The Grand Cross (or Mobile Battleship Grand Cross (機動戦艦グランドクロス, Kidōsenkan Gurandokurosu)) is a type of experimental ship that was responsible for a series of attacks on pirate ships in the frontier systems. Its captain is Quartz Christie.
The Grand Cross has a multiple hull structure similar to a catamaran, with two hulls joined together by a section in the middle.
Central SectionEditThe central section consists of a platform that joins the two hulls. In the middle of it are several arches that contain a rotating sphere with an open section which has a glowing turbine-like spiral. On the central rear arch, there is a spherical cannon. Behind it is a spike-like engine. When the Grand Cross is using gravity control, the front of the platform extends, revealing a red inner section.
The two hulls have a long streamlined shape, with a smooth wide upper section, and a thin lower section (similar to the hulls of certain boats). There are spherical beam cannons situated in grooves on the hull - two at the rear and two facing forward, one on the upper side and one on the lower side. There are a series of lights leading up to the forward-facing cannons on the upper side. There are various grooves and lines on the hull that light up when the ship is active, as well as several patterns and markings. At the rear of the hull is a spike-like engine. When the Grand Cross is using its gravity control systems, the centre of the hull open up, the sections separating to reveal a sphere with red inner workings surrounding it.
The Grand Cross's central block consists of a maze of corridors around the bridge, guarded by various robots.
At the centre is a large room with a purple hue. A large retractable dilating column in the middle houses the pilot's seat. The seat is in a set of circular frames in a sphere shape that allows the seat to rotate in all directions. When in flight, the column is sealed and information is displayed on the white interior screen. The pilot controls the Grand Cross via a direct interface in the covered handrests. If the pilot needs to escape, the seat and part of the surrounding frame can be ejected through the roof of the column.
Each of the three Grand Cross ships have red inner workings and yellow inner spheres. The spheres have the same purple-pink glow, as do the engines. However, the external colour scheme does differ between them; Grand Cross α is primarily white with light blue-green outlining, Grand Cross β is dark blue-grey with pink lines and Grand Cross γ is grey with yellow lines.
Technology & Combat CharacteristicsEditAs a possible prototype for future warships, the Grand Cross possesses formidable combat capability and highly advanced systems. The ship can shift between horizontal and vertical orientation depending on its requirements. It has several rotating beam cannons as well as hundreds of smaller gunports that can be used when the ship is vertical to unleash a devastating storm of beams. It also has a gravity wave shield that protects the ship from energy beams, and well as substantial electronic warfare capabilities .
One of the Grand Cross's greatest assets is its gravity control technology. This allows the ship to move as fast as a fighter over large distances and also perform rapid zigzagging, enabling the ship to quickly get into a position to overwhelm enemies with a close-range barrage .
However as formidable as these weapons are, the Grand Cross also has several major weaknesses. Its gravity wave shields are effective against beams, but are less effective against physical projectiles and won't last long under sustained wide-area missile bombardment . Also, the ship frequently powers down after significant use of its combat systems  , leaving it vulnerable. The zigzagging usually follows a pre-set pattern so if an enemy has sufficient data, they can predict the ship's path.Most of the onboard systems are automated, allowing a single person to pilot the ship and several other ships remotely using a direct interface. Robots are stationed aboard to guard against intruders. This ship is also equipped with a self-destruct mechanism and has a fighter ready should the pilot need to escape . The Grand Cross has three spike-like engines at the rear of the ship, which produce a purple glow when active. A pink glow envelops the ship when it is zigzagging via gravity control. When using radar/electronic warfare systems, a dark pink pulse is emitted from the open section of the sphere on the central platform.
It isn't known who designed the Grand Cross. At the time of its appearance, at least four companies were working on classified projects, constructing warships with gravity control capabilities for the Galactic Empire. The captain for the battleship was Quartz Christie, who began training to operate it sometime shortly before Gonzaemon's 'death' . In order to gather combat data, Quartz began attacking pirates in the frontier systems, striking once a week for at least a month or so .
Pirate Hunter Arc (Anime-Only)Edit
The Grand Cross's first appearance in the series has it attacking the Silver Fox, a heavily armed pirate ship which was the equivalent of military heavy cruiser class. Not much of the battle is shown but it is known that the Silver Fox was destroyed. Three days later, the crew of the Bentenmaru met to discuss the pirate hunter's attacks. As the attacks were nearing the Tau system and there was a possibility that the Bentenmaru might be targetted, Marika Kato decided to request Show to arrange for them to escort another pirate vessel, the Big Catch, providing extra firepower against the hunter while satisfying the conditions for their Letter of Marque .
During the mission, the Grand Cross emerged from subspace and attacked the Big Catch's fleet which had moved forward ahead of the Bentenmaru. The Grand Cross quickly scored hits on the Crocus, Hyacinth and Clover, as well as beginning electronic warfare on the ships. It then shifted to vertical position and maintained fire on the Big Catch, breaking through the beam dispersers and damaging its missile pod. The Grand Cross then briefly fell silent. The Big Catch decided to take this opportunity to escape, however the Grand Cross soon powered up again and activated its gravity control systems .
The ship then shocked both its opponents by rapidly zigzagging to in front of the Big Catch, prompting Captain Stone to describe it as a "monster". The Grand Cross then opened its gunports and unleashed a devastating barrage of beams, completely decimating the Big Catch and its fleet . Before it could make a move against the Bentenmaru, another ship, the Parabellum, touched down and opened fire. The Grand Cross's shield took the beams without difficultly but the ship was shaken by the missile bombardment. After the attack had stopped, the Grand Cross retreated using its zigzagging.
Following this attack and the loss of the Big Catch, Kenjo Kurihara decided to hold a meeting of pirates with Letters of Marque to form an alliance against the pirate hunter. Marika found the son of the legendary chef, who broadcast the pirate's song. Hearing this summon, a number of pirate ships set sail for the Pirate's Nest.
En route to the Pirate's Nest, the Bentenmaru was ambushed by the Grand Cross which had information on the Bentenmaru's course from an android spy disguised as Luca. After touching down, the Grand Cross commenced electronic warfare and fired its main cannons at the Bentenmaru. The Bentenmaru evaded the beams, maintaining distance from the Grand Cross and counterattacking with its cannons, waiting for a chance to get enough distance for an FTL jump .
After waiting for a while, the Bentenmaru turned and fled, planning to lure the Grand Cross into using its gravity control. In response, the Grand Cross shifted position and began zigzagging towards the Bentenmaru which made a 180 degree turn to meet them. The Grand Cross tried to get above the Bentenmaru, unsuccessfully, and fired all its beam cannons as the Bentenmaru sped towards them, severely damaging the ship. However the Bentenmaru made it through the barrage and passed the Grand Cross, out of its firing range. The Grand Cross then powered down and made no attempt to pursue the pirate ship .
The Grand Cross destroyed a number of pirate ships that were headed for the Pirate's Nest, among them the Southern Island. The Bentenmaru was the only ship to escape it .
Following the meeting at the Pirate's Nest, the pirates issued a challenge to Quartz Christie for a battle near where the Bentenmaru came across the Golden Ghost Ship. Quartz brought three Grand Crosses to meet the pirates, piloting the Alpha Prototype as previously and flying the other two remotely. Shortly after touchdown, the ships began electronic warfare, being evenly matched with the pirates who had synched their ships together and were working in tandem. The Grand Crosses then began firing their main cannons at the pirates .
After a while, Grand Cross β engaged its gravity control systems and began zigzagging towards the El Santo. Having seen it zigzagging previously, Coorie was able to predict its pattern and warn the other ships. Grand Cross β attacked the El Santo and its escort ships causing damage. However Witherspoon had the escort ships self-destruct and surround Grand Cross β with a chaff field, disabling Quartz's visual display. The Viracocha and several other ships, knowing the Grand Cross's shields were susceptible to physical projectiles, began a wide-area bombardment. One of the other Grand Crosses moved to support Beta however it was intercepted by Low of War, Dark Star and Love Machine. The shield fell to the pirate's missiles and Beta was destroyed .
Grand Cross γ zigzagged to avoid enemy fire and was caught in another chaff field. Quartz had Gamma exit the field but on its way out it was intercepted by the Barbaroosa which fired its lower section into the ship. The missile then melted Grand Cross γ from the inside out. With two ships down, the pirates focused their fire on Grand Cross α. The Bentenmaru moved forward to attack and Quartz, enraged at Marika, had Alpha zigzag towards it, firing at several ships en route. The Bentenmaru dodged fire from Grand Cross α, which was rammed by the Shangri-La .
A boarding party including several captains boarded the Grand Cross, fighting past the onboard robots. Marika, Schnitzer and Hyakume managed to reach the control room and confronted Quartz. After a few words, Quartz escaped, having set the ship to self-destruct. The boarders retreated to the Shangri-La which pulled back as Grand Cross α was destroyed .
Fever Mouretsu Pirates (Game-Only)Edit
Quartz and the Grand Cross appear as opponents for Marika and the Bentenmaru in the game's eighth Galaxy Episode. Depending on circumstances, the two face each other either in a swordfight or ship-to-ship, with the outcome resting on the player's actions . An altered version of the final battle between the pirates and the Grand Cross also appears as an Episode Reach event .
- Grand Cross α (self-destructed)
- Grand Cross β (destroyed by missile bombardment from multiple ships)
- Grand Cross γ (destroyed by Barbaroosa)
- In astrology, a grand cross is an occurrence involving four planets entering a position where they are separated from each other by square aspects (90 degrees apart), forming a cross.