“Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” ― Thomas Paine
“Science advances one funeral at a time.” ― Max Planck
“See the world as it is, not as you wish it would be” ― E. Lockhart
Planck’s began as a casual crew-to-captain networking service at a bar by the same name, in the early days of space faring. Our name and service are the mainstays of our mission and culture.
“Quantum Core Technology by Roberts Space Industries brings Heaven to Earth,” that damned ad constantly regurgitated in endless celebration of a clapping, yawning, grand aw-hell-who-cares ever since 2140. Them city folk carried on about economic booms and new frontiers, while Rupert Planck kept his eyes cast down to polish bar glasses. It was his place there, at the bottom of the trash heap, piled at the edge of a forgotten landfill of a town, in the world’s own dear buttcrack: good ol’ Louisiana.
Ya know, feel good historians and documentary directors would script this as “humble beginnings” or some such nonsense. They’ve used words like those for so long only because they’ve used words like those for so long. Just to be nice about it, maybe that phrase meant something the first time some smiley tweedle-ditz jerked it out. Every beginning is humble; we all start life crapping our pants. It’s wise to remember, some end that way too.
Let’s not romanticize this with attempts to doll up poverty.
Rupert rented space for the dingy four stool slum shop bar where our organization got its start. He overpaid for it out of his pension, right there near the edge of that shut down sand quarry just off what they used to call Highway 3. It was just a quick flight from that old launchpad older money used to get newer money to build new launchpads. Prime real estate, and for probably the first time in its existence, not only because the tenants were so easily squeezed.
Along came the great inconvenience of 2152. Hurricane Mable. She was a bitch of a storm. Kept the Gulf of Mexico unapproachable to rock jockeys comin’ in to unload ore or swap out crew. And that meant for just one week of August, all those new launchpads built up so quickly by proud old money weren’t worth the dirt they sat on. The pride and joy of the Corps of Engineers, the New Orleans Stormshield, could stop the tide — but not the turbulence.
Now, Rupert, he was a simple man. Old veteran. Half-disabled with his mangled left hand; couldn’t twirl a rifle anymore. Ran the bar to keep from drinking out of boredom. Better to sell the poison than use it on himself, he figured. He couldn’t have cared less about goings on out in the world, and all he knew was what he picked up from snippets of ads and jackjaw from his customers.
Imagine yourself there, where he stood. Suddenly, here’s this flood of tired asteroid miners, prospectors, cartographers, physicists — even the odd theoretical xenobiologist — packing your bar beyond fire code capacity, and you get to listen in on all their banter. That’s your introduction to the zippy spiffy new world of space exploration, and all you want is to not be bored. But you’re the kindly sort.
So, when the captain of a low earth orbit tug needs someone to pick up his crew’s waste, and get rid of it, you tell him about the sanitation crew who comes along in the AM. When a flirty professor from out there in Lafayette comes poking around, looking for free or cheap data to play with, you tell her about that young upstart sensors boffin who keeps comin’ in to cry about his latest fumbleslump attempt at courtship. On and on, just rememberin’ who comes around and what they do, you put So-and-so in touch for Such-and-such, and start to build a reputation.
One day, an old regular comes in. He bears one of those trite monikers sported by too many people in this part of the world: Cowboy. Yeah. The fourth one Rupert met in that bar. Impressions are that he’s got a little sugar in his tank, so none of the young drunken bucks get confrontational with him. Just a motormouth so hopped up on life itself that you wouldn’t offer him coffee for fear his heart would pop like a balloon. This guy likes to talk out the side of his neck, but he’s got some quality ideas now and then. So he says, why not advertise, offer a service, and help these people find each other in a more businesslike manner?
Rupert thought it sounded like just little enough stupid. Any smarter, and nobody would trust it. Any dumber, and he’d have to drink his stock to do it. There’s a delicate balance.
He put out a clipboard for signups, and before he knew it, he had a directory of the best, brightest, worst, and most foolish spacers cleared for reentry over North America. He spent some of that beer money he’d been stacking, and took out an ad in the streaming services. He didn’t want to run as a sort of staffing agency, so when he got a lead on a job, he’d pass it on to one of his contacts. They’d put together what crew they could, and ask him to find the rest.
That’s how it all began. Since then, Planck’s has taken more forms than a government office. Some would say by now, it’s just a brand passed down proprietor to proprietor. It’s been a clipboard, a website, a bar (yeah, again), a yacht, weird enough one time, a plain ol’ drug dealer, then a company, a church (but why?), a corporation, and now a fleet. Its aim has been the same all along. Find people. Make work. Get it done. That simple.
Don’t worry. You don’t need to know all this. It’s not an orientation. We won’t make you watch a training video. There’s no test. You’re here because you need work, and that’s what we got.
Planck’s is a laid back place to network, play, and profit. We engage conflict only as necessary; charting the most efficient path to progress aboard a range of vessels from small single seat loaners to capital class flying companies.
Let us do the work for you! From hauling to escort services, materials extraction and refinery to repair, fuel services to medical support, the Grogshop has you covered. Add a contractor to your contacts for support anywhere in lawful UEE space, or request a quote from a Planck’s agent to delegate some risk.
For those interested in signing on with us, there’s a clear career path and wealth of opportunity ahead. Our jobs-oriented rank and role system ensures our rising stars keep their sights set on the course ahead, while clients and allies always know who to ask for. Let the Grogshop help realize your dreams of profit, discovery, and adventure!
1. Do your job.
2. Get the creds.
3. Pay your crew.
4. Settle your debts.
5. Make your name.
6. Bear your arms.
7. Do your job.