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Intergalactic Aerospace Expo

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For spacecraft enthusiast Audrey Timmerman, Lo was the ideal place to grow up. Every day, a wide array of ships would make the trip into atmosphere from the bustling spacelanes above. Family members recalled Audrey spending her nights staring out the window of their flat in the Walden Towers housing development and identifying ships as they flew past solely on the configuration of their running lights. In an interview with the Terra Gazette, Timmerman couldn’t recall what first got her interested in aviation: “I don’t remember one specific ‘ah-ha’ moment. That love was just always there.”
Timmerman came from a family of modest means who couldn’t afford to own a ship, but her parents indulged her passion by taking her to New Junction’s bustling trade port to watch the ships take off and land. In 2656, Timmerman eagerly joined the Navy with dreams of becoming a pilot. Unfortunately, her piloting skill lagged behind those who already had years of flight experience.
Still, her vast knowledge of ships and eye for detail did not go unnoticed. She became a mechanic and rose through the ranks to became a pit chief aboard the frigate UEENSolis. Assigned to patrol the Perry Line, the Solis spent its time as a mobile support ship for UEE strike fighters that monitored the Xi’an jump points. She described it as ‘long stretches of boredom punctuated by moments of terror,’ but that changed one day when a flight of fighters brought back something from their patrol: wreckage of a Xi’an ship. While Timmerman was intimately familiar with Banu ships from her childhood in Corel, seeing the Xi’an’s unique design approach was both fascinating and inspiring for her.
After ending her Naval service, Timmerman returned to New Junction and opened Intergalactic Aerospace Repairs in 2667. The shop quickly garnered a reputation for being able to fix just about anything. In her off hours, Timmerman devoted herself to her true passion, trying to reverse engineer the Xi’an tech she had seen in the Navy. Relations between the two species were antagonistic at the time, so it was impossible as a civilian to get her hands on Xi’an tech, leaving her nothing but memories and ingenuity to work with.

Humble Beginnings

In 2670, Timmerman finished installing Xi’an-inspired maneuverable thrusters on Poby, an old Aurora she named after her cat. Afraid to test fly the ship on a heavily populated planet, Timmerman and fellow aerospace enthusiasts loaded Poby and a number of other heavily modified ships onto a transporter and flew to the nearly desolate planet of Castor to test fly them. Though it was an informal gathering, historians now considered it to be the very first Intergalactic Aerospace Expo.
Poby’s first flight was a disappointment, as a power surge fried a number of her experimental thrusters. Timmerman wasn’t deterred by the failure — quite the opposite, she was energized by the process, and it wasn’t long before this group of experimental spacecraft enthusiasts were meeting regularly to discuss and examine various mods they were building. The annual test flights on Castor became a tradition and grew in popularity over the years.
One of the members of the group was Steffon Dillard, owner of Steffon’s Ship Emporium in New Junction. He recognized the popularity of the annual gathering and approached Timmerman about sponsoring the event. He would provide the latest ships for the enthusiasts to check out in person, and hopefully make some sales in the process. Timmerman agreed and, needing a name to put on the ads Dillard was creating, decided to borrow from her own company to get the name Intergalactic Aerospace Expo (IAE).
Over the next decade, the event became large enough that other retail outlets and parts manufacturers were eager to show off their own goods at the expo. Once that happened, it wasn’t long before the major ship manufacturers took notice. In 2683, RSI became an official sponsor of the IAE and has been one ever since. Each year, more and more sponsors and booths appeared at the event.
Purists decried its corporatization, but Timmerman vehemently justified the expansion. To her the Expo hadn’t sold out; it had adapted and improved. Her final act was to create a nonprofit to officially manage the event, and ensure a large percentage of the revenue went to a charity Timmerman created called Simpod Pals, whose mission was to give underprivileged children the opportunity to learn how to fly.

Spooling Up

In 2847, the board of directors made the decision to rotate the location of the IAE each year. The public explanation was that it would give more people the chance to experience the universe’s premier aerospace event.
Numerous systems clamored to host the event and enjoy the economic windfall that came with it. The event hopscotched from planet to planet for the next few decades until the 2913 event in Ferron was almost canceled due to Asura’s inability to meet the minimum hangar and power standards outlined by the IAE’s contract. Shortly after this scare, the IAE board was contacted by Governor Joona Tzur of Severus about bringing the event to the Kiel System. IAE officials were impressed with his presentation, but more so with the facilities his planet could offer. Severus contained numerous hangars (initially built and used by the military), plenty of available landing pads, and more than sufficient accommodations for visitors. After impressing the IAE
Posted Nov 14, 18 · OP
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[ Music ]
Announcer: Don’t crawl into that the cryopod just yet. Not when there’s Something Every Tuesday, with your host Esen Landari!
[ Applause ]
Thank you! I’m absolutely thrilled to be here with all of you. Make sure to give it up for SET’s very own talented announcer, Christine.
[ Applause ]
Christine, just to check, were you implying that people out there are debating between putting themselves in to a state of frozen stasis and watching our show?
Announcer: Yup.
Great.
[ Laughter ]
I, for one, am very excited to see what they choose. Hopefully, they stick around because we have a fantastic show coming up. One of my personal favorite comedians, Langer Lewis, will be coming by fresh from his latest tour.
Plus, cleaning expert Daryl Hissup will explain how to transform your hab from funky to fresh. Something that I’m personally dying to know. No matter how hard I try to stay organized, stuff just always starts to pile up everywhere. My place has gotten so bad that I actually had to switch from hiring cleaning crews to contracting search and rescue teams.
[ Chuckle ]
Now, normally I break down all the biggest stories of the week for you, but I’m gonna be honest, there’s only one thing that I’ve been following: this year’s IAE.
[ Cheers ]
For you planet-bound folks out there, I’m talking about the Intergalactic Aerospace Expo, where a few days from now all of the ‘verses biggest and best manufacturers will be coming together to show off their latest and greatest. It does not get better than this for a gearhead like me. Well, maybe if Consolidated Outland announced they were designing a gravlev called the Esen.
[ Laughter ]
Silas, feel free to comm my people.
[ Chuckle ]
Besides all the new ships and tech upgrades, the real excitement is that the IAE Board of Directors recently announced that there is not going to be just the one Expo on Kiel this year, but that they are adding an entirely new second location.
[ Applause ]
Of course, most of that excitement goes away as soon as you find out that the second Expo is going to be hosted on Hurston.
[ Laughter ]
Not quite sure what the Board was thinking on this one. My best guess is that they thought people would have fun if it smelled like the Expo was being held inside a fuel tank.
Okay, actually my real best guess is that Hurston Dynamics paid them a ridiculous sum for the honor. No one knows for sure, but the rumors have it well into nine digits. Apparently, the ol’ Colonel, CEO Gavin E. Hurston himself, has been growing tired of the bad rep his planet has gotten over the years. That’s why last year they built a giant new convention center just outside of Lorville. Guess how many conventions they’ve hosted since it opened? One. And that was for Hurston Dynamics annual management training.
I guess it’s hard to draw tourists when the two things your planet is known for is labor violations and toxic shock.
[ Laughter ]
Of course, having a second Expo isn’t all bad. While tickets to the main Expo on Kiel sold out weeks ago, IAE Hurston has plenty left. And according to the IAE, the Hurston Expo is going to have all the same vehicles on display. That means no matter which Expo you go to, you will still get to see in person all the Origin models that Ellroy Cass crashed this year.
[ Laughter ]
But not all ship buzz this week has been focused on the IAE. Did you hear about the capture of Kelligan’s Bazaar? One of the biggest Advocacy busts this year. A vice sting operation discovered a Kraken filled to the brim with just about every illegal contraband item you can think of, all thanks to some enterprising outlaws setting the massive ship up as a floating black market.
Shopper Impression: Excuse me, can you tell me where I can find the vials of Slam?
Store Clerk Impression: Of course, sir. Just make a right past the stolen kidneys. If you hit the cage full of crying Osoians you’ve gone too far.
[ Laughter ]
So much for Drake not making ships for criminals. CEOAnden Arden was quick to point out that just because some creative people were using the Kraken for illegal activities does not mean that Drake condones such activity. To which the entire universe responded by winking back at him.
[ Laughter ]
Okay! Our special guest Daryl Hissup will be joining us in a little bit. But first, we have a special edition of —
Announcer: The Headlines of Tomorrow!
[ Music and Applause ]
That’s right, Headlines of Tomorrow, where we give you a special preview of the biggest news stories that will be making headlines all this week.
First up, we have this headline straight from the IAE.
Anvil premieres their new ship: the Arrow. Vanduul respond by making their ships even pointier.
[ Laughter ]
Next up is a touching headline for the upcoming holiday on December 3rd.
UEE holds an Empire wide moment of silence to honor Anthony Tanaka Remembrance Day. Most people use that moment to think, ‘Who is Anthony Tanaka again?’
[ Sparse Chuckles ]
Okay, guess I need to wait a few more decades before making Tanaka Jokes. Our last Headline of Tomorrow is also from this week’s Expo.
Drake Interplanetary introduces a new Kraken variant called the Murderer. Claims it’s designed to help teach children how to read.
[ Laughter ]
All right, we have to take a quick break, but when we come back, cleaning tips with Daryl Hissup and comedian Langer Lewis, right after this.
[ Music ]
Posted Nov 21, 18 · OP

Intergalactic Airlines℠ is a registered service mark with the Transport Safety Board (TSB). Networking Your Galaxy® is a registered trademark. Intergalactic Airlines Corporate Headquarters, Phoenix Road, Prime, Terra. For more information, please contact your local IGAIR Service Representative. All rights reserved.

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