Fuelbag class Fuel Depot Drone
|Fuelbag class Fuel Depot Drone|
A mobile fuel tank.
|Type: UDX Courier Drone|
|Also see||Fuel Drone|
|Canon||No. Unpublished, non-canon fan smallcraft design.|
|Cost||MCr4.167. MCr3.7503 in quantity.|
|EOS||Examples still operate post-Collapse|
|Passengers||0 High/Med 0 Low|
|Reference||EXTERNAL LINK: MGT Forums|
|Designed with Mongoose Traveller High Guard rules, but portable to other versions.|
The Fuelbag class Fuel Depot Drone is a Courier Drone.
- It is a drone.
- It is commonly found in a swarm with examples of the Icepick, Mint, Quarter Hammer, System Defense Brick, and Zip drone classes.
A Fuelbag is a self-mobile fuel station, and little more. Its oversized maneuver drive lets it operate at Thrust 1/60 when carrying a full load of fuel, allowing it to slowly catch up when a drone swarm exhausts one mining site and moves to another. Its fuel storage is in two cheek-like collapsible pouches that expand into cylindrical drums, which occasionally results in comparisons to squirrels and similar fauna. Most of the ship's tonnage is devoted to this (with deployable bracing to minimize sloshing when the fuel tanks are full), not even carrying hoses to transfer the fuel. When another ship wishes to draw fuel, one or more Icepicks will usually attach themselves between the ship and the Fuelbag, transferring fuel at four tons per Icepick per hour.
Although rated and constructed at 10 tons, when active a Fuelbag is always larger than this, as its reactor draws fuel from the pouches so a bit of fuel must be injected before the ship is started up. Ore in small chunks (but not raw materials) can be carried in place of some of the fuel, with internal compartments dividing the ore from the fuel. Swarms that collect an excess of raw materials (from Mints' refineries) will often construct Zips to hold them.
Fuelbags are typically colored in high-visibility white with black splotches, akin to certain kinds of livestock. Between this and the minimal AI (...which can move itself, and report its status and sensor readings, under orders from other drones in the swarm), many Aslan who have encountered this design report feeling reassured by it, as if its mere existence is a sign that the universe is as it should be.
Not available at this time.
General Description & Deck Plans
- Deck Plans for this vessel.
Basic Ship Characteristics
|Basic Ship Characteristics |
|1.||Tonnage / Hull|| Tonnage, empty: 10 tons (standard). 140 cubic meters. Planetoid Hull.
|2.||Crew||Crew: no sophonts. Software provides virtual Pilot.|
|3.||Performance|| Acceleration: 1-G maneuver drive installed. Drops to 0.017G when full.
|5.||Hardpoints||Too small for hardpoints. 1 firmpoint, unused.|
|7.||Defenses||None. Usually reliant on other drones in the swarm, or working so remotely that no pirate finds it. A full and unescorted Fuelbag within sensor range of a hostile craft is among the most vulnerable spaceships in all of Charted Space.|
|8.||Craft||None (besides itself). With no crew, vacc suits and Rescue Balls are not normally carried.|
|9.||Fuel Treatment||It is not equipped with a fuel purification plant or fuel scoops.|
|10.||Cost||MCr4.167. MCr3.7503 in quantity. (The architect's fees were amortized long ago.) Known to high precision after extensive manufacture by Quarter Hammers.|
|11.||Construction Time||4 days standard, 3 in quantity. Quarter Hammers (which construct the majority of this type) build one at a time, and thus use the standard rate.|
|12.||Remarks||Twin fuel bladders with minimal ability to move around and communicate status.|
See Quarter Hammer class Construction Drone, which Fuelbags were created to support.
Whether Fuelbags are boring or exciting often reveals details about the sophont making that evaluation.
On the one hand, Fuelbags just store fuel (and sometimes ore), releasing it on command. When full, they move very slowly - just fast enough that no other ships need tend the previous asteroid's hoard when a drone swarm abandons one asteroid for the next. Their AIs are of limited function. They do not do much of anything.
On the other, Fuelbags are the target of many an aryu scheme. Tales, some of them true, tell of short-lived jump bridges set up and then abandoned during the Second Imperium, Long Night, and even the Third Imperium. Any of these that had Mints to maintain the swarm usually kept on mining for centuries after they were abandoned before finally breaking down - and all the loot from that is now sitting around in Fuelbags, waiting for someone to get it. There will often also be Zips with raw materials, but in much smaller quantities, enough that they are usually much less valuable in total than the ore in the Fuelbags despite being more valuable per ton. Such finds, when they prove true, are inevitably measured in megacredits, although they need large freighters to transport the ore back to civilization. These tales are common enough that the TAS has a recommended procedure for dealing with them:
- Check the TAS's database of finds. Anonymous browsing is available to anyone, to find out if the cache you are hunting has already been claimed, before you spend months hunting.
- Always be wary that some of these tales given coordinates leading to pirate bases, and others may have been looted centuries ago. Never jump in without enough fuel to jump out. If this means upgrading your Jump-1 ship to Jump-2 or adding fuel tanks before searching, do it - or assume you will be jumping to your deaths. If someone has offered you this rumor without you doing anything for them, and you do not have enough megacredits to upgrade to Jump-2 without the treasure, the odds that the rumor is false or a trap are close enough to 100%, so please do your fellow spacers a favor and report whoever gave you the rumor to local law enforcement, if you are on a world where the law cares about protecting us.
- Once you have confirmation of a find, record ample sensor evidence. In particular, get a good estimate of the total tonnage of ore, and of fuel.
- Report this to a public corporation you are willing to work with, that has a freighter available with cargo volume of at least 1% of the ore tonnage and a high enough jump rating to reach the cache. Do not share coordinate information with any dealers that do not have a vested interest in still being around in a year, no matter what they promise.
- The corporation will usually send an agent with you to reconfirm the find. (If they do not, be careful of a scam.) Expect this agent to be combat capable enough to fight out of any kidnapping attempt, but not enough to take over your ship. Do not treat this agent with paranoia: it is in the corporation's interest to work with you honestly, so that when someone else scores a find, they will be willing to work with the corporation.
- Once the reverification (if any) is complete, the corporation will offer a fraction of the ore's value comparable to prospecting contracts, possibly one or two percent higher. In essence, you have provided prospecting services, though the ore does not need mining, just transporting. Some corporations may require you to travel with and assist their freighter on its first run to harvest from this find. Payment for the fuel varies: some corporations see it as to be used up in the process of harvesting and thus of no value, while some will pay the local rate for refined fuel. In most cases there has been several times as much ore as fuel, as the drones reached their programmed limits on fuel needs but found no such limit on ore.
- Once you have been paid, please report the cache to the TAS so we can update our database, so your grandchildren do not waste their time trying to rediscover it.
A few different models of Fuelbags have been produced over time, though there is not much of significance to change. The version listed in this article is the most commonly encountered version in the Third Imperium.
Class Naming Practice/s & Peculiarities
Fuelbags are almost always known by numerical identifiers. Most are never individually addressed by anything other than the computer coordinating their drone swarm, and thus only nominally even have an identifier in any sophont language.
Although their name may suggest UDF type instead of UDX, they are classified as UDX because their function is about transporting and delivering refined fuel and sometimes non-fuel cargo, while UDF type fuel drones are about harvesting unrefined fuel and sometimes processing it.
Selected Variant Types & Classes
- Type UDX class Courier Drone
- Fuelbag class Fuel Depot Drone
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