Gallihop is another major space port owned by the Gudersnipe Foundation, considered on par with Utopia Gregaria and Naupactus in importance. While Gallihop was used to build some capitol-class starships at various points during the Kamian Succession Wars, it is not officially regarded as a shipyard. Its primary function is as a maintenance and wrecking site. Gallihop Gregaria, and Naupactus make up the three main points along the Steel Road.
The facility is outside the Utops Cluster, but just barely. With Gregaria and Naupactus inside the region, it is the only such major spaceport that is publicly accessible.
Gallihop is a binary star system with two Main Sequence stars of roughly equal mass.
Inner Solar System
The inner solar system is home to six rocky planets. Four are in the habitable zone in eccentric orbits (the fifth planet actually dips out of the habitable zone briefly for two months, every ten years). The other two planets have very fast, tight orbits, with high surface temperatures. If starship construction were ever to begin in earnest, these two would most likely supply raw materials.
Three of the four habital planets required partial Terraforming. Though these worlds had breathable atmospheres, they did not have the ability to support large populations. The Gallihop terraforming project is interesting in that it necessitated importing over six hundred million cubic miles of water to the solar system. This was accomplished by using terraforming ships to transport icy bodies from neighboring solar systems.
Gallihop IV has been inhabited since the pre-dynastic period, probably into the Age of Darkness. Locally, the world is simply called Gallihop, with the solar system and shipyard named for the planet. Gallihop IV boasts many ancient cities and important archaeological sites. Interestingly, no one knows exactly who its original inhabitants were; for the planet was abandoned at least twice during the Mage Wars, and had a population of only two hundred thousand when the Foundation bought the solar system in the early Golden Age. The bulk of the population re-located (solar systems are expensive, even when the money is split two hundred thousand ways), and the Foundation brought in new settlers.
The total population of the four planets is roughly twenty-two billion.
The asteroid belt is the location of Gallihop Prime and the various other sites that make up the yard. Several orbital habitats exist in the area, with regular commuter service to the stations. Gallihop Prime is the largest, with five million full-time residents and several hundred thousand daily commuters. The second largest site, Gallihop Minor, has a population of one million. All told, about a billion people live and work in the belt.
The seventh planet is a small, rocky body past the orbit of the asteroid belt. The planet has virtually no atmpshere and is well outside the habitable zone. However, it is very rich in mineral resources, and as such is home to numerous mining operations on the surface. It is one of only a handful of such planets, with nearly a hundred million full-time residents working a variety of claims.
A super gas-giant with hundreds of moons, Gallihop IX is among the few such worlds that boasts a naturally-inhabitable moon. Two other moons were terraformed. The moon is coloqually reffered as 'Gix' for its location around the ninth planet in the Gallihop system. For some time, it was actually Gallihop's ninth moon as well. Then, in A.Y. 4999, the first moon, for reasons that still have not been determined, fell out of orbit. After some argument, in A.Y. 51, the remaining moons were officially re-numbered.
Gallihop X, XI, XII
Starting at nearly twice the distance from the the sun as Gallihop IX, the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth planets are a series of ice giants existing in nearly perfect orbits. These three planets are also nearly identical. Though there are notable similarities in composition and satellites, the mass and other factors are all almost exactly the same, leading to these three planets being dubbed "The Triplets".
During the Succession Wars, the tenth planet was home to a garrison on one of its moons, and a forward-deployed wing of Harpies. When the outer solar system fell, the Kamians left a massive automated defense satellite behind, along with millions of space mines. Most of the mines were eventually cleared, but the satellite, with an operational range of ten AU, was simply deemed "Too costly" to remove, and the region was simply avoided for the next eighty years.
The eleventh planet is where the Kamians scuttled four capitol ships too badly damaged to salvage. One ship was later retrieved by the Foundation and taken to Gudersnipe School for study. Why the Kamians chose to scuttle the ships, rather than destroy them (as is their typical procedure) is unknown.
The very distant twelfth planet was seldom visited and never had much importance. The Foundation rebuilt its garrison there following the battle, but abandoned it again by the end of the war, choosing instead to base its forces in the asteroid belt and carry out patrols, rather than maintain a forward-deployed base.
The thirteenth planet is notable not for any specific features, but for its size; and it managed to go undiscovered until the late Sixth Age.
Gallihop XIII is about double again the orbit of Gallihop XII (around 200 AU), with a large, icy region between the two, traversed by several small icy bodies not generally regarded as planets (while the Foundation has no set definition for 'planet' beyond 'round and orbiting a star', c'mon, these are just stupid ice chunks).
The size is about eighty percent that of Gallihop XII, with very different composition and color, the planet is still regarded as an ice giant, and one of the most distant from its sun. The planet was missed because of this enormous distance; ships exiting FTL typically came out within the orbit of Gallihop X. Even battle groups within formation seldom exited FTL further out than GXI.
During the Succession Wars, numerous patrols, looking for Kamian spies, went very far afield. A common Kamian tactic was to drop out of FTL in the outer solar system and approach at sub-light speeds, so coalition forces learned to patrol these regions, even with just small, lightly armed patrols.
After Gallihop XIII was formally identified and charted, historians checked through the sensor logs of patrols, noting that the planet had actually been detected thousands of times by Crimson Blade patrols, some as far back as A.Y. 6114. Logs even indicate that one scout ship briefly entered orbit in A.Y. 6208, and the region the planet would have been in was even briefly listed as a "navigational hazard" on charts circulated from 6211-6213.
The eventual response from the Foundation was a collective "our bad". The incident is often sited as a prime example of the Foundation putting weapons science above much more important science, like noticing large planets in your backyard.
Unlike most space facilities, Gallihop is built on and inside of a verge large asteroid, with stardocks excavated out of solid rock. The asteroid is around four hundred miles across, and the base goes all the way through. The primary facility, Gallihop Prime, has three hundred star docks and is capable of docking ships up to the Battleship size. Since the main facility primary supports smaller ships that can double and triple up in the docks, it can sometimes have as many as seven hundred vessels inside. Gallihop also contains a city of around five million people.
Because Gallihop's stardocks are inside the asteroid, the addition of double-sealed doors was felt to render them "safe". While most stardocks can be pressurized, Gallihop's docking bays are actually regarded as a shirt-sleeve environments (that is, a space in which workers can wear their normal clothes, and do not require pressure suits). This is made possible with a double set of doors, a system of "locks" within the main shaft, and emergency forcefields. The barrier of the astroid also protects the interior from solar radiation. Gallihop contains the largest shirt-sleeve stardocks known to exist.
The use of a shirt-sleeve environment is highly preferable for repairs; workers inside ships do not have to be concerned with hull breaches, and workers outside can work much faster with far greater dexterity. Gallihop further offers micro-gravity, not much, but enough that most workers find it easier to adjust than full-on zero gravity environments. Flexible crains and robotic arm systems provide the rest. For starship construction, where most work is pre-fabricated in smaller sections, this sort of environment is not neccessary, but for repairs and refitting, it is highly preferable.
Gallihop's main facility was so successful, in fact, that when it came time to expand, the Foundation chose to copy the design through a number of smaller subsidiery sites. The typical layout consists of a large rock-cut square on the asteroid surface. This includes the stations operations centers, cargo recieving, and docking facilities for none-stardock bound ships. Within the square is a decending shaft. Stardocks open from the shaft. If the shaft is deep enough (as at most Gallihop sites), a series of "locks" or additional pressure-sealed doors are added at mid-sections, and only opened when a ship is going through. These provide extra protection in case a seal breaks on a stardock.
The additional sites, added after the aquisition of Gallihop, were build with even larger stardocks, and can support the largest capitol ships fielded to date.
Gallihop was built some time during the Mage Wars, by the M'KHara or some now-lost space-faring civilization. It was fought over, abandoned, destroyed, and rebuilt several times before the Golden Age, with few, if any accurate records kept.
Early in the Golden Age it was purchased by the Gudersnipe Foundation, and extensively expanded. Though ship construction did take place, the goal was never to use Gallihop as a main shipyard.
There was little change at Gallihop during the Ages of the Alliance. The site was repeatedly expanded and new capabilities added. Gallihop's primary function was refitting and repairing damaged vessels. Its proximity to the infamous Colony Lun made it a prime destination for retired ships. By the Second Age, Gallihop was the Foundation's primary shipwrecking facility.
During much of the Success Wars, the facility was used to build battleships off and on. Primarily it focused on re-fitting old vessels, but they did build several from scratch. Intense pressures on manpower and materials made ship construction at Gallihop impractical, but not impossible.
The Fall of Gallihop in A.Y. 6800, just six months before the battle of the Don't Pass Line, was considered the darkest moment. A massive Kamian Fleet staged a lightning-fast sneak-attack. At the time, the Crimson Blade new the Kamians were close, but hopped they would bypass Gallihop in favor of finally penetrating the Utops Cluster.
They were wrong.
The attack came so suddenly that the only combat-ready assets at Gallihop were its meager home guard, and a few scattered pieces of battle groups left behind when the main First Fleet launched a massive counter-offensive a week earlier. The workers at Gallihop consripted every able-bodied hand they could find, and pressed every starship even remotely capable of space flight into service.
Called "The Scrapyard Fleet", they fought a desperate, grueling three-day battle against the Kamians. Armaments were in extraordinarily short supply, the most effective weapon they had were the ship hulls themselves. Any ship with a working sublight system and not a lot else going for it was rigged for remote guidance and used a weapon. Many ships made suicide runs.
Combat was particularly tumultuous for the scrapyard fleet; they knew from the beginning that they had no hop whatsoever of victory, and most that served were not millitary personnel - just common laborers and construction personnel, piloting hastily constructed ships in makeshift battle groups. They fought with everything they had, gave their lives, knowing that at the very best, they might hold back the Kamians long enough for the First Fleet to arrive and, maybe, route the Kamians.
The main Gallihop facility was razed on the first day, with most of the larger subsidiaries following on the second. By the third day the battlefield was a barely-navicable hell of rebris and crippled starcraft. It was only in this environment that the Kamians deployed their most dreaded of all weapons: the God-type mobile suits.
Gallihop's scrapyard fleet had mostly construction mecha, but there was a small handful of space-worthy battle mechs. The seventeen-hour skirmish on the third day of combat was the bloodiest of all. The scrapyard fleet lost every single mech they threw at the Kamians, & every strategic position they had in the astroid belt, and could do little but watch as five different Kamian bomber goups penetrated the lines and made attacks on the populated planets in the inner solar system.
By the end of the third day, the whole of Gallihop was in ruins, the defenders were reduced to only a small handful of barely functioning, non-FTL-capable starships, one working warship, and not a single missile or torpedo to their name. The survivors were ready to fight back in hand-to-hand combat, but the Kamians preferred to destroy their few remaining installations at range.
With few survivors and nothing left of the defenses, the First Fleet was still forty hours away. Gallihop's space-faring population had suffered over 90% loses, and the death toll in the inner solar system was in the billions. The Kamians had won, but rather than persist and seize the inhabited planets, they withdrew. Records recovered after the war indicated the withdrawal was strategic: the attack force had successfully wrecked Gallihop's ability to contribute to the war effort, and left behind enough survivors to make it clear who the victors were.
Gallihop remained a dark stain on the Crimson Blade's honor, until it was paid back in full, six months later at the battle of the Don't Pass Line.
Gallihop was refitting ships again within four months of the attack. While most of the facilities had been destroyed beyond all hope of repair, the location was still strategically important, so the Foundation brought FTL-capable portable star docks from Utopia Gregaria and towed in several orbital habitats so that work could resume.
The Kamians left behind several mine fields and a large, automated defense satellite in the outer solar system. Immediately after the battle, these areas were simply deemed as "no go" regions and left alone. While the mine fields were eventually cleared, the satellite was not removed for more than 80 years. Still operational, it was destroyed by the Saratoga.