Pack ‘Em In!

I wonder how many free trader cargo bays look exactly like this “Hard Sleeper” section of a China Railways carriage…

About Alvin Plummer

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3 Responses to Pack ‘Em In!

  1. Bill Cameron says:

    Surprisingly clean for a Chinese train, long distance or commuter. Usually the floor is covered with spit & mucus, food wrappers, food remnants, general trash and garbage, other bodily fluids, and the like. Then again, the trip was just starting. France had to put up signs in the Louvre asking Chinese tourists not to void or defecate in all the handy corners.

    Returning to Traveller, just how many people you can cram into that cargo hold depends on how you handle life support IYTU. I think it was MT that gave us more than the usual vague “X CrImp per occupied stateroom” and “fluids & filters” fungible costs. We took a ship’s maximum occupancy, folded in LS costs, and came up with a “man-day” rating.

    For example, a Suleiman’s max occupancy is eight – four staterooms with two travellers each. The LS cost, doubled also, ran to 4K CrImp per stateroom or 16K CrImp for 14 days. If you’d laid down the cash for amount level of LS, you had 112 man-days with which to play with. Divide your number of crew and pax into that number and you’ve got the number of days a Suleiman can safely carry that many people. You can see that short in-system journeys can “allow” the Suleiman to carry an obscene number of people.

    Our other wiggle involved Fast drug with it’s 60:1 ratio. Someone dosed with Fast will take SIXTY days to “use” one man-day of LS. I’m sure the numbers are already pinwheeling in your head. In a sixty day “drug” window and LS being consumed at a normal rate only by the crew, a free trader with a cargo hold full of drugged zombies could make several jumps. A normal man-day of LS “produced” by each unoccupied stateroom would equate sixty man-days of LS for each of the Fast drug dosed “passengers” stacked like cord wood in the hold.

    A Beowulf requires a minimum crew of four and has ten staterooms. Double up the crew, pay the double occupancy LS cost for all staterooms and you’ve got 280 man-days to play with. Now some of that will be used by the 4 crewmen, but if you throw Fast into the equation the number of available equivalent man-days reaches five digits.

    For a short trip, maybe a a day or three evacuating an off-world colony, a trader using Fast on the passengers it is carrying will run out of physical space before it runs out of LS.

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    • Surprisingly clean for a Chinese train, long distance or commuter. Usually the floor is covered with spit & mucus, food wrappers, food remnants, general trash and garbage, other bodily fluids, and the like….

      Things are getting better in China. When I last visited, it was “Everyone’s about 20 years off the farm!” Yeah, Chinese tourists still have a legendary reputation, even today, but they do aspire to be better than they were. (The Chinese REALLY hate losing face, and they are getting the idea on how the rest of the world sees them.) On the other hand, parents still have their kids defecate on the sidewalk, and the driving can still be terrifying (but it’s getting a lot better in the coastal (ie: “rich”) provinces.

      Moreover, the trains are State property, and as the public uses them, the government does work to keep it clean and reasonably hygienic. Seven hundreds of thousands of low-level Party people (and some serious bigwigs) work in the massive railway system, so to an extent it’s a matter of Party Face. Not at American, European, or Japanese standards, but definitely above Indian or African levels.

      The Chinese starting from a low level, but they’re climbing up at a decent clip. Reminds be a bit of South Korea, which in the 1960s was poorer than Ghana, and even a bit behind their Communist brethren to the north, believe it or not! But once the South Koreans put their brains in gear…

      (I’m still waiting for you to get serious, Black Africa! Aren’t you tired of being dead last in everything? COME ON!!)

      No, I don’t think that China will ever be as neat and tidy as Japan… but they’re probably get in the ballpark within the next 40 years. Both the Chinese government and the Chinese people want the big time, they want to look good in the eyes of the world, and they are willing to work to get there.

      (Optimistic? Sure, but with at least some evidence to back it up, when it comes to China!)

      Traveller-wise? I think the K’kree, famous for their unconcern for their environment (and their love of strong smells), are probably the filthiest of the lot. The various Vargr culture/races vary (as usual — it depends if cleanliness makes you more Charisma or not), while I envision the Aslans to be as neat as the cats they don’t officially arise from.

      Returning to Traveller, just how many people you can cram into that cargo hold depends on how you handle life support IYTU.

      Got it in one. If you are going to pack your holds with people on a regular basis, you are going to have to lay down additional life-support, even in steerage. Word gets around if passengers tend to die on your ship before reaching to their destination!

      Or you can always force all passengers to sign a waiver renouncing all claims to liability, and then start selling oxygen tanks, water tanks, dehydrated food packs, and Porta Potties – all at a reasonable markup. Capitalism can get hardcore, out on the fringes of the Imperium…

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  2. Bill Cameron says:

    (I’m still waiting for you to get serious, Black Africa! Aren’t you tired of being dead last in everything? COME ON!!)

    Stunted IQs and local cultures means it won’t happen for generations, if ever.

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