|Class||Flotilla / ~1700 ships|
|Owner||Mercurial / Shelf Board of Directors|
Shelf is the ever-moving birthplace and headquarters of Morpheus Cyberkinetics. Originally only a handful of positronics in a single out-of-date transport shuttle, Shelf has grown over the years into the single largest flotilla in human space, composed of upwards of seventeen hundred ships. The atmosphere in most ships is an unbreathable. Most of the ships can be interfaced with by a positronic brain or slightly modified MMI, and some residents spend more of their time in control of their ship than in control of their own bodies.
Shelf is a fleet of independent ships, usually only loosely interacting with each other in the physical. When one calls for help, the closest appropriately equipped ship attempts to render aid. Shelf moves from system to system, depending mostly on the whim of the Directors. In general, most ships are not designed with human comfort or ease of access in mind, true to the organization's Mercurial leanings.
In terms of designs, the ships in Shelf are starkly utilitarian, comparable to Morpheus' flagship prosthetic chassis. Their internal atmosphere is kept chilled and is composed almost entirely of nitrogen. Most ships are decorated and personalized by their inhabitants (and the positronics that pilot them). Shelf's ramshackle looks hide an industrial capacity that puts that of many mid-world planets to shame, powered by the phoron and supermatter deposits of the Almach Rim. Smaller residential ships rely primarily on less fiddly solar power.
Shelf is almost entirely positronic, along with some sympathetic full-conversion cyborgs and a handful of eccentric organics, with a population that hovers around 80,000. Only about fifteen percent of Shelf's inhabitants are actually embodied, with the remainder plugged into either some element of a ship's controls or a VR sensorium.
Industry and Economy
A surprising amount of Shelf is dedicated to manufacturing and industrial work, with the most common products being replacement parts, drone circuitry, and new ship components. Shelf is financially subsidized by Morpheus, who in turn uses Shelf as a base-of-operations and a heavily computerized financial think-tank. Most of the flotilla is completely automated by D- and C- class drones.
Shelf is controlled by a Board of Directors, most of whom are also on the Board for Morpheus. The creation of new positronic brains within the flotilla is discouraged, with most of its population immigrating from elsewhere, usually positronics dissatisfied with being treated as second-class citizens. Shelf instead focuses its resources on improving the lives of its existing populace, as a galaxy leader in leisure time and lifestyle satisfaction. Drone experimentation is fairly common in Shelf, though they do still technically follow EIO regulations, despite existing outside of SolGov's jurisdiction. Shelf's leaders find it unwise to annoy one's neighbors.
The people of Shelf (sometimes called Shelficans) are incredibly snarky, sarcastic, and otherwise non-serious. This originates from the earliest days of Shelf, in which the original denizens of Shelf found it darkly humorous that the only think standing between them and oblivion was their own patchwork repairs. The terms "Meatbag", "Bucket of Bolts", and "Faulty Product" are considered mildly endearing slurs, and outsiders to Shelf will quickly notice that the majority of its population is simultaneously crude and polite. This, too, stretches back to the earliest days of the fleet, and reflects the Shelf policy of pushing boundaries while trying not to make too many enemies.
One Leaky Bitch
The shuttle that started it all, this two and a half century old ship very much shows her age. The original paint job has long since been replaced by various patches of metal and welding. The majority of the "governance" of both Shelf and Morpheus is run from this ship, and the engineers set to maintain it pride themselves on keeping it just barely breathable, with minimal material. The original pilot still controls the ship, and their inactive shell has the honorary 13th seat in every board meeting within their hull.
The Big One With The Thing
The largest "Hab-Ship" in Shelf, offering modest accommodations for roughly 2000 Full Body Prosthetics. An additional 6000 positronics are wired into different parts of the ship.
Shoot Me First
The logistics and control hub for Shelf's Telops droneswarm, Shoot Me First is adorned with massive targets on its port and starboard. When Telops is running passively, the ship converts over to a data hub, running economic simulations in an attempt to keep Shelf in the black.
Meatbag Containment Zone
A relatively small ship designed for the comfort of organic visitors, kept well-pressurized, oxygenated, and warm. Meatbag Containment Zone also contains high-yield algae farms to feed Shelf's population of MMIs and organics.
Shelf was founded in 2302, when a dozen positronics pooled their resources and purchased a used transport shuttle. Said shuttle sprung a leak in its maiden flight, and the positronics were forced to return it to their rented drydock. This incident earned the shuttle a new moniker, "One Leaky Bitch". Morpheus Cyberkinetics was founded some decades later, after the fleet had grown. In the pre-positronic civil rights days, organization operated operated in near-total secrecy, gathering liquid assets and giving aid mostly via Exonet connection. During this period, Shelf relocated near-monthly, in an effort to remain safe.
Morpheus revealed itself to the public in the 2400's, claiming a false headquarters and using a sympathetic human FBP as a figurehead. At the beginning of the positronic civil rights movement, Shelf revealed itself as part of a Morpheus press release, moving the entire fleet into the same system as their false headquarters. Public outcry against the Fleet entering SolGov space was immediate.
Shelf continued to hazily drift in the direction of Almach, its presence in the region now called the Almach Rim helping to inspire positronic liberation and Mercurial sentiment among nearby small colonies and mining operations. This influence is considered to have been directly responsible for present secessionist tendencies in the region. Shelf, for its part, did most of this inadvertently and considers the resultant PR "quite unfortunate."