Sorry, no image to go with this chunk today – could not find one I liked AND could legally use in time.
A Chunk of SciFi – 1.10 Ultech Personal Liferaft [Vehicle]
“Folks, how many times has this happened to you? You’re out in space, cruising the highways between the worlds and suddenly, wham your attacked by space pirates, or hit by a stray rock? Your engine is down, you need to escape, but propulsion is kaput! You start to panic, to fret about how you’ll get home in time for your children’s birthday if you survive at all! Then, you remember, you have the Ultech 500 Personal Liferaft. It is designed for just these sort of emergencies. As we like to say here, it’ll save your life AND your reputation. Plus it can be customised to meet your personal specifications….”
Vehicle type class – Escape pod
Capacity – 1 adult
Range – Planetary/System
Space, as been said by many people is surprisingly dangerous. If hostile lifeforms are not attacking you there are an asteroid, debris, stray materials, radiation spikes, anomalies and much more. Granted, the chance of you running into one of these is quite small, given the size of the place you are travelling through. But, accidents do happen. Sometimes things go wrong. When, or if, they do, you need a plan to fall back on.
The Ultech Personal Liferaft (UPL) is one of those fallbacks. This one person emergency escape pod is designed to quickly and safely take its occupant to a pre-determined location within a star system. Many star systems have evac points and beacons for visitors to use if their default or preprogrammed destination is out of range. For a small craft, the UPL moves at a respectable speed, believed to be able to reach close to 90% of the speed of light, assuming perfect conditions and no course corrections are made.
The UPL resembles what can best be described as humanoid sized coffin-sized, torpedo-like box. Inside is harnesses and padding to help prevent bumps and bruises from reentry or emergency landing. There are supply packets kept in stock along with a mini waste reclamation systems and atmospheric generator. The pod itself protects against the cold of space and maintains a temperature just below what the owner would consider being room temperature, but this can be adjusted. Each pod also has a rudimentary comms system as well as a tracking beacon. On ejection, this beacon starts to transmit an SOS signal as well as the coordinates of the pods current and planned destination.
The UPL has enough supplies and air for up to 1 week, using Earth time as a guide. This includes a rudimentary toilet reclamation facility. There is a common belief that the UPL can last up to 10 days, but this is not recommended. Ultech says the extra days are to allow for variations in a life forms needs and are there just in case you can’t be rescued in the original time frame. The deluxe models can have many improvements over the standard model, such as a stasis field generator for longer possible flight times, entertainment system, enhanced comms systems and many more features. The largest and most expensive have a compact FTL drive. There are persistent rumours that a few have been modified as crude weapons or bombs. Ultech is clear to point out that doing so invalidates the warranty and will get you blacklisted from further purchases and use of their services.