Macrochelys Class Freighter

It has been said that companies make money off of products that are 80% complete. The Inner Earth Dock is no exception, and the Macrochelys Class Freighter exemplifies this adage. After the initial rush to get any space-worthy vessel on the market, IE and FYM entered into a race to produce the most definitive mid-size freighter. This was before mankind spread out as far as they are now, and the need for bulk freight was non-existent. Starship crews were growing weary of the lack of creature comfort on earlier models, so IE Docks went with the design classic saucer shape with some outcroppings.

Gravity, showers, a real kitchen, these were all must-haves on the latest and greatest vessels. Everything else, they said, was to be figured out along the way. After the plans were drawn up and everything looked sound until one board member asked the simple question, "where do you load the cargo?" It couldn't be from the front or the back, as that's where the bridge and engines were. It couldn't be from the port or starboard, you'd have to load from the ship's "floor". So one quick-thinking engineer spoke up.

"Through the bottom of course! The empty-space inside the gravity-centrifuge will be outfitted with anchor shackles and cranes so you can move cargo inside in zero G!" This is a highly inconvenient way to load and unload cargo, but executives weren't thinking of the tireless efforts of future dock workers - this was an ingenious use of otherwise useless space. Then some jokes were made about putting a turret on top so they could destroy the competition in deep space. Again, the executives loved this idea! Put a pair in front as well!

Half an idea, a fast quip, and one joke later the Macrochelys was born. The ship is round, protected by armor, and had a precarious bite when provoked, just like the genus of snapping turtle it was named after. IE Docks lost the battle, but won the war. The Macrochelys lacked a singular purpose and identity when it first hit the market, but made enough of a profit for production to continue. Decades later, when the bulk freighters began to come on the scene and the raise of piracy began, sales of the Macrochelys exploded! The balance struck between cargo capacity, speed, and weapons was perfect for the frontier worlds. Equipped with low-density armor plating and high-efficiency EM pulse emitters, this ship has become the benchmark for budding tramp freighter captains.

Citing my sources, props to the artist.

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