The Atlas-class ships are large space-borne cargo platforms with FTL drive and a few defensive systems. Hundreds of containers can be latched on to the hull and carried with ease by this behemoth.
Typically used to efficiently resupply entire outposts, the Atlas is ill suited to the small and fast trade runs that are the mainstay of commerce in the sector. Their slow speed and large size always tempt uninvited guests, ranging from curious gawkers come to see the hulking colossus, to scavenging pirates aiming to disable a container's magneto-gravitic fastener, to Cult madmen bent on destroying it all. Nonetheless, the Hegemony makes wide use of them, especially to offload biomass from farming worlds on a seasonal basis. For the purpose, the Hegemony assembles large Atlas convoys; these are protected by military cruisers that ensure that the lifeline of Hegemony citizens is kept safe.
The captaincy of an Atlas is a rare punishment for the able, an uneven mixture of soul-numbing boredom and abject terror, being the result of normal trade runs and pirate attacks, respectively.