Last week we featured a report about an upcoming moon race. While our lawyers advised us to refrain from mentioning the organisers to prevent legal complications recent events make it hard not to at least pick up the topic again.
So, what happened that brought on the need to return to the subject of the moon race? Aopoa released its newest product, a pure blood racing bike from Xi’an space adjusted for human need. Moreover, that is exciting news.
The Nox, which is the name of the bike, is direct competition to the Drake Dragonfly. While the Dragonfly is currently dominating the bike market, it is safe to say it is about to get obliterated. Long time readers might know our opinion about Drake. Nonetheless, true to the Monocle Times tradition we will try to be as impartial as possible.
Why are we so excited about this release? It is simple, even after a quick look it is clear that with the Nox on the market not even idiots would still buy a Dragonfly. As in impartial poll, provided by ‘The Ladies of Star Citizen’ shows only 11% of the universe has a worse taste than the average idiot, which is a surprisingly small number.
Now that we have covered the Drake side with that we take a look at the upsides of the Nox. When building the Nox, Aopoa made it not only look a lot nicer than the Dragonfly but also into a real racer. While still counting as an open canopy craft it features a front screen which will protect you from debris on planetary surfaces or micro asteroids when cruising in space.
To come full circle, how is this related to the event covered last week. Quite simple the race gives us the chance to see just how much better the Nox is then Dragonfly. While we are still trying to confirm whether or not the Nox’s is a valid contender, we will keep you up to date on the developments.
Yesterday afternoon I was sitting The Admiral Social Club’s lounge enjoying an excellent cup of tea. Sadly, it is rare these days to find a good cup. One would think that with all the technology we have at our disposal brewing tea would be an easy task, yet most places serve dirty water rather than tea. However, this was almost, as good as back home on the Isles, just almost but what can you expect.
I digress, so I was sitting there, quietly sipping my tea in peace. At a nearby couch some chaps were deeply involved in a discussion, so deeply in fact that at times when one of them got excited it was impossible not to overhear a word or two.
The two words that stood out repeatedly were ‘race’ and ‘moon’. And while I got to admit I don’t care about either of those things very much on a personal level the reporter in me smelled an interesting story. And oh boy, an interesting story it is, or will be, I hope.
It’s all a bit hush-hush. And despite trying hard, there was no on record or off record comment from anyone involved. Nonetheless here are the rough outlines. A few chaps are planning a big race, and when I write big, I mean big, around a whole moon. I will just put in a filler sentence in here to give you time to digest that. Now that you had some time: yes, a whole moon.
There is no when and where that can be shared yet. However, TMTs staff could confirm that a moon has been rented and the route is plotted out as we speak. And I would like to remind our readers at this point that The Monocle Times is the only newspaper in the ‘Verse where a sentence ‘a moon has been rented’ is more a side note then a story.
So, let’s just talk about that for a moment. The Monocle Times thoughts on Drake is probably well known. Still, even ignoring the lapse in judgement of picking a Drake craft, the club is not a place for the 99%, its exclusive and so are the members.
Why in the wide verse would anyone want to expose themselves to the horror of 5 hours on a damn space cycle? Obviously the first and only logical explanation are brain parasites. However, the chef assured me that all imported food is screened extensively.
So, as much as it pains to say this, we couldn’t find out, this it seems to be one of the great mysteries of the Verse. Yet, The Monocle Times does not give up, we owe it to our readers to get to the ground of this. While we could not get any answers as of writing this article we will keep trying and get back to you with an update as soon as we have more information.
Sir Quentin Reginald Watson
A day ago Drake Interplanetary shipped the first few flight ready versions of the Buccaneer fighter to it's customers. Well for some some definitions of 'flight ready'.
Anyone being a frequent reader would know that under normal circumstances we would not touch a Drake ship with a stick. Now this are not normal circumstances, so you might be relieved to hear that we won't even touch a Drake ship with a stick under extraordinary circumstances. However none of that would ever stop a diligent reporter of sharing their opinion.
At a retail price of just about 100.000 UCE the Buccaneer is a cheap ship. And it that shows. As expected while poking a freshly delivered Buccaneer with a pointy stick that was taped to another longer less point stick multiple pieces fell off and exploded. Which is stunning in itself, so far rust has not exploded on me.
The interior is as bad as the exterior, at least if you believe my butler's claims after I had him give the seating a test. "This is worse than the wooden bench in the basement my Lord."
Now no one should claim we're overly negative, and even so Drake Interstellar has been less then generous when it comes to party invitations and free samples I want to say a few good words about the Buccaneer. If you have many minions about which you really don't care - so basically any minions - the drake is a really cheap way to strap many guns to them and watch them die in a glorious fireball of exploding rust.
Today we are joining The Monocle Times very own star photographer Mich Angel on his newest exhibit. Of cause we do have the chance to hold an exclusive interview with him and are very happy to share it with you.
As you might imagine the exhibit itself is a pice of art, we are currently on the main deck of his Origin Jumpworks 890 Jump, cruised along a route that leads us past the spots the artists performed his work.
Now after enjoying some of the exquisite refreshments we are joined by Mr. Angel himself to answer some of the pressing questions, so without further ado lets get into it.
SQRW: "Mr. Angel, let me begin with thanking you for inviting us here today and express what an honour it is to have you part of our circle."
MA: "You're welcome! This been on the agenda for some time and good to have you here. Perfect to our monthly party cruse. So let's get this ship going and leave port.."
SQRW: "That does make sense, how about just a little tip for an aspiring artist?"
MA: "It's hard you cannot teach people to take picture like you then they just be a copy of you. What need to be taught is how they find their way of doing it with knowledge of how to frame it right what is a picture and what is an image."
SQRW: "So a picture is a bit like a signature to you?"
MA: "Yes, they need to find their style so their pictures and images become there thumbprint. Make their images and pictures unique. So when you see pictures you can, after a couple maybe, identify who made it. when you see enough of mine you will pick out new one I make even if they are mixed with others if I succeed with that I made a good picture or image"
SQRW: "So what have you done to get where you are today?"
MA: "Experience and trail and error. A lot of study and to take thousands and thousands of pictures. That is how you become a good photographer if you find your style most don't and are just copycats of others."
SQRW: "Now we've talked a bit about how you make your art, but how do you get the ideas?"
MA: "That is a lot of what makes it art, it's inspiration nothing you could teach. What I tend to do is fly it through the universe looking at the exterior cameras. See how it look from all different angles. When I find one I like I start to stand still take basic test shoot to see if it is how I imagine it to be. Mostly I am pretty much dead on when I start taking the picture if as this 350r is a series of picture telling a story."
SQRW: "Now there is one more question that i am sure many of the readers have a burning interest in. Everyone knows that you can't put a price tag on art, and fortunately our usual reads are not really worried about price anyways, but if one would want to acquire some of your work for their office how to go about it? Or is your work exclusive to those invited to your expositions?"
MA: (with a wide grin)"Well ... they are mostly it is exclusive. During invite on a cruse. Of cause that is not set in stone ... right offer will get my attention."
And with that we'll lave Mr. Angel to tend to the other guests and enjoy some of the excellent Champaign served onboard. As usual we hope the that we could share some important information and everyone enjoyed this as much as we will enjoy the new painting we have for our office.
by Mich Angel and Sir Quentin Reginald Watshon; art by Mich Angel
Lets talk about one of the, if not simply the, most iconic ship traveling the Universe today. It is not fancy, not luxurious, not expensive, but despite that even we here at The Monocle Times has to admit that it has a unique charm to it.
Of cause I'm talking about the RSIs Constellation lineup. RSI currently has four models on the market. Lets start with Aquila, a so called explorer for those not being able to afford a Carrack. Then there is the Taurus, classified as freighter that might make sense when ... well really never. Lets not forget about the Andromeda which is a 'well rounded' generalist that excels at absolutely nothing whatsoever.
The Phoenix is the last ship in the Lineup, and as observant readers might have noticed this ship is worth it's own paragraph. Obviously there is a bone to pick with this one. There is a thing to be said about pure luxury ships, they are quite useless, comfortable and little more then a status symbol. And all of that is nice and well, if anyone can appreciate that then it is probably me. However the one thing they are not supposed to be is cheap, and that is exactly what the Phoenix is. The Phoenix is a luxury vessel for those without means, the participation award for luxury space travel. Quite frankly I'd rather climb in a space suite and hold on to a Origen 890 Jumps hull for a trip then setting food in mediocre, budget 'luxury' vessel like the Phoenix.
Jet, despite on an objective scale being underwhelming, the Constellation has charm. Oddly enough walking through my garage, getting lost between landing gear and ramps the one ship I'd miss most would be the ugly duckling of a Constellation Andromeda. It won't fight well, or travel comfortable, it won't discover the next jumppoint or give haul megatons of platinum through the galaxy yet I feel an attachment to this ship like to no other. No other ship I've encountered symbolizes the utter and absolute freedom that is roaming the vast emptiness of the space as well as the Constellation.
So in a end there is a luxury ship hidden in the Constellation lineup, but it is not the Phoenix, which just doesn't cut it. It is the Andromeda, it's not the kind of luxury that is comfortable or shiny, nothing you show off to your friends to impress them but it is luxury as emotional attachment is really the only reason to own it. The Andromeda is luxury for the sole not the body, but luxury it is and at that it is the best in it's class.
Lets get back on track, after all this segnet is called Music of the 'Verse not why old men get sentimental around the RSI Constellation. As tradition dictates we dug through the archives to find the song that most captures the spirit of the constellation.
Let me present you 'Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere' by The Who. A song about freedom. The title alone reads like a tagline for the Constellation Andromeda. The song expresses the unparalleled amazement one experienced when first setting a foot on the Constellation.
It is hard to pick the most fitting verses from this song as it just is so perfect. Writing this I'm sitting on the bridge, if the three confusingly placed seats in the front of the Andromeda can be called that, a cup of tea on one armrest and my trusty notebook on the other. The Who's 'Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere' is blasting over the PA system with the refrain 'the way I choose, the way I choose, the way I choose' and I must admit a tear is running down my cheek, there is nothing I would rather do now to take this ship out for a spin and look at the marvels of the Universe through the vast window in front of me.
So what I would recommand is, if you don't have an Andromeda yet, go to your nearest ship vendor, buy one no matter how old and rusty it is and take it out to the Yela astroid belt and quietly float through the beautiful landscape with 'Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere' playing through out the ship. At least that is what I'm going to do now.
by Sir Quentin Reginald Watson
Yesterday Anvil Aerospace was scheduled to give out some additional detail on their Hurricane release. As many other news outlets The Monocle Times did submit a catalog of questions to Anvil in the hope to give our readers some more clarity on this ship. And a newspaper worth it's money (and hell we're worth our money!) we did ask the tough questions, the kind of questions Anvil would probably rather avoid.
And they did.
So before diving into what Anvil told us about the new Hurricane, lets talk about what they didn't tell us and get a bit into the why. As you can expect, despite Anvils reluctentness to come forward on those issue we did spare no expense to find an answer to you.
Will there be a platinum plated model?
Based on Anvils silence, no there wont be. However we did contact a few after market shops specializing in luxury vehicles and they confirmed that aside any technical issues surfacing after the final production they would gladly coat a Hurricane with a platinum finish.
Will it be possible to remove the ejection seat to make space for more important components such as an additional power plant?
As Anvil clearly fails to see how cheap pilots are they keep insisting on wasting space with ejection seats. To find an answer to this we contracted five reputable engineers that have worked in the avionics industry for years (and yet have shockingly cheap rates) to examine existing Anvil designs such as the Gladiator and tell us how feasible it is to replace the ejection seats with additional power generators.
Four of the engineers were unanimous on the fact that the ejection system so deeply embedded in the design that, no you can not replace it. The fifth told us "What the fuck is wrong with you?" and hung up, and subsequently was sued for breach of contract.
Will there be a wooden interior option for the Hurricane?
Again Anvil did not give us any details on this matter, however we let loose our four trusted engineers on the issue, again examining the current Gladiator design to come up with an answer to this question.
To no surprise they all came to the same conclusion, while some wood plating might be possible anything more will have a severe impact on the structural integrity of the ship. After pressed what that is supposed to mean they simplified the matter to "It would go boom".
Is the Hurricane capable of carrier operations?
This is a bit harder to answer but our trusty team of non sued engineers came up with what they call "a decent guess" adding quickly "but don't sue us over it the UEE holding back information makes this hard to tell!".
We mostly know that UEE certifies their carriers for the F7C/-M and the F7A, the Hurricane's dimension so come extremely close to those ships so it is quite possible that the Hurricane will be capable of operating form a carrier craft.
What Anvil did say
While we did originally intend not to echo the marketing material of Anvil after all of our questions being rejected, one of our readers who would prefer to stay anonymous so we will just call him 'SharpRifle' here, (what a stupid alias, I would have expected better from our readership, like 'GoldenSpoon' or 'ShinyEbony' hell even 'EdgyDiamond'), asked us to at least give a short summary so here it goes, The official Anvil Hurricane in one sentence:
Ship that can't fly very far with lots of guns that, more so on a possibly slave turret, that operates best in packs performing hit and run tactics but sone stupid engineer did a too weak power plant in it.
by Sir Quentin Reginald Watson
Here at the Monocle Times we often end up dealing with the more existential questions of the 'Verse. Fortunately we are not alone in this pursuit of the ultimate truth.
Just the other day a few of the chaps and me ended up talking in the club about a topic that I am sure many of our readers have pulled their hairs out about: What classical music best represents the ships in my fleet.
Many here are fans of the classical music of the 20th century and while much of what can only be describe as one of the heights of humanities achievement in the fine arts of music is lost today there are still many records remaining.
To simplify the matter we have focused on a single artist a kind of music that in it's time was called 'Rock' performed by some rather apeish looking fellers called 'The Who'.
As this matter, just as many of our fleets, is rather extensive I have decided to just feature a single song and ship per article.
And what song better do characterize this ship as 'Behind Blue Eyes'. A emotionally deep ballade exploring the emotional struggles of a young pirate who just learned that his first own vessel reads 'POLICE' on the outside.
The artists do a wonderful job at expressing the forth and back going on inside the young man. Constantly torn between eagerness to start robbing and the worries of rejection from his peers.
"No one knows what it's like to be hated, to be fated to tell only lies", they sing giving us the deep inside in what trauma it must be to arrive at your first raid on a unsuspecting freighter in a shit featuring police sirens.
Before ending this article, and well knowing that not many cutlass blue pilots will be amongst our readership I want to say one more thing. It is OK to seek professional help, if you went through a trauma like this it isn't a sign of weakness if you desire council.
by Sir Quentin Reginald Watson
Yesterday Anvil finally came around to start offering a the Hurricane for sale. The sale will last a limited time only before mass production starts.
Now with the specifications at hand the Hurricane does look like a interesting ship sending out two peasants with that much firepower is an appealing way to divert attention for more valuable assets. Most surprisingly the ship barely weights 15 tons which pretty much nothing, the next lightest two seater being the Hornet Wildfire which packs considerably less of a punch. Given the little mass of the ships repairs will likely be quite cheap, making replacing the passed away crew the largest cost of maintaining this ship.
Along with the Hurricane itself, and likely more interesting for our readers, Anvil also offers some decent discounts for combined purchases of the Hurricane and other ships, such as the Terrapin or the whole line of their top end ships including the Carrack, Crucible, Terrapin, Super Hornet, Gladiator and of cause the Hurricane itself.
by Sir Quentin Reginald Watson
Today the ladies and gentlemen from Anvil Aerospace shared some new information on the upcoming public release of the Hurricane.
To recap quickly, so far Anvil has let slip that the Hurricane is sacrificing survivability for raw fire power, and by using the tools of logic we can conclude that comfort too will not be a primary aim of the ship.
Now since earlier today we can confirm that it is indeed a two seater, meaning the number of expendable crew-hands needed to launch the ship doubled. They also informed us that it is classified as a 'heavy' fighter so we might expect this to be Anvils more aggressive rebuttal to the iconic Vanguard series. Being more aggressive then a vanguard means it will probably come with rabies preinstalled.
Last but not least we did manage to get a sneak peak at one of the ships, and even if only a quick glance at a fly buy there are a few note worthy observations to make.
We can clearly see a manned turret in the back. It looks distinctly different from the remote controlled turret of other Anvil ships such as the Super Hornet or the Hornet Wildfire leading to the conclusion that it will host the gunner directly.
The turret placement as well as the location of the main guns will probably mean that it possess a rear entrance and some kind of crew quarters perhaps even large enough to install a recliner, clearly raising the value of the ship.
Based on the weapon load out seen it seems the ship focuses on ballistic rather then energy weapons featuring two large main guns up front and two (or four) smaller ones on the turret in the back.
In addition to normal guns the Hurricane appears to feature under wing missiles given the ships size those seem to be smaller then what it's counterpart, the Warden can carry.
by Sir Quentin Reginald Watson
Today Anvil Aerospace announced its pricing strategy for the upcoming release of the Hurricane into the public market.
The price point of mare 175000 UEC might disappoint most of our readers. While we don't know too much about the ship as of now it is to be expected that it will lack most of what we take as a given this days. And when I write most I do mean all. It is hard to imagine it will come with dashboard hand carved out of the wood of a long extinct tree or a chair covered in perfectly smooth leather. From the info that Anvil has let slip we know that it neither will have the protecting someone might expect for their personal transport.
So then is the Hurricane to be utterly useless? Quite the opposite dear readers! While Anvil claims that there won't be much of protection for the pilot it did promise a rather extensive array of weapons. Putting all the little bits together the Hurricane will work as a wonderful distraction lashing out obscene amounts of hurt when piloted by one of the more expendable resources in our universe.
So should you consider obtaining one of those ships? For yourself, probably not, however if you have a more or less willing crew hand you wish to strap a load of guns onto and fire into space towards your adversaries it might very well a ship you are looking for.
by Sir Quentin Reginald Watson