Library class Archive Ship
|Library class Archive Ship|
|Type: GCM Factory/Mining Ship|
|Also see||Factory/Mining Ship|
|Cost||MCr276. MCr248.4 in quantity.|
|EOS||Examples still alleged to be operating post-Collapse.|
|Passengers||0 High/Med 0 Low|
|Designed with Mongoose Traveller High Guard rules, but portable to other versions.|
- It is a civilian ship and an Archive Ship.
- During the Collapse it is a near-mythical ship, rumored more than it actually exists, but worth a fortune to anyone who could return one to any major polity. Hunting for actual examples was an aryu scheme.
- It is a ship designed around an apocalypse package, to carry and enable it, and to eventually deliver to whatever civilization emerges from the Collapse.
A Library is a streamlined saucer, with landing gear in the pattern of the Imperial Sunburst. A Library landing upon a world, especially in dusty or muddy conditions, has been likened to placing the Imperial stamp upon it. The nominal "front" opens, maw-like, to a cargo scoop, the edges of which are lined with retractable monofilament-lined teeth so as to bite off chunks of large planetoids, as most planetoids a Library may wish to process are larger than its cargo bay and thus must be processed in chunks. The cargo half is thus often likened to the ship's digestive system. That said, as the maneuver drives are to either side and the cargo scoop is also where manufactured results come out, "front" and "back" are entirely notional.
In a fight, a Library is designed to overwhelm typical pirate ships but run away from standard Imperial Navy fleets. A Library's manufacturing capability removes its missile barbette's resupply need in the long term, while any single combat that requires more missiles than a barbette carries is usually one to run away from.
No image yet available.
General Description & Deck Plans
- Deck Plans for this vessel.
Basic Ship Characteristics
Following the Imperial Navy and IISS Universal Ship Profile and data, additional information is presented in the format shown here. The small craft factor indicates the number of squadrons (...of ten subcraft) carried on the ship. Tonnage on the universal ship profile is shown in kilotons (...thousands of tons) where necessary. 
|Basic Ship Characteristics |
|1.||Tonnage / Hull|| Tonnage: 100 tons (standard). 1,400 cubic meters. Streamlined Saucer Hull.
|2.||Crew||Crew: One each pilot, astrogator, and gunner. All roles usually filled by the same person, or one person and one robot.|
|3.||Performance|| Acceleration: 6-G maneuver drive installed.
|4.||Electronics||Model/9 ship computer. Apocalypse package computer able to serve as a backup.|
|5.||Hardpoints||1 hardpoint, used for the barbette.|
|6.||Armament||One missile barbette, usually with a mixed ammunition loadout depending on what the pilot expects to encounter.|
|7.||Defenses||No defenses of any type.|
|8.||Craft||None. Crew's vacc suits allow extra-vehicle activity. No rescue ball for crew escape usually carried, as no rescue is expected possible (or ship will be in hostile enough territory to render a rescue ball pointless).|
|9.||Fuel Treatment||It is typically equipped with a fuel purification plant and fuel scoops.|
|10.||Cost|| MCr276 standard (no architect's fees: almost anyone who can build this class has a copy of the designs the IISS commissioned, ultimately either given from or salvaged from Reference). MCr248.4 in quantity.
|11.||Construction Time||9 months standard. 8 months in quantity.|
|12.||Comments||A ship built to carry, safeguard, and enable an apocalypse package.|
Ship Interior Details
Conditions aboard a Library are often described as "comfortable" and "lonely":
- The stateroom is more of a corridor in which lie a bunk and a fresher (the fresher's components located to the left and right of the barbette access door, not being a room in itself); by total volume it is almost a luxury stateroom, but most of the space is used for access.
- The cargo area is designed to store a second apocalypse package (as a spare, or to quickly drop off - usually in halves to fit through the scoop with a minimum of handling - at some worthy but troubled place), a ton of spare parts, some food and anagathics, and about a ton further to do whatever with. (There have been several caches of artwork far from any known colony, each piece no more than a ton, that have been explained as a Library roosting nearby for several years.)
- The apocalypse package (and second package, when present) does not go all the way to the ceiling, allowing one to crawl over it to access the power plant and drives.
- The bridge has a second workstation, ostensibly intended as a backup but in many cases reminding the pilot of having company, which sometimes leads to depression but sometimes has been the only thing keeping the pilot from leaving Charted Space entirely. (It is suspected that the pilots of some Libraries that were never found, left to slowly create civilization from scratch on some uninhabited world.)
- The central barbette access (with a seat that lowers from the barbette above the main deck, which barbette contains a third workstation) divides the crew-accessible area into three "rooms" (four, counting the airlock); some Library pilots remove the access's walls (making the ship slightly more vulnerable to hull breaches in trade for slightly improved comfort).
In late 1122, as the Black War was beginning, leaders of the IISS and allied institutions gathered on Reference to discuss the impact the Rebellion was having on continued scout operations. Fears and worries about what the factions might do spurred investigations into various calamity plans the services had made over the years. The most recent plan resulted in designing a Library class of ships - by some measures, the last ship class the Third Imperium created - intended to safeguard the knowledge and bare minimum of tools needed to rekindle civilization some day. Reports of the 267-1122 attack on Susadi reached this conference in early 1123, confirming the fears: the Third Imperium had begun to actively tear itself apart, and the only thing for it was to mitigate the damage.
One damage control measure was to construct several Library ships. Nearby shipyards with the requisite technology were contacted, funds disbursed, and construction performed in mild secrecy. Subsequent records are unclear how many Library ships were constructed and delivered to Reference, though they note a diminishing rate as starports were destroyed, with the last delivery during 1129. Anyone who inquired was told this was a new class of scout - the Library class - commissioned by the IISS, intended to be neutral in the ongoing civil war but more able to fend for itself since future IISS supply might be disrupted. As far as could be told, this was entirely true: it was a 100 ton starship with advanced sensors and some mining capability, with an apparent void where equipment would be added, which equipment the IISS claimed to be manufacturing on Reference for its own use. All of this was technically correct.
The important part was that missing equipment: an apocalypse package. Able to provide spare parts, food, and anagathics, it could keep a single pilot alive indefinitely. Pilots dedicated to the Third Imperium's values (and able to handle pilot, astrogation, and gunnery, combining the nominal three crew positions into one) were recruited, knighted (often not recognized at the time, but retroactively honored by the Fourth Imperium after it recovered records from Reference) if not already a knight or noble, and trusted to flee into deep space (or at least to a planet or moon in an outer solar system where they would not be discovered), waiting until the war was over to return and reignite civilization's flame, bringing not only the bounty of knowledge in their computers but also the beginnings of industrial infrastructure, which anything recognizable as a peaceful civilization could use to start manufacturing technological goods at decent scale within a few years.
And so they did. Years turned into decades when Virus was unleashed. (Fortunately for those hiding at least a parsec away from the nearest civilization,d monitoring radio traffic that had crossed multiple light years from the nearest sources to their hiding spots, Virus signals degraded too much over such distances to infect.) Some few Library pilots tested the waters with the Domain of Deneb or other places; most of these were destroyed (such as when when a fleet under Black War orders decided they did not have the resources to keep such a prize from their rivals, or when the Quarantine demand for crew exchange sounded, to a one-person crew, like "abandon your ship")), captured by those unable to make use of the apocalypse package (to their credit, every Library crew whose ship was infected by Virus scuttled their ship rather than let it be used against other sophonts), or otherwise failed to reignite civilization.
Most waited - either passing the time with elaborate virtual reality simulations, or building a combination low berth/autodoc and sleeping away the time (waking up every 24 months to check status, as well as to refuel and maintain the ship: being parked in a stable orbit on low power, the ship needed much less maintenance than usual). Many built a robot for companionship. Some were discovered, many by parties who assumed a hostile response and so preemptively attacked to seize the apocalypse package. Most of those who were still hiding when word of the Fourth Imperium started getting around, eventually made their way there to finally deliver their cargo.
Any major polity during the Collapse that believed the rumors about apocalypse packages usually had a large bounty (at least MCr1,000) for delivery of a fully functional Library ship. Some of these bounties were collected for convincing fakes.
Class Naming Practice/s & Peculiarities
Ships of this class are named after famous libraries. The first ship was named the Alexandria.
Selected Variant Types & Classes
- Type GCM class Factory/Mining Ship
- Library class Archive Ship
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