So I read everyone’s comments last week and thought that it might be time to explain the Liability Balance System, because at first blush it looks absolutely insane and I really don’t have space to explain this in the comic proper. Or, at least, I don’t have space to explain this without it turning into a Neal Stephenson-esque ‘fictional textbook’ thing.
LIMB pilots for security companies handle a tremendous amount of Utils in equipment and that equipment is often in danger. To discourage unnecessary risk taking, pilots are budgeted a certain ‘liability balance’ which is refreshed every deployment. Every time a pilot loses or damages company property, a fraction of that cost is deducted from their balance. Once the balance is depleted, that cost becomes money owed. Your contract doesn’t expire until the owed money is paid back or the company chooses to let you go.
Does this system make sense for a security contractor securing company assets against bandits? Yes. If your pilots got overzealous then they could cost the company more utils than the company is making on their contract, which is an absolute no-go.
Does this system make sense for a security contractor in a war? No. In security, losses are incurred when somebody fails to do their job. In a war, losses are unavoidable, and sometimes a necessity. The Free Market has never fought a war, though independent mercenaries have signed up with various outsider countries during their conflicts when the signing bonuses were good (most notably the famous ‘Glow-Boys’ of the Impossible Wars).
As for Dizzee… Dizzee is a poor security contractor. He gets plenty of kills but he’s too aggressive and loses too much equipment, probably because he’s 19 and that’s what 19 year olds are like. That’s a problem with Security. War is different.
Thanks for reading,
- Luther out
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