The Queen Serendipity (クイーン・セレンディピティ, Kuīn Serendipiti), also known as the Golden Ghost Ship (黄金の幽霊船, Ougon no Yūreisen), is a colony ship that carried the first human colonists , long before FTL technology was invented.
Design[edit | edit source]
Exterior[edit | edit source]
The Queen Serendipity is 24km long and 7km wide at its broadest - enormous for an ancient pre-FTL ship. It has a shape consisting of a thin central point with two long cylinders at either end. As its nickname suggests, its exterior is primarily golden and well decorated.
Interior[edit | edit source]
Docking Bay[edit | edit source]
The Queen Serendipity has two docking bays accessed from either end of the ship with a large circular hatch. Inside is a docking rail with a buffer at the end. At the end of the docking bay opposite the hatch is a large gold circular section with the Serenity emblem. Access to the rest of the ship is through a large gold door, parallel to the emblem, above the rail, with four bar lights (either red or green depending on status). Two terminals are nearby. This door required external power to open.
Colony[edit | edit source]
Some way in from the docking port, there is a large city covering the inner walls of the cylinder, where the ship's passengers would live in artificial gravity conditions created by the ship's rotation. A passage tube runs in the centre of the cylinder. By the time the Bentenmaru visited the ghost ship, most of the buildings had been overgrown.
Treasure Vaults[edit | edit source]
The treasure vaults, accessed via a mechanical display using the name of a royal family member, have a pressurised atmosphere consisting mostly of nitrogen with some inert gases - ideal for long-term preservation. Many pre-FTL cultural artifacts were kept aboard the ghost ship however nearly all of them were taken out and sold during times of economic recession . By the time of the Bentenmaru's visit, most of the storerooms had been emptied.
Sleeper Area[edit | edit source]
Accessed via another mechanical display from the treasure vaults is the sleeper area. There are hundreds of cold sleep tubes, containing many frozen specimens, from sheep (such as Yakut-Stroheim-Aries (ヤクート・シュトロハイム・アリエス, Yakūto Shutorohaimu Ariesu)) to whales (such as Gigant-Visser-Macross Fars (ギガント・フィセル・マクロスファルス, Giganto Fiseru Makurosufarusu)), as well as monoliths with genetic patterns. The genes and live samples here provide a back-up for all the species in the Serenity system.
Bio-Plant[edit | edit source]
The entrance to the bio-plant is located just beyond the sleeper area. There is a pattern on floor consisting of a triangle with one end pointing away from the door, a crown at that end then a crescent with a circle contained within it with two sets of three lines connecting it to the other corners. When someone stands on the circle, the circle lights up and the rose-like device moves forward. It requires the genetic material of a royal family member - it used to require a drop of blood but will now accept a strand of hair. Once it has this, the rose then contracts and retracts, then it is covered and slides back before the doors open.
The large chamber beyond houses a large machine with a platform and four curved pillars surrounding it. The pink glowing part resembling a giant rosebud is an artifical womb where fertilised eggs grow and the equipment to maintain it. The central block below it is a system for coating and tuning genes.There is another entrance hatch at the top of the chamber.
By the time of the Bentenmaru's visit, the bio-plant was on its last legs, its supplies of genetic samples and bio-cells exhausted.
Bridge[edit | edit source]
The ship's bridge is decorated in a similar way to the exterior, with gold over the consoles, walls and floor. There is a large door at the back of the room and large viewing windows at the other three sides. Around the outside are a line of monitors and consoles built into the rim. In the middle of the room is a set of benchs. There is a raised platform near the front and a seat (presumably the captain's) in the middle on top surrounded by a curved set of consoles.
Technology[edit | edit source]
As it was created before inertial control and FTL travel was invented, the ship's journey would take years, therefore cold sleep was necessary - the ship has many cold sleep pods installed onboard, supported by a cyclical regeneration system.
Though the ship was built before FTL travel became possible, by utilising the 3 nuclear fusion power plants on it and synchronizing them at certain frequencies, it is capable of moving into subspace, causing large space-time quakes as it does so. The method was possibly discovered by past search teams that wished to hide the ship. The 18th search party together with Bentenmaru's crew perfected the method and made the ship able to actually perform FTL jumps .
One of the most important pieces of technology aboard the ship is an artificial womb containing 120 gene samples from which the members of the Serenity Royal Family were born.
The ship makes use of mechanical displays and uncompressed double digital communications. The ship's rotation is used to generate artificial gravity. It is also capable of high-energy radar scans (with a blue pulse).
History[edit | edit source]
The Queen Serendipity, Serenity Interstellar Trading's first ship , once carried the first pre-FTL colonists through space on a journey spanning generations. The inhabitants of the Serenity system are descended from these colonists with the members of the Serenity Royal Family from the first king being born from the bio-plant onboard the ship.
For hundreds of years, the Queen Serendipity wandered through space, its route crossing dark nebulae, overlapping black holes, dwarf star clusters and proto-planets . At various points in the past, search teams from Serenity have boarded the ship, either to retrieve artifacts from the treasure vaults or the latest children from the bio-plant.
Golden Ghost Ship Arc[edit | edit source]
During a period of unrest in the Serenity system, two princesses of the Serenity Royal Family sought out the ghost ship. Gruier Serenity stowed away aboard the Bentenmaru and asked for their help in locating the ship, while Grunhilde Serenity had a fleet from the Serenity Defence Forces search for it. Both parties investigated the areas where the ghost ship was likely to be, from a predicted route based on sightings during the past 200 years. In particular, they were observing spatial irregularities that were likely the result of the ship passing through subspace.
Both sides made use of an observation network of probes used by a search team 15 years previously. After predicting where the next space-time quake was likely to occur, the Serenity fleet intended to use multiple FTL drives at once on the source in order to draw the ghost ship out of subspace . Knowing this, the Bentenmaru proceeded to that location.
As the ship was buffetted by the shockwave from the spatial distortion, the crew spotted the Golden Ghost Ship as it came out of subspace. After recovering from being hit by the last shockwave, the Bentenmaru headed towards the ghost ship while the Serenity fleet moved to intercept them.
In the middle of a confrontation between the two princesses, the ghost ship performed a high-energy omni-directional radar scan, followed by a transmission to the other ships. Both sides replied to the ID code and in response, the docking bay doors opened. The Bentenmaru entered one of the docking ports, beating the escort ships to it, while a Serenity ship went in the other one. The doors then closed and the Queen Serendipity returned to subspace .
After the jump, the Bentenmaru crew repaired damage to the ship and prepared to explore the ghost ship. After connecting a power cable and opening the door, they set off. After receiving news that another ship infiltrated the other docking port, they decided to head towards the treasure, letting the Serenity team take care of the engine and bridge seeing as they likely knew the layout from previous search teams. At one point, they were blocked by a stuck door which Schnitzer soon took care of.
When they were near the engine and power couplings, the lights (and presumably the monitoring system) came on. Making haste, they passed the main colony and a mechanical display, they entered the treasure room which had been previously emptied. Past another display, they entered the sleeper area which held back-ups of various species from the Serenity system. They reached a sealed door with a rose-like device. After Gruier provided a strand of hair, the door started opening only to jam, requiring Schnitzer and the other crew members to force it open. They then entered the bio plant which contained the artificial womb that was used to birth the Serenity Royal Family.
Once Misa had explained what the machine was, Hyakume picked up another signal and Coorie having hacked into the ghost ship systems confirmed that several signals were headed their way. Not long after, Grunhilde arrived along with several Serenity soldiers. While the princesses argued, Yotof and Catherine (whom Marika had secretly sent a message to earlier while Gruier was trying out her spacesuit) revealed themselves to the pirates and both sides signalled to their crewmates to get ready. Marika then threw a flashbang which Yotof shot, followed by Hyakume throwing a smoke bomb. The soldiers then opened fire, downwards. Marika ran through the smoke and placed sleeping gas in Grunhilde's spacesuit while Misa did the same to Gruier.
With the two fiercely opposed princesses out of the way, the two sides came to peaceful resolution. They discovered that the bio-plant was already finished, drained dry of genetic samples. However they were able to save the child that was inside the womb, on the verge of being frozen and unable to be revived. With Coorie's help, they set the ghost ship on a course for the Serenity system.
As Gruier came to, they had her input her authorisation into the computer, then explained their actions. Distressed at having nearly killed her newborn sibling, she thanked Marika. Afterwards, the Queen Serendipity returned to the Serenity system and the two princesses announced the return of the Golden Ghost Ship after a thousand years.
The return of the Golden Ghost Ship and the revealing of the royal family's origins, led to change in the Serenity system, which until then had been divided, on brink of civil war.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Likely due to the colony ship's role in the history of Serenity, Queen Serendipity is a traditional name for Serenity ships, including the flagship of the Serenity Defence Forces .
- Serendipity refers to the unexpected chance-occurrence of events in a way that is beneficial or pleasant.
- The overall internal and external design of the Golden Ghost Ship possibly pays homage to the mysterious alien ship from Arthur C. Clarke's 1973 novel Rendezvous with Rama.
References[edit | edit source]
- Sailing 09
- Sailing 12
- Miniskirt Pirates Volume 2, Pg.278
- Miniskirt Pirates Volume 2
- Sailing 11
|Royal Family||Simsiel Serenity • Gruier Serenity • Grunhilde Serenity|
|Other Individuals||Yotof Sif Sideux • Catherine • Jacqueline • Roberto Belmar|
|Other||Golden Ghost Ship • Queen Serendipity|