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U.S. CBGN-1 Kearsarge class Nuclear Missile Battle Cruiser:

December 22, 2098
The Great Cataclysm begins

Captain Gearing had been proud when he had heard that he had been chosen to be the captain of the United States first Battlecruiser, the Kearsarge. The culmination of a military career that spanned nearly three decades. Back then he had known, deep inside, that it had to be, ever since the plans for the Kearsarge had been announced. The mightiest surface ship build by man, unsurpassed in raw destructive power by all but the new submersible super carriers.

How he had wanted this command, how he had wished for it. He had even estranged his wife and children to get this far, and when he finally got there, they had not been there to see him take command of the ship. And he had not cared.

Now he wished that he had spend more time with them, had showed them that he did care, that he had never been given this command.

All of this went through his head as he watched his second in command, commander Nakajima, decode and read the message that they had received, and he had decoded and read first. When she was finished she looked like Gearing felt. Sick to the bone. And it had nothing to do with the storm outside.

The message dropped out of her trembling hands. “Sir”, she asked, “Why us? Couldn’t anyone else do this?”

“Yes, someone else could.” He answered softly. “And you know just as well as I do that wishing this on someone else would merely saddle that other person with this job, not that it wouldn’t be done. Face it commander, ever since we heard of what happened in the New York arcology, we knew that it was just a matter of time before the United States struck back at these savages. No one kills six million US citizens with bio-weapons and does it without facing the consequences. The wait was just for finding out who did it. We are just the unlucky bastards who got the job of cleaning out the trash.”

“I guess so sir,” she answered, “but this, this is,….. this is,…..bad sir. I know that something must be done, and I will do my job. But how are we going to be better than them, if we do this?”

Gearing didn’t answer right away. His thoughts were in so many different places right now, with his wife, his sons, would he ever see them again? Would they even look at him after this? He thought of his country, his job, his duty and most of all, of what that job and duty required him to do in less than ten hours. Again he wished he were somewhere else, even someone else. Anything so that he would not have to do this, would not have to wait for the next ten hours to pass. Let someone else do this, like the captain of the Vesuvius, who had nearly taken command of the Kearsarge instead of Gearing. But as he had said to Nakajima, someone had to do it, and the hat had been dropped in their lap. In his lap, ultimately.

“I don’t know commander, I don’t know. I’m not fit to judge this, to answer that question.” After a pause he added ”It isn’t final yet commander, it won’t be until the last minute. All we can do is hope for the best, that we will get a recall.”

“Now lets plot in the new course. We still have ten hours and two hundred miles to go. Lets see if we can use the storm to stay undetected for as long as possible.”

Nine hours and fifty minutes later, the Kearsarge had left the storm and its protection behind it. The taskforce of which it was a part had spread out into a formation that normally was only taken as a defense against enemy missile attack, and which provided the best protection against enemy strikes. Still, no declaration of war had been issued, and most of the people in the force were beginning to wonder if this was just a large exercise.

Aboard of the Kearsarge, captain Gearing and commander Nakajima were just unlocking two control panels on the bridge, set well apart from each other. Both of them followed the same regime, submitting to DNA scans and typing in a complex code known only to them. Finally, the boards came alive. Each showed a schematic of the ship, with all of the VLS cells represented by a separate icon. Out of all the 1152 icons, 1088 were marked with a green icon. Twenty-two were unlit, empty. Fifty-two of them were red.

Gearing and Nakajima exchanged haunted looks.

“Lets do it commander.” Spoke Gearing. “We have our orders.”

Both began to type in long command sequences. Even as they were beginning to type, some of the green lights turned yellow, indicating that the weapons officers in the command and control room were also entering the coordinates for their strikes. But the officers in the C&C room could not see the red status lights on their consoles like Gearing and Nakajima could. To the people in C&C, the fifty-two icons were unlit. By the time Gearing and Nakajima had finished the command sequences, eighteen of the fifty-two red icons were blinking furiously.

Whilst they were activating their boards, the president of the United States had appeared on national television with a message of national importance. His words left a already war-torn world shocked. For the first time in more than a hundred years, the USA had declared war on a state in the Middle East. Unlimited war, as a warning to those that had already used nuclear weapons in South America, and to punish those terrorists than had attacked the USA with Bioweapons. This time there would be no quarter given.

As Gearing and Nakajima both inserted their key into the slot on their consoles they both felt curiously alone. Around them the ship shuddered as the first of more than five hundred missiles ripple fired out of the launch tubes, on their way to their targets.

Gearing spoke a single word:“Now.”

Two keys turned, and amongst the hundreds of conventional missiles, eighteen more rose up. Anyone in the battle group who had been able to see all the separate missiles amongst the smoke and fire of their launch would have noticed nothing special about those eighteen. The difference was entirely internal.

Captain Gearing and commander Nakajima closed down their consoles and headed over to their normal stations. Neither could look at the other, and the other persons on the bridge left them alone. Gearing wondered what he would tell his wife, and noticed that it was just past twelve o’clock. What a horrible way to start a new day.

Nakajima thought about the end of her shift, the old 9 mm Beretta in her desk, and an end to her guilt.

The wait for the first of the missiles in the strike to reach their target had begun.

Sixteen minutes after the launch, the first five of the eighteen nuclear missiles they had launched turned the night sky into day, a city into ash, and five million people into vapor. While the fireballs were still rising, more nukes struck their targets, and more souls were torn from their bodies. In the space of less than three minutes, more than twelve million people died.

The very sky over the Middle East wavered with the life force of more than twelve million souls. They joined the millions that had been killed in South America, and in New York. Suddenly a light that eclipsed even that of nuclear fireballs tore the sky apart, and huge lightning like tendrils of fire began to spread out across the heavens. Beneath the crackling fire, the land heaved and shook, and earthquakes began to shake the land far beyond the devastation that nuclear fire had brought. As the quakes spread, more people died, and the fiery lightnings became more intense, more powerful, and extended even further over the land, taking the destruction with them. Within a minute, the first of the fires spreading through the sky reached out over the ocean. Somewhere inside of the light, horrifying shapes moved.


More than three hundred kilometers away, Nakajima looked out of the windows on the bridge with empty eyes. Suddenly she noticed that the sky was getting lighter again, much as it had become for a short while before. But somehow this light didn’t look the same. And as it became stronger, more people on the bridge noticed it.

Captain Gearing spoke up: “Is it me, or is that light coming closer?”.

It was. Even as the words left his mouth, the first tendrils of fire raced over the taskforce. Suddenly the sea became rough again, like they had never left the storm that they had sought refuge in a few hours before. The very air around the Kearsarge howled, and it was like somewhere in that cacophony there were terrible voices. Voices screaming. Screaming out in the agony that they had felt when nuclear fire had stripped the flesh from their bones. Above the Kearsarge, the unearthly lightnings converged, and again the sky split open, like it had over the cities that had died.

Gearing would never see his wife again, to make things right with her. Nakajima would never have time to put a gun to her head.

The Rifts had come. Come for them.


The Kearsarge class Battlecruiser was developed by the United States at the time of great tension before the coming of the Rifts and is similar to a few unusual ideas from the later part of the Twentieth Century. These are the United States Navy Arsenal Ship concept and the Russian Kirov class large rocket cruiser. The Kearsarge class ships were developed for the main purposes of Command and Control and Carrier Missile Defense. In theses roles, the ship is unmatched by any other ship. While the ship is capable in both anti-submarine warfare and shore bombardment, these were not primary purposes in the ship class. The ship was developed from the lessons from the creation of the Delaware class missile cruisers and previous combat lessons. The ships of the class were to be named after distinctive United States Warships. Four ships were originally going to be constructed but the designs were widely spaced not to disrupt carrier construction. The U.S.S. Kearsarge was complete although the second of the class, the U.S.S. Vesuvius, was still being fitted out in Norfolk Naval Shipyards and the third had not been started yet. The third vessel of the class would have been named U.S.S. Monitor. It is very possible that the Coalition could find this ship and rebuild it. It is unknown if the Kearsarge survived the coming of the rifts but due to advanced preservation techniques, the ship could be fully intact if it survived the actual event.

In the late part of the Twentieth Century, the United States Navy worked on the development of a ship known as the “Arsenal Ship.” It would have been a huge ship filled with vertical launchers but would have used the guidance

systems from other ships. Unlike the Arsenal Ship, the Kearsarge class Battlecruiser had a sophisticated and powerful fire control and carries weapons other than vertical launch missile systems and in this was much like

the earlier Russian Kirov class. The Kirov class had been scrapped years prior to the American Battlecruiser and there were no vessels really comparable to the Kearsarge at the time of commissioning. Like the Arsenal Ship, the main weapon systems of the Kearsarge class are a large number of missile vertical launch systems.

The Kearsarge was constructed with a single hull like the Delaware class cruiser but has double bulkheads to resist damage. Some other ship classes were designed with two or three hulls for greater speed and stability. The tough alloys and composites the ship’s hull is constructed from are capable of withstanding several hits from very heavy weapons and the Kearsarge was designed for battle survivability. Even though the ship is large, it was designed with low radar cross signature characteristics and the superstructure in many ways looks like that from the Burke class destroyer without the exhaust stacks. The superstructure is also constructed using radar absorbing materials to further improve the ship’s low radar cross signature.

Coming back into favor during the second half of the Twenty First Century and available during the development of the Kearsarge Battlecruiser, the ship is powered by four nuclear reactors. Fusion reactors were made viable by the middle of the twenty first century and were far less expensive and more efficient that the previous fission reactors. The propellers were adapted from designs used on larger gas turbine vessels and have variable pitch blades. These make the ship maneuver far better than might be expected for a ship its size, has the ability to change from forward t reverse very quickly, and can be changed for greater speed or power as needed. While the ship is large, it is designed to be as quiet as possible and the hull and propellers have a special bubble system that both masks the ships hull and propellers to enable the ship to operate quietly.

For radar, the ship uses an advanced derivative of the Aegis radar and fire control system. This system is basically identical to that carried on the Delaware class and the Coalition advanced Sea King cruisers, with the Coalition copying the design of the radar system from the United States navy. The ship has an advanced hull sonar but unlike the Delaware class does not have a towed array sonar.

The main weapons of the ship are the multiple long range missile launchers. The ship is outfitted with a total of twelve ninety-six cell vertical launch systems with four in front of the superstructure and eight behind the superstructure which makes for an incredible number of missiles. Each cell is capable of carrying one long range missile or two medium range missiles. The launchers are fitted side by side. Each launcher has an automatic reload system than increases the number of missiles the ship carries. The ship has the ability to engage aircraft, missiles, surface targets, and ground targets with these launchers.

The ship has a single eight inch gun for engaging surface and ground targets at close range, reduced from two on the Delaware class. This mount is relatively light and actually was developed in the Nineteen-Seventies although fire control additions would also allow the gun to be fired at air targets. This mount is simple, accurate, rapid firing, and powerful. While a good weapon system, it was planned to replace the standard naval gun with a powerful rail gun or electro-thermal cannon. The removal or reduction of propellant would have increased the number of projectiles the ship could carry.

The Kearsarge carries the same point defense systems that was designed for the Delaware class but the ship carries six mounts instead of four. One was mounted on the front of the superstructure, one was mounted on the back of the superstructure, and two were mounted on either side of the superstructure. The system is a combination of a rapid fire rail gun and a short range missile launcher. The idea is that missiles that leak through the main defense are first engaged by the short range missile launchers and when they get within range will be engaged by the rail guns. The ship has torpedo tubes to engage submarines and also has anti-missile chaff to confuse incoming missiles not destroyed by the other defense systems.

These ships carry a large amount of automation allowing for a fairly small crew and the Kearsarge class Battlecruiser class is almost the size of an Iowa class battleship. As a result, the Battlecruiser is quite comfortable for their crews. Like the Delaware class cruisers, it was decided that instead of relying on just the crew that a small number of marines would be carried as well. These serve to prevent the boarding of the ship but weapons and body armor are also kept for the entire ship’s crew. The SAMAS are generally not equipped with the rail gun but are equipped with the same weapon as the Semper Fi use. As previously stated, these ships were designed as command ships and have special command facilities and flag officer staterooms. The ships do not have facilities or a hanger for maintaining aircraft for a long period but do have a landing pad near the rear of the vessel.

Author Note: With respect to time line, these designs may or may not reflect our modern time line. The time line of these writeups diverged from our time line starting around 1999. Consider the universe that these designs are created for to be an alternate universe not bound by ours.

Model Type: CBGN-1 class Battle Cruiser.

Vehicle Type: Ocean, Guided Missile Battle Cruiser.

Crew: 280; 28 officers, 25 Chief Petty officers, and 237 enlisted (Has a high degree of automation).

Troops: 12 pilots for Semper Fi Power Armors, 12 pilots for SAMAS power Armor, 20 soldiers in body armor.

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

Power Armor Compliment:



USA-PA-04A SAMAS Power Armors.



APA-15 “Semper Fi” Power Armors (with flight packs).

Fighter/Aircraft Compliment:



Helicopters or other VTOL Aircraft (No hanger facilities so usually for limited periods only.)

M.D.C. by Location:





[1] Phase Array Radar Panels (4, superstructure):

400 each.


MK-71D Eight Inch (203 mm) Barrel (1, mount):



MK-71D Eight Inch (203 mm) Gun Mount (forward):



Mk 44 Combination Anti-Missile Defense System (6, superstructure):

200 each.


Mk 59 Ninety-Six Cell Vertical Launcher Systems (12, 4 forward and 8 aft):

750 each.


Quad Torpedo Launchers (2, sides):

50 each.


[2] Chaff Launchers (4, superstructure):

10 each.


VTOL / Helicopter Pad (aft):



Outer Hull (per 40 foot / 12.2 meter area):



[3] Main Body:



[1] Destroying phased array radar panels will destroy the ship’s fire control systems but secondary systems have backup systems and panels can compensate for each other.

[2] These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a “called shot,” but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.

[3] Destroying the main body destroys propulsion and power systems, disabling the ship. The ship is fitted with advanced polymer armors that allow the ship to withstand up to -2.000 M.D.C. before losing structural integrity and sinking. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship.


Surface: 40.3 mph (35 knots/ 64.8 kph).

Range: Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 20 years and requires maintenance as well). Ship carries six months of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:

Draft:    28.8 feet (8.8 meters) for hull and 35.5 feet (10.8 meters) with sonar dome.

Length:  827 feet waterline (252.1 meters) waterline and 848 feet (258.5 meters) overall.

Width:   95 feet (29.0 meters).

Displacement: 25,350 tons standard and 30,100 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: 1,200 tons (1,088.6 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Ship’s officers have more space for personal items. Most of the ship’s spaces are taken up by extra ammo, armor, troops, weapons, and engines.

Power System: 4 Nuclear Reactors, average life span is 20 years.

Market Cost: Not for Sale but if found on the black market would probably cost 2 to 5 billion credits. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.


  1. One (1) MK 71-D Single Barrel Rapid Fire Eight Inch (203 mm) Naval Gun: The cannon is mounted in a turret is the front forward of the ship missile launchers. This gun design was original designed to be used on the late twentieth century Spruance destroyer class but was never actually into military service until much later. The gun was adopted for the Kearsarge class for expediency and was as effective as rail guns in most ways. The last two members of the class were to have replaced the cannon with a rail gun. The cannon fires more rapidly than the eight cannons on the Sea King class and use a fixed powder charge. The eight inch gun can be used against aircraft as well as against surface ships and ground targets. The cannon can also use rocket assisted projectiles for extended range.

    Maximum Effective Range: 20 miles (17.4 nautical miles/ 32.2 km) for standard projectiles. 30 miles (26 nautical miles/48.2 km) for rocket propelled rounds.

    Mega-Damage: Standard Projectiles: 4D6x10 to a blast radius of 50 feet (15.2 meters) for High Explosive, 6D6x10 to a blast radius of 10 feet (3 meters) for High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 8D6x10 to a blast radius of 50 feet (15.2 meters) for Plasma. Rocket projectiles: 3D6x10 to a blast radius of 30 feet (9.1 meters) for High Explosive, 4D6x10 to a blast radius of 6 feet (2 meters) for High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 5D6x10 to a blast radius of 30 feet (9.1 meters) for Plasma. Cannons can also use special purpose warheads, use the statistics for 203 mm artillery warheads (Go to Battlefield Artillery for Rifts for more information - standard or rocket assisted as appropriate) when using artillery rounds.

    Rate of Fire: Four (4) shots for the cannon per melee round.

    Payload: 400 rounds, usually carries 100 High Explosive, 100 High Explosive Armor Piercing, 100 Plasma, 20 Rocket Propelled High Explosive, 20 Rocket Propelled High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 50 Rocket Propelled Plasma rounds. Ship will carry special rounds when employed in artillery roles.

  2. Six (6) Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems: One system is on the front of the superstructure, one system on the rear of the superstructure, and two are on either side of the superstructure. This anti-missile defense system combines both a rapid fire rail gun and a short range missile launcher. While mounted in one system, both defense systems have separate tracking and fire control systems. The short range missile launchers can target up four targets and can fire a volley up to twice per melee. Quite powerful, the rail gun is capable of destroying any missile or inflicting serious damage on aircraft. The rail gun can fire on automatic at up to six targets per melee (Has +3 to strike missiles and +2 to strike aircraft). In its design, the rail gun is very similar to those carried on the Sea King cruiser and it is likely that the Sea King’s rail guns came from a prototype of this system. The system also can be used against other ships and ground targets. The system has a 360 degree rotation and can elevate up to 90 degrees to fire at targets directly overhead.

    Maximum Effective Range: Rail Guns: 11,000 feet (2 miles / 3.2 km). Short Range Missiles: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega-Damage: Rail Guns: 3D4x10 M.D. per burst of 40 rounds (Can only fire bursts). Short Range Missiles: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Rail Guns: Six (6) attacks per melee round. Short Range Missiles: Two (2) attacks per melee round, can fire short range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (4) or four (4) short range missiles.

    Payload: Rail Guns: 8,000 rounds (200 burst) each. Short Range Missiles: Sixteen (16) short range missiles each.

  3. Twelve (12) Mk 59 Vertical Launch Missile Systems: Four launchers mounts are located forward behind the eight inch gun mount and in front of the superstructure. Eight are mounted behind the superstructure but in front of the landing pad. The launchers are mounted in pairs side by side. The system is similar to the vertical launch system employed on many ships in the late twentieth century to launch the SM-2 series missile but since the missiles are smaller they have a reload system that reloads from under the launcher and can reload within 15 seconds. Each launcher have a total of ninety-six individual cells and is twelve cells long by eight cells wide. Each launcher can fire up to half of its payload but vessel is limited to engaging 288 fast moving targets at one time by the ships radar systems. The launcher can use a vast variety of missiles including surface skimming missiles and rocket propelled torpedoes. Each cell can carry one long range missile or two medium range missile. The reload for the cell must carry the same load as the main cell. Long range missiles are normally used against large targets and aircraft further out where the medium range missiles will normally be used to engage closer targets. About half of all long range missiles carried are fusion warheads and most missiles are normally smart missiles.

    Maximum Effective Range: As per long or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega-Damage: As per long or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), sixteen (16), thirty-two (32), or forty-eight (48) missiles per launcher per melee round. Missile cells are automatically reloaded and are ready to fire next melee.

    Payload: Ninety-six (96) missile cells in launcher with reload systems for each cell [1,152 missiles cells total with one reload for each cell.] One (1) long range missile or two (2) medium range missiles may be carried per cell but reload must be the same load out as well. The ship will often carry twenty-four (24) cells in each launcher (288 cells total) with two medium range missiles each and the other cells loaded with one long range missile each.

  4. Two (2) Quad 12.75 inch (324 mm) Medium Torpedo Launchers: Mainly design for anti-submarine warfare but can be used against surface targets. There is one launcher on each side of the ship with four tubes each. The tubes have an automatic reloading system and can be fired quickly. The ships carries a total of 80 torpedoes for reloads. Treat warheads as medium range missile warheads.

    Maximum Effective Range: 20 miles (32 km).

    Mega Damage: By medium torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire medium torpedoes one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) medium torpedoes per side, launcher can fire a maximum of two volleys of torpedoes per melee each launcher.

    Payload: Has eighty (80) medium torpedoes for reloads.

  5. Four (4) Chaff / Decoy Launchers: Located on the superstructure of the ship, they are designed to confuse incoming missiles. All four launchers must be operated or effects will be reduced. Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not be effective against Phase World / Three Galaxies missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles) and reduce effects of launchers by 10% per launcher not used (Add +10% to rolls per launcher not used.) Only useful against missiles, not useful against torpedoes underwater.

    Range: Around Ship.

    Mega Damage: None.



    Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.



    Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)



    No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.

    Payload: Twenty-four (24) each for a total of ninety-six (96) canisters.

  6. Four (4) Advanced Towed Decoys: The vessel carries four advanced towed decoy drones. They are each a small automated vehicle that creates a false sonar image designed to mimic the vessels. The decoy is dragged behind the vessel using a cable. If decoys are not destroyed, they can be recovered and repaired. Rifts Earth decoy systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World weapons due to technological difference.

    M.D.C.: 20 each.

    Range: Not Applicable although decoy is deployed approximately 1,000 feet (304.8 meters) from the vessel.

    Effects: The decoy has an 80% chance of fooling ordinary non military sonars and non smart guided torpedoes, the decoy has a 50% chance of fooling military level sonars (like those of the Coalition) and non “smart” torpedoes, and the decoy has a 25% chance of fooling advanced military sonars (Like those of the New Navy and Triax) and “smart” torpedoes.

    Rate of Fire: One can be deployed at a time and requires two (2) minutes to deploy (reel out) another decoy.

    Payload: Four (4) towed decoys.

Special Systems:

The ship has all systems standard on a robot vehicle plus the following special features:

[ Altarain TM, Bandito Arms TM, Brodkil TM, Chipwell Armaments TM, Coalition States TM, Cyber-Knight TM, Federation of Magic TM, Free Quebec TM, Golden Age Weaponsmiths TM, Horune TM, Iron Heart Armaments TM, Kankoran TM, Kittani TM, Kydian TM, Larsen’s Brigade TM, M.D.C. TM, Mechanoids TM, Mega-Damage TM, Megaversal Legion TM, Millennium Tree TM, Mutants in Orbit TM, Naruni Enterprises TM, Naut’Yll, New Navy TM, New Sovietskiy TM, NGR TM, Nog Heng TM, Northern Gun TM, Phase World TM, Psyscape TM, Rifter TM, SAMAS TM, S.D.C. TM, Shemarrian TM, Splugorth TM, Stormspire TM, Sunaj TM, Tolkeen TM, Triax TM, Wellington Industries TM, Wilk’s Laser Technologies TM, Xiticix TM, and Zaayr TM are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

[ Beyond the Supernatural®, Heroes Unlimited®, Nightbane®, Ninjas & Superspies®, Palladium Fantasy®, and Rifts® are registered trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

Image drawn and copyrighted by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune). & Mischa (E-Mail Mischa). Click on line drawing for a better view.

Mischa has no art home page at present but many other items on my site.

Introductory story by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa).

Vessel writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 1999, 2001, 2002, & 2017, Mischa & Kitsune. All rights reserved.