Small, modular starships, whose length vary from 100 to 200m and are at least 50m wide are what Terrans have always produced in record numbers. The first models were developed and used during the early Solar system colonization efforts. Come Earth's year 2018 and the Mules, as they are often called, have spread far and wide. Many aliens who are part of the Terran Kil'ra Star Alliance have purchased some of these nimble and highly adaptable vessels. The basic premise behind Von Braun's 1945 famous design was the following - anyone can build and outfit a vessel to better fit whatever purpose they need. What most Terrans need is a fast and nimble cargo ship. The Mule allows transport companies and single owners to personalize their starships. If they are traversing the more dangerous parts of the Terran Minarchy borders, most of them add one or two combat modules to increase their chances of survival. They can always change those with other types of modules if one day their ships happen to prowl calmer waters.
Old ships, and especially models built during the 1950's and 60's are sought after by many. Especially by Spacer clans, who adore the design and based most, if not all of their more modern design concepts on it. With some effort and a lot of salvage, Mules can be transformed into vicious, hard-hitting CN front-line vessels. They can even perform quick raids in enemy territory, followed by small carriers and troop transports full of volunteer colonial militia. Such raiding parties are the colonist's response to Pirate clan and Cartel aggression. The small, nimble vessels, who are easy to outfit, cheap to maintain and can be operated by minuscule crews. A squadron of CN Mules is often the last sight which slavers see before they are mercilessly annihilated by an avenging mob of Terran colonists.
By the time most Cartel and Clan forces, albeit competently strike back, the CN squadron is... gone. Only to return and strike again later, when all of the salvage and repair teams are deployed and vulnerable. CN crews will fly one attack run after the other, sometimes more than ten per hour. They would covertly exit hyperspace, cold launch torps from places that their enemy think cleared and then jump back to attack from yet another direction. Colonists achieve a feat of fortitude like that by having spare crews resting on a troop transports laying low in their staging areas. Their assault would continue until their enemies have committed more of their force in an effort to contain them. Of course, they then immediately attack another target, exactly what their intent was in the first place...
"All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack we must seem unable; When using our forces, we must appear inactive; When we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; When far away, we must make them believe we are near."
"Sun Tzu? Who is this stupid Terran? What an idiotic chain of thought! Those backward Terran barbarians will never win with such antiquated tactics!" - famous last words of Pirate Lord Mahimm before his armada jumped to attack Earth.
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