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Technological Unreliability

 

When they are paid well, Orions are capable of producing excellent works. Some Orion couterfeit goods are virtual duplicates of the originals. The irony is that the vast majority of the Orions' customers want only cheap duplicates of expensive products so they can sell them for more and make a larger profit. Thus, there is a genuine argument the Orions for their part, are only fulfilling demand.

It is a good deal cheaper and more profitable to 'knock-off' substandard copies of more prestigious goods, to substitute inferior parts on more complex merchandise, or to fake technically demanding pieces of work to look as if they were done right. It startles people to learn that the 'craftsmen' who perform such frauds are only slightly less expensive than honest specialists. There are far more bunko artists among Orions, and, illogical as it seems, their skills are more in demand. Except for a handful of products (most of which they hoard for themselves), the Orions are known as producers of shoddy and nearly worthless trade goods, whose major value is extremely low cost with a high-priced look.

Because the quality of Orion products is negotiable, the customer cannot expect long or useful service from anything Orion. If only shabby furniture and lighting fixtures were involved, this would be only an annoyance. However, the Orions manufacture counterfeit life-support systems, antigrav transportation systems, and spacecraft. When they fail, loss of lives may result.

Obviously, Orion products are renowned for their close resemblence to well-known Federation-makes-the major difference being the nameplate. However, there is one other prominent distinguishing feature: Orion products are 'fussier'. They feature gewgaws, filligrees, intended to catch the buyer's eye or feed his love of gingerbreading. On the whole, the effect is not unlike that of racing stripes on a food processor.