Evolution of the starship MCA-RD-EL5007

Evolution of the starship MCA-RD-EL5007

Every sci-fi series needs its heroic starship.

Star Trek has the USS Enterprise in all its variations. This one from the early movies is my favourite.

the USS Defiant (tough little ship!)

and Voyager (looking lost in the Delta Quadrant)

Star Wars has the X-Wing

…and the Millennium Falcon (fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy)

Lexx had… well, the Lexx.

One of my other favourites (from Spaceballs):

and the iconic Serenity, soaring like a leaf on the wind

and not forgetting the Colonial Viper from BSG.

So, how to create a star-hopping vessel that could carry my heroes between Earth’s neighbouring systems?

Inspiration was drawn from a number of sources:

The original design concept combined the aggressive appearance of a Russian KA-52 attack helicopter…

…but with the addition of the MI-35 Hind’s anhedral wings to give it a fighter-plane appearance.

Spacecraft don’t normal require aerofoil surfaces, but I also wanted my ship to be capable of atmospheric flight.

The initial sketch began as a few lines on MS Paint:

but with the help of a 3D designer I found on Fiverr…

and later, through the talent of Brendan Smith:

My heroic ship took shape; the Vornan MCA-RD-EL5007 interplanetary strike ship.

Of course, a fighter plane still isn’t a starship, but as my characters fled from a choice between certain death and slavery, they chanced upon a distant military junkyard, and set about salvaging a hyperdrive from a wrecked freighter.

Thus, a starship was born.

But MCA-RD-EL5007 is no ordinary vessel. The MCA-RD-EL5000 series was an experimental craft, created from a MCA-RD-SA5000 hull, but modified to accept an Artificial Intelligence as the main controlling entity.

However, the Vornan scientists struggled to create a truly instinctive mind, one that could adapt quickly enough to the changing face of battle, and the experiments were deemed a failure-until one scientist suggested symbiosis.

Critically injured pilots were approached with a view to integrating them into the fighter’s control systems, Robocop-style.

This resulted in mixed success; two symbiotes went insane, one was lost to deep space, one deliberately destroyed itself and another simply… died.

Of the two remaining vessels, MCA-RD_EL5006 continued to serve in the military as part of an effective strike force. But our ship, the one that really counts, met a peculiar fate. His pilot, with whom he was bonded via a mental link, suffered from gambling addiction, and in a desperate bid to win, staked his experimental fighter on the turn of a card.

He lost.

MCA-RD-EL5007 was immediately impounded, pending repayment of the debt, but the pilot was unable to gather the considerable millions he owed.

In a blind panic, and fearing the wrath of his superiors, he conspired with a few colleagues to launch a terrible weapon toward the people who held his irreplaceable ship, intending to threaten them into returning his military’s property, or perish. But through an accident in his drunken state, the pilot’s message failed to reach the threatened people, who watched their impending and unstoppable doom approaching.

Enter our heroes, who wreck their already-battered freighter to save the day, and are rewarded with the impounded Vornan fighter as compensation.

The rest is MCA-RD-EL5007’s story.

Cold and efficient at first, a minor design flaw leads to the scrambling of the symbiote’s neurons, and a quirky, sarcastic and humorous personality emerges, one whose intriguing backstory is revealed throughout the series of stories.

If you’d like to know more about the adventures of ‘Mac’ and his crew, follow the links:

US Amazon

UK Amazon

See you in space, Lifeforms!

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