There are three paths by which we can follow, to the ascendancy of the Middle Kingdom. The first path is the path of the fist, and the way of the warrior. This path, we cannot take. Our ships are few. Our war machines are not powerful. Our heroes are outnumbered.
I know this is deeply unpopular. But no amount of national pride, no amount of your righteous clamoring will allow you wise counselors and courtesans to overcome the forward batteries of a battlestar. Do you feel rage, or do you feel shame? You should feel shame, because with every boon I have given you, you have returned to me with empty hands. I should have a 10,000 step long battleship, named for the first emperor, which spreads my protection to all who serve Zhonggou, and fear to all who oppose it. Tell me, what is the name of the largest ship in my armada?
The Zheng He, of course. a great and mighty battleship!
A mighty carrier, with many attack fighters?
Is it a 900 meter long, century old, armed merchantman?
Ah! yes. That's the one. Did you know that our enemies have such little regard for my fleet that they do not have a plan to defeat us?
Another path to exaltation is through meditation and wisdom, to become sage beyond all others, to seek the peace of the Buddha, to understand Confucius, to attain heavenly perfection. What happened when we created great thinking engines to ponder wisdom and the universe, to become the wisest among us? Tell me, what happened with my great metal dragons?
The Five Metal Dragons; Jugan, Keiga, Kokusho, Ryusei, Yosei. Bastards. Prostitutes. Traitors. They abandoned us, turned their collective backs on me. Turned their ships against us. They allied with the greatest enemies we have to face.
We are so far from being wise...
So I am informed that Wukong has almost completed his ascent, and that the Beautiful Land is nigh. There is much demand for this, so many want to visit our sister kingdom Huo Hsing, so many want to visit Xeo America. From within, from without, and they will pay.
The last path is the path of gold. The way of merchants and bankers. When the Beautiful Land is ready, we will make a road to it, and that road will be made of cruise ships. You will built me a fleet of goddamn cruise liners to carry armies between Di and Huo Hsing. We will be wealthy. Our shipyards will outproduce theirs, but while they chase us to build battleships and carriers, a task you have all relentlessly failed at, we will win by tonnage of liners, of cargo ships, or resorts and resort ships. We will win, I will win, because where the other nations will offer war, will offer violence, and will over a future of guns, and hunger, and despair, I will offer the planets happiness and joy, a respite, a goal, a purpose, and above all things, a light, a light to guide them.
The Man: The Emperor of Zhonggou and the Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere
The Emperor, a man who is both more and less than he seems, was the great motivator of the Heavenly Fleet. Hundreds of ship designers, thousands of engineers, and untold numbers of workers, human, clone, machine, and other, all came together to make the vision of the Heavenly Fleet come to fruition.
The Shuiniu Series
The Shuiniu series, or 'Water Buffalo' was a very non-modular ship design. The plans for the series was laid out in six stages, with each stage paving the way to the next, and falling back into a supporting role until the Shuiniu Lius were active, and then all of the other ships become their own armada.
Shuinui Di Yi
The Di Yi utilizes a cylindrical hull 200 meters long, a solid state limited AI computer core, accommodations for 1000 passengers, including semi-luxury amenities, and a single fusion drive. The ship breaks no new boundaries, sets no records, and is designed to work every time. These ships are considered the most important because the Heavenly Fleets succeeds with them, or fails with them. The operating plan for the Di Yi have the ships in operation as much as they run for five to ten years, rolling their experience and profits into the next series. When the second type launches, the Di Yi are slated to fall back to supporting roles, either being upgraded into ultra-deluxe liners reducing accommodations from 1000 to 200, or to escort liners.
Shuinui Di Er
The Di Er extends the length of a Di Yi to 250 meters, keeps the same AI core, increases capacity for passengers to 1500-2000, increases the cross section of the ship by 30%, and adds a single rotating ring for artificial gravity. The Di Er replaces the centerline fusion drive with two fusion drives mounted in outboard nacelles. The increased mass is offset by the increased thrust, and the Di Er is expected to be moderately quicker than the Di Yi.
The Shenguo, Life, is intended to be the first ambitious step in the series. The Shenguo abandons the cylindrical hull and replaces it with a streamlined hull reminiscent of a whale or auspicious fish. The Shengou is dimensionally larger than the Di Er, but changes in the hull reduce the internal volume so that even though the Shengou is 50 meters longer, but carries the same general passenger capacity. The ship has four fusion engines tucked under the main hull, for reduced vibration and improved aesthetics, as well as being measurably faster than the Di Er. By the time the Shenghuos start slipping from the docks, the position of Earth relative to Mars will no longer be a factor for making the cross, and trips to the outer system should be more feasible as well. The Di Ers will remain in parallel service with the Shenghuos, with the Di Ers acting as the rank and file, while the Shengous are the leaders.
The Dongji, or Winter, named for the fourth season, is the first ship not designed for the Earth-Mars route, or inner system transit lanes. The Dongji is built for the cold and long distances, specifically out to Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The Dongji is massive, over a thousand meters long, and will require either dimensional reactors, or a large number of fusion reactors, to power it. The Dongji has a similar streamlined hull, but large, and broad like a great whale or whale shark and no fewer than eight large fusion engines propelling it forward.
The Dongji will be laid down in two configurations, a cruise liner first, and a cargo hauler second. Unified construction, shipyards with what should amount to 25 years laying down hulls and engines, and decades of running the ships, the Dongjis should overcome the problems of small production runs and incessant small problems that dog every other attempt at building large ships.
The Wuxing represents the five classical Chinese elements, and the Wuxing is the fifth ship in the series. Wuxings are intended to be modestly larger than the Dongji and to build off of the successes of the predecessor ships, and address any flaws that crop up along the way. By the time the 1200 meter Wuxings are crossing the Solar System, the Di Yi and Di Er ships will be going to the breakers, or start being sold off to second and third party interests.
The Wuxing are intended to be reminiscent of arcologies, but capable of interplanetary travel, and will have the ability to produce their own food supply, and have amenities like gravity pools, garden parks, and things like saunas and microfactories to produce luxury goods. Traveling on such a ship is supposed to rival penthouse life on Earth.
The sixth planned series of the Shuinui program, the Muxing is intended to be the pinnacle of ship building attainable with the current and projected construction, powerplant, and propulsion technologies. The Muxing is intended to be a 5,000 passenger super cruiser, capable of making the Earth-Huo Hsing run in a few days, and the Earth-Jupiter run in at most, a few weeks. The ship is large, beautiful, and powerful. The amenities available are both displays of technological prowess, such as an olympic sized swimming pool, and open air atriums with full space views, as much as they are passenger attractions.
The Muxing are intended to remain in service for at least a century.
The Emperor's Plan
The Emperor's plan is simple, and it will definitely cause reactions across the solar system. The other new earth governments will not be able to ignore what the ACPS is doing by the time the third gen Shenguo ships are in service. The first two generations will likely be of little interest, they are cruise ships, and not particularly large ships at that. The Shenghuo is decent in size, and has speed that is worth notice. The central organization of the ACPS will have been looking at streamlined production, and the design of universal components, so that at the end, the equipment pioneered on the Di Yi will still be usable on even the massive Muxing supercruisers. The ships, and the commerce they generate will further the ACPS space interest, and commerce turns to wealth, and turns to power.
The great powers of Earth will notice my Heavenly Fleet, but there will be nothing they can do about it. These great ships will not be warships, they will not be armed, they will be peaceful, and happy, and prosperous. Any ship that attacks them, that dares lash out at them, they will be less than dogs, less than scum. The other world powers will be forced to censure those who act against peaceful civilian targets. And my auspicious ministers, that is what they will be. They will carry no fighters, they will have no turrets, no missiles, no mighty guns.
If you could deliver me those, I would already have them.
Our enemies will become our allies, their own people will travel on my ships. Their wealth will flow into my coffers. When there is violence, our enemies will defend us, because the laws of Heaven will demand it.
We will build more ships, and more great resorts, and destinations in the outer system. We will make ships after the Muxing, with technologies that are only dreams right now.
And one day, our great prowess laying down hulls, and fitting our great ships, will become so recognized, that we will be the ones building ships for the other world powers. Then, they will see wisdom, and they will accept my wisdom, accept my guidance, and then the August Emperor will claim the entire Sol system as the Middle Kingdom.
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