The Cardinal Virtue is a small blockade runner of unknown origin and class, and has been in circulation around the Delta Quadrant for approximately twenty years. The ship features highly advanced technology, with several of the primary systems based on superior technology to that of the Federation. Among some of these technologies are a quantum slipstream drive, thorium-based impulse engines, and an advanced cloaking device. The ship has been upgraded several times over the course of it's life, with many of the previous owners hailing from a shadier side of society, and so many of the upgrades are geared toward speed and tactical power, making it a perfect pirate vessel.
The ship is powered by a single high-yield thorium reactor, which provides power for all of the major systems onboard the ship, including the impulse and slipstream engines, disruptor cannons, and cloaking device, as well as the shields, sensors, and main computer. In the event of a main power loss, life support and communications systems are powered by redundant, isolated power cells scattered throughout the ship.
The thorium impulse boosters are two large engines located at the rear of the ship, and are unique compared to most ships in that they are capable of producing vectored thrust. Both engine exhausts are mounted on vertical rotation axes, and can pivot up and down. The ship uses this in conjunction with traditional RCS systems, to attain agility and maneuverability reachable only by the nimblest of Starfleet fighters. It affords the Cardinal Virtue with tremendous pitch and roll potential, and the size of the engines in relation to the rest of the ship provides excellent acceleration. Like all Starfleet vessels, the sublight speeds are automatically limited to one-quarter lightspeed (75,000 km/s) for safety reasons, although the engines could theoretically exceed this.
The quantum slipstream drive onboard the Cardinal Virtue is nearly identical to the Gallifreyan counterpart, although the Gallifreyan versions are more powerful. In essense, the ship burrows into a slipspace tunnel, akin to an artificially created wormhole. This allows the Virtue to attain speeds equivalent to warp factor 9.995, approximately 30,000 times the speed of light. Current Starfleet technology only allows speeds of Warp 9.99, or about 8,000 times the speed of light, which explains why Federation engineers have been working on slipstream technology (with no reliable outcome to date) for over five years.
Offense and Defense
The Cardinal Virtue is equipped with two forward-facing tetryon disruptor cannons, one mounted on each tapered wingtip. The bolts have a combined total output per salvo of 50,000 megajoules, roughly equaling that of one blast from a Federation Type-III pulse phaser cannon. The disruptors were mounted on the ship during it's construction with detachable mount points, allowing the cannons to be removed pre-mission, or to be jettisoned mid-flight for a considerable increase in maneuverability. After the acquisition of the Virtue by Admiral Will Karelia, the Federation sanctioned the installation of a single Type-VII microtorpedo tube, stocked with twenty-five quantum microtorpedoes. The vessel is also capable of carrying four full-yield quantum torpedoes on the underside of the ship.
One of the most impressive features of the Cardinal Virtue is the multi-spectral cloaking field generator. This device, like any cloaking device, allows the ship to mask it's visual and spectral appearance, rendering it invisible to sensors, as well as the naked eye. Where this device differs is in it's ability to extend that field outward, to mask the presence of nearby objects as well. While the standard cloak can last indefinitely, generating a large cloaking field puts a severe drain on the thorium reactor, negating the ability to engage slipstream drive, or the ability to maintain the cloaking field for more than six consecutive hours.
The Cardinal Virtue is a vessel of unknown origin, however, analysis by Federation engineers determine that the ship features influences from both the Delta Alliance, as well as Gallifreyan society. For the time being, however, the exact make of this ship remains a mystery, and the ship itself is unique.
- As mentioned earlier, the quantum slipstream drive, although less powerful, is nearly identical to that of the drive used on Gallifreyan vessels. This lends credence to the theory that the ship is partially Gallifreyan-inspired.
The ship, from all accounts, has spent the majority of it's life in the hands of criminals. Various Delta Quadrant governments, including the Delta Alliance, the Lokirrim, the Krenim, the Nihydron, and even the Kazon have reported seeing this vessel, usually engaged in smuggling or piracy. Eventually, it made it's way into the hands of a human merchant by the name of Enoch, who based his mercantile operations aboard a Federation starbase, Avalon Station. The vessel was soon thereafter purchased by Will Karelia, a Starfleet admiral, while he was considering retirement. Although the admiral reconsidered his retirement, he kept the Cardinal Virtue, both as a token of freedom, and due to the fact that he developed an affection for the strange vessel.
For a short time before the end of the Heraan War, the Cardinal Virtue was utilized aboard the Federation starship U.S.S. Rivendell, and participated in several operations against the Heraan during it's time flying under the Federation flag.
- Name: Cardinal Virtue
- Date of commission: Unknown
- Current owner: Fleet Admiral William Karelia
- Length: 45 meters
- Beam: 23.7 meters
- Draft: 9.7 meters
- Drive system (sublight): Thorium-powered impulse boosters
- Cruising speed: 25-500 km/s
- Maximum speed: 30,000 km/s
- Emergency speed: 75,000 km/s
- Drive system (interstellar): Quantum Slipstream Drive
- Cruising speed: 7914c (approx. warp 9.99)
- Maximum speed: 29,087c (approx. warp 9.995)
- Weapon system (primary): 2x Tetryon Disruptor Cannon
- Weapon output: 25,000 megajoules (per cannon, per shot)
- Weapon system (secondary): Type-VII Federation Microtorpdo Tube
- Ammunition: 25 quantum microtorpedoes
- Weapon output: 200,000 megajoules (per torpedo)
- Weapon system (optional): 4x Type-IV Federation Quantum Torpedo
- Weapon output: 25 gigajoules (per torpedo)
- Shield output: 30 gigajoules
- Hull strength index (standard duranium = 1): 2.75
- Cloaking field output (local-only): Indefinite
- Cloaking field output (radial): 1500 meters for six hours
- Sensor range (active scan): 2.5 lightyears
- Sensor range (passive scan): 15 AU (2.5 billion kilometers)
- Sensor range (basic scan): 10 lightyears
- Minimum crew capacity: One
- Recommended crew capacity: Three to five
- Maximum crew capacity: Twelve
- Maximum passenger capacity: Thirty-seven