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Godfather of Mineral Sports: An Interview with Boyd Ulbrick

Posted by Zaubermancy , 18 January 2015 · 1,834 views

Lore and Fiction Panspermia Weekly News
Panspermia Weekly News


5-19-2314

Godfather of Mineral Sports: An Interview with Boyd Ulbrick
By Colin Sward



Mr. Boyd Ulbrick, CEO of Ulbrick-Stantz Financial and the most famous personality in mineral sports, shakes my hand on the roof of his towering Red Rapids Casino. The nighttime view, the highest man-made altitude in Montana, twinkles with lights from distant settlements. With his other hand Mr. Ulbrick offers a sparkling water, easily worth a working man’s annual salary. Despite the dark he wears sunglasses. His trademark silver rattail whips around in the wind.

His welcoming smile matches the ubiquitous Boyd and Sons™ team logo uncannily well; it’s like talking to the team poster made flesh. It is both an honor and a fright to meet the godfather of mineral contract gaming.

S: Years from now, how will people remember Mr. Boyd Ulbrick and what he did for mineral sports?

U: Well it won’t be as a billionaire investment banker, that’s for sure! *Mr. Ulbrick stops to laugh for a moment*

No, I’m more humble than that. I've always been a man passionate about his loves, his nation, his women, and his sports. So I just had to be a philanthropist. There is nothing more exciting than two hotshot teams dog-fighting it out in a good asteroid match. Leaving bullet holes in each other and bringing home the water. So I divested a little from Ulbrick-Stantz in the early days, got the ball rolling on investors, sponsorships, the lifeblood and hype we needed for tournament mineral sports. And here we are. Now the games are more popular than a space heater in the Iceland Guild.


And also I hope they remember me for my boys, Boyd and Sons™. Never has a prouder team flown for the good of their nation.

S: When did you first want to found a team for mineral sports?

U: Well I was just a little nugget when I watched my first Sky Cup with my Pa. Who’d a thought 50 years later I’d hold a major stake in the CPIA*?

It was the 2283 game too, when Big Vlad took out the entire North American Alliance team with one Enoch Warhead. Just traumatic. I think my young mind refused to ever see such a thing happen again. I wanted to see us bring home glory home and fly circles around those dirty oil flyers. And now Boyd and Sons™ gets to do it every season.

S: If you could fly, how would you change mineral sports?

U: You done your research! You sneaky gumshoeing sneak thief! Lovely.

Yes, in my stud days I was one of New West Point’s youngest orbital pilot inductees. But lo and behold- I couldn't sit my bare ass on my freshman bunk one day before I got my diagnosis. Vertigo. Crippling vertigo. Nasty word. If I set one foot in a harvester they’d be scraping puke off the grav differential for weeks.


But I’ll tell you son. If I could wrangle my way up there… Ahh they’d be making folklore out of me. I’d be the last living sight of so many pilots, twisting my Grand Teton Assault Singlecraft right up into their gunsights, blowing their brains out with hot plasma, hoo boy. That’s the dream anyway.


But I get to be a legend in my own way. Thanks to me, any old shmo can pay two w-chits at a Boyd and Sons™ vid hub, watch America bring home glory from the asteroid belt. And now their kids can play BoydSports 2314 on their GameCons at home.

I bring the games to the people. That’s a better kind of hero if you think about it.

S: What direction do you see the sport going? What’s the next great ship innovation that will shape tomorrow’s matches?

U: You know what the people wanna see? It's not the namby pamby stuff coming out of Norway. All their ion nets and camo mine traps. That stuff makes the sport look like a hair pulling contest.

No, we are bringing back old-fashioned North American plasma rams. Now that’s lovely. It takes salt to fly into contact distance with a bogey, turn on the burner, and cut their hull like butter. With our sleek new titanium alloy designs, our craft should be able to outpace everyone else in the tournament too. Every Boyd and Sons™ ship will have one mounted for the 2315 Sky Cup. It’ll look like a fireworks show.


S: You recently campaigned for the annulment of The Gentleman’s Human Resource Agreement of 2260, which illegalized human piloting. Your sponsored “Tournament for Humanity” is scheduled for next year, but fringe groups are already calling it, quote, “a blood sport.” Why are human pilots important for the mineral sports league?

U: Due to ongoing trials and licensing disputes I can't talk much about it.


But it’s damn sorry we have to use machines to do a man’s work. You know, all my boys train in human piloting first, harvesters and simulators second. That’s where the real heart and soul of the sport lies, in human survival, tactics, and grit, and fighting for your life. You know back in the day mineral contracts were drafted so that men and corporations could claim the space frontiers instead of starving at home. I think we lost some of ourselves when we switched to comps.

Besides, a man's only worth the cargo he flies home. I think we should remember that.


S: What advice do you have for fledgling pilots, each one itching to bring glory home to their country?

U: You know what the best training is? Observation. Visit any Boyd and Sons™ vid hub, or one of my casinos, available worldwide, and watch the games. While you’re at it, place a bet or two. You might win a little scratch!




*Combat Prospector’s Interplanetary Association

Many thanks to Nelson, Renegade-Shank, dunkelza, and all community members. Your contributions are astounding every day.

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Zaubermancy
Jan 18 2015 03:05 PM

Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying the stories so far. 

 

So most of the articles I've been writing have been pieces of "retro" Panspermia news. They've dealt mostly with Earth's history and how the corporations came to power in a near post-apocalyptic world.

 

This piece comes from the year 2314, the start date for STFU, and interviews a vital figure in how the ship to ship combat sports came to be.

 

I hope you like it!

 

If you're enjoying the fiction, make sure to leave comments. Especially if you have ideas or concepts for a future story; we want to make every community member's voice heard.

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interesting. :) liking these lore tidbits.

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I loved this one ZANE !

WM

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Now I want a Plasma Ram... :)

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Groundhound
Jan 28 2015 06:31 PM
Ah, the words of an armchair general. He cares not that the blood flows, for he knows his own head is safe from the butcher's block. To him the battle for resources is a grand song and dance. Technological progress and aggressive innovation spurred by competition between corporations is secondary to entertaining the masses. He stands firmly between the drone operator and the masses, controlling the public perception of those who do the real work, while urging those who have little to gamble it away for a forlorn hope of wealth-by-luck.

I'm a bit confused by "With his other hand Mr. Ulbrick offers a sparkling water, easily worth a working man’s annual salary." Carbonated water cannot be that expensive. Drinkable water may well be brought down via orbital elevator out of pure convenience, but it must still be affordable to the common worker. Perhaps scavenger clans or rogue anticorporate forces might struggle, but without a reliable supply of water MCorp workers will not be physically capable of working. While I understand that the game-design reason for potable water scarcity is to create a non-unified hydraulic empire that contributes to corporate dominance throughout the world, the tangible results of such a scarcity have to be handled with care. If a single-serve of fizzy water costs a year's salary for a workman, then something is very special about that fizzy water! The water itself cannot be that expensive, otherwise all of the workers would die of thirst before payday.

In fact, the adequate liquid intake for an adult male is roughly three liters a day, according to the Institute of Medicine. (Source) Carbon dioxide is not a rare additive, but there is precedent for other additives to be mixed into the water. Perhaps these rare additives are the cause of its expense, rather than the simple fact that it is water with bubbles?

Regardless, we all understand the purpose behind the expensive sparkling water in this little snippet. It is a status symbol, like the cane, used to once more showcase the wealth of the "Godfather" and his lack of concern for the struggles of the common man. Or, in truth, anyone who is not directly useful to him.

In short, this is a lovely portrait of a man we all love to hate.
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