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Associated Industries (A.I.) is the second ranking Lunaris cartel in the fields of military and industrial technology. Faced with the constant threat of competition from the much more powerful Solaris cartels, A.I. has specific internal departments devoted to circumventing trade regulations and arming dissidents. A.I. supplies over twenty percent of new-build vessels for the Lunaris Defense Fleet, and over fourty percent of the civilian market. Company policy is to always engage pirates operating in Lunaris systems, and always flee pirates in Solaris controlled space.
Many of the higher rank A.I. managers hold commissions in the Lunaris Defense Fleet, and so enforce the commerce regulations on competing vessels with gleeful abandon. Many an A.I. merchant, with a white and a blue stripe running down the hull, has scanned competing vessels, and impounded them for noncompliance with weapons regulations, themselves sporting "self-defense" batteries that would put a cruiser to shame. This obsessive enforcement of the regulations has almost nothing to do with the preferential treatment A.I. receives at all government ship auctions.
Contrary to propaganda, Associated Industries policy is to avoid killing at all costs. That pirate you arrest today may be out on bail looking to buy a "yacht" in five to ten years, so it makes no sense to kill them.
With this glut of used spacecraft available, many people new to the spacelanes may find a deal, with quite reasonable financing, on a used runabout or pleasurecraft, but be warned. Nonpayment of the loans, or installation of illegal weapon systems will result in aggressive repossession.