A Shakedown Cruise with IMT
by Salvador Jones,
Janets Offensive Ships Digest
We start our tour from the airless fourth moon of Calamitous IX.
Leaving the domes of the Hotel Eden our surface bus is overtaken by a
Sloane 24x24 Ranger vehicle that IMT have landed by assault pod to pick
us up. Our tourist spaceship, by the hotel, is easily dwarfed by this
thing, the primary mining gang transport mech that IMT uses. Note the
prominent barcoding on the top edge.
The pilot captain has to take care not to crush the puny hotel bus.
Luckily our PR contact had done his job properly, we were able to board
before serious work started on the moon.
The Sloane transport is followed by several examples of why IMT is here
today. The serious business of IMT will be to remove the valuable metals
in the moon and turn the remnants into an asteroid field ready for
gravity mining by a spindizzy ship.
This is done, in the first phase, by the Driller Killer. This dreadful
machine is capable of processing 30 tonnes of minerals per minute while
running 90% submerged in hard rock. The turret at the top serves as long
range orbital comms beam and auxillary armament. It is rumoured that for
fun the pilots of these machines duel with the sandworms on amorph
Supporting the transport and driller mechs is the dedicated IMT
fighting vehicle, the Bushwacker. This is relatively small compared to
the other two but is very much more mobile and packs a big punch. For
attacking bases and infantry the machine has close-in rapid firing laser
Complementing this is a big "bull bar" for those awkward, hard to shift
colonists. For longer range mech combat and anti-air the single turret
radar-missile combo sorts out the Stormers from the Feds.
The model shown is in the two tone colours of the Aeres Brigade whose
battle honours include Tharsis Ridge and Thor V. Optional extras are
6x6-pack beer intercooler, internal/external heavy metal sound system,
"bar-B" type flame throwers, brakes, operators manual and vibrating
All models come with 6 month collision warranty, if you have not had a
collision by that time the factory will treat you to a steak dinner.
As we enter the airlock we see the motto and emblem of our hosts. "Ex
Terra, Pecunia" - From the Earth, Wealth - is their motto. "Building a
Better Galaxy", that is their mission. The rubble of dead worlds is
their raw material and bright new habitats are their product.
They have only contempt for scum like the Arborians, Privateers and
green-liberals such as the Feds who do so much to interfere with the
quest for new living space.
IMT uses the emblem as ground IFF during assaults to "wave off" space
based weaponry firing at ground bases, the colour scheme has optimum
contrast for standard laser weapons.
We are scheduled to continue our tour later in orbit. But we nearly
didn't make it! Out space based sensors spotted an ground assault force
from the Green Alliance just over the horizon. Our escorts decided to
use some long range missiles on their Bushwacker mechs. The ripple fire
volley broke up their ground troops allowing us to race away in our
Sloanes. Good old IMT technology saves the day!
As we climb to orbit we are escorted by IMT fighters.
The so-called Bismuth Zepplin is a capable multi-role fighter. It
balances uses exclusively missile systems in a machine that is robust
and fast. The single pilot has a central cockpit between the main
projectors. The twin plasma engines give excellent thrust - at the cost
of the usual IMT fuel hog rating.
The prototype model BZ-0-alpha shown is in factory colours before
squadron service, this is an unusual version knocked out before the late
model "Insistor" missile tubes were fitted to the series production. The
large BZ is centrally manufactured for economy of scale.
Next up is the Saturday Stovepipe Special, a very fast one man fighter.
By omitting all optional extras the designers achieved their design
target, "speed is death".
The Bureau used a fore & aft configuration for the pilot and engine
(a hot-rodded N30) and added the minimum of weaponry. This combination
is both deadly and affordable.
The version shown is a Mark-II production unit in "Jovian Sky"
distraction camo paint. Note the safety cage round the cockpit to
deflect debris from close attacks. Prototype versions lacked this,
resulting in high pilot fatality rates during live flight trials against
Crystal X ships.
The Dirac Delta Drone is a smaller fighter with no pilot.
Lightly armed, but very cheap, this nano-technology assembled machine
is used in vast swarms to capture enemy shipping. The tritanium tipped
claws on 6-axis mounts are rated to puncture a standard cargo pod in
less than one minute.
The Dirac fighter quadrons may be controlled remotely from ships - or
from an AI in a command fighter squadron.
Standard laser armament is used, the engine is a normal, but
over-driven, N30 powerplant.
These craft cannot be insured by any firm employing sane actuarial
The fighters escort our pod to the ships taking us on tour.
We embark on a Gotham Class Frigate. This is the smaller ship in
company with the fleet leader, a London Class Cruiser in the picture
Chief Engineer is a genius, and
he has the millions to prove it."
- graffitio found on a fighter bay
The half painted London shown has had the colourful bolt-on
accomodation sections affixed to the prefabricated grey basic hull.
Green welding lasers and work lights show amongst the lacing work as
zero G workers scurry to collect their bonuses. This cruiser, "Brutal
DeLuxe" is property of Sir Oliver de Radlett's Company. Their
characteristic logo is clearly invisible at this distance.
The London Class is a very highly modified bulk metals carrier. Several
generations of engineers have added their innovations to the basic frame
to create an armed merchantman capable of resisting pirates and raiders.
So modified is the London that some of the original design team were
heard to shout: "What have you done to our ship you Bovinoid?", before
they were transferred to a new design team in the Offworld Colonies.
The Gotham remains a comparatively basic but affordable armed
freighter. This is the Ford Escort of IMT ships, the VHS, the Chicken
Tikka Masala, recognisable anywhere and equally loved across the galaxy.
Sadly the photographer and I have to ride in one for a while.
more than a death-trap - it'll do fine" - IMT technical advisor
As may be noted IMT do not miss an opportunity to advertise. The
hoarding, shoddily bolted on to the drive assembly, boasts "Building a
better Galaxy". They are nothing if not audacious. I have to say that,
as they have confiscated my spacesuit and Dirac phone for the duration
of the voyage.
Following the the fleet is an old Barcelona transport craft, now ready
to be transformed into a Metro Class Carrier.
The basic transport craft forms the spine of the carrier. Several
fighter bay carousels are fitted onto the spine: after which the sensor,
command and weapons packages are bolted on.
This is precision work that is naturally contracted out to the cheapest
fitting out team bidding at the time. Such management style is a
hallmark of the IMT business schools, requiring a balance of disciplined
worker control and deep personal corruption.
A typical fighter bay carousel is very complex. The precision strutwork
may have to hold (and fling) up to a hundred fighters. The central core
is fixed to the spine using mass chromatography and then inertial
dampers are fitted to reduce the shock loading on the joints under high
thrust or ram maneuvers.
At an earlier stage of construction the carousel is just a ring of
fighter holding cells. Each is capable of re-fuelling, re-arming and
doing basic repairs to the fighter.
A "full on" Metro carrier looks very mean. It is the armadillo of
space, the beouf-en-croute of en-suite fighter launching. The horned
rammer of outer space.
The model shown below, "Eat Me"
from Roger Lyons Company, has the carousels colour-coded for the
"Look, all I
get is taramasalata and Ry-Vita for this shit and they ain't givin' me
no mayo, no HP Sauce, no nuffin' - if this crock of shit crumples in the
next chronon I wouldn't give a stembolt! Even the Chups get better
treatment than this - mind you - the personalised toolkits are nice"
- Junior IMT design apprentice, interview during Metro Final
The launch tubes are in bright yellow. These launchers are the Mark IX
linac type, other ships have the aggravated-steam pulse catapult type.
Fighter and Chup Troop pods are above and below the carousel bays. The
command centre is deep in the ship. The ramming areas in front are just
I would like to write about the superb handling of the Metro, the
smooth reliability of the engines and the interia dampers, the flawless
launch system, the oiled precison of an all squadron fighter scramble,
the perfection of professionalism of pilots and fighter bay crew.
Unfortunately I cannot ... as the combination of Chup pilots and low
paid, overstressed human space fitters around here makes for a lethal
combination of arrogance and incompetence.
never explain, never apologise."
- Benjamin Disraeli, Victorian Prime Minister
Rapid disassembly events leading to structure unzipping are rumoured to
be all too common. Pictured is the scene when "Eat Me" suffered a critical
carousel stall under full rotation. Note the neat way the outer
structures detach for easy later retrieval, they simply become junk
pods. The launch tubes are only lightly butressed so during a
disassembly event all the fighters are perforce launched anyway.
Approaching the fleet is a Veeps Gig, the IMT courier scout ship.
(Veeps are Vice-Presidents, the IMT highguard.) Based on an
interplanetary ORION design this ship design has been upgraded several
times and now sports a warp coil engine and gravitonic accelerator.
The traditional atmospheric capable concept shows in the basic lines of
the ship. Typical IMT "bolt on" theory shows here, with luggage pods,
thruster clusters, defensive weapons and sensors being attached wherever
is most convenient.
The most common use of this ship is to ferry secret plans, bribe money
and key personnel between industrial sites.
"Dr Smith, we have a solution to
the Veeps Gig problem. Using Inertial Dampers stops it vibrating under
"Designer 36, when I want you to work on the Veeps Gig I will ask
you. Now get back to work on the Metro."
Executive decision by former head of
IMT Ship Design Bureau, Kylie Smith
The secret plans and slush funds the Gig
carries must be destined for the same location I am being taken to. We
are heading for the main body of the fleet, clustered round the Great
Pyramid "William S. Thompson
I am somewhat worried as out little Gotham scurries round in the
maelstrom of gravitational forces. My photographer makes his excuses and
leaves for the head. I cling on to my uncomfortable but solid ship
We seem to be passing a little TOO CLOSE to those asteroids!
"These rations have been exposed to
hard radiation, they're inedible."
"Yes, but not un-saleable."
An IMT sales manager meets his
Er, um. A spot of un-professionalism there on tape. Not to worry, the
ship now seems in a stable orbit within the fleet. We have been pulled
into the zone of the Spindizzy. Our ships are now pulling away from the
Vegetarian Orbital Fort that is left to continue mining the moon. Sadly
we will not be able to sample the fabled delights of the Zero-G Brothel,
on expenses. But we have a higher calling, to journalism, and to the
Disclaimer: this is part of the
IMT race website, gallery section. This page is a showcase for late
alpha work being considered for inclusion in the race design. While it
does reflect the spirit of the race, including their boasting nature, it
does not reflect final design stats. The value of race prestige can go
down as well as up. Planetary and selenite surfaces are subject to
unpredicatable events including but not limited to: solar flares, mutant
stargoats, acts of deity, time travelling Victorian gents, flood and
capitalist rogues with large machines hell bent on taking off the
topsoil to get at the minerals.
The images were made by raytracing using POVRAY
and post-processed using Paint
Shop Pro (various versions). The team use a number of machines with
operating systems from Redmond and elsewhere. No packets were mangled in
the making of this page. It is ostensibly GIF free