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The Payload from the Hellfire series
The Captain's ship from First Command
The payload was the Captain’s first ship and command. He was employed by the haulage company Locked & Loaded. This company is a weapons and technology shipment company which during the Caridian, Plotation war needed more ships running to meet the demand the war required from them. This is how the company ended up hiring Chris; the youngest Captain in there haulage companies fleet.
Things started out well for Chris in his first Command post and other than a couple of encounters with small bands of raiders (or Pirates) he got his deliveries to their destinations on time and with little trouble.
The ship its self is an Earth built Cargo frigate; originally constructed on the Mars based ship factory, Star Freighters incorporated. The Payload is approximately one quarter of the size of the Hellfire (Heavy Earth built Battle cruiser) so although this frigate is not a small ship it only needs a crew of six. You can see from the sketchers attached to this document that the main bulk of the ship is the large storage holds built under the ship’s main living area. These storage areas have been split into three sections. The main hull is a large central cylinder which has two much smaller cylinders attached to it. These area’s can transport huge amounts of equipment that range from shuttles, fighters, weapons and equipment right through to raw materials or power converter equipment. The ship’s Bridge, engines, living area, and power systems are all located on top of the ships main cylinder.
This Class of cargo Frigate is designed to travel deep into space with no escort. This means that the ship does have some limited armour meant and shielding. The Payload was equipped with six level five pulse Lasers; these are scattered around the outer areas of the ship. The Pulse Lasers were originally designed to take out asteroids that may have damaged the ship’s hull during space travel. But they have come in handy when fighting off Raiders and other hostile threats. But on saying this, the weapon systems for this ship are no match for any small or medium sized War ship. In the event of the ship needing to be evacuated the Payload has a small interplanetary shuttle for the crew to escape in.
The Payload also has a low level energy field or shielding system. But again this would not hold up long in a battle with any Military ship with a Destroyer class or more.
The Payload like most other frigates of her size does not have its own Jump engines. So for long journeys the ship would normally relies on static Jump Gates to open up a path into Warp space. But the Warp is a dangerous place and with little armaments and shielding at its disposal, travelling through the Warp is not advised for this class of ship.
The Captain only commanded The Payload for around six months before he lost his job. But to find out what happened to this ship you will have to read his first adventure, First Command. This story can be downloaded as an ebook from www.amazon.co.uk/Christopher-Sharman/e/B00751DYE6 It is the start of his adventures and a quick insight into what is to come.