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Co-Written with: Red Leader
50 years ago
It was a small scout ship that found the vessel, crashed onto an asteroid in a remote part of the space that the Breen claimed as their own. Well, perhaps not so much a ship as it was the remnants of one. Except for the fact that it was a hunk of refined metal of a type the Breen had never seen before, there was nothing to mark it as a space going vessel. A message was passed up the chain of command, regarding the find, and soon enough there were all manner of other ships in the area, searching, seeking out, and generally just making nuisances of themselves, attempting to determine if the vessel had been the precursor of a failed invasion.
But they found no other ships, no survivors, and absolutely nothing to indicate how the ship had gotten there or where it had come from. There was no overall shape or form to the vessel, just that it was obviously not a naturally occurring piece of the asteroid. They brought an exploration ship into the sector, and beamed the hunk of ship, and the asteroid that surrounded it into a work area aboard the ship, where their scientists and engineers were eager to get their hands on this new discovery.
It took them ten years to realize several things. First, the metal used was not one that was naturally occurring in any of the systems under their control. It wasn’t an artificially created metal either. Secondly, what they had was only a small portion of a ship; the nose part of the bow of an immense vessel. Thirdly, and more importantly, the section they did have housed a weapon of immense power. A weapon so powerful as to dwarf anything in existence, even the Borg of the Delta Quadrant. Fourth, while the find of the weapon was important, the lack of any suitable power source for said weapon was also of importance. It meant that the Breen would have to either develop a power source just to feed this weapon, or take the risk that the weapon would completely drain the systems of a ship during combat. The last important find was a part of a database. A sort of Captain’s Log, they guessed. What little they understood was that the part of the vessel they’d found had been damaged in a battle with an enemy referred to only as the Tau. The ship had attempted to limp home, and it’s shields had failed at the most inopportune of moments, during an encounter with an expanding wave front of energy from a nearby supernova. The failure of the shields had resulted in the death of all crew aboard the vessel. The failure of the shields had also resulted in the destabilization of the engine core, the result of which was a series of explosions that devastated the vessel, and flung this one piece to its inevitable encounter with an asteroid.
It took then another ten years, and numerous scouting missions to locate a source for the metal in question, along with another five years to learn all of the properties of said metal. It was soft and malleable by hand when in its raw state. After refinement, it was nearly impervious to weapons fire, dissipating the vast majority of energy directed at it. Encased by a shield, it would protect those within, as its melting point was higher than any weapon, save a Type XII or better Starfleet or equivalent phaser. Another fifteen years to build a Breen version of the Ri cannon. Ri was the name taken from the databank and it was not known whether Ri was a name, or just part of a name. Yet it was easily pronounced, and the name stuck with little thought to whether it was correct. The first test of the weapon, completely immolated the small cruiser the weapon pod was attached to, but gave the Breen science teams untold terraquads of data from which too improve their designs.
After eight years of testing, the result was the creation of the Breen Ri Cannon. When mounted in arrays, like the Federation phasers, the generators could direct energy to any point along the array and channel the entire burst to one point in space, or to multiple points in space, without losing any power . The Breen were ready. They wanted revenge. Against the Federation for the outcome of the war. Against the Cardassians for their betrayal. Against the Dominion for the results of the war. Against the Klingons for daring to send an invasion force to their space. Against everyone else, just the simple need to fight.
The weapon was powerful. Immensely powerful. But it was also immensely, well, immense. Because of the size and power requirements the only ship it would conceivably fit, would be a new class of warship, the Ri class, built around their newest weapon. With thirty arrays, covering every conceivable angle of the ship, and two forward facing cannons, the Ri class would do what no other ship could do; bring every world in the galaxy the command of the Breen Confederacy. The Dominion and Cardassia first. Then the Romulans and the Klingons. And by the time they went for the Federation, there would be none strong enough left to assist them.