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design by Lewis Roberts
Nebula Award Winner
TeeCLEEEoo Blackfin, the chief designer of the Sojourner, designed the ship to succeed in the unique situtation that the Wilds present. The ship is heavily armored, not so much for space battles, but in case a local planetary leader tries to steal the ship. The Jayhawk Far Trader is so lightly armored, that it barely protects against small arms fire. The Sojourner's hull is five times as thick and is capable of withstanding light anti-tank weapons, grenade launchers, anti-aircraft guns, mortars, recoiless rifles and some artillery pieces. The ship also is capable of protecting itself. It has a belly turret with four VRF gauss guns mounted in it, each gun has 60,000 rounds of ammunition in the turret. The VRF Gauss guns are built on Fija, and are standard RC issue, which is also compatable with relic Imperial models. This will make it easier to acquire spare parts if an break down occurs. An autocannon was contemplated, but in the Wilds it might be hard to aquire additional ammunition. Standard dart ammunition can be manufactured in the Sojourner's machine shop. The ship also mounts a standard Tl-12 120 Mj laser turret. The turret is capable of firing a shot every 18 seconds (4 combat rounds) if used in ground combat. It also has a standard sandcaster, capable of protecting the ship against hostile Vampire and pirate ships. Its sensor's are also much improved from those in the Jayhawk. In the Wilds, it is essential to know if potential enemies are laying about.
The ship has a 12 ton vehicle bay and comes with a standard TL-8 Tracked ATV. These ATV's are built on Lucifer, and imported to Aubaine. For a small upgrade fee, the ATV can be upgraded to a wheeled ATV, or even an airraft. The Sojourner has state of the art TL-12 machine shop, and electronic shop. These shops have a dual use; they can replace many of the minor parts on the ship in case of a malfunction. They can also be used to repair relic technology on Wilds worlds. This way the ship can earn additional revunue between jumps, either by acting as a mobile fix-it shop, or by buying broken equipment, repairing it and then selling it to someone else. The shops come with a extensive library of parts and equipment that can be built with the available tools. This will also help rebuild the wilds worlds, so that they will be in better shape when the RC contacts them.
The Sojourner provides ample means for a Captain to make a profit, it has 20 staterooms, usually nine of these go to the crew, but individual captains can decide to double up crew members to provide more space for passengers. It can also carry 89 tons of cargo, which is almost double that of the Jayhawk Far Trader. This should provide enough space, that the owners will have no problem paying off their mortgages. An exact economical plan can't be worked out because most Free Traders will be buying cargo on speculation, and the exact profit/loss ratio can't be worked out in advance.
The ship has a fairly simple appearence. It is a smooth box, with a rounded nose, a HEPlaR thruster is mounted on either side of the ship at the rear. The quad-gauss gun is mounted in a belly turret, under the nose of the ship. The sandcaster turret is also a belly turret located mid-ships, while the laser turret is located directly above this on the top of the ship. Access to the cargo bay and ATV bay is from the rear, via a roll down ramp. When on the ground the ship rests on four landing feet, during flight these fold up into the hull.
Inside the ship is fairly simple. The ship is laid out with two levels, the top deck, contains the cockpit, crew and passenger lounge, staterooms and jump drive. Fuel for the jump drives and HEPlaR drives is located in several compartments in the bottom deck. The fuel is compartmentalized to minimize losses in case of battle damage. Most of the cargo bay is located on the bottom deck, but at the rear of the ship it exapands into the top deck, to allow the storage of taller cargos. The ATV is also stored on the bottom deck, at the rear of the ship.
Staterooms are fairly spartan, and lack many of the high tech features that are common in some ships, such as holographic projection screens, variable form furniture etc. It was thought that these items didn't improve the functunality of the ship, and would be rather difficult to maintain in the Wilds. Each Sojourner does come with an extensive collection of technical manuals and informational holovids, in addition to many entertainment videos. The passenger's lounge holovid unit, can be dismounted and used to display videos on remote locations. It was thought that some crews might want to show videos to residents of the Wild. This could be either as entertainment or as a training seminar. It should be noted that the library collection was choosen to put the best face possible on the Coalition.
Sojourner-Class Commercial Transport
|Displacement: 300 tons||Hull Armor: 50|
|Length: 25.02 meters||Volume: 4,200 m3|
|Price: 105.92 MCr||Target Size: S|
|Configuration:Streamlined Box||Tech Level: 12|
|Mass (Loaded/Unloaded): 2,973.5 / 2,538.0|
|120 Mj Laser Turret||4:1/9-27||8:1/9-27||16:1/6-19||32:1/3-9|
Surface Hits Internal Explosion Systems Systems Systems Air Locks 0.1 Elec 0.4 AEMS-1h LS-6H LB Antenna 1.9 Hold 7.7 AG-1H LSR-None LT Cargo hatch 1.1 Fuel 5.8 AL-3x1h MD-2h MB EMM Rad 0 Qtrs 3.2 ELS-3H MFD-None MG Launch ports 0 Eng 1.9 EMM-None MS-None MT Screens 0 Weap 0.4 EMM Rad-0h ND-None NDB Total 3.1 Total 19.4 FPP-3H PEMS-1h NDT FT-13H PEMS Ant-1h PA Other Surface Locations HULL-2H PP-6H TS Man drive 1.3 JD-4H SSR-20x2h Jump drive 0.6 LBth-None Weapons 0.3 Total 2.2