Xihuitl class Person Ship
|Xihuitl class Person Ship|
A person and a smallcraft
|Type: UY Private Smallcraft|
|Hull Configuration||Irregular Structure Hull|
|Streamlining||Partially Streamlined Hull|
|Fuel tank||0 Tons|
|End of Service||None known or expected|
|Cost||MCr81.6025. MCr73.44225 in quantity.|
|Quick Ship Profile||UY-1C30|
|Also see||Utility Craft / Virus - Robot|
|Canon||Published, fan design|
|Reference||EXTERNAL LINK: MGT Forums|
|Designed with Mongoose Traveller High Guard rules, but portable to other versions.|
There are certain strains of Virus that prefer only to infect spaceships, that being what they were in when they became sentient, and thus with identities molded around being ships. Some of these strains seek recognition as sentient individuals from other sophonts, the most numerous examples at hand being far smaller biological ones. The Xihuitl class was designed to facilitate this interaction, using TL-16 smallcraft ship's computers (termed "Model/10") able to handle the complexity of software that at previous technological levels required capital ships' computer cores.
Sculpted to resemble a large floating humanoid, with legs replaced by a hemispherical maneuver drive, the typical assessment is that it does its job somewhat but an android would have been better. It is unable to fit into spaces designed for smaller sophonts. Its body plan is just close enough to humanoid to feel off; in particular, at rest the end of the arms tries to form into "hands" with three fingers and two thumbs, but the many manipulators, tools, and cameras these are formed from are clearly visible. But where it can go, it provides a unit that can be faced and spoken with.
If kept to planet-side activities on a water-bearing world with only occasional excursions above the atmosphere (say, to move things to or from orbit or to visit a local moon), and supplied with a high tech population or tools to maintain itself, then between its greater speed, strength, and intelligence relative to most sophonts, a Xihuitl essentially becomes the long-lived superbeing it believes itself to be. As with any vehicle with a maneuver drive, a Xihuitl can soar at hypersonic speeds around a planet, or just hop up to low orbit and back to complete a long (on planetary scale) trip in less than an hour (accelerating then decelerating in similar fashion to space voyages). While it has limited internal cargo space, by locking arms and getting under the center of gravity, it is able to carry loads heavier than itself (maximum load depending on local gravity: (30 G-tons lift)/(tons of cargo + 10 ton Xihuitl) >= gravity in Gs). Concretely measuring intelligence remains trickier even at high technology levels, but most standardized tests place a Xihuitl's AI at much higher than the average for most biological sophonts. The only "food" a Xihuitl needs is hydrogen, typically siphoned from the same water supply that supports whatever population it associates with, though its maintenance "medical" needs are significantly higher. Most new Xihuitls quickly learn the skills needed to maintain themselves, and devote their internal cargo to supplies necessary for this (and sometimes an android drone, though many report dissatisfaction when biological sophonts treat this drone as the "real" sophont and the Xihuitl as a mere shell).
That said, a Xihuitl is still technically a smallcraft, able to fly throughout a solar system with little problem. There are "jump frames" - 100 ton starships, usually a minimum of Jump-3, refitted with a docking space replacing the bridge, staterooms, and crew commons - that Xihuitls can dock with and pilot from star to star, typically filling all crew positions. It is not unheard of, when a Xihuitl wishes to blow off steam, to fly to a local asteroid belt and take out frustrations on a helpless rock (placing new craters on the planet or local moons having been deemed unsightly).
Not available at this time.
General Description & Deck Plans
Basic Ship Characteristics
|Basic Ship Characteristics |
|1.||Tonnage / Hull||Tonnage: 10 tons (standard). 140 cubic meters. Partially Streamlined Irregular Structure Hull.
|2.||Crew||Crew: None, aside from the software on the ship's computer.|
|3.||Performance||Acceleration: 3-G maneuver drive installed.
|4.||Electronics||Model/10 ship computer.|
|5.||Hardpoints||No hardpoints, 1 firmpoint.|
|6.||Armament||None in the base model, though some have been noted to carry and wield weapons in their arms, or batteries in their cargo bay and a strap-on backpack-like laser turret.|
|7.||Defenses||None in the base model, though many with the laser turret addition describe above use it primarily to conduct point defense (more often for nearby ships than for themselves).|
|8.||Craft||None (aside from itself). With no crew, vacc suits and rescue balls not normally carried.|
|9.||Fuel Treatment||It is typically equipped with a fuel purification plant and fuel scoops.|
|10.||Cost||MCr81.6025 standard (no architect's fees, the effort having been donated by the naval architects for the benefit of their fellow Awakened). MCr73.44225 in quantity - theoretically, as this class is not known to have ever been manufactured in batches of more than one at a time.|
|11.||Construction Time||10 weeks standard, 7 in quantity (theoretically: see above).|
|12.||Remarks||A smallcraft designed to be a sophont.|
When this smallcraft was first encountered, it was assumed to be a Unique Ship. The concept that a Virus might wish to appear humanoid was believed to obviously be extremely rare, never happening save for the one example on record.
Then another was encountered, and another and another. It came out that a number of Awakened wished recognition as a sophont, so one of them came up with and shared this design to try to get sophonts used to thinking of Awakened with this avatar as having a body they could relate to. While this was certainly a limited and kind of alien use, "unique" no longer applied. Classifiers pointed out that this was unquestionably a smallcraft, and whatever sensibilities applied, it was clearly for (extremely) personal use on matters that did not cleanly fall into any other class, the very definition of a Private Smallcraft. This classification was especially pushed by Vilani as a minor celebration that their venerated precedent - in this case, the system of naval classification codes from the by-then long-gone Third Imperium - covered even such an extreme case.
1201 is estimated for first manufacture of this class, based more on speculation than on hard evidence. It is entirely possible there were examples some years before, though not before Virus was released and had time to evolve well beyond the initial Suicider virus strains. On the other hand, a few are on video dated 1221 celebrating the founding of the Fourth Imperium.
Class Naming Practice/s & Peculiarities
Ship Interior Details (Peculiarities): Most of a Xihuitl's sensors are along the sides of its "chest", meaning that turning its torso (rather than its "head") to face directly toward or away from something is how it pays primary attention.
The stack in the middle of its torso is a rough analogue to a biological feeding and elimination system. The cargo bay at the top of this stack has lead some to joke that they have a hole where their heart should be; most Xihuitls know enough biology to point out that their physical heart is just in a different place (a bit lower, near their center of mass), and enough art to claim their metaphorical heart is in processors distributed around their body.
Class Naming Practice/s: In every case, the name of the Xihuitl smallcraft is the name of the controlling identity, be it a meta identity or a point identity. No meta identity is known to control more than one Xihuitl at a time, although some control other spaceships and/or other devices; in these cases, the Xihuitl is (by design) viewed as the primary body.
Selected Variant Types & Classes
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|The featured ship was originally designed using New Traveller ship design rules.|
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