The E-737 Spike is an older type of starship developed by the Owgawan Diplocrats shortly before the Vessan venom crisis. The ships represented an attempt to draw inspiration from the duological nature of the Prawp/Vessan pairings, and contained a “core” module that the crew (usually one or two pairs) lived in and operated the ship from, and the outer “hull” that formed the physical boundary of the ship. While in storage, the Spike’s hull rested in an elongated ovoid shape that gave the class its moniker, but when powered the outer hull had a polymorphic capability that allowed it to reshape itself to resemble a variety of different shapes.
Operators of the E-737
The E-737’s two most significant properties were its isolated crew compartment, which enhanced crew survivability, and it’s polymorphic hull, which allowed the ship to adjust its profile to meet a variety of different missions. These feature made the class popular with many off-world operators, as the ship proved itself very capable in several roles.
Anthropologists favored the E-737 for its shape-shifting abilities. For species with long-range detection capabilities, the E-737 could disguise itself as a natural phenomenon, such as an asteroid or other debris, or simulate any similarly-size native vehicle, in both visual outline and RADAR profile. Famously, Geodan Marke piloted one of these vessels during the Enforcement Action at Tau 21 Theta 3.
The E-737 is by no means a cargo ship, but it can carry a ton or two of payload. Because of it’s polymorphic hull, it is also capable of making landings on planets with a thick atmosphere, which puts them in the rare class of ships both atmospheric and FTL-capable. Many couriers have found the E-737 an economical choice over a more conventional starship-and-shuttle combination.
Having a ship that can rapidly change its outline has myriad advantageous to the less savory pilots in the galaxy. As such, there has been a thriving black market in E-737 sales, maintenance, and knock-offs almost as long as the class has existed. The mysterious ship used in the M-Ph Heist was believed to to be a E-737 by some investigators.
Despite its popularity, the E-737 ended production as the Diplocrat’s crisis deepened. Approximately 4,500 of the vessels are believed to be build, but it is thought that less than 500 still exist.
Despite the success of the design, few others have tried to replicate it. The polymorphic hull is, to put it mildly, an engineering nightmare, and the economical advantages that legitimate users gain from it are washed away if the price of manufacturing climbs too high. As a result, other than the aforementioned black market knock-offs (invariably of lower quality than the originals), no commercial attempts to reintroduce this remarkable spacecraft have ever succeeded.