Draco Galaxy: Life of a Scav

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Deep in the Gromek-Reepaxi disputed territories, a hardened group of people drift through space dodging patrols and minefields in search of the remnants of battle. The big find, as they call it, is often just beyond the next system. Crews spend their time overhauling damaged engines found drifting in space and smelting hull plating into usable sheets. Life on-board a scavenger ship is often a long tedium of maintenance only punctuated by the recovery of shattered vessels. The scavs have a nasty reputation for mercilessness, and it is often said that a scav has no reservations about cutting off his own hand for a few thousand credits.

Scavs favor the most damaging weapons such as static pistols and disintegrators. They often employ armor packages for cost effectiveness and have been known to rig their own configurations of weapons and missile systems. Scavs in battle are renowned for their dirty tricks and viciousness. Many spacefarers say scavs would be excellent warriors if they weren’t so greedy. No one race dominates the profession of scavenger more than the Human. Humans have the know-how when piloting vessels and are good bargainers. Their resourcefulness and ability to adapt are boons to a profession that relies staunchly on these traits. The beginning Scav usually signs on to a garbage scow or a tramp freighter and begins life below decks learning the inner workings of the craft and the processing of the salvage. After realizing there is no room for advancement on such small privately owned ships, most scavs move to a sub-contracting salvage team.

Competing for tenders from mega-corps and the military to retrieve crashed exploration vessels and lost robots is, as can be imagined, often extremely hazardous work. It is for this reason that a sound combat knowledge is an important factor in the success of such missions. Salvage teams such as these often have an under the counter operation, such as smuggling, fencing, or espionage. These activities can also be to the benefit of a mega-corp or government department, and a clever team will often have three or four missions coinciding in one area.

The choice to become a scav is not like becoming a doctor or an engineer. Those who end up drifting through space in search of the big find are likely to have come from the space docks. The average scav has a good working knowledge of spaceship repair as well as navigation and stellar cartography. Combat is a skill that is picked up through the course of scavenging. The rarest type of scavs are those that were once mercenaries. Company trained and seasoned in combat and espionage, these scavs have survived their tour of duty and saved enough to start a partnership in a salvage vehicle; usually a combat tug or modified armored cargo hauler. The ex-merc and a few buddies have decided that scavenging is the only way they can make decent credits and maintain some level of excitement. The ex-merc will probably be the captain and the others, shore based partners who get a return after each sale of the goods. Scav crews of this type tend to be the most successful.

Money can be made. Reconditioned fighter engines can sell for over two million credits, and hull plating is always in demand. Any electronic warfare system is a prize, and an intact cruiser engine can bring close to the amount needed to upgrade to a better ship. The Reepaxi-Gromek border is the best place to scavenge in Draco. The constant insurgent strikes leave shattered vessels drifting around many of the war worlds.

The modifications that are needed to turn a combat tug or armored cargo hauler into an effective scavenging vessel are large projects that must be done in dry dock. The Refit centers of starbases and other orbital stations are adequate, while a shipyard is the best place to have these jobs done. The average cost for a “scavenging module” is around 20 million credits. If fitted to a large craft, then the price is easily doubled. The scav module contains a magnetic pressure field and tractor beam unit to guide the recoveries into the salvage bay. In here are a multitude of cranes and hoists that allow the crew to manipulate the object on to a pallet to be moved into the workshop. The workshop is part of the scav module and is usually annexed to the ships own workshop via an access tube, or if the ship design allows it, directly onto the workshop as an extension. In the workshop, the crew make any repairs necessary to put the recovery into working order. A plethora of spare parts litter the shelves and storage boxes allowing the scav crew to rig up a stand-by system that will replace the needed component with whatever is on hand. The technical aspects of a successful scav crew are quite intensive. Competent space mechanics are needed to overhaul recovered goods, and these crew members are usually paid an amount second only to the captain.

Draco Galaxy: Coreszian

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