October 14th 2015
Hey all, thanks for joining us for today’s Clean Shot. Rain or shine, we’ve got the down low that all you haulers need to know. And, boy, has it been raining. Over the last week I have been in touch with people who had loved ones in New Corvo. I heard from some who were desperately looking to find folks who’d been making drops in the system. I heard from members of our community who knew starmen serving in the 2nd fleet. Some of the stories, thankfully, had happy ends. Sadly, as is often the case with the Vanduul, most did not.
Skinny and I want to take a moment to say to all of you who may have lost someone in Vega that our hearts are there with you. And not only ours. I have been amazed — not that I should be, mind you. I know how great you all are, but even knowing that, I have been blown away by the sheer number of people who have contacted me eager to find a way to help those who have been hit by this awful tragedy.
So that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Not about how to pay back the ’duul, or about how Bishop’s gonna get us victory. No, we’re going to talk about what people like you and me can do right now to help those in Vega who need it most.
Let’s start simple. A Vega Relief Fund was established last week by charitable non-profit organization Operation Solace. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Operation Solace is my personal favorite charity. Some of you may remember that when I announced that my wife and I were going to have our little Mia May, I asked that rather than baby shower gifts you send donations to Operation Solace instead. They were founded by some dedicated vets who wanted to keep helping people when their service ended and they have an impeccable track record of using what they get responsibly. Currently, on top of the normal Credit donations, they are looking for people to send them what clothing and non-perishable food they can spare. Even though it’s less urgent, they also have a request out for new toys. A lot of scared children over there now, and a little bit of kindness can go a long way. I’m sure you all have been seeing the footage coming out of New Corvo, but I’ll say it anyway: these people need every bit of assistance they can get. In a true show of generosity, Cry-Astro has stepped up to partner with Operation Solace. They will be matching a percentage of the Credit donations, offering fuel discounts to relief haulers, and as of yesterday, have set up donation drop-off centers at all their service stations.
Now, for those of you who looking to go that extra step, Clean Shot would like to welcome to the show Captain Taylor Mort, who has been flying her Caterpillar under a Merchant Navy banner for the past five years. Good to have to you, Captain.
TAYLOR MORT: Good to be on the show, though I’m sorry it has to be under such unfortunate circumstances.
I hear ya. To start, it’d be great if you explained what the Merchant Navy is to those who may not be as familiar with the organization.
TAYLOR MORT: The UEE Merchant Navy is a fleet of civilian-owned vessels who are contracted by the Navy to transport cargo and passengers between worlds.
And you just got back from doing a Vega run?
TAYLOR MORT: Yeah, they’ve got us doing pretty much non-stop B&Fs, bringing in supplies and taking survivors out of system.
How is it?
TAYLOR MORT: It’s bad. I’ve been in some rough places, but this is … I mean Estilia was completely wiped out… You go to New Corvo and it’s hard to believe that it’s the same city. But it feels good to be bringing them food and whatnot. They even got us manually picking up comms from relays that got cut off from the grid during the attack. All these messages are just piling up on them waiting to be delivered, so they got us bringing those back through the jumps. As far as people, so far we’ve only been transporting a handful here and there. People stranded or injured people who need specialty care facilities. Had a group of orphans last Friday. You’d think everyone would be lining up to get out of there, but for the most part, people I’ve talked to want to stay and rebuild. Guess they’ve seen their fair share of Vanduul in the past. Nothing like this, but still, they’re a hard bunch.
I’m always amazed by Humanity’s ability to bounce back from hardship. My father used to always say, “fastest way to get someone back up is to kick them.” Have you run into any more ‘duul while you’ve been out there?
TAYLOR MORT: The system seems pretty quiet at the moment. To tell the truth, the biggest problem is getting there. Our main route takes us through Nul, which is no picnic, tell you that much.
I’m sure flying a ’pillar helps with that.
TAYLOR MORT: Damn straight. We can handle our own when we get in a tangle. It’s part of the job. Navy likes to see to it when you take a contract that you’ll be able to defend their goods and people. Funny thing though, I’d say we’re running into about a third of the problems that we’d normally come across on a run like this. I think the pirates know that we’re bringing supplies to Vega and in some way, they’re trying to do their part too. But maybe that’s me just reading too much into things.
Heck, if an attack like this doesn’t bring Humanity together, not sure I know what else would.
All right, I’m getting word that we’re going to have to take a break in a moment, but I wanted to get to something first. There was a particular reason why you wanted to come on the show today, right?
TAYLOR MORT: Yeah, there was. I just wanted to put a call out to everyone to let them know that the Merchant Navy needs all the help they can get right now. We’ve got way too much work to do at the moment, and not nearly enough ships to do it. If you’ve got a vessel that can haul a fair amount and can stand its own in a fight, then we probably could use you. You can submit your ship regtags and start slotting for contracts on our Spectrum.
It’s not for everyone, but if you think it might be for you, it’s some important work. Okay … when we come back, we’re going to talk more to Captain Taylor Mort about her time in Vega and learn how she’s outfitted her Caterpillar to make runs safer. All that on Clean Shot after these words from our sponsors.