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Roberts Space Industries ®






October 1st 2014

Clean Shot: Happy 100

Happy Hundredth

Hello, hello to those on that long haul called Life. This here’s Craig Burton and you are locked in on Clean Shot. Now today’s a special day. Well not today, specifically, though that’s been turning out pretty swell. I meant to say that this episode is pretty special.

We’ve hit a hundred. That’s right. I can’t hardly believe it back when me and Skinny, my poor, poor producer, got it in our heads to start yammering over the Spec, the last thing we were expecting was that people would want to listen. Now here we are, a hundred episodes in, being all respectable and whatnot.

Anyway, even though Skinny came up with the name TroubleZone, which I still don’t like, and been forcing me to keep saying it, I’d like to bring him out to say hello. Come on, Skinny.

Anytime, Skinny …

Skinny: … hi.

And he’s run back to the booth. Even so, this is a day of miracles, folks, Skinny actually spoke in public. Now if y’all will calm down, we’ll get this rolling.

Got a real quick note. I know everybody’s been talking about Charon III. As my daddy used to say, if war was a bar, these two are going at it like a couple drunks on payday. Well fighting creates a need for resources and I’ve talked to a bunch of you who’ve been picking up contracts to deliver supplies to Dellin.

If this falls on you, listen up, I got word from one of our listeners that you need to be careful.

Apparently, the Acheron military are updating their classification of enemy combatants to include supply ships, even freelance ones. Dellin’s contesting this and the UEE’s trying to figure out how to weigh in, but in the meantime, watch yourself if you’re hauling anything down to Dellin.

We’ll dig some more into the other system news when we hit TroubleZone later on. For now, we keep on that wavelength and talk about the dangers of transporting and one step the average hauler can take to watch, not only their cargo, but their back as well.

I’m talking about mercs.

Hiring bodyguards sounds like some high-end celebrity stuff, but I’m here to tell you, it’s not as expensive as you might think and ultimately might make for a more cost-effective run.

I’m happy to welcome Aaron Lott, an independent operator out of Vega III. Here to introduce you to a bit of the process and what to expect. Thanks for coming on.

Aaron Lott: Sure.

A lot of people think that upgrading weapon systems or slapping on plates of armor is the quickest and easiest way to protect yourself, rather than shelling out for a merc. What do you say to them?

Aaron Lott: The average criminal spends most of their time fighting. The average hauler does not. A nicer gun isn’t really going to even those odds when you’re dealing with a motivated aggressor.

Fair enough, but some of my brothers and sisters out there can be downright surgical on a turret, believe me.

Aaron Lott: I’ll bet.

But I hear you, when I first set out, my uncle told me, “Craig, the nicest guns in the ’verse don’t mean nothin’ if you can’t hit anything with ’em.”

Aaron Lott: He’s right. Combat training is about more than gear.

So assuming that our fickle listeners are coming around to the idea, give us a quick lowdown on how they should go about … is interview the right word? Audition? Where do they find a merc worth hiring?

Aaron Lott: Depends on what you’re comfortable spending. You can try to go through the Merc Guild; they have a pretty good roster of vetted pilots. They can be a little pricier and a lot more specific on what they will or won’t do, but can be effective.

Are you in the Guild?

Aaron Lott: No.

Can I ask if you want to be in the Guild?

Aaron Lott: No.

Moving on then. Say I don’t want Guild, where do I go?

Aaron Lott: I would check with a local infoagent or job board. If you’re in a hurry the infoagent might be the better route since they have a pretty solid understanding of available area talent. But really, the key to sourcing any merc is to check their rating, looking at performance reviews from previous clients. That’s the real testament to a merc’s effectiveness: previous clients. Guild or no, if they deliver what’s asked on them without complaint, that’s a great ally to have.

What about mercs turning on their clients? Is that a problem? Maybe if they’re offered better money?

Aaron Lott: Yeah … it can be.

Okay … well we’re gonna bounce out for a quick break and be back for more with Aaron Lott, independent merc, here on the centennial Clean Shot.


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