March 18th 2015
Breaching the Spectrum with some well-placed info charges, OP.NET is back from commercial, with me, your host, Conva Maynard. Thanks again to our sponsors CDS and their fine quality personal armor systems. When things get hot, CDS takes the heat.
I don’t know about you all, but I got to say, I am still thinking about those beauties Skiv showed off in today’s tech look. Seriously, that Gallenson Tarantula? Major want. I was asking Skiv about it more during the break, and he didn’t mention this in his review, but apparently the 870 features some really impressive tweak options. Full board swaps, venting on the barrel, easy access to adjust the compressor. I’m not saying it’d be a good idea to max out the ROF, but hell if it wouldn’t be fun to try. Talk about laying down a web of death. Looking at this thing, you can tell that the smiths at Gallenson are a bunch of firearm enthusiasts themselves.
You know, people keep trying to sell me on the convenience of energy weapons — no ammo boxes or refilling and all that. And I get it. I really do. But when a job gets sticky, I always feel better hurling some old fashioned boom. That chunk chunk of the recoil lets me know that everything’s going to be all right in the ’verse.
Sorry. Little bit of a tangent, but let’s move on to our special guest, who, I should add, has been waiting patiently while I gush about guns. Please welcome the chair of the Non-Human Mercenary Alliance, T’ral Falrant.
T’ral Falrant: Pleased to be here. No worries about the gun talk. I’m with you, Conva. That Tarantula. Damn.
Let’s start off with basics. I’m sure there are some in the Guild who are unaware of what it is that your organization does.
T’ral Falrant: NohMa was founded 15 years ago with a pretty simple goal. We want to ensure that non-Human members of the Guild are treated with the same respect and courtesy as Human members, and to provide a resource where Tevarin, Banu and Xi’An mercenaries can turn when they feel they are being treated unfairly. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but I think NohMa has taken some important strides in changing the way the Guild thinks about non-Humans.
Like the petition regarding manned turrets.
T’ral Falrant: Sure. Of course that is just one of many initiatives we have ongoing right now. Another would be our inter-species leadership training workshop that is coming up again in a few weeks.
But let’s be fair, the turret petition is the one that is probably getting the most attention right now. A lot of Guild members are pretty upset with what they see as an attack on Humans.
T’ral Falrant: This is something that NohMa comes across all the time. When we start talking about rights for other species, immediately we start being accused of wanting to remove Human rights. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This isn’t an either-or proposition. Rights for non-Humans doesn’t take away rights for Humans, and vice versa. What we want is equality.
And how does changing the name of manned turrets do that?
T’ral Falrant: Words carry weight. By calling it a manned turret, the implication, whether intentional or not, is one of exclusion. If you look up the definition of “manned” it literally means having a Human crew. Our petition simply requests that the official Guild term for them to be called physically operated turrets.
What about the argument that this is a term that’s been used for millennia, well before Humans even knew of the existence of other sentient species.
T’ral Falrant: That is an argument for how the term came into existence, not one for why we must continue to use it. The change, while small in the grand scheme of things, goes a long way in firmly showing that not only are other species a part of the Guild, we are a fundamental part. Tevarin, Banu, Xi’An. We fight by your side. We take the same risks. Yet again and again we are treated as different, as separate. Look at the Guild’s 2944 Black List. Of all the mercenary deaths to happen during jobs, a disproportionately high number were Tevarin. Numerous polls have shown that Humans still believe the stereotype that the ferocity of Tevarin make them better for first wave assaults, that by their nature Tevarin are more willing to die, that they are disposable. This perception is costing lives. That’s what I want Guild members to understand; speciesism isn’t just about hurt feelings. Not in this job.
An important point. We have to take a quick break, but I want to talk more about how Guild members can help usher in change.
T’ral Falrant: Of course. I’m not going anywhere.
Fantastic. When we come back, we will continue our discussion with T’ral and be joined by Shari Novalla, captain of the JLA sataball team. She’s coming by to discuss her most recent win last Sunday at Astro Arena and how having a team composed entirely of ex-mercs has given her an advantage that could see them all the way to the finals.
All that and more, in just a moment, on OP.NET.