Took a break from my new project writing seditious fan fiction to knock together a new ship. This one verges on being playable.
For the mid-20th-century visionary who had given it its name, the "Roddenberry"-class colonial transport could only have been called a wagon train to the stars: this massive vessel is home to up to 500,000 men, women and children seeking a better life offworld, on any of the newly-established Human colony worlds. Crewed by 1,500 civilian Space Services personnel accompanied by a small contingent of Navy and Trooper Corps soldiers, the Roddenberry-class is built for extreme range, endurance, and the carrying capacity to hold all the building blocks of a functioning frontier outpost.
The power to move such an enormous mass does not come easily. The aft section of the vessel is comprised of four massive plasma propulsion blocks, each fed by a dedicated toroidal fusion reactor. These reactors are capable of dumping almost their entire energy output into the main FTL core to bend space around the Roddenberry's titanic bulk. Most of these ships are encountered while fully laden with passengers, cargo, and raw materials: they possess an incredible range, but are far from the fastest vessels in the cosmos. One interesting side effect of this level of thrust is that unladen Robbenberry ships on return trips are among the speediest vehicles of their size in realspace and at FTL speeds, although they remain notoriously difficult to maneuver.
The two massive colony rings surrounding the vessel's central cargo bay bring to mind the rotational gravity rings of earlier space vessels. However, these rings are entirely stationary, designed merely as an efficient means of packing the maximum amount of equipment into a stable, acceleration-resistant arrangement. Each vessel comes equipped with four heavy cargo pods containing building materials, while three massive civilian service centers house medical facilities, classrooms, residential facilities, and commercial centers to cater to colonists en route to their new destination. Six sustainable supply pods provide food and oxygen through intensive hydroponic growth, and three high-density stasis pods house some colonists more efficiently, without requiring excess oxygen, food, or living space. Lastly, the ship is equipped with six large biosphere-duplication domes: these provide a relief from the monotony of shipboard life on sometimes year-long journeys, as well as slowly altering gravitational, temperature, and atmospheric conditions to better acclimate colonists to their new home.
The fore section of the Roddenberry is reserved for crew facilities, which are kept largely separate from the colony rings. Although civilians are common in the crew sectors in the form of scientists, VIPs, and government bureaucrats, the "general public" is largely restricted to the outer areas. The vessel's command facilities are divided into three parts: a forebridge which directs navigation and some aspects of the engine system, a systems bridge that manages most shipboard operations, and a colonization command center that directs the initial settlement project until a local governorship can be established. The ventral surface of the fore section is home to a number of high-definition sensor and communications transceiver dishes to select an ideal location and coordinate ground operations through the colonization command center.
The purpose of the vessel is not exploration- Roddenberry transports are only deployed once official survey ships have declared a prospective colony world free of any unpleasant surprises and economically viable. Since the ship's titanic bulk precludes it from ever entering a planetary atmosphere, it must rely on a small army of landing shuttles stored in six aft launch bays to ferry people and light equipment to the surface. Heavier supplies are retained in the transport's detachable cargo pods, which upon landing and unloading double as basic accommodations while more suitable structures are assembled. In an emergency, all of the vessel's civilian-habitable pods can detach from the colony ring and await rescue. Designed for peaceful expansion, Roddenberry-class vessels are completely unarmed, and boast only light armor surrounding the rings and umbilicals. Officially, Earth counts on the red warning lights surrounding civilian areas and the acceptance of the Y Yarvoq Accords by some of the more civilized races for protection. In actual fact, of course, no politician would dream of sending so many innocent men, women, children, and potential voters into space unprotected- Roddenberry-class transports are never seen in transit without a heavy military escort.