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Letter from the Editor: The New Horizon

Posted on Mar 25, 2944 in Editorial, Featured | 0 comments

As a people, the human capacity to endure hardships, both foreign and self-induced, has allowed us to evolve to a state of significance within our surroundings. None more-so than our recent hardships through economic and political upheaval. If our civilization can overcome the divisive and destructive nature of our past, then perhaps there is hope for our future as well.

Though it has been centuries since the atrocities of the Messer era left their stain on our society, we can still find remnants of corruption around us. Unfortunately with the untimely departure of my predecessor, even closer than we here at CM would like to acknowledge. Without going into the details of our own weaknesses, I feel it is important as the incoming editor in chief to make a clean break from the past. As the new editor of this magazine I feel that we must show our readers that here at Citizen Monthly we are and should be held to a higher standard.

While I do not hold to the beliefs that CM was used as an instrument of propaganda during these recent dark days, I do feel that we need a new focus. And I will do my best to bring that focus to the people themselves.

The citizens and civilians alike who have endured together and emerged to tell their tale are the new evolution of our society. And I would like to help make Citizen Monthly their voice.

As the slate is wiped clean, so are the painful reminders of what we once were. The reason that our slate is somewhat cleaner than expected is because I have made the decision to purge this publication of all past articles, opinions, and features.

There should be no question moving forward that what you read is born from the heart of our culture and its people, unburdened with the stain of politic and oppression.

Citizen Monthly magazine will start anew, and we look forward to hearing your voice, supportive or opposing of our decisions. Please write to us with the stories of your success or failures. We will do our best to feature as many as we can to show other citizens that their experiences may be shared and that they are not alone in the vastness.

– Randall DeMarcus

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Origin 315P: Long-range Hauling Potential

Posted on Mar 24, 2944 in Featured, Technology | 0 comments

The 300-series from Origin Jumpworks has long been associated with the style and elegance typical of the company itself. Origin products are an unbeatable fusion of sleek and stable, and are often the beautiful thoroughbreds of many corporate fleets as well as individual owners.

Few models exemplify this form and function design like the 315P. The rugged design and efficient Omni Precision thrusters are what most outer-system enthusiasts are looking for in their exploration of the vast unknown. But there is quite a bit to be said for the 315P as a long-distance trucking craft as well. Today we will cover some of the many aspects to like about the 315P when it comes to your long-haul cargo transport needs.

We’ll start with the ship’s strengths. Like the rest in the series, the 315P is a single pilot craft with ready access to sleeping quarters for extensive auto-pilot runs. And again like the other’s the 315P features wingtip laser mounts and standard missile rack mounts under the upper wing-box for a modest level of security when traveling alone or in a group. Couple these with a Gorgan All-stop shield system and a serviceable power source, and your standard 300 series package is complete.

But of course what sets the 315P apart is its stock  Dragon Stellar primary engine. The  STC Silver offers the exceptional efficiency that void-riders have come to expect when you might go for days between fuel stops. And of course the sacrifice of speed for distance easily translates into a reduced cost of operations when it’s time to look for cutbacks in your budget. In addition, the more muscular K3S-9 power-plant from Alliance Startech will give you a boost in shielding recharge rate should you decide to take a shortcut through a particle field to shave additional kilometers from your run.

“the more muscular K3S-9 power-plant from Alliance Startech will give you a boost in shielding recharge.”Now for a few weaknesses to the 315P as a freighter, and the smallest is of course the largest: cargo space. The 315P is not spacious. At a mere 8 metric tonnes of carrying capacity, it won’t be pushing a Starfarer or Merchantman out of work anytime soon. Small expensive cargo is of course ideal, but with a few modifications, a small convoy of Origin 315P’s could easily carry the volume of an RSI Constellation without the exorbitant fuel and maintenance costs that go along with it.

The Origin is of course unable to match the firepower of a Constellation, another weakness. But a few well-piloted 315P’s may stand a better chance of avoiding conflict altogether, splitting up or scouting jump points before traveling through to any un expected and uncivilized parties that might wait on the other side.

And that leads us to one of the strongest arguments for the Origin 315P as a dedicated long hauler, the standard-equipped Chimera Jump Scanner. If the name of the shipping game is “move it short and fast”, then there is no better way to ensure a tidy profit than taking the shortest route to your destination. And if there is none? Well then sometimes you have to make one.

While we would certainly never encourage an inexperienced citizen to try their hand at finding and navigating an uncharted jump-point, in the hands of a more skilled explorer looking to pay the bills with some cargo drops, a Jump Scanner is your golden ticket to finding the shortest line between A and B.

Sell the information for an additional job bonus, or keep the secret to yourself to beat out the competition. Even one “jumper” on your company’s workforce could turn any break-even route into a big payday route.

While there are always better (and bigger) solutions for the long-distance transport, being creative in your business and taking risks along the way are what sets any entrepreneur apart from the competition. And in the right hand and with the right modifications, the Origin 315P might just give you the edge you need to keep your shipping concern moving in the right direction.

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The Resorts of Cassel: Pandora’s Secret

Posted on Mar 23, 2944 in Featured, Travel | 0 comments

Located near the coastal town of Emmerson’s Bay in the western hemisphere of Cassel, this small but luxurious resort has a lot to offer the weary business owner looking to un-wind for a week and take in the sites. By no means on-par with the sprawling mega-resorts dotting the surface, Pandora’s Resort caters more to the relaxed life. A simple island experience away from the pounding nightclubs and hard-shop centers.

Pandora features a variety of bungalows with interiors that have been handcrafted by designer Pavel Lantier himself. A stylish mix of island culture and modern sensibilities await your needs as no expense has been spared, nor any comfort ignored.

The many pools and spas are to be expected, warm and soothing with convenient access to bars and poolside amenities. And as expected, there is plenty of room to stretch out and relax without fear of bumping into other guests. In fact it almost feels as though each guest has a pool to themselves, though the resort was by no means empty.

This spread-out nature did result in a feeling of an under-staffed operation at times, a potential knock for some who prefer the catered life, but for me it added to the myth of seclusion that I was absolutely looking for in a tropical setting.

The true jewel of the Pandora’s Secret resort is by far the view. From the many beach-side terraces, you and your guests will be treated to an unparalleled vista featuring pure warm sand and the nearby Goss III reflected serenly in the blue-green oceans. The entire portrait is framed brilliantly by local flora that is now common to those who travel the resort scene, but nevertheless beautiful to behold.

If there is any area for improvement at the Pandora it would be the dining options, which felt sub-standard even for a 3-Diamond resort. Morning and afternoon fare did not feel traditional to the local culture and were a little too touristy for my tastes. A buffet has no place in a luxury resort, in my opinion. The evening dining was a much more complete experience, however, and chef Santiago offered up a rare blend of Cassel-native delicacies grilled and spiced to perfection.

On the whole, Pandora’s Secret is an excellent example of the many private destinations that Cassel has to offer for those who can afford the finer things while traveling, and who truly value their privacy. In fact if you are fortunate enough to find availability, do not be surprised if you encounter an occasional celebrity of glass or stage mingling with the leaders of some of the finest corporations of Terra and more.

- Rolina duBarge is our Travel editor and was nominated for the 2941 Golden Sandal Award.

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Freelance Job Prospects for 2944

Posted on Mar 23, 2944 in Business, Featured | 0 comments

The economic disparity of the last few years has left many on the workman’s side of the fence wondering if their jobs are as solid as they are told. Large-scale shipping companies continue to downsize or outsource their fleet, and now more than ever a wagepay pilot must ask how much uncertainty they are willing to endure.

Contran Interstellar, for example, has diminished their Terran-based incorp fleet from its height of 1,450 ships back in 2936 to a mere 876 today, and most of those remaining are large-scale or specialty haulers requiring a practiced crew or a restricted license and training. Arther D’Mualli, operations manager at Contran, assures us that they are shipping as much if not more than they have in the past.

“Business is good, we can’t deny it. And a healthy aspect of that success comes from our conscious decision to outsource our small-haul fleet. As our older class lines continue to show their age, and with the recent rise in insurance claims following increased raider activity in the outer sectors, we had no choice but to diversify our sourcing options.”

Contran is of course not alone in their decision to move small ship operations outside of the corporate walls. In 2943 alone, nearly 18% of all shipping companies polled responded that they had or were planning to reduce their pilot roster in lieu of outsourced contract work within 6-12 months. Over half of those that responded, roughly 53%, felt that it was in their financial interest to eventually lower their fleet count within the next 3 years.

What does this mean for the solo pilots willing to work for their pay? It means a focus on self-employment might be in your future if you’re not there already. Those that do not currently own a freight-worthy ship might want to start saving, or at the least explore joint ownership. An investment in a well-maintained 2935 MISC Freelancer, for example, could more than pay for itself in available work if your team is able to produce a qualified mechanic. And the UEE appears to be ahead of the curve by providing independent contractors with a steady supply of government and private-sector work through their extensive job boards.

For those that do currently own a ship but are still holding on to their wage job, considering requesting a buyout contract package. Many companies that are feeling the pinch appear more willing to contract with trusted former employees, and in a sense you might be saving them money in the long run. Discretion is advised, of course, and your own situation may be different.

If a solo career is what you are after, consider the additional expenses that you will need to incur before pre-spending those large cred payouts. Fuel costs, insurance, and of course security resources are all expenses that are now your own responsibility. Considering the increase in raider and Vanduul activity along many popular trading routes, it might be advisable to join any of the growing convoy organizations to help mitigate the expense of outside security forces, not to mention the potential for word-of-mouth work that inevitably flows through such business-oriented factions.

Ultimately, the options for pilots moving into 2944 appear to be a mixed bag of uncertain but promising. While change can be unwelcome and overwhelming to behold, many successful solo-pilots and entrepreneurs today credit their “big leap” to independence as the motivating factor that lead to their fortune and success in business.

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PROFILE: Danning Security Enterprises

Posted on Mar 22, 2944 in Business, Featured | 0 comments

In this installment of Business Profiles we pull away the curtain to Danning Security Enterprises, an up-and-coming UEE enforcement enterprise offering potent but discreet support to those looking to enhance the safety of their fleet. Founded in 2934 by owner Maxwell Danning, DSE has quickly become a powerful player in the areas of support and interdiction.

“We have always held the belief that no cargo is too small or too risky for our care,” Maxwell is quick to offer when asked about his company’s core foundations. “Risk is not your concern anymore, it’s our’s. We ask no questions and instead guide the path to your destination, wherever it might be.”

From their headquarters on New Austin, Danning Security offers a broad range of ships in their private fleet, from the iconic rigidity of Hornet rows to entire squads of 300’s and Mustang’s for lighter work. “Even the safest of lanes occasionally need a show of skilled force and a watchful eye. Our pilots are experienced and will keep potential threats as well as curious onlookers at a secure distance from your property.”

Danning Security also sports a number of re-enforced shipping vessels available for contract for those needing additional cargo options. These ships are also available for the practice of jump-baiting, a common tactic today meant to draw out possible threats from a jumppoint exit before the rest of the convoy proceeds through.

“Our goal is to keep the potentials guessing. Always. If they emerge at the wrong time now, they may hesitate in the future. And often that hesitation is enough to expose their weakness.”

And those goals are paying off, as DSE turned a third straight quarter of incremental profit and growth, an accomplishment made more impressive by the number of new enforcement companies dotting the horizon each week.

What does the future hold for DSE? Maxwell Danning is clear in his message. “As the Vanduul advance and unlawful civilian encounters continue to be a presence on the landscape of any business, we feel we are in a prime position to cater to a market willing to opt for a real and aggressive form of insurance rather than the latter.”

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