- "Standing off from the crystal itself, looking like a small moon in tight orbit, the ship: Mapping Crystal Quadrant Three. MCQ3. The EmCee. It was an omen, perhaps, of our own future, for it looked at first glance like a miniaturized version of the Equatorial High Crystal, except that the spars and masts were clearly not grown and trimmed to form a spheroid, but rather to form an elongated oval with a definite top and bottom. At the bottom the MCQ3 had four massive stems, twice the thickness of a late-growth mast or spar. And attached to each of these four stems was an ugly, Thoroughly opaque metal cylinder. These were the Zero-space engines. And they were nothing subversive. The thing that disturbed many people was the much smaller disk located at the junction where the stems met the core crystal. For there, at that strategic point, the MCQ3's builders had installed an anti-grav generator. The MCQ3 floated effortlessly, kept station perfectly, defied the planet's relentless pull, all without the beat of so much as a single set of wings. It made perfect sense, the ship was destined for planet-fall on unknown worlds. We obviously could not predict atmospheric makeup, pressures, updrafts, and so on, in advance. It was entirely impractical to imagine a wing-supported crystal cruising the atmosphere of, some unforeseen alien world."
Appearance and Abilities
The MCQ3 was an oval shaped seed crystal, which had a 4 Z-space engines in the rear and was also carried an anti-grav generator. The vessel was initially unarmed, though it was later armed with a number of Modified Capasin beams and fire-and-forget explosive homers. The ship also later carried smaller ships such as fighters and the Explorer. It also grew in size overtime as its Ketran masters added foundries, fuelers, hangers, shops and repair cradles inside the ship. The ship also had a asymmetrical ring, made of ugly crystals and metal.
The MCQ3 was the first and only ship of its kind ever produced. The stated purpose was to explore Quadrant Three for research purposes. In reality, the entire mission was act of diplomacy, as two years prior, an automated Capasin ship scouting the sector not far from Ket for the Ketran's radio signals. A Ketran drop-pod detected a the Capasin Drone and sent one of their own to scan it. The drone never returned. Later another drop-pod detected what had happened, the drone was destroyed by the robotic Capasin spaceship. The Ketrans launched another drone, though modified with a faster engine and a force-field. While drone managed to scan the vessel, the Capasin drone managed to damage it, causing some of the information to be lost. Realizing the Capasins had misinterpreted the actions of Ketrans as a hostile, the Ketrans built the MCQ3 to send diplomats to the Capasin homeworld to propose peace, although the Capasins unleashed an attack to exterminate the Ketrans, aborting the MCQ3's initial mission plan.
Converted into the Searcher
- "The MCQ3 had mutated over the years to become the Searcher, and the Searcher was a very different ship. A close examination would still reveal the original crystal formation at the heart of her, but most of what had been added was dull titanium and mineral-polymer composites. The original Z-space engines had long since been replaced, and new, fast sub-Z engines had been added as well. Two stubby wings gave us an airfoil for penetrating atmosphere. And the weapons arrays beneath each wing, and the even dozen stubby black fighters, earned us the respect of potential foes."
- ―The Ellimist
To be added