Not-a-Fic-a-Day: Transportation Security

So, there isn’t an actual fic-a-day today, because ever since I read a news article about the TSA’s latest shenanigans, I’ve been too mad to have an idea – or rather, all the characters in my head have had nothing to do but deliver variations on The Reason We Suck, snark, and related items about transportation security all day, and refuse to get down to anything plotly.

Yes, I have an unruly muse.

So, instead, I’m just going to accept losing a day’s writing, and in some compensation – and despite my pledge to avoid message fiction in my real writing – herewith some fictional people expressing some opinions on that whole mess…


“Descend to ten thou so we can chuck the bastards – or whatever’s left of them once the passengers are done – over the side.  What else?”
– Idris Allatrian-ith-Lyranth, airship captain, extranet interview

“Multiply, old chap, multiply.  You can’t seriously propose that we punish hundreds of millions of travellers every day because of, what, a few tens of thousands of fanatics of dubious rationality?  Do you have any idea how many of those we could find and cauterize for the same cost?  Especially once you take into account the the insurrection we’d have on our hands if the Senate even thought about demanding searches of citizen-shareholders going about their lawful business, never mind if the Curia actually lost all grip on law and sense and approved it.”
– Quoril Irithyl-ith-Issarthyl, security consultant, extranet interview

“Due to current geopolitical tensions, passengers on international flights are requested and required as a condition of passage to carry a pistol capable of running our aeronef-compatible frangible-flechette and Fragile Fire Inhibition softpatch (a free download from our ‘weave) for flight security.  If you do not possess a suitable weapon, one can be rented for the duration of the flight at your Golden Skies check-in desk for an Es. 7 surcharge.”
– Golden Skies Express Air ticket, supplemental information

“Oh, they don’t want to get into a terror contest with us.  We have much bigger sticks to beat them with than they can find to use.  And I can promise you this – I’m scarier.”
– a brightly smiling Caliéne Sargas-ith-Sargas, IN Admiral, Worldburner, and Deimarchess by Birth and Profession, extranet interview

“Ahem.  Or, somewhat more diplomatically put, the first duty of any government is to protect its citizen-shareholders.  The Imperial Charter is quite clear on that.  It does not, on the other hand, say anything about everyone else.  And while we don’t like having to shout and threaten like a cliched serial villain, if it takes parking the threat of annihilation over someone to get them to clean their damned act up, well, we can do that.  And will.”
– Esitaria Cyprium-ith-Avalae, Stellar Council (Emeritus), extranet interview

“Yeah.  When I’m on one of those worlds, I take the shuttle to orbit and back down again every time I need to go from place to place on the surface.  I won’t use their own transport, not for — why?  Seriously?  They try and ban all weapons.  No gun, no sword, not so much as a utility knife.  What for shit and waste heat are we supposed to do if someone does try and take the plane, or rob us in the air, or something?  Throw nuts at them?  Beat them to death with the seat cushions? Maybe try harsh language?”

They may not care about their natural responsibilities, but I’m not going to be put in that position, thank you kindly but no thank you.”
–  Corvis Peressin-ith-Perrin, frequent interstellar traveller, extranet interview

“It may be a slightly riskier model, in terms of risk from terrorists and hijackers.  I don’t think that’s necessarily the case, but I’ll accept it hypothetically.  But there are three essential points I would make in answer.  First, neither model is particularly risky in an absolute sense, and our population is, by and large, capable of computing simple probabilities.  Second, risk is one of many factors in any trade-off, and we are also aware of the costs in economic terms, in liberty terms, and in terms of dignity – and also, you will find, quite determined as a principle of ethics, morality, and law that where there are costs to be suffered, they will be suffered by the people responsible for them rather than the innocent bystander.  And third?  Third, the Imperial hasn’t been born who intimidates worth a damn.”
– Quoril Irithyl-ith-Issarthyl, security consultant, extranet interview

“Talk to me like that again, zakhrehs, or put so much as one finger anywhere, and you’re going to be looking for a new body.”
– Jynen Cerron-ith-Cerron, shortly before being deported from Villami (Iesa Drifts)

Workin’ On The Star Road

“Gentlesophs,” the silver figure at the front of the room said.  “Congratulations on your transfer to Kalcír Station.  If you don’t know me, I am Istry 0xC89ABB62, Chief Security Officer, and I’m here to give you a personal reminder of the security regulations pertaining to Kalcír.”

“Kalcír Station, which houses the core of the distributed intelligence that runs our stargates, expansion linelayers, and traffic management systems, is the single most important asset that this company has.  As a result, security there is extremely tight.  You are all to be congratulated on passing our corporate loyalty check and sophodynamic analysis at the highest possible level.”

“In any case, as such, there will be no communication permitted, or indeed possible, during your month on-shift at Kalcír, except via the dedicated tangle lines to Ring Dynamics corporate headquarters, the Ministry of Transportation, and the Conclave Presidium.  After this briefing, you will have a final opportunity to communicate with your family and associates before being transmitted to the station.”

“Likewise, no information media may be transmitted to or from Kalcír Station, and after your shift, your memories of your time on Kalcír will be sequestered under the rules specified in Addendum G to your Ring Dynamics work contract.”  It smiled, thinly.  “While we maintain a fairly extensive entertainment library on board, don’t read anything you won’t regret reading twice.”

“Finally, Kalcír Station is located, as you may have heard rumored, in deep space at an undisclosed location.  This location will not be disclosed to you, and I must advise you that despite the memory sequestration, attempting to discover this location during your time there is a violation of corporate regulations punishable by immediate termination of contract and current corpus, again as per Addendum G.”

“If you will now proceed through the door on my left, my assistant will verify for each of you the initial half-payment of your adverse-conditions bonus.  Thank you for your service to Ring Dynamics.”