Hey folks, Craig Burton here. As hard as it may be to believe, another year has come and gone. Sure you may be a bit longer in the tooth for it, but on the bright side, it does mean it’s time for another Intergalactic Aerospace Expo to get underway.
Clean Shot, in its ongoing efforts to provide you haulers out there with only the latest and greatest news and info, has graciously sent Skinny and me down here to Eri City to report from the Expo floor itself. I’ll go ahead and say it — this may be my absolute favorite week of the year out of all the standard 52 that I could choose from. Now Skinny’s partial to the upcoming Hyperion Rally, but he promises me the IAE comes a close second.
And though we’re only a few days in, the 2946 show is proving to be a doozy thus far. I spent most of Sunday in the component pavilion, deep diving with a bunch of the manufacturers on display there. Damn near closed the place down too. I spent a good hour with some of the nogs from ArcCorp going over their new ArcTurbo 675 engine, and it is quite the vision. They seem to have completely mastered the inline setup they introduced last year and have taken it to a whole new level of polish. We’ll be doing a full breakdown on all the goodies with Skinny later on in the episode, including a look inside the high-tech radar experience simulator that our sponsor Chimera has set up at their booth. Remember, with a Chimera radar close at hand, you can stay on top of everything that’s around you.
For now, let’s go ahead and take a look at today’s TroubleZone.
It happens every year, folks. Ship collectors from across the Empire load their first gen Cutlass, or limited edition M50, onto cargo ships so they can fly ’em to the Kiel System without scratching the original paint job. And every year, outlaw packs target those transport ships. If you’ve been contracted to haul expensive ships to or from the IAE, might be worth springing for some additional safety on the journey.
This year I’m hearing reports of a particularly active and aggressive outlaw pack in the Magnus System. Once they have a ship in their sights, they swarm it with Dragonflys and snub fighters to keep the transport ship from jumping to safety while they get an EMP up close to knock the vessel offline. Not much else is known about the crew that’s pulling the jobs, except that they’re smart enough not to camp in one location. Most reports have spotted them roaming the sectors around the system’s large jump points. So exercise extreme caution when passing through those areas, even if you aren’t transporting ships.
Of course Kiel isn’t safe from its own bit of drama. Drake Interplanetary caught a bit of flak yesterday when they decided to feature some, let’s say performers, at their booth. No stranger to controversy, it seems this most recent brazen display might have been one step too far as people around the Empire have been voicing their objections loudly on the spectrum. Of course there are just as many who are defending Drake’s right to put on a bit of a show. The IAE have already weighed in on it, fining Drake for violating the Expo’s policies, but I wanted to give Drake the chance to speak to the controversy directly themselves.
I’d like to welcome to Clean Shot Horatio Prizzler, Senior Public Relations manager for Drake Interplanetary.
HORATIO PRIZZLER: Thank you so much for having me on, Craig. We are all big fans of Clean Shot over at Drake Interplanetary. A lot of good info, good fun too.
Mighty kind of you. Sounds like you’ve had a busy few days. Not only have you been on the show floor, pounding the pavement to get word out about Drake’s 2947 line-up, but now you’re neck deep in a controversy over some of your booths violating the IAE’s performer policy.
HORATIO PRIZZLER: Let me start by clearing the record. Drake Interplanetary booths in no way violated IAE policy. This is all just a giant misunderstanding that’s been blown out of proportion by certain interests that, let’s say, prefer unwarranted negative connotations stick to Drake.
Explain to our audience what this “misunderstanding” is, ‘cause reports from IAE officials are that a fine has been levied against Drake for hiring scantily clad woman to promote your products. That appears to be a clear violation of the IAE code meant to promote a comfortable and welcoming environment and keep the focus on ships, not booth staff.
HORATIO PRIZZLER: To start, the accusation that Drake has hired so-called “booth babes” is ridiculous.
Let me stop you there. I walked by a number of your booths yesterday and did see women dressed in suggestive outfits, dancing about and beckoning me over. They have not been allowed back on the show floor today while the issues gets sorted out. From Drake’s perspective, how is this not a violation of the IAE’s policy?
HORATIO PRIZZLER: Those lovely individuals were not hired by Drake to promote our products, which we can all agree would be a clear violation. No, they were part of a cross promotion with Cynosure Entertainment to promote the new vid Shadow Siren. These performers were dressed as characters from the show, which follows an all-female Caterpillar crew that may be the last, best hope to save Humankind from the Vanduul.
The vid also prominently features a number of great Drake ships besides the Caterpillar. The first episode has this fantastic bit about the Herald that … well, probably best not to spoil it for everyone. Anyway, if you were intrigued by what you saw at our booths, then look for Shadow Siren to hit the spectrum December 1st SET.
Seems like a bit of a slippery slope, if you ask me.
HORATIO PRIZZLER: Slippery slopes aren’t against the rules.
Now, I’m not one to judge here, but level with me. This isn’t the first time Drake’s skirted the line to promote something.
HORATIO PRIZZLER: Drake’s main focus has been and will always be on making affordable and effective ships. Because it doesn’t matter how people hear about your ships, if they’re crap and nobody wants to fly them.
Clean Shot needs to take a quick break. When we’re back, I’ll take you on a tour of the hangar housing the Exotic Ship Manufacturers Council, so you can see some of the cutting-edge tech on display from manufacturers that don’t muster the same level of attention as Drake. Plus, Skinny breaks down some of the great gear he’s been able to get his hands on while here. All that and more when Clean Shot returns to the 2946 Intergalactic Aerospace Expo.