The Mark IV DIB (Deep Incursion Bomber) was designed to quickly enter enemy territory, deliver its payload, and return to its Deployment ship just as quickly. Limited in its maneuvering and inner-space weaponry, the Shade Maker is no match for even a moderately equipped space fighter. This necessitates protection by a wing of Guardian Ships to and from the bombsite.
About this creation
It’s appellation “Shade Maker” is a nod to an archaic connotation of the word shade, meaning “spirit” or “ghost.”
Since the Mark IV had no spacelight engines, it needs to be transported by a large Deployment Ship, which drops the bomber group, as well as the Guardian Ships, at the edges of enemy space (usually just beyond the furthermost defenses).
The “Shade Maker” has a traditional, nozzled, turbo-thrust propulsion system. This single massive engine allows it to quickly penetrate enemy space, deliver its ordinance, and return to the Deployment Ship in a minimum amount of time.
The “Shade Maker” is designed to hit orbital bases, and planetary infrastructures. They are typically deployed during the secondary phase of a system-wide attack after enemy space-fighters either are destroyed or preoccupied elsewhere.
While protected mainly by screen-field generation, the Mark IV does have some traditional shielding, mainly in the areas of the cockpit and the engine.
One bombardier pilots the Mark IV in a cockpit that while tight, offers extensive visual scanning. A pilot will be in transit for no more than 10-15 hours.
The guidance systems of the Mark IV feed coordinates into the self-propelled bombs moments before they are launched. 4 Traditional E-Bombs (EMP High Altitude Bombs) can take out all unshielded electo-magnetic equipment/devices/vehicles in a 200 mile radius. Two heftier E-Bombs—the SPE—can penetrate the shield generation of control stations and vehicles. The two smaller bombs to the left of the SPE’s can be filled with various toxins and /or viruses that can infect and kill a populace without causing damage to the planetary infrastructure. The two larger bombs with the cone shaped ends are AG Bombs—Anti-Gravity Bombs—capable of creating a momentary bubble-like vacuum in a given area’s gravitational field—effectively reversing the field for a few minutes. Needless to say, anything within that bubble is totally annihilated. These bombs are equivalent to a 500kT hydrogen bomb in its destructiveness and can encompass 100 square miles.
These greebles represent accessible sections of the engine control systems.
These greebles represent accessible portions of the missile guidance systems for maintenance and adjustment before and after deployment.
Hardbodies (human spies) try to infiltrate enemy territory with global targeting equipment to pinpoint coordinates for the bombers. If it is too risky or too well secured for Hardbodies, Targeting Probes, no more than a quarter meter in diameter, are deployed at the edges of enemy space by a Surveyor Ship. These probes are less reliable than hard bodies because they are frequently detected and destroyed. If a Targeting Probe is able to register coordinates, they immediately send the information to the Surveyor Ship and then self-destructs.
The two series 4 ion-cannons on the ends of the wings are meant to take out force-field net generators interspersed around planetoids. If the firepower offered by the Guardian Ships is unavailable due to the cover of an engagement with enemy fighters, the Mark IV must proceed past the FFN’s and on to the bombsite regardless.
This is a shot of the underbelly of the Mark IV, with almost identical engine access controls.
A typical bomber group consists of 9 bombers protected by up to 20 Guardian ships. If a group manages to reach the incursion site intact, the devastation of 18 AG Bombs would be complete. Each bomber can be outfitted with 10 identical bombs or any number of combinations of bombs depending on the mission objectives.
These are two rare atmospheric shots of the Mark IV.