102 Vehicles: Specialized Vehicles
Big Blue Political Machine (TL8)
Summary: 200.00 displacement ton wedge; 1678 tonnes; MCr 35.1 Chassis: 2800 kL wedge (43 m long x 17 m wide x 11 m high); Structure: 28.8 tonnes of soft steel, rated for 1.0Gs, body 1.0 cm thick, sealed to 1 atm, 4 armour rating Performance: 4.14 MW TL1 rowers; Fuel: 496 kL of food (496 tonnes), 600 hours supply Propulsion System: 4.00 MW legs; Maximum Speed: 1 km/h loaded, 1 km/h unloaded; Range: 617 km loaded, 653 km unloaded; Agility: +3DM (0.0G); Crew & Passengers: Crew roster: driver, premier, 21 cabinet ministers, 94 backbenchers; 117 crew stations with ejection seats; 200 roomy ejection passenger seats Standard life support, sanitary and shower facilities; Airlocks: 10 custom
Water Cannon-6 Communications:
Regional Jammer (10 W, TL8, SmVcl); Range: 30 km Sensors: No sensors installed. Other: Options: entertainment centre, recreation space, wet bar Safety Features: anti-hijack system, 137 emergency wall patches Construction Equipment: blade can move 800 kL per hour, shovel can dig 40 m deep and excavate 80.0 kL per hour 184 kL of cargo space (92.3 tonnes)
A archetypical political machine, the Big Blue Machine favours internal logic over real-world sense.
Hordes of poorly-paid peons keep the machine in motion, using legs to trample any signs of opposition. The chassis, of course, is a wedge (thin end, for the insertion of), armoured and sealed against outside influences. The crew and their staff (passengers) are provided with ejection seats with golden parachutes, the cost of which is not included in the official statistics. While living inside the Machine, all life support needs are provided, as well as full sanitary facilities (which also clean money). Entertainment facilities and recreation space make the members’ stay a pleasant one. No communications facilities are necessary, although a jammer is used to disruption communications in the vicinity of the machine. No sensors are needed whatsoever, as nothing that happens outside the machine is important. A large blade is useful for bulldozing measures through the legislature, while a large shovel is useful for slinging fecal matter and digging in heels.
The optional turret mounts a water cannon for breaking up special interest groups (any group of three or more opponents).
A bit of insanity, I'll admit. But then, insanity may be the only rational response to irrational situations.
© Robert Prior, 1998.