Despite the Catastrophe’s tech-crippling fallout, humanity managed to restore various useful communication technologies. Today, they support the galaxy’s ever-expanding media offerings; entertaining, informing, and distracting citizens in equal measure.
Thanks to the connectivity offered by the Mesh, citizens can access content feeds from all over the galaxy. The diversity on offer ranges from major affiliations’ official news channels to business feeds devoted exclusively to sectors such as ice mining or private security. Citizens typically access content either via their CORETECHS, or using a mesh-connected slate, such as a small pocket device or the large public screens common on many stations.
Most of the larger feeds run by governmental offices or professional journalists offer a multimedia mix of text, audio, images and video content. Individual citizens’ feeds are typically simpler, comprising of short, text-only blog-style entries. But, regardless of source, content items often conclude with the same audience plea to ‘subscribe for more’. Although the total number of active feeds is high, the big subscriber-counts are boasted by only a prominent handful.
Media freedoms tend to be higher on Freebooter stations where little monitoring of surrounding Mesh-nodes goes on. On Consortium and Gaule stations however, authorities are more cautious, keeping an eye on traffic passing through the nodes which serve the facility. Since content cannot circulate without a verifiable individual or institutional source, potential agitators or trouble-makers using these channels can usually be spotted and tracked.
A specialist feed covering the private security sector. Its owners (and chief reporters) are Boson and Draco Packard, two ex-bodyguards who retired from active service a few cycles ago. Typical content includes equipment reviews (usually weapons and armor), news from the galaxy’s four major providers of bodyguard services, and advice for keeping citizens’ bodies - and property - secure.
Bodyguard’s Bulletin: Issue 202.74
This edition comes courtesy of the ‘Bodyguard’s Bulletin’, the galaxy’s most-read content feed for the private security sector. Written by ex-bodyguards (and brothers) Boson and Draco Packard, it provides insight into this booming sector. Enjoy this free extract from issue 202.74 of the Bodyguard’s Bulletin.
Headline news: Strong growth on lawless stations
By Boson Packard
Data for the current cycle shows demand for private security services remains strong. As a result, all four of the major providers (Varangian Guard, Armure Security Group, Athena, and The Kestrel Minority) are continuing their recruitment to meet the need.
Growth is especially strong in Barnard’s Star system, as clients seek protection for visits to Freebooter-controlled Caen Stronghold. As usual, those venturing to stations with low Law and Orwell ratings like to know there’s a well-armed professional covering their back. Sometimes actions speak louder than words, and nothing says “don’t steal my stuff” like a 300 lb bodyguard kitted out in an Armure bodysuit, with an ALNA-MODEX rifle in the hands!
Boson’s tip: Shares in private security firms are THE hot ticket right now. Buy, buy, buy!
Equipment review: Alpine 1NK rifle
By Draco Packard
Folks, get ready to hear something you might not like. I know a lot of you wily pros out there swear by HWT’s Ballistic Blazer shotgun. And, I don’t blame you for wanting that cocktail of ballistic AND energy damage on offer when the action comes a-calling. But, in my honest-to-stars opinion, it’s time for you to consider an upgrade. Ajax Systems’ Alpine 1NK rifle may cost a little more, but you get a whole lot of extra bang-bang for your credits.
This high-performance masterpiece deals piercing, energy and ballistic damage with accuracy the Ballistic Blazer can only dream of! A bolt-action rifle with a detachable magazine, ventilated barrel, and folding stock, this aluminum-alloy pain-delivery specialist still comes in at under 3 KG. And, on top, the scope is kitted out with some truly epic glass. If this thing misses, it’ll be your fault and yours alone!
Draco’s verdict: The best tool there is for keeping those lucrative deep-pocketed clients alive!
Bodyguard of the cycle winner: ASG Contractor 265
By Boson Packard
It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! This cycle’s award has gone to Armure Security Group’s contractor 265, who now boasts over 4 cycles without a client fatality. These performance figures reflect finely on the sector as a whole and, should you cross paths with this exemplar of our profession, be sure to express your admiration! Here’s an exclusive quote from the winner:
It’s always nice to get some recognition. What’s my secret? There’s no magic to it really. Don’t take clients with a death wish. Stay out of Syndicate wars. Test your gear every day and don’t skimp on armor and ammo. Don’t mix booze and business. Be lucky.
Congratulations again to our winner, who receives a tenspan’s-worth of complementary services for the resorts of Cirque Centauri. It’s a tough job and even bodyguards deserve a holiday!
Boson & Draco’s final tip: Folks, stay safe, stay vigilant, and – most important of all – subscribe to the Bodyguard’s Bulletin!
Bodyguard’s Bulletin: Issue 214.08
Welcome Citizens to yet another edition of the Bodyguard’s Bulletin, brought to you by the brothers Boson and Draco Packard, ex-bodyguards and experts of the industry. It is the galaxy’s most-read content feed, providing valuable insights and career opportunities for the private security sector. Enjoy this free extract from issue 214.08 of the Bodyguard’s Bulletin.
Employment Prospects: Spotlight on Career Advancement
By Draco Packard
In this special segment, we want to highlight job progression within the industry and beyond. Back in my day, becoming a private bodyguard usually meant your military career was at an end, even joked as “semi-retirement” by some. Currently, the industry has changed and we are seeing more and more recruitment within our own members.
Take the example of Arnaud Callon, Tianjin’s Head of Security. He began, like many other Gaule citizens, joining the navy full-time after completing his military service. Within a few cycles, he joined the Armure Security Group and steadily rose up through the ranks, eventually heading up the private protection unit assigned to Moemedi Medical Supplies. He was then “head-hunted” by Etheel Hayes himself to lead security on the Independent station of Spirit of Tianjin.
A success story within our industry that is slowly becoming a standard, with increasingly more Independent stations looking at permanent measures for their security concerns. This specific example shows us all that it is never too late to aim high. Joining one of the private bodyguard groups can, and will lead to improved career advancement.
Draco’s tip: Work hard and your efforts will be rewarded!
Headline news: Opportunities with Station partnerships
By Boson Packard
Great news for private security! An increased number of stations have begun long-term deals with bodyguard organizations for local law enforcement. In a stunning turn of events, the Varangian Guard was hired by LeGuin Stronghold to handle station security for the immediate future.
Several members have signed up for this, moving from their standard Freebooter employment on Caen Stronghold or the Sirius A system, to this Independent station. We spoke with one of the Varangian Guard on LeGuin, Milo Redhand, and he had this to say.
“Firstly it’s easy work. The station is basically a “ghost-town”, nothing going on except for some vandals and addicts. We ‘Booters have all seen worse where we’re from, it’s kinda like a holiday, just a really boring one. Hey, at least the drinks are good!”
We hear an increased number of Independent stations are discussing similar terms with the main private security companies. The industry has been buzzing with excitement at this latest opportunity. A stable and relatively safe gig is something very rare for us bodyguards!
Boson’s verdict: Keep your eyes open to any job openings!
Bodyguard of the Cycle winner: Marge Carter
By Draco Packard
Finally, we can announce the winner of our Bodyguard of the Cycle award! It goes to Marge Carter, ex-Consortium military and now a member of the prestigious Athena group. Besides having 3 full cycles without a client fatality, she’s one of the few contractors in all the systems with a five-star customer approval rating. You can find Marge plying her trade on the Jump Gate in the Ross 154 system. She deserves a round for her truly amazing work. Here’s an exclusive quote from the winner:
“I suppose it’s nice to be appreciated, but I don’t do this for awards or for approval. I like what I do and I’m damn good at it! Protecting the weak and cowardly is a responsibility that I don’t take lightly. Secret to my success? Nothing fancy, quite simple really, I go by three rules; Be wary, shoot first, protect the client. If you stick to those, you should be fine.”
Congratulations to the big winner! As her prize, we will send Marge on a fully paid vacation to the Spirit of Tianjin, per her request. As a Patron, she can enjoy the notorious ‘Carnival’ for all her heart’s desires.
Now a quick word from today’s sponsors.
In a dangerous world with a deadly occupation, you may need some assistance continuing your existence. We at Anima Foundation can promise that this day won’t be your last day! Try one of our Premium clones wherever you find our services. Anima Foundation – “Ensuring your Future, Now.”
Boson & Draco’s final tip: Folks, stay safe, stay vigilant, and – most important of all – subscribe to the Bodyguard’s Bulletin!
Culture of the 'Verse: Cloning
Greetings to all you crazy cresters of the CORETECHS and magnificent mesh maniacs out there! New series coming your way to inspire and illuminate, tantalize and titillate!
We’re going to spend the next couple of segments, and many more down the road, discoursing the various aspects of culture from around the ‘verse. It’s been a fair few cycles since the Catastrophe and, when we ain’t looking over our collective shoulders, wondering if there’s another, we’ve actually been living! We just didn’t know we were.
So, once a tenspan or so, we’re gonna take a breather from all that smog and drama and sit back and see where we’re at, culturally speaking!
And today, we’ll be taking a gander at cloning!
It certainly is a funny old ‘verse. Story goes that an age or two before Before, folks used to be terrified of shuffling off that pesky old mortal coil. Today, not so much! I mean, sure, you have to spend a pretty credit or two thousand, but you can buy yourself a nice, spanking new body to upload right back into should some plasma foil feedback loop fry that pretty face right off before you were good and ready.
Course, it sure ain’t for everybody mind. Prometheus folks over on Daedalus station reckon you got one life to live and anymore is just plain old cheating. They strongly oppose any tech associated with cloning and some even go so far to shun any folk that have been known to be cloned. There’s even some that associate Prometheus with certain terrorist activity that targeted a number of cloning centers some time back.
Now other folk? They take to the whole situation like mass to a gravity well! Down on Paris Spatial, there is a particularly recent trend of art that involves increasingly creative ways of offing oneself and then uploading into a nearby clone in time for the applause! Now I ain’t one to judge, but as far as entertainment goes, I find that particular kettle of plasma coils just a might grim for my tastes.
The corporate front ain’t been slow on the uptake either ‘course. Been a fair amount of cycles where a number of corps, now really gaining traction again after the Catastrophe, have been instituting a clone clause. It applies to all employees whose job description is above a certain acceptable risk threshold of death and/or life-altering dismemberment. You can imagine this don’t sit well with employees of a Promethean persuasion of course!
Let’s not forget that there’s a fairly strong correlation between genotype functionality and cloning as well. Quite often some folk (if they got the credits, or at least the backing of a corp with the credits) will upload into a new clone so as to take advantage of a different genotype, depending on what’s needed!
And finally, and perhaps with an appropriate note of finality, we note that cloning only ever saves us from non-natural deaths. Thus far, nobody ain't found a way to extend the course of their natural lifespan. All your genetic code and DNA are uploaded via the Amygchip entirely as is, including the age of all your cells! We can change the outside to no end! But there's no messing with the inside..mostly.
That’s our segment on cloning done, hope you folks enjoyed our delve into the culture of cloning round our corner of the ‘verse. Y’all stay safe and feel free to write in with any other cloning related quirks you might discover on your travels!
Culture of the ‘Verse: Art in Nouveau Limoges
Welcome to the second segment of Culture of the ‘Verse, your portal to all things beyond mere survival! With the Catastrophe in our collective pasts, we look to the future to expand humanity’s possibilities. Last time we looked at cloning, with all of its complications, so today we’ll be focusing on the pleasant topic of artistic endeavors!
Art is ever-present – whether in times of stress or prosperity, people will create art which reflects their values, needs and desires. Stations like Nouveau Limoges recognize this and choose to maintain publicly available museum exhibits, so that everyone’s lives may be enriched by these artistic features. Some exhibits even feature artifacts from before the Catastrophe! Because art means different things to different people, we decided to capture the soul of the Grande Galaxie Museum and Gallery in Nouveau Limoges, of the Gaule Protectorate, by asking people about their favorite exhibit!
Aveline LeLac, 136 cycles old
“Interpretive dance sounded ridiculous – my friends had to drag me to the show – but the first time I saw Thea Mai on stage, I was touched. Her performance, full of skill, grace and care, was clearly captivating… But it wasn’t until days later that I realized it was all a metaphor for our oppression by the Gaule, and the need for us to rise up. It was the first time I felt the strength of someone’s feelings resonate so strongly with mine. I’ve been to all of Thea Mai’s performances, ever since.”
Yaël Archambeau, 12 cycles old, and Vincent Archambeau, 181 cycles old
“I liked the pieces that you could move and stack on each other and change their color and make a whole station if you wanted to!”
“It was the Stack-a-Block event, last cycle. Yaël and their friends came here every day for a tenspan, and learned a lot about station structures and what they need to run properly. They would have kept coming, if my son had let them—”
“I loved Stack and Block! Papa should have let me finish! I made a place to get rations, a place to work, and a big open space to play with friends, and a museum like this one! And I made a biiiig house! It had seven rooms and a kitchen and two live-in rooms and eight places to go potty!”
“Yes, Yaël, it was a very lovely house.”
Pascal Cartier, 92 cycles old
“It sounds boring, but I like things which are really well crafted. Paintings made with real paint compounds, which show beautiful landscapes as we think they were on Old Earth. Hand-chiseled statues where every fold of cloth, every hair, is perfectly in place. I can stand in front of these and let my worries wash away… I know art has important meanings, but to me, it’s about how it makes me feel, and ‘traditional’ art makes me feel at peace with the universe.”
As you can imagine, with art and beauty being subjective, everyone has their favorite! The next time you have a chance, stop by the Museum and see what exhibit is on that cycle – we promise you’ll experience something novel!
Culture of the ‘Verse: OmReAthletics
The galaxy sure is a biggun. Whole place is mindbogglingly vast, they say! And, thanks to them astro-engineering folks consistently workin’ them jump gates, it’s getting a might smaller in terms of our own perceptions. One of the greatest aspects of this here phenomenon is the reclamation and re-embracation thereof of long lost or even newfangled traditions!
OmReAthletics is one such beauty to recently come back to us from the Ross 154 system! Join us for a segment to talk up this bit of Culture of the ‘Verse!
OmReAthletics? ‘the smog is that?
Well, what we have here is an ingenious marriage of Omni Reality tech (thus your OmRe) and all sorts of hyper-fangled athletic endeavors!
Originally, OmReAthletics are a brainchild of the House of Syria. Stars, that whole place is brimming with Omni Reality enhanced visuals. Place is all drab and grey till you enable your CORETECHS to accept the incoming augmented reality matrices.
Old School vs Too Cool For
Now far as we figure, the original OmReAthletics that formed on the House of Syria involved some hefty hardware in the form of headgear, haptic suits, and the such. Now that folks from other ends of the galaxy have come a-flockin’ and enjoying the cyclical games, they done figured out ways of integrating the CORETECHS into the proceedings. With CORETECHS tech spreading to the system, some of House of Syrians have taken to this as well, as it provides an upgrade to the experience.
There remains, however, a staunch group of old school supporters that maintain the true skill and experience of the sport is sullied by integrated tech. The only way to truly compete, they reckon, is using the original hardware.
Both groups are currently welcome to compete by the committee and, while friendly rivalry does exist, it doesn't seem to mar the proceedings much.
There’s many tournaments throughout a cycle, ranging from team sports like omni-ball to combat games and individual skill challenges. Once every four cycles, however, the OmReTourney takes place!
Stations send reps, champions, and crowds to compete and rise to the top of the heap! Fortune and glory abound and, these cycles, a strong media spectacle is beginning to form around the entire spectacle.
OmReAthletics are fixin’ to spread throughout the galaxy now that Ross 154 is open to travelers far and wide. The military based jump gate right next door already incorporates the events in the wargame tactics and some folk even reckon there may be something a might sinister involved. Postulating conspiracy theories on the nature of secretive skill tests via the games as a way of drafting folks to the Consortium military.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our segment and look forward to seeing y’all at the next games!
Intercepted. Correspondence from The Brig.
“It is standard protocol to intercept correspondence sent to or coming from restricted areas. Citizen! Information is safety.” Sometimes these intercepted documents yield tasty government secrets -sometimes they’re just a slice of someone’s life, like this one from distant LeGuin.
Intercepted CORETECHS transmission. FLAG: Inmate correspondence Ross154/LeGuin/Brig 7653 Star Stamp: 215.22/74:233 GCT CLEARED for transmission. Message Reads:
The guard doesn’t like me. He wants to hurt me. He spells it out with his eyes. He has cruel eyes this one -the kind of eyes that want to do the cutting and the kicking themselves. Angry eyes. Envious eyes. They envy the elbow and the knuckles.
He’s different from the others. The others. Their eyes want what I sell. The others like what they see. The others I can bribe. Some, with as little as a smile. Others, want more -take more.
He’s back. Just stares at me through the viewport. I stare back, but only because the cameras are watching too.
If the cameras go off -he’ll go off.
He’s gone and I’m in again.
Not the same one Jodi -same charge. I left Pompadour a cycle ago. The Gaule -they’re always looking down their noses at you. Yeah -you’re better than me, huh? That’s why you pay. You pay because you’re better, huh?
I hate them. I hate them. I fucking hate them.
All these brigs look the same.
I’m on an indi. LeGuin. A dead end in the middle of nowhere.
This place lets me write to you at least. Let’s me stay connected. Everyone’s hooked on the Mesh out here. There’s nothing else to do. I hardly turn an eye on this station -it’s amazing I got busted. Meshheads -all of them. Can’t blame them. The place reeks of death.
I’m hungry. I’m lonely.
Shit. I think I’m scared.
He’s back again. Staring me down with those broken eyes.
If the cameras go off -he’ll go off.
Maybe when I get out we can coordinate a trajectory, huh?
Damn it’s cold in here.
I’m tired of this. I should hightail it to Tianjin and become a corporate girl. What I get thrown in the brig for here, they get tipped extra for there. Remember our talk -in the Mermaid? How’s your soul these days Jodi?
You don’t write anymore. Write to me, will you? It’s lights out. It’s dark and it’s cold. Write to me, will you Jodi? Let me know you’re okay.
Pitch black, but the cameras are still watching.
The cameras are still on.
If the cameras go off -he’ll go off.
INTERSTELLAR ENQUIRER – THE TRUTH YOU CAN’T HANDLE!
Joe “Sparky” Sparkouski lead journalist and editor for the Interstellar Enquirer is coming to a Tau Station Mission near you! Stay tuned for the system and the station: it’s not where you think it is! Sparky is your man on the streets -your eyes in the stars! (don’t think too hard about that one). Hard-hitting journalism that’s not just punching in the dark -it’s punching straight into the void!
The Truth You Can’t Handle! The Current Event Horizon!
Largest Circulation in the Galaxy
Editor: Joe “Sparky” Sparkouski
Lead Journalist: Joe “Sparky” Sparkouski
Research Editor: Joe “Sparky” Sparkouski
In this ISSUE!
PROMETHEANS Gone Wild! Clone Genocide on Little Earth! Man JUGGLES Babies! Thousands DEAD*
Space Elvis LIVES And We’re Talking About the Real King! Not Some Star-Studded Jumpsuit Clone!
The Clone-Zombie APOCALYPSE is near. What the Consortium Won’t Tell You!
The Intergalactic Royal Family You’ve Never Heard Of! They Control More Systems You Know**
Your CORETECHS is Spying On You! MALevolent Dynamics! Page 34***
Jump Gate of LOVE! The illicit ménage à trois between a Gaule official, a Promethean high priest and the CEO of a major corporation (not Anima****) that no one is talking about…. But should be!
WHO Are 3V? And Why Are These Space Communists A Front For An Intergalactic Drug Smuggling Ring?*****
*Potentially. Actual number of dead may vary. Tolerance in variation 1 – 999. Find out for yourself by visiting L 726-8 A and play the mission, “One Life on Little Earth”.
**You’re an InterStellar Enquirer reader, how many systems could you possibly name?
*** There is no page 34. Read all about the conspiracy to delete page numbers in our next issue (on page 57)
**** It’s totally Anima
***** And why do we feel the need to capitalize every word in the sentence?
And a Special Thanks to Our Sponsors:
No ONE. That’s right! NO ONE. Our reporting is 108% independent (that’s a number -you can’t say it isn’t). We’re not beholden to corporate interests, political agendas, public opinion, or common sense.
THE INTERSTELLAR ENQUIRER We’re not accountable to anyone! Least of all YOU!
Ship Spotters Special Issue: Shipyards
CORETECHS notification: New bulletin available – Ship Spotters issue 50
Welcome back, ship spotters! Today, we have a very special issue of the galaxy’s number one feed for all matters craft and vessel-related for you. This edition is a real treat and covers my recent pilgrimage, across five systems, to all the known shipyards! As always, I – Cosmo Sheridan – am your guide. Join me star hoppers!
I began my journey at the Købe Ship Construction Yard in København. I grabbed my usual spot on the viewing platform and camped out for the whole day. This immense facility, jutting out into space, is one of the busiest spots on the station. There’s wreck runners and shipwrights, coming in and out at all segments!
I spotted dozens of ships undergoing maintenance at the docks. It was a great selection, everything from small private transports to large Consortium Navy cruisers and frigates. The incredible engineers working on the ships come up with ingenious ways to repair and improve them all, and I was lucky enough to see it in live-action!
Cosmo’s Counsel: Fellow Captains, if you’re in the market for a Private Shuttle, this is where you can find it! Why use public travel when you can traverse the stars on your own ship!
Staying in the Sol system, my next stop was the shipyard on Daedalus, which the locals call the Loading Zone. While it is not as exciting or crowded as some of the others, it does give the opportunity for some up-close and personal inspection. I was able to get a sneak peek while engineers were outfitting a private carrier!
The majority of the ships I saw on that day were large cargo vessels of the Promethean Sect, all branded with the symbol of a green right hand on their hulls. These trade ships, transporting the precious phosphorus, go through rigorous maintenance and inspection. A great way to spend a few segments!
Cosmo’s Counsel: Like on København, one can find some great Private Shuttles for sale here. Last I checked, there were a few left, so don’t delay in getting one!
Yards of Gadani
I then traveled to Yards of Gadani in the Alpha Centauri A system, known for its ship dismantling industry; a reputation that benefits the shipyard immensely. Various types of vessels can be purchased here, spliced together using scraps and parts gathered on the station.
Here you can spy on the activities of Chamberlain Shipyards, a new player in the market. With a growing reputation and top-notch advertising, they are at the forefront of private ship management in the system. Besides selling semi-new vessels, the repairs and enhancements they provide at the docks are considered exceptional within the industry. As their slogan goes – “Cruise the galaxy in style with Chamberlain Shipyards.”
Cosmo’s Counsel: Speed enthusiasts, this is for you! Besides Private Shuttles, one can also buy the galaxy-famous Razorback here. Rumored to make the Earth-Mars run in under 13 hours, you won’t find a faster ship for purchase currently in the market!
The Maid of Orléans
For my next stop, I got myself a visa and visited The Maid of Orléans station in the Barnard’s Star system. The shipyard was my goal, to see the BlomVoss Ship Construction facility with my own two eyes. A dream since I was a small boy, the brand BlomVoss is a sign of premium quality for over 300 cycles!
BV handles both private vessels but also has significant business contracts with the Gaule Protectorate military. I saw numerous cruisers being retrofitted with enhanced weapons systems and advanced drive units, before being ushered away by a patrol of Gaule security officers. What a thrill it was!
Cosmo’s Counsel: While I didn’t see any available ships for purchase as I was there, it is rumored that private Bulk Carriers and Freighters are being contracted and could be for sale in the distant future! Stay tuned for further updates!
The House of Congo
For my penultimate leg of my trip, I hopped on a private vessel to the Sirius A system, heading to The House of Congo and the shipyard on that station. First things first, I got myself a Varangian Guard, you can never be too careful with the Freebooters! With that sorted, I went to the shipyard, easily one of the more colorful and chaotic places I have ever been to.
I found all kinds of vessels within, brightly decorated with neon holo-graffiti, mainly to mask the ship underneath all that! I discovered “liberated” Consortium and Gaule frigates as well as some unusual private ships used by the Caracals. Anytime spent on a Freebooter station is exciting, but the strange selection of vessels I encountered made this visit even more memorable!
Cosmo’s Counsel: Captains and collectors, here’s a scoop for you! The Mantis Class Private Cruiser can be purchased here. Hurry, before it’s sold out! For an in-depth analysis, check out Frasier the Crane’s review on his feed, The Crane’s Critique.
My final stop was also my favorite. The greatest ship spotting location in the known galaxy! I am of course referring to the BD Shipyard Services on Orwell Stronghold. Benevolent Dynamics manage this ultra advanced and modern shipyard, run by the very best of their highly-skilled engineers and shipwrights.
The affluent all travel through here with their luxurious private vessels, either on their way to or back from Spirit of Tianjin. I was part of a huge group of fellow ship fanatics, all clamored together on the viewing platforms. We saw unique and unusual spacecraft, from every system, waiting in line for high-quality upgrades and repairs. I was really living the dream!
Cosmo’s Counsel: During my brief stay, there were no new ships for private sale. But following “off-the-record” interviews with BD staff, I have heard that soon, Private Cargo Shuttles might be making an appearance here. Follow my feed for any new developments to this story!
Fellow spotters, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my extensive research trip through the stars! Until next time, yours truly – Cosmo
Ship Spotters Special Issue: The Tanegashima Fleet
CORETECHS notification: New bulletin available – Ship Spotters issue 12
Suit up, ship spotters! Welcome to a very special issue of the galaxy’s number one feed for all matters craft and vessel-related. Today’s edition is a real doozy; covering a visit aboard the Tanegashima Fleet’s most striking specimen. As always, I – Cosmo Sheridan – am your guide. Let’s get started!
An unexpected invitation Last tenspan yours truly woke to find something curious in my inbox. After more than a cycle of failed attempts, I finally got a positive response from Admiral Hukon of the renowned Tanegashima fleet. ‘Request granted’ read the subject line. And – let me tell you, fellow spotters – I was pretty stoked!
Usually extremely private in their affairs, the Fleet Admiral had nonetheless decided it would be rude to reject another of my requests to see their capital ship, the Tonchō. Residents of Barnard’s Star system will know this impressive beauty is stationed at Hopkins’ Legacy. The Tanegashima Fleet’s arrival here saved it from cycles of post-Catastrophe disorder – turning it into the well-run independent outpost it is today.
So imagine my surprise when the response came. I couldn’t believe my CORETECHS! It turns out the Admiral visited my spotters feed and discovered he liked my respect (or ‘worship’ – as he called it) of space-faring hardware. He was happy to grant me a few supervised segments aboard the fleet’s Capital Ship, the Tonchō. A coup for Cosmo!
First impressions: A fierce reputation I shuttled over to Hopkins’ Legacy (no, dear listeners, the Ship Spotters budget doesn’t stretch to Quantum Telepheresis travel!). Then onto the Tonchō via one of the fleet’s private transporters.
Views of the ship were magnificent on approach. Despite the pilot’s care to guard the Tonchō’s military secrets, I caught a glimpse of its renowned phaser arrays and aft torpedo launcher. Looking down the launch tube, my heart skipped several beats!
Already I knew the fierce reputation of the Tanegashima Fleet was well-deserved. It’s no wonder the two great powers tread carefully in dealings with the fleet and their Hopkins’ Legacy base. These folk know their way around the big black. Woe betides whoever goes up against them in a gunfight!
Next I marveled at the Tonchō’s unique ‘z-shaped’ thruster rigs as we approached its dock. By now I was giddy from seeing such superlative ship design up close… I’d barely had time to catch my breath when we docked aboard. Admiral Hukon met me there.
The Tonchō and Tanegashima warrior code My fellow spotters, the Admiral’s tour of the fleet’s prized possession was an unforgettable experience! The interior of this 6-million metric tonne masterpiece is like none I’ve seen before. There are no bare bulkheads here. Every corridor displays homage to the proud Tanegashima warrior code.
At every turn, we passed ceremonial forged-steel blades from centuries past on the walls. Glinting, curved swords, and battle-burnished daggers, each aloft on its own pedestal. Admiral Hukon explained they remind the crew of their heritage, and their duty.
Elsewhere, traditional cross-padded armor sat in a glass showcase at the intersection between two walkways. The protective plates were carefully – or even, lovingly, arranged under a respectful and dignified spotlight. I read the ancient Tanegashima proverb inscribed underneath: ‘Fall seven times and get up eight’. The Admiral bowed gently before it.
And then, something to top it all! On the command deck, we walked across a central foyer adorned with many large circular shields. Each is hand-painted, as the Admiral told me, with intricate scenes of ferocious battles from Tanegashima military history. What incredible work!
Many feature the Tonchō itself, adjacent to an explosion. A recently-vanquished enemy ship, perhaps? The Admiral merely nodded, without divulging further details. But one thing is certain: Tanegashima don’t forget their military exploits in a hurry.
Memories to savor Finally the Admiral politely indicated that my segments were up and it was time to leave. I said my thanks and proffered a gift of some Vkusno delicacies I’d picked up on my journey over. This prompted the Admiral into a series of small, grateful bows.
Within segments I was back on Hopkins’ Legacy catching my connection home and preparing these impressions for you, fellow spotters. Hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I did!
Yours truly – Cosmo
A widely-followed, Consortium-focused feed presented by Rick Sontaro. Typical content includes interviews with prominent Consortium citizens, short news items, and sponsored messages from the various corporations and organizations keen to reach the feed’s many avid fans.
TauLife Holozene Issue 101
TauLife Holozene Issue 101 – First broadcast 202.89
Greetings listeners! Welcome to another edition of TauLife, the on-the-pulse holozene of all things Consortium.
Today’s special edition comes to you straight from Daedalus station, home of the Promethean Sect. Strap in citizens, or should I say ‘brothers and sisters’, as we talk all things ‘One Life’ with today’s special guest, Sister Nyx, a sect member for exactly 100 cycles!
Welcome, Sister Nyx. It’s an honor to have you here. Please, tell us a little about yourself.
Honored too, are we, in your presence. As Sister Nyx, 100 cycles I have lived in the Promethean Sect, and a few more before that, all here on Daedalus station.
Right, thank you. What a way with words you have! So, tell us, does that mean you weren’t born into the sect?
No, I was not. With beginnings, I shall begin. After the Catastrophe, born here, on Daedalus station, was I. My parents knew not the One Life, but labored in the Phosphorous Plant. Back then, when the work was open to those like them.
Yet fearful of the sect, they were. Grew it did, and so fled they did. To a future away from here. But I stayed. The One Life pulled me. Took the sacred walk, 100 cycles ago, I did. And now, the Rites I give, to those whose one life is complete.
Fascinating! So, could you tell us more about these rites?
Privilege of mine it is, to oblige. We, who are Prometheans, adhere to the One True Life. This, to many is known. No clones shield us from its dangers. Accident and illness, at any moment can take us.
And yet, in such moments, our faith is tested. Tempting it is, to try and revive those we have lost. To comfort ourselves, with the aid of some vat-grown flesh puppet. Of course, wouldn’t work, to clone the dead, who did not consent when alive. But… it has been tried. Grief tests all.
And so the soul trap, what you call ‘Amygchip’, must be destroyed. Only then will thoughts of unholy return be banished entirely. In our sacred site, Plant P-15, we conduct such a ceremony. Known it is as ‘the rites’.
Wow, that’s er… quite something. Personally, I’m pretty glad my Amygchip is doing its job, syncing me to backup Rick, just in case, you know? But each to their own! So, to finish, congrats on the 100 cycle milestone, Sister Nyx. Any wishes for the next 100 cycles?
My hope is simple. I wish that all humanity will know again the One Life, as once our ancestors lived. For all that we cherish; love, kindness, beauty… cannot be, without also our frailty.
Nice words, thanks again Sister Nyx. Lots to think about for our listeners there, I’m sure. And now, to conclude, we round up a few other tidbits of sect news.
Conversions on the up
According to independent observers of Promethean matters, the last cycle saw a sharp rise in conversions to the sect from citizens in L 726-8 system. As a result, Pilgrimages to Daedalus are at an all-time high.
Some say the controversial use – or should that be, abuse? – of clone-tech on the Spirit of Tianjin is to blame. Whatever the cause, one thing is certain. More people than ever before now follow the so-called ‘one true path’.
Sponsored message of the day
Who would enjoy the stars if there were no darkness behind? Who can recognize pleasure that has never known pain? Give not half your humanity to the Anima Foundation!
And with that final thought, we’ll wrap it up for today. This is Rick Sontaro signing off folks!
TauLife Holozene Issue 190
TauLife Holozene Issue 190 – First broadcast 210.79
Greetings Consortium Citizens! TauLife Holozene is back on the air! Thank you for joining us on another titillating broadcast, we provide the most exciting “info-tainment” from the Sol system and beyond!
Today we’re chatting with Kirsi, one of the cloning technicians on Taungoo Station, the headquarters of the famed Anima Foundation.
Hi there Kirsi, welcome to the show. Please, tell us a bit about yourself!
Hi Rick and the listeners! I’m a big fan, thank you for having me on today. I was born right here on Taungoo, and I’m part of the lab crew at the Cloning Facility. It is my job to help customers with the various cloning services we offer. I love my work, because I get to assist people with one of the most important decisions they will ever make!
Ok, an enthusiastic employee I see! How did you start working with The Anima Foundation?
Well, I was part of a local sponsorship program that selected me based on evaluations and examinations. I received a scholarship to study at University. Once I completed my studies on Tau Station, I came back here to work and haven’t been happier! The Anima Foundation is always looking for the highly-skilled to join and participate towards the goal of ending all conflict, as our unofficial slogan states, “Curing Conflict, Clone by Clone”.
What do you mean, “curing conflict”? Surely that’s not possible?
Why not?! After all, what use is violence and strife when everyone is functionally unkillable? Conflict, as we know it today, will end. It will be replaced with negotiation, mediation, and dialogue, the only means to deal with human disagreements, as we all learn to put aside our differences and ascend into peace once again.
Other people might not agree. We did a broadcast with Sister Nyx several cycles ago. I’m sure you know that the Prometheans believe in the “One Life” and how cloning is abhorrent?
Yes Rick, I know the Prometheans well -trust me. Their understanding of the world is limited by faith, while the underpinning of ours is rooted in truth and science. They give themselves over to chance or luck. Why should an accidental, even purposeful death, lead to a tragic end of one’s life? The Anima Foundation is, and always will be, a pioneer for human salvation and prosperity. The Prometheans, and the like-minded represent barriers to progress -obstacles that, trust me Rick, we will overcome for a better tomorrow.
Wow, I see, that’s an interesting take on the world. Well, I admire your confidence and keep up the good work. Being a clone-user myself, I’m more than happy that you and Anima are around to help us out. As we’re wrapping up, any last words for the audience Kirsi?
Oh, I would just like to add that one can find Anima powered cloning services in several star systems, not just Sol. We offer all types, 3D printed, Vat Grown and Premium selections, available to everyone and anyone, as long as you can afford it!
That’s all the time we have today, a big thank you to Kirsi for meeting with us. Stayed tuned and informed dear listener -if you’re ever in Taungoo and need a clone, check out the state-of-the-art Anima Foundation facilities and services.
Now a quick word from today’s sponsors.
If you’re bleeding, and you’re reading this, you’re still alive! Keep it that way with Moemedi Medical Supplies. WE keep you alive. Everyone out there has a good gun, and that’s why YOU need US! Moemedi Medical Supplies – “When you don’t have time to bleed.”
Well, that’s all from us today. This is Rick Sontaro, straight from the source, wishing all you Consortium Citizens a great tenspan!
TauLife Holozene Issue 98
TauLife Holozene Issue 98 – First Broadcast on 202.87
Greetings Consortium Citizens! Welcome to another exciting broadcast of TauLife, the exciting holozene bringing you the best tidbits from the Sol system and beyond!
Today we talk with Fellie Norbush, a charming Harsene who works as a field technician for Benevolent Dynamics. You may have come across Fellie when visiting the port of Tau Station.
Hi there Fellie, tell us a bit about yourself!
Hi! And a big hello to all your listeners! It’s an absolute pleasure to be here today. My name is Fellie Norbush, I was born on Orwell Stronghold in the L 726-8 system and I am a public service technician for Benevolent Dynamics. It’s my job to help you all out with any BeDyne products and services. I’ve been hanging around the port and just having the loveliest time meeting all the travelers coming to and from your amazing station!
Lovely, and what are you doing there these days?
Well, primarily I’m conducting onsite tests and calibrations of people’s CORETECHS. You see, we’re currently rolling out a new and very exciting upgrade that enhances the level of bio-digital integration far better than ever before. For example, you may have noticed that the CORETECHS now utilizes your current bio-metric feedback and sends this data directly to prospective employers within your chosen career path. This helps filter out such tasks that you are currently unable to complete with any likely margin of success. And that’s just one example! We’re looking at a number of future improvements and added functionality.
Wow, that sounds exciting indeed! We can’t wait. Now Fellie, it’s our understanding that you’re not actually a Consortium citizen correct?
That is correct Rick. Benevolent Dynamics is an independent technocracy that affords all its employees political independence so that we may work unhindered by factional jurisdictions or similar awkwardness. Our work, research, and science is for the benefit of all mankind, irrespective of affiliation. Even the Freebooters!
Ha! Very well said Fellie. So, is there anything else exciting on the horizon from you guys?
Weeeell, funny you should mention horizons. We’re working on something that should bring them all far closer together very soon! That’s really all I can say on the matter but let’s just say that it’s got us all ‘beaming’ with pride!
Wow, well thanks very much Fellie, it’s been an absolute pleasure! Folks, if you want to meet Fellie or have any questions about your CORETECHS or other BeDyne tech, feel free to visit her at the Port of Tau Station!
Now a quick word from today’s sponsors.
It’s a dangerous galaxy out there and you can’t rely on Moemedi Meds to patch up your injuries every time. So why not cut out the middleman (or woman)? Use Hephaestus Weapons Tech to take them out of the equation first!
Hephaestus Weapons Tech – “Keeping your kill count up since 20PC!”
What follows is a public service announcement.
Citizens are warned to avoid the Red Zone on Tau Station. An unusually high amount of syndicate infighting has resulted in dangerous traveling conditions. There are additional reports of an unnamed and allegedly heavily armed group moving through the area. Travel through the area is inadvisable.
Well, that’s all from us today. This is Rick Sontaro, your eye in the digital sky, wishing all you Consortium Citizens a pleasant day!
The Architect’s Angle
THE ARCHITECT’S ANGLE – AN IMPRINT OF GALACTIC DESTINATIONS
In this installment of Galactic Destinations’ offshoot, “The Architect’s Angle” we explore the attempts made by upright Citizens to preserve the historic buildings on their stations. Enjoy!
Welcome fellow world builders, aspiring apprenti, and curious craniums to the first installment of “The Architect’s Angle”. This periodical is dedicated to the exploration and examination of architectural and engineering feats throughout Tau. Everything from asteroid settlement engineering to Stanford Torus construction, to Old World masonry methodology -if someone built it, we dig it.
For our pilot interview, I had the pleasure of speaking with an old friend, Ser Jean Ketland of the Pompadour Historic Preservation Society. Ser Ketland owns several high-end art galleries throughout Pompadour and is also a collector of prized objets d’art. He was instrumental in passing laws that now protect many of the Old World buildings that had fallen into disrepair on Pompadour after the Catastrophe.
Frank Knowright: Jean. So good to see you again. I think it’s been since university, no?
Jean Ketland: At least since then, yes. So many cycles.
Frank Knowright: Tell us about this preservation project you’ve undertaken in Pompadour. From my recollection the Gaule do an excellent job in maintaining the aesthetic quality of their station, no?
Jean Ketland: We do Frank, and we can do better. That’s why my daughter and I started the society with a close-knit group of friends. We’ve helped enact laws to maintain the Catacombs and preserve the beautiful works of art that were commonplace in Pre-Cat Pompadour.
Frank Knowright: The Catacombs too? I hear that’s a pretty dangerous place these days.
Jean Ketland: They are. Abandoned, neglected and dangerous. All the more reason to clean them up. You don’t destroy something that you respect Frank. You don’t damage beautiful things.
Frank Knowright: That’s an interesting take. I always figured that you shouldn’t destroy or damage things based on a fundamental respect for your surroundings, rather than on the quality of the object in question… But what do I know? You’re a successful intersystem art dealer and I write for the Architect’s Angle. What other projects do you have blueprints for?
Jean Ketland: We’re also making a major push to designate the Haussman neighborhood as a historic district. You know that some of the buildings are believed to have been relocated straight from Old Earth? Many of the structures are Pre-Cat moon rock structures dating back to the station’s Belle Epoque. Two kilometers South of the mines, the District Haussman is made up of four concentric blocks of regal, stone apartment buildings surrounding the Park LeClerc. A Park we’ll be doing work on too. Nothing gets by the Society.
Frank Knowright: Wow. Ominous way to put that. Isn’t that neighborhood home to thousands of migrant workers? Won’t those changes affect them? Drive up real-estate prices on an already overpopulated and popular station?
Jean Ketland: People come and go Frank, buildings stay. I hear there’s a population crisis on nearby LeGuin that I’m certain would welcome an influx of “visitors”.
Frank Knowright: Funny how you felt the need to use air quotes for the word “visitor” there Jean. Why don’t we move swiftly along…. To any other conversation.
That’s all from me, Frank Knowright. You can catch Jean Ketland, and his daughter Artemis in the mission “Cradling the Stars” on Madame de Pompadour.
Hello Citizens. We have the pleasure of introducing a newly uncovered blog. A transmission of sorts, from cosmic stowaway Charlie Grove -the self-proclaimed Space Bukowski. Their transmissions are sporadic at best, and very little is known about the individual who composes these journal entries. They are disseminated over the Mesh at odd intervals and have been gathering quite a following. Without further ado, the latest installment of the “The Chronic”.
You are reading this… You are hearing this… You are being told this, feeling this, consuming this…
Welcome to the unwelcomed. Welcome to the outcast, the dejected, and the mislaid. Welcome to all those that are still lost and yet, still wander. Welcome to the Chronic -the journal of Charlie Grove. Intergalactic stowaway.
Citizens…. I scoff at your citizenry. I lament your Gaulic pride, your Freebooting fancy, your Consortium pettiness, and form. Independence, true, unfettered independence is the only route to follow. You have the Stars at your fingertips and you confine yourselves, limit yourselves, define yourselves -you are slaves to pointless ideologies, prisoners to tortuous, endless routine.
The belly of this dragon-red System-hopper 560FX is home enough for me. Home enough for today. With any luck, the True Star will shine on me and I won’t be discovered until we make the Jump Gate. Would hate to be dropped off on some waylaid station again -not that the broken and forgotten don’t have a charm all their own, but the Jump Gates have their sins, and sin breeds stims. On today’s menu: hunger, and more thought. My belly is empty, but my mind is full. Full of questions, full of curious, mischievous, unapproved thoughts…
Nothing to classify in your squared-off CORETECHS archives. I’ll be digging this Amygchip out of my brain soon enough. Thank you again Malevolent Dynamics for being right and just for everyone. The sheer hubris -the utter evil of it all. Think the same, share the same, be the same. Keep your sane, sanitary sameness. There’s always someone willing to pay to harvest a mycelium field, dredge a canal, or to plunge head-first into an Iridium Mine. That doesn’t make me a farmer, a docker – it doesn’t make me a miner. It makes me free.
We’re decelerating. The word wraps around me, like warm smoke. Deceleration…. Cigar smoke wafting over the tongue, stopping before the lungs…. Decelerating. A checkpoint no doubt, maybe a hull scan. What will they do with me this time? Who will do it to me? And in the name of what? “I was here first”, he’ll say. “I built it”, she’ll say. “We own this”, they’ll say. They’ll brace themselves with their definites, with their certainties, and they’ll beat me, pummel me, cage me with their righteousness.
Acceleration… No hull scan, maybe nothing more than a navigational caution -an unexpected field of force, or rock, or flux. Acceleration -onwards. My belly is still empty, but my mind is filled, filled with excitement and wonder and expectation of all the new hells and hatreds that await me.
Starbound is unbound. Signing off…
The Crane's Critique: All-In-One Shopping Experience
Greetings and Salutations! Welcome back avid listeners and eager readers. It is I, Frasier the Crane, returned from my exploration of the stars! I’m back with you for an exciting bit of news. Usually I have reviews of the latest products and gadgets, but today I present something really special.
What if you could find all the newest weapons, state-of-the-art armor, advanced OmRe enhancements, and top of the range supplements all in one place?! Add on top the possibility of unique and luxurious versions of everything, just a short shuttle ride away. You would think, rightly so, that I’m losing my mind! But alas NO, I’m not crazy or delusional, for I have just come back from Ross 248 and I have truly been dazzled.
One system that caters for our every demand, from premium protection parameters to dastardly devices of destruction. As you all know and love, I have a constant craving for the terrible trade of arms and armor, and never before have I been humbled by the sights that I have seen.
No where else can you try the latest and greatest from Hephaestus, then a few steps away test the best that Ajax can offer. The Jump Gate station offers that and more! I was one of the lucky few that was present at the grand opening of the Yasutsuna Corp shop, showcasing the exquisite and rare items used by the Tanegashima Fleet themselves!
You can even see ‘live testing’ performed by skilled sales representatives and view precisely how each new product performs in an actual field of battle. No more imagining what kind of damage you can do, you can actually see it in person! It was a joy to behold, but there’s more, so much more in this system!
My galactic reputation always precedes me in my travels, and I was welcomed, nay invited, to see first-hand the Megamporium, Hemingway’s luxurious Hyperdashery station, where I saw spectacular and immaculate items of one’s worship!
They have taken their existing product ranges (and everyone else’s!) and improved on them in every way! No more will you need to settle for one of their system-famous “Tau Triumphant” or “Sol’s Soliloquy” bundles when you can have a totally unique and customized version just for yourself. The individual enhancements and personal touches are near priceless, but for those with heavy pockets, the Megamporium is where you can spend your credits for something truly unique in this world.
Honestly, it was an incredible experience and I for one cannot wait to go back and indulge myself again in the most wondrous, spectacular, shopping adventure!
This is Frasier the Crane, and this has been another Crane’s Critique!
The Crane's Critique: Dissident Disincliner
Greetings most loyal and beloved listeners! Welcome to the first of many segments of what is sure to be a prestigious and oft listened to review program. I, Frasier the Crane, shall be your guide in all things arms and armors, with a different tool of the terrible trade tested each tenspan. Today, I hope you shall join me on a journey of thrills to the accompaniment of the oh so pleasant sounds of blasting ordinance. For today, we review the Dissident Disincliner!
This sleek and fabulous combat shotgun comes to us from... well it comes from a less than reputable source, but before that it came from the fine and rightly lauded weaponsmiths of The House of Spartacus!
The weapon itself exudes fine craftsmanship. As I heft it, I can feel its considerable weight distributed evenly and in an almost pleasant, even comforting, fashion along my arms. And while it is not the most accurate shooter out there, the wide spread of projectiles coupled with a delightful shatter effect when they strike a target, hits home with a hearty ‘oomph’ of satisfaction!
Yes indeed, this is very much the shotgun for a boomstick aficionado! Now, the fact that it tends to be distributed, at least in legitimate circles, among both Consortium and Gaule Protectorate ‘peace keeping’ personnel, may mean the occasional raised eyebrow should you brandish this fine firearm out in the open. But then, when one carries a veritable cannon such as this, one may simply blast any offending eyebrows right off the offending visage!
I myself am no stranger to the ways of the scoundrel and jackanape of course. Once I broadcast to an audience of Consortium drones and lackeys! But no longer am I fettered by pomp and protocol, having been exiled to a much happier existence among the fine folk of Freebooter ilk due a tiny misunderstanding concerning the station owners' significant other and some comments, and perhaps the occasional memo comparing him to a tiny planetoid.
Nevertheless, let me digress no further lest we forget the reason we are here! The Dissident Disincliner, with its considerable heft and firepower, gets a definite Frasier the Crane authentic seal of approval! Pick one up at your nearest black market and make your blackened, charred, and smoking mark upon the galaxy!
If you're not entirely satisfied with this, prince of power, this wonder of weapons, then I would shave my head! A gesture which becomes less significant with every passing cycle...
The Crane's Critique: H.A.C.K 3.5"
Salutations salubrious listeners! Your main brain, Frasier the Crane, comes at you across the ever so slightly less than legitimate Freebooter airwaves once again!
Now, I once recall seeing a man enter battle with shoddy armor. I recall pontificating later that there were cheeses on ancient Earth that had less holes than this gentleman’s body.
It may be an unwise man who doesn’t learn from his own mistakes, but it’s an absolute idiot that doesn’t learn from other people’s! To that end, today we review a fairly sturdy garment of protection indeed!
Let us pay homage to the hardy H.A.C.K 3.5 that hails from the House of Syria!
This magnificent looking piece of equipment is a true fashion wonder, no less for its many and varied capabilities! H.A.C.K, I am told, stands for Haptic Armor, CyberKinetics. Now, while I feel the nomenclature is reaching a tad farther than the writer’s creativity can stretch to fill this acronym, I do understand it is apt indeed.
The piece of armor, while employing some particularly sophisticated nano-fabrics that channel energy away from its keepers most vital organs, organs that tend to be quite vulnerable to such bugaboos as electricity or plasma, is also woven in such a fashion as to dissuade all but the hardiest of piercing weaponry.
Along with its protective properties however, this gorgeous garment also serves to enhance haptic feedback that can be relayed back through one’s CORETECHS or even an external OmReAthletic Headpiece.
Indeed, this tough little tunic is considered one of the top-of-the line fashion accessories for the nouveau-OmReAthlete. Old school aficionados, of course, may look down on it as too ‘new age’ but, once they slip into its luxurious lining and feel the Omni Reality pouring over ever pore, so to speak, may quickly change their minds!
The Crane's Critique: Mantis Class Private Cruiser
How blessings brighten as they take their flight.
How pertinent a sentence, allegedly uttered by a poet of ancient Terran origin, that applies aptly to the recent discovery of an entire fleet of sleek and steady vessels to ferry us through the Black. The Mantis Class Private Cruiser, a ship I have had the distinct pleasure of being allowed to fly. Tune in, loyal followers, for my enlightening review!
The recently dubbed Mantis Class Private Cruiser line was discovered in its entirety within the cargo hold of a derelict transport carrier. Said carrier was found drifting on the very fringes of the Sol system during a salvage run by a squadron of København Wreck Runners. (They have, it seems, now begun operating off-station as well).
An entire line of vessels discovered intact and ready for flight is quite a boon indeed! Once tested, they went on the market almost immediately. And I can tell you that this rambunctious reviewer with a flair for oration was quick to requisition one, erm, well with the help of some ingenious regulating of ownership details by the resourceful Caracals of House Congo.
Well! What can I tell you my friends but a flight of sublime sensation! Pre-Catastrophe technology that seemed specifically designed for a smooth flight with suspension thrusters kicking in at the merest hint of turbulence!
I whooped as I darted past asteroids that now felt to meander like cosmic hippopotami lazing in a river compared to my technologically gifted aerial grace! Fellow Freebooters, salvaging a recent victim, sent pings of what I imagined equal measure of envy and encouragement as I darted past their eerily silent disemboweling of a hapless cruiser that had, no doubt, neglected to pay the entirely optional protection fees encouraged whilst traveling through the Apples of Discord.
Velocity, whilst not quite as fast as a Razorback, definitely leaves shuttles choking on your plasma discharge. The lack of a cargo hold and a medium range, however, makes this a less than ideal choice for long journeys that may, perhaps, require the moving of goods.
I do, however, highly recommend this metal-bound avian as the perfect chariot for a visit through our freshly opened jump gate here at the Apples of Discord! Drop my name and bring plenty of Bonds!
Should you be lucky enough to acquire one of these shining beasts of personal transport, perhaps they will take you on journeys of adventure and discovery, inspiring grand tales and yet grander deeds! In the words of a past dreamer of flight:
The human bird shall take his first flight, filling the world with amazement, all writings with his fame, and bringing eternal glory to the nest whence he sprang.
Leonardo da Vinci
This is Frasier the Crane, and this has been another Crane’s Critique!