|Base Hull||250 acres of prime West Virginia countryside (circular "divot" about 3700 feet in diameter) contained in a geodesic sphere made of handwavium-enhanced silicates.|
|Drive Type||"Spindizzy" reactionless thrusters|
|Drive Rating||Max velocity 0.01c (but see Known Vehicle Quirks)|
|Owner||The Warriors Group, Ltd.|
|Flag of Record||N/A, but nominally USA|
|Faction||Non-aligned, but friendly to all. There are too many fandoms represented among the crew for any one to dominate.|
|Launched||April 20, 2012|
|Purpose||Location-non-specific colonization. Slow, ultra-heavy cargo on occasion. Limited agriculture.|
|Primary Crew||Bob Schroeck|
|Other Crew||18 other adults and children, five AIs, assorted cats and dogs, several horses and ponies, various wild animals|
|Auxillary Vehicles||SS Salvage I|
SC Saturn 0
SC Saturn 1
SC Saturn 2
SC Rachel's Van
AKA "Our Town"
|“||That's no space station... that's a moon!||”|
—A seriously impressed Warsie
The Flying Island's big sister, made from a chunk of rural West Virginia. Seven frame houses, one concrete blockhouse/bridge/command center, several barn/warehouses and 100 acres of farm/pasture surrounded by about 150 acres of mixed cedar/deciduous forest and meadows, all enclosed by a transparent geodesic sphere made of handwavium-enhanced silicates. (Ground level is the sphere's equator, and the upper half is variably transparent.) There are two airlock "garages", one each on the "east" and "west" sides of the sphere, where the crew is finishing up the conversion of various vehicles into spacecraft. A third such airlock is to the "south" but is empty; it's intended for visitors and cargo handling.
- It took two nerve-wracking years -- after the US ban on handwavium -- to grow the geodesic, after which it took an additional month to treat all the buildings and systems and generate the drive.
- Launched at midnight on the last new moon before the story start date.
- The Grover's Corners' launch set off military radars for hundreds of miles in every direction.
- The launch was directly responsible for the latest wave of US paranoia about handwavium, and the current increase in tensions between the US and Fenspace.
- The adults were especially vilified by the US government for "recklessly exposing" children to handwavium and taking them out of US jurisdiction.
The Grover's Corners' integrated computing systems have spawned five artificial intelligences who share in the tasks necessary to overseeing the ship's functioning and health:
- Mr. Mayor: The Primary Coordinator AI, he looks and acts like a stereotypical mayor of a middle American town circa 1915.
- Officer Friendly: The Security AI, who appears as a 1950s-style cop-on-the-beat, complete with nightstick. Unfailingly polite and dedicated.
- Geordi: The Engineering AI. Looks like the Trek character, which makes Trekkies squee. Mostly a down-to-business personality, with occasional flashes of humor.
- Gaia: The Environmental AI. Takes the appearance of a "Mother Nature"-type figure. Somewhat aloof and mistrustful of anyone from "outside" the ship.
- The Black Buddha: Library/Research/Science AI. Appears in the form of the classic fat, seated Buddha, but despite the name is not actually black. In addition to acting as the ship's librarian, the Buddha also manages and mediates all Interwave communications. Once PS 238 is established, the Buddha will have a close working relationship with both Principal Cranston and Yomiko Readman.
Known Vehicle Quirks
- You will be assimilated, Mr. Bluejay: Handwavium is believed to have infiltrated all the non-human life within the ship, whose combined and networked mental power produces Gaia. Gaia in turn can use any animal in the ship as a remote sensor (but not a drone).
- It's so lovely this time of year: Goes through an annual seasonal cycle, although the variation in temperature is not extreme; "winter" is never below 40 degrees F and "summer" rarely above 75.
- Never needs watering: There is no simulation of precipitation beyond fogs and dews that manifest out of internal humidity; a rather organically-grown network of handwavium irrigation pipes and lines supplies water to plants across the entire ship.
- Partly cloudy, with a chance of asteroids: Beyond these limitations, the ship does manage to have some actual, if limited, weather conditions. The dome dynamically varies in clarity and color in such a way as to simulate various levels of cloud cover, and breezes ranging from gentle to brisk blow on occasion (though without obvious sources). Relative humidity also varies between 30 and 90%.
- Healthy body, healthy ship: The main drive output is noticeably improved by 10 to 20% when at least some of the younger children are active in the "yard"; the improvement persists for up to six hours afterwards, depending on how long and how energetically they play. And if the children are off the ship for more than a day, it loses up to 50% of its rated speed.
Known Crew Quirks
- We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune...: There is no fixed command structure on the ship. Whoever has bridge duty is the command crew for that shift, with "captain" and other ranks determined arbitrarily (or randomly) at shift start. The unpredictable changes in the officers frequently confuse 'Danes and more militarily-inclined Fen.
- Picks up strays: With the size and resources of the Grover's Corners, there's always room for a couple hitchhikers -- or even a couple hundred if they bring their own food and bedrolls. The crew is especially sympathetic to fenkinder, particularly those who left parents behind on earth. As the Grover's Corners has only recently gotten into space, this hasn't been seen much yet, but it will become a point of reputation for the ship and its crew in the future.
- So motie it be: Approximately half of the adult crew are active, practicing Wiccans who seem to have unusual success at convincing handwavium to do specific things when they act in concert. This fact is not yet known to Fenspace at large.
- Big pond, plus an underground water "tank" in the bedrock.
- Ten acres of assorted young fruit trees planted as a grove, overseen by Peggy.
- Once farming starts up, there'll be a produce stand by the south airlock/garage.
- Woodworking shop for Freiler.
- PS 238.
- Maintains an Interwave node, and the crew is lobbying NCSoft/Paragon Studios to become the location of a new City of Heroes server dedicated to Fenspace.
- Is the only known example of a spindizzy drive in Fenspace.
- The crew have about a dozen "pre-owned" electric golf carts (‘waved, of course) which they use to get around from place to place inside the ship.
- The ship has an artificial "sun" that traverses the dome on a track, but it hasn't been used yet; it's intended for extended stays in the outer system and beyond.
- First known Fencraft with its own ecosystem.
- Largest known solid object to leave Earth under its own power.
- Designed by a science fiction author, two engineers and a witch, who were inspired by The Island and wanted to do the same kind of thing, only bigger.
- The crew intends to "export" freshly-grown vegetables and microbrewed beer, mead and wine once they've settled in. (There are no less than four hobbyist brewers in the crew.)
- One of the barns currently holds sufficient building materials and tools to erect at least two more houses, should the need arise.
The Grover's Corners is featured in the following stories: