuing battle was quick and decisive, as the two Laconian warships used their advanced weaponry to destroy the defensive railguns mounted at the center of the Slow Zone and took out Medina Station's PDCs and torpedo emplacements. Once the station's defenses were neutralized, Laconian Marines wearing power armor stormed the station and took full control, but not before the security system was purged.
Following the battle, the Laconian Empire placed Santiago Jilie Singh as governor of the station.
An experiment was performed against the Unknown Aggressors by the Laconia Empire and the crew of the 'Falcon' in the Tecoma system. It didn't go according to plan, however, - as in response, the Aggressors destabilized the system's neutron star, causing it to collapse and shoot out a Gamma Ray burst towards the system's Ring Gate. This sequence of events resulted in the destruction of both the Tecoma gate and the nearby Thanjavur gate. The Unknown Aggressors then attacked the Slow Zone, destroying every human craft in it, which included several ships and Medina Station itself.
With the loss of Medina station and everyone onboard, the Slow Zone and traffic into it could no longer be completely controlled by any of the human factions.
- † The patch makes a reference to the Mormon Scriptures, specifically the Book of Ether, Chapter 12, verse 33: And again, I remember that thou hast said that thou hast aloved the world, even unto the laying down of thy life for the world, that thou mightest take it again to prepare a place for the children of men.
- "Nauvoo" is an allusion to Nauvoo, Illinois, one of the earlier settlements of those of the Mormon faith, after fleeing persecution from the nearby state of Missouri.
- The Expanse Roleplaying Game, Ships of the Expanse, Chapter 4
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- The Expanse Novel Leviathan Wakes - Chapter 17: Holden
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