Section 3: The good ship Tai-Pan
What does she do?
The Tai-Pan is an FTL merchant cargo ship that plies the shipping lanes of the Gold Road Sector. She is equipped with militech engines and is lightly armed, because pirates are a threat to both her cargo and crew.
How big is she?
The Tai-Pan has berths for 36 crew and is 1300 feet long (roughly one-and-a-half times the length of a 20th century super-tanker). The Tai-Pan has one primary and several auxiliary cargo bays. The cargo space together is double the size of engineering and crew quarters combined. A third cargo chamber, much smaller in size and intended for more valuable cargo, is located aft of these cargo bays. There are also a number of smaller storage areas for miscellaneous items for the crew of the Tai-Pan.
Who is her Captain?
The Tai-Pan is owned and operated by the well-respected panda captain, Marko Rasputin. Rasputin is a veteran of the Moskova Confederacy's military, and also served many years in the merchant marine. He became friends with the morphs who would one day become his chief engineer and cargomaster during this merchant service. Through a series of events about which there are conflicting stories, he purchased an impounded pirate vessel from the Kalu-Kalae space navy, refitted her and christened her Tai-Pan.
Who is on board?
The Tai-Pan's crew is a mixed species crew 36. Several of the senior crew were friends of the Captain before he purchased the Tai-Pan. The First Mate is an extra-terrestrial named Gaitz. The senior pilot is a dolphin named Kiakiru. The chief engineer is a gorilla named F.J. "Mac" McQuarrie, the senior computer officer is a kangaroo/walleroo named TeTeko "Tina" Bush, the ship's surgeon is an acerbic ermine named Aki, and the Cargomaster is a raccoon named Eli. The crew is a mix of pilots, navigators, communications specialists, computer specialists, engineers, and support techs. The crew changes over the years as staff retires, dies, or moves on to new careers.