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Cobra Star Serpent class Dreadnought by Imperator-Zor Cobra Star Serpent class Dreadnought by Imperator-Zor
The Baroness class Battlecruiser meant that COBRA had a ship which could hold it's own with the other established powers (in addition to having certain advantages such as strike craft) and was in many regards a major breakthrough, but even this was not sufficient for the Forth Commander. A handful of ships which were in general on par of those that were the mainstays established powers and had some advantages was significant, but ultimately they lacked the numbers for sustained warfare and (as was shown in the Battle of Corbra Prime) a Commander in battle would be vulnerable. Ultimately the Forth Commander desired something bigger and more power powerful and a massive project was put into effect in 2148 with work beginning in 2151. It has been argued by some historians that the Arrival of a 600 meter long Vulcan Suurok class Starship in 2152 and the Xindi Incident were contributing factors to the level of resources it received to some degree or another. What is not in dispute was the scope of the plan. Full shipyard berths were given over to assemble nacelles or sections of craft. Construction would continue for six years with numerous adjustments made to the original design along the way due to a myriad of complications. Regardless in 2157 their work was completed with the launch of the CSN Star Serpent.

At 460 Meters Long and massing at 825,000 tonnes, the Star Serpent was by far the largest mobile vehicle COBRA had built up to that point (even including the Coatl) and well above average for a spacecraft at that period (though a few ships such as Suurok class Heavy Cruisers, Aquatic Xindi cruisers and Romulan Amosarr (more commonly known in the Federation by their code name of "Hive") class fleet carriers). She had a crew of 800 spacers, 200 Void Vipers and 1,200 B.A.T.s. She carried a formidable armament of some 26 torpedo tubes (with a reserve of 500 torpedoes) and 16 heavy particle cannons. She had a top speed of 145 c (Warp 5.2) and a cruising speed of 96c (Warp 4.5), a minor improvement over the Baroness class if hardly exceptional. She carried a complex multi-generator shield system that was quite robust for its time but came with some complications. The advantage was that it used three DEM-3 generators, which were proven technology and meant that the Star Serpent could loose a generator and still have shields that were up to 66.66666% effective. The disadvantage was that individual generators were easier to take out and the system required a lot of complex support systems. Her parasite complement included 18 Mark-IV Stilleto fighters, 6 Mark-IV Star Raven heavy fighters, 4 S-6 Nightdragon shuttles and 4 B.A.T. Boxes. Among her most distinctive features to the casual observer however was her he forward hull, which was deliberately modeled after COBRA's namesake.

The Star Serpent was a multifuction ship able to serve as both a carrier and battleship, but her primary role was as a command ship. She could launch attacks against enemy formations at extreme ranges using her fighter wings and easily dispatch a Klingon D-5 Cruiser in a straight shooting match. Even so there has been some discussion about the Star Serpent in regards to it's cost effectiveness. Not because it was a bad ship, but given the amount of effort put into building and maintaining her it has been estimated that four Baroness class Battlecruisers or Python class Carriers could have been built about half the time and supported while not being a single point of failure. The United Earth government began their own buildup after the discovery of COBRA Prime and the Xindi incident, but never built anything larger than the NX class and mainly focused on smaller craft such as Intrepid and Daedalus classes. However other reasoning beyond the simple prudence of military expenditure must be considered. The Star Serpent was a considerable propaganda boon on the home front and abroad. It was also a well defended base of operations for a Commander to oversee military operations on campaign, a significant point given the Klingon view that it was especially glorious to kill enemy heads of state leading military operations. However there was a lesser known reason why the Star Serpent was built, which was seen in her manifest. She had an expanded fuel capacity, a considerable manufacturing capacity for a ship her size and all her lifepods were outfitted with bio-stasis cells. All of which could serve some function in of themselves on campaign. The same could not be said about the 64 exowombs (including some 16 Accelerated Artificial Gestation units able to rapidly produce adults). If the worse came to worse and Cobra Prime fell the Star Serpent could fulfill the same role the Coatl did: fly off into deep space, find a suitable planet and colonize it to start again from scratch. A common feature in future COBRA Flagships.

The Star Serpent's first taste of battle came in February of 2159 when a Klingon Raptor unexpectedly entered COBRA space and attacked several sensor boeys before fleeing back to Klingon Space. The ship had apparently been following orders it had received from High Command, even though no such orders had been given. Regardless this was seen by COBRA as a prelude to an invasion. As such the fleet was put on alert and so a contingency plan was launched. The Star Serpent led an force of some thirty six starships into Klingon Space in conjunction with a number of special operations were engaged. Some of these proved to be quite successful, such as the activation of Replicating Android Troopers (R.A.T.s) seeded on fourteen klingon planets, the Dethon-III uprising, the capture of thirteen Klingon cruisers by infiltrators and the scuttling of eleven more. Others (such as a ploy to get the House of Daghak to make a power grab against it's rivals or sturring insurrection among three other planets) were not. While they were still outnumbered by a considerable margin the Forth Commander's forces were able to inflict considerable casualties on the Klingon Forces. Fighter squadrons and B.A.T. boxes played a considerable role in this, though the Star Serpent proved herself more than capable for two years. Despite this the counter offensive eventually came. Even with a fleet bolstered with some thirty commandeered ships as well as some new construction from COBRA prime the Klingon sent a force which outnumbered COBRA's five to one. Casualties gradually mounted and despite some hat trick victories it was clear that neither side could take losses indefinitely. After receiving mounting battle damage the Star Serpent retreated to Cobra Prime for repairs (and to ready an Colonization fleet) in September of 2160.

Fortunately for COBRA it was eventually uncovered that the incident which sparked this conflict was caused by a Romulan plot to occupy the Klingon Empire so they could pull more forces guarding that frontier to fight the Coalition of Earth, Vulcan, Andoria and Tellar. Despite having one a costly victory at the Battle of Charon (largely due to the Romulan Fighter corps), the Romulan Empire had suffered unexpectedly heavy casualties. This revelation came with an internal power conflict resulting a new Chancellor. His ruling was that the Klingon Empire that this was was a dishonorable one fought in service of their greatest enemies. Combined with the fact that COBRA had seeded several more worlds with R.A.T.s and only they had the Kill Codes which could shut them down this meant that a ceasefire was called in March of 2161 and a peace treaty was signed by July which dictated Status Quo Antebellum. This development (as well as a costly defeat at the Second Battle of Denobula) eventually lead the Romans to sign a Peace Treaty with the Coalition in November of 2161, which would soon form the United Federation of Planets. The significance of this new development was not lost on the Forth Commander, the initial goal of taking over the Homeworld of Humanity had become a much more difficult task. Even so, COBRA had been given time to lick its wounds, expand it's influence and consolidate.
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JESzasz Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2018  Student Traditional Artist
 I would actually add an addendum, and would say that the Hand of Manos's Monarch-class Dreadnaught was the Star Serpent's equivalent, while the Yorktown-class Heavy Cruiser was indeed bigger than the NX class. 

 And you shouldn't forget Okazaki's Conqueror-class Heavy Cruiser.

 This really wouldn't change history much in the end. You could say that sure they were developed to fight the Romulans, but COBRA command also knew that it was meant by the United Earth Starfleet to send a message like "We know you want to take Earth, and you can ask the Rommies how that worked out for them!"
odst116 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2017
So did COBRA retire the Star-Rattlers or are they more of a Space to ground fighter now?
spacewolflord Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2017
COBRA will NEVER give up dreams of taking over Earth.  It is practically built in to everyone.
Thank you for sharing.
HypnoHunter Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
Fantastic! Thank you once again for this look into COBRA's future, Imperator-Zor!
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July 14, 2017
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