Upon entering the solar system at the coordinates of 175, 94, spacefaring captains will pick up a distress call. This comes from a Captain Smelenuf of the Empire Colony Ship Lasthope, a drifting ship. The message was dated October 10, 3480. Smelenuf stated that two thirds of the colonists and his crew on board were dead and that they were going to try to set down on the first planet of the system, along with giving out the coordinates of the landing spot. An explosion had crippled his ship, forcing them to evacuate.
Upon landing at the coordinates on the planet that Smelenuf gave out in his distress call, some ruins, along with another message dated October 31 will be found. The message said that their supplies would keep the remaining crew alive for several months (which, at that point, half of them were dead). Smelenuf, his crew and some colonists were on their way to establish a colony on the nearby planet Heaven until the explosion destroyed a good part of the Lasthope and they were forced to land elsewhere. Smelenuf suspected that his ship was possibly sabotaged by the followers of an opposing faction led by a man named Layton.
Although there is no proof, due to these messages not being discovered until the year 4620 or later, it is assumed that everyone from the expedition perished eventually, as no human life can be found on the planet.
On the Genesis version of the game, the Lasthope is an Empire Colony Scoutship, suggesting it is from the Old Empire. (On the PC version of the game, it is stated to be a transport vessel.) It weighs 2000 tons and was carrying colonists and a crew, although the exact number of either is unknown. Although it had no shields, it was armed with a pulse cannon. The ship still held molybedenum, iron and lead in its cargo bay when it was found, but no fuel; the fuel might have leaked out after the explosion crippled the ship.
- Weight: 2000 tons
- Shields: None
- Weapon: Pulse cannon
- Cargo: Molybedenum, iron, lead
- If a race known as the Velox are encountered and they are asked if they can share any kind of general information, they will usually complain about the “old” distress call from the coordinates of 175, 94. Apparently they did nothing about it for over a thousand years, even though the Velox territory is not far from where Smelenuf landed.
- Smelenuf mentioned that an android race known as the Mechans would have been under their control if they had landed on Heaven, which would have initiated Code Red. The Mechans had been at Code Blue, keeping Heaven ready for a Noah 9 expedition to arrive to colonize the planet. When the Mechans are encountered and they ask a captain if they serve Layton, if the captain says yes then the Mechans will attack. Smelenuf stated in a message that they were Noah 9, so it could be assumed that the Laytonites knew of this (if it was correct when he assumed they were behind the sabotage), so they sabotaged his ship to prevent this from happening. Heaven is a prime colony world that is worth a lot of money when recommended to the Interstel agency for colonization.
- There is an error in the Genesis version of Starflight, as in the distress signal and the log in the ruins, it was stated that the ship was heavily damaged (as even the pod they used to land on the planet was described as to being “defective”), yet when a scan is preformed upon encountering the Lasthope, the damage reads zero (see photo).
- In the Genesis version of Starflight, the player will encounter this ship when they enter the solar system of 175, 94. In the PC version, they will not encounter the ship until they try to orbit the first planet in the system.