Leukocyte-class Medical Research & Cauterization Cruiser
Perhaps the most heavily armed vessels of any civilian class, albeit in a highly specialized mode, the Leukocyte-class medical cauterization cruiser was produced by a collaborative initiative between Islien Yards and the Riverside Eubiosis Foundation in response to an Imperial Ministry of Public Health RFP for a starship capable of providing fast, and if necessary, terminal response to potentially-epidemic disease outbreaks or nanotech blooms within Imperial space.
The Leukocyte-class is a development of the basic spaceframe of the obsolete Asinglakh-class cruiser, with the majority of its offensive armament removed, and indeed much of the after hull gutted. Occupying the mass and volume thus freed up is a full laboratory and hospital complex, equipped to handle biological and nanotechnological disease risks in sophonts, animals, plants, and free ecologies, fully compliant with and exceeding level six bionano containment protocols as described in IOSS 21347 (as revised). This complex, indeed, operates with independent life-support and other environmental systems, and can be completely isolated from the remainder of the ship by not merely vacuum but physical separation of all hatches, companionways, and fluid-transfer systems.
A similar isolation system, although with limited provisions for necessary transfer of sample materials, operates between the laboratory complex and the patient/sample section, which is unmanned and operated solely through teleoperated drones. In the event of a critical threat excursion, this sample section can be jettisoned and a remote-controlled implosive antimatter self-destruction system remotely activated. An independent and fully automated small-craft bay is also attached to the sample section, permitting the collection of samples and patients without risking any potential sophont exposures.
As a final sanction, the Leukocyte-class is equipped with a single offensive weapons system to enact the Cautery Protocol, if deemed necessary, utilizing hellflower minimissiles equipped with “ice-chip” antimatter warheads. These are controlled by a specialized targeting system to produce implosive antimatter detonations, in which the spread pattern and time on target sequencing is computed to produce a shock wave pattern which forces all matter within the inner target area to pass through the ambiplasma fireball with a guaranteed minimum dwell time. The resulting temperature, combined with the corrosive effect of abundant antiparticles, thus ensures the degradation of any biological or nanotechnological agents constructed from leptonic-baryonic matter to harmlessness in short order.
There are six Leukocyte-class cruisers in commission at the date of publication, all of which are operated by the Imperial Ministry of Public Health. Leukocyte herself and her simultaneously-constructed sister ship, Neutrophil, are stationed at a MinHealth facility in the Resplendent Exponential Vector system as a rapid-response force to address outbreaks within or near the Imperial Core or Fringe. Four additional ships, Eosinophil, Basophil, Macrophage, and Nanophage, are stationed at remote fleet bases to provide crisis coverage in the ecumenical Empire or, on request or existential threat, elsewhere in the Associated Worlds.
– Fíerí’s Starships of the Associated Worlds, 421st ed.;
Vol. IX: Esoterica