The fastest ship in the Universe, the Rocco II (formerly the Red Jewel) is the vessel of the Magnificent 7, serving as both their base of operations and primary mode of transportation. It is a C-564C Charger R/T Light Cruiser, a simple high speed cargo ship created at the Tanthalas Shipyards of the Jehdan Empire by Colt Stardrive Company. There was nothing extraordinary about the ship, other than it was designed to be very fast in order to outrun pirates. Over time, the ship was sold off to a private owner, who bought it with the idea of turning it into a smuggling vessel. He upgraded the engines and many of the ship’s internal systems, and the ship began a long history of changing hands between smugglers and traders. Each of its owners would put it through a series of upgrades and retrofits, with particular attention being given to the speed of the ship.
It would eventually come into the hands of a drifter named Jaxx Barro, who had killed her employer, the Jehdan Duke Lovelace Valentine, over a matter involving slave trafficking and run off with the ship. After she broke from Valentine, Barro began to add to the prior owners' modifications. Her personal enhancements included upgrading the armor plating, weapons, engines, sensors, and sensor jammers. Many of the ship’s most important modifications were cannibalized from a downed SENTINEL Capitol Ship, including its power core which gave the tiny ship a power output of a ship many times its size. The Drive Train she took from the ship made Red Jewel the fastest ship in private ownership, being able to travel to almost any point in the known Universe in a matter of days. She was eventually seemingly murdered by her first mate, the Selikan Wylie who gathered the fearsome Grinning Pirates. Wylie himself was killed by a passing John Nash, who took the ship and renamed it the Rocco II and gave the ship’s AI the name Rocco (it had previously been referred to as just “Ship”).
The ship which would become the Rocco II began life inauspiciously enough at the Colt Stardrive Company Factory on the planet Tanthalas. Built to standard specs for a C-564C Charger, it was sent to a dealer where it was bought in a lot of over a dozen other Chargers by an altruistic trader called Sal Vation. Upon his death the ownership of the company and its fleet passed to Vation's son Sal Lazar, who unfortunately lacked his father's upstanding character. An avid gambler, he lost big and became deeply indebted to the fearsome Jehdan nobles, the Lovelace family. At this time the head of the family, Duke Lovelace Valentine was looking to expand his family's smuggling enterprise and he took possession of the Chargers to settle Lazar's debt.
To this end, Valentine had the ships retrofitted with parts well past standard specs for a C-564C. Weapon emplacements and shield generators from D-model Military Chargers were installed. The interiors of the ships were modified to have secure holding and countless secret compartments to fool nosey inspectors. Most important though were the ship's thrusters, engines, and flash drive. Valentine installed the best systems money could buy, and by the time he was done these Chargers could easily outrun anything shy of a SENTINEL Capital Ship. It and it's sister ships were painted the Lovelace House color of red and given names like the Crimson Fist, the Bloody Crown, the Scarlet Bitch, etc, In this vein this particular Charger was christened as the Red Jewel. The Lovelaces used their new Charger fleet to bolster their smuggling operations and would use them to move illicit cargo quickly and discreetly. Duke Valentine hired his subordinate and occasional lover Jaxx Barro to captain the Red Jewel.
She faithfully served the Lovelaces for years until she discovered that the cargo she was smuggling was Purran Slaves. Aghast at what she had been unwittingly involved in, she freed the slaves and absconded with the ship. This action marked the beginning of a long vendetta between herself and Duke Valentine, and under her it eventually became an infamous outlaw ship.
It was under Barro that the Red Jewel would receive its most extreme modifications which set it vastly apart from other Chargers. Using technology scavenged from a downed SENTINEL ship, she managed to give it power, engines, shields and weapons rivaling even many capital class ships and making it arguably the fastest ship in private ownership. From the SENTINEL ship Barro even managed to scavenge half a dozen nova bombs which she secretly installed in the ship.
The Red Jewel changed hands again when Barro was betrayed by her second in command Wylie and the Barro Gang became the Grinning Pirates. Wylie did not have the love for the ship that Barro did, and under his command the ship fell into a state of disrepair. The middle decks were hastily dismantled to accommodate a larger crew. The removed walls and bulkheads resulted in a great deal of exposed cabling and pipes, and it became fairly dirty.
When John Nash killed Wylie in a bar fight he took possession of the ship. He renamed it the Rocco II after the 69 Dodge Charger owned by his father. The Rocco II would take John, Dashora and Thuro from Arkem to Kazan where it was safely hidden during the events of the Saran Civil War. Afterwards John used the money he'd inherited as the new Lord Naru to completely refurbish the Rocco II according to his tastes (during its time as the Grinning Pirates' ship the inside had become rather disgusting). Taking it to a popular space ship detailing company called Red Rim Customs, John opted for an interior package which would include a thorough cleaning and new carpeting, bedding & furnishing. The retrofit included a complete upgrade of ship's systems, and the outdated helm and ops stations were replaced with newer more sleek designs and touch screen interfaces. Red Rim Customs was also responsible for giving the ship a new coat of red paint and drawing the jolly roger design on the nose of the ship.
Upon returning to Kazan, he made the ship his residence instead of Naru Tower. When the God King Crash re-emerged and he was recruited along with Thuro and Kara to find Cain and bring him back to Kazan, it marked the beginning of an adventure which would see him gain additional crew in the mercenary brothers Hefe and Bruno Logan and the fearsome Fae warrior, Bellona. After Kazan's destruction he would return to Earth to collect himself, and while there the group was joined by his former girlfriend June Hammer. The group would eventually fight and defeat Crash, becoming instantly famous as the Magnificent 7. Declared outlaws by the All Union, the Rocco II would become the group's mobile home moving forward.
Ship Features<p style="margin-right:.2in">Due in no small part to it's long and dangerous history, the Rocco II is one of the fastest ships in the entire Universe and is remarkably well armed for its size and class. One of its earlier owners had replaced the ships bow with one scavenged from a C-564D Military model Charger, so it had 2 gun emplacements and torpedo tubes in its nose.
The ship is a light cruiser (though it is on the high end of spaceships small enough to be classed as "Light"), being 16 meters tall, 48 meters in length and 29 in width. The hull is sleek, and best known for its iconic red paintjob from when it came into the possession of the Lovelace Family. It was at this point that the ship was named the Red Jewel. The bridge is an armored blister on the front half of the ship, with two hatches behind it. The sublight engines are contained in 2 outriggers on either side of the ship, with stabilizing fins rising from each. On the bottom of the ship are the two pods which contain the ship's Flash Coils which enable Faster the Light travel. Folded into these flash pads are the rear landing gear. The front landing gear doubles as an access point and ramp leading to the lower hold.
Each of the Flash Drive Pods have a rectangle on their bottom which operates as a magnetic grapple. They were installed during its time as a pirate ship to allow it to attach itself to the hulls of ships it was attacking. When the group had to infiltrate Figaro, John used the grapple to attach to the ship's back and ride it to the planet. When asked how he came up with the idea he said he "saw it in a movie once."
In the year following the fall of the Holy Order the Rocco II became John's primary source of diversion, and he dedicated himself to learning the specifics of spaceship modification. Like many of its previous owners, John dedicated himself to improving its speed and power. In addition to having the interior professionally remodeled, he also tweaked the engine to make it louder so that it would, in his words, "sound mean."
The Rocco II's remarkable performance comes from its Powertrain which was scavenged from a downed SENTINEL Peace Keeper. Barro was able to retrofit one of the Peace Keeper's Secondary Powertrains into the Red Jewel (the vessel's primary Powertrain was almost as large as the Red Jewel itself and therefore too large to use), giving it power far in excess of a standard Charger. This Powertrain is over twice the size of a standard Charger's Powertrain and fills up nearly the entire engine room.
The scavenged Powertrain is powered by a Void Core, a special form of XXXX which is essentially a crystalized black hole. Power from the Void Core not only feeds the Powertrain, but all ship's systems and is therefore always online whether the engine is activated or not. Power from the Void Core is fed to the Controller, which is then distilled to the Engine. Power from the Engine is adapted by the ship's Transmission to the Thrusters or Flash Coils. Whatever mode the Transmission is in dictates whether the ship is travelling at sublight or translight speed.
At first the SENTINEL parts were way too overpowered for the Charger's frame and even Jaxx Barro couldn't figure out how to go past 40% output without frying the ship's systems. It was only after Hefe, who himself had been a SENTINEL Officer who was an expert with the technology, came onboard that the systems were properly calibrated so that it could make full use of the powertrain without shaking itself apart. He still advised against ever taking the Drive past 80% unless it was absolutely necessary. Even at this level, the ship is capable of travelling between galaxies in matter of days where other ships will take weeks.
Like most common space ships, the Rocco II is equipped with a Gravisphere which simulates gravity within the ship while projecting an anti-grav field without. Not only does this field control gravity onboard the ship allowing crew to comfortably move around, it also works somewhat like how Aura is used by individuals in that it can hold the ship aloft in space. Using this field, the Rocco II is able to hover stably in nearly any environment. The Gravisphere also acts as a inertial dampening field, allowing the Rocco II incredible maneuverability while protecting the crew from the strain the inertia would normally place on them. The field projected by the generator is always on, and is considered a critical system like life support. Despite its incredible functions, the Gravisphere on the Rocco II's strain on the power core is negligible. Unlike most Chargers however, the Rocco II uses a more advanced Gravisphere pulled from a SENTINEL Prowler giving it tighter handling and better maneuverability than other ships of its make and model.
Rocco (Ship's AI)Edit
Originally called simply "Ship" or "Computer," the Rocco II's computer interface was renamed Rocco by John Nash after he took control of the ship. It is responsible for controlling the automated functions on the ship, can stand in for empty crew stations, and when acting as Auto Pilot in sublight travel can easily navigate most sky traffic and take the ship wherever its told to. Rocco also controls the retrieval and storage of files in the data banks housed within the ship's computer core. It can be accessed through both voice commands and at the numerous computer stations and data pads throughout the ship.
Rocco itself was a CROSS Computer Interface System. While it was designed for Jehdan military ships, pirated versions became popular with private ship owners due to its computing power, customization and ease of use. Thanks to the programming skills of Jaxx Barro (with later input by Hefe) it was even able to regulate the SENTINEL systems which were grafted onto the ship. While it is not capable of independent thought or abstract reasoning, Rocco uses advanced artificial intelligence routines to understand and execute commands given to it. While Rocco was not truly self aware, John would swear the ship had a personality.
The Rocco II is a C-Variant C-564 Charger and is rather typical of that class. It possesses three decks:
Bridge: The Rocco II is controlled from the Bridge. The helm is in the front center, with 4 crew stations in a horseshoe shape behind it. While the crew stations control navigation, engineering, communications and sensors respectively, all of these functions can be managed in a limited capacity from the helm. The door to the hall to the rest of the deck is at the rear down a small ramp (the Bridge is a bit over a foot and a half higher than the rest of Deck 1). A hatch to the right of the door leads down to the Mess on Deck 2.
Captain's Quarters: Leaving the Bridge, there is a long hall leading to the rear hold and the stairs leading down to the lower decks. To the left halfway down the hall is the door to the Captain's Quarters. The Captain's Quarters are a good deal larger than the Crew Quarters on the lower deck, and has its own washroom complete with a sink, toilet and shower. The bed is larger and is found against the far wall, and has a foot locker at its base. In the corner there is a computer desk with dual monitors and a separate tablet that John can draw on where he works on his art. Along the other walls there is a bigger dresser for June's clothes, a night stand, an entertainment center with a telescreen above it, book shelves, and a large screen on the far wall that doubles as a port hole. In the wall above the nightstand between the bed and computer desk is a synthesizer recessed into the wall.
Sick Bay: Across the Hall from the Captain's Quarters is the Sick Bay. The Sick Bay contains the ship's medical facilities. In addition to containing the medicine and surgical supplies, it also has three Healing Chambers in which injured people can be placed and immersed in healing fluid which can rapidly speed up their recovery. Upon joining the crew and becoming Ship's Doctor, Bruno tends to spend a lot of time here.
Storage: Behind the Captain's Quarters but before the stairway is a storage room.
Work Room: A room John left open to be used for the purposes of tinkering. Since coming onboard this room has been dominated by June who uses it to create new objects.
Head: Further down from the Sick Bay across from the staircase is the head. It has a 4 urinals, 3 stalls, and a sink with 4 basins. People go there to relieve themselves.
Rear Hold: At the very stern of the ship is the rear hold. Here, there is an aft hatch which can open to receive cargo. Also in this hold, are two Space Pods, used to transport single members when the ship is otherwise indisposed.
Crew Quarters: The other crew members lodgings are on the second deck, and of the 6 rooms available, only 5 are regularly inhabited (Kara shares her cabin with Cain). Compared to the Captain's Quarters, the Crew Quarters are rather spartan. The dimensions of these rooms are 8' tall, 12.5' wide and 16 deep. They are narrow, with a closet immediately to the right after entering the room. Just past the closet space is a recessed bunk, which is nominally big enough for two people. Across from the bunk is a desk, often with a pad connected to the ship's systems. On the far wall is a screen which can double as a porthole when not being used.
Bath: The Bath is towards the back of the deck near the stairs. In addition to a toilet, it contains the washing facilities, including a sink, mirror, and a sizable bathtub.
Laundry Room: A small cramped room between the bath and the crew quarters, the Laundry Room has three sets of washers and dryers and a table for folding clothes.
Galley: The G alley is a small room next to the Mess, cordoned off by a wall with a door and window opening to the Mess. The Galley contains refrigeration, stoves, burners, a microwave, and a synthesizer. It is barely big enough for 3 people to stand in at once. The Galley also possesses a synthesizer which John programmed with his favorite foods and drinks that he brought with him from Earth. Since taking on additional crew, the others have programmed their own food and drink preferrances into it.
Mess: The Mess is adjacent to the Galley and is found directly below the Bridge. It is accessed through either a door from the hallway in the center of the deck, or a ladder coming down from a hatch in the ceiling which links the Mess and the Bridge. It has a long table with 10 seats (4 on each side with 1 at each end).
Rec Room: The Rec Room is at the far forward end of the deck, and is where the crew goes to unwind. It has two long couches with a lounger that John apparently brought from Earth. It possesses a computer station linked to the ship's systems and a bubble hockey table. On the forward wall is a large screen, and in a table in between the couches is a table with a holo projector in the middle. On the starboard wall is a synthesizer disguised as a Red-Cola soda machine which John programmed to dispense his favorite soft drinks from Earth.
Hold: The Hold is where all the extraneous cargo that the Magnificent 7 pick up is kept. It is far larger than any other room in the ship, with many secret compartments from the ship's days as a smuggling vessel. The floor of the hold has many detachable panels underneath which objects can be hidden. The cargo hold since John took the ship has been a mess. Supplies are in boxes stacked haphazardly around the room, while nearly an entire wall has a pile of gold and jewels which are made up of the remains of the Naru Clan's fortune and various other treasures the group has absconded with over the course of their adventures. It is only June's influence that keeps clear paths from the loading doors to the stairs and the door to the engine room. In a front corner of the hold is a small workout area John maintains with a force diffusing punching bag.
Engine Room: The Engine Room is located at the aft section of the deck. The door is usually locked, but all in the crew know the passcode to enter it. The room is heavily shielded, in order to hide the purloined parts retrofitted into it. In the center of the room is the ships Drive Train, a cylindrical arrangement composed of the engine block, electrical system, gravisphere and fuel cell while a console station could be found on the left wall which gave readouts of the Engine Room's functions. The Rocco II's Drive Train is actually a good deal larger than the Drive Train of a normal Charger. After raiding the downed SENTINEL Peacekeeper, Jaxx Barro installed a larger carriage to accommodate the new parts. The Nova Core powers all ships systems, and gives the Rocco II the power of a ship many times its size. Due to its connection to essential ship functions it always runs even when the engine itself is turned off. Due to her unfamiliarity with SENTINEL Systems, Barro's retrofit of the parts was incomplete. While she could use the new parts to push the ship well past the parameters for a standard Charger, they were too powerful and she could not balance the SENTINEL parts with the ship's existing structure. Due to this, John initially rarely took the Drive beyond 40% Capacity (topping the ship out at Flash Factor 7), as using all the Drive's power could potentially rip the ship apart. After Hefe joined the crew, he rebalanced the Drive allowing 80% to be used without fear (making Flash 7 the new cruising speed for the ship).
- The Rocco II is named after Ray Nash's black Dodge Charger. Ray had named the car Rocco after a friend who was a famous pornstar.
- Over the course of its life, the ship became part of a fleet of Chargers which were remodeled as smuggling vessels by a Jehdan gangster. This gangster eventually ran afoul of the Lovelace Family, and he sold the fleet to them to settle a debt. Under them it and its sisters were painted red (the official color of the Lovelaces) and the ship was given the name the Red Jewel (its sisters got names like the Crimson Fist, the Bloody Crown, the Scarlet Bitch, etc). The Lovelaces would continue to use the Chargers as smuggling vessels, with the Red Jewel being piloted by a young Jaxx Barro. When she discovered that the cargo she was smuggling was actually a group of purran slaves, she set them free and absconded with the Jewel. The rest of the Lovelaces' Red Fleet of Chargers were eventually destroyed by Barro as part of her vendetta against Duke Valentine, resulting in the former Red Jewel being the only one left of that original batch.
- Many of the Rocco II's most valuable upgrades were done by Jaxx Barro when she owned the ship. Though the ship is of the C-Variant, it was upgraded with the weapon emplacements from a derelict D-Variant by an earlier owner. These weapons were later upgraded like the rest of the ship's systems with technology recovered from a downed SENTINEL Capital Ship by Jaxx Barro. She was also responsible for equipping the ship with jammers and falsifiers which hide the ship's illegal upgrades by giving off false readings. For this reason Hefe was surprised to find SENTINEL hardware throughout the ship.
- The crew quarters on the middle deck were originally secured storage when the ship was owned by the Lovelace Family, which were often used to confine transported slaves. After running off with the ship and gaining a crew, Barro would turn these storage rooms into crew quarters, though as she arranged it each room contained four stacked bunks to allow for more lodging. When Wylie took control of the ship he maintained this set up, but John never expected to have very many people aboard at any given time and initially decided that only a few of the rooms would serve as crew quarters. However, he was never able to think of anything else to do with them and would make each room lodging for a single person to stay comfortably "just in case." This proved to be providential when the Magnificent 7 gathered and each was able to have their own room with 1 left over for any additional guests (Kara shares her room with Cain).
- In each room there is a "trash chute" which is pulled out of the wall into which a passenger throws their refuse. Each of these "trash chutes" is actually an atomizer that breaks apart whatever is thrown into it and stores the atoms to be recycled later into new things by the Synthesizers. Trash Chutes have a safety protocol that makes it impossible for them to destroy any living matter.
- After the death of the Holy Ghost, John was named Lord Naru by the newly crowned King and the titles and wealth of the Clan were restored to him. While he was largely uninterested in his role as the head of a defunct house, the wealth given to him was largely used to customize and ugrade the Rocco II. He would continue to live aboard the Rocco II, never taking up residence in Naru Hall.
- Upon taking ownership of the vessel, John almost immediately began messing with the synthesizer settings and the furnishings. After the battle with Holy Ghost was over he spent much of the following year redecorating. Among his first big changes was the installation of carpet on the upper 2 decks (he says he hated the metal plate flooring on his bare feet, and installed tile in the bathrooms and the galley (because that's where tile belongs...)). The carpet on the bridge and in the hallways is a loop pile to maintain itself despite being in high traffic areas. In the bedrooms, galley and rec room he has more plush cut pile style carpet, put for those places "where he sometimes just wants to lie on the floor." When she first comes aboard the ship, June immediately recognizes John's tastes and mocks his additions as tacky.
- In the cargo hold John has a practice dummy made from a column of Impact Gel similar to the Muk Yan Jong used in kung fu practice. When not in use the gel appears as a blue column. When used the dummy will absorb the force directed against it and project an arm or leg sized protrusion for the practitioner to react to.
- Upon moving onto the ship, Thuro placed an enchantment on his room which created a pocket dimension within it. Whereas the rest of the crew quarters are rather spartan and cramped, Thuro's room is a palatial bedroom of incredible size. When John first sees the room, he's enraged that Thuro had done something weird to his ship. However, access to the room is only granted when Thuro or someone he allows opens the door. If someone else opens the door to Thuro's room they will find an empty room set up as a standard crew quarters.
- As she had a tendency to be forgetful, Barro scrawled the activation code for the store of Nova Bombs into the back of the wardrobe in her Captain's Quarters. Wylie never really used the wardrobe and even when he did he never noticed the code. It wasn't until June came aboard and John was showing her around that the code was discovered by the infinitely more attentive June. When she was piloting the ship away from the Magnificent 7's first catastrophic venture aboard the Providence, she hit a bunch of random buttons on the helm and accidentally revealed the Nova Bombs' activation interface. Taking a chance that the code it was asking for was the one she saw earlier in the wardrobe she managed to arm one of the bombs and fired it at the Crash's Megaship.
- The interior of the Rocco II is covered with invisible arcana runes set up by Thuro during their pursuit of King Crash. They hide the ship from the senses of gods and like beings and prevent them from being able to teleport themselves aboard. Crash realizes something is up with the ship when he notices that unless his eyes are on it, he cannot sense where it or the people inside are.
- The Rocco II's store of Nova Bombs was the main reason behind Jaxx Barro reclaiming it. She needed the bombs to blow up a planet which had formed over a portal to Limbo.
- The CROSS System is extremely popular on ships throughout the Universe and some version of it can be found all over. Depending on the starship, the CROSS design, particularly the color scheme can vary greatly. The Jehdan Imperial Guard uses a yellow/gold and white scheme, while blue and white is perhaps the most popular with private owners because of its ease on the eyes. John had set the CROSS System onboard the Rocco II to be red and white because he thought it looked the coolest. When John had the ship remodeled at Red Rim Customs, they upgraded the ships CROSS System from the stable but outdated CROSS 33 to the newer and more powerful CROSS 56. Much to John's chagrin forced him to reconfigure it back to his tastes.
- The Rocco II requires a key card to activate the ignition. So long as the pilot has the key card in the proximity of the helm, the ship will activate if the ignition button is pushed (once the engine is turned on the holder of the key card no longer needs to be sitting at the helm, though if the engine is turned off it will require a card holder to activate it again). When Barro took control of the ship, she kept the original key card but had an extra made for her first mate. This key card was taken by Wylie when he took control of the Barro Gang and would later be taken by John Nash when he killed the former. He in turn would have another key card made for June who he occasionally let pilot the ship in his stead. When Barro later reappeared her original card still worked, prompting John to have new cards made when he got the ship back. All other members of the Magnificent 7 have access cards, which can unlock the ship but do not allow them to turn the ship on. John keeps his key card in his chain wallet and does not remove it ever.
- The R/T classification to the Charger is short for Rough & Tumble. This is a classification given to ships optimized for hardiness and durability.