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  1. Galactic Guide: The Murray Cup The Murray Cup is the unquestioned jewel in star racing’s triple crown. Every year, top racing teams pour blood, sweat and money into attempting to take the top ranking in the challenging system-wide race. Race History The Murray Cup tradition dates back to the early settlement of the Ellis System circa 2467. The government’s move to terraform four planets at once in the newly discovered system lead to a necessarily massive influx of population and space equipment. With little to do beyond wait for their machines to begin altering planetary core temperatures, terraformers and their families began to pass the time by racing their idle work spacecraft. Soon, makeshift racing challenge tracks were constructed using leftover terraforming equipment, and company craft were modified for speed. It got to be that racing wasn’t something to do while not terraforming, but rather that the terraforming was something you did so you could race. The pastime’s popularity spread beyond the system, and soon non-terraformers began to arrive to try their hand on the challenging course. Meanwhile, Amon Murray smelled profit. Murray was a criminal and a gambler who amassed a small fortune by selling bored terraformers drugs and other contraband. He became fascinated with the makeshift races, not as a competitor but as an organizer and bookie; he began taking bets on the amateur system races. After six months, Murray found that he was making more money from booking bets than he was dealing contraband. Never one to take a small fortune when a large one might be close behind, Murray committed resources to legitimizing the races, offering a small credit purse for the winner of what became known as, at Murray’s insistence, the first Murray Cup. This first official race concluded with Ian Rikkord as the 2479 champion. An atmospheric specialist for Gaia Planet Services, Rikkord’s claim to fame became the sheer amount of customization he applied to his RSI Nova courier ship, beginning a five-century tradition of cup winners personally modifying stock spacecraft. The reaction to the newly organized racing was electric; new racers from all over the Empire and even beyond were lining up to take part, and with each successive year the Cup prize became larger. By 2488, Murray had “gone legit”; the erstwhile drug runner had repositioned himself as a public figure and the father of modern star racing. The Race The Murray Cup is divided into two race types: Classic (once colloquially called Hare) and Blitz (formerly Tortoise, or Div- T). Classic racing is exactly what would be expected: ships trying to out-navigate each other as quickly as possible. Blitz takes into effect ships’ weaponry, allowing pilots (with increasing restrictions over the years) to engage in limited combat during the race to disable, but not destroy, competitors. Though most pilots tend to specialize in one racing type or the other, to really become successful in the Murray Cup, it is important to master both skillsets. Racers will train for years to improve their ‘off style,’ with only a few exemplary pilots every becoming truly ‘ambidextrous.’ The Murray Cup’s inherent difficulty comes from the course itself, which now spans the entirety of the Ellis system and consists of multiple stages. Each leg is designed to take advantage of natural adverse stellar obstacles present in the system, such as asteroid belts and gravity wells, and, in the last few centuries, man-made obstacles like variable agility rings and targeting gate-locks. Some sections of the track notoriously require such a high level of precision piloting that they have earned themselves infamous nicknames such as the ‘Sorrow Sea’ or the ‘Boneyard.’ However, as much as the Murray Cup is about a proud racing tradition, the officials in the League continue to make annual alterations to the track in order to maintain the high degree of difficulty in the face of near constant improvements that manufacturers like RSI and Origin are engineering to make their racing craft ever faster and more maneuverable. Of course, a ship is nothing without a pilot, and with the Murray Cup broadcast live across the spectrum, Cup winners quickly become legends in their own right. There are few who can think of the sport without mentioning greats like Terra McConoway, who in 2495 became the first person to ever win two Murray Cups, or Issigon Ado, who ushered in an era of interspecies participation as the first Banu to ever win. Then there are those who make history not just by winning, but by how they do it. Take Dax “The Hax” Emmelmann, who in 2731 set a new speed record thanks to his Aurora’s heavily modified thrusters. Generations of tinkers since have continued to strive to push that record even farther. Then there is the inspirational tale of Fabis Capaldi, who won in 2798 despite suffering from Rauk’s syndrome, a true lesson that anything is possible. In more recent years, we have seen the rise of greats like the Bakshi racing family, who have almost 40 years of racing and 3 victories under their combined belts and many more to come. Underdog Hypatia Darring still has fans clamoring for her to come out of retirement after her thrilling come-frombehind win in 2934. Yet tragically, the pilot who is still at the forefront of most people’s minds is 2942’s winner, the late Zack Hugh. Rules Revision Fatalities are no stranger to star racing; hundreds of racers and spectators have been killed as a result of accidents in a half-millenia of Murray Cup racing. None, however, have shaken the galaxy and racing culture like the accident that capped the 2942 Murray Cup. After a hard fought race, pilot Zack Hugh began the traditional victory lap, only to be hit headfirst by an amateur pilot, a lap behind, who had lost control of his ship. With that sad ending, racing’s greatest prize was awarded to a widow and the Murray Cup Racing League moved behind closed doors to once more adjust the future of the event. In 2943, Commissioner Marco Verender announced that the race’s qualification process was being revisited in the wake of the 2942 tragedy. Starting with this year’s race, qualification is now determined by a point system that spans the entirety of the Cup racing season. Pilots who wish to qualify for the grand finalé must earn twenty “points” by placing in other authorized Cup races, with three points awarded for first place, two for second and one for third. The change, as well as updates to the rules for Blitz weaponry states, have been roundly criticized by race speculators who feel it cheapens the tradition in the name of safety and order. The overall impact to the race will be known soon: this year’s season is drawing to a close and a number of standout pilots who have already achieved the necessary twenty points are being followed closely by the media. //End Transmission
  2. Galactic Guide: WillsOp Systems Company History: WillsOp is a Croshaw-based limited liability corporation established in 2902 for the express purpose of developing starship targeting system software. WillsOp’s critical feature was a unique, if unappreciated, one: they adhered to a strict ‘made here’ philosophy. Unlike every other sensor company on the market at the time, WillsOp used absolutely no shared source code. The result was a more stable platform, but also a closed one which could not easily integrate outside enhancements. The corporation’s first project was a multi-million UEC bid to develop sensor rigging for the UEE Navy’s Carrier-Based Strike contract, the spacecraft design proposal which ultimately resulted in the Gladiator bomber. Lacking name recognition and any sort of technological pedigree, WillsOp’s bid failed in favor of the DiSys D-33 MultiSuite (long since replaced on active duty Gladiators). The company’s founders briefly considered disbanding, but ultimately decided that they believed in the product too much to let their first loss define them. With that defeat, WillsOp settled in for the long haul, competing on the civilian market as a ‘higher end’ third-party upgrade option. For two decades, the company went largely unnoticed. It signed no first-party contracts and was viewed (by that small portion of the public which considers starship sensor manufacturers at all) as a reliable but generally unspectacular option. That all suddenly changed in 2922. On August 9, 2922, a digital plague began to spread from spacecraft to spacecraft. Broadcast from an unmarked sensor buoy parked in geostationary orbit within sublight broadcasting distance of Terra’s second-largest trade lane, a signal began to move across the system. Within hours, hundreds of ships were carrying an unnoticed software slot-in; within a week, this package had unknowingly spread to a dozen star systems. And then, DeathGrrrr struck, with a virus designed to infiltrate the shared code found in most sensor systems and timed to strike simultaneously around the galaxy. DeathGrrrr’s trick didn’t disable spacecraft (something which would have been extremely difficult given inherent safety backups unrelated to sensor suites), but it did lock every infected sensor suite to grayscale mode. Traffic ground to a halt until a fix could be reached; billions of UEC in shipping were lost. DeathGrrrr was never captured or even identified, and it remains unknown whether the attack was intended as a prank or something more sinister; an analysis of the software and the drone turned up nothing. But the method of infection was clear: a small worm script delivered directly to common-core code. And unquestionably, the winner in the situation was WillsOp. With their unique code, WillsOp’s sensors were unaffected by the attack. Overnight, the company became a household name and sales skyrocketed. Some newscasters went so far as to suggest that the company might even be behind the attack. Whatever the truth, by the end of the fiscal year, WillsOp had captured a 35% market share in the private spacecraft sensor market (up from under 1%.) With the additional revenue, the company diversified, building robust physical radars and scanners in addition to continued development of their proprietary software. Now a market leader in all aspects of sensor technology, WillsOp is routinely pursued by top level spacecraft designs, and certain top-of-the-line designs ship with their technology as a default install. The military, too, has come courting; WillsOp packages are standard in several advanced UEE starcraft. Targeting: Today, WillsOp’s prime seller is the P3 Autocompensator, an aftermarket software installation capable of being configured for almost any current-year civilian spacecraft. In essence, anything from a Drake Herald to a MISC Hull D can be equipped with P3 software. The P3 is one of the best target tracking systems on the market, capable of direct tracking of up to three spacecraft and (with an attached WillsOp device, required) passive tracking of up to 512 ships in a standard interaction sphere. Videogame designer Original Systems has licensed the P3 interface design for their Arena Commander game. It currently comes standard with all trainer ships. Origin Jumpworks GmbH has also signed an agreement with WillsOp, making them the exclusive supplier of custom-designed targeting systems for the Origin 325a spacecraft variant. The WillsOp-designed system will premiere with the 2944 model of the 325a, and is hotly anticipated by spacecraft enthusiasts. Star Citizen Art Design sheet: F7C Hornet's Long Look Radar Tracking: In addition to direct targeting systems, WillsOp is responsible for passive tracking systems that have become an industry-defining standard. Where a targeting suite typically focuses on extracting as much information as possible about one target, tracking systems are necessary for keeping tabs on everything else in a given area. WillsOp’s trackers are capable of making dozens of identifiers (limited only by range) available for instant targeting. While any WillsOp targeting suite requires proprietary WillsOp tracking software to function, the tracker is actually manufacturer-neutral. WillsOp trackers are produced in OEM models and are made available at cost to spacecraft manufacturers. The company’s objective is simple: introduce users to their ecosystem, then trap them when they opt to choose an aftermarket targeting system. Deep-Space Radar It was a moment of redemptive glory for WillsOp when, after nearly four decades, they finally secured a valuable long-term UEE military contract. WillsOp has partnered with Anvil Aerospace and the UEE Navy to manufacture both the structure and the software for the LongLook Radar system installed in every F7A-R Hornet Tracker. The dome-like enclosure installs in the Hornet’s upper turret slot, replacing the moveable guns with an incredibly powerful radar. The LongLook offers the fullest battlefield view possible in a single-seat fighter, with the processing power to track fleet movements and coordinate squadron-level engagements. A civilian model of the LongLook is also available and can be installed in any Hornet model in place of the standard cargo container (with some impact on stats). The company’s future continues to look bright, although safety mechanisms put in place since the DeathGrrrr attack have allowed other software systems to once again flourish. Observers frequently cite WillsOp’s lack of specialty or boutique sensor options (such as metal-penetrative mining scanners) as a source of lost revenue. For their part, WillsOp seems content to be responsible for standard sensor equipment and to leave anything more specific to the also-rans. //End Transmission
  3. Odin has finally arrived!

    Omg it's here! The long awaited Odin system!!! [original link] GALACTIC GUIDE: ODIN SYSTEM
  4. Galactic Guide: Terra

    Attention subscribers! There’s a new issue of Jump Point available in the subscriber area of your account. This month, we focus on theUEE Marines: you’ll see the creation of the Marine character model, learn about the organization and the military-focused Kilian System! There’s also a feature on the development of the economy and all-new exclusive fiction. Subscribers get early access to several Jump Point articles each month and exclusive fiction and making-of contact not available elsewhere! If you’re interested in subscribing, please click here. Today we’re releasing a piece from last month’s Jump Point exploring the Terra System: Interested in showing your support for the UEE Marines? Pick up a Marine patch in our shop! It’s available as either an individual shoulder patch or as part of a set of UEE military patches. This is also your last chance to become an Imperator Subscriber and receive a physical copy of “Jump Point Year One.” Any subscription packages started after July 31st will be given a different set of rewards. Terra System Terra, shining jewel of the United Empire of Earth! Terra III, commonly referred to by its star’s name, has made great strides towards becoming the cultural focus of the Empire. While die-hard Earth loyalists would dispute such a claim, there is no doubt that Terra has its finger on the pulse of the civilized galaxy. From the increasing inflow of megacorporate HQs to the system to the influence of Terranoriginated music on popular culture, Terra is unquestionably the closest thing to a rival Earth has ever produced. History The Terra system, then designated 342A, was first charted in 2508 and explored as part of a five-system “long run” research expedition in 2516. When the first long-distance magnetic relay images of the system’s third planet resolved, the explorer crew immediately knew they had hit it big. A natural superearth located squarely in the star’s green band, Terra III was immediately recognizable for it’s astounding similarity to an untouched Earth. Lush, verdant and brimming with natural resources, Terra’s colonization was immediately obvious. Within two years no fewer than seven colonial sloships had been dispatched to the world. Astrophysicists soon staked their own claim with a startling discovery: Terra system’s unique location and makeup meant that it was a strong jump point hub. Like Sol, Terra is a G-type main sequence star. Unlike Sol, its outer planetary system never formed. Without the mass diffusion caused by gas giants and with the star’s location in the center of a dense stellar cluster, extremely stable jump points arose easily. Thus far, five jump points have been charted and scientists believe that a sixth is almost a certainty. (Theoretically, as many as twenty-four could exist, although the odds against most of them ever being stable enough for transit are astronomical.) Exobiologists, too, had an early interest in the system: massive stone ruins clearly indicative of intelligent life were discovered on Terra III’s southern continental mass. No other evidence of this ancient civilization has yet been uncovered on the planet, creating one of the most-debated archaeological mysteries of our time. Terra III was the twelfth planet colonized by the United Empire of Earth. In four centuries, owing to its jump network and location, it has evolved into a massive trade hub. Kiel, Baker, Kilian and other name systems are short hops from the star. The world’s plentiful resources, cultivated carefully so as not to impact the environment, have fueled the Empire’s Eastern Expansion Program. Aero (Terra I) A non-descript rock world incredibly close to its star. Although rich in certain minerals, attempts to harness resources on Aero have been largely unsuccessful due to its proximity to the sun. Even the harshest environment suits are incapable of sustaining Human life long enough to conduct factory maintenance on a world with a 95 Standard Earth Day orbital period. Pike (Terra II) The mining efforts on Pike, on the other hand, are a masterpiece of Human engineering. One of the most mineralrich planets in the galaxy, Pike is dotted with thousands of unmanned “cities” churning out tons of platinum, mercury, iron and gold every day. With three times the orbital period of Aero, Pike is still incapable of sustaining Human life for an extended duration. Regardless, the lack of atmospheric storms and other weather events means that fully mobile robot machinery can operate with peak efficiency and requires very little downtime. The mines and refineries of Pike have been essential to fueling Terra’s expansion and to allowing Terra itself to remain relatively untouched. Terra (Terra III) The capital city of Terra is New Prime, a beautiful bayside megacity built on the foundations of two of the original colony ships. A stark contrast to Earth’s metropolises, everything in Prime was planned by the original settlers, leading to a much greater balance between nature and civilization than is found elsewhere in the Empire. Unlike many cities, Prime’s primary landing zone is located away from the city to reduce pollution and air congestion. A monorail runs pilots to and from their hangars. Don’t let the relaxed atmosphere fool you, though: Prime has everything New York or Moscow does, from ship upgrade stores to black market opportunities. The city itself divides into two major regions: the sparkling Downtown and the lower class residential region known as The Block. Opportunities for visitors are available in both portions of the city. Terra’s second-largest city is Quasi, in the colder southern hemisphere. Quasi is built into the shadow of the massive ruins discovered early in Terra’s exploration. Quasi is considered more of a tourist destination than Prime, although several corporations operate in the region. Crusader Industries, best known for its facilities in Stanton sysem, operates the Platinum Bay landing facilities. New Austin, another initial colonization point, is as close as Terra comes to an industrial city. New Austin is a business park writ large, home to corporations like ORIGIN Jumpworks and Cronus Devices. The cost of living in New Austin is lower, leading to more of a “blue collar” sensibility, but moneyed compared to other worlds. The centerpiece of the city is The Old Hall, a former Miner’s Guild meeting area now populated by factory owners, pilots, haulers and shippers. Gen (Terra IV) Oft overlooked is the fact that Terra’s sister world, Gen, is also an inhabited world. This smaller planetoid, the outermost in the system, was terraformed roughly a century after Terra’s initial settlement and is now home to the diplomatic and military aspects of the system’s government. Consisting largely of military bases, Imperial administration and housing, the world represents a conscious effort on the part of the Terran system planners to separate business and pleasure. There is an ongoing debate about Gen’s representation in the Senate. Though the planet is well-populated, the inhabitants are almost exclusively government workers. Thus far, Earth has shut down any attempts to award them representation, seeing it as a thinly veiled plot to extend Terra’s influence.
  5. This article on Hurston Dynamics, one of Star Citizen’s weapons manufacturers, first appeared in last month’s Jump Point! Jump Point magazine is available only to development subscribers and contains exclusive articles on the making of Star Citizen and the Star Citizen universe. A new Jump Point will launch this Friday, featuring all-new fiction, information about the making of Star Citizen’s economy and more! History Hurston Dynamics is the United Empire of Earth’s premier producer and distributor of both quantum cascade lasers and a wide variety of electron guns. They are also the single largest outsource producer of standard munitions warheads for military contracts and the third-largest refiner of antimatter precursor in today’s economy. Though few finished products bear the Hurston name, their raw materials and manufactured components are found in nearly every piece of space technology in flight today. Copies of Hurston dies are used in manufacturing facilities across the galaxy, with illegal copies even crossing the border for use in Xi’An production hubs . The Hurston family has been helping Humans make war on one another for generations. They can readily trace the name back five hundred years, to the development of the first power lasers for space defensive platforms. More fanciful family histories connect the present-day Hurstons to Earth’s dark ages, crediting the family with everything from broad axes and crossbows to fixed-wing aircraft and atomic weapons. The current patriarch, “Colonel” Gavin E. Stanton, adopts this backstory wholeheartedly, decorating his office with millennia of killing tools and infusing the company’s advertising and corporate culture with medieval weaponry wherever possible. Whatever the true history, the old adage has proven correct with the current generation: war is good for business .Hurston Dynamics is one of the rare mega-corporations which can properly boast that it owns its own planet, having secured Stanton II from the UEE government in a money-and-stock deal worth an estimated fifty trillion credits. Prior to the acquisition of Stanton II, Hurston was based on Earth, with mining assets and weapons testing ranges scattered throughout the galaxy. In the past fifty years, these have been significantly consolidated to the facilities on Stanton, making it the place to go for Hurston technology . A glitzy showroom and an uncomfortably formal pilots’ bar, Viola’s, belie the overall situation on the planet. Unlike the other inhabitants of the Stanton “office park,” Hurston has consciously run the planet into the ground: every inch of the world not assigned to corporate facilities is being mined for antimatter precursors or blasted apart in research and development tests. Soot and smog pollute the atmosphere to the point that inhabitants must be issued breathers when conducting work outside their habicubes. The worker satisfaction rating on Hurston is an astonishing 0 .5 (out of 10), and very few miners last more than a single conscription tour. The corporation is always seeking to import low-skilled workers and rumors persist that there is a market for Human slaves on their planet . Whatever the truth, privateers will find that Hurston pays well to those who provide them with involuntary labor and is an excellent source of low-cost munitions and metals. As a result of their disregard for Stanton II’s ecology, Hurston frequently finds itself the prime target of environmentalist groups, including the Citizen’s Clean World Alliance (CCWA) and the Wildlife Conservation Project (WCP). The Colonel does nothing to hide his disgust for such movements, frequently boasting about the number of indigenous species his company has exterminated (mounted Osoian heads and flatcat sensor nubs decorate his sitting room) and inciting further hatred from organizations unlikely to be purchasing radioactive munitions in the first place. In response, more militant environmental groups have even been known to target Hurston space convoys. Illegal bounties on Hurston corporate spacecraft are plentiful, though the corporation pays better for the requisite escort pilot muscle. Weapons Systems Though their weapons technology is found throughout the Empire and beyond, Hurston currently manufactures “only” two lines of branded ship weapons: quantum cascade lasers and electron guns. Both lines are available in multiple sizes, configurations and purposes. Weapons sizes range from tiny “needle” cannons to the massive capital batteries found on UEE warships. Hurston’s extensive tool and die experience allows for both weapon types to be sold in both Gatling repeater and strict cannon configuration. Variants of the guns (at various grades) are designed for different markets: Cheap for export, Standard to Quality for licensed civilian use and Excellent for the UEE military . Hurston’s “Spectrum” line of external cavity quantum cascade lasers has been used effectively by a variety of operators for nearly a century. Quantum cascade lasers fire electromagnetic bolts that convert any material contacted into plasma, giving it a reasonable “bite” that is useful in most space combat encounters. A Hurston Dynamics Spectrum 7 QCL is recommended by the Bounty Hunter’s Guild as the gold standard for “starter” laser cannons, while the Spectrum 9 Gatling variant has been adopted by the UEE for their destroyer-based CIWS systems currently undergoing space trials. While many corporations produce cheaper quantum cascade lasers, mostly based on Hurston’s technologies, the Hurston name continues to convey a strong cachet . The less-celebrated “Magnitude” line of electron guns is generally considered a specialist’s weapon. Standard UEE units do not use Magnitudes, although they are mounted on particular special operations and Advocacy spacecraft variants. The guns strip electrons from hydrogen atoms and then accelerate them at high speeds suspended in a magnetic bolt focused through a multi-stage Einzel lens. A pilot trained in the use of his particular model of electron gun will find it an incredibly precise and powerful weapon … a “newbie” activating such a gun for the first time will find it largely useless . Extensive weapons labs have been established on Stanton II, and rumors of a third line of guns continue unabated. These rumors gained serious traction last year, when the corporation put out a record-high ten million credit bounty believed to be for a mercenary who stole a test artifact from the corporation. It is unknown whether or not the bounty was claimed or the artifact was recovered. Observers do consider it highly unusual that Hurston produces conventional and antimatter warheads without their own delivery system. Many believe it only a matter of time until the company premieres an entirely new antimatter-derived slug thrower gun type. When — or if — it happens, it is likely to throw the balance of power among civilian pilots wide open. .. and potentially impact the course of the war against the Vanduul.
  6. earn about one of Star Citizen’s most interesting systems – Stanton, home to some of the most powerful corporations in the UEE. This issue of the Galactic Guide first appeared in the May issue of Jump Point. Development subscribers get early access to two in-universe dossiers each month, plus lots of exclusive content in every Jump Point! If you’re interested in subscribing, click here for more information. STANTON SYSTEM MicroTech, Hurston, ArcCorp, Crusader Settlement Even without the inevitable Human intrusion, Stanton would have been an anomaly. Boasting a wide green zone with four inhabitable superearths, the system is, from a cosmological perspective, unusual. Strictly speaking, star systems as purely inhabitable as Stanton simply don’t exist. The combination f the proper star type with the evolution of four especially large Human-suitable biospheres requiring limited terraforming is so unlikely as to strongly suggest design. Meanwhile, the divergent ecologies on Stanton’s four worlds are of significant interest to scientists of all stripes. No one is sure exactly who first settled the Stanton system. All indications are that it was discovered by a free agent trader and that word of the location and its potential riches spread slowly on the electronic grapevine. By the time the UEE noticed the system’s existence, all four planets had populations numbering in the tens of thousands. That notice spelled their doom. A quartet of superearths are an extremely rare find and the Empire quickly declared Stanton to be a case of eminent domain, citing a need to protect and extend nearby jump lanes. Without formal colonization papers on file, the existing inhabitants had little choice: prospectors, survivalists and other squatters have little means to protect themselves from the might of a Bengal-class carrier. The Empire was then stymied. As is often the case, wanting was a great deal more interesting than having. With a down economy in the midst of a hundred-year colonization drought, the UEE had few options for actually exploiting Stanton. UEE naval engineers conducted the small amount of required terraforming, a series of underfunded military outposts were established, and then Stanton sat unwatched for another generation. The decision was ultimately made to sell the system piecemeal to the highest bidders. Megacorporations were quietly contacted and asked to bid for their own planets. The winners are believed to have flushed trillions into the UEE economy: MicroTech, Hurston Dynamics, ArcCorp and Crusader Industries. In a remarkable lack of originality, the four worlds are now named MicroTech, Hurston, ArcCorp and Crusader. The megacorporations moved in slowly but surely, initially refusing to displace the existing inhabitants of the system (technically, they bought the land and not the people or anything already constructed there). Over the years, however, the system has become fully corporatized and the initial settlers have been (often literally) driven underground. The superearths are now dotted with factories, corporate headquarters, testing ranges, mining facilities and other company facilities. Only those working for the corporations (or anyone leasing their space) come to live in the Stanton system, inhabiting orderly company towns. Today, Stanton is a great place to travel if you’re interested in the materials produced by several of the galaxy’s most successful corporations … or if you think you can make a profit shipping these companies the goods they need to keep working. Stanton I: MicroTechStanton I, home to the MicroTech corporation, is a large and generally cold planet. The temperature is the result of an error during the UEE terraforming process, which lead to unusually dense cloud production. MicroTech produces MobiGlas here, a now-standard piece of digital assistive technology used by nearly anyone traveling off-world. Although MobiGlas has become ubiquitous, MicroTech specializes in all forms of electronics, including those found in ship systems. This world is a good place to start looking for advanced sensor technologies which could provide an edge while dogfighting. Space on the world is leased to smaller companies, including some of MicroTech’s competitors … probably because it allows the corporation to keep a close eye on them. Buyouts among successful Stanton I-based startups are common. Visitors are advised to seek work and cargo news at Wally’s Bar; just don’t ask for Wally. Stanton II: HurstonStanton II is home to Hurston Dynamics, an aristocratic family-run weapons manufacturing concern which has bled the world dry. Stanton II’s ecosphere has been largely destroyed, with almost all indigenous life killed by the mining and manufacturing processes here. Hurston builds several lines of reliable weapons, and pilots looking for specialized guns might do well to visit here. The planet also produces a variety of munitions which are sold to other companies, and transport assistance is always well compensated. Workers are imported for year-long factory or mining contracts; few choose to re-up. Stanton is always in need of cheap labor and is a good source for traders looking to move antimatter precursors. Stanton III: ArcCorp ArcCorp, Stanton III, is the most visually impressive of the worlds today. While the other planets, even polluted Hurston Dynamics, retain some indication of their natural origins, ArcCorp is now an entirely constructed world. All of the terrain has been sculpted, zoned and built upon, leaving nothing for nature. ArcCorp builds fusion engines in bulk, using the underground resources on Stanton III to provide engines for hundreds of thousands of civilian spacecraft every year. Traders porting at ArcCorp are advised that in addition to deals on weapons, they can find just about anything else here. ArcCorp is absolutely indiscriminate about who they lease property to, and hundreds of other smaller companies have made their home near the world’s north polar region. Anthropologists familiar with the Xi’An have posited that ArcCorp is the closest human equivalent to a Xi’An factory world, and many have drawn the conclusion that our civilization will someday evolve along the same lines. Stanton IV: Crusader Stanton IV is Crusader, called “Cl” by the natives; it is an unusual world. Formed midway between a telluric world and a gas giant, Crusader’s small rocky core is enshrouded in an especially deep low-density atmosphere. Initial UEEterraforming efforts failed to allow unfettered habitation of the planet itself, but rendered the atmosphere breathable at high altitudes. The planet then became home to a military-constructed latticework of inhabitable floating platforms, since expanded exponentially to suit the needs of Crusader Industries. The situation is unusual, but ideal for Crusader, which makes large-scale commercial transport ships which would otherwise need to be built beyond the atmosphere. Being built in open air allows the cost of these ships to be reduced by almost 40% on the back end, which is often passed along to consumers. The company also provides quality housing for their employees — both in planetside domes and in habitats woven into the latticework — and the portion of the world available to visitors is usually considered the nicest port in the system. The shipyards themselves are eerily beautiful, with huge transport ships suspended in mid-atmosphere surrounded by a lighted webbing of Crusader facilities. TRAVEL WARNING Visitors should note that while the standard United Empire of Earth penal code technically applies in the Stanton System, the UEE does not police the region. Private squadrons and hired mercenaries belonging to the inhabiting supercorporations enforce their own laws here.
  7. Greetings Citizens, It’s Jump Point day for subscribers! If you’re a development subscriber, the sixth issue of the monthly magazine can now be found in your Subscriber area. This month you’ll learn about the making of the Constellation, visit the Stanton System, learn about weapons maker Hurston Dynamics and thrill at the latest Void Rats installment from Doug Niles. Interested in getting Jump Point each month? Information about becoming a subscriber is available here. As always, we like to provide everyone with some of the material from a previous Jump Point. This week we’re releasing the Galactic Guide to Earth from Issue #5. Note that the original Shanghai section has been corrected to reflect change to Shanghai… so your Jump Point PDFs are a collector’s edition! Galactic Guide: Earth Earth: cradle of Humanity, heart of the Empire, birthplace of mankind … and a difficult place to turn a profit. It’s no secret that Earth is set in its ways. All roads lead to Earth and the system is designed to support native-born Humans above all others. Tax policies support Earth-based corporations at the extreme disadvantage of those based on worlds like Terra, while representation in the UEE Senate continues to skew disproportionately in favor of Earth’s populace. Put simply, Earth is the capital and namesake of the United Empire of Earth and it is the seat of power that governs everything from rising systems like Terra to distant colony worlds that barely impact the homeworlds’ economies. Home to the Imperator and the UEE Senate, Earth sets the standards for everything that happens in the Empire, from moderating economic models, to setting social trends, to organizing military campaigns. While other more strategically located star systems, like Terra, have begun to make claims for higher standing in the Empire, Earth is still the acknowledged center of the universe. Contrarily, Earth wants for everything. Thousands of years of Human civilization have left many of the planet’s natural resources exhausted and the system imports trillions upon trillions of tons of food, raw metals, manufactured goods and everything else imaginable. If it were not for the so-called “balance tariffs” keeping prices uncompetitive, this would be an ideal situation for any erstwhile shipping magnate. As it is, a run to Earth can barely be guaranteed to provide more than a 5% profit … and that’s before you get to the exorbitant docking and refueling fees for spacecraft carrying other systems’ registration numbers. Earth is also safe, to an extreme. The UEE military, Advocacy and various police arms patrol the system ceaselessly and they are notoriously uncompromising when it comes to punishing wrongdoers in the system. There is no faster way to get an extremely high bounty on your head than to commit a crime, even a minor infraction, in space near Earth. The military dockyards in Earth orbit are home port to no less than five Bengal-class carriers and at least one is drydocked at any given time. The planet itself is pockmarked with starports, a natural evolution of nearly a millennium of Human space travel. Three of these have taken the throne as the significant import/export centers of the world: New York in North America, Moscow in Europe and Shanghai in Asia. New York New York is the cultural capital of the UEE, an intergalactic tastemaker and a celebrated blending of both old-style architecture and ultra-modern arcology construction. Most visitors immediately take note of the historical landmarks protected by a thick layer of domed visicrete, allowing such institutions as the Empire State Building and Central Park to continue to exist amidst a modern landscape of massive supertowers. In terms of commodities, selling bulk goods in New York is like trying to get blood from a stone. Nowhere is more protected by UEE law than this city, and anyone but the most desperate traders are advised not to bother. Even black market goods are extremely risky, as it is unquestionably the most well-policed area in known space. However, New Yorkers — even those who have never left the planet — still fancy themselves cosmopolitan men-of-thegalaxy. As such, there is an active market for cultural trinkets from distant stars. Trendy New York galleries happily display everything from Hadesian ice shoes to damaged Xi’an engine coils … a vivid example of one man’s trash being another’s treasure. New York is also home to the famed Roberts Space Industries headquarters complex, featuring a showroom and museum. Many visitors make it a point to pay their respects upon arriving in the port, celebrating RSI’s involvement in introducing mankind to the stars. Possibly New York’s greatest importance is that it truly is the junction point of the universe in terms of trading. While Earth produces few valuable raw materials in this day and age, almost everything moves through its most significant port on its way somewhere in the UEE. If you’re on the prowl for a particularly rare upgrade or an extremely special commodity, the shopping district surrounding New York’s spaceport is the place to seek it. Moscow Moscow is a no-nonsense kind of town with more of an urban blue-collar vibe than New York. Moscow is a major distribution center for manufactured goods, in particular jump engines and thrusters produced in the factory complexes that span the Urals. Goods are moved into the city for dispersal to the stars through a system of high-speed transport trains. Down on their luck spacers can always find hard work in the Moscow dockyards, which account for the vast majority of Earth’s export shipping. Despite this, Moscow is not a manufacturing town and has little need for raw materials (which are sourced elsewhere). The city tends to have a taste for the opulent, and luxury goods sell as well as anything can on Earth. Traders are advised to ship high-end electronics, artwork, high quality foods and various non-offensive black market items to Moscow before trying to turn a profit running guns or metals. Shanghai The largest starport in Asia, Shanghai has retained more of a link to the surrounding environment than the vast cityscapes of Moscow or New York. Though still a bustling metropolis, Shanghai is your best chance for seeing a bit of foliage or natural water. Shanghai boasts rail and transit lines stretching to the nearby East China sea, a port region capable of water-docking some larger types of spacecraft. The Aegis China factory produces Idris-class corvettes and puts them through their pre-space trials in the area. Shanghai has a need for raw materials, especially rarer extragalactic varieties. The less likely a material is to be found on Earth, the more valuable it will be on the commodities market in Shanghai; think Vanduul kan ores, thermacrete, isometal and the like. There is a bustling black market in the city, unlike any found in Earth’s other major ports: if you’re on the hunt for illegal cyborg upgrades, try Shanghai first.
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