The Sundance first made its appearance in the The Verse January 2020. It's current captain is Harris "Drillbit" Cassidy and was last seen on traveling to Sygnus.
Ship Statistics[edit | edit source]
Ship Name: Pillbug class, Series 2 - The Sundance
Ship Age: 70
Affiliation: Independent transport and hauler
Backstory[edit | edit source]
The Pillbug class was built by the Allied Spacecraft Corporation after the early success of it's Firefly Class Series 1 and 2. Following the pattern of insect related class names, the designers originally had intended for it to be called the Beetle class due to it's curved shape. However, in time, it acquired the name of Pillbug due to it's flattened ovoid shape and armor plating designed to resist the impacts of small asteroids and space debris. It was designed to fill the market for asteroid mining which was undergoing another boom period. Built with grappling claws, numerous mining lasers, navigational thrusts to help assist with tight maneuvering in a belt and a hefty cargo hold, it's only downfall was it's speed and maneuverability in atmo. This was corrected slightly with the series 2 but production was halted with the release of the Tundra class from a competitor. There are many that felt the Series 2 Pillbug continues to remain superior to the Tundra class and that production should never have been halted. Regardless, ASC felt differently regarding it's profits and the Series 2 Pillbug stopped production making them a bit of a rarity in the 'Verse.
Since then, what few Series 2 Pillbugs still in service have proven to be incredibly hardy and with proper modifications useful for transport of cargo and passengers. Many owners and operators on the Rim and elsewhere use them in this way. Some of the modifications by owners on the Rim have become quite creative turning their ships into pleasure cruisers, large terrariums for growing medicinal food and edible crops, and many others variations. They are also still used in many mining fleets for their intended purpose and can provide a captain with much needed funds by mining a lonely asteroid belt for a cargo full of ore.
The Sundance is a modified series 2 and was part of the final waves of 500 series 2's to leave the shipyard in 2446. Unfortunately, these later vessels were hurried and are more prone to malfunctions, etc. (This led to Captain Cassidy owning her at a fairly good price in 2511.) The Sundance currently still holds a turreted cannon on the top and two mining lasers on port and aft. It's cargo space is large with new modifications Capt. Cassidy had installed to ease in cargo movement (as well as a few hidden panels.) It supports a decent sized crew with a large galley and decent quarters for the crew. Several have been modified for passengers and these range from spacious to small bunk rooms.
Other Modifications[edit | edit source]
The Sundance is a solid vessel that unfortunately was hurried in her construction. It can be quite quirky and temperamental, especially in atmo which it is not specifically made to deal with well. However, in the tight quarters of an asteroid belt, her maneuvering thrusters and secondary armor against impact is second to none.