A ship whose presence would be a given, considering the mining life-style of the Thoot family, the mining tug is probably the I'ee family's most proud achievement, despite its mundane nature. While the other families are known to use similar craft in mining operations, the Thoot tug is used exclusively by its creators.
Designed expressly for mining operations, the mining tug is a short-range civilian vehicle that requires a carrier vessel to carry it to an area of operations. Its purpose is to break up materials, specifically the rock which composes asteroids, and carry it back to its mothership or processor for storage/refining.
While the tug is not particularly special when compared to other, similar craft, it serves its purpose adequately. It's primary mining tool is interchangeable, allowing for the standard jackhammer implement to be replaced with other specialised equipment. As a result, it can be equipped for operations such as gas mining and repair duty.
The mining tug has a small chassis with a long, boxy shape. The front end of the craft has two viewing ports with a communications antenna positioned in between. At the opposite end of the craft is a mount designed to carry a small cargo container for the purpose of hauling finer materials such as gas or dust. Positioned around the aft section of the hull are four small maneuvering thrusters, designed to work in concert in order to propel the vessel. On the bottom side of the craft is a special, four-slot mount designed to house the primary mining and manipulation equipment. Generally, the primary mining tool is mounted at the front-most port, with the others having mechanical grasping arms attached.
When Thoot developed her desire to explore the stars and find whatever material treasures they might hold, she came to her mother from the Ith'ee family for assistance. As Thoot's fledgling hive grew in number, she was taught extensively by her parent family about space, star flight, and geology. Eventually, she and her daughters were given a single, modified patrol craft outfitted to mine ores and other useful materials found in space, and tasked with identifying and retrieving construction materials from their rocky cradles for the Ith'ee construction yards.
With only a meager 3.5 percent of her gathered resources contributing to the gradual construction of her own mining fleet, Thoot distinguished herself as one of the more 'hands-on' I'ee queens; only ceasing her active role in resource collection when her burdens of birth and motherhood grew too great for her. Even with her natural physical handicap, she still lead her hive personally as it grew, spending more and more time out in space.
Eventually, Thoot was offered an increase in her share of resources: from 3.5 to 20 percent. Thoot instead counter-offered, and requested that the Ith'ee assist her in designing a specialised mining tug to supplement her fleet. Her mother, delighted to see her daughter shared her fascination with space craft, allowed Thoot to have both the increased share and her ship design. A decade or so later, and the production of the mining tug was in full swing, with Thoot even building additional craft on her own using cannibalised parts.
Crew: Two crew members required for operation; can hold an additional two passengers.
The sole compartment inside the ship is the crew compartment, a cramped, box-like room with a pair of control consoles at the front of the vessel. Near the rear is some storage for basic supplies and access to the ship's inner workings for maintenance, as well as the exit hatch.