The term ‘Limpetman’ is applied liberally to any individual proficient in the use of Zero-G, vacuum-rated spacesuits. The colloquialism comes from the sight of these suit-clad people attaching themselves to the sides of starships for intra-system travel, negating the need to come aboard altogether. As a nickname it is more affectionate than offensive.
Spacesuits hark back to the earliest days of space travel for most societies. The suits befitting modern day Limpetmen are much more robust, nimble and self-sustaining – they need no tethering line and can generate up to a day’s worth of life support of their own accord. This equipment helps specialists accomplish their jobs without the aid of a specialist spaceship and with more expertise than robotic arms or apertures. A wide variety of suits are available, featuring mechanically enhanced arms to industrial tools and implements. Weapons are available but rare as they tend to draw heavily on limited power reserves.
Aside from repairs and maintenance, Limpetmen are known for their role in the dark arts of war. Relatively tiny size means such suits evade all but the most stringent scanning; this enables Limpetmen to get close enough to docked enemy ships to cause all sorts of illicit sabotage. The only real hope of spotting them is through visual means, which is sporadic at best. Aside from sabotage, suit-clad operatives have been known to burn through the hulls of enemy vessels and commence audacious boarding actions.
Limpetmen can be seen picking through the scrapyards of the human Core Worlds. This salvage seeks anything from gold coating of wiring to rare earth elements from the interior of power cores. It is as profitable as it is risk-strewn. Most scrapyards are private property with their own rules and regulations; the majority shoot these looters on sight.