This article originally appeared in Issue #014, February 2011, of the downloadable PDF magazine.
Craft ID: Caduceus Grav Ambulance, Type AV, TL 10, MCr4.905165 Hull: 9/23, Disp=135kliters, Config=4SL, Armor=10E, Unloaded=49.1515t, Loaded=69.2793t, Hull=+13 Power: 2/2, Fusion=18Mw, Excess=5.5348Mw, Dur=30 Days Loco: 2/2, Low Power High Grav, Thrust= 130 tons, NOE=140 kph, Cruise=750kph, Top=1000kph, Max Vacuum Accel= 0.816G, Space Agility= 1, Atmospheric Agility= +6/+6/+7. Commo: Radio- Very Distant×1 Sensors: Headlights×12, Neutrino=Directional×1, Video Recorder×6, Adv Image Enhancement×1, Environmental×1, Radiation=Very Distant×1, Ladar=Distant×1 Off: --- Def: -2 in Space Combat Control: Computer=0/fib×1, Panel=Dynamic Link×41, Special=HUD×1, Electronic Circuit Protection, Environ=Basic Env, Basic LS, Grav Plates, Inertial Comp, Airlock x2 Accomm: Crew=3 (Driver, 2 Med Techs; 1 or 2 Guards add’l if needed), Seats=Roomy×7, Low Berths=3 Other: Cargo= 19.2206 kliters, Fuel= 12.96 kliters
Based on the successful Fenris Manufacturing Bushman (with a 99% commanality of parts between different models), the Caduceus is, at its core, a heavily armored Helot police vehicle modified for use as an ambulance.
The Caduceus (often referred to as a ‘wagon’, ‘Meatwagon’, ‘Pig’, ‘Caddie’, or ‘Bus’ by their crews or other emergency personnel) is, like the Helot, a large, angular, boxy thing that comes to a point at the front end.
The Caduceus normally carries a crew of three (Driver and two Med Techs, or, in more dangerous areas, Driver, Med Techs and one or two Guards). Toward the rear of the vehicle along one sidewall are a pair of racks holding detachable low berths. On the wall opposite, a single rack is mounted with its own detachable low berth. These can be maneuvered by antigrav sling directly from the Caduceus into the hospital. In the aisle between the berths is a padded bench, where up to three patients may sit comfortably. If the bench is not being used for patients, the space can be used to allow for three more sophonts to ride along if needed.
The Caduceus mounts video cameras showing the front, back, and sides of the vehicle and its immediate surroundings. A pair of cameras record inside as well, one covering the crew from a vantage point directly outside the front windshield, and another recording the rear interior. Information can be sent in real time to the hospital acting as a base.
Should one of the crew need some down time on a long shift, he can always sleep in an opened, powered down, low berth.
Inside, at the rear of the Caduceus, on either side of the rear airlock doors, are a pair of very large equipment lockers.
The crew accesses the vehicle through an airlock on the left side, with a pair of steps jutting from the side of the hull. Access to the wagon for patients is through a wide airlock at the rear of the vehicle.
A TL10 standard, this lifesaver can routinely be encountered just about anywhere within the Imperium. Some surplus Caduceuses wind up in private hands being used for entirely different purposes, like the small fleet found cruising the streets of New Calumet on Nadj (A674A44-C) that have been converted to ice cream trucks.