20 February 2020

Ships of the Line: Raiders, Gunboats, and Marauders

For years, FWS has been diving deep in the starship classes commonly seen in science fiction and real-world water navies. Much of the attention is garishly paid in both to the big sexy warships and carriers, and no worship is paid to the smaller warships…or so it would seem. Some of the most famous starships in sci-fi like the Millennium Falcon and Serenity are not some dreadnought or space battleship, but smaller ships devoted to other missions and roles. When I thought about the mission of these little warships, I thought of the quote by President Kennedy: This is another type of war, new in its intensity, ancient in its origin -- war by guerrillas, subversives, insurgents, assassins, war by ambush instead of by combat; by infiltration, instead of aggression, seeking victory by eroding and exhausting the enemy instead of engaging him. It is a form of warfare uniquely adapted to what has been strangely called "wars of liberation," to undermine the efforts of new and poor countries to maintain the freedom that they have finally achieved. It preys on economic unrest and ethnic conflicts. It requires in those situations where we must counter it, and these are the kinds of challenges that will be before us in the next decade if freedom is to be saved, a whole new kind of strategy, a wholly different kind of force, and therefore a new and wholly different kind of military training.In this installment, in the nearly finished Ships of the Line series, we will be examining some smaller ship classes like gunboats, raiders, and marauders that wage space warfare like a guerrilla or assassin.

What is an "Raider"?
These are fast, light, maneuverable, and well-armed spaceships designed for quick “hit-and-fade” strikes on targets that require more offenisve power than just a FTL-capable spacefighter. While raiders are mostly seen in the hands of more undesirable factions, they can be used officially or unofficially by a government, as we have seen with the Bajoran Militia of DS9. These are prefect ships for black operations, space pirates, and false-flag operations. Due to the relative weakness, they can operate in wolf packs and strike at the soft underbelly of an enemy’s territory during hostilities. However, when directly confronted by larger, more powerful ships, generally, the raider will be forced to retreat or face destruction unless you're an Klingon Bird-of-Prey and you are facing off against the USS Enterprise.  

What is an "Gunboat"?
These little pocket warships devoted and designed to be a mobile weapons platform with everything devoted to offensive performance and little else. This class is armed with weapons that allow the spacebourne gunboat to punch above its weight class and engines to get the vessel into and out of trouble with the hull armor to handle a slug-match. The gunboat can be used for anti-capital ship assaults, softening up planetary targets, planetary siege warfare, and destruction of off-world resources (ship yards, mining platforms, and space stations). This issue with gunboat class vessels is that they lack a peacetime function and they are mission specific. This causes the bulk of space gunboats to be mothballed until wartime and to more limited production than many other combat starships. 

What is an "Marauder"?
The best way to describe a marauder class ship is a larger Raider type vessel that possesses the armaments for direct combat situations, the engines to outrun trouble when outgunned, and the cargo room to store booty from piracy, illegal trading, or blockade running. A great deal of the space pirate warships since in science fiction are more of the marauder type than raiders, due to their larger cargo holds. Some of these ships would be rebuilt or re-purposed other vessels transported into a Marauder class vessel like older merchant ships. This term of these specialized type of starship comes from the designation of the Ferengi Alliance D’Kora class trader/warship that maybe the only “warship” of Ferenginar.

The Real-World Naval Marauders, Raiders, and Gunboats
Like many other space warship classifications, the is a reflection of the sci-fi starships in the current and past ships that sailed the oceans. As one would suspect, the bulk of examples of marauders and raiders come from piracy, privateering, and commercial raiding under take by navies during times of war. Most of the privateering vessels from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries were comprised of older warships and retrofitted commerce ships, and it is likely that starships of these types and roles would be the same. When it comes to gunboats, the class is much more defined and there is a great deal of naval history associated with the term. As many of us known from our time in American History class, the term “gunboat” is paired with “diplomacy” and for good reason.
Gunboats at the time were smaller warships with great maneuvering ability and armaments to bombard coastal targets. It was a tactic at the time to swarm larger warships to overwhelm them by the cheaper gunboats (AKA “gunvessel”). Throughout the 19th century wars, the smaller gunboats were able to bombard coastal targets and traverse rivers that were un-navigable by larger warships. This caused the gunboat to become the “patrol gunboat” over time and was famously used in the Vietnam War as the “brown water navy”.  Recently, the Royal Navy developed and deployed the River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels that have been labeled by the media as “gunboats”.     

Sci-Fi and the Raider, Gunboat, and Marauders Starships
Throughout the realm of science fiction, many different kinds of starships have been cast into the role as the primary spacecraft of a story, like the Enterprise, Serenity, the Far Star, the Razor Crest. While many think that just the big & sexy warships like the Galacticas and the Yamatos, get all of the attention and love; there is just as many stories that feature the smaller starships as the primary vehicle for the story. The Raiders, Gunboats, and Marauders types of spacecrafts are the hero ships of different types of stories that feature space pirates, space traders, bounty hunters, desperate people in desperate situations, lone wolves, and mercenaries. This trend can be seen hinted at with Zarkov's Rocket Ship in the early days of Flash Gordon. It then exploded in the 1970's with anime and manga stories like Cobra and Crusher Joe, that were fueled by our favorite space pirate, Han Solo, and the Millennium Falcon. With these tradition cemented into the popular culture, it has been carried on by characters like Star Lord and his Milano, the Guardians and their jumpships, and Captain Harlock and his Arcadia.  


The Ferengi D'Kora class Marauder from the Star Trek Universe
In the early days of TNG, the Ferengi were being installed as the big bad enemy of the 24th century due to the Klingons being in an alliance with the Federation and the race was developed by Roddenberry and Herbert J. Wright. Wright took inspiration from then current 1980's in American society where greedy, money-making, and material possession were the national obsession. This was directly opposite to the Federation, where money and the massing of material wealth does not exist. During those early days of the Ferengi being the new enemy to the Federation, the only canon Ferengi warship was developed, the D'Kora and it was listed as a "marauder" in the noncanonized 1988 FASA ST:TNG Officer's Manual, but also in canon material as well later on. Some of the design by Andrew Probert of the class was based on a horseshoe crab.  
In the show, the D'Kora class was often cited as somewhat a match for the Galaxy class explorer, and was nearly has large with similar tactical abilities. Most of the D'Kora class was equipped with DE cannons, missile launchers, and even an EMP device to knock down shields and fusion generators to make the target easier prey. The primary role of the class was to be an armed cargo vessel that allowed its master to gain wealth by acts of honest trading or piracy. Speaking to this dual role, a great amount of the D'Kora class interior space was designated for cargo. The physical model of the D'Kora class was constructed by Greg Jein for the upcoming 5th episode of TNG, "The Last Outpost". In that episode, the Ferengi captain, or "DaiMon" surrendered to the Enterprise-D and the "neck" of the vessel extended to reveal sensitive areas of the marauder.
This neck extending trick was only seen once in the show and it was hard to see in the actual episode. Sadly, this awesome alien armed transport vessel was the victim of the move from the original concept of the Ferengi species to what we saw more in DS9. Over the lifespan of TNG, the D'Kora class was only seen a handful of times and was gone completely from DS9, but an CGI model D'Kora class was seen in one episode of Voyager. The ship would pop up in Trek video games, models, and in the card game, it is a rare ship that speaks to a moment in TNG history. One of the promised D'Kora toys by Galoob in their TNG toyline of 1987/1988...which FWS will cover soon. One of the plans was to have several Ferengi ships to enhance the Feregni figures, one was the "Ferengi Fighter" and the other was a six-inch die-cast "Ferengi Battleship" that would have been the counterpair to the Enterprise-D die-cast toy. I badly wanted both back in 1987. With the less-than-expected-sales, the Ferengi Fighter was produced, but the die-hard D'Kora was not. Only five prototypes are in existence of the die-cast crab-like ship.

The Corellian DP20Gunboat from The Star Wars RPG by West End Games
In the pages of the Rebel Alliance sourcebook by West End Games for their Star Wars RPG, there is an oddball variant to the very familiar Corellian CR90 Corvette: the DP20 gunboat. Labelled has a "frigate", the DP20 is actually an gunboat developed and devoted to being a smaller warship that is able to take on larger Imperial vessels with heavy firepower. Armed with all number of quad-laser cannons, turbo-laser cannons and concussion missile tubes, half of the crew of nearly 90 is tasked with manning the weapon systems. This is a classic spacegoing gunboat design and since I've owned this technical manual since high school, this directly impacted my thinking on this classification of warship. 

The Legion Zephyr Gunboat from "On the Edge Vol. 2 & 3" from the Alien Legion Universe
Undoubtedly, one of the best military sci-fi comics of all time is Epic's Alien Legion that has run off-and-on since 1984. In 1990, the comic underwent its 3rd format change with these larger, more expensive ($4.50 in 1990 money) editions that were like mini-graphic novels. Abandoned was the continuing monthly comic series that would never be seen again in Alien Legion history. In the first limited three-part series was the "On the Edge" story about the Legion warship Piecemaker and Force Nomad being trapped around the event horizon of a black hole and the fight for survival around the black hole. Force Nomad allied themselves with a powerful ancient race to escape the black hole, however, during the escape attempt, enemy warship set upon them. Unable to derive power to the weapons, the Piecemaker launched the Legion gunship Zephyr to prevent an attack crewed by volunteers. The powerful little ship attacked and crippled the much larger Varn/Hroth warship, keeping it from the Piecemaker. This was the very foundation of the idea of a spaceborne gunboat for me and its very mission to be an anti-capitol ship spacegoing gun platform formed how I judge all other space gunboats.

The Kazon "Raider" Starship from ST: Voyager

The Kazon race was used by the technologically superior Trabe race as slaves and their masters prompted the Kazon to fight among themselves to prevent them from uniting and overthrown the Trabe. About thirty years before the Federation achieved contact with the Kazon factions, that slave revolt happened and the Kazon split into groups and continued to fight among themselves with the newly acquired Trabe technological. One of the acquired Trabe combat ship classes was the "raider". This small warship was used to mount raids and patrol their space and often operated in groups to take down larger targets, like attacking the superior USS Voyager.
Given that the Kazon took their space fleet from their former masters and their own infighting, the Kazon had not yet developed their own starship classes. This caused the "raider" to be the more primary warship of the Kazon sects given its numbers produced. This was second smallest Kazon warship encounter by the Voyager with the "fighter being the smallest. Over the years, ST fans and sites have wondered if the "fighter" and the "raider" studio models were the same with only slight differences to separate them, but it seems that there were studio models for both that used Dan Curry and David Stipes designs.

The Arcadia Marauder from the Captain Harlock Universe
One of the most iconic characters of the 2nd Wave of Anime into the West was no other than space pirate Captain Harlock. For people of my generation that were into anime at the time, he was the Han Solo of the space anime and a complete badass. Depending on which Harlock backstory you consider "canon", depends on how you view the iconic ship of our beloved space pirate: The Arcadia. Developed by Tochiro Oyama, an 30th century engineer with the Solar Federation, he  constructed the ship that became the symbol of Phantom F. Harlock, a former starhip captain of the Solar Federation warship, the Death Shadow.
When Tochiro and Harlock met and found an ancient family connection, the two set off from occupied Earth to the stars in their marauder pirate warship, the Arcadia. For the most part, the Arcadia is a space battleship that is heavily automated with only a crew of forty needed to run her and it is heavily armed and armored. Given its mission to be independent, there commerce that the ship engages in and piracy, thus, making the Arcadia an marauder...which is a total stretch on my part, but 

The Rebel Alliance A/SF-01 "B-Wing" class Gunboat from the Star Wars Universe
During the Galactic Civil War, the Rebel Alliance developed the most powerful fighter of that conflict to even the odds of the gap between the Imperial Navy and the Rebel Alliance Fleet: The B-Wing. Developed by the Rebel Alliance during a critical time just before the Battle of Yavin IV, the central concept was to develop a fighter-sized gunboat that could bloody the nose of the Empire's frigates and other smaller warships that cost the Rebels so many ships and lives. The project, called "Shantipole" was head by Commander Ackbar and constructed by the insect Verpine aliens. However, Project Shantipole was betrayed by Imperial spies and the entire project was nearly captured by the Imperials if it were not for some brave actions taken by Rebel units and pilots. During the Galactic Civil War, the B-Wing was used to harass imperial supply lines, take down smaller warships, and attack orbital facilities. However, the gunboat performed poorly in dogfights with TIE fighters and needed A-Wing or X-Wing escort support.
Most Star Wars sources list the B-Wing as an bomber or an assault fighter, but given its mission to take on Imperial Naval warships or raid supply conveys along with it massive weapons array, I can also classify it has an "gunboat" as well. Here is my reasoning for classifying the B-Wings as an gunboat. The fighter operate much like sci-fi spacebourne gunboats by being a smaller vessel designed to take on larger targets with a massive weapons package and hyperdrive motivator to escape the battlespace before the TIE fighters flood.
Despite its fangs and ability to take ships vastly larger than itself, the B-Wing was expensive to product, easily outmatched in a dogfight, required expert pilots, and was more limited in tactical application. The original design by the Rebel Alliance was to feature two, with another gunner. The B-Wing was one of my favorite Star Wars fighters, next the A-Wing and even had the Kenner 1984/1985 B-Wing toy with the pilot. It was a massive fighter that was hard to play with, but made a hell of a display piece. The gunboat was developed and designed by Joe Johnson and Bill George. As the story goes, Bill George developed so much of the B-Wing  himself that it was nicknamed "The Bill-Wing Fighter". Due to the design of the fighter, a number of the scenes featuring the B-Wings were cut, but fans love the fighter and it has appeared in Star Wars Rebels and in short-stories with the "Blade Squad" of the Rebel Alliance.    

The Maquis Raider from Star Trek: DS9 and Voyager 
When the Federation sold out some border colonies to the Cardassian Union for peace, the settlers that would not settle someplace else formed an resistance movement called “the Maquis” and fought the Cardassians and sometimes the Federation. This became a home to Bajoran rebels that would not join the new provisional government or just liked a fight. Borrowing and stealing from were ever, the ships of the Maquis were older and more akin to shuttlecraft. The key vessel of the Maquis was their “Raider” that is listed as raider and seen being used as such. There was a small version that was referred to as a “fighter”. This tough little vessel was seen in the service with the Maquis in the excellent TNG episode of “Preemptive Strike”, the “Maquis” two part for DS9 the pilot to Voyager.
This ship was also used by the Federation during the Dominion War as the Peregrine class fighter that was an upgrade to the original Raider. Confused? Yeah…so am I. According to various sources, the original Maquis Raider and Fighter were made and fielded by Starfleet as a courier vessel. When the Maquis were formed, some Starfleet officers joined the resistance like Lt. Commander Kelvin Hudson and may have taken or allowed the Maquis to gain access to these couriers that came in two sizes…maybe short and long range models? It is likely that these “couriers” were phased out for the runabouts.
When the Dominion War came, Starfleet needed everything with an engine, shields, and weapons. That caused, and this is assuming here, that the old couriers were dusted off seeing their usage by the Maquis and given a massive upgrade to become the Peregrine class fighter. This is another case, like the Klingon Bird-of-Prey, were the SFX budget caused the recycling of a starship model to be many things to many roles/stories/races. Some online have wondered if the remains of the Maquis joined up with the cause against the Dominion and those “fighters” in the battles are actually Maquis with Federation upgrades.

The Draconian  Imperial class Frontier Defense Cruiser from Dr. Who "Star Tigers" Comics
Allow me to go off script for a moment…Doctor Who has a funny history for us original US fans. Many of us OG Who fans were in deep in the closet, due to Who not being cool in the general public back then, and we watched it mostly on public television which created somewhat of an issue. Depending on the station of PBS you watched and when, there was a massive lag between the Who that was airing in the UK and the Who airing in the US. For example, in the mid-1980’s, I watched the 4th Doctor when the 6th Doctor on was currently on British airwaves. In addition to this, we US fans also experienced Doctor Who via the iconic Target novelizations or the Marvel Doctor Who comics.
These comics were colored reprints of the Doctor Who Weekly and among the back pages were always smaller series. My favorite was the bloody adventures of Absolm Daak, Dalek Killer. Daak is a violent criminal in 26th century Terran space and is sentenced to a one-way suicide mission to a Dalek world. He survives and makes it to the Draconian Empire. It is there that he meets Prince Salander  and then he meets the prototype Imperial class Frontier Defense Cruiser. The ship was developed by Prince Salander’s own shipbuilding company to counter the growing threat by Dalek’s on their border.
The Prince himself identifies the vessel has a “gunship”.  According to the 1980 comic text, the Imperial was designed for deep space combat, in-atmosphere planetary ground attack and was armed to the teeth with laser cannons, missiles, and nukes. In the comic, the Kill-Wagon, as it was named by Daak, was a powerful little ship that took the fight to the murderous pepper pots. This is a great example of a sci-fi gunboat (gunships, to me, are more like attack helicopters) due to the small scale, crew, but punching way beyond its weight class. 
Bajoran Assault Raider Starship from ST: DS9 
The history of the planet of Bajor and the Bajoran people is an interesting one that does not follow the generalized pattern of worlds like Terra. While the Bajorans were exploring their star system when the New World was being conquered on Terra, they were nowhere near superior to the Federation or the Cardassians in the 24th century technologically. This caused the Bajorans to become victims and slaves to the Cardassians. For the most part, the Bajorans did not have anything close to a capital ship and the primary class of Bajoran warship was a non-warp drive impulse-craft that was used as a raider/patrol vessel by the Bajoran militia. Lightly armed with two DE emitters and limited shielding, these craft were well respected among freedom fighters and terrorists alike and were also seen in the Mirror Universe being used by the rebels. Unfortunately for this little ship that was designed by Jim Martin, the DS9 technical manual got its weaponry wrong due to error that was not found and corrected. Then there is also the issue of the proper name of the ship. Some sources refer to this Bajoran starships as “the interceptor” class, or the “patrol”, or “the Perikian” class.

The Imperial "Star Wing" Assault Gunboat from the Star Wars Universe
When it comes to the iconic starfighters of the Galactic Imperial military, the TIE fighters are the icon and the symbol. These bow-tie shaped craft are very different than the starfigther philosophy of the Rebel Alliance, but there is a point where those two different POVs on the starfigthers of Galactic Civil War meet...and that is with the Imperial Assault Gunboat. This was first scene in the excellent LucasArts 1993 fight-sim X-Wing. The player goes head-to-head with the gunboat in the original game and then gets a opportunity to pilot the gunboat in the sequel to X-Wing, Star Wars: TIE Fighter. While deadly in the game, the in-universe discussion is that the Star-Wing was not successful was replaced by newly heavier TIE "Defender" fighter class.

The Black Marauder from "Unification Pt. I" from ST:TNG 
One of the best two-parters in TNG history is the 1991 "Unification" and during the first part, the USS Enterprise is investigating Vulcan parts from the T'Pau being found in a crashed Ferengi vessel.This takes them to the Federation scrapyard and when more ships are missing, the Enterprise lays in wait. Soon, a mysterious heavily armed unidentified marauder arrived to take the place of the missing ship and is stealing beam-in spare parts. When confronted by the Enterprise-D to uncover its connection to the missing Vulcan ships, the Black Marauder attacks and is nearly a match for the Galaxy class Explorer. However, the weapons cargo in the marauder's cargo holds was unstable and when the Enterprise fired phasers, it set off interior explosions and the heavily armed pirate ship exploded.
Behind scenes, this mysterious craft was based on the familiar TNG model, called "the Jovis" based on the freighter used in the TNG episode "The Most Toys". This iconic model was designed and built by Gregory Jein. According to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, this model may have been heavily modified from the Husnock warship studio model repeatedly for various alien spacecraft. The original model measuring 25inches × 14inches and was listed in the massive  40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection auction. It would sell for $4,800, which was about the top of the estimate. While we did not get a good look at the Black Marauder in the TNG episode, the model was reused in the Voyager episode "Warlord" and Eaglemoss made a die-cast model of the ship and called it "the smuggler combat vessel." This is the best view we've had of the mysterious black ships that was oddly compelling for me.

The Guardian Jumpship Raiders from the Destiny Universe
For many, Destiny is a maddening experience that was shaped by promises not kept and hints of greatness. One of the most unused items in the game was the Guardians' "jumpships" that serve as mere objects in loading screens and some cinematic. In the original game, Jumpships can be bought from Amanda Holliday in the Tower after the original Jumpship is located and a hyperdrive is also located. Certain models and colors of Jumpships are based on faction and expansion packs. There is no difference, save for cosmetic, between the various Jumpships, and they seem to be a broken element of the game. In the game lore, the Jumpship is a FTL personal raider that is used by Guardians in pre-and-post fall times to travel throughout the solar system and wage war on the enemies of man.

The B'rel Class Bird-of-Prey Raider from Star Trek
One of the most impressive, loved, and celebrated (and overused) non-Federation starships is the Klingon Bird-of-Prey (BoP). Designed by Nilo Rodis of ILM for ST: III the Search for Spock, it was an arresting design that has been heavily  reused for Trek works of all media types for the next few decades. In the lore of the Trek universe, the original concept Klingon Bird-of-Prey was a joint project between the Romulan and Klingon empires during their military pact against the Federation. In the Romulan navy, their Bird-of-Prey is known as an “S-11 BoP cruiser” and in the Imperial Klingon Defense Force, the BoP is known as “K-22 BoP scout” and were designed for scout and raiding missions.
Then things got complicated…Due to the popularity of the Klingon Bird-of-Prey and the limited SFX budget of the TNG TV show, the model for the BoP was heavily used and to attempt to solve the issue when the BoP, which is listed as a “scout/raider” of only 110 meters, was seen out of scale; the writers of TNG made a new supersized BoP design: the K’Vort class heavy cruiser that was first mentioned by name in “Yesterday’s Enterprise” and mostly used after for the bulk of the BoP class seen on-screen. However, the scale of the BoP is completely out of whack and there is an entire article about it on Ex Astra Scientia. For the smaller, B’rel scout/raider, the vessel has been used to wage rapid offensive actions as seen in ST III: TSFS, and even seen in wolf packs to take down larger prey. During the Klingon/Cardassian War, Dukat acquired an BoP of his own and used to conduct independent raids on Klingon targets around 2372.  There is some evidence that the Dukat BoP was an B’rel.

Orion Interceptor Class Raider from ST: Enterprise
The Orions have always a mysterious race in Trek and never seemed to get their due until Enterprise when the Orions were featured more extensively during the excellent Augment storyline. Given their role as slavers, traders, and pirates, the Orions used fast moving, heavily armed raider spacecraft to take what could make a profit and what could be teleported away. While these raiders were very different than the FASA Orion ships, I am a big fan of the hawk-like design of the Orion intercpetor class.

The “M Ship” Raider from the Marvel Cinematic Universe
One of the popular starships in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the small ships used by the space pirate Ravagers, especially Peter Quill’s personal Ravager starship Milano. These are called “M Ship” in the various sources and are extensively used by the Ravagers as their method for conducting raids and other illegal black market commerce.  These can be controlled by as little as one pilot or a full crew of 3-5 with limited cargo room, making them more suited for quick assaults than booty gathering.
While the Ravager use a central mother ship as their “home”, some Ravagers, like Peter Quill seem to use their M Ship Raiders as their home and sleep on the ships, giving these vessels some long-range extensive usage. It also seems that the Ravagers are all assigned to an M Ship raider. When it comes to offensive capabilities, there is very little on the armament of the vessel besides what is seen on-screen. During the battle in the Xandar skies against Ronan, several Ravager M Ships use what appears to be twin mounted KE machines guns in the nose of the M Ships. Some of the raiders in the battle have increased weapon pods, but the weapon appears to be the same: some sort of kinetic machine gun. These lovely and wonderful designed raider starships have been much loved by fans, including myself that has a Milano on the FWS desk.

The "Gunship" of the Galactic Empire from Legends of  Galactic Heroes Universe
One of the best and most involved/developed military science fiction animes is the expansive Legends of Galactic Heroes. Dozens of spaceborne warships are seen in this fictional universe and they do have a gunboat type. The little cubed Imperial craft is designed to delivery deadly force onto enemy targets via anti-ship missiles and KE railguns or even DE cannons. This is transported to the battlefield via a carrier vessel due to their lack of FTL drive and only has a crew of one. While fitted with engines and heavy armament, these were a risky vessel to be assigned due to their lack of shielding and this may have been a suicide mission. Several of these gunships could punch a hole into enemy lines or create holes in battlelines to allow for opportunity to break the enemy's lines. Like most sci-fi gunboats, these are centered around their armament and its ability to take on larger targets.   

Next Time on FWS...
For years, FWS has been exploring and explaining the possible root causes of future wars and conflicts. It is high time that we discussed one of the most important elements that is predicted to be the genesis of many future wars here on Terra and possibly on off-world colonies: sources of water. Join us soon (with a big tall glass of ice water) for What We Will Fighter Over: Water!