In 1091 Ling Standard Products announced the creation of new X-Boat communications modules capable of storing almost twice the data in the same space. One of the curious features of Imperial ship procurement is that it is almost always easier to obtain funds to build new ships than it is to obtain funds to refit existing ships.
As a result in 1095, the IISS ordered more than 2,000 new Imperial X-Boats fitted with the new communication modules. To help offset the cost of these new X-Boats and because the IISS was suddenly faced with having 1,500 surplus X-Boats, these surplus ships were offered for sale at a significant discount. Available for only 14 MCr, the majority of the ships were purchased by General Products and GSbAG. Each Megacorp refitted these vessels and produced a new line of starships, classed as Fast Couriers, using these X-Boats.
Designed for use in the well-settled regions of space, the two versions of this vessel combine a high speed jump-drive with an excellent cargo or passenger capacity to produce one of the best fast couriers now in service. Capable of docking at any high port and landing on vacuum worlds, the only limit on this vessel is that it cannot make planetary landings. The Fleetwing-class fast cargo courier is often used to for trade in time-sensitive speculative cargos and is frequently the ship of choice for smugglers.
Fleetwing-class Fast Cargo Courier
This design is primarily for cargo hauling, but also has space for up to 4 passengers (in 2 double occupancy staterooms). Typical fees for passage on this vessel are 25,000 Cr, but may sometimes go higher. Cargo is typically carried at 3,000 Cr/DT.
100-ton USL Hull, DR 100, Basic Bridge, Engineering, 5 Jump, 4 Maneuver, 40 Fuel, 4 Staterooms, 1 Low Berth, Utility, 1 Fuel Processor, 3 Vehicle Bay (holds sealed air raft fitted for planetary landings and cargo transport) 26 Cargo (+1 in Air Raft). L Mass: 314, Performance: Accel: 1.27 Gs Crew: 2
Azure Swift-class Fast Passenger Courier
This design's emphasis is on moving passengers rapidly from one system to another. Typical fees for passage on this vessel are 25,000 Cr, but may sometimes go higher, while cargo is carried at 3,000 Cr/Dt or more. Low Passage on this vessel is also typically 3,000 Cr.
100-ton USL Hull, DR 100, Basic Bridge, Engineering, 5 Jump, 3 Maneuver, 40 Fuel, 8 Staterooms, 3 Low Berth, Utility, 1 Fuel Processor, 3 Vehicle Bay (holds sealed air raft fitted for planetary landings and cargo transport) 10 Cargo (+1 in Air Raft). L Mass: 238, Performance: Accel: 1.26 Gs Crew: 2
Both versions are TL 12 and sell for MCr23 new, but are often available for 16-20 MCr used.
GSbAG purchased 300 surplus X-Boats to convert to fast couriers capable of making planetary landings. These conversions removed much of the cargo and passenger space potential that makes the two General Products fast couriers so attractive. However, this vessel can perform wilderness refueling. This vessel is also fitted with a high power maneuver drive capable of accelerations greater than 2 Gs. Unfortunately, because of its miniscule cargo and passenger capacity there is no way to pay off this vessel without engaging in smuggling or highly speculative cargo sales. GSbAG created these vessels because of a special contract by a trading company that in 1103 was revealed to be a front company for the Gerzak crime syndicate. Today, Nightfall-class Fast Couriers are occasionally available in law enforcement seizure auctions for between 12 and 16 MCr, and a few have made it into the hands of private smugglers and high risk traders who must often part with them to raise money.
Nightfall-class Frontier Fast Courier
Capable of carrying up to 4 passengers in two double occupancy staterooms, typical fees for passage on this vessel are 25,000 Cr, but may sometimes go higher, while cargo is carried at 3,000 Cr/Dt or more.
100-ton SL Hull, DR 100, Basic Bridge, Engineering, 5 Jump, 5 Maneuver, 40 Fuel, 4 Staterooms, 1 Low Berth, Utility, 1 Fuel Processor, 1 Vehicle Bay (holds sealed air raft fitted for planetary landings) 7 Cargo. L Mass: 238, Performance: Accel: 2.3 Gs Crew: 2