ENTRY 021: Beamsailors
Beam sails (also known as solar sails or photon sails) are a proven technology, both low maintenance and long lasting, able to operate with relative ease between the inner planets using the radiation pressure and solar gases pushing against their mirrored surfaces to provide sufficient thrust for interplanetary travel. Some models are able to operate farther using beam stations and proper construction. Morphs designed as beamsailors are small craft the size of a typical transhuman at the center of a massive beam sail of nanofabricated microscopic mirrors set in an active array. The morphs ply their way between planets, vast mirrored surface areas folding and tacking into amazing geometries to catch either sunlight or a laser beam.
Beamsailors are one of the most economic method of independent space exploration for the inner solar systems, but remain rare—while they can build up to appreciable speeds, particularly with a laser or maser beam behind them to provide additional thrust, in practice they tend to be slower than many conventional space craft for short voyages, generally with greater turning radius and higher delta v to change trajectories than on-board engine craft of similar mass.
Egos that choose beamsailor morphs tend to be self-reliant and desire independence. Many work as spotters and surveyors for freelance miners and hypercorps, doing sweeps of asteroids or high-altitude planetary surface scans looking for minerals, metals, ices, and unusual features. Beamsailors are also among the explorers of solar systems on the other side of gate networks, though often with modifications that allow them to operate with respect to the different environments of alien stars.
Beamsailor morphs have all of the advantages of synthmorphs (Eclipse Phase, p.143).
Enhancements: 360-Degree Vision, Access Jacks, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical Stack, Cyberbrain, Solar Panels
Mobility System: Beam Sail
Aptitude Maximum: 30
Wound Threshold: 20
Disadvantages: Limited Maneuverability
CP Cost: 80
Credit Cost: Expensive (minimum 50,000+)
Individual beamsailors often have many more advantages and enhancements, including entire weapon systems, armor, quantum farcasters, sensor arrays, etc.
- One Bad Photon is a surveyor operating in the Hungaria asteroids and thinks ze’s hit something big, a deposit of exotic organic compounds that would fetch up to half a million credits from one of the biotech habitats or hypercorps. All ze asks to lead the player characters to it is a fair share of the profits—but when they get there, they’ll have to deal with a claim-jumping scum barge.
- Dahast is a beamsailor gone bad—a predatory ego that hunts and cripples other beamsailors in slow races, using rail guns to rip their beam sails to shreds. What’s worse is what follows in Dahast’s wake, a crew of exsurgents that seize the crippled morph and seek to infect the captured ego. Firewall wants them ended—they have a group of beamsailor puppet socks set up as bait, all they need now are pilots that can lead Dahast and the exsurgents into the trap.