Pyrenian Klarion Explorer Seedship

A data-only podship exploration design

Image from Steve Bowers

A design named after the Pyrenian explorer Herren Klarion, the aicratic council of Pyren of the MPA, offers amongst other designs this ship to resident explorer-tourists, malcontents and would-be Klarions, in exchange for a modest quantity of citizen purchase tokens. Though the requirement of ultratech components and a superturing intelligence limits its use to ultratech polities, it has proved very popular amongst explorers and emigrants for its speed, comfort and sophisticated fabrication facilities, and it has been copied by two dozen polities and traded to many more.

The ship's main engine is a Green Mind-pattern monopole fusion drive with an Aron Tech-style amat containment module. Most ships are also able to deploy an Emple-Dokcetic-style drive sail for back up engine in case the fuel runs low, and a Maynard fractal solar sail in case of total loss of the active engines. The shielding consists of an active ultratech/plasma combination in addition to forward deployed passively shielded microdrones scanning the particle density ahead to ensure an efficient use of the active shielding. Attached to the engine with a buckytube cable of variable length is the computronium core that contains the ship's intelligent systems, the passenger uploads and a rich variety of virch environments. The standard template for the ship utilises a dedicated Lowal-Buddhistic superturing to control the ship's navigation and ultratech systems, with another turing of appropriate toposophic level to the owner serving as direct contact to the ril and controller of the peripheral crew module systems.

When in interplanetary mode the ship has a crew module, complete with all modern luxuries, attached to the computronium core. Though the exact contents of the module vary from ship to ship, all modules contain one or more engenerators.

When converting to interstellar mode, the passengers proceed to the coffins, where they are uploaded to the computronium core, and their bodies disassembled. Once the minds are safely uploaded, the crew module is scavenged for energy and disconnected. The position and vector of the module is noted, in case the ship should ever return to the same system. If the ship isn't going to be coming back, the hab module can be converted into reaction mass for the engine. The ship is then ready to cross the gulf between the stars.

When entering a system, and ordered to return to interplanetary mode, the ship first checks whether it has earlier left a crew module and whether it is still there. If there is no crew module, it checks whether the system allows free mining, or whether rights, or the materials themselves must be purchased. If it has no option but to purchase the materials, it will do so with the permission of its owner. However, if allowed to the ship is capable of mining kuiper or insystem belts, or given a minimum of starting mass, of jovian mining and using its transmutors to convert these materials into the minerals it needs to rebuild the crew module. Once the crew module has been reattached or re-created, the coffins create new bodies for the passengers and the passenger's minds are downloaded.

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Development Notes
Text by Thorbørn Steen
Initially published on 04 July 2008.