Commander’s Briefing 8

I’ve been asked to provide a briefing on scooping cargo cannisters.

This one’s quite tricky. You find something you want to scoop. It needs to be smaller than your cargo scoop. An Anaconda won’t fit.

Target it

Scoop it

Close your scoop

OK – there’s a little more to it than that, but only a little. The closing the scoop bit is important. Your ship systems deliberately slow you down when it’s open.

The longer version:

Slow down so you don’t hit it. Get within 100m or so before you really slow down.

It might be moving – if it is, try and move so it isn’t moving perpendicular to you. Towards you would help.

If someone else starts approaching it at speed as you try and scoop it, give them a countdown from 1 – the hand signal is best for this….

On the left of your radar, a new targeting screen is visible. If it’s red and alarms are going off, you’re doing it wrong.

If it’s a nice pastel shade and the object of your desire is in the middle, throttle up gently – 10 is good, 15 is advenutrous, 20 is bold and over that, you’re just playing the hull drum beat and going to break something. You’re probably the kind of commander that boosts out of stations.

Using yaw and pitch controls, keep it in the box – you’ll see that the cannister is passing under your ship….. That’s where the scoop is.

If you get it right, you’ll get a message saying cargo acquired. If you get it wrong, you’ll dent the cannister. They have a habit of getting jammed under you. If that happens, make a loud beeping noise and back away from it using reverse thrusters. Stop beeping when it appears on radar again.

When might you find cannisters?

1. When you shoot the cargo bay doors of someone carrying cargo. This will stick a label to your hull saying “shoot me for free money”.

2. When you kill someone carrying cargo. This will stick a label to your hull saying “shoot me for lots of free money”.

3. When you find them floating around an unidentified signal source. This will stick an invisible label to your hull saying “shoot me for money”. It becomes visible when you get scanned.

4. When you’re training out there and spitting cargo out of your hold to pick up again. It’s a bit like playing catch solo. It’s fun for about 2 minutes and then you wish you had someone else to play with.

5. When someone smashes their Lakon into the station. Fair warning to you – stations rotate, other ships are around and this really isn’t big or clever.

There are three occasions when you might want to eject cargo…. The first is when you don’t pay attention to your readouts and accidentally pick up a cannister full of hard drugs. The police don’t like this. They tend to interdict you, scan you and then try and shoot the bad behaviour out of you. If you suspect this is about to happen, drop your load and scarper.

The second is when Blackbeard and his swarthy crew want your lunch money. If you paid attention in class, you’ll know that in a full Cobra, you should leave 1 cargo space for your dirty laundry. Eject that for them then scarper.

Lastly, there are occasionally crazy people out there at the Unidentified Signal locations. They are willing to pay a squillionty credits for a chocolate bar. They probably have the munchies (see narcotics, above). If you fly near them, they’ll send you a message saying “dude, got any food?” or similar. Drop a can of food and laugh all the way to the bank. If you haven’t got any food, go and get some and hope that they’re still there later.

It might not be food. They may want hydroponics for some reason….

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