Red Eye

Stylized with Deep Dream Generator
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This design was originally published with the following lore:

For better or worse, the Sun became the ultimate junkyard as our footprints decorated the solar system. Early concerns about disposing of mass so permanently were mostly ignored, catching and rerouting a load of garbage was often more wasteful than just letting it go. Without the need for living passengers or life support, and no particular need to worry about speed, a trash barge could ride a silent impulse on an obscure approach and probably make it to the Sun before anyone even noticed. Recycling had improved miraculously as nanotech developed, but people still found things they wanted gone permanently. Like secrets.

Which led to the rise of perhaps the most insane fringe profession, Sun Scrappers. Using solar powered pursuit craft, these adrenaline junkies hang out as close as they can to big Sol, using all sorts of hobbled-together monitors to spot incoming trash vessels. When they find one, they race into position to try to intercept. While a few were rich enough to use concussive and repulsion to keep the trash from falling to the fire, most had to rely on a much more primitive method: nets. Depolying large carbon fiber netting to catch a trash barge was a dance with death. As soon as the target is entangled, the Scrapper has to engage maximum burn to counteract the gravity of the captured load. It's like hooking a fish, but instead of snapping your line, it can pull you down too close to the sun to get back out. In a few moments of do-or-die brinkmanship, the lucky Scrapper breaks free of the well and hauls their prize back into a comfortable orbit. While they deploy the light farm to recharge, they begin the filthy task of analyzing and disassembling the trash, looking for any salvageable data or discarded artifacts.

Jackpots were rare, but there was often a reasonable trickle of personal blackmail and corporate espionage, enough to keep the Scrappers running, barely. The dream was to find dirt on some big planetary CEO or megacorp, and leverage it to secure a nice comfortable retirement in a pleasant gravity well. At least, that's what they talk about on their comms chatter, to keep spirits up. The truth is, most of them are right where they want to be, with their hands gripping hard metal, and nothing but their wits and their ship between them and burning oblivion. Taunting death with human ingenuity, and bending physics to defy fate. A Sun Scrapper lived a hard life, and often a short one, but at least they lived it fully.

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