CFA No Bull

Well, It Flies

Harcourt McKenzie, known as 'Cord' to his family and 'Mac' to his friends, has a problem; as the only child of Cyrano de Bergerac McKenzie, owner-operator of CFA Aurochs (CFA-3138), he is under severe pressure to inherit Aurochs one day. Mac doesn't want to inherit the century-old Aurochs, and as a sign of his independence he has become a shipowner in his own right... of sorts.

Using tools purchased with borrowed money, the total pay from a summer working as a refitter's assistant on the drydock ship CFA Bethlehem, and knowledge of where to buy really, really cheap ship parts, Mac set to work on the hull of an ancient Orlean Star Yards Explorer-class (more commonly called the 'Star Cab') freighter.

The Explorer class had competed with the Corellian Engineering Corporation's YT-50 and YT-100 freighters back in the dawn of the Modern Epoch - nearly two thousand years before Mac was born - but they had been built to last. Ancient and pockmarked as it was, the hull was sound and tough, and melting some scrap duralloy over it made it tougher still. In fact, the 70-meter length is partly an illusion; the original armor plating was meters thick in some places, and the actual interior is only modestly larger than a more modern light freighter of half the tonnage.

Aside from the hull, little else remains of the original ship. Mac ripped out the old, inefficient engines and put in two refurbished century-old reactors much smaller than the single original, each feeding two compact thrusters. The extra space went to automation, eliminating the droids the original ship required, and to an old, but never-used, top-line hyperdrive motivator. Mac left plenty of space in the engine room to work on the hyperdrive; he has a raging phobia of faster-than-light travel and wants to take every possible precaution. The overall result is a ship quite zippy for its mass in sublight and respectably fast in hyperspace.

Other systems recieved much less attention. By scrounging quasi-pirate salvage operations, Mac picked up a decent shield projection unit and got it working, and replaced the hopelessly outdated weapons with some more modern guns which were cheap because they didn't work. The navigation computer is obsolescent but has a solid reputation for reliability in the Core Worlds. The avionics package is almost entirely scratch-built to accommodate the automation required to replace three droids, and even Mac isn't totally confident in the work.

The ship's name, No Bull, is a pun on the word 'Noble,' and more importantly a dig at the ship Mac wants to avoid owning at all costs. Its living quarters and defense systems have been modestly upgraded, but are still quite Spartan. With the No Bull, Mac plans to return to the part-time job he held on Earth - bush pilot - but on the larger scale of the Bajoran star system. Only time will tell if he can make a go of it... or if he'll spend most of his free time keeping this utter kludge of a spaceship in flyable condition.

Explorer-class schematic

Explorer-class schematic
(image by John Paul Lona, from Star Wars Galaxy Guide 8: Scouts by Bill Olmesdahl & Bill Smith for West End Games)

NAME/MODEL#: Explorer Class (heavily modified)
LENGTH: 70 meters
WIDTH: 38 meters
BEAM: 30 meters
DESIGNER/MANUFACTURER: H.M. McKenzie, after Orlean Star Yards, Corellia (defunct)
COMBAT DESIGNATION: Exploration vessel (obsolete)
CREW: 1 (plus 1 co-pilot, 1 engineer, and 3 gunners, optional)
                    (standard for type: 11) 
CARGO CAPACITY: 120 mt, 25 cubic meters (standard for type: 100 mt, 40 cubic meters)
POWER SYSTEM: Two SoroSuub DT-4000 power converters and fusion reactors
PROPULSION SYSTEM: Four RebelTech BR-200 ion turbines (rated at 1200 KTU)
              (standard for type: 30 MGLT)
FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEM: Rebuilt from Orlean Star Drives T-700 Avionics Board
                        (standard for type: 20 DPF)
NAVIGATION: ExoSalusia Industries 20-128K astrogation computer system 
            (standard for type: none, astromech droid unit instead)
FTL: CEC 1900.908c motivator drive unit (hyperdrive)
                   (standard for type: 10.0)
BACKUP HYPERDRIVE: (you better believe it) 8
WEAPONS: Four BryarArms 77-C blaster cannons
           (two front, two rear, independent fire, 
           being rebuilt as of 09-01-2405)
         One RebelTech Pulverizer-III anti-starship rail gun, payload 5000 rounds
           (twin-barrel turret, mounted underneath & camouflaged,
	   rotation gear requiring repair as of 09-01-2405)
	 Two Verpine Armories Concussion Missile launchers, payload 6 missiles each
	   (forward fire arc; unarmed as of 09-01-2405)
SHIELDS/ARMOR: Forward/Rear Projecting KDY shields (rated at 100 SBD)
               Multilayer steel-titanium hull, with duralloy overlay (rated at 700 RU)