Shipyard Wrecked by Drunken Joyride

Utopia Planitia Orbital Shipyard, Low Mars Orbit -- 14 May 2057:  A series of collisions caused by the reckless piloting of Barron Waterworks heir Michial Barron has caused several hundred credits' worth of damage and temporarily halted the effective operation of the iconic Utopia Planitia shipyard.  Nobody has been reported dead or injured in the escapade.

According to witnesses, Mr. Barron showed up personally at the shipyard to take possession of a custom-manufactured Boeing Cabana which he had ordered for his 20th birthday.  "We would've happily delivered the hull to anywhere in the system for him," stated shipyard foreman Zack Hammershaft, "but he wouldn't have it; he insisted on taking it out of the yard himself."  According to Mr. Hammershaft, Mr. Barron was "visibly drunk; he stunk of expensive zero-gee-brewed brandy, I'd say Halner Flarnaigan, and was weaving and slurring."  The crew handling the order apparently felt they had no choice but to allow Mr. Barron to pilot the spacecraft himself.  "You know what it's like with these hyper-rich types," Mr. Hammershaft told us in an audio interview.  "Break you as soon as look at you.  Only reason I'm saying this, mind you, is 'cause I'm the shop union rep for the Shipwrights Local 21930.  They got my back.  The rest of my crew, though?  Forget it.  More than a job like this is worth to cross a man can buy and sell people like you by the dozen."

The trouble started when Mr. Barron failed to wait for the clamps on the mooring gantry to which the ship was still secured to be disengaged before firing the craft's primary ion engines.  Part of the gantry superstructure was ripped away as the craft spiralled out of control through the shipyard.  The automated traffic control program handling the routing of various ship hulls and cargo containers through the busy yard was unable to handle the unpredictable craft and, in prioritizing the lives and safety of flesh-and-blood work crews, was forced to crash several spacecraft and monorail drones into each other to keep them out of Mr. Barron's erratic path.  By the time Mr. Barron was able to pilot his brand-new Cabana out of the shipyard and into relatively clear space, Utopia Planitia was in ruins, with dozens of its famous custom spaceship hulls destroyed and over a third of the manufacturing bays out of commission.

Utopia Planitia shipyard is one of the oldest and most respected spaceship manufacturers in the system, but its reputation was unable to save it from severe repercussions, with its stock losing 70 centicredits on the InterPlan Index this day.  Inquiries to the LMO Department of Public Safety as to whether Mr. Barron is being charged or arrested in connection with the incident have not received any response.

No comments: