Commander Dan McLain, nicknamed 'Viper', was in command of His Imperial Majesty's Long-range Strike Ship 73, nicknamed, the 'Loony Bin'. The crew had heard someone call it that, and the next day the name was mysteriously painted on both sides of the bridge.
A Strike Ship carried a normal crew of six and was a hyperspace, sublight and atmospheric capable craft. It was three hundred meters long and fifty meters in diameter, with retractable wing control surfaces for atmospheric flight. It had hydrogen-fueled fission power, and was easily refueled by using a ram scoop in a shallow pass through a gas giant's atmosphere.
The ship passed from sublight to hyper by slingshotting around a gas giant to bring the speed up close to lightspeed, and then switching to the hyper-engines. The process was reversed, to slow down.
The ship also had teeth the equivalent of a small Destroyer. It had four missile tubes forward and two aft, with eight on each broadside with two pulse laser fore and aft with six on each broadside. It also carried four ECM drones with that could be made to resemble any ship's emissions, to simulate another ship. The small ship's main flaw was the restricted magazine space. They only had two spare missiles for each tube, without resupply. These were sometimes a few and far between. Luckily, the extra large engines would recharge the lasers at a rapid rate. The cost of the ship, to the Empire, was about the same as a small dreadnaught.
Shelia, the ships AI, was the heart and soul of the Loony Bin. Sgt. Michelle "Mike" Andrews was the Pilot/Sniper. She had the popular 'girl next door' looks, but the attitude of a stepped on rattlesnake!
Sgt. Jim "Doc" Adams was a Combat Medic and Ship's Surgeon. He always had three or four scams going on ... be it a bootleg still, or a floating crap game.
SSgt. Dave "Wiz" Willard handled Communications, AI Tech, and Ship's Engineering. He could make a computer do things the designer had never thought possible. Totally a recluse, if it was not a computer or a ship's component, it barely existed to him.
Cpl. Cynthia "Scrounger" Davis cared for the ship's weapons and the demolition ordinances. She could make a weapon or explosive out of most anything. She was also an accomplished thief. Just tell her what you needed, and she'd find a way to get it ... just don't ask where it came from!