it was custom made for Doctor Isaac Clayben as an interstellar getaway craft. It was built along with four manned Melchior fighters of the same type, but smaller and without advanced life support or extreme customization.
It is of a unique class of ships known as the Melchior Class, and the only one to survive the events of Lords of the Middle Dark. Of the five ships made, it is the only one with an luxury life support system, Melchior research databanks, state-of-the-art mindprinter, psycho-genetics lab, and punch capacity. It is larger than the other four fighters, which could attach to it’s four docks to carry them, but is relatively small when compared to freighters such as the Star of Islam and is astronomically small compared to Universe Class ships such as the Thunder. Indeed, Lightning was docked to the back of the Star of Islam when they chased the Star Islander toward the Universe Fleet.
It originally had two computers on board; an independent pilot with a neutered male voice who served anyone who knew the correct passcode, and a reference based compressed and encrypted computer system which ran the state-of-the-art mindprinting device and psycho genetics lab that served only Isaac Clayben.
After extensive modification by Star Eagle, and the transfer of the reference computer to the Thunder, it acquired armaments and appearance that were a match even for the legendary Val Ship. It’s pilot computer could be controlled if the correct code was entered; however, if the incorrect code was entered three times, then the pilot would seem to cooperate but in actuality it would place unconscious any human that interfaced with it until the possessor of the real code could deal with them.
In the series Edit
Lords of the Middle Dark Edit
- Main article: Lords of the Middle Dark
Lightning does not play a pivotal role in the events of Lords of the Middle Dark, as it remained in hidden on the Clebus Asteroid near Melchior awaiting use. At the end of the series, it is presumed by Star Eagle to have been docked to the back of the Star of Islam, along with its four automated fighters, which were destroyed by the Thunder’s own automated fighters.
Pirates of the Thunder Edit
- Main article: Pirates of the Thunder
In Pirates of the Thunder, Lightning takes Isaac Clayben and Arnold Nagy from the Star of Islam to follow the Thunder, in the hopes of using them to discover the rings. After a quick punch however, they were discovered by Star Eagle and were hailed. After being convinced to join the Pirates of the Thunder, Isaac and Arnold peaceably board the Thunder and surrender their ship, although Isaac remained the only one who could access his encrypted databases.
After the Pirates of the Thunder spent time on the remote planet of Alititi awaiting Star Eagle’s modifications of the Thunder, Lightning (now heavily modified) was used to enter the Halinachi Free Booter base under the control of Fernando Savaphoong, one of six such bases officially tolerated by Master System. Upon leaving Halinachi however, it was tracked by a Val to deep space. Nagy tried to shake it by going off the charts, but the Val had placed a tracer in Raven’s cigar box.
Caught in deep space without enough fuel to make it back onto the charts to new sources of fuel, with Val Hawks interrogating them, the Pirates of the Thunder improvised; by cannibalizing parts of their own ship they managed to get enough fuel to outmaneuver and then ambush the Val Ship. After destroying it, the Val’s memory core escaped and punched away, Val Hawks had escaped.
After consuming the remains of the Val Ship for fuel, Lightning punched back into the Halinachi System, as it was the only one within range. Arnold imparted some last advice for killing Vals and asked that his body be launched into space when he died, but only after they were sure that Val China was gone. Then Lightning punched into the System and began refueling, but just before they could top off their tank and escape, the second Val, Val China, punched into the System.
Lightning’s passengers once again asserted their rights to privacy under the Covenant and broadcasted the conversation to all nearby Free Booters. Val China insisted on boarding Lightning even if that action broke the Covenant, but Arnold sent out a distress signal asking if the Free Booters would do nothing to protect the Covenant. Fearing a dangerous precedent being set, they came in force to the aid of Lightning and forced Val China to leave under threat of destruction. Free of the Val, Lightning jettisoned Arnold Nagy’s body, who had finally died. Just before the Pirates left however, they detected a small punch from the direction of Arnold’s body, but found that it was mysteriously nowhere to be found. Lightning then returned to the Thunder unmolested.
Later, Lightning engaged with a Master System freighter containing a massive quantity of murylium. After disabling its engines and guns it was captured by the Thunder, plundered, and repurposed as the Pirate One.
After six of the eight remaining Halinachi Free Booter ships joined the Pirates of the Thunder, Lightning was deployed with Vulture and Manka Warlock to deal with those two ships that decided to strike out on their own; the Sisu Moduru and the Novovladivostok. The fight was not covered in the book, but the superior speed and weaponry onboard the Lightning ensures that they were both obliterated. Lightning returned to and docked with the Thunder afterward.
Warriors of the Storm Edit
- Main article: Warriors of the Storm
Masks of the Martyrs Edit
- Main article: Masks of the Martyrs
|Star Islander† • Star of Islam • Thunder • Lightning • Pirate One† • Kaotan • Espiritu Luzon† • San Cristobal† • Novovladivostok† • Chunhoifan • Indrus • Bahakatan • Sisu Moduru†