The Stonehenge network was built between 1994 and 1999 after the discovery of 1986VG1 Ulysses' collision with Polyphemus in the orbit of Jupiter, having been conceived as a desperate measure to minimize the potential damage of the asteroids' fragments impacting Earth. The bases and their technology were developed under an international scientific megaproject involving multiple countries, including the world's superpowers.
Since diverting the individual trajectories of each fragment was impossible, the complexes were erected in strategic sites near heavily populated urban areas across the five continents to ensure their safety. The first prototype, Stonehenge Type-0, was built in China, passing tests and leading to the creation of five additional complexes: Type-1 in the United States, Type-2 in Australia, Type-3 in Turkey, Type-4 in Namibia and Type-5 in Argentina. Some referred to the latter five as Type-5s, since the facilities were nearly identical.
The six Stonehenge facilities engaged Ulysses fragments as they entered the atmosphere in July 1999. Their efforts prevented mass extinction of humans, but despite the number of facilities, Stonehenge was unable to prevent massive damage from being inflicted on the world. Numerous casualties were incurred, many became refugees, and the world's superpowers began to crumble.
In May of 2019, amidst a series of armed attacks against the United Nations in Asia and Europe, Stonehenge Type-3 was commandeered by anti-UN militant groups using a UNF operation to rescue the Greymen from a Wernher and Noah Enterprises arms plant in Iyuli, nullifying air superiority in Eastern Europe and the western Middle East. The railguns were immediately thereafter aimed and fired on the area in a possible test run, killing several fighter pilots and forcing the Bone Arrow and Ridgeback teams to escape through the local ravine.
The gravity of the situation caused the UNF to respond with a joint air and ground mission between UNICS mercenaries and UNF tank battalions in July 8, with the aim of destroying the railguns and rendering Type-3 inoperable. Despite heavy shelling and casualties forcing the cancellation of the planned land siege, the guns were ultimately destroyed by Reaper of the Bone Arrows after piercing through the fortress' defenses, although the fall of Stonehenge was falsely attributed to the Ridgebacks.
It is unclear whether any of the other installations were seized by USEA or otherwise involved in the conflict.
Reconstruction of Type-3
At some point during the Eurasian war, the Type-3 complex was reclaimed by Usean forces, who rebuilt the destroyed railguns and returned it to operational status. The guns were destroyed by United Nations mercenaries in a second mission in Anatolia, and was reconstructed once more as the upgraded "Red Ring" model before being disabled again-
Following the attack on the second version, Type-3 was reinforced by USEA troops and rebuilt in final form under the name "Gold Ring", which boasted heavily armored railguns.
Design detailsNearly identical to the original weapon from the Strangereal universe, the Stonehenge facilities were built in semi-enclosed circular cement foundations divided into eight sectors housing giant railguns, the main weapons to engage the Ulysses asteroid cluster. Unlike their fictional counterpart, the guns were manned by human operators from cabins on both sides of their base.
The railguns fired special thermobaric ammunition designed to disintegrate targets by spreading a flammable fuel in the impact site detonated by secondary charges, generating a massive explosion capable of killing people or destroying vehicles caught by the following shockwave.
Each individual complex conducted aiming with the aid of geosynchronous satellites in orbit, which monitored attack targets and relayed information to their respective sites for optimal accuracy. One particular satellite, Menhir-3, was the one associated with Stonehenge Type-3, and was also seized by militants along with the complex itself. The satellites were covered by the Comprehensive Space Warfare Ban Treaty, illegalizing attempts by states or military contractors to attack them with destructive purposes.