Space Hulk
Image from P Bourne copyright used with permission

Hulkriders - of which no less than 500 examples are known at latest count - are generally Hulkchasers which have settled permanently in a space hulk (derelict spacecraft).

Some hulkrider cultures choose to settle in a derelict craft voluntarily, perhaps because the hulk still has repairable life support systems and power generation capacity. In some cases, a repairable hulk may represent the most significant source of power in a particular volume of deep space.

On the other hand, some hulkriders are involuntary residents, having been subverted by the defense systems or the relics left behind by a transcension or a blight. Memetic subversion systems can attack the hulkchasers that find them and hijack their motivational processes, forcing the chasers to remain within the hulk for the foreseeable future, repairing it as necessary. Some commentators suggest that this happens because the remaining systems on board the hulk desire company.

Hulkriders may become inbred nomads, and after a few centuries or less there is little to distinguish them from conventional nomads or even ferals. Wherever possible they will scavenge from local resources or even - if they are fortunate - another hulk, adding to the size and decoration of their own vessel. Over several millennia, some of these patchwork vessels attain huge size.
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Initially published on 10 July 2001.