Blacktron Base

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During a recent routine survey of outlying moons our probe discovered a large Blacktron mining base which was in the process of being decommissioned. It was likely visible only because its main power generators had already been removed so that there was no longer sufficient energy to run the cloaking radar. Our satellite probe made three overhead passes and then dispatched its drone take close-up shots of the facility. The drone made about one good loop around the base before it was destroyed.

We immediately sent out some cruisers to secure the area, but by the time they arrived there wasn't much left. It seems Blacktron didn't want us to get any closer look at their operation than they had to.

This mining facility appears to have been in operation for several years, probably as many as 7 or 8, before we stumbled upon it. Note that our probes got pictures of these renegades loading their last shipment of concentrated spamcake - too bad the Federation couldn't have arrived sooner. What follows is a selection of the best pictures from the satellite and probe, and a few pictures taken by the first police squad to arrive.

Our first overview shot. The large dish in the upper left was the cloaking radar generator that was down, allowing our satellite to photograph this facility. The large building appears to be a maintenance facility, connected by a walkway on the right to various command centers.
Moving to the right, we have an elevated landing platform with two pads. Clearly visible is an old Galaxy Explorer which has been retrofitted for use by Blacktron. It looks like modifications are primarily in paint. Note on the far right the large brick of spamcake being readied for loading. In the lower left we are looking down an elevator shaft in another building.
This shot shows both platforms fairly clear, plus it gives an overview of the tall crane on top of the control tower. Our analysts believe that the wreckage below the platform is the remains of the station's main power generators which have already been removed.
We continue our over flight moving right and we come across the remains of the main processing building, which is being leveled at the time of fly over by a large excavator. This building was where ore was processed, concentrated and ultimately purified into high grade spamcake for distribution though dubious means throughout the galaxy. There may have been landing platforms on the roof of this building to facilitate removal of the product. It appears that the other landing areas in the base were used mainly for supply and service vessels.
Here we see the conveyor system which transported the ore from the mine to the processing building. A few vehicles litter the site.
And here we have the mine head - a sophisticated automated system to remove high grade ore from within this moon using automated processes. Note in the top of the picture is a multi-array radar system which was probably used to track space traffic in the area and warn of intruders. This system surely saw our high speed satellite and probe coming, but defenses were lax enough that we got our pictures. The standard defense of this Blacktron base was camouflage.
This is the first shot of the second fly over strip. The large building is a service bay for Battrax vehicles and other heavy equipment. Above that is a hanger for loading, unloading and servicing up to three Invaders at a time. And a small landing platform on the roof is occupied by another old Federation ship, a modified Lunar Patrol Craft.
Moving right, this shot shows surface level landing pads. Note the Battrax sitting half inside the shop, and on the landing pads is a Battrax Lander ship, loaded with a Battrax and ready to fly - no doubt part of the final evacuation of this depleted mining facility. It is unclear how many vehicles and personel this operation had in its prime. The Battrax service shop will easily fit two Battrax vehicles inside of it.
This shot drifts up and right and shows a Renegade perched on the right most raised landing platform. Note the walkway connecting buildings under the nose of the Renegade, and the forklift with the spamcake near its tail. The building in the lower portion of the photo is a hanger for small patrol ships, and attached to that is a building which was used as a lab, no doubt primarily engaged in sample analyses.
Moving right we see more of the lab building, punctuated by an elevator tower in the middle of the building. Various mining equipment litters the grounds.
This final shot of the set depicts a Mobile Rocket Launcher preparing a rocket, probably with some sort of satellite or probe aboard. This vehicle was undoubtedly stolen from the Federation inventory, since it was never licensed to be produced or sold commercially.
In the first shot of our third and final fly over we see the other side of the very large Battrax repair and Invader hanger building. Note on the landing pad in the lower right is an old 6825 Cosmic Comet, which was a rare experimental fighter never consigned outside of Federation use.
Here is a good view of the surface landing area and the fully loading Battrax Lander. Note the line of Blacktron troops in the upper part of this shot. Close observations of the pictures indicate that well over 50 Blacktron workers were at the base at the time of our flyovers.
This is a good overview of the small ship landing hanger. The command platform behind appears to be for this area and possibly others. We could not distinguish a true central command location, true to Blacktron form of equalization on all levels.
On the left is the laboratory building which seems to have been cleared out already. On the pads to the right below the Mobile Rocket Launcher are a pair of Alienators ready for flight. And a refitted Uranium Search Vehicle is getting some tire work done. This is our final fly over picture. The remaining pictures were taken by the probe released by the satellite, which flew around the base.
Our probe here is arriving at the base. You can see the elevator tower of the laboratory building, and the main entrance to the remains of the processing facility which is being torn down. The mine head is in the back right of the picture.
Swooping around we see the elevated landing platforms. Visible for the first time is part of a control center under the platforms at the far end of the walkway. And we can clearly see that the spamcake is on a forklift being driven by a Blacktron worker.
Our probe buzzed the parked Renegade as it took this shot of the entrance to the Battrax hanger.
And swooping around we see the Battrax Lander with a walkway between buildings in the background. We can see that the hanger to the far right is open.
Our probe then began circling the base to the right, counterclockwise.
We got a close-up shot of the lab - but note that it is empty except for that one Blacktron guy.
The Blacktron guys have some help from a robot with this project. The strange vehicle behind seems to be a multi-scooped digging machine of some sort.
The Mobile Rocket Launcher is preparing a launch of some sort. A tracked drilling machine, with an earth mover behind it, sit in the background.
Here is a view into the main entrance to the mine-head building.
Roof walkways and work areas on the mine head building. The conveyer from the mine goes out at an angle to the left.
Our probe backed up for this view of the mine-head and conveyors extending to the processing center.
Another view down the base past the mine-head.
Here is the site radar used to detect spacecraft in the area, such as our satellite and probe. No doubt its readings are off the scale now!
The building in the background is the back side of the analysis laboratory. The tower in the center right was probably used for processing chemicals. In the foreground is the top of the mine-head and conveyors.
The remains of the processing building, being knocked down.
A close-up of the destruction. Note that internal components had previously been removed.
Here we have the command area behind the small ship bay.
The walkway from that command center to below the elevated landing platforms.
And the other end of that same walkway, with some glimpse of equipment in another command area.
Our probe zoomed out for an overview. The remains of the power station are visible in the foreground at the base of the large elevator tower.
A zoom in on the garage and service area for the platform forklift. Yep, that is spamcake!
Rounding the tower we see the elevator car stopped at the lower command center between walkways.
A view into the command area below the platforms.
Another view of the platform with two ships set to be loaded. It is unclear which ship was to receive the spamcake shipment. In the upper left is another control center, which is probably primarily responsible for operations on these platforms. Above this command center is the crane which services the platforms.
Moving on counterclockwise we see a close-up of the service area off the back of the Battrax service bay. Some equipment and supplies and a service robot are visible behind.
Backing up and viewing that same bay. In the foreground on the right is the cloaking radar. Behind the walkway is yet another command center area, which is likely most responsible for Battrax servicing.
Moving up and looking into the Battrax hanger we see the rear half of the Battrax in the doorway. Above is the nose of an Invader in its bay.
This view of the back side of the Battrax service area shows a gate door that can be raised to bring smaller equipment into the side service area. Three Invaders are visible in this shot. On the third, only the tail is visible, at the nose of the Invader pointed in.
Our probe raising up as it completes is circle, so we can see the Invader landing area.
A close-up inside the Invader hanger.
Our probe then pulled away for this overview of the Invader hangers with the small landing platform on the roof .
Looking down on the roof landing platform. It appears to be accessed by an elevator on the left at the end of the walkway.
Pulling back to view the Battrax service building and Invader hangers in one view.
A view of the front of the Battrax service building. To the right is command center for the building.
Our probe then made a daring approach inside of the Battrax service building…
Inside the Battrax service building with walkways all around. It is quite roomy - we are looking toward the side service building for maintaining other vehicles.
Part of the command area in the Battrax building, with the top of the elevator car visible in the center.
The back of the Battrax in the doorway, on the way out of the hanger.
More views from just outside the large building.
Our probe pulled back for the best view yet of the Battrax Lander. Note that the two removable parts of the Battrax attach to the front of the Lander and the vehicle is locked in the body. The Lander can be piloted either from the Battrax cab or, as in this case, from a pilots position on the right front.
Our probe then moved in for a closer view of the command center underneath the elevated landing platforms.
Looking out the walkway our probe comes eye to visor with a Blacktron worker.
Our probe then pulled out to seek additional targets.
However, this time the probe was the target…
It sensed a threat, zoomed in..
This was the last transmission from the probe.
By the time we got there to check things out there wasn't much left…
Rubble in the core of the base.
Rubble where the lab used to be.
More lab rubble.
Rubble of the mine-head.
Mine-head and conveyor rubble.
Processing center and platform rubble.
Platform and service area rubble.
More of the same.
Battrax service area rubble.

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Last Updated April 28, 2010 - - Copyright Matthew J. Chiles 2004-2010 all rights reserved.
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