I’ve gotta say, it’s good to be back and settled into the captain’s chair, which is not just a figure of speech by the way. I am actually sitting in the pilot’s seat from my old, long-retired Hull. Don’t know what it is about this chair that makes it so darn comfy, but I made sure to have it taken out of the ship and brought into the studio. Maybe I’ve simply worn in the grooves real good. Regardless, the thing just feels like home.
Anyways, we’re back among the familiar confines of our studio after attending this year’s Intergalactic Aerospace Expo and, can I say, it was a real treat talking to MISC designer Grigory Astier about collaborating with the Xi’an on the Reliant. And sitting down with three-time Cargolympic champ Kitt Devera was something I had been wanting to do since her first win. Skinny picked up so many components to review that we had to book him a separate transport just to haul everything back. Really good stuff.
Doing a show at the IAE was a lotta fun, but also a ton of work. A big thanks to the entire production team for running around to make everything go as smoothly as it did. Producing Clean Shot while on the road is a lot like taking a new route for a routine long haul — nerve-racking and strangely familiar at the same time.
Oh, and a big thanks to the folks in Eri City for their hospitality. How they handle such a big event invading their hometown every year and still remain so pleasant is beyond me, but I’m grateful for it. If you’re a ship fanatic and have never attended, seriously, do yourself a favor and start planning for next year’s event now. I know that sounds ridiculous, but trust me, with as much stuff that’s shipped in for the Expo you can most likely hustle and find a contract that takes you out there for a delivery. The hauls might not always pay the best, but it’s a solid way to earn some credits and get a good lay of the land before everyone else shows up. Play your cards right and your ticket to the event practically pays for itself. That’s what I’ve always loved about being a hauler, your office goes wherever you go.
I could sit here and ramble about the IAE for hours, but Skinny’s giving me that look that we need to move on. Back to the business of hauling with another installment of TroubleZone.
Let’s turn our attention to the Centauri System. This is a peculiar one, folks. Some haulers out there might have fallen victim to this scam and not even known about it, which raises some interesting ethical questions.
First things first, anyone working this system should be aware of the water import restrictions to Yar. A devastating drought that’s lasted years has forced the local government to impose strict regulations in an attempt to keep the price of water from skyrocketing, and they aggressively pursue those that skirt these regulations. Following a series of high profile busts, some of the water smugglers seeking to capitalize on the situation have changed tactics to shift the risk onto unsuspecting or uninformed haulers.
Here to provide details on exactly what is going on is Timothy Trogdon. He’s an attorney representing accused smuggler Juliet Korman, who claims she was scammed into breaking Yar’s strict water import laws.
Thanks for joining us today, Mr. Trogdon. Start by telling us exactly what happened to your client.Timothy Trogdon: Someone took advantage of her, plain and simple. Juliet Korman is a lot like many of the haulers who tune into your show. For years, she crewed ships and saved credits until she could afford her own. She then spent decades traveling the Empire and establishing a solid reputation, while never once running afoul of the law. What she did do, and this is clearly seen in her ship logs, was make a habit of picking up humanitarian hauling gigs. These runs, like delivering aid to Vega, were all about prioritizing people and not profits.
I know the feeling, I do a few of those a year myself and it’s something that I urge my viewers to do as well. Like my dad used to say, “ain’t nothing that pays better than helping someone in need.” What exactly happened to Ms. Korman to make this run different than the others?Timothy Trogdon: Well, that’s the thing, nothing seemed suspicious about it. Juliet simply accepted a hauling gig to deliver emergency supplies to an outpost on Yar. She was aware of the planet’s dire situation and hoped that any little thing she could do would help. She picked up cargo on Saisei and took it to this outpost in the middle of the Red Desert. After unloading the cargo, she was swarmed by Archibald Protection Force ships while attempting to take off. It was only after hours of interrogation that Juliet finally discovered that the cargo contained an unauthorized water shipment.
That’s incredible. Did Ms. Korman have any idea about what kind of emergency supplies she was hauling?Timothy Trogdon: Not specifically, no.
Wasn’t she the least bit curious? Particularly considering that water would be at the top of the list of emergency supplies needed by the planet?Timothy Trogdon: Juliet’s heart was in the right place. She’s done emergency resupply runs across the UEE and never had to question their integrity. It might have been naive of her to not give this particular run more scrutiny, but it’s certainly not criminal.
I get where you’re coming from, but unfortunately for her, officials on Yar are arguing otherwise. To them, it’s much more clear cut. She hauled a restricted item onto their world. Whether she knew it or not is secondary. Which brings us back to the old debate about how morally responsible a hauler is to know exactly what they’re transporting.Timothy Trogdon: There are a handful of interesting court cases on that very subject. One that bears a resemblance to Juliet’s is Kwon vs Terra, which I referenced extensively in my brief to the court.
Well, I’m sure folks all across the spectrum would love to know more, but before you get started, we need to take a quick commercial break. I’ll be back with our guest Timothy Trogdon, and then Skinny will be reviewing one of the shiny new power plants he picked up at the Expo. All that and more right after these messages.
Keep it locked here for more Clean Shot.