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Built by the I'ee and based off the model for an old exploratory vessel, the Patrol Craft is a fairly large, but poorly armed vessel. With its unorthodox broadside armaments and ramming prongs, its victories upon the modern battlefield are few and far between, and usually won through force of numbers.
Though fairly ancient in design and poor in armament, the Patrol Craft's sublight and FTL engines are more-or-less on par with those of alien factions. In addition, its colonial heritage lends it a sizable cargo hold and a pair of hangar bays. It is these two features that make it popular with the Thoot family, who specialise in deep space mining: The Patrol Craft serves as an ideal mobile base for the Thoot's mining tugs.
The patrol craft has a long, flat appearance which lends it a low profile; one of few advantages it has in combat. Its fairly angular, wedge-like hull is contrasted by the four, jagged metal ridges installed upon the vessel, two of which function as its ramming prongs. At the rear of the vessel are the ship's main sublight drives: A pair of exotic particle engines. Protruding from these engines are a pair of long, metal prongs designed to channel the particles used by the engine and improve forward thrust. The prongs are vulnerable to enemy fire and losing them severely hinders the vessel's handling.
At the aft end of the ship, tucked beneath the hull and the two rear-most ridges, are the main storage pods. These function both as cargo holds and hangar bays, and can be jettisoned from the main craft if necessary. There are four broadside mounts in total upon the Patrol Craft: two each on port and starboard sides. Both sets of guns are capable of limited movement in order to improve their aiming ability. The main command bridge is located upon the forward 'slope' of the chassis, with a secondary weapons-control centre mounted at the apex of the vessel.
Even before the I'ee took to the stars, intra-species conflict was a rare occurrence, particularly on a large scale. For a long time, the insectoid creatures' expansion from their home planet was a peaceful, slow-paced endeavour that only occurred as a response to growing hive populations and the resulting territorial disputes. When the Oo'tut family botched the species' first contact with an alien species, bringing war to the I'ee's most populated systems, a rapid, frenzied overhaul of the exploration fleet began. The most common vessel built en-masse was a large, unarmed craft with a long, flat profile, ample cargo space and enough living space to house a small, fledgling family.
It was this modest starship that was chosen by the Ith'ee to be refitted as the I'ee's first and last line of defence. Armour plating designed to protect against the elements was re-enforced to deflect projectiles and withstand extreme heats and jagged, razor edged blades were added to the craft for ramming. Coil-guns were mounted as broadside armaments, nestled between the blade-like ridges, and designed to fire just about anything magnetic at the enemy.
Though this make-shift fleet of warships suffered losses in the thousands, the sheer destruction and loss that resulted on both sides caused the I'ee's slightly more reflective foe to back down and leave the frenzied insects to themselves. The Ith'ee declared the I'ee's first interstellar warship a successful endeavour, and has spent years refining the simplistic design. While other forms of combat starship have cropped up that supersede the Patrol Craft in many ways, the aging model remains popular with the younger families of the I'ee such as the Thoot. A small garrison of decorated, veteran Patrol Craft also guard the I'ee's home planet in remembrance of a revolutionary time.
Crew: 18 optimal crew at command bridge, 30 in secondary weapons control.
Maximum Capacity: There are accommodations for 600 I'ee workers, but due to how the I'ee rotate duties, the ship can support up to 1200 crew. Two workers can each share a space, with one sleeping while the other is working. Ee'ith Patrol Craft are often outfitted with additional accomodation for 200 aliens of varying species.
Depicted above is a simple diagram depicting the ship's interior, with a Thoot Mining Tug and Ee'ith Ambassador Sphere for comparison. Red denotes command and control structures, Green distinguishes crew quarters and access, Yellow shows maintenance compartments and Blue depicts storage spaces of varying function.
The command bridge is roughly octagonal in shape, with a raised landing towards the aft end of the room. At the end closest to the windows are control consoles: Two designated for sensors and communication, one designated for engine control (particularly the ramming throttle) and one for maneuvering. The upper landing is primarily observation, where the majority of the bridge crew form a council of sorts: deciding in concert upon what the ship's actions should be.
The majority of the weapons control is viewing space, providing an ample vantage point during combat. The primary weapons control consoles are located here as well, with one controlling port broadsides, and the other controlling starboard.
Due to the modular nature of the storage pods utilised by the Patrol Craft, their interior can vary greatly; being anything from dedicated hangar bays to simple cargo containers. The most common is a combination of the two: Halved into two spaces, one is a hangar bay at the bottom and is the larger of the two, with the uppermost compartment dedicated to cargo. Each storage pod also has a secondary control booth near the top compartment, allowing control over machinery in the hangar section.
The largest section of the interior by far is taken up by the crew quarters. Best described as a single, large warehouse-like space with honeycomb spaces built into the walls and floor, with additional, towering shelves of small rooms stretching from floor to ceiling. Due to the I'ee's capability for climbing, those sections of wall not taken up by rooms (and all the space in between) is covered with handholds and grooved grips so as to assist in climbing. I'ee workers are also capable of utilising their wings to reach their living spaces.
The Ee'ith family maintains a small fleet of five patrol craft. In keeping with their self-appointed role as ambassadors, the crafts' appearance has been modified, now clad in a lustrous, gold-coloured plating with black trim. The ramming prongs have been removed to give it a less threatening appearance, though the broadside cannons remain in place, albeit seldom used.
Littlewasp created this article on 2016/02/02 03:59.