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Inspiration and Conception

In the ultimate and end-all effort to usurp the Great Usurper, Stefan Amaris, General Alexander Kerensky fought with all he could muster. One of his ultimate preparations for the final confrontations with Amaris consisted of the commissioning of several high-tech, extremely large Warships. The basis for their construction came down to the Reagan Defense system protecting Terra. This system had largely been untested and it was unknown just how dangerous it would prove to any attacks directed at Amaris on Terra.

The Arbiter IV joined the ranks of an undisclosed number of other experimental spacecraft specifically designed for the assault. Though it weighed in at a massive 1,750,000 tons, its firepower in particular was what made it truly stand out. The ship was armed to the teeth and unlike many of Warships of its kind, it focused its firepower mostly in its forward-facing arcs.

The Arbiter IV - Construction

With utmost secrecy, production began on most of the specialized spacecraft. The Arbiter IV's construction area was selected from several planets in the Draconis Combine, planets that were in close proximity to undeveloped mining colonies. The colonies, though once funded by the Draconis Combine itself, had largely been unexplored and forgotten as the original generation of settlers gave up to search out more profitable claims.

As the shipyard began to take shape in the Nielsen asteroid field of the Labrea system, much greater care was taken to keep the project a secret. Indeed even the regular shipments of specialized parts and vital supplies like food became sporadic as the project's managers struggled not to draw any unwanted attention. Despite these special precautions slowing the completion of the ship, construction went according to plan and initial testings of several systems began.

The Arbiter IV - Loss

The Arbiter IV's crew was headed by Captain Charles Taynor. Though all tests had at first gone according to plan, Taynor and his crew suffered a major problem upon their first attempt to charge the ship's drives. After an unexplained explosion in the aft hydrogen tank, irreversible damage was done to ship's regulatory computer systems. With this explosion and loss of functionality, the ship self-fired its own weapons' tests before those on the planet below had any time to evacuate. With this loss of approximately 800 lives, Taynor and his on-board crew lost all communications with the rest of the Labrea system.

Because the Arbiter IV was armed with a few experimental nuclear weapons, its master computer system was built to oversee these weapons' usage; this master system was intended to prevent any misuse of this weaponry. However its direct connections with the rest of the ship's important life support systems gave it ultimate control. With no way to override this system, Taynor and his crew were at the mercy of the damaged computer. Unable to close the Warship's blast doors and losing oxygen to the cracks inside the aft of the hull, the entire crew met their end over a time period of approximately 110 hours.

The Arbiter IV: "Crusher" - Pre Striker Recovery

With the passing of time, it is unknown just how many came into contact with the Arbiter Warship. Some theorized the ship unintentionally but automatically attacked any ships that approached it, preventing any witnesses from sharing its secret. However even if this somewhat ludicrous claim held any truth, the Warship would have either lost power or ammunition over the decades upon decades it remained in the Labrea system.

At some point in history that was likely around the late 2900s, a pirate group boarded the ship. They adopted the rather simple name of "Crusher" for the ship's official name. This was the first group to control the ship, but it seems likely that three such pirate bands have controlled the ship since this time. The small mercenary group known as Acer's Hueys encountered the ship's legend in 3040. The team were unable to secure the ship but suffered a terrible defeat at the hands of the pirate occupants of the ship. Direct contact with the ship was never even made, but the pirates greatly outnumbered Acer's Hueys and their partner mercenary group, Llana's Breakers.

At some point in the early 3060s, a new pirate group called the Thunderdome Minions headed by Luolay Kamat overtook the Warship. They suffered from the same technological setbacks as all the ship's previous occupants. Unable to repair the Warship or determine its exact problems, the Minions group simply salvaged what technology they could from the Arbiter IV that had not already been taken by the other pirate bands.

The Arbiter IV - Striker Recovery

The Thunderdome Minions were attacked by Strider's Strikers in a two-pronged attack on the Arbiter IV. The mercenaries had discovered the ship thanks to aid from Acer's Hueys and a woman named Tana Rishar. Tana had apparently been cruising the asteroid belt with her brother when they were attacked by the Minions' aerospace fighters. With the Strikers' Clan-reinforced space marine team and Mech boarding party, the Minions control over the ship faltered. Eventually the pirates were killed or captured down to the last man.

The Arbiter IV: "The Reckoning" - Post Striker Recovery

With the recovery of the ship, Strider's Strikers used their Clan technological advantages to maximize repairs and maintenance to the ship. Though they struggled to keep the ship a secret while they were vulnerable, word soon leaked to the Clan Watch. The Ghost Bears immediately challenged the Strikers for the Arbiter IV in a Trial of Possession. With skilled Nova Cat Star Commodore Tilat Leroux at the helm, the ship not only survived the encounter but even trumped the Ghost Bear opponents. The space battle was a major victory, but it also ended in the loss of many of Strider's Strikers aerospace assets.

The Arbiter IV has become the actual base of operations for the entire Strider's Strikers unit after the unit suffered devastating attacks by the Word of Blake. With the death of over half the mercenary Mechwarriors and personnel, the Strikers retreated from Miranda by taking shelter inside the ship's enormous main bay. The sheer size of the Warship is the unit's best protection. However it remains unclear if the Word of Blake will be deterred from striking again at their hated mercenary foes.

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