Liberator (Individual JumpShip)
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Built long before JumpShip design settled on the largely uniform needle shape of later eras, the Liberator had a distinctly different shape: Its front section had the usual bulbous, cylindrical look but also sported two large hangar bays. Behind the front section, five mammoth cubes marched a line, each slightly larger than the previous one, with the final cube being fully twice the size of the smallest (first) and having three interplanetary drive nozzles jutting out. A massive cylindrical spine ran from the front section through the cubes. The Kearny-Fuchida Drive core was observed to have roughly about three times the diameter of the one on a Scout class JumpShip of later times.
Filled with hundreds of volunteers from Spain and South America, the Bolivar Foundation purchased a commercial JumpShip from the McDonnell/Lockheed shipyard. On April 26, 2128, the Liberator prepared for hyperjump, beamed one last message to Earth and jumped out-system never to be heard from again.
This disaster prompted the creation of the Colonization Procedure Referendum, which required all colonist ships to be escorted by the Terran Space Navy, among other changes in Terran Alliance colonization governance.
The fate of the Liberator was finally unveiled in 3066 when scavengers located the wreckage of the Liberator in deep space in the Free Worlds League, 9.738 light-years from Silver, 15.662 light-years from Gibraltar and 24.631 light-years from Manotick. The derelict was in rough shape. Large holes were observed covering most of the side of one of its cubic elements (thought to be the engine cube). Mummified corpses were also found on the ship, which had obviously suffered a misjump and explosive decompression from internal explosions of the reactors.
Assuming that only one (mis)jump occurred, the Liberator was moved more than 350 light-years in that single jump, a rare, but not unheard of phenomenon.
Following the rediscovery, the finders tried to sell the ancient wreckage to a museum or similar institution.
A scene at the beginning of chapter 5 of the Black Mist Rising serial, set 15 September 3067, refers to this story: crewmen aboard a JumpShip in the Orestes system discuss the news that the Liberator has been found and that the finders are trying to sell it to the highest bidder.
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 12
- Echoes in the Void, p. 11
- DropShips and JumpShips, p. 12
- Black Mist Rising, Chapter Five