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Lord Ship

by Lewis Roberts

In 1194 the Praetor of the Red Hills Empire on Janosz/Harlequin/Solomani Rim traded a defunct Mosquito class light escort to a passing Vampire fleet for supplies and high tech weaponry. He used this weaponry to conquer several of the surrounding nations. The Vampires ferried the ship to Champa/Harlequin/Solomani Rim, where it underwent repairs and was subsequently infected with a doomslayer variant of the Virus. It was given a crew of a dozen robots; these were mostly maintenance robots, but it also had a pair of LSP PR-317 security bots (see Vampire Fleets)

The new vampire joined the fleets patrolling the Vampire Main against puppeteer incursions from coreward. It did this for several years, until it grew tired. It then started to prowl the border regions of Alpha Crucis and the Old Expanses. It did this for several years, growing increasingly more violent towards the human populations that it discovered. The root cause of its hatred towards life is that life can feel sensations, it can feel pain, and pleasure. All the ship felt was hatred. Since it can not feel, it decided to make all living creatures feel pain. It does not care what type of living creatures feel pain, animals are just as good a target as humans. It regards humans as just another animal species; though they do make more pleasant noises when feeling pain. It spends its time devising new ways to inflict pain on its victims. It has had its robotic crew set up a few rooms where various tools such as laser cutters, buzz saws, welding equipment, etc are directly controlled by the ship itself. It uses these on its captives, though at other times it directs the various robots under its command to torture the captives. It prefers this to bombarding planets with its main guns.

In early 1202 it entered Oriflamme subsector and jumped into the Lucifer/Oriflamme/Old Expanses system. It encountered a subsidized liner nearing the jump limit, and attacked and disabled the liner. It then sent its crew aboard to take as many captives as possible. After the captives were safely aboard, it jumped out of the system.

One of the captives while being tortured, started to critique the ship's performance. This intrigued the ship, and it allowed the captive to continue talking. The captive revealed that it had similar hatred of humanity, and was eager to inflict pain on other humans. In fact the human, was a captive of the other humans aboard the destroyed liner, and was glad to be free. The human promised to show the ship new ways to inflict pain on other lifeforms. The ship was curious and allowed the human to demonstrate on another captive. After it was finished the human suggested an partnership, together they would create new ways to inflict pain and suffering. The ship agreed, and it now regards the human, Dr. Manfred Strauss, as an equal.

The doctor suggested that they needed additional manpower, and they could get it at the Starhelm Prison in the Kruyter/Aubaine/Old Expanses system. The ship agreed, and jumped for Kruyter. It attacked the prison, and sent in its robot crew and the doctor. The Doctor brought back 150 captives. These were mostly prisoners, but there were a few prison staff. The doctor offered the captives a choice, they could either join with the Vampire, or be playthings for the ship and the doctor. A recruit had to show that it was worthy, by killing another captive. The offer was made on a first come, first serve basis. This eliminated most of the prisoners who had been convicted of non-violent crimes. The doctor makes this same offer to other captives that the ship takes. The Doctor and the ship then set out to use their new found crew to inflict terror and misery on the universe.

The ship has no name: names are only for communicating with humans and other animals. When communicating with other Vampires it has a long code of numbers, which it can transmit if necessary. Dr Strauss has taken to calling the ship Lord Ship, and has forced the rest of the humans to do the same. The robot crew members, usually refer to the ship, as the ship.

Strauss is the only human that the ship recognizes as an individual, and he is the only one it refers to by name. If it needs something done, it simply grabs the nearest human and orders it to perform the task. The Doctor has gotten the ship to recognize the difference between the human crew and the captives. The crew all wear red bandanas on their head; any human without a bandana is fair game. If a human wearing a bandana was to attack the ship, or to refuse an order, then it would be attacked.

The ship is in remarkably good shape for a Vampire. All of its systems are fully functional. It only has 8 missiles remaining; if it needs more it will have to come up with equipment to trade for extra missiles at the Vampire starports in Harlequin subsector. The crew is larger than normal for a Mosquito and the crew hotbunks and sleeps in the cargo bay. The large crew also strains the maintenance facilities, and the ship is becoming filthy. If this continues much longer, the ship and the doctor might have to do away with some of the crew.

There are ten Virus infected robots on board the ship. They are all sentient and individuals. The exact types and personalities of the robots should be generated by the referee. There are normally 50-100 human crew members aboard the ship, though the exact numbers vary. They are mostly killers and cut throats. Not all of them are happy to be serving aboard a Vampire ship, but it is better than prison. The Doctor and the ship demand absolute obedience; failure is met with torture and death. The Doctor and the Ship are not interested in the loot that they capture, and all of it is given to the crew, which has kept morale high.

There are also 0-50 captives aboard. These are people captured on raids, or crew members who somehow displeased the doctor or the ship. They live in constant fear, at any the moment the ship or the doctor could decide to kill them. The crew is allowed to abuse the captives, but not to kill them. If one of them dies, the responsible party must take their place.

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