Before I wrap up today’s briefing, I’ll make a few introductions.
To start. Meet each other. You can tell who you all are by the hollow squares on your radar. When you target each other, if you see CMDR in front of their name, it means “someone else who has paid to be here”.
Some of you are fun. Some are enemies. Some are testing Frontier’s systems out. Some hang out in the station bar. Some can land, some can’t. Some are trading, some are simply along for the joyride.
If their symbol on the radar is flashing red/white, it means that they’ve decided that they don’t like your paint job, the cut of your jib or that quite simply, they see CR symbols every time that you appear on their screen.
Sometimes there are pairs of them – maybe three. They might be flying together. They may have invested in some unapproved ship to ship communications and are laughing behind your back.
If you want to join them? Go on the “other” black market – the one available planetside and join in.
Whatever you do in the testing, you’ll meet some interesting characters.
Commander Kerrash runs a regular broadcast from his cockpit, demonstrating everything he can get his hands on and acting as unofficial ambassador to the rest of the galaxy from the test area.
“Midas” Stu. This guy has gold teeth. More bling than Mr T. I’ve heard that when he takes a leak, there are gold flecks floating around in the pan.
Han Solo. This isn’t his real name. He doesn’t wear a waistcoat and have a blaster strapped to his leg. He talks a lot. About 30% of it is intelligible. He is one of the operators of out of system communications. With a few friends, he tries to break everything and often does. Quite often, he ends up in a punch up in the system bar, usually it’s all a big misunderstanding.
Maxim. HUD master extra-ordinaire. If you’re using one of the engineer supplied head tracking systems then he’s your man.
Natte Hond. I’m sure that this doesn’t mean “Nice Dog”, but it may. He records everything he does and puts it up on the wider galactic twitch streams. Handy for finding bugs. Crazy accent.
Commander Braben. “The boss”. Wears jumpers. Been given a gong by the Empire. Full of thanks all the time. Very excitable about all of the new systems.
TJ. Don’t annoy TJ. He has a habit of moving the station message boards around, barring your ID from being served in the bar. The closest that the test areas have to an enforcement officer. There are rumours that he carries an electric cattle prod when out in public… Just in case.
Mr Brookes. He runs the black market in-system. In disguise. With shades on. Rumour has it that he decides when we get new equipment to test.
Slopey. Keyboard warrior and memory poker. Minor legend in trading circles as he provides illegal black market trading systems.
Ashley Barley. It says everything you need to know in his name. He runs the network of station bars and lounges, as well as the message boards. He’s the guy that TJ is a bouncer for.
Sandro. Design Legend. Back on old earth, the likes of Sandro would be designing top end racing cars, transatlantic yachts and the latest in consumer technology. In the testing area – how it flies, how it shoots, how it dies.
Mr Stroud. Runs a radio station broadcast throughout Frontier’s network of stations. Raconteur, storyteller and author. Hosts “parties” that as of yet, exist only in rumour and mentioned with a nudge and a wink. Think there are dice at them.
“Zelda”. The crazy docking lady in charge of Zelada station’s landing control tower. She has been training new recruits for everything from Chango Dock to Beagle Landing. They have taken her approach to pad allocation as gospel. I’ve heard that she has a lot of cats, crazy hair and a penchant for human sacrifice and wearing black.
The recommendation for the end of this briefing is get out there and meet other pilots. Flash your lights at them, waggle your wings. Don’t try docking with them – it won’t work. Get yourself some illegal comms kit and talk to them. Don’t leave your microphone open when you have a joyrider in the passenger seat of your Cobra. The screams and giggles are really off-putting. Shoot them. Get shot at by them. Gang up with them on that Anaconda. Buy them a beer in the bar. If they don’t drink, buy them a bag of nuts. If they’re allergic to nuts, just shake their hand.