01378: Revisiting The Marauder

Now there's a particular reason for yesterday's blog post. In recent days, I've been plagued by images of a particular element of one of my stories. In this case, it was the Marauder.

Space Frigate and Planet by EastCoastCanuck
After I blended the science fiction and fantasy elements of my Gossamer and Excalibur Fleet stories, I wanted a clear representation of the marriage of the two genres. Thus the Marauder was born - a frigate-class spaceship that was the mobile home of one of my protagonists, Chi'tairn. Her story is a complex one but I can best summarize her as an individual who has an innate connection to magic (which is rare in this universe) but also a mastery of science. Thus the Marauder is meant to be a marriage of both disciplines containing elements of both schools of thought. The image to the right is something I found on the web that is a decent enough approximation of how I've envisioned the ship, but more on that in a bit.

First, let's talk about Chi'tairn. She was originally the name of a class of spaceship in the Excaliber Fleet stories that eventually became the name of my very first Diablo character - naturally she was a Rogue. She has retained the look over the years, thus making her also appear like other strong female characters like Mara Jade from the Star Wars Expanded Universe or even Ashnod from Magic: the Gathering. Thus red hair, green eyes and a LOT of attitude. She's a former member of the titular Gossamer Order but left due to disagreements with the Order's policies of unseen manipulation of events across the Multiverse. Naturally, Chi'tairn advocates a more direct approach and since then has become known to be somewhat of a storm crow and the perception that she is a bounty hunter. But that's not quite accurate.

Now the Marauder takes its name from the BattleTech Mech of the same name. And it's not like I particularly liked this Mech - I always felt like it had a nasty habit of overheating due to the multiple PPC's it carried. But it was a good name and it carried the right amount of menage given a bird of prey. So I went that.

Now the Marauder is a frigate for a reason. I wanted a ship that was large enough to carry one or two visiting (or captured) personal vessels plus I wanted it to establish that through the marriage of magic and science, Chi'tairn was able to pilot this vessel completely by herself. Well, at least without any living help.

There are three elements that help the ship run.

The first is the ship's computer, who is essentially sentient given the intermingling of magic and science has given the artificial intelligence some true intelligence that goes beyond its fundamental programming. I never decided if the computer is male or female in nature, but the Star Trek purist in me feels it needs to be a woman.

The second is an army of robots controlled by the ship's central intelligence. They range from general maintenance droids to robots who can assist as tactical gunners and the like. As much as the main computer could control everything on her own, relying on smaller, semi-autonomous units helps things go along.

The last element are three advanced humaniform droids who are fully sentient in their own right. I never got around to developing a collective name for them as a group but I did create individual names for them. The point was that in their default state, they would look exactly the same. They were all silver robots shaped like humans with no distinguishing features - so sort of like a smaller, lighter version of Gort.

Seer is a robot who has limited control of magic and channels his powers through a telescoping staff hidden inside his body. He's also the "leader" of the trio. Seeker is their technology expert and weapons expert who can operate any weapon given enough time and can get into any computer system. And Shift is actually a massive collection of highly complex nanites that connect to one another as a hive mind intelligence. The main goal is for him to either disguise himself as objects be changing his outward configuration or basically fighting using very out-of-the-box techniques beyond the constraints of thinking like a human. The three help command the ship and provide alternative opinions for the central intelligence but more importantly can leave the ship and join Chi'tairn for missions.

For the past week or so I keep imagining the Marauder locked in battle or I keep imagining scenes taking place on the ship. Does this mean I need to scratch this particular itch before investing more time on the LGBT zombie love story?

I'm not quite sure just yet.
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