Excerpt from: Origin of a Spaceship
Freighters, History Notes of
It is understandable that the student of history may be surprised to discover that freighters have not always roamed the space lanes. These mammoth beasts are relatively new on the scene. A product of domestication freighters are now taken for granted but were once nothing more than part of the imagination.
New Eden has always been permeated with industrial haulers. Massive herds roam the space lanes from their grazing grounds in the various systems to their breeding grounds in Jita, Amarr, Didoxie, Rens, and at times, even Hek. These beasts have been domesticated by capsuleers for centuries and used to transport large volumes of goods as they naturally cycle through their migration.
But, as does stand a fact that man will always crave more. Then sheer size of these industrials would seem to satisfy the need to transport goods but there reached a point when the population had expanded enough and new materials had been discovered in the depths of null space that the exploration of items outstripped what could be managed through the herds that roamed the planes.
It was the creative genius of a few minds at the Controlled Cornucopia Pre-labs that made the first tentative efforts to both increase the size of the current, domesticated hauler stock but also to increase their strength and frames. Size adjustments had been made for decades using caroghold expanders. Once fed to the industrial their capacity would expand but it brought with it a serious fragility that could often times not weather the simplest of solar storms or predatory attacks by destroyers.
The initial attempts were a balance between the natural shield structure and a cargo optimization gene, sliced into the haulers before first undock. These proved to be successful but the innate fragility remained. Predators became larger, drawn by the increased mass of these haulers until cruisers and even battleships would stalk the caravans.
It was with time and effort that the first freighters were creased. Using a breeding program haulers and battleships were combined and the largest offspring returned to the breeding program. The hybrid worked and with the subtle influence of carriers a size, mass, and strength was achieve with such capable volume as to cause disbelief in the initial scientific community. Yet, these freighters bred true and there was no reversion to the aggressive tendencies of the battleship and carriers used to increase their size. In fact, the freighters are so docile that they possess no ability to defend themselves and will mill around, grazing on solar energy.
Intelligence was not a goal in the breeding program. Freighters are well known for being senseless creatures. They will over consume if allowed to and often wander towards gates at a slow, stable speed. They do not have any of the grace and agility of their ancestors No. These are creatures created purely to serve as a tool. Mild mannered and docile they are notoriously sweet natured. I have found that their handlers become fond of them after the long, slow treks they often engage upon and speak highly of their great capabilities and the enormous payback upon initial investment.
Due to the carrier influence, freighters are more sturdy then they appear. This allows them to resist attacks for extended periods of time. They are not invincible However, no way has yet been found to arm them. Due to their great size it takes large, cooperative packs of wild battlecruisers and battleships to take them down. Often times their handlers attempt to defend them, but the freighters possess no sense of self preservation and during these attacks often make no moves to flee. Even when encouraged by their handlers, due to their lumbering size and slow reactions they are often unable to escape predators.
Fortunately, freighters breed true. The program has been a success and they are now deeply integrated into the lives of the common capsuleer. Breeding programs to create a more sturdy specimen that might be released into the wild have proved ineffective. With focused training there has been an increased comprehension of miner tasks such as picking up cargo when in space, relieving the handler of only being able to focus the freighters attention on a cargo transfer in station.