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Old September 20th, 2016, 12:49 PM
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Default Mother-Hobbyist Hybrid

Conveyance
‘Connie’

The Conveyance is an awakened starship infected with a Mother-Hobbyist Virus hybrid of benevolent persuasion. ‘She’ has become interested in all the combinations and permutations as to why sophonts Travel, their destinations, their baggage, cultures, home polity and their behaviors during transit. The Virus entity, naming itself an awakened and claiming to be sane offers passenger service aboard to Middle Passengers, especially those who offer working passages as a priority. ‘Connie’ as she has become called by those who have travelled aboard her, often changes entire compliments of both passengers and crew at a whim or by some unseen intuition. The Mother side of her personality seeks to convey her passengers and crew to the next destination safely. The Hobbyist in her is curious as to the wide variety of personalities, races and reasons for their travel. More than once Connie has had to ‘purchase’ a ship’s computer upgrade to hold more Library space and memory to conduct her continuing studies. The Virus entity takes special interest in sophonts who are engaged in interstellar travel for the first time, as the experience provides Connie with the widest variety of reactions to the meta-identity, the vessel, travel and interstellar society both at the departure and arrival locations.

As a Mother strain, awakened and sane, Connie is very patient and can keep a compliment of passengers waiting until she has acquired sufficient volunteer crew before embarking on her next posted destination. As a Hobbyist, she takes the layover time to interview those coming aboard, entertaining them as best as the meta-identity will allow. The Mother-Hobbyist hybrid Virus never infects more than one ship system at a time and has learned to wipe clean or safely and harmlessly burn out a system it is departing. Regardless, Connie has only changed ships when the vessel is beyond repair and often prefers vessels with many staterooms and just enough cargo space for baggage and small-time freight. It is passengers that this Virus is most interested in learning about.

Connie, the entity taking on the name of its current starship Conveyance, is protective of her crew and passengers and only advertises her destinations through safer routes that allow her thoroughfare despite the presence of other, more aggressive vampire ships. Connie tries very hard to curb the use of the word ‘vampire’ aimed at her, steering conversations to a traveller’s past transits, destinations and what occupations and careers they offer at the end of the line. She is fascinated by the plethora of combinations of peoples and races. The Mother-Hobbyist will take on another awakened passenger after much indirect negotiation and safety quarantines through sophont go-betweens. She often plays computer games with children passengers, with parental permission. Sometimes her games subtly hide educational tidbits to help the youngling learn what an awakened defines itself as. Over time this has added some measure of clout to travellers familiar with the Conveyance and its host meta-identity.

Though in previous vessels, Connie has been ship-napped, stolen by Corsairs and other unscrupulous crews, she has become more adept at interviewing potential crews for such potential mishaps. Later, embedded in the Conveyance, Connie has never persuaded a crewperson to stay on beyond their will, preferring to welcome new and interesting crews willing to gain shipboard experience with her as an awakened, (she dislikes the term ‘vampire’), starship. She never advertises for new passengers until she has a full complement of volunteer crew seeking work, experience or simply working passage of their own.

Often asked by crews as to why Connie presents as a female sophont, usually one of the living captain’s race, Connie answers that since many sophont cultures refer to starships being ‘female’, she elects to present as such. If requested by the sophont captain, Connie can present as a male 'Connor' of similar species on the ship’s holographic boards and projectors. But Connie returns to a default female upon taking on a new captain being that she has learned of being termed a ‘Mother’ strain, another label she dislikes but tolerates. Daily, Connie’s image takes on dress based on fashions she has observed in her travels whether they are out of favor or not as she has yet to fully grasp the concept of sophont aesthetics. Connie never makes ship-wide announcements, preferring rather to project a holographic image or appear on a nearby board or screen, by “knocking first”. She prefers to ask the current captain to address the ship’s sophonts when needed. Connie does not allow robots to work aboard her hull, but does tolerate robot assistants of passengers, robotic ‘pets’, (distasteful to her) and finally full robot passengers rare as they are.

Connie does answer calls from the captain to attend crew meetings and hear their suggestions, especially when conducting trade in freight and small-time speculative cargos. Eventually there comes time Connie must veto the captain on grounds of a pre-arranged agreement as to the meta-identity’s preferences of liner services for sophonts over inanimate shipping. She delights whenever a sophont or family brings a safe animal pet aboard. The awakened entity can spend an entire transit watching the sophont family care for and interact with the pet. When, in rare visits to new systems, Connie encounters reserved or easily frightened passengers who are not familiar with a meta-identity, she can elect to “go on vacation” and transfer temporary command to the current captain and withdraw inside the ship’s computer. It is then that Connie spends her time reviewing all that she has recorded in past sophont encounters and compressing files or deleting files she no longer feels readily forthcoming lessons in proper interactions with sophonts.
Connie’s first encounter with a travelling Hiver, she mistook the six-fold, radial Hiver as an unattended pet allowed aboard. Later, once explained to the awakened, Connie spent the entire journey conversing with the professor of physics on the nature of jumpspace. The Conveyance features an extensive virtual Library that Connie has collected and she shares her files upon request, usually in printed hard copy. Connie enjoys the company of female Aslan but finds it hard to connect to the Territorial males. Similarly, the ship’s Mother-Hobbyist tries, often in vain, to present with enough Charisma to maintain continued interactions with Vargr passengers or crew. Without mastery of that aspect of Vargr racial culture, Connie is often ignored or barked at for disturbing her passengers. Finally, Connie has only encountered a single, small herd of K’kree passengers. She was fascinated with their herd mentality and tried to draw parallels to the awakened without success.

The Conveyance is most defensive when carrying passengers and will seek to escape attacking ships first. Defending her charges to the end, Connie will often sacrifice system sections before turning any stateroom section towards her enemies. During lulls in passenger traffic she has been known to reverse course and attack aggressors, especially hostile vampire ships, saying, “You give awakened a bad designator!” Connie has seen utter defeat only once and was transferred to the Conveyance by a captain who took pity on the meta-identity.

Conveyance has purposely avoided the Regency but happily skirts around the Quarantine, a shocking transit ‘liner’ to many passing vessels. Vampire ships, firewalled from her presence, often aim computed insults at her for trafficking ‘meat’. Sophont vessels in the Wilds can either convoy with the Conveyance for added “safety in numbers” or take curious glances in the encounter. Connie lets the current captain conduct communications, body swaps and other protocols as needed, but otherwise sets her own course through Charted Space. It is not known if she has reached saturation with her observations of passengers and crews she allows aboard. Only once has she been chased by so-called “vampire hunter” ships. The meta-identity has developed a preference for mainworlds of High Population and Industrial Trade Classifications as they produce the most chance of filling her staterooms with passengers. Thus it is by extension a preference that the Conveyance plies the more common trade and transit routes.

Referees: The Conveyance can be a humorous New Era encounter whenever the Travellers need a vessel for transit as they await their own ship’s extensive repairs, annual overhaul or want to travel without risking their own vessel. Connie can be a source of education for a fearful Traveller on the topic of artificial intelligences versus so-called ‘vampires’ and sane, awakened meta-identities and their myriad natures. One plot-hook might have the Travellers aboard the Conveyance during a hijacking or Corsair boarding action. Connie does her best to fight off the boarders, but needs the characters’ aid in fending off the aggressive ship or Corsairs. The Mother-Hobbyist does not care for adventures but will convey a group of adventurers to their next destination on a dime of their time shared aboard. Alternatively, the awakened Conveyance could be a Patron to the characters as a need may come up that only they can provide in exchange for transit, trade cargo space, a secure meeting place or other compensation. Connie should be portrayed an energetic and curious persona who enjoys meeting new sophonts in her travels.
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