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Vulture Hoverbikes . The confederate council would like to alert all federal marshalls to increased reports of illegal hoverbike racing in outlying sectors. . +++ Confederate Security bulletin follows +++ Hoverbike racing has always been a fringe activity of disaffected and dissolute individuals who have not found a better outlet for their antisocial tendencies, such as joining the confederate armed forces. Their preferred vehicle is the widely available Vulture hoverbike, technical specifications of which are included in the appendix to this bulletin. Over the last 12 cycles a substantial increase in the 'sport', usually carried out at night in urban fringe sectors, has been documented. There are also indications of increased co-ordination between racers in different cities and in exceptional cases on different planets. The Vulture hoverbike boasts exceptional speed and maneuvrability, although as military procurement officers point out whenever their R&D budget is cut, about the same amount of pilot protection as a paper hat. Given the unregulated nature of the races, there have been a number of fatalities. This is not in itself a major concern - it serves to improve unemployment figures - but socio-psychologists have suggested that racers who survive long enough to build a reputation may become the focus of seditious anti-government sentiment. The Confederate council has decreed that Justice Department resources should not be expended to stamp out the sport, but all Marshalls are ordered to monitor the situation in their locality. In the event of an individual racer gaining widespread popularity, they should be approached and offered an officer position in the space marines. If this offer is refused, they are to be arrested and sent for involuntary reconditioning. +++ Security Bulletin Ends +++ Vulture hoverbike type 428, standard civilian/military model. Power is provided by twin ion thrusters, generally overcharged. In military models, the single forward hardpoint is filled with a 'Thumper' grenade laucher. However, the greatest threat presented by the Vulture is the spidermines that can be deployed from the rear compartment. While these are only produced in military facilities, the recent downgrading and decomissioning of a large number of Vultures means that some may have entered the open market with unused mines intact. Any Marshall pursuing a Vulture rider is cautioned to use mine detection devices. The simple construction and sturdy frame of the Vulture lends itself to customization and a large number of variants have been produced. This version has been refitted for hunting ragnasaurs on Avenis 4. The twin ion thrusters are replaced by less powerful, but virtually silent magno-gravitic pulse engines, and the hardpoint hosts a electrified harpoon launcher. The rear storage compartment is filled by the gravitic drives, so scanning equipment is mounted on top, behind the pilot's seat. As with all Vultures, rear landing fins provide stability when the hover engines are offline, but fold up under the engines during flight. Fourth wall comments: When I started it, this MOC was supposed to be a single hoverbike (the white one!), just a straightforward build between other projects. Then I thought it would be fun to build another one in a different colourscheme... then once I'd got two I wanted to build them a Lego backdrop for display, because that's not something I've tried often. Thinking about what to build for them to stand on was how the whole backstory developed! I tried to come up with something that matched the tone of the Starcraft universe (which is where the Vulture hoverbike comes from). The other inspiration for the final diorama is the race sequence from the film 'Grease', which my wife happened to be watching at the time! Here's the road segment without the bikes: Please rate and comment!

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