The Solar Envoy
This article originally appeared in the November/December 2021 issue.
Solar Envoy (Merchant - Fat Trader)
QSP: A2-DS42 TL: 12 Cost: MCr151.13
Crew: 5 (Pilot, Astrogator, Engineer, Gunner, Steward)
Cargo: 126 tons (20 tons occupied by ship’s launch)
Passengers: 8 Med/ 0 Low Fuel: 86
Hardpoints: 4 Agility: 4
The Solar Envoy is a Diplomat-class 400-ton Fat Trader. The Diplomat class is a streamlined, atmosphere-capable variant of an old, commercially unsuccessful subsidized trader. Only 53 Diplomats were built, of which only 21 still exist.
She can carry 126 tons of cargo, but the ship’s launch uses 20 tons of this space. She has eleven staterooms, three for the crew and the rest for passengers. She has Jump-2 engines and 4-G acceleration. The Solar Envoy has four hardpoints, but only one laser cannon is currently mounted.
The Envoy was built almost 150 years ago at Jewell/Spinward Marches. It has been in the Berson family since it was launched and has been used for trade throughout the Spinward Marches and the Trojan Reach over the course of its history.
The current captain and majority shareholder, Jana Berson, inherited the ship and most of her shares upon the death of her father five years ago. Jana has followed the same strategy as her father did, trading along the Florian and Hierate Routes and using Fist as her base of operations.
The Envoy generally stays on main trade routes due to Jana’s preoccupation with filling the cargo hold and passenger staterooms. Occasionally, however, she is able to find a high-value cargo or some other lucrative task that draws the ship into less traveled systems.
A challenge to going off “into the hinterlands” is that the Envoy has occasionally cut corners on maintenance. For example, the ship’s fuel skimmers need new filters and a thorough recalibration, resulting in an overall decrease in performance that will only worsen until they break down completely.
As if becoming stranded in space wasn’t worrying enough, there are plenty of desperate people, scavengers, and pirates that would jump at the chance to take a helpless ship. There are also those who might want to see the Solar Envoy change ownership for their own reasons.
Finally, there is the prospect that the crew might be attacked for personal motives. They have lived lives of adventure, the kind of lives that come with enemies and grudges. Sooner or later, those forces converge and when they do, people often die.
The Gunnery Computer has a number of glitches that cause it to overload and cease to work. If used for target acquisition and predictive firing solutions together for more than 1d6 combat turns, the system will crash. If this happens, it must be restarted and will not be functional for 1d6 combat turns. The turrets and weapons will still function under local control, however.
The fuel scoop is faulty: Anytime the ship takes on unrefined fuel, the processor’s results are less than optimal. No matter how the fuel scoop is tuned, it always seems to take 2% more fuel than expected per Jump when using unrefined fuel.
Crew of the Solar Envoy
The Solar Envoy left Fist with a crew of four: Captain Jana Berson, Pilot/Astrogator Tine Korphylo, Engineer Jhonjo Rison, and Steward Rice Tyco. Tyco was killed in an incident on Torpol Station, and Zan Gaylin Remem was hired at her own request, replacing him. Her protector, Kaokhtriyh, is remaining with her, taking the role of the Solar Envoy’s gunner.