The Queen Of The Ink

Dear Guests,

We would like to welcome you aboard the starship Queen of the Ink, the galaxy’s largest and most luxurious mobile resort destination, for our 17th Interstellar Cruise. Our itinerary for the cruise includes twenty-two different planets, twelve cosmic attractions and ten months of the best food, performances and pampering in the known universe.

Queen of the Ink will begin boarding procedures a full twenty-four hours before departure to assure everyone has ample time to find their quarters and get settled. With over 35,000 guests on 11 unique passenger decks featuring more than 100 hotels and 350 restaurants, it’s easy to lose your bearings. Guests are encouraged to arrive as early as possible, wander around and get to know the area that will be your new home for most of the next year. Activity directors and tour guides will be on hand to help make everyone comfortable and answer any questions that come up.

Complementary food and drink will be available shipwide during this period, so don’t even bother with breakfast. Our world-class service begins the moment you step through the gates of any one of our thirteen pre-boarding facilities and will continue until you step back through them ten months later. Queen of the Ink has been home to the world’s biggest celebrities, statesmen and royalty, and even they admit they never had it so good. Nobody ever complains about being hungry or bored during their stay with us.

Captain Conkle will preside over the commencement ceremony one hour before launch. Accompanying him on the bridge will be guests of honor Ambassador of Planets William Stewart and his partner, Her Honor Shaileen Stewart-Johnson, interplanetary music sensation Gramery Gun and twenty lucky guests, chosen by lottery during boarding, two from each passenger deck. The ceremony will culminate in a musical performance by Gramery Gun herself, followed by a launch countdown toast and then an all-night party to celebrate the beginning of Queen of the Ink’s latest adventure.

Thank you for choosing to join us on our journey. Included with this letter are a vacation itinerary, your individual passkey, your room specifications, an information booklet, and contact forms so we can answer any specifics you may have. We look forward to traveling with you.

Welcome Aboard!

qoti2The Queen of the Ink is a ship made up of two parts. The primary ship is perfectly spherical, with the exception of a blunted side that houses the enormous particle engine that propels it. This part of the ship houses all of the major equipment, and it is where the Captain and the core crew of the ship live and spend most of their time.

The secondary ship is made up of 11 passenger decks and a particle accelerator hoop that makes it possible for the ship to reach FTL speeds. The accelerator hoop is manned by crew that live in the main ship, but the 11 passenger decks house tens of thousands of people made up of passengers and deck crew.

The Primary Ship
The primary ship is a perfect sphere approximately 2 kilometers in diameter, broken up with four imperfections.

The main blemish in the sphere comes from the engine, which cuts the back 25% away in a flat plane. The engine is some kind of particle accelerator, which means under perfect circumstances there would be a ring of color (or some kind of pattern if b/w) around the engine with some indication of propulsion coming from the middle when it’s moving. When it’s idle it may or may not look like a jet engine.

Above the engine is an enormous square hole. This is where a giant arm reaches out and extends down to inspect and repair the engine. It used to have a cover, but something happened to it and it just never got replaced. There are three other arms located equidistant around the engine, but they have covers so they’re invisible.

The last two blemishes to the sphere come on the end directly opposite the engine. Two transport vehicles make up 50% of the front face – 15-25% on each end. The picture is not representative of scale because it’s a rough sketch by a non-artist, but in the bottom right-hand corner one of the transports can be seen. When the transports are attached to the sphere, they are essentially indistinguishable from the rest of the ship.

The Passenger Decks
The passenger decks are pentagonal structures that float around the main ship like a buckyball, each more than a kilometer-and-a-quarter in width. Each deck has a unique theme and name to help enhance the “cruise ship” feel. The deck opposite the engine (or closest to the shuttles) is Deck 1 – Royal (Ambassador) Deck, decks 2-6 connect to each of the five points coming from the Ambassador Deck, 7-11 form the rear circle, and the acceleration ring takes up the pentagon that would hold a 12th deck. Each deck looks mostly the same, but should have unique features that set them apart.

The deck names/descriptions are:
1. The Royal Deck: Also known as The Ambassador Deck, Deck 1 is designed for VIPs. This is glamor and glitz. The interior of the deck is dominated by a square, with ritzy hotels, expensive shops and gourmet bistros lining the streets.
2. The Executive Deck: This is where the nearly-rich and almost-famous stay to try and rub elbows with the elite. Often referred to as “The Grey Deck” because it’s often filled with the freshly retired, given the cruise as they’re sent out the door. Has a square in the middle of the deck similar to that on the Royal Deck, only smaller.
3. The Bazaar: A giant marketplace, this deck is more mall than anything. A good portion of the deck is also used for storage.
4. The Family Deck: Just like it sounds, this deck is designed for family friendly fun. The center of the deck is dominated by a fun park.
5. The Sports Deck: The place for athletes and wanna-be athletes, this deck features a collection of gymnasium, fields and other venues. Guests typically attend various athletic “camps” during the boring bits of the trip.
6. The Adventure Deck: Filled with construction and natural features, this deck is for adrenaline lovers. Skateboarding and other extreme sports, zip-lining, wall-climbing, bungee jumping and all kinds of other activities are stressed.
7. The Nature Deck: This is the only officially uninhabited deck, even though there are quite a few people that live there more than not. The nature deck is a giant park, landscaped in various ways. Besides relaxation for the guests (including camping), the deck is used for biological storage. It also houses some research facilities.
8. The Science Deck: One of the most powerful research facilities in the galaxy, the science deck is filled with researchers that don’t care as much about the scenery as they do the labs. Filled to the brim with high-tech stuff.
9. The Fantasy Deck: This is the weird world of the future, where circuses mix with space-age LARPing. The center of the deck has a large square that’s a more capable stage than anywhere else on the ship.
10. The Party Deck: Crowded, full of loud drunks and louder bands, this deck is “Late-90s MTV Spring Break in Space.”
11. The Beach Deck: This deck was originally designed to store an aquatic habitat when it was a colony seeder and now it is “New Venice Beach,” the largest mobile beach resort. It’s built using optical illusion tricks that make it look like there’s endless water no matter where on the beach you are.

The Connectors
Every point of each pentagon connects to a point on another pentagon so that the end result looks like a buckyball or soccer ball. From the perspective of a soccer ball, the black spots are indicative of each passenger deck.

The connections are tubes large enough to transport passengers and equipment. The center of the tube is large enough to drive a semi-truck or two sedans down with room for a sidewalk on either side (not that they drive those – it’s just an example for perspective’s sake). Around that is enough space to string all of the wires and braces and the like a ship of this nature needs. Occasionally there are access doors that lead to crawlspaces running the length of the tubes.

Each end of every tube has a “station.” The station is divided into halves, where each half can be sealed off from the other. This is also where decks can detach. The tubes have the ability to expand and contract length-wise, and its shape will adjust when it begins to move to help handle the stress.

Finally, at the bottom of each passenger deck, a long tube connects to the central ship. These connect to the underside of the decks like the other tubes except that they act like elevators. I’m not going to explain how I deal with gravity, but just know that all of the passenger decks get a center of gravity from the main ship, and then the main ship has it’s own top-to-bottom gravity.

The tubes do not actually physically connect to the main ship. Everything on that end is magnets and vacuum seals. The ends of the tubes at the main ship widen to cover more area, and they can move position.

That’s enough to give the basic idea.

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