|Ray Mark I|
|Cargo capacity||4 TC|
|Cargo bay extension||N/A|
|Maximum speed||0.40 LM|
|Energy recharge rate||
|Shield boosters available||Yes|
|Military shields available||Yes|
|OXP or standard||OXP|
|Available to player||No|
The Communist States are infamous in their isolationist stance towards what they see as the 'Corruption of the masses by the powers of Capitalism' to the point that they all but deny GalCop the right to have a presence in their system space. However, the Communist Party leaders acknowledge the necessary evil of allowing a space station in orbit so that traders from other worlds and governments can arrive and trade without disturbing the happiness of the good Communist citizens and polluting their minds with the seeds of doubt and dissention. With only the ability to maintain a space station, GalCop is unable to carry out their mandate to ensure the safety of the spacelanes for travellers and traders.
The Perfect Solution
Seeing that their spacelanes were rapidly becoming havens for pirates and other malcontents, the Communist leaders quickly decided they needed a presence in the skies above their planets. To this end, the greatest scientific minds were immediately gathered and they began designing a multi-role military vessel that had to fulfil several criteria, it had to be quick, small, powerful and usable by even the most mediocre pilot while also satisfying a meagre budget. The result was the Ray Mark I. It fulfilled all its design briefs, since the developers knew that failure in even one of those criteria would result in a lifetime in the Astromines. The final model was a simple modular hull which could be turned out in its thousands in even the lowest tech systems and then adapted for whatever purpose it was required for. Its design even included a basic Fuel Scoop and tiny cargo bay to allow the pilot to scoop and arrest the escape pods of offenders.
The Battle for the Spacelanes
The first ships were turned over to young pilots who had received basic flight training and were tasked with patrolling the spacelanes between the planets and the Witchpoint Beacons and the systems' stars. The battles between the fledgeling pilots and the pirates that had established themselves were brutal and at first one-sided, the pirates' superior skill reaping a grim toll on the Communist fighters. But the powerful machine which was Communist industry and manpower was not to be underestimated and the pirates soon saw a vast increase in the number of Rays attacking them. When the Rays first attacked, the ratios were 2:1 in favour of the Communist ships, odds that even the least experienced pirate could handle, but the odd rapidly shifted to 5:1, then 10:1 and on one occasion, a pirate surrendering himself to GalCop Vipers after escaping a Communist system reported odds of 30:1 when a massed Ray fleet descended upon his Rock Hermit base.
The People's Police
With numerical superiority came an increase in skill and soon the surviving Ray pilots were banded into a People's Police, tasked with protecting the spacelanes from those who would seek to destabilise their ordered society. GalCop, seeing a greater erosion of their power, lodged bitter complaints against the Communist Governments, but hastily withdrew them when the Communists threatened to withdraw from GalCop and form their own Communist superstate. With their spacelanes secure, the Communists began to exploit their systems' resources, building Collective Zero-Gravity Factories and the advanced Solar Laboratory And Production Units to take advantage of solar power and Asteroid Mines to utilise the great numbers of convicted prisoners wasting resources and space in prisons.
The Thought Police
The Thought Police (NeuroPol) were a shadowy network of hardcore Communist activists who worked within the system rooting out those who professed anything but 'True Red' sentiments in Commie systems and made sure they 'vanished' or suffered unfortunate 'accidents' involving Polonium-210. Many a pro-Socialist activist has heard the knock on the door and been taken away by two men in long black coats and peak caps, never to be seen or heard of again.
After the well-publicised success of the People's Police, NeuroPol approached the Communist Party and through impassioned pleas regarding the dangers of contact between the People's Police and the subversive influences of traders from other systems, secured themselves a fleet of Rays so that they could monitor the spacelanes and firmly rebuke the decadent followers of Capitalism with good honest Communist doctrine.
The Communist Military
The Communist Military uses a special version of the Ray Mk. I, the Military Ray.
This ship is part of the Commies OXP.