The shuttle had very little room for its single occupant and pilot. It didn't even feature seating, the pilot controlling the shuttle from a prone position in the small cockpit. Some of the shuttle's features included the capability to render its hull transparent, to provide a far wider lookout for the pilot. Despite its small size, the shuttle was also quite strongly armoured on the outside. The hull could also automatically deform itself to somewhat cushion a crash into a hard surface. The Daughter was usually carried in a small hangar bay of the Dominatrix, itself a larger shuttle of the Gnostic Ascension.
The Scavenger's Daughter was involved in an incident over the moon Hela, in which Quaiche discovered a mysterious Glass bridge over a chasm, only to be shot down by a hidden automated weapon system. Marooned in the damaged craft, Quaiche suffered through personal tragedy and a subsequent quasi-religious experience that would come to define the rest of his life.
He turned around in the tight confines of the bay. The entire space was about the size of a small washroom, with something of the same antiseptic lustre. A tight squeeze at the best of times, but even more so now that the bay was occupied by Quaiche’s tiny personal spacecraft, clamped on to its berthing cradle, poised above the elongated trap door that allowed access to space.
With his usual furtive admiration, Quaiche stroked the smooth armour of the Scavenger’s Daughter. The ship purred at his touch, shivering in her harness.
“Easy, girl,” Quaiche whispered.
The little craft looked more like a luxury toy than the robust exploration vessel it actually was. Barely larger than Quaiche himself, the sleek vessel was the product of the last wave of high Demarchist science. Her faintly translucent aerodynamic hull resembled something that had been carved and polished with great artistry from a single hunk of amber. Mechanical viscera of bronze and silver glimmered beneath the surface. Flexible wings curled tightly against her flanks, various sensors and probes tucked back into sealed recesses within the hull.
“Open,” Quaiche whispered.
By rights, he ought to have been filled with claustrophobic anxiety at the thought of climbing into her. But instead he looked forward to it, prickling with eagerness. Rather than feeling trapped within the amber translucence of the hull, he felt connected through it to the rich immensity of the universe. The tiny jewel-like ship had enabled him to skim deep into the atmospheres of worlds, even beneath the surfaces of oceans. The ship’s transducers relayed ambient data to him through all his senses, including touch. He had felt the chill of alien seas, the radiance of alien sunsets. In his five previous survey operations for the queen he had seen miracles and wonders, drunk in the giddy ecstasy of it all. It was merely unfortunate that none of those miracles and wonders had been the kind you could take away and sell at a profit.
- excerpt from Chapter 6 of Absolution Gap 
See also Edit
| Electric cars | Volantor | Wheeler | Crawler | Icejammer |
Cable-car | Chasm City Zephyr
|Volantor | Aircraft | Airship|
|ATMOSPHERIC SHUTTLES *|
| Coalition shuttle | Flotilla delta-winged shuttle |
Cutter | "Claw" shuttle | Lighthugger orbital shuttle
|Boats | Diving tug|
|* - these double as spacecraft and aircraft|