My new series comes from a cartoon I loved called Space Kateers, about three knights who pilot tiny little fighters that they stood on in spacesuits and armour and fought from with their handheld guns. But they just stood on the cockpit. The action reminded one of knights riding warhorses into battle, but with a sci-fi interpretation.
My new series features Space Knights, trained to bear the rigors of more agile dogfighting in space as they pilot the ship telepathically as they fight from a combat platform outside the cockpit they occupy on flights to combat zones. They make moving targets of themselves, running their platforms on magnetic boots for better shots and to evade bullets if time allows, depending on the distance between the combatants.
They are supreme dogfighters who combine the skills of fighter pilot with that of marine. The knights on their nimble fighter-platforms have an agility no fighter can match, for Space Knight platforms are a quarter of the weight and mass of the larger starfighters. The philosophy is that speed will be their armour. Nonetheless, some knights build armoured shields onto their platforms to provide them some cover.
In 2145 the daredevil pilot and starship designer Jenny Deeds works on a military contract to provide fighters. A skier and surfer, she notices the rapid swaying and twisting a skier or surfer has to made to channel nature’s energy. Those principles had to be applicable to fighters and dogfighting. She designed a new kind of fighter that let the pilot ride the ship and fight from it’s deck the way knights once fought from war horses and also in a real sense the way surfers surfed. And the ship was built for speed and agility that would tax the space knight’s ability to retain consciousness during combat maneuvering. Command inputs from a knight could easily kill the pilot if they were not careful and knew the limits of their bodies well.
(Jenny Deeds goes on to become an space knight herself, warring for Jesna, A fief with it’s home civilization on planet Tarn and a populous colony on mineral planet known only as C-33 of Jesna. Their space knights and ships are adorned with blue armour.)
Combat changes. Jesna gains several fiefs during the early years of their combat advantage of “battle boards,” as they are called. Other warring polities soon adopt similar designs and train similar knights. Those who excel at the melding of pilot role and marine emerge from the ranks of both the marines and the space force. They are rare. The elite. Combat takes place between space knights that is a strange dancing mix of dogfighting and gunfighting. Knights develop different tactics for attack at far distances and distance close enough to touch, making all knights forced to be skilled at both kinds of combat.
“I built a fighting platform with a rocket and cockpit on the back and a fighting platform for distance or close-in combat using handheld weapons to kill pilots directly. All this fighting happens with the surfboard ship circling the much less maneuverable fighters and most often just killing the pilot or using their great intel on the ships core systems to hit the ship with surgical strikes from handheld weapons bearing anti-vehicle ordinance.” — Jenny Deeds
Lots more photos and write ups of individual models at my Instagram account.
https://www.gallea.ca/en/artists/mark-stanski (My works for purchase)
https://reedsy.com/mark-stanski (Need an experienced fantasy editor? We might work well together.
Thank you all for reading. I love you all!