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Star Citizen – Guide Galactique – Drake Interplanetary

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Judit Llordes
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Any citizen knows Drake Interplanetary: the kitsch posters with impossible plastic women with garish make-up leaning on the latest hunters, the headlines of scuttled criminal investigations, the look not-too-dynamic of their silhouettes. The company's imprint is compelling, a must-have for anyone entering space.

 

The Cutlass

The keystone of Drake's design is the Drake Interplanetary AS-1 Cutlass. Incredibly inexpensive, Drake Cutlass are used across the galaxy for a thousand and one different roles. From search and rescue to prospectors 'conversions to short haul food hauls, the Cutlass' modularity means it can be anything for anyone. But there is little doubt that it is best known as the vehicle of choice for those who circumvent the law… and those who adamantly oppose it. If piracy has the face of a society, it's Drake Interplanetary's.



The Cutlass's beginnings are not as grim as its current status: it was originally developed to UEE specifications as a candidate for the “volksfighter” criteria (note: “volksfighter” literally means “people's hunter”). 2922. The specifications were to create a low cost configurable space fighter that could be quickly manufactured to easily equip remote Civil Defense squadrons when needed. The Cutlass lost out to the now forgotten Wildcat, but the development team opted to adapt the concept to civilian use.
All things considered, the Cutlass was a spectacular concept. It lacked the leather seats and other silver illumination of a luxury ORIGIN ship as well as the great ruggedness of a Robert Space Industries concept ... but it could be built quickly using materials common to nearly all living worlds to barely a quarter the cost of any other comparable spacecraft. And on this point, it was reliable: famous test holograms show the Cutlass prototype fearlessly crossing a field of stellar debris.



 

Integration

Drake Interplanetary was incorporated soon after. Chief designer Jan Dredge became CEO, with a seven-member committee made up mostly of aerospace engineers who had worked on the project. Drake was not the nickname of a person involved in the project; this was selected as an eligible name that "sounded good", chosen especially in the hope that it might make their spaceships more attractive. It was the first in a long line of money-first decisions that would quickly define the company.

The second decision also stated: rather than creating the corporation on one of the EAEU's traditional "home worlds" such as Earth or Terra, Drake based herself in Magnus' economically struggling system. . Basing both corporate and key industries government on Borea (Magnus II), Drake's outlaw image was well established before Cutlass's first production model left the factory floor. . The original idea was aimed at private militia groups. UEE law allows (and some would say encourages) anyone, anywhere to own an armed spacecraft, and so the plan was that private squadrons in more remote areas of the galaxy would host a solution for one. low cost spaceship. Areas specifically classified for high-risk insurance, Drake's committee concluded, would particularly welcome a solution that would make it easier to replace a destroyed ship.

They were right, at least it would seem. Sales were phenomenal: within nine months, Drake opened six factories in marginalized worlds and had licensed dealerships in nine systems. In one more year, the company had quadrupled again. Within five years it had become the fifth largest manufacturer of spacecraft and could not license manufacturers of peripheral systems fast enough. The company was being hailed for its major business success, credited in business magazines like The Ugly Duckling - well, a competitor who could change the way companies like Roberts Space Industries and Musashi Industrial ran their businesses. From the numbers alone, it looked like not everyone would end up flying a Cutlass in ten years.



 

Accomplices

In a way, no one took the time to verify if this was the case. The galaxy is at peace, or as close to peace as it has ever been. At the time, Vanduul raids were disorganized, skirmishes on border settlements remained distant, and the UEE army was in retreat for several years. Who was buying thousands and thousands of Cutlass and what did they do with it? As long as the credits kept pouring in, no one at Drake cared.
The answer, of course, was the pirate organizations. As long as civilians had access to the stars, piracy flourished… and today, thanks to the more affordable Cutlass, it has new options. Smugglers and pirates, long excluded from the standard insurance system available to citizens, used obsolete maps: an armada of various designs including spare parts from Constellation MK. I, surplus military Strike Hawks and even centuries-old MISC flying wings. Now, they benefit from an easily replaceable spaceship that suits their budget, thanks to a more spacious than the others and especially greatly modular, which adapts to their needs.An analysis revealed that now the Cutlass carried drugs, were involved in freight convoy raids and even dared to face police patrols with increasing frequency. At the same time, the bulky appearance of the Cutlass has redefined the role of pirates, giving new life to a very old profession. This is where the actions of the company, which proclaimed “incredible efforts to end piracy” and their “dedication to making a spaceship available to all” differ from reality.

It became clear, though largely unacknowledged, that the company realized it had made a deal with the devil… and the money was too good to turn back. Instead of restricting Cutlass sales for military interests, they ended up designing spaceships with a penchant for piracy. The Caterpillar transporter, for example, carries more tractor spokes and heavy weapons than any model in the same category. The publicity became more obvious too, with a Cutlass show model featuring black camouflage and skull-embossed logos ("an ironic reference to the over-the-top controversy," the public relations officer of the business).



 

The future

What does the future hold for Drake? CEO Dredge plans to unveil next year's lineup of spacecraft at the Air and Space Expo next month on Terra. Rumor has it that this vintage will be completely modernized… a tough task for the adaptive models of the Square Cutlass, Caterpillar and Buccaneer!

Would the ship models give way to aesthetics and feel rather than accessibility, thus expressing a move away from tacit approval of their use by illegal operators? A company representative is keen to point out that the company has spent millions lobbying the EAEU government for tougher anti-piracy laws ... but a cynic won't help but realize that sending additional anti-piracy forces to the outer worlds just means that the clans will have to buy more and more replacement ships from Drake Interplanetary of course.



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