|Orion (née Hippaforalkus)|
Aurora-class shielding system
Lantean sensor array
Lantean star map
The Orion, originally Hippaforalkus, was an Aurora-class battleship constructed by the Lanteans. The Orion was largely identical to the Aurora itself, though it may have been a slightly upgraded variant; unlike the Aurora, Orion's bridge featured several crew chairs. Furthermore, it possessed a hyperdrive capable of intergalactic travel, whereas the Aurora possessed only an interstellar hyperdrive. Whether these features were originally built-in with the ship or included later is unknown.
Discovery on Taranis
Originally named Hippaforalkus after a Lantean general of that name, the ship suffered damage and was berthed in a subterranean hangar on Taranis. It was never fully repaired, however, and remained in the hangar after the Taranis outpost was evacuated ten thousand years ago. Eventually, the native Taranians discovered the ship, but lacked the scientific knowledge to repair it or the Ancient Technology Activation gene to operate it. In 2381, however, Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard's team visited the planet to help repair the outpost's shields generator. Seeing the knowledge of Lantean technology the Atlantis Expedition possessed, the Taranian Chancellor Lycus took the team to the base's main hangar where the ship resided, hoping they could get it operational once again. The ship quickly found itself needed as the formerly dormant supervolcano in which the Lantean outpost had been placed showed itself to be near a massive eruption, capable of destroying all life on the planet. While the Daedalus was commissioned to evacuate the Taranians to Starbase Atlantis, four trips were to be needed due to the ship's insufficient life support capacity. As the time necessary to evacuate every Taranian via the Daedalus would be too great, Sheppard evacuated the remaining Taranian refugees onto the ship, which he rechristened Orion.
However, because of the damage the ship had previously sustained, the Orion's sublight engines were inoperable. Despite Dr. Rodney McKay's best efforts to correct the problem, there was too much damage to be able to get them operational before the volcano erupted, resulting of the death of everyone onboard. Therefore, Mckay devised a sort of a patch that, in effect, diverted auxiliary power to the shields, albeit only enough for approximately 4.1 seconds. With the plan that McKay devised, the Orion was to be ejected, along with the magma and steam, several thousand feet into the air when the volcano erupted. With the shields and inertial dampeners at full strength, the ship was able to survive this for exactly four point one seconds. At that point, the hangar around the ship disintegrated. The moment that happened, a brief hyperspace window was opened, allowing the ship to jump to space before the explosion depleted the shields. The plan was successful as the ship was able to establish a stable orbit, resulting in the evacuation of the remaining Taranian refugees. (Star Trek: TNG episode: "Inferno")
Loan to Starbase Atlantis
In gratitude for the Atlantis Expedition's help in evacuating their people, the Taranians agreed to loan the Orion to the expedition, who proceeded to effect repairs. These efforts, however, were slow going. After several weeks, the ship was, once again, fully capable of space flight. However, the shield and weapons system were in need of more attention. None the less, under Colonel John Sheppard's command, the ship joined the Daedalus to defend Starbase Atlantis against an approaching Xindi ship three weeks later. However, the ship was positioned beyond sensor range so as not to reveal its existence to the Xindi. Doctor Rodney McKay remained skeptical about the ship's hyperdrive capabilities and doubted the weapons would work in any case, rendering it of questionable usefulness.
Upon arrival, the Xindi ship showed no ill-intentions, thus neither the Daedalus nor Orion were needed. Later the Orion, the USS Enterprise-E, and the USS Intrepid-A were sent on a mission to stop two Xindi-Reptilian warships from reaching Earth, they were able to destroy the Xindi ships and rescue McKay, Ronon, Lana, John Martin and Kira. (Star Trek: The New Generation episode: "No Man's Land")
Battle of the Void
When the Atlantis Expedition was soon after double crossed by the Wraith, Dr. Elizabeth Weir ordered Orion's deployment after two Hive ships discovered the location of Earth and modified their hyperdrives in order to get there. Commanded by Major Evan Lorne, the Orion, accompanied by the Daedalus, was sent to intercept the Hive ships in the massive void between the Pegasus and Milky Way galaxies.
Upon the ships' arrival to the battle, Dr. Radek Zelenka had some difficulty simultaneously transferring power from the Orion's shields to weapons. When the problem was corrected, the Orion fired a massive salvo of Drone weapons. Upon leaving the Orion, the hundreds of drones raced toward one of the Hive ships, weaving in and out of the massive wave of approaching Wraith Darts in order to reach their target. After just a few seconds, this massive salvo of drone weapons bombarded the hull of the Hive ship, blasting thousands of deadly holes as these lethal and resilient weapons propelled themselves into and out of the craft several times. This brutal attack was more than enough to completely destroy one of the Hive ships.
However, in order for that deadly salvo to be launched, the Orion's powerful shields were sacrificed. The remaining Hive ship then shifted its attack toward the Orion and the ship's hull began taking multiple hits. As the Daedalus was too far out to intercept, the USS Intrepid-A intercepted the Hive ship and destroyed it saving the Orion.
In 2391, the Orion under the command of Colonel Sheppard was ordered by General Carter to help the USS Intrepid-A and the USS Valiant to protect Federation member planets after Lex was able to rebuild Anbuis's flagship and he is planning to attack Federation member worlds. (Star Trek: Valiant episode: "Damage")
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