Thanks for the idea actually. Love the ideas around here. How about this as an expansion to that.
The players have a warrant of trade in the wings from a legal perspective, but the whole 'Intrigue/Bribery' thing comes into play and someone else wants the warrant for bragging rights due to the sheer prestige of it. So they maneuver things so that there is a loophole in receiving it that they need a ship in order to have everything unlocked for the dynasty (IE the profit factor and warrant is being tied up in this maneuver). Getting a ship is next to impossible for most simply due to the vast resources needed to obtain one, so it seems pretty much check and mate in terms of that. So in the hopes of triggering the loophole, they sign on with another RT in a hail-mary pass attempt in the hopes that they can be 'given' a ship as part of the guy's fleet or what not.
"See, we have a ship. Now give me my damn warrant"
It could be just a shot in the dark and pray that this works, or maybe they know that the RT has a line on a derelict ship. He gets that ship, we can command this one in his 'fleet' and we can report in quick and score that damn warrant. He hires them on because the families have known eachother and he is throwing them a bone. Low and behold the RT has a line on a derelict and is going to try to get it up and running before anyone else comes in and tries to screw things up. Maybe the ship is part of a space hulk and he is rolling the dice on the chance to get it out and get free before it vanishes again back into the warp. He has the extra crew now (The players), so what's the worst that can happen.
So you have a session or two of them doing the whole getting it out of the space hulk thing with crazy stuff in between (IE earning their future ship with the first few harrowing sessions). Then they find out by accident that the RT has no intention of letting them touch a ship of their own. Who knows. Maybe he is happy with the extra hands and wants them beholden to him to keep a good work force. Maybe there is a story behind the two families where the player's dynasty/family screwed the RTs some time ago and this is his change to get the ultimate revenge for his ancestors. Maybe the faceless villain in the background that is trying to screw the players over and get their more prestigious warrant for himself got to the RT, and the RT has to tow the line and make sure that the players don't get their hands on a ship. This could be threat oriented, alliance oriented, or even financial. Maybe the RT needs the GC being yanked out to help bolster their flagging fortunes and the faceless badguy said "Don't let them get a ship and I wont come in and stop your trying to extricate the GC".
So if the players want their warrant, they have to steal the GC from the RT. They grab and run and show up to collect their reward. Now they have an enemy of the RT they were working for, and the faceless enemy that wanted their warrant in the first place. Maybe a session of them trying to survive trying to get it to safe harbour. But in the end, fast forward a few months and the ship is ready to go with what ever it came with from the hulk in the first place.
Covers one of the ship history thingies, and gives a backstory for the rest of the campaign. They are stuck with a ship for better or worse, and I think they might have earned the few extra freebie SPs used to add a few things into it to make it realistically viable. How does that sound all around?