Back closer to the start of the Federation, an old Kestrel model was sent out to prove that different alien species could survive together on one ship. Several different species were all put onto the same ship, told to stay in it for a years time to prove they could do it. Humans, Rockmen, Zoltan, Slugs, Engi, Mantis, all were allowed in (after thorough background checks that ensured they were good and in the Federation for most of their lives) to prove that different species could work together and live in harmony. However, that is when disaster struck.
The Ship had entered a nebula, and due to an issue with the piloting computer, found itself in a nasty ion storm. The crew attempted to wait it out, but a straight bolt of ionized lightning hit the life support system, shutting it down. Although everyone awake at the time tried to fix it, they failed and were left in the cold, airless space. Only those in the Cyrosleep pods, heavily damaged from the ion storm, were left remaining.
Time went on, and no search parties could find them in the depths of that nebula. Fast forward to the present, when a Federation Scout comes across this vessel. Searching it, they find the Cryosleep pods and barely functional ship. The Scouts were being chased by the rebels, and wouldn't be able to run much longer. They quickly put a ship AI inside of this abandoned ship, containing all the valuable information, and jumped away to make the rebels lose track.
Filled with the dead and sleeping, this new AI has a major responsibility: And it wont be long before the Rebels find out.
The Caretaker is the AI Ship for Kestrel, designed to be similar to Kestrel A and be in line with what the Kestrel Lore is about. It was meant to be adaptable and good for harboring multiple different species. Although the Caretaker would likely favor stronger and more deadly crew like Mantis or Rockman, it would also appreciate free reactor crew like Zoltans. Crew is not required for the Caretaker, but they're still very helpful from dealing with boarding to helping with some emergency repairs. Since it is an AI Ship and one of its main advantages is not needing oxygen, Lanius are an absolute terror against the Caretaker. However, due to having crew, that terror is slightly taken away.
It is equipped with the Artemis and Dual Lasers. Both of which are weaker than the Kestrel, since the Caretaker starts with few missiles for the Artemis and the Dual Lasers is just a plain downgrade. It also starts with one weapon power to power these, so at the start it has to choose between which to use.
It is equipped with a Repair Drone for more emergency situations or when crew is busy leveling up skills by manning stations/boarding/defending.
For other systems, it is much the same as the usual setup for ships.
The big trick, other than being an AI Ship, is that it has a Malfunctioning Cryosleep Augmentation. This gives it one free crew member every sector. This helps it crew up easily and quickly, making the ability to sacrifice crew to events common + board/defend well its biggest strength. It is random what species it will get out of it, though.
Pros and Cons
- The Caretaker is an AI, it can keep going without any crew and can slowly heal itself. Along with that, it automatically mans every system at lowest level.
- The Malfunctioning Cryosleep Pods can be activated at the start of every sector to awaken a crew member, letting you get allies throughout the journey.
- The Caretaker can vent most locations of the ship without issue, with notable exception being the Door Control and Medbay.
- The Caretaker is very adaptable, being able to change strategies quickly and recover from lost crew with more crew.
- The Caretaker has weak weaponry, being a rusted life support ship and not a fighting ship.
- The Caretakers medbay is out of the way and small, making healing during fights difficult.
- The Caretaker has no real internal defenses other than the crew it keeps within.
- The Caretaker wasn't built for combat, and has few military supplies such as missiles and drone parts.
AI SHIP CORE (v.1.13)
This mod is required for several features of the Caretaker to function, such as Cryosleep.
This is the Caretaker ship.
Not made by me and not required, but can be quite helpful.
Thank you to the kind modders at the FTL Discord who helped me make this ship. I am going to take these lessons and run with them to create, hopefully, AI Ship Versions for every ship in the game.