Displacing approximately 30 tons, the ubiquitous ship's boat is a common sight across explored space. Based on a design from many years ago, it has long been a favourite for budget conscious operators, who can appreciate it's relatively low cost and high manoeuvring performance.
Measuring over 25 metres in length, the bay accommodating the ship's boat is a dominant feature of the Storm class fast transport. It occupies a significant part of the lower forward hull, which also encloses all the crew quarters, bridge, avionics and the cargo hold. A weakness among many of the Storm class is the position of the bay, which prevents any kind of transfer of cargo that is not already palletised for movement through standard sized corridors. While the Storm class is supposed to be a specialised package delivery platform into hostile territory, we were often forced to perform awkward orbital or ground based gymnastics to move cargo into the boat.
One such mission was to the deep system hideout of the Grand Ocean Cartels. We had little reputation at the time, other than Captain Rhand's strong bargaining position. Trading the relatively vulnerable Thunderbolt for the flimsy ship's boat with no armour or weapons does little to calm a nervous spirit like mine, especially as we drifted into the docking bay of the vicious and rapacious pirates from Seven Sisters.
That particular mission passed without incident, but never again did we face the Grand Ocean Cartel from such a position of weakness. Rhand capitalised very quickly on her links with the Lazloi and the enhanced capabilities of her ship, allowing her to drive harder bargains and gain greater rewards. The Thunderbolt accompanied us on all those encounters, but the Cartel grew increasingly wary of it.
That was over ten years ago, at least in the timeline measured outside the strange continuum of the Hypersurface. Now the Thunderbolt is destroyed, and the last few months have been aboard the various craft of the Lazloi. Our latest ride is the 'Raven Claw', a deco-styled craft similar to 'Aradhwaen's Grace', a craft of unimaginable power and protection. Pushing its jump drives to the limit, we are speeding across the Echolian Autocracy towards where we started. The mission we began all those years ago to find the relics and artefacts linked to the gates on Hycaron II is not complete. After our first foray into the enemies domain, we had hoped the Lazloi home world would have helped us, but the white haired race is convulsed by rivalry and civil war.
It falls to us and a renegade group of Lazloi to complete the mission, to gather as many secrets and maps that we can, before heading back into the abyss, the world of the infinite plane.
-- Cyana Bristo, former scientist with the Echolian Science Institute
Stonemason's Space Dock combined with original model created in Cinema 4D.
Scene assembly and final rendering in Cinema 4D R16 Visualise.