The Bristlecone is a heavily-armed gunship, formerly the property of the Sanctum Adroit security company. It was used by the Sanctum Adroit led by Major Alexia Murtaugh during her assignment to secure Haven Hive for one of the company's clients.
During the course of this mission, the Bristlecone was suborned by Para Ventura, a member of Tagon's Toughs. It was subsequently used to extract the remainder of Ventura's team, leaving Murtaugh and her troops behind. Subsequent intervention by Petey granted the Bristlecone effective freedom as a licensed independent artificial intelligence.
Bristlecone carried Tagon's Toughs on the Eina-Afa mission, and in fact manipulated them into accepting it. She was effectively dismantled by aggressive security drones, but her shipmind survived and eventually became the AI of the Toughs' new superfreighter Cindercone