Craig Burton here bringing you another installment of Clean Shot. Y’all better hold onto your helmets ‘cause we’ve got a lot of ground to cover today. Though it’s not nearly as much ground as Skinny and I covered in our first ever IAE Satellite Sprint between the main expo in Kiel and the satellite event on microTech. Know y’all are itching to find out which one of us flew the fastest, but I’m not gonna reveal who won the race just yet. What I can disclose is that Skinny is here in the studio ready and raring to break down exactly what happened.
But first, IAE officials in Kiel have released a statement saying the giant pilot holograms are back up and running at the main expo. They were offline for the past few days after someone hacked the holo-projector and replaced them with all kinds of crazy content I’m not gonna explain here. The incident caused quite a stir as it took event staff a bit to shut down the holo-projector, allowing a large crowd to take vids of the unauthorized images and post them on spectrum.
While no one has come forward to claim responsibility for the hack, a recent New United article claims that authorities have focused their attention on a self-proclaimed “satirical visual artist and provocateur” who’s made a name by publicly displaying offensive holograms. The article notes several rumors fueling this speculation including that the artist in question, known only by the pseudonym “Bibi,” was supposedly seen at the event in Kiel that day. IAE officials have refused to comment on the article and insist that they’re working closely with Kiel law enforcement officials to find the perpetrator.
Look, I don’t know if this Bibi is the one who did it or not, but I sure hope they find whoever was responsible and ban ‘em from future expos. The IAE is meant to bring the empire together, yet these holograms were clearly designed to rile people up, and to what end? Far as I can tell, there wasn’t even a coherent political message behind it. Just an attempt to piss off as many people as possible. You ask me, it’s just juvenile, like one of those kids you grew up with who’d chase other kids around the playground with a fistful of aloprat dung.
Apologies for getting all worked up over this. Just a real shame the incident occurred on the same day the expo featured several specialty manufacturers that normally don’t get the spotlight. Those damn holograms became the main story instead of, say, Argo, which is having an incredible year after releasing the RAFT, a fantastic new freighter, and having the MPUV crowned this year’s Best in Show. Usually, hardworking ships like the MPUV get overlooked in popularity contests. Folks appreciate ‘em but hardly honor ‘em. That’s why I got excited and urged folks to vote for the good ol’ Argo Cargo. I know some felt like its Best in Show win was unwarranted, but I honestly couldn’t think of a more deserving ship.
To those that think the MPUV is, as one person called it, “An ugly and unremarkable box made for transporting boxes,” I ask what the hell’s wrong with that? The ship was designed for a purpose and does it so damn well that it’s been around for over 300 years and become a staple at landing zones across the Empire. Hell, most manufacturers would kill to create a ship as timeless and popular as the MPUV. Sure, it might not have a sleek and sexy look or be loaded with fancy features, but its role in expediting cargo around landing zones makes it one of the most important and essential ships in the UEE. Why isn’t that worth celebrating? Because in my humble opinion it is, so I’m glad the MPUV had its moment in the sun. The damn thing deserves it, and the UEE would be a drastically different place without it.
And after racing the RAFT from the main IAE event in Kiel to the satellite expo on microTech, I am one hundred percent convinced that Argo has changed the cargo game once again. The RAFT, which stands for Reinforced Advanced Freight Transport, carries three standardized 32-SCU cargo crates that, in classic Argo fashion, can be quickly and easily loaded or unloaded. It also comes with hefty armor to deter attackers and comfortable living quarters suitable for two. Yet, solo operators can still run this thing on their own, as Skinny and I put to the test during our inaugural IAE Satellite Sprint.
Now, if you didn’t get the rundown of the race in our last episode, the kind folks at Argo provided both Skinny and I with a standard RAFT to speed between the two expos. Along the way, each of us made three stops and used the RAFT’s tractor beam to load and unload containers. Skinny and I also agreed that the only changes we could make to the ship would be swapping out components. This made Skinny so confident that he even put his self-proclaimed and completely fictitious “King of Components” title on the line. So, who holds that completely made-up title now? And would the first ever IAE Satellite Sprint come down to component loadout, flightpath selection, or tractor beam proficiency?
Well, you’ll have to wait until after this quick commercial break to find out. When Clean Shot returns Skinny will join me to finally reveal who won the big race. Then our good friend and Silver Leaf award-winning chef Cutty Crawford will join us to discuss his favorite IAE eats. He’s with us on microTech and ready to share his expo floor snack hacks and also reveal which food carts to target and which ones to avoid. All that and more when Clean Shot returns.