Featured Cover Artist :

Ellie Hradsky

All illustrations on this page are copyright ©2002 by Ellie Hradsky.

The Pisces Storm Probe was intended to be a small 30-man vessel that actively sought out cosmic disturbances and then mapped and collected data for neighboring spacestations and planetary systems.

It had a small problem. While the ship was capable of handling drastic velocity shifts and emissions internally, two of the outer railings were not and tended to warp when subjected to sudden pressure changes. An endearing quality to me. I wanted somehow to take the little ship and make a mirror image of it. When I flipped it end to end however, I began to see something else. Flowing diagonal lines that intrigued me...

Finding the first images too dull I took the ship apart and added effects to all the pieces. I put it back together and duplicated it again.

This time however, I thought the ship to be too bright. I ended up taking the whole thing apart again and adding effects to only certain sections of the ship and then re-arranging and adding more instrumentation. I then named it the Quad. Still...far from finished, I needed to start thinking about a background...

The concept of wormholes always fascinated me, but how to render one... I'm still elaborating on my wormholes, but I kinda' like this one. Named after the discoverer of it, Brandy Torobon, navigator of the escort ship, The Archangel. It started out as a simple rainbow fill that I kept twisting and distorting until it began to fold in on itself.

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Above: After all the basics of the graphic were laid out, I added extendable landing platforms, telemetry and tracking stations, an observation deck and maintenance pod. Click the image for a larger closeup.

Below: I busied myself next going all around the ship and encasing all of the circuitry and instrumentation in forced transparent shielding, giving the ship a mysterious aura. The closer you look, the more depth you will find. Click the image for a closer look.

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After all was said and done, I decided to keep the bent railings, giving the Quad a deceptively fragile look.

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The ship now holds a crew of 120, can withstand extreme velocities, shifting energy patterns and bombardment and is currently employed as a wormhole hunter. Click the above image if you want a larger, closer view.

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