Four generations of interstellar
Leadership and personalities of the Actuarial Nightmares
"Iceberg" Raphael [b.2072, d 2138] (2110-2132)
Istvan Raphael began his career as a free trader at the age of 22 during the first wave of expansion of private enterprise into interstellar commerce. The adventure and excitement sustained Istvan for a few years, but as he finished his first decade of entrepreneurship, the life began to take its toll. Increasingly weathered and gruff, Istvan grew ever more frustrated with the hand-to-mouth character and feast-or-famine insecurity that defined his lifestyle. By the early years of the 22nd Century, cut-throat competition from other small traders and the horning in of the consolidating "corpie" interests made a decent living, much less putting anything away to do normal things like raise a family, almost impossible. Beaten out by one too many cheated deals, and with two of his three freighters offline due to "engine troubles" almost certainly caused by rivals' sabotage, Istvan crossed to the other side of the law in 2110.
Istvan didn't call himself a pirate at first. He considered his new practices to be on the same level as those of his competitors, but he pursued them with a greater sense of purpose. With his rejection of the rules of trade etiquette and other legal niceties, his actions, both within and outside the law, came to be percieved as ruthless, cold, and, at times, vicious. He gained the moniker "Iceberg" after both the blue-white paint scheme of his ships, and the reputation that, if one of them crossed your path, you were sunk. The name of his small group of converted freighters became known as the "Actuarial Nightmares" after their effect on insurance rates in the shipping routes they frequented.
Driven by the paradoxical desire to obtain enough stability and security to support his family, Iceberg Raphael was an unsubtle, brute force pirate - leaving qute a few corpses and gutted ships (both his victims' and his own) in his wake. That he did not stop when he had secured sufficient fortune implies he'd grown to enjoy his adopted profession for its own "merits."
Lisia Raphael [b. 2097] (2131-2145; Legit 2145-2162)
Lisia took over the Nightmares upon her father's retirement and over his objections. Istvan had always said wanted to close the "family business" once he'd achieved a satisfactory level of wealth. When it became obvious that "satisfactory wealth" was an ever-changing subjective value, he maintained he would stop when he felt old and tired enough to "retire". By that time, however, his crews - and his oldest daughter - were eager to continue. Times were changing, though. When the Second Solar War began and the spacelanes started crawling with heavy military ships, Lisia saw the writing on the wall. Through a series of fronts, bribes, and paper corporations, she converted the Nightmares to a legitimate and successful shipping business (L-7 Interstellar) in 2145.
Samantha Raphael [b. 2129] (2159-2183)
In his late years, after seeing the life chosen by his children, Istvan grew to regret his reckless and ruthless career. He softened the tales he told his grandchildren to be more romantic and swashbuckling than reality had ever been. This too, may have been a mistake. Granddaughter Samantha spent much of her early childhood listening raptly to his stories. They fired her imagination and fueled dreams of adventure.
With the end of the Second Solar War, Samantha wished to resume the pirate life idealized by those stories. Maximillian, her older brother coming up the ranks of responsibility in L-7, and her mother tried to dissuade her, but Samantha had inherited the stubbornness of her ancestors. Eventually, she outright stole the ships and funds from the family business to resurrect the Nightmares. This caused a rift between Samantha and the rest of her family that did not heal for over a decade. To her credit, Samantha managed to keep her brand of piracy relatively bloodless, though her ways were less profitable than those of her predecessors.
"Red" Sophia Raphael [b. 2162] (2183-present)
Born with three generations of pirates in her blood, and mostly raised on a pirate flagship, Sophia Raphael's life's calling was practically pre-determined, and she had no reservations about it. Her mother, taught by the first lean years of her tenure as leader of a pirate band, made sure that Sophia received a rounded education in the methods, tactics, and practices of legal, as well as illegal business. When Sophia took the reigns of the Nightmares, she embarked on an "image enhancement" campaign designed to romanticize piracy, undermine the various policing authorities, and increase ambivalence towards pirates in the population at large. A few high-profile "Robin Hood" stunts pulled by re-flagged Nightmares proved effective, reducing pressure on operations, and winning occasional surprise allies.
As the Third Solar war heated up, and was then consumed by the Xeno War, "good" pirates became increasingly in demand. By the Early 2190's "Red" Sophia and the Nightmares found themselves acting as privateers about as often as pirates. If humanity - and Sophia - survive the Siege of Sol, the spectre of legitimacy may again haunt the Nightmares.
Sophia's Iceberg crew is rumored to include a small Phalon clan.
||Istvan Raphael, a free trader, "accidentally" rams a competitor's medium freighter outsystem at Albion, then volunteers to take care of the injured ship and crew./td>|
|Two dozen freighters and starliners are attacked and robbed along the Sol-Albion corridor. Insurance rates and consumer prices in that sector of space rise significantly. Victims decribe the attacks as led by a ghostly blue-white ship - possibly once a medium freighter, but now with welded on weapons and armor plates. It became known as the "Pirate Iceberg." The affected trade routes became known in the insurance industry as an "actuarial nightmare".|
||Authorities find and attack Eagle's Haven, a hidden base of operations for over a dozen different early pirate operations. The attack is defeated. Eagle's Haven relocates.|
||The Nightmares participate in the successful Raid on Falcon Station. Iceberg's reputation grows within the pirate community.|
|Piracy as usual for
the Nightmares, averaging one raid a month over a decade. The trail of bodies slowly grows, as does the price on
||A retired trader is killed in a bar fight on Chi Draconis VII. Standard record search reveals a forged ID, and subsequent forensic investigations and INTER(stellar)POL archives determine the victim to be the notorious "Iceberg" Raphael. The bar (and half a city block around it) is destroyed by a thermium bomb two days later. No group claims responsibility for the act of terrorism.|
|The Nightmares continue to plague the Sol-Albion Corridor, but cause many fewer deaths than in the previous two decades. Raid victims claim the pirate group is now lead by a "Queen". The First Solar War (2137-2142) hampers international cooperation for dealing with pirate problems. In the 2140's the apparent range of the pirate group expands beyond the inner colonies.|
|Pirate activity ceases (at least from the Nightmares). For the duration of the Second Solar War, the band goes legitimate, converting operations to shipping of sensitive and subversive cargo for the NAC/NSL alliance. The incorprated name is L-7 Interstellar.|
||L-7 remains a legal, reasonably profitable busness after the conlcusion of SWII, but a split in the Raphael clan results in the rebirth of the Actuarial Nightmares. Maximillian Raphael retains control of L-7, while his younger sister, Samantha, approrpiates several ships and half the corporate assets, disappearing to space unknown.|
|The AN resume a busy schedule of piracy. They begin to specialize in information and technology theft. International anti-priate efforts again suffer with the advent of the Third Solar War. L-7 slowly but steadily increases profitability and stature as it gains the reputation of being "pirate-proof".|
||An escorted FSE freighter convoy is raided by the Nightmares. The first AN use of the Class 2 EMP beam nets two heavy freighters and a Suffren. The sale of the Suffren alone more than pays for the frigate lost in the raid.|
||Rumors of a new "Queen" of the AN are substantiated when a refit Iceberg makes its appearance, detroying another pirate vessel (a suspected rival) in the middle of a shipping raid, and leaving the erstwhile civillian victims untouched. A voice-only "friendly warning" cautions against unescorted travel through the sector. The message is V-print signed "Red Sophia".|
|The Nightmares continue to prey upon high-value shipping, but are also responsible for a number of altruistic-seeming rescues and "good deeds". As the Xeno War ratchets up, AN targets are more and more often other pirates and other illegal operations. The term "Vigilante" comes to be used sometimes instead of "Pirate" to describe Sophia herself.|
|The Nightmares conduct a number of anti-Kra'Vak raids under their own flag as Privateers for the UNSC, whose forces are stretched to the limit by the assault on the Core.|
Defense of Eagle's Haven (2115):
Raid on Falcon Station (2119):
Era 2 (2131-2145)
Era 3 (2159-2178)
First ships were again converted freighters and light escort/patrol ships stolen from L7. Later:
Era 4 (ca. 2183-2190)
Era 5 (ca.FB2 Present 2190+):
A Handful of Hailstones and Icefloes remain in service, though most have been lost to attrition and obsolescence, replaced by:
First encountered: 2179
Currently in AN service: 6 (?)
Lost in action: 3 (documented)
Sold to other forces: 1
Under construction: Unknown
Procurement cost: 1510 MUcr
The class is also referred
to as "Icicle". Drifters are fast but fragile. Their primary mission is
to strafe targets (mainly cargo and passenger veesels), taking out engines,
and/or fire controls with EMP attacks, then assist with lookout / defense
/ baording actions when the targets are rendered helpless. Their primary
weapon is the Class 2 EMP, easier to use and less bloody than the Needle Beams of past generations.
Cold Sleep, Secret Ingredient, Catlike Tread, No Sound At All, Fly's Footfall, Complaint Department
Classification: Pirate Hauler
Displacement: 4000 Tonnes [Mass Factor 40]
Hull Type: Weak [Hull integrity 9 in three rows]
Crew:10 "officers", 30 hands [Crew Factor 2]
Defenses: Grade 2 Armor, 3xPoint Defense Systems
Sensor Suite:Standard sensors,
Drive systems: Main Drive rating 4, FTL-Tug (Jump) Drive: 2 or 70 Tonne tow capacity.
Cargo capacity: 0 or 14 Tonnes
First encountered: 2170
Currently in AN service: 4 (?)
Lost in action: None known
Decomissioned/scrapped: None known
Sold to other forces: Nil
Under construction: None known
Procurement cost: 1040 MUcr
Icepacks are conversions
of captured light freighters and thus have a few different external appearances. They can usually be configured in two ways: the hold can be closed (even pressurized) to carry 14 Mass of Cargo, or it can be opened to allow towing capacity of up to 70 Mass. Reconfiguration of
the hold takes a couple hours, and is rarely done "on site" after a raid. Penguin's Paradise and Orca Oracle masquerade part time as legitimate free traders under a number of forged aliases.
Penguin's Paradise, Polar Prophet, Orca Oracle, Harp's Heaven
Classification: Pirate Cruiser
Displacement: 8000 Tonnes [Mass Factor 80]
(2190) Weak, [Hull integrity 20 in three rows]
(2194) Average, [Hull integrity 22 in three rows]
Crew: 20 "officers", 60 hands [Crew Factor 4], Boarding Crews
Armament: 2xClass 3 EMP Beams (XBS), 3xClass 2 beams (1xFH, 2xXBS), 1xClass 1 beam
(2190) Grade 6 Armor, Level 1 Screen, 3xPoint Defense Systems
(2194) Stealth Hull Level 2, Grade 6Armor, 3xPoint Defense Systems
Sensor Suite: Enhanced sensors, 3xFire Control Systems
Drive systems: Main Drive rating 4 (Advanced), FTL (Jump) Drive
First encountered: 2171
Currently in AN service: 1(??)
Lost in action: Nil
Sold to other forces: Nil
Under construction: Nil (??)
Procurement cost: (2190) 3190 MUcr, (2194) 4270
Named for the grand
patriach of the Nightmares, the notorious "Iceberg" Rapahel. Members of the band refer to it variously as "Papa" or "The Big Ice".
It is unclear whether the Iceberg of 2194 is the same ship as first appeared in the 2170's.
Various authorities over the years claimed to have crippled or destroyed it, only to have it
re-appear in their shipping lanes. The waters of truth are even muddier now, as there may in fact
be two Icebergs in operation today. The claim's credibility is questionable, as there has never
been more than one Iceberg reliably cited at the same time, but conflicting reports of the ship's
whereabouts and capabilities have fueled rumors and speculation.
Hypothesized Upgrade History:
First appearance - 2171 (Heavy armor, Needle Beams) Overhaul: 3-row Refit, conversion from Needle Beams to EMP Beams- 2180
EMP Beam upgrade to Class 3 -2186
Installation of Captured (?) Advanced Grav Drive - 2190.
Stealth Hull Overhaul (Or completion of 2nd Iceberg?) - 2194
The Nightmares have little or no cargo capacity on their raider ships, preferring to incapacitate a target's drives and fire controls, throw the crew into lifepods, and FTL away with the ship as an additional prize. Sometimes, if the potential booty is expected to be mass intensive, and/or capturing the booty's transportation is deemed unlikely or risky, an Icepack will accompany a raiding party, hanging back until the shooting ends.