Difference between revisions of "Eluder"
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Revision as of 04:23, 1 March 2006
The multi-colored Spathi Eluder, formerly known as the Discriminator (and sometimes called a Voidship by the Spathi), remains the bulk of the Spathi fleet even 20 years after the War. Its construction, though seemingly chaotic, is carefully designed to mimic its crew's natural attributes: paranoia, elusiveness, and cowardice.
From the outside, the Eluder consists of many bubble-shaped, solid-colored cabins joined together by smaller white corridors. The intention of having so many large seemingly crew-filled projections is partly to obfuscate enemy into targeting the decoy cabins and to direct enemy fire away from the main bridge. However, in practice, enemy weapons seem to incapacitate the same amount of crew no matter where the Eluder is damaged. This is most likely due to the fact that even in the safety of a large starship, the crew is bound to hide in every nook, cranny, and hole the ship has to offer in the case of direct combat. Unfortunately for the Spathi, there are many of these crannies throughout the ship (as it was Spathi engineers who designed it to begin with), making the previously empty decoy cabins actually full of petrified crew members. To make matters worse, even the crew itself can be confused by the ship layout. In fact, the random cabin configuration has fooled many a green-eared Spathi captain not yet used to the ship's odd design, especially as they're slinking away from the bridge during particularly nasty, or even mildly scary dogfights.
The Eluder is one of the fastest ships in the galaxy, both in top speed and acceleration, and has a turning radius an Arilou Lalee'lay would be jealous of. Though agility would be a mighty boon for most brute force fighter ships, the Eluder is anything but brute... or a force... or even a fighter. The fact is that thrusters' primary use isn't for speeding into battle, but rather for speeding away from it (from this perspective, the Eluder performs admirably). The helm of the Eluder is quite large and is typically manned by two Spathi at once, but in times of emergency (mainly when he's the only crew member left) the captain usually whips into a adrenaline-filled panicked frenzy and finds the ability to man both halves of the helm nearly simultaneously by himself!
The Eluder's main weaponry consists of a quick-firing, short-range, low-impact plasma pellet that is great for sneak attacks, guerilla tactics, or just to finish off a severely-handicapped adversary (which are the only direct attacks a Spathi would consider). The plasma pellet is otherwise limited in its usefulness.
The secondary weaponry epitomizes the essence of true Spathi-ness due to its ability to do the most damage while the Eluder is in full retreat. The Backwards Utility Tracking Torpedo (B.U.T.T.) is a medium-range, low-impact conventional space torpedo with a good automated guidance system and moderate speed and maneuverability. Fired from the rear of the craft, B.U.T.T. missiles do most of the dirty work in the dogfights as Eluders make their way away from the fray. Enemy captains foolish enough to think it can run down an Eluder usually end up learning a fatal lesson in space warfare.
An Eluder is a coward’s ship: it is designed by a coward, built by cowards, and flown by cowards. There are only two types of Eluder Captains: the living cowards, and the brave dead. The living cowards never meet face-to-face with a foe. The Eluder must wear its enemy down little by little. A common and effective Spathi tactic is to show the enemy the Eluder's butt and while firing B.U.T.T. missiles at them.
The Eluder is capable of wearing down the Ur-Quan Dreadnought easily. When facing (or running away from) a Kohr-Ah Marauder the Eluder can run away in a straight course, sidestepping spinning wheels and firing B.U.T.T.s, and if beyond B.U.T.T. range, make a complete circle (Turn+Acceleration) to allow the Eluder to get back in range before continuing in the former course. Slylandro Probes can be tricked into chasing the Eluder in a straight path, allowing B.U.T.T.s to be used at will. Mycon Podships have a hard time handling the Eluder, especially if you can force them to swallow their own Plasmoids. Additionally, VUX Intruders fall like flies before the Eluder, which can circle outside the Intruder's laser range and shower it with B.U.T.T.s.
There have been rumors that a few Eluders exist that are painted all black with red stripes. Legends of the Black Spathi Squadron have been passed down for generations and tell of a small band of courageous, brave Spathi rebels who attempt to lead its brethren to freedom. However, the credibility of this legend is dubious at best because even the most courageous Spathi in the known universe are a little short of being completely terrified.