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M. V. Emma Reid

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2020 issue.


The Emma Reid is a merchant vessel based on a 5,000-ton dispersed structure, operated by the Francis Reid & Co. shipping company. With Jump 2, Maneuver 1, no streamlining and a cargo capacity of 3276 tons, the vessel is most suited for regular trade routes between destinations with significant orbital facilities.

The bridge and crew facilities are at the aft third of the ship, comprise the upper four decks (Decks A through D), and are small compared to the rest of the vessel. Lifeboats are located on C-Deck.

The three decks directly under the accommodation (Decks 1 to 3) are dedicated to the jump drive, power and utilities (such as the fire control room, life support etc).

Aft of this is the fuel, in 10 large external tanks, with the maneuver drives on Deck 2, to port and starboard of the fuel.

Forward of the accommodation, the lower three decks are dedicated to cargo. The cargo is carried in racks, and is not contained within a hull. Running through the centre of the cargo area is an unpressurised tunnel, which allows access to the cargo containers in an emergency or for inspection. As well as that, the tunnel provides access to the defensive weapons (30 double pulse laser turrets).


Universal Ship Profile
MV E 7 2 1 2 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0 0 0 0 0
              Batt 0     0 0 0   2 0 0 0 0    
              Batt Bear 0     0 0 0   2 0 0 0 0    
SHIP DESIGN WORKSHEET 1. Date of Preparation
2. Ship Name 3. Ship Type 4. Tech Lvl
Emma Reid Merchant 15
5. Hull Remarks Tons MCr EP Factor
Hull 5000 tons   500.000   E
Configuration Disp. Struct.   -250.000   7
Armor None - -   0
Waste Space   -      
  Subtotal 0 250.000    
6. Drives Remarks Tons MCr EP Factor
Jump Drive Jump-2 150 600.000   2
Maneuver Drive Maneuver-1 100 150.000   1
Power Plant Level-2 100 400.000 100 2
Jump Fuel   1000      
Power Plant Fuel   100      
Extra Fuel   -      
L-Hyd Tanks No - -    
Purification Plants No - -    
Fuel Scoops No - -    
  Subtotal 1450 1,150.000 100  
7. Controls Remarks Tons MCr EP Factor
Bridge Note 1 100 25.000    
Computer D-Deck 4 30.000 2 4
  Subtotal 104 55.000    
8. Weaponry Remarks Tons MCr EP Factor
Pulse Lasers 60 lasers   30.000 60 7×2
Double Turrets Note 2 30      
  Subtotal 30 30.000 60  
9. Screens Remarks Tons MCr EP Factor
None N/A - - - 0
  Subtotal 0 0.000 0  
11. Facilities Remarks Tons MCr EP Factor
Small Craft 2×lifeboats 40 8.665    
  Subtotal 40 8.665    
12. Quarters Remarks Tons MCr EP Factor
Staterooms 25 100 12.500    
Low Berths None - -    
Emergency Low None - -    
  Subtotal 100 12.500    
13. Cargo Remarks Tons MCr EP Factor
Cargo   3276      
14. Totals Remarks Tons MCr EP Factor
Hull   0 250.000    
Drives   1450 1,150.000 +100  
Controls   104 55.000 -2  
Weapons   30 30.000 -60  
Screens   0 0.000 0  
Facilities   40 8.665    
Quarters   100 12.500    
Cargo   3276      
  Subtotal 5000 1,506.165 38  
Design Fees     15.062    
Discounts     -   Agility
TOTAL   5000 1,521.227 38 0

Note 1: D-Deck, Decks 1 and 2 central areas, A-C Deck Service Trunks
Note 2: 30 turrets/2 batteries. 30 tons Fire Control on Deck 3

D-Deck (Bridge)

The bridge on D-Deck has eight workstations, although normally, when in jump space, the bridge is usually occupied by only two people, a watchkeeping officer to monitor systems (and take action in an emergency) and one of the crew to assist.

The two central workstations are provided with flight controls, but all other controls and screens can be operated from any workstation.

Taking up the central portion of the bridge, aft of the flight seats, is the computer, a Model 4.

At the aft end (port side) is a fresher, and on the aft starboard side is the duty pantry to provide sustenance to those on watch who can’t leave their post.

At the port and starboard sides are two airlocks, providing access to the external areas (in an emergency) and lower decks.

C-Deck (Common Spaces)

C-Deck is primarily devoted to common spaces, and is where the crew tends to spend their off-shift time.

The Captain has a cabin/office on this deck, close to the bridge and just across the corridor from a shared office.

The shared office uses space converted from a cabin. It has workstations normally used by the crew for their administration tasks, such as logging maintenance activities, looking at planned maintenance schedules, examining equipment manuals etc. all of these functions can be performed at the bridge workstations too, and at local control stations in the various machinery spaces.

The sick bay also uses space converted from a cabin, and has two medical beds along with diagnostic equipment and medical drugs. The medic also has a workstation in this room.

The lounge is set up as a relaxation area. The aft end of the room contains a large screen that can be made transparent to act as a window or alternately used as a display.

The recreation area provides a space for physical activities, including a variety of solo exercise and fitness options, as well as physical games.

The mess hall is where the crew consume their meals, which is linked to the galley and the Purser’s store. The ship’s locker and cleaner’s cupboard are also on this level.

To port and starboard are the airlocks, which are the access routes up and down as well as to the lifeboats.

B-Deck and A-Deck (Cabins)

A and B-Decks contain cabins, and are identical. Each deck contains 11 cabins, all with their own washrooms, desks, and personal entertainment facilities. Normally cabins are single occupancy, although if needed a second bunk can be folder down to allow double occupancy. Along with personal gear, each cabin contains an emergency vacc suit.

Each deck also contains a service trunk, where essential utilities (air, water, power, control lines etc) are routed for ease of maintenance.

To port and starboard are airlocks. These are the routes for accessing decks above and below, with outside access from these levels usually only required in emergency situations.


The space directly underneath the living areas (Decks A-D) is used for some of the essential services necessary for sustaining vessel operations.

Life Support Room: this room contains the air generation/purification equipment, along with the heating/ventilation and air conditioning equipment. It also contains the equipment necessary to provide fresh water for drinking, washing, cleaning and other domestic uses, as well as waste water treatment facilities.

Consumables Store: the Consumables Store is for the basic ingredients used for food (piped to the food printing equipment in the galley) and for the 3D printers in the workshop.

Workshop: this area is used for undertaking maintenance on equipment that’s been removed from service, and for printing new items to replace worn or failed components. It contains a comprehensive set of tools, and equipment for making new components. The workshop is also a muster area for the Technical Team, so it contains three emergency vacc suits and a workstation.

Laundry: the laundry is used by the apprentice stewards for washing bed linen, overalls, clothes, tablecloths etc.

Electrical Room: this area handles electrical power distribution (including power transformers and circuit breakers).

To port and starboard are two of the four jump drive rooms. These contain an engineer’s workstation, jump drive equipment, and a second emergency exit through the ceiling to the outside.

The aft end contains the top portions of 14 large fuel tanks, where power and jump fuel is stored.

Forward of the workshop is an airlock to the upper central walkway. This unpressurised internal area provides access to the cargo containers in an emergency, and to the upper turrets for maintenance or (if desperately needed) local control. Two docking ports are fitted to the upper level.


As with Deck-1, the space directly underneath the living areas (Decks A-D) is used for some of the essential services necessary for sustaining vessel operations. On this deck there is just one room here:

Attitude Control Room: this room contains the equipment needed to control the ship’s orientation (roll/pitch/yaw) and for low-speed fine control manoeuvring in the x/y/z planes (e.g., when docking). It’s part of the ship avionics.

The Power Plants are port and starboard of this area, and include an Engineer’s workstation as well as the power interfaces to the Jump Drive.

At the extreme port and starboard, connected to the Power Plant, are the Maneuver Drives.

The central walkway in the cargo area is not directly accessible from this area. Access is from the walkways above and below. It allows personnel to get to the cargo containers in flight if needed.


This bottom level has two Jump Drive rooms (one port and starboard) which are identical to the ones on Deck 1.

The Fire Control Room contains the equipment required for the turrets to operate, including whatever power interfaces are necessary along with the fire control/targeting equipment.

The central walkway in the cargo area is not directly accessible from this area. Access is from the walkway above. It allows personnel to get to the cargo containers in flight if needed. It also provides a route to the lower turrets for maintenance (or local control), as well as to two lower docking ports.

Editor’s note: The plans and elevations below are low-resolution versions of the originals which were at extremely high resolution. Each picture is linked to its original; it is recommended that you save the high-resolution versions and then open them in an alternative application to view them at full resolution with panning.

Crew Organisation

The vessel is designed to operate with a crew of 22, which comprises 10 officers and 12 enlisted personnel.

The bridge is always staffed, with a watchkeeping officer on a four hour shift supported by a member of the crew. Similarly at least one engineer is always on duty, doing routine inspection and maintenance tasks in the machinery spaces.

Meals are served four times per day, to provide sustenance for personnel on various shift patterns.

The general roles and responsibilities are defined in the table below (Francis Reid & Co. organises its operations slightly differently to the ‘typical’ sector-wide merchant line, which accounts for the minor differences in ranks described here).

Department Position Responsibilities
Command Captain Overall command
Deck Officers 1st Officer In charge of Deck department. Watchkeeper
2nd Officer Watchkeeper
3rd Officer Watchkeeper
Engineering Officers Chief Engineer In charge of Engineering department
2nd Engineer Systems Officer
3rd Engineer Comms Officer
Purser Officers Purser Manages stores and ‘hotel’ services
Medical Officer Health of the crew
Gunnery Officer Maintaining and operating ship’s weapons
Enlisted Ranks Boatswain Day to day management of enlisted ranks
Electrician Maintain and repair electrical systems
Fitter Fabrication of spare parts
Able Bodied Spacefarer Experienced enlisted person. May support watchkeeper
Able Bodied Spacefarer Experienced enlisted person. May support watchkeeper
Ordinary Spacefarer Junior enlisted person. May support watchkeeper
Ordinary Spacefarer Junior enlisted person. May support watchkeeper
Chief Cook Meal preparation/maintain equipment
Second Cook Meal preparation/maintain equipment
Assistant Gunner Maintaining and operating ship’s weapons
Apprentice Steward Cleaning, washing clothes/bed linen, etc.
Apprentice Steward Cleaning, washing clothes/bed linen, etc.

In an emergency all core crew have duties to perform. The captain takes charge from the bridge, assisted by the 2nd Officer (who takes control of flight and navigation), 2nd Engineer (who monitors ship internal systems), 3rd Engineer (who takes charge of external communications), Gunnery Officer (operating Battery A), Assistant Gunner (Battery B), and finally the Purser (who coordinates communications within the ship).

The emergency response team, lead by the 1st Officer, musters at the ship’s locker. This team will be used for damage control, rescue, or any other activity that needs to be performed.

A technical team, made up of the Chief Engineer, the Electrician and the Fitter can be called on to provide specialist assistance where needed.

The medical team (Medic with the apprentice stewards as two stretcher-bearers) prepares the sick bay and tends to casualties.

Finally, the Chief Cook and Second Cook prepares the two lifeboats for launch, powering up the engines and preparing for departure.

Team Emergency Location Personnel Duties
Command Team Navigation Bridge Captain Overall command
2nd Officer Flight control
2nd Engineer (Systems) Ship systems monitoring
3rd Engineer (Comms) External communications
Gunnery Officer Battery A
Assistant Gunner Battery B
Purser Internal Communications
Emergency Response Team Ship’s Locker 1st Officer ERT Overall Leader
3rd Officer ERT1 Leader
Boatswain ERT2 Leader
Able Bodied Spacefarer×2 ERT Member
Ordinary Spacefarer×2 ERT Member
Medical Team Sick Bay Medical Officer Medical Response
Apprentice Steward×2 Stretcher Bearer
Technical Team Workshop Chief Engineer Technical Team Leader
Electrician Technical Team Member
Fitter Technical Team Member
Evacuation Team Lifeboat A Chief Cook Prepare lifeboat for launch
Lifeboat B Second Cook Prepare lifeboat for launch
Other Personnel Lounge Other personnel Prepare for evacuation and await instructions

Crew List

The profiles of the Emma Reid crew are provided below.

Captain (O5, Deck) 565B89 Age 52 8 terms
Merchant academy graduate. Nav-3, Pilot-3, Admin-2, Leader-2, Legal-1, Vacc-1

1st Officer (O4, Deck) 8569B5 Age 45 6 terms
Nav-3, Pilot-2, Admin-1, Leader-1, Vacc-1

2nd Officer (O3, Deck) 97BAA6 Age 35 4 terms
Merchant academy graduate. Nav-2, Pilot-1, Admin-1, Vacc-1

3rd Officer (O2, Deck) 938398 Age 32 3 terms
Nav-1, Pilot-1, Admin-1, Vacc-0

Chief Engineer (O4, Engineering) A49986 Age 46 7 terms
Engin-3, Admin-1, Elec-1, Vacc-1

2nd Engineer (O3, Engineering) 86BAB6 Age 41 5 terms
Merchant academy graduate. Engin-2, Comp-2, JoT-1, Admin-1, Elec-1, Grav-1, Vacc-1

3rd Engineer (O2, Engineering) 36B789 Age 35 4 terms
Engin-1, Elec-1, Comms-1, Vacc-0 Engin-1, Elec-1, Comms-1, Vacc-0

Purser (O3, Purser) 46B9B7 Age 39 5 terms
Merchant academy graduate. Steward-2, Liaison-2, Legal-2, Medic-1, Gunnery-1

Medical Officer (O3, Purser) 8889A6 Age 35 4 terms
Medic-3, Computer-1, Brawling-1, Vacc-0

Gunnery Officer (O1, Purser) 397C82 Age 23 1 term
Gunnery-1, Vacc-1

Boatswain (E6, Deck) AB5A23 Age 45 6 terms
JoT-2, Vacc-2, Handgun-1, Dagger-1, Zero-G-1, Carousing-1, Leader-1

Electrician (E5, Engineering) 7AA463 Age 40 5 terms
Elec-2, Grav-1, Vacc-0

Fitter (E3, Engineering) 466756 Age 33 3 terms
Mech-2, Vacc-0

Able Bodied Spacefarer (E4, Engineering) 777B43 Age 36 4 terms
JoT-1, Brawling-1, Vacc-1

Able Bodied Spacefarer (E3, Engineering) A46A66 Age 33 3 terms
Engin-1, Vacc-1

Ordinary Spacefarer (E1, Engineering) ABBB97 Age 25 1 term

Ordinary Spacefarer (E0, Engineering) 57B885 Age 18 0 terms

Chief Cook (E2, Purser) B38653 Age 29 2 terms
Steward-2, Ship’s Boat-0

2nd Cook (E1, Purser) 326767 Age 24 1 term
Steward-1, Ship’s Boat-0

Assistant Gunner (E2, Purser) 395A98 Age 26 2 terms

Apprentice Steward (E1, Purser) 494C74 Age 25 1 term

Apprentice Steward (E0, Purser) 857675 Age 19 0 terms

Design Notes

This ship has been designed using CT Book 5: High Guard.

The total number of crew onboard includes the full ‘command’ and ‘engineering’ crew requirements from High Guard, but as this is not a military ship some of the other crew requirements have been reduced.

The number of ‘gunnery’ crew has been reduced to two (one for each battery), ignoring the additional requirement for a Petty Officer for each type of weapon and an additional officer in charge. The officer in charge has been merged with that of a battery operator, leaving this ship with one officer and one crew in place of one officer, one petty officer and two crew.

The service crew has been reduced from 10-15 to 5. This is because the ship is not a military vessel. It’s been modelled on modern deep-sea merchant ships, where extensive maintenance is usually carried out by additional crew temporarily brought on board (a ‘riding crew’) or during periodic inspection/maintenance periods in port. Also, merchant ships don’t have the same requirement for spare personnel to allow full operation with battle casualties (unlike military vessels).

The ‘flight’ branch requirement in High Guard is for a flight control officer, plus a pilot for each craft, plus at least one maintenance person per craft. Again, as this is not a military ship and as the craft are purely lifeboats not fighters or patrol craft this requirement has been ignored. In the Crew List some of the service crew have been given Ship’s Boat training to allow them to launch a lifeboat. This is what is done on modern oil and gas platforms, where the service crew work in safe areas and are therefore not expected to be caught up in a serious incident, making it more likely that trained personnel will be available to prepare the boats for launch without delay.

The number on board (22) is similar to that on present-day mid-sized deep-sea merchant ships. If the crew size was changed then either some cabins would have to go to double-occupancy, or another deck of cabins could be added. This would give another 32 tons for cabins, but reduce cargo space by the same amount.

I’ve tried to interpret the large space required for the bridge and computer in a way that makes sense for what we know about modern technology. Under the High Guard rules the bridge and computer take up all of D-Deck, the central portions of Decks 1 and 2, and the ‘service trunks’ on A-Deck, B-Deck and C-Deck. If you want to follow the rules exactly simply grey-out these areas and mark them ‘avionics’ and you’re good to go. I’ve re-imagined these spaces, interpreting the ‘bridge as including all the systems required to allow the ship to function, not just avionics. I’ve tried to ignore things which might not be on far-future starships (things like instrument air systems and hydraulic systems) but included things like life support and electrical rooms (which I’ve guessed might still be required in the future). I’ve kept the computer as its full size, but also named it the ‘integrated control and safety system’. The control systems on present-day oil and gas facilities can take up a whole room, it’s much more complicated than simply a computer chip, so perhaps that’ll still be the case in the far future. I’ve not added things like an emergency generator or battery backup for essential services, it seemed like a step too far and risked crossing over to the space defined for ‘power generation’ in the High Guard rules.

A tunnel has been included running down the centre of the cargo area. This is because I had a hard time imagining the crew not being able to intervene if there was an issue with the cargo whilst in jump space. Under CT rules a person dies as soon as they are outside the hull in jump space, so I added this unpressurised enclosure as a mid-way compromise between either inaccessible cargo at one extreme or a fully enclosed hull at another. Neither of those options really fitted what I imagined for this ship.

I assumed that cargo would be carried in containers in the future. These containers shown in the drawings are nearly the same size as 45-foot containers in use nowadays, and have an easy-to-use 10-ton volume. If every slot was filled there would actually be 3,300 tons of cargo carried, rather than the designed 3,276 tons of cargo (24 tons too many). It’s normal for modern container ships not to be 100% full, so simply leave three slots unfilled.